DT 26484 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26484

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26484

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

I hadn’t expected another Ray T puzzle as we had one last week – all the usual signs are there, so it must be him. For me, the best challenge of the week – and not a single answer of less than five letters!

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    One with lager, drunk here (8,4)
{WATERING HOLE} – an anagram (drunk) of ONE WITH LAGER gives somewhere that lager may be drunk

8a    Change course holding river route (5)
{TRACK} – put a word meaning to change the course of a ship by shifting the position of the sails around R(iver) to get a route or path

9a    Liberal flesh with Sun, I fancy (9)
{UNSELFISH} – a word meaning liberal or generous is an anagram (fancy) of FLESH SUN I

11a    Wonders, seeing secretary bird with old males caged (9)
{PHENOMENA} – these wonders or spectacles are constructed by putting a secretary (2) around (caged) a bird, O(ld) and some males

12a    Polish workers found in borders of England (5)
{EMEND} – a word meaning to polish or improve is created by putting some workers inside the outside letters (borders) of E(nglan)D

13a    Depressing following fellow’s coming out (9)
{FLOWERING} – put a word meaning depressing or sinking after F(ellow) to get a word meaning coming out or blossoming

16a    ‘Grandad’ perhaps, vintage record? (5)
{OLDIE} – a double definition

ARVE Error: need id and provider

18a    Crack from Conservative before his opposition (5)
{CLEFT} – this crack or fissure is a charade of C(onservative) and the general term for Socialists

19a    ‘Small step’ before second in Apollo 11? (9)
{SPACESHIP} – this charade of S(mall), a step, S(econd) and in or popular leads to something of which Apollo 11 is an example – the “definition by example” is indicated by the question mark

20a    Obtain diamond holding ‘Jewel in the Crown’ (5)
{INDIA} – hidden inside (holding) the first two words of the clue is the country that used to be described as the Jewel in the Crown of the British Empire

22a    Rest cue around centre of black (9)
{REMAINDER} – the rest or residue is derived by putting a cue or prompt around the middle letter of blAck

25a    Food fanatic keeping fit, even empty (9)
{NUTRIMENT} – this food is constructed by putting a fanatic (3) around a word meaning fit or slender and EN (EveN empty)

26a    Here Americans lost, almost massacred outright initially (5)
{ALAMO} – the initial letters of the centre five words of the clue give the site of the battle in which Davy Crocket and Jim Bowie, among others, lost their lives

27a    First clue from a setter, not so tricky (7,5)
{ROSETTA STONE} – a phrase meaning a first clue, based on the name of the tablet, found in Egypt in 1799, which carried the same inscription in hieroglyphics and demotic script and also in Greek and thus enabled a beginning to be made in deciphering hieroglyphics is an anagram (tricky) of A SETTER NOT SO


1d           Seen in corsets, horny stuff! (9)
{WHALEBONE} – a double definition – this elastic horny substance which grows in a series of thin parallel plates in the upper jaw of some whales is used as stays in corsets

2d           Japanese city moving up to capital (5)
{TOKYO} – start with a Japanese city, famous for an agreement aimed at fighting global warming, and move the letters TO from the end to the beginning (moving up, in a down clue) to get the capital off the same country

3d           Profligate imbibing grand wine (5)
{ROUGE} – put this profligate or libertine around G(rand) to get another name for red wine

4d           Feeling lost again, apart (9)
{NOSTALGIA} – this feeling is a yearning for the past and is an anagram (apart) of LOST AGAIN,

5d           Dig pit first around end of cheese plant (9)
{HELLEBORE} – one of the last to go in for me – a word meaning to dig, as in to dig an oil well, is preceded by a pit or abyss and the two are separated by E (end of cheesE) to get a plant of the buttercup family

6d           River one’s found in legends (5)
{LOIRE} – this French river is created by putting I (one) inside legends or a body of traditions, typically passed from person to person by word of mouth

7d           Good man leading English party producing numbness (12)
{STUPEFACTION} – a charade of the usual abbreviation for a good man (2), a word meaning leading or in front (2), E(nglish) and a party or group gives a noun meaning numbness

10d         Bird’s hard side, then fight and argue (5,7)
{HEDGE SPARROW} – this small bird is a charade of H(ard), a side, and verbs meaning to fight and to argue

14d         Send home former wife, deal with it inside (9)
{EXTRADITE} – this word meaning to forcibly send home is derived from a former wife and a verb meaning to deal placed around around IT

15d         Rioter gets run in in a riot (9)
{INSURGENT} – this rioter or rebel is a cunning anagram (in a riot) of GETS RUN IN

17d         Dry with heated elements getting dry (9)
{DEHYDRATE} – an anagram (elements) of DRY HEATED gives a word meaning to dry out – I was not impressed by elements as an anagram indicator

21d         As before, single abstainer in party (5)
{DITTO} – a word meaning as before or the same thing again is constructed by putting I (single) and someone who abstains from alcohol (2) inside a party

23d         Its teaching can be applied (5)
{MATHS} – the two main branches of this subject taught at school are pure and applied

24d         Compiler’s past final stage of development (5)
{IMAGO} – put “compiler is” into the first person (1’1) and add a word meaning the past to get the final stage of development of a winged insect

I really enjoyed this one!

The Quick crossword pun: {kink} + {halve} + {read} = {King Alfred}

62 comments on “DT 26484

  1. Morning Dave, thought some of this deserved to be in a toughie today! managed to finish it without the hints but plenty of book help etc. 3 clues I liked were 10d, 18a, 21d, off to read the hints now because I don’t understand where the ‘hip’ in 19a comes from

  2. Thoroughly enjoyable, thanks Ray T and BD, liked especially 19a 20a 27a 5d ………………….etc they were all good

  3. Most challenging puzzle of the last few weeks. I really enjoyed this one, but must admit to begin a bit concerned to begin with – 2 across answers followed by 3 downs (plus 2 possible downs which turned out to be correct). Took a lot of working out with 5d being the last one in. Can’t really say that there were any favourite clues as I thought they were all excellent. Got to be a 4* at least

  4. Definately the hardest this week for me. Re: 5d, have guessed the answer by the across letters but don’t understand how it all fits, look forward to the down hints from BD. Best clues for me are 7d and 10d.
    Thanx to Compiler and BD.

    Not impressed with the pun in the Quickie.

    1. hi Wayne, 5d a 4 letter word for ‘dig’ with a 4 letter word for ‘pit’ first with end of cheese in the middle to give you a plant

      1. Hi Mary, didn’t associate ‘pit’ with the 1st 4 letter word, just looked it up and yes it’s an old use. Thank you.

    2. I agree about the pun – a bit of a stretch, to say the least. Wouldn’t have got it without help, so thanks Big Dave.

  5. Beautiful clues in this RayT offering!
    Western sides posed few problems but east was trickier.
    19a, a jewel of a surface.
    27a with very good fodder

    Difficulty: ***, enjoyment ****

    Thanks to setter and blogger!

  6. I wasn’t on the lookout for RayT but agree it could well be him after being prompted to check. In any case I thought this was a great puzzle with a bit of difficulty on the East to North-east area.
    I won’t give a favourite but will state my preference for Anax’s clue for 1a – it was on the DIY COW previously:

    Where to find a barmaid – one with large bust (8,4)

    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the review.

    1. LOL @ Anax’ clue – that is fantastic!

      I actually clued the same phrase recently as “Oasis in terrible rage with Noel (8,4)”, but that one is much better.

  7. Definitely the ‘hardest’ of the week so far – I will even admit to Tippex in the SE corner. Thanks to Ray for an excellent challenge and to BD for the hints.

    The Toughie is the toughest one this week so far too. Tippex and perservation and Gnome’s Law were all required.

  8. Knew it must be a Ray T, as always with his I totally failed to even start it! I do so dislike his puzzles but then thats only my opinion.

  9. Another enjoyable slog and got there unaided eventually. A new plant to me. Favourite 19a. I took the last letter as being second from Apollo and only sussed the reality by reverse engineering. Good clues throughout but took me twice as long as usual.

  10. Thoroughly enjoyed this one sitting outside in the sunshine for a change. Quite challenging. Now for the Toughie!

  11. Excellent stuff so thanks RayT.
    Liked 1a best as that’s where I’m off to soon to drink some lager!
    Agree with others that this is the hardest so far this week but enjoyable nonetheless.
    Thanks for the hints BD even though not needed but I must admit Pommette got 1d before me!

  12. Agree with CrypticSue that this was the hardest of the week so far – nice to have a bit more of a workout. Took a while for the flower to come to mind and I didn’t know that usage for 27a, although I probably should have – just thought it was a thing, but it makes perfect sense. Thanks to setter and BD.

    The sun’s out in central London, too. Shame I’m stuck in an office… :-(

    1. I know 27a as a language learning method, so I´ve learned today where the name came from. Education is a wonderful thing.

    2. Without wishing to cause upset, I just thought I would report that its 13 deg in East Kent, the sun is out, the skylarks are singing and it was so warm on my walk that I had to take my fleece off . More of the same please :)

    3. 15 degrees today, mixed sun and drizzle – Iris Reticulata and Crocus are well out… and doing well.

  13. I enjoyed this very much. It was one of those puzzles that started off slowly and then bit by bit everything fell into place. I took a while to find 1a, but the down words helped. There were plenty of good clues, so it’s hard to say a favourite, but I’d vote for 19a and 10d. Last in was 24d, which is a word I can never remember. :-)

  14. I didn´t find this too difficult, despite only getting one across answer in the first time through. I had quite a few ah hah moments, which are always satisfying.

  15. Extremely enjoyable puzzle.

    By rights, there should have been a picture of Clive Dunn at 16A, though…

    Many thanks to setter and BD.

  16. As soon as I saw !d I thought RayT and I have no doubt it is his. Brilliant puzzle with many fine clues with 1a 1d 7 and 27 being best. Beam me up.

  17. I got 20 answers before heading into town this morning, but didn’t get any further. A bit beyond me today, even if I hadn’t had that delicious pint of Old Peculiar at lunchtime …

    Enjoyed what I could do, thanks to Ray T and BD.

  18. Another lovely CW – finished late as the weather was so lovely I had to get into the garden! Thanks BD for your explanation of the hip in 19a and the all of 27a – was absolutely mystified as to why the answer should be this, though it obviously was from the anagram – well, well!! Favs 1d, 11a, 21d amongst others and no 4 letter word :-) . Many thanks RayT

  19. I thoroughly enjoyed solving this puzzle – many thanks Ray!
    The very best clues for me : 27a & 10d.

    Fish and chips for me tonight – grilled seawolf (Iceland) with frites cooked in sunflower oil to be washed down with Menetou-Salon blanc.


  20. Not in today’s but my friend sent me this…

    Lower or upper garment (6)

    Any thoughts? My initial response was Garter with lower or upper indicating an order. Not right in this case though.

    Help appreciated

      1. Thank you! A little moo cryptic for me! Apologies!!
        This could have cropped up in the Gaunriad as I believe he subscribes to this puzzle.

        Many thanks

      1. Sorry, remember now! It was J’umper with a hole’ and something else to give a skipping rope – in the Toughie! Can’t remember the clue exactly but it was unfair to me as it equied US knowledge!

        1. It was yesterday, pommers and I blogged it!
          As you say nothing to do with this clue:

          17d Sweater with hole near bottom? Work attire, ultimately, that’s for skipper in US (4,4)
          It was defined as a US word too!

      2. Pommers, don’t like to be picky but you’ve misspelled “Grauniad”.

        Misspelled or misspelt?

        1. What else is there to do with Gnuariad? No idea about the mis-wotsit! Either would do for me but Chambers will put us right!

          Gnomey, yes I remember now but I’d never heard the term ,US or not, but it was clear once the clue was unravelled. And you’re right about it being fair in giving the US reference but you still have to speak American to understand!

  21. Had me on the run for a while, but ever so slowly converged with more than a few groans along the way. Definitely like Anax’s clue for 1a!! Thanks for that reference, gnomethang.

  22. Thanks again to BD for the breakdown, and to all who took the time to post comments. Glad that most of you enjoyed it…

    Ray T

    1. Realy good Ray, not imposible but made me and Pommette use the grey cells! Took longer than average but it was doable – a perfect standard for us!
      Thanks again.

  23. Managed this unaided today – apart from the plant in 5d – less plants, please!

    Also, missed the wordplay in the “spaceship” clue – “in” = “hip” – thanks BD.

    Favourite was 1a – until I saw the alternative clue by Anax (pointed out by gnomethang at #6 above). :grin:

  24. Hello After Eighters. Checking in at the right time today – Wayne & pommers take note! I am in rainy Cardiff today at the Outlaws. Just picked up the paper and can see I am going to struggle – see you later

    1. Time noted!
      Weather here 22C and not a cloud in the sky! Well that was this pm – it’s gone dark and a bit chilly now.

      1. Thanks for the info pommers – just a few months to wait before the balmy evenings arrive in Blighty

    2. Good evening Ainsley, time noted. Not a fair swap i.e Cardiff for Sussex. Weather along south coast was beautiful today. How’s the crossword going ?

  25. Actually finished but needed hint for 7d and help from other half for 6d ( doh!) & 5d. Another enjoyable adventure today just a shame I coudn’t get 7d.

  26. You’re not alone Barrie – I DID finish it in the end but only with an enormous amount of help from the hints. The clues I solved solo you could count on one hand. Thought it very difficult and, like Alison, did not know that usage for 27a. Still, you learn something every day! I did get 5d “on my own” but only after I had several letters in and because, probably, they are just coming out in my garden, but don’t like “dig” for the word to find an oil well – think that’s stretching things a bit! But then I’m not a Cryptic Compiler!

  27. Hi Big Dave,

    I agree with you that this was the best challenge of the week. It took me ages to complete but when I did finish it (without the hints) I had a real sense of satisfaction.

    Thanks very much to The Master – Ray T – fantastic puzzle.

    Will Ray T be setting every Thursday from now on? I hope this is the case as it would be great to have a puzzle like this every Thursday.

  28. To my shame, once I’d seen 1d, I was looking forward to Big Dave’s picture! Fantastic xword today, giving great sense of satisfaction on completion. Thanks to all.

    1. Coincidentally, 18A in today’s Times could have given rise to a similar picture:

      My fixed training route that gives me a shapely figure! (8)

  29. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle, but my goodness it took me ages to finish it! Struggled with 1a and 8a as I’d put a different Japanese city in 2d due to not understanding the clue properly.

    Thanks to the setter and BD, although I’m pleased to say that the only hints I needed to day were provided by my lovely wife who reminded me what corsets are made from.

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