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DT 26664

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26664

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Ray T is back in the Thursday slot with another excellent puzzle.

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    Ringo at once adjusted embracing grand group (12)
{CONGREGATION} – an anagram (adjusted) of RINGO AT ONCE around (embracing) G(rand) gives a group or assembly

9a    Topless, move rhythmically on pole, maybe (9)
{PERCHANCE} – take a word meaning to move rhythmically, drop the initial letter (topless) and precede it by a pole for a bird to roost on to get the cunningly disguised definition – maybe

I just love a challenge, Kath!

10a    Square described by Pythagoras? (5)
{AGORA} – this square or marketplace in Ancient Greece is hidden inside (described by) the Ancient Greek in the clue

11a    Part of Clytemnestra’s calling for deceitful character (6)
{RASCAL} – another hidden answer, this time indicated by “part of” – two of the words in the clue conceal this deceitful character

12a    Unearthly rock, Queen do it as arranged outside (8)
{ASTEROID} – this small rock which is in orbit around the sun is created by putting Elizabeth Regina inside an anagram (arranged) of DO IT AS

13a    Sleep then wake up, say, by day’s opening (6)
{DROWSE} – a word meaning to sleep intermittently is created by putting what sounds like to wake up after the initial letter (opening) of Day

15a    One pulls out all the stops for performance! (8)
{ORGANIST} – a cryptic definition of someone who plays hymns in church

18a    Quiet bird, tense, with timid exterior (8)
{STEALTHY} – a word meaning quiet or furtive is derived from a small freshwater duck and T(ense) with a word meaning timid outside (exterior)

19a    Had a row? (6)
{BOATED} – had a row on the river

21a    Following check, preparing for attack and winning (8)
{CHARMING} – after CH(eck) put a word meaning preparing for attack to get a word meaning winning or delightful

23a    Party approaching Sea World (6)
{DOMAIN} – a charade of a party (2) and the sea gives a world or realm

26a    Incredibly long, incredibly ancient description initially (5)
{ILIAD} – the initial letters of the first five words in the clue give a long story

27a    Shandies drunk around time finally creating intoxication (9)
{HEADINESS} – put an anagram (drunk) of SHANDIES around the final letter of timE to get a word meaning intoxication or potency

28a    Intern a type I fancy, here? (12)
{PENITENTIARY} – an anagram (fancy) OF INTERN A TYPE I gives somewhere that a person might be interned


1d    Skipped, bothered about exercise (7)
{CAPERED} – to get a word meaning skipped or frolicked put a word meaning bothered or was concerned around Physical Exercise

2d    Winds up from opposite directions around ship (5)
{NARKS} – a word meaning winds up or irritates is derived by putting opposite directions around Noah’s ship

3d    Tries a second time, a learner getting practice (9)
{REHEARSAL} – a word meaning tries in court for a second time is followed by A and L(earner) to give this practice or trial run

4d    Rifles secure, having been cocked (4)
{GUNS} – these rifles are created by reversing (having been cocked) a word meaning secure or cosy

5d    Cut handle on safe to get valuables (8)
{TREASURE} – drop the final letter (cut) from a word meaning to handle then add safe or reliable to get these valuables that may be hidden

6d    Old judge to make a speech (5)
{ORATE} – a charade of O(ld) and to judge or assess gives a verb meaning to make a speech

7d    He drives Morris’s first old Traveller, not posh! (8)
{MOTORIST} – this person who drives a car is created from the initial letter (first) of Morris, O(ld) and a traveller without the U (not posh)

8d    Robber, outlawed we hear, one time (6)
{BANDIT} – this robber is a homophone (we hear) of a verb meaning outlawed followed by I (one) and T(ime)

14d    Theatrical actor with pie splattered (8)
{OPERATIC} – this word meaning theatrical is an anagram (splattered) of ACTOR with PIE

16d    Supporter showing sense after a game (9)
{APOLOGIST} – this supporter is derived from a word meaning the sense or main point of a matter after A and a game played on horseback

17d    Impress producing large port (8)
{SHANGHAI} – a word meaning to impress or trick into performing an unpleasant task is also a large port on the east coast of China

18d    One’s thrown to get a day off! (6)
{SICKIE} – some might throw this in order to get a day off work!

20d    Dirty, empty squalid house (7)
{DYNASTY} – start with DirtY without the internal letters (empty) and then add a word meaning squalid to get a house or succession of monarchs of the same family

22d    Turned up, say, obscure insect (5)
{MIDGE} – reverse (turned up) the Latin abbreviation of say or for example and a word meaning obscure or indistinct to get a small gnat-like fly

24d    Bowl and a new period’s over (5)
{ARENA} – this bowl or stadium comes from A, N(ew) and a period all reversed (over)

25d    Strong draught beer with good head (4)
{GALE} – this strong draught of wind is derived from beer preceded by (head) G(ood)

Thanks to Ray T for exercising the grey matter.

The Quick crossword pun: {marked} + {wane} = {Mark Twain}

64 comments on “DT 26664

  1. Great fun today – made me think quite a bit. Had to check that 10A was right (not the sort of word I use in everyday conversation) and 19A and 23A gave me quite a bit of trouble, not sure that I’d use the word boated too often either, I’m sure there are plenty of other words _O_T_D that could have slightly more straight forward (but still cryptic) clues.

  2. Nop notch stuff from Ray T today. Many thanks to him for an excellent crossword and to BD for the review. Clue of the day for me was 18a for the time it took to unravel and the satisfaction when it did.

    1. 17d was one of the last I got, too, although I had more trouble with 7d. Had the answer but couldn’t work out why until I had BD’s help. Thanks as always, BD.

  3. Seemed to flow quite well for me – one of those occassions when the cross letters pointed me in the right direction on the harder clues. Found 9a a bit sticky and agree with skempie that 19a was clumsy. Thanks to BD as always.

  4. Good morning Dave, at first I didn’t think I would be able to do this but after three lots of perservation and help from my ‘friends’! ( not needing the hints though) I managed it :-) , I agree with the three star rating for difficulty today, four favourites, 9a, got thrown with this one at first as I had wanted to put ‘march’ for ‘move rhythmically’! also liked 19a, 26a and 23a, with an empty grid I had put ‘snug’ for 4d and ‘hale’ for 25a – always was a bit backward :-D, thanks for hints Dave off to read them now

      1. I’m always doing that sort of thing. And I put ‘hale’ too — after all, it does fit: someone who is hale is strong. :-)

  5. The fastest time I’ve completed a Ray T in, so it must have been a relatively easy one. I wasn’t overly convinced by 19a, but I liked the way many of the answers could be constructed from the clues. (The case with any crossword, I suppose!)

  6. I think RayT has been quite gentle with us the last few weeks, but still good fun to complete.
    Thanks to him, and to BD for the review.

    For those who struggled with this, today’s Toughie is quite straightforward.

      1. I know Geoff had a really busy summer, so I haven’t bugged him to see where he is but I may drop him an email to see if he’s given up or not, hope not he was getting on really well

        1. Didn’t he say that he was going to be spending the “summer” doing something to do with 19a? :smile: Go on Mary – send him an email and tell him that we miss him. Let us know.

  7. Rather a challenge today, and I needed your help for the last clue — couldn’t get 24d at all. However, I managed to get through the rest with a little help from Chambers. I liked 9a and 7d, and send thanks to BD and Ray T.

  8. Great fun, thank you Ray. I had a few favourites but would agree with Prolixic that 18a is top of the list Thanks to BD too.

    The Toughie only took me a smidgeon longer than the back page but is very enjoyable too.

  9. Hated 6a. I unpicked the clue quickly enough but ‘boated’ – ugh! Should have got 22d more quickly – especially now that they are hopefully gone for the year.

  10. A lovely mix of clues today and nice surface reads. Favourite clue, probably 9a. I took about the same time to complete the Toughie, so it must be fairly gentle today. Thanks to Ray T and BD.

  11. I’ve finally finished without resorting to the hints but for me it was more than a 3* for difficulty. I really enjoyed it but it has stretched “the little grey cells” to their limit and I now need to spend the rest of the day lying in a darkened room. I thought it was Ray T at his most devious! I dithered about 25d and eventually, although I couldn’t quite see where the “H” could have come from, put “hale”. The hint for that one has put me right. My last two to go in were 10 and 18a. Liked 9a (what a good thing Gazza isn’t doing the hints today!) and 19 and 26a and 2, 7, 14 and 20d. With thanks to Ray T for another great puzzle and to BD for the hints.

  12. Life does not get much better! A Ray T on a Thursday & the postman has just delivered my new copy of Chamber’s Crossword Dictionary in hardback purchased for £14.99 post free from play.com – which is less than ½ cover price & delivered within 2 days – now if the DT could be as efficient…

    1. Well, I got a good deal from the DT – they have a collection of remastered Pink Floyd CD’s for sale. I popped in to check them out, selected 3 I wanted, then saw a bit of the website which hadn’t been finished – all it said was Box 14 Studio – price £0.00. Whilst I was unsure what it consisted of, I added it to my shopping cart, paid for it and checked the bill. Sure enough, I’d been charged £0.00 ! Checking later in the day, it turned out to be a limited edition box set of 14 PF CDs, normal retail price £150.00 but being sold by the DT for £135.00. Haven’t heard any big Waily Waily’s from them yet, so looks like I might even have a bargain !

      1. Well, it’s the sort of thing that might happen when pigs fly……. and sure enough there are plans afoot today to fly a replica pig above Battersea Power Station to allow them to restage the famous PF album cover.

        Anyway, I’m off to see if I can get the same bargain…….

  13. Another great Thursday RayT. So many good clues of which 10 and 23 stood out. Also liked 18d when the penny dropped. Thanks for making Thursday a day to look forward to.

  14. There are quite a few people today who don’t like 19a, can’t understand that personally, it was one of my favourites :-)

    1. I agree – it was one of my favourites too. :smile: Well done for emailing Geoff – wonder what he’s been up to and if he’s still perservating with the crosswords.

  15. PS Didn’t think that BD would resist the challenge about 9a! :grin:
    Off for dog walk now and then will continue to battle with the dreaded ground elder. :sad:

  16. Enjoyed this so many thanks to RayT.
    The only one that pommette and I had real trouble with was 20d and that was my fault! We had the S and Y at the end so when pommette read out the clue I thought ‘squalid house’ – STY. That leaves you trying to find a word for empty to go before it and the definition has to be DIRTY. Don’t work! Took a while for the penny to finally drop.
    Thanks to BD for the review.

  17. Particularly liked 25d for its surface and evocative reminders of Gale’s Brewery’s products. Also can’t see the problem with 19a. Is it me, or is 15a not particularly cryptic? Thanks to BD and RT.

    1. Mmmmmm HSB got me through college – wonderful stuff (especially when drunk in the back bar of the Still and West overlooking Portsmouth Harbour)

      1. Blimey Skempie I’d forgotten all about that Pub – used to stay with friends in Pompey and frequent it regularly many moons ago.

  18. Just got back from France and I see what people have meant by the problems on the site.
    Thought I would treat myself with a DT at the airport totally forgetting it was a Thursday and so another impenetrable Ray T. My bete noir! Ah well there’s always a fridayGiovanni to look forward to.

  19. Hi
    As regards 9 across I believe the reference ‘pole maybe’ refers to old measurements – as on rod, pole & perch rather than bird perches
    Just an idea….


  20. Rattled through this quite quickly. I fear I’m in the ‘didn’t like it’ band re 19a. In fact I jotted ‘poor’ beside it after I’d filled in the answer. I liked 9a, 18a and 21a. A few hoary old chestnuts, 3d, 12a and 15a spring to mind, especially 15a which is barely cryptic. I liked that fact that although I’d never heard of 10a it was easily deduced from the clue. All in all, a nice bit of mental gymnastics. Thanks to RayT and BD.

  21. Been at the seaside all day (last time for this year, I think) so just getting started now. Will have to concentrate & will prob have to look at the blog…..many thaks to Ray & reviewer.

  22. Had a bit of trouble with SW corner as didn’t believe 18d could be what it is – I didn’t know one “threw” them, I thought one “took” them (shows how long I’ve been away from an office environment!) Then got 18a and 21a, so it had to be and 22d was last in for me. Agree about 19a, thought it had to be but it didn’t do much for me – loved 20d. Very enjoyable – thanks to Ray T and BD.

  23. One of the easier RayT puzzles – but as always very entertaining.

    I had most difficulty with the quickie pun – I put “fade” for “diminish” – no amount of “saying it OUT LOUD” helped.

    Apologies to the neighbours!!

  24. Many thanks to BD for the decryption, and to everybody else for your feedback. Both explanations for ‘perch’ work, and I can’t remember which one I had in mind when I wrote the clue!


      1. Oui, TRES diplomatique – mais je pense que …. oh sod it – my French has given out – the pole and the bird (ie the thing that the bird would be roosting on, rather than the kind of “bird” in BD’s picture clue) was what I thought of but both work and I have to confess that Alastair’s idea had not occurred to me.

  25. Boated! Bah!
    Just couldn’t get it. My fault, I knew what he meant, but “Sculled” just wouldn’t fit.

    Nice puzzle.

    1. I know what you mean – I put it in then removed it only to come back to it later. Perfectly fine as a word (you did it whilst wearing a Boater) but nobody ever uses it in conversation. I recently wrote down Mister instead if Mr and stared blankly at it for a while. Again nothing wrong but we just don’t use it!

  26. Hi all, I usually only read the blog and comments, but today feel I should delurk to add my “thumbs up” to Ray for todays excellent offering.

    A bit on the easy side – finished while the first cuppa of the day was still warm – but most enjoyable. Thank you :o)

    1. Hi spurskevin – welcome to the blog. Now that you’ve delurked I hope we’ll get regular comments from you!

    2. Always good to have a new “delurker” – what made you “come out ” today? If you thought that this was easy you should go straight to the top of the class! :smile:

      1. Thanks gazza and Kath. As I said, I just thought 26664 was an excellent crossword, had some great clues, and was worthy of delurking to add my comments :)

  27. Another satisfying crossword for me today. Got most clues without hints for the second day in a row but 4D stumped me for ages… seems obvious now!

  28. Enjoyable and relatively straightforward for a Thursday. I think that leaves me pretty well in tune with everyone else. Might have a quick crack at the Toughie before I go to bed….

    Favourite clue was 4a. Last in was 18a.

    Thanks to RayT and BD.

  29. Really enjoyed this one, with 18A and 9A being my favourites. The ‘boated’ one was last in for me too! Thanks to Ray T and BD for the review and illustrations! :-)

  30. 9a my pet clue for it’s seemingly risque nature.Typical RT stuff.Does ‘DESCRIBE’ mean inside BD?(10a)

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