DT 26460 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26460

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26460

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

It wasn’t long before I realised I was solving a Ray T puzzle. A glance at the Quick crossword confirmed my suspicions. I’m sure some will disagree, but I found this to be easier than average for this setter – perhaps it’s just that I am so used to his style.

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.


1a    Fitting customer means endless alteration (12)
{COMMENSURATE} – an adjective meaning fitting or in proportion is an anagram (alteration) of CUSTOMER MEAN(S) without the final letter (endless)

8a    Beginning last of Himalayan climb (7)
{NASCENT} – a word meaning beginning to develop is a charade of N (last of HimalayaN) and a climb

9a    Tramp taking Independent papers (7)
{DOSSIER} – put a tramp around (taking) I(ndependent) to get these papers – dodgy ones, perhaps

11a    One makes one cross from time to time (7)
{ELECTOR} – a cryptic definition of a person who votes

12a    Husband in wrong till party (7)
{SHINDIG} – put H(usband) inside a moral wrong and then add a word meaning to till the soil to get a lively party

ARVE Error: need id and provider

13a    Become brown before ballroom dance (5)
{TANGO} – a word meaning to become or be changed into is preceded by a brown colour to get a ballroom dance

14a    A battle by English head to provide knowledge (9)
{AWARENESS} – a charade of A, a battle and a headland gives knowledge or understanding

16a    Workers in a nod to union (9)
{AGREEMENT} – put these (human) workers inside A and a word meaning to nod or acknowledge to get this union or consensus

19a    Suffer getting enclosed by mongrel (5)
{INCUR} – a verb meaning to suffer or bring upon oneself could mean enclosed by a mongrel if split (2,3)

21a    Sermon, eg lecture, revealing omission (7)
{NEGLECT} – hidden inside (revealing) the first three words of the clue is a synonym for omission

23a    Opposition’s annoyance about rhubarb (7)
{PROTEST} – this opposition or dissent is derived by putting an annoyance around rhubarb, in the sense of rubbish

24a    Goddess of, in foreign land, poetry (7)
{DEMETER} – the Greek goddess of agriculture and corn is a charade of the French for “of” and verse or poetry generally

25a    Throw hand back before over for game (7)
{DIABOLO} – reverse words meaning to throw and to give a hand and follow them with O(ver) to get a game in which a two-headed top is spun, tossed, and caught on a string attached to two sticks

26a    Brilliant ancestry of ancient people (12)
{INCANDESCENT} – a word meaning brilliant or white-hot could, if split (5,7) be the ancestry of an ancient South American people


1d           In charge up on tough tank (7)
{CISTERN} – reverse the abbreviation for In Charge and follow it with a word meaning tough to get a water tank

2d           Disturbed stare seen in flash master (7)
{MAESTRO} – put an anagram (disturbed) of STARE inside a flash or instant to get this master

3d           Root out former wife, weary embracing soft lump (9)
{EXTIRPATE} – to get a word meaning to root out or destroy start with a former wife (or husband) and then put a word meaning to weary around a soft lump of butter

4d           Limits fish caught by ship (5)
{SIDES} – these limits are derived by putting a fish, closely related to the chub, in the middle of Crosswordland’s usual ship

5d           Relief from ritual including clairvoyance (7)
{RESPITE} – relief is obtained from a ritual placed around ExtraSensory Perception (clairvoyance)

6d           Turn from tenor, immense embracing damsel’s extremities (7)
{TWIDDLE} – a word meaning to turn is built up fron T(enor) followed by a word meaning of immense breadth placed around DL (DamseL‘s extremities)

7d           Rampant disorder precipitated (12)
{UNRESTRAINED} – a word meaning rampant is a charade of disorder (6) and precipitated (6)

10d         Record from Queen turned up, helping about sense (12)
{REGISTRATION} – this record is constructed by putting the Queen reversed (turned up) and a helping around the sense or main point

15d         Dodgy tap onside for Australia to English perhaps (9)
{ANTIPODES} – an anagram (dodgy) of TAP ONSIDE describes where Australia is to the English

17d         Diet group losing tons (7)
{REGIMEN} – this diet is derived by dropping the final T (dropping Tons) from a group of soldiers

18d         Fabulous woman’s kind of complex (7)
{ELECTRA} – this fabulous woman, the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, persuaded her brother Orestes to kill Clytemnestra and Aegisthus (their mother’s lover) in revenge for the murder of Agamemnon and gave her name to the female version of an Oedipus complex

19d         One thus delayed in quarantine (7)
{ISOLATE} – a charade of I (one), thus and delayed gives a word meaning to quarantine

20d         American singer also going up in smoke? (7)
{CHEROOT} – after this American, famous for duets with Sonny Bono and as a solo singer and actress, put a word meaning also reversed (going up) to get something to smoke

22d         Sleepy even around mid-afternoon (5)
{TIRED} – a word meaning sleepy is derived by putting with the same score (even) around R (mid-afteRnoon)

Off this afternoon to Specsavers to pick up my new specs.  See you (more clearly) later!

97 comments on “DT 26460

  1. Perhaps it is just me, but I found this harder than normal today.
    Thanks to RayT for a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle, and to BD for the review.

  2. I struggled to get going on this one – a puzzle where it would be worth starting with the downs, which enabled me to then finish in my usual time. I too thought Ray T, so if I am right, thank you Ray for a nice start to the day. I also like the pun in the Quickie. Thanks to BD for the hints too.

    The Toughie todays is by Cephas and everyone should give it a try – it didn’t take me much longer than this one to solve.

  3. Super crossword from RayT today, I thought it was a tad more difficult than usual and thoroughly enjoyable. Thanks RayT and BD for the review.

    1. need more perservation than normal, visitors from US arriving soon, I may not get to finish this today!

  4. Great puzzle to get the old grey matter going. I need a good bike ride now to blow the cobwebs aways.Fav clue 3d
    Thanks to Dave and Ray T

      1. Re: 3d, I worked the answer out from the clue but had to look up the meaning of the word to confirm it. Not a word I had heard before.

        1. Have 3d now but never heard the word before! still struggling with this crossword, mind in wrong place today

          1. It’s what you see a lot of in cow fields. They are normally in the plural as in cowpats. I think there is even a competition held somewhere in England for throwing them, when they are dry, hopefully.

          2. I struggled too – I just felt I couldn´t get on to the setter’s wavelength and had to resort to the blog to help with the top right corner

            1. Don’t worry, I needed the blog for all but one answer :( Just when I thought i was starting to get a hand on cryptic clues. I wasn’t used to there being so many parts to some of these clues, and also I was hampered by just not knowing certain words, like the fish and the game…

      2. Its a while since I’ve heard the name of the fish in 4d, I know it by its more general name. Is this name generally used in “crossword speak” ?

            1. If you have the right fish, think what the usual abbreviation for ship is in crosswords and then put your fish in between the two letters of the abbreviation.

              1. Oh for the love of…., had the checking letters and indeed the answer but not having heard of that particular fish couldn’t connect it all together. Firmly committed in the memory bank now!! Thanks for your help

  5. I agree with comments above – I found it tougher than normal, but nonetheless still very enjoyable. And no four letter words! I liked, in particular, 26a and 3d. Thanks to setter and BD for review

  6. I found this puzzle very difficult at first but grew into it after a time. Perhaps my impatience clouded my view. I wish I had started on the downs!! However, the Toughie was a compensation today.

  7. Agree with the majority, more difficult today. At least a 3* Liked 26, 14 and 26a best though there are many more good clues. Thanks to setter and B.D.

    1. I have done both but definitely prefer the Ray T. Today’s Indy by Morph is however my puzzle of the day.

    2. I’m afraid I’m with Barrie today! will finish it with the blog as I just can’t spend any more time on it today a definite 4* for me :(

        1. Not quite with you – do you mean the Times is even more difficult or am I being dim (again)?

  8. I’m with the majority in finding this slightly harder going than usual, although there are no real terrors, and it’s a fun puzzle to solve.

    I agree with crypticsue about the Toughie, which actually took me quite a bit less time than this, and has some nice easy long words to supply many starting and finishing letters.

    Must check out the Indy later…

  9. I actually found this slightly easier than usual for a Ray T. Very enjoyable. Fav clue 26a. Did not know the fish in 4d until today, another one to be filed. Thanks to Ray T and BD.

  10. Oops Manners! Got involved with discussion on 3d and 4d and forgot to give customary thanks to the Compiler and BD.

  11. When was the last time you saw a child playing DIABOLO in the street? About the same time rickets was a common ailment I would guess…thank goodness for BD & his font of knowledge.

  12. Only time I’ve seen it played, Spindrift, is on the beaches in Oz!! Sorry to dissent but didn’t enjoy to-day’s – thought it very contrived and obscure in places – i.e really don’t like or undestand the “go” in 13a, even though I got it. But perhaps I’m just being dense and/or picky! Thanks BD – certainly couldn’t have finished without you to-day. Does anyone out there ever try the Saga one? I only ask becos I find it completely impossible and have only ever managed about two answers in any one puzzle. Ooops – am I showing my age here?

              1. don’t think so, don’t like cooking just something has to be done, at least I don’t have to do crosswords :) or do I !?

    1. Fixed on Dave’s behalf – presumably his new glasses were needed more than he thought!!

    1. Certainly a toughie for me today would not have finished on my own even if my head had been in the right place!!! too many words and ‘facts’ I didn’t know, wouldn’t have liked this one even if I could have done it :) One clue I really liked, though I need Daves help to get it was 26a, good luck to all CC today & JOCC I think it is one for ACC!

  13. Pommers and I got there in the end, with no help other than to check 3d in a dictionary, and check 18d was equivalalent of mens complex. BUT . . .
    I’m not very happy with 19d. Clue says “in quarantine” and not TO quarantine – so shouldn’t the answer really be isolateD?
    Thanks though to RayT and BD for today

  14. I’ve been doing crosswords for 40 years now and that’s the first time I’ve come across that fish. Answer was fairly obvious once I had the central letter, but have never heard of it before.

      1. Thanx BD, had those three answers but couldn’t string them together to get Egyptian. Been walking round the house repeating them over and over to no avail, wife and dog been giving me some strange looks. Thanx again.

  15. Got the DT somewhat earlier today and knocked this puzzle out rather quickly.and enjoyably in the sunshine streaming through the windows.
    Best clues for me : 12a, 24a (nice bit of red herring there), 25a, 26a, 3d, 6d, 18d & 20d.

    Thanks to Ray T.

    I don’t have time to try the Toughie until later tonight as must now get prepared for the AGM of the Owners Association (VVE in Dutch) of the apartment complex. One member is proving to be a nuisance!

      1. No not me BD – I am auditor of the accounts – we have a professional firm to run the management of our affairs – as nobody can do it who lives here and we have to be strictly legal or the Belastingdienst (Tax Authority) would inspect our books!

        The gentleman I mentioned was far too long chairman of our VVE but was ousted – now he is nitpicking politically trying to get back in.

        Very sad business.

  16. Well, I thought that was jolly difficult – at least a 4* for me today, but still very enjoyable. After reading all the clues through for the first time I had precisely two answers – oh dear, not a good start!
    I wasn’t terribly happy about the ‘go’ in ‘tango’ but reading the comments sorted that out and 3d is not a word that I have met before.
    Lots of lovely clues – 12, 23 and 26a and 6d.
    As usual, thanks to Ray T and to Big Dave for the hints.

    1. Sorry to say that I found it very tricky today and even with hints from blog, really struggled. Been a fisherman all my life and never heard of an IDE! Perhaps brains on strike but I didn’t enjoy it. Sorry.

    2. The closing date for the Saturday puzzles was changed to the following Friday, so the review will be tomorrow. If the date changes again, please let me know.

  17. For once I can’t agree with our leader’s difficulty rating. This was nearer 4* than 2* for me, and probaly 3* for enjoyment. Unusual, because I generally find a “Ray T Production” to be a perfect balance of both. Perhaps a hard day at the orifice had something to do with it. Thanks, Gentlemen.

  18. This was an easy one for me! Hardest were:
    3d: The EX bit was obvious and that TIRE would come into play as well but that PAT took me much longer and the solution is not a word I use daily. The checked letters led me to the answer and then it clicked.
    9a: For no particular reason…

    Tops today:
    1a: What a beauty for its seamless surface reading!
    11a: It has wonderful garden path qualities with “cross” and the surface reading of the second “one” as the object and the “time”s which for once are to be taken in their surface meaning…
    7d and 26a: These are how charades should be!

    Thoroughly enjoyed my morning coffee thanks to RayT. Kudos to BD for his expert notes. I’ll try the Toughie on the tube home.

      1. My degree’s in chemistry but I too knew the answers! BD, I guess that you and I may have done too many crosswords over the years!

      2. BTW, I prefre Nubian’s explanation of the ‘soft lump’! That one never occurred to me.

        1. I did think about the cow-pie version, but went with Chambers:

          “A small soft mass, esp of butter, such as might be moulded by patting”

          1. I also thought butter but, having lived in a small rural village for 20 years, I know a thing or two about cow pats! Surprised I didn’t think of it.

    1. I didn’t do a degree at all – I just read anything and everything and have the sort of mind that files away useful ‘stuff’.

    2. I didn’t even do a degree – was a nurse (and a Ward Sister at one of the best hospitals in the country) but before nurses had to have degrees ie lots of theoretical knowledge and absolutely NO experience! Sorry – it’s one of the things that I feel really strongly about and you just sparked me off on one ….
      Like Pommers and BD (see above comments) have spent lots of time doing cryptic crosswords and, like crypticsue (also see above comments) store away useful not mention useless information!

  19. I really enjoyed today’s puzzle, but would agree with some others that I found it harder than 2*. 26a made me laugh when I got it and I thought that 7d and 9a were clever too.

    I needed some help from a colleague (and a dictionary for 3d) to finish today.

  20. Evening all.

    Thanks once again to BD for the dissection, and to everybody else for your observations.

    Ray T

  21. Have to say I aggree with most today. Torturous word play. Soft lump=tap, sense=gist, a nod =a greet ,damsels extremities =dl not ds.

    Not enjoyable.


  22. V enjoyable, this is what we need for Thursday. Certainly 3* for me but got there in the end. A couple of clues I wasn’t keen on which is v unusual for a Ray T puzzle but lots of great ones. Thanks for the crossword and the review. Not read the comments yet but will do later.

  23. Have so far spent 20 minutes trying to start without any success over our evening meal.

    Will need to look at the blog for plenty of help.

    Clearly I do not know Ray T’s style.

    I can see that there have been lots of comments which I shall browse later.

  24. This was definitely a 4* for difficulty. Haven’t been able to do so few without help for as long as I can remember. Just 5 or 6 in the bottom half before resorting to Chambers for the anagrams & several others. Love to read all the comments – thanks to you all.

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