DT 26433

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26433

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

Rufus is on holiday today, so we have a crossword from a mystery setter. Although I found this more difficult than I would normally expect for a Monday, my enjoyment of it was marred somewhat by what I felt were a few clumsy and forced clues, 17d and 24d for example.

If you cannot work out the answer from the hints, please highlight the space between the curly brackets.


1. In Ford van, mostly, fellow being stubborn? (12)
{INTRANSIGENT} – IN is then followed by a well known type of Ford van, with the last letter removed (mostly), then add another word for a fellow to give a word that means not willing to compromise.

9. Spies holding a summer event given right refreshment facility (9)
{CAFETERIA} – Put A and then a word for an outdoor party and R (right) inside the three letter acronym for an American bureau created to co-ordinate and conduct espionage and intelligence activities

10. See woman fiddle with plant (5)
{VIOLA} – A triple definition, a woman’s name, a stringed instrument, and also a flower.

11. Tight-fisted — spending pounds brings wretchedness (6)
{MISERY} – Take a word for being Scrooge like, and then remove the L (spending pounds) to leave another word for unhappiness or suffering.

12. Steps? Totter not half badly on account of this! (8)
{STILETTO} – The sort of step you might see while trying to cross a fence or a wall, is then followed by an anagram (badly) of half of TOT(ter). This should give a type of high heel found on a woman’s shoe.

13. Bird bringing back rubbish, what you’d expect (6)
{RAPTOR} – A word that describes a bird of prey, consists of a word for rubbish and a word for average or standard, all reversed (bringing back).

15. A lighter sort of guy (8)
{BARGEMAN} – The sort of guy that you might see in charge of a boat on a canal.

18. European and Scotsman perhaps backing English saint (8)
{ALBANIAN} – A person from a republic in south eastern Europe consists of an English saint who was beheaded by the Romans in the third century in Hertfordshire, and then the standard crossword word for a Scotsman.

19. Favouring an imperial unit, one is charged (6)
{PROTON} – A positively charged subatomic particle, A three letter word for in favour of, followed by a unit of weight equal to 2240 pounds.

21. Hear William thump shed maybe (8)
{BUILDING} – A homophone of the name William, is followed by a verb that means to thump (but is now a word more usually associated with a dent in a car for example). When put together we have a word that could describe a shed or any other structure.

23. Ugly woman is eating good Scottish food (6)
{HAGGIS} – An ugly or frightful woman, followed by G (good) and IS.

26. One judge may be very cross (5)
{IRATE} – I, followed by a word meaning to appraise. Definition very cross.

27. Stop men having to croon backing? (9)
{ENDORSING} – A word mean to back someone or something is constructed from another word meaning to come to a finish, then OR (Ordinary Ranks – men) and finally another word for croon or carol

28. Silly Tracy, maid hugging everyone in exaggerated fashion (12)
{DRAMATICALLY} – An anagram (silly) of TRACY MAID is placed around ALL (everyone).


1. Person arriving from elsewhere wants pay before end of year (7)
{INCOMER} – An amount of money received over a period of time, for example your wages, is followed by the last letter (end of) year giving a word for a person who goes to live or work in a different place.

2. Superior chaps in street off Strand (5)
{TOFFS} – A slang term for upper class people is hidden between the words “street off Strand”.

3. Time suggested by Prime Minister being cut short? (9)
{AFTERNOON} – If you abbreviate the words Prime Minister, you also have an abbreviation for a possible time of day.

4. Channel Island king dispensed with island garment (4)
{SARI} – Take one of the Channel Islands east of Guernsey, now remove the K (king) and add I (island) for a garment usually worn by women from India and Pakistan.

5. Meat given top award in Lincs town (8)
{GRANTHAM} – Another word for something given is placed on top of a word that describes the meat from the thigh of a pig is also a Lincolnshire market town.

6. Book that’s very short with Christmas wrapping (5)
{NOVEL} – A word that describes a prose narrative consists of another word for Christmas around V (very short).

7. After trick try to show disdain (8)
{CONTEMPT} – A word for a swindle, then another word for entice when put together produces another word that describes showing a lack of respect.

8. Uncouth person given degree — something to be thankful for! (6)
{BABOON} – A slang term for a brutish person or a boor is BA (degree) and then a word for something extremely useful or helpful.

14. One who’d give you wallop? (8)
{PUBLICAN} – Wallop is also a slang term for beer.

16. It’s good to have different criteria for old folk (9)
{GERIATRIC} – An anagram (different) of CRITERIA with G (good) gives a word meaning relating to elderly people.

17. Author Thomas, the man I am following in German city (8)
{MANNHEIM} – A German novelist (author of The Magic Mountain for example) is followed by HE (man) and IM (I am) to produce a German city.

18. Although the Prince Consort, one takes the place of King! (6)
{ALBEIT} – Take Queen Victoria’s husband, and change the letter R (King) for an I to give another word for although.

20. Fragrant bunch of flowers, say, gone off (7)
{NOSEGAY} – An anagram (off) of SAY GONE.

22. Beloved harbouring fear finally becomes dull (5)
{DREAR} – Another word for loved or cherished around the last letter (finally) of fear gives another word for gloomy or dismal.

24. Cook great — but eat becoming ill! (5)
{GRILL} – Remove (but) EAT from GR(eat) then add ILL for a way of cooking.

25. Change flow to go up, not down (4)
{EDIT} – Reverse a word for the flow of the seas, to get another word for change.



  1. Posted December 27, 2010 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    A bit of a mixed bag and a couple of seasonal chestnuts thrown in. 18a held me up the longest.
    Thanks to the setter and Libellule for the review.

    • mary
      Posted December 27, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      forgot to say like your Christmas ‘look’ Gnomey :)

  2. crypticsue
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I thought it was just my post-Christmas brain but I too didn’t think whoever set was up to their usual standard and definitely agree with the ratings. Thanks to Libellule for the review and the setter for the crossword.

  3. Barrie
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    OMG is this tough or what, got all the hallmarks of a Ray T, so far managed 3 answers. not a very nice start to the holiday week for the CC, thanks a bunch DT!! :-(

    • Posted December 27, 2010 at 11:02 am | Permalink


      The only Ray T hallmark in this puzzle is that you find it difficult. There are no others that I can see.

      • Barrie
        Posted December 27, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        That and the fact there are no phrase clues!

    • crypticsue
      Posted December 27, 2010 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Surely its the ideal start to a holiday week as you have more time to look at the puzzle, put it down, cogitate and then return to it and finish it off.

  4. Wayne
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Re: 3d. Even after reading the hint from Libellule I don’t understand how the clue relates to the answer. Guess I’m just thick, but……………..?

    • Libellule
      Posted December 27, 2010 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      PM (Prime Minister), pm (Afternoon)

      • Wayne
        Posted December 27, 2010 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        Thank you so much Libellule. Just wasn’t thinking along those lines at all.

        Can I add my thanx to all the reviewers over the Christmas period who have somehow managed to provide such excellent reviews.

  5. Sarah F
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Yes, come back, Rufus, all is forgiven!!! My gentle Monday start is not the same qithout you!

    However, a change is as good as a tonic, and although I am finding it really quite hard, I will persevere before turning to the hints.

    Thanks to the setter and to the reviewer.

  6. mary
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Ouch! two days off and I’m finding this really tough, only done 6! will leave it, may get back to it later :(

  7. Spindrift
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Agree with Libellule – 17d & especially 24d were weak. In the case of 24d I thought it must be something other than the answer as it was that obvious!
    Thanks to BD & Gnomethang for the printing suggestions for the Puzzles website. I’ll give them a go tomorrow but in the meantime it’s off to another party and more beer, wine, food & general debauchery….might even throw in a bit of pillaging on the way home!

  8. Franny
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    This took me a good deal of guesswork and several hints to finish. In most cases I was right, but thank you Libellule for explaining why. I had trouble finding 1a, 13a and 27a, and had never heard of 14d but guessed it must have something to do with drink. And I liked 6d and 3d, once you’d explained it.
    So thanks again to Libellule and the setter.:-)

  9. crypticsue
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    If you have solved today’s puzzle, can I point you in the direction of Prolixic’s themed NTSPP or should that be NT(Christmas)PP. Well worth a go on this gloomy afternoon and if you are stuck, the Gnome and I have provided a separate review/hints.

  10. Posted December 27, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I personally couldn’t see much wrong with it and thought the two clues thought as weak are both fine. I have praised similar usage in Toughies and can’t see what’s wrong in using them in a daily puzzle.

  11. Libellule
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Personal opinion then, but having what is effectively the answer expressed in both clues didn’t endear them to me.

  12. Prolixic
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable puzzle but perhaps not the most exciting. Favourite clue was 18d. Many thanks to the setter and to Libellule for the review.

  13. BigBoab
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Like Tilsit, I enjoyed this and found little to complain about, my favourite clues were 18a and 18d. Thanks to the setter and to Libellule.

  14. Geoff
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Too much for me. Have worked my way through most of the hints, but, if I’m honest, there was little enjoyment in it. Thanks for review

  15. toadson
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Did this after looking at the hints for 4 clues. Put one in correctly without fully understanding why, Even after the hint, can’t quite see the relevance of ‘tempt’ in 7d – i.e. why would we be looking for another word for ‘entice’? 1a is an amusing clue.

    Thanks to all concerned.

    • Libellule
      Posted December 27, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Try, entice are synonyms for tempt.

      • toadson
        Posted December 27, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, didn’t know that definition of ‘try’.

  16. Nubian
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Good crozzy for a dull day, thanks to Libellule and the Setter.

  17. Barrie
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Sorry for me an awful puzzle, should have been saved for the Toughie!

  18. Kath
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    The first crossword that I’ve had the time or opportunity to do for several days – found it a bit harder than usual for a Monday but didn’t know until I read the review that we had a different setter today and so thought that it was my post Christmas general ability to concentrate! I thought that 3* for difficulty was about right but probably enjoyed it more than 2*. I managed to finish it without resorting to the hints but needed them to explain a couple – 18a and 3d. Off to do some cooking now – next batch of visitors about to arrive! Do hope that everyone has had a good Christmas and thanks to Mr, Miss or Mrs Setter and to Libellulle for the hints.

  19. Kath
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    PS 14d had me foxed for a very long time until I guessed that wallop could be some kind of booze!

  20. Pete
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Not the best start to the week for me. Needed hints to convince me I was correct on a few answers but even trying to highlight the answers did not go smoothly for me.
    Hope things get better as the week goes on.
    Thanks to setter and to Libellule for the hints.

  21. Peta
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    i’d been looking forward to today’s puzzle but was disappointed. Hope Rufus is back soon.

  22. Jezza
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    I thought it was alright, although lacking sparkle. Nothing stood out as a favourite, although I thought 6d was ok.
    Thanks to setter, and to Libellule.

  23. paolors
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t enjoy it. V unusual for me but there we go.

  24. dram
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks Libellule. I must admit I quite liked it! Seemed pretty Monday-ish to me and assuming the setter was given the brief to produce something in Rufus’ style I thought (s)he did a good job. And I liked 24 down!

    • mary
      Posted December 28, 2010 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Hi dram, fancy seeing you here! I didn’t get round to finishing this today but for me it was nothing like Rufus’ style, I love Rufus puzzles but I didn’t like this one, hope to see more of you on here :)

      • mary
        Posted December 28, 2010 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        as for 24d, I thought it was awful but then I’m not quite as clever as you :)

  25. Ainsley
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Agree with a number of the comments – quite difficult (putting settler in for 1d did not help and as I now have 1a can see it is wrong) Still only half done and not particularly enjoying this

  26. JohnBUK
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Found it slightly harder than usual. Got 27a but didn’t know why until the (OR) was explained here, similarly got 3d (last clue) but needed explanation from this excellent site. Not too happy with 8d either.
    Happy Xmas to all.

  27. Qix
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    A decent puzzle, I thought.

    Took a good bit longer than usual because I was watching the Ashes while solving.

    For me, the two clues singled out in the review are OK.

    15A delayed me longer than all of the other clues combined.

  28. Derek
    Posted December 28, 2010 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Clues that I liked : 1a, 12a, 18a, 27a, 3d, 17d & 18d.