DT 26460

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26460

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

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!



  1. Jezza
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    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. crypticsue
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    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. BigBoab
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    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.

  4. mary
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Finding this tough so far think I will try Sues tip and start with the downs

    • mary
      Posted January 27, 2011 at 11:42 am | Permalink

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

  5. Prolixic
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I’m in the trickier than usual camp too. Jolly good puzzle and well worth persevering with.

  6. Nubian
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    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

    • mary
      Posted January 27, 2011 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      can’t even begin to see what 3d is yet :)

      • Wayne
        Posted January 27, 2011 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        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.

      • Nubian
        Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        re 3d, soft lump made me laugh.

        • mary
          Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

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

          • Nubian
            Posted January 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

            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.

            • Wayne
              Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

              ‘pat’ = a round flat mass, quite descriptive I thought.

          • Nora
            Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

            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

            • Ian
              Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

              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…

      • Wayne
        Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        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” ?

        • crypticsue
          Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

          It appears in crosswords from time to time so needs filing away in your memory banks!

          • Andy
            Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

            I will do when I see the answer, last to go in – racking brain to no avail.

            • crypticsue
              Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

              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.

              • Andy
                Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

                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

        • Wayne
          Posted January 27, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

          I know it as a Golden Orfe, got a couple in my pond keeping the Koi company.

  7. Rednaxela
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    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

  8. Will
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    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.

  9. brendam
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    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.

  10. Barrie
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Knew it would be a dreaded Ray T today so I bought the Times instead. Good luck to you all!

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

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

      • Qix
        Posted January 27, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        The Indy is very nice today. Thanks for the tip!

    • mary
      Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      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 :(

    • Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      I must ask, Barrie, how you got on with the Times. I had 9 left after 20 minutes and finally finished just within the hour!

    • Kath
      Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Coward!! :smile:

      • Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        Frying pans and fires spring to mind Kath!

        • Kath
          Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

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

          • gnomethang
            Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

            Precisely Kath – not dim at all!

            • Kath
              Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

              Oh good! Always makes a change!! :smile:

  11. Qix
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    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…

  12. Werm
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    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.

  13. Wayne
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

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

  14. Spindrift
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    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.

    • Franco
      Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      When was the last time you saw Demeter and Electra at a Shindig? :smile:

      • mary
        Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        exactly and with an ide in a jamjar!

        • Franco
          Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

          Apparently, they’ve just been spotted somewhere in the South West doing a Tango!

  15. Posted January 27, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I didnt find this too tricky but then I do enjoy a RayT production.
    Thanks to him and to BD for the review.

  16. Addicted
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    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?

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      You might be reading your mum’s copy :)

    • mary
      Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Agree about the ‘go’ in 13a, still don’t see how that fits either

      • mary
        Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        how does become = ‘go’

        • Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

          Keep stirring or it’ll go lumpy!

          • mary
            Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

            Yee es, thanks Gnomey, why couldn’t I see it like that!! :)

            • Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

              Dunno – you’re probably a better cook than me!

              • mary
                Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

                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 !?

  17. mary
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dave is there a letter left off your answer to 17d?

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

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

  18. Geoff
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Not one for me today, but I did manage 1 answer …

    • mary
      Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      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!

      • mary
        Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for blog Dave, really needed you today :)

    • Ian
      Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      The only one I got unaided was 13a

  19. Pommette
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    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

    • Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      The word “in” is linking the wordplay with the definition and is not part of the definition.

  20. Skempie
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    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.

  21. Wayne
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Any thoughts on the pun in the Quickie today ?

    • gazza
      Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Yes – it’s very good.

    • Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink


      • Wayne
        Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        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.

  22. Derek
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    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!

    • Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      I hope it’s not you Derek!

      • Derek
        Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        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.

  23. Kath
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    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.

  24. Collywobbles
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Dave, Is last Saturdays’ out yet I don’t seem to have received it

    • Jimbo
      Posted January 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      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.

    • Posted January 27, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      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.

      • crypticsue
        Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        Fret not, it’s one of the things I always check when preparing the review.

  25. Digby
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    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.

  26. Nestor
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    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.

    • Nestor
      Posted January 27, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      Come to think of it, I have seen 26a before…

    • Franco
      Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      “Garden path qualities?” Please, explain.

      • Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        I suspect “Leading one up the garden path”/misdirection

        • Franco
          Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

          D’Oh! Think I’ll give in! I can’t even understand the cryptic comments!

        • Nestor
          Posted January 28, 2011 at 9:22 am | Permalink

          Suspicion confirmed ;-)

  27. Max
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    The solutions depend too much on greek and roman myths, handy if you studied useless degree

    • Posted January 27, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Max

      I did a degree in Maths, but still knew the answers!

      • pommers
        Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        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!

      • pommers
        Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

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

        • Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          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”

          • pommers
            Posted January 27, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

            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.

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      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’.

    • Kath
      Posted January 27, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

      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!

  28. Cicero
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    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.

  29. Ray T
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Evening all.

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

    Ray T

    • pommers
      Posted January 27, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Hello Ray, and thanks for the puzzle.
      Were you thinking butter or pat?

      • Ray T
        Posted January 27, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

        Butter, of course…

        Ray T

  30. Nigel Pringle
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    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.


  31. paolors
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    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.

  32. tonyp17
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    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.

  33. kay
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    many thanks for that Big Dave. i was really struggling with it today.

  34. terryatslough
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    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.

    • Kath
      Posted January 27, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

      I do think that this one was particularly difficult but this blog always gets you out of jail!! :smile: