DT 26559 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26559

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26559

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

For some reason I made hard going of this, putting in “IN HAND” at 2d and then getting obsessed with the final word of 13a being BOOK didn’t help. As such this crossword gets three stars for difficulty today, although everybody else probably thought this was a doddle.

If you need to see the answer just highlight the space between the curly brackets.


1. Company employee providing discipline (4,4)
{FIRM HAND} – A charade of a commercial enterprise and an employee could also supply a high degree of discipline and direction.

6. Crooked female of nursery rhyme (2-4)
{BO-PEEP} – Is a shepherdess who loses her sheep…

9. Rouse the prison to be ready for action (4,2)
{STIR UP} – Another word for prison and a word meaning prepared or ready is a phrase that can mean to set in motion.

10. Entitled to directions before turning blonde (8)
{ENNOBLED} – Put EN (East and North – directions) before an anagram (turning) of BLONDE, for the sort of entitled that would result in being given a peerage.

11. A blow from behind (4,4)
{TAIL WIND} – The sort of blow that travels in the same direction as an aircraft for example.

12. April’s turned out to be spring-like (6)
{SPIRAL} – An anagram (turned out) of APRILS is also a curved shape like a helix.

13. Take a tough line to settle motoring cases? (3,2,3,4)
{PUT IN THE BOOT} – A phrase that means “to attack unfairly”, would also be where you put your luggage in a car.

16. He has the best time of anyone (6-6)
{RECORD HOLDER} – Usain Bolt for example.

19. Gunners go back to the lines for missiles (6)
{ARROWS} – Reverse (go back) the usual acronym for Royal Artillery and then add a word that means arranged in ranks to get the sort of missiles used with bows.

21. Dad arrested — took fright (8)
{PANICKED} – PA (dad) and a slang term for arrested.

23. In guinea pigs it may result in loss of teeth (8)
{CAVITIES} – Put IT inside another word for guinea pigs, are also soft decayed areas found on teeth.

24. Master of vessel expected (6)
{SUBDUE} – A word that means to bring under control could be made up from an informal word for an underwater vessel followed by another word that means “scheduled to arrive”.

25. King Charles’s residence? (6)
{KENNEL} – Where a breed of spaniel might live.

26. Taken ill (8)
{RESENTED} – “To feel indignantly aggrieved”.


2. Where office work is seen to be undealt with (2-4)
{IN-TRAY} – The answer refers to an article into which incoming papers requiring attention are placed.

3. A maxim spoken by many (5)
{MORAL} – I hope you have become used to Rufus’ use of many to refer to a probable Roman numeral. In this case place a word that means relating to speech after M (1000) to get a concisely expressed precept or general truth.

4. Taken on and taken off without reason (9)
{APPOINTED} – A word that means selected for a job is constructed from APED (taken off) around a word for an important reason or aim.

5. China ends Red revolution (7)
{DRESDEN} – An anagram (revolution) of ENDS RED is a type of porcelain from Germany.

6. Union notices exclude Poles (5)
{BANNS} – An announcement of marriage consists of a word that means to prohibit, followed by two of the earths antipodal points.

7. General embargo on place selling cheaper drinks (6,3)
{PUBLIC BAR} – a place in a public house (not saloon or private) could also be a communal ban.

8. Use a lever to give lift (8)
{ELEVATOR} – An anagram (use) of A LEVER TO is also the type of lift Otis might have made.

13. In favour of moving to get a better job? (9)
{PROMOTION} – A word meaning “for”, is followed by a synonym for movement is the act of raising in rank or position.

14. In robberies, assume they do things for fun (9)
{HEDONISTS} – Put DON (assume as in to put on) inside another word for hold-ups for people who are motivated by desires for sensual pleasures.

15. Press for a reduction? (8)
{DECREASE} – If you were ironing something it might also grow less in number.

17. One who is against work has a problem (7)
{OPPOSER} – OP (musical work – opus) and a “baffling question or problem” is also someone who is against something.

18. Tug used in river flood (6)
{DELUGE} – Put LUG (tug) inside a Scottish river to get another word for a great flood of water.

20. Remaining calm (5)
{STILL} – Double definition, continue to be or tranquil.

22. Shanty for the rest of the sailors (5)
{CABIN} – A small roughly built house is also a place where sailors might sleep.

The Quick crossword pun: {proper} + {gander} = {propaganda)

BTW the answer to 16 down in the Quick crossword – Held up (7) – is not DELAYED !   BD

75 comments on “DT 26559

  1. I certainly found this harder than usual. Being in a hurry I threw the letters in on Clued up and finished with only a bit more head scratching. The usual couple of nautical clues from Rufus and all rather enjoyable.
    Thanks to him and to Libellule.

  2. A few escapees rrom the CC today I think? Some quite fun clues – 13a, 21 and 24a, though they were probably straightforward for the ‘old stagers’. Liked 22d for a bit of misdirection. Thought 2d and 11a were barely cryptic, and I wasn’t overly convinced by 26a. Thanks to the setter and Libellule.

  3. I thought this was tougher than usual for a Monday. 13a had me foxed for a while, I also had “book” in mind for the last word. Even after finally getting the answer I was still not 100% happy with it as I think the normal phrase would have the two letter word at the end, as far as taking a tough line is concerned. Having said that, it does have both forms in my (very old) copy of Chambers, so I satisfied myself with that. Favourite clues 12a, 16a & 14d. Thanks to setter and to Libellule.

  4. Good morning Libelulle, long time no spesk, I for one would not have got out of the CC on this puzzle, putting back wind for 11a really left me struggling with 3d!! there were a few others also that took a lot of thinking about and my ‘friends’ were in constant use, however there were lots of clues, as usual, that I really liked, I thought 4d was really clever, loved 12a and 24a and 1a, however I didn’t like 15d and still don’t quite see this one working, thanks once again to Rufus and Libelulle :-)

      1. Thanks both, soooooooo stupid, back in the dunces corner!! I had the answers but just couldn’t ‘see’ why :-)

      1. not til Friday Kath, I did reply to you on yesterday blot, today, if you know what I mean :-)

          1. I thought that was probably what you meant! :smile: Have just read your reply on yesterday’s ‘blot’ – where are you off to this time? Wherever it is let’s hope that this beastly weather improves – I do SO hate really strong winds, particularly at this time of the year – everything gets bashed to bits and flattened.

            1. Paignton this time Kath, not taking the caravan or dogs, as its coming up to my birthday it will be a hotel break…..Yeeees! nothing to do all week, hope the weather is kind but I don’t really mind :-)

  5. Very Good start to week with some good clues & a diversion from the horrendous wind & rain outside which we are now getting up here in Northumberland . Where has the nice April weather gone?
    Thanks to setter & Lib.

    1. I think I’ll just ditto this post, as I had a very similar list of favourites.

      Thank you to Rufus and Libellule.

  6. I didn’t think that this was a doddle. 13a took me ages as did 16a and who is Usain Bolt? Spent quite a while trying to make 12a ‘sparil’ – ie like a spa – but it didn’t seem to be a word in any of the dictionaries that I looked in! :oops: Liked 21 and 25a and 4, 6, 14, 18 and 22d. Also liked the quickie pun. If 16d isn’t ‘delayed’ what is it? It fits with everything that I’ve got and I can’t think of anything else. Oh dear!! Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    TERRIBLY windy here – everything in the garden now horizontal. :sad:

      1. from Jamaica, think he holds the record for sprinting, not sure what distance though

    1. I know the weather is awful here but in Missouri USA they have had some horriffic tornados yesterday causing death and destruction, so though we moan, and no one more than me, about our Brithish weather sometimes I am glad of it :-)

    2. Usain Bolt is the World record and Olympic record holder over 100m and 200m, and is Jamaican. 16d in the quickie is “delayed” (well,that’s what I put anyway). Why do you think it isn’t?

      1. Thanks for information about Usain Bolt. BD has put a note at the bottom of Libellule’s hints saying that 16d in the quickie ISN’T ‘delayed’ – I can’t think of anything else.

        1. Thanks Kath,
          I hadn’t read BD’s hint. Having said that – why shouldn’t it be “delayed”? It fits the clue perfectly well. BD?

            1. OK, thanks BD. I still don’t see why one answer is any better than the other though.

                  1. Yes, with you Mary. But if it weren’t for the online/interactive edition, how could anyone possibly know which solution to enter? I just think it’s an interesting question – not attempting to start an argument!

                    1. I know, I agree, there is nothing to tell you which word you need, now if it were a cryptic clue……….

                    1. This kind of problem is one of the reasons I dislike non-cryptic crosswords.

                      With a cryptic, most of the time, you can be pretty sure that the answer’s right once you have it.

          1. Unfortunately thats the not the answer that is expected when you key the crossword into CluedUp (the online version of the crossword).

            1. Well, I put “delayed” and I’m sticking to it, despite BD’s assertion to the contrary. To my mind, belated just does not mean “Held up”. Anyway, the Cryptic was vintage Rufus, with a smell of the sea for Nubian, myself and others to enjoy.

  7. A good work-out, just right for a wet and windy Edinburgh,

    Clearing up now, so I can go out!

  8. To get back to todays cryptic – 2d – is ‘undealt’ an actual word, I can’t find it in Chambers or anywhere else?

  9. I also wanted to put BOOK for 13a!
    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle, and to Libellule for the notes.

  10. Started off slowly and didn’t get much faster later on!! Got bogged down on SW corner and putting “second” for the first word in 16a didn’t help. Thanks to Rufus for making me use my brains and to Libellule for the helpful hints. Liked 16a and 13 and 14d, but don’t understand 25a– doesn’t seem like a cryptic clue at all to me. Have a good day everyone and hope these gales drop soon!!

    1. Brendam,
      Re. 25a – Its a gently cryptic clue – you are meant to think about where would the real King Charles might have lived not his dog…

  11. Very good puzzle today and slower than usual for a Monday. I find RFS is quite different from the other DT setters and his ‘straightforward’ cryptic clues don’t always jump out – I keep looking for construction or double definition clues. This is why I rate him highly. Of course I may be slower after being back to work after a week’s walking in Assynt….. Monday at the desk is not as inspiring I’m afraid. Thanks LBL and RFS.

  12. The easiest one for a few days. Unfortunately I got bogged down on the SE corner, only because I put “record winner” in 16 across. Equally valid but wrong. When I did finally look it up (Thanks BD). The remainder were obvious.
    Keep up the good work.

    ps: I like this short uncluttered style of clue writing.

      1. Have you noticed that today and more often than not, not one of Rufus’ clues is more than 10 words in length and I think only one at that. Sharp and to the point I like it :-)

  13. Got all but 2 when I went out this morning but would not hav e got the answers without this excellent blog. One of them was 26a which I though was a bit nasty but loved 11a. The other was 12a, could’nt see the last word at all. Thought it was a bit too tough for a Monday but that’s only my opinion.

    1. Some days one just can’t get in tune with the setter – like me last Friday, when I gave up half way! Other days one can. I wasn’t trying to be smug earlier, I genuinely thought a lot of people would have done this quite quickly. You never can tell!

  14. Not sure it’s been noted here but I don’t think your explanation for 13a is quite right BD. I think the clue is a cryptic reference for clamping a vehicle rather than the place you put your luggage.

    Only just started doing cryptic crosswords, so this blog is a real education! Keep it up. Thanks.

    1. Hi Thom – welcome to the blog.

      Today’s review was by Libellule rather than BD. It’s an interesting thought that 13a refers to the “Denver Boot” or wheel-clamp, but if that were the case I think the answer would have to read “put on” rather than “put in”.

  15. All very enjoyable today – not much trickier than usual for me once 13a fell into place. Many thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review.

  16. Hi Libellule
    Strange how it goes! The other week I gave a Jay puzzle 4* because it took me ages, and everyone else said it was easy. Today I would say 1* as I more or less just wrote in the answers! Must have been on the right wavelength today, fuelled by relief that my optician this morning didn’t actually recommend a white stick and/or black labrador! The new very strong, very thin varifocal lenses are going to be hellish expensive though (again)!

  17. The usual gentle start to the week from Rufus.
    11a, 23a, 24a, 14d & 18d were my favourites.

    My son has arrived in the Var – no flight problems USA to Europe from volcanic ash this time!
    I set off on Thursday loaded with smoked eel, jenever and sambal as usual!
    We enjoy food from many parts of planet Geos!

    1. I hope you have an enjoyable time, Derek. It sounds as though you’ll be having a gourmets’ holiday!

  18. I did this watching my youngest son take 4 wickets for the under 9 side – a hat-trick too! A great treat. Missed 23a but otherwise very straight-forward my favourite being 14d.


    1. Congratulations to youngest son, and to you for managing to do it whilst “watching” him – can only wonder which you were concentrating on more! I suspect that I would have found the crossword somewhat more engrossing! :grin:

      1. with you there Kath, but when its your own playing, well it becomes really important even if you don’t understand the game properly :-)

    2. Congrats to your youngest – hat-tricks are rare indeed.

      Your weather must have been better than we had in Glasgow today, where the roads resembled Jerusalm on the original Palm Sunday, albeit with somewhat less exotic foliage.

    3. Also congrats to youngest! I played cricket for many years when a lot younger but never saw a hat-trick done! As Qix says, rare indeed!

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