DT 26428 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26428

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26428

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Usual Rufus, always enjoyable, although I thought this was bit more complicated than normal, but thats probably down to the bad cold I have at the moment. I wasn’t too thrilled about 8d and 13d, but I did like 9a and 15d. Since this will be my last blog before Christmas, can I wish you all (and Rufus) a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

If you are struggling to get the answer from the hints, just highlight the space between the curly brackets.


1. One who follows another about in a branch of learning (10)
{DISCIPLINE} – The follower is one who spreads the teachings of another, for example the followers of Christ. Put this around (about) IN and you have a word for a branch of knowledge or teaching.

9. It hinges on the number of spectators attending (4)
{GATE} – A nice double definition, a means of access is also the total paid attendance at an event.

10. Robust shoes will be (4,2,4)
{MADE TO LAST} – Not a difficult cryptic definition, but it raised a smile, the final word is what a cobbler typically uses when making or repairing shoes, it’s a block or a form shaped like a human foot.

11. One’s getting in support to carry on the fight (6)
{RESIST} – Put IS (One’s) into a support used in snooker for example.

12. Impressed by a stockholder perhaps (7)
{BRANDED} – The impression is what happens when a mark of identity is burned onto the hide of an animal with a hot iron.

15. Break down in the course of an investigation (7)
{ANALYSE} – A word that means to examine in detail in order to discover something.

16. Rod, pole or perch (5)
{ROOST} – Anything that a bird might use to sleep or rest on.

17. Eager to obtain grand ring set in silver (4)
{AGOG} – Put G (grand) and O (ring) inside the chemical symbol for silver.

18. Live on a range (4)
{AREA} – It’s difficult to explain a clue like this, however what you need is the “Second person singular and plural and first and third person plural present indicative of the verb to be” followed by A to give a roughly bounded space or region.

19. Strips, being about to get some rest (5)
{SLEEP} – Reverse a word that means to strip, e.g. a banana, and you have another word for getting some rest.

21. Pray the change will do you good (7)
{THERAPY} – An anagram (change) of PRAY THE is the treatment of an illness or disability.

22. Knew cry comes from a woodpecker (7)
{WRYNECK} – An anagram (comes from) of KNEW CRY gives a type of woodpecker, armed with the checking letters and the anagram this is easy to work out, but out of interest, the name being new to me, I had to look it up.

24. Spinners put back on, being very accurate (4-2)
{SPOT-ON} – Reverse a word for spinning toys, and then add ON and you have an informal phrase that means absolutely correct.

27. Bill gets a medical qualification of college (10)
{ACADEMICAL} – AC (bill), followed by A, and then an anagram (qualification) of MEDICAL gives a word that means relating to a school or college.

28. Involved in a row, Rosa is upset (4)
{OARS} – An anagram (is upset) of ROSA gives the sort of equipment you would require if you went for a row in a boat.

29. Encouraging a number to take part in audition (10)
{HEARTENING} – Put TEN (a number) inside another word for the sort of audition where might have to state your case. The definition in this case is encouraging.


2. I stood for office in Middle-Eastern country (4)
{IRAN} – A clue – its not IRAQ…

3. Credit note gets money for a fool (6)
{CRETIN} – Another word for an idiot is made from CR (credit note) plus E (a musical note) and then finally a slang term commonly used in crosswords for money.

4. Explorer, one given all-round support (7)
{PIONEER} – ONE is placed inside a word for a vertical supporting structure, result is a word for someone who ventures into unknown territory.

5. Is a vote in the affirmative, producing a surprised reaction (1,3)
{I SAY} – IS A Y(es) is also an exclamation of surprise

6. Competitor in an event ran terribly (7)
{ENTRANT} – Another word for a competitor can be found hidden between “event ran terribly”.

7. Chart showing relative positions (6,4)
{FAMILY TREE} – These relatives are your parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters etc.

8. A gamekeeper might, if the bag isn’t good enough (3,3,4)
{GET THE SACK} – If you are unable to do a job, this is what might happen to you.

12. Boy upset at vandalised tourist attraction (6,4)
{BEAUTY SPOT} – An anagram (vandalised) of BOY UPSET AT.

13. Too proud to take lodgers, honest! (5,5)
{ABOVE BOARD} – This reminds of 16d in last weeks, a phrase that means honest, open or genuine, could also refer to someone who is too “posh” to do bed and breakfast. Hmm, I don’t think I like this much. I stand corrected. There is more to this clue than I originally thought, see Big Dave’s comment below that says – “Too proud means above – to quote Chambers “Of eg a nail-head, projecting or standing out from a plane surface” and to board, as a transitive verb, is to take lodgers – Chambers again “To supply with food (and bed) at fixed terms”

14. Attractive girl easily caught in the field (5)
{DOLLY} – A word that means a simple cricket catch could also be a slang term for an attractive or fashionable girl. Re. girl – does anyone use this phrase any more?

15. Wakes all awry (5)
{ASKEW} – My favourite clue. So simple – an anagram (all awry) of WAKES.

19. Drinks up with a companion and leaves (7)
{SPINACH} – A word for small amounts of liquor is reversed (up) and is then followed by A and the abbreviation for Companion of Honour. Definition, the sort of leaves Popeye likes.

20. Throw out a proposed scheme (7)
{PROJECT} – Double definition, to throw forward or a plan or proposal

23. Thought it will turn up in time (6)
{NOTION} – Another word for midday (time) with a reversed (turn up) IT inside gives another word for an idea, concept, or opinion.

25. Flag with a tale of heroism (4)
{SAGA} – A word for to sink or droop is then followed by A is also a heroic narrative.

26. It develops in East and breaks round West (4)
{DAWN} – The word used to describe the start of day is an anagram of AND (breaks) around W (west).

50 comments on “DT 26428

  1. I’ve just printed this Rufus crossword to solve over lunch. On the reverse of the paper I’ve also printed the Rufus from today’s Grauniad.
    Does this mean I now have a pair of Rufi – or is it a pair of Rufuses?

    In case I don’t come back today, Merry Christmas Libellule and thanks for all your entertaining reviews during the year.

  2. Good start to week. Some nice clues.
    best wishes to all. Here in Northumberland We had 6″ Snow yesterday from 3pm-6pm after a clear cloudless & sunny day .
    Good job we had a thaw prevoius few days & got rid of allot of the 2ft we had last time.!!

  3. I don’t think it was your cold Libellule. I found this slightly trickier than usual. Many thanks to Rufus for the crossword and hope that your cold get better in time for Christmas – good excuse for several shots of brandy – strictly for medicinal purposes!

  4. I would echo Prolixic’s sentiments but would prefer a Port & Brandy – Its practically medicine!.
    Thanks to Rufus for today’s puzzle and Joyeux Noel to Libellule.

  5. Joyeux Noel Libelulle, thanks for all your help this year, I think I will have to call on it today as I am stuggling with this one, back later :)

    1. Have just finished a lot I like today, liked 7d, 8d, 13d, 26d not sure about 18a, how are we supposed to know that its not singular i.e. am and not are?? Hope your cold is better soom Libleulle :)

  6. This took me a little longer than normal – perhaps too much libation last night!
    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle, and to Libellule for the notes. Merry Christmas to you both.

  7. Gentle start to the week on a freezing cold day.
    The explanation fro 18A is amazing and I admit to not understanding a word of it!
    Thanks to setter and Libellule for the hints.

    1. 18a Pete, not sure but I think we are meant to think e.g. you live therefore you ‘are’ , my query is how are we supposed to know that is you and not I? I live therefore I ‘am’ !!

    2. When I read Libellule’s explanation for this clue I was transported back 40 years to my latin class & worried that I hadn’t done my homework! Next it will be scansion & gerunds!

  8. I averaged about the same time as usual but did in two sessions as someone actually wanted me to work! I know terrible cheek, I thought, interrupting the DT Cryptic, but what can you do. Some quite good clues but a couple of groaners too. Thanks and Happy Christmas to Rufus and Joyeux Noel to Libellule.

  9. I haven’t had a chance to download it yet but will do this afternoon.

    Meanwhile I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Libellule and thank you for all your work during the year – it hs been a godsend.

    Also seasons greetings to Rufus and thanks for the puzzles.

      1. Just been a bit busy – have done most of the xwds – except Fri – Sun – but not had a chance to comment as by the time I have done them everyone would have disappeared. We had our snow – about 4″ in 20 minutes on Saturday and the car is covered – the drive is unmanageable for other than the hardy so I am staying put.

  10. Forth day following food poisoning and I managed half a dozen clues before it got the better of me. I hope my recovery comes quickly as I don’t want to miss out on all the brandy based confectionary,cakes drink etc. This is not the way to loose weight.
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule. A very happy Christmas to one and all, Hark the herald angels sing!

  11. I agree with Libellule that this was a bit harder than usual but enjoyable all the same.
    I liked 9a, 10a, 21a, 8d, 13d and 14d.
    Seasons greetings to Rufus and Libellule.

  12. Happy Christmas to everyone!! Have yourselves a Merry, Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2011. Many thanks to Rufus and Libellule, I only needed hints on 18a and 5d and kicked myself for not getting 5d!! I was convinced there should be an “x” in it!
    Sun shine at the moment but MORE snow forecast, will I ever be able to go outside again? My 93year old friend fell and broke her wrist a few days ago so I’m staying put until it’s safe to walk.
    Favourites are 10a 19d and 8d

    1. I ventured out this morning, VERY warily. After 11 months of back probs/osteoporosis etc, the last thing I want is a broken bone! Edinburgh very beautiful in the snow, but like you, am not going out again.

  13. I also found this trickier than the usual Monday puzzle and needed a good deal of help to finish. Took a long time finding 9a as I had ‘hit’ for the first word of 8d. No particular favourites this time, but thanks to Rufus and to Libellule.

    And I add my best wishes to all for Christmas and the New Year. :-)

  14. Just returned from a coach trip to Braemar up in the “Hielans”, if you like snow you should see Glen Shee at this time ( personally I think it’s bloody awful ). Thanks to Rufus for his usual gentle start to the week, a little trickier perhaps than recent weeks but that could be my Whisky addled brain. Thanks Libellule for the usual superb review, hope you feel better soon. It has finally stopped snowing here in Fife and is gloriously sunny.

  15. Another 24a challenge from the Monday Master. No seasonal theme, but I understand that Rufus is setting the Christmas Day Crytic, so “Stand By Live!!”. What a pity that it will only be available to the ScrewedUp brigade, and not we Paper Pushers. If anyone takes pity, and would kindly email it to me, then Big D has my details which I would be happy to share. Thanks Libellule, et Joyeuse Noel!

    1. Digby, I am also a Paper Pusher!

      I intend to sign up for the DT Puzzles offer of the free seven-day trial – then cancel after the festivities!

        1. Franco, I’m bi-lingual – English & Yorkshire – so forgive my pigeon French. Let me know what you think of DT Puzzles. I might give it a go.

          1. I speak very little Yorkshire, but ……..

            “Hear all, see all, say nowt,
            tak’all, keep all, gie nowt,
            and if tha ever does owt for nowt do it for thysen.”

            1. Hi Franco

              i am also a yorkshireman, a proper Tyke born in Barnsley but now a honorary Dover shark but I remember a saying my Grandad used to say was,

              “Barnsley born, Barnsley bred,strong in t’arm and weak in t’head”

              needless to say I now only act stupid so my boss doesn’t get an inferiority complex. :D

  16. Just printed this out & getting into it.

    Am looking forward to the Christmas Day cryptic, also by Rufus.

    Happy Christmas to Rufus and everyone.

  17. I think there is a bit more to 13d. Too proud means above – to quote Chambers “Of eg a nail-head, projecting or standing out from a plane surface” and to board, as a transitive verb, is to take lodgers – Chambers again “To supply with food (and bed) at fixed terms”

  18. Nice easy start to week. Did not need Mary’s tips today. Best was 22 but also liked 3 8 9 10 12d 13 19a 19d. Most enjoyable!

  19. A nice way to start the week with a pleasant Rufus puzzle, liked 22a, just read the hints and one or two pennies dropped regarding explanations, thanks Libellule, sometimes I get the answers but don’t understand why.

    Felicitaions to all from the snowy Dover area. :D

  20. I didn’t find this as entertaining as the normal Rufus – maybe because I found it more difficult than usual. Held up badly in the NE corner by initially entering “Get the Bird” for 8d.

    Solved it in the pub at lunch time – a 1-Pinter, although I was sipping very slowly!

    Joyeux Noël to Libellule!

  21. This is my last Monday puzzle for this year, so I should like to thank all the bloggers for their interest, encouragement and suggestions, although I shall be providing seasonable puzzles for Christmas Eve in the Telegraph and another on Christmas Day on the Telegraph site. Because of this, next Monday will not be mine. Hoping to be back on Monday, Jan 3rd 2011.
    Happy Christmas and a Great New Year to everybody, from Big Dave to Mary!

    1. Looking forward to the Christmas Fare. Many thanks, Rufus, for this year’s Monday entertainment.
      See you next year and I hope the Balearics are getting better!.
      Warm Regards,


    2. A big thanks from me Rufus. It’s your puzzles that give me hope! When I first started cryptic xwords, I struggled.Your puzzles are very well crafted but accessible to someone of limited experience and have helped me get to grips with the various techniques you use! So much so that I look forward to Monday’s especially as, at Pommers insistence, we now do your Monday Grauniad too.
      Maybe one day the heights of the Araucaria might be climbable.
      Merry Xmas to you.

    3. Many thanks for all the fun and enjoyment you have given over the last year – a present every week!

      Have a very peaceful and joyful Christmas

    4. Thanks Rufus, have i told you I really like your puzzles :) Have a good Christmas and New Year, there is a rumour you will be doing Christmas Day puzzle but I probably be in the middle of the Turkey!!

  22. Really enjoyed this one so thanks and a Merry Xmas to Rufus.
    His puzzle in the Grauniad is a bit trickier but still with the great surface readings that I’ve come to expect from Rufus. It also has a great Xmas theme. Recommended to all!

  23. I also found this a bit trickier than the usual Monday puzzle – have been very busy, but so is everyone at this time of year, so had thought that it might just be me again – relieved to read that I’m not the only one. The top left hand corner took me the longest. Have heard of ‘yaffle’ and ‘yaffingale’ for woodpecker but never 22a but easy enough to work out and look up – you live and you learn – sometimes you even remember!! Too late and too tired to ramble on as I sometimes do so will shut up now. Thank you to Rufus and Libellule – do hope that your cold is better in time for Christmas. I’m not going to say “Happy Christmas” to anyone yet as I’ll be back tomorrow and the next day ….. ! Maybe I will be the last to comment tonight?

    1. My sad husband as an ex-twitcher got this straight away. Heard of it but never seen one in the UK!

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