DT 26598 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26598

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26598

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Lucky me! Not only do I have two puzzles from Ray T this week but I also get to review both. This one is definitely at the easier end of the scale, but still great fun.

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.


7a    Prince possibly taking on core of ‘Time’ band (8)
{REGIMENT} – no, not the singer who once changed his name to a symbol but a Prince who is appointed to administer a state because the monarch is a minor or is absent or incapacitated – insert the middle letters (core) of (T)IM(E) to get a large band of soldiers – The Time are closely associated with Prince and have toured with him

9a    Man controlling jumbo? (6)
{MAHOUT} – a cryptic definition of a person who works with and rides an elephant

10a    Tart possessing large mansion (4)
{PILE} – put a type of tart, typically with a top and base of pastry, around L(arge) to get a slang word for a mansion

11a    Go in force for campaign (10)
{ENTERPRISE} – a charade of a words meaning to go in and to force open gives a campaign or venture

12a    Failure hitched to useless other half (6)
{MISSUS} – a failure followed by the abbreviation meaning useless or unserviceable gives a word meaning the other half or a female partner – spoken from the heart?

14a    Police comeback after record is nothing irregular (8)
{EPISODIC} – reverse (comeback) a police department after a record with four tracks, IS from the clue and O (nothing) to get a word meaning irregular or intermittent

15a    Steed around start of Avengers getting rough (6)
{HOARSE} – no, not John Steed but an equine version – put this around the first letter (start of) Avengers to get an adjective meaning rough or croaky

17a    Feels sorry for topless birds (6)
{EGRETS} – take a word meaning feels sorry for and drop the initial R (topless) to get these white herons

20a    Described by a throw before a strike back? (8)
{PARABOLA} – a charade of A, a throw, another A and a strike is reversed (back) to get the path described by said throw [Chambers: The path of a projectile under the influence of gravity follows a curve of this shape.]

22a    Direction past British frontier (6)
{BORDER} – put a direction or command after B(ritish) to get a frontier

23a    New lot isn’t prepared for Hollywood (10)
{TINSELTOWN} – an anagram (prepared) of NEW LOT ISN’T gives a nickname for Hollywood

24a    Turned on following Sun’s opening (4)
{SLIT} – put a word meaning turned on or illuminated after (following) S(un) to get an opening

25a    Quiet religious leader in Eastern temple (6)
{SHRINE} – a charade of a command to keep quiet, R (Religious leader) IN from the clue and E(astern) gives a temple or other holy place

26a    Sailor and prophet to traverse afar (8)
{SEAFARER} – this sailor is created by putting a prophet or soothsayer around AFAR


1d    Wicked stunner with wicked heart (8)
{DEVILISH} – to get this adjective meaning wicked put a stunning young lady around (with … heart) another adjective meaning wicked

2d    A duck found on English river (4)
{NILE} – a charade of a score of zero (duck) and E(nglish) gives an African river

3d    Handles leader of socialist party turning up (6)
{LEVERS} – these handles or bars are created by reversing (turning up) S (leader of Socialist) and a party or celebration

4d    Police chief contains damage, feeling hurt (8)
{SMARTING} – put the stage name of Gordon Sumner, the leader of the group Police, around a word meaning to damage to get a word meaning feeling hurt

5d    Ben-Hur, perhaps, where a dust-up is held in acclaim (10)
{CHARIOTEER} – Ben-Hur was one of these – put A from the clue and a dust-up or disturbance inside a verb meaning to acclaim or applaud

6d    Terribly slim, consuming ends of uneatable cereal (6)
{MUESLI} – put an anagram ()terribly of slim around (consuming) the first and last letters (ends) of UneatablE to get this cereal that I had for this morning’s breakfast

8d    Recite the rhyme holding rope (6)
{TETHER} – hidden (holding) inside the first three words of the clue is this rope

13d    Skill displayed in the main by 26? (10)
{SEAMANSHIP} – this skill could be displayed in the Spanish Main by the answer to 26 across

16d    Queen following ought to support ‘Under Pressure’ (8)
{SHOULDER} – one of Ray T’s signature clues alludes to a track by Queen – put the abbreviation for Elizabeth Regina after a word meaning ought to to get a verb meaning to support

ARVE Error: need id and provider

18d    Model minces about holding case of perfume (8)
{SPECIMEN} – to get this model or sample put an anagram (about) of MINCES around (holding) the outside letters (case) of PerfumE

19d    Glib one’s grasping old lingo (6)
{PATOIS} – put a word meaning glib (which is also came up in the Quick crossword) and IS (1s / ones) around O(ld) to get this lingo or dialect

21d    Airhead blonde’s on fire (6)
{ALIGHT} – a charade of the first letter (head) of Air and an adjective meaning blonde gives a word meaning on fire

22d    Elitist returned with excellent Oriental art (6)
{BONSAI} – reverse (returned) an elitist and follow it with excellent or first class to get the Oriental art of growing dwarf trees

24d    Some con artists may, initially (4)
{SCAM} – the intial letters of the first four words in the clue give a swindle described by the whole clue

Our setter signed today’s Quick crossword with “25a Beam (3)”.

Today’s Quick crossword pun: {tor} + {pat} + {hunt} + {tales} = (top hat and tails}

42 comments on “DT 26598

  1. I share your favourites of 20a and 18d (amongst all the others). Agreed it was a tad easier than many RayT’s but still lots of fun!. I twigged who after your email on the Tart/Pie debate gaving just got to the Queen clue. Thanks to BD and many thanks to RayT for a great second dose this week.

  2. This one had some excellent surface reads; 21d made me snigger.
    Many thanks to RayT for a most enjoyable puzzle, and to BD for the review.

  3. Very enjoyable. Can’t say I’d call a pie a tart though, I always thought that tarts were uncovered pies but Hey Ho.

    Enjoyed 12A, 1D, 5D, 19D, 22D and today’s pick of the pops has to be 20A.

  4. Can’t agree so far with the comments, this was difficult for me, got stuck for ages on the top half and had never heard of 20a, nearly all RayT s puzzles are verging on toughie for me unfortunately, I find it difficult to get into his way of clueing but that’s just me! I perservated and got there eventually without the hints but lots of other ‘help’ I must admit, for myself a 3* at least today, did have a favourite clue however 1d, good luck everyone, enjoy :-)

    1. I agree Mary, I thought this one should have been inside the paper not on the back page! I could only do half of the clues without resorting to the hints – not much enjoyment in that!

        1. If you think that’s tough – have a go at today’s Toughie! Just put the last one in, and what a struggle that was!

  5. Briefly held up by thinking C……C or AC…..C in 4d, before my skull resonated to the sound of a tumbling coin of the realm. Liked 7a, 20a and 5d.

  6. I also had 6d for breakfast. Don’t know that it did me much good, though as I found this quite a struggle. After a good start I got thoroughly stuck in the NW corner and finally needed the hints for 1a, 2d and 3d. I got 16d easily from the clue, but still can’t understand the reference to the Queen song — but never mind. Best for me today were 20a and 5d. So thanks to Ray T and to BD for the help.

  7. This one has really made my brain hurt so finding that BD had only given it 2* for difficulty has further dented the morale! :sad: I have finally finished it but it’s taken a long time and a huge amount of thought and effort – having said all that I enjoyed it as much as I always enjoy Ray T’s crosswords. 3d was the last to go in, for some reason. I liked too many to put them all down but maybe 10a and 1 and 6d. With thanks to Ray T and Big Dave. Really beastly wind here today – it’s flattened my sweet peas and my sun flowers! :sad:

  8. A super Ray T today – if his trademark clues hadn’t given it away then 25a in the Quickie would have removed any lingering suspicions. 12a was my top favourite of the many nice clues. Thanks to Ray and BD.

    The Toughie took me exactly the same time to solve and I enjoyed that too.

  9. Aren’t we lucky to get 2 beamers in 3 days, Really enjoyed this one, favourite 9a. All good clues as usual and 24a was last in after quite a while. My eye slit up when I got it. Thanks again Ray.

  10. Great fun to solve – thanks to Ray T for the crossword and to BD for the review. One of those crosswords where it is difficult to chose a favourite because they were all so good – with the possible exception of 9a where the definition was possibly too thinly disguised?

  11. Most enjoyable! Managed to make PAGODA work for 25a, until 21d showed the error of my ways. What with Prince, Police (x2) & Queen I though we were in for a theme (what’s the clever word for this?) but not so. TVM to RT & BD

  12. Excellent puzzle so thanks to RayT.
    Didn’t think much of 13d as it’s hardly cryptic but otherwise all good clues and difficult to pick a favourite but I’ll go for 25a for its excellent surface. Quite liked 6d as well – IMHO the stuff is uneatable!
    Thanks to BD for the review.

  13. Trickiest of week so far for me but great clueing and very fair. Congratulations on your restraint BD with use of risque pictures. :-)

  14. Most of this went in fairly easily, but got totally stuck in NW corner – had to resort to hints for 7a & 3d! Enjoyed 1 & 4d, but my favourite was definitely 6d, which I often have for breakfast. Thanks to RayT & BD.

    Off to a folk festival in Somerset for the weekend now. :-) Really hope it doesn’t rain the whole time! See you all next week.

    1. Hope that folk festival is good – think that forecast for the weekend is a bit better – have fun whatever the weather does … :grin:

  15. Oh Dear back to a normal Ray T, shame after last weeks but totally obscure for me.

  16. Last one in 10a, what is it with me and four letter answers? Favourites 4d and 20a. Many thanks RayT and BD

  17. Utterly befuddled by 7a so thanks to BD for the hint, I got it then. I had SPIT for 24a S followed by PIT (opening) and it’s something that things can be ‘turned on’. Hey ho. The rest of it took me an inordinate amount of time to pick apart and I would give it and for that reason it gets 3.5/4* for difficulty though. I did get a great sense of achievement solving this especially 20a so that goes down as my favourite.
    Thanks again BD and RayT

  18. I must be getting used the style, I suspected it was a Ray T puzzle. I got them all bar 21d. Some great clues, thanks to Ray T and Big Dave. Favourites were 20a and 4d.

  19. I am with a number of the others today, just could not get into it. Did not have a problem with 13D but 9A was not a cryptic clue for me.
    Thanks to setter and Big Dave for the hints needed for 3D, could not see this one!

    1. I did eventually get into this one but agree with your comments – couldn’t get 3d for ages and you either knew the word at 9a or you didn’t – not possible to work out from the clue if you didn’t know it.

  20. Well I made life difficult for myself by managing to mis-spell muesli, and deciding (after it appeared earlier in the DT) that a stunner was a cosh, giving me “cevilosh” for 1d, but I didn’t dare look at the blog for help in case Pommers was reviewing and had put in one of his pictures for the clue for 17a. Sorry I missed your last comment last night by the way Pommers. I had “over and outed and beamed up” by then.

    I’m not a big Ray T fan because I can’t get loads of the answers and then when I look at the hints, the answer is flamin’ obvious….and makes me feel quite stupid….starting to get on his wavelength though…..Bit more than a 2* IMHO BD. But thanks to both for a challenge and a thicko aid.

    1. Hello Seemore
      Think you are mixing me up with Gazza – he’s the one for the girlie pics. I usually try to find an excuse for a car (preferably a racing car) or a boat in my reviews but failed miserably yesterday!
      You’re right though, I dread to think what Gazza may have come up with! At least BD was a little restrained!
      BTW, we have a lot of these birds around where I live, they live on the irrigation canals.

      1. I do apologise if I have mixed you up; i just seem to remember when I stumbled upon BD’s blog, a charming picture of a young man in some very white briefs; it sticks in my mind because I remember remarking at the time, what a wonderful laundress his wife must be. I thought it was one of your posts. Hope you and Pomette are enjoying your birdwatching!

  21. Thanks, again, to BD for the analysis, and to all for your comments. Much appreciated as always.


  22. Agree with the 4* but not with the 2*. Much tougher than that for me but well worth the effort.

  23. Having looked at this one again I have a slight gripe – 9a – if you don’t know the word you can’t work it out from the clue – surely for a cryptic clue one should be able to think “ah – from all the information I have been given I wonder if there is such a word as ……” and then look it up and find that such a word does, indeed, exist. That’s just me sounding off – I wouldn’t really DARE to criticise such a great compiler as Ray T – it’s not a criticism – just a thought. Anyone else any thoughts on it, or should I have kept my trap shut?!!!

    1. I would agree on your point about 8 a and there were some comments about that above…the word was just lurking in the back of my mind……And Nelson Muntz is an annoying little boy in the Simpsons who wanders around pointing at people saying “HA HA” (by the way I had not spotted my Nelson Muntz double entendre when I wrote that comment, I must be getting subconsciously witty…or not!).

      Nite nite

      1. I would have said “amusing kid from the Simpsons” as it was not intended as a criticism!. Thinking about it now it was Bart who made the phone calls to Mo!

        1. Not taken as a criticism…I thought he just annoyed the hell out of the rest of the cast! Surely I’ve got to be the last post of the night now

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