DT 26589 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26589

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26589

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

This is not one of Rufus’ best crosswords…

I also see that the Telegraph puzzles site continues to be a problem. If you are having trouble accessing it try a little later, and keep trying – eventually you should be able to log on.

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

1. Rome’s source for investors looking for a return (5,8)
{TREVI FOUNTAIN} – a baroque structure in Rome, from which a jet of water arises where according to traditional legend, if a visitor throws a coin into it, they will return.

10. Are moving home, it must be serious (7)
{EARNEST} – An anagram of ARE (moving), followed by a birds home for a word that means serious in mind or intention.

11. To some extent it’s of Iran’s making (2,2,3)
{IN SO FAR} – An anagram (making) of OF IRANS.

12. Ready to return to place of exile (4)
{ELBA} – Reverse (return) a word meaning prepared or capable to get the island where Napoleon was exiled.

13. I note and see love in the home (5)
{IGLOO} – I G (a musical note) LO (see) and O (love).

14. Odile leaves a large creature for a shorter version (4)
{CROC} – Remove ODILE from the longer name of a large aquatic reptile to get the shortened name. OK I know Odile is the name of the swan in Swan Lake but this is not a good clue.

17. For use in emergency, it’s a best seller (3,4)
{HOT LINE} – The sort of communication the American and Russian presidents might use, could also be a type of goods that are in demand.

18. Of Romanic origin, he was involved in early radio (7)
{MARCONI} – An anagram (origin) of ROMANIC is the inventor of radio.

19. Marks the broken section (7)
{NOTICES} – Another anagram (broken), this time of SECTION.

22. Listener’s complaint (7)
{EARACHE} – Pain from a hearing organ, also called otalgia.

24. Worst — and best! (4)
{BEAT} – Double definition, worn out or tired, or to defeat someone or something in a contest (my interpretation).

25. How government works as a rule (5)
{BYLAW} – A rule made by a local authority.

26. Nominally she gets five years (4)
{VERA} – The name of a girl is V (Roman numeral for five) and a period of time considered as being distinctive.

29. A noted soporific (7)
{LULLABY} – A soothing song with which encourages a child to sleep.

30. Possibly spy on fashionable medium (7)
{PSYCHIC} – An anagram (possibly) of SPY followed by a word that means stylish or elegant produces someone who acts as an intermediary between the living and the dead.

31. Traverse route gathering valuable discoveries (8-5)
{TREASURE-TROVE} – An anagram (gathering) of TRAVERSE ROUTE.


2. Not a well-cooked portion of savoury (7)
{RAREBIT} – Is cheese melted with ale or beer served on toast.

3. It is seen as an opinion (4)
{VIEW} – Double definition, scene or vista, or a personal judgement or perception.

4. Tiredness may lead to failure under stress (7)
{FATIGUE} – Weariness resulting from exertion or “to crack or break (a material or part) by inducing fluctuating stresses.”

5. All the same, a soldier has to assume it (7)
{UNIFORM} – Always the same or unvarying, or what a soldier has to wear.

6. What sea may do to ship (4)
{TOSS} – TO and SS (steam ship)

7. Conclude there’s no place for the damned (7)
{INFERNO} – A word that means to conclude from evidence is followed by NO to get Dante’s famous hell.

8. Fewer calls are made to have this reduced (9,4)
{TELEPHONE BILL} – If you reduce your usage of this type of handset then BT might reduce how much it charges you.

9. Trial marriage? (8,5)
{PRACTICE MATCH} – A game of football for example used in order to improve skills could also be a rehearsal of getting married.

15. Flog what might be silver (5)
{BIRCH} – A word that means to whip something is also a type of tree with white bark.

16. Tour right round a south-western city (5)
{TRURO} – An anagram (round) of TOUR and R (right) is a city in Cornwall.

20. Vessel churning up water left and right (7)
{TRAWLER} – An anagram (churning up) of WATER, L (left) and R (Right) is also a type of fishing boat

21. An expression of disbelief (4,3)
{SAYS YOU} – A phrase used as a rejoinder to a statement that means – you don’t know what you are talking about. How is this cryptic?

22. Model, formerly fat? (7)
{EXAMPLE} – EX (formerly) and a word that means large in extent or amount produces a word that is also a specimen or instance.

23. Author to mark with a tick, say (7)
{CHEKHOV} – A Russian short-story writer and playwright sounds like (say) check off.

27. Lady in a senile and repetitive state? (4)
{GAGA} – The two letter abbreviation for Georgia is repeated twice to produce an informal word for silly or crazy and also an American pop singer-songwriter (at least that’s what google says).

28. Disastrous sound — one changes colour (4)
{DYER} – someone who changes the colour of cloth sounds like the word dire.

The Quick crossword pun: {skull} + {remade} = {scullery maid}

81 comments on “DT 26589

  1. Good morning Libellule: Found todays cryptic pretty straight forward, thought 24a and 6d were poor. 15d best clue for me in what was a pretty average crossword. Out now to enjoy another day in the sunshine, predicted 32 degrees today in this neck of the woods.
    Thanx to Compiler and to Libellule for review, although I don’t think the hints will be needed much today.

  2. very straightforward on this really hot & sunny Morning .off to the garden.
    thanks to all

  3. Interesting comment by Wayne re 6d; just goes to show how sometimes a setter can get ‘unlucky’ and write a clue that’s too good! Contrary to poor, I think this is a highlight of the set – it’s just that the wordplay is so smooth and so natural you forget (or just don’t realise) it’s there.

    I’ve only bobbed in to mention it because it immediately reminded me of a clue by Dalibor (who you may know as Sil van den Hoek on FifteenSquared) in the puzzle he provided for us in Birmingham on saturday. It was full of sparkling stuff, but one clue left us feeling slightly deflated as it came across as a not very cryptic definition. When Sil pointed out the wordplay there was a collective thud as our jaws hit the floor.

    The clue for 6d is by no means as spectacular, but it’s still a great one… it’s just that you have to read it a few times to notice why.

    Anyway – to all who attended the Birmingham do, lovely to see you and thanks for coming along. It was terrific fun as always.

  4. Hi Libellule – I entirely agree with your comments, 14a particularly poor amongst a non-too entralling selection. Do we know it’s definitely Rufus? It’s well below his normal standard IMHO. Anyway, thanks to setter and to Libellule for the review.

  5. Thought this was going to be a tricky one until I found the anagram and that got me away. Best clues for me were 8d and 30a. Thx to the setter for a very enjoyable start to the week and to Libellule for the review.

  6. No real complaints here. Certianly on Rufus’ gentler side but I enjoyed it just the same. As per Anax’ observation – 6d was great – no-one said a good clue had to be rock hard and it floated my boat!.
    Thanks to Libellule and to Rufus.

  7. Not unduly difficult today although I echo some of the previous comments about some weakish clues. Having said that, I also agree with Anax’s comment – 6D to me was an excellent clue, very smooth in all respects and I consider it to be the best clue in today’s puzzle. Other enjoyable clues include 13A, 30A, 25A, 6D, 23D and 28D.

    Don’t want anyone to panic, but the sun disappeared from the Bristol area about 10:00 this morning. Just hope we don’t get any rain, off for a job interview this afternoon and don’t particularly want to get rained on.

      1. Doing a bit better than me then, first interview I’ve had since October ! Best of luck to you too

        1. I quite agree with Anax regarding 6d. Lovely wordplay. Is there any chance Anax, of a S&B meeting iin the south?

              1. I go from East Kent to the London gatherings without any major problems – they are well worth attending.

          1. Hi Peter
            Dave may need to put me right on this, but I believe that via Elgar there are meetings every week in London. Generally they just involve a few ‘regulars’ meeting up – although all are welcome of course. It’s only when the time is right, generally every 3 months or so, that a full S&B is organised and publicised on the various forums.
            The Birmingham S&B (Midlands) was only the second of its type, the previous one being some months ago in Derby.

            1. Hi Anax
              Many thanks for your considered reply (love your web site!)

    1. Well, the interview went OK. It did rain on me and has been raining off and on since lunch. Grrrrrrr. And I bonked my car trying to park (double Grrrrr). But I guess its OK as Murray won and I’ve got an afternoon watching England Ladies V Australia.

      1. Good to hear it Skempie (apart from the rain and the ding of course!)
        Pretty good here too ( thanks kath as well!)

        Unfortunately the train line has been closed so I am stuck in Blackheath ( in a pub as it goes!)

        2 more interviews tomorrows I won’t be on the blog until late.

    2. Good luck to you Skempie and to you Gnomey – I think interviews are the most terrifying things. Our eldest daughter says they’re really quite good fun – when else do you have the chance to talk about nothing but yourself ?!!

  8. I thought 27d was a pleasant contemporary clue but 14a was a bit poor. Overall it was a fine start to the week for me. Thanks.

    1. “Contemporary”? Then surely the answer would be WINEHOUSE … which doesn’t fit. :)

  9. Forgive my grumpiness, but I am certain that if this was submitted to the crossword editor from a new compiler he would be sent away with a flea in his ear; I also suspect that if the compiler had presented this to the Guardian crossword editor, the reaction would have been the same – I honestly believe that this compiler saves his worse clues for the Telegraph. Yes, I know that the Monday crossword is traditionally straightforward, but some of today’s clues? Take 8d, for example – does anyone really believe this clue to be worthy of a cryptic crossword?
    There are plenty of potential compilers out there who can produce crosswords which are as easy as this yet manage to induce a feeling of satisfaction for the solver. I really think it’s time the crossword editor of the Telegraph judged crosswords in isloation rather than by the name of the compiler.
    Again, apologies for the grumpiness, but…

  10. Perhaps not one of his absolute classics, and not every clue works in all contexts (8d didn’t impress me either this morning) but Rufus is one of the all-time great setters, continues to be so, with a unique style and a lot of humour. You/we should all miss him badly when he’s gone. I still enjoyed this very much, there were some lovely clues (Telegraph Puzzles aka ScrewedUpStill let me in without any trouble at 11am today) and today’s Guardian Rufus is also a very pleasant solve. Crosswordland with nothing but Elgar Fridays would be a tiresome place…..

    1. The point I was trying to convey is that we all know what a wonderful compiler Rufus is – it’s just a shame that nobody would realise this if they judged him on his recent offerings in the Telegraph. I don’t blame Rufus for this, I blame the crossword editor.

  11. Not much challenge or enjoyment today. 24 ac “beat(s)” me. Let’s hope for more fun tomorrow!

  12. Agreed re lack of enjoyment but it did take me twice as long as usual for a Rufus to get to the end of it. I liked 6d too. Thanks to Rufus for the crossword (I did prefer your Grauniad puzzle today), and to Libellule for the hints.

    There are lots of nice cryptics out there this morning, the aforementioned Guardian Rufus, the Quiptic, the Indy, FT (all available via their respective websites) and the Times are all worth a try. And yes, I have been working too, honest, even though its very very muggy here.

  13. Not a lot of fun today. So straightforward I could not believe it was the DT cryptic.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the blog.

  14. I agree with the majority in that was far too easy! having once again struggled to get online, it was over and done with in a flash! I have emailed the Telegraph countless times about the problematic website which I PAY FOR! Still get the usual ‘apology’ but no more. Imagine paying a gas bill, but get no/intermittent gas supply! Thanks for the hints Libellule even if they were not needed!

  15. Thanks to Libellule & Rufus.
    I found this very easy, clueing was fair, fav was 23d.
    Quite a dull ride.

  16. Oh dear! Still everyone is entitled to the odd off day. For me 15d was best and 21d was the worst of a number of poor clues, most unusual for a Monday.

  17. Hmm! Overall one of Graham Taylor’s famous comments (2,1,3,4,4) comes to mind … but in reverse order, a la Yoda.

    Done while waiting for SWMBO to pick up prescription; glad she wasn’t held up or I’d have had to start the General Knowledge – which generally leaves me with an “I’m sure I knew that once upon a time” feeling.

  18. Where to start?
    Firstly, as a Computer developer for over 30 years, no way would I use the on-line thingy. Give me a nice thick broadsheet any day. Serves you all right for relying on technology.
    Secondly, I thought 8d was not even cryptic, and tried to find a “proper answer” before I wrote it in.
    Thirdly….. play nicely boys and girls, we all have our off days, and even if this is a bit below par, at least it was on a Monday, when I am usually suffering from tussling endlessly with the Saturday and Sunday puzzles, and am grateful for the rest.

    Finally, what a bad day not to have a Toughie…………

    1. Without the technology I wouldn’t be able to do the crossword, let alone the blog. It would be about an hours round trip to get an upto date Telegraph (assuming they had one), and then I would probably pay four euros plus for the privilege. However if I am paying for a service from a company, technological or otherwise, I do expect them to provide it.

  19. ………having said that about technology, my pen exploded on a ‘plane today, but luckily only made a mess of the newspaper and not me, so I was almost hoist by my own petard!
    Or does a pen count as technology? It probably would in Chambers, but it’s one of those words whose meaning is sliding inexorably into something else. (Technology, not pen.)

  20. The heatwave seems to be making us all grumpy. This took me slightly longer than normal for a Rufus crossword so I did not find it “far too easy”. The only clue I frowned slightly at was 21d otherwise there was a good selection of golden oldies (which will be new for some of more tender years) and some to get you thinking like 15d and the usual smooth surface readings and a good balance of clue types. It may not have had some of the sparkle of other Rufus crosswords but even Rufus below scintillating is still enjoyable. Many thanks to him and to Libellule for the review.

    1. With hindsight and a lot of cool drinks and a post-sweltering-office-sit under a shady tree in the garden, you might be right about the heatwave making us grumpy. This particular Rufus did take me twice as long as usual to solve and there were even a couple where I thought I might have to take a Gnomement but was saved from embarrassment just in time. Perhaps the problem with us all was that it was a slightly different Rufus, who knows?

  21. Please give rufus a break – he is a prolific crossword compiler and has produced well over 2 million clues. He is considered to be the King of compilers.

  22. Thanks for the help today, but can I also ask for guidance about hyphenated words. At risk of showing my ignorance is it acceptable for Compilers to treat these as a single word. I always believed that 25 across was hyphenated and Collin’s dictionary backs me up on that. This is not the only time I have wondered about this and I am not bothered either way, but would appreciate any one’s wisdom.

    1. joegtee,
      The “bible” for Telegraph puzzles is Chambers Dictionary and that allows bylaw and bye-law (but not by-law or byelaw).

  23. Going against the grain I know, but I found this very agreeable. OK, a couple of clues were klunky but I’ve seen worse and there were some clever ones eg 23a. Anyway, a backpage cryptic I can complete is always a good one!

  24. In defence of Rufus I would say this wasn’t as bad as some make out. Imagine if you are completely new to cryptics, as some surely are, then this would be a welcome introduction to the dark art of cruciverbalism. Mind you I do agree the Grauniad is better today.

    Muggy? You can just about spoon the air! I suppose it’s because we live on a small island at the far end of the Atlantic that we don’t enjoy the long warm summers of some of our continental neighbours such as Libellule & Pommers inter alia.

  25. I agree this wasn’t one of Rufus’ best (I completed in well under the usual time, whilst watching tennis!!), but it was still enjoyable. As others have commented, the cryptic nature of 8d and 21d is somewhat questionable, but I liked 9d and 28d. Thanks to Rufus & Libellule.

    On days like today I actually appreciate being in the office – air-conditioning is a wonderful thing! But dreading the journey home… :-(

    1. If you are in the office, do your employers allow the doing of crosswords?

              1. Not quite for myself – I do employ 5 other people – but I am the Managing Director :-)

  26. I found this a bit more difficult than is usual for a Monday and needed the hints for 25a and the first word of 21d – if I’d got one of those I’d have got the other. Looking at both of them now I should have got them – oh dear – never mind! I couldn’t get beyond the swan in 14a so that took a while too, as did 1a. I liked 29 and 30a and 6, 15 and 23d. I enjoyed this crossword although perhaps not QUITE as much as normal for a Rufus one – feel as if I should stand up for him, particularly in Mary’s absence – he is, after all, her favourite compiler. With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    Feels a bit like living in a swamp in Oxford today – very hot and muggy but off up the garden now.

  27. I do hope that, should he pop in to read the review, Rufus doesn’t take the hump and forsake us. Just imagine Monday mornings without him! I’m that sure I speak for the absent Mary, and many others, when I say that even if this wasn’t one of his best efforts, Rufus is still a part of Crossword Royalty.

  28. Thanks for the tips Libellule, I couldn’t have finished it without you. It’s also 34 C here. Oh for the rain of Blighty?

    1. 29 in the shade in the East Kent countryside – thunderstorms later apparently.

  29. I have finished it and just read all the comments. I didn’t find it as bad as some. Mind you I didn’t like 14a nor 21d but really enjoyed 6d (got it second after I had done 11a). I thought it was a clever clue – and thanks Anax for the info you provided.

    Started 9d with training but couldn’t think of a second word – except game – and that threw me off on 22a. Once sorted I was okay.

    Thanks Libellule for the review and Rufus for the puzzle. Mondays would not be the same without you.

  30. Evening one and all. A very hot tube commute today which meant 25a eluded me as did 15d. Still, it should be cooler tomorrow and I have a day with the paper at The Oval. Come on England.

  31. Goodness – that seems to have stirred up everyone!! I didn’t find it TOO difficult but enjoyed it nonetheless, doing it in two sessions between packing (which I hate with a passion though enjoy myself once at destination – I’m a “beam me up Scottie” person, that would be just great!) Didn’t like 25a – I got it but didn’t write in as thought “no, can’t be that, too easy” – liked 30a, 8d (made me laugh) and also 6d, which took me ages to “see”, so agree with a number of comments above on that one – very clever, I thought. Hot and muggy here with occasional rain but no thunder – as yet! Thanks to Libellule for the explanations.
    (Well I never – have jus noticed that the “Comment” bit is now back to what it used to be???)

  32. In spite of all the criticism where would we be without Rufus and the other geniuses who endlessly supply us with daily amusement with the cryptic crossword! Have a heart! 6d and 30a my personal favourites, and if some clues are a bit “off”, try and do better yourself!! Thanks to Rufus and Libellule

    1. I couldn’t agree more! I always think that the only people who can justifiably criticise a cryptic crossword are those who have set one themselves! I have never done it, and never will.

      (Ok some you like and some you don’t like!) I didn’t like this one,but Rufus has set some of the best clues I’ve ever seen!

      1. Maybe Rufus will exact his revenge next Monday? Then everyone will complain that it was too difficult!

  33. I would advise you all to leave Rufus alone, otherwise you will have Pommette to deal with! He’s her favourite setter and she can be a bit awesome when roused, I know as I get enough 22a from her (especially when I forgot our anniversary a couple of weeks ago)!
    I thought this a nice start to the week and, OK, maybe it wasn’t was a bitb elow par for Rufus but it was alright for a Monday IMHBAUO*.
    Thanks Rufus, I’ll try your Grauniad when I get a mo. Maybe tomorrow when the M-i-L has gone home.
    Also thanks to Libellule – nice review..V hot here too!

    * In My Humble, Biased And Uninformed Opinion.

    1. SO glad that you added the last bit – was just about to ask what it meant! :smile: good luck with M-i-L. Wonder how Mary is getting on with hers.

      1. I actually get on with mine OK, although she’s going a little dotty and infirm recently. That’s why pommette went to the UK to fly back here with her. Reduces stress levels! When she used to drive to see us in Stafford I would usually greet her by saying “you get the broomstick parked OK?” for which I’d get a clip round the ear and a big grin! .It just gets a bit trying when she’s here for 8 days! Don’t know about Mary, I can only wish her good luck.

  34. Hi all. I can see very little mention of 1a – one of those nasty gen knowledge clues and I believe obscure at that. It seems however I am alone in this. Otherwise found this generally ok – pleasant enough for a sunny Monday.

    1. I was going to say something along those lines but forgot! That’s what having pommette’s mum here for a week does to you!

        1. No – definitely not alone – that one took me a long time too, even though I had pretty much alternate letters in from the down clues.

        2. Have to admit pommette got that one! I don’t know nowt about Roman fountains and chucking coins in!

  35. Quite easy… but it was alright I thought. I do enjoy the Monday crossword and there were a few smiles.

    Favourite clue was 15d.

    Actually, I’ve looked through the clues again … and with hindsight, it wasn’t that good. I still enjoyed it at the time.

    Thanks to Libellule, and – presumably – to Rufus.



  36. Still VERY hot and humid here but “they” seem to have changed their minds about rain/thunder/hail etc etc. A pity – another good soaking would do the garden a lot of good, and clear the air a bit. Goodnight all – sleep well.

  37. Finished this puzzle this morning – not one of Rufus’ best.
    1a, 12a, 18a, 9d, 22d & 28d were best for me.

    Shall try Herculis later in the week and then wait until Friday for The Don!

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