DT 26613 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26613

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26613

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

A very pleasant if not too taxing solve.

You can show the answer by highlighting the area between the curly brackets.


1. He makes routine arrangements for performers (13)
{CHOREOGRAPHER} – A person who creates new dances.

10. Figures in the Old Testament (7)
{NUMBERS} – Another word for integers is also the fourth book of the Old Testament…

11. See the bishop’s concern (7)
{DIOCESE} – The district or churches under the jurisdiction of a bishop (yes – that kind of See).

12. Big lake back in Southern Ireland (4)
{EIRE} – The Gaelic name for Ireland is also one of the Great Lakes reversed.

13. Opening joke (5)
{CRACK} – Double definition, a small opening or a jest.

14. Old students’ burden of debt? (4)
{ONUS} – O (old) and then the abbreviation for the National Union of Students produces a burden or obligation.

17. Recreation for Father’s Day (7)
{PASTIME} – PA’S (Father’s) and what a day might represent is also an alternative word for a hobby.

18. Sausage and veal cooked in sauce (7)
{SAVELOY} – A highly seasoned pork sausage is constructed from an anagram (cooked) of VEAL placed inside a bean sauce.

19. They ensure you won’t be spotted at mealtimes (7)
{NAPKINS} – A cryptic reference to a piece of cloth or paper that is used to protect your clothes while eating.

22. Variety act ends with melody (7)
{DESCANT} – An anagram (variety) of ACT ENDS is an ornamental melody.

24. Nurse in attendance (4)
{TEND} – Double definition, to look after, and a word that is also hidden in attendance.

25. Jar in which pound may be kept in ready money (5)
{CLASH} – The definition is jar as in conflict. Put L (pound) inside another word for money in the form of bills or coins for example.

26. Jump bail in Asian isle (4)
{BALI} – An anagram (jump) of BAIL.

29. Being in charge, mare possibly protects nag (7)
{MANAGER} – An anagram (possibly) of MARE around (protects) NAG.

30. Turn up in a foreign land (7)
{UNEARTH} – A word that means to dig up or discover is UN (French for a) and another word for terrain.

31. Firm plan for retirement? (7,6)
{PENSION SCHEME} – A sum of money paid into regularly by a company and yourself that will ultimately be used when you reach retirement age.


2. Bone throbbing certain to be brought up (7)
{HUMERUS} – The bone that extends from the shoulder to the elbow is HUM (throbbing) and another word for “without doubt” reversed.

3. Regrets making heartless laws (4)
{RUES} – Remove the middle letter from a word that describes regulations to create a word that
means to feel sorrowful or remorseful.

4. Comply with notice (7)
{OBSERVE} – Another double definition, to abide by or to become aware of.

5. Rescued broken contracts (7)
{REDUCES} – An anagram (broken) of RESCUED.

6. Aviator lacking a single chart (4)
{PLOT} – Remove I (single) from a person who operates an aircraft to get a plan.

7. It’s learnt anew about Eastern immortal (7)
{ETERNAL} –An anagram (anew) of LEARNT about E (Eastern).

8. Beginning of a childhood romance (4,4,1,4)
{ONCE UPON A TIME} – A phrase often used to at the beginning of a fairy story.

9. Heavenly sight delightful to shepherds (3,3,2,5)
{RED SKY AT NIGHT} – The first part of a common phrase often used to determine the weather.

15. Invitation to trenchermen (3,2)
{DIG IN} – An invitation to eat heartily or perhaps something soldiers would be keen to do if they came under fire.

16. A great cry of ‘Stop’ (5)
{AVAST} – A nautical command to stop could also be A and another word for something that is unusually large.

20. For punishment, keep in and cane, perhaps (7)
{PENANCE} – A voluntary self punishment is constructed from PEN (keep in) and an anagram (perhaps) of CANE.

21. Learns about love somewhere in Italy (7)
{SALERNO} – An anagram (about) of LEARNS plus O (love) is a city in southern Italy.

22. Argue about being second-placed in field event (7)
{DISCUSS} – Put S inside a throwing competition that involves a round heavy object to get a word for debate.

23. A couple of beasts that will need sorting out (7)
{ANAGRAM} – The couple of beasts are an old worn out horse and a male sheep. When found in a crossword you need to untangle it.

27. Gets older and agrees about being dropped (4)
{AGES} – Remove the preposition that means with reference to (about) from agrees and you are left with a word that means to become old.

28. Me and mum work together (4)
{MESH}– ME and a word to request silence produces another word that can mean to work closely together.

The Quick crossword pun: {fasten} + {eight} = {fascinate}

59 comments on “DT 26613

  1. Good morning Libelulle and thanks for the review although I didn’t need it today, however I didn’t find it all that easy and got stuck for a while in the bottom right hand corner again! fav clue today 15d, good luck everyone, enjoy, hope tje sun shines for you all today, its very warm here but not sunny unfortunately :-(

  2. Agreed. A nice pleasant solve completed while sitting here at the Clinic.
    Can I also recommend today’s Guardian puzzle which is by our Sunday setter.

  3. So, back to a gentle start to the week on Mondays? Enjoyable though. Liked 23d, and thought 8d was a nice clue. Out of interest, if the checking letters weren’t there for 12a, how would one be sure the answer was EIRE and not ERIE? Agree with the comment for 30 across that ‘land’ is maybe not as clear as ‘planet’, for example. Thanks to the setter and Libellule.

    1. Only because it says ‘big lake back’ i.e. ‘erie’ backwards, at least that’s what I think toadson :-) ?

    2. Toadson,
      I read it the same way as Mary, but then I did make sure that I had put the answer in to 2d just to make sure.

  4. Thanks to Rufus for the gentle starter, and to Libellule for the review.
    I trust the weather is pleasant where you are Libellule ?
    This time next Monday, I shall be sat in the buffet car of a TGV, hurtling towards Marseille, clutching a cold can of 1664!

    1. Tim,
      Probably – your suggestion makes more sense than mine. I will amend the blog accordingly.

  5. One thing I really enjoy about Monday’s is the slightly-easier-than-the-rest-of-the-week crossword, and this was no exception. Not too taxing, but jolly good fun. Iloved the wordplay for 19A and 16D.

  6. Good fun and very very gentle this morning. Thanks to Rufus for the entertainment and to Libellule for the review.

  7. Not too difficult although I got a bit stuck for a shortish time in the bottom right hand corner with a few clues that all crossed with each other – not helpful! What was helpful were the four long clues at the top and bottom and on each side of the crossword as they were all quite easy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen “jump” used as an anagram indicator before. I liked 13, 19 and 31a and 8, 16 and 23d. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule. Sunny here in Oxford but not very warm yet.

  8. An enjoyable and not too difficult puzzle. I was glad to be able to find the long words and phrases framing the grille early on. 9d made me think of Christmas at first, but there were no great problems and plenty of good clues. 17a was my favourite today. So thanks to Rufus and Libellule. :-)

  9. The usual gentle start to the week from Rufus.
    Faves were : 1a, 18a, 30a, 31a, 8d, 9d, 21d & 23d.

    1. Hello Derek. How is the weather where you are? I’m off to spend a week in the Var next Saturday and hoping the Mistral will have blown itself out by then.

      1. Hi Franny,
        The weather at the moment is perfect but the forecast is for rain on Wednesday.
        The last two months have been fantastic with only two downpours.
        The Mistral finally blew out.

  10. Possibly the gentlest Rufus ever? Definitely the easiest cryptic of the lot this morning but very enjoyable. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    1. Yes I thought it the easiest for a while and didn’t need the blog at all today. It certainly adds to the confidence!

  11. I find the good thing about doing the Monday puzzle is that it gets my brain running up to speed so that I can tackle the prize winning crosswords (on Telegraph puzzles) so no complaints from me.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the hints.

  12. I agree that this was a nice gentle start to the week. Favourite was 16d. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  13. Very enjoyable puzzle – thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review.

    I got stuck on the first two words of 9d for ages as I had always heard the saying as “sailors” not “shepherds”.

    Kath – bottom r/h took me longest as well but not a major hold up.

    Weather in West London is glorious – sun is shining and it is hot out there (two days in a row – wow!!).

    1. Yes – not a major hold up but 22a, 30a and 23d took me longer than the rest of the puzzle. Have to confess that 23d was screwed up by starting off with having “school” as the second word of 31a – don’t ask me why!! :oops:

      1. Here in North London, the saying goes “9d shepherd’s delight; red sky in the morning Hendon’s on fire”

  14. A delightful crossy. I needed help with the spicy sausage, another word I’ve never come across before! Also 16d was a problem for me – even after the hint it didn’t make much sense! Great – nautical? Can someone explain?

      1. Yes a get the answer but the clue just didn’t lead me there! What’s it got to do with a nautical reference?

        1. ‘Avast’ is a nautical command to stop or cease (probably originating from ‘hold fast’ according to dictionary.com).

    1. A 18A is not spicy – it is rather bland where I come from so it is usually battered!

  15. Like Mary l got stuck in the bottom right hand corner but finished in record time.
    I never realised that 16a was a spicy sausage.
    Favourite clue was 9d which made me smile.

  16. I was delighted to see this was ** for difficulty as it was the first ever I’ve finished it in one sitting. Made for a very pleasant lunchtime.

    1. Welcome to the blog Magicdave,
      I thought about giving it one star, but decided against it – there would be too many howls of protest. Perhaps between one and two would be more accurate.

  17. A lovely gentle start to the week. Been unwell and on various medications which leave me dizzy and a bit dopy so haven’t been doing cryptics the last couple of weeks. Still sluggish of thought but todays puzzle has encouraged me to persevere even if I didn’t finish it off.
    Thanks to Rufus, the reviewer and to all the comments.

  18. Played golf then did the crossword listening to the test match – last clue went in just as England got the last wicket! It does not get much better than this.

    I liked 23d best, also 28d. But surely 30a should be “turn up one in a foreign land”?

  19. I enjoyed this today, and whizzed through it over the world’s most expensive Cappucino in a motorway service station.
    So I turned to the Toughie……. which of course wasn’t there.

    Wouldn’t it be a good idea to have a Toughie on the day that the back puzzle is traditionally easier, and shift the GK puzzle to another day?
    Just a thought.

  20. Found this one of the easiest for a while – a gentle stroll for a change.

  21. A very easy one this. I sat down to this at 16:10 today and even I managed to finish in about an hour an a half.

    I normally take a hours and a few sittings as declared under my other psuedonym ‘anag&lit’ on the crosswordsolvers.org forum!

  22. I have been doing the Telegraph crossword, sometimes, since Pontious was a pilot. This one was pleasant. Delighted to have found this Blog thank you for it.

  23. I had Erin for 12a? I understand that such a lake exists in north America. And it is contained (reversed) in southern Ireland. Hmm did cause a few problems

    1. Welcome to the blog carty

      I deleted your other (duplicate) comment. Now that you have a comment that has been moderated, future comments should appear immediately.

  24. I had the day off today and didn’t go out to get the paper paper, so played online instead. However, when checking the leaders board, I noticed that some names appeared more than once for the same puzzle. Is this common practice? If so, it makes the leaders board a bit of nonsense. Since, if one can submit the same answers in the same name to the same crossword again and again, then it becomes an exercise in speed typing rather than crossword solving. I’m a bit shocked. Should I be, or am I mistaken in my conclusions?

    1. The leaderboard has been screwed up for some weeks – allegedly sacrificed to improve performance. Try selecting “Top” and then wait for ages!

  25. Thanks Big Dave, but it is the apparent ability to submit a number of times and thus move oneself up the leaderboard that surprises me.

    1. As far as I know, you can only submit a puzzle once and I don’t recall seeing the same name more than once for any given puzzle – but then most of us regard the leaderboard as a register of cheats and anoraks and treat it with the contempt it deserves.

      1. You can – if you want – choose not to be present on the leaderboards
        Choose My Account -> edit your profile
        Then tick – Hide my profile from other users. You will not appear on the leaderboard.
        and Save.

        Works for me.

  26. Thanks to Libellule and the setter.I found this dead easy, but still couldn’t finish it.I was at Lords today, and managed to complete three quarters of it during tea.15 down beat me,first I looked up what a trencherman was, then looked at the hint, and still couldn’t get it!enjoyed it very much, favourite was 8 down.

  27. I found this an enjoyable offering, but it didn’t take long to complete – shame really, as I had 8 hours to kill on a rather long plane journey.
    Good job I saved the Virgillius from yesterday…:)
    23d was my favourite clue here…

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