DT 26344 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26344

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26344

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

An enjoyable solve, but not overly complicated. Although some of you may disagree.

If you are unable to derive the answer from the hint, just highlight the space between the curly brackets.


1. Embrace more than once, even in a race (4,3,4)
{NECK AND NECK} – An informal word meaning to kiss and caress (used twice – more than once) is also a term used to describe a very close race.

9. Mast bearing standard (4)
{SPAR} –A pole used to support sails and rigging is made up from S (south – bearing) followed by a word meaning normal or average.

10. Overrates it as a medicine (11)
{RESTORATIVE} – An anagram (as a) of OVERRATES IT.

11. Record is within a couple of figures (4)
{DISC} – Put IS inside the Roman numerals for 500 and 100.

14. Cut off, and also tie off (7)
{ISOLATE} – An anagram (off) of ALSO TIE.

16. Stop for Jack to revive (5,2)
{BRING TO} – A double definition. A nautical term to cause a ship to turn into the wind or come to a halt is also a term for to cause to recover consciousness.

17. Run relay in good time (5)
{EARLY} – An anagram (run) of RELAY.

18. Come before the school principal (4)
{HEAD} – Placed at the top or the front is also someone in charge of a school.

19. Tighten the spring — it’s a means of propulsion (4)
{WIND} – Another double definition, what you might do to a watch, and the sort of propulsion a yacht might use.

20. As cheer-leader the girl shows form (5)
{CLASS} – The first letter (leader) of C(heer) is followed by another word for girl.

22. From this raw spirits are made (7)
{WRAITHS} – An anagram of THIS RAW are also ghosts.

23. Everything in the performance is superficial (7)
{SHALLOW} – Put ALL (everything) inside another word for a form of entertainment should result in a word that means lacking depth.

24. I can upset a Peruvian (4)
{INCA} – An anagram (upset) of ICAN.

28. More than mere business acquaintances (4,7)
{FIRM FRIENDS} – People who you might know and trust.

29. The ring Winnie returned (4)
{HOOP} – A. A. Milne’s Winnie is reversed.

30. Capacity of certain players in the new team (11)
{MEASUREMENT} – An anagram (new) of TEAM is placed around another word for certain and a group sportsmen could also be a calculation of volume.


2. The viewers have a point, certainly (4)
{EYES} – A charade of a cardinal point followed by another word for certainly are also your sight organs (viewers)

3. Old acquaintance (4)
{KITH} – An old word for friends.

4. Hastened up with class report (7)
{NARRATE} – A word meaning to give an account of, is constructed from RAN, reversed (up) and another word for measure.

5. Record a piece of music (4)
{NOTE} – Double definition. The piece of music could be a minim, quaver etc.

6. Soldiers shout about naval lack of leadership (7)
{CAVALRY} – A word for call loudly is placed around AVAL, naval with its first letter removed (lack of leadership). The type of soldiers referred to here are the sort who used to ride horses.

7. Where Homer’s about to jump the green (11)
{SPRINGFIELD} – A word for jump, followed by another word for a green is where you night find Homer Simpson.

8. Daybreak? (5,2,4)
{CRACK OF DAWN} – A term for the earliest light of the day could also be when day literally starts to break.

12. Insignificant boxer (11)
{LIGHTWEIGHT} – Double definition.

13. Cannot compare with a description of Nelson’s left eye (3,1,5,2)
{NOT A PATCH ON} – What did Nelson wear over his right eye?

15. Features about fifty members of the House of Lords (5)
{EARLS} – The sort of features that you listen with are placed around L (the Roman numeral for 50) are the type of noblemen you might find in the House of Lords.

16. Composer’s state of ignorance (5)
{BLISS} – A British composer is also the situation where “what you don’t know will not hurt you”.

20. Cup of tea left to go cold (7)
{CHALICE} – The Holy Grail for example is CHA (tea), L (left) and another word for freeze.

21. He cuts inside the fold (7)
{SHEARER} – He clips sheep.

25. Politician is about to see mischief-makers (4)
{IMPS} – Put IS around the standard abbreviation for a politician for mischievous children.

26. Rudder made of hard wood (4)
{HELM} – H (hard) and a deciduous tree.

27. A form of need where there was none (4)
{EDEN} – An anagram (form of) of NEED for a place of paradise.

45 comments on “DT 26344

  1. Good morning Libelulle, I have done this early today as we are now off to Torquay for a week or so, I hope the weather in Torquay is better than here as it is raining Again! fav clues 1a, 8d, 12d 28a, Off to pack now, have a good week everyone, todays crossword is once again doable for CC with a little effort and perservation!! :)

  2. Lovely Monday offering from Rufus. Didn’t take long to solve but was very entertaining. Lots of nice clues but no particular favourite. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  3. For some reason I was staring blankly at the top of the puzzle having raced through the rest. 1a and 3d were last in. Having got them I iondered what all the fuss was about. Still a very enjoyable puzzle.
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule for the review.

  4. Typical Monday fare. Not too stressful, and no toughie to fall back. Fav. clue 13d

    Thanks for an easy start after a week in Scotland.

  5. I enjoyed this Rufus puzzle. Many thanks to him for the workout. 10a detained me for too long before I twigged it was an anagram. I’m not wholly convinced by “as a” as an anagram indicator but I’m probably too grumpy this morning to appreciate it as I arrived at work to find that IT had kindly removed my phone, PC etc as part of an over zealous office clean up! Mutter, mutter!

  6. Nice start to the week, no enertaining my cousin over from Canada so out all day.
    Thanks for the puzzle Rufus (up spirits) and Libellule for the blog.
    Have a nice break Mary.

      1. Have a great time – don’t forget to save the bridge toll so you can get back in! I hope your seat as Chair of the CC is kept warm for your return.

  7. Much more than ** for me, with twelve four-letter words!. Got there without the blog, but with a lot of book work and electronic help. Word Wizard came up with Springfield, but I had no idea why until I read the blog and googled the place, it’s not something I watch. I’ll pick 29a as my fav.

    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule, I certainly needed some of the explanations.

    1. Well done Geoff, don’t forget the CC is depending on you this week! I’m with you on Springfield, never heard of it and don’t watch the programme either, easy to get the answer from the clue though :)

      1. Thanks, but after this morning’s struggle, I not looking forward to the rest of the week. Thought you would have gone by now, have a good week!

      1. Franny

        I am reading the blog before downloading the puzzle. Not sure I will if there are that many 4 letter words as I hate them.

  8. Again, not too taxing. Can only agree with all the above comments.
    A little humid here in Lynmouth, but no rain yet. Off to Tarr Steps now. Hope it keeps dry.

  9. Monday mornings just wouldn’t be the same without an elegant Rufus puzzle to solve. Showing his Naval colours a little with 9, 6, 13, 16 and 26. Merci bien pour l’analyse, Libellule.

  10. Some super surface readings and well hidden prompts. Loved it, if a little on the easy side. Ticked 8 clues as favourites, but think 14a and 27d sum up the cleverness of Rufus. Ta very much.

  11. Usual gentle start to the week from Rufus, gentle but enjoyable. Favourite clue was 13d. Thanks Rufus and thanks to Libellule for the review.

  12. It’s not very often that I attempt the Monday crossword but I did today and I’m glad that I did because I always find that Rufus will bring a smile to my face with clues like 1a and 13d. Incidentally, having inserted Springfield, the pen dropped regarding Homer because I’ve never watched The Simpsons either…

  13. Quick solve but quite fun as usual on Monday. Fav clues 16d and 7d. My age and lack of good education took me straight to cartoons not classics! Thanks to setter and blogger.

  14. The answer to 30a also features in Rufus’ Guardian Cryptic today. I had to Wikipedia the Simpsons because I couldn’t remember the name of the town, but I knew that was what was required.
    And enough nautical references today to get the Old Sea Dogs on here (you know who you are) shivering their collective timbers…….

  15. An interesting bit of trivia on 13d. It is a myth that Nelson wore an eye patch over his right eye. If he ever wore anything, it might have been a “shade” over his left eye to keep the glare of the sun out of his good eye.


    Rufus has provided another clue that mirrors one on DIY COW, for “Chalice” this time: One of the entries in COW was “Cup of tea left to cool! (7)”

      1. Also with two arms and an Army sword. Straightforward puzzle today, except I initially put ‘charred’ for 20d. 7d neat.

    1. Prolixic is too modest to mention that the DIY COW clue mentioned was one of his, and that, although that one didn’t win, another of his clues did.

  16. I found this more difficult than I should have done but have forgiven myself because our house is swarming with builders which doesn’t help the concentration! Several clues took me a long time and then, having got them, I really couldn’t see why they had. Several favourites today – too many to mention all of them but probably 28 and 29a (have always loved, and grew up on, Pooh books) and 13d. Thanks to Rufus and Libelulle. Have fun in Torquay, Mary, and hope that the sun shines for you.

  17. 4* for me.

    Did not understand 16a before reading Libellule’s explanation – thank you.

    Enjoy your hols Mary!

  18. In 16a why not “Stop for Jack (with 19) to revive”?

    3d is this cryptic?

    26d the answer and a rudder are not the same thing, though they are both parts of the steering system (nitpicking)

    Favourite 13d

  19. Yes, a lovely start to the week, thanks to Rufus and Libellule. Too many favourites to mention, clever cluing. Love it

  20. 9 minutes from start to finish – never completed it so quickly. Why can’t we have a Toughie on a Monday?

    1. We are not supposed to put how quick we solve a puzzle – just say that we did it in a really fast time – as it may discourage others. However, well done. I quite like a fast time Monday, it sets me up for the week.

      1. crypticsue
        I am suitably chastised & hadn’t appreciated the etiquette of the blog, it won’t happen again I assure you.
        Mea culpa!

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