DT 26416 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26416

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26416

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Another entertaining but typical Monday crossword from the maestro, which seems to have a bit of a theme (see 15a and 8d). Favourite clues for me today are 19a and 22a.

If this is your first visit here, you can reveal the full answer by highlighting the space between the curly brackets.


1. Noted part-player on stage (5,6)
{OPERA SINGER} – The sort of player that might feature in a musical drama, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa for example.

8. A tape recording? (11)
{MEASUREMENT} – Tape here refers to the type of tape that is marked off with a scale, e.g. inches or centimetres.

11. He fell out of sympathy with his partner (4)
{ADAM} – The first man according to the bible. Both are expelled from the Garden of Eden and fall from grace.

12. Go down with a bristle (4)
{SETA} – A word meaning to go down e.g. like the Sun, is then followed by A and is a stiff hair or bristle.

13. Dire disaster — trapped by high-explosive missile (7)
{TRIDENT} – Put an anagram (disaster) of DIRE inside an abbreviation of trinitrotoluene to get a British ballistic missile.

15. Money that’s not well-earned (4,3)
{SICK PAY} – If you were ill, what kind of money might you earn?

16. Sounds of relief of audible dimensions (5)
{SIGHS} – Expressions of weariness or despair sounds like (audible) a word that describes the physical dimensions of an object.

17. Scraps enjoyed by students (4)
{RAGS} – The times at universities used to raise money for charity are also pieces of cloth for example.

18. Marian has a song in her heart (4)
{ARIA} – A type of song usually associated with opera is hidden inside (her heart) of Marian.

19. An animal or bird that runs from left to right (5)
{LEMUR} – A primate from Madagascar is constructed from L (left) followed by a large flightless bird, and then R (right).

21. Trees providing large bows (7)
{LARCHES} – These trees are both deciduous and coniferous, put L (large) before the sort of “bows” that might be holding up a bridge.

22. Home fixture for City, but to be arranged (4-3)
{BATH-TUB} –A city found in the southwest of England is then followed by an anagram (to be arranged) of BUT for the sort of home fixture you might wash yourself in.

23. One among the lesser folk in history (4)
{SERF} – A member of the lowest feudal class can be found hidden between the words lesser and folk.

26. Determination needed by chickens (4)
{GRIT} – A word for indomitable courage or toughness, is also something that is fed to chickens to help their digestion.

27. Slam the coin frantically into it! (4,7)
{SLOT MACHINE} – An anagram (frantically) of SLAM THE COIN is also a one-armed bandit.

28. Call for scene-shifting? It’s tea break! (11)
{NECESSITATE} – A word meaning to require or compel is an anagram (shifting) of SCENE followed by another anagram (break) of ITS TEA


2. An ode required for author getting married (4)
{POEM} – Another word for an ode is constructed from an American writer of macabre poems and short stories followed by M (married).

3. Skinhead breaks rules, drops out (7)
{RESIGNS} – Put the first letter (head) of S(kin) inside a word for exercising sovereign power e.g. by a King or a Queen and you have a word meaning to give up or retire from a position.

4. Kind holy man has a heart of gold (4)
{SORT} – Another word for class or group has the heraldic word for gold put inside ST (holy man).

5. Retribution seems in fashion (7)
{NEMESIS} – An anagram (fashion) of SEEMS IN is also in Greek mythology the goddess of retributive justice or vengeance.

6. Long times in the onslaught (4)
{EONS} – Another hidden word, a word for indefinitely long periods of time can be found between the and onslaught.

7. Teacher on form in advanced seminar (6-5)
{MASTER-CLASS} – Another word for a teacher followed by another word for a body of pupils is also a seminar given by an expert.

8. They stay well away from work (11)
{MALINGERERS} – The sort of people who feign illness in order to avoid doing their work.

9. It may be taken as an indication of health (11)
{TEMPERATURE} – Usually with a thermometer. Cryptic?

10. Ably matched, perhaps, in ambitious Shakespearean role (4,7)
{LADY MACBETH} – An anagram (perhaps) of ABLY MATCHED is a character from a well known Shakespeare tragedy.

14. Multiple occasions (5)
{TIMES} – Double definition.

15. Type of brush undergrowth (5)
{SHRUB} – an anagram (type of) of BRUSH is a woody plant of relatively low height.

19. He gets what’s left (7)
{LEGATEE} – A person to whom a legacy is bequeathed.

20. Idle chatter has teeth on edge (7)
{RATCHET} – An anagram (idle) of CHATTER is “a mechanical device consisting of a toothed wheel or rack engaged with a pawl that permits it to move in only one direction”.

24. Left in charge but desert one’s post (4)
{FLEE} – Put L (left) inside a word for a fixed sum that is charged to give a word that means to run away, typically from trouble or danger.

25. Settles in the country in France (4)
{PAYS} – To discharge or settle a debt for example, is also the French word for country.

26. Rising flavour has bite (4)
{GNAT} – Reverse (rising) a word for a distinctively sharp taste and you have a small biting fly.

68 comments on “DT 26416

  1. Nice puzzle to start the week, got really stuck on the 1st word of 7d, so obvious really but once got the rest fell into place DOH! Never heard of 12a, had to look that one up. Best clue for me 8d, worst clue 28a but mainly because I never could spell that word :-)

  2. Gentle and genial start to the week from our great genius Rufus. Favourite clue was 27a, Many thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review.

  3. I thought this might get a one star for difficulty. Quite amusing though and I liked 8a, 15a and particularly 27a which is one of the best anagrams ever. But is 8d even cryptic?

  4. Found this 1* only. Quiet easy, spent more time filling in answers than solving clues. No favourite clues for me.
    Thanx to compiler and Libellule.

  5. Nice Monday crossword, no need to think too hard after weekend excesses. Thanks Libellule for the review.

  6. Nice One to start the week
    -18c here in northumberland again last night.But Sun shining this morning…..neighbours gutters came crashing down last night along with great lumps of ice . Nobody underneath fortunately. More to come I fear as melts a bit.

  7. As others, a none too taxing start to the week with the usual Rufus charm.
    10d was my favourite.
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  8. A good start to the week with some testing clues but fair overall.
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  9. Good morning Libellule from an enchanted looking West Wales, the whole world seems white with heavy frost, beautiful (from inside) and the sun is shining but is not strong enough to melt the ice, my front patio has been like an ice rink for days now!
    another lovely crossword from Rufus, with his short, witty sharp clues, he is by far my favourite setter, (have I ever said :) ! ), I noticed the slight theme too, just one query, did 1a, have to be opera singer for any reason, couldn’t it have been any type of singer on stage? put scrub at first for 15d, completely missing the anagram! Thank you Rufus for ‘my type’ of crossword and Libelulle for the review, I think a good one for the CC today

        1. “scrub” at first but that’s why I use a pencil.

          Peter, it’s an anagram of “brush”.

          1. Yes – although surely a better definition of undergrowth is scrub – I got into all kinds of trouble today in what was not a difficult crossword, however, I did manage shrub because it was so obviously an anagram.

            1. Kath, I agree! But I think these devious setters use the dictionary/thesaurus to better effect than we, the solvers.

              SHRUB noun, (botanical) a woody plant or bush, without any main trunk, which branches into several main stems at or “just below ground level”.

              Emphasis on “just below ground level”?

              1. Oh blimey – OK give in!! Brain a bit too cold today, not to mention suffering from an overdose of my sister! She’s now gone back to Sheffield so, hopefully, will do better tomorrow.

  10. Another nice Monday-morning stroll, for which I echo thanks to Rufus and Libellule. I finished it with no trouble, so could go back to wrestling with yesterday’s. Lots of good anagrams, but I agree that 27a was the best. also liked 28a and 10d.

    I hope it warms up a bit for you, AnnB. What news of the Jezzas? :-)

    1. Yes – I thought of the Jezzas as soon as I came through to look at the crossword hints and comments. Do hope that all is OK.

      1. Hi everyone – Unfortunately I have no exciting news! Contractions have been on and off since Saturday morning, and we even spent most of yesterday in Kingston Hospital. Midwife says baby is ‘happy’, however mother is not! Mother is tired, has had no sleep since Friday, and is thoroughly fed up. If nothing happens by Wednesday, she has an appointment with the consultant to decide what next. Thanks for everyones’ concerns; hopefully next time I can tell some better news :)

        Thanks to Rufus for an enjoyable puzzle, and to Libellule for the notes.

        1. Poor Mrs J – my thoughts and sympathies are with her. Perhaps the baby has heard the cold weather is coming back and wants to stay warm and cosy.

        2. It seems a bit much to have to wait till Wednesday — I’m so sorry, it must be wretched for her! Please wish her ‘bon courage’ and I will keep my fingers crossed. Best wishes to you both. :-)

        3. Oh dear – poor both of you – hanging around feeling like an unexploded bomb is absolutely no fun. Let’s hope that something happens soon.

        4. I reiterate all the above comments from the ladies. Hope everything goes well and that the baby arrives safely and soon.

  11. This was plain sailing all but one letter – the ‘t’ in 12a. Never heard this word before. Enjoyable start to the week.

  12. Brain is obviously not in gear this morning. I know that this wasn’t a difficult crossword but I had a complete mental block about 10d – had alternate letters in, knew that it was an anagram of all the right letters, even did it for ‘O’ Level and STILL couldn’t get it. Pathetic or what?! Everything else was fine and didn’t take very long. For some reason 3d was the last one to go in. Favourite clues were probably 15, 19, 22 and 27a. Still very cold, frosty and foggy in Oxford.

        1. How odd that we all got that one last – it wasn’t very difficult. Hadn’t got the first word in 1a at that stage as I was trying to make 3d start with an ‘S’ (skinhead) thereby messing up both 1a and 3d. Frozen brain!

  13. PS – brain definitely not working well today – forgot to say thank you to Rufus and Libellule.

  14. Fairly gentle start to the week, with a few clues where the pennies didn’t drop and needed a hint or three. Faves today are 18 and 19a. 12a was new, missed the anagrind in 5d and didn’t identify the fodder correctly for 28d. Perplexed for a while by ‘City’ in in 22a, as I thought it referred to EC and also by 20d, didn’t suspect ‘idle’ as an anagrind for one moment and it’s not identified as that in the Chambers XWD Dictionary. We live and learn (hopefully) !

    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  15. Apart from 3d and 12a had no difficulty today. I liked 16a and 19a best. The roads are passable, now, so I wonder why there is no mail delivery. Milkie delivers, papers come, most things are back to normal except for mail. Oh well, can only wait and hope! Landscape looks like fairyland, unfortunately it’s so icy underfoot I dare not go out, it seems as if it will be another week housebound.
    Thank you Rufus and Libellule for lightening the day

  16. Forgot to ask the opinion of fellow contributors ref 10d, is ‘perhaps’ an acceptable anagrind?, seems a bit thin to me.

    1. Isn’t ‘perhaps’ quite a common anagram indicator? Have just noticed ‘anagrind’ – what a good word for what I’m assuming it means – is it newish or have I just not noticed before?

      1. Seems to be in common use like prehaps. i still think prhaps is not really telling me there is an anagram lurking but I sometimes find myself on my high horse without realizing it.

        1. Hi Nubian, perhaps is given as an anagram indicator in Chambers but as Geoff says ‘idle’ is not (20d)

          1. That may well be so Mary, but the word perhaps appears to me to be a case of choice, it may be or it may be not were as most anagram indicators are definitive.

            1. I have always thought that “perhaps” was one of the most common anagram indicators.
              But, perhaps, I am wrong.

              A nice DT puzzle from Rufus today! Also, it’s always a pleasure to double up on Mondays and attempt his offering in the Guardian.

  17. I hadn´t heard of 12a but the clue was clear enough, so finished in good time. There´s a crossword theme today as I´m reading ‘One across, two down’ by Ruth Rendell. It´s just as well all DT crossword solvers aren´t like Stanley, the typical Rendell creepy character.

    1. Nora, have you read any of the “Morse” books by Colin Dexter? They often have a cryptic crossword connection.

  18. Couldn’t find a lead under “Recent posts” and thought at first you had got snowed up, like that pub on the Yorkshire moors. Then googled the clue for 12a and found the post. In entire agreement with 13a. Now I’m off for a hike to see if the Nuremberg underground is running. Thanks to Libellule and setter.

  19. When I saw this grid I moaned as there are twelve 4-letter words and you know how I hate them. However, the clues for them were logical today so it wasn’t too bad. Agree with the 2* and there were some nice clues.

    Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule.

  20. We often complain about various aspects of the DT Puzzles Department (ScrewedUp etc) but one thing they get dead right, I think, is the uncomplicated, gentle, non-contentious start to the week that is Monday’s Rufus challenge. Long may it continue!

  21. A very nice gentle Monday crossword from Rufus solved in very quick time while being driven back from doing 97% of the Christmas present shopping. Lots of nice clues of which 8d is probably my favourite. Was Rufus feeling under the weather when he wrote so many illness related clues? Thanks to him and Libellule.

  22. Curate’s egg today.

    I got two-thirds of this while detained at Arriva Trains Wales’ pleasure.

    I really liked 15a, 21a, 27a, 8d, 10d

    Only 28a and 3d were so horrible that I needed to click on the answers above, for which thanks to Libellule.


  23. See you all Thursday taking 3 of the grandsons to see Diversity in Cardiff 2mor evening staying over and doing Techniquest on Weds, its their Christmas present, although I am looking forward to it, (I love Diversity) roll on Weds night!! One son coming to look after dogs :) Laters!!

  24. Nice gentle ease into the week, no problems and no real favourites either, just enjoyable.
    Thanks to setter and Libellule for the hints and arriving late, out all day taking car into dry dock, I enjoyed the blog.

  25. Good evening folks. I never mastered French so I always struggle with French terms and words – hence I missed 25d. 12a is a new word for me too.

    Enjoyed it nevertheless.

    Now……..come on England…….6 wickets to get and the rain to hold off. Did Straussy declare too late? We will see.

  26. Delightful puzzle today.

    None too tricky, but some great clues; I liked 27A in particular.


  27. Thanks Rufus for the usual very enjoyable Monday crossword.
    12a was a new word for me, but the wordplay made it fair, so we live and learn.
    Thanls Libellule for the blog.
    In case anyone hasn’t twigged yet the Grauniad on Monday is also a Rufus and is free online http://www.guardian.co.uk/crosswords

    1. BTW, did today’s over a pint of lunch before bridge. unfortunately the brain exercise didn’t seem to do any good! Better luck next week, but at least Pommette has been easy on me!

  28. The usual gentle start to the week from Rufus.
    I liked 8a, 11a, 10a, 22a, 28a, 5d, 10d & 14d.
    Many of the 4-letter clues were quite sharp too.

Comments are closed.