DT 26655 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26655

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26655

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

An OK crossword today, but not I think Rufus at his best.

If you are struggling with the hint, highlight the space between the curly brackets to reveal the answer.


1. Very rapid form of percussion (10)
{SUPERSONIC} – An anagram (form) of PERCUSSION produces a speed greater than sound.

9. Exploit a twist of fate (4)
{FEAT} – Another anagram (twist of) this time of FATE

10. Chose to give voice — escorted from the scene (7,3)
{SINGLED OUT} – The definition is chose. Take a word that means to make melodious sounds and then follow it with a simple phrase (3,2) that describes being taken away from a place by someone else.

11. Intercept and separate (3,3)
{CUT OFF} – Double definition, to interrupt the course or passage of something, or to isolate from others.

12. Hang having to pay to take us in! (7)
{SUSPEND} – A word that means to hang from above is constructed from a word that means to pay out with US inside it.

15. Composer born, I do recall, in the 1830s (7)
{BORODIN} – An anagram (recall) of BORN I DO Take BORN and place a reversed (recall) I DO inside to get a Russian composer born on the 12th November 1833. Thanks Mary (see comment below).

16. Board makes progress (3,2)
{GET ON} – Another double definition, to climb aboard something, or to progress or continue

17. A course taken abroad (4)
{AWAY} – A word that means “not at home” is A followed by a word for a route or path.

18. Sunny with strong wind (4)
{FAIR} – F (forte) followed by a word for a breeze or wind describes a clear and sunny day.

19. Trouble with the throat or back of a horse (5)
{CROUP} – A child’s throat condition typified by a hoarse cough and laboured breathing is also a word that describes the rump of a horse.

21. As you say, it’s precisely what’s required (7)
{EXACTLY} – A word used to indicate agreement also means accurately.

22. Sees trouble when I am taken in by a cat (7)
{SIAMESE} – An anagram (trouble) of SEES around I AM is a blue-eyed breed of cat.

24. Judge gives fools direction (6)
{ASSESS} – Add S (South – direction) to a word that describes silly people to get a word that means to measure the worth of something for example.

27. One breaking art’s rules in bizarre fashion (10)
{SURREALIST} – Put I (one) inside an anagram (bizarre) of ARTS RULES for an artist who was part of a cultural movement that began in the early 1920’s e.g. Salvador Dali.

28. Live up to a wicked description (4)
{EVIL} – Reverse (up) the first word in the clue. Not sure I like the use of up to indicate reversal in an across clue.

29. With fair agreement, quits board (6,4)
{SQUARE DEAL} – A phrase that describes a fair bargain consists of a word that means “on even terms” followed by another name for a pine board.


2. One upper-class twit (4)
{UNIT} – U (upper class) followed by another informal term for a stupid person.

3. It may hold what has to be laid on the table (6)
{EGGCUP} – You might use this at breakfast time to hold what a chicken lays.

4. Trying to interview royalty? (7)
{SEEKING} – If split (3,4) you might have been trying to meet George IV for example. Taken as a whole you are trying to locate or discover something.

5. Corner disallowed (4)
{NOOK} – A narrow recess could be a negative response followed by another word for acceptable I presume, unless anybody has any better ideas.

6. Understand and win popularity (5,2)
{CATCH ON} – Double definition. To understand or perceive, or to become popular.

7. Another chess victory for ship’s officer (6,4)
{SECOND MATE} – The next in command of a ship could also be what you might call a follow on win at a chess tournament.

8. Tender after getting the stick? One may treat you (5,5)
{STAFF NURSE} – A qualified person who ranks immediately below a Sister, is also a stout stick followed by someone who cares for the sick.

12. Same agents, but different actors adopt them (5,5)
{STAGE NAMES} – An anagram (but different) of SAME AGENTS are pseudonyms used by performers.

13. Article has wrong emphasis about ocean-going craft (10)
{SEAMANSHIP} – Put AN (article) in an anagram (wrong) of EMPHASIS for a word that describes the skill in navigating or managing a boat or ship.

14. Criticise when I left dry ice swirling around (5)
{DECRY} – An anagram (swirling around) of DRY ICE with the I (left) removed.

15. Go up in public transport intended to take in others (5)
{BOGUS} – Reverse go and place it inside a long motor vehicle that carries passengers to get a word that means counterfeit or fake.

19. Under a hundred girls make up the school (7)
{CLASSES} – C (Roman number for a hundred) followed by a word for young women gets you a group of students who are taught together

20. Trailblazer needs one in support (7)
{PIONEER} – Put ONE inside a pillar that holds up heavy loads for someone who leads the way.

23. Smiled wryly when given the wrong directions (6)
{MISLED} – An anagram (wryly) of SMILED.

25. Female member of German union (4)
{FRAU} – A word for a married German woman.

26. Like to get first-class return for the continent (4)
{ASIA} – AS (like) followed by AI reversed.

The Quick crossword pun {pork} + {ewe} + {pine} = {porcupine}

39 comments on “DT 26655

  1. Nothing too tricky today. I wondered whether 16a could have read ‘Board make progress’ ??
    Favourite clues, 1a, and 23d.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule.

  2. Gentle fare for a Monday morning but not as 12a in the Quickie as some of Rufus’s crosswords. I did, however, enjoy 3d, 12d, 27a and 10a.

    Similar story in the Rufus Guardian crossword today as well.

    1. Where in Northumberland are you, Ann? I’ll be there next week and am glad I didn’t plan to go today given the weather forecast. Bamburgh will be extremely blustery!

      1. I envy you. I remember being on Bamburgh beach in similar weather we are experiencing now , plus snow blowing in from the sea! Very exhilarating. The best beaches in Britain, no rubbish & very few tourists at this time if the year.

  3. First Xword for a couple of weeks, so appreciated gentle reintroduction. Brain now back in Xword mode (I think). Thanx to Compiler and to Libellule.

  4. Lots of nice anagrams today. Still not sure how interview fits with 4d. Lots of answers today that do not seem to me to be quite fit with the clue or perhaps it’s just me. Thx for the explanations from Libellule and to the setter for getting us off and running this week.

  5. No demons at all today and fairly plain sailing as far I’m concerned. No particular favourites although its not often I see 19A turn up.

    Horrible wet, windy weather today and me with a lot of driving to do, Yippdo!

    Thought Wales were robbed.

  6. I managed to finish today without any hints – a rare event for me, so it must have been relatively
    easy, and I really liked 3d. I actually found the Quickie to be more difficult with some unnusual
    definitions, took me ages to get 14d.

  7. I had quite a struggle with the top half of this one – looking at it again now I can’t really see why. I didn’t help myself by dividing 19a into “3,2” when I should have done that with 16a. Stupid!! I liked 1, 10 and 27a and 3, 7, 12 and 25d. Have to say that I DIDN’T like 6d much. With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    Terrible weather – wet and very windy but not as bad here as in other areas of the country. Do hope that all who live further north and west are OK.

  8. I still can’t get the crossword been trying all morning the closes i got was logging in to be told my subscription had expired which it hasn’t becasue i got the receipt for my latest payment a few days ago

  9. I agree that this wasn’t Rufus at his most 12a in the Quick Crossword but nothing to complain about really. Thank you to Rufus and to Libellule.

    1. 29a As in settling a payment. eg: If the DT was to reimburse my last 1quarter’s subscription the puzzle site then I would call it quits or a square deal.

          1. So am I! I think and hope that “old” comes a long way in the future from where we are now, especially as we have all these cryptic crosswords to keep our minds active.

  10. Relatively easy start to the week, although I agree with Jezza about the ‘s’ in 16a – if it’s in the clue it should be in the answer. Also think 5d was a but dodgy, as Libellule’s hint suggests. But I did really like 3d. Thanks for puzzle & review.

    1. I think that you’re meant to read “makes” in 16a as “results in” or “leads to” (as in “two and two makes four”) with the second definition being “progress” rather than “makes progress”.

  11. PS It wasn’t 6d that I didn’t like much, it was 5d – I type very fast but never could do the numbers with any accuracy! :oops:

  12. Bon apres midi LIbelulle, several distractions today have led to me not doing the crossword until this afternoon, lots of clues I liked once again, fav clues, 2d, 5d, 21a, the winds have been howling here for over 24 hours now but at least it is dry now and we have quite a bit of blue sky, the only clue I didn’t like today was 27a, though its probably just the way I am ‘seeing’ it or not as the case may be :-)

  13. Libelulle although I saw 15a as an anagram, when I looked at it again I thought that maybe it was worked another way? ‘born’ with I do backwards – ‘recall’ inside indicated by ‘in’ , are both ways correct?

  14. A pleasant start tp the week, on a wild and wet day here in Edinburgh. Not going out again, today!

    Thanks to Rufus

  15. The usual steady start to the week from Rufus.
    Nothing difficult.
    Faves :27a, 3d, 13d & 28d – clever fodder for the last!

  16. Please can you tell me how you guys identify the Telegraph setter? As I understand it Brian Greer makes Sunday’s puzzle and there are six others during the week. I’m just curious to know if the setter identifies themselves in a clue, or if it’s a case of familiarity?


    1. Welcome to the blog Mike

      Usually we have Rufus on Monday, Jay on Wednesday, Giovanni on Friday and Cephas on alternate Saturdays. If there’s a variation from that pattern then we are often informed by the setter. Shamus often appears on Tuesdays and the unmistakeable Ray T on many Thursdays. Various other setters put in an appearance from time to time, but we don’t always recognise them – but we are getting good at recognising Petitjean.

    2. Mike,
      Its a mixture of things. We do know certain setters set crosswords on specific days, for example Brian Greer (Virgilus) is Sunday, Roger Squires (Rufus) Monday, Tuesday we get Philip Marlow (Shamus) or mysterons, Wednesday is Jeremy Mutch (Jay), Thursday is Ray Terrell and mysterons, Friday is Don Manley (Giovanni), Saturday is typically Peter Chamberlain (Cephas) or mysterons. When we are not sure of the setter we can sometimes spot the setter via their style. For example Roger, Ray are unmistakeable and most of the others we can usually hazard a very intelligent guess based on past experiences. Finally a number of setters do tend to drop by and identify themselves.

  17. I like Rufus on Mondays.
    I’m surprised about the amount of questions from the clues – I thought that they were all fair and above board.

    Favourite was 5d which I thought was hilarious…


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