DT 26339 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26339

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26339

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

This is the first time I have blogged a Tuesday crossword, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I am pretty sure (even though 27a is (6,5)) that this is one of Ray T’s. Gazza informs me that today’s Toughie is easier than the normal cryptic. So today is probably a good day to have a go at the Toughie as well.

If the hint is not enough to give you the answer – highlight the space between the curly brackets.


1. Election date endlessly changed providing diversion (11)
{DELECTATION} – An anagram (changed) of ELECTION DATE with the last letter E removed (endlessly) is a word that can mean a feeling of pleasure or enjoyment.

9. Gray, for example, put in English syllabus (7)
{ELEGIST} – Put the abbreviation for “for example” E.G. inside E (English) and a synonym for an outline or a summary of the main points of something. Gray in this case is also a poet, whose most famous work was written in a country churchyard.

10. Type tending to the right? (6)
{ITALIC} – a style of typeface that has letters which slant to the right.

12. Republic lying initially next to Spain and Portugal (7)
{LIBERIA} – Put the first letter (initially) of L(ying) in front of the name of a European peninsula and you end up with a republic in western Africa.

13. Insects circling a taut, empty web (7)
{LATTICE} – The insects are blood sucking parasites, put them (plural) around A and T(au)T with its contents removed (empty). The definition in this instance is web or a framework.

14. Member following a Labour leader creates dismay (5)
{ALARM} – A, then the first (leader) letter of L(abour) followed by a word for a limb (member) for a word that can mean a warning of danger.

15. Dismal end of White Queen left in game (9)
{CHEERLESS} – Put the last (end of) letter of (whit)E and then the normal abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth and L (left) inside a board game to get a word that can mean dreary, gloomy, or pessimistic.

17. After getting spliced, he’s snared and controlled (9)
{HARNESSED} – Phew, after that we have a straight forward anagram (spliced) of HES SNARED for an adjective that means brought under control and put to use. The noun form refers to the gear that you might use to control a horse.

20. He plays pibroch first in support (5)
{PIPER} – If you know that pibroch is a form of Scottish music (one for Bigboab!) then the answer is obvious. But it’s still a good clue. Put the first letter of P(ibroch) inside the sort of support structure that holds a bridge up.

22. Rook, a chessman taking knight for position (7)
{RANKING} – The abbreviation for rook, then A, then the chess abbreviation for knight and finally another chess piece. Definition is position.

24. America embracing ally for NATO, perhaps (7)
{ACRONYM} – AM (America) around another word for friend or companion describes what NATO is.

25. Fellow admitting compiler’s lower in status (6)
{DEMEAN} – The fellow is an administrative officer in charge of a college, put this word around (admitting) the usual abbreviation for compiler which is ME and you have a word that can mean to lower something (usually yourself) in dignity, status, or character.

26. Part of bottom and seat (7)
{OTTOMAN} – A hidden word is also a sofa or divan without arms or a back.

27. Almost go out and demand tabloids? (6,5)
{GUTTER PRESS} – The first word is usually used to describe a candle that flickers and is about to go out, then follow this with another word that means to urge or force to action and you end up with a phrase that might describe the red tops.


2. Saw wolf clothed in back of false sheep (7)
{EPIGRAM} – A term for a familiar saying (saw) is constructed from a verb meaning to eat greedily inside the last letter (back) of (fals)E and then RAM (sheep).

3. Terribly stern with cane producing delights (9)
{ENTRANCES} – An anagram (terribly) of STERN and CANE for a word that can mean to fill with delight or wonder.

4. Check Middle Eastern currency in Iran (5)
{TRIAL} – Another word for a test, is put together using the middle letter of easTern and the name of the Iranian currency.

5. Vehicle for Schwarzenegger, say, after ‘Terminator’ ends (7)
{TRACTOR} – Put what Schwarzenegger was (allegedly) after the first and last letters (ends) of terminator for an agricultural vehicle.

6. Horror if I celebrate, taking crack (7)
{ORIFICE} – Another hidden word. This time it’s a word that usually refers to an opening somewhere in the body.

7. One makes a noise from passing wind! (7,4)
{AEOLIAN HARP} – A cryptic definition referring to a musical instrument that is played by the wind. Fnarr fnarr!

8. Country where runny Brie’s before appetising starter (6)
{SERBIA} – An anagram (runny) of BRIES plus the first letter (starter) of appetising is a republic in the central part of the Balkans.

11. Size of certain guys covered in flesh (11)
{MEASUREMENT} – Another word for the edible flesh of animals is placed around a word for certain and then another word for males is also a defined dimension.

16. Goal, always say, to get try (9)
{ENDEAVOUR} – Another word for a result or outcome is followed by a sounds like (say) word meaning “at all times”. The definition in this case is try.

18. Pound or Auden poem (7)
{RONDEAU} – A lyrical poem of French origin is also an anagram (pound) of OR AUDEN. So simple yet so good.

19. One down in match? It’s incontestable (7)
{EVIDENT} – Put I (one) and D (down) inside something that takes place for a word that means obvious.

20. Steals from sanctimonious judges (7)
{PIRATES} – The sort of stealing usually associated with downloading something (for free) from the internet is the shortened form of pious, followed by another word for appraises.

21. Prospect, not finding gold, in canal (6)
{PANAMA} – If you remove OR (gold) from a word for view or scene, you end up with a large canal that joins the Atlantic and the Pacific.

23. He’s finished with good single run (5)
{GONER} – slang term for someone who is ruined or doomed. G (good), another word for single then finally R (run).

56 comments on “DT 26339

  1. Enjoyable crossword today, many thanks to RayT if in fact it is he and thanks to Libellule for the excellent review. My favourite clue was 2d. The “toughie” is indeed a lot easier than the cryptic today.

  2. A challenging work-out, and welcome to Tuesday Libelulle. By the way, there is no direct link from the Prologue page to this one. I also loved the Quickie linked clues – just the way a certain 007 would have said it!!

  3. Fun puzzle today. I made the mistake of writing ‘Tubular Bell’ straight in based on one A as a checking letter – that didnt help!!. 20a and 18d were stand out favourites for me!.
    Thanks to our setter and to Libellule for the review.

  4. I found this quite difficult today but, with a little bit of cheating, have finished it without needing hints (although I couldn’t explain 2d until I read them.) 17a took a while as I completely missed the anagram indicator and was trying to make it something to do with getting married – perhaps a bit obvious, should have known better! Favourite clues today include 13a (although it was one of the ones that took me the longest), 15a and 18d. Off to have a big bonfire now ….

  5. Very enjoyable crossword today. Many thanks to the setter and to Libellule for the review. Favourite clues included 18d and 7d and 15a.

  6. This has got to be a Ray T, it was full of blind alleys and dead ends and at one point I thought I would give up but decided I wasn’t going to let him win. The sense of achievement at the end was very enjoyable, which is what it is all about n’est pas ?
    Fav was 9a. Thanks to Libellule and Ray T(I’m convinced)

  7. Setter here…

    Many thanks to Libellule for the analysis, and to Digby for the mention of the Quickie pun!

    Ray T

  8. Thanks to Ray T for an enjoyable puzzle and to Libellule for the review. Most satisfying moment was finally uncovering the Quickie Pun! Finally twigged it by saying it aloud about 30 times!

  9. Sorry everyone but I didn’t like this at all, it’s not often I give up on a crossword but I have on this one and I’m glad because no matter how much I perservated I would not get some of those answers!! Anyone from the CC who manages this today definitely gets a day out :)
    I can’t remember disliking a puzzle so much, out of the ones I managed to do, (about 50%
    I liked 11d, I think this deserves to be a toughie and well done to everyone who has finished it, afternoon Libelulle nice to see you empowered again :)

      1. Methinks, Mary, that you didn’t perservate properly enough. You worked out 11d, and that was pretty a pretty meaty clue, so come on, have another go! Or are you trying to re-establish your CC status, after your break for freedom last week?

          1. I thought it was hard too. I got off to a flying start then ground to a halt. With some help from Libellule’s hints on a couple of clues, I finished mostly just by looking at checking letters rather than the clues! I think I’ll give the Toughie a whirl.

    1. Mary – agree totally with you that this is difficult – SURELY it deserves more than 3*? Bonfire now rained off so might have a go at the toughie later on – BigBoab says that it’s easier than today’s cryptic. Don’t think I’ve ever heard you give up on one before.

      1. Hi Kath were you having an early Nov 5th? Well done you on finishing this by any means, I have read through the hints now so it is too late to have another go, may try the toughie later once I have recovered :)

        1. Mary – that is so unusual for you to leave a puzzle but possibly you were the same as I was last week – not in the mood!!!

          Hope you enjoy the toughie better. I am going to give it a try later as well. Must get some things dne first. Been a bit lazy – finished Prolixic’s NTSPP and struggled with it so went on to this one and felt better.

          Just had a rainstorm so can now get out and do something before it hits again.

      2. Rain, Kath? I’ve been in Oxford this morning and now back at Sandford and not a spot. You must be in a different part!

          1. Pretty wet here yesterday evening, rain forecast for most of the day, but quite sunny at times. Good day yesterday and good pub-grub in the evening.

        1. Had short but very heavy downpour at about 12.00 just outside Headington – only lasted a few minutes so had bonfire after all.

            1. We had that one too – it put out my bonfire but not before I’d manage to burn a hole in my sweater and singe the front of my hair – the wind keeps changing direction!!

  10. Mary,
    We have had power back since yesterday lunchtime. EDF are pretty good, they send out a letter to tell you the time the power is off, in our case from 8.30am until 12.00. The power came back on exactly one minute before 12.00!

  11. Don’t often do the quick crossword but, because there have been so many references to it in the comments, decided to today. It took me SO long to understand the pun that I was completely convinced that I must have got something wrong – eventually got it having read GoldenDuck’s comment. Oh dear!

    1. Kath, I usually have a go at it as a sort of “warm-up exercise” for the cryptic puzzle. The first 2 or 3 clues invariably raise a chuckle!

  12. Well I enjoyed that – thought there were some lovely clues. I did start out wrong with 4d as was convcinced it was toman – which was the old currency. Got 10a so knew it was wrong.

    My favourite clues were 7d – thought that was a lovely deception and 16d.

    Thanks to Ray T and to Libellule.

  13. Really enjoyed this. My favourites different to everyone else’s – 24a, 4, 8 and 20 down. Had a problem with 7d cos began 12a with an s – are you following this? Ended up putting persian for first word until read blog. So still in CC, Mary.
    Still haven’t got quickie homophone!
    Thanks to all

  14. Too much for me, only managed a dozen or so. Wish I could have managed more having read the review and seen what a good puzzle it is. Thanks to Ray T and Libellule.

    1. Thank goodness somebody else failed on it Geoff, beginning to think it was only me! not that I’m glad you failed, I think I’d better quit while I’m ahead :)

  15. Shouldn’t the hint for 13a be “put the insects around ‘a’ and ‘tt'” (‘circling a taut empty’)? 7d, 18d favourites.

  16. Fully agreed with the Big Dave rating of 3* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment. I did enjoy this outing.
    Favourites were 7d and 27a.
    Thanks to RayT and Libelulle.
    Following this I tried and completed the Toughie without assistance, if I can many others can! Despite the comments I enjoyed this also.

  17. Excellent xwrd today Ta Ray T. Great review also, except i am stumped with the chess term for knight. Is it simply N ????
    After reading the review will have a go at the toughie and the quickie.

  18. Well, yes I did find this rather hard going. Started this morning as usual, but then went out shopping with pregnant daughter, and finished just now with a bit of electronic help. I’m rather encouraged if the compiler is Ray T as usually I’m far out of his wave length. Thought I’d need the dictionary for 20a but then it came to me, and I enjoyed finding the other musical instrument at 7d. 18 and 21d were my favourites together with the hidden word at 26a.
    I may try today’s Quick and Toughie tomorrow since so many of you recommended them. Thanks, Libellule, for the hints and comments which I always enjoy reading. :-)

  19. Managed all apart from 7d. New to me and unguessable! Glad I checked blog since I was tearing my hair out looking for a musical horn. Thanks to all again for puzzle and help.

  20. I didn’t think 20 d was at all fair because there was no indication that I needed to find a shortened form of pious (for sanctimonious). Your explanation of 5d had me laughing out loud! I thought 21d was clever too – I initially put pan for prospect (as in paning for gold) and then got it but not from the correct route which you later explained!

    1. Pi is now a word in its own right so there is no need to indicate it as a “shortened form”.


      pi (informal)
      Obtrusively religious, sanctimonious
      A pious or sanctimonious person or talk
      ORIGIN: Short form of pious

      1. Yep thanks you’re absolutely right- you really do learn something new every time you do crossword!

  21. Enjoyable puzzle – thanks to Ray T.
    I liked 7d best.

    Had to do it this morning as spent all day in hospital yesterday.

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