DT 26565 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26565

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26565

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Not an overly complicated crossword today, although I haven’t seen the phrase at 8d since I was in the Navy CCF at school and I don’t think 5d works very well. Otherwise as entertaining as ever. Favourite clue 22a.

The answer can be revealed by highlighting the space between the curly brackets.

1.Question put by examiners? Fancy that! (4,2,3,4)
{WHAT DO YOU KNOW} – A phrase that could be used to ask about your erudition, is also a way of expressing mild surprise at finding out something that is unexpected.

10. Maybe first or second row in exam (7)
{ORDINAL} – A word that means “being of a specified position in a numbered series” is constructed from a word for a noisy disturbance placed inside a verbal examination.

11. Free to speak (7)
{DELIVER} – Double definition, to set free or to give a speech.

12. Left-winger has pace (4)
{TROT} – A gait that’s faster than a walk is also an informal word for a communist.

13. They are inclined to prevent steps being taken (5)
{RAMPS} – Inclined surfaces or roadways used to connect different levels, suitable for wheelchairs for example.

14. We get involved with the Royal Navy, so did she (4)
{WREN} – An anagram of WE and RN was a member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service.

17. Trap seen, ran out! (7)
{ENSNARE} – An anagram (out) of SEEN and RAN.

18. Desire in one’s child to become a doctor (7)
{SURGEON} – Put a word for a strong impulse or inner yearning inside SON (ones child) to get the sort of doctor who does operations.

19. Completed fitting, and not before time (7)
{OVERDUE} –A word that means arriving after an expected time is another word for finished followed by a word that means requisite or proper.

22. Suitable wear for a teetotaller? (7)
{DOUBLET} – An abbreviation for teetotaller is TT… now think of an article of clothing that would cryptically fit the definition.

24. Heap of carpets (4)
{PILE} – The yarns in a fabric that stand up or out from the weave is also another word for a collection of objects laid on top of one another.

25. It has many keys but normally only one lock (5)
{PIANO} – A cryptic definition of a musical instrument that has a keyboard.

26. Free, some bound off (4)
{UNDO} – A word hidden between bound and off is a word that can also mean untie or loosen.

29. Drink alcohol as a prop (7)
{SUPPORT} – Take a three-letter word for a small swallow of liquid, then add a type of fortified wine to get a word that means to hold in position so as to keep from falling, sinking, or slipping.

30. Asian country incorporating an American state (7)
{INDIANA} – Take an Asian country and put AN inside it to get an American state.

31. A fair example of downward spiral motion (6-7)
{HELTER-SKELTER} – A high spiral slide found at a fairground.


2. Pelt American all round ring? That’s horrid (7)
{HIDEOUS} – The skin of an animal (pelt), US (American) around O, that’s repulsive.

3. Get the pitch in good order (4)
{TUNE} – Pitch here refers to getting a musical instrument to play properly.

4. Away from work, one tours a fantastic vale (2,5)
{ON LEAVE} – Place ONE around an anagram (fantastic) of VALE for the time you are on holiday.

5. Complex King of Thebes (7)
{OEDIPUS} – This is meant to be a double definition, but it does not seem to work very well since the complex is also named after the king. Anyway it’s the son of Laius and Jocasta, who was abandoned at birth and then unwittingly killed his father and then married his mother.

6. Number clad in gear that’s Scottish (4)
{KILT} – Put L (Roman numeral for fifty) inside a three letter word for soldiers equipment to get an item of Scottish clothing.

7. The head gives old boy lines! (7)
{OBVERSE} – A word that describes the principal side of a coin is OB (old boy) and another word for a stanza.

8. Declare all points in order (3,3,7)
{BOX THE COMPASS} – A phrase that describes naming the thirty two points of the compass in proper order.

9. Race can be a big subject (5,8)
{GRAND NATIONAL} – Synonyms for big and subject when put together produce a famous horse race that takes place annually at Aintree.

15. Convenient Haydn composition (5)
{HANDY} – An anagram (composition) of HAYDN.

16. Sadly drop out of university, though outstanding (5)
{PROUD} – A word meaning distinguished or protruding from the surrounding area consists of U (university) with an anagram of (sadly) DROP around it

20. Cuts in the middle of Greece produce blackout (7)
{ECLIPSE} – Take the middle letters of Greece, and place a word that means to cut e.g. with shears inside to get the sort of blackout that can be caused sun or the moon.

21. He turns out to be an Oriental conqueror (7)
{EVICTOR} – E (East, Oriental) and someone who wins a fight or struggle could also be someone who forces a tenant out of property/

22. Dingy church has a place in modern history (7)
{DUNKIRK} – A neutral brownish grey colour and a Scottish word for a church is also a famous evacuation that took place in 1940.

23. Badly leaking connection (7)
{LINKAGE} – An anagram (badly) of LEAKING.

27. Gun may be mounted (4)
{COLT} – Double definition, a young male horse and a type of revolver.

28. I’d look up to see a star (4)
{IDOL} – ID and then reverse (up) an old English word for look or see to get a famous actor or actress for example.

The Quick crossword pun: {forty} + {chewed} = {fortitude}

61 comments on “DT 26565

  1. 8d was completely unknown to me and some of the 4 letter clues caused some head scratching. Perhaps not my favourite Rufus puzzle but nothing to really complain about (although I agree with Libellule on 5d to some extent).
    Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule.

  2. Another wet day so back to the crosswords. Nice easy solve today with 5d favourite. No football or cricket so not very interesting really.

  3. 8d brought back memories like ‘splice the mainbrace’ and toe the line’, ;swing a cat’ and ‘by the mark’, getting seasike just thinking about it.
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule, need to go on the upper scupper for some freshers.

  4. Beaten by the first word of 8d today, but enjoyed this. Was held up by thinking ‘drysuit’ for 22a, but when I eventually realised the correct answer thought it was a great clue. Thanks to all involved, and enjoy the Bank Holiday.

  5. I don’t think I find Mondays as easy as some, but I do enjoy them. 8d was new to me too, but so were 10a, 7d and 21d! A tie between 19a and 22a for my favourite. Thanks to the setter and Libellule for the tips: I’d have been tearing what’s left of my hair out without them!

  6. An average Rufus, I thought, but unlike others I did like 5d. My only struggle was with 8d – a work through the alphabet and the phrase appeared from the back of my brain somewhere. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  7. Just a thought, 29a, I originally decided to recognize alcohol as an anagrind and clue using ‘as a prop’ and so entered ‘sappora’ as the the drink. Still think it was a better answer

    1. What is an anagrind,please ?
      I’m sure that somewhere on the website there is a glossary, but can’t see where it is.

      1. The reason you won’t find it in the glossary is because it’s a “word” that I strongly discourage (along with inserticator)!

        It is short for anagram indicator.

        1. Oh dear – yet ANOTHER word that I’ve neither heard of nor seen – inserticator? I can guess what it means but I have not seen it used on this blog – I don’t think. Anagrind I have seen and now know what it means.

          1. I wouldn’t worry too much about these words, Kath et al. BD’s premise is at the top of the page: “crossword clues explained in plain English”.
            As bloggers we do try to keep to this worthy maxim as any unnecessary jargon tends to confuse and exclude.

            1. Thanks – I just always wonder … ! I have learnt SO much from this blog – I bore my poor husband to death.

  8. I am obviously not thinking cryptically this morning as finding it more difficult than usual, so will have to come back to it later. Don’t want to use the hints just quite yet!

    I am VERY glad there are no football or cricket clues!!!

        1. I’ll add my voice to all the other women who can’t stand football and cricket clues. The nautical one had me stumped today (cricket pun intended – oops, sorry).

          I did the crossword in two sessions today – two journeys on the metro. It was much easier on the return trip, as I didn’t have to mentally battle with one of the loudest mobile phone ignoramuses I’ve ever come across. I really think they should be banned for all but emergencies!

          1. Have to say that I’m a bit with you on the mobile phone stuff – what I REALLY hate is husband and both daughters all in the same room and ALL looking at their phones and checking emails etc when we should be enjoying each others company! Am also with you on most sporting clues – just can’t do them although I know that lots of other contributors to this blog love them!

            1. The annoying thing is I can usually do the cricket, football, golf clues. I take no interest in any of them, but have obviously absorbed a lot of vocabulary over the years.

  9. Gentle start to the week, 5d was my favourite, it could be the “marmite” clue of the day.

  10. Not too difficult although I came to a complete halt for ages with 25a and 21d – just couldn’t see them at all. Also made things unnecessarily tricky for myself by putting the answer to 20d in the 21d space – really not helpful! I’ve never heard of 8d but decided that the last word had to be “compass” so looked it up in Chambers and was told, right at the end, the expression and “see under box” so I did!! Does that count as cheating? Favourites today 1, 18 and 31a and 5 and 20d (once I’d put it in the right place) – best of all 22a. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    Absolutely pouring down here.

    1. That’s not cheating, Kath – its initiative. I found it under compass in my Chambers. What’s all this about not liking football clues after your weekend performance?

  11. I cannot say I enjoyed this at the time, but looking back, I can’t see why! Anyway…hey-ho; thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule.
    Favourite clues, 22a, and 21d.

  12. Enjoyed this…once I’d finished it! never heard of 8d and 7d/ 10a I guessed but did not knwo the words! Oh to be more literate! Off out to enjoy the sunshine! We have had some rain on Thursday thank god…probably because I watered the garden! Thanks to Rufus and Libellule :)

  13. A very agreeable Monday diversion. I also was held up by the first word of 8d, as it was an unfamiliar phrase. It and 21d were the last in. I had no problem with 5d, so am among the marmite fans, but no particular favourite clue either. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  14. Enjoyable crossword from Rufus. 8d was new though. 5d did not bother me. It reminded me of the old Tom Lehrer song:

    Thanks to Rufus for the crossword and to Libellule for the review.

    1. Tom Lehrer – Never heard of her? I just seem to have a blank screen! Maybe it’s my very old computer!

        1. It was worth struggling( and failing) to solve 5D just to hear Tom Lehrer again. Thank yoy.

            1. The difference between them was that Tom Lehrer was a genius.

              I still to this day remember “Be Prepared” and “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park”.

              From “Be Prepared”:

              “Don’t solicit for your sister, that’s not nice,
              Unless you get a fair percentage of the price”

              was very risqué in its day.

              1. Maybe, but I think “The Driving Instructor” monologue is pretty good … even after all these years!

                Not now, Mrs Webb!

                1. Completely at sea with all of this although I do remember the “Driving Instructor” which I think I associate with Tony Hancock – or am I barking up the wrong tree altogether …. ?

  15. A very nice crossword today. Thank you to Rufus for brightening the Bank Holiday.

    I also couldn’t get the first word of 8d – had the meaning and the rest of the clue, but just never heard it before. Live and learn.

    Lots of nice clues today – and I’ll go for 22a as the pick of the bunch.

    Spent too much time trying to get ‘he turns’ resolved into some sort of Gengis Khan figure… well played, Rufus.


    1. I did exactly the same with 21d (once I’d rubbed out “eclipse” which was in the wrong place!) Spent AGES trying to make it an anagram. Oh dear!!

  16. 30 years in the RN and never heard of 8 down. Had to double click the first word I’m afraid! I also needed the hint for 8d, then felt a bit silly. Favourite was 22a and rather liked 31a.

    Thanks both

      1. Very apt for 14a. Did I detect a mini Naval theme today with 8d, 14a and 22d and possibly 4d too?

  17. Good mix of clues today but not easy. Had to seek a little help on 8d before eventual completion (I think this rascal was really on the run from a GK puzzle). Liked 22a & 5d though. Overall a 3 star difficulty where I come from. Thanks to all.

  18. Well, eventually finished this with a lot of helps from the hints. Not on top form today so hope to do better tomorrow! Really was led astray by Rufus, so lots of ‘Doh!’ moments.

    Lots of nice clues, liked 22a, 31a, 8d, 22d.

    Thanks to Rufus et all

  19. Had visitors for the Bank Holiday weekend so started the xword very late, but what a joy it proved to be. I really enjoyed solving this one. Took ages to get 8d and resorted to Franklin for the first word, as soon as it came up I remembered having read the phrase, though what it means I have no idea!! That and 21d last to go in, partly because I was convinced 19a ended with “ended” and the “d” was difficult. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule for a fun day

  20. Really enjoyed working through this…more slowly than normal on Monday. Slightly tougher. As with others 8d was new phrase for me. Thanks both.

  21. Is it still possible to find answers for an old crossword ? My daughter got married on 14 May, and not surprisingly I didn’t have time for the crossword !
    i have tried clicking on the hints for that day, but it only tells me that as is is a prize puzzle the answers wiil not be given until later. I am obviously looking in the wrong place, and would like assistance please.

    1. The full review of a prize puzzle is published after the cut-off date for entries. Click on the link here to access the one for 14th May.

  22. I put organ in instead of piano(25across), which made it awkward to get 21 and 22 down, worked it out in the end.

  23. I found this website a couple of weeks ago and it helps soo much! I love the way the clues are broken down and I am understanding the construction so much better, now! Thank you for a brilliant service! It saves me having to ‘phone my father and ask for clues ( although he loves the fact I ask him for help! )

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