DT 26320 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26320

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26320

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Another gentle start to the week, definitely not too taxing. A few weak clues, and one that is barely cryptic, but on the whole a crossword that is generally enjoyable.

The answer can be found by highlighting the space between the curly brackets.

1. Flat-finding agency (6,5)
{SPIRIT LEVEL} – A cryptic definition of a tool that a builder should use when building a wall. – but not always. I liked this.

9. In which a boxer may drop his guard? (3,6)
{DOG KENNEL} – Another gentle cryptic definition, where would a boxer dog go to relax?

10. I go round an Italian city (5)
{TURIN} – Another word for taking your go in a game perhaps, is placed around I for the capital of the Piedmont region.

11. Refuse a stretcher (6)
{LITTER} – Double definition, refuse in this sense can mean garbage.

12. Having no worries about being negligent (8)
{CARELESS} – The definition is “being negligent”, if you reduced the issues you had problems with into (4,4) you will have the answer.

13. When students may collect on the streets (3,3)
{RAG DAY} – How cryptic is this? A period of time when students collect money for charity.

15. The point in folly that becomes madness (8)
{INSANITY} – Put S (South – the point) into another word for something that is empty of meaning or sense to give a word for mental illness.

18. An old story that bears fruit (8)
{CHESTNUT} – A bit like some of Rufus’ clues at times.

19. Drive to a meeting place? (6)
{AVENUE } – A followed by the scene or setting in which something takes place, is also a wide street or thoroughfare.

21. Spot a complicated clue — but it’s of little matter (8)
{MOLECULE} – A small growth on the skin (spot) is followed by an anagram (complicated) of CLUE and is a very small particle.

23. Catch in Antwerp on the loose without wife (6)
{ENTRAP} – An anagram (on the loose) of ANTWERP without a W (wife) is also a word meaning to ensnare someone or something.

26. Article left out of yearbook creates void (5)
{ANNUL} – If you remove an A (article) from a book published every year, then you have a word that means to declare void or invalid.

27. Poor relatives prepared to do a variety of jobs (9)
{VERSATILE} – An anagram (poor) of RELATIVES is a word used to describe someone who is capable of doing many things well.

28. In spite of it, all the more (11)
{NONETHELESS} – A word meaning despite anything to the contrary, if split (4,3,4) would get another way of saying all the more.


1. All he makes goes on horses (7)
{SADDLER} – And we if we were riding them, we would sit on what he makes.

2. Used in transporting other metals besides gold (5)
{INGOT} – A hidden word describes a block of metal.

3. Crude, but in a gentle fashion (9)
{INELEGANT} – An anagram (fashion) of IN A GENTLE is unpolished or graceless.

4. Family row (4)
{LINE} – Double definition. In this case family is a reference to ancestry.

5. Scoundrels who show no compunction in breaking into houses (8)
{VILLAINS} – These scoundrels are constructed by putting IN into the large “roman” houses that appear in the clue for 17d.

6. Being agile, he put the light on first (5)
{LITHE} – A word for supple is “put the light on” followed by HE.

7. Many set free (7)
{AMNESTY} – An anagram (free) of MANY SET is a general pardon (especially for offences against a government). A nice all-in-one.

8. The area isn’t developed as well (8)
{ARTESIAN} – Another anagram (developed as) this time of AREA ISNT for a type of well where water rises to the surface under internal hydrostatic pressure. Is the initial “the” necessary?

14. Girls get involved with men — trouble-makers (8)
{GREMLINS} – Third anagram (get involved with), of GIRLS and MEN, are imaginary creatures to whom mechanical problems are blamed.

16. Profit that shouldn’t be taken unfairly (9)
{ADVANTAGE} – Profit here means a benefit or gain and typically you would not take this unfairly when playing a game for example.

17. Gilbert’s partner seen in foreign villa in blazer (8)
{SULLIVAN} – Put an anagram (foreign) of VILLA into SUN (blazer) for the Gilbert’s famous Victorian musical partner who helped produce 14 comic operas.

18. Order the ambitious officer hopes to get (7)
{COMMAND} – To direct (what an officer would do) and the responsibility of looking after a body of troops or a ship for example.

20. Not slow to voice an opinion (7)
{EXPRESS} – Double definition, swift or rapid, or to put something into words.

22. Organ stop (5)
{COLON} – Another double definition, part of the large intestine and also a punctuation mark.

24. Bring up a matter of higher wages (5)
{RAISE} – To elevate something, or a pay increase.

25. Summons author without hesitation (4)
{WRIT} – Remove ER (hesitation) from someone who sets down words on paper, and you should be left with a legal document.

64 comments on “DT 26320

  1. I finished this on the train.

    It is pleasant to be able to do this after Friday’s horrendoma and Saturday’s rather disappointing offering.

    21a took a long time but made me laugh.

    7d and 8d I liked.

    22d took ages but is my favourite.

    1a I think is a bit tenuous. I had ARISE for 24d (as it “brought up under matters arising) until I got 23a.

  2. Good morning Libelulle fron an actually hot and sunny West Wales, on first read through today the only clue I could do was 17d! But with my usual ‘perservation’ and aids have finishedit, have now read the blog and actually found that I understood them all correctly today!! fav clues 9a, 28a good luck fellow CCers don’t let it ‘get’ you this is another lovely Rufus puzzle :) Off to enjoy the sunshine now, while it lasts

  3. Another pleasant Monday morning stroll from Rufus. I solved this without recourse to any paper or print at all as I have the App that Prolixic recommended to me. I fat fingered a few answers so it took a bit longer than usual!
    Thanks to libellule for the blog and Rufus for the puzzle.

  4. Any one got any complaints about having 23a as enwarp and 24d as arise? Suits me. Gentle start as usual and fairly enjoyable over morning coffee.

  5. A good Monday puzzle after a horrible Sunday electronically. My Sky+ box died and my internet connection from about 10 onwards was less than efficient. So I had two to submit this morning – both excellent. Thanks for the puzzle Rufus and thanks for the review Libellule.

    Luckily I am now back to normal (well except for my Sky box which will mean I will lose all my saved programmes).

    Gazza/Libellule/Big Dave/ any other IT gurus – have you every been able to retrieve from the hard disk of a sky+ box? Hard and soft booting haven’t worked so I figure it will be replaced when the engineer comes and because it is a sealed unitl I can’t get at it.

      1. Sounds abnout right – mine is one of the originals and has a 160mb hard drive. Who do you use since you obviously don’t have Sky?

          1. I have Freeview on my TV in my craft room but I can’t get one of the channels I want unless I have Sky or an alternative and freesat doesn’t have it either. Stuck I guess. Thanks for your help as always Dave

            1. Lea,

              I did some reading. The hard disk on a Sky+ box looks as if it is just a simple IDE drive that could be used anywhere. But, the contents of the drive are more complicated.

              Firstly it seems a Sky+ box runs its own proprietary OS called OpenTV (I think) and the data recorded to the Sky+ hard disk although essentially is a live MPEG2 datastream from the digital satellite feed, will cause problems if you try and use (for example) a PC to access it or the hard drive.

              The disk data format (directory and file structures) is not compatible with any commercial operating system.

              For all channels except the truly free ones the raw datastream is encrypted using the Videoguard encryption system. To decrypt this stream you would need a Videoguard decryption module, only available inside a Sky Digibox. This would presumably also need a valid Sky card.

              Many programmes, especially movie channels add Macrovision protection to the videostream to prevent cross-recording to videotape.

              So… if you want to read the hard disk you currently have – you need to use it in a working Sky+ box….

              It is possible to change Sky+ hard drives, but that I think is a technical discussion beyond the bounds of a DT Cryptic crossword blog.

              1. Thanks Libellule – I had done a bit further research as well but your explanation is a good one and sets the parameters properly. Thanks and I agree anything further is beyond this blog.

  6. A nice straightforward no problems Monday morning puzzle from Rufus, just right after a first morning back at work after a week off. Agree with Libellule about the non-crypticness of 13a. I liked 1a the best of many good clues today.

    1. I am guessing that the cryptic element is in reading that the students are collecting (I.e. Thronging) on the street rather than collecting money. I agree it’s not likely to trip anyone up though!

      1. Correct as always! Because its so obvious, I didn’t really search for why it was cryptic just wrote it in.

      1. We don’t seem to have such a thing here – day or week – any more. I suppose there are so many other ways that the students can raise money. Very hot on volunteering/funding raising in other ways.

      2. i had to expose the answer to this. In my day it was a Rag Week; never heard of a Rag Day!

  7. Enjoyed today’s offering because I managed it unaided and didn’t have to refer to a dictionary or thesaurus. Liked 7d & 8d

  8. Typically Rufus, enjoyable but a touch uncryptic (if there is such a word ). Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

  9. 1a, 7d & 8d are all excellent clues. “BZ” Rufus! (he’ll know what I mean). OK, 13a is a bit weak, but it is cryptic. The only other downside to Mondays – no Toughie!

  10. I saw that two answers were possible for 24d so waited until I had a cross letter, but I failed to spot that there are two good answers to 1d and chose the wrong one which held me up a bit.

    I like 21a and 7d best.

  11. I enjoyed that.
    In the spirit of Monty Python does Rufus really mean Beds for 9 across ?
    Thanks for the blog Libellule and Rufus fot the puzzle.
    Fav was 7 down

  12. Made the cardinal error of assuming – twice!! Assumed that 1d was “farrier” and 4d ws “feud”. This made it far more difficult for me than it should have been.

    I agree that 13a was hardly cryptic. I didn’t want to put the answer in, initially, as I thought it was too easy. Pity I wasnt as cautious with the other two clues!!

    I particularly liked 8d.

    1. Crikey that makes it 3 possible answers to 1d as I had hostler which fitted 11a and 13a.

        1. Chambers has both spellings, though without the h is more usual in the UK but not in the US where the h is used.

  13. Didn’t find this too difficult although only got about three answers on the first read through. 18 and 21a both took quite a long time and 7d was the last one to go in – hadn’t even spotted that it was an anagram until I read the hints – think I must be having a “bad brain” day!

  14. Enjoyable and doable (without having to revert to reference books for obscure words)

    Pretty much perfect from my point of view!

    Thanks Rufus

  15. Fairly painless today. Easy start to the week.Struggled to get to grips with 15a for a while. Got the answer, but was looking at the wrong ‘point’!

  16. Good puzzle filled a dull lunch break. Took a wee while to get going, but ultimately cracked it despite (stupidly) filling ARISE in in 24D initially. Liked 1A and 7D very much.

    Found the Prize Crossword on Saturday distinctly tougher than usual – may be it was post-holiday lethargy. Anyone else still struggling with it?

  17. That was fun. My first read-through gave me 23a, 24d and 17d, although I couldn’t justify it until I wrote it down and took out ‘villa’. Didn’t realise 27a was a anagram until I had all the checking letters. BD, we need an ’embarrassed smiley’ at times like this!

    Lots of good clues here today, but 9a was my favourite. Very enjoyable, thanks to Rufus and Libellule, although I did finish without the blog today, which, I think, is a first for me.

    1. Really well done Geoff, no more hiding in the darkest corners of the CC then, your ‘perservation’ has paid off :)

      1. Thank you Mary, probably a one-off for a weekday puzzle and it was fairly gentle. Glad to know about the :oops: smiley, no doubt will be needing it soon!

  18. I had ‘advance’ for 18d, which stopped me from being able to complete today’s puzzle before reading the obvious answer to 18a — then all fell into place. A very good Monday offering — I liked 1a, but my favourite was 19a. :-)

  19. Breezed through today’s puzzle, only hiccup was 9a I put in basket to start with which threw me for a short while until Bitza decided to wander into his with my car keys in his mouth then the penny dropped.
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

  20. held up briefly by carelessly putting carefree instead of careless for 12a, or did i do it carefreely. Lets just call it sloppy.

    Didn’t like the ‘the’ in 8d which made that the last clue for me. Otherwise perfectly enjoyable monday fare.

  21. I too first thought ‘farrier’ for 1d but 11a showed me the error.
    Nice, gentle Xword from Rufus (many thanks) but I took an inordinate amount of time to get my last 2 – 16d and 19a. Must be having an off day as neither are particularly difficult if the brain is functioning!
    Favourite is 9a as the misdiection had me thinking about some odd phrase that boxers may use for the interval between rounds, DOH!
    Thanks to Rufus for another good one and also to Libellule for the blog (I agree with you about 18a)..

  22. Really glad everyone found this easy, I thought it was very tricky indeed. What on earth has a spirit level got to do with an agency? Didn’t get 9a across at all, whats it got to do with guard? Sorry thought todays was a poor effort!

    1. Agreed aboiut both.

      I did not comment given that both admittedly weak clues solved themselves while I was at the tender mercy of Arriva Trains Wales.

    2. Possible synonyms fo agency are: Instrument, Means and Mechanism.
      If you drop your guard – you relax.

  23. Doing quite well as usual on Monday but had to go out and leave it. When I returned some 30 minutes ago my wife had “re-cycled” the paper. Grrrrrr!

  24. Pleasant start to the week. Liked 1a and 8d.
    Thanks to Rufus, Libellule and all of the bloggers. Great fun.

  25. Just my level – a pleasant way to spend part of the evening without having to resort to the blog for explanations.

    Wish more were like this.

  26. Enjoyable start to the week – a rather old style of puzzle.
    1a, 21a, 8d, 22d were best for me -17d was a laugh.

  27. Quite easy.The beauty of DT xwords is that each setter has a unique style,so waiting to deconstruct Ray T or Shamus tomorrow.Is it true that some can fill crytic puzzles in 5-10 mins(ie 15 by 15)?

    1. Mark Goodliffe, the current Times Crossword, completed three difficult puzzles in 27 minutes last year, and 17 minutes the year before. He ill be back in action on 10th October!

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