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DT 26407

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26407

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Today we have a pretty good puzzle.  Can it really be Ray T two weeks running?  All the signs are there – no multi-word answers in this or the Quick and all one-word clues in the Quick.

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    Miserable one with endless cane could be vicious (8)
{SADISTIC} – a charade of a word meaning miserable, I (one) and most of (endless) a cane to give an adjective that means vicious or cruel

5a    Caught Romeo embracing miss, getting more intimate (6)
{CLOSER} – put C(aught) and R (Romeo in the NATO phonetic alphabet) around to miss to get a word meaning more intimate

9a    For example, wild cats with nine… (8)
{INSTANCE} – an example is an anagram (wild) of CATS and NINE

10a    French painter missing back of entrance (6)
{INGRES} – this French painter is derived by dropping the last letter (missing back) from an entrance

12a    Mercenary let off weapon (9)
{FREELANCE} – a mercenary results from a charade of to let off or release and a cavalry weapon with a long shaft

13a    Roast’s overdue on Sunday (5)
{SLATE} – a verb meaning to roast or rebuke is derived by putting a synonym for overdue after S(unday)

14a    ‘I will…’ shortly, say, for Innisfree? (4)
{ISLE} – “I will” shortly is I’ll and a homophone of this gives a word of which Innisfree in Ireland, featured in a poem by William Butler Yeats, is an example

16a    Scantiest minimum worn around Tyneside area (7)
{LEANEST} – a word meaning scantiest is constructed by putting the minimum around the Nort East (Tyneside area)

19a    Sailor solely after shellfish (7)
{ABALONE} – a charade of a sailor (2) and solely (5) gives this shellfish

21a    Flat race doesn’t end (4)
{EVEN} – a word meaning flat or level comes from a race or contest without its final letter (doesn’t end)

24a    Check car tyre’s opening (5)
{AUDIT} – a check on a company’s accounts is a charade of a German car and T (Tyre’s opening)

25a    End-of-term examinations? (9)
{AUTOPSIES} – a cryptic definition of post-mortem examinations of a corpse

27a    Character in commercial made up (6)
{ATONED} – put a character or mood inside a short commercial to get a word meaning made up or redressed

28a    Deliberate tackle’s first caught by referee (8)
{MEDITATE} – to deliberate or ponder is derived by putting T (Tackle’s first) inside (caught by) a word meaning to referee or intercede

29a    Host, he is minded, encompasses belief (6)
{THEISM} – hidden inside the first four words of the clue is a belief

30a    Passionate hunks kept in check (8)
{VEHEMENT} – a word meaning passionate is derived by putting these hunks inside (kept in) a verb meaning to check or examine – Chambers definition of a hunk is a gem “someone of exaggerated or extreme virility, or what some women consider to be virility”


1d           Superior case of Sauvignon, a bit off (6)
{SNIFFY} – a derogatory word for superior or contemptuous is built up from SN (case / outside letters of SauvignoN) together with a word meaning a bit off or dubious

2d           Throws dead remains (6)
{DASHES} – this verb meaning throws is a charade of D(ead) and the remains of a fire

3d           One’s slow, normally, and inordinately long initially (5)
{SNAIL} – the initial letters of the middle five words of the clue spell out something that’s slow

4d           Hack off Independent with new intelligence, say (7)
{INCENSE} – a verb meaning to hack off or infuriate is built up from I(ndependent), N(ew) and what sounds like (say)  intelligence or wisdom

6d           Prospect of unbridled lap dances! (9)
{LANDSCAPE} – this prospect or vista is an anagram (unbridled) of LAP DANCES

7d           Flag ship crossing river (8)
{STREAMER} – this flag or banner is derived by putting a type of ship around (crossing) R(iver)

8d           So, sitter’s spread out for artist (8)
{ROSSETTI} – an anagram (spread out) of SO SITTER gives Dante Gabriel, one of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

11d         Charge pounds for fondle (4)
{FEEL} – combine a charge with the symbol for pounds sterling to get a verb meaning to fondle

15d         Beer with head providing strength (9)
{STOUTNESS} – the type of beer that Ena Sharples used to enjoy in the Rovers Return is followed by a headland to get a word meaning strength

17d         Eye condition leading to falls (8)
{CATARACT} – a double definition – a medical condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque and a large waterfall

18d         Hot, also a little attractive (8)
{HANDSOME} – a charade of H(ot) AND (also) and a synonym for a little amount gives a word meaning attractive

20d         European cow, perhaps, producing cheese (4)
{EDAM} – a charade of E(uropean) with a female animal (cow, perhaps) gives a round Dutch cheese, typically pale yellow with a red wax coating

21d         Strict former head of Territorial Army Engineers (7)
{EXTREME} – a word meaning strict is a charade of a former partner, T (head of Territorial) and the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

22d         Power mad buccaneer (6)
{PIRATE} – a charade of P(ower) and an adjective meaning mad or annoyed gives a buccaneer

23d         When fired, leave (6)
{ASSENT} – another charade – AS (when) is combined with a word meaning fired or excited to get leave or permission

26d         Writer Thomas Long penning article (5)
{PAINE} – the surname of writer Thomas is created by putting a synonym for to long or yearn around the indefinite article.

This surely has to be a Ray T production – the cluing is impeccable.

76 comments on “DT 26407

  1. I enjoyed the puzzle apart from 8a and 10 and 26d as they were names.26d especially as I would never have got the answer from the clue. Very annoying. Looking forward to the down clue explanations.
    Thanks to B Dave and R T

  2. A toughie from Ray yesterday, followed by a (fairly tough) cryptic today. I enjoyed it, but did struggle on a handful of clues.
    Thanks to Ray T, and to BD for the notes.

    Sorry to be boring, but there is an unwanted letter on the end of the answer to 21a :)

  3. Enjoyed todays DT. Best clues for me were 30a and 17d. Re:11d, why plural for ‘pounds’ in clue ? Thanx again for great blog.

  4. Great fun. I too thought that this had the feel of a Ray T puzzle – and very nice it was too. Many thanks to setter and BD.

  5. Well I can’t finish it and am giving up even with Daves hints I cannot get 30a or 23d also stuck on 22d!! 3d took me ages to see! fav clue 7d

              1. Thank you Prolixic, that’s what I thought but is it just me, I don’t like that clue, also didn’t like 5a, a tough puzzle for me today at least 3 if not 4 star, thanks everyone for your help and ‘talking ‘ to me :-)

                1. I found it tough as well today.. don’t know why! Maybe it’s the waiting around for Mrs Jezza, who is due to go into labour any day/hour/minute now, that is interfering with my concentration!! :)

                    1. Thanks Lea. I think she is thoroughly fed up with the whole thing. Fortunately for me, I have an office to escape to during the day! She insisted on curry last night (which didn’t work), so heaven knows what’s on the menu tonight!!! :)

                    1. Saturday is the official due date. Our first child was a couple of days early, but I guess that means nothing. At this stage she just wants it over and done with (and a few days paternity leave for the Christmas shopping wouldn’t go amiss) :)

                2. HI Mary, I didnt like 23d either and didnt get it until U read Prolixic’s post (Ta muchly).

                  this was much tougher than yesterdays but maybe thats just a function of how my brain (doesnt’) works!

                  Thanks again for the hints BD.

  6. What has happened to the down clues.
    Did not really enjoy todays offering, it also took me a lot longer than usual to complete.
    Was not planning to comment today but in the end decided I should if only to stop Mary talking to herself!

  7. Enjoyable puzzle to-day but a bit tougher than usual. Favourite clue 30a. Took a while to get but a satisfying grin when the penny dropped!

  8. Finishewd it – enjoyed it – too. k longer than normal. Invoked CS’s law of doing the downs before the acrosses for the majority of it. Only probvlem came with 2d as put the wrong word in – the cross checks were right but the word was wrong – until the brain clicked in to gear. I liked 22d and 30a the best but didn’t liked 12a.

    Mary – you should go for a pic of the “hunks”

    Thanks to Ray T for the puzzle and to BD for the review – will go and read it now.

  9. This had the feel of a Ray T puzzle to me too. Took me a while to get going but I did enjoy it. Thanks Ray (if it’s you). Thanks to BD too for the hints. Looking forward to a pic for the hunks!

  10. I found this very difficult today. It’s a long time since I have needed so much help to solve the Cryptic. Presuming that today’s Toughie is going to be even tougher – I will give it a miss!

    I think that Messrs 10a and 26d are a bit iffy! However, lots of nice clues!

  11. BD – saw a bit of your town on Escape to the Country last night. The house they showed the couple was on the outer part of Hanley Swan but they did show some of the area. Added to your gallery – all very impressive.

  12. 2d is semi-all in one, isn’t it? (D)ead, then a word for the cremated remains, rather than just the remains of a fire.

  13. I’ve really struggled with this one – perhaps my brain is frozen – well that’s today’s excuse anyway! Everyone seems to think that it’s RayT but there are no answers that made me laugh and I haven’t really enjoyed it as much as I normally do if it’s him. Anyway, enough of my rambling! I messed things up in the bottom right hand corner by putting ‘alight’ for 23d which made 25 and 28 a bit difficult ie impossible – didn’t put it right so needed the hints for all of those. I’ve never heard of the writer in 26d – if my brain was in gear today I’d probably have worked it out but didn’t. No particular favourites today – off for VERY cold dog walk – not quite up to 2C here today AND the sun has now gone. :sad:

    1. It was tough today Kath and I spoke too soon about the weather it is now grey skies and mini blizzard, huge snow flakes, Oh no, I hate this!

  14. -4c & 4″ of snow this Morning here in Northumberland ! However a Nice CW .to keep warm with.
    More Snow due this afternoon .Reminds me of last Feb already when we had 3Ft. where has the year gone & whats all the fuss about global warming.!

  15. Like AnnB we have 10 centimetres of snow here in N. Yorks and the world has ground to a halt despite all of the weather warnings.
    Due to see the dentist first thing but after not moving for nearly an hour gave up and walked home. It has certainly arrived early this year.
    Forgot to thank Big Dave for the hints and the mystery setter.

  16. Great cryptic from RayT yet again, much more difficult than the toughie today. Weather in Kirkcaldy has been bright sunshine all day, very pleasant walking along the esplanade though snow is forecast for tomorrow. Good wishes to Jezza and his wife, hope all goes well.

    1. Thanks BigBoab… nothing happening yet! Our first son chose to appear in the early hours of the morning after I had been out for a particulary boozy evening, so I think I might try and coax this one out with some heavy drinking tonight, and if that fails, there is always tomorrow night… and then the night after that :)

      1. Good luck anyway Jezza and just remember the first 40yrs are the worst, after that it’s plain sailing (until they come back home to Mummy & Daddy)

  17. Too hard for me, gave in quite soon. Can anyone point to a good explanation of the use of ‘say’ and ‘perhaps’? The meanings seems to vary from one puzzle – even clue – to another and I’m confused!

    Thanks for review, although some of your hints are too subtle for me.

  18. Tough today and I needed a couple of hints so thanks BD.
    Never heard of the French painter or the writer.
    Rest enjoyable so thanks to Ray T, if it was he.

  19. It must be a Ray T because it is hideous! Yet another of his that I can’t even start! Wish I had known before I bought the dt and I wouldn’t have bothered!

  20. Another fine puzzle from Ray T. Many great clues including 1d 6 12 22 23 24 28 and 30. Favourite though was 25 which took me ages, mainly because of 26 whch was descriptive of itself! In my opinion, 8 and 10 were acceptable but 26 was a bit OTT. Apart from that, a nice way to spend a cold morning.

  21. Straightforward but very nicely clued puzzle. Great fun!

    BTW, if anyone’s interested, 1Ac in the Times today was a smooth clue.

  22. Quite right, this is one of mine. Thanks to BD for the analysis, and to all for the observations.

    Ray T

  23. Oh dear – one chance to be right and what am I? Wrong again!! I really didn’t think it was one of Ray T’s – perhaps I should have bowed to superior knowledge! Have a good evening everyone and keep warm, especially those of you with snow – none here but terribly cold.

    1. I am with you Kath. I didn’t think it was Ray T. For me it was nothing like his usually excellent puzzles.

  24. Enjoyable puzzle – thanks Ray T.
    Clues that I liked : 10a, 16a, 19a (used to eat them in San Francisco), 25a, 30a, 17d & 20d (a piece of cheese for me!).
    . .

  25. Didn’t enjoy today’s offering sadly. Probably limited by my ability but too many clues I found poor. A shame to resort to names. ( though I got most). For a couple of clues I think ‘what’s the point’ . Yes I am fed up as its the first puzzle I haven’t solved for a couple of weeks but it wasn’t for me. Sorry Ray T but for the record your puzzles are normally excellent. Sleep well all, I shall keep struggling on with the last 3 clues. No review for me just yet.

  26. Unusually for a RayT puzzle (I often find them more difficult) I loved todays puzzle- the clueing was perfect and all the answers made sense. Maybe I’m improving lol.

  27. Enjoyed today’s albeit had to resort to BD’s hints for 2 of the painter’s, implanted for next time, thanks Ray T & BD. :D

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