DT 26592 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26592

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26592

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Another excellent puzzle from Ray T.  I thought this one was a bit easier than usual.

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    Hears drier’s flourished by him? (11)
{HAIRDRESSER} – an anagram (flourished) of HEARS DRIER’S gives an occupation described by the whole clue

10a    Pins to get to headless French delicacies (5)
{NAILS} – these pins could be used to prise open French delicacies, from which the initial letter is dropped

11a    Bearing sweetheart, intimate in hard embrace (9)
{DEMEANOUR} – a bearing or manner is created by putting E (swEet heart) and a word meaning to intimate or imply inside (in … embrace) a synonym for hard

12a    Unrelenting over bowled, say, keeping in (9)
{OBSTINATE} – a word meaning unrelenting is derived from O(ver), B(owled) and a word meaning to say around (keeping) in

13a    Scream expression of disgust following the French (5)
{LAUGH} – to get this scream put an expression of disgust after (following) the feminine definite article in French

14a    Shaving small organ (6)
{SLIVER} – this shaving is a charade of S(mall) and an organ of the body

16a    Don’t look so superior! (8)
{PEERLESS} – split as (4,4) this could mean don’t look as much – the whole word means superior or without equal

18a    Pulled out division captured in action (8)
{DEPARTED} – a word meaning pulled out or retired is created by putting a division or section inside (captured in) an action

20a    Motorcycle losing oil cap? Duck! (6)
{SCOTER} – start with a small-wheeled motorcycle with a protective front fairing and remove one of the Os (losing Oil cap) to get a type of duck

23a    Country’s source of Russian river (5)
{RURAL} – a word meaning of the country is a charade of R (source of Russian) and a river that flows through Russia and Kazakhstan to the Caspian Sea

24a    ‘Gay Divorcee’ with classy banter, dancing… (9)
{EXUBERANT} – a word meaning gay or lively is a charade of a former partner divorcee, classy / upper class and an anagram (dancing) of BANTER

26a    Time and energy without heart for practice (9)
{TRADITION} – combine T(ime) and a form of energy without the middle A (without heart) to get a practice or ritual

27a    Possibly headshot, often taken outdoors initially (5)
{PHOTO} – the initial letters of the first five words of the clue give something described by the whole clue

28a    Ominous entity swallowing redhead, devoured (11)
{THREATENING} – to get this word meaning ominous put an entity around (swallowing) R (Red head) and a word meaning devoured


2d    Cruise turned up under a false name (5)
{ALIAS} – reverse (turned up, as this is a down clue) a word meaning to cruise on the sea after (under, once again a down-clue only construct) A from the clue to get a false name

3d    Nervous, caught in forest I venture (7)
{RESTIVE} – a word meaning nervous is hidden inside (caught in) the last three words of the clue

4d    Bird is embarrassed on top (6)
{REDCAP} – this bird is a charade of an adjective meaning embarrassed and a verb meaning to top or outdo

5d    Boiled with rage? (8)
{SIMMERED} – a semi all-in-one clue – the first word means boiled gently, the whole clue means seethed with rage

6d    One helping rebel and endless revolutionary (7)
{ENABLER} – someone who helps is an anagram (revolutionary) of REBEL AN(D) (and endless)

7d    Angry about new fiddle face getting selfish (13)
{INCONSIDERATE} – put a word meaning angry around N(ew), a fiddle and a face or surface to get an adjective meaning selfish

8d    Flash around half naked statue (8)
{MONUMENT} – put a flash or instant around half of a four-letter word meaning naked to get a statue or memorial

9d    Planning gold heist at corn exchange (13)
{ORCHESTRATION} – a word meaning planning is created from the heraldic term for gold followed by an anagram (exchange) of HEIST AT CORN

15d    Put in danger protecting a royal (8)
{IMPERIAL} – a word meaning to put in danger is placed around (protecting) A to get an adjective meaning royal

17d    Show live set broadcast before Elton’s opening (8)
{TELEVISE} – a word meaning to show is an anagram (broadcast) of LIVE SET followed by E (Elton’s opening)

19d    Explorer’s return pronounced by some (7)
{RALEIGH} – this Elizabethan explorer sounds like (pronounced), to some people, to return or recuperate

21d    Disgrace of Catholic chick embracing primate (7)
{CHEAPEN} – a word meaning to disgrace or degrade is created from C(atholic) and a female chick placed around (embracing) a primate

22d    Moth set alight by heartless entomologist (6)
{BURNET} – although I had never heard of this moth it was obvious from the charade of to set alight and ET (heartless EntomologisT)

25d    Sailors with trouble on deck (5)
{ADORN} – the abbreviation of the armed force for sailors is preceded by some trouble to get a word meaning to deck, as in “deck the halls with boughs of holly”

Once again, an answer from the Quick crossword (20a) turns up in the Cryptic (13a)!

The Quick crossword pun: {bruise} + {willies} = {Bruce Willis}

50 comments on “DT 26592

  1. I am currently sitting down in a state of shock having finished my first Ray T without needing the excellent clues above. It must be an easy offering :-)

    1. Struggled with this one… never having heard of the moth, the bird or the duck obviously didn’t help. Off to read a list of animal names now :-)

  2. My solving time put this is the 3-star difficulty but it was one of those puzzles where a little switch went in my head when just over half way through so if I had been on the wavelength from the start it would have been slightly easier. Having said that, anyone who tries to make an anagram of FIDDLE FACE inside RED probably deserves everything they get !.
    Another extremely enjoyable puzzle from RayT – 24a was among the favourites. Thanks to RayT and to Big Dave.

    1. I don’t know what you mean.
      Recalcified seemed like a perfectly reasonable answer to me.

  3. Another RayT masterpiece, with French connection back and lots of nudge nudge!. Really missed him last week. Favourite was 24 but too many good clues to list. Why can’t we have a RayT every week?

  4. Excellent crossword again today, best of the week so far. Its so nice to see the word GAY being used in its correct form (24A). Also, the answer to 22D is also the name of a little hamlet just down the road from where I live – I’ve always wondered where the name came from.
    Really enjoyed 20A, 24A, 27A, 9D, 19D, 22D and my fave rave today has to be 7D.

  5. Couldn’t get on his wavelength. I found this quite difficult for a back page puzzle. Is it only the cognoscenti that comment on this blog?

    1. Don’t fret Drongo, it’s taken me 2 years to even begin to understand the way Ray T works. The cognoscenti love him but the rest of us do find his puzzles very tricky. I always think he should be restricted to the Toughie but hey ho that’s only my humble opinion :-)

    2. It’s not just you- I struggled badly with this.
      I got there in the end, but only due to being on a train for several hours, and because of my stubbornness.

  6. All quite straightforward other than 22d which I’d never heard of and had to look up. Lots of nice clues but no particular favourite for me. Thanks to Ray T and to BD for review.

  7. Was all going splendidly… and then I got SO stuck in the bottom half! Good workout and very enjoyable. many t5hanks to the setter! :)

  8. Totally agree with the BD ratings today. Didn’t take me long but what fun. Lots and lots of favourites, thank you Ray and BD too.

    The Toughie is a sneaky one today – I thought it was going to be hard – went and got a drink of water – came back and everything fell into place. Well worth a go as I did enjoy it.

    1. Put ‘5 letter word beginning with I for angry, n for new, think of fiddle as cheating, and face as a part of a block. Put it all together!

        1. Would you ‘see’ it better if Patsyann had said put a five letter word meaning angry or cross which starts with an I, around N for new, a three letter word meaning cheating or ‘doing’ someone and a face of a block.

          1. Many thanks Gnomey and CS I see it all now. It’s a bit complicated for my brain. Your’e both on duty late

  9. I found this a little trickier than usual for Ray T; it took longer than the Toughie.
    Plenty of fun, though, as usual.

  10. Quite a struggle today, but enjoyable nonetheless. 20a and 22d had to look up to check if correct, and in 11a for an age had the wrong definition of intimate in my head d’oh. Favourites 7d and 24a, Thanks to RayT and BD

  11. What a pleasure today. Do not usually have favourites but 7D was one. Initially put steaming for 5D which slowed things down a little.t
    Thanks to setter and Big Dave.

  12. Good, clean fun. Took a while to get going, then all fell into place. I wonder if the explanation to 19d might be a little topical, as in what tennis players do when they return the ball back and forth? Thanks to Ray & The Boss.

  13. Thanks to Ray T for an excellant puzzle, and to Big Dave for the review and hints.
    I’m usually ok with Ray T, but not today. I only got eight clues on the first read-through, then had to take four hints, which gave me another completed clue. Had to look up the other three, then managed to finish the rest. I found this really difficult.
    favourite was 24 across.

  14. I found this very difficult. I took me much longer than usual, several tries and much use of Chambers to come near finishing it. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’ve come to enjoy Ray T’s offerings, but thank him for the challenge and BD for helping me through.

  15. I’d agree with BD’s ratings for this one in general, but I admit to just not seeing 6d – I didn’t register ‘revolutionary’ as an anagrind, even though ‘ch’ didn’t fit anywhere and I don’t know any other revolutionaries! Should have seen it!! Despite the blind spot, very enjoyable and I learnt a new duck and a moth. :-) Thanks to Ray T and BD.

  16. Got the DT late today as we had to go shopping instead of the market tomorrow – we are going tomorrow to a restaurant that I used to go to regularly about 15years ago – so we shall see!!

    This puzzle was not difficult – faves were : 20a, 24a & 22d.

  17. Missed RayT last week. I never used to be able to solve his puzzles, but today I found it easier than normal.

    Is 4d the risqué clue? Presumably, 8d is the reference to Queen.

  18. Evening one and all. District Line today and I failed to get 6d (DOH!), 16a; and 22d (never heard of this creature). Frankly a very enjoyable chalenge and 3* for difficulty overall (certainly not 2*).

    Have a good evening.

  19. Evening all.

    Thanks to BD for the usual lucid explanations, and to all for your feedback. Also, congratulations to Brian on finally beating me!


  20. I do like a RayT puzzle. Most can be reasonably solved with a bit of thought. Even the duck and the moth were solvable although I then had to look them up to make sure I was correct. My personal favourite was 9d which I must admit took quite a bit of pulling apart. The only sad clue was 1a which I thought was terribly obvious but then again an easy start is nice when RayT is out to play! Thanks Ray and BD.

  21. Found this quite difficult, but got there in the end except that i saw 14a as a verb and got it wrong; in fact the liver is not small !
    Re 26a :I don’t understand how the wordplay works: what is the word that the e is left off ?

    1. Anncantab,Re 26a: it’s not an “E” but an “A” – “radi(a)tion”. See BD’s hint above.

    2. Hi Anncantab
      The E refers to a form of energy (think nuclear) with the middle A removed. T for time goes in front.

  22. Sorry, bit late on parade today – had visitors so pommette and I did this over a couple of pre-prandials after they’d gone and it didn’t put up much of a fight, but was very enjoyable. No real favourites but also no bad clues so pretty good overall – voted 4* on the star rating.
    The Toughie however was a different matter!
    Thanks to RayT.and BD.

  23. Derek’s comment made me laugh out loud. I found this a bit harder than normal for Ray T. A very enjoyable puzzle as always.

  24. Late again – and now I bet that you’ve all deserted me and gone to bed. I thought that this was one of Ray T’s easier ones. The one that caused me the most grief was, stupidly, 8d – couldn’t get beyond “bare” being the “naked” bit and “ba” or “re” just wouldn’t go in there somehow – oh dear! :oops: i thought the rest was quite easy, for a Thursday that is! I thought that his “trademark” risque clues were 14a and 8d. Too many good clues to enumerate them all and too worn out, again, anyway. Probably not “here” again for two or three days – nineteen people (all family) here for weekend – big birthday dinner, and weekend. Come to think of it, might take me a few days to recover – “see” you all next week some time, assuming that I survive!! With thanks to Ray T for the excellent puzzle and to Big Dave for the hints.

  25. I was rather pleased with myself for completing the Ray T with no hints last time around – this time, with only 8 answers in, I was completely stuck!
    Well, I found it difficult, but strangely fun – more ‘risque’ clues than normal too lol :)

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