DT 26567 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26567

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26567

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I feel like a circus performer working without a safety net tonight. In the past, Big Dave has always forwarded a copy of the completed grid as a backup in case I am unable to solve a clue. However, tonight I guess he decided to take the training wheels off the bike, as I did not find a filled in grid in the package. Luckily, it was not needed.

I awarded this puzzle two stars for difficulty, given that I was able to solve it without the need of electronic assistance. I perhaps should clarify that statement – I found solutions to all the clues, but I remain perplexed by the wordplay at 4d. That mess I leave for Big Dave to clean up in the morning.

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 Remarks left in needn’t be so rude, perhaps (6,9)
{DOUBLE ENTENDRES} – these type of remarks that can be taken two ways, one of them usually sexually suggestive, may be created by inserting L(eft) into an anagram (perhaps) of NEEDN’T BE SO RUDE.

9a Listening carefully when entertaining ultimately cruel king (3,4)
{ALL EARS} – how someone who is listening attentively (perhaps far too attentively) might be described is formed from a two-letter word meaning “when” into which is placed the final letter of (crue)L plus the title character from one of William Shakespeare’s greatest dramatic masterpieces.

10a In Sartre, a clergyman revealing excessive sentimentality (7)
{TREACLE} – a word that is also the name of a by-product of sugar refining is hidden in “Sartre, a clergyman”.

11a Feeling fine at heart — before instruction (9)
{INTUITION} – if you were able to sense the solution to the clue without rational thought or analysis, you would have this power – which, according to common knowledge, is apparently more pronounced in women than in men. Take the middle letters of (f)IN(e) and add a word meaning teaching or instruction or the fee paid for said teaching or instruction.

12a Bit of a bloomer from Home Counties friend (5)
{SEPAL} – here bloomer is neither an embarrassing error nor a loaf of bread, but a flower (and not a river!). Start with an abbreviation for the geographic location of the Home Counties and follow that with a friend to get one of the modified leaves, usually green but sometimes brightly coloured, that together form the calyx which surrounds the petals.

13a Palpable lie ruined by diplomacy (7)
{TACTILE} – an anagram (ruined) of LIE when placed beside (in this case, following) a word meaning skill or judgement in handling difficult situations produces obvious results.

15a Queen, in front of row, is more spiteful (7)
{CATTIER} – here, queen means a sexually-mature female cat that has not been spayed. When situated before a row of seats in a stadium, it produces an adjective meaning more malicious or spiteful.

17a Continue to complain (5,2)
{CARRY ON} – this phrasal verb meaning to continue an activity or task or to complain, can also mean to engage in a frowned-upon love affair (after 1a, did the setter miss a prime opportunity here?) and was the introduction to a series of British comedy films released over a period of a couple of decades beginning in the late-1950s.

19a Expectations initially found in a mostly seasoned player (7)
{AMATEUR} – start with A plus most (in fact, all but the final letter) of a word meaning having a fully developed flavour (as cheese might be described) or showing adult good sense, emotional and social development (in the case of a person) . Then introduce into this the first letter of E(xpectations) to get a player who takes part in a sport for the love of the game rather than money.

21a Sound warning in front of hotel chopper (5)
{TOOTH} – how an automobile driver might signal a warning to a pedestrian or other driver plus the letter represented by the code word hotel in radio communication will give this chopper to be found embedded in one’s mandible or maxilla.

23a Constant suffering after fun gets spoilt (9)
{UNFAILING} – an anagram (gets spoilt) of FUN followed by a wording meaning in poor health produces a term meaning remaining constant or never weakening.

25a Man with close ties in entertainment (7)
{HOUDINI} – a cryptic definition of a turn of the 20th century entertainer famous for his sensational escape acts.

26a Ring French friend holding equipment for Japanese art (7)
{ORIGAMI} – this originally Japanese art of making decorative shapes and figures from paper can be formed by folding O (ring) plus a French word meaning friend around a synonym for gear or equipment.

27a However distant, night now falls (15)
{NOTWITHSTANDING} – this alternative term for however is an anagram (falls) of DISTANT NIGHT NOW.


1d Pepys was strangely staid about religious instruction at first (7)
{DIARIST} – a word that characterises Samuel Pepys as a writer is constructed from an anagram (strangely) of STAID surrounding the initial letters of R(eligious) I(nstruction).

2d Dim student recruited by small fighting force (5)
{UNLIT} – a word meaning dim (perhaps due to a lamp not having been switched on) is created by placing the standard symbol for a student driver in a subdivision of a larger military grouping.

3d Debt owed by a couple of litigants with skill (9)
{LIABILITY} – a term for a debt or obligation is a charade of the first two letters of LI(tigants) and a word meaning the power, skill or knowledge to do something.

4d Facilities for reporting on train? (2,5)
{EN SUITE} – these facilities would be found immediately adjoining a bedroom.  [A French word that sounds like (reportedly) on is followed by a train of followers or attendants.  BD]

5d Great big twitch, potting one brown (7)
{TITANIC} – an adjective meaning colossal or gigantic is made by putting the Roman numeral for one plus an adjective or verb meaning brown (from basking in the sun, perchance) into a habitual nervous involuntary movement or twitch of a muscle, especially of the face.

6d Requirements for born leaders of drama schools (5)
{NEEDS} – born as it appears in the society pages of newspapers when followed by the initial letters of D(rama) S(chools) fulfils the requirements of this clue.

7d Perceive changes surrounding start of the Open (9)
{RECEPTIVE} – capitalizing the word “Open” is a bit of misdirection by the the setter. A word meaning willing to accept new ideas or suggestions is crafted from an anagram (changes) of PERCEIVE into which the first letter of T(he) is placed.

8d Second recount discovered bars of stars (7)
{STELLAR} – the solution is a term meaning referring or relating to or resembling a star or stars which is a charade of S(econd) + a word meaning to relate or give an account of + the middle two letters of (b)AR(s). Here the setter has engaged in a bit of mischievousness, using cryptic licence to make the phrase “discovered bars” mean “bars” with its covers (outer letters) removed (i.e., dis-covered). [You would not believe how long I sweated over this one.]

14d Burden on student in snub for esoteric religion (5,4)
{CARGO CULT} – we are looking for a system of belief – found primarily in the Melanesian Islands – based around the expected arrival of ancestral spirits in ships bringing cargoes of food and other goods. To find the solution start with a word for the type of load carried by a ship or aircraft and add to it a word formed by once again injecting our student driver, this time into a synonym for snub or ignore.

16d After time, managed to accept silly idiot’s custom (9)
{TRADITION} – we are looking for an established, standard or usual practice. Start with T(ime) and follow it with a synonym for managed or operated. Then wrap the result around an anagram (silly) of IDIOT.

17d To understand is to become popular (5,2)
{CATCH ON} – this double definition could also mean to snag , such as a sweater on a protruding nail.

18d To encourage in dishonour is healthy (7)
{NOURISH} – a term meaning to encourage, foster or supply with food is hidden in the last three words of the clue.

19d Insult that’s a f-facade (7)
{AFFRONT} – A plus another stuttering term for f-facade produces an act certain to offend to the pride of someone, especially when delivered in public.

20d Illegally fixing outcome of tackle (7)
{RIGGING} – another name for the kind of tackle found on a ship would also describe the act of compromising the integrity of an electoral process.

22d Greeting found around small island republic (5)
{HAITI} – an informal greeting placed around a British term for a small island in a river gives a republic in the Caribbean still recovering from last year’s devastating earthquake.

24d Asian having one right answer on question one (5)
{IRAQI} – an inhabitant of a Middle Eastern country situated on the Persian Gulf is a sum of the Roman numeral for one + R(ight) + A(nswer) + Q(uestion) + the Roman numeral for one yet again.

There are lots of nice clues today. I rather like the cryptic definition at 25a and 27a has an very smooth surface reading. Notwithstanding all that, my favourite clue has to be 1a.

The Quick crossword pun: {court} + {inert} + {rap} = {caught in a trap}

ARVE Error: need id and provider

63 comments on “DT 26567

  1. Enjoyable puzzle this morning. I had never heard of the cult (Wikipedia enlightened me).

    4d .. Word play maybe “En trein”, “En Suite” = Following.

  2. Was a good puzzle – liked 1a a lot.

    4d: maybe ‘reporting on’ means sounds like: so ‘en’; ‘train’ means something that follows: suite (as in a set of followers of retinue).

  3. Blimey did someone at the DT swop the Toughie with the back page today. Managed two answers! Pwew!

    1. Brian

      I started very slowly as well, but after the first few I filled it in fairly quickly. Keep perservating with it…


  4. I was also puzzled for a while on the wordplay at 4d – I eventually got the same reasoning as BD (actually it is the first definition of Suite in Chambers). Apart from that all was pretty straightforward and the usual Wednesday high quality. Thanks to Jay and to Falcon.

  5. Completed in record time (for me :-) ) and I really enjoyed it, lots of lovely clues 15a 27a.. Thanks to the setter ? and to Falcon for the very comprehensive hints

  6. I can see the reasoning thx to this excellent blog but I think this is one for the experts today. Going to be many years before I am able to work out this level of cryptic wordplay.

    1. Keep an eye on this blog Brian, and you will come to realise that many of the contributors have been doing this for DECADES. Give it a couple of years and things will fall into place.

      1. Thanks for the words of encouragement, I wish I had your faith :-) I can usually manage Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, sometimes Sunday and Wednesday but never Thursday. This setter seems to be working to a different agenda to all the others or at least to a different set of rules. I thought it was just me but all my work colleagues when I broached Thursdays crossword just laughed and said buy another paper that day, we all do!

        1. Be assured, Brian. You WILL improve. I could manage only 4 or 5 answers until I discovered this blog just a month or so ago. Now I manage far more without really knowing how. It just seems to have seeped into my brain!

          1. Agree keep trying, and reading this blog, Brian. SO glad that it’s not just me that doesn’t know the days of the week at the moment – far too many bank holidays – my brain has become completely befuddled!!

    2. Brian. All I can say is this:
      Check the blog for the answers that you do not get. We do (as a rule) explain them in clear English and try to point out certain crossword conventions that are probably unknown to most newcomers but will quickly become second nature with the right amount of perseverance.
      I am blogging on this (most excellent) site having been solving for the best part of 20 years by luck and judgement but it was only through coming here (and reading Time Moorey’s excellent book – see links for this and others) that I began to really crack the clues apart on a regular basis.
      A willingness to learn is all that one needs.

      Keep it up, its worth it!


  7. The Wednesday Wizard works wonders again. Many thanks to Jay for the entertainment and to Falcon for the review.

  8. Day off today so did the puzzle first thing. Never heard of 14d so used the hint to see if it was what I supposed. Thought 19d and 21a were quite witty, but even though (in 8d) I saw ‘discovered bars’ as ‘ar’ I thought that was a bit obscure. Thanks to the setter and Falcon. By the way, like the clip for the ‘quickie’ pun.

  9. Thanks to Jay and Falcon.

    Favourite clue was 1a.

    I’m also in the queue for understanding 4d, and ditto to previous comments about 14d. C_R_O/_U_T and STILL had to go through google to work it out.


  10. Thanks to Jay for an enjoyable, straightforward puzzle, and to Falcon for the notes.

  11. fairly straightforward today I thought. 4D did need a bit of thinking about (although the answer was fairly obvious). 3D and 19A were the last two in for me and fairly clear once the crossing letters were in. Enjoyed 25A and 14D. Not surprised that some people haven’t heard of 14D – its not a phrase used in common parlance. Suffice to say that there is tribe on a Pacific island (forget which one) who have a rather peculiar 14D in that they worship Prince Philip !!

  12. Just got back from laser treatment on my right eye but before they put the drops in I was able to take a quick look at the puzzle. Looks like it’s going to be a challenge for later when I can finally sit down & tackle it properly. (I’m typing this with sunglasses on & my right eye closed!).
    Thanks to Jay & to Falcon.

  13. Fairly quick solve for me today, although I too have never heard of the 14d answer – confirmed via google, but no problem with 4d or 8d. No particular favourite today, although very enjoyable. Thanks to Jay and Falcon.

  14. Other than 14d which needed the hints thought this very fair and enjoyable. Thanks to Jay and falcon.

  15. John Frum & Prince Philip are both cargo cults – if you’ll pardon the expression.

  16. Agree with most of the above, and thought that 7d was COTD with the gently misleading wordplay. Do we know who Mr / Ms Wednesday is? About the right level for Saturday’s Prize Puzzle IMHO.

    1. It’s generally Jay on Wednesdays, and, judging by the high standard of clues, it looks like it’s him today.

  17. I thoroughly enjoyed todays’ Xword. It was a bit difficult to get started but once I got going it all fell into place. Thanks to setter and the full explanations from Falcon.

    Where’s Mary?

    1. Think that Mary is away this week – no doubt she will let us all know when she is back. :smile:

  18. I’m pleased to see that my confusion regarding 4d has been cleared up. I see that I erred in trying to make the entire phrase be the homophone – rather than merely the first word. It did not help that I was unfamiliar with the meaning of the second word as a staff of attendants or followers. Probably more to the point, I suspect that my brain does not function well in the wee hours of the morning (it was nearing 2:00 a.m. here in Ottawa when I completed the review).

  19. A very enjoyable start to the first day back at work after a fortnight off. The splendid 1a has to be clue of the day. Thanks to Jay and Falcon too.

    The Toughie is very enjoyable too – after I had finished with that, the day went downhill very fast. Yet another case of ‘we didn’t know what to do with that, so we left it for you’.

  20. Entertaining and for once plain-sailing although I had not heard of 14d either – it’s good to live and learn thanks to crossword setters’ superior knowledge. Thanks to whoever is responsible for this one.

  21. Many thanks to Jay and to Falcon for a very enjoyable and not overly taxing crossword and excellent review, 1a was superb.

  22. Having previously posted this on the Toughie by mistake! :oops:

    A blonde walks into a cocktail bar and asks the barman for a ‘Double Entendre’, so he gives her one.

    I’m ere all week!.

    1. You beat me to this, but….
      I don’t like to use a lot of double entendres, but every now and then I slip one in.

  23. Thanks to Falcon for swapping weeks as, after a VERY late night and and a real skinful, I don’t think I would have got the blog done before about 1800BST !
    I enjoyed this puzzle a lot, once the hangover had abated a little,(still not fully recovered – more Alka Seltzer required methinks)!!
    Favourites are 1a and 25a.
    Thanks to Jay for a not too difficult puzzle for my damaged brain!

    1. Glad I could help you out. It sounds like you were out “discovering bars” while I was sweating over the puzzle “dis-covering bars”.

      1. Nice one!
        Thanks again Falcon, had a really great night with my old mate without having to worry about getting up early today! Head getting better now.

  24. Finished this more quickly than I have for a few days, hence actually having time to leave a comment… 1a’s anagram was very good, I liked the fact that ‘Queen’ in 15a wasn’t the ‘er’ at the end for a change, and I enjoyed 25a. I also hadn’t heard of 14d, but it couldn’t be anything else and Wiki confirmed, and it took a while to get my head round the wordplay for 4d.

    Thought the pun in the quickie was good, too.

    Thanks to Jay & Falcon.

    1. PS. For anyone interested, that cats have settled in well – they’ve started going out now and, more importantly, coming home again! :-)

  25. 14d…….. what?!?!?!?
    I must have missed the day they did Melanesian Island Religions in Geography and / or RE at school.
    Worked it out (eventually), but have never heard of it.


  26. Brain must be recovering! I’ve just remembered that Jay used this meaning of Queen in the one I blogged a couple of weeks ago – DT26555.

    1a. Wearing nothing in Queen’s variety performance (7).

    Hope you all remembered.

    1. Yup, one of those that got committed to the memory bank. Bit like the sheep “tup” which turns up now and again.

    2. I remembered! In fact, every time I see “queen” in a clue now, I think of “cat” – nor ‘ER”.

    3. Also, didn’t I see “cattier” somewhere yesterday?

      More like a bitch, paradoxically? (7)

      1. Indeed you did, Franco. Beam yesterday in the Toughie. I have also seen HOUDINI twice in the last couple of days. Them pesky setters!

        1. It doesn’t really matter though, does it? We had (I think) HAIRLINE three times on the trot and Phil McNeill, rightly in my opiniion, thought itr amusing to keep them all in.
          In a certain sense ‘A solve is a solve’ and the treatments were all different.

  27. Thanks to Falcon and the compiler. Enjoyed this one. Had to use a few hints. Favourite clue was 1 across. 2 stars for difficulty and 3 for enjoyment.

  28. 65% complete today, without access to the internet etc (I was in the LEGOland discovery centre at the time)
    1ac would have helped A LOT, and cargo cult was a new one on me too!

  29. I am not sure about the problems with 14d -I am 40 and am aware of the phenomenon even though they died out before I was born.

    1. That’s the problem right there…… you are s-o-o-o-o-o-o-o young you can still remember things!

      Funnily enough, I have heard of the theory of that esoteric religion- I’ve just never heard their proper name. Like I say- we call them “Wreckers” down here.

      1. Ah! My fault entirely. Young enough to retain info but old enough to have heard of it in the first place!. There are plenty here who might take issue with that! ;-)

        ‘Wreckers’ down your way were slightly different – devious thieving b**ards who deliberately lured ships onto the rocks with lanterns, killing all the crew, in order to steal the cargo.

        The poor blighters in a Cargo Cult merely pray for the return of (e.g.) Prince Phillip!.

        I once read ‘Moonfleet’ as a small child dontcherknow!

        1. I’m more of a “Doctor Syn” man myself.
          Even if that is set in Kent (probably- I’m guessing, because the Deuchars IPA has removed that part of my memory.)

  30. When I started this this morning I could only put in three answers and was on the point of giving up, but then bit by bit and very slowly other words revealed themselves. Chambers proved very helpful and I felt a sense of triumph when I finished it. Last in was the cargo cult, which finally rang a very faint bell in my memory — goodness knows why! Although I finally managed to solve the clues, I found many of them very difficult to work out and so send many thanks to Falcon for his explanations, and also to Jay for the entertainment. :-)

  31. A rather rubbish day so didn’t even look at the crossword until after supper. Did it all apart from 19a, which I have to confess I still don’t understand even having read the hint – am I being super dim tonight or what – and 14d which I would never have got, to quote my Dad “In the reign of Sam”!! The rest more or less was OK – like lots of others couldn’t quite work our 4d. Too knackered and grumpy now to 17a for any longer! :sad: See you all tomorrow. Thanks to Jay and Falcon.

  32. PS Do I qualify for the post of Mary’s social secretary? Seem to have told lots of people lots of times this week that I think she’s away for ten days or so.

  33. I’m not normally in time to comment, but I did all of this crossword bar 14d and 19a whilst sitting in hospital with my father who is rather poorly. Hence an unusual experience of being up with the pace! I particularly liked 1a being an all-encompassing type of clue.

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