DT 26652 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26652

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26652

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Either I’m getting better at solving them or Ray T’s puzzles are getting easier!  Which do you think it is?

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    Big group hug encompassing new nostalgia (11)
{REMEMBRANCE} – a successful pop group is followed by a hug around (encompassing) N(ew) to get this nostalgia

9a    Rise unsteadily clutching worn-out fighter (7)
{SOLDIER} – put an anagram (unsteadily) of RISE around (clutching) worn-out to get this fighter

10a    Planet with a revolution following Sun (6)
{SATURN} – this planet is created from A and a revolution or spin after S(un)

12a    PM from left remains outside (7)
{ASQUITH} – to get this early twentieth-century Prime Minister put a verb meaning left inside the remains of a fire

13a    Do well to shut up! (7)
{CONFINE} – a charade of to do or cheat and well or healthy gives a word meaning to shut up or imprison

14a    Bouquet thrown around front of church (5)
{SCENT} – this bouquet or aroma is created by putting a word meaning thrown or propelled around the initial letter (front) of Church

15a    Raphael’s unfinished painting with modification left (9)
{ARCHANGEL} – here Raphael is not the painter but an example of a supernatural being – two of the three letters (unfinished) of a general term for painting are followed by a modification and L(eft)

17a    Pet returned in end, so treated for worms? (9)
{NEMATODES} – reverse (returned) an adjective meaning pet or domesticated inside an anagram (treated) of END SO for these parasitic worms with an unsegmented, cylindrical body

20a    It’s tiny, hardly obscuring naked glutes initially (5)
{THONG} – to get this wonderful opportunity for an illustration take the initial letters of the middle five words in the clue

22a    Crop circle? (7)
{TONSURE} – a cryptic definition of a circular patch cropped from the hair of someone entering the priesthood

24a    Popular Star Wars character’s after alien attacker (7)
{INVADER} – a two-letter word meaning popular is followed by the second name of a Jedi Knight who fell to the dark side of the Force in Star Wars to get an attacker from the outside

25a    Fuzz catching fellow and robber’s heading for nick (6)
{PILFER} – put fuzz, as in the raised surface of a carpet, around F(ellow) and add the initial letter (heading) of Robber to get a word meaning to nick or steal

26a    Accuse government head surrounded by a right shower (7)
{ARRAIGN} – a word meaning to accuse or put on trial is created by putting the initial letter (head) of Government inside (surrounded) by A R(ight) and a shower or precipitation

27a    Painter’s persevering covering spot here and there (11)
{INTERSPERSE} – hidden inside (covering) the first two words of the cue is verb meaning to spot or place here and there


2d    Person in favour of titles I fancy (7)
{ELITIST} – this person in favour of titles is an anagram (fancy) of TITLES I

3d    Hard water bubbling to the surface (9)
{EARTHWARD} – an anagram (bubbling) of HARD WATER gives a word meaning to the surface of our planet

4d    Airline, so spartan (5)
{BASIC} – a charade of an airline and the Latin for so or thus

5d    One feels for a little creature (7)
{ANTENNA} – a cryptic definition of an insect’s feeler

6d    Complaining about right hog eating end of mutton (7)
{CARPING} – to get a word meaning complaining start with the abbreviation of the Latin for about and follow it with a hog around the final letter (end) of muttoN

7d    Class as sin a tenet including murder (11)
{ASSASSINATE} – hidden inside (including) the first five letters of the clue is a word meaning to murder a prominent person

8d    Clubs are still incorporating Queen set (6)
{CLIQUE} – C(lubs) are followed by a word meaning “are still” around QU(een) to get a set or exclusive group of people

11d    Ring one chap boxing about to get aggressive (11)
{BELLIGERENT} – put a word meaning to ring, I (one) and a chap around (boxing) a two-letter abbreviation for about to get a word meaning aggressive.

16d    Actors’ single entrance showing discipline (9)
{CASTIGATE} – a charade of a list of actors, I (single) and an entrance gives a word meaning to discipline

18d    Intimate guys can love inside (7)
{MENTION} – a verb meaning to intimate or xxx is derived from some guys followed by a can with O (love, a score of zero in tennis) inside

19d    With end of snout, collar the French delicacy (7)
{TRUFFLE} – charade of the final letter (end) of snouT, a collar and the French definite article gives this delicacy which is often uncovered by the snouts of specially trained pigs

20d    Swears around mid-evening after time in bars (7)
{TAVERNS} – put a word meaning swears or states around the middle letter of eveNing and precede the lot with T(ime) to get these bars or inns

21d    Frock for church? (6)
{ORDAIN} – a cryptic definition of a word meaning to admit to holy orders

23d    Gets desires going topless (5)
{EARNS} – a verb meaning gets money in return for work is created by dropping the initial Y (topless in a down clue) from a word meaning desires

Good to see Ray T back again so soon!

The Quick crossword pun: {monarch} + {roam} = { monochrome}

50 comments on “DT 26652

  1. Another fine puzzle from RayT. I always look forward to Thursday and 19d and 20a left me in no doubt of the setter. Loved the hidden clues in 7 and 27 but favourites were 1 and 15.

  2. I found this harder to start than any Cryptic for a long time, certainly tougher than some recent Toughies. Finally I was bogged down in the south-west corner until the light dawned. Even the mem (who usually can be relied upon) let me down, having struggled with today’s Quick. Well done Ray and Dave.

  3. I made heavy work of some of this today, eg I eventually got the answer to 27a from the checking letters but completely missed the hidden answer. Stared at 6d for quite a while before the penny dropped – duh! Still, I enjoyed the challenge. I managed the Toughie in less time, given the theme.
    Thanks to setter and BD.

  4. Many thanks to RayT for a pleasant puzzle, and to BD for the review.
    Last one in 25a.

    The Toughie is not much tougher than this one today – shame I only noticed the theme with 2 clues left to solve! (and that’s all I’m saying on this page)

  5. Hi Dave have been (im)patiently waiting because although I finished this there were several answers that I just couldn’t see how they worked so thanks for the explainations, they were 1a, 12a, 27a, 8d,11d and 18d!! I found this at least a three star today and really had to stick at it, however was very pleased to finish without the hints (although plenty of my other help) two fav clues for me today 22a and 13a, all I can say about the picture at 20a is YUCK! good luck everyone, keep perservating, it’s worth the feeling of satisfaction when you finish, even though, like me, you might not understand how you got there! :-)

  6. A good crossword from RayT and (for once) I agree with the difficulty rating … with the possible exception of the bottom-left corner.

    Favourite was 19d – what an excellent reading for the clue.


  7. If you found this easy then you are an expert, a professional, one of an elite – which perhaps one could make an analogy with Manchester United.
    The rest of us,probably the huge majority, could not solve this in a reasonable time (if at all) without tips from this wonderful blog. We are Bristol Rovers so please, dear Uniteds, don’t show off too much. It is so dispiritng to us who are trying to get better.

      1. Someone did comment the other day that, given the amount of time I devote to crosswords, it was a shame no-one paid me to solve them.

  8. I’ve loved doing this one although I found it difficult to get going and only had two answers having read all the clues once so certainly more than 2* for me today – probably 3* for difficulty and 5* for enjoyment. 20a made laugh. Lots of brilliant clues today – 1, 13 and 17a and 4, 6, 19 and 23d – best of all 20a. With thanks to Ray T and BD.

    Horrible weather here in Oxford AGAIN – chilly, grey and drizzly about covers it but I’m not sure that I’m going to venture into “Toughie Land” after yesterday’s confidence clobbering debacle!

  9. Well I’ve not been 15 mins on today’s puzzle and normally don’t go the blog unless I’m stuck or finished. However. On filling in (unfortunate choice of words) the answer to 20A I immediately logged in to see what if any pic had been posted for this clue.

    I’m sorry to be a detractor but this is a pic of a ‘mankini’ and really feel quite strongly that for accuracy’s sake we need to see a proper whale tail.

    Anyway. Back to 26,652.

    1. Well, I was Dave, but the disappointment voiced by some does illustrate a slight gender imbalance when it comes to pics for suggestive clues. Can’t we girls have the occasional fireman, or maybe the bloke in the pepsi adverts? :) I notice this too with the setters – ‘ex’ is often clued by “former wife/girlfriend”, never “former husband/boyfriend”. And when I say “we girls”, I should include any gay male contributors who would appreciate a pic of a fit guy. Just a thought ;)

  10. Raging odontalgia has dulled the grey matter, I found this most difficult, thanks BD I needed a lorra lorra help though I did get 17 but couldn’t see why, thanks RayT

  11. I thought I was going to have my usual fight with Mr T, especially as the downs were going in faster than the acrosses but I finished very quickly for a Thursday so definitely 2* difficulty for me. The fun was full 4*, my particular favourites being 20a and 22a. Thanks Ray – a smashing start to a very damp grey Thursday morning. Thanks to BD too – not sure I want to see a pic of the correct item in 20a either :D

    The Toughie isn’t particularly tough, although it does have some tricky moments. Araucaria in the Guardian is on great form today too.

      1. Yes, it was a down clue in SE corner, but I can’t remember exactly which day, but very recen.t Didn’t we also have 17a recently too – or something very similar- certainly a worm!

  12. I’m with BD on the relative degree of difficulty of recent Ray T challenges – though it could be, as he suggests, that practice makes perfect. That said, this one was spot on for me, both in D & E. Why can’t he be given the Saturday Prize slot? And I join the queue for a more representative graphic at 20a please!

  13. Found this slow to get into but once started I thoroughly enjoyed it. The last couple of weeks I have managed to complete the Thursday puzzle, must be on the right wavelength at last.
    Thanks to setter and Big Dave for the hints.

  14. Either RayT is getting more difficult, or I’m getting worse! Took me an age to get started.

    Liked the 2 long hidden clues and the cheeky 20a.

  15. BD Just to show that some of us actually read your hints, I’ve spotted today’s deliberate mistakes in hints for 7d & 18d. Thanks!

    1. I’ve been staring at 7D knowing the answer because of the letters but could I figure out why?

      I was trying to get an anagram (murder) from as sin a tenet and eventually had to look at the blog. Have decided to pop down the pub for a pint to try and replace my general doziness with something comforting and familiar.

    2. I thought that today’s two “hidden” clues were extremely well hidden – I finally found them when I was trying to work out anagrams!

  16. Shouldn’t there perhaps be a ‘perhaps’ or suchlike to indicate definition by example in 15a? Or is that perhaps a tad over-pernickety?

    Thanks to setter and reviewer.

  17. Found it exceptionally difficult so am in awe of those of you who seemed to romp through it! Managed to complete only with lots of electronic help before resorting to the hints. Would never have got 15a as about the only one of those I know is Gabriel!! Hey ho! May now have a look at the Toghie as several comments say it’s easier?? Proof of the pudding, and all that….. Thanks BD for the hints, which were essential to-day.

  18. Setter here. Thanks to BD for the review, and to everybody who left a comment. In answer to freda’s question, I have to say that I was perhaps a little remiss in not adding a ‘perhaps’ or a ‘maybe’, maybe!


    1. Thank you RayT, and thank you for a lovely puzzle. I can tell by your clues how important precision is to you (which is why I so enjoy your puzzles and you kind of proved this by noticing the lower case ‘f’ in my name!

  19. Thanks for your help. I managed 8 solutions today before I came calling to you for help. Normally I only manage 4 or 5 so by my standards it was easier but I think that’s because there were more clues that were in tune with my thinking than anything else!

    1. As people say all the time – it’s all to do with wave lengths – lots of people find Ray T difficult – he’s definitely not easy but there is almost always a) a reference to Queen (have to admit I have no idea whether he is a fan of the group or a Royalist!) b) something that is, on surface reading, really quite rude/risque/blue and c)something that makes one (well, me anyway) laugh. He is, without any doubt at all, my favourite compiler.

  20. Thanks to Ray T for a good puzzle and to Big Dave for the hints, of which I needed 14, of which I had to look up 7. Just couldn’t get into this today.

  21. Late to this due to work and Charity Golf Day commitments (we are playing tomorrow and I have just finished the certificates!). After a bit of cog’n it all went in bar 4 in the SW (including the excellently disguised 27a which ranks as my C.O.D).

    Topless desires, small pieces of clothes and the frankly disturbing clue at 20a (Last chicken in the Window, anyone?). It can only be RayT.

    Thanks to you and to BD for the review.

  22. I may be in a minority but I find Thursdays are the best Puzzles of the week. I always know I’m going to be in for a challenge otherwise what’s the point? I suppose I could always go back to word searches & dot-to-dots but I don’t think I would get the same cerebral workout somehow.

    Thanks to Ray & to BD although I desperately want to get the Borat image out of my mind – most unsavoury.

  23. There was a young setter called Ray
    Who frequently blighted my day
    Once I beat him, oh boy
    I was grinning with joy
    But he’s stumped me again, lackaday!

    Still, I was only stuck on one clue, 27a. Despite having all the intersecting letters, I just couldn’t see it, and you can imagine how I kicked myself when I saw that the answer was hidden in the clue. Grrr

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