DT 26266 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26266

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26266

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello everybody welcome to Monday! I thought this crossword was a little more difficult that we have had for the last few weeks, however it did not detract from the enjoyment. Are there too many anagrams? Possibly, but it’s still a very good puzzle. Favourite clues have to be 11a and 28a just for their sheer simplicity.

If the hint is not enough to allow you to work out the answer, just highlight the space between the curly brackets.


1. Fear of being wrongly partitioned (11)
{TREPIDATION} – We start with an anagram (wrongly) of PARTITIONED for a word that can mean alarmed agitation.

9. Be not as important as many (9)
{COUNTLESS} – Be (COUNT) as in the sense of to be recognised, followed by a word for lower or not as important as (LESS) is innumerable or many.

10. Kingdom not fancied by many (5)
{REALM} – Not fancied, or made up is REAL, followed by M (many), like before this could be the Roman numeral for a thousand, or an abbreviation for million(s).

11. A boring set-up (3,3)
{OIL RIG} – A cryptic reference to BP perhaps?

12. Starfish disclosed by tides or a storm (8)
{ASTEROID} – A new meaning for me today, I wasn’t aware that this word was associated with starfish. This is also an anagram (disclosed by) of TIDES OR A.

13. Make-up puts mother in a strong position (6)
{FORMAT} – Definition is make up, put mother (MA) inside a word for a small fortified military post.

15. Check the remainder before the downpour (8)
{RESTRAIN} – A word meaning to hold back, is simply the remainder (REST) followed by downpour (RAIN).

18. For dessert such an order can’t be bettered (5,3)
{APPLE PIE} – This fruit pudding is also a phrase that can also mean in “perfect order”

19. The cad is out to break the engagement (6)
{DETACH} – Another anagram (is out) of THE CAD, is a word that means to take away or separate.

21. They may have to wait for their money (8)
{SERVANTS} – Wait here is used in the sense of “to be in attendance, or in readiness to carry out orders”.

23. Judge gives direction to fools (6)
{ASSESS} – A word meaning to evaluate or estimate is made up of a word normally associated with stupid people followed by S (South – a direction).

26. In skill the French sentry should be (5)
{ALERT} – Put LE (the in French) inside ART (skill). You would hope that a sentry would indeed be this.

27. Domestic flight (9)
{STAIRCASE} – A gentle cryptic definition. A series of steps that connect two different levels.

28. The lamb’s tender (11)
{SHEPHERDESS} – Lovely clue. A girl who looks after sheep.


1. Record attendance of pupils for lecture (4,3)
{TICK OFF} – Double definition, what you would do when you do a roll call, is also an admonition.

2. Peer in uniform (5)
{EQUAL} – Another double definition, something that is identical perhaps.

3. Entangled but certain it can be unravelled (9)
{INTRICATE} – An anagram (can be unravelled) of CERTAIN IT for a word that can mean involved, entangled or complex.

4. A point we follow up, once more (4)
{ANEW} – A followed by another compass direction, this time its N (north) with WE reversed (up) following. Definition is “once more”.

5. Maintained it’s Enid’s move (8)
{INSISTED} – Anagram time again, An anagram (move) of ITS ENIDS can also mean averred, vowed, claimed or even maintained.

6. Bottle neck (5)
{NERVE} – Double definition.

7. Adam upset, bolted out fast (7)
{RAMADAN} – An anagram (upset) of ADAM with RAN (bolted) outside is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, when you are not allowed to eat between sunrise and sunset.

8. Latin American country holds an alternative view (8)
{PANORAMA} – The Latin American country is also a hat, put OR (an alternative) inside to get a word that can mean an extensive picture or view of something.

14. Journalist about to take a drink (8)
{REPORTER} – About to (RE) is then followed by a dark-brown beer made from malt for another name used to describe a journalist.

16. Rate reform more certain — official (9)
{TREASURER} – An anagram (reform) of RATE} followed by a word that means more certain (SURER) is someone who is in charge of funds or revenues.

17. Is stated in a way that creates revulsion (8)
{DISTASTE} – Phew, another anagram (in a way) of IS STATED is a feeling of intense dislike.

18. Refuse to vote, putting Jack on the spot (7)
{ABSTAIN} – Jack is a typical abbreviation for a sailor, follow this with a word that can mean spot or a discoloration. This is what happens if you refrain to vote.

20. Female entertainer (7)
{HOSTESS} – Is a woman who receives or entertains guests.

22. They are used to having high scores (5)
{ALTOS} – Singers whose voices lie between the range of soprano and tenor.

24. Shun fallen woman bearing a daughter (5)
{EVADE} – A synonym for avoid is found by putting A D (daughter) inside (bearing) the name of a fallen woman found in the bible.

25. A number with deposit money (4)
{CASH} – The Roman number for 100 is followed by the sort of deposit that is left behind when something is burnt should leave you with a term for ready money.

33 comments on “DT 26266

  1. I got through that one unscathed. DIdn’t we have 18a last week? I like to think that all of the Otter Mild I enjoyed yesterday helped with 14d. I’d add that and 18d and 20d to Libellule’s list of ‘sheer simplicity’.

  2. A great puzzle from Rufus. I also found it a sight trickier than last week’s (an indeed most Mondays) but there were oodles of lovely clues here. I would add 24d and 19a to the above list for my favourites.
    Many thanks for the review, Libellule and thanks to Rufus

  3. Agree with everything said so far, lots of great clues and lots of fun, loved 28a. Thanks for the review Libellule.

  4. I know that I keep banging on about this, but why, oh why can’t we have this standard and difficulty of puzzle on a Saturday? Maybe a couple more anagrams than “par” but someting for everyone. Thanks for the revue, Libellule – 26a gave you a soucon of local flavour!

    1. Because some of us like to be able to enjoy the Saturday crossword rather than this horrible thing!

      1. Once again I’m with Barrie.

        I managed precisely none of these before visting this site.

    2. There are different styles of puzzle – some like the Saturday style, some like this style, and some might wonder if there’s really that much difference. As long as the Telegraph maintains its system of giving days of the week to individual setters (barring holiday replacements and the day or two which (from memory) are shared, having the Monday style and difficulty on another day of the week is impossible!

  5. I got quite a long way with this one, so pleased with that. Just a few I didn’t get; was so sure the second half of 11a was ‘bit’ and hadn’t got 1d, didn’t get 6d and don’t see the connections at all. 22d was obvious, but I don’t understand the ‘high scores’ reference.

    Good puzzle, most enjoyable, making some progress I think.

    1. Geoff.. The word derives from the Latin for ‘High’ and those that sing/play in this range would be used to receiving high scores (as in musical manuscripts with high notes)

      1. Completely accurate, but the term is rather confusing, as it describes the lowest female voice. I believe the name comes from the days when choirs were entirely male.

    2. Thank you gentlemen; just goes to show I should have looked one up and not taken the other at face value – how daft is that in a cryptic puzzle?

  6. Dear me, this is a tricky one for a Monday. I thought the tricky ones came later in the week. Bit too tough for me I’m afraid.

  7. I really enjoyed this one although there were a lot of anagrams. 1d had me foxed for a while but when I got 9a realised my mistake, no trouble with the rest. Fav. 28a

  8. I also thought that this one was a bit tougher than most Mondays. Was completely thrown in the NW corner as I had “turn out” for 1d (don’t ask me why – wasn’t entirely happy with it as I wrote it in) which meant that I couldn’t make any sense of 9 and 13a. I didn’t know that “asteroid” was anything to do with starfish. I liked 28a and 20d. My favourite clue was 6d.

    1. Hi Kath,apparently according to the Oxford English Dictionary the word asteroid originates from the Greek word asteroeides meaning “starlike”.Perhaps thats the link with starfish.I hope I dont sound too much like an anorak!!

        1. I think Kevin has the right idea – scientidic names aren’t devoid of meaning and “asteroid”=”like a star” must surely be the scientific name for the same reason that the common name is “starfish”.

  9. I didn’t find this very difficult—although I didn’t get 28a—-agree, a lovely clue. Rather too many anagrams but a pleasant start to the week.

  10. I thought this had been taken from the Beano or Jackie or The Peoples Friend.
    How come Big Dave and I are the position we are in on Cluedup ? We both did good but were relegated down the ladder.
    I despair at how they work it out Im glad my life does not depend on it.
    Merct for the blog Libellule, it has been chucking it down here(Carcassonne) for the last few days, summer, what summer ?

    1. Nubian,
      A mixture of sun and rain currently in the Loire which is certainly making a, the garden look lovely, but also means b, I am having to mow the grass every week.

      1. Thankfully I don’t have a lawn but the flowers at the front look like they are about to explode, being the trumpet variety I will probably get an early call one morning !

  11. Nice start to the week – I did not think it was any harder than usual but still had all the Rufus flair. Many thanks to him and to Libellule for the review.

  12. Zipped through this very quickly save 9a that for me is a tad vague. Other than that it was painless but enjoyable. Thanks to the Monday setter and for a good review.

  13. Pleasant preamble to the rest of the week. 28a had me smiling when I finally worked out it was nothing to with being soft or making an offer!

    1. David

      For a number of words – ETON comes to mind – it’s all about the checking letters. In this case the only other word that fits the pattern A?P?E?I? is aspheric, not an easy word to clue.

      1. There’s also 2 medical terms which fit – asplenia and asplenic. Both to do with not having a spleen. Sounds nasty!
        Sorry to be pedantic!
        I liked the puzzle and thanks for the review Libellule.

        1. I should have added that the Telegraph tends to only use words found in Chambers dictionary. I did find others, like apple oil and alphenic, that do not pass that test.

  14. Just tried this puzzle. All sound enough on the clue side (with asteroid=starfish new for me too), but wish they would ditch this grid – the 3/7 checking in 7D and 18D is naff.

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