DT 26640 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26640

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26640

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I could be wrong, but this looks like a back-page puzzle from Toughie setter Petitjean.  There are a lot of enjoyable clues, but a few that are probably too convoluted for a regular daily puzzle.

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        Lion leapt about after angry bees do this (5-9)
{CROSS-POLLINATE} – put an anagram (about) of LION LEAPT after a word meaning angry to get something that bees do

9a        Southern rebel leader in violent revolt — that’s unusual (10)
{SURPRISING} – start with S(outhern) and then put the initial letter (leader) of Rebel inside a violent revolt to get a word meaning unusual

11a      See 12a

12 &11a          Waning star Bogarde’s limits apparent in ‘Shane’ remake (3-4)
{HAS-BEEN} – to get this waning star or someone that is no longer successful put the outside letters (limits) of (Dirk) B(ogard)E inside an anagram (remake) of SHANE

13a      Enjoy freedom of movement at liberty after prison term (7,3)
{STRETCH OUT} – a phrasal verb meaning to enjoy freedom of movement or to lie with your legs and body in a straight line is created by putting a three-letter word meaning at liberty after a slang word for a prison term – I didn’t like the definition used here

16a      Unfinished piece composed on a grand scale (4)
{EPIC} – an anagram (composed) of PIEC(E) without the final letter (unfinished) gives a word meaning on a grand scale

17a      Second car outside house left for learner (7)
{SCHOLAR} – put S(econd) and CAR outside HO(use) and L(eft) to get a learner

18a      Prepared to leave Chevrolet’s last station wagon (7)
{TESTATE} – an adjective meaning prepared to leave this world having made a valid will is a charade of the final letter (last) of ChevroleT and the British equivalent of the American station wagon

20a      Tokyo museum’s retrospective exhibition of Japanese tradition (4)
{SUMO} – reversed (retrospective) and hidden inside (exhibition) the first two words of the clue is a style of traditional Japanese wrestling

21a      Killer dance finale changed following ban (5,5)
{BLACK MAMBA} – this killer African snake is created by changing the final letter of a rhythmic Latin American dance resembling the rumba and putting it after  a word meaning to ban or boycott

23a      Tiny Tim played this punk gem regularly (3)
{UKE} – the instrument played by Tiny Tim (and Gnomethang) comes from the even letters (regularly) of two of the words in the clue – no, I’m not going to provide a link to “Tiptoe Through the Tulips”!

24a      Riots over nothing going to create commotion (4)
{STIR} – an anagram (over) of RI(O)TS  without the O (nothing going) gives a word meaning a commotion

25a      In the wings are twitchy little director and — missing her introduction — Madame Butterfly (3,7)
{RED ADMIRAL} – inside the R(ight) and L(eft) wings put an anagram (twitchy) of DIR (little director) and (M)ADAME without her first letter (missing her introduction) to get a butterfly – I guessed this from the enumeration and worked out the wordplay afterwards

28a      Cleavage between Wales and the West Country? (7,7)
{BRISTOL CHANNEL} – a cryptic definition of the stretch of water between Wales and the West Country which relies on the Cockney rhyming slang “Bristol Cities”


1d        Endlessly rue gout and sciatica being treated with traditional instrument (8,6)
{ACOUSTIC GUITAR} – an anagram (being treated) of RU(E) without the final E (endlessly) GOUT and SCIATICA gives a traditional musical instrument

2d        Care of old parent at first is mutual (2-2)
{CO-OP} – the abbreviation of Care Of is followed by the initial letters (at first) of Old Parent to give a mutual society

3d        Run away from a 24 that’s drunk (4)
{ASTI} – combine A, from the clue, with the answer to 24 across then drop the final R (Run away) to an Italian sparkling wine

4d        Look into tricky topic — one that might take off (2-5)
{CO-PILOT} – put a two-letter word meaning “look!” inside an anagram (tricky) of TOPIC to get the second-in-command in the cockpit of an aeroplane

5d        Knock down student in brawl over 4’s workplace (6,4)
{FLIGHT DECK} – a word meaning to knock down is preceded by (over in a down clue) Crosswordland’s single-letter student inside a brawl to get the forward part of an aeroplane where the crew sit

6d        While abroad, say, innate bias erupted (2,8)
{IN ABSENTIA} – a Latin phrase meaning abroad or not present is an anagram (erupted) of INNATE BIAS

8d        George Martin’s so-called ‘amendment’ supported by Ringo for one (3,5,6)
{THE FIFTH BEATLE} – the soubriquet often accorded to George Martin is a charade of an amendment to the United States Constitution and the group of which Ringo was a member

10d      Routine show of affection (3)
{RUT} – a double definition – a routine or habit and a period of sexual excitement that occurs one or more times a year in animals like deer

14d      Voyager going green in choppy cruise to welcoming shores of Tobago (3-7)
{ECO-TOURIST} – to get someone who travels to observe wildlife or to help preserve nature is an anagram (choppy) of CRUISE TO around (welcoming) the outside letters (shores) of TobagO

15d      Discussion about problem student going off with antique found in bedroom (10)
{CHAMBERPOT} – put a short discussion (4) around an anagram (about) of PROB(L)EM without the L (student going off) to get an antique that used to be found under the bed

19d      Cough hampering comeback of exceptional swimmer (7)
{HADDOCK} – put a word meaning to cough around (hampering) the reversal (comeback) of a word meaning exceptional or strange to get a fish that swims in the sea

22d      Overheard: ‘Damn silence!’ (3)
{MUM} – another word for a dam (a homonym of damn) or mother, also means silence

26d      Vehicle in backyard (4)
{DRAY} – this vehicle is created by reversing (back) YARD

27d      Independence concerning a Hebridean island (4)
{IONA} – a charade of I(ndependence) a two-letter word meaning concerning or about and A gives a Hebridean island

It looks like bad news on the laptop hard drive front.

The Quick crossword pun: {dhow} + {gnat} + {heal} = {down at heel}

56 comments on “DT 26640

  1. A very enjoyable crossword, plenty of variety in the clues. ***for difficulty and ***** for enjoyment. Thanx to compiler and to BD for his review.

  2. I agree with the convoluted comment BD – but has to be said, I found this very enjoyable with some very enjoyable clues – I thought 28A was excellent, really made me chuckle.

  3. I liked this puzzle. 28a gave me a ‘laugh out loud’ moment. I have an answer for 10d (something to do with mating deer, for example), but I will be logging on again later too see if that’s correct.

  4. Very enjoyable puzzle. 28a certainly raised a little titter. I thought the quickie was quite taxing this morning. Thanks setter and BD

  5. Definately felt like a Petitjean production with the music references (but no food this time). Very enjoyable crossword. Only a ** for me based on solving time but **** for enjoyment. Many thanks to the setter and BD for the review.

  6. Hi Dave, agree with ‘convoluted’ but because there was so much wordplay most were able to be worked out after a few readings! agree also about 25a, took me a while to work out after I had the answer, perservation the name of the game for me today :-D by the way ‘rut’ is no way a show of affection, surely just a carnal act! and contrary to others didn’t like 28a, apart from that fav clue today 7a and 8d, keep at it everyone, worth it in the end, notice one for Gnomey today, 23a :-)

  7. I don’t think I’ll bother today. It looks a bit rich for me. Now I’ve got nothing to do so I’ll have to sit in the blazing heat and watch the Vuelta later on. Thanks Petitjean, thanks a bunch.

    1. You can do this collywobs you are more than capable, it’s not as hard as it first looks, if I can do it (with my books, machines etc.) so can you :-), mind you, I have no sun to sit in at present!

      1. Oh go on then, Mary, I’ll give it a go but 3/4 stars is usually beyond me, but I’m not missing the Vuelta

  8. I would say3* difficulty judging by my time, but I did enjoy myself and have lots of dots by my favourite clues, especially the cheeky 28a. Thanks to the Mysterious One for the Thursday challenge and to BD for the hints.

    The Toughie earns it’s name today. It is by Ray T as Beam and I think it’s more of a wicked grin than a beaming smile :)

  9. Many thanks to the setter for an excellent and enjoyable puzzle and to BD for the part review ( hope you get your laptop sorted out Dave )

  10. Found this hard going to start with, then got into the groove and finished it…..apart from 2d; so was wretched to see BD’s computer hadn’t alowed me to see the light…can anyone out there give me a hint?

    1. The ‘at first’ tells you what to do – mutual means a group working together for a particular purpose.

  11. I just wish I could access the puzzle. Does anybody have any inside information into when we might expect a less than useless service from CluedUp?

    1. Nora – I just got on straight away. Email me on one of my recent posts ST 2601 and I will email you a pdf that you can print off.

      1. Thanks Sue, but just after my moan, I got on. And what a pleasant puzzle. I’m not usually a fan of Thursdays but I did enjoy this.

    2. Hi Nora. Just back from hols, I completed the puzzle and hit “Submit” – to no avail. So I sent yet another email of complaint and 2 day later received a reply, the gist of which is that after the lightning strike in August…

      “Thanks to the valuable feedback of our Telegraph Puzzles subscribers, who have helped to identify the key issues, I can confirm that a full review of the Telegraph Puzzles service has now been scheduled. This will happen throughout September and include substantial site maintenance, with the aim of restoring full site functionality and usability as soon as possible.”

      I guess we need a lot more patience-

    1. If you ‘click’ on reply when you reply to someone, the linked comments all stay together!

    2. Thanks Sue; It was actually 3d I didn’t get…left paper downstairs when I came to see what Big D had to say for himself….I have since worked it out for myself durrrrr. I was looking for something that meant either run away or sozzled and of course it’s much simpler than that, but thank you for taking your time to reply :smile:

  12. Pommette and I enjoyed this one over a leisurely lunch in a local bar!
    I didn’t think it was too convoluted, but then I did the Beam Toughie this morning. You want ‘convoluted’ have a go at that tricky little rascal!
    Thanks to the mysteron and BD – hope the laptop is OK.

  13. A really satisfying solve today and like others, enjoyed 28a which made me laugh. I also thought 21a was clever. I think I have the answer in at 19d but I don’t get the wordplay. Thanks for the puzzle and the review.

    1. Hi Birdie
      Re 19d
      Definition is swimmer (i.e a fish).
      Take a word for cough (4) and place it around (hampering) a word for exeptional or unusual reversed (comeback of)..

      Hope this helps – glad I wasn’t blogging today!

      1. I’m sure you’d have been fine Pommers, I dread to think what picture Gazza would have found to illustrate 28a today ;-)

        1. I don’t know what you mean, Mary. I’m sure I’d have found a very attractive picture of the Bristol channel. :D

  14. When I was in the navy I was told I was always out of step and today’s crossword seems to confirm this. Mrs A and I didn’t like it much despite solving it in our normal time frame. To be fair there was nothing we could particularly find fault with (except 10d), just didn’t find it very satisfying.
    By the way my name has nothing to do with delusions of grandeur, more to do with double cockney rhyming slang!

  15. Thought this was a 2 Star for diff Forr for me apart from 9a and 3d both of which I needed the clues above for. Overall I enjoyed this puzzle, so much better for me than a Thursday Ray T :-).
    Thx to BD for the excellent clues and to the setter for providing an interesting puzzle.

  16. I actually found this quite straightforward – just goes to show, horses for courses. Thanks to setter and BD.

    1. Meant to say – I think 10d should have a question mark at the end. Really not sure how much affection is involved in a r*t!!

    2. I agree with you Alison. I fairly romped through this with an occasional hold up when I actually had to think and no hints or other assistance required. It appears that we’re on the same resonant frequency as the setter. Having said that I did find this highly entertaining. I think it looks more difficult/convoluted than it actually is. I particularly enjoyed 28a. 2* and 4* for me. Thanks to the compiler and BD

    3. It’s always the same! I upped the difficulty to take account of the anticipated solving times of the average reader of the blog and now I’m told it is too high.

      1. We found it tough, but the cluing was enjoyable so we wern’t tempted to “cheat”…but knowing we could helped. A case of horses for courses…I would agree with a 4*, the better half reckoned 3* at the max….It was on her wavelength not mine….although as a keen angler I was glad to fit in haddock…but worst word play of the lot there (for me at least).

  17. A very enjoyable puzzle with some tricky clues.
    26a was the first in and then I worked on the other three 14-letter jobs with odd shorter insertions while cogitating.
    Liked 21a & 25a best.

  18. Very enjoyable – one of those that grew on me as I worked through it. This has a different style to it than recent backpage puzzles, and is a very welcome change!
    Thanks to setter, and to BD.

  19. Did this during an enjoyable morning at South Molton Market. I don’t normally finish the crossword before a nap at home later in the day so pleased to see difficulty rating of ***/****. Makes me feel a whole lot better, although I did need an explanation from Big Dave for a couple of the wordplays.
    Thanks to BD and setter.

  20. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle, my first completion of the week ! Thanks to Big Dave for the review and hints. Favourite was 28a, made me laugh out loud. Also thought 10 d was a clever bit of mis-direction, I had pat first of all, with having something off pat is routine, but it didn’t fit with 9a.

  21. Enjoyed this very much and it seemed to be quite different to recent back page puzzles. I would not rate it as a 4* effort though.
    Some of the answers came with the checking letters in place and then the problem arose trying to work out why!! Not a fan of three letter answers though.
    Thanks to setter and Big Dave for the hints.

  22. I must be progressing with your help (thanks) as i finished this 3/4 star with just a few trips to the dictionary and making guesses based on the wordplay. Gosh I’m even talking your language now. Liked 28a immensely living nearby. couldn’t see 19d until i read your explanation and had most difficulty with the 3 letter answers; 23 being the last clu to go. Still learning though.

  23. Hi folks. Really enjoyed today’s challenge and enjoyed the photo for 28a even more. Lovely.

  24. I liked this. 28a was a ‘laugh out loud’ – much to the astonishment of the other passengers on the 08:00. :O The Quickie pun was good too.

  25. Thank you setter for a difficult but enjoyable puzzle. 28a and 10d gave me a good chuckle, let’s have more like this!

  26. A couple of difficult one I had to get help for. 28a made me laugh out loud – fabulous! Whilst a lot of the word play was a bit involved it makes a nice change to things.

  27. Been away for a few days (no internet) but this puzzle was so BRILLIANT I had to go back and post a comment. I thought each clue was a work of art. Fab, fab, fab. Thank you to the Setter and to Big Dave.

    If it was petitjean, I hope he (or she?) does some more for the back page.

Comments are closed.