DT 26442 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26442

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26442

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

I’m pretty sure that this is a Ray T puzzle. The Quick crossword has all his idiosyncrasies, including a homophone in the first two across clues that you have to repeat over and over again before the penny drops.

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1a    Alpha males, fit and flexible (8)
{AMENABLE} – a charade of the first letter of the alphabet, males and a word meaning fit gives an adjective meaning flexible

5a    Compiler supplies standards of perfection (6)
{IDEALS} – the first person singular is followed by a verb meaning supplies to get these standards of perfection

9a    Dog with ratty coat is mine (8)
{COLLIERY} – combine a dog like Lassie with the outside letter (coat) of R(ATT)Y to get another name for a coal mine

10a    Spacious car park? (6)
{ESTATE] – a double definition – a car designed to carry passengers and goods, with a large area behind the seats for luggage, and a park

12a    ‘Turbulent priest’ due for infamy (9)
{DISREPUTE} – an anagram (turbulent) of PRIEST DUE for gives a word meaning infamy – with an intentional allusion to the words spoken by Henry II about Thomas à Becket “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”

13a    Paddy field contains start of rice (5)
{STROP} – a paddy or temper comes from to field a ball in cricket around R (start of Rice)

14a    Lady’s man’s embracing redhead (4)
{HERS} – a word meaning belonging to a lady is derived by putting a male pronoun and the ‘S around (embracing) R (Red-head)

16a    ‘Toffees’ always put weight on (7)
{EVERTON} – a brand of sweets introduced by Barker and Dobson to honour their local football team, now known as The Toffees, comes from a charade of a synonym for always and a heavy weight

19a    Single, therefore departed following divorce (7)
{ISOLATE} – a charade of I (single), therefore and departed or deceased gives a word meaning to divorce or separate

21a    Elite troops, hard band (4)
{SASH} – put the Army’s elite troops in front of H(ard) to get a band

24a    With it, help backward nation (5)
{INDIA} – a word meaning “with it” is followed by help reversed to get an Asian nation

25a    Protects a shaky witness (9)
{SPECTATOR} – an anagram (shaky) of PROTECTS A gives a witness or watcher

27a    In street he’s issuing paper (6)
{THESIS} – a paper or dissertation is hidden inside the clue

28a    Mission for army taking on army in retreat (8)
{LEGATION} – a diplomatic mission is built by taking a Roman army and inserting (taking on) a volunteer army reversed (in retreat)

29a    Leave head of state in government (6)
{RESIGN} – a word meaning to leave or give notice is generated by putting S (head of State) inside government by a monarch

30a    Give line out to reveal lure (8)
{INVEIGLE} – an anagram (out) of GIVE LINE gives a verb meaning to lure or entice


1d    Rising artist, reprobate supported by English gallery (6)
{ARCADE} – start by reversing (rising in a down clue) an artist, add a reprobate and finish off with E(nglish) to geta gallery lined with shops or amusements

2d    One’s left before in hospital department register (6)
{ENLIST} – start with I’S (one’s), put L(eft) before and then put it all inside a hospital department to get a verb meaning to register

3d    Stomach’s tender in Accident and Emergency (5)
{ABIDE} – a verb meaning to stomach or xxx is derived by putting a tender between A(ccident) and E(mergency)

4d    Thrashes left and right initially with goad raised (7)
{LARRUPS} – a verb meaning thrashes is derived from the initial letters of Left And Right followed by a goad reversed (raised, in a down clue)

6d    Blows showing girl’s bloomers (9)
{DISASTERS} – these blows or calamities are a charade of a girl’s name, the ‘S and some flowers (bloomers)

7d    Smartness? To the French, Paris say, holds recipe (8)
{ALACRITY} – a word meaning smartness comes from the French for “to the” followed by what Paris is an example of around R(ecipe) – the abbreviation R for recipe, the Latin for to take, comes from its use on prescriptions

8d    Comprehensive school’s head in tears (8)
{SWEEPING} – a word meaning comprehensive or all-embracing is a charade of S (School’s head) and what one is doing if in tears

11d    Abandon offspring, reportedly (4)
{CEDE} – a word meaning to abandon sounds like (reportedly) seed (offspring)

15d    Gent, with a man I suspect, coming out (9)
{EMANATING} – an anagram (suspect) of GENT with A MAN I gives a word meaning coming out

17d    Assassin is terribly terrifying inside (8)
{SINISTER} – hidden inside the first three words of the clue is a word meaning terrifying – the Latin for left achieved this meaning because left-handed people were regarded with suspicion

18d    Face Britain used on ‘head’ (8)
{BOLDNESS} – a word meaning face or xxx is a charade of B(ritain), used or obsolete and a headland

20d    Scoff eating spicy starter from Orient (4)
{EAST} – put a word meaning to scoff around S (Spicy starter) to get the Orient

21d    Polish case of booze inside speakeasy (7)
{SHEBEEN} – put polish or lustre around BE (case of BoozE) to get an illicit liquor shop (speakeasy) in Ireland

22d    Connect good man with halo? (6)
{STRING} – to connect together is a charade of a good man and the shape of a halo

23d    Grand spread for farmhouse (6)
{GRANGE} – combine G(rand) with a spread or extent to get a farmhouse

26d    Unearth ancestry following start of tree (5) [apparently the version of this clue in the newspaper is incomplete!]
{TRACE} – a word meaning to unearth or detect comes from descendants of a common ancestor after T (start of Tree)

I found this to be one of Ray T’s easier puzzles – why not have a go!

49 comments on “DT 26442

  1. I struggled to make inroads with this one but after getting about 30% the solving pace picked up. 30a was favourite. Thanks to BD and (I guess) RayT

  2. Morning Dave, I agree if this is RayT it is one of his easier ones, not that I found it easy enough to do without my books, machines etc. I was going to make a New Year resolution that I would not use any ‘aids’ this year, but failed miserably almost immediately! A few clues I liked here, 6,7,8, down 29a and fav clue14a, good luck everyone, its worth perservating, I hear the CC might be inviting back old members? If so I’ll be first in the queue! Thanks for hints Dave, off to read them now

  3. Nice crossword – favourite clue was 12a. Thanks to Ray T for the challenge and to BD for the review.

  4. Yes the paper had an incomplete clue at 26d, got the answer but came on here to check why and found out some of the clue was missing and it all made sense. Agree was one of the easier Ray T puzzles. Thanks Ray and BD.
    Fav clue 7d , a word I used to use when I was younger, out of context as I had no clue what it meant, which was embarrassingly pointed out to me by a young lady one day :-) !

  5. This was one of those puzzles that at the onset, I disliked, but warmed to as I worked my way through. By the time I had finished, I had thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks to RayT and to BD.

  6. I see how why 26d took me a bit of thought – it might have helped to have the other two thirds of the clue! A nice Thursday Ray T I thought, and the homophone at the start of the Quick is wonderful. Thanks to Ray and BD.

    I recommend the Toughie too.

  7. Just getting into this, tho finding it quite hard–have to go out now but will get at it properly later.

    Wish I was good at anagrams—sometimes I get them, other times I just don’t see them!

  8. Somewhat surprised to learn that this is a Ray T special. Workmanlike and very competent, but a bit mundane and lacking any real sparkle. Many thanks to both setter and solver.

  9. I really plodded through this today. It took several attempts, despite starting first thing this morning when I thought my brain cells would be fresh. Still didn´t get 18d, so thanks to Dave for help with that one.

  10. Enjoyed this one very much – didn’t find it too difficult. It definitely feels like a Ray T puzzle to me, if only because of 6d – also all the quick crossword clues are single words.
    I didn’t understand the ‘Toffee’ bit in 16a but guessed it had to be a football (or rugby) side as the answer was obvious and even I have heard of ‘Everton’! Managed to spell 30a wrong to begin with which made 26d even more difficult than it was going to be anyway, given that we only had half the clue!! For some reason the last one to go in was 2d.
    Favourites today – 9a and 6d.

    1. I used to love everton toffees, as I remember they were in blue & white paper, the colours of the Everton strip

          1. I’m a toffee and looking at Dave’s photo of the Everton mints I thought toffees must be a misnomer or a generic word for sweets. I guess I just don’t know my Everton history (ref the Everton song). Have to find a photo of an Everton toffee (as opposed to an Everton mint. Also will have to do crosswords on the day, rather than ones from papers left in a pile under the bed. Found this to be hardest cryptic in my crossword life (been doing them 3 months) Rob Slade

  11. Fairly easy but enjoyable crossword today, I liked 6d and 7d best. Thanks BD for the review and thanks also to the setter.

  12. Found this one quite difficult, seem to have lost my crossword brain over Christmas! Just was not on the same wave length and needed clues to finish it so thankyou RayT and B.D. Liked 1a and 21d best. Better thinking tomorrow, I hope!!

    1. Hi Brendam, Happy New Year, I hope the snow isn’t going to come your way again, we are forecast to have it tonight, I will let you know :)

  13. A good puzzle which I managed to solve, despite only having a partial clue at 26d. Fortunately, the checking letters enabled the correct answer to be put in. Lots of good clues. Thanks to setter and BD for the review

    1. Unfortunately the checking letters only help if you are able to spell ‘enveigle’ correctly!! If you can’t it just makes the partial clue almost impossible to do ….

  14. Just not on the wavelength of this one! It took pommette and I about twice as long to solve it as it took me to do the Toughie on my own. I’m sometimes like this with RayT puzzles but I always like them.
    Thanks BD for the review and thanks to RayT for a hard workout.

  15. I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle, lots of good surface readings and a couple of great misdirections. I do the paper version and was flummoxed at 26d – I couldn’t get the answer from the checking letters; it must be infuriating for the setters when this happens.

    I’m still repeating the homophone in the Quickie in my head over and over, yet I can’t get it. Help!

    Thanks to BD and RayT.

  16. I thought this was a fairly average puzzle with no really good clues but 19a was my favourite. Had most fun trying to guess the clue to 26d once I had enough cross letters to guess the answer. Best I could do was: Unearth ancestry, but not the whole of the race.

  17. V enjoyable but for me one of the tougher Ray T crosswords. Got there, but took a bit of effort. Happy New Year all (not been on here for a while).

  18. Another gentle puzzle from Ray T.
    Clues that I liked : 9a, 16a, 21a, 28a, 4d, 6d, 18d & 21d.
    Had a good laugh re 16a – i remembered it despite living away from GB over 50 years!

  19. A quick PS. Just in case Franco or Qix turn up here later – thank you both for kind and encouraging comments late last night about the toughie – really appreciated.
    Franco –

  20. Just finished by BDing 18d – drove us nuts.
    Favourite clues 4d and 9a – haven’t heard the word larrups for years

  21. I’m still none the wiser regarding the Quick homophone. I have a description of an indigenous owl plus a fourth, as is. I suspect I have 1a wrong. Given the hint, something I would add to my gin; well that would be a very small tonic water, and that certainly doesn’t fit. The cryptic was much easier.

        1. The answers (as you’ve got them) are Tawny and Quarter. If you say them quickly they sound like tonic water.

          1. What a genius you are – it’s been driving me absolutely MAD all day!! Thanks Gazza. Can now go and nurse my horrible cold by going to bed. Good night all ….. Zzzzzz

  22. Took ages with this one.

    However, not the fault of the setter. A very nice puzzle, actually.

    Nice review too, but could use a couple more pics, perhaps?

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