DT 26487 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26487

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26487

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Its bright and sunny here in the Touraine, so I was up nice and early to do the crossword and blog. I rapidly managed to fill the grid, only to leave a small hole in the top right hand corner. The answers to most of these clues also went in pretty quickly, except 9a, after some head scratching I reached for the dictionary. Thats a definition of form, that I was not aware of. Otherwise I enjoyed what is a typical Rufus crossword.


The answers are between the curly brackets, all you have to do is highlight them, if the hints don’t help.


1. Weapon launcher in Navy port to be due for modification (7,4)
{TORPEDO TUBE} – An anagram (for modification) of PORT TO BE DUE describes the type of weapon launcher you might find on a submarine.

9. Animal was in form when very young (4)
{HARE} – The last clue I put in, and I had to look this up. This animal “does not bear their young below ground in a burrow as do other leporids, but rather in a shallow depression or flattened nest of grass called a form”.

10. Trouble raising cost when sending to Coventry (11)
{OSTRACISING} – An anagram (trouble) of RAISING COST is the act of excluding someone from a group.

11. He will shortly create uproar (4)
{HELL} – Shorten HE WILL to get a noisy disturbance.

14. Poet so human in composition (7)
{HOUSMAN} – An anagram (in composition) of SO HUMAN produces an English poet famous for writing A Shropshire Lad.

16. Musical effect involving quavers? (7)
{TREMOLO} – A musical term – “an effect produced by the rapid repetition of a single tone or rapid alternation of two tones”. Quaver here is not a musical note, but is used in the sense of quivering or shaking.

17. They falsify their accounts (5)
{LIARS} – Somebody who tells tales, rather than a corrupt bookkeeper.

18. State of mind caused by a turn of fate (4)
{MOOD} – Reverse (turn) a word that means inevitable destruction or ruin to get another word for a person’s feelings at a particular time.

19. Neglect to ring a man back (4)
{OMIT} – O (ring) followed by a mans name (reversed) (Sir Berners-Lee perhaps?) for a word that means to neglect to do or include.

20. Get rid of undergrowth (5)
{SCRUB} – To remove something by rubbing hard, is also vegetation consisting of trees, bushes, and other plants for example.

22. Chemical container returned with speed (7)
{NITRATE} – Reverse (returned) another word for a can, and then add another word for a relative speed to get a chemical often associated with fertiliser.

23. Admitted being deceived? (5,2)
{TAKEN IN} – Granted admittance, or swindled:

24. Rock music you can dance to (4)
{REEL} – Another double definition, to stagger or lurch, or a dance of Scottish origin.

28. Scheme that gives a little professional status (11)
{PROPOSITION} – PRO (little professional) followed by a synonym for status, for example where you are located in society, is also a suggested plan.

29. After tea make a half century or a duck (4)
{TEAL} – add L (Roman numeral for 50) onto TEA to get a type of duck.

30. Working is a matter of choice — about time! (11)
{OPERATIONAL} – A word that means left to choice, is placed around ERA (time) for something that is in working order and ready to use.


2. This oven has ring outside for roasting (4)
{OAST} – Remove the word RING from roasting to get a kiln used for drying hops.

3. Left or right in vessel (4)
{PORT} – The left hand side of a ship, can also be constructed by putting R (right) inside a domestic container.

4. Only a fraction may be claimed (7)
{DECIMAL} – An anagram (may be) of CLAIMED is also a proper fraction whose denominator is a power of ten.

5. Try at an international match (4)
{TEST} – Double definition, to ascertain something, or an international cricket or rugby match.

6. Flags for CND supporters? (7)
{BANNERS} – People who are trying to prohibit something may also be types of flags or ensigns.

7. Receive an order to assume control (4,7)
{TAKE COMMAND} – Receiving an instruction to do something or acquiring authority.

8. Quite satisfied with what spring holds? (4,7)
{WELL CONTENT} – If you were quietly happy, it might also describe what a source of water might hold.

12. Being under age, they won’t win the vote (3,8)
{THE MINORITY} – Double definition, people who have not yet reached the legal age, or the smaller figure in a number of two parts.

13. Unusual order to stand aside (3,2,3,3)
{OUT OF THE WAY} – Something remarkable or strange, or being in a position so as not to obstruct something or someone.

15. Annie celebrates having this other girl in the family (5)
{NIECE} – A hidden word between Annie and celebrates is a daughter of one’s sister or brother.

16. It has been known to be tickled to death (5)
{TROUT} – How you might catch a certain type of fish.

20. The rest of the foot in the cavalry (7)
{STIRRUP} – A ring that supports a riders foot.

21. Provide supervision for a small charge (4-3)
{BABY-SIT} – To look after someone else’s children…

25. Down-at-heel wear for a rider (4)
{SPUR} – Just like 20d, another piece of equipment a horse rider might be using. This one is found on the heel of a riders boot.

26. Man races in circles (4)
{OTTO} – Put the abbreviation for the famous motorbike races on the Isle of Man between two O’s (circles) for a German name.

27. The philosophy of Goya, perhaps (4)
{YOGA} – An anagram (perhaps) of GOYA.

The Quick crossword pun: {backed} + {eerier} = {bacteria}

62 comments on “DT 26487

  1. Hello Libelulle, nice to get back to normal after yesterdays crossword, thanks for the hints because I had babe in for 9a, thinking animal and young, and not knowing that the nest of a hare was a form! I also had sway in for 24a! which didn’t help at all with 12d! fav clues 6d and 8d, a lovely sunny day here since early this morning, will it last though, thanks for the hints Libelulle and of course Rufus once again for restoring normality :)

    1. It was sunny and warm too here in the Languedoc but it has started to cloud over now. I’m finding this crossword a little difficult so far but I’m persevering

  2. I looked up ‘form’ to get the answer to 9a too. Thought 16a was barely cryptic, and took a long time to get 21d. Couldn’t get 13d for ages either, but it is quite straightforward once ‘seen’. By the way, I think we’ve seen the pun in the quickie before! Thanks to Libellule and setter.

  3. Morning all. Well under a two-stopper today. I did not have any problems with 9a and it all went in very smoothly. As you say a typical Rufus to ease yourself into the week. Favourite clue was 1a. Many thanks to Rufus for the crossword and to Libellule for the review.

    Rufus fans can feast on his Guardian puzzle today which is a bit more of a challenge.

  4. Nice gentle start to the week, best clue for me was 22a (an oldie but goodie), thought 9a was a little too obscure forcing a lookup.

  5. 9a last in for me too. I could only think of hare and babe to fit, and hare seemed most likely – but I didn’t understand why until reading the hint.
    Thanks to Libellule and setter.

  6. Ebjoying this very much–just right for a sunny Monday morning!

    Liked 9a.

    The plural of 16a was my favourite pop group in the 1960s! If I remember rightly, their song about golden silence was No 1 for ages, and the record cost me about 7 shillings and sixpence (about 40 pence in today’s money!

  7. No problems at all today. Had to have a double take at 9a but having got 7d and 8d, seemed pretty obvious. Nice start to the week – nearly finished a whole cup of coffee finishing it. lol

  8. What a welcome relief that was after yesterdays quiz. Remembered the Animals page in ‘The Mine’ so solved 9a quite quickly , thanx for that BD. Didn’t know the poet in 14a but worked it out using letters from down clues. Best clue for me was 12d .Very enjoyable exercise today so thank you to Rufus and to Libelulle for the review.

  9. Nice start to the week after yesterday’s aberration . I notice nobody owned up to setting it. For me 9 was the best clue as I also had to look fxxx [note, Mary] up. All the rest fell into place and I liked 1 4 6 8 12 14 16. Didn’t the cricket team do well?

            1. I like the way Arsenal play and one of my sons and one grandson support them, so as long as they’re not playing Liverpool! :)

  10. 9a a new one on me too, and therefore the last to be entered. 20a shows a bit of Rufus’s Naval background, methinks, where to “scrub round” a duty or plan means not doing it. Thanks for a nice gentle start to the new week – and almost a new month, already!

  11. Very gentle start to the week, perhaps a shade too gentle but quite enjoyable nevertheless. Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

  12. A gentle start of the week indeed… Quite enjoyable.

    Like many others, had to check my zoological nous for 9a. Otherwise a clear run.

    Instead of usual acknowledgement of thanks:

    Cryptic lullabies unfurled, one keeping us awake, the other allowing us to sleep soundly? (5,3,9)

  13. 1a was seeable very quickly, then I wrote it in and saw all the four-letter words … I managed some of them but the enjoyment factor dropped quite quickly and I didn’t finish it.

    Thanks for review.

      1. No sunshine here and have had showers. Need to go out and get new cost-a-fortune specs adjusted, but won’t be walking.

  14. I picked up the paper when I had to restart my laptop and I got the message ‘Mailbox not shut down properly – checking’ (or similar) and advising me it would take 4 minutes. I finished the crossword before Outlook reopened but there agian, Microsoft minutes are unlike any other unit of time measurement!
    A gentle start to the week. Thanks to Rufus and to Libelulle for the review

    1. “How many Microsoft engineers does it take to change a lightbulb?”

      None. Microsoft has redefined darkness as the new standard.

  15. Good Start to week ,several nice clues & got “form” Ok
    Unfortunately still dull & rainy up here in Northumberland.today.
    thanks to all

  16. Now for some Hot homemade leek & potato Soup to warm up myself & Hubby !
    After his strenuous weekend TV Rugby Watching hes stressed out poor dear!!
    he should have tried yesterdays CW…no chance. just use him for the Sports Clues

  17. Its very cold and drizzly and generally horrible here in East Kent this morning but that didn’t put me off solving this lovely Rufus in very quick time. I actually knew 9a having had the pleasure of seeing the animal in one in a field near us last year.

    If anyone not in sunnier climes so stuck indoors wants more puzzles to do, the Guardian Rufus, the FT and the Times are all eminently doable today.

      1. Don’t be afraid of those four-letter lights, Geoff. They are the solver’s friend. The definition part of the clue is nearly always at the start or at the end, and you’re just looking for a four-letter synonym. Sometimes the rest of the clue will give you a letter or two, and that makes it easier.

        Stick with it, check out the blog, and the CC will soon be a distant memory.

  18. I had to come here to find the answer to 9a. I liked 21d best. I did not think much of 16a or 27d.

  19. 9a was last in for me too and I needed help to find it. It probably should have gone in tomorrow — it being the first of March. Also made life difficult for myself by putting “shave” for 20a, but on the whole I worked my way through this very satisfactorily. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule. I wish it was sunny here!

  20. A nice one to wind up the month and start the week, but had to guess at 9a until confirmed by Libellule with a new-to-me definition of form. Thanks for the hint. Now for that first cup of coffee…

  21. Thanks ,Rufus, for an enjoyable and eminently solvable start to the week. Thanks also for introducing me to
    the interesting fact about hares being born in ‘forms’ – it all adds to the sum fo knowledge!!
    Bright start to the day here in Jersey but the clouds rolled in mid-morning with occasional drizzle but the challenge of four DT crosswords duly solved and completed brought a few rays of sunshine despite
    the weather.

  22. Well, maybe it’s because I’m a country girl, but 9a was first in for me!! Didn’t much like 11a – don’t think uproar is usually defined as that place we cosign our enemies to, is it? A nice and relatively easy start to the week, finished over breakfast for a change – have since played 9 holes of golf, which was pretty wet, muddy and fairly unpleasant but was at least fresh air and exercise! Thanks to setter and hinter.

      1. Also add
        play (merry) hell with – throw into confusion and disorder
        and raise hell – to create a noisy disturbance

  23. Got through most of this in pretty quick time, but resorted to help on the last few. Along with many others, I’d never heard of 9a, but I did get all the other FLCs. :-) Favourties were 29a, 20d and 21d. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    It’s just seriously clouded over in London – doesn’t bode well for the journey home! :-(

  24. I have done it, with the help of your hint for 22a EXCEPT for 8d. I’ve got all the letters in and the first word, but for the life of me I can’t think of the second word. HELP!!!!!

  25. Finished mostly on the train home.
    9a and 26d last to go in!
    There is something about the 4 letter clues I have trouble with.

    Just received my delivery of new Chambers! How decadent!

  26. Apart from 9a, this is the first one I have done without using the hints – although I did use the books. Finally feel like I am getting somewhere!

    I looked up Libellule too – French for dragonfly (I got an “E” at O level – God bless the Comprehensive system), but did you take your name from a cartoon detective from a Belgian comic, similar to Tintin?

    Regardless, many thanks to Libellule for the hints and to Rufus for the puzzle.

    1. Shrike,
      I took the nom de plume of Libellule, because there is a nature reserve not too far away from where I live, that is well worth visiting because it is home to a large number of dragonflies. Simple as that really.

  27. Hello After Eighters. Bit late this evening – first day back at work after a week off and lots to do. This cw not progressing that well – done about a third and soldiering on.

  28. The usual gentle start to the week from Roger.
    Nothing special to say – I did like 16d as I used to try that when I lived in the Loch Lomond area!
    How cold the water used to be – couldn’t swim there now at my age!

  29. What a great crossword- loved lots of the clues but favourites were 20d & 21d. 9a only went in after BD’s help but it’s a stunner.

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