DT 26302 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26302

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26302

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

One of Rufus’ easier crosswords today – I think. If I hadn’t initially put Victoria in at 2d it would have been a “one or two stopper” to quote Prolixic. But that still doesn’t stop it from being entertaining and a fun crossword to do.

If the hints don’t help, just highlight the space in the curly brackets to reveal the answer.


1. Many grew old behind bars (5)
{CAGED} – Follow the Roman numeral for one hundred (many) with another word for grew old to get a word that means confined.

4. Military assistant gives notice to project worker (8)
{ADJUTANT} – The short form of a public notice, another word for project or protrude, and then finally a crossword worker should give you an officer that is specially appointed to assist a commanding officer.

8. Compel to do a favour, including thanks in return (8)
{OBLIGATE} –An informal word used in the sense of doing something as a favour has TA reversed (in return) inside it (including). The definition being compel, or to bind by contract or duty.

9. Turning a list into new form (8)
{ROTATION} – Take another word for a list of duties for example and then follow it with an anagram (new form) of INTO for the act or process of turning around a central point.

11. A professor of infinite wisdom (4-3)
{KNOW-ALL} – This is someone who “professes” to have all the answers.

13. Unwillingly late (9)
{INTESTATE} – A cryptic defintion. What word describes someone who dies and does not leave a will.

15. ‘Variable after a shower’ etc (7,8)
{WEATHER FORECAST} – An anagram (variable) of AFTER A SHOWER ETC is also a particular kind of prediction.

18. It was once a city Jane Eyre came to love (9)
{ROCHESTER} – A character from Jane Eyre, is also a town and former city in Kent.

21. Can and must resort to private study (7)
{SANCTUM} – An anagram (resort to) of CAN and MUST is a sacred place or very private room.

22. Sole assistance for those travelling in the Arctic (8)
{SNOWSHOE} – A racket shaped frame that you would tie onto your feet if you had to walk anywhere where there is lots of frozen precipitation.

24. They swear or turn into drunkards (8)
{TROOPERS} – If you reverse OR and put it inside (into) another word for people who drink to excess, you have cavalry soldiers who proverbially swear like this.

25. Foreigner who loses it on marriage (8)
{SENORITA} – You are looking for the Spanish title of courtesy given to a young lady. If you remove IT, you now have the title or form of address for a married woman.

26. Some horses eat grass, it’s said (5)
{GREYS} – A word that sounds like (its said) graze could be a type (colour) of horses.


1. Time will be on its side (5,5)
{CLOCK TOWER} – Just like Big Ben.

2. Station of the Cross (8)
{GOLGOTHA} – For Roman Catholics this is the tenth station of the cross and the place where Christ was crucified. How many of you wrote in Victoria without even thinking and then wondered why everything went very wrong in the upper left hand corner.

3. Follow and observe for a two-hour period (8)
{DOGWATCH} – On a ship a period of time from 4–6pm or 6–8pm that consists of two hours only, instead of four is constructed from another word that can mean to track constantly and also another word for regarding something attentively.

4. Get a welcome run and declare (4)
{AVER} – Another word for affirm or declare is a Latin greeting followed by R (run).

5. Turnabouts in vessels (1-5)
{U-BOATS} – An anagram (turn) of ABOUTS gives you these German submarines.

6. A film’s been made out of it (6)
{AFRICA} – A 1985 film starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford is also an autobiographical book written by Isak Dinesen.

7. Rent to the Royal Navy (4)
{TORN} – Rent in this case means ripped, add the abbreviation for Royal Navy to TO.

10. Great place for fresh air! (8)
{OUTDOORS} – Think of a well known phrase, “The great ……..”, for a place that is not in a building for example.

12. A noted text-book (8)
{LIBRETTO} – A text of a dramatic musical work.

14. Unusual term exists for those of a mind to go far in politics (10)
{EXTREMISTS} – An anagram (unusual) of TERM EXISTS for people who resorts to measures beyond the norm especially in politics.

16. Regular lay preachers take it (8)
{EVENSONG} – A daily evening service in the Anglican Church can be made up from another word meaning uniform or flat, followed by another word for a tune.

17. Everybody present and of sound mind (3,5)
{ALL THERE} – A simple double definition.

19. He composed music many dance to at home (6)
{CHOPIN} – A famous Polish composer is constructed from that Roman number for one hundred (many used again – see 1a), this is then followed by an informal word for dance or dance party and then we finally add crosswordland’s alternative for at home.

20. Incomplete Oriental holiday (6)
{EASTER} – Remove the last letter (incomplete) from a word that means situated in or towards the east, and you have a holiday that commemorates the resurrection of Christ.

22. Gets harder scenes to play (4)
{SETS} – Double definition, the sort of thing that happens to concrete, and scenes that are used while a film is being made.

23. Mount hotly tipped when it runs (4)
{ETNA} – The mount in question is a volcano, and can be found in Sicily.

48 comments on “DT 26302

  1. A very enjoyable quick Monday morning solve. And no, I didn’t write Victoria in 2d, mainly because I had already put 1a in. (My first approach to any puzzle is to work through the acrosses and then the downs). Favourite clues 25a and 6d, the latter being the only one I had to really think about and then it did make me smile at its cleverness. Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and Libellule for the review.

  2. Fantastic start to the week with hard and easy clues mixed together. I sense of enjoyment and frustration which is all you want in a good crosswrd. This should be held up as an examlpe of a quality puzzle.
    Favs 21a, 2d and 6d
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule for the blog

  3. Fortunately, I did not fall into the Victoria trap as the across clues were already in place. I agree this was a gentle solve – the only one to detain me was 6d. Favourite clues were 15a and 24a. Thanks once again to Rufus and to Libellule for the review.

  4. Ditto the above – 6d was last in and the across clues put paid to Victoria which otherwise would have been straight in!.
    5d was enjoyable – one of those ‘midnight’ clues that divides opinions.
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  5. Half way with this (doing paperwork as well!), agree, a lovely start to the week.

    I’m not Catholic but got 2d straightaway. Also like 18a.

    Thanks to Rufus & the reviewer.

  6. Good morning Libelulle, another lovely Rufus puzzle but a little harder for me than a 2* needed help with 4a, and although i got 5d it took me a while to see the anagram indicator! also put snowskis for 22a at first, fav clues, lots of, 1d, 15a, 25a, 11a, fav of all 23d, didn’t like 24a or 12d, good luck all fellow CC, back later :) didn’t fall into the trap of putting Victoria for 3d as i already had 1a

  7. Great start to the week. 6d had me stumped. Thanks for all your hints and tips, which I follow regularly. The blog has certainly helped me raise my game. Usually don’t do crossword until late evening, so have not commented before, but on holiday, so starting early…

  8. What is cryptic about 2d? With the capital C for Cross, It is just general knowledge.

    Otherwise a lovely crossword. 6d was last to go in – very clever!

    1. I think it is just trying to trip us up as it suggests that it is going to be Victoria??

    2. I agree Patsyann, I am a Catholic and so I read the clue right at first glance but if you don’t know the answer then you can’t work it out. Apart from the rest of the puzzle which was brilliant, this type of clue is one of my most annoying along with Soignee !!

  9. Now back from my trip to England and this was a fine puzzle to get back into the swing with. I must say I started thinking of railways when I first looked at 2d but the words across sorted me out. There were a number of nice anagrams and clues I could get my head around, so thank you Rufus. 6d and 13a held me up for a moment; I enjoyed 18a and 19d, but my favourite was 4a.

    Incidentally, any of you who live in the Chester area (where my wallet was stolen) you have the most pleasant and helpful policemen in the world. :-)

  10. Nice gentle start to the week. 2d needed to be checked out, not a place I had heard of, apart from that very enjoyable without being taxing.

  11. That was a lovely Monday puzzle – took ages to get 6d and for some stupid reason 26a but really enjoyed 13a 15a and 18a. Thanks Rufus and Libellule

  12. Once we got going, and got the brain cells moving, really enjoyed this. New word for us in 3d and appreciated the explanation for 24a – couldn’t work out why!

  13. I got completely stuck on 2d – have never heard of it (not catholic and obviously not part of my general knowledge) so needed to look at the answer inside the brackets – didn’t put Victoria as I had already done 1a. Also wouldn’t have been able to do 6d without the hint. For a while I wondered about ‘Spaniard’ for 25a but didn’t get as far as writing it in – anyone else? Favourite clues – probably 4 and 21a and 1 and 3d.

  14. Relatively simple, but also very enjoyable, with some lovely turns of phrase. As Rufus, and Nubian, will well recall, the 3d’s occur between 4-6pm and 6-8pm to allow sailors to grab a quick bite and 40 winks between normal 4-hour watches. Known in the trade as “a 3d sinker”. No Toughie today, so might have a go at Herculis for a change.

  15. Not catholic so I don’t know about stations per se; I just read it as the place where it was stationed or put.

    Technically 1d would refer to St Stephen’s Tower, rather than the bell itself. :roll:

    Otherwise a more enjoyable puzzle than spending the best part of an hour on the tube due to “multiple signal failures” this morning.

    Liked 26a. Didn’t really like 23d – the only reason to write the answer in was because it fitted. Without checking letters it would be impossible, I think?

    1. Zak, Re 23d:
      If you hang around crosswords for long enough you will see this word plenty of times so will not be too phased by a slightly different treatment of it!

  16. Sorry – meant to put a smiley or equivalent after my second sentence – reads a bit rude without it… Didn’t mean to be!

  17. Oddly, I needed much more help with this one than with Friday’s puzzle. I don’t know why and I’m rather sorry to say it, but it didn’t do a lot for me – and I’ve started looking forward to the Monday puzzle too. Ah well … thanks anyway and for the review.

    Even given Libellule’s hint, I didn’t understand the ref to ‘noted’ in 12d, as a 12d is only the words. 3d is a new word today, as is ‘toper’ in 24a.

    1. Geoff,
      Re 12d – if it was a musical manuscript (which it is) – then would it not contain “sheet music”, and therefore musical notes? Perhaps this link to a picture of a libretto might help.

      1. As a rehearsal pianist for some years, mostly for G&S, I’m not terribly familiar with librettos since I’m usually playing from the orchestral reduction, but I’ve never seen one with notes in it.

        1. Surely the word “noted” is just there to tell you you need a musical text book, otherwise it would be any old text book, wouldn’t it?

  18. 2d is a general knowledge clue – nothing cryptic about it at all, so unless you’re a Catholic or happen to know the Stations, you’d never work it out. I am miffed by this clue!

    1. I could be wrong but I have a feeling it was in another crossword recently – the Saturday GK or something like that. I definitely remember thinking oh its G again when I filled in the answer this morning.

    2. I think maybe the whole purpose of the clue was to throw us off the scent as quite a few people put in Victoria??

      1. Mary,
        I did consider deliberate misdirection when I wrote the blog. But only Rufus can confirm this for certain.

    3. Totally agree. not even my dictionary. Spoils a very good crossword – misdirection or not

      1. It’s in the Big Red one, Collywobbles.
        I lost a quiz at Easter as I gave Golgotha as the answer to “where was Jesus crucified”.
        Under the word the first def was Calvary which the quizmeuster wanted as the answer!

  19. I had great fun today. 15a, 21a, 22a, 24a, 25a, 26a, 1d 6d, 12d, 19d, 22d and especially 23d were all rewarded with the involuntary noise that I’ve come to call the penny dropping groan. It was one of the most entertaining puzzles I’ve done for a long time.

  20. Hello everyone, another newby here. I’ve been following the blog for some time and haven’t dared enter its hallowed halls because I’m usually lucky to get half the clues without having recourse to BD. However today I did really well (although I fell into the Victoria trap), but had real problems with 25a, even with the hint. As a resident of Barcelona I have to say that the term for a married women in Spanish is Senora. Signorina is the Italian equivalent of the Spanish Senorita. Senorina for me was a complete misnomer. But at least it gave me an excuse to join in the blog. Thanks BD and everyone for all your help – maybe one day I’ll be able to do the whole crossword without having to use you. All the best, Kate

  21. Sorry – now you see why I haven’t posted before. Duuugghhh. I totally misread your hint Libelulle and thought you were saying remove IT. I didn’t check in the brackets the correct answer. There you go, I shall retire to the corner with my dunce’s hat and never darken your blogspot again. A very red faced Barcelona resident – and we are not talking to much sun!

    1. Kate

      Welcome to the blog. There’s no need to worry about making mistakes around here – we all do it (even Gazza, but not very often in his case!).

      I do hope you will come back again soon.

      1. Kate,
        As BD says we all make mistakes and I’ve made more than my share over the years (in spite of what he says), so don’t worry about making mistakes and don’t worry about asking if you don’t understand something in the blog. It’s very easy when you’re blogging to write something like “the usual abbreviation for Church of England” without thinking that some readers may not know what that is – so if there’s anything you don’t understand, please do ask!

  22. Firstly, many thanks as usual for Libellule’s blog, and for last week’s as well, when I was on holiday. Re Golgotha. I’m not Catholic or, indeed, very religious, but I had heard of Golgotha, Calvary and Stations of the Cross. My wife and I once walked up a mountain in Greece, pausing at 14 statues, described as Stations of the Cross, en route to an ancient monastery. I also knew that Golgotha was where the Cross actually stood. Then, checking my reference books, I noticed the phrase is always Stations of the Cross, i.e. in the plural. I was hoping that the dictionary definition of “station” as “the place or position at which a thing or person stands etc”, meant the clue “Station of the Cross”, in which the Station is singular, would indicate that the solution was “the place where the Cross actually stands”. I also regret to say I didn’t even think of Victoria – perhaps next time! Thank you for all the comments – I always find them interesting and rewarding!

    1. Hi Rufus
      First ,thanks for a very entertaining puzzle – I really appreciate what you guys do for us every day.
      Second, regarding the Golgotha bit – I thought it was very clever misdirection and would have worked even better if it had been an across clue. Everyone would have gone for Victoria without the checking letters as most people start with the across clues! Only problem with it is that, if you don’t know, there’s no way to work it out – I had heard of “Stations of the Cross” and then needed Google to get the answer.

  23. Thank you Big Dave for being so understanding, but it could take some time before I’m back again after such a dreadful start … I really love the blog, and not just the hints but all the conversations that your followers have. You make me very nostalgic when you go off to the White Horse in Parsons Green (a favourite pub from when I lived in London) and if ever I can combine one of your get togethers with a trip back to the UK, I’ll be there. Thanks again, Kate

    1. Welcome, Kate.
      The best advice I can give you is “feel free to pull up a chair and call the cat a b*****d”
      We are all here to learn from each other.
      Please continue to drop in and comment.

      1. Help – what is the cat called after you’ve pulled up a chair?!! This is an expression that I really have never heard (and who knows when it might help with a crossword clue?)

        PS So nobody fancied my alternative answer to 26a, I mean as a first instinct and before there were any checking letters in – always do a quick trawl of all the across clues and then an equally quick one of the downs.

        1. Kath – I think from a Terry Pratchett novel the phrase was “Pull up a chair and call the cat a bastard” (Nanny Ogg).
          I can’t think of many better ways to put someone at their ease.
          Also I can’t see your alternative to 26a listed above. If 25a then it is fine for the definition of a ‘foreigner’ but the wordplay is quite explicit in Rufus’s clue.

          1. Thanks – had assumed that the cat had to be called a bastard but didn’t know where it had come from – have never read any Terry Pratchett.

            Re 25a (didn’t mean 26a – a typo, never could do numbers) on first run through of the clues I thought that it could be deliberately misleading – it had to be ‘senorita’ but a ‘senorita’ is a ‘Spaniard’. OK, so I’m absolutely barking …. !

            1. Kath – Terry Pratchett is the finest living author in Britain if not the world or to some people he writes stories about a make believe flat world which is situated on the top of elephants who in turn are standing on a giant turtle as it sails through space. I am firmly in the first camp.

  24. Libellule: Yet another cracker from the master.My best was KNOW ALL for its excellent surface.Some of the words are perculiarly British but thanks to the Dandies,Beanos,Toppers etc I used to read in the 70’s I am not all at sea.I had also thought of Victoria but I restrained myself. Golgotha is actually cryptic from the surface reading.

Comments are closed.