DT 26659 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26659

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26659

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

There is no need to check your calendars, it is Friday. Gazza needs to do something else this morning, so I am standing in for him. I struggled with this crossword from Giovanni in places and thought it was harder than normal. But that might be down to the blogging pressure and continued fun and games with the Telegraphs crossword site.

You can highlight the space between the curly brackets to reveal the answer.


1. Corrective final word offered by US lawyer to politician (10)
{AMENDATORY} – A word that means corrective is built up from the expression of approval at the end of a prayer, the abbreviation for a District Attorney and then finally a right wing UK politician.

6. Wartime food plans suffering a setback (4)
{SPAM} – Reverse (setback) diagrammatic representations to get a canned meat.

9. Cunning is evident in workers who want to bust the Government? (10)
{ANARCHISTS} – People who cause disorder or upheaval and also advocate the abolition of government are constructed from a word for mischievous or roguish followed by IS and then placed inside the normal crossword word for insect workers.

10. Aims to make repairs when the front’s fallen off (4)
{ENDS} – Remove M from a word for repairs to get things towards which one you might strive.

12. Learner, trouble-maker being slack (4)
{LIMP} – L (learner) plus a small demon.

13. Outing led astray? Find this on a map (0)
{LONGITUDE} – An anagram (astray) of OUTING LED is a measure of relative position east or west on the earth’s surface.

15. Awfully inept part of hospital feeling bad about things (8)
{PENITENT} – An anagram (awfully) of INEPT is then followed by a department that you might find in a hospital that specialises in problems with your ears, nose and throat.

16. Man’s entering Greek city (where not all speak Greek!) (6)
{GDANSK} – Put a possessive desperate man’s name inside the abbreviation for Greek to get a Polish city on the Baltic coast.

18. Tell member of the family, one against missing out (6)
{RELATE} – Remove I (one) V (against) from a word that describes someone related to you for a word that means to narrate or tell.

20. Companion goes to little woman carrying garment material (8)
{CHAMBRAY} – Companion of Honour is followed by one of the Little Women by Louisa May Alcott who is placed around a garment usually considered to be a supporter. Result a smooth light fabric of cotton or linen.

23. Preach to get one remiss sorted out (9)
{SERMONISE} – An anagram (sorted out) of ONE REMISS.

24. One of the family has a superior set of books (4)
{AUNT} – A U (upper class) and the New Testament.

26. Goddess is one attracted to Society (4)
{ISIS} – IS and I(one) and then the symbol for Society.

27. Workers given honour, see, in generous manner (10)
{HANDSOMELY} – These workers perform manual labour, the abbreviation for Order of Merit (honour) and then the office of a particular bishop in Cambridgeshire for a word that means in an attractive or generous manner.

28. You will come back to collect when convenient (4)
{EASY} – Reverse an old word for you and put inside a two letter word for when to get a word that means posing no difficulty or requiring little effort.

29. Loud song by good canon may give family entertainment (10)
{FAIRGROUND} – F (forte), another word for a melody or tune, G (good) and a simple type of canon produces a place of which Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach could be an example.


1. Month in which drama academy is set up (4)
{ADAR} – The sixth month of the civil year and the twelfth month of the religious year in the Hebrew calendar is the abbreviation for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art reversed (set up).

2. The first person set free, having climbed fencing (7)
{EVASION} – The definition for this clue is fencing, as might be used if you were trying to dodge answering questions. Take an expression for oneself and then add a word that means redeem or deliver from sin. Finally reverse (having climbed) it.

3. An action that leaves the head isolated (12)
{DECAPITATION} – Execution by cutting off the victim’s head.

4. Playing a sort of sound that’s exciting for O’Reilly? (8)
{TRILLING} – The playing of a fluttering or tremulous sound could be greatly exciting for an Irishman.

5. Pole drinking cask of booze becomes corpulent (6)
{ROTUND} – Put a three letter word for a large cask of beer or wine inside ROD (pole) for a word that means rounded in figure or plump.

7. Writer with weapon bagging one bird (7)
{PENGUIN} – An instrument for writing or drawing is followed by a firearm with I (one) placed inside for a flightless marine bird.

8. They may provide many openings in the hotel business (6,4)
{MASTER KEYS} – A gentle cryptic definition of what you might use to open all of the doors of a hotel with.

11. It could involve Monsieur messing about with Dame (12)
{MISDEMEANOUR} – An anagram of MONSIEUR and DAME is also a minor offence or transgression.

14. Trained spies prove to be overpowering (10)
{OPPRESSIVE} – Another anagram (trained) this time of SPIES PROVE.

17. What may destroy some evidence when mum gets more embarrassed (8)
{SHREDDER} – SH (mum) and what happens if you become more and more flushed produces a device used for destroying documents.

19. More than one vehicle is still, including old Rolls-Royce (7)
{LORRIES} – Another word for motor trucks is made from a word for being at repose or at rest placed around O (old) and RR (Roll-Royce)

21. Poem starts to read oddly, Auden being ‘off’? (7)
{RONDEAU} –The first letters of read and oddly, followed by an anagram (being ff) of AUDEN is a lyrical poem of French origin.

22. Capital providing volunteers to go round country (6)
{TIRANA} – Put a republic in South West Asia inside TA (Territorial Army – volunteers) to get the capital of Albania.

25. Composer produced a rough sound for us to hear (4)
{BYRD} – An English renaissance composer sounds like burred.

100 comments on “DT 26659

  1. I walked this one, enjoyable but not very taxing. To paraphrase Sherlock Holmes it was a half-mug problem, helped by 13a’s answer appearing by the clue in the online version! For a change I had no difficulty collecting today’s puzzles online.

  2. Me too in a hurry, have to be at funeral 20 miles away by 12 ! needed to know 1d before I left or it would have been on my mind through the service so thank you Libelulle, its faunny apart from that and checking one or two I found this one of Giovannis easier ones, particularly liked 4d, see you all later :-) Anyone that believes in the power of prayer please pray for the trapped Welsh miners

  3. I found this quite tricky in places, but I could also say the same for today’s Toughie.. so perhaps it’s just me!
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Libellule for the review.

  4. I was wondering whether I ought to check into the Priory Clinic to see whether i can be weaned of my daily need for a fix of the D.T. cryptic crossword. Just think how I would benefit if the hour (at least) that I spend on solving it were devoted to improving my French or German vocabulary. Or I could be out doing a bit of pruning in the garden.
    Must go now! I’ve got to get back to the crossword, as I’m beginning to get the trembles.

    1. Hi Harport, my brother was an addictions councillor and director at the Priory Clinic and said that of all the addictions crypticcrosswordism was the most difficult addiction to cure, indeed there was never a successful one heard of!! :-D

    2. The cryptic is a good way of keeping your brain fit and agile, so don’t try to fight the addiction.

      FT was fun and not too taxing today.

  5. How long did they say it would take to fix the site? I’ve been trying to get on since 12.00, our time, without success. I e.mailed them and did not even get the courtesy of a reply nor apology. I probably doesn’t matter if it’s a 4* as Libellule says because I couldn’ do it anyway but I would have like to have a try, especially as the general concensus is that it is fairly easy

      1. Collywobbles,
        The general consensus of opinion is that it is a 3* difficulty today. I have adjusted the blog accordingly.

        1. Libellule,
          I’ve been at it for 40 minutes and I think that 3* is fair – otherwise I couldn’t do it

    1. I sent them a grumpy email at half past 8 last night and got two months refund at 10 am this morning :)

      1. They probably havn’t offered me a refund because I can’t do 4* crosswords – but I will one day

        1. I have heard from them. Apparantly it was a bolt of lightning that caused the problem – does anybody believe that. They have offered me 2 months refund and have promised that the problem will be resolved ‘as soon as possible’ – that has no validity. Their IT department should take responsibility and, if they were in industry, they would be sacked by now for incompetance. I wonder whether the Barclay brothers are aware of this problem – I think that I will contact them on their fortressed island in the channel. I’ll report back when I get a response

      2. I asked for a second month’s refund when I heard that that’s what other people have been getting, but haven’t received (a) any money, (b) a reply. It feels like the DT has just washed its hands of the problems with the site. This morning it gave me the clues to puzzle no. 0 from 1 Jan 1970 at first, and no grid. I did get today’s puzzle later, but it just gets more frustrating day by day.

        1. I have recieved a credit of £2.99 but if it continues will ask for another, it should be refunds across the board though I think

          1. I agree. I’ve emailed three times this week, twice asking for more money back, and once just having a general rant, but they give the impression of not listening, not caring, and not doing anything to fix the problems.

    2. I’m thinking of cancelling my subscription. Sometimes it takes longer to access the crossword than it does to complete it!! Although I got on easily this morning, we ended up with an incorect grid, a clue number missing from the grid and an answer provided with the clue. I used to do the Guardian some years ago – I mught go back to that.

      1. I reproduce my email to them below. Can you tell I was a little peeved??
        I would just like to add my name to your ever growing list of complainers about the totally hopeless Telegraph Puzzles site.

        You wait hours and hours to get connected to the site, you click on Play and the puzzles page disappears, so you go through all the ‘Internet Explorer is unable to connect to the site’ until a miracle happens and you get back in. You complete the grid, press enter and the clock continues to tick away with nothing happening. Clicking on exit brings up ‘do you want to save this puzzle’ so you click save and again the clock ticks away. Clicking exit doesn’t work either so you have to come out of the site and then repeat the whole frustrating process to eventually get back in and submit the puzzle.

        Considering how much we pay for this service, it would be very nice to actually get a service. If this was a person rather than a computer program, they would have got the sack by now. Wouldn’t it be better to admit defeat, close the site for the month of September, returning peoples subscriptions, replace it with a better computer system and get a normal service resumed at the beginning of October.

      2. I’ve started doing the FT since all the problems started at Clued Up, and I really enjoy it. And it’s free. And there’s no ridiculous leader board full of people getting tens of thousands of points a day!

        1. Don’t understand the “leader board”. Surely most of us do the crossword for enjoyment – I assume this is competitive stuff – who gives a toss for the twits who can type fast?

          1. As a paper reader, I don’t understand the “leader board” either. Is there a prize? Money?

            I’ve seen lots of comments saying “…I submitted my solution, and it wasn’t accepted….but the clock kept ticking…”

            Confused from Tunbridge Wells.

    3. Buy a paper, you can’t beat it. the feel of it in your print smudged hands, the extra items such as news and other puzzles, and I feel that what I am seeing is new.

      1. Difficult and very expensive for those of us living abroad. The paper costs a small fortune, and I’d have a 30km round trip to buy one. That’s why it’s so frustrating that Clued Up is so temperamental (that being the polite word for it.)

  6. Nothing too difficult today although I wouldn’t have got 25d without the checking letter from 27a. 4d brought back fond memories of my Granny from Dublin. She used to phone me and when I answered she’d say, “Is that you? Well I’ve nuttin’ to say ‘cos I didn’t tink you’d be there.” Bless her:)

    Thanks to Libellule and Giovanni.

  7. Very enjoyable Xword again. Just one question, 27a, how do the last three letters relate to ‘see’, or am I just being thick ??
    Thanx to Compiler and to Libellule.

      1. Thank you Libellule. Can’t recall ‘see’ being interpreted as such but a quick dictionary check and et voila!
        One for the memory bank in the ever depleting grey cells. Many thanx.

  8. Does anyone have a copy of today’s? I thought it not possible, but the site seems worse today than ever before.

  9. I found this at the easy end of the Giovanni spectrum and I did enjoy the solving experience. Amongst others, 4d did make me smile. Thanks to Giovanni for the nice crossword and Libellule for the review. I had looked at the crossword earlier with a view to what pics Gazza might insert, and had wondered whether the garment in 20a might feature :D

    Apart from having no idea how 31a works, I got on all right with the Toughie too.

  10. Usual brilliant offering from the Friday Maestro. So much better than yesterday’s offering. I don’t know about anyone else but I felt rather cheated by yesterday’s puzzle, the great and the good got two puzzles yesterday and the rest of us mere mortals were deprived of our pleasant morning pastime. Best today for me was 3d, clever and it made me smile. Many thx to the setter and of course thx to Libellule for the excellent hints.

    1. I think that I probably agree with you, Brian. Yesterday’s puzzle defeated me and, in my opinion anyway, was too difficult for a back page cryptic – there is the toughie for those who are way ahead of the rest of us. I LOVE doing the crossword but yesterday I felt completely battered having failed so dismally.

  11. Very enjoyabe puzzle from Giovanni and a very nice review from Libellule ( there is an extra letter in your answer to 15a. )

  12. Just one thing, could someone explain more fully to me1d. The reverse of Rada I get but. don’t understand the explanation above re the months etc. Thx

  13. Oh one more thing then I’ll shut up. Thx to Mrs B for her help with 29a, liitle women and wutherimg heights are two books that most males strive very hard to avoid!

    1. ….. so what about “Rebecca”, “Jane Eyre” and “Gone with the Wind” – they are the three books that almost every woman is supposed to have read – I bet Mrs B has!! I certainly have.

  14. 1d is, according to our blessed Chambers, a Jewish month.
    Why all the fuss about doing the crossword online? My paper boy delivers the paper in time for breakfast. Very civilised.

    1. You are very fortunate – my DT comes up from Brussels and I don’t get it ’til PM and I am 1 hour ahead of you!

      1. The only Telegraph delivered here in rural France is the Weekly one hence we only get one real puzzle a week. If we go into the local market town we can buy one two or three day’s late but at a swingeing price..

    2. Many of us DT Xword puzzle solvers are ex-patriots. I live in the US for instance. Online is the only way to get it. I have the same trouble accessing as everyone else does, but I have better luck with Firefox than Internet Explorer 9, never get in with that.

    3. we are only 2 miles out of the main town and we don’t get a paper delivery! As I don’t read the paper by the time I use fuel to go get it and pay for it, the saving is a lot of money :-)

    1. If you speak to an irishman and as him to say three – it will sound like tree…..
      So trilling = thrilling for example

      1. You still didn’t explain the first part of the question. I had to look up ADAR since it had to be RADA backwards and 22D had to be TIRANA but I had to check it. 2D had to be EVASION but the NOI stumped me as it couldn’t be a positive charge in an atom!

  15. Another enjoyable puzzle from The Don.
    Faves : 16a, 1d & 22d.

    The omly clue I do not really get is 2d – perhaps I have been expat too long!

  16. First of all I’d like to say a big thank you to all the setters; reviewers; and anyone else that has dropped subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) hints – without your help I think I may have gone mad over these last few months.

    Second, hello all, sometimes I enjoy reading the comments as much as attempting the crossword, please keep them up!

    However my first posting has a purpose, can someone please help me out?

    I’ve been trying to get onto the site now for over 3 days, maybe I’m just unlucky but it just doesn’t want me to play!

    The straw hat has finally fallen off my donkey and i need to spleen some vents.

    However, I can’t even get the email address of customer services (or I guess customer complaints would be a more apt title these days), can someone please pass it on to me? many thanks in advance.


      1. Goto My Account, and read the message entitled – Today’s Cryptic 26,659
        There is another way to access the puzzle.

  17. After yesterday’s puzzle this was a doddle, and I often find Fridays quite tricky! I think that it was probably one of Giovanni’s easier ones – well, I found it so. I got 2d but needed the hint, and some of the comments too, to understand why. I liked 16 and 20a and 11d – best of all were, for me anyway, 3 and 4d. I spent AGES trying to think who O’Reilly was!! With thanks to Libellule and Giovanni.

  18. I wasn’t aware of the captial but took a flier from the clear wordplay. Apart from that and a couple of other clues it was all fun and not so hard for me.
    Thanks to Libellule for the review and to Giovanni for the puzzle.

  19. Libelulle I have just noticed that although a clue for 13a along with the answer there is no 13a on the grid???

            1. However, just like the DT’s resolution of their IT problems – it’s not always Instant.

              Feel a track coming on …..Instant Karma

              I don’t know why I’m complaining – I buy the paper – but, I do sympathise with all subscribers to Clued-up.

              1. Yes Franco – we buy the paper too – get coupons which means that it costs about half the normal price. From what I have been reading I’m SO glad that we do. This would drive me completely cuckoo – even more than I am already!
                We also get to read the paper – something that I would not do otherwise.

  20. I had to really persevate with this one, and caused myself problems with the last couple by trying to find something Greek at 16a (I put Adonis, thinking Don Is for man’s, but it didn’t seem right). That of course mucked up 8d, which as soon as I saw the Greek/Polish hint, sorted it all out, so thank you.

    I think I’ve deserved a slice of lemon tart that’s just come out of the oven. Shame I have to wait for it to cool! Still, that will be quicker than logging on to Clued Up.

    Anybody know what’s REALLY happening there? I get the impression they’re just letting it curl up and die.

    1. If you can get into the site and into your messages, there is a message as follows:

      .Hello. Apologies again for the terrible problems that I know everyone is experiencing in using the Telegraph Puzzles website.

      We were told that the work to correct it would take six weeks, and that remains the case. So it should be finished by the end of September.

      If it is any consolation, Daniella and I share exactly the same problems in uploading and checking the puzzles. (In fact, this morning’s mix-up on the Cryptic Crossword grid was a direct result of the current situation. We are having so many problems doing our work, it was inevitable that a puzzle would slip past us unchecked, and sod’s law that it would be one with a bad grid. So, apologies for that too.) Profuse apologies all round and thanks for your patience.

      Phil McNeill
      Puzzles Editor

  21. Thank you for mentioning that Mary, thought l was going dotty.

    Learnt the capital of Albania, was stumped for a while on 27a and 25d. Favourite was 9a

    Thank you Libelulle and setter

  22. I think we all need to keep leaving messages to keep the pressure on. I am sending one at least once a week.

  23. I printed off the online version of the grid this morning (after the standard 4 or 5 attempts to get in), and although the clue and answer is here for 13a, I can’t see 13a on the grid! Has anyone else noticed the same problem?

  24. Managed to complete this one without any hints, but it involved an awful, awful lot of guessing at the answers – I’d never heard of 20a, 1d and 21d. 25d was an educated guess, and I’ve no idea why ‘NOI’ means ‘me’ (did I read that right?) or why an Irishman would be excited by 4d.
    So, yes, this was a frantic fumble in the dark for me, but was kinda enjoyable, I suppose…
    Thanks for explaining some of the answers, Libellule! :)

    1. Hi TimC

      I think that most of the clues you mention are “workoutable”, to use a horrible word but can’t put it better. When you have never heard of something but can work it out from the clue you then look it up – that’s how you learn.
      You could do well to read the hints for all the ones that you don’t understand – if there is still something that you don’t understand you then go through all the comments because the chances are that someone else will not have understood and there will be additional help.
      This is a great, helpful and friendly place – just keep going. Good luck.


    2. NOI = No1, as in “Looking after number one”.

      4d refers to how someone with some type of Irish accent might pronounce “thrilling”.

      1. * slaps forehead *
        OK, completely got the ‘NOI’ one now…
        Thanks Kath also – I did read the hints, but I see there’s more explanation about the ‘thrilling’/’trilling’ bit in the comments.
        Cheers all! :)

  25. Thank the Lord Harry that I have a most reliable paperboy. Is it beyond the wit of Man for someone to get the ‘Paper’ early, scan it in, and make it available to a collective address group? I’d offer to do it myself but, I don’t possess a scanner. Mind you I expect the DT would have copyright issues if someone did, regardless of the fact they seem to be taking an inordinate amount of time to sort a blooming server out. BUY A NEW ONE!

    A fairly gentle offering from Don G today with the exception of of the composer who I had to look up. I’m still trying to get over the back pager yesterday. The toughie was a breeze in comparison! Who invited that sadist of a compiler? (Only kidding, it was a blast). Thanks to Libellule and The Don for the entertainment.

    1. I hereby offer to scan the paper version every day and post it somewhere.
      Two provisos:
      1. Is it legal?
      2. Where can I post it so that bloggers can access it – BD?

      1. Digby, my dear old thing

        1. Possibly not but, who knows.

        2. B.D. has all of our e-mail addresses. I don’t suggest he does it personally but, as i said before, this cannot be beyond the wit of man. As a newspaper buying dinosaur I don’t get the whole website thing. However, I’d rather have the crossword e-mailed to me than have to put up with the current nonsense many people are having to put up with. Perhaps someone could scan the puzzle, save it as an attachment, and e-mail it to selected recipients!!!! Just a thought.

          1. But, I tend not to read “yesterday’s papers”, and so if you have any views or advice on this subject, Big D, please email them to me. G’night.

  26. Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle and to Libellule for the review and hints. I found this a nice puzzle, but quite difficult, I needed 5 hints finish. Never heard of Adar, struggled with 9 & 17 across.
    favourite was 16 across.

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