DT 26514 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26514

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26514

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

This looks like a second consecutive Thursday puzzle by Ray T.  Single word clues in the Quick crossword and single word answers in both puzzles are usually a good indication. What is missing is the occasional risqué clue!

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    Disturbed grave, silent and deathless (11)
{EVERLASTING} – an anagram (disturbed) of GRAVE SILENT gives a word meaning deathless

9a    Oppressive old emperor pursuing unscrupulous ends (7)
{ONEROUS} – a word meaning oppressive is a charade of O(ld), a Roman emporer and the outside letters (ends) of UnscrupulouS

10a    Novelist’s page put out about opening of ‘Remembrance…’ (6)
{PROUST} – this French novelist is constructed from P(age) and a word meaning to put out around the initial letter (opening) of Remembrance

12a    Found sole in dock (7)
{PIONEER} – a word meaning to found or develop is created by putting a word meaning sole or individual inside a dock or jetty

13a    Set criminal prisoner back around middle of stretch (7)
{CONGEAL} – a word meaning to set or clot is derived from a short word for a criminal followed by another short word for a prisoner reversed (back) around the middle letter of strEtch

14a    Right oven for Sunday lunch? (5)
{ROAST} – a charade of R(ight) and an oven for drying hops gives a traditional Sunday lunch

15a    Morse perhaps, stern cop I fancy (9)
{INSPECTOR} – the title of Colin Dexter’s famous detective is an anagram (fancy) of STERN COP I

17a    Plant elms and tie to switch (9)
{MISTLETOE} – this plant, revered by the druids, is an anagram (switch) of ELMS and TIE TO

20a    Power for first of trains in line (5)
{STEAM} – this type of power, once used for locomotives, is created by putting the initial letter (first) of Trains inside a line or layer

22a    Read published retraction in front of judge (7)
{NARRATE} – a word meaning to read aloud comes from a word meaning published or carried reversed (retraction) followed by a word meaning to judge or assess

24a    Tot, more rum left, swallowed after time (7)
{TODDLER} – to get this tot or small child start with a word meaning more rum or stranger, insert (swallowed) L(eft) and put it all after T(ime)

25a    Had a bite outside by fly (6)
{AVIATE} – put a word meaning had a bite of food outside a synonym for by to get a verb meaning to fly

26a    Transcriber I anticipate penning ‘Man of la Mancha’? (7)
{IBERIAN} – hidden inside (penning) the first three words of the clue is a description of a man from La Mancha, or anyone else from the same peninsula – the question mark indicates a definition by example

27a    Spy, shirtless perhaps, that is holding gun (11)
{INVESTIGATE} – a word meaning to spy or examine is constructed from a phrase (2,4) that could describe someone who is shirtless followed by the Latin abbreviation for “that is” around (holding) the abbreviation for a machinegun with a cluster of rotating barrels


2d           Wild nettle’s head in bloom (7)
{VIOLENT} – a word meaning wild is created by putting the first letter (head) of Nettle inside a bloom

3d           ‘Express’ in support for confinement (9)
{RESTRAINT} – put an express locomotive inside a support to get a synonym for a confinement

4d           Jelly fish could be its source (5)
{ASPIC} – a gentle cryptic definition of a clear savoury meat- or fish-jelly used as a glaze or a mould for fish, game, hard-boiled eggs, etc.

5d           Thrash tar’s extremities with cat (7)
{TROUNCE} – a word meaning to thrash comes from the outside letters (extremities) of TaR followed by a large cat

6d           New, a perfume just coming out (7)
{NASCENT} – a charade of N(ew), A and a perfume gives a word meaning just coming out

7d           Opinion about left’s behaviour (11)
{COMPORTMENT} – put an opinion, like those below the main review, arount the nautical term for left to get a word meaning behaviour or manner

8d           FBI agent, alternatively American detective’s hat? (6)
{FEDORA} – a charade of an FBI agent, a two-letter word meaning alternatively and A(merican) gives a type of hat, as worn by many a detective in the  movies

Glasgow’s very own detective!

11d         Colour’s run with material ruined (11)
{ULTRAMARINE} – this brilliant deep blue coour, originally obtained from lapis lazuli, is an anagram (ruined) of RUN with MATERIAL

16d         Blab about former PM covering up (9)
{SHEATHING} – put a word meaning to blab to the police around a left-wing Conservative former Prime Minister to get a word meaning covering up

18d         Struggled with street rent (7)
{STRIVEN} – a word meaning struggled is a charade of ST(reet) and a verb meaning rent or torn

19d         Escape the French, returning for example with alias (7)
{LEAKAGE} – an escape of liquid or gas is built up from the French definite article followed by  the Latin abbreviation of “for example” and a three-letter abbreviation for an alias both reversed (returning)

20d         Two days in rocky seat’s most painful (7)
{SADDEST} – put D(ay) and D(ay) inside an anagram (rocky) of SEAT’S to get a word meaning most painful or most distressed

21d         European Commission retreat, sweet for the French! (6)
{ÉCLAIR} – a charade of EC (European Commission) and a retreat or den gives a cake, beautifully described by Chambers as being “long in shape but short in duration, with cream filling and, usually, chocolate icing”

23d         English leading opening match (5)
{EVENT} – a charade of E(nglish) and an opening gives a match or contest

Enjoyable stuff, even if a bit easier than usual.

The Quick crossword pun {gully} + {first} + {raffles} = {Gulliver’s Travels}

68 comments on “DT 26514

  1. I think I am going backwards in crosswordland and will soon arrive back at the CC door where I will hopefully be allowed back in :( although I did feel a bit better to see that Dave thinks it is a Ray T, so for a Ray T I think it wasn’t that bad :) , no real favourite clue today and I do like to have a favourite clue! I will wait for the explaination of 5d and 18d although I have the answers I can’t ‘see’ them, thanks for hints so far Dave though I haven’t needed them today I enjoy reading them and I have still needed plenty of ‘help’ good luck with this everyone :)

    1. Mary

      5d – A verv meaning to thrash, or beat severely, is formed from the first and last letters (extremeties) of tar, followed by crosswordland’s favourite 5 letter wildcat.

    2. Mary, ask Kath about 5d – the last bit is her favourite word! 18 is an abbreviation + synonym.

  2. A thoroughly entertaining puzzle from the master. Favourite was 20a because of the surface reading and also because it reminded me of the 50’s when vapeur [thats for RayT] was king. All the others were good with no cricket so Mary and Kath should be happy.

    1. Morning UTC so much cricket lately and just when I thought I had it right the other day it was wrong!! maybe you can explain 5d to me??

            1. Struggled and striven – all down to participles I’m afraid. Past participle of strive is strived but there’s another participle (past indicative?) which is striven, both participles of struggle are struggled !!! Clear as mud I assume – best ask an English scholar.

                1. According to Allwords.com, Strived is the past of Strive and striven is the past participle of Strive. Struggled is both the past and past participle of struggle. There Ya go !

          1. The answer to 4D is a gelatin (jelly) – often found in pork pies – it can be obtained from meat, vegetable or fish stock

  3. I though that this was a slightly easier Ray T but still as enjoyable. Many thanks Ray for the enjoyment and to BD for the review.

  4. Yet another excellent offering – took nearly and hour and a half today. Got 18D nearly straight away but couldn’t convince myself it was right as I was totally stumped on 25A – had to resort to my favourite CC solving method (won’t go into details, but involves de-camping to another room where I can sit and ponder things to my hearts content).

    I thought there were some absolutely excellent clues today – 9A, 10A, 12A, 20A, 24A, 25A, 27A, 4D, 7D, 11D, 16D favourite today was 27A.

  5. Best clues (so far) today are the linked Quickie theme. More evidence of a Ray T-day, I feel.

  6. A much more straightforward RayT than the last few but solid as ever with a couple that held me up. 25a was favourite and one of the last in for me.
    Many thanks to RayT (although I did miss the smut!) and to BD for the review.

  7. I thought this was at the easier end of the scale for a RayT puzzle, as opposed to yesterday, which was the trickiest puzzle I have seen from Jay (assuming it was one of his).
    Last clue in for me was the 11d anagram. Favourite clue 1a.
    Thanks to RayT, and to BD.

  8. A very nice Ray T. Thank you to him. I particularly liked the reference to the novelist’s famous work in the clue for 10a. Thanks to BD for all the explanations too.

    The Toughie is a stunning example of Shamus at his best IMHO. Highly recommended, although you will have to think carefully about a few of them.

  9. A very satisfying puzzle this morning. I struggled with a few but got there in the end. 12 &13a were favourites for me. Does the cryptic compiler set the quickie because there have been some cracking linked clues recently, especially this morning’s teaser? Thanks to setter and BD.

    1. The setter usually does both puzzles. There was a spell where the Monday Quick crosswords were set by the late Steve Race.

  10. Thoroughly enjoyable offering today and certainly easier to complete than yesterday’s. Some lovely clues throughout. Mistletoe seems to be popular at the moment, as does that cat! Thanks to setter and BD for the review

    1. That Cat Again! The “Snow Leopard” has served his time admirably; surely, he deserves a happy retirement!

  11. After a bit of a struggle yesterday, today’s xw was a real one-coffee solve, albeit a quadruple espresso. Yesterday night was drinks night with a bunch of colleagues and only under four hours sleep so I needed that coffee and wasn’t in the most brilliant shape :-).

    There was a ral jewel in the Beamer’s crown today.
    10a: the author is known for his novel À la recherche du temps perdu [“In search of lost time” but probably better translated as “Looking for the lost past”]. This makes the surface just absolutely genius.
    I would rate it as good workmanship if not for that superclue.

    Thanks to the Beamer and the Boss.

  12. I thought this was a very enjoyable puzzle – probably not as difficult as some of Ray T’s but several clues had me thinking for quite a while – as others have already said, the only thing missing was anything smutty sounding!! On the plus side no cricket (nor any of the other numerous subjects I can’t ‘do’)
    I didn’t understand 4d and couldn’t make sense of the first three letters of 22a until I read the hints.
    Clues that I particularly liked include 9, 10,13 and 27a (that was the last one to go in) and 11, 16 and 19d.
    Thanks to Ray T and Big Dave.

  13. Gosh, did a lot of this with not much help and only three or four hints. I did need a few explanations. Didn’t spot the hidden word indicator in 26a, that’s the third new one this week.

    Most enjoyable, thanks to Ray T and BD.

  14. As with all Ray T puzzles my first thought, after a read through, was to go and do something else. However, as I am presently confined to a sick bed, I have more time and choices are limited so I tried….and very nearly succeeded thanks to the anagrams Just needed a hint or two in the SW. Thought the first synonym in 22 across was a bit of a stretch though. On the other hand 27a across was sweet. Thanks to all.

  15. BD…Thanks for the info. on Steve Race. “My Music” used to be a favourite with me many moons ago. I confess I even remember Whirligig and Humphrey Lestoc.

  16. The” Leamington Spa” Clues I obviously missed at the time. I wonder If future compilers will dare to emulate such a set of clues. Thanks again BD for that very interesting diversion.

    1. I remember the ‘Leamington Spa’ pun – absolutely brilliant, made me laugh out loud, as I commented to Kate Fassett who was crossword editor at DT at the time. She admitted some readers were not best pleased…!

  17. Enjoyable puzzle, though I struggled with it a bit more than I should have. I didn’t know you could make 4d from fish, but you live and learn. Hadn’t come across 7d before – similar word beginning with ‘de’, yes, but not this one. Favourite was unquestionably 27a, once I finally got it – very clever. :-D
    Thanks to Ray T and BD for the explanations.

  18. I enjoyed today’s Ray T puzzle – how does he manage to use so few words in every clue – and all single word answers?

    The Quickie pun was my favourite of the day!!

  19. Managed two thirds before hitting the wall. All became clear in the second sitting. Lots of clues appealed – 10a, 15a, 27a, 7d, 19d. Last in was 12a. Very enjoyable.
    In between sittings I did the quickie for first time in years. I wasn’t aware of the pun content before. Swiftly up to speed now.
    Thanks for puzzles and hints.

  20. Another pleasant puzzle from Ray.
    10a, 13a, 15a, 25a, 27a, 3d, 7d, 8d,18d & 19d were my favourites.
    Fedora and Mistletoe are cropping up a lot recently!

    We have had a good bit of rain these last two days which is turning the trees green!

    The local authority has cut down two which were apparently struck by lightning some time ago and also dug out the roots – the street round the corner displays mounds of soil! There is also a magnificent magnolia in the same street which is doing well this year as the wind has not been strong. Usually it is battered to bits in the equinox period.

  21. Nice crossword with lots of good clues; I particularly liked 27A.

    Thanks to Ray T, and thanks to BD, in particular for the illustration for 8D!

      1. 8d – in the review – “Glasgow’s very own detective!” – too cryptic for me. Answers on a postcard, please!

  22. Evening all.

    Thanks again to BD and to everybody else for taking the time to comment. Much appreciated.


  23. A great crossword today. As you will know if you read my posts I am a big Ray T fan. 2 weeks running… let’s hope it will be 3. V nice review too.

  24. Am sure some of this “solving” depends on how busy/state of mind/ etc. Have finished two this week (including to-day’s) without the hints but both those days I was able to spend some time and concentrate. Other days it’s a brief look and whizz off to cope with whatever life is throwing at me then, by the evening, when I collapse with the Xword, brain is too stupefied to cope!! Anyone else have the same problem? Pretty sure I won’t be able to do tomorrow’s, seeing what else is in store for me – oven cleaning (yes, I know!), a Memorial Service, visit to the Acupuncturist…. watch this space, if anyone is interested!
    Enjoyed today’s – thanks to setter and BD. (Still am not convinced that aspic can come from fish?!)

    1. Hi Addicted – agree about general state of mind and other stuff to do having a big impact on crossword solving – also, for me, time of day. Normally sit down and have toast and coffee when I’m back from first dog walk – if something gets in the way of that, which it often does, the crossword always takes longer – not that that matters!

    2. Excellent point. I didn’t feel at all well yesterday and had several distractions. Thus, managed only half. Today, after a good night’s sleep, no problem apart from 19d (for some reason but, after BD’s hint no prob). When I have time to sit down and concentrate I can normally finish regardless of who the compiler is.

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