DT 26481 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26481

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26481

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment ***

For those who struggled last week, I think you will find today’s crossword nice and straightforward (somewhere between one or two stars for difficulty I think). We have the usual mixture of anagrams, double definitions, cryptic definitions etc with smooth surface readings. Classic Rufus!

If you are struggling to find the answer from the hints highlight the space between the curly brackets.


1. More than enough to make a graduate dissolute (8)
{BASINFUL} – BA (graduate – Bachelor of Arts) is then followed by a word for wicked to give an overwhelming amount.

6. Made some copies and hastened away (3,3)
{RAN OFF} – Double definition, to print or copy or to steal or take away.

9. Turkish leader about to conclude business (6)
{AGENDA} – A three-letter word for a Turkish civil or military leader is placed around (about) another word for finish is a list of matters for a meeting.

10. Drive from A to B with mini, erratically (8)
{AMBITION} – An anagram (erratically) of ATOB and MINI produces the sort of drive you need if you want to achieve anything.

11. Soldiers roar and sing wildly (8)
{GARRISON} – Another anagram (wildly) this time of ROAR and SING for a body of troops maintained at a particular place.

12. Girl’s pen had broken (6)
{DAPHNE} – Anagram (broken) again of PEN HAD is a girls name.

13. They provide coverage for domestic flights (5,7)
{STAIR CARPETS} – The sort of covering you might put on a flight of steps inside your house.

16. What once was assumed before an engagement (4,2,6)
{SUIT OF ARMOUR} – Something you might have chosen to wear before a fight in the middle ages (assuming you were a knight).

19. Plastered and pebble-dashed? (6)
{STONED} – A slang word for drunk or intoxicated could also be what you might put on external walls along with plaster.

21. Third party insurance for a girl out on a social occasion (8)
{CHAPERON} – This third party is an older person who typically accompanies a young unmarried woman in public.

23. Accumulates shares that have increased in value (6,2)
{STOCKS UP} – To collect a supply of something, could also be what happens if the value of shares improve.

24. Republic is to bring back a king (6)
{ISRAEL} – A Middle Eastern republic is, IS followed by a tragic Shakespearean king reversed (bring back).

25. Regions about to be given charity (6)
{REALMS} – RE (with reference to) followed by an old word for money or goods that are given as charity produces the sort of regions that a King or Queen might rule.

26. Natural source of heat dehydrates various items (8)
{SUNDRIES} – The earth’s star and a word for removing moisture is a collection of miscellaneous objects usually too numerous or too small to be specified.


2. A sort of dog blanket (6)
{AFGHAN} – A breed of a dog, is also the name of a type of blanket that is knitted or crocheted in colourful geometric designs.

3. Private hotel used by monarch (5)
{INNER} – The definition is private (something happening internally). Put a word for a public lodging house serving food and drink and then follow this with the usual abbreviation used to describe the current queen.

4. Signal to employees keeps up the standard (9)
{FLAGSTAFF} – Simply another word for signal, then a word for a group of employees when put together produces a tall pole on which a piece of cloth is flown.

5. Motorist waiting for a chance to pass (7)
{LEARNER} – Is also waiting to get rid of his L plates.

6. Free sailor put inside when violent (5)
{RABID} – Put AB (Able Bodied) inside a word meaning “to free from” is also a word that means frenzied or mad, commonly associated with hydrophobia.

7. Used in correspondence when college set up exam (9)
{NOTEPAPER} – Reverse (set up) the usual private school found in Berkshire, then add a synonym for an exam e.g. a set of written examination questions and you should end up with a word that describes something you would write a letter on.

8. Book subscription too often renewed (8)
{FOOTNOTE} – An anagram (renewed) of TOO OFTEN is a printed annotation that you might find at the bottom of a page.

13. Wicked, and I can’t, alas, reform (9)
{SATANICAL} – An anagram (reform) of I CANT ALAS is a word that means profoundly cruel or evil

14. Deep feeling trouble over an allowance (9)
{ADORATION} – A word for profound love or regard is derived from the common crossword term for trouble or fuss (Much *** About Nothing) which is then placed over a word that describes a fixed allowance of food or provisions etc.

15. Translate ‘blue tits’ for foreign film caption (8)
{SUBTITLE} – An anagram (translate) of BLUE TITS is the sort of printed translation you get for the dialogue of a foreign language film.

17. Unusually precise cooking instructions (7)
{RECIPES} – An anagram (unusually) of PRECISE.

18. Father to watch animated sailor-man (6)
{POPEYE} – This spinach loving cartoon character appeared recently in Toughie 514, An informal word for father and a way of regarding something.

20. Records talk without us (5)
{DISC}S – Remove US from a word that describes speaking with others about something and you have another word for vinyl records.

22. It’s a mistake to hesitate or to become upset, right? (5)
{ERROR} – ER (hesitate), OR (reversed – upset) and R (right).

Quick crossword pun: {melon} + {collie} = {melancholy}

86 comments on “DT 26481

  1. I agree that this was a gentle start to the week from the Monday Magician. The only one that delayed me was 2d but the penny dropped soon enough. Favourite clue was 8d.

    Many thanks to Rufus for the crossword and Libellule for the review.

  2. Middling difficulty I thought, rather than ‘easy’, but very entertaining and there were many witty clues that I enjoyed.

    I took a while on 16a but it made me smile; also 18d, 19a and 21a were not desperately hard but enjoyable with the humour.

    Thank you to Rufus and Libellule.

  3. Good gentle start to week .Ready for much tougher ones later.in week…. I guess !
    Thanks to R & L for the CW & review

  4. Not too hard but quite enjoyable. I was panicking at the beginning, getting the first 7 across answers straight away, luckily things slowed down until I came to the down clues. Liked 16a and 19d.

    1. Not just you – I got stuck in bottom r/h corner with 21a (which I didn’t like) and 18d (which I did like). Other than that it was okay

      Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule

  5. Pretty straightforward stuff today with lots of fun along the way. Nice to have one I could finish even if it didn’t get me out of the CC!

    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule, I needed a few explanations, especially for 2a. Glad the blog was up early, have to go into town and it would be raining, of course.

    1. 2a … 2d?

      Type of dog and type of blanket. No, I didn’t know the blanket either, but I had enough letters in…

  6. Pleasant start to the week and after the weekends offerings I certainly needed it.
    Thanx to compiler and Libellule as usual.

  7. 2* for me. Some good clues needing a bit of pondering. I find it so tricky to get a line of thinking out my head e.g 20d; I kept trying to surround ‘us’. Is this the ageing process or is it Monday fatigue? Thanks for a good quality, easier than last Monday, puzzle. Thanks to Libellule too.

  8. Morning Libelulle or apres midi with you, I must say I didn’t find it as easy as you and would have given it at least a 2* got stuck for a while in the NW corner and the SE, however another smart crossword by Rufus, liked 13a, 16a, though I didn’t get them straight away also 5d and 18d, yet another Shakespeare play that I hadn’t read, that makes at least three in less than a week, well I suppose I have only read two so……… and they were my favourites! I wouldn’t have got out of the CC on this one today but Geoff seems near to doing it :-) a horrible wet day today but not too cold, just off to read all hints, thanks Libelulle

    1. From the ODE:

      Formal: a signature or short piece of writing at the end of a document: he signed the letter and added a subscription.

      1. That “rule” only applies to weekend prize puzzles. During the week, if you don’t want to see any answers, don’t read the comments until after you have finished the puzzle.

      2. Hi UTC thanks for that, it is ok to mention the answer on weekdays it just applies to the prize puzzles at weekends :)

            1. ◦ Big Dave
              Posted February 20, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Permalink | Reply
              I’m really not interested in counting peoples comments – and neither should you be.

              1. I did that check in response to a particular accusation.

                Counting the total number of comments is very easy for me – counting how many on a specific post is much harder.

  9. Good puzzle today done in quick time. Favourites were 21 and 16. Hoping for a sterner test tomorrow.

  10. 1* difficulty for me too – hope this a sign that things will be back to ‘normal’ this week and we won’t get unexpected levels of difficulty later on. Thanks to Rufus for a lovely start to the week – my favourite clues were 13a and 5d – and to Libellule for the review.

  11. Thanks Rufus, your crosswords always get me off to an enjoyable and gentle start to the week. Thanks Libellule for the review.

  12. An enjoyable gentle start to the week. Always look forward to a Rufus! 24a stood out as to-morrow we are off to Landuddno to see Derek Jacobi in King Lear.

  13. Such a relief finally to have a puzzle I could actually do! So thanks ever so much to Rufus and to Libellule for his always entertaining and helpful comments, even though I didn’t need them this time. There were lots of lovely anagrams to get me started, and the only problem I had was with 21a which I’m used to spelling with a final ‘e’.

    Lucky Patsyann to see Jacobi in Lear. I hope you enjoy it. :-)

  14. Lovely crossword for my first ‘proper’ day of half term. The only one I struggled with was 1a – Doh!! – favourites were 13a and 19a. Looking forward to another 4 days of leisurely solving. BTW found yesterday’s very tricky! Still not done despite hints!

  15. Straightforward start to the week – but still enjoyable.

    By the way, crossword number in post title does not match the number of the crossword itself!

  16. I thought this might have been a little bit trickier than a 1* – maybe closer to 2*, for me anyway, if only because I did the right hand side very quickly but got rather held up in the top left hand corner. I was trying to make 1a start with either ‘ABA’ or ‘AMA’ because the clue had ‘A graduate’ – this meant that I couldn’t do 1a or 2d for AGES! Having another dim day I think!!
    No problems other than those two.
    Liked 10 and 26a and 13, 15 and 18d.
    Thoroughly miserable day here in Oxford – cold, grey and wet – but we don’t care as we’re going to Marrakesh tomorrow evening for five days and it’s 28C and sunny over there. :grin:
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

      1. Thanks – I’m sure we will – just NOT entirely sure that it’s the direction to be going in at the moment but we didn’t know that in November ….. !

  17. This was a pleasant start to the week for me – nothing too difficult. I’ve been away for the weekend and I have just completed Saturday’s [26480] and Sunday’s [2576] and I see there were 234 comments posted on Saturday. I have only been on here since the start of this year, and I must say that I find the site extremely useful in trying to understand word play etc and there is always someone, whether it is the reviewer of the day or one of the others who post comments, who is ready to help out if you are stuck, with further hints and tips. So I say a big thank you to BD for setting up this site and also to the regular reviewers, without whose help I would sometimes be at a total loss. May it continue to grow from strength to strength. Thanks also to the setter and Libellule for today’s contributions.

  18. A nice pick-me-up to start the week. It’s a holiday in the US, and perhaps that’s why I’m finally able to weigh in while the comments are still open, despite my 7 time zone handicap. Favorites were 16 & 21.

    P.S. I’ve been hooked on cryptics since a Brit friend introduced me a number of years ago. I usually print about a week at a time, and challenge myself during idle moments or while on trips. The Blog has been great fun, and a big help when I tire of banging my head against hard objects. Thanks to BD and all the rest of you.

  19. Thanks to Rufus for a nice puzzle (16a and 13a raised a chuckle) and Libellule for the notes.

    I only struggled with 21a as I wasn’t aware that the answer could be spelt without an E on the end, and with 1a as it’s a slightly odd word.

    1. My mother always used it when she was fed up with something she’d say ‘I’ve had a basinful of this’ !

        1. Hi Cicero – so what is your Mum’s version of “I’ve had a basinful of ….?” Whenever mine starts a sentence with that I know there is trouble on the way!!

    2. 1a last one in for me and I’d never have got it without the checking letters. Then they gave me the second part of the word and it twigged a memory from my Gran who used the phrase!

  20. slow start in the nw corner, but not too much trouble thereafter. Some smiles along the way. thanks to rufus and libellule

  21. Hi Cicero
    I also thought that it was spelt with an “e”, it was the last one to go in for me and when I put it in my Collins electronic dictionary without the “e” it corrected it to with an “e”. :D

  22. At first glance thought “oops, can’t do this” but got into it and finished after 3 separate sessions, due to other things happening. Like Kath, also got stuck in NW corner but once I’d got 1a the others fell in. Some great clues to-day – favs 1a and 21a and 13a had me scratching my head until I had enough letters in the second word for light to dawn! Nice Xword – thanks to Rufus and Libellule though, for once, I only needed the latter to check! (And will confess that I had a “d” at the end of 26a because I wasn’t pronouncing the correct answer correctly!! Dim, or what?)

  23. Yes, a nice gentle start today, although I to found the SE corner a bit sticky, and 1d as a blanket was new to me. Thanks for the review Libellule.

    1. I read all types of books and have noticed that if someone has a blanket in a story about the USA, they are nearly always referred to as Afghans.

  24. Enjoyed this one too, although nearer 3* for difficulty IMO. 19a didn’t work for me but liked 26a. 1a last one in. Thanks all.

  25. Excellent fare from Rufus as usual. Agree with the 1* rating but I really enjoyed the, albeit fairly quick, solve. 1a held me up for a while and was last in.
    Anyone tried the Rufus in today’s Grauniad? A fair bit trickier IMHO!
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule. Good start to the week!

  26. Hi all. Have been going for half an hour and very stuck on NW & SE corners buy still plugging away. Not finding as easy as some . Any After Eighters out there?

    1. I’m still here and available for hints if you need them but Libellule’s blog is excellent so I’d go there first if you need help!
      Weather here been brill, I’m sat outside in a t-shirt at the moment! Well, and jeans etc of course!

      1. Hi pommers. I’m still going and hopeful I can get there. Where are you? Many miles from shivering Sussex where I am.

        1. Alicante province of Valencia in Spain. Small town called Almoradi. It’s 2210CET now so I may not be here for too much longer – it’s an after 9 club for me!

          1. Pommers, isn’t it too hot in Alicante in the summer? Not jealous at all! Much prefer the cold, refreshing wind from the North Sea! Brrrrr!!!!

            1. Hi Franco
              Late July to August can be a bit fierce but it rarely gets over 40C and we’re only 10km from the coast so it’s not unbearable. Bit of breeze helps a lot and we have aircon if it gets too hot. Mid Dec to end Jan, on the other hand, can be surprisingly cold overnight and our house has no carpets (tiled floors for the summer heat) and no central heating so it can be a bit uncomfortable for a few weeks around Xmas. It’s always a few degrees colder inside that out – great in Summer but a pain in Winter!

  27. Just finished but needed hints to 16a (had no handle on this) 14d, 21a & 24a. Bit disappointing really but apart from 14d I thought these were very difficult. Anyway goodnight all.

  28. After a long break due to work commitments (Dr Cross is even crosser now!) I thoroughly enjoyed todays effort. Favourite clue was 16A.

  29. Yes its nice to back in time from work to actually sit down and enjoy life again although I suspect things will get tougher again as the cuts bite. Roll on retirement in 18 years lol!

  30. Hello to any “After Eighters” still out there – just to say that I AM here this evening but for the next week will be absent – off to Marrakesh for nearly a week. Please allow me back into the AE’s when we are home again in the early part of next week.
    I thought that the crossword today perhaps warranted a bit more than 1* – maybe just me – head full of “will my ancient Mum be OK with my sister looking after her, will my elderly dog and cat be OK with my sister looking after them,what shall I take to Marrakesh, is it clean, can I find it etc, etc”
    Did get VERY stuck in the top left hand corner for quite a while but, in general, quite an easy crossword.
    Hope you all have a good week – doubt that we will see a crossword for a while unless my husband can download it onto his iphone.

  31. Agree quite a gentle puzzle except for 2d and 21a. Must admit didn’t know —— was a blanket, but guessed it from the frame. As for 21a, just never got on the right wavelength and only got it by trying different letters till the penny dropped. Would never have solved it without the full frame.

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