DT 26544 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26544

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26544

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

As promised, a double dose of Ray T this week. What you see is what you get!

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    Bogus cure, often it’s dodgy (11)
{COUNTERFEIT} – a nice easy start with a word meaning bogus being an anagram (dodgy) of CURE OFTEN IT

10a    French you go off backing teacher (5)
{TUTOR} – the French for you (singular / affectionate) is followed by a word meaning to go off reversed (backing) to get a teacher – Ray T teaches English in Paris!

11a    Top decoration for officer? (9)
{EPAULETTE} – a decoration on the shoulder of an officer’s uniform

12a    Sacrament from curate and his congregation (9)
{EUCHARIST} – the Christian sacrament commemorating the Last Supper, in which bread and wine are consecrated and consumed, is an anagram (congregation) of CURATE and HIS

13a    After midnight, space for curry (5)
{GROOM} – nothing to do with Indian cuisine! – the middle letter of niGht is followed by some space to give a word meaning to curry or smarten a horse

14a    ‘Flash’ by Queen showing heart (6)
{TICKER} – a flash or instant is followed by the abbreviation for the current Queen to get a slang word for the heart

ARVE Error: need id and provider

16a    Rough house in gaol, out of control (8)
{HOOLIGAN} – a rough or troublemaker is built up from HO(use) and an anagram (out of control) of IN GAOL

18a    Barrier is, say, useful cover (8)
{HANDICAP} – if this barrier or obstacle is split (5,3) it sounds like (say) a useful cover for the head

20a    Good man going to North European breakwater (6)
{GROYNE} – not the usual good man (as in 8 down), but G(ood) and a three-letter man’s name is followed by N(orth) and E(uropean) to get a breakwater

23a    Trick answer retracted and withdrawn (5)
{ALOOF} – a verb meaning to trick or deceive and A(nswer) are both reversed (retracted) to get an adjective meaning withdrawn or distant

24a    Sign the man’s hiding inside depository (9)
{THESAURUS} – put a zodiac sign (mine, as it happens!) around (hiding inside) HE’S (the man’s) to get a depository of words

26a    Rock group mark time for artist (9)
{REMBRANDT} – a charade of a rock group (3), a (trade)mark and T(ime) to get a famous Dutch artist

27a    Note in own pitch (5)
{HEAVE} – put a musical note inside a word meaning to own to get a verb meaning to pitch or fling

28a    His order has changed for condiment (11)
{HORSERADISH} – an anagram (changed) of HIS ORDER HAS gives a condiment usually served with roast beef


2d    One provides tot in club initially (5)
{OPTIC} – take the initial letters of the first five words of this all-in-one clue – read the clue again for the definintion

3d    Set forth and sped up on speed (7)
{NARRATE} – a verb meaning to set forth or tell is created by reversing (up) a verb meaning sped and following it with a speed or velocity

4d    Nauseating quote compiler raised (6)
{EMETIC} – an adjective meaning nauseating is derived by reversing (raised) both a verb meaning to quote and the first person objective pronoun

5d    Part of ‘ginger group’, including redhead (8)
{FRACTION} – a part or small piece is created by taking a ginger group formed of dissenting members of a larger group and inserting R (Red head)

6d    Banned sick chick taking Ecstasy (7)
{ILLEGAL} – to get a word meaning banned or against the law take a word meaning sick and a chick or young lady and insert (taking) E(cstasy)

7d    Production of pavement artist? (6,7)
{STREET THEATRE} – this dramatic entertainment is possibly performed on the pavement

8d    Good man mistakenly losing head with force (8)
{STRONGLY} – a charade of Crosswordland’s usual good man and a word meaning mistakenly without its initial letter (losing head) gives an adverb meaning with force

9d    Disease from microbe, a nameless disorder (6,7)
{GERMAN MEASLES} – this disease is constructed from a microbe followed by an anagram (disorder) of A NAMELESS

15d         Battle supporting criminal, a French speciality (8)
{CONSOMMÉ} – Put the scene of a famous battle of the First World War after a criminal to get a French speciality clear soup

17d         Last of Bacardi put in bird’s drinks (8)
{MARTINIS} – I (last of BacardI) is put inside a bird, not forgetting the ‘S, to get these cocktails made from gin and dry vermouth

19d         Conclude, over my dead body, in Hell (7)
{INFERNO} – a word meaning to conclude or deduce is followed by a rather less emphatic negative than “over my dead body” to get Hell, Dante style

21d         Contacted revolutionary, a revolutionary’s admitted (7)
{REACHED} – a word meaning contacted o touched is constructed from a general word for a revolutionary with A and a specific revolutionary inserted (admitted)

22d         One raises one’s game (6)
{BEATER} – a cryptic definition of a person employed to raise game birds for shooting by striking at the ground cover

25d         What fire does getting bellows? (5)
{ROARS} – a double definition – what fire does and bellows like a bull or a lion

Well up to Ray T’s usual standard, but a tad easier than most.

The Quick crossword pun: {soon} + {army} = {tsunami}

49 comments on “DT 26544

  1. A fairly straightforward but enjoyable romp with RayT. I liked the Trademark Queen clue!.
    Thanks to him and to BD for the review.

  2. Thanks to Ray T and BD for hints & explanations. All completed without recourse to them, but I’d never heard of the phrase “ginger group” before. 7d and 23a were last in for me.

  3. Quality never goes out of fashion and this one did not disappoint.
    Thankd to B Dave and Ray T

  4. Many thanks to RayT for a not too tricky, but enjoyable puzzle, and to BD for the notes.
    Favourite clue – 12a.

  5. Many thanks RayT for a superb crossword, very enjoyable, and thanks BD for the hints.

  6. Not as tricky as some of Ray T’s but just as much fun. Thanks to setter and blogger.

  7. I thought this was a wonderful crossword – had to admit defeat with 24a and use the hint. With 1a I wasn’t sure whether ‘bogus’ or ‘dodgy’ was the anagram indicator or the definition, if that makes sense. SO many wonderful clues that it’s very hard to pick any particular favourites – I just loved them all! If I had to they would probably be 9, 15 and 19d.
    With thanks to RayT and Big Dave.
    STILL no rain …. :sad:

      1. At the risk of sounding like an awful grump we need rain so badly that I wouldn’t complain if it poured down for a few days! The grass is brown and even the weeds have stopped growing.

          1. Had a few drops of rain here this morning – but not enough to even wet the ground (nor clean the car). My gardening friends are moaning (as you are Kath) but I’m with Mary – rather keep it clear. Rain at night is ok but not during the day.

  8. Excellent puzzle today, first run through I had 4 answers filled in and a sense of terror creeping over me. Got a few more on the second run through, then things started to fall into place. Enjoyed 12A, 14A (but who doesn’t enjoy a bit of Queen), 20A, 24A, 9D, 15D but my favourite today 26A – a superb clue.

  9. As everyone else has already said, a very enjoyable start to Thursday morning. Thanks to Ray and BD for their respective roles. No particular favourites, just good all round fun.

    The ‘other’ puzzle is a much more friendly beast today – worth a go by all. I also highly recommend today’s Independent Cryptic which is by Nimrod, better known here as Elgar – terrific penny-dropping moments.

  10. Begging to differ once again I found parts of this really tough, I didn’t like 4d, 5d or 11a and needed Daves help for those, thanks Dave :-) , having said that I did enjoy most of it, done in two sittings, my favourite clue 18a, half my trouble is that though I almost always can see what the setter wants these days, I often don’t associate the answer with the definition, if that makes sense! I would almost put money on nobody escaping the CC today, I think Ray T is on guard :-D

  11. That was good – top half went in quite quickiy. Last in was 24a and therefore am putting that as my favourite. Couldn’t get on the right track with it – thanks for an excellent puzzle Ray T and thanks for the review BD.

  12. I didn’t think I was going to be able to do this one at all, but 12a went in first and then the rest bit by bit. It took me rather a long time and several pauses, not to mention a good deal of electronic help to complete it but I managed finally. I’d never heard of a ‘ginger group’ either and had to google it. So many thanks to Ray T for the challenge and to Big Dave for his solutions.

  13. Well – I’m with severl people on here.
    Like Roland I’d never heard of the phrase “ginger group”, and like Skempie I only had a few after first run thru’ and the terror was hitting me too. And Mary – it was definitely tricky in parts.
    BUT . . . having said that I almost got out of the ICODARC (I Can Only Do A Rufus Club)! Only needed help on from MOPB (my own personal bloogger) to finish it off. Yay …
    Thanks BD for the hints and clip (I know you like Queen – so so I) and to RayT for a very doable puzzle, if stretching for me!

    Keyboard still dead – about to start the clean-up operation soon!

      1. Me too Mary! Without Rufus I suspect I would still be in the CC !!! 3 years on – LOL

  14. A really enjoyable one today. Loved all the anagrams. Raining harder now in Wales. Just hope it knows when to stop! So glad I discovered the BDblog. Not only does it help me to complete the cryptic,but now I think I can start to tackle the Toughie. I will give it a go anyway!

  15. Good puzzle!
    But two problems.
    1. I have a different answer for 22d….. and that would be someone who “Raises” game, ie looks after the home that the chicks are in…….
    2. And secondly, if you blur the “F” in 1a so it looks loke a “P”, then 5d is impossible. That’s what I did, but I got there in the end.

    And now…… I’m going to try the Toughie for the first time in a couple of years…… :-(

    1. Hi Lostboy, I didn’t want to be the one to ask this but go on then, with the letters – E – T – R, what is the alternative answer for someone who raises game?

          1. Hmmm I had BE?TER in the newspaper version as couldn’t decide which of the two was the more correct!!!

            1. Well, I was originally going to put in BETTER, but couldn’t quite reconcile it with the clue. However, it’s obviously not the answer that Lostboy had in mind as he refers to someone who looks after the home that the chicks are in.

              1. I originally thought of (game)KEEPER, but the first checking letter cleared that up.

                  1. I think that you’re all very clever to think of all the alternatives and possibilities – none of them had even occurred to me – any of them could have been right.

          2. 22d – That’s where I went wrong – I entered “BETTER” in the sense of a poker player raising his stake. But it doesn’t really work with the clue. Lost Again!

  16. Another enjoyable puzzle from Ray T.
    10a, 18a, 24a, 26a, 2d, 5d, 7d, 9d & 19d were best for me.

    As this is Bevrijdingsdag (Liberation Day) there is a great feast going on in the shopping area of the town – all the children have acquired balloons and there is a lot of fun going on.

  17. Did quite a bit before resorting to the hints, but certainly needed them for a few – partic 26a, would never have got that one. But quite pleased as do seem to be progressing – maybe I’ll manage a Rufus without hints one day!!
    Many thanks to setter and hinter.

  18. At last I have enjoyed a Thursday puzzle! Yes, maybe a little easier than some, but some witty clues like 2d, 24 and 26a. Thanks to Ray T and reviewer.

    1. I’ve changed your handle back to Toadson – I hope that’s what you wanted!

  19. V enjoyable as always from Ray T. In keeping with a v easy week this was easier that a normal RT but just as much fun. 26a 9d stood out amongst many. 24a last in. Thanks Ray T and BD.

  20. I always enjoy RayT’s puzzles and this was no exception. A bit of French and a bit of innuendo! Favourites were 7 and 15. Keep them coming, Ray.

    1. Not quite as much innuendo as sometimes – I do SO love his risque clues. :smile:

  21. Thanks, for the second time this week, to BD and to everybody else. As always, your comments are greatly appreciated.


  22. I may be the only one who sometimes finds a Ray T easier to solve than a Rufus. For instance I finished this with nary a pause having just come out of a 10 hour meeting – (you don’t want to know you really don’t) but could I finish the Rufus in Monday’s Grauniad? Could I b~ggery!

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