DT 26380 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26380

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26380

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

The crossword today seems slightly trickier than normal, but there are plenty of clues to get you started. No particular clues stood out and on the whole it seemed to lack Rufus’ normal wit. Please leave a comment and let us know what you think.

If you cannot get the answer from the hint just highlight the space between the curly brackets.


1. Summarised and withdrawn (10)
{ABSTRACTED} – Double definition. A word that can mean creating a summary of important points or taking away and removing something.

9. It’s made to last (4)
{SHOE} – The last in this case is a block shaped like a human foot that is used by a cobbler.

10. Who cares, for example, about such questions? (10)
{RHETORICAL} – The sort of question that is concerned with effect or style rather than with content or meaning.

11. Taken out from the Red Sea (6)
{ERASED} – An anagram (from the) of RED SEA, is a word meaning to wipe or rub out.

12. Gathers and puts the sheep to bed? (7)
{ENFOLDS} – A word that means to cover by enclosing could also cryptically be collecting and putting sheep into an enclosure.

15. One in dispute re a debt unsettled (7)
{DEBATER} – An anagram (unsettled) of RE A DEBT for someone who likes a good argument.

16. Bound to pull together (5)
{YOKED} – How a pair of oxen might be joined together.

17. Is including two names for pubs (4)
{INNS} – Put NN (two names) inside (including) IS.

18. Band giving some of Sousa’s hits (4)
{SASH} – Another word for a band or a ribbon is hidden between the words Sousa’s hits.

19. A book-end (5)
{FINIS} – A literary term often used at the end of books, films, etc.

21. The personification of cunning (7)
{REYNARD} – A name for a fox.

22. Adopted and raised (5,2)
{TAKEN UP} – A double definition.

24. Cast from the seat of power, we hear (6)
{THROWN} – The sort of seat that a King or Queen might sit in sounds like (we hear) another word for cast.

27. Divorcee in decisive court action? (10)
{TIEBREAKER} – The decisive court action, is what might happen if the score in a set of tennis was six all.

28. Turn out to be in error about a point (4)
{OUST} – The definition is “turn out”, as in to take the place of someone by force. Put a word for to be in error e.g. a calculation around (about) S (South – a point).
I don’t like this, we also have out in the clue.

29. Length of time in middle (10)
{CENTIMETRE} – 1/100th of a metre, put TIME inside another word for the middle of something.


2. Pick up the bill, a case for hard foreign currency (4)
{BAHT} – Reverse (pick up) TAB (the bill) around H (hard) for the monetary unit of Thailand.

3. Military show leaves a permanent impression on one (6)
{TATTOO} – A straight forward double definition. The sort of military show you might see in Edinburgh, or the kind of mark you might see on someone’s skin.

4. Organised early advert to be put in by this time (7)
{ALREADY} – An anagram (organised) of EARLY with the abbreviation for advert inside (put in) is a word that means by this (or a specified) time.

5. Moment that can worry sheep or cattle (4)
{TICK} – A blood sucking parasite is also the opposite of tock.

6. Lease in legal document taken out (7)
{DELETED} – Put LET (lease) inside the sort of legal contract that usually relates to property for a word that means to remove by striking out or by cancelling.

7. Move straight on for the scary ride (5,5)
{GHOST TRAIN} – An anagram (move) of STRAIGHT ON for the sort of scary ride you might find at a fun fair.

8. University lecturer’s well informed about circulation figures (10)
{READERSHIP} – University teachers (usually below a professor) plus a slang term for being knowledgeable about the latest trends (does anyone use this nowadays?) is the sort of audience that is reached by a written medium e.g The Daily Telegraph.

12. Foreign settlement? (10)
{EMIGRATION} – The act of leaving a country to settle in another.

13. Desire clothing but not the ordinary sort (5,5)
{FANCY DRESS} – The sort of clothing you might want to wear at a masquerade.

14. It can’t run, so takes cover (5)
{SOLID} – It can’t run, because its not a liquid, take SO and add the sort of cover you might put on a pan.

15. It won’t show to one’s credit when one’s in arrears (5)
{DEBIT} – The opposite of a credit…

19. Furious at having it turned into foreign currency no longer used (7)
{FRANTIC }– A word that can mean furious, or highly excited is constructed from a reversal of IT (turned) inside the pre Euro French currency.

20. A double rum is put out for a Japanese fighter (7)
{SAMURAI} – An anagram (put out) of two times A (double), RUM and IS.

23. Housing development willingly left (6)
{ESTATE} – Double definition, an area of property development, or what you leave when you die.

25. Slight incline (4)
{LEAN} – Another double definition, not fat and to slant away from the vertical.

26. Ever changing wind movement (4)
{VEER} – A simple anagram (changing) of EVER.

50 comments on “DT 26380

  1. I am glad it’s not just me. Had a proper struggle to get into Rufus’ mind today – the total solving time was four times as long as usual and no particular favourites. Thanks to Rufus for the untypical struggle and Libellule for the lovely hints.

  2. I too found this trickier than usual. I particularly liked 27a, 29a and 7d. Many thanks to Rufus for the crossword and to Libellule for the review.

  3. Thought this more than a 2* for difficulty or was it just me? I could not get onto the right wavelength today so the coffee was cold when I finished!
    Liked 14D but hate those “we hear” clues like 24A, never sure which answer to put in, is it throne, which is what I originally put, or thrown?
    Thanks to setter and Libellule for the review, go and do some work now, the sun is shining after a very hard frost.

  4. Unlike yesterday, I found this very straightforward and finished it in record time.. now what can I do? More sunshine so the garden beckons!

  5. Yes, I found this rather tough going for a Monday, and needed electronic help to finish it. All those four-letter and ten-letter words! For once I didn’t have too much trouble with the former, but a couple of the latter had me stumped. I was surprised to see ‘taken out’ used in two clues, but generally there were no complaints. And thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    Now I’m off to make quince jelly. :-)

  6. Definitely trickier than the normal Monday Rufus. Last in were 1a and 10a. Even with all the checking letters it took ages for the pennies to drop. Perhaps I’m having a bad day.
    Hope the brain warms up soon as I’m playing duplicate bridge this afternoon and Pommette doesn’t suffer fools gladly at the card table!

  7. Well I finished it in good time but I can’t say I was enamoured with it. There were a few clues I didn’t like – 12a and 28a in particular – and found it left me rather flat.

    I agree with Franny – it’;s those 4 letter words. I dislike this type of grid.

    Thanks to Rufus and many thanks to Liebllule for the review.

  8. I enjoyed this crossword, though made heavy weather of the top section, partly because I initially entered MITE for 5 down, and struggled with 1a and 10a as a result. 25a is an excellent and amusing clue. Although the answer to 9a caused no problems, the surface reading of the clue does not work for me. Maybe “Last thing made” or “It’s made at last” work better? Thanks Rufus and Libelulle for an enjoyable Monday.

  9. Definitely trickier than normal for me but the usual enjoyment prevailed.
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  10. Agree that this took longer than usual for a Monday, but got there in the end. Like Pete, I dislike those ‘we hear’ clues where either of two words could be the answer. Favourite was 27a. Love this website! Thanks to compiler and reviewer.

    1. I also pondered over ‘thrown’ and ‘throne’. Is it a question of waiting until the appropriate letters are in place to work it out, or is there some sort of rule for solving this type of clue?

      1. I too dislike homophone clues where you can only work out the correct answer from checking letters, but I don’t think we can accuse Rufus of that here. The homophone indicator (“we hear”) comes after “seat of power” and well away from “cast” so it’s the “seat of power” that we “hear” and the definition is, therefore, “cast”. It’s where the homophone indicator comes between two possible definitions that it’s unfair.

    2. I quite like the ‘we hear’ kind of clues but agree with you about this website – I love it too! :grin:

  11. Thanks for the hints Libellule. No way would I have seen 2d without! Not sure about the clue for 10a, but thought 5d was clever.

  12. I found it a bit more difficult than some Mondays, so thanks for the tips Libellule, but I did particularly enjoy 29a and 7d.

  13. Oh good – having finally finished I’m very relieved to find from the comments that it’s not just me! I thought this was quite difficult – much harder than the usual Monday and, for me anyway, harder than 2*. I made the whole of the left hand side quite difficult for myself by making 12a ‘musters’ – does anyone else think that, apart from the fact that it was wrong, it could have worked? Once that was sorted out I just about managed the rest of it. Liked 9, 16 and 29a and 7 and 14d. A hard frost in Oxford last night and still very cold but sunny – off to have a look at the chaos in the garden to see if there’s anything useful to do out there. Thank you Rufus and Libellule.

  14. I found this straightforward and enjoyable today, although my initial (incorrect) stab at 1a made 2d unsolvable! I particularly liked 27a and 29a.

    I find it astonishing that fellow bloggers who are capable of solving last Friday’s Toughie should have any difficulty at all with this one. It’s that wavelength thing again I suppose.

    1. Perhaps its that our little grey cryptic brain cells are still lying down in a darkened room :)

      1. My wife uses Ibuprofen for her migraines, perhaps that would help!

        Without the reference to the Spoonerism site, I would have used the paper to clean some paint brushes with! I think it was a ‘joke’ too far.
        I am in awe of your mental capacity and agility to be able to solve it.

        1. I have got on better with Elgar crosswords since I convinced myself that he had spent a long time compiling the puzzle and must have done so with the purpose of us being able to solve it otherwise there would be no point in all his hard work. Gnomethang is not convinced I am right! Before I found this blog, I looked at one of his Friday puzzles on and off for ages until I got the last word on a Saturday afternoon. I do enjoy the struggle but I always allow for on and off cogitation for several hours or even days!

  15. I have just started this and have just read all the comments (not the hints) and I must say on reading through the crossword it seems harder than a 2*, in fact it doesn’t feel like a Rufus crossword, are we sure it is?? Not the fun and wit of his normal Monday offerings, off to see if I can get through it now :)

  16. No sorry I really didn’t like this one and I wasn’t keen on last Mondays either, how disappointing because I always love Rufus puzzles, I’m not convinced its him at all, if so then he seems to have altered his style slightly! Needed your help Libellule with a few today and as for 12a, how can that possibly mean putting the sheep to bed, putting them into a pen is not putting them to bed? in fact sheep don’t ‘go to bed’ the only clue I really liked today was 27a

    1. I agree Mary – I didn’t like 12a either as to me it didn’t make sense. (And of course there were lots of 4 letter words so it wasn’t my favourite puzzle.

    2. Good evening. Got myself really screwed up on this by putting berated in for 15a and fancy pants for 13d. Favorite clues were 29a and 14d. Least favorite was 5d.

      How did Liverpool do?

      1. Hi Chris, I like your answer to 13d better :) and yes Liverpool actually won, this is only the start, watch this space…………………………

  17. I agree with Mary, this didn’t seem like a Rufus puzzle which I usually look forward to on a Monday. It’s usually an entertaining and not overly hard start to the week. This was certainly 2* for enjoyment but more than 2* for difficulty. It’s the first time in months that I have had to use the hints on a Monday. Thanks for the review.

  18. Like many, I found this more difficult than recent Monday puzzles – but all the better for that!

    Favourites: 10a and the three clues that I found the most challenging: 27a, 29a and 23d.

    Agree with Rupert’s opinion on 9a (Comment #8 above) – a load of old cobblers!

  19. After a couple of weeks of largely comfortable solves, this came as a real shock. I kept putting words in and taking them out, and in complete frustration resorted to the blog for lots of help, for which thank you very much! Thought it was my brain on strike on a Monday morning, so I’m glad to see that others found it difficult too.

  20. When I posted the blog this morning, I was unsure whether to give it 2 or 3 stars (proabably somewhere in between), but based on the feedback, I have upped the difficulty from the original 2 stars to 3…..

    1. … what about upping it again to 4*? Lots of us would feel much better – well I would for one! Really made quite heavy weather of it today.

    2. Hi Libellule
      I would agree with 3* rating but not more. Perhaps the angst has been caused by it being a bit tricky when, for the last few weeks, we’ve been treated to some fairly easy fare on a Monday? Maybe it’s been a bit of a surprise to everyone – certainly was to me. Pommette kept pushing me to get in the shower in the next few minutes, which I confidently said I would do after finishing the Xword, but this went on for a rather long time!
      Good job Rufus – you’ve kept us all on our toes!

  21. Found this to be the usual gentle start to the week from Rufus.

    Best clues for me were : 9a (a bit of a chestnut though), 21a, 27a, 2d, 7d & 20d.

    29a was a good laugh!

  22. Oh dear, been out all day and having read the comments, I’m not sure this is one for me to tackle! Did three or four before gong out, including 24a, but is it the right spelling??

    1. Didn’t quite get there, NE corner defeated me. Quite a tricky one and not much fun in it either. Considered ‘oust’ for 28a, but discarded it because of ‘out’ in the clue. Needed several hints, books and gizmos. Thanks for review and comments.

      Dreadful start tomorrow, a fasting blood test and I do like my porridge! At least it’s really early at 8.30!

      1. That’s what I had last Friday Geoff, yes it wasn’t a nice Rufus one today I was hoping one of the other setters would claim it and we would have a nice Rufus one in the week :)

  23. Re: my comment 6 – the bridge was not very good but Pommette is not claiming ‘justifiable homicide’!
    Re: comment 15 and replies . . .
    Crypticsue, I think I agree with what you seem to imply is Gnomey’s view, i.e.that Elgar might be pleased to set an unsolveable puzzle, albeit within Ximenean guidelines. The Spooner bit was to me, indeed, ‘a joke too far’ and is an example of why I rarely, if ever, even bother to look at the Friday Toughie. I like a crossword that is solveable within an afternoon but I understand that there are many,like you, who are far better at this than me and I applaud your skill – maybe I’ll get to those giddy heights one day!

  24. For me, the reasons that this was a little more difficult today lie straightaway with 1a and 10a. Both similar in that they contain no further help in the clue, and without checking letters if the answer isn’t obvious one is pretty much stuck. Rufus does quite a bit of this, but usually seems to mitigate by handily-placed and more easily obtainable checking letters. Having said that, it was still standard Rufus fare, which I tend to like, and didn’t take me significantly longer – but the top left corner was the last in…………

  25. Took me longer than usual for a Rufus xword.Re 1a,can abstracted also mean absent minded therefore withdrawn?As for homophones,look at the start or end of a sentence,the middle words are usually a red herring.

  26. why are 16A & 21A included in a cryptic crossword? both clues appear to be phrases which, in their entirety, mean the desired word

    1. Re 16a and 21a
      When you know the answer – the clue seems obvious, but if you look at the way the clues are constructed, they are cryptic definitions that are trying to mislead you towards other possible answers. My 2c anyway.

  27. also, re 27A, shouldn’t the clue refer to “divorce”, not “divorcee”? The “divorce” is what “breaks” (i.e. is a “breaker” of) the wedding “tie”. A divorcee is the ex-wife, which doesn’t fit with the word/concept of “tiebreaker”.

  28. Re 27a I don’t see a problem with it – either half (divorcee) in a divorce are possibly breaking the marriage tie.

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