DT 26671 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26671

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26671

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

I thought this was a bit trickier crossword than usual from Giovanni (not that it spoilt my enjoyment) and would be interested in opinions. As is usual on a blogging day it seemed to take ages to get access to the Telegraph Puzzles site to both to print a copy and then check the answers. Bah humbug!

Just highlight the space between the curly brackets to reveal the answers.


1. Those taking a tumble when intercepted by moving boot? (11)
{FOOTBALLERS} – A description of a group of people who kick a ball around consists of people who drop to the ground around (intercepted) an anagram (moving) of BOOT.

7. Rubbish available from Pedro’s store (5)
{DROSS} – A word for worthless matter can be found hidden between Pedro’s store.

8. It’s hard to come down on planet — unsuitable territory to alight on! (9)
{MARSHLAND} – H (hard) and a word that means to set a vehicle down are placed after the Red Planet to get low-lying wet land.

10. Wife and I and child going to a city in Kansas (7)
{WICHITA} – W (wife) and I, then CHIT (child) plus A, is the largest city in the state of Kansas.

11. Resentment in underground prison with a character being changed (7)
{DUDGEON} – Change one letter of a dark underground chamber used to confine prisoners to get another word that means a feeling of intense indignation.

12. Sound of smack administered around Andrew’s rear (5)
{TWANG} – Put W (Andrew’s rear) into a word that means smack (flavour, taste) to get the sound of a plucked string, for example.

13. A talent is wasted — it’s torture (9)
{TANTALISE} – An anagram (wasted) of A TALENT IS.

16. Vehicle to hurry west across country (6,3)
{ESTATE CAR} – Reverse (west) a word that means to move rapidly or at top speed around (across)
STATE (country) to get a type of automobile.

18. Northern town gets support, a thousand having left (5)
{BACUP} – A town in Lancashire is also a word for support with K (thousand) removed.

19. One left repeatedly with head cold? (7)
{ILLNESS} – I (one) LL (left) repeatedly and then a word for a cape or headland is an example is what you might have if you have caught a cold.

22. No time to offend a queen — it’s small-minded (7)
{INSULAR} – Remove T (no time) from a word that means to speak rudely to, then add A and R (queen) to get a word that means narrowly restricted in outlook or scope.

23. Hampers with identifications of food additives (about a hundred) (9)
{ENCUMBERS} – Put C (a hundred) into a word that describes specific food additives recognised by the EU and can be found on the labels of processed food to produce a word that means hinders or impedes.

24. I will represent this country (5)
{ITALY} – I is the IVR code for this country.

25. A false name conjured to protect Conservative in illegal deed (11)
{MALFEASANCE } – An anagram (conjured) of A FALSE NAME around C (Conservative) is misconduct or wrongdoing typically by a public official.


1. Cheap drink featured in newspaper diagram (9)
{FLOWCHART} – A cheap cup of tea inside the Financial Times (FT) could also be a diagram of a sequence of operations.

2. Expelling yobs finally in day trip (7)
{OUSTING} – Put the last letter of yobs inside a short pleasure trip for a word that describes the act of forcing someone out.

3. Fail to face a criticism, endlessly huffing and puffing? (9)
{BOMBASTIC} – A slang word for a dismal failure, A and then a word that describes giving someone verbal abuse or criticism with the last letter removed (endlessly) produces a word that means high-sounding; inflated or pretentious.

4. Ghastly hat hiding university rector’s head (5)
{LURID} – The definition is ghastly, put LID (hat) around the first letters (head) of university and rector.

5. Wild animal chained inappropriately (7)
{ECHIDNA} – An anagram (inappropriately) of CHAINED is also a spiny anteater.

6. Arab ruler said to quiver (5)
{SHAKE} – A word that sounds like sheikh.

7. Unimportant, like stations remote from e.g. Paddington? (4-3-4)
{DOWN-THE-LINE} – Something that might happen in future could also be found further along a railway track? It’s a little difficult to stretch that explanation to the definition of unimportant, but Bradford does give it. I guess it means unimportant in the sense of being deferred.

9. The German President’s introduction outside bar before pretentious social event (6,5)
{DINNER PARTY} – A type of social event is constructed from a word for the in German with P(resident) added, then place this around INN (bar) and then finally add a word that means showy or pretentious.

14. Echo faded after I went away (9)
{NARCISSUS} – Echo is a nymph from Greek mythology.

15. Silly Uncle Pat I blame (9)
{INCULPATE} – An anagram (silly) of UNCLE PAT I.

17. Warm time on small island overlooking a lake (7)
{THERMAL} – T (time), an island of the coast of Guernsey, and then A and L (lake) produces an adjective that relates to heat.

18. Tower has good French wine being stored (7)
{BASTION} – The French word for good around an Italian sparkling wine is also a fortification or stronghold.

20. Greek character, officer turning up as a substitute (5)
{LOCUM} – Reverse (turning up) the 12th letter of the Greek alphabet, and the abbreviation for colonel.

21. Race perhaps in street the day before festival (5)
{STEVE} – The first name of the host of My Music. ST (street) and the day that precedes a special day.

The Quick crossword pun: {hale} + {seizer} = {Hail Caesar!}

86 comments on “DT 26671

  1. I thought this was trickier than normal for a Friday, and it did not help that I had the wrong homophone for 6d, and the wrong country for 24a (as in phonetic alphabet).
    Very enjoyable – thanks to Giovanni, and to Libellule for the review.

    As for today’s toughie, probably the easiest I have ever completed.

    1. Haven’t quite finished; I am enjoying it and not finding it too difficult but as you say, the problems with the Telegraph site are becoming ridiculous for a paid for service. I understand they had a lightning strike but feel sure they can somehow either give links that reduce the load on some of the index pages and/or extend subscriber’s renewal dates by 2 months. I pay for my son in law’s as well as my own and feel that almost 20% of each subscription has been wasted due to the difficulty in accessing the crossword.

        1. Thanks for the welcome. I should have said thanks for the blog as I have ‘lurked’ for some time. The Telegraph Cryptic is an important part of my life and has been for many years. 3 generations of my family are embroiled in its intricacies – eldest is 89 and youngest regular about 30 – but I bet the next generation will be drawn in, too. That is why the website issues have been such a factor. I use the web version and compare notes daily with Dad who walks to the newsagent for his – my competitive side needs to reduce hurdles in trying to beat him to the solution.
          Tricia aka apiarylandlord

  2. No problem. My brain must like the heat. It helps too being old, a lawyer and with a classical education. Briiliant review Libellule, as usual.

    1. Domus,
      Thank you for the compliment, but I have to confess to getting some help from gazza to unravel a couple of the clues.

  3. Bonjour Monsieur, Libellule – thanks for the review – thought it was Monday for a moment.

    A nice easy puzzle today. Last in for me was 24a – it had to be Italy but took me far too long to explain why.

    PS! Mr Race (21d) was also famous for compiling the Telegraph Quick Crossword, puns and all.

  4. Weird but I found this tougher than the Toughie today (either that or my brain had woken up by the time I got to Notabalis’s crossword). Very enjoyable to solve and nice to be stretched in places. Thansk to Giovanni and to Libellule.

  5. I thought this a typical Giovanni with some easy(ish) clues and some pretty diabolical ones. First run through managed about 5 answers but then things started to fall into place (may have been the coffee kicking in). 23A was an excellent clue, but 19A had be scratching my head for a while as I wanted (for no obvious reason) to put RIPON in. Ah well, back to thinking about cutting the grass (hopefully I can think about this for a day or two until it starts raining again).

  6. Beat my own personal best this morning. No, not the crossword, it took me only 3 attempts to get on to the website.
    Only 7 more sleeps before it will be fixed but by then the weather will break & we’ll probably be in the middle of more thunderstorms which the DT will be able to use to explain any holdups which prevent it from “supplying goods fit for purpose”.

    Thanks to G & to L.

  7. Another enjoyable and (in my opinion) quite testing puzzle today. I think my solving time was actually similar to yesterday’s. I struggled for quite a long time but once I got 1A, things started to speed up a bit. 15D was a new word for me, and 25A had to be dragged from the very depths! Thanks to Giovanni and Libellule.

  8. A great crossword but I certainly didn’t find it easy – probably closer to 4* for me, for the second day in a row. I only had a handful of answers after reading all the clues through once. I didn’t need the hints apart from a couple of explanations – just couldn’t see why a “dinner party” was pretentious (had forgotten about the “P”) and wasn’t quite sure about 7d. 18a took some time – have never heard of the town and I always forget that “K” can be a thousand. 25a was a new word for me. I liked 8, 10,12 and 25a and 1, 5, 14 and 18d. With thanks to Giovanni and Libellule.

      1. Interesting – I thought it was cha – char being the cleaner, so I wondered where on earth the “r” was coming from!

  9. Detest clues like 19a. I suppose if you live near it you’d get the answer, otherwise its google and atlases.Hmmph!
    Other than that, the rest was usual high quality from the Friday Maestro. Thanks to L & G

  10. Anyone else unable to get on the telegraph website today. tried earlier and now and am getting nowhere!

    1. I use SAFARI as my browser which tracks the sites most visited and holds them on one screen & so far this morning I’ve got on to the DT site & stayed on so have been able to go back in to get all of today’s puzzles. Of course I may be talking through my fundament & no doubt BD will confirm that.

    2. I tried for 5 hours from midnight to 5 pm UK time and finally got it. I will have so much time to spare when, if ever, they get this website running right. Found today’s crossword quite hard and got 21d but didn’t understand why.

        1. Thanks Libellule, not something an expat who has not lived in England for 40 years would think of. I guess there will always be the odd thing like that. But then I have home advantage when it is one of the US States. I love this blog because I learn something new every day.

  11. I struggled to get going with this one but ended up in 2* difficulty territory so perhaps it was just the sun in my eyes putting me off. Very enjoyable – I particularly liked 14d, 18d and 21d – 18d I liked the way you were initially led to wondering whether a French wine was involved rather than crosswordland’s favourite fizzy. Thanks to Giovanni for a very nice Friday puzzle and to Libellule for an equally nice review.

    The Toughie doesn’t take long today either.

  12. I thought the explosive device at the start of 3d was a verb, not a noun. To go down a is, paradoxically, to do really well, whereas to is to fail miserably. Strange language we have…

    1. Hmm, it didn’t like my pointy brackets. It should have read: To go down a (explosive device) is, paradoxically, to do really well, whereas to (explosive device) is to fail miserably. Hope that makes more sense now using regular round brackets.

          1. Just meant absolutely anyone else singing this would sound better than me!! My dogs even woke up and relocated to another part of the house

          2. Franco,
            I’m assuming, because I don’t know any better, that Glen Campbell sings the original version – I just meant that his version is an awful lot better than mine. I don’t know of any other versions but am sure I will be corrected if there are (or if his isn’t the original). Damn it – I still can’t remember when the full stop goes inside the brackets and when it goes outside although I DO remember several people telling me a few months ago when I asked the same question. I know it’s something to do with whether or not the stuff in the brackets can stand as a sentence on its own ….

              1. Thank you – so, just by chance, I was right in this case. Oh dear – maybe not. My memories of correct grammar are hazy – a complete sentence has a subject, verb and object? Shall I just disappear from commenting here and now …. ? :sad:

  13. Not as hard as usual from The Don this Friday.
    Best for me : 8a, 18a, 24a, 1d – this should be (4,5) not (9) according to A-Z and X-word Dictionary, 5d, 9d, 14d, 18d & 20d.

    Chambers ought to revise the Crossword Dictionary – there are so many missing regular words as well as misspellings that I get fed up with it!!!

  14. I was away in Scotland last week and have been too busy to comment this week, but I have been solving and reading the blog and I just wanted to say that I’ve enjoyed this week’s puzzles, so thanks to all compilers and reviewers.

    Re various comments about the DT website, I believe I am correct in saying that, unless the website programmers are complete idiots (I’ll leave you to decide on that ;-)), then just staying logged in to the site should not make any difference to it’s performance – you only put load on it when actively using it by eg, refreshing, submitting etc. Similarly, staying logged in or keeping the page up in your browser shouldn’t make any difference to accessing it the next day – the page gets requested from the site and either the site responds or it doesn’t (mostly doesn’t at the moment!). Any web experts feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

    Have a good weekend, all. :-)

    1. Alison,

      I would agree with you. The performance issues have been discussed repeatedly, but technically I suspect some if not all of the following. The site is probably written using the standard script kiddie web code, using LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP). When the site started it managed to handle the relatively small number of users within the contraints of the hardware, software used, however as the number of users continued to rise, it reached a point where the site would become totally unresponsive due to running out of hardware resources (cpu, memory, disk access) or bottlenecks in the software. The fact that its taking so long to correct the problem suggests that its a software problem and a major rewrite of how the site works is underway. As BD has mentioned before, the designers of the site probably struggle to develop software that scales. Just because you can develop a web site does not make you knowledgeable in IT (although some web designers seem to think so).

      On another issue based on my reading of the computer press, the whole “lightning” issue is a complete red herring. There was an outage to the Amazon “cloud” which may have caused some local issues for a few days, but this was a fault at Amazon and wasn’t a fault caused by act of god or a failure of the Irish electricity grid.

      Personally I don’t blame the Telegraph, I blame the third party developers of their site. It seems awkward to me to see Phil McNeil having to do all the apologising for something he is not responsible for. However it would be nice if we were told the truth, and I wish I could remember who did the original site, because I certainly wouldn’t be asking them to to do any software development for me.

        1. I am surprised that the site lets you do it. All normal sites should log you out out after a period of inactivity. Perhaps thats part of the problem… If one of the bottlenecks is the login then staying logged in should not do any harm, except it might stop other users accessing the site if there is a finite upper limit of people who can log on.

          1. It was a link (as was the following post) to the person who developed the site. My favourite bit was the developer’s quote “I built the Flex Crosswords and Sudoku Applications/Modules. Behind the scenes it’s one of my best structured projects to date… “

            1. The programmer could be right. The way that Flex works implies that you can interact with the browser once you have the “flash download” without having to refresh the web page. The time that this fails is either on the initial download of the application, or when you try to submit it, then it looks as if the back end server times out (the dreaded Error 0). If you continue to retry to submit the puzzle you will be sucessful eventually. I assume that this is because the server has now started to relistening to requests from its clients.

  15. In answer to Derek — there is a fairly new edition of the Chambers Crossword Dictionary. I suppose it will never be complete, but by all means send suggestions to the publisher about missing phrases. For my money there isn’t a better crossword dictionary around though some put Bradford up there with it, I guess

    1. Thanks for your information – I’ll get a new edition asap! Mine is smudged with newsprint and the plastic backing has rolled up loose despite having been stuck back several times. I have most of the aids to solving crosswords.

      I always enjoy your puzzles on Fridays – keep the supply going!


  16. Thanks for hints Libelulle, left the bottom R/H corner til after my art class today, but still needed your help to finish it, I am with Jezza in that I had the wrong homophone at 6d! last one in for me was 21d bit obscure I thought, 3 words I didn’t know today but got with help from ‘my friends’ were 25a, 15d and 11a! no favourites today and leaning towards a 4* for me too, beautiful weather here, off to Tenerife on Monday, typical!

    1. Hope that you have a wonderful time with beautiful weather in Tenerife – don’t worry – I think the forecast is for a return to more normal autumn weather at the beginning of next week.

  17. Just finished. It’s taken most of the afternoon, on and off, and I needed a great deal of help from Libulle, for which many thanks. I did find it challenging, but interesting, for which thanks to Giovanni. My copy of the BRB gives 1d and 4,5.

  18. Certainly a bit of a tester today, it took Mrs A and I nearly an hour to crack it rather than the normal 30 mins.
    Of course it would have helped if we had heard of Steve Race! Maybe living in France has made us a bit insular.
    Incidentally, I have discovered that sometimes when my bookmark can’t access the site I can get in by Googling “telegraph crossword” which gives me two or three other routes in. May be a coincidence of course.

    1. Most people who are ‘retraite’ would remember Steve Race. He was an accomplished raconteur, musician, composer and, now we hear, a compiler in a career that spanned the 50’s to the 80’s.

      1. Oh! That Steve Race. Many people who are ‘retraite’ will understand that memory, like money, desert one as age increases!

  19. I thought quite difficult today, took ages to get started and definitely needed the hints for several.
    also thrown by putting the name of the Arab ruler, not the verb.
    still don’t see why for the answer to 24a.
    Will miss this site next week, am off to Compestela to collect my husband, no doubt in smelly clothes as they haven’t been able to dry things overnight. Have even had to give in to Ryanair and pay extra for a checked bag to take clean things!
    Too hot here to garden, but raining there sadly.
    Thanks to all.

  20. Found this very, very difficult and needed hints like crazy! Hated 1a – I understand the “tumblers” and moving “boot” but from where in the clue are we supposed to deduce the answer? Or is it that they “move boots” in what they’re doing???? Thought 23a a bitt “off” too – surely the word, without the “c” would be hyphenated? Thought 3d a bit contrived too. Moan over – probably because I found it so difficult! Hey ho – onward and upward. Thanks to Libellue though as otherwise, as yesterday, I would be staring at an uncompleted puzzle. Do they get harder as the week progresses, or is it just that my brain gets more tired??

    1. Addicted,
      1a is what we call an all-in-one clue (sometimes called an &lit). The definition is the whole clue. You can read the clue as describing the footballers who fall over or dive at the merest provocation (don’t they all?).
      You can read more about all-in-one clues in Big Dave’s Guide here.

  21. Clues solved in the pub garden before the second Stella was finished, but not entered on grid due to a minor spillage – which thankfully dried fairly quickly in the sunshine.

    Came on here hoping for an explanation for 14d, but I’m still none the wiser. I know the answer, but just cannot see why it is what it is.

    Other than that, a 5* puzzle from me :)

    1. 14d is a reference to the Greek myth of Narcissus who rejected the love of the nymph Echo so that she wasted away and left only her voice behind. See here.

    2. This came up in a very recent Toughie (#639)

      27a Fantastic person finished basking in reflected glory? (9)
      my hint was – “a cryptic definition of the beautiful youth from Greek Mythology who rejected the nymph Echo and fell in love with his own reflection in a pool”

  22. I’m with Prolixic at #4 – harder than the Toughie!
    Very enjoyable with some very clever clues!
    Favourite 1a and 9d.
    pommette’s taking me out to dinner now so I may be some time!
    Thanks to Libellule and Giovanni.

  23. Worked out what I thought was the answer to 21d, but had no idea why. Thank you to Libellule for the explanation – maybe I’ve been living under a stone, but I’d never heard of this gentleman – and thank you to the setter for a most enjoyable puzzle.

  24. A great crossword today. I found it much easier than yesterday and got down to four clues before I resorted to your fabulous hints. Thanks to Libellule and Giovanni.

  25. Fabulous day in the countryside and the garden so kept crossword for this evening. Most enjoyable despite struggling with 18A, never heard of this place and don’t suppose I ever will again.
    I still go to my local newsagent and buy my Telegraph at 0630 everyday and until I start to read happy comments about the web site I will continue to do that. Shame because I would like to stop buying it having watched it deteriorate so much in editorial quality over the last year or so. I would miss the banter in the paper shop though!
    Many thanks to the setter and to Libellule for the hints.

    1. My Telegraph is delivered every day at around 6 am – lucky me! but I do agree with you Pete about the deteoriation – I tend to flip through, scanning the headlines – and will occasionally read something that takes my fancy (but not much!), glance through the “hatches, matches and despatches” – well, “despatches” mostly, at my age! then turn to the back page with a sigh of relief. Sad, isn’t it?

  26. Well I’m STILL glad that we get our DT at the newsagents on the way home from morning dog walk – all this stuff about not being able to get hold of it on line would drive me mad.

  27. Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle and to Libellule for the review and hints. I didn’t particularly enjoy this one, but that was only because I found it so difficult. I needed 8 hints, one of which I had to look up. Just couldn’t get on the Don’s wavelength. The puzzle was well constructed as usual. Favourite was 1a.

  28. Sorry, but I did not enjoy this crossword-some good clues, but also too many awful ones, i.e. 9 down and 21 down.Well done to Libellule for making sense out of nonsense!

  29. Just finished this after days of going back to it now and then. Solved others in between but refused to give in and take hints. I think this is the hardest Gio back page for ages. Funny how you sometimes can’t get on the wavelength. Thanks G&L.

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