DT 26523 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26523

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26523

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

The usual stuff from the Monday maestro. 13d had me thinking for a while, is 4d cryptic? Otherwise an enjoyable crossword.

If you highlight the space between the curly brackets you will reveal the answers.

1. Takes no action about coach’s limitations (10)
{RESTRAINTS} – Put a word for relaxing around (about) another word for teaching to get a word for limits or curbs.

9. Gets ready to fight artist about manuscript (4)
{ARMS} – Reverse (about) RA (Royal Academy – artist) and then add the abbreviation for manuscript.

10. Preacher gives Lent a new interpretation (10)
{EVANGELIST} – An anagram (new interpretation) of GIVES LENT A to get what is usually a Protestant preacher or missionary.

11. Choke is left out (6)
{STIFLE} – An anagram (out) of IS LEFT.

12. Lower forms of French newspapers (7)
{DEPRESS} – The French word for of (DE) is followed by another word for news, to get a word that means to cause to drop or sink.

15. Stops vehicle and issues a reprimand (5,2)
{PULLS UP} – Double definition.

16. It may describe the infinitive ‘to separate’ (5)
{SPLIT} – Another double definition. The sort of infinitive described by the phrase “to boldly go” is also a word that means kept apart.

17. Some soldiers can retreat after start of unrest (4)
{UNIT} – A subdivision of a larger military formation is U (the start of unrest) followed by another word for a can reversed.

18. Student in outfit worn by Scotsman (4)
{KILT} – L (student) inside a set of clothing.

19. Old master turned out to dribble (5)
{DROOL} – An O (old) around a reversal (turned) of a word for a man of high rank is another word for slobber or drivel.

21. Bird has hormone disorder (7)
{MOORHEN} – An anagram (disorder) of HORMONE is an aquatic bird.

22. It is subject to negotiation by letter (7)
{TENANCY} – Think letter as in landlord.

24. Recreated a reign of Roman queen (6)
{REGINA} – An anagram (recreated) of A REIGN is the Latin word for queen.

27. Shows put on for the pupils’ benefit (10)
{SPECTACLES} – Large public performances are also something you might wear to improve your eyesight.

28. Reluctant to lose fifty showing promise (4)
{OATH} – Remove L (fifty) from a word that means unwilling or disinclined to get another word for a solemn promise.

29. Put on the rack, extracted information (4,3,3)
{DREW ONE OUT} – To make someone speak freely could also be how you might extend them using a medieval instrument of torture.


2. Sin of ambassador with nothing to lose? (4)
{ENVY} – Remove O (nothing to lose) from another word for a diplomatic government representative and you have the sixth cardinal sin.

3. Offer to be a watchman (6)
{TENDER} – Double definition, a formal offer, or someone who looks after something.

4. Never seeming to get older or younger? (7)
{AGELESS} – Cryptic? How Peter Pan might be described..

5. An elevating Kipling poem of unaffected simplicity (4)
{NAIF} – Reverse AN (elevating) and then add a two letter word that is a title of one of Kipling’s most famous poems to get a word (alternative spelling) that means showing simplicity and a lack of guile.

6. Starts displays (4,3)
{SETS OUT} – Double definition, to begin a journey or to display for exhibition or sale.

7. Business statement (10)
{PROFESSION} – Another double definition, an occupation or career or an avowal of faith or belief.

8. Hope to stay involved in medical practice (10)
{OSTEOPATHY} – An anagram (involved) of HOPE TO STAY is a medical therapy that manipulates the skeleton and muscles.

12. A beater for those who carry the guns? (7,3)
{DRUMMER BOY} – Is actually a young percussionist who conveyed orders in the army…

13. Can-opener? (6,4)
{PRISON GATE} – Depressingly I couldn’t get toilet seat to fit… the can in this instance is a place of confinement for people who have broken the law.

14. Disdain to press a point (5)
{SPURN} – A word meaning to incite or stimulate (also used to describe urging a horse forward) is followed by N (North – a point on the compass) to produce a word that means to reject a person or thing with contempt. Probably coincidental, but there is a famous point on the Humber estuary that shares the same name as the answer.

15. One guide or a good many (5)
{PILOT} – I hope you all remember the two letter crossword word for good? Now add LOT (many) to get someone who can control the course of something, or act as a leader.

19. In fact, graduates are devalued (7)
{DEBASED} – Another word for lowered in value, or mixed with impurities comes from, for example a signed legal document around BA’s (Bachelor of Arts).

20. See those wandering round within African kingdom (7)
{LESOTHO} – An anagram (wandering round) of THOSE is placed inside (within) LO (see) for a kingdom in southern Africa.

23. Brave father put up with pain (6)
{APACHE} – A Red Indian from the south-west of America and also northern Mexico is constructed using a reversed PA (father) and another word for a continuous dull pain.

25. Measure for fitting, say? (4)
{METE} – An old word for measure sounds like (say) meet. A synonym for fitting, e.g. satisfying a condition.

26. A state of pure chaos (4)
{PERU} – An anagram (chaos) of PURE is also a country of western South America.

The Quick crossword pun: {commence} + {orate} = {commensurate}

49 comments on “DT 26523

  1. Bit embarrassed today – took me a whole ** minutes! Would have taken **, but mis-read one of the clues. Nothing earth-shatteringly exciting this morning I’m afraid, but enjoyed 27A, 28A, 8D, 13D, 20D with my favourite being 5D. Looks like i might have to do some gardening today :-( Weather people promised rain, so what do we get? More sun !!!

    1. Skempie,
      We prefer people not to quote actual solving times because it can be very dispiriting to others who may be struggling with the puzzle. By all means say that you found it very easy.

  2. Enjoyable and true to the Monday morning spirit: don’t overdo it. My morning coffee was ample. Mind you, I sip it slowly ;-)

    Had my doubts about 12d where the forms are a bit free-floating. perhaps to be read as a verb? Not the smoothest clue imaginable.

    I particularly liked 27a for its fine cryptic nature. Also 22a for the same reason.

    Thanks Firefly and Rufus.

  3. Had to do a bit of rubbing out when I put ‘off”as the second word in 6d. [made perfect sense!] Other than that a fairly gentle start to the week. Thanks to compiler and reviewer.

  4. Usual enjoyable Monday crossword.

    I appreciate that most of the commenters here find the Rufus offering quite easy, but I usually find a few clues where I can’t see the lateral thinking route and this morning’s crossword was middling for difficulty, I thought. I enjoyed it.

    I find that Rufus allows more ‘wit’ to the solving, whereas sometimes I find other crosswords can be solved quite mechanically, according to ‘rules’. 5d is an example of a clue which can be solved by anyone familiar with the rules of cryptic crosswords (although it is a lovely surface reading for something so simple) but 12d, 13d require a few letters to be sure of the answer and some lateral thinking. It’s the 12ds and 13ds that slow me down, but that I enjoy the most. Thought 27a was a great clue.

    Couldn’t get the first word for 29a as the dreaded four-letter clue in 25d wasn’t getting there… Also, hadn’t see the abbreviation for ManuScript before, so was trying OT, NT and others…

    Thank you to Libellule and Rufus for providing the sunshine this morning.

      1. Me too Mary, then I changed it to “draw”, carelessly not taking on board the past tense, so finally had to go to hints for 25d and learn the error of my ways!
        Otherwise completed in record time – for me! – and thoroughly enjoyed. Am sure the rest of the week will get progressively harder, as is the norm.

  5. Not keen on 29A; the middle word in the solution is unnecessary to make the wordplay work, and isn’t specifically indicated.

    In 4D, I think that the clue was meant to be a double definition: A: “Never seeming to get older” B: “Younger” (ie AGE LESS). I didn’t fill that one in for ages, because I thought that I must be missing something.

    Other than that, the usual quality stuff from Rufus.

    Thanks to Libellule for the review, esp. the comment on 13A!

  6. Usual nice straightforward start to the week from Rufus so thank you to him and to Libellule too.

  7. This was a gentle Monday morning start. I had no problem with 4d as I got it early on, and 13d I got quite quickly. I struggled with that 4 letter word at 25d and would never have got 29a from the clue. Dull, miserable and raining – quite a change from the weekend, but I suppose the garden will benefit! Thanks to setter and Libellule

  8. I thought this was fairly straightforward but got held up by making the second word of 6d ‘off’ which rather screwed up a couple of other clues – actually it was the answers that were screwed up! Convinced myself quite early on that the second word of 12d was going to be ‘dog’ and that slowed things up a bit too as I couldn’t think of a sensible first word.
    I liked 11, 21 and 27a and 5, 7 and 13d.
    Still quite sunny in Oxford but not as warm as yesterday – could really do with a bit of rain.
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  9. Hi Libelulle thanks once again for the blog, I needed it to see the error of my ways in 29a! fav clues today 16a, 27a, 2d and 23d, sunny/cloudy here today really glorious day yesterday :-)

  10. All very gentle and straightfoward today. Many thanks to Rufus for easing us into the new week and to Libellule for the review. Favourite clues were 10a and 5d.

  11. Am I being thick? The first things I do on a Monday is turn to the court and social to see if I’ve won a fountain pen. I can’t see the list though.

  12. Rather relieved to have finished one, was beginning to feel I was regressing rather than progressing with the puzzles. Still needed lots of help and a few hints. 5d was a new one, didn’t fall into the ‘off’ trap with 6d. An exciting afternoon (not!) awaits at the crem …

    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  13. Thanks to Rufus for a nice puzzle to start the week, and to Libellule for the notes.
    Favourite clues 10a, and 8d.

  14. The usual pleasant start to the week from Rufus.
    1a, 21a, 29a, 5d, 8d, 12d, 13d & 23d were best for me.

    Weather still good here in NL but the large trees are rather slow in leafing.

  15. Easier than last couple of Monday xwords. 29a – first half made me think of picking Scrabble letters, but that is a bit obtuse I think. Thanks RFS and Libelulle. No teeth pulled today so hoping for a better week. :-)

  16. What a great help this is. I will be using it every day now. Completed with no effort. Thanku x

    1. May I pull a stunt? Crossword “PI” stands – oddly – for “pious”. Normally linguists dislike barbarity.

      So, we are not talking mathematics here, nor good English, but crossword convention.

        1. You don’t know what you don’t know so crossword convention is an acquired taste. Why PI should stand for PIOUS is beyond me, it might as well be PS, except that stands for something else

          1. Chambers says it’s a British slang abbreviation for pious and who are we to argue with them!

        2. Did you forget the smilie or did I deserve a telling-off?
          Hoe is het weer in Holland?

  17. General ignorance let me down with 20d, apart from that not too many problems. I thought 2d was a lovely little clue, but 13d was my runaway favourite today. Thanks to the setter and to Libellule.

  18. Enjoyable and fairly straight forward save 25d that I failed to get. Liked 27a best.

  19. The usual Shamus ‘Smoothie’ IMO. No real problems and a quick solve for me, although pommette had a hang-up in the NW corner for reasons beyond me. I think the sun (or the bridge) may have addled her brain! BTW, didn’t do too good at the bridge today but we won last week, no pasa nada!
    Thanks Shamus, enjoyed it, and thanks to Libellule for the blog.

      1. Gnomey, feel free to do so, at your own risk! I must warn you that pommette has a sharp tongue, I know this as I’m her bridge partner, as well as husband!
        Oh, it was (mostly) my fault at the bridge today!

        1. Actually the bridge wasn’t as bad as I thought! Got the results now.
          Fourth out of 11 pairs so could have been a lot worse!

          1. Not sure I understand that!
            I know it’s Monday and it’s Rufue day ! So we’ve printed out both the Rufi (is that the correct plural of Rufus?) from the DT and the Grauniad. Rufus is pommette’s favourite setter because she can normally solve them unaided but today she stalled in the NW corner of the DT. Not tried the Grauniad yet.
            As I said ‘addled brain’, but having thought I now reckon it’s not the sun or bridge but having her mum here for a week that’s done it!

              1. Sorry Gnomey, I merely meant the usual Shamus smooth surfaces and well constructed clues. Just what I’ve come to expect from the Monday Maestro but nothing untoward!
                I meant pommette’s brain was addled not that of Shamus – God forbid!

  20. OK, I’m cracking up! That’s what a week of pommette’s ma in the house does to you!
    I meant Rufus of course and I hope for for 2 things tomorrow – the dragon’s flight home isn’t cancelled and a Shamus puzzle would be nice!

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