DT 26466 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26466

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26466

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

As some of you have guessed, today we have another Ray T puzzle. It’s not too difficult, so worth having a go.

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    Fold holding skirt very neatly (6)
{PRIMLY} – put a layer of a folded material around a skirt or border to get an adverb meaning very neatly

4a    Compiler’s embracing wanton ladies? Wishful thinking… (8)
{IDEALISM} – put an alternative for “compiler is” in the first person (1’1) around (embracing) an anagram (wanton) of LADIES to get this wishful thinking

10a    Batted to score a hit? (9)
{EYELASHES} – a cryptic definition of what is batted by a lady to attract attention

11a    Disgust turning back to outcast (5)
{LEPER} – reverse {turning back) a word meaning disgust to get an outcast

12a    The woman, redhead, retaining mother’s beauty (7)
{SMASHER} – put the female pronoun (the woman) and R(edhead) around mother’s to get a beauty

13a    Zealot from Iran put in trouble (7)
{PURITAN} – this zealot is an anagram (in trouble) of IRAN PUT

14a    Dated contents of treasure trove (5)
{RETRO} – a word meaning dated is hidden inside (contents of) the final two words of the clue

15a    Desertion from advanced position, simple losing head (8)
{APOSTASY} – the abandonment of one’s religion or principles is a charade of A(dvanced), a position and a word meaning simple without its initial letter (losing head)

18a    Prophesied start of future by one seer, strangely (8)
{FORESEEN} – a word meaning prophesied is built up from the start of Future followed by an anagram (strangely) of one seer,

20a    Sovereign’s grand in foreign money (5)
{REGAL} – an adjective meaning sovereign is derived by putting G(rand) inside some Brazilian money

23a    Name of European essence, ‘Alien’ (7)
{EPITHET} – an adjective expressing some quality of the person or thing to which it is applied is a charade of E(uropean), the essence or substance of something and Steven Spielberg’s alien

25a    Playwright with greater story inside (7)
{MOLIERE} – this French playwright is generated by putting a word meaning greater around a story or untruth

26a    Rather an Indian tandoori accompaniment, initially (5)
{RAITA} – the initial letters of five words in the clue spell out an Indian tandoori accompaniment

27a    Competitor is able, prepared and consumed (9)
{CANDIDATE} – this competitor or contestant is a charade of three-letter synonyms for is able, prepared and consumed

28a    Get on horse’s seat gripping ends of tether? (8)
{STRADDLE} – a word meaning to get on a horse is a seat (on a horse) placed around the outside letters of TetheR

29a    Date’s ringing about suits (6)
{AGREES} – put a word meaning to date or grow old and S (the ‘S) around (ringing) a synonym for about to get a word meaning suits or corresponds


1d    Gentle comfort, unloading a weight (8)
{PRESSURE} – the musical abbreviation for gentle or soft is followed by a word meaning to comfort without (unloading) the A to get a word meaning weight or stress

ARVE Error: need id and provider

2d    Rough turn following current former wife (7)
{INEXACT} – I wasted time trying to use rough to indicate an anagram when in fact it is the definition – a turn or performance follows a word meaning current or fashionable and a former wife (or husband)

3d    Liberal profanity a few find offensive (9)
{LOATHSOME} – a charade of L(iberal), a profanity and a few gives a word meaning offensive

5d    Girl’s lotion, after application, leads to failure (14)
{DISAPPOINTMENT} – start with girl’s (including the S) and then put a lotion or salve after a shortened form of application, typically used for iPhones and the like

6d    Stable relationship holds stronger (5)
{ABLER} – hidden (holds) inside the first two words of the clue is a word meaning stronger

7d    Force items up cracks (7)
{IMPETUS} – this force is an anagram (cracks) of ITEMS UP

8d    Naval bomb holding Rear Admiral back (6)
{MARINE} – a word meaning naval is derived by putting a bomb, usually one that is buried, around (holding) the abbreviation for Rear Admiral reversed (back)

9d    Drug, hemp, crucial at a bash (14)
{PHARMACEUTICAL} – a drug or chemical used in medicine, is an anagram (bash) of HEMP CRUCIAL AT A – the answer here is a noun, but the word can also be an adjective

16d         Object about channel getting sensational (9)
{THRILLING} – put an object around a channel or stream to get a word meaning sensational

17d         The answer isn’t this stupid (8)
{CLUELESS} – my favourite clue in today’s puzzle – if the answer was this then it couldn’t be solved: stupid is the definition

19d         Musical featuring one former thespian (7)
{OLIVIER} – into a Lionel Bart musical put I (one) to get a former actor

21d         Terrible danger with opening of explosive bomb (7)
{GRENADE} – an anagram (terrible) of DANGER with the opening letter of Explosive gives a small bomb thrown by hand

22d         Gentleman rising after society girl remains (6)
{DEBRIS} – reverse (rising in a down clue) the title accorded to a gentleman after a society girl to get remains or rubbish

24d         Firm carrying old stock (5)
{HOARD} – put a word meaning firm around O(ld) to get a stock or cache

In response to a request yesterday from Alison I have added the Quick crossword pun, hidden in the usual way so as not to spoil the enjoyment of those who have yet to tackle the puzzle: {thud} + {awes} = {The Doors}

98 comments on “DT 26466

  1. Morning Dave, a definite 4* for me today, I thought lots of clues belonged in the Toughie,
    got 11a the wrong way round, 17d took me ages, last one in – should have got that being a member!! it sort of works yet it doesn’t ?? put lots of wrong answers today, eg 5d – ‘surer’, 15a – ‘abortion’ lots more, eventually finished it but hard work for me, the clue I really liked was 10a, got 1d by taking ‘com’ off compressure, but I am told there is no such word? well it enabled me to get lots of other answers anyway, going to check now to see if the word does exist! then off to read the review, thanks Dave :)

      1. Yes, thanks Dave I see it now, I have looked up compressure and there is such a word, so its not another that I have invented :) although of course taking com short for comfort off it i.e. unloading , was wrong , it did give me the right word, but of course I couldn’t figure out the gentle part!

    1. I thought it was hard too. I needed help on seven clues – usually I get to the last 2 or 3 before resorting to the blog.

  2. Another fine puzzle from RayT. I thought this was going to be easier than his last, then I got stuck with a handful to finish off. Last two in for me were 1d and 10a.
    Thanks to Ray, and to BD for the notes.

      1. I read batted, because there´s very often a clue with a cricket connection. For once, this was not the case.

  3. Perhaps I wasn’t firing on all cylinders but I found it more like a Toughie. All the more satisfying to finish. 26 was new to me. 23a last in.

  4. DITTO! Stuart– had to rely on BD (Cheers BD) for help with 25a , :-) I could get Marlowe out of my head!

  5. Very nice puzzle with plenty of smooth clues.

    Couldn’t help thinking of Frankie Howerd at 4A.

    The device of the compiler referring to him/her-self in the third person in the clue, but the first person in the solution my not be familiar to all, but it’s worth remembering.

  6. Arrrrgh. Couldn’t get anywhere today – then realised I had ME as complier rather than I and I. All fell into place then. Quickies a bit of a bugger today though (maybe because I din’t get much sleep last night)

  7. BD, after yesterday’s furore I have looked at your star rating this time. I’m now about to start the puzzle.
    Back with my rating later.

    1. PS. The Toughie’s pretty good today. I make no comment on tis difficulty but it’s a fun crossword!

  8. Got held up in top left corner mainly because I couldn’t fathom 10a, but then having got 1d and 3d I moved on quite nicely. 15a a new word for me but solvable from the clue. Thank you Ray T and BD.

  9. Did rather well with this one, about 2/3 done without hints, but did need the books and toys a fair bit. Just two, 1/17d, that I didn’t understand but Mary gave me the answers – and 17d I should have got!

    Thanks to Ray T for one I could at least do some of and to BD.

  10. Another fine RayT production. Took a little longer than normal to finish off – 1a and 10 a for me but the NW Corner in general.
    Many Thanks to him and to BD

  11. I thought this was a slightly harder than usual Ray T today – I did wonder whether it had got diverted on its way to being a Beam as it took me twice as long as usual to solve, coincidentally the same time as it took to solve the very nice Toughie. My favourite clue, when I eventually got it was 10a. Thanks to setter and reviewer.

    IToughie recommended to all today.

    1. Sue, I’m always interested to read your comments, because if you find it hard, I usually do too. It was the top right that had me struggling today.

  12. what a lovely day, actually warm enough to read in the sunshine (with a thick jumper on) – kindle here I come, beats the dentist!

    1. Beautiful here too – and I have to go play for a funeral, not at the crem, a local church. It’s money, but a waste of the sunshine!

    2. Mary – how did the visit to the dentist go? Were you pleased with the results. Enjoy your Kindle – lovely day here as well.

      1. Not all over yet Lea, got to consider my options, one of which believe it or not is implants (dental Dave!) at cost of over £4,000 for two!! :(

      1. It is Amazon’s answer to an electronic book – excellent viewing screen, nice and light weight, easy to handle and e-books are available from Amazon.

      2. It’s a brand name of electronic book made by Amazon (and like Hoover or iPod, it may well become synonymous with the device) in which you can store numerous tomes. It uses ‘electronic paper’ instead of a self-illuminated screen so the page image stays there with tiny power consumption and can be seen clearly from any angle and in bright sunlight, I believe. My aunt has one and seems to like it, and it’s good for travelling as she can take so many books with her on one device.

        1. Sorry – got called away before posting and didn’t realise I’d been over an hour – time enough for Lea to reply.

      3. It’s brilliant Kath and most books are cheaper, also lots of free books available, you can fin out more by going to the amazon web site, as Dynamic says you can take as many books as you like anywhere all in one little package

  13. Excellent crossword from RayT, favourite clues were 10a and 17d, most enjoyable. Thanks RayT and BD for the review.

  14. I think the 3* for difficulty is about right – also think that, in general, it was a bit easier than Ray T’s crosswords are sometimes but the top left hand corner brought me to a grinding halt for AGES! Sat and looked at 1, 10 and 12a and 1 and 2d for longer than the rest of the crossword took altogether. Got there in the end!
    I only needed the hint to explain 23a – always forget that ‘ET” often means alien.
    I dithered for a while about which way round 11a was going to be so didn’t put anything in except the ‘P’ in the middle until I got something else.
    Lots of great clues including 4 and 10a and 3 and 16d – best of all today 17d.
    Thank you Ray T and Big Dave.

  15. Now that one I found hard! Took about twice as long as usual so I’d give it 4*.
    Very enjoyable though as the pennies dropped.
    On 2d I got the answer from the checking letters once I realized that rough was the definition. But I thought the I was from electric current, got the EXACT but couldn’t see where the N came from. Thanks BD for solving that for me.
    Thanks to RayT – a challenge as usual.

  16. For the first time in a long while I put the back page to one side and went off to do the Toughie before coming back to polish off the final three clues that held me up on Ray T’s masterpiece.

    Many thanks to Ray for the puzzle – favourite clue was 9d. Thanks also to BD for the review.

  17. I found this more difficult that normal for me to solve. I had to put it down and return about an hour later to be able to complete it. I would never have thought about 10a without BD’s hint – I couldn’t get cricket out of my mind. I liked 17d. Thanks to setter and BD for review

  18. Wow, that was hard! **** for me but great fun. Last to fall were 1d and 10a, 16d and 29a. It did not help that they crossed, of course.

    Very good clues, i thought! Enjoyed 23a, 14d (great anagram!), 5d for the clever split up of app-ointment, and all the other clues as well ;-)

    Thanks DB for your notes and RayT for excellent fun.

  19. A very enjoyable brain exercise. Like many others I was stuck for ages on 1d. 1A I found difficult – don’t think primly and neatly mean the same thing. Hate clues like 11a that could go either way. Favourite was 10a – been a few years since this Grandmother tried this technique!

  20. A fine example of Ray T’s work. Definitely my second favourite compiler. 15a a new word to me, but get-table. Like many above, top left corner was my show-stopper. Cleary Ray T from the Quickie. Can someone put me out of my misery – I assume it’s the 1st three clues that are linked, but can I eckerslike make sense of them! Thudders Joke??

      1. So you did! Will this now be a regular feature? The DT used to italicise the relevant clues, which would have saved me from much angst today. Can you use your great influence with Phil and get this re-instated please?

          1. I think the italics are only used when the Quickie homophone extends beyond the first across line of the crossword, so you’ll see italics the next time that happens. I think Ray T’s a music fan.

    1. Digby, I also went for “Thudders”. The only definition I can find is on a site called Urban Dictionary.

      Thudder – a portable container made of tin used to hold alcoholic beverage, which is still more than half full of the chosen beverage due to the lack of drinking ability of its holder.

      Presumably, Chambers does not approve.

  21. Meant to ask earlier Dave, ‘ply’ in 1 across I have never seen it used to mean ‘fold’ or ‘a fold’ I know it is given in The Big Red Book but how would you use it, I have only used it as a verb – to ply, or in regard to wool or wood?

    1. Ply can be used as a verb in that sense, or as a noun. Used as a noun, it’s often used to refer to a layer (often among many), so that a paper handkerchief with three layers might be described as “3-ply”. The same could apply to something which had been folded over on itself. Its use as a verb, in the sense of “to fold” or “to mould” is not so common nowadays, but the adjective “pliable” is from the same root.

    2. Mary, when used as a verb, it means to bend or fold. It comes from the French verb plier, which means to bend, fold or drape

      1. Ultimately, both are derived from the Latin plicare meaning “to fold”. The term “plica” is used in anatomy to denote a fold of tissue.

        1. I shall put plica in my memory bank in case it pops up in a future crossword! Good old Latin.

  22. Interrupted bz guests arriving, but I enjoyed this although it took me a long time. So thanks to Ray T and Big Dave. :-)

  23. For me it was the bottom half that took my extra time. Took ages to get 22d and couldn’t work out 23a for ages. Liked 25a and when I finally clicked – 22d

    Thanks to Ray T and to BD

  24. I enjoy the Ray T crosswords. I find them very difficult, but they’re fun and fair at the same time.
    Managed just under two-thirds of it before I had to look at the hints, which isn’t bad going for me.
    Some very ‘saucy’ clues as I’ve come to expect from this setter – I thought 7d was pushing it a bit…or maybe that’s just my dirty mind? :)

    1. Hadn’t even looked at it that way until you suggested it ….! I agree – I love his crosswords. Almost always something, on first reading, ‘saucy’, risque or whatever you want to call it.
      My favourite recent(ish) one of his was (and please forgive me if I haven’t got it quite right) “Kind of shrink underwear giving a revealing glimpse” (8,4) What a wonderful clue!!

    2. Pommette says I have a dirty mind but I didn’t spot this one!
      In fact Pommette reckons all I need is a bit more time and I’ll be a dirty old man!

    1. But there was the horror of Punk’s cryptic in the Independent. Makes Ray T seem like a walk in the park!

      1. Prolixic – I concur. I figured out what was going on quite quickly but the final two came in about 30 minutes after the rest!. Thoroughly excellent clueing from Punk.

        Barrie, how did you find it?

  25. DISASTER! No paper for the commute in so lack of time meant NW corner remains undone – I remain on the case and feel this is the toughest of the week so far. Aim to wrap it up a little later tonight though. Thanks to Ray T. No thanks to the bloke who delivers the papers to my fabulous news vendor. I had to resort to staring out the train window instead of playing with my mobile ‘phone which everyone else seems to do.

    1. ‘phone, with an apostrophe! Haven’t seen that in a long time. Do you spell flu as ‘flu’ as well?

      1. Never thought of that Nestor! I would probably use the proper name. Keep English alive I say.

  26. Did about two-thirds before I had to resort to the blog! Found it very diffiult to-day. Am I being very picky, but when did 1a become “neatly” and when did 23a become”name”? Got there but didn’t like it! Never heard of 26a (though did get it) but then I’m not into Indian. Loved 10a, but had to read hints before I got there – like someone above, I too was thinking “cricket”, also which I’m not in to! Had to read hints before solving 19d – could kick myself for that one, so obvious!! Very enjoyable but most difficult of the week so far for me.

  27. us girls flutter eyelashes but when we are confident we don’t bat an eyelid we certainly don’t bat our eyelashes- bad clue

  28. Another excellent Ray T challenge. Not as tough as some of his but great fun. Last in for me was 17d which seems unfortunate. As always lots of great clues. 28a made me chuckle, and thought the top left corner was excellent. Thanks Ray T and Dave.

  29. As usual (for me) add an extra star on the Reviewer’s difficulty rating and its about right. I was amazed when I finished the puzzle to realise it was a Ray T product. I can’t do them! Thanks for the surprise.

  30. The After Eight Club is now open – a little late as just back from parents evening (as parent not teacher). Just about to start the cw. Back soon I hope

  31. Ainsley! Just checking in. Crossword done and I even managed to collect my son from cubs.

    Best one of the week so far.

    If no DT tomorrow I may buy the Daily Star for the pictures.

  32. Ainsley and Little Dave!
    I’m checking in too – also a little late! No children still at home :sad: but long phone call from one of them earlier.
    Crossword done – see previous comments.
    Absolutely loved it – he is, without doubt, my favourite compiler.
    Just finished supper (smoked salmon tart, ‘stovey’ potatoes and salad and the odd glass of wine) and cleared up.
    Back a bit later – where are all the other members of the new club? Asleep perhaps?!!

    1. Hi Kath – good evening. Hopefully they will check in soon. I have so nearly finished and no hints! Feeling very pleased with myself. Just 15a to go. Got all the letters so just waiting for inspiration.

      1. Hmmm – quite a tricky one but ‘work-out-able’ from all the letters and the rest of the clue – have to say a new word for me. Good luck with the inspiration!

    1. Hi Ainsley just popping in before bed but it seems everyone has gone before me, I’ll try to call in a little earlier tomorrow, night all

  33. Goodnight both – also signing off – going to bed soonish to read my book for 1/2 hour or so. Very quiet tonight.

  34. Enjoyed solving this puzzle from Ray T. Nice mix of good clues.
    I liked : 4a, 10a, 15a, 23a, 1d, 9d, 17d & 19d entre autres!

  35. 10a. I was about to make the same point as Deidre – one would expect compiler (Dave T?) to know better!

  36. Thanks Ray T and BD for this – managed all but 4 in the NW corner on the train (quick for me) and then had to resort to hints! Never would have got 10a, but I like it.

    BD – thank you so much for adding in the quick pun. I normally see them, and I did get today’s (er, yesterday’s!) but I wasn’t 100% convinced, so very nice to have confirmation. I hope it’s not too late for you to see this. The After Eight Club’s a great idea, but I really need a Morning After Club… :-)

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