DT 26571 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26571

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26571

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

Maybe it was just me, but this felt a bit formulaic today. especially 20d and 22d and some of the other clues seem a bit weak e.g. 6d and 14d. But as always there are some better clues to lift it, my favourite of the day 27a.

The full answer is between the curly brackets.


1. He ensures stallholders keep to the right pitch and come in on time (11)
{CHOIRMASTER} – A cryptic reference to the person who would be in charge of the boys who are likely to be seated in the chancel of a church.

9. A share in the plot (9)
{ALLOTMENT} – Double definition, a portion, and a plot of public land used to grow vegetables.

10. Lead a request for silence on the meadow (5)
{LEASH} – A restraining rope or chain for an animal consists of the common crossword word for meadow followed by SH (a request for silence).

11. Badly criticised, having performed over the music (6)
{RAPPED} – A word that means to have told someone off is also what a certain type of music that a performer would do when they spoke or chanted lyrics to a strong rhythmic accompaniment.

12. Measured and mixed malt and rice (8)
{METRICAL} – An anagram (mixed) of MALT and RICE for a word that means relating to measurement.

13. Motherly type? (6)
{NATURE} – The mother in this instance is the personification of the material world and its phenomena.

15. Andy’s one to provide a non-committal answer (3,3,2)
{YES AND NO} – An anagram (to provide) of ANDY’S ONE produces the sort of answer that is neither one thing or another.

18. One over the eight? (8)
{COXSWAIN} – A person who is in charge of a rowing boat.

19. Light vessel gets led astray (6)
{CANDLE} – A vessel made of tin and an anagram (astray) of LED is also a wax light with a wick.

21. Citizens taught in schools (8)
{SUBJECTS} – Double definition. A person who lives under the rule of a government is also a course or area of study.

23. Dive made by a footballer, perhaps (6)
{HEADER} – An informal word for a dive or fall is also a pass or shot in football that is not made with the feet.

26. Though solid in form, they may have fragile footing (5)
{IDOLS} – An anagram (in form) of SOLID and the second part of clue is we think a reference to “feet of clay” (from the Bible), a phrase which has come to describe something that is much admired but is also fatally flawed

27. Gluttons may have one, Alexander the Great didn’t (5,4)
{SPARE TYRE} – What Alexander cryptically didn’t do to a Phoenician city after a siege, also refers to a deposit of fat just above the waist.

28. Sees pottery cast in moulds (11)
{STEREOTYPES} – An anagram (cast) of SEES POTTERY were originally metal printing plates cast from moulds but now typically refers to generalised simplistic classifications.


1. Embarrassment of companion ends with a smile (7)
{CHAGRIN} – The abbreviation for Companion of Honour is followed by A and another word for a broad smile for a feeling of mortification.

2. Part of a ship or dock (5)
{ORLOP} – The lowest deck of a warship is also OR and another word for to cut off.

3. Adverse criticism of Boat Race — it’s overridden (6,3)
{ROTTEN ROW} – What you might say to one of the Boat Race crews if they lost badly is also a track for horses that runs along the south side of Hyde Park.

4. Assent to a change of name (4)
{AMEN} – An anagram (change of) NAME.

5. Visibly in tears (8)
{TATTERED} – Torn to shreds…

6. It’s made to measure (5)
{RULER} – Ho-hum. A strip of wood, metal or plastic used to measure lengths.

7. Shakespearean character too involved about the underworld (7)
{OTHELLO} – The Moor of Venice is made up from an anagram (involved) of TOO placed around another word for Hades or the world of the dead.

8. Scoundrel reconnoitred outside, took the plunge (8)
{CASCADED} – Put CAD (scoundrel) inside a slang term that means to examine carefully, as if you were planning a crime and you get a word that describes water falling.

14. Teaching aid — supplying subjects for sermons? (8)
{TEXTBOOK} – The Bible perhaps or other works containing passages from the Scriptures is also a item used in school for the formal study of a subject.

16. A shop floor humiliation (9)
{ABASEMENT} – A and the lowest floor in a building is also a loss of self-respect.

17. Dislike test said to be complicated (8)
{DISTASTE} – A feeling of aversion is an anagram (to be complicated) of TEST SAID.

18. I entered dream-home — in Spain suitably enough (7)
{CASTILE} – Put I into an “Englishman’s home” for a historical region of Spain.

20. Novices losing head as breadwinners (7)
{EARNERS} – Remove an L from a word for students to get people who are paid to work.

22. Relaxes when student leaves classroom equipment (5)
{EASES} – Remove an L from the sort of equipment you might find in the art room to get another word for being comfortable.

24. Cut the cackle and use the tea cloth (3,2)
{DRY UP} – What you would use a tea cloth for is also a term that describes stopping speaking.

25. Beware of schoolboys (4)
{CAVE} – Schoolboy slang for keep guard or lookout.

The Quick crossword pun: {planes} + {ailing} = {plain sailing}

69 comments on “DT 26571

  1. I agree with Libellule that a few of the clues seemed a little weak, but on the whole, pleasurable.
    27a got my vote too!
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule for the notes.

    25d is missing from the review.

  2. I struggled on this one – I am finding Rufus to be increasingly difficult and I don’t know why!. In any case the usual fare with some nautical clues . I liked 3 down when the penny finally dropped!.
    Thans to Libelluele and to Rufus.

    1. I found this a little trickier than most Rufus offerings, too.

      27a is a tremendous clue.

  3. Not one of Rufus’s best, but gentle and not too taxing. Agree with 27a as CotD, and thought 3d was quite clever too. Possibly an escape route for those stuck in the CC? Thanks for the debrief, mon ami!

  4. Maybe I was particularly thick today but I found this quite hard work – I assume it’s not the usual Monday setter (Rufus?). I initially entered “METER” at 6d which seemed to fit the clue, but slowed me down a bit. I thought 13a was a bit tenuous, don’t think I’ve ever heard the answer for 23a used to mean dive (although it is in Chambers), didn’t understand why 26a was right until I read Libellule’s explanation above. 27a has to be my favourite. Many thanks to Libellule and to the Setter.

  5. As well as 25d, the Quickie pun is also missing. A little more nauticality from Admiral Rufus!

    1. BD is responsible for the Quickie pun, I am sure he will add it when he is ready.

      1. Every fourth Monday I review the Guardian Quiptic on Fifteensquared. Having just published that I will now tackle the Quick crossword and its pun.

  6. Libelulle – many thanks for getting up early and posting the blog so quickly and efficiently. Sorry if some of the comments above sound a bit nit-picky – they are purely intended to help you fill in the odd hole!

    1. Digby,
      Not a problem, I made a couple of typo’s that needed correcting, unfortunately I was a bit slow, I had to talk to the bank re. an issue over the cashing of some USD Cheques for my company. Seems they charged me three times the normal amount… “bank error in your favour” – yeah right.

  7. A nice start to the week. Not too taxing but some pleasing clues. Fav was 27a. Thanks setter and Libellule.

  8. Good start to week. Is anyone else mising the review answers & hints …,mine finishes at 18a..nothing after that.
    perhaps its the old PC !

  9. Never heard of 25d. Couldn’t get 27a but a clever one no doubt. Personally I always enjoy Monday xword and today was no exception. Thanks to both.

  10. Can’t say I enjoyed this one today. Most of the clues seemed fairly straight forward but a few seemed almost too simple and obvious. I liked 27A but 3 D must be my favourite.

    Incidentally, re:25D – its also the latin for Beware (I believe).

  11. Morning Libelulle and everybody, its good to be back once again, I am getting really rusty with all these absences, enjoying yourself can be a real nuisance :-) I bought the newspaper on a few occasions last week and decided to see if I could complete a crossword without any temptations regarding ‘help’ unfortunately I must say, I am as I thought , still very dependent on my books, machines blog etc.! :-(
    I didn’t find todays crossword too easy and although having done Latin in school for 3 years did not get 25d! fav clues today 18a and 19a, never heard of 3d, though something is stirring in the depths of memory, as for 11a isn’t any type of ‘singing’ performed over the music, least fav clues 26a & 27a too much GK for me, thanks once again to LIbelulle for revies and to Rufus, its nice to start back on a Rufus puzzle, have I ever said I like Rufus days ????? ;-)

    1. Glad that you’re back – hope that you had a fun time. In your absence I have appointed myself to the position of your social secretary! SO many people have said “where’s Mary” that I felt I had to reply on your behalf!! Do hope that that’s OK. :smile:

      1. Hi Kath thanks for that :-) had a lovely time thanks, will be off again the 24th June so I hope you will be able to fulfill your duties once again ;-) sorry to hear about the torrid time you are having at the moment, I know what its like to look after elderly parents! not fun for us or them! Take care of you too remember :-)

  12. Very straightforward but I did like 27a. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule. The Guardian Rufus put up a bit more of a fight if anyone wants a slightly harder challenge.

      1. For anyone feeling the absence of a Monday Toughie, the Morph puzzle in today’s Indy is highly recommended.

  13. Didn’t ‘click’ with this today, but got there eventually. Liked 18a. Needed the hint to fully justify 27a, but then saw what a clever clue it is. Didn’t get 25d, but I suppose it could be worked out from ‘caveat’ etc. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  14. Standard Monday fare, thanks to Rufus and to Libellule, totally agree with the ratings and the comments.

  15. All ship shape and Bristol fashion from Rufus. 27a was a gem though 3d, 7d and 8d were other favourites. Thanks to Rufus for the crossword and to Libellule for the review.

  16. Enjoyable and I agree about 27a. Also liked 3d.
    17d held me for a while as I thought SAID was a homophone indicator rather than part of the fodder, D’oh!
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  17. I agree that this was a much gentler start to the week from Rufus. Rather too many dropped “Ls”.

    Liked 1a, 18a, 27a (VG), 3d, 8d & 16d.
    2d & 25d are old chestnuts.

    Back out into the Provençal sunshine.

  18. I found this a very pleasant start to the week and managed to get through it with a minimum of help. My favourites were 3 and 7d, but I am tempted to join those who voted for 27a as clue of the day. It was the last in and took a lot of persp as well as perseveration. Couldn’t remember much about A. the G. but imagined he must be a moderate eater as well as living before the invention of tyres.

    Many thanks to Libellule and Rufus, if it was he. :-)

  19. I must confess I answered CANE to 25d. It seemed the most wary thing I could think of! Clue of the day must be 27a!

  20. Sorry thought this was one of the most horrid Monday puzzles I have ever see. Far too religious for an old agnostic like me. Having said that I did like 27a but that was the sum total of my enjoyment today.

    1. Whats religious about it? There is “possibly” one religious reference in the whole crossword and thats 26a..

        1. Even so, there are no overtly religious references in this puzzle. Perhaps Brian is confused in thinking that crosswords should avoid all words that might offend atheists, agnostics and any other religious groups. While we are at it can we remove garden plants as well because I hate them.
          And that damned (sorry!) Ratel as well……..

          The last person to call a puzzle ‘horrid’ used capital letters and didn’t finish it either.

  21. Not as bad as Saturday’s effort, which ended up in the Much Too Difficult tray, but a struggle nontheless. Had to call for help with the SW corner in the end – a castle is not a dream home in my neck of the woods Thanks anyway.

      1. The clue refers to the saying “castles in Spain” (the same as “castles in the air”), meaning unrealistic expectations, hence “dream”.

        1. The following comment appeared on the hints for ST2562 by BD

          “although there are thousands of castles in Spain, nowadays “castles in Spain” means something splendid but non-existent: “fashionable adventurers in France used to impose on the credulous and get money and social advantages out of them by telling tales of their “castles in Spain”, which, needless to say, they did not possess” is the explanation of Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable”

          I used the Englishman’s home as a hint to the solution rather than a pointer to how the clue actually worked…

  22. It took some time to get going but then fell into place nicely. Thanks to setter and to Libellule for some hints which did not give all the cluess away easily but helped me to get them without referring to the brackets

  23. Today’s sent my grey matter running for cover on the LHS; couldn’t make ‘conductor’ fit into 1a however hard I tried. Had to give up and go and play golf and it wasn’t much better when I got back….would never have got 25d if I had sat here for a week…..I don’t think schoolboys say that any more….woteva! So many thanks to Libellule for some much needed help!

    1. Yup, this was my last in too and was dredged from the deep recesses of the brain’s archive! Went to that sort of school and did Latin O level for my sins so it came to me eventually. From the Latin CAVERE = TO BEWARE !
      Not a clue as fair as most you get from Rufus I thought!

  24. CAVE CANEM – bites. I think Rufus might reasonably expect most of us to have heard of this one. It’s a bit like ” ‘FORE! ” or ” INCOMING! ” but for different reasons!

    1. There’s also CAVEAT EMPTOR from the same root but I still think it’s a bit obscure for a Monday back-pager. More suitable for a Givanni or Virgilius IMHO!

      1. Nah!, it beats me searching for plants that I have never heard of and in my book not knowing some schoolboy Latin is an equivalent ‘deficiency’.

        CAVEAT is a wonderful gerund: SUCH THAT (something) SHOULD BE CAREFUL. One of the few words we have in the English Language that gives the feel is LEST and even that implies the negative!

        Faciam me tunica mea.

        1. Stay where you are!

          CAVE does come up rather a lot in cryptics, along with its cousins AVE and VALE.

          I was going to say that it’s “imperative” to remember it but, then I’d have had to take the tunica.

  25. So, what are you going to make your coat for?
    I’m with you on plants – always my downfall but Latin is OTT, apart from everyday sayings and things like IBIDEM, SIC et al. Since Oxbridge dropped the requirement of Latin O level for entry in about 1970 I think very few kids do it a O level, or whatever it’s called nowadays
    As I said – too much for a Monday..

  26. I think that other people have already said everything that there is to be said – just as well – far too tired/fed-up/grumpy to add much tonight. Have spent most of day getting my ancient Mum back into her flat – she has spent the last eight weeks in hospital since she fell over and broke her arm – this is not much fun for me or her. Tried to do the crossword in the one and only spare hour that I had this morning – I thought that it was a bit trickier than is usual for a Monday but probably my general state of mind. Anyway, started off badly by putting in, with a huge amount of confidence, “drunkard” for 18a. :oops: Eventually sorted everything out and managed to finish without need of hints. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    1. Kath, You have my sympathy! (Or is it empathy?) I spent a few years looking after “ancient” parents! Very Hard Work!!

  27. Enjoyed the puzzle overall, straightforward, but a nice antidote to the weekend.

    Out on a limb here.
    I hated 27a, which I thought was contrived, and a bit “classics elitist.”
    Still, you can’t make everybody happy, eh?

    1. I know what you mean, but any vocabulary that deviates from the restricted lexicon of the tabloids tends to attract the same kind of criticism.

      “The Bible? That’s so 19th century!”

      Geography? Why can’t everything be about where I live?”

      I suspect that Latin will become less common in crosswords, because fewer children are learning it. That, I think, is a pity. Still, we can’t expect the status quo to last forever. Tempus fugit ad nauseam.

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