DT 26646 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26646

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26646

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

I thought this was one of Ray T’s easier puzzles – but I’m sure you will let me know if your opinion is different!

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    Singer’s cadenza ends in very old record (8)
{VOCALIST} – this singer is created by putting the end letters of CadenzA inside V(ery), O(ld) and a record or file

9a    Criminal after fine, one almost in jug (6)
{FLAGON} – put a slang word for a criminal (three letters, but not con this time) after F(ine) and before almost all of ON(E) to get a jug

10a    Hamlet perhaps, desperate character chasing Ophelia’s heart (4)
{DANE} – Hamlet’s nationality is a charade of a desperate cartoon character and the middle letter (heart) of OphElia

11a    Inveterate criminal kind getting time (10)
{CONGENITAL} – to get a word meaning inveterate or habitual start with the criminal that was rejected in an earlier clue and then put a word meaning kind or amiable around (getting) T(ime)

12a    Arrowroot, it isn’t containing inflammation (6)
{OTITIS} – hidden inside (containing) the first three words of the clue is an inflammation of the ear

14a    Going around light speed is sensational (8)
{EXCITING} – put a word meaning going or departing around the symbol for the speed of light to get a word meaning sensational or thrilling

15a    It’s hard when one’s out of luck! (6)
{CHEESE} – cryptic definition of the word that follows hard in an expression meaning out of luck

17a    Getaway south in European peninsula (6)
{ESCAPE} – a getaway or flight is created by putting S(outh) between E(uropean) and a peninsular or headland

20a    Hitch cables to rock (8)
{OBSTACLE} – this hitch or impediment is an anagram (rock) of CABLES TO

22a    Atonement from dead’s following last word (6)
{AMENDS} – to get this atonement or recompense put D(ead)’S after the last word in a prayer

23a    Control limits a free market economy (10)
{CAPITALISM} – a word meaning to control or limit, often applied to local authority expenditure, is followed by an anagram (free) of LIMITS A to get a market-based economy

24a    Criminal proclivity? (4)
{BENT} – a double definition – an adjective meaning criminal and a proclivity or leaning

25a    Crushed capers for jam (6)
{SCRAPE} – an anagram (crushed) of CAPERS gives a jam or predicament

26a    Turn up record, ‘Endless Love’ by Queen (8)
{DISCOVER} – a word meaning to turn up or find is a charade of a gramophone record, (L)OVE without its initial letter (endless) and the single-letter abbreviation for queen – a better parsing is (L)OV(E) (endless love) with ER (queen) – thanks alison and others


1d        Amorous and sensual, topless, embracing chap (8)
{ROMANTIC} – a word meaning amorous is derived by taking a word meaning sensual, dropping the initial E and then inserting a chap (3)

2d        Overweight English lot (4)
{FATE} – a charade of a word meaning overweight and E(nglish) gives lot or destiny

3d        Hunks and tarts consuming case of champagne (6)
{PIECES} – to get these hunks or fragments put some tarts around (consuming) the outside letters (case) of ChampagnE

4d        Crimes among criminal traders (8)
{OFFENCES} – these crimes are a charade of a word meaning among or belonging to and criminals who trade in stolen goods

5d        Wise men consider accepting street justice (10)
{MAGISTRATE} – put the wise men in the bible and a word meaning to consider or reckon around (accepting) ST(reet) to get justice of the peace

6d        Country’s party premier (6)
{DOMAIN} – this country or territory is a charade of a party (2) and a word meaning premier or chief

8d        It’s not hard currency (6)
{TENDER} – a double definition – not hard when applied to, for example, steak  and currency or money

13d      Melodramatic hit act with Lear going mad (10)
{THEATRICAL} – a word meaning melodramatic is an anagram (going mad) of HIT ACT with LEAR

16d      …ergo sum initially includes case for philosopher (8)
{SOCRATES} – put a word meaning ergo or therefore and the initial letter of Sum around a case to get this Greek philosopher

18d      Hazard from green and rough (8)
{ENDANGER} – a word meaning to hazard is an anagram (rough) of GREEN AND

19d      Challenged, providing over in action (6)
{DEFIED} – a word meaning challenged or confronted is created by putting a word meaning provided or on condition inside an action

21d      Opening of big estate for shoot (6)
{BRANCH} – the initial letter (opening) of Big is followed by an estate to get a shoot or limb

22d      Nearly American on ‘Fifty-Second Street’ (6)
{ALMOST} – this word meaning nearly is a charade of A(merican), the Roman numeral for fifty, a second or instant and ST(reet)

24d      Starts to bellow out offensive sound (4)
{BOOS} – in this all-in-one clue the initial letters (starts) of the last four words give offensive sounds

Another excellent puzzle from Ray T.  Keep ’em coming!

The Quick crossword pun: {mat} + {mug} + {handy} = { Mahatma Gandhi}

63 comments on “DT 26646

  1. No real problems today, a lot of very interesting surface readings though.Once again, no real favourites, but then again, nothing I disliked either.

    Lovely weather here – sunshine, no wind :-) Does mean I’ve got ironing to do tonight though :-(

  2. Really good day – lovely sun, house to myself, son of friends of ours, a Royal Marine Commando, back in one piece after five months in Afghanistan, email from younger daughter to say that she got the job for which she had an interview a couple of weeks ago AND a Ray T crossword. Things can’t get much better!
    :grin: :grin:
    I thought that this was one of his easier ones but probably a bit nearer a 3* for me as I did get held up for a while in top right hand corner. I didn’t know the symbol for the speed of light and also spent ages trying to justify “Iberia” for the peninsula in 17a. Far too many lovely clues to pick any particular ones out – but perhaps 1 and 3d. With thanks to Ray T and BD.

    1. Now I can’t get reconnected to the Crossword website. This really is a serious problem and I think that we should get our subscription back

    2. Hi Collywobbles
      Web site working OK for me – strange!

      19d. Challenged, providing over in action (6)
      You need a word for an action or act and insert a short word meaning ‘providing’ but reversed (over).

      1. Sorry forgot the definition! It’s challenged as in ‘went against’.
        Must be blogged out from yesterday!!!!

  3. I found this at the difficult end of the Ray T spectrum – there was almost a point when I was going to put it down and leave it to cogitate but luckily a penny or two dropped so I was able to stagger to the end. I liked 10a and 3d. Thanks Ray and BD too.

    The Toughie is right proper tough too – I did wonder whether I had lost the power to solve cryptic crosswords today but I have managed the Times and a very cheeky Guardian in reasonable time so I think it’s just the Telegraph puzzles that befuddled me.

    1. Same here Sue! I struggled a bit with this for reasons unknown as, looking at it again, it really doesn’t seem difficult. I thought the Toughie was going to be impenetrable until a couple of pennies dropped – you probably heard them as Kent is only about 1500 miles away!
      The Tramp puzzle in the Grauniad was excellent and, as you say, a bit cheeky in places!

      1. Thank you, Pommers for yesterdays encouragement. However, that is not always the case and today I had a hard time. Then when I had read the hints it all seemed fairly straight forward! I am a long way from tackling more than one puzzle per day, so will aspire (a) to complete one without the hints at all and (b) complete one and be sitting waiting for the review to be posted!

        1. Just keep going – the longer you carry on reading this great blog (and the hints as and when you need them, and the answers if necessary) the easier it all becomes and the more you learn. Different people find different days (ie compilers) more or less difficult – all to do with “wave lengths! Good luck! :smile:

    2. At first I thought this wasn’t a Ray_T today as we raced through half the clues…then came to a grinding halt and realised it was. So thanks for the hints BDave…v.neccessary to finish.
      So whilst it may have been on the Ray-T easy side…still too tough for us.
      But as always those who appear to solve several crosswords a day found it a breeze.
      I envy you your time to do this.
      Parhaps one day…..

      1. Alas Nigel, I used to have this time but am now fully employed. I yearn for the days of being able to takle the DTs, FT,s Ts and Indys (and possibly the misspelt Gs) whilst emailing crypticsue. Lucky if I manage to get to the Toughie Nowadays. Nice to be working though!

        1. I like to do the DT crosswords between midnight and 1am, as I rarely have time for them during daylight hours, but the website issues have meant that I’ve missed quite a few puzzles lately.

          Pesky real life getting in the way of crosswords…

          1. Its the driving that buggers me up. If I am on the normal train journey to London then it is DT, Toughie and as far as I get into the Times before I hit the site/office. To finish all 3 before then is exceptional and to finish the DT/Toughie is pretty good. Usually I have started the Times which I save for elevenses.

      2. Most days I solve the DT, Toughie, Guardian, Times, Independent and FT and this Ray T definitely was on the very windy side of a breeze for me today. Before I ‘found’ Big Dave, I used to solve the Cryptic first thing and save the Toughie for lunchtime but got lured into solving the Toughie earlier in the day and so now I have moved on to the others to prevent cryptic-solving-addicts twitch, a strange complaint for which I really should be receiving some sort of help.

      3. I only ever do one crossword in a day – the back page cryptic – just occasionally do the quick one if someone says that the pun is good and, even more rarely, dare to look at the toughie – not enough expertise (or time to become totally addicted to anything else.)

    1. Don’t hold your breath! I sent an e-mail to the DT only to get an automatic response saying my enquiry would be dealt with asap and guess what….

      1. Is it the DT that we should appeal to or some other organisation. Maybe BD could let us know when he has done the down clues

        1. This is the reply I just received. Can somebody define “quickly & “efficiently” for me please?

          Thank you for contacting the Telegraph.
          Further to your recent communication I regret to confirm that on 7th August 2011 a lighting bolt struck the Telegraph Puzzles host server in Dublin. This resulted in intermittent fluctuations in both availability and the functionality of the Telegraph Puzzles website.
          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.
          Please accept our sincere apologise for the inconvenience caused by this incident and rest assure that the Telegraph Puzzles team are working hard to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as possible. We thank you for your continued patience during this time.

          1. I had this same reply in response to an email that was far from patient. I wrote again, knowing refunds were being offered, asking for one, and have had no reply. Not only is the site terrible, the customer service is too.

          2. ‘quickly and efficiently’ are meanlingless without evidence of improvement and there is none. Can I have my subscription back?

            1. I think we must all keep complaining until we get both a satisfactory site and a big refund. I just wonder how much time we’ve wasted between us on CluedUp.

                1. I used the “contact us” option but I think I received a standardised reply which was very vague in its intentions

                2. The email address on the Clued Up site is telegraphenquiries@telegraph.co.uk
                  I’ve had answers from three different people, the latest being today giving me the princely sum of 2.99 refund on my subscription. Still, as they say, every little helps.

                  I think a standardised reply is all you can expect!

  4. hi Dave finished this one early on but its such a lovely day that I have taken the opportunity to sit outside and read, on first run through I could only get two answers, 10a and 6d!! I found it to be much harder than a 2* at least a 3 for me, needing lots of ‘help’ although I didn’t need the blog today, I though 7a was a ‘toughie’ clue and a few others, fav clue 26a as it sent me round in circles! thanks for review Dave hope the sun is shining in your world too, by the way as was stated yesterdays crossword was a ‘nina’ I had never heard this before and though it very clever, what does ‘nina’ stand for? anyone? Hope you are all out enjoying the sunshine today we deserve it :-)

  5. Like Crypticsue I also struggled with this as I always seem to with Ray T. Enjoyable all the same.
    Thanks to setter and Big Dave. For the hints all be it the across clues only!

  6. I found this a lot more difficult than the usual RayT – some critics of his might describe it as “criminal”!

  7. Typical RayT fun. Many many good clues but liked 7a and 22d particularly. Not got a lot of time these days but always make an exception for the Beamer!

  8. Had a bit of a tough time today. A couple are still only pencilled in lightly (5d and 22d), and no idea yet on 3d and 8d. Needed Dave’s hint for 7a.

  9. I think I’ll have to go for a 3* today, too many good clues to pick out a particular favourite. Many thanks RayT and BD

  10. I also found this more of a 3* than a 2*, mainly down to getting stuck in the NE corner and I resorted to the hints for a couple (could not think of the correct alternative for ‘kind’ in 11a). I thought 10a was a bit misleading as ‘chasing’ implies ‘following’, so the desperate character should come after ‘e’, IMHO. And just out of interest, I worked out the wordplay for 26a slightly differently from you, Dave – I took both ends off ‘love’ and added ‘er’ for HRM, but both work. Particularly liked 15a and 1d. Thanks to RayT and BD.

    Loved the quickie pun, today – v clever. Was that RayT too?

    1. Hi AlisonS

      Same way of solving 26a as you. The Quickie almost certainly a RayT – trademark one word clues.

    2. AlisonS – 26a – I did it the same way as you – removed both ends from “love” – then added HRH at the end.

      Did Queen ever record “Endless Love”?

    3. That’s very interesting. When you have what looks like a perfectly acceptable explanation of the wordplay you don’t often go and look for another.

      I agree that both work – perhaps Ray T will tell us which one he intended.

  11. Oh woe is me, it’s Raymond T
    That’s what I thought today
    But what a treat, I’ve got him beat,
    Hip hip hip hip hooray!

    1. Well done, both for “beating him” (not that I ever think he needs beating – think that he needs praising!) and your “poem”!! :smile:

      1. I’ve been battling with him for so long that it felt like a real victory! Maybe I’ll learn to love him in time.

  12. I found the NE corner pretty tough until I picked up a couple of them – the rest went in fairly easily with the usual good humour from both setter and solver.
    Many Thanks to RayT and to BD for the review.

  13. Thanks to Ray T for a great puzzle, and to Big Dave for the review and hints. I thought this was quite difficult, and just needed the hint for 24d. Favourites were 24 and 10 across, had a mental picture of Desperate Dan chasing Ophelia :-)

  14. Many thanks to RayT for the crossword. I found the NW corner trickier than the rest of the grid but it was all good fun. Thanks too to BD for the review.

  15. Rather easy puzzle from Ray.
    Somewhat heavy on crime and anagrams!
    Best for me was 22d.

    Magnificent weather here in NL.

  16. Evening all.

    Thanks as usual to BD and to all who took the time to comment, especially to Nora for the poem.

    Regarding 26a, I had the second idea in mind, (L)OV(E) with ER, but BD’s explanation also works.


  17. Glad it was one of his easier ones, could’t even start it! Just can’t get on his wavelength at all. Dismal!

  18. Managed most of this in my own today but would never have finished withou help- thanks BD. My faves 3d and 26a. 3* for me.

        1. It’s a posh way of saying that no-one else can see your comment until it has been authorised by me or one of the other bloggers.

          This happens to new commenters and to anyone who changes/miskeys their name and/or email address.

  19. Either Ray T is getting easier to complete, or I’m starting to understand how his mind works. Finished this quicker than I’ve ever managed a Ray T without aid (<** mins) – and it was indeed a great feeling!
    Last in were 15a and 8d, so I guess those were my favourites.
    As Ray quite likes saucily worded clues, I wonder if he was tempted to clue up 11a slightly differently…;)
    Excellent puzzle, best so far this week, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! :)

  20. As a newcomer I didn’t think this puzzle was too difficult. I didn’t get domain for some reason, nor capitalism (I had monetarism – which I actually think is better!). I also had breech rather than branch (though that wasn;’t so good as obviously estate is a aproblem).

    I’m beginnning to think that Ray T’s puzzles (like Tim) just suit me better than others.

    Looking forward to today’s

Comments are closed.