DT 26326 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26326

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26326

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Classic Rufus today, although 7d seems to raise a few questions about anagram indicators, placement and fodder.

If you are struggling to work out what the answer is from the hint, just highlight the space between the curly brackets.


1. He ignores national customs (8)
{SMUGGLER} – If you were trying to import something without paying the appropriate customs charges, you would be one of these.

6. At home, yet not at home, to some extent (2,1,3)
{IN A WAY} – The definition is “to some extent” and is constructed from crossword land’s usual word for at home, followed by another word four letter word that means absent from home, for example on holiday.

9. In time the deserter makes mistakes (6)
{ERRATA} – Put a member of the 7th Armoured Division who fought in North Africa, inside a word used to describe a distinctive period of time for errors in printing or writing.

10. Prosper and show off (8)
{FLOURISH} – A double definition, to thrive or a flamboyant act or gesture.

11. Seafood not sent back on board (8)
{PLANKTON} – Put NOT reversed (sent back) after another word for a length of wood to get fish food.

12. Elaborate spread (6)
{EXPAND} – Another double defintion, to speak or write at length and to increase in size for example.

13. Result of refusing to take things lying down? (5,2,5)
{STAND UP FIGHT} – If you made a decision to do something about something this might be the result.

16. Limited in one’s outlook (5-7)
{SHORT-SIGHTED} – Another cryptic definition, what you would be if you had myopia or if you didn’t think about things that might happen in the future.

19. Strikes the wrong time on board (6)
{SMITES} – An anagram (wrong) of TIME inside the usual abbreviation for a ship (on board).

21. Their parents’ pride and joy (4-4)
{LION-CUBS} – In this case, it’s the offspring of some big cats.

23. Agonised about how to identify a complaint (8)
{DIAGNOSE} – An anagram (about) of AGONISED is what a doctor should do when you are ill.

24. Publicity in place of helpful suggestions (6)
{ADVICE} – A short word for a “sales notice” followed by a preposition that means “in place of”, is also the sort of opinion you might give to other people.

25. Horse, for example, backed for plate (6)
{ANIMAL} – Another word for a thin scale, or layer when reversed (backed) describes what a horse or any other mammal is.

26. Unnecessary to goad Hitler’s bodyguard (8)
{NEEDLESS} – A word meaning not required or desired is made up using a synonym for provoking, followed by the abbreviation for Schutzstaffel.


2. Principles said to be found in manuscript form (6)
{MORALS} – To find a word that refers to concerns that are right or wrong, put a word meaning spoken inside MS (manuscript).

3. Used to measure a diamond in a ring perhaps? (5)
{GRAIN} – An anagram (perhaps) of A RING is also a measurement for pearls and diamonds.

4. Ruins, lays waste at any rate (9)
{LEASTWAYS} – Another anagram (ruins), this time of LAYS WASTE is a colloquial expression for anyhow.

5. Cultured and splendid in crimson (7)
{REFINED} – Put FINE (splendid) inside another word for crimson, to get another word for cultivated and tasteful.

6. Perfect way to make a hole (2,3)
{IN ONE} – Playing golf.

7. Aphrodite’s emaciated form (9)
{ATROPHIED} – An anagram (form?) of APHRODITE is a word that means withered or wasted away. The word order seems a bit odd here – if the anagram indicator is “form” then it’s separated from its fodder. Anybody got any better suggestions.

8. This bean is used to make a liqueur (8)
{ABSINTHE} – An anagram (is used to make) of THIS BEAN was a popular 19th century drink in France that was flavoured with wormwood.

13. Plan to unearth stone under rock layers (9)
{STRATAGEM} – A word for layers of sedimentary rock is followed by (under) another word commonly used to describe a precious stone.

14. It’s the custom to give a wealthy backer time (9)
{PATRONAGE} – A wealthy supporter of the arts (for example) is followed by a period of time is the type of trade given to shop by its customers.

15. Support the winner (8)
{CHAMPION} – Double definition, someone who has won first prize, and to fight for someone.

17. Coward and criminal come up in a sailing vessel (7)
{GALLEON} – A reversal clue, reverse the first name of a well known Coward (an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer) and then add another word for a convict.

18. Chinese takeaway counter? (6)
{ABACUS} – This is also a manual counting device.

20. Sacks brought up to sit on, perhaps (5)
{STOOL} – Another reversal clue (brought up) – another word for pillages, when reversed is a simple seat.

22. Polite sort of servants (5)
{CIVIL} – The sort of servant who is employed by the government.

56 comments on “DT 26326

  1. I managed all of this except I just could not get the last word of 13a

    I liked 11a 23a 7d

    21a – this pride business is getting tiresome

    But it made for an enjoyable ride with Arriva Trains Wales!

  2. I was frowning on 7d as well and cant really see any other explanation than your own. Having said that, I can forgive Rufus most eccentricities due to the enjoyment of his puzzles – the clue is perfectly solvable.
    Agreed on a classic but gentle start to the week. – I thought 1a was nice.
    Thanks to Libellule and Rufus.

  3. This must hold the record for the quickest I ever solved a Cryptic. It was very enjoyable and (in my opinion) there shouldn’t be many people left in the CC today. My favourite clue was 21a, followed by 6a which I thought was clever wordplay. Thanks Libellule for the review and Rufus for the puzzle. Now if only there was a Toughie – I will just have to get on with some work!

    1. At least the weather is sunny! Well it is in Canterbury! What a change from the gloom of yesterday!

    1. But wouldn’t that make the definition “emaciated form” which would require a noun as the answer?

      1. I read this as “Aphrodite is an anagram (form) of atrophied (emaciated)” rather than the more conventional “Atrophied is an anagram of Aphrodite”.

        Perhaps Rufus might pop in later to explain!

  4. That was a nice start to the week. Enjoyed 21a and 13d. Excellent clues and review – thanks Rufus and Libellule.

  5. Having had a week in France away from newspapers, and the intenet, this was a nice gentle solve to get me back into the crossword routine. Many thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule.

  6. I finished this in what is, for me, a record time. However, it was an enjoyable process with some clever clues. 11a was my favourite, closely followed by 7d. Thank you Libelulle for pointing out the now obvious connection between Noel and Coward in 17d. I guessed the right answer but couldn’t see why.

  7. Must have been an easy one today because I’m all done and only just finished the first cup of coffee! I couldn’t see why 2d was right until I saw the MS/manuscript hint. Makes perfect sense now. Thanks.

    I particularly enjoyed 7d, despite the fodder ambiguity. I started off trying to find another name for Aphrodite in the letters of “emaciated”. But when 10a fell into place, it was obvious that wasn’t the case. Once I read “emaciated form” as a definition, the answer popped out of “Aphrodite”.

    Also liked 1a, 6d and 21a.

  8. Lots of good clues, from which 1, 18 and 21 stood out for me. No real problem with 7, but it would be interesting to get Rufus’s take on it.

  9. I know 18d is a counting device but I don’t understand the Chinese takeaway bit. Could someone explain please? Favourites to-day were 1a and 17d. The usual gentle Monday. Shame there’s no toughie on the day when so many solve the cryptic in the fastest time of the week. Nothing left to do but work!

    1. I think that takeaway is a just an indication that they can be used to do subtractions (take away).

    2. There is also a specific Chinese variety which, whilst not necessarily the earliest, does date from the 2nd Century B.C.

    3. If you can get onto the Guardian online crossword page, Rufus’ puzzle today there is equally quick and enjoyable.

  10. Agree this was a delightful puzzle but all over far too quickly. Many thanks to Rufus for the crossword and to Libellule for the review.

  11. I finished this reasonably quickly today. Agree with all the comments about 7d. Favourite clue, once I understood it which took a while, was 17d – just couldn’t see how the ‘coward’ got in there!! I was also very slow and dim about 25a – tried for ages, for no good reason other than I couldn’t think of another word that would fit, to make it ‘enamel’. Oh dear!! Off to France tomorrow – may manage to pick up a DT sometimes but will have to manage the crossword without the blog which could make things a bit interesting, to say the least!

  12. Nice way to ease into the week. Despite the quick finish it was still enjoyable and it is now raining very heavily here so need something else to do. No real stand out clues fro me.
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  13. Quite an amusing CW today got a little 16a with some of the clues but had a 13a with them and managed to 23a the answers, don’t think I managed to 12a my mind though.

    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule

  14. Can anyone help? I am searching for the origin of a phrase used by my late Great Grandfather which was to describe when he had had enough to drink (which was most nights apparently). It was ” Thank you however I have had an eloquent sufficiency.” A malapropism of “elegant sufficiency” perhaps?

    1. I am reasonably sure it is simply ‘an elegant sufficiency’ meaning ‘precisely enough’. The last time I saw it in print was in Viz magazine when ‘Raffles, the gentleman thug’ was beating someone up and his sidekick, Bunny, said “Leave him, Raffles, he has had an elegant sufficiency!”

          1. I don’t think Viz was around in 1942! My mother, 80 years young & still an avid cruciverbalist, insists it was “an eloquent sufficiency”.

            1. Spindrift,I suspect that the ‘eloquent’ is a malapropism:
              “I have had an elegant sufficiency and anymore would have been a superfluous indulgence.”

  15. Would agree that the top is 2* but I thought the bottom half was much trickier. Thought 9a was a rotten clue but I did like 26a.

  16. Must be one of the most straightforward puzzles for many a long month. Completed it in record time. Liked 25a for some peculiar reason, otherwise, quite mundane.

  17. Back home early afternoon, to find the crossword and xwd dictionaries have arrived already. So set into it and just finished it with only the hint for 1a needed, then 3 &4d fell into place as well. Lovely puzzle, lots of good clues, really enjoyed it and 21a made me laugh!

    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  18. could someone please explain 13a. i understand the stand-up part but can’t figure out why it is followed by fight. ‘stand-up fight’ does not make much sense to me although i’m glad that my guess was a good one…after all not much else fits. thanks

    1. Got this from the on line dictionary.Stand-up fighting (sometimes referred to simply as “stand-up”) is hand-to-hand combat which takes place while the combatants are in a standing position.
      Hope it helps

        1. one more thing i meant to ask…i do a bit of amateur compiling for my med school gazette (a cryptic crossword with a specfically medical theme). i have the first draft for my next one and i was wondering if any of the moderators would be happy (and have enough time) to review it…i realise i am putting myself up for some criticism here!

          anyhow, i think your experience would be very helpful in applying those finishing touches. if you wouldn’t mind please let me know in the thread and then email me (i assume you can see my email address as it is a ‘required field). i can then send the empty crossword, clues and solutions (separately). thanks, nick

          1. To clarify, only a few can access the email addresses but any reviewer gets the address of any commenters on their own posts.

            If you leave a comment here, I’ll put you in touch.

          2. I am looking forward to your clue for ‘pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis’ with some interest.
            An anagram for preference, if you please.

  19. Re 7d
    There’s an old hidden answer clue which appears as:

    The relationships of actors really content (4,5)

    One way to read this instruction – The “really” content of “relationships of actors” is IPSO FACTO. All the clue does is exploit that fact that often, in both verbal and written communication, we re-arrange the order of words without losing their overall message. The clue at 7d does exactly the same thing; “Aphrodite’s emaciated form” is just another way of saying “The form of APHRODITE which gives a word meaning ’emaciated’ is…”

    Crossword solving books tell us the way clues are USUALLY presented, but there are and can be valid exceptions, of which this Rufus clue is one example.

  20. I finished this enjoyable diversion in record time today whilst enjoying the seaviews across the North Devon coast. Must have been the ozone refreshing the old grey matter.
    Favourite clues 1a and 8d although I have never done either!

    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  21. I particularly enjoyed 1a today, and now I’m going to read the dictionary from cover to cover as I prepare to meet my nemesis. Bring it on Tricky Tuesday!

  22. Spindrift, my husbands grandmother always used the phrase ” an ample sufficiency”. Any help? An expression that drove me potty!

  23. Zoomed through save 6 of them that I rattled off on the way home. Feeling very pleased with myself but down to earth only getting 7 answers on University Challenge. DOH!

  24. Thought this was going to be impossible until I got 16a then it all gradually fell into place. Not by any means one of my quickest but enjoyable. I agree with Anax – I saw 7d as ’emaciated form of Aphrodite’, which seemed to make sense.

  25. Only returned home at 11.15 pm so apologies for not responding earlier to comments re 7 dn. Fortunately, me old pal Anax has replied for me, i.e. “the form of Aphrodite which gives a word meaning emaciated is ‘atrophied'”.
    Thanks to Anax and of course, Libellule, for his usual comprehensive blog.

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