DT 26583 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26583

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26583

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

About on a par with last Monday’s I think, a bit more difficult than usual. I am sure 11a is the most complicated clue I have seen from Rufus for some time, and we also have the return of a couple of old chestnuts.

On another note the Telegraph puzzles site seems to be suffering at the moment. It seems slow to respond, and then when I tried to submit today’s puzzle it took fifteen minutes and a large number of Error 0’s.

You can reveal the answers by highlighting the space between the curly brackets.


1. Fatted calf for the prodigal son was just the ticket (6,4)
{RETURN FARE} – A reference to the meal that prepared for the biblical “prodigal son” could also be a type of travel ticket that allows you to travel to a place and then come back.

6. I must leave firm, betrayed (4)
{SOLD} – Remove I from a word that means having definite shape and volume to get a word that means deceived or cheated.

10. Class holds university debate (5)
{FORUM} – Put U (university) into a word for a grade in a secondary school to get a word that describes a meeting place for open discussion.

11. Lab equipment twice set back without objection on reflection (4,5)
{TEST TUBES} – Place a reversed three letter word that means on the contrary inside SET that is then also reversed twice should then give round cylindrical glass equipment that is used in experiments.

12. Excluded lawyers’ right to be in action (8)
{DEBARRED} – A word that describes the legal profession in general, plus R (right) is then placed inside a word for a feat or exploit, the result a synonym for excluded or prohibited.

13. Afterwards? Dead right! (5)
{LATER} – Recently deceased plus R (right) means subsequently.

15. Designed shoe for dancers (7)
{HOOFERS} – An anagram (designed) of SHOE FOR is a slang term for professional dancers.

17. They go round but don’t join up (7)
{SPIRALS} – “curves on a plane that wind round a fixed central point in a continuously increasing or decreasing distance from the point”.

19. Leave one’s pad, having to use the stairs? (4-3)
{LIFT OFF} – The pad is a launch pad for a rocket, whilst the reference to stairs implies that the elevator isn’t working.

21. Dash to get article into cheap production (7)
{PANACHE} – Put AN into an anagram (production) of CHEAP to get a word that means flair or verve.

22. Old-fashioned engine-driver set out before morning (5)
{STEAM} – An anagram (out) of SET and the common abbreviation used to denote before noon describes a type of engine that is powered by water vapour.

24. Their depredations affect the stockholders (8)
{RUSTLERS} – Hoary old chestnut number one. They steal cattle.

27. Piggy is holding up another animal (9)
{PORCUPINE} – Put UP inside a word that means of or resembling swine to get a large rodent covered in bristles.

28. I burn out in academic post (5)
{CHAIR} – Put I inside another word that describes “burning the surface” to get the head of a department at a university for example.

29. Not far for cart to reverse (4)
{YARD} – Reverse a word for a low, heavy cart without sides and you have a three foot imperial unit of length.

30. Men on phone about an amazing spectacle (10)
{PHENOMENON} – An anagram (about) of MEN ON PHONE is also an unusual occurrence.


1. Fire out of control? (4)
{RIFE} – An anagram (out of control) of FIRE produces a word that means abundant or plentiful.

2. Stopped working, bored (6,3)
{TURNED OFF} – Double definition, what happen when you have stopped the operation of an electrical item for example, or when you lose interest in something.

3. Odd sailor gets up to dance (5)
{RUMBA} – A three letter word for strange, is followed by an abbreviation for a seaman that is reversed (gets up) to produce a dance of Cuban origin.

4. They’re bought and sold, but not as presents (7)
{FUTURES} – Financial products for example that are bought or sold at an agreed price in advance are definitely not available in the here and now.

5. Lives in des res I converted (7)
{RESIDES} – An anagram (converted) of DES RES I.

7. Circulate gold coin (5)
{ORBIT} – The heraldic term for gold, is followed by a small coin to give a word that means to revolve around something.

8. As Samson was when shorn of his locks? (10)
{DISTRESSED} – Hoary old chestnut number two. Samson might have felt upset when he had his long locks or ringlets of hair removed (3-7)

9. Stable with one working horse (8)
{STALLION} – The definition for this clue is horse, take a compartment for an animal in a barn or shed for example, add I, and then a word that means not off (working).

14. One’s belief in life and love accepted by boy and girl (10)
{PHILOSOPHY} – Take a boys name and then add a girls name, now place O (love) between them to get a personal outlook or viewpoint or any system of beliefs or values.

16. No mouser, perhaps, but pretty big! (8)
{ENORMOUS} – An anagram (perhaps) of NO MOUSER.

18. Confirm when definite (9)
{ASCERTAIN} – A word that means to discover definitely is constructed from AS (when) and another word that means fixed or sure to happen

20. Supply seafood without container (7)
{FURNISH} – The sort of seafood that has scales and you eat with chips is placed around a large pot or vase for a word meaning to provide or give.

21. Bill goes to North gate (7)
{POSTERN} – Bill in this instance is a large printed advertisement or announcement, add N (north) to get a small rear gate normally found in a castle.

23. Queen Elizabeth, right or wrong? (5)
{ERROR} – Another word for a mistake. Elizabeth Regina, R (right) and OR.

25. He acts as a substitute in practice (5)
{LOCUM}– A doctor who takes the place of another doctor for a time.

26. Press makes a German cross (4)
{IRON} – Double definition, to smooth cloth and a German medal.

The Quick crossword pun: {Milton} + {keens} = {Milton Keynes}

65 comments on “DT 26583

  1. Given my run of bad form on Rufus puzzles recently I was happy to finish this quite quickly. I was even happier that I didn’t get any daft ‘Error 0’ messages when submitting today – they must have migrsted across the Channel with the last batch of High Pressure.
    Thanks to Libellule and to Rufus!

    1. Gnomey
      When you submit and make a mistake you get an error message and can go back to correct but what happens if you submit and you’ve got it right – do you get any acknowledgement of this?

  2. Liked this one, especially 19a and 27a. Looked at the hint to fully justify 17a, and I still can’t quite see it. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

      1. Good morning Mary. I see what you mean, just didn’t quite see the relevance of ‘don’t join up’.

    1. The answer is exactly what the clue says. Try drawing one – you go round and round but the lines do not join up. Simples.

      1. That’s what I mean .. what ‘lines’? A spiral is just one continuous line in a particular shape surely? (Not that this warrants talking about for much longer, I know).

  3. The web thingy is working OK for me too.
    Enjoyed this one. No real favourites but perhaps 27a deserves a mention in dispatches.
    Thanks to Rufus and Libllule.

    BTW, the Rufus in today’s Grauniad is pretty good too.

  4. Rufus always seems to include a clue or 2 that border on the un-cryptic, such as 17a and 25d today. His compassion for the CC perhaps? Otherwise a pleasant work-out at the start of a new Crossword Week, and my thanks to Rufus & M Libellule. What’s the weather like at the Rose Bowl?

    1. I have just checked Accuweather and they give 2 Hrs of rain , 1 at 1.00pm and 1 at 6 p.m. I can’t really see my way past a draw though. If we had made a target of about 220-240 then put them in just after tea yesterday we might have had a chance.

      1. Unusual for Mr Strauss to be so adventurous – I suppose he reckoned that we couldn’t lose from there, and being 1 up in the series…………….? Sneaky feeling that G Swann might get amongst them!

  5. Very enjoyable with some clever clues such as 9d & 1a. Thx to the setter and Libellule.

  6. A Rufus crossword and a sunny garden to sit in to do it, what more could I ask :-) so many lovely clues today but there were quite a few I got stuck on and needed your help Libelulle, for two 4d and 17a, although I guessed 11a I just couldn’t work it out without your hints, also 27a, although I thought porcine was ‘piggish’ not ‘piggy’ ? too many great clues to mention, I could have kicked myself for taking so long to get 21d, as it was a word I used on one of my clues in COW last week DUH! and guess what no cricket today! Good luck everyone, enjoy and I hope the sun shines for you all too, thanks Libelulle for the ‘help’ I think my fav clue if I had to choose just one is 5a although the anagram is fairly obvious I think the reading is brilliant

      1. Hi Gnomey I meant in the crossword but I think you knew that :-) Its Wimbledon today so I can ignore the cricket just about

  7. Has something been done to the web thingy?
    Just after my post #3 there was a period of about 15 mins when I couldn’t open it. Now it’s back and running about 10 times faster than it used to!

  8. Great CW today, really got on the wavelenght & sailed through about an hour ago . Just told hubby tp post as sitting in northumberland sunshine for achange. Thanks to R great. pity no toughie on Mon. Now c

  9. 2nd word in “Quickie” is new to me. Enjoyed todays cryptic, no great problem and no particular favourites. Thanx to Compiler and to Libellule for his review.

    1. Wayne, Keening at a wake is a predominatly Irish expression of grief. It is a form of wailing that is interspersed with endearments, usually in Gaelic, addressed to the deceased. Keening is most intense if the wake is for a child. Keening is not like any other kind of crying. It’s loud, and goes on for a long time. When one keener loses volume, another takes up the cant.

      1. Thank you for that Digby, I should hold my head in shame as I am of Irish descent.

  10. TGIM (means we get a nice easy start to the week). Why oh why do we always get Wimbledon when there’s a test match taking place (not to mention Glastonbury ath the end of the week). Don’t they realise that its BOUND to rain and spoil the cricket !!

    Enjoyed 11A, 17A, 4D, 7d, 18D, 21D and today’s favourite has to be 1A.

  11. I have had problems with the telegraph website for the previous 2 days! Unable to save or submit…. and then later it would be fine- sent my usual moan to them! Enjoyed todays crossword but it was over all too quickly! Dull and cloudy here in East Kent :(

  12. I really enjoyed this one. Favourites were probably the faintly biblical 1a & 9d. Thanks to Libellule and Rufus. Rufus fans might try todays Guardian offering which is a wee bit harder imo.

  13. I didn’t take very long at all to finish off this nice Rufus – quicker than his Guardian offering – I have 11a marked as my top favourite. Thanks to Rufus for the entertainment and Libellule for the review.

  14. Thanks to Rufus and Libelllule for an enjoyable puzzle. For once I didn’t need the hints, found it quite easy.
    Favourites were 11a and 18d.

      1. Hello Mary, it’s a nickname based on my surname. Also means “old” in Welsh, but that’s irrelevant :-)

        1. Hi Heno thanks for that, actually ‘heno’ means tonight and ‘hen’ means old in Welsh, I am ashamed to admit that my Welsh is by no means brilliant but I’m sure that’s right :-) that’s why I was wondering why you were called ‘Heno’

  15. Nice and easy but very interesting start to the week. Personal favourite was 1a but also liked 5d, 17a, 22a, 24a and 27a. Now we will hear of nothing but pingpong for a fortnight -drat and double drat. Let’s hope there is plenty of football and cricket in the crosswords to make up for it! I am sure Mary and Kath will agree.

    1. Yes, of course – can hardly wait for all the cricket that’s going to be everywhere, not just in the crossword. Think that I’ll stick to the tennis – at least I understand that! :smile:

  16. Two good crosswords from Rufus today here and in the Guardian, this being the easier of the two. Favourite clues were 1a and 4d. Many thanks to Rufus for the fun and to Libellule for the review.

  17. I found this fairly easy and finished it quite quickly, for me anyway – helped, of course, by the lack of any sporting clues! :grin: Didn’t need any hints but did have to look up 26d just to make sure that I was making some kind of sense. Too many good clues to mention all of them but perhaps 27a as it reminds me of a story I heard which makes me laugh whenever I think of it. A woman rang the police to say that she had a porcupine in her cellar and was told to lay a trail of apples from her cellar leading to an open door so that the offending beast would follow it and leave. An hour later she rang the police again and said that she had TWO porcupines in her cellar! Anyway, on that note, thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

        1. I think the joke is Derek that instead of getting rid of the first one the trail of apples had attracted another one :-)

          1. Thank you, Mary – I think your first reply was clearly quite close to the mark!! :smile:

              1. Brilliant – you do always make me laugh, UTC, – even on yet another somewhat less than good day!! :grin:

  18. Finished today’s in very quick time – only one or two that I had to think about. Nice when that happens. Enjoyed 1a and 21d. Thanks to Rufus & Libellule.

  19. Enjoyed this puzzle. I always like it when you can trace the answer back to the clue without recourse to an Enigma machine. 15&19a went down well with only 17a causing some mild lunchtime indigestion. The Herculis was user-friendly too. Unlike BT. Thanks to all…….except BT, obviously.

  20. Lovely crossword, satisfying to complete just as I like them. Thanks to Rufus & Libellule

  21. Started late because I’ve been watching the cricket. Still at it but I thought 14d was clever

  22. Had a week away from crosswords and this was a nice one to come back to. As with several of you I enjoyed 11a – got the answer before I worked out why. Didn’t like 24a – the old chestnut – but all in all an enjoyable one. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule.

    Mary – Glad to hear you had some good weather – let’s hope it keeps up for the tennis.

    1. Hello Lea, welcome back, afraid its raining again, we almost had 24 hrs without it! :-)

  23. Finished this while squinting at Nadal at Wimbledon – how green the grass is on day 1!
    The usual enjoyable fare fron Rufus – many thanks.
    Likes were : 1a, 11a, 17a, 19a, 21a, 27a, 4d, 7d, 14d, 21d & 23d.

  24. I found this very straight-forward save 17a which I missed. Did it on the Victoria Line train on the way home and felt pleased save the one i did not get!

  25. An easy one, I thought. But then, if you know the answers everything is easy. I stupidly entered IAGO in 6a before realising I was trying (and failing) to be too clever.

  26. Finally out of Monday’s Clueless Club! If I’d been able to get on to Clued Up this morning I would’ve done it a lot earlier, but after quite an awful day this has been just what I needed and it’s cheered me up no end. Many thanks to the setter, and to Libellule for the review which I very much enjoyed reading.

    1. Oh dear – sorry that you have had an awful day but glad that the crossword managed to cheer you up. :smile:

  27. Whizzed through this one, which made a VERY nice change! Somehow the answers just kept popping up, which doesn’t happen very often – or maybe I’m just more on Rufus’ wavelength? Really enjoyed it – it’s nice when you can keep writing and not wandering off with a furrowed brow trying to think of something else for a while. So thanks to Rufus – and to LL for the hints, which I read with enjoyment and a certain amount of glee because I didn’t need them – for once! Haven’t completed Sunday’s yet though – am about 2/3 there, so will have another go before “retiring” for the night. But did need a peep at the hints to help.

  28. Enjoyed this despite (or probably because of) several d’oh moments. Makes a hat trick of recent successes for Mrs P and I. Probably some sort of PB.

    1. Well done – off to bed now – whatever happened to the “after eight club” ? Sleep well all.

Comments are closed.