DT 26610 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26610

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26610

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **/***Enjoyment ****

This very enjoyable puzzle was two-star difficulty for me but I guess others might struggle. Today Ray T has given us no less than three answers which contain two words – a bit of a rarity.

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    Feeling not right in the head? (12)
{HYPOCHONDRIA} – a cryptic definition of imaginary illness

8a    One’s used to dry song by Queen (5)
{AIRER} – a device used for drying clothes is a charade of a song and the Queen

9a    Fluid end with legato stretched out (9)
{ELONGATED} – an anagram (fluid) of END and LEGATO gives a word meaning stretched out

11a    Common European standard (9)
{TRICOLOUR} – these flags are common in Europe – France and Italy are just two

12a    Tory leader goes off for jogs (5)
{TROTS} – a charade of the initial letter (leader) of Tory and a word meaning goes off or decays gives verb meaning jogs

13a    Bar in club containing case of Edelzwicker (9)
{BRASSERIE} – to get this bar that serves food put an old-fashioned type of golf club around the outside letters (case) of EdelzwickeR

16a    It’s yellow getting Trotsky around Mexican capital (5)
{LEMON} – a yellow fruit or colour is created by putting Trotsky’s first name around the capital letter in Mexico – Trotsky was assassinated in Mexico on 20th August 1940

18a    One playing ‘Leader of the Pack’? (5)
{AKELA} – the leader of a pack of Cub Scouts

19a    Implement for sashimi? (4,5)
{FISH SLICE} – a cook’s implement for serving sashimi or similar food

20a    Titbit about peculiar Bishop (5)
{CRUMB} – This titbit is a charade of a single-letter abbreviation for about, a word meaning peculiar and B(ishop)

22a    He should get the devil out! (9)
{EXORCISER} – a slightly cryptic definition of a person who pretends to expel evil spirits

25a    Deck in mayhem? Bell is hammered (9)
{EMBELLISH} – a word meaning to deck or adorn is hidden inside the last four words of the clue

26a    River burst beyond head of tide (5)
{TRENT} – the third-longest river in the UK is created by putting a word meaning burst or split after the initial letter (head) of Tide

27a    Iron, say, liquid metal centre containing energy (5,7)
{TRACE ELEMENT} – iron is an example of this substance whose presence in the soil in minute quantities is necessary for plant and animal growth – it’s an anagram (liquid) of METAL CENTRE around (containing) E(nergy)


1d    Endlessly ran around bog producing enormous wind (9)
{HURRICANE} – put all but the last letter of a seven-letter word meaning ran around a bog or loo to get an enormous wind

2d    Country’s half cut on old wine (5)
{PORTO} – the first half of a European country is followed by O(ld) to give a wine from said country

3d    Belief of socialist in company (5)
{CREDO} – a belief is constructed by putting a socialist inside CO(mpany)

4d    Over-miserable, the French smell initially without perfume (9)
{ODOURLESS} – a charade of O(ver), a word meaning miserable, the French plural definite article and the initial letter of Smell gives an adjective meaning without perfume

5d    Plant and cultivate it on a slope, almost (9)
{DIGITALIS} – this plant is a charade of a word meaning to cultivate (3), IT and A from the clue and most of a word meaning to slope

6d    Passage opening covered by paint roller (5)
{INTRO} – the opening passage of a piece of music is hidden inside (covered by) the last two words of the clue

7d    By chance bra let loose giving complete freedom (5,7)
{CARTE BLANCHE} – an anagram (loose) of CHANCE BRA LET gives complete freedom of action – “by” seems to be there mainly to improve the surface reading

10d    Agreed it isn’t working, so break up (12)
{DISINTEGRATE} – an anagram (working) of AGREED IT ISN’T gives a verb meaning to break up or crumble

14d    Confused clash involving mob I fancy (9)
{SHAMBOLIC} – an adjective meaning confused or disorganized is an anagram (fancy) of CLASH with MOB I

15d    Judge in person detaining former wife? It’s automatic (9)
{REFLEXIVE} – the person who judges, for example, a football match (3) is followed by an adjective describing a performance in person and then put around (detaining) the usual former partner to give an adjective meaning automatic

17d    Line from man he ties at sea (9)
{MAINSHEET} – this line or rope attached to a sail is an anagram (at sea) of MAN HE TIES

21d    Brown is more insensitive losing head (5)
{UMBER} – a shade of brown is created by dropping the initial N (losing head) from a word meaning more insensitive

23d    Check inside mineral for pigment (5)
{OCHRE} – put CH(eck) inside a mineral to get a pale brownish-yellow pigment

24d    Stunner that is trim on top (5)
{CUTIE} – this stunning young lady is derived from the abbreviation for that is (id est) preceded by a verb meaning to trim or clip hair

Thursday’s are always better when there’s a Ray T puzzle to solve.

The Quick crossword pun: {thus} + {imp} + {suns} = {The Simpsons}

55 comments on “DT 26610

  1. A gentle one, I thought.

    Re 17d – the ‘rope’ is attached to the spar, not the sail – that would be a halyard (to hoist the sail) or a haul (e.g. out-haul – a ‘rope’ used to pull the sail along the spar). ;)

    PS – shouldn’t it be taht Ray T has given us ‘fewer’ than three answers … being a quantity rather than a quality? :)

    1. If he’d given us ‘fewer’ than three then we wouldn’t have the three we’ve got :-D

    2. Being someone with zero interest in sailing I relied on Chambers:

      The sheet or rope attached to the lower corner of the mainsail

        1. A ‘mainsail’ without a boom (spar) is properly called a trysail (pronounced “trys’l”) and the sheet controlling it is therefore the trysailsheet, not the mainsheet.

          The mainsheet clew on a mainsail takes the outhaul with which the foot of the sail is winched along the sail track in the boom. An inhaul can also be tied to the clew where one is needed to winch the sail back. The downhaul is tied to the head of the sail, amd is used to winch the sail down (where there is in-boom furling system).

          The vang (sometimes called the ‘kicker’ – short for kicking-strap) prevents the boom from lifting too much. Confusingly, a boomkicker forces the boom upwards.

          Probably too much information, but I used to trim jib on 37m and longer racers.


  2. A most enjoyable puzzle today! The first clue I looked at was 1d, and I suspected it was by RayT, confirmed by the appearance of Brenda in one of the other clues!
    Thanks to him for a nice start to the morning, and to BD for the review.

  3. Agreed – a not too difficult RayT but still plenty of enjoyable clues. I did wonder briefly on the setter as I saw some two letter words but a clue with Queen in it and another with a woman’s undergarment coming loose made my mind up!
    Thanks to RayT and to BD.

    1. ………..and the Quickie being all one-word clues confirms things, I feel? (Dohhhhh!!!)

  4. Duh! I’m doing “taht” more frequently these days. Either my fingers have slowed down, or my new keyboard isn’t as responsive as my old one. ;) Doesn’t happen when posting from my iPhone … but I have other problems with that (the ‘M’ being next to the backspace for one!)

  5. I think Ray T missed an opportunity in 12a – how about ‘Tory leader goes off commies’?

    BD: you have written ‘D’ instead of ‘N’ for 21d.

    Thanks as ever to compiler and reviewer.

  6. Very enjoyable puzzle today which definitely got the grey matter working. Having said that, I wasn’t to happy about the answer to 22A – surely the word is excorsist, not exorciser? Some very good and involved anagrams today, some of which didn’t leap out of the page. Too many good clues to have a favourite today, but I’m so happy to see tricolour being described as common (or perhaps that’s just my xenophobia shining through).

  7. Morning Dave this was at least a three star for me, took me ages to get started and fell for fish knife at 19a! How are we supposed to know it’s slice and not knife, unless of course ‘sashimi’ is a slice of fish?? Couldn’t get my head past excorcist at 22a either! remembered 18a from the time my sons were in ‘cubs’ :-) fav clue today was 1a, I find RayT puzzles difficult because you have to think of a word for a word etc. etc. in lots of his clues, eg ‘can’ in 1d

  8. A great puzzle, as always from Ray T. I hadn’t realised until I read the comments today that one of his trademarks was single word answers in the cryptic – thought that it was just the clues in the quickie. This was at least a 3* for difficulty for me. I instantly thought “exorcist” when I read the clue for 22a and then, when I realised it didn’t have enough letters, just gave up on that train of thought until I had almost finished it – had to look it up to check that it existed. My top clues today are 1a and 1, 7 and 10d. With thanks to Ray T and Big Dave.

  9. 2* for me but definitely 4* fun thanks Ray. Lots of favourites including 1a, 18a, 1d, 7d. An excellent start to Thursday. Thanks to BD too.

    The Toughie is by Shamus and lives up to its name!

  10. My comments keep staying in the box, I have to delete them every time I want to make a new comment!

    1. Mine were doing that yesterday but seem to be OK today. I still can’t get my ‘flowers’ avatar (just below this box) any fatter at work but it is the right size at home. Very strange, this technology lark. How is your weather? Very grey, drizzly and quite chilly here.

      1. Hi Sue, it has been back to winter here for a few days, temp around 15! really depressing the sun has shown itself a bit today but I wouldn’t want to be sitting on a beach! all winter clothes again :-(

    2. Mine were doing it yesterday too but so far so good today – let’s wait to see what happens to this one! Grey and miserable here too. :sad:

      1. Grey and miserable here as well in SW London! Off to Marseille beginning of August in search of the elusive blue sky!

  11. Pleasant if untaxing crossword with some very nice clues. Thanks to RayT and to BD.

  12. if fish knife got a few of you, how about chop stick… amazing how much easier it got after i saw the error of my ways. thanks to ray and bd

    1. What with fish knives and chop sticks today (and a genuine lemon) and lots of bananas yesterday I wonder what will happen tomorrow!! :grin:

    2. I initially went for chop stick as well, even though I couldn’t see anything cryptic about it. Then went for fish knife, before finally spotting the double definition!

  13. I thought of fish knife too, but hesitated because it would mean 5d ending with a ‘k’, which seemed unlikely. I also wanted to put in ‘exorcist’ as ‘exorciser seemed clumsy, but I suppose if Chambers accepts it … I found this a real challenge and needed all the help I could get to finish it before logging on to this site. Many thanks to Ray T and BD. My favourite clues were 1a and 13a. Oh, for a glass of Edelzwicker! :-)

  14. Never heard of edelzwicker – looked it up but I still couldn’t understand the answer, until I read the hint! I also got fish knife and chop stick before realising the error of my ways! It’s much easier when you write in the correct answers isn’t it?

  15. Thanks to Ray T for a few very nice entertaining puzzle. I managed it ok apart from 19a had the wrong implement to begin with :-) Favourites were 1 & 7d. Thanks to Big Dave for the review and hints, although I didn’t need them for once.

  16. I’m a Fish knife user too.
    I also struggled with 13a, where I wanted to put “Masherrie” instead of “Brasserie”.

    Finally, I could have tried to get “Akela” until I was blue in the face. To be fair to me, I haven’t spoken to one for getting on for 50 years, and that was about my missing woggle.
    Still, as they say, Dyb Dyb Dyb.

  17. As ever, a highly entertaining crossword from Ray T – thanks to him for the fun and games and to BD for the review.

  18. Good, enjoyable puzzle today – particularly liked 1 and 19a, when I finally got them. Only one I couldn’t get was 18a – I’ve never seen the word written down, only ever heard it said, and from what I’ve heard I would have guessed at ‘archayla’! Maybe if I’d had a brother… :-)
    Thanks to Ray T & BD, as usual.

    1. PS It’s absolutely tipping it down in London at the moment. :-( Hope it stops before hometime.

      1. I only have a light sprinkle in Hammysmiff at the moment – luckily I am right ion the Tube station and the rest of the journey can be undercover!

      2. Bone dry in Peterborough at the moment, probably waiting until I get home, get leads on the dogs, just as soon as I open the front door it’ll be a torrent of biblical proportions just like yesterday.

  19. All good fun today, and not needing hints for once ! though always interesting to read the explanations, thank you.
    The D Tel paper had toilet in the clue for 1d; much more polite than bog, even if not as posh as loo !
    Who is Brenda?

      1. Thank you – was wondering about that too but good to see that all is now explained

  20. Amazingly finished over breakfast, didn’t recognise it as a Ray T due to the phrases. My only quibble, why the ‘playing’ in 18a? Never heard of sashimi either so that’s another word I’ve learnt.
    Thx for the phrases, it got me started :-)

    1. Apparently (thanks to AtH junior for this) a rapper by the stage-name of Akala.

  21. Obviously a RayT. All the signs were there in 4 7 and 11. Too many good clues to call but a most enjoyable workout. Thanks Ray, keep them coming!

  22. Finished a Ray T all by myself; in record time and after having got up at 5 and done a dump run at 7.30…dog tired ! maybe that’s the answer to my previous Ray T struggles!

    1. Welcome to the blog Sarah.

      A charade is where two words are added together to make a third. For example EX + AMPLE.

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