DT 26368 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26368

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26368

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment ***

I don’t expect any of you to be in the Clueless Club today! This gets one star for difficulty. Still quite a fun crossword though.

As normal, if you do not know the answer, you can reveal it by highlighting the space between the curly brackets.


1. Country and Western drinks (5)
{WALES} – A country, W (western) and a general name for beers. Mary should have had no problem with this one.

4. Interior decoration, pretty as can be (8)
{TAPESTRY} – An anagram (can be) of PRETTY AS is a heavy, decorated, ornamental fabric typically found hanging on the wall.

8. Unusually strained exchanges (6,2)
{TRADES IN} – Another anagram (unusually) of STRAINED, for the kind of exchanges where you might buy a new car and use your old car as partial payment.

9. Lent is brought forward (8)
{ADVANCED} – Double definition, lent here is the past participle of lend, not the 40 days before Easter.

11. No acceptance of FA rules being broken (7)
{REFUSAL} – Anagram (being broken) of FA RULES.

13. Deserted by Jack and done in (9)
{ABANDONED} – AB (Jack), then AND, with DONE inside.

15. Discharge for sudden refusal to work (9,6)
{LIGHTNING STRIKE} – Double definition, the sort of discharge commonly associated with thunder, and a sudden walk out by workers usually without any warning.

18. Special outfit for a round-the-world trip? (9)
{SPACESUIT} – The sort of clothing you might need if you were an astronaut in orbit.

21. Sort Eastern spices out (7)
{SPECIES} – An anagram (out) of E (eastern) and SPICES is a basic biological unit of classification.

22. Drunk, a mob jeer a troopers’ rally (8)
{JAMBOREE} – An anagram (drunk) of A MOB JEER is also a large gathering of Scouts.

24. Sound proof of what a performer can do (8)
{AUDITION} – A sample performance by an artist to show what he or she can do.

25. Entrance qualification for Yale? (8)
{LATCHKEY} – Yale in this clue is a lock not an American university.

26. Bird — but not birdie (5)
{EAGLE} – The sort of bird you would find if you completed a hole in golf two under par.


1. Fats Waller’s rippling cascades (10)
{WATERFALLS} – An anagram (rippling) of FATS WALLER. I know the answer is obvious but what a well written clue!

2. A golfer gets upset about first putt in game (4-4)
{LEAP-FROG} – Another anagram, this time of A GOLFER (gets upset) around the first letter of p(utt) is a children’s game where players jump over each other’s backs.

3. Lengthens one’s stride if stair treads are missing (5,3)
{STEPS OUT} – If someone removed parts of a staircase this might be how you would describe it, alternatively it’s a phrase that means to start walking briskly.

4. Hazel pulled up a fish (4)
{TUNA} – Reverse (pulled up) what hazel could be an example of, and then add A and you have a popular fish usually sold in cans.

5. Become more relaxed when no longer criticised, we hear (6)
{EXPAND} – The definition is “become more relaxed”, take EX (no longer) and then something that sounds like (we hear) the expression of a totally negative opinion, usually associated with critics of the theatre and film.

6. Makes you French look Italian (6)
{TUSCAN} – The familiar French form of you, is then followed by a word meaning “to look over” to give a person who lives in a region in central Italy.

7. Distance vehicle travels uphill (4)
{YARD} – Reverse (uphill) a word for a low, heavy cart without sides, to give a unit of measurement equivalent to three feet.

10. Drinks provided for men on board (8)
{DRAUGHTS} – A board game could also be portions of liquid to be drunk.

12. Such tolerance may be a matter of degree (8)
{LATITUDE} – Double definition, freedom to do what you want, and degrees measured north or south of the equator.

14. You can have it yet still be clothes-mad (5,5)
{DRESS SENSE} – The ability to dress well in clothes that suit…

16. Don’t be in a hurry to use a stop-watch (4,4)
{TAKE TIME} – A phrase that means not to rush, and the action of starting and stopping a stop-watch.

17. Offering hospitality is attractive (8)
{INVITING} – A double definition? Asking someone to come to dinner for example, and tempting.

19. Nearly a fifty majority (6)
{ALMOST} – Another word for “not quite” or nearly is A, L (Roman fifty) and a word meaning the greatest in number.

20. It’s sufficient to upset one with an expression of disgust (6)
{ENOUGH} – An anagram (upset) or a reversal of ONE (take your pick) and UGH, an expression of disgust would be adequate.

22. Imprison the Italian after German agreement (4)
{JAIL} – The German word for yes is then followed by the Italian word for the.

23. It’s not difficult to name a novel midshipman (4)
{EASY} – Something that can be achieved with little effort is also an 1836 novel by Frederick Marryat.

66 comments on “DT 26368

  1. Hi Libelulle, so disappointed only 1* because, yes, yes, yes, first ever completed without books, blog, machines or anything, I knew I would get a day out from the Clueless Club with Rufus, thank you Rufus, I know it was easier than most but a year ago I would have struggled with this, still a lovely crossword, Rufus makes them fun, like 26a, 6d, 18a, ooh loved them all today, Yes, yes, yes, thanks for the blog Libelulle, just going to read through it now……….Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees!

        1. I said last week I should be the President Mary! I now nominate myself!!! By the way, what is COW?

    1. Well done Mary – you can’t claim the president position now. With your COW and now no books yiou hae passed out of the CC.

      1. Hi Lea, thanks for vote of confidence but I’m sure to be back in there tomorrow, nevertheless as I’ve always said once I manage one, I will relinquish my title, I am waiting now to see who volunteers themselves to be the CC president :-D, by the way if the ‘slating’ I got on COW week before last is anything to go by I shoud still be bottom!! (all good fun!?)

        1. Will have to go back and review that one as I had only seen good comments about your clues. You come up with some excellent ones – my brain hasn’t got to that point as yet.

    2. Well done – hope that it’s a sunny day in Wales – it’s certainly lovely, if slightly chilly, in Oxford.

    3. Well done Mary!
      Do you get readmitted to the Club if you need any help tomorrow? I’m leaving my coat on the back of my chair just in case…

      1. Oh I haven’t left Mr Tub like you, I will only be getting the odd day out, but this disqualifies me from being president! any ideas? :)

      1. Hi thanks Geoff, do you want to take over now? It won’t be long before you make it out either but in the meantime…….?

        1. Oh, it will be a long time before I even get anywhere near the door! I should think Kath could take your place very well.

          1. Kath is already out of the CC Geoff she has often completed one without books etc I think, Kath??

    4. Well I enjoyed it!! Like you finished without aids at least when I got 8a right allowing me to get 4d. Spent ages trying to think of a fish **S* DOH!

  2. Day off work today, and to my surprise, completed already. But .. can anyone expand further on the significance of ‘midshipman’ in 23d?

    1. Midshipman Easy is the name of a novel by Captain Maryatt about a Midshipman called Easy. Remember him as he will appear again!! Silly me I have just seen that it’s in the hint!

        1. Have just read the hint properly too. Never mind. Should have looked up ‘Frederick Marryat novels’ I suppose. Nice to know this is one to remember for the future though.

        2. The novels by Marryat were models for the later works by C. S. Forester (Hornblower) and Patrick O’Brian (Aubrey).

  3. What a lovely puzzle for a sunny Monday morning. An exceedingly quick solve but with such entertaining clues. Lovely to see Mary so happy too! Thanks Rufus and Libellule

  4. No harm in an easier one once in a while.

    My favourite was 14d.

    Quibbles? Not really, seem to be a lot of anagrams, could not see the point of relaxed in 5d.

    1. Michael – see Libellule’s explanation. As one becomes relaxed, then the mood becomes more expansive. Well done Mary – who do you appoint as your successor?

        1. I think Gary already volunteered!! Late doing Monday’s this week but loved it – like you Mary I managed without ‘aid’. Thank you again Rufus – delightful! & Libellule for the blog :-)

  5. Only a little over a one-stopper this morning. The usual gentle and genial Monday Maestro magic to ease one into the week. Favourite clue was 1d. Many thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review.

  6. Good quick fun. 10d obvious but in my mind I was thinking conscripted seamen but that would be draft! Thanks to setter and blogger.

  7. I think I’ll just echo all the previous comments apart from saying that I was fooled for a short time by 2d! Also, having done 22a and 5d I was starting to look to see if it was going to be a pangram – the first time that I’ve ever remembered to look out for that and then it wasn’t!! Damn and blast! Too many lovely clues to name any particular ones.

  8. To all members of the CC, please submit your nominations for president by this time tomorrow :-D A good sense of humour is essential

  9. I have problems with puzzles like this … I can come up with some answers really easily and then I think, no, must be more difficult than that! All done with no real difficulty; just needed a hint for a couple in the NE corner that I wasn’t understanding correctly.

    Good start to the weeks, thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  10. Yes, I add my thanks to Rufus and Libellule — as well as congratulations to Mary. I whizzed through this well within the time allowed by Clued Up, and then could get on with my packing and last minute preparations. I’m off first thing tomorrow for a week in The Netherlands.

    Again, there were lots of fun clues. I enjoyed 3d, 24a and 15a, but my favourite was 1d as I’m a fan. :-)

  11. When I read Mary’s first comment it reminded me of ‘When Harry met Sally’. Us men have a one track mind. Congrats Mary, it is long overdue, you should have been let out long ago. Just find a peg for your hat and i’ll show you the upper common room, I’m afraid you will be stuck in here with us JOCC’s (just out of Clueless Club) for a while but at least you can see the school gates from here..
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule for todays entertainment, I’m always apprehensive about feeling too cocky on a Monday and will keep my powder dry, suffice to say I enjoyed the puzzle.

    1. Oh dear I didn’t realice there was a JOCC room waiting but never mind, are you in charge there Nubian, I will rely on you to show me the ropes :) You should try COW this week Nubian, with your one track mind! I expect there’ll be lots like that this week :-)

  12. Spent the day in the warm sunshine visiting York, nice quieter place on a Monday especially outside the school holidays. Returned to face the Monday puzzle over a cup of tea and raced through it. Will we suffer for this later in the week?
    Agree with the rating of 1* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment. Nearly always enjoyable.
    Thanks to setter and Libellule.

  13. Far too easy and completed in record time. I’m not gloating. Easiest crossword for ages.

  14. Sailed through today’s in record time, only hiccup 6d kept thinking of the French plural then realised it was first person singular, reminded me of that old French phrase when you get to know someone better, “tu tuttoyer toi”. ” I call you you” :D

  15. As usual from Rufus – a nice, easy introduction to the week!

    It seems that, currently, the Monday Grauniad Cryptic is also normally by Rufus! About the same level as the DT – but it’s free on the Guardian Website – if you need another fix, try it out.

    PS! The Firefox spell checker objects to “Grauniad”.

    1. The 1* was for difficulty – it got 3 * for enjoyment. I think if you read the comments, the general consensus of opinion, was that this was a pretty easy crossword. Certainly one of the most straight forward I have done in quite a while. Bearing in mind I normally give the Monday crossword 2*’s, I think this definitely merited 1*.

  16. A very quick solve today but I enjoyed it, nonetheless. What stood out for me were the surface readings; bar none they were smooth and eminently readable. You don’t see that too often.

  17. A very amusing but extremely quickly solved puzzle to start the week.
    My only nitpick is 6d as we all (?) know that the second person singular in both English and French is not YOU but THOU.
    A red herring?
    In any case Tuscan wine is damned good.

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