DT 26676 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26676

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26676

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

Another excellent puzzle from Ray T that took more time to download from the online site than it did to solve – but the download time was dwarfed by the length of time that it took to submit. We have been promised that by next week all will be resolved – but don’t hold your breath!

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    Spoken eulogy opening following Church hymn (7)
{CHORALE} – put a word meaning spoken and the initial letter (opening) of Eulogy after (following) CH(urch) to get a hymn or song of praise

5a    Fat one crying? (7)
{BLUBBER} – a double definition – the fat of whales and other sea animals and someone who is crying

9a    Tortured genius had suffering (9)
{ANGUISHED} – an anagram (tortured) of GENIUS HAD gives an adjective meaning suffering or distressed

10a    Card in run containing ace (5)
{TAROT} – this card used for fortune-telling is created by putting a word meaning to run around (containing) A(ce)

11a    Strokes embracing hem of satin knickers (5)
{PANTS} – put a verb meaning strokes or caresses around the final letter (hem) of satiN to get these knickers

12a    Model’s cold before interior shot (9)
{CRITERION} – this model or standard comes from C(old) in front of (before) an anagram (shot) of INTERIOR

13a    Policeman’s dispatched to check identity for protester (9)
{DISSIDENT} – put a senior policeman , the ‘S and a verb meaning dispatched around ID(entity) to get a protester

16a    Attractive girl that is found by dock (5)
{CUTIE} – to get this attractive girl put the Latin abbreviation for “that is” after a verb meaning to dock

17a    Sweetheart in bloke’s way (5)
{MEANS} – put the middle letter (heart) of swEet inside a bloke and the ‘S to get a way or method

18a         Can remedies, taking time, get medicinal solutions? (9)
{TINCTURES} – start with a charade of a can and some remedies and then insert (taking) T(ime) to get these medicinal solutions

20a         They cut with ease perhaps, ends of roses (9)
{SECATEURS} – this semi all-in-one clue defines implements that are used by gardeners for pruning – an anagram (perhaps) of  CUT with EASE followed by the outside letters (ends) of RoseSWhy have I described this clue as a semi all-in-one?  Because it doesn’t work without the initial “they”, which is not itself part of the wordplay

23a         He starts to meanly imitate Scrooge, endlessly recounting (5)
{MISER} – a second successive semi all-in one! – to get this person take the initial letters of the last five words in the clue

25a         Airhead bird hit out off and on (5)
{IDIOT} – this airhead comes from the alternate letters (off and on) of three of the words in the clue

26a         Slander when character’s set about one (9)
{ASPERSION} – to get this slander run together a two-letter word meaning when and a character or individual and then insert I (one)

27a         Intended holding name back (7)
{FINANCE} – put a young lady’s intended marriage partner around (holding) N(ame) to get a verb meaning to back

28a         A compiler’s taking refuge showing mercy (7)
{AMNESTY} – put A and a word meaning “of the compiler” (compiler’s) around a refuge, perhaps one for a bird, to get a word meaning mercy


1d           Caught drunk and given a hand (7)
{CLAPPED} – a charade of C(aught) and a verb meaning drunk or quaffed gives “given a hand” or applauded

2d           Nothing published including leader of Guardian newspaper (5)
{ORGAN} – take O (nothing) and a word meaning published, as in published a story, and insert the initial letter (leader) of Guardian to get another word for a newspaper

3d           Halfway through schooner, surrounded by drink? (9)
{AMIDSHIPS} – a cryptic definition of the position in, near or towards the middle (lengthwise) of a seagoing craft

4d           Macbeth, I concede, has principles (5)
{ETHIC} – hidden inside the first three words of the clue is an adjective meaning “has principles”

5d           With dominant playing, bowled over for game (9)
{BADMINTON} – start with an anagram (playing) of DOMINANT and then put B(owled) on top (over in a down clue) to get a game

6d           Beeb, having lost head, is free (5)
{UNTIE} – take the nickname for the BBC and drop (lost) its initial letter (head) to get a verb meaning to free

7d           Good man in difficulty, legal sort (9)
{BARRISTER} – put the usual two-letter abbreviation for a good man inside a difficulty or obstacle to get this legal person

8d           Following English single, Queen’s risen (7)
{RETINUE} – to get this following (or 15 down) reverse E(nglish), a single item and Elizabeth Regina

14d         Chain’s not unhooked from post (9)
{STANCHION} – an anagram (unhooked) of CHAIN’S NOT gives a post which acts as a support

15d         Train, express initially, to run roughly on time (9)
{ENTOURAGE} – this train (or 8 down) is built up from the initial letter of Express, an anagram (roughly) of TO RUN and a time or period

16d         Craft, about new, put about a river (9)
{CATAMARAN} – this seagoing craft is created by putting the two-letter Latin abbreviation for about and N(ew) around A, from the clue, and the river that forms part of the boundary between Devon and Cornwall

17d         Old lady’s pet dog (7)
{MASTIFF} – a charade of old lady / mother, the ‘S and a pet or argument gives a type of dog

19d         Elastic band found in watch (7)
{SPRINGY} – this adjective meaning elastic is created by inserting a circular band inside a word meaning to watch or observe

21d         Painter’s no single person of importance (5)
{TITAN} – start with a 16th century Italian painter and then drop the second I (no single) to get a person of importance

22d         Greek character captured in water colour (5)
{SEPIA} – put a letter of the Greek alphabet inside (captured) a large quantity of water to get a reddish-brown colour

24d         Syrup’s added to small drinks (5)
{SWIGS} – put the item for which the Cockney rhyming slang is syrup and the ‘S after S(mall) to get a verb meaning drinks

I, for one, would like to see Ray T back in a regular weekly slot.

Sorry for the delays but the screen on my over-worked laptop has given up the ghost, so I am struggling with an old CRT monitor.

The Quick crossword pun: {stay} + {tug} + {race} = {state of grace}

given up the ghost

51 comments on “DT 26676

  1. Very enjoyable. Thought 19d was a bit “iffy” but 24d really made me laugh. Have got 16d from letters in across clues but can’t quite see why, look forward to BD’s review of the down clues for the explanation.
    Thanx to Compiler and BD as usual.

    1. 16d – ‘Craft’ is a charade of a river found in SW England, which goes inside the latin abbreviation for ‘about’, and N(ew).

      1. Thanx for that Jezza, had ‘sussed’ the river and the N but didn’t know the latin abbreviation. Thanx again.

  2. Enjoyable fare again today. At first glance I thought i was in trouble (but was probably through trying to do 3 things at once (honest, some guys CAN multi-task). Plodded on steadily and suddenly realised that I only had 19D to go and like Wayne, am not entirely convinced by the answer.

  3. What a good day with Ray T in the back page and Dada for the Toughie. Very enjoyable crossword from Ray T for which many thanks. Thanks also to BD for the review.

  4. Another fine puzzle from RayT, which sadly was over too quickly!
    Thanks to him for the enjoyment, and to BD for the notes.

    Another excellent Toughie from Dada, which was not too tricky either.

  5. This was closer to being somewhere between 3 and 4* for me. Got badly held up by, rather stupidly, putting “dissenter” for 18a, even though I couldn’t quite explain it but then realised what I’d done. I think what I have got for 3d has to be OK but can’t quite work out why. 24d took me ages to understand – then looked up “syrup” in Chambers – that’s a new bit of rhyming slang for me! Lots of lovely clues – probably too many to write them all down – perhaps 5 and 18a and 15 and 17d. With thanks to Ray T for another great puzzle and to BD for the hints.
    Very chilly and windy here – leaves EVERYWHERE.

      1. Oh – thank you! I got myself into a right tangle trying to split the whole word into different bits – having found “sip” I thought – “OK that’s the drink from the clue” – after that it went from bad to worse – oh dear! :sad:

    1. Thanks Kath – you’ve explained 24d for me! The minute I read your mention of rhyming slang the penny dropped – whooppee, I’ve finished! And I really enjoyed this one.

  6. Thanks, RayT for another good workout. Many nice innovative clues of which 11, 20 and 24 stood out. Why can’t we have Ray every Thursday?

  7. For 19 D the definition is “Elastic”. To watch is spy containing another word for band (ring)!

  8. I thought the site was meant to be fixed tomorrow and wondered if that’s why it’s IMPOSSIBLE to get on today, in the expectation that they’ll be working EXTRA HARD on it. Could I have a pdf please?

    1. Nora and Dave – I just received an email from the DT in which they tell me the site is supposed to be fixed by the end of October (which year they didn’t say), so I wouldn’t bank on your expectations. I found this puzzle very enjoyable when I eventually got it but, like others, I was not familiar with wig for syrup.

      1. Once again, I have just finished printing off a copy…. and I magically get on the website!! You obviously send out positive/threatening vibes to it!!

        1. Lizwhiz,
          I wish, for some reason, whenever its my turn to do the blog, it takes me ages to log on get the crossword and then submit it to make sure I have all the right answers. Hopefully the damn site will be working by the time I have to do my next blog.
          Thought Ray was in excellent form today – I especially liked 20a.

          1. I telephoned Telegraph Enquiries today as on the rare occasions I have been able to get on the site, it won’t let me get any further because my subscription has either been ‘cancelled or has expired’. A very nice lady told me that this is connected with the problems they are having with the site ‘Did I know they were having problems with the site?? !!!! and that it would be fixed “in a couple of weeks”. Don’t hold your breath for tomorrow as you might expire long before your subscription works again.

  9. Oh dear, my rhyming cockney slang didn’t run to 24d but the penny suddenly dropped after fiddling with sips! Otherwise enjoyable but for me quite taxing. Thanks Ray.

  10. I am experiencing difficulty connecting to the server on the Telegraph puzzle website.

    There are problems saving and submitting. This is frustrating as the ability to acquire points
    is on the basis of completing the crosswords within a given time period. Is anyone else experiencing similar problems.

    1. Welcome to the blog Tabbycat

      In my opinion, the best improvement they could make to the site would be to scrap the points scoring altogether.

    2. I always thought that the test was to print it, solve it then see how quickly you can type the answers in.

      Totally agree with BD’s point and in fact I can’t see why, apart from the obvious commercial considerations, that they don’t go down the Guardian route & make them all free to anybody.

      But there again I think we know that altruism is not the DT’s strongest feature.

    3. I was quite happy with the old, non-interactive site, which enabled you to print a copy of the puzzles. Can’t they use that site until the interactive one is fixed and save everyone’s frustration.

  11. A lovely Ray T, full of fun, the highlight of which for me was the laugh out loud 24d. Thanks to him and BD too.

    As Prolixic has pointed out, the Dada Toughie is fun too, and only took twice the time of the back page, so do give it a go.

  12. Very good as always, new word for me in 14d, but agree to LOL moment being 24d. Usual thanks to RayT for making me smile and BD for the review

  13. Great puzzle! Struggled a bit on 24d and rhyming slang isn’t my strong suit!
    I quite liked the 3 nautical clues but favourite is 17d – you don’t see many old ladies with these dogs!
    Thanks to RayT and BD – hope you can get the screen fixed.

  14. Hello Dave

    I’m afraid it’s not going to be fixed tomorrow. I’ve just sent this message to subscribers’ in-boxes, which speaks for itself. Sorry, one and all…

    Website fix update

    Hello. Many apologies again if you are experiencing problems in accessing the website.

    I’m very sorry to say that my hopes that the situation might be resolved by this weekend were indeed over-optimistic. The developers have found the problem more intractable than they expected, and they are still working on it.

    I won’t tempt fate again by quoting a new date when it might be back to normal. I’ll let you know as soon as we have firm information. We’ve been doing our best to keep you up to date, and of course we’ll continue to do that.

    I know a lot of people have been waiting impatiently for the access to improve. All we can do is apologise again.

    Meanwhile, I hope you are enjoying the puzzles, including great crosswords today by Ray Terrell and Dada, and tomorrow from Don Manley and Micawber.

    Thanks for your patience.

    Phil McNeill
    Puzzles Editor

  15. A much better workout than the earlier cryptics this week and very enjoyable for that. Struggled with the bottom right, not a southerner therefore lost on Cockney slang and not sure I understand why the answer to 28A is what it is.
    Thanks to setter and Big Dave for the hints.

    1. Pete, i’ll have a go

      A + usual crosswordland for compiler’s MY (as BD says ‘of the compilers’) and inset a refuge NEST to give a word meaning mercy.

      if a clue has compiler in it, it often refers to ‘me’

  16. I too would like to see RayT in a regular slot.
    I used to find him hard but, as BD said in his intro a couple of weeks ago, ‘either RayT’s puzzles are getting easier or I’m getting better at solving them’ but they’re always enjoyable!

    1. I would also like to have a Ray T puzzle every week. I don’t think that his puzzles are getting easier – I do think that they are, of all the puzzles in the week, the most variable in easiness or difficulty. I always love them!! :smile:

  17. Thanks yet again to BD, and to everyone who left a comment. All of the feedback is very much appreciated.


  18. Well, my frustration today was with the printed paper version. This to me was an absolute stinker. Having romped through the “Toughie”, I didn’t expect any difficulty with the “Cryptic” . I just was not on the same wavelength.

  19. The Quickie (one word clues + solutions) plus 11a and 8d seemed to reveal the identification of today’s compiler.

    RayT must be getting easier as I finished this one without any help – but as usual, very entertaining.

    Liked 3d – nice deception – kept thinking of alcoholic drinks (not like me at all) and best of all 24d.

  20. Thanks to Big Dave for the hints and review, and to Ray T for another super puzzle. Didn’t need the hints for once. Favourites were 18,8, 15,19 and 24.

  21. Started this puzzle around noon and was getting on quite well but then my daughter arrived and took me up to IKEA in Haarlem to pick up some stainless steel drying racks which had come into stock. We had to walk round the full length of the upper floor where I was informed that my items were on the lower floor (at the end) so we walked kilometres but I got my stuff and she got items as well. We dumped them in the car and then went back to the restaurant for a well-needed lunch. Then back to her place 20km north of mine to watch AVATAR – CD on TV – and then dinner. Finally she brought me home so I returned to the puzzle. I got it 95% done but had trouble with the NE corner 12a & 8d so had to look at BD’s hints! All that walking had numbed my brains somewhat!!

    Faves : 17a, 28a, 16d, 21d & 22d.

    Thanks to Ray T and BD

    First time in IKEA for five years – last time was in California!

    1. Suspect that it was Ikea itself that had numbed your brain rather than all the walking – have only been there twice, once in Cardiff and once in Birmingham. 20 mins there and I’ve had enough – 30 mins and I’m ready to kill everyone there and walk out – after that I completely lose the will to live … !

  22. A breath of fresh air for me after pretty much starving myself of crosswords for the last 2 weeks to save them up for two 11 hour flights. Then I forgetfully left them behind in the hotel anyway – d’oh – leaving only 2 print-outs of this week’s Rufus and Virgillius.

    Anyway, it was good to have a new Ray T to do the moment I landed back in the UK – and I found this absolutely excellent. Really clever and tight wordplay, very entertaining, and I even managed 18a and 20a, despite having never heard of either of them.

    All top stuff! :)

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