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DT 26643

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26643

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

A nice straightforward enjoyable solve from Rufus to get the week started.

Highlight the space between the curly brackets to reveal the answer.


1. Room at the top? (8)
{AIRSPACE} – The atmosphere above the earth, where typically planes fly.

6. Contempt when party leader’s on platform (6)
{PODIUM} – The initial letter (leader) of party followed by a word meaning hatred or disgust produces an elevated platform used by a public speaker.

9. Breaking a leg, has to play on without pause (6)
{LEGATO} – A musical term that describes playing “in a smooth, even style without any noticeable break between the notes” is an anagram (breaking) of A LEG followed by TO.

10. Sense there’s no alternative among the crew (8)
{EYESIGHT} – Put the opposite of NO inside EIGHT (the crew) for the faculty of vision.

11. Drink, long and light (8)
{FLIPPANT} – The definition in this clue is light. Take an alcoholic beverage that often includes eggs then add a word that can mean to yearn to get a word for inappropriate levity.

12. Evelyn distributed smoothly (6)
{EVENLY} – An anagram (distributed) of EVELYN

13. Remedy for one who has become distressed? (4,8)
{HAIR RESTORER} – Not a transplant but a lotion claimed to promote follicular growth

16. Girl goes on a journey, her first (6,6)
{MAIDEN VOYAGE} – The first voyage of a vessel.

19. The handsome youth said no, unfortunately (6)
{ADONIS} – An anagram (unfortunately) of SAID NO was a beautiful youth loved by Aphrodite.

21. The end of the road for one who saw the light (8)
{DAMASCUS} – It was on this road that the Apostle Paul underwent a dramatic conversion.

23. Regard as deliberate (8)
{CONSIDER} – Double definition, to esteem or regard, or to think carefully about.

24. Second largest European currency (6)
{DANUBE} – It’s a flower. A river that rises in southwest Germany and flows to the Black Sea.

25. Morning spent being entertained (6)
{AMUSED} – AM (morning) followed by a word for not new.

This word always reminds me of this quote from the Doctor Who “Tooth and Claw” episode.
Rose Tyler: [after meeting Queen Victoria] I wanted to hear her say, “We are not ******.” Bet you five quid I can get her to say it.
The Doctor: Taking that bet would be an abuse of my responsibilities as a traveller in time.
Rose Tyler: Ten quid?
The Doctor: Done.

26. Licensed to make flags (8)
{DECLINES} –An anagram (to make) of LICENSED creates a word that means to lose vigour or strength over time.


2. Naughty ladies which men dream of (6)
{IDEALS} – An anagram (naughty) of LADIES are also concepts of perfection that men might hope to attain.

3. Way for a politician to indicate annoyance (5)
{STAMP} – ST (street) A and the usual abbreviation for a Member of Parliament.

4. Love on the dole is trouble (9)
{ADORATION} – A word that means deep love or esteem is constructed from a common crossword word for fuss or bother placed upon a word for a fixed portion (e.g. food).

5. One who makes one cross at times (7)
{ELECTOR} – A qualified voter.

6. Firearm part (5)
{PIECE} – Double definition. A slang term for a rifle, or a portion of something.

7. Return to the house and forcibly make a point (5,4)
{DRIVE HOME} – To make something clear by special emphasis could also be what you do if you took your car back to where you live.

8. Champion to successfully defend position in Peru, perhaps (8)
{UPHOLDER} – A word that describes to maintain control over (successfully defend position) is placed in an anagram (perhaps) of PERU to get someone who supports something.

13. Pleasure seekers who may turn out to be dishonest (9)
{HEDONISTS} – An anagram (may turn out to be) of DISHONEST.

14. Faulty compass I’d disconnected (9)
{SPASMODIC} – Another anagram (faulty) this time of COMPASS ID

15. Drawback getting sufficient space for naval officers on board (8)
{WARDROOM} – Reverse (back) DRAW and add a word for an unoccupied area to get a recreation area and dining room for commissioned officers on a warship

17. Soldiers without officers run into action, as commanded (7)
{ORDERED} – OR (Ordinary Ranks) followed by a four letter word that describes something that is carried out, has an R (run) placed inside to produce a word that means as instructed.

18. Get wise to doctor breaking law (6)
{RUMBLE} – An informal word that means to find out about something is made up from MB (doctor) placed inside a word for a regulation.

20. Took the part of another (5)
{SIDED} – Nothing to do with acting. The past tense of being in support or agreement with someone.

22. Is climbing in a rough mountainous area (5)
{SINAI} – Reverse (climbing) IS and than add an anagram (rough) of IN A is a mountainous peninsula in North East Egypt.

The Quick crossword pun: {caulks} + {crews} = {corkscrews}

51 comments on “DT 26643

  1. A pleasant start to the week. Thanks to the setter (Rufus) & to Libellule.
    By the way anyone wishing to print the grids from the DT website better get in quick – it’s up & down like a whore’s drawers this morning.

  2. Yes quiet start with couple of interesting clues.Glad I get the paper Spindrift &dont need the grids. !! Thanks to R & L

  3. Dreadful start to the week, at least a 4 star for difficulty for me with some very tricky clues such as 1a. Really disliked this puzzle on so many levels! Thx to libellule for the help without which I most certainly would not have been able to get to the bottom of this ……..!

    1. And for me, I don’t 1a or 11a would ever have come to mind (I’ve still no idea what the drink can be and I’m not that keen on the long bit either).

      1. I agree Libellule, I’m really struggling. I’ll have to start using your hints soon, for which I am grateful. I would have thought 3/4*

        1. Collywobbles,
          It took me the same amount of time that it usually does, hence the same star rating. But it does seem that some are frinding this one more difficult than normal.

          1. Well, Libellule, I did have a number of social events at the weekend, which have left me with a headache, and the sizzling hot weather this morning may both be getting to me. I will persevere but with reference to some of your hints now

            1. Finished. Many thanks for your hints Libellule, I could’nt have finished without them and I tried to use as few as possible. Some strange clues such as 13a but also some very good ones such as 13d – back to the sun

  4. Nice pleasant start to the week. Impressed again with the Quickie pun. Thanx to Compiler and Libellule. Off on my holiday now so doubt I’ll be seeing a crossword for a few weeks.

  5. Easy start this week, but some very tenuous connections, I feel. Particularly unimpressed with 9A, since “pause” is an accepted musical term ( more correctly, “fermata”) with an entirely different meaning to the one implied here. In fact, I’m ashamed to admit that as a professional musician, I didn’t get the answer without the help here. Many thanks, Libellule.

    1. Hi Dragon60 I may misunderstand what you’re saying but the answer here means ‘without pause’ and not pause :-)

      1. Without a pause is only one half of this rather dubious definition of legato. I agree that this wasn’t a great clue. But thanks for the help and guidance!

  6. Good morning Libelulle, well this August Bank Holiday Monday started off with brilliant sunshine but alas the clouds have rolled over and look as though they may stay! At first looking through this I could only do 5, so instead of sitting, perservating as I usually do I decided to do other less interesting things first!! When I got back to this all became clear, but not one of the easiest Rufus crosswords, for me a 3*, I particularly liked, 10a, 13a, 11a, 19a and 7d, good luck everyone have a nice day :-)

  7. Like Mary I didn’t get a lot to staert with so went and did something else less interesting (cleaning cupboards). Dipped back in at odd intervals and finished it but didn’t enjoy it as much as normal. I particularly didn’t like 21a, 6d and 8a but did enjoy 15d and 16a.

    Thanks for the hints and thanks for the puzzle Rufus.

  8. This took me a little longer than usual to solve a Rufus and while I was solving it, I did think (a) that I might not finish it and (b) that it was taking me ages instead of just over half as long again as usual. I put it down to solving some three hours later than usual as I do find sticking to the normal routine does help with solving cryptics. Thank you to Rufus, I particularly liked 13a. Thanks to Libelulle too.

  9. For those of you who try and use the Telegraph puzzles site, have any of you noticed what the name of the person at the top of the leaderboard is now :-)

    1. Yes… Robr ( forevever no. 1 ) occasionally uses the change name facility to get his messages across to fellow solvers and to the DT. At least he is being polite and not offensive as is no. 12. Surely we can be patient a little longer with the difficulties the site is trying to remedy. I know it is frustrating and I’ve lost hundreds of points by not being able to submit solutions in time for the bonus as the site goes off line in the middle of the transaction. I’m sure they are doing their best!

  10. Apart from a couple to think about, this was an enjoyable stroll this morning.
    Favourite clue, 10a.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule.

  11. I must be on Rufus’s wavelength today as I finished this one very quickly, but no less enjoyable for that and I thought the surface readings were excellent. I learned something new with the first half of the quickie pun. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  12. Nice puzzle this morning. Last one in for me was 1a. How frustrating is that?. Liked very much 13a. Thanks setter and Libellule.

  13. A slight gripe to start off with – I don’t know how many others do the quick crossword but I think that the 2d ‘four stringed guitar’ is spelt wrong. On to the cryptic now – not too difficult although I was held up by 1a, 21a and 26a. I liked 11 and 13a and 2, 13 and 18d. Best of all, for me, was 19a. With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

      1. OK – I give in! Thought it came from “uku” (flea) and “lele” (jumping). Should probably have known better than to doubt any of the compilers! Apologies! :oops:

        1. Kath,
          You are correct as well :-) There are many words that can be spelled in various ways.

        1. Didn’t think the ‘Quickie’ was cryptic. So don’t understand Kath’s comment re Ukelele. Perfectly reasonable clues for me.

          1. No – “quickie” isn’t cryptic – was only doubting the spelling of 2d but have been put right on that one – it is an alternative spelling. Or are you suggesting that I shouldn’t have commented on the quickie crossword here?

  14. I got really stuck on 24.A – a silly clue in my book. got through process of ellimiation. I agree with others 3-4 star difficulty from me.

  15. A very pleasant puzzle to start the week, I thought, and I managed to finish it with the minimum of help. There were a number of enjoyable clues, but I liked 3d best as it called up an amusing mental picture. So, many thanks to Rufus and Libellule. :-)

  16. Mostly ok but couldn’t get 11a. Don’t think I would ever have seen this one. 1a not great imho. Thanks overall though to RFS and LL.

  17. I found this much more difficult than the last couple of Mondays. I had to use a couple lf hints. Thanks libellue. Liked 13 & 16a

  18. Standard Monday offering from an excellent Setter. I was a bit quicker than usual for solving on a Monday, so I’ll go with Libellule’s ratings.

    I rather liked 7d. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.


  19. Completed all without hints, except for 11a, as the only word I could see that fitted was “elephant” and it was hardly likely to be that, was it?! Actually think the whole clue was a tad tenuous – there must be something better than “drink” and “long” surely? But guess I’m just being grumpy cos it’s the one that beat me!! Overall, very enjoyable and didn’t take too long – liked 10 & 21a. Thanks to setter and hinter.

  20. I raced through this easily until the top left hand corner for which I had to use the hints.

    1A is tenuous in my ‘umble hopinion and for 9A I had the anagram but tried forcing Gelato in which I think is Italian for ice cream so heaven knows of what I was thinking.

    As for 24A I have seen flower and banker used but this was a new use of currency for me which I arrived at after getting all the other letters.

    On the whole a game of two halves split 75/25.

  21. Like others have said I thought this was a bit trickier than the usual Rufus, 3* for me! And like WBGeddes above it was the NW corner which stalled me. Anyway, thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review.
    Favourite 13a.

    1. Hi Nora
      I guess it’s because it’s breakin ‘a leg’ which is slighlty mixed up in the answer – not my favourite clue by a long way!
      What’s your weather doing? Rained here a bit this afternoon but still very hot!

    2. Yes, but ‘A Leg’ is. ‘A leg’ (breaking) has ‘to’ = Legato. Sorry but could not let that comment go unanswered, surprised others hadn’t commented, probably otherwise engaged or in bed. Well done to the compiler for this and a few other clues that seem to have the regulars stumped or complaining.

      1. Sorry Wayne, thought Nora had twigged where the TO came from after the anagram of A LEG.

  22. 11a is tenuous – got the answer but needed the blog to explain it! Same for 8d which isn’t a great word for me.

    I quite liked 24a though, having got it. Got the mind thinking in a different direction!

    Many thanks to Libellule.

  23. 6 a and 11a…….. just couldn’t get them.

    Still, other than those two , nice and straightforward.

    On to the Toughie…………… (Tuts loudly and then fumes.)

  24. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule, a nice start to the week. I needed the hints for 1 & 11a, the latter I wouldn’t have got in a million years :-) Favourites were 6 & 13a.

    1. I agree 11a was a bit ‘thin’ – only person I ever met who drank that stuff, and then only at Xmas, was my Gran and she died about 20 years ago!

  25. New to the comments but not the site – ‘fraid we are not the “gosh, that was easy today” brigade. I’m into calling a spade a spade and we were not impressed by the usage of 13a “distressed” and 24a “currency”. Some of the other clues were disappointing (1a; 11a; 23a; 2d) – I prefer a hard puzzle where the answer is satisfying, rather than “didn’t like that”.
    OK – can’t please everyone, but not one of Rufus’s best today in our opinion. Will look forward to next week though, of course.

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