DT 26667 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26667

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26667

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Libellule is ensnared in work-related problems this morning so I’m blogging this one and he’ll be doing the Friday shift.
This is a typical Rufus puzzle, full of clever cryptic definitions but not too much of a stretch. Let us know what you made of it.
If you want to see an answer just highlight the space between the curly brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Animals whose food is superior to other animals (8)
{GIRAFFES} – … because what they eat is beyond the reach of other animals.

6a  What many, in panic, make themselves (6)
{SCARCE} – put the Roman numeral for 100 (many) inside a synonym for panic to get what many people make themselves when danger threatens (i.e. they’re nowhere to be seen).

9a  Spasmodic trouble for our airways (6)
{ASTHMA} – cryptic definition of a respiratory condition which causes spasmodic breathing difficulties.

10a  Lovely girl, outwardly competent (8)
{ADORABLE} – the definition is lovely. A girl’s name (think of the entertainer Ms. Bryan) has a synonym for competent put around it (outwardly).

11a  The offer of money may make him cross (8)
{FERRYMAN} – … what it may make him cross is the river, with you as a passenger.

12a  Oral entreaties find favour (6)
{PLEASE} – a word that sounds like (oral) entreaties or urgent requests is a verb meaning to find favour.

13a  Receive notice of termination and become agitated (3,3,4,2)
{GET THE WIND UP} – this phrase means to become nervous or agitated, but if the last two words were hyphenated (4-2) it could mean that you’re out of a job because your employer is being closed down.

16a  A pit owner’s to arrange for a source of energy (5,7)
{POWER STATION} – an anagram (arrange) of A PIT OWNER’S TO is where energy is generated.

19a  Embryo to fuse together somehow (6)
{FOETUS} – an anagram (together somehow) of TO FUSE.

21a  Clumsy former spouse in Pinter play (8)
{INEXPERT} – an adjective meaning clumsy or unskilled comes from putting the short word used for a former spouse inside an anagram (play) of PINTER.

23a  Prophetic warning shout to players (8)
{FORECAST} – this is an adjective meaning prophetic or predicted. It’s a charade of a warning shout on the golf course and the players in a drama or film.

24a  Fifty-one in surplus — yet he wanted more (6)
{OLIVER} – put the Roman numerals for fifty-one inside a synonym for surplus to make the forename of a literary character who asked for more.

25a  Well acquainted with the metric system (6)
{VERSED} – cryptic definition describing someone familiar with the use of metres in poetic works.

26a  X-ray unit (8)
{ROENTGEN} – gentle cryptic definition of an international unit of radiation named after the German physicist who won the first Nobel prize in physics.

Down Clues

2d  Like a well-drilled army that’s on foot (6)
{INSTEP} – how a well-drilled army may march (2,4) is actually part of the foot.

3d  Shrink from hunting initially with wild boar around (5)
{ABHOR} – a verb meaning to shrink from or regard with disgust is formed by putting the first letter (initially) of H(unting) inside an anagram (wild) of BOAR.

4d  Stout friends, about 50, who share digs (9)
{FLATMATES} – start with synonyms of stout or overweight and friends and insert the Roman numeral for fifty to make people who live together in order to share the accommodation costs.

5d  Stay faithful (7)
{STAUNCH} – double definition, stay being a verb meaning to stem or stop.

6d   Boat causes waters to rise (5)
{SLOOP} – a one-masted sailing boat which when reversed (to rise, in a down clue) means areas of water.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

7d  Special among men, a legendary Greek hero (9)
{AGAMEMNON} – an anagram (special) of AMONG MEN A gives us the name of the mythical Greek commander in the Trojan war.

8d  Giant firm states no profit is taken (8)
{COLOSSUS} – this is a person or thing of enormous size. Between the abbreviations for a firm and the United States insert (taken) a way of saying “no profit”. I don’t think that making no profit is the same thing as having a deficit.

13d  Celebrity seen in Sergeant’s Mess (9)
{GREATNESS} – an anagram (mess) of SERGEANT’S makes celebrity or distinction.

14d  Two wines favoured in York (5,4)
{WHITE ROSE} – put together two types of wine to make what may be worn, as a favour or sign of allegiance, in York (or anywhere else in Yorkshire).

15d  Flat delivery on an even pitch (8)
{MONOTONE} – the surface is trying to persuade you to think of cricket but this is a cryptic definition of speech (delivery) without change in pitch or intonation.

17d  A classical way to gain height as a flier (7)
{AVIATOR} – the definition here is flier. Join together A, the latin word for way or road and a rocky peak (height).

18d  Suffer having to change rig with first mate (6)
{GRIEVE} – a verb meaning to feel great sorrow or suffering is an anagram (to change) of RIG followed by the first, Biblical, mate.

20d  An MP must do so before he can sit (5)
{STAND} – what a prospective MP has to do before he or she can take his or her seat.

22d  Indicate position in field (5)
{POINT} – double definition, the second being a fielding position in cricket.

The clues I liked best were 1a, 11a and 13d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {BOOM} + {ERR} + {RANG} = {BOOMERANG}

77 comments on “DT 26667

  1. As Gazza said, no big problems in this enjoyable, typical Monday puzzle. Caused a few myself though by putting HICCUP in for 9A (Seemed to fit the clue a bit better), but I soon spotted the error of my ways (goes and stands in naughty corner for five minutes).

  2. As Gazza said, no real problems in this enjoyable, typical Monday puzzle. Managed to cause a few problems myself though by putting HICCUP in for 9A (seemed to fit the clue better). Soon saw the error of my ways though (goes and stands in naughty corner for five minutes).

  3. Morning Gazza, I did this in three parts today, in between the rugby and taking the car for a service! a good win today for Wales :-) I had to look up 26a, though something in the back of my mind says I should remember it from my ROC days! fav clues today, 9a, 11a, 25a and 18d, a nice Rufus Monday crossword, tho’ still needing help from my ‘friends’ but not the blog today, however as always off to read through it now, to check on my workings out! dry here today so far and threatening sunshine!

    1. Yes, a good win I suppose, but I don’t think it does the competition or either team any good to have such one-sided contests. Argentina v Scotland yesterday (even though there was only one try) was far more enjoyable, I thought.

      1. Tend to agree with you there Gazza. I was more concerned that Wales failed to score in the 2nd quarter of the match. One of the commentators mentioned that Warren Gatland had a small smile on his face – I find this very hard to believe – must have been wind.

  4. Didn’t have any problems with this and did it quite quickly, for me. Although I knew 26a from having worked in the X-ray department I did wonder if it is an OK clue in a cryptic crossword as it is something that one either does or doesn’t know rather than something that can be worked out from the clue – just a thought. I liked 1 and 13a and 2, 14, 15 (even though it started off sounding a bit “crickety”) and 20d. With thanks to Rufus and Gazza.

    1. Sorry I disagree with you there, perfectly acceptable clue, at least it was more reasonable than knowing who swum the blasted Hellespont!,

      1. As I remember that clue you didn’t actually need to know who swam the Hellespont – that was just an added bit of information given by whoever was writing the blog that day.

      2. Who did swim the Hellespont? Byron? Leander? As Brian is commenting, was it a clue in a RayT puzzle?

        1. Leander swam the Hellespont – perhaps not a v good swimmer as he drowned in it on his way to see Hero one night. Can’t remember which crossword it was in – might have been Ray T last week but also think it could have been Friday. The clue was something that involved removing the “a” – the answer was “lender” – definition being “bank”.

  5. lots of lovely clues, just right for Monday.

    Liked 1a. As someone who is vertically-challenged, wonder what the opposite of ‘superior’ when it comes to my food?!

  6. A very enjoyable puzzle today. Many good clues with my favourites 6a 18 and 24. 26 took me back to horrible physics lessons all those years ago.

  7. 26a must have been left out of my public school education (or perhaps I wasn’t paying attention at the time!).
    Thanks to Rufus for an enjoyable puzzle, and to gazza for the review.

  8. ‘ere we go again. I can’t get in again. Can aanyone remind me how long they said it would take to fix it.

    1. I got in early this morning Collywobs, I was up to see the rugby, I think the earlier the better, however it should be alright all of the time!!

      1. If Wales can only just beat Namibia I think that England should drop the annual fixture. Now, who’s going to send me a copy of todays Xword?

  9. Usual gentle but enjoyable start to the week, thank you Rufus. I wasn’t entirely sure that 26a was particularly cryptic. Once again, my favourites are the same as Gazza’s. Great minds and all that :)

    If Lostboy turns up complaining about the lack of a Toughie, can someone please direct him to the Punk in today’s Independent (available on line). That should keep him occupied for a bit :)

  10. For my two penneth – I don’t see why Roentgen should be seen as being outside the realms of cryptic clues because it relies on a smattering of general knowledge, but it’s OK to have Agamemnon. I’m quite happy with both, and enjoy the fact that some general knowledge may be required in order to complete the puzzle. Otherwise, where do we draw the line between what’s acceptable and what’s not?
    Very enjoyable puzzle today, not too many hold-ups for me, 15d and 25a last in.

    1. Hi Roland I think it’s because Agamemnon is worked out from the clue i.e. the anagram whereas if you don’t know 26a there is no way you can work it out from the clue

      1. Hiya Mary – I see what you’re saying, but if you’d never heard of Agamemnon you wouldn’t be able to arrange the letters in the correct order even though you knew it was an anagram. By the same token, if you read the cryptic clue as meaning the unit of radiation exposure, then you’d be able to figure out Roentgen from the crossing letters, assuming you had heard of him/it. I may be biased since I spent 3 years reading Physics many many years ago, but the point I was trying to make was that the inclusion of general knowledge items makes the cryptic crossword more enjoyable from my point of view, rather than just playing around with anagrams, synonyms, double definitions and the like.

  11. Nice start to the week. Didn’t need the clues today but thx anyway and many thanks to the setter for an enjoyable way to spend a little time whilst on an aircraft.

    1. Don’t be, part of the point of this blog I think is to encourage discussion so that’s fine Kath, I appreciate Rolands reply, see above and agree to a certain point, but the whole point of a cryptic crossword surely is to ba ble to work it out from the clue, if then you come up with something you have never herad of , as in 7d, today, you can then check it out, as I see it 26a is loosely cryptic in that, in my case anyway, it encourages you to think of an X-ray unit as a building or mobile unit where x-rays take place, whereas it is really looking for an x-ray ”unit” :-), at least that’s what I think :-)

      1. That’s how I read it too Mary. Kath, sorry I was only replying in the spirit of the blog – just my opinion.

        1. That’s how I read it too – I only meant that one HAD to have heard of this word – there was absolutely no way to work it out from the clue. No need to apologise at all, Roland. :smile:

      2. Whatever the final verdict, good clue or bad, it was the one that beat me. Which is really of no consequence since there are certainly a number of good clues I don’t get!

  12. Well, I had also written ‘bc’ next to 26a (barely cryptic!). Liked 1a and 25a. Have a good day all.

    1. The BBC say you cant use BC anymore – you’ll have to change that definition to BCE (I guess Barely Cryptic Enough). Interestingly, the spell checker here recognises BC, but not BCE – is this a good enough reason to tell the BBC to stuff their political correctness where the Sun doesn’t shine?

  13. I think that 26a was not only barely cryptic, but not cryptic at all as it is the name for a unit of radioactive activity, presumably before becquerels.
    My favourite clues were 14d and 4d, Will obviously have to get a Ladybird book on cricket as well, as I did not know about 22d being a position on the field.
    Thanks to all.
    Have just noticed that my computer does not like my spelling “favourite” with a u in it. Oh well, it was bought in the U.S !

    1. I think it must be the site itself – it keeps trying to change my S’s to Z’s – bloody yanks, come over here, take our jobs, ruin our spelling, etc, etc.

    2. I can’t agree that this isn’t cryptic at all. What the setter wants to make you think of is an x-ray department (unit) in a hospital.

    3. My computer puts a red line under anything spelt in English ie not American, so all the words that we would spell with an “ou” in them or all the words that we would spell with an “S” and the Americans spell with a “Z” get underlined. I’ve almost stopped noticing which is a pity as when I genuinely spell something wrong I still ignore the red line!

      1. Kath, which browser do you use? Google Chrome gives you a choice of English (UK) or English (US). I presume that all other browsers have the same option. Don’t always blame the computer! :wink:

        1. Have to confess that all this is WAY too technical/clever for me! :sad: If I’d ever thought about it I would have assumed it’s because we have Apple Macintosh computers.

      2. The other possibility is that you’ve got the language in your Operating System set to US rather than UK English. You should be able to check/set this via the Control Panel (assuming that you’re using some flavour of Windows).

        1. In Chrome, if you click the entry which says ENGLISH you get the message ‘Google Chrome cannot be displayed in this language’ – you need to set it to English (United Kingdom). Personally, I reckon English (United Kingdom) should be the default, by definition, English must be UK. (Bloody Yanks, etc, etc, etc)

      3. Does anybody know which browsers support spell-checking when entering text into “forms” and “text boxes”?

        Maybe best to follow gazza’s advice and set the language in the Operating System..

        However, I recommend Google Chrome to access this site as it’s so much quicker and provides a built in spell-checker. Nt one of my previos comments has ever contained a typo!

    4. Hi Ann – Becquerel and Roentgen are not equivalent and are not measuring the same entity, but that’s beside the point. If we did have to get in to the reasons why they’re different in order to solve the clue, I would agree that this had no place in a cryptic crossword.

  14. Did most of it except stalled in SE corner – not surprising as have never heard of 26a (can hardly work that one out from the clue – surely it’s more GK??) but at least having once got that (from the ANSWERS – not just the HINTS!) I got 18 and 22 d – so, all finished and enjoyable except for aforementioned. 17d keeps popping up lately,doesn’t it? Am sure this is the third time in the last few days??
    Thanks to setter for a nice Monday puzzle and Gazza for saving my bacon.

  15. Another nice start to the week from Rufus.
    Faves :11a, 24a, 6d & 14d – being a Tyke this was easy for me!
    My late wife came from across The Pennines so I kidded people that our married life was a continuation of The Wars!
    Far from it really.

  16. There is certainly divided opinion about 26a. I am in the camp that does not like it for 2 reasons. Firstly I do not like to see ‘names’ in a cryptic crossword, and secondly, if it is going to be included, at least make it gettable from the clue. You might as well say, “who discovered the x-ray?”. You either know it or you don’t – I didn’t!

  17. Shall I own up? I shall. I spent ages on this … just got stuck in three or four places and kept getting the wrong end of the stick everywhere. With hindsight, I can see that the clues were all fair enough, but if we’re awarding difficulty ratings based on solving times, I’ll have to give this a four star (!).

    So… I do enjoy Rufus on a Monday, but am in the minority of one in thinking it was tough. Clearly just me, I can live with that.

    I’ll go for being in the ‘no’ to 26a camp. But every Monday, someone says ‘surely ???? was barely cryptic’ … part of Rufus’ style? I didn’t mind too much because I remembered the word, although that’s no way to be fair about it.

    I’ll have 15d as a favourite, because I like cricket and it misled me nicely.

    Thanks to Rufus and Gazza.


    1. You are not alone. I found this difficult and needed help to finish. Didn’t like some of the clues but mostly ok. Don’t like gen knowledge like 26a. Sorry to sound grumpy!

  18. How can a crossword that’s answers include Agamemnon and Roentgen be rated as difficulty */**? the rest was easy but I wouldn’t have got those two in a month of Sundays!

    1. Bunts

      The difficulty is that experienced by the reviewer, and is only intended as a guide. I use my solving time as a basis, and this one would have been ** for me.

      Agamemnon is a frequent visitor to Crosswordland – see DT 26335 and DT 26580 – along with his daughter Electra.

  19. 26a was rubbish! Not even spelt the same way as the physicist! Also 6d – prefer Beach Boys to Johnny Cash. Overall a nice outing for a Monday. :)

    1. “oe” is a fairly standard way of transliterating o-umlaut in English (Hermann Goering, for example).
      Sorry about the choice of artist for 6d (for me there’s no competition :D )

      1. I don’t think an umlauted word has a place in Telegraph crossword! Really like Johnny Cash, just prefer the Beach Boys version of this song!

        1. But this isn’t an umlauted word in the crossword – it’s the English spelling thereof. I studied physics to A level and it was only when I went to university that i found out the real spelling of this guy’s name.

    2. Without wishing to enter the cryptic/non cryptic debate, I don’t agree about the spelling. Using the “e” after the “o” is the standard way in English to represent the Umlaut in German (same for “ae”, and “ue”).


  20. Back home and on-line! Really enjoyed this tonight even though for me it was at the 1* end of Gazza’s rating. It’s an elegant puzzle and well up to Rufus’ normal standard.
    As to 26a – you can’t put an um thingy in a crossword so the name is often spelled with OE instead of O with the dots above ( really must learn to do the alternate characters!).
    Thanks to Rufus and Gazza.

  21. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review and hints.Loved the musical clue to 6d,I only ever heard the Beach Boys do this, but their version would’ve given the game away!Found this very easy,but enjoyable.Favourites were 6&11across and 15 down.

  22. I thought there were some lovely cryptics today, especially 1a which I loved, and the 2nd part of 18. But I must agree nothing cryptic about 26a or maybe I would say that!

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