DT 26401 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26401

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26401

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I realised that this was a Ray T puzzle very early on, but still peeked at the Quick crossword to make sure (all one-word clues!).

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Kind of shrink underwear giving revealing glimpse! (8,4)
{FREUDIAN SLIP} – a charade of a kind of psychiatrist and an item of underwear gives an unintentional action supposed to reveal an unexpressed or unconscious thought

Especially for Kath!

8a    Publish paper with no leader (5)
{ISSUE} – a word meaning to publish is derived by dropping the first letter (no leader) from a type of soft, absorbent paper

9a    Open out cutter and cut (9)
{TRUNCATED} – an anagram (open out) of CUTTER AND gives a word meaning cut

11a    Drained and dead after unconcealed passion (9)
{OVERTIRED} – a word meaning drained or exhausted is built up by putting D(ead) after synonyms for unconcealed or open and passion

12a    Lands winning serves holding head of racket (5)
{ACRES} – measures of land are constructed by putting winning serves in tennis around R (head of Racket)

13a    Eternal punishment from mother country (9)
{DAMNATION} – this eternal punishment is a charade of a mother, of cattle or horses, and a country or body of people of common descent

16a    Enclosed by container of dead people (5)
{INCAN} – a charade of a word meaning enclosed by and a container results in one of an extinct race of people from Peru

18a    Assassin in Japan catching assassin (5)
{NINJA} – hidden Inside (catching) assassiN IN JApan is a trained assassin

19a    Outside of tuber, fit for consumption, not deadly (9)
{TREATABLE} – start with the outside letters of T(ube)R and then add a word meaning fit for consumption to get a word meaning not deadly, as in not a deadly disease

20a    One had a house somewhere in America (5)
{IDAHO} – a charade of I (one), D (had as is I’d), A and HO(use) gives a US state

22a    Terribly thin pauper losing time is more depressed (9)
{UNHAPPIER} – an anagram (terribly) of (T)HIN PAUPER without the T (losing Time) gives a word meaning more depressed

25a    National Thai Open I broadcast (9)
{ETHIOPIAN} – someone from an African country is an anagram (broadcast) of THAI OPEN I

26a    A little hooter? (5)
{OWLET} – a young bird, famous for hooting

27a    Feeling tender before guys covered in sex appeal (12)
{PRESENTIMENT} – this intuitive feeling about the future is built up from a verb meaning to tender followed by some guys inside (covered in) IT (sex appeal)


1d    Bass player? (9)
{FISHERMAN} – a cryptic definition of a person that catches bass, maybe with a rod and line

2d    Former Queen guitarist finally producing strain (5)
{EXERT} – no, it’s not Brian May! – a charade of former, as in a former partner, the Queen and T (guitarisT finally) gives a verb meaning to strain

3d    The German and French held in check (5)
{DETER} – start with the German definite article and insert the French for and to get a word meaning to check or warn

4d    ‘Bounty’ sailor on a foreign trip, perhaps (9)
{ABUNDANCE} – a word meaning bounty or plenty is a charade of a sailor, the French indefinite article and a trip, around the ballroom perhaps

5d    Red, therefore put on US agency file (9)
{SOCIALIST} – a left-winger (red) is a charade of a word meaning therefore, a US agency responsible for providing national security and a file or register

6d    Bury or Milan football team (5)
{INTER} – a double definition – to bury or one of the football teams in Milan (the one recently beaten 3-1 by the Spurs!)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

7d    An iron drive I smashed producing ‘plonk’ (3,9)
{VIN ORDINAIRE} – an anagram (smashed) of AN IRON DRIVE I gives a cheap wine (plonk)

10d    Girl’s someone thankless about the heartless break up (12)
{DISINTEGRATE} – start with DI’S (girl’s) and follow it with a thankless person placed around TE (t(h)e heartless) to get a word meaning to break up

14d    Like a record, in a sense (9)
{ANALOGOUS} – a part-cryptic double definition – allegedly non-digital (like a vinyl record) or similar (in a sense) Thanks to Gazza for pointing out that like is the definition and you gt there by inserting A LOG (a record) inside A NOUS (a sense)

15d    Meddling isn’t in our diverse characters (9)
{INTRUSION} – a word meaning meddling is an anagram (diverse characters) of ISN’T IN OUR

17d    Motor endlessly with spirit riding rented car (9)
{CABRIOLET} – a charade of a motor without its last letter (endlessly), spirit or vivacity and rented gives this type of car – I didn’t like the definition also appearing as part of the wordplay – “rented vehicle” might have been better

21d    Can’t stand a pain not ending, taking heroin (5)
{ABHOR} – a word meaning can’t stand or loathe is built up from A and a pain, as in a tedious person, without its last letter (not ending) around H(eroin)

23d    Initially heard in New Delhi, Indian language (5)
{HINDI} – the initial letters of five words in the clue give a language

24d    Quietly got up to give speech (5)
{PROSE} – our final charade combines the musical notation for quietly or, more accurately, softly with a verb meaning got up or climbed to get some speech or spoken language

A few too many charades for my liking, but nevertheless an enjoyable puzzle.

56 comments on “DT 26401

  1. I really enjoyed this one – sorry those who don’t like a Ray T but I thought it was very good. It may have lots of charades and chestnuts, but it started my Thursday morning off very well. No particular favourites for me, just an all-round good entertaining solve. Thanks Ray and BD.

    I haven’t finished the Toughie yet, but its very entertaining too – especially 15a which is my clue of the month. :D

    1. Thanks for the notice about the new Telegraph puzzle book – bought it today but havcen#t done anything with it as am only just home. Quite a mix of puzzles so will be interesting.

      1. Our local branch of WH Smith received precisely none!

        Since all of the local newsagents get their supplies from Smiths, it’s been impossible to get around here.

        1. I got mine at Smiths – local newsagents didn’t have it so made a special trip to Smiths. Nice pencil with a non slip grip. Similar to the type that Sudoku puzzle books were giving away.

          Carrying on from yestrerday – I use pencils all the timer for my puzzles and just general use. Since I can’t be a cad – am I a cadette???

  2. A real toughie for me today and struggled with the top N/W corner! It feels as though you have to drag the answer out of the clue, I think this could easily be a toughie, however there were a few clues I liked 5d, 13a, 1a, been at this back and for for 3 hours!! not even dressed yet! I didn’t like 11a or 1d very difficult I thought, thanks for the blog Dave will read it through later although I finished without it I had to have loads of ‘help’ :) I hope Gazza has not been flooded out those poor people in Devon ad Conwall have been really hit by this awful weather and floods, hope you’re not affected Gazza, if you’re reading this today?

    1. Mary,
      Thanks for your concern. There’s no flooding very near where I live, though we have had an awful lot of rain.

  3. Another enjoyable Ray T offering. Personally, I found that this was a lot easier than some of his crosswords, a hair short of a two stopper but just as enjoyable. Many thanks to Ray and to BD for the review.

  4. What a great puzzle, although I think 7d was a bit naughty,(plonk in the sixties used to be cheap sherry where I came from) sticking in a bit of la francaise but that didn’t detract from the overall quality.
    Thoroughly enjoyable and thanks to Ray T and Big Dave for the tips.

    1. I was under the impression that plonk was a corruption of ‘vin blanc’, though it can refer to either colour, but in my experience only wine, not fortified wine, so I’m interested to learn of this. My dictionaries say its now British slang with Aussie origins probably corrupted from ‘blanc’, so it’s not certain.

      Lovely crossword – taxing but gettable and humorous. Thanks BD and Ray T.

        1. Chambers says wine of poor quality, I always remember it as cheap white wine, ideal for gettin ‘sloshed’ in my younger days :)

  5. Loved it AND spotted that it had to be Ray T when I read the first clue – also remembered to look to see if all the “baby” crossword clues were one worders – I really am learning something at last!! I found it quite difficult and took a while to get any answers. 1a was not only the last one to go in but my favourite clue today – was expecting a picture of some kind, BD! I particularly enjoyed all four of the long clues (1 and 27a and 7 and 10d) and 1 and 14d. Thanks to Ray T and Big Dave – didn’t need the hints today but I always enjoy reading them.

  6. Loved 1a and 1d, typical RayT puzzle, fun but not too taxing. Thanks RayT and BD for the review.

  7. I agree with Prolixic that this was much easier than some of Ray T’s puzzles, but still very enjoyable.
    Not overly keen on the synonym for trip in 4d.
    Thanks to Ray T and to BD.

  8. Apart from self-inflicted pain through initially inserting “suit” in 1a, I thoroughly enjoyed this nicely misleading challenge, and the revue. Thanks Dave and Ray T.

  9. Wonderful, that’s two days running I feel as if I’ve made no progress and not learned anything! I could see it was a good puzzle before I got to the hints, just wish I could have done it … Oddly enough, Mary, I did better in the NW corner than elsewhere!

  10. Well I spent a good deal of time this morning staring blankly at four words and thinking this was the day when I was really going to be stumped. But then bit by bit other solutions started to appear, and a short amount of electronic help later, blow me down if I hadn’t finished it! So many thanks Ray T, I can’t be too far off your wavelength after all, and thanks BD for the hints.

    Lots of good clues, but my favourites were 1 and 26a. :-)

  11. At last! A Ray T that we finished with no outside help and in half our normal time. Thoroughly enjoyable over our al fresco lunch in sunny Almoradi. Pommers’ favourite clues 18a, 26a and 23d. Thanks to Ray T and Big Dave for the blog – still enjoy reading it even though we didn’t need to use it!

  12. I’m getting to like RayT puzzles!
    Wasn’t he the subject of a ‘Marmite’ conversation some months ago or am I mixing him up with someone else? If it was he – I love it!

  13. What an enjoyable puxxle. I had to go to the bank so bought the paper afterwards and went an had a coffee and a pain au chocolat – lovely way to spend some quality time. Was stuck on 14d reason but all clear now – thank you.

    I particularly liked 5d – guessed at 6d as football leavces me cold. All in all lovely

    Thanks to Ray T and to BD.

      1. Maybe a puxxle is a word for eating a pain au chocolat whilst doing a crossword ‘puzzle’ :) anyway sounds delicious

  14. Very enjoyable puzzle with lovely wordplay. I must be on this setters wavelength because I am with Prolixic and Jezza on this one and thought it could be a 2*.
    Thanks to setter and Big Dave for the hints.

  15. Gosh! I haven’t read so many happy comments ever before! However I join the majority, a fun puzzle indeed, got stuck on 14d otherwise A.O.K.Favourites are 3 and 4d, and 1a. No chance of electronic help, battery’s gone! Thanks to Ray T and B.D.

  16. A most enjoyable puzzle and all went reasonably smoothly until I encountered 14d and 27a which both had me utterly stumped. So, thanks for the hints BD I got there in the end and I’ll award it a 3/4 today. I really liked 1a and thought 10d was a very clever clue.

  17. I am a big Ray T fan and this did not disappoint. Lots of lovely clues and no ‘gloop’ or ‘choc’ moments. All proper words with no ‘topless females’. A little bit of innuendo as usual. Most enjoyable puzzle since last RT.

      1. Well its like this. I don’t mind topless females at all as long as they are not in the xword, It also applies to males. Recent gloops [sic] have been ‘ane’ for topless female and ‘ary’ for topless male. When using this ruse I think that setters are scraping the barrel. OK Nomethang?

  18. Many thanks to BD for the review, and to everybody else who was kind enough to leave a comment.

    Ray T

  19. Enjoyed solving this one from Ray T.
    Liked 1a, 13a, 5d, 7d & 17d.

    Had a grand day yesterday – saw The Spirit of Russia at The Lucent Dans Theater in The Hague – magnificent performance by the Russian cast!

  20. Sorry for being late on parade – I had a sick note from the doctor but lost it.
    Thanks to RayT for the puzzle and BD for the notes – 1a was favourite and confirmed the setter!

  21. Got to this late today but well worth the wait. Found it tough but got there. The run continues. Sleep well all.

      1. Oh sorry, have changed it.
        I use this site on my phone and sadly it doesn’t work v well any more. Esp when I type comments the box, it moves all over the place. Ho hum. Still a great site.

  22. I enjoyed it too, although I didn’t get 1d and still don’t understand it even after the explanation.

    On another, pedantic point, shouldn’t the word ‘outside’ in 19a be pluralised? I dismissed it at first but eventually had to accept it meant both outside letters.

    1. Hi Hoddros, where do you live, you were up very early this morning or very late last night!
      1d Bass player – Bass is the fish, player – I think this comes from when the fish is cought i.e. on the line, then reeling it in may be called ‘playing’ at least that’s what I think
      19a, where it says outside of tuber it means to take the first and last letters, no need for pluralisation
      Hope that helps :)

      1. Thanks Mary, I am living in Singapore for a few years so that is why it looks early. Thanks for clearing that up.

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