DT 26296 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26296

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26296

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

The usual gentle Monday morning runout, although I thought this was a bit trickier than usual in places, but there are plenty of clues to get you started.

The answers can be revealed by highlighting the space between the curly brackets.


1. Mean to be ready to fight (5-6)
{ TIGHT-FISTED } – The defintion here is “mean” as in miserly, and you might do this with your hands if you were preparing for a punch-up.

9. Train from Eton, perhaps, going to university at right time (9)
{ ENTOURAGE } – An anagram of ETON, followed by the abbreviation for university and right, and then finally finished with another word for a period of time will leave you with a word meaning a group of followers or attendants.

10. Girl providing passion to one lacking love (5)
{ IRENE } – We are looking for a girls name, take IRE (passion) and then remove the O (love) from one.

11. Prompt delivery (6)
{ INDUCE } – A double definition, to persuade, or initiate the birth of a child for example.

12. Co-operate to meet delivery (4,4)
{ PLAY BALL } – Another double definition, a slang term for co-operate, is also what you would be doing if you were a batsman.

13. Last resting places for wine (6)
{ GRAVES } – A Bordeaux wine growing region is also where people might be buried.

15. Blamed the head chef before having made certain (8)
{ CENSURED } – A word meaning to criticise someone severely is constructed from the first (head) letter of chef, followed by another word that means made safe.

18. Switches on for one daily period (8)
{ FORENOON } – An anagram (switches) of ON FOR ONE is the part of the day before midday.

19. A poem’s positive points (6)
{ ANODES } – Positively charged electrodes, could be AN followed by lyric poems.

21. Before embracing, Anne put out feelers (8)
{ ANTENNAE } – A prefix that signifies before is put around (embracing) an anagram (put out) of ANNE for the kind of feelers you would find on an insect.

23. I snoop around to discover a cause of death (6)
{ POISON } – A simple anagram (around) of I SNOOP is hemlock or arsenic for example.

26. Dirt, for example, returns round the edge (5)
{ GRIME } – Take the abbreviation for “for example” (exempli gratia), then reverse this around another word for a circular edge. You now have another word for ingrained dirt.

27. Widely seen as a popular army officer (2,7)
{ IN GENERAL } – A phrase meaning, mostly or widely seen is IN (popular) and the rank of an army officer under Field Marshal.

28. Ongoing panic (5,6)
{ STAGE FRIGHT } – A nicely put together cryptic definition. If you were an actor you might suffer from this.


1. Meeting turns out to be full (7)
{ TEEMING } – An anagram of MEETING is another word for swarming or overrun with.

2. The game’s up! Edward’s confined to school (5)
{ GATED } – Reverse a children’s game, and then follow this with a shortened version of Edward and you have a word that was used to describe what happened to students when they were not allowed to leave the school grounds.

3. Staff of police (9)
{ TRUNCHEON } – Yes, its that staff – the baton that the police carry.

4. One at the front is terrible Russian leader (4)
{ IVAN} – I (one) and VAN (at the front).

5. American music of the Depression? (3,5)
{ THE BLUES } – An informal word for depression is also a musical form and genre originally of African-American slow sad folk songs. Altogether now, “boom boom boom boom, A-haw haw haw haw.“

6. A bloomer, I’d say, in a way (5)
{ DAISY } – An anagram (in a way) of I’D SAY, for the kind of bloomer you might find in your lawn.

7. Irritated when necessity took first place (7)
{ NEEDLED } – a synonym for necessity is followed by a word meaning you were in front is a word that can mean to be goaded, provoked, or teased.

8. Went and got married again (8)
{ REPAIRED } – A word that can be used instead of the past tense of “go” could also be what a couple might do if they got together again.

14. Landing place advertises tour (8)
{ AIRSTRIP } – AIRS (advertises) plus another word for a journey is also a landing place for planes.

16. Drink now mixed in separate container (9)
{ SUNDOWNER } – Put an anagram (mixed) of NOW into a word meaning to break or wrench apart and you have an alcoholic drink that is taken after sunset.

17. Reproduction of a man’s oil painting (4,4)
{ MONA LISA } – Another anagram (reproduction) this time of A MANS OIL for a famous oil painting that hangs in the Louvre.

18. New-fangled sort of wheel (7)
{ FLANGED } – Yet another anagram (sort of) of FANGLED for a wheel that has a projecting or raised edge.

20. Just one type of shirt or vest (7)
{ SINGLET } – A word meaning unique is followed by T, a type of shirt, to give you a sleeveless vest.

22. Wants to be seen holding a number up (5)
{ NEEDS } – Put D (the Roman numeral for 500) in (holding) a reversed (up) SEEN for necessities (see 7d)

24. A gesture one doesn’t care to make (5)
{ SHRUG } – A gesture of doubt or indifference typically done by raising the shoulders.

25. Look round to leg perhaps (4)
{ OGLE } – O (round) and an anagram (perhaps) of LEG is also a lecherous stare.

51 comments on “DT 26296

  1. I’d agree with the assessment. I thought this was going to be very hard after the first pass but the checking letters all helped each other and the last one in was 18a which I was unfamiliar with as a word. 2d was my favourite.
    Thanks to Libellule and Rufus

    1. Strange! I’m familiar with 18a but never heard of 2d! Perhaps it’s because I was a sailor but never went to a prep school!

        1. It’s not the game (Tag) I didn’t know but the term ‘Gated’ meaning confined to school. But I worked it out from the wordplay and the checking letters.

  2. I started off wondering if this was Monday as there were a fair smattering of trickier clues but then came some more straightforward ones. Did it all in one sitting apart from 18a for which the (slight) assistance of Gnomethang is much appreciated. Agree with the BD rating. Thanks for the review.

  3. An enjoyable start to the week with nothing too taxing. Thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule (with electricity supply this week).

    1. Jezza,
      Yes – thankfully we have power, I have the menuisier fitting some new windows at the moment …

  4. Nice puzzle. Although there were some tricker clues, they were balanced by some much easier ones so, overall, I did not find it much trickier than usual. Many thanks to Rufus for the entertainment and to Libellule for the review. Favourite clues were 16d and 28a.

  5. Rufus showing his Naval colours with 18a, I believe. The duty watch from 8am till noon (Afore-noon??) A good start to the week, with 28a my favourite. Merci Libellule – some 13a later, perhaps?

  6. A lovely Monday puzzle from Rufus, I do like Rufus puzzles :) , funnily enough 18a was one of the first to go in, I did know this term but don’t ask me how!the only one I really struggled with was 8d last to go in, with Libellules help, bonjour et merci Libellule, fav clues 7d & 11a, though that brings back some painful memories, come on CC a nice one for us today, I wasn’t sure whether to come on this morning after my apparent ‘capital’ gaff yesterday!!! :)

      1. Clarification (?) from the ODE:

        ► noun
        * the positively charged electrode by which the electrons leave an electrical device. The opposite of cathode.
        * the negatively charged electrode of an electrical device, such as a primary cell, that supplies current.

  7. Lovely Monday puzzle from Rufus. Favourites 11a 28a Somewhat trickier in parts than usual, but got the brain into gear :)

  8. I have a little gripe with 2d (‘The game’s up! Edward’s confined to school (5)’). Whilst a lovely clue, I just find that this sort of anachronistic definition really does put off some newbies. After all, there are plenty of more inclusive definitions for the word. Grumble, grumble – well, it is Monday!

    1. Hi Freda, if you class a newbie someone such as myself who has been doing cryptics in the Telegraph for just over a year now, funnily enough I had no gripes with this and found it easy to solve, i think one mans meat etc.. etc..

      1. Hi Mary. i was thinking in terms of, with all due respect, younger newbies than you good self. I sometimes think that some of the Telegraph compilers think that we all attended prep school in the fifties (which I suspect a lot of them did) – let’s have some more modern definitions, or at least fewer dated definitions.

  9. Nice puzzle for a sunny morning, especially when “confined to barracks” waiting for someone to come to mend the washing machine! I struggled a bit with a few clues (1a – having got it, don’t know why I found it difficult, 18a and 18d) Favourite clues today were 11 and 28a and 16d.

  10. A good start to the week. Struggled with 10a, 16d and 24d, until all the surrounding letters were in place. Agree with comments made by Mary, one man’s meat, etc.

  11. Hooray, another one I could finish! Needed the hints for four or five and the checking letters always help of course. Very nice puzzle, favourites probably 1a and 28a. Yes, good one for the CC, but struggled with 16a, last one in.

    Quite happy with 2d and have been doing these for only seven months.

    Most enjoyable, thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  12. First time I’ve finished one in my lunch break; 2 sitings and an hour tops.
    Liked them all. 11a was the last to go.

  13. Thanks to Libellule and to Rufus – a very enjoyable puzzle.

    I had a nice start to the week doing yesterday’s excellent one and wasn’t sure this would come up to standard but it did.

  14. Having not got any accross ones until 13a thought this was going to be hard for a Monday, but Pommers & I romped through it over a sandwich and a glass of 13a (well not quite 13a but a Spanish variety!). For some unknown reason our last ones in were 24d and 28a – couldn’t see these at all. Argued whether 19a was +ve or -ve. No real favourites today though. Thanks to Libellule and Rufus

      1. I didn’t get it until after I’d put the answer in and then I realised that ‘ongoing’ was ‘going on’. And then I thought it was great! 2d and 18a were both new words to me, but workoutable from the surrounding letters.7d might be my favourite, but after finishing I feel completely the opposite!

  15. Must be me, I thought this was an absolute stinker! Managed just one answer i n the whole thing. Not the gentle start to the week we are used to. Horrid!

    1. What’s up Barrie, I thought you would have liked todays, you have sailed through much tougher ones than this lately :)

      1. I know, bummer isn’t it! Just can’t see the way through today, ah well we all have days like that, looking forward to tomorrow as I’ve given up on this one, no point in looking at the blog answers if you have only managed to solve one clue :-(

        1. Better luck tomorrow, it is just an ‘off’ day point of interest which 1 did u solve??

              1. OK everybody thinks this is easy so answer me some questions, 1. What on earth has flanged got to do with a wheel (I know its an anagram but the clue makes no sense)2. Airs in crossword land are songs not adverts, 3. Ire is anger not passion, 4.Where is the container in sundowner etc etc etc. I could go on but the list of clues that makes little sense to me are almost endless. Clearly I am simply not on the same wavelength today. For me a very unpleasant puzzle!

                1. Not sure I could have told you the meaning of ‘flange’, so I looked it up. My thesaurus has ‘passion’ as a synonym for ‘ire’. Doesn’t ‘container’ indicate a word inside another?

                2. Hi Barrie – we all have bad days but to answer your questions . . . .
                  Flanged as in wheel is possibly like a train wheel which has a flange to keep it on the track
                  Airs is also to make public as in adverts
                  Ire – see Geoffs response
                  Sundowner is the drink created from an anagram of now contained in sunder which means seperate as in take apart.
                  Hope this helps!

                3. Barrie,
                  Why didn’t you just read the blog? If you are completely stuck, why not put in all the across or down answers, and then try again?

  16. Sorry, folks, loved this one, only hold up 5d which hit me as soon as I got back from a tea-party! Thanks to Rufus andLibellule, even if I didn’t need the blog. Just the way it goes, yesterday’s is still half unfinished!!

  17. Like others I enjoyed this puzzle. Some puzzles get harder as you fill in the answers and the more difficult clues remain. However, this was one of those puzzles where once you’ve got going and reached a critical mass of answers it gets easier again ( a bit like a Suduko puzzle). Anyone else have the same experience or am I talking cobblers ?

    1. Quite agree. But even with all the checking letters, I still couldn’t see ‘sundowner’ and needed the hint. And today’s sudoku was just lovely.

  18. Heerrrm. I thought 19a was a tad weak and I foolishly missed 9a otherwise a gentle ramble for a Monday morning. 28a is my favourite.

  19. Thanks to the maestro for another very enjoyable puzzle and to Libellule for the review. Several pretty good clues but particularly liked 12a, 7d and (especially!) 28a.

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