DT 26448 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26448

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26448

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

This is almost certainly a Ray T production.  Although I found it enjoyable, I expect that the usual suspects will disagree!

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.


7a    Empty babble precedes common sense (8)
{RAVENOUS} – a word meaning empty or hungry is a charade of to babble followed by common sense

9a    Independent’s following centre right arrogance (6)
{HUBRIS} – put I(ndependent) and the S from ‘S after the centre of a wheel and R(ight) to get a word meaning arrogance or conceit

10a    Reportedly go off bird (4)
{TERN} – this bird sounds like (reportedly) to go off or sour

11a    An impediment to freedom of speech? (10)
{LARYNGITIS} – a cryptic definition of a infection of the windpipe

12a    Fellow and blonde running away (6)
{FLIGHT} – F(ellow) is followed by blonde or fair to get a running away

14a    Bands for newly-weds embracing half gaga (8)
{BRIGADES} – band of people organized for a specific purpose are created by putting newly-wed ladies around GA(ga)

15a    Famine and fatality around end of war (6)
{DEARTH} – to get this famine put a fatality around R (end of war)

17a    One thinks, for example, first about oneself initially (6)
{EGOIST} – the whole of this semi all-in-one clue provides the definition – start with the Latin abbreviation of “for example” and then put IST (first) around O (Oneself initially)

20a    Litre with super price cut (8)
{LACERATE} – a charade of L(itre), super or first-class and a price or charge gives a verb meaning to cut

22a    Go astray? Awful for fabulous sailor (6)
{SINBAD} – combine synonyms for to go astray and awful to get the hero of one of the tales in the Arabian Nights, who relates the fantastic adventures he has during his voyages

23a    Flue can let out gas (10)
{FLATULENCE} – an anagram (out) of FLUE CAN LET the emission of gas generated in the stomach

ARVE Error: need id and provider

24a    Fight expected by end of bell (4)
{DUEL} – a prearranged fight between two people comes from a word meaning expected followed by L (end of belL)

25a    Works around new mortar (6)
{CANNON} – a collection of sacred books accepted is placed around N(ew) to get a heavy piece of artillery, typically mounted on wheels (mortar)

26a    It could be relatively advantageous (8)
{NEPOTISM} – a cryptic definition of the practice among those with power or influence of favouring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs – apparently with reference to privileges bestowed on the ‘nephews’ of popes, who were in many cases their illegitimate sons


1d           Marked youth’s boxing knockout (8)
{LABELLED} – a word meaning marked or tagged is derived by putting a youth around (boxing) a knockout young lady

2d           Plant found in marsh bounding river (4)
{FERN} – A plant is generated by putting low marshy land around R(iver)

3d           Leave Britain with sanction to find Grail? (6)
{GOBLET} – a charade of to leave, B(ritain) and to sanction or permit gives a grail or large drinking cup

4d           Object about pub’s watering down (8)
{THINNING} – put an object or article around a pub to get a verb meaning watering down

5d           Bond’s got no alibi prepared (10)
{OBLIGATION} – this bond or responsibility is an anagram (prepared) of GOT NO ALIBI

6d           Male’s disgusting embracing single redhead (6)
{VIRILE} – an adjective meaning male or red-blooded comes from putting a word meaning disgusting around I (single) and R (Red head)

8d           Second copy by English writer (6)
{SCRIBE} – a charade of S(econd), to copy or cheat and E(nglish) leads to a writer

13d         Memorial service opening in serious mood (10)
{GRAVESTONE} – this memorial to someone who has died is created by putting S (Service opening) in between synonyms for serious and mood

16d         Behind Tory leader sitting on fence (8)
{TRAILING} – a word meaning behind or following is derived by putting T (Tory leader) over (on in a down clue) a fence

18d         Swears in time about to get cross (8)
{TRAVERSE} – put a word meaning swears or declares inside T(ime) and a word meaning about to get a verb meaning to cross

19d         French refusal to support pound standard (6)
{PENNON} – put the French for “no” after (to support in a down clue) a pound or enclosure to get a flag or streamer attached to a lance (standard)

21d         A fine crew capturing Armada’s first at sea (6)
{AFLOAT} – start with A and F(ine) and then add a crew or number of people around A (Armada’s first) to get a word meaning at sea

22d         Lethargic mole taking cover (6)
{SLEEPY} – a word meaning lethargic or drowsy is derived by putting a mole or secret agent around (taking) cover or shelter

24d         Touch up sweetheart girlfriend (4)
{DATE} – reverse (up) a touch or small amount and add E (swEet heart) to get a girlfriend

If you think this is hard then try today’s excellent Toughie from Notabilis.  You might change your mind!

48 comments on “DT 26448

  1. Usual horrible Ray T fare for me. Just not on his wavelength and his aversion to phrases always makes it not only difficult but much less fun than other setters. More fun watching the rain fall!!

    1. not had time yet today, but judging by a quick look and 9a I almost agree with Barrie, have to out to lunch now, will try later :)

    2. I agree. I laboured long and hard over this one and still had to resort to the blog for several clues.

  2. A similar experience to last week – The more I got into the puzzle, the more I liked it.
    Thanks to RayT for a very enjoyable puzzle, and to BD for the notes.
    The Toughie was tough for me today – I am guessing it was by Giovanni??

  3. Sorry, Barrie, but I have to disagree – one man’s meat, and all that! Had to chuckle at 23a and 26a is quite elegant. Judging by the Quickie (single word clues) a Ray T production, and thanks to him and BD for the story – so far.

    1. Welcome to the blog Roland

      Put the French for “no” after (to support in a down clue) a pound or enclosure to get a flag or streamer attached to a lance (standard)

  4. Thanks BD – very enjoyable today in my opinion. I struggled more with yesterday’s TBH, and was left with 4 clues I couldn’t do.

  5. This was fine by me! I particularly liked 27a and 18d because they were not what I expected them to be! Having solved other clues I had letters which could make words but it was only when i reread the clue it dawned it was right. Loved it, so thanks to RayT and B.D. for the explanation.

  6. Smooth and enjoyable. Many thanks to Ray T and to BD for the review. Favouite clue was 23a,

  7. Thanks RayT for a quite difficult puzzle today but very enjoyable. Thanks BD for the review.

  8. Very enjoyable – very satisfying as, for once, I resisted the temptation to cheat on the last few clues that held me up (1d and 7a). Needed BD’s explanation of “pound” in 19d.Thanks to Ray T and to BD.

  9. It all seems so obvious reading through the hints, but I couldn’t get anywhere near this one. Managed just the two at 15 and 23a. Thanks for the review!

  10. Absolutely loved it!
    1d was the last one to go in – needed to read the hint for that. Even though I had alternate letters by then I STILL couldn’t do it. I suspect that the brain had already said “You don’t know anything about boxing so you might as well admit defeat!” Oh dear – fooled again!
    Lots of wonderful clues, as usual from Ray T – 9, 11, 23 and 26a and 22d – I DO wish that the moles in our garden were a bit more lethargic!!
    Thank you Ray T and Big Dave. :grin:

  11. Had finished by lunch time – mind you, had to stay in all morning waiting for a plumber so wasn’t side-tracked!. Think I’m getting better now I’ve discovered this web site – many thanks to one and all as usually struggle more and more towards end of week. Fav clue was 26a. Can’t get anywhere near the Toughies, though – next challenge?

  12. I enjoyed this one too, although I did struggle a bit at the top but that might be because I am at home today and Mr CS would keep talking!! Thanks to Ray and BD.

  13. Sorry to be a dunce but I just can’t see how to arrive at 18d from either the clue or the explanation. Can anyone put me out of my misery please?

  14. Nothing wrong with this crossword today, I just couldn’t get into it! on reading through the hints, my thoughts were mostly ‘ah, why couldn’t I see that!’ never mind finished with lots of Daves help today, had never heard the word at 9a, fav clue 18d, thanks Dave for hints :)

  15. What I’ve come to expect from RayT – a tad on the tricky side but very enjoyable.
    Many thanks to Ray T and to BD for the hints. Favouite was 23a but that’s just my schoolboy sense of humour!
    BD – I agree about the Toughie, Phew!

  16. This was an enjoyable puzzle for me. Like others, 23a was my favourite clue. Thanks to setter and BD for the review

  17. Took me longer to solve than usual but consequently I got more satisfaction from doing so once I did.

  18. Found that difficult today but enjoyable, just couldn’t get on the right wavelength. Needed several prompts from BD Hints to complete. Suffering with 11a myself so that clue was straightforward.
    Look forward to tomorrow. Thanks to Compiler and BD as always.

  19. Could not get into this at all. Do not think I have “the right stuff” when it comes to compilers like this! Hope tomorrow will bring something a little less taxing and more fun

    1. Hi Jimbo,
      I always find Fridays and Sundays the most difficult in the whole week so good luck tomorrow.
      Usually love Ray T’s puzzles – it’s all about ‘wavelength’ stuff – you either love them (ie can do them) or hate them (ie can’t do them!)

  20. Fairly easy fare today I thought save 6d that I did not get for ages. DOH! Very enjoyable.

  21. Thanks once again to BD for the analysis, and of course to everybody else for your comments.

    Ray T

    1. 24d reminded me of one of my brother’s early efforts:
      Touch up Popeyes girlfriend with a bar of soap (9).
      Not winning any prizes but makes you laugh when you are 12!
      Thanks Ray!

      1. Sorry for being dim YET again – please put me out of my misery! I know who Popeye’s girlfriend is but, having never been a 12 year old boy, can’t make sense of this one!

          1. Even having never been a 12 year old boy I can see that this would have made one laugh – it made me laugh too!! Thanks! :smile:

  22. I’m late coming in but it’s been a busy day. I found this quite difficult and needed some of your hints, BD, to finish. Maybe only half my brain is working these days. Yesterday I could only do the top half and today it was the right-hand side. However, I did get through finally, and it was a relief to see it get more than two stars. I enjoyed the anagrams, especially 23a and 5d, but my favourite clue was 26a.
    Thanks, Ray T, for the challenge and BD for the help. :-)

  23. Excellent challenge today. Found it hard but got there without help. Thanks to Ray T and BD. Lots of nice clues.

  24. Thoroughly enjoyed this – though had to get the Crossword Dictionary out several times, and even then needed help!

  25. Thoroughly enjoyed this apart from being thrown by 2d for which I put REED which meant I could not get 10a! As for the quickie, the pun’s the best for a long time & I only grasped it by repeating the words out loud.

  26. In spite of my 20 plus years of solving xwords,I was foxed by 1d,I reckon that is part of the beauty of cryptics,is that not so BD and Crypticsue?

    1. Even after 40 years of solving, there are still clues that fox me. As you say its the beauty of cryptics and what keeps us returning day after day.

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