DT 26457 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26457

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26457

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Another non too taxing, yet otherwise pleasant excursion from the Monday Maestro with a number of French references to make me happy.

If you cannot derive the answer from the hint, just highlight the space between the curly brackets.


1. Ardent, he may be following a cause (8)
{ADHERENT} – An anagram (may be) of ARDENT HE is also a supporter or follower.

9. Indoor transport (8)
{ENTRANCE} – A double definition, think of the first word as (2,4) and then the second word as a word that can mean to fill with delight or wonder.

10. In retreat a holy man leads king and emperor (4)
{TSAR} – Reverse (in retreat) A and the usual abbreviation for a holy man, then add R (king) to get an emperor of Russia.

11. Yet three sevens turn out to be around fifty (12)
{NEVERTHELESS} – An anagram (turn out) of THREE SEVENS around L (Roman numeral for 50) is a word that means in spite of, or however.

13. Enthusiast on trip to see erotic performance (3,5)
{FAN DANCE} – A word for an ardent devotee is followed by another word for trip, e.g. as in “trip the light fantastic” is the sort of act that is described here.

15. Speak at tedious length? Exactly (4,2)
{BANG ON} – Another double definition, one of which is an informal phrase that means absolutely correct.

16. The last word in steam engines (4)
{AMEN} – A hidden word between steam and engines is a word used at the end of a prayer to express assent or approval.

17. Sweetheart long gone (5)
{LOVER} – L (long) and a word for finished or ended results in a word that could describe a significant other half.

18. Small child to go out of control (4)
{SKID} – S (small) and another word for a young person is what can happen when you lose control of a vehicle.

20. Allow to escape the cross-Channel swell (3,3)
{LET OFF} – If you break the answer up as (2,4) you might have a slang term used to describe a French upper-class person. Depressingly they would actually be referred to as a “gens de la haute”

21. Obtaining reason for absence, ticks one off (4,4)
{SICK NOTE} – An anagram (off) of TICKS ONE for the sort of document you might get from your doctor to certify that your absence from work was due to an illness.

23. A staged production (8,4)
{ASSEMBLY LINE} – A “mechanical system in a factory whereby an article is conveyed through sites at which successive operations are performed on it”, and not a play or a musical.

26. Fleet vehicle returning at end of day (4)
{NAVY} – Reverse a word for a box like vehicle and then add the last letter (end) of day to get a collection of warships.

27. Chelsea’s opener precedes painful play in important match (3,5)
{CUP FINAL} – The first letter (opener) of Chelsea is placed in front of an anagram (play) of PAINFUL and is the last match that would be played in a competition for example.

28. Daisy enters city from the West (8)
{EASTERLY} – The genus to which “Michaelmas Daisies” belong is placed inside ELY (city) to get the direction you would be going in if you were coming from the West.


2. Deny a key’s been stupidly mislaid outside (8)
{DISCLAIM} – A word meaning to deny or renounce is constructed from an anagram (stupidly) of MISLAID around C (a key).

3. Returns from work (6,6)
{EARNED INCOME} – A cryptic reference that describes wages or a salary.

4. Number of the French in uniform (6)
{ELEVEN} – LE (the masculine form of the in French) is placed inside (in) a word for level or flat to get a number commonly associated with a football or cricket team.

5. Drop in rent (4)
{TEAR} – Double definition, the sort of drop that is created when you cry, and to separate forcibly.

6. Where barristers practise drinking? (2,3,3)
{AT THE BAR} – A very gentle cryptic definition that should need no explanation.

7. Small number turned up at church in the past (4)
{ONCE} – The abbreviation for number is reversed (turned up) and is then followed by CE (Church of England) for a word that means formerly or in the past.

8. A child among children, though mature (8)
{SEASONED} – Put A SON (a child) inside (among) another word for offspring to get a word that can describe something that is aged, e.g. wood.

12. Yet this could be just one word — life (4,8)
{LONG SENTENCE} – Life imprisonment is likely to be this.

14. Hail enters two points in part of roof (5)
{EAVES} – The Latin term for welcome or farewell is placed between E (East) and S (South) for the projecting overhang at the lower edge of a roof.

16. Union gets everybody a nice settlement (8)
{ALLIANCE} – A close association of nations or groups is built up from ALL (everybody) and an anagram (settlement) of A NICE.

17. Pushed the boat out in Paris? (4,4)
{LEFT BANK} – The location in Paris is known locally as the “Rive Gauche”.

19. New form of travel in space (8)
{INTERVAL} – An anagram (new form of) of TRAVEL IN is a space between two objects or points.

22. Half turn next to church and the sound of bells (6)
{CHIMES} – The definition is the sound of bells, take a word that means half, reverse it (turn) then add CH (church).

24. Drinks up on board (4)
{SUPS} – Put UP inside SS (the abbreviation for Steam Ship).

25. The key to a US university education? (4)
{YALE} – Double definition, a type of key is also an Ivy League university in America.

87 comments on “DT 26457

      1. RACY works, but being ex-RN I didn’t fall into that trap. Rufus has similar pedigree, and often tries to weave a little of it into his puzzles. Agree with L’s rating – nothing contentious, and 28a just shaded it for me. Thanks to “The Monday Team”.

        1. Diggers – I was very Racy at first but went Navy — perchance I also over-guessed 13A – how did I get LAP?!

      1. car (vehicle) reversed and then y (end of the day) racy as in fast which is another meaning of fleet

  1. I found this one of the easier (if not the easiest) Rufus in a long while. On the notorious commuter index this was a one and a half stopper! All very smooth and enjoyable though. Favourite clues were 21 and 23 across.

    Many thanks to Rufus for a gentle start to the week and to Libellule for the review.

  2. Last one in was 17d, which I stared at for ages!
    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle, and to Libellule for the notes.

  3. Another lovely puzzle from Rufus, guilty as charged putting racy in 26a! and lap dance in 13a!! no wonder I couldn’t work the clue out! last one in 9a, still doesn’t quite ‘sit right’ for me, fav clues, so many, 11a and 28a, good luck today to CC members on the verge of joining the JOCC! :)

    1. I also put LAP in initially, even though I thought it a bit too RACY for Rufus! As you say, it made justifying the answer quite difficult! I think 9a is OK – Libellule’s explanation sums it up well.

    2. Yes I see now Digby, if it had been In door transport I would have probably got it sooner but then it wouldn’t have read correctly, thanks Libelulle for explanation and blog :)

  4. Always a pleasure to solve Monday’s crossword. Smooth clues and no grumbles. 3d topical best with HMRC deadline approaching. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  5. A very fair crossword for a Monday.

    Favourite clue was 5d as Matthew 27:51 came to mind immediately – “the curtain of the temple was rent in twain”.

    15a is an expression my wife uses of me. I really must learn to be a 1a of silence.

  6. Didn’t fall into the racy mistake – but I did initially have ‘out’ instead of ‘off’ at 20a.
    Why I thought ‘tout’ could be ‘swell’ I can’t explain! Thank you Rufus for an enjoyable start to the week and to Libellule.

    1. I made the same mistake until I checked here. Brand new to cryptic crosswords – I think I only got about a quarter of it filled in by myself, but once I saw the hints here I managed to finish off nearly all the rest without looking.

  7. Almost did it on my own – guilty as charged on RACY, but I knew it was wrong as 19d HAD to be an anagram and no C in sight! Also fell into the same trap as few others on 13a but couldn’t justify the LAP bit. Oh well, got there (almost) on my own in the end.
    Thanks Rufus for a good start to the week and Libellule for the blog

  8. There’s a 13a in a TV advert at the moment – the girl with the 2 big red disks with writing on them. Trouble is I watch the girl and cannot remember the product!
    As a retired Marketing Manager I have to point out that this is a bad advert if people remember the advert but not the product – I’m sure I’m not the only one!

    1. Lots of TV adverts have me scratching my head and wondering what on earth they are trying to advertise – so many seem to only make it clear right at the end. Never remember any of them anyway!

      1. Yup, pommette put me right on that but I rest my case – I had no idea of the product because the girl is too compelling! Or maybe I’m just becoming a Dirty Old Man as well as a Grumpy one!

  9. Just a thought – were all the RACY people those like me who solve by working their way through the across clues before turning to the downs, thus not being aware of their error until they realised what the second word of 12d had to be.

          1. I just think that by the time the setter gets to that corner he/she may be struggling and puts some easier clues in, doesn’t always follow though:) ! Of course I’m assuming the setters start with the across clues!!

            1. I was always told to start with the down clues as that way you would find more cross check letters. Is that true?

  10. Good crossword – didn’t fall into the ‘racy’ mistake but only because ‘navy’ came to me first so it didn’t occur to me!
    Took a while to understand 12 and 22d and, like others, tried to make 13a ‘lap dance’ although couldn’t see why – just never heard of ‘fan dance’.
    Best clues today, for me anyway – 11, 15 and 20a and 14 and 17d.
    Thank you Rufus and Libellule.

  11. And another not guilty ! I had the answer to 12d before tackling26a so knew the first letter. Also not guilty of “lap”, but did have “out” to start with in 20a. Lots of good clues today, I liked 11a and 12d best, so thanks to Rufus and Libellule. Although I solved it don’t really understand 17d, any enlightenment out there?

    1. 17d is a double definition. The English translation of the famous Rive Gauche in Paris is also what you would have done having pushed a rowing boat from the waterside

    2. The translation of “Rive Gauche” that I put in the hint is Left Bank…. so if you pushed out a boat into a river you would have left the bank, and Left Bank is an area of Paris, traditionally the name refers to the Bohemian haunts around the boulevard St-Michel.

  12. An enjoyable Monday morning crossword. I didn’t fall into the racy trap,as I’d already entered 19d. but did put lap dance at 13a but couldn’t understand it until I read the hints and realised I’d made a mistake. Well, it is an erotic performance and a dog might sit on your lap if its enthusiastic enough! Thanks to setter and Libellule for the review

      1. Hi Mary,
        The dog doesn’t come in anywhere, really. It was my weak attempt to justify my answer – an enthusiastic person or animal may sit on your lap. And a lap dance is an erotic performance. It was clearly wrong and it was confirmed in Libellule’s hint. I don’t think I would have arrived at fan dance, even though fan is another word for enthusiast (and I have also seen that advert on TV).The only other word I thought of initially was fandango, which in hindsight, was nearer the mark!!

  13. Gentle start to the week over morning coffee. 26A was always navy for me , only saw racy when I read the blog.
    Thanks to setter and Libellule for the hints.

    1. What with possibilities of RACY, LAP DANCE, LET OUT didn’t anyone think of putting SPOT ON for 15a? was Rufus out to fool us today???????

        1. He appears to have fooled some of us with some of his clues! It all makes a good crossword, doesn’t it?

          1. Rufus is my favourite setter, although some of his puzzles are easier the clues are always sharp and spot on, so I enjoy them much more

            1. I enjoy Rufus puzzles and Jay’s – usually because I can solve them from the word play. I can finish others, too, but they take me longer with much more thought – and the use of lots of gizmos and aids. But they are just as enjoyable for me. The Toughies are another matter though; often I give up, although I have completed some of them. They keep the old grey cells going!

                1. Well spotted, Digby. It is true that my screen name as it appears on this site is a reversal of my forename, although a shortened version has always been used!

        1. .. thought that it was some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time but not all the people all of the time – or something along those lines. Our eldest daughter has something similar that she quotes quite often – “Most of the time I can do what people want me to do but today is NOT your turn and tomorrow isn’t looking good either”! Probably horribly misquoted and I don’t know where it came from either!!

          1. Hi Kath
            We have this quoted on a key holder as
            “I can only please one person a day – today is not your day. Tomorrow isn’t looking promising either.”

            I quote this often to Pommers!

    1. Hi Barrie, you obviously didn’t fall into any of the traps today, well done, by the way isn’t ‘your’ film supposed to out very soon???

  14. Coughs and sneezes all around
    Germs and microbes do abound
    De Dum De Dah etc ………………..
    And it’s not a Saturday !!

    Sorry but Mrs DP and I seem to have gone down with a lurgy of a viscious (or even vicious !) nature and have confined ourselves indoors for the day – except for me going shopping for sustainance & the DT and later walking the dog.

    Anyway, I have an opportunity to sit quietly and do a weekday crossword ! Have to say it seems easier than the few other weekday ones I’ve attempted but I’m only about halfway through. Let you know if I finish !!!

    1. Hope that you both feel better soon. We have had a vicious lurgy and have been grotty for a couple of weeks but Gazza assured me that ‘girls’ don’t get ‘man flu’ – the worst that happens is a ‘mild girly sniffle’ so it sounds as if YOU could have ‘man flu’ but not Mrs DP!!

    2. Get yourselves a bottle of Laphroaig (or other Islay malt) and then you’ll keep the cold virus at bay!
      Incidentally, over here in NL, senior citizens get annual flu shots free of charge.

      1. Thanks for the felicitations! Don’t think it’s flu as I’ve had my free jab this year; just a cold like I used to get years ago – streaming eyes, nose etc. – could be second childhood ?!!!

        Anyway, having recovered yesterdays paper from Mrs DP (today now being Tuesday) I’ll continue where I left off and see how I progress with the puzzle.

        1. Finished after help from Libellule’s hints – for which many thanks – not as easy as I first thought (see 22 above) but got there in the end !

          Now off to buy sustenance as suggested by Derek but it’ll be The Infamous Grouse rather than his more exotic brand !

          1. Pete,
            I would strongly recommend Derek’s choice – Not exotic – I personally prefer the following three, Laphroaig, Highland Park and Bunnahabhain.

  15. Thanks to Gnomethang and Libellule, of course!!! Just could not see how it worked, all clear now.

  16. Most enjoyable and finished nearly all of it before needing a little bit of help from here. 15a, 20a and 17d made me smile! Thank you as always for the hints.

  17. Little trouble with this very gentle start of the week. Plenty of obvious anagrams/inds. 17a had a nice trap with sweetheart for once not indicating E. I went wrong with 20a where I initially put LET OUT giving checked letters T and B in 17d. I tried to anagram LE BOAT (“the boat out in Paris”). Sigh. Then 17d hit me and I saw my rash stupidity in 20a.
    Smiles: 23a a brilliant dd; 12d: what do you call such a clue? An cryptic anti-definition?
    Thanks to the team of setter and blogger.

  18. I concur with most of the above comments – a straightforward start to the week and little to trouble. 1* for difficulty. 2* enjoyment.

  19. It’s been a busy day, so I only managed to do today’s offering late this afternoon, by my usual method of seeing what jumps out at me as I print it off and then doing the acrosses first. Since I did it in fits and starts it seemed a bit of a challenge at first, but I managed to finish without needing too much help, so thank you Rufus and Libellule.

  20. Didn’t like 28a. If a wind is coming from the West it is a westerly. Only gave in to it when I had all the crossing letters.
    Didn’t fall into the Racy trap, but did put OUT before changing to OFF; I knew at the time it could be either so eventually looked up the word Swell to find it was an anagram for TOFF.

    1. wingnut,
      28a doesn’t mention wind. If you’re arriving from the west you’re travelling in an easterly direction.

      1. I still don’t like it. If “from the West” is the definition part of the clue you cannot replace it with “Easterly”. EG “I’ll be coming from the West” would not become “I’ll be coming Easterly”. Well, I wouldn’t anyway.

  21. Hi could some give me some guidance to 9A can’t see how this relates to transport Thanks for the clues etc Colin

      1. Thanks Sue I obviously spend too long sitting on trains ! I will put that in my memory banks for the future.

  22. I’ve been re-learning my crossword skills with the help of this blog over the past few weeks. Today I solved this one without hints! Thanks to all the contributors for lightening up the day. My favourite was 28a.

  23. Usual enjoyable opener from Rufus with a good mix of clues.
    My likes :13a, 20a, 23a, 28a, 8d, 12d, 14d, 22d & 25d.
    4d has travelled from the middle of Mexico to visit La Belle France.
    28a is a fine example of Crossword Speak plus red herring’s worth!
    Over here in NL we don’t see many 25d keys – they are made by other firms.

    26a also seemed to be a red herring for many solvers : I like to read the comments and see how people justify other solutions!

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