DT 26499 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26499

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26499

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Usual Monday morning magic. Liked 7d and 13d a lot – not too sure about 23a though.

If the hints do not provide enough help, just highlight the answer between the curly brackets.

1. They made a bolt for it (8)
{CROSSBOW} – A weapon that fires a particular type of arrow or quarrel.

6. Cover story with article inside (6)
{CANOPY} – A cover typically of cloth could also be the source material for journalism with AN (article) inside.

9. No notice is required should you wish to do it (6)
{IGNORE} – To refuse to pay attention to or disregard.

10. A split personality? (8)
{DIVORCEE} – Someone who has split from their husband or wife.

11. New tutor accepted back study and started work (6,2)
{TURNED TO} – An anagram (new) of TUTOR around (accepted) a three letter word for a study that is then reversed (back) is a phrase that means to begin to attend to or work at something.

12. Desire a new T-shirt (6)
{THIRST} – An anagram (new) of TSHIRT.

13. The strain of conviviality? (8,4)
{DRINKING SONG} – Strain in this case is referring to a melody, or a tune, so this might be the sort of tune that is sung after a game of rugby whilst in the bar.

16. You won’t want to, if your remarks are in bad taste! (3,4,5)
{EAT ONES WORDS} – A gentle cryptic reference to why your mother would threaten to wash your mouth out with soap if you swore. Does the switching from “you” in the clue to “one” in the answer work for you?

19. Pat is anxious, starting school (6)
{CARESS} – The definition is pat, or to stroke gently, take a word meaning to have concerns and then add the first letter (starting) of school.

21. Almost a hit with the girl next door (4,4)
{NEAR MISS} – Something that fails by a narrow margin, could also be a young lady who is close by.

23. Missile launcher fitted to aircraft carriers (8)
{CATAPULT} – Is this cryptic? I assume this is meant to be a double definition, A machine for throwing missiles, is also the device that provides additional thrust to allow an aircraft to take off from a ship.

24. Absolutely denied involvement (6)
{INDEED} – An anagram (involvement) of DENIED produces a word that means without a doubt or certainly.

25. Kept going — or didn’t (6)
{STAYED} – Double definition.

26. Instrument on ship becomes redundant (8)
{NEEDLESS} – An instrument used for sewing, followed by the abbreviation for a steamship.


2. Soldier has complaint for stew that’s highly seasoned (6)
{RAGOUT} – RA (Royal Artillery) and a disease that is characterised by the painful inflammation of the big toe and foot is also a tasty stew with vegetables.

3. Demonstrated a way to proceed in opposite directions (5)
{SHOWN} – A manner or method of doing something is placed inside S (South) and N (North).

4. About to enter poor trade? May end up on this (9)
{BREADLINE} – RE (about – in reference to) is placed inside BAD (poor) and is then followed by LINE (trade) is a queue of people waiting for free food.

5. She and I’d join together in matrimony (7)
{WEDLOCK} – WE’D (She and I’d) plus a word that means fastened together is also the state of being married.

6. Want a partner for an animal practice? (5)
{COVET} – A prefix that indicates partnership, and an animal “doctor”, when combined together could be a word that means to wish, long, or crave for something.

7. He saw himself as winning on the pools (9)
{NARCISSUS} – I liked this clue. You need the name of a person from Greek mythology, who was renowned for his beauty. As a divine punishment he fell in love with his own reflection in a pool, and then wasted away to death.

8. Agreeable countryman about fifty (8)
{PLEASANT} – A word for a rustic who lives in the country is placed around L (the Roman numeral for fifty) gives you a synonym of agreeable or nice.

13. Animal roamed around in arid setting (9)
{DROMEDARY} – Superb surface reading. An anagram (around) of ROAMED is placed inside DRY (arid setting) to get a camel with one hump.

14. I rant and rave about account (9)
{NARRATIVE} – An anagram of I RANT and RAVE is also a report or a story.

15. Downpour makes it hard to see (8)
{CATARACT} – Double definition, A large deluge is also a partial or total opacity of the crystalline lens of the eye.

17. Wartime leader gains weight (7)
{WINSTON} – A synonym for succeeds, is then followed by a unit of weight equal to 2240 pounds.

18. Bloomers made by teachers losing their head (6)
{ASTERS} – Remove the first letter (losing their head) M from another word for teachers and you have white, blue, purple, or pink daisy-like flowers.

20. Small party in southern courtyard (5)
{SQUAD} – S (southern) plus the abbreviation for a rectangular area surrounded on all four sides by buildings is also typically the smallest tactical unit of military personnel.

22. The perfect fashion student (5)
{MODEL} – A word for the current fashion or style is followed by L (student) is something that is worthy of imitation.

The Quick crossword pun: {shandy} + {leer} = {chandelier}

63 comments on “DT 26499

  1. A nice crossword to start the week, which I found slightly easier for a Monday.
    Last one in – 9a; Favourite clue – 7d.

    Thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule for the review.

  2. I would certainly agree with 13d and in particular the splendid 7d as favourites. 23a wasn’t the greatest clue and all in all I found this a bit harder than the usual Monday. I completed from the bottom up and enjoyed every minute.
    Thanks to Libellule and Rufus.
    I assuming it is gloomy in Wales, Mary as it is very sunny 30 miles away from crypticsue!

    1. Hi Gnomey, no it is quite nice at the moment here, sunny with white clouds :) Sue and I are sharing the sunshine this week

  3. Got going quite quickly on this, then came to a crahing halt with the top left corner. I was thrown by 1a – I knew the answer must be right, but still can’t see the justification for it, even with the hint! Any ideas anybody? Liked 13d, by the way.

    1. Toadson,
      Its a cryptic def, you are supposed to think about people running away rather than a weapon.

      1. Thanks to you both. I can see the misdirection (at first thought of ‘escapees’ etc). I knew about the bolt (does anyone remember ‘Bernie the bolt’?) but still don’t quite get this one …

        1. I’m with you on this one toadson, crossbow does not define people running away, that is if the definition is ‘they’, whichever way I look at it it doesn’t work for me

    2. I think that the clue is rubbish and, although the answer is obvious, the meaning is unclear

        1. 4a – Poor = Bad. Really.
          I have not enjoyed this crossword at all and will, therefore, stop doing it

          1. Collywobbles – what’s the saying “One Swallow / Spring”. I really think you should perservate with this one, as there are some very nice clues to balance one or 2 weaker examples. If you’ve ever tried to create a crossword (I did once, and it was Pants) you must know that it’s not as easy as it looks. We should allow our setters the odd aberation.

            1. Thanks for the support Diggers, I’ll try to persevere. I on’t know who the setter is bugt I do feel that it is not a very enjoyable Crossword

              1. Normally Rufus on a Monday Collywobs, I really like Rufus crosswords as a rule although there are a few I really don’t like today there are others that are brilliant as Digby says :)

                1. That’s right Mary. I usually enjoy Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays but todays’ ‘ugh’. It’s not the finishing of them, although that is important, it is whether one enjoys doing them

              2. On this blog we tend to say “perservate”, not “persevere” ;-)

                Perservation is a special type of staying power which allows for a pleasant interaction with the setters, some of whom are blog readers and commenters.

                The setters do take our criticism into account. Digby is right: try it once yourself…

  4. Nice start to the week. Liked 7d, 10 a. Also left with 9a for a while. Slight reservation about 23a but the missile launcher bit did throw me for a while.
    1a made me think first of people running, as no doubt intended before I considered nuts and bolts, bolts of cloth and bolts for…. ahh.

      1. don’t think so toadson, I feel the same as you – who are ‘they’ they didn’t make the bolt for the crossbow! A crossbow isn’t ‘making a bolt for it’ so for me it doesn’t work, I think it is meant to be an all in one cryptic clue but I personally don’t think it quite works, but who am I to question a Maestro!

        1. That’s what I was thinking – who the hell are they?? – but began to wonder! Perhaps it doesn’t do to take these things too literally…

        2. “They” just means “people in general”, as in the sentence “They didn’t have TV before the war”.

            1. I suppose if the clue had read ‘at one time people made a bolt for this’ or something similar, that is the idea here. Still don’t like it though, Mary.

          1. Ok – I see that now. Just didn’t work for me. Thanks to the setter and Libellule, by the way.

  5. Morning Libelulle, lots of clues I liked today 7d, 14d, 9a, 13d, 21a and more fav I think 7d, however didn’t like 1a or 16a, as you say, ‘one’ doesn’t work for me, should be ‘your’, however another good one from Rufus but I did get stuck on some in the top left corner so I think a 3* all round for me today :)

  6. Must be Monday again. Nice start to the week, 7d and 10a made me think a bit, liked 13d and 1a.

  7. Really good start to week No real problems & liked a number of clues as mentioned already.
    Very frosty & misty this Morning in wild Northumberland ,but now after good Coffee ,its bright sunshine burning it off the Hills. Thanks to all

  8. A nice start for me too. All done and dusted , including the sudokus, so off on my bike to enjoy the sunshine. I DON’T understand the wordplay of 1a either so I’m happy to join the confused dot com club!. Thanks anyway setter and Libellule.

  9. Don’t know why, but I didn’t enjoy this one, maybe too many double/cryptic definitions. Got about 2/3 in with a lot of help before needing hints.

  10. I’m surprised 1a didn’t please everyone. “They made a bolt for it”, is the active voice equivalent of the the passive voice statement: “A bolt was made for it” or maybe “Bolts were made for it” which banishes images of people running and begs the question: “Made for what?”
    So “they” is just an impersonal subject – people in general, like “on” in French and “man” in German. Russians use the 3rd person plural in this same way. I still think it was a neat clue.

    1. Agreed Uptodat – one of my favourites, after the penny dropped with the help of a few checkers!

  11. I could not get on the setters wave length for this one so didn’t enjoy it as much as others. Oh well – rest of the week willk be better (I hope).

    Thanks for the review Libellule – very helpful

  12. I can forgive Rufus a little nostalgia at 23a. We’ve both experinced the thrill of nought to 150 knots in 2 seconds (at night too!). Life doesn’t get much more exciting than that (apart from the landing). And I enjoyed the crossword very much! Thanks Rufus & Libellule (which I have just spelt correctly for the first time without resorting to the header!)

  13. A very short but sweet solving experience today, thank you Rufus. I too was a fan of 7d and 13d. Thanks to Libellule for the review too.

  14. Libellule, No, I didn’t like the switching from “you” to “one” in 16a. I almost put in the wrong answer before checking with 4d and 13d. The clue could have been worded better.

  15. A good start to the week, though 9a was the last in for me and I needed the checking letters in order to complete the word. 1a worked ok for me. As with others, 7d and 13d were favourite clues. Got a little held up in bottom right corner by putting ideal at 22d! Thanks to setter and Libellule for the review

    1. Just read comment about 16a and the hint. Clue works for me. It would be obvious if one and one’s had been used in the clue. Aren’t one and one’s and you and your interchangeable, just varying in formality?
      BTW I don’t associate the phrase with swearing, just regretting a statement or retracting it.
      As regards previous digression about 1a and use of indefinite personal pronouns the English “one” doesn’t seem to me appropriate to make a passive clause active but I can’t explain why. The Russian “they” form works in this regard but my “O” level Franch and German makes me wobble about uses of “On” and “Man” for this purpose. Perhaps I should eat my earlier words.

      1. I don’t like 16a at all. “Your” and “one’s” may be interchangeable but they have to be used consistently. You can’t swap from one to the other in the middle of a sentence. The clue here seems to be saying “You won’t want to eat one’s words”.

      2. Re. 16a, the comment I made is meant to be a hint to what the answer is, not a literal translation of the clue. If you swear, you are using dirty words, which need to cleaned out. Would you want to eat dirty words? We try to provide a hint that will lead you (possibly) to the answer with an indication of the wordplay used (where appropriate), rather than just give the answer directly. I could for example have used P(L)EASANT as the hint for 8d, but then it wouldn’t be a hint would it?

        1. Hi Libellule, glad I didn’t have to hint that one! As I’ve recently found out, it can be very difficult not to give the whole game away, and that isn’t the point of the blog!

  16. I was hopeless on this one – only one clue (the shame of it!). Not wearing my thinking head.

  17. Took a little while to get into this and needed a little electronic help to finish (the words just wouldn’t come!), but a good start to the week. Particularly liked 7, 13 and 17d. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  18. I made heavy weather of this. Mondays have started to be my slowest of the week recently. The straightforward cryptic clues are too hard for me to spot on a sluggish Monday I think! Plenty of good surface readings but I’m off Rufus’ wavelength just now. Thanks again to both setter and solver.

  19. Quickly-solved fare from Rufus this Monday.
    Best for me : 1a, 13a, 16a, 23a, 2d, 7d, 15d & 17d.
    17d was a good laugh also as I have just had both eyes operated on!
    Think you are all moaning a wee bit too much about 1a and Libellule ‘s doubt re 23a!

  20. Not for me, this one…

    Too many ‘woolly’ cryptic definitions that required an abundance of checking letters to see what the setter was getting at. I thought 16a was particularly unfair – we get ‘you’re’ and ‘your’ in the clue, so naturally I put in ‘EAT YOUR WORDS’ – but, oh no, it’s actually ‘ONE’S’. That’s not cricket!

    Not Rufus’s finest hour, I didn’t think…:(

  21. I would never have got 1a – didn’t just need the hint, needed the answer!! Don’t really like that one at all. Other than that, I finished in record time Aslo wasn’t sure about the middle word of 16a – had to solve 13d before being certain. Liked 13d by the way – fun clue, also 9a. Good start to week – thanks to Libellue or I’d still be staring blankly at the paper!

  22. Pleasurable and easy start of the week.

    I particularly liked 10a and 13d. Otherwise unremarkable, I thought.

    Diff ** (I was convinced 1a was a plural and didn’t do too well on the 6a/d pair, so the north face was a bit harder to climb than the underbelly, hence ** and not *)
    Pleasure factor *** ‘cos it was good fun.

    Thanks to Rufus and Firefly!

  23. Judging by Pommette’s struggles with this I’d say it was a ‘Grauniad strength’ Rufus – I think his puzzles in there tend to be a bit trickier than the DT ones. Pommette is usually OK with Rufus and, in fact, it was one of his that got her out of the CC a few months ago. Wonder if he sent the puzzle to the wrong paper?
    Excellent for me with 1a amongst my favourites but 13d the best!
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

  24. I flew through this until the mid-point; a poor work day then kicked in and screwed up my radar. Having a nautical past I enjoyed 23a and also 21a. Really struggled with 16a due to incorrectly penning NINSTON.

    I would never have stumped up with 2d as a stew – thanks Libellule.

  25. I didn’t get on with this one either. Abandoned before time limit. A shame after a good run recently.

  26. Found this easy except for part of the SW corner, for which I had to resort to the welcome hints.
    didn’t like 11a, or 23a.
    Is 5d sexist in that it is seen from a male point of view, or have I missed something ?

  27. Late tonight. Have had LOVELY, if VERY expensive, day in London with our two wonderful daughters to celebrate younger one’s 30th birthday. Major travel problems on the way there so no paper/crossword (not to mention no train!!) Eventually got there.
    Did crossword on the train home – quite quick (the crossword I mean, not the train.) Came to grief a bit with 23a – it had to be what it was but couldn’t quite explain it – and 22d. I think the train wobbled a bit when I was putting in 21a so I read my “M” at the beginning of 22d as a “T” which made it a bit impossible!! Oh dear!
    This crossword was JUST what I felt like after a day in London – not too taxing but enough to keep me occupied for a while – nothing that I needed a dictionary for – nothing that I needed the hints for. Consequently I would give it a 5* for enjoyment, but that’s just me after the kind of day I’ve had!! :grin:
    With many thanks to Rufus and to Lilebulle.

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