DT 26682 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26682

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26682

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

I found this to be one of Ray T’s tougher back-page puzzles. I put this down to misdirection as every clue was easily solvable.

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.


7a    Very open admitting start of affair’s steamy (8)
{VAPOROUS} – put V(ery) and an adjective meaning open or spongelike around the initial letter (start) of Affair to get a word meaning steamy

9a    Islands for example circumventing tax (6)
{ATOLLS} – to get these coral islands put a two-letter word meaning for example or like around a tax

10a    Compiler pens almost unusual style (4)
{MODE} – put the objective pronoun for today’s compiler around (pens) most of a word meaning unusual to get a style

11a    Favoured soft leg drive shot, taking single (10)
{PRIVILEGED} – an adjective meaning favoured or advantaged is built up from the musical term for soft followed by an anagram (shot) of LEG DRIVE into which (taking) I (single) is inserted

12a    Stern and bow spanning middle of ship (6)
{BEHIND} – the stern or rear is created by putting a bow or curve around the middle letters of sHIp

14a    He may chase English goer (8)
{ENGRAVER} – this person who may chase a design into metal is a charade of ENG(lish) and a (party)goer

15a    Offensive smell from head of sea carp (6)
{STENCH} – this offensive smell comes from the initial letter (head) of Sea followed by a member of the carp family

17a    Speaker restrained by aggressor, a Tory? (6)
{ORATOR} – this speaker is hidden inside (restrained by) the last three words of the clue …

20a    Caught by dearest, ran, getting divorce (8)
{ESTRANGE} – … and hidden iside (caught BY) this clue is a word meaning to divorce

22a    Discovers a wife’s beginning to swing (6)
{SEESAW} – a word meaning discovers or finds out is followed by A, from the clue, and the initial letter (beginning) of Wife to get a word meaning to swing or fluctuate

23a    One’s against, not for resolution (10)
{ANTAGONIST} – in this semi all-in-one clue the person who is against the resolution is an anagram (for resolution) of AGAINST NOT

24a    Blur, British group (4)
{BLOT} – a word meaning to blur or smudge is a charade of B(ritish) and a group or collection

25a    Elite party includes the French (6)
{SELECT} – to get this adjective meaning elite or hand-picked put a party or group around the French definite article

26a    She barely participates in game (8)
{STREAKER} – a cryptic definition of, for example, Miss Erica Roe


1d           Lady strips on top of stage, holding on (8)
{BARONESS} – this titled lady is created by putting a word meaning strips or undresses over (on in a down clue) the initial letter (top) of Stage and then inserting (holding) ON

2d           Exercise with cheat on steroids? (4)
{DOPE} – start with Physical Exercise and precede it with a two-letter verb meaning to cheat to get these steroids or drugs

3d           Dull flipping hollow rubbish! (6)
{TORPID} – a word meaning dull or lifeless is created by reversing (flipping) a hollow and some rubbish

4d           Skive and endlessly lounge in crib (8)
{MALINGER} – this verb meaning to skive is created by putting most of a three-letter word meaning to lounge or relax inside the kind of crib that was used for the baby Jesus

5d           Opponent capturing rook on rook’s place on board (10)
{FORECASTLE} – start with a three-letter word for an opponent, insert (capturing) the chess notation for a R(ook) and then add the alternative name for this chess piece to get part of a ship below the deck, traditionally used as the crew’s living quarters

6d           Coat to take to the cleaners (6)
{FLEECE} – a double definition – a warm coat and a verb meaning to take to the cleaners or swindle

8d           Harry Lime in shady case, grinning (6)
{SMILEY} – put an anagram (harry) of LIME inside the outside letters (case) of ShadY case to get a word meaning  grinning :)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

13d         On a bender it turned out, one’s drunk (10)
{INEBRIATED} – on top of (in a down clue) an anagram (turned out) of A BENDER IT put I (one) to get an adjective meaning  drunk

16d         Fraternises with criminal types (8)
{CONSORTS} – this verb meaning fraternises is a charade of a three-letter word for a criminal and types or kinds

18d         Sound Queen turned up when single should end (8)
{REASONED} – an adjective meaning sound or logical is created by reversing (turned up) Elizabeth Regina and following it with a word meaning when, a single as a number and the final letter (end) of shoulD

19d         Heartless demons admitting depravity? (6)
{DEVILS} – inside D(emon)S without the internal letters (heartless) put depravity, then read the whole of this an all-in-one clue again for the definition

21d         Small lower part (6)
{SUNDER} – a charade of S(mall) and lower or beneath gives a verb meaning to part

22d         Irony is put on anger (6)
{SATIRE} – this irony is a charade of put or positioned and anger

24d         Transport from Paddington, perhaps (4)
{BEAR} – a word meaning to transport or carry can also be an animal found at Paddington Station by the Brown family

A very enjoyable puzzle.

The Quick crossword pun: {calm} + {arcs} = {Karl Marx}

54 comments on “DT 26682

  1. Wow. Very tricksy today, one of the more difficult back pagers I have come across. Some excellent clues though (and plenty of scope for the more risqué pictures). Particularly enjoyed 14A, 22A, 3D, 5D, 13D.

  2. Tougher for me too today; it took me longer than today’s toughie.
    Last one in was 19d. Favourite – 8d.
    Thanks to RayT, and to BD for the notes.

  3. I found this quite convoluted and I agree that clever misdirection made it trickier than it might have been. I found the Toughie today much easier, and there’s a theme which helps, so worth having a crack.

    Favourite clues 1 and 8. Thanks to BD and Ray T.

  4. I also thought that this one was pretty tricky but have finished it now. 1d took me ages to get, 4d I got quite quickly but took ages to work out why, and 10a was the last one to go in. I’m sure that what I have for 13d is right but can’t quite get the right number of letters for the anagram from the clue – either I’ve missed something or have lost the ability to count! As always, a great crossword from Ray T.
    I liked 7, 14, 22, and 26a and 5, 6, and 24d. Best of all, for me, was 8d.
    With thanks to Ray T and BD.

  5. Definitely one of the harder puzzles for me but all the more enjoyable for that. The NW was the last corner in. Fav clues 12 and of course 26A. :D Thanks setter and BD.

  6. I thought this was RayT at his trickiest! Harder than today’s Toughie!

    V enjoyable though with plenty of penny drop moments so thanks to RayT.
    Also thanks to BD for the review which I thought I might need at one point.

  7. I am so glad to see this one given 4* difficulty as well as the much deserved 4* enjoyment. It took me ages to get going and at one point I thought I was going to have to put it down and allow it to ‘cogitate’. Thanks to Ray for a great start to Thursday and to BD for the hints and tips.

    The Toughie is, as others have already pointed out, quite a friendly beast today. There’s a nice Nimrod (Elgar) in the Indy; a themed fun Paul in the Guardian but I have had the most fun today with Monk in the FT. (And I’ve done some work too!)

  8. Hi Dave and thanks for the hints must admit to needing 7a & 9a, at least 4* for me, I know it’s a very clever puzzle but when they are this tough I can’t say that I enjoy them unfortunately, so just a 1* for enjoyment although I do appreciate it, stupidly put ‘slimey’ for 8d before seeing the error of my ways no real fav clue, though dare I say I did like 24d :-D

  9. Ditto all of the above (other than Mary’s 1* for enjoyment – sorry Mary I thought this was great fun). Ray T certainly pulled out the stops on this one (I wonder if this was a Beam that got put in the wrong envelope ;)

    Thanks to Ray T for the fun and to BD for the review.

    1. I wondered whether it was a Beam that had found its way on to the wrong page too as it seemed particularly tough for one of Ray’s backpagers. Perhaps he is just trying to stretch us. .

            1. I love his back page crosswords but have never managed more than a handful (a very small handful) of clues in his toughies! :smile:

  10. I would concur with the above sentiments. Once I stopped just admiring the surface reading and started thinking laterally all was fine. A real fun puzzle from RayT so thanks to him and to BD for the review

  11. One of the best crosswords this week, suitable for a toughie in my opinion. Thanks to RayT for the stretch of my meagre intellect and to Dave for the usual impeccable review.

  12. Ditto re trickier RayT than normal, but got there slowly, and amused frequently. Liked 23a especially. Thanks to RayT and BD

  13. Awful, as much fun as constipation. Stuck on long train journey, thankfully brought a good book to keep me occupied. I wish the Telegraph would put the name of the crossword compiler on the front page, so I can buy the Guardian when it’s Ray T.

    1. His crosswords are, roughly, alternate Thursdays, although sometimes an extra one slips through as it did this week. I have a suggestion – before you buy your paper on Thursdays have a quick look at the quickie clues and if they are all single words it is almost certainly a Ray T. :grin:

  14. I thought this was par for the course on a Thursday i.e. usually the hardest of the week. As normal I guessed a lot of the answers and worked the fodder backwards. A good challenge today. Thanks RT/BD.

  15. Again my thanks to BD for getting me started. I agree the comments above but thought it was me having a bad day. They say that playing an instrument and solving crosswords are ideal mental exercises for staving off senile dementia, but when the music comes out wrong and the back page seems really difficult, the doubts easily set in.

      1. The trouble with cryptic crosswords for me is often I’m thinking laterally when I should be thinking (vertically?).

        21D for example – lower, obviously some type of cattle surely? Not.

  16. Thanks to Ray T for a great puzzle & to Big Dave for the w& hints. I have solved Ray T’s puzzles for the last couple of months, but not today. I found this as difficult as yesterday’s Toughie. Needed 13 hints, 2 of which I had to look up. Favourites were 12 & 19. Dare I look at the Toughies?

  17. Loved it. All the RayT innuendos were there and its made my trip to the hospital bearable as it took me as long to do it as the waiting time, which was quite long! Too many good clues to pick a favourite as usual. Ray is really at the top of his form.

    1. I loved it too – there is nothing like a Ray T puzzle to divide the commentariat! Hope your hospital appointment went OK. :smile:

      1. I liked the comment from “Grumpy Andrew” #13 above. You either like them or hate them! I liked it! Thanks, Ray T.

        Nice Word: “commentariat”

        1. Believe it or not (I didn’t!) it’s in Chambers:

          The group of people who act as commentators on political, social, etc. matters

  18. Nothing to add to the comments above, 90% of which I concur. Made things even harder for oneself by stupidly inserting “stripper” at 26a. I wonder if Ray T (or Beam) will drop in to clear the air of mystery?

  19. 1st time for a very long time that I’ve been unable to complete without the Hints and a couple of answers. Worthy of a Toughie in my opinion. However, it’s all part of the learning process for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanx to Compiler and to Big Dave for the Review (which I needed).

  20. Evening all. Thanks again to BD for the analysis, and to all for the feedback. I’m glad that most of you enjoyed it.


  21. Came to this one late and found it much more of a challenge than the other three this week. Made it much more enjoyable as far as I was concerned..
    Many thanks to RayT and Big Dave for the hints.

  22. Just when I was getting cocky about solving them – along comes this one!! Really, really struggled and would never, ever, have finished without BD – so many thanks! 19d – spent ages taking the middle out of demons and the middle out of devils and couldn’t think what to insert, and there it was staring me in the face all the time – uuugh! Excellent puzzle when solved and cogitated but definitely difficulty 4* for me, if not 5*. Didn’t help that I had “arrested” for 20a, which is an anagram of “dearest” and “R” for ran and means caught, which I thought was quite a good answer – no? Thanks to all concerned for a puzzlingly frustrated day!

    1. Addicted – don’t be too abashed. I had devils written up top on the paper for ages but couldn’t see the worplay (I was thinking of sin not evil). An excellently well devised clue – hidden in plain sight!

  23. Learnt lots doing this but can’t say I enjoyed it as I found it extremely hard and wouldn’t have finished without lots of hints. On a plus note I did manage about 5 clues before resorting to the hints which, 2 months ago, when I started doing these was all I could do of those everybody else considered easy.

    1. Well done – just keep going! If you find a crossword too difficult use the hints – if you still can’t work it out then look at the answer – it’s how you learn to do these addictive things called cryptic crosswords!! :smile:

  24. Dear me, two Ray Ts on the trot, what is the DT thinking. The only description that could be applied to this puzzle is a horror.

  25. I’m dead chuffed with myself as I think this is the first time I’ve finished a Ray T puzzle without your help. It was tough but fair and very enjoyable in the end. Favourite clue was 1d.

    By the way, my moniker comes from the fact I don’t start the crossword till after 10pm, usually with a malt whisky at hand. Tonight it was Talisker.

  26. Excellent fare! After Virgilius on a Sunday Ray T is my favourite setter. Although Rufus on a Monday is always a welcome start to the week.

  27. Certainly the toughest Ray T for some time. Took about 2 hours to compete and a lot of guesswork (e.g the crew rest area one), but I felt really glad with myself for having stuck with it to completion, but then I was stuck on a ten hour flight all day with little else to do! Thanks to Big Dave for clarifying many of the clues! :)

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