DT 26392 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26392

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26392

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Normal service is resumed from the Monday Maestro, an enjoyable but non too taxing solve. However once again I don’t expect many of you to need the blog, so hopefully we might see some more escapees from the CC. I was tempted to give this one star for difficulty but decided against it, anticipating howls of protest. Favourite clues, 7d and 22d.

You can see the full answer just by highlighting the space between the curly brackets.


1. Wreck on a chart firmly fixed (2,6)
{AT ANCHOR} – An anagram (wreck) of ON A CHART for the sort of “firmly fixed” a boat might be.

6. Straightforward form of credit (6)
{DIRECT} – Another anagram (form of) this time of CREDIT for another word that can mean candid or frank.

9. Going over our heads, being crafty in a note (6)
{FLYING} – A word that means to travel through the air is put together using a slang word for being cunning or sharp, followed by IN and then the musical note G

10. One perhaps turned to stone (8)
{SAPPHIRE} – An anagram (turned to) of I (one) and PERHAPS is also a precious stone.

11. Meat to sell at a bargain price? (8)
{UNDERCUT} – A word that can mean to sell at a lower price than someone else is also a tenderloin of beef.

12. Balances notes in the music lesson (6)
{SCALES} – A double definition, the balances are also a weighing devices.

13. The confidence of one taking part (5,7)
{STAGE WHISPER} – An aside that is intended to be overheard, typically used by an actor.

16. It warns you when landing gear’s broken (6,6)
{DANGER SIGNAL} – An anagram (broken) of LANDING GEARS is also an indicator that might warn you if something potentially harmful was going to happen

19. Very cold beer (6)
{BITTER} – Double definition.

21. Intrude by chance or accident (8)
{ENCROACH} – An anagram (accident) of CHANCE OR for a word that means to advance beyond proper or former limits.

23. Withdraws escorts (5,3)
{TAKES OUT} – Another double definition, to remove something or to go on a date.

24. Fellow became ill and flunked exam (6)
{FAILED} – F (fellow) plus a word that means to be unwell.

25. There’s no telling if this is to be kept (6)
{SECRET} – The sort of thing that should not be shared with others, especially if it was told you in confidence.

26. Sailor banished to quarters for being an absconder (8)
{ABSENTEE} – AB (sailor), then a word that means to cause someone (for example) to go somewhere, and then two compass points, EE (quarters) could be a person who is away without permission.


2. Story book is a gift (6)
{TALENT} – A word that means a narrative of real or imaginary events is then followed by the abbreviation for the New Testament for an innate ability or gift.

3. One is creating a din (5)
{NOISE} – An anagram (creating) of ONE IS.

4. It raises the issue of a senior professorial post (4-5)
{HIGH-CHAIR} – The sort of furniture that you might feed young children on …

5. Party wear in favour (7)
{ROSETTE} – The sort of badge a politician might wear to indicate his allegiance to a party, although you are more likely to see these handed out at gymkhana’s.

6. They are defrauded of a penny in fees (5)
{DUPES} – Put P (penny) inside another word for a membership fee are people who might be easily deceived.

7. Time to check the lines after casting? (9)
{REHEARSAL} – The clue conjures up a fishing image, however the answer is actually a session of practice for a performance, usually of a play.

8. Rounded up but not rounded off (8)
{CORNERED} – Another word for trapped, also refers to something that has edges that meet and form angles.

13. Seeing sense, prophet becomes tourist (9)
{SIGHTSEER} – The faculty for seeing, is then followed by SEER (prophet) for the sort of person who goes to look at places of interest.

14. Worker strikes result in restriction on movement (9)
{HANDCUFFS} – HAND (worker), plus a plural of a word that means an open handed slap, are the sort of “restriction on movement” that might be placed round your wrists.

15. Humorous repartee may appear hurtful in time (8)
{BADINAGE} – A word meaning humorous repartee, consists of a three letter word that can mean harmful, then IN, and another three letter word for a period of time.

17. Lack of action, but in time it is brought up (7)
{INERTIA} – Place a reversed (brought up) IT inside IN and another three letter word for a period of time, is a disposition to remain inactive.

18. Agree current yield (6)
{ACCEDE} – AC (alternating current) together with a word meaning surrender or yield and you have another word meaning to give ones consent.

20. Nonsense written about very large perch (5)
{ROOST} – ROT (nonsense) is placed around (about) an abbreviation for outsize.

22. Vegetable has one on both sides (5)
{ONION} – This vegetable has I (one) inside a left and right ON.

85 comments on “DT 26392

  1. As you say, a typical Monday Rufus puzzle. Agree with 3* enjoyment but like you, I would say 1* difficulty if it weren’t for the possible protests . My clue of the day is 4d (mainly because I do know some professors who sometimes behave as if they were still in this sort of seat!). Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  2. After a couple of discouraging attempts last week I was happy to find this comparatively easy and completed it almost in time for Clued Up. I appreciated the anagrams and was amused by 4d, but my favourite clue today was 13a, which I was glad not to have to use too often during my recent stint as Prompt.

    So thanks to Rufus and Libellule, and best wishes to Tilsit. :-)

  3. Morning Libelulle from a sunny (so far) West Wales, I would have been one of those howling protest if you had rated it 1*, though back to himself, this Rufus puzzle still had me looking up a few answers, eg I had never heard 15d, the top R/H corner last to go in for me, fav clues 8d, 22d, we had one of those in yesterdays crossword, 9a &11a, off to read blog now, there were one or two where though I have the answer, I do not quite understand, a nice one for CCers today but requiring a good bit of thought :) hope Andre is doing well Franny?

      1. Well, I certainly thought of ‘trout’ for 20d, but then decided to wait and see what the across clues would suggest.

        André is doing very well, thank you. He is home now, looking tiny in his little bed — his head no bigger than an orange — though not the same colour!

        1. May I add my congratulations Franny – wasn’t around last week as putting the kitchen back together somehow seemed to take up all my spare time! My 4th grandchild (all boys) is 6 weeks old today and has so much hair he looks just like a little monkey!! Struggled more than I should have done today and resorted to the blog for the last few (many thanks – as usual!) :-( not feeling very pleased with myself but did enjoy 4d & 18a. Oh well – roll on tomorrow

      2. So did I, then fortunately I wondered whether a perch and a trout are the same thing and took it out. Any anglers on the blog who know the answer to the perch/trout relationship?

    1. Mary
      A version of 15d could be persiflage – both of which were favourites of Sir Tel when he ruled the airwaves

  4. Lovely puzzle for me today, tough in parts but it encourages one to start. Best clue for me was 13a, last to go in was 4d, got the 2nd word immediately just couldn’t see the first until the very end DOH!

  5. Firmly in the CC I’m afraid which is unusual for a Monday.

    I’ll try again over a drink on the train home.


  6. Good crossword today – fairly easy – 2* about right. I needed the hint to explain 9a. Favourite clues today 13a and 4 and 8d. Miserable day in Oxford – cold and very windy – torrential rain earlier but seems to have stopped now. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  7. A gentle nudge into the week. Howling gale outside so stopping in to do the prize crosswords on telegraph crosswords on line.
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule

  8. I’ve only done 6 clues. Monday is supposed to be easy. You all say it’s easy. Even Mary seems to be doing it and she’s a CC, whatever that is. I’m giving up the Telegraph Crossword in deep depression.

    1. Don’t give up. Put it down and come back to it in a couple of hours time. Quite often your mind will have worked on it without you knowing and you may be able to fill in some more.

      1. Tks for your support Sue. I nearly resorted to ‘The Answer Bank’ and incur BDs’ wrath but now I’m going to stick with it. I’ll be back in a couple of hours

        1. I didn’t find this easy – it took me a couple of sessions and a flash of inspiration from Senor Nora to unlock the NE corner. Satisfying when you get there so keep chipping away.

          1. Right

            So several of us have found this difficult

            Libellule et al: do you realise how irritating you can be when you make remarks as you have today?

            1. Peter

              If you would like to try writing a review at any time, please let me know.

              Libellule has contributed over 100 posts to this site.

            2. Sometimes its very difficult to comment on how easy or difficult a crossword is. However I have been doing the Telegraph crossword since I was a teenager, and I suspect Rufus has been doing Monday for most of this time. If you are in the zone, the answers go in without thinking. I did this and keyed it in to clued up in 15 minutes, and thats after writing comments/notes all over it as to the word play in preperation for the blog. If this bothers you I apologise. But I then checked with Gazza as to what he thought. He agreed. However – its still an excellent crossword.

            3. Peter, I am sure that the bloggers do not intend to irritate anyone. On the contrary, they are trying to help us! I have definitely improved since finding this website and reading the hints, tips and explanations (and I have been doing/attempting cryptics since the early 1970’s).

              As the bloggers are very experienced in solving cryptic crosswords, it must be very difficult for them to give an appraisal of the difficulty or otherwise of a particular puzzle to suit all levels of solver.

              Likewise, it must be extremely difficult for setters to cater for all category of solvers – in fact, I don’t know how they manage it so well!

            4. I don’t think anyone intends to irritate – the primary purpose of this blog, correct me if I’m wrong is to help people and its done with good will and intention for no financial reward- just for fun. I would just ignore it if you find peoples comments irritating. If you’ve been doing crosswords a while it was easy – but then I spend all day on The Times that others can polish off minutes. Never fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others because no matter how clever they’ll always be someone cleverer. Just do it for fun- its not competitive here and its meant to be enjoyable.

              1. Thoroughly agree with you. Having done the Telegraph crossword for way over 40 years (OMG) I still get stumped, and that is a good thing. It is always refreshing not to become too complacent and that is where this blog is great. I can find out how my guesses should really be worked out, or check out the occasional new word to my vocabulary. I always thought this this blog was a place to meet like-minded people who enjoy the challenge of a crossword; not to be too concerned about how they express their individuality.

    2. No – don’t give up. Go away and do something else for a while – by the time you come back to it you’ll be able to do some more. Good luck! :smile:

      1. Tks Kath, I’m a bit depressed, I’m off for a Pastis and the Plat du Jour and then I’ll try again

        1. Am sure the Pastis and plat du jour will do the trick! Where are you – bet the weather is better over there than it is here. Let us know how you get on with crossword.

          1. I’m in the Languedoc. The Plat Du Jour was Terrine De Lapin and Porc Chasseur followed by Creme Brulee or cheese. I’m back into the Xword now although I will need Libellules’ help to finish even though everyone seems to say it’s easy

    3. Hi Collywobbles, we are often put off by other people finding it easy but remember some have been doing these for years, I don’t know about you but I have been doing them just under 18 months now and don’t mind admitting that once I have understood what the setter is after, I use my books and little machines if I don’t know the word, that’s fine, we are learning, The CC ia a fictional club – Clueless Club for us less experienced solvers, I am now in the JOCC, just out of the Clueless Club, the criteria for getting out is to solve one puzzle without using books etc. and I managed that a few weeks ago, but it was really one of the easiest crosswords we have had! If it hadn’t been for that I would still be in the CC as I haven’t managed it since, don’t give up you will get there :)

      1. It’s ridiculous Mary. I finished last Saturdays’ puzzle without help and without BDs’ clues and now I’m stuck on one that everyone says is easy

        1. Collywobbles, Assuming that you haven’t dozed off after your 3-course lunch (and, I assume, a glass of local culture) I think you just have to approach the puzzle with a mind-set that says “I can do this”. I feel most contributors to this blog would agree that a Rufus puzzle on a Monday never contains any impossible or weird clues, and is typically written with a twinkle in his eye, so that solving it is actually fun too. So have another go, and this time I bet you crack it!

        2. Hi Collywobbles, I’ve only been doing these a couple of months and totally get your point, some days I sail through them, other times allegedly “easy” ones I struggle with. I can only assume this is related to getting to know the setters and how their minds work. Judging from comments from the reviewers they are able to deduce who the setter is most of the time so I think over time will get used to the various constructs. One day completed a “toughie” but the standard cryptic i’d barely entered half a dozen before being totally stumped. Keep at it…..

          1. Thanks for your input Digby and Andy. If anybody is still there, I did doze off, but I’m fighting fit now and back on the Xword

  9. Good to see Rufus back to his mischievous best! 4 or 5 of the clues were “vintage” (13a, 15a, 23a, 7 & 8d) and justified the 2 & 3 star awards by Libellule. No Toughie; awful weather; what next!!??

    1. I’m just waiting for lunchhour to start and then I am going to do the Indy on line and print off the Guardian, Quiptic and FT puzzles – addicted to cryptics? – who me ?? :)

  10. Peter and Collywobbles, you’re not alone. Although I finished it, it was only with a huge amount of help from the books and several hints – and for me that means the enjoyment level is low, sadly, as I was looking forward to Monday’s puzzle. Maybe I’m a bit slow after a busy weekend. Kath, you’re a bit harsh about the weather, the sun nearly broke through for about thirty seconds an hour ago in S Oxford!

    Thanks for puzzle and review.

    1. Well done Geoff, it wasn’t that easy I needed my books etc too but it shows that we are understanding what the setter wants and that in itself makes me happy :)

        1. Collywobbles, a site that I find helpful, and where a kind soul put me on to this blog just over a year ago is called The Crossword Solver, There’s also the Chambers Crossword Dictionary which I’m putting on my Christmas list.
          Bon Courage! :-)

          1. Franny,

            Is it called the Chambers Crossword Dictionary or just the Chambers Dictionary?

            1. Chambers Crossword Dictionary, The Chambers Dictionary is ‘the big red book’ but if you can only have one I’d go for the first definitely

              1. Mary,

                There are 2 on the internet. Amazon at £52 and WH Smith at £8. I presume it’s the formetr?

                    1. The Chambers Crossword Dictionary should be about £10 on Amazon, the big red book is about £35.00 in bookshops but you shpuld get it cheaper from Amazon, but The first one is the one you should get

        2. The Chambers crossword dictionary is a total ‘must’ also hand held electronic help i.e. Franklin chambers Thesaurus or Seiko Oxford Thesaurus I have both, this is why I can usually finish a crossword without them I have only ever finished one! :)

    2. Not a sign of sun, Geoff, or perhaps I blinked! Raining again now – off for dog walk – yuk! :sad:

  11. Did this in reasonable time today, unlike Saturday (over two hours). In 5d could not quite see the relevance of ‘in favour’ .. is that a reference to awards etc?

    Off to deal with the aftermath of high winds now – a pilot light on our 1969 boiler, and three fence panels which were floored during the night. Great! Thanks to the setter and Libellule.

    1. Toadson,
      Re. favour and 5d.
      I took this to mean favour (rosette) as a symbol of support, but also a play on the words party favour – which is a small gift given to guests at a party. But I am probably wrong.

      1. Pleasant Monday crossword. I thought 5d was political party wear as in rosette, and favour as in showing which political party is supported.

        As a PS, Libellule website up and running. Thanks for your advice.

        Off to see Peter Kay at the O2. Never been there before.

  12. Meant to say re 11a that neither I nor the BBC or my quite wide selection of recipe and foodie books have heard of this cut. Very puzzled by it until I had the checking letters.

      1. It’s in online-Chambers and OED and there are some references on google, but it isn’t in any of my foodie books. If I can remember, I might ask a real butcher next time I’m in town.

        My turn at the dentist tomorrow …

  13. Enjoyed this one – probably because it restored my confidence after I struck out, several times, on last week’s puzzles. 13a threw me for a long time, and I was not really familiar with the answer. My favorite was 4d.
    Cloudy and humid today in the Sunshine State.

      1. Yes indeed 23-24 degrees. It will be like that, or hotter, until winter sets in – next July – then I will have to dig out a light jacket :-)

        1. Chris, no need to rub it in – “light jacket” indeed!! :smile:

          I haven’t attempted the DT puzzle today; the weather has been so foul that I daren’t venture out to the newsagents – I might get blown away. Did the Rufus in the Grauniad – on-line – instead.

          1. Why don’t you join ‘clued up’ Franco’ you don’t have to go out of the house then and if like me you don’t read the paper, it is about £38 a year, so it’s a tremendous saving

  14. This is more like it for me. Saturday’s cryptic proved very tough for me..a real slog. Nearly finished in good time today but needed answer for 8d as my time was short and I couldn’t ponder longer! Thanks. Weather report from the frozen tundra….dark and windy.

  15. Yes, I always welcome Mondays and Rufus’ puzzle. Reading the above comments, I’m struck by the different reactions! I would give this one a 1star for difficulty, having done it in 40 minutes before lunch, and a 3star for enjoyment, particularly 4d, which I filled in with a chuckle. The strong gales and rain buffeted us down here in the Channel Isles all through the night but by morning it had blown itself towards the UK, causing the Channel ferries to cancel for the day. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule. I always read the comments, even when I’ve completed the cryptic crossword for the day. Does anyone do the GK puzzles as well? I find I learn a lot of new words and terms from them. Today’s Herculis puzzle, for example, had
    ‘curl’ as a weightlifting term – never heard that before!

    1. Don’t usually do the GK crosswords but might give it a go in a minute having awarded myself the rest of the day off – very cold so going to light fire – could take dog and crossword for company!

      1. Jerseyman,
        With my wife I do the Quick and all the GK puzzles.. gives us something to do while eating lunch.

    2. I do the GK puzzle too – anything that increases my word knowledge has to be good as quite often the same words turn up in a cryptic in due course.

  16. A bit harder than the usual Monday offerings I thought.Rather liked 16a and 21a, though possibly obvious. 2* Difficulty, 3* enjoyment.
    Desparately dull, wet, cold and miserable here in the E. Midlands.

  17. Not too difficult today but most enjoyable. Favourites were 1a 10a 13a but 8d the best. Thanks to Ex chairman Mary for the tips.

  18. well well well. Great one from Rufus once again. 5 pints of Guinness and STILL one to do. 15d. Am determined not to crib. But whats the answer?

  19. I thought that this puzzle was enjoyable and more in the old-fashioned style of play on the meaning of words. Nice work Rufus.
    Best for me were : 11a, 13a, 5d, 14d & 22d.

    Very interesting comments – glad to read Libellule’s remark on the difficulty of commenting on crosswords.

  20. I used to think that any Englishman could do cryptics but how wrong I was.Even in here in Kenya it is rare to come across a solver. I tried an American-style xword by Anax and came a cropper. I guess I’ll stick to my beloved cryptics.

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