DT 26278 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26278

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26278

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Another very entertaining crossword fom Rufus today, just the thing to get the crossword week rolling. I made this much harder than it should have been by misspelling 4d, and for some strange reason I also put SATE in at 26a. Just as an afterthought, will the F.A. be flying the England football team home in economy class?

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

1. Slipway used as London market? (9,4)
{PETTICOAT LANE} – To solve this cryptic definition you need to consider slipway in two parts, slip (female clothing) and then way (a type of road). Once done you should have a well known fashion and clothing market found in East London.

10. Stop and go after amber changes (7)
{EMBARGO} – Put GO after an anagram (changes) of AMBER is typically a government ban usually on trade.

11. Light diet may be ordered (7)
{DAYTIME} – An anagram (be ordered) of DIET and MAY is the period of time between sunrise and sunset.

12. Journey in the fall (4)
{TRIP} – Double definition – going from one place to another, or a stumble.

13. Result of test matches or match tests (5)
{ASHES} – Cricket – England v’s Australia.

14. Drink when depressed (4)
{DOWN} – Another double definition, to swallow hastily or to be low in spirits.

17. Eternal theme of the beautician (7)
{AGELESS} – A word that means existing forever or eternal, is also what a beautician is constantly trying to do for her older clients.

18. He won’t play with anybody (7)
{SOLOIST} – A cryptic definition that describes a musician that plays on his own.

19. News put out and the dust allowed to settle (7)
{UNSWEPT} – An anagram (out) of NEWS PUT describes an environment that hasn’t been cleaned for a while.

22. Leave without second course (7)
{DESSERT} – Put a word that means to leave a service, e.g. the army without permission around S (second) for what could be the “second course”.

24. One rejected a knight’s title? It’s a bloomer! (4)
{IRIS} – A species of plants with “showy” flowers – take I (one) and reverse (rejected) the title of a knight.

25. Catch a girl with nothing on (5)
{LASSO} – To catch something with a long rope that has a running noose is made up of another term for a girl followed by O (nothing).

26. Seat to be filled, perhaps (4)
{FORM} – Double definition, a long seat or bench or a schedule to be filled in with details.

29. Give a subject a title (7)
{ENNOBLE} – This may happen to some people when the Queen’s honours list comes out.

30. Move up into a form that’s perfect (7)
{UTOPIAN} – An anagram (move) of UP, INTO and A is a type of ideal community or society created by Sir Thomas More.

31. Double indemnity to secure cover for members (4,3,6)
{BELT AND BRACES} – A phrase used to describe double security or double the chances of success are also two mechanisms commonly used to hold up trousers. (is this a little risque?)


2. The current recession (3-4)
{EBB-TIDE} – A simple, elegant and topical cryptic definition is the period between high tide and low tide when water flows away from the shoreline.

3. Exhaust seen on American car (4)
{TIRE} – You need the American spelling of TYRE.

4. He became proverbially rich from various sources (7)
{CROESUS} – An anagram (various) of SOURCES was a King of Lydia who became a synonym for a very wealthy man.

5. Speech getting publicity coverage (7)
{ADDRESS} – Put a female garment (coverage) after the common abbreviation for publicity and you end up with another word for speech.

6. Deposits of Ancient Rome maybe (4)
{LAYS} – A word that can mean to deposit, is also part of the title of a famous book by Thomas Macaulay

7. Capital of Iran changed by witchcraft? (7)
{NAIROBI} – The capital of Kenya is found by adding the word for a type of witchcraft that is practised in the West-Indies for example after a simple anagram (changed) of IRAN.

8. The new stadium being constructed for Premier League club (4,3,6)
{WEST HAM UNITED} – One of my top clues of the day. This is an anagram (being constructed) of THE NEW STADIUM which when unravelled should leave you with an East London football team.

9. Coming back into the office to check report (13)
{REINSTATEMENT} – Another word for check (e.g. of a horse) is then followed by another word for a report (e.g. from your bank perhaps). .

15. Surrounded like European capital in defeat (5)
{BESET} – A word that is commonly associated with the sieges of castles. Take the first letter (capital) of European, and place it inside a word that can mean to be outwitted or outdone.

16. Degree students (5)
{CLASS} – A double definition, the rank or order of things or a group of students.

20. Elegant French female (7)
{SOIGNEE} – The female form of a French word that means well-groomed or elegantly simple.

21. Hurry up with a German exchange deal (5,2)
{TRADE IN} – The sort of deal you make when you buy a new car is formed by reversing a word (up) that means to move rapidly (hurry) and then by adding the German word for A

22. Upset girl burst into tears (7)
{DISTURB} – The girl is DI followed by an anagram (into tears) of BURST.

23. Sweetheart has reason to be passionate (7)
{EMOTIVE} – Take the letter that is at the centre of sweet (sweetheart), and then follow it with a word commonly used to describe why a murder was committed. Definition, to be passionate.

27. Meet in a bar (4)
{ABUT} – A word used to describe something that lies next to something else or shares a boundary, can also be A followed by a preposition that means besides.

28. I love getting a thank-you letter (4)
{IOTA} – The ninth letter of the Greek alphabet is constructed from I, O (love) and shortened word for thank-you.

74 comments on “DT 26278

  1. This crossword was completely ruined by 20d, what is it with these people ? They give you a perfectly reasonable, well constructed crossword that is a joy to do, takes longer than the average, every clue a well thought through discipline in construction and surface reading, a lesson in how to write clues, a test of skill and timing and then……they throw in a foriegn word, that to me is vindictive. Sorry too strong…unfair.
    Get down off that horse you!

    1. Nubian,
      Oops. I thought 20d was quite clever, the word is originally French (and still is), but has seen use in the English language (it is in Chambers). It has two forms of spelling (as you would expect) a masculine form, and a feminine form. We have here the feminine form.

      1. I can accept the fact it is used in the English language, but how do you get the answer if you don’t know the word ?
        Thanks for the blog, by the way, it may be the heat getting to me, 33 yesterday

        1. I guess you need to know that its another word for elegant, and then you have to work out that its the female form of it… I just happened to know the word, so I didn’t really think about it. I have to confess that it was scorchio in the Loire yesterday as well. I retreated inside the house and caught up on some reading rather than doing any bricolage.

        2. I am with Nubian here – I really don’t see the cryptic element. It was last in for me after looking for words that might fit and having rejected the English ones I could think of I moved (science) on to foreign words! Luckily I knew the word in French. Besides that it was a very nice puzzle so thanks for the review and merci to Rufus.

          1. I agree. It was one of the first answers I put in, but I can’t see how it’s meant to be cryptic. Other than that I enjoyed the puzzle – favourite clue 31a.

  2. Thoroughly enjoyable. Got down to 5 left and discovered ‘post’ for 26d was wrong (how daft was that?), then, with a prod for 18a, I could finish it. Never heard of the king at 4d but mr google had. Didn’t know the magic in 7d and fortunately Word Wizard knew the french for 20d.

    Some lovely stuff here, 2d probably my favourite, thanks for great puzzle and classy review.

  3. I really enjoyed today’s quick to solve puzzle – thought all the clues were great. Had a senior moment with 13a and kicked myself when I got it – think the hint could do with referring to what you get when you test a Swan Vestas! My thought with 20d was that’s clever but you have to be a certain age probably to remember it being used.

    1. Sue,
      I thought the reference to “match tests” was pretty obvious, once you knew what the “test matches” was!

      1. I am “slightly older” than you in November (but still going to remain 50 ish) – probably eight months I’d say.

  4. On the whole a very good puzzle for me EXCEPT for 20d which I wouldn’t have got in a million years. I really dislike the use of foreign words in an English crossword when they have no english equivalent. This one clue left me feeling dissatisfied with the puzzle which is a great pity esp after 1a across which made me smile. Shame the setter had to include the one club whose team members cost us our progress in the world cup!

  5. Remarkable crossword from Rufus today. Had it not been for 20d, it would have been a one-stopper – I think that one clue more or less doubled the solving time. The clues were delightful and it wasa great puzzle to solve. Many thanks to Rufus for the treat and to Libellule for the notes.

  6. Agree witht the above comments on 20d; I had this outstanding in what was otherwise a reasonably straightforward puzzle for me. Despite studying french a-level, I have never come across this word before, presumably derived from the noun ‘soin’ meaning care.

    1. Jezza,
      Actually I think the deivative is from the the verb soigner – to treat, to care for.

      1. Yes, that would make more sense. My french is a little rusty these days; My schooldays reading Camus, Sartre, Anouilh, Racine, to name but a few, seems a long time ago! Thanks Libellule.

  7. At the risk of bringing in the Equal Opportunities watchdogs, perhaps “soignee” is a ‘girl’ thing. I notice I am the only one who has commented who is (a) female and (b) didn’t have a problem with the word. Don’t think it came from my A level French, perhaps its the books I read.

  8. Bucking the trend, I had no problems with 20d – after all, no-one complains at the use of “le”, “des”, “ein”, “der” etc in clue construction. 8d was my cotd, particularly as I watched them at Upton Park several years ago.

  9. Just getting at this now. My mind vacant today so appreciated the ‘starter’ of 1a on the blog—so obvious once you know!!

    Thanks to Rufus and the review.

      1. My mind is a complete blank today—had to use the blog rather more than usual!!

  10. I didn’t have any trouble with 20d but absolutely COULDN’T do 1a – tried to make it an anagram until I got 4d and eventually had to resort to a hint – so obvious having read that! I didn’t think that I was going to be able to do 8d when I first read the clue (can’t do football or rugby, whichever they are) but it was an easy anagram (and a club that even I have heard of!) I particularly enjoyed 7 and 21d today.

  11. Must be me, I just didn’t like todays, sorry Rufus, lots to look up and blog help too! on a slippery slope I think! Happy birthday Prolixic – How old??? Thanks for blog Dave wouldn’t have finished this today, maybe on a better day I would, going for a nap in the Clueless Club, don’t think I’ll find may there today :)
    On a more positive note I liked 10a, as for 27d where does the bar come in?
    Well done Barrie and Geoff

    1. So sorry Libellule, just ‘not with it’ today , of course, I still think its an awful clue :)

  12. Generally enjoyable but agree with much of the above re. 20d. Had not heard the word and there was no way to work it out. Unlike 4d, which I did not know either but could have a good guess at from the anagram/cross letters.

    Libellule, thank you for the review. I think you have missed ‘A’ out of the anagram fodder in the explanation of 30a.

  13. Hello, Telegraph Puzzles Editor here.
    May I give my thoughts on words derived from foreign languages, and obscure answers?
    The only reasonable way to judge when a word becomes part of the English language is to see if it’s in the English dictionary. Our bible being Chambers, if it’s in Chambers, then it is part of the English language. That seems a fair rule. (Soigné is shown as both male and female, incidentally.)
    Regarding obscure words, the fairest guideline I can think of is how often the word has appeared in Daily Telegraph news stories and features. On the Telegraph website, soigné and soignée have appeared more than 80 times, so it is not a rare word for our readers. Two recent examples:
    “X Factor judge Sharon Osborne … could no longer bear Dannii Minogue, whose brittle aura of soignee perfection masked deep humourlessness.”
    “Few of the Sex And The City audience were as slender, soignée or successful as the show’s main characters…”
    Maybe it is a girl thing!
    Best wishes

    1. Thanks Phil for illuminating me on the justification for the word being used, my bone of contention was that there was no way to get the answer unless you know the word already. Admittedly there are some readers who find this clue a breeze but others like me who, if the answer is not apparent or known, only have a chance through the clue wording and surface reading, anagrams and the like. The clue in question 20d only said it was a French word meaning elegant and it was the female version. This to me is not cryptic it is general knowledge.
      Other than that I think you edit a very fine crossword and I look foreward to many more challenges.
      Thank You

    2. Hi Phil,
      I think that the point you make about Chambers is perfectly fair as long as solvers are aware or made aware that this is your bible. Is it right to use the number of times a word appears in your paper or on your website as a rule of thumb? After all, doing the crossword doesn’t necessarliy mean that you read the Telegraph…
      Thanks for taking the time to explain to your thoughts on 20d and ‘the rules’ in general: I’m off to get a new dictionary!
      Keep up the good work!

  14. Hi Mr Tub
    There is one unusual thing that links the solvers who frequent this blog — it appears that many of you get your crosswords from CluedUp. That puts you in a fairly small elite because, although we cannot know how many people do the crossword in the newspaper, it must be 10-20 times as many. So unless they cut out the crossword and chuck the rest of the paper away, we can assume that 90 per cent of our solvers read the Telegraph.
    Anyway, it’s just a rule of thumb to try to gauge how often a word is likely to have been seen by our solvers. One could just as easily choose the Times, Mail or Guardian websites. (Although, funnily enough, it seems that soigne and soignee appear about half as many times on each of those three sites. Perhaps they have half as many articles! Even so, 30-40 mentions in any national newspaper seems plenty…)
    Regarding Chambers being our bible, that is mainly for definitions, spellings and abbreviations — we have to have one point of reference that we adhere to. But it’s highly unlikely that we would use an answer in a Daily Cryptic that did not appear in every major dictionary.
    Best wishes

    1. I still think its a girl thing! I have also read lots and lots of different types of literature, as well as the DT, and I think this helps with the more obscure words. I always think of ladies like Audrey Hepburn and Leslie Caron as being soignee. I started doing the DT Cryptic 40 years ago when the WWW, Clued Up and BD’s wonderful blog were just a distant dream. So I don’t subscribe to Clued Up – I have to do the crossword in the paper, have tried printing off various crosswords, eg the Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle, but find plain A4 paper very off putting. You do need the feel of the newsprint to get the solving juices going.

    2. Perhaps I may add my fourpenny worth. I think the answer is really quite simple, it is an English crossword in an English newspaper (and a very fine one in my humble opinion), so ban setters from using ANY foreign words. Simple, pas de probleme!

      1. Oh and a final personal plea, any chance you could limit Ray T to the Toughie and not inflict him on the back page readers?

        1. It will surprise noone here to read that I did not get this one. I agree with Nubian. And Barrie.

  15. Thanks again to our maestro setter and to Libellule for the review. I also hadn’t come across 20d but had no problem with the fairness of the clue. I understand the point Nubian makes but it seems to me that it would apply equally to any “cryptic definition” clue if you didn’t know the word being clued! As for favourite clues I particularly liked 1a, 13a and 7d.

  16. Haven’t posted for a while, been lurking, however just had to offer my thanks to Rufus for the great clue that 8d is. And I may add I support another London Team! Not the hardest solve but that clue was brilliant.
    Phil you’ll be pleased to know I buy the paper everyday, I don’t read the parts with reviews of X Factor and Sex And The City however :-)

  17. Well, this is embarrassing. I was completely unstuck by the devilish 20d after thinking it was a well-crafted xword within my grasp. Got to say Rufus, ol’ fella, you got me. But there we are. I’ve learnt a new word and i won’t get caught again by some froggy clue -elegant or not.
    Loved 13a. Truly great how mixing up the same two words creates a temporary ‘blindness’ until you’ve got the gist of the thing.
    31a was fun but didn’t think it risque (ah curses, there’s another french word again).
    Nice one, Rufus. I give it 5 stars for difficulty, 5 stars for enjoyment and 6 for annoyance.

  18. Libellule,
    Just as a nightcap, would the punters be happy with a clue like,
    Short French weekly (5).
    I wonder ?

    1. ~~~~~whispers to himself~~~~

      ~~~~I couldn’t work out that one either….~~~~~

      ~~~Lulubelle’s getting a bit scary too!~~~

        1. Nubian,
          It certainly is, but I had one small problem with it, when I typed it into the search function on Chambers, I got this response “Sorry, your search has returned no result. Try to change the criteria of your query, or try an alternative spelling:”

          1. Libellule, if you type ‘hebdo’ into chambers you this ‘

            No exact matches for hebdo, but the following may be helpful.

            hebdomadal adj weekly. hebdomadally adverb.
            ETYMOLOGY: 18c: from Greek hebdomas week.

            and from that you may determine that the French use it, as I did.

              1. It means an abbreviation of the French word for weekly, My point being , you have to know the word. In the 20d down clue there was no way of working out the answer, unlike wednesdays 19d which gave you the clue.
                As I keep saying, the use of the word is acceptable as Big Dave has agreed. see wed epilogue

                1. But your example fails the Chambers dictionary test, the long word is there, but the short word isn’t. Therefore the clue fails too. That is my point.

  19. I don’t understand all the objections to a French word which has become part of the English language, since English is so full of derivations from around the world. That’s what makes it so fascinating.

    1. Use of the word is not the problem Nora, finding the answer is. It is supposed to be a cryptic clue. There is no way to work out the answer. You either know it or you don’t. I know that is the same for every answer, but making it a foreign word makes it doubly difficult.

  20. Face it , Nubian, we were both up the ‘swannee’ with this one…..night,night.

  21. Enjoyed that but couldn’t finish it last night, then in the middle of a thunderstorm at 3:30am I worked out 9d. (I also had SATE for 26a)
    I only got 20d as a result of looking up the word elegance in good old Bradford’s.

  22. I see Phil has pre-empted me. Soigné and soignée are in all my dictionaries – Chambers, Collins, Longman’s, Penguin, Oxford, Roget etc. When I see the word I always recall Kenneth Williams on TV describing himself as “soigné” in his most camp style. I don’t believe foreign words should appear in British crosswords until they have the backing and acceptance of UK lexicographers. Perhaps it is, as has been said, an age thing, and is not being used so much nowadays. I have to admit to being somewhat elderly. Thanks, as always, to Libellule for the comprehensive blog!

    1. Thanks for the explanation Rufus. I wish you had of used ‘science’ instead, it would have allowed me a decent nights sleep !
      I’ll say no more about it.

  23. Good morning, all. I did this puzzle over breakfast and when I should have been getting on with other things. Needed the blog to finish, though. As for 20d, I don’t think anyone has seriously been described as ‘soigné’ since about the 50’s, but I found it after getting the words across. My best was 31a, and I would never in a million years have found 8d.
    I’m glued to Wimbledon :-)

    1. Franny
      8d was the first one I solved due to the inclusion of the word “constructed” in the clue which would suggest an anagram was around somewhere…2d was a peach though!

  24. We in Canada get the DT cryptics about three months late–thus this late entry. Other than the fact that “soignee” isn’t a particularly clever clue, I had no problem with it. It was the number of British cultural references that got me down! 1a?, 13a? 8d?, 31? After weeks of feeling that I was finally getting the hang of these things, I felt more than properly put in my place today. Hoping tomorrow’s is a bit easier on us!

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