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DT 26700

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26700

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

I know I’m asking for trouble giving this puzzle two stars for difficulty, but I did find it to be easy! Ray T entertains us once again with the usual mix of excellent clues.

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    Chippendale perhaps giving an embrace with kit off! (12)
{CABINETMAKER} – no, not one of those erotic male dancers but a man who made furniture – he’s an anagram (off) of AN EMBRACE with KIT

9a    Take on underground cell, say, following swindles (9)
{CONSCRIPT} – a verb meaning to take on or enrol is created by putting what sounds like (say) an underground cell after some swindles

10a    Sound massages from misses (5)
{NEEDS} – this sounds like a verb meaning massages but is actually one meaning misses or lacks

11a    Recovery showing pluck (6)
{RESCUE} – this recovery from danger could be by plucking someone from the sea

12a    Flood furious about tackle (8)
{IRRIGATE} – a verb meaning to flood in order to grow crops is created by putting an adjective meaning furious around tackle or equipment

13a    Detecting heartless love (6)
{NOTING} – to get this verb meaning detecting or observing remove the middle letter (heartless) from a word meaning love or zero

15a    One preaching’s spoken in drizzle (8)
{MORALIST} – this person who preaches ethics or principles is derived by putting an adjective meaning spoken inside drizzle or spray

18a    French refusal to accept a staff general (8)
{NAPOLEON} – put the French for no around A from the clue and a staff to get this famous French general

19a    Highlight head of silver hair (6)
{STRESS} – a word meaning to highlight is a charade of the initial letter (head) of Silver and a long lock of hair

21a    Wild goer’s boxing uniform, almost see-through (8)
{GOSSAMER} – put an anagram (wild) of GOER’S around (boxing) almost all of a word meaning uniform to get an adjective meaning see-through or transparent, especially used of fabrics

23a    Master one hears, of newly-wed (6)
{BRIDAL} – what sounds like (one hears) a word meaning to master or restrain is actually an adjective meaning of or belonging to a newly-wed lady

26a    Headless panic creating own goal (5)
{ERROR} – drop (headless) the initial T from a panic to get an own-goal or mistake

27a    Media star adapted to stage (9)
{DRAMATISE} – an anagram (adapted) of MEDIA STAR gives a verb meaning to present on the stage

28a    Somewhat dull chaps start to try flattery (12)
{BLANDISHMENT} – a charade of an adjective meaning somewhat dull, some chaps and the initial letter of (start) to Try gives a word meaning flattery


1d    Company chief managed rocker (7)
{COCHRAN} – a charade of CO(mpany), CH(ief) and a verb meaning managed gives the surname of one of the greatest rockers of all time – as you can probably guess, I’m a fan!

Here’s a lesser known track, but one of my personal favourites – Eddie’s variation on the story of the tortoise and the hare

ARVE Error: need id and provider

2d    Pre-match announcement? (5)
{BANNS} – a cryptic definition of the announcement in church of a forthcoming wedding

3d    Night criminal’s climbing act nearly complete (9)
{NOCTURNAL} – an adjective meaning night is generated by reversing (climbing in a down clue) one of Crosswordland’s most popular criminals and following it with an act or routine and most of (nearly) a word meaning complete

4d    Cotton on branch (4)
{TWIG} – a double definition – to cotton on or a small branch

5d    In front, man’s centre, Queen in fantastic intro (8)
{ANTERIOR} – to get this adjective meaning in front start with the middle (centre) letter of mAn and then put Elizabeth Regina (Queen) inside an anagram (fantastic) of INTRO

6d    Drunken nuisance encapsulates boredom (5)
{ENNUI} – hidden inside (encapsulates) the first two words of the clue is a word meaning boredom that is only ever seen in crosswords

7d    Local outside for example is opposite (8)
{NEGATIVE} – put someone local to a country outside the Latin abbreviation of “for example” to get a word meaning opposite

8d    From a toilet water’s rising (6)
{ASCENT} – a charade of A from the clue and some toilet water gives a rising or climb

14d    Material for video’s shot (8)
{TAPESTRY} – this ornamental material is a charade of a VHS video, the ‘S from the clue and a shot or attempt

16d    Compost at the farm producing results (9)
{AFTERMATH} – an anagram (compost) of AT THE FARM gives results or consequences

17d    God’s position above Odin, strangely (8)
{POSEIDON} – this Greek sea god is created by putting a position or stance before (over in a down clue) an anagram (strangely) of the Scandinavian god ODIN

18d    After shooter’s turned up, acquire piece (6)
{NUGGET} – reverse (turned up in a down clue) a shooter and add a word meaning to acquire to get a piece or lump – a piece is a gun in criminal argot and a sandwich in Scottish slang – a fact that led to an interesting confrontation in “The Bogie Man“, a story about a Scottish mental patient who suffers from the unusual delusion that he is Humphrey Bogart

20d    Main Street taking a right (7)
{SALIENT} – an adjective meaning main or principal is created by putting the abbreviation of ST(reet) around A from the clue and a right or privilege

22d    May we find this before? (5)
{APRIL} – a delightfully Yodaish cryptic definition of the month that precedes May

24d    Desire redhead in dodgy club (5)
{DRIVE} – this desire or urge is constructed by inserting the initial letter (head) of Red into a dodgy nightclub

25d    Southern Asian robe, Indian initially (4)
{SARI} – the initial letters of the first four words in the clue give an Indian robe

This one is dedicated to Kath – it was a pleasure to meet you last weekend.

The Quick crossword pun: {lawn} + {buck} + {hall} = {Lauren Bacall}

114 comments on “DT 26700

  1. I am finding this puzzle really difficult. I have only done 5 clues and I’ve been at it for an hour

  2. Can’t say I enjoyed this very much. I didn’t find it particularly easy (may have something to do with the fact that the light went half way through due to the rain making an appearance) and I thought a lot of the clues to be very bitty and a tad complicated.

  3. Not that easy, though managed to get through it in a little over the standard time. However, NE delayed us and we needed the hint for 8d to break the mental log jam. Thanks, Big Dave. Rain just starting – still well on line to be easily our driest year ever in the Welsh Marches.

      1. Sorry to disagree but I think it is fair – it’s possible to work out from the clue and then, for anyone who hasn’t heard of him, look him up.

      2. I fall into that category, although in the US they call us senior citizens. Much nicer I think.

    1. It is given for a synonym in Chambers crossword dictionary Roland, I stupidly wrote in bridle instead of bridal,, I always get mixed up with these, which meant that 20d was impossible!

      1. Hi Mary, it’s not mentioned as a synonym in my (admittedly old) copy of Chambers ED, nor in an online thesaurus I just checked.

  4. First pass left mostly blanks for me. However a second cup of coffee and a different chair seemed to help get things moving. Hated 22d until i worked it out! Thanks to BD.

  5. Morning Dave, I think you are headed for trouble giving this 2* :-), I found it really hard going, maybe it’s because I’m feeling a bit ‘fluey’ , I needed your help for at least four clues and my usual ‘help’ also, three clues I really liked were 19a, 22a and 4d, short, sharp witty, couldn’t work out where the final two letters of 3d came from, dunces step I think, hope they’ve got a nice armchair there today :-) Thanks for hints Dave, I probably could have finished if I’d perservated all day but I have other things to do

      1. thanks Kath, thanks to some of the pics posted by Dave I can now ‘see’ you when I ‘talk’ to you, glad you enjoyed, even if I was closer, I don’t think I’d be brave enough to be with all those great minds :-)

        1. I am so close to convincing myself to go to Derby, but worried I will have a complete mental blockage day!!

          1. It really doesn’t matter if you do – just go! Everyone is very friendly and there is no competing or timing or anything. In fact, you don’t even need to do a crossword – it’s quite fun doing a combined effort with someone.

        2. Haven’t even seen photos yet Mary – will have a bit of a hunt when I’ve finished doing this.

  6. I found this marginally trickier than the last few puzzles from RayT. Very enjoyable though – thanks to him, and to BD.

  7. I enjoyed this outing from Ray T. Favourite clues were 1a, 16a, 17d and 22d. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the review.

    This took a little longer than the last Ray T and was probably on the boundary of ** to *** stars for me.

  8. I’d give it a three star rating as it took me over two hours, at least 20 minutes spent looking at 22d. When the penny finally clunked to the floor in Defford I’m sure it was heard in Hanley.

  9. Very enjoyable but would agree with Prolixic that it is definitely 2.5* difficulty. I liked 22d as well as 18a and 8d (d’oh to the latter). Thanks to Ray for the continuing Thursday fun and to BD for the review – many thanks for the ‘gratuitous’ picture for us girls.

    The Shamus Toughie is good fun too and should be attempted by all as it isn’t that tough, relatively speaking.

  10. Thank you very much BD – I really enjoyed meeting everyone last Saturday. I loved today’s crossword but have found it quite difficult – rather more of a 3*/4* for me. Have finished it now without needing any hints but it’s taken a while – a VERY late night yesterday probably didn’t help. Finished clearing up all the muddle this morning and then sat down with coffee hardly daring to hope that it would be Ray T today as we had him last week (I think) – one look at the first clue and then a quick glance at the clues for the quickie really raised the spirits! 1a is one of my favourites today (how typical Ray T can you get). Others include 18 and 21a and 1, 8, 16, 22 and 24d. Big thanks to Ray T and BD.
    After yesterday’s toughie clue 24a my list of top five favourite clues now, for the first time, includes one NOT by Ray T. I’m STILL giggling. :grin:

    1. Definitely no need to check the Quick Crossword to see who today’s compiler is!

      The clue to 1a reveals all! :wink:

      1. Definitely!! :grin: Have now been able to look at photos – thanks. How could I have managed it for myself? Really not good at this sort of stuff – would probably have done what I usually do and waited for husband to come home and show me – pathetic! :sad:

  11. this was great, even though it took me ages and I had to revert to the site for my last two. Much harder than a 2*, but I suppose if you were on the right wavelength all the clues were fair. I loved 18 a and the picture for 1a …….many thanks BD {smile}

  12. Sorry BD, I only just noticed. What’s a picture of the Stones (for surely it is they) got to do with 16d?

        1. Not that I can listen to it here but the link to the track isn’t showing – there is just a big gap between the two clues.

            1. Between 1d and 2d following the words ‘here’s a track…’ there is just a big space.

  13. I must be getting better at RayT puzzles as I agree with the 2* difficulty, and also the 4* enjoyment!
    Last in for me was 8d – got in my head that RISING, in a down clue, was going to be a reversal indicator so made life a bit difficult for a few minutes!

    Many thanks to RayT and to BD – love the Eddie Cochran track!

  14. Finished. I found some of the clues unnecessarily complicated for which reason, of course, I struggled to finish. Therefore not enjoyable. I think that 2* is a little optimistic

      1. In my opinion, not fair criticism – just wrong wave length!! :smile: So which setters do you like – wouldn’t mind betting that they’re the ones I find difficult!

  15. Easier than most Ray Ts puzzles, only almost impossible today! Don’t quite understand 1d, what or who is Cochran? Must say though i really thought 22d was one of the cleverest clues I have ever seen. Most however were not to my taste, too obscure for me.

    1. If you’ve never heard of the late great Eddie Cochran then there is not a lot I can do to help you! Perhaps you ought to go and watch a Girls Aloud video.

      1. * raises hand sheepishly *
        I’d never heard of him, but it seemed like a rock-starish name that fitted the wordplay. I had to check your hint to confirm. :)
        I’ve heard of Girls Aloud tho’…why couldn’t we have that?! ;)

      2. There’s nothing wrong with watching a Girls Aloud video (so long as the audio is turned off) :)

        1. a) who the **** is he (or she) and b) try thinking up a clue for which that would be the answer!! :grin: again!!

            1. How do you know what the stars meant – they could have been something completely innocent. I’m SO sorry if your own mind has corrupted you!!! :grin: I now give in on Joe Bonnamassa and wait for a clue from the Gnome!! In the meantime I might try to concoct one of my own!

        1. So did I Pommers – I suppose it’s a name that you know from hearing it rather than seeing it written down.

      1. That’s the point I made in posting 3 above – if you are of a certain age you have probably never heard of the guy and so are severely handicapped because you have nothing to round off the clue for you. How many of today’s hot numbers has the average member of BD’s group heard of, I wonder. It reminds me of those questions in University Challenge when 20 year olds are asked about say, TV programmes of the 1960s or leading TUC members of the same era. Easy (?) for the silver/no hair brigade. This is not to say that I do not think that it is a reasonable clue, because, as Kath says, it can be worked around.

        1. Lord Luvvaduck, I understand your point. Shirley, we will not have the names of “Girls Aloud ” in future puzzles!

          1. It would be nice to have a contemporary popstar appear – I think I’ve only seen (Lady) Gaga referenced in the time I’ve been doing cryptics…
            Usually, we get Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong or one of the Beatles…or someone I’ve never heard of like today.
            Mind you, if I ever arrived at ‘Beyonce’, ‘Britney Spears’ or ‘Rihanna’ as the answer to a clue, I’d automatically assume I’d slipped up somewhere along the line…

            1. Serendipitously Britney Spears is an anagram of Presbyterians and has already appeared in that guise – it has been publicised by Azed as a “cause for rejoicing” but it was Roger “Rufus” Squires who discovered that one.

              1. …. and Virginia Bottomley (if anyone now remembers her – I do but can’t remember exactly what she was, apart from being an MP) is an anagram of “I’m an evil Tory bigot”!! :grin:

          2. Thanks, I am relieved to hear it! I am aware to the existence of Girls Aloud but their music has entirely passed me by.

            1. Found one of the Spice Girls Clues – Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26327 – August 24, 2010 . (Hints and tips by Gazza).

              9a Old Spice Girl with three hits, say (9)

              {GERIATRIC} – it’s laugh out loud time. The definition is old and it’s formed from the forename of one of the Spice Girls and a sound-alike (say, especially for a Cockney) of the term used in cricket when a bowler takes wickets with three successive balls (and, by derivation, three successes in other fields).

              (Is gazza being sarcastic? Or did he really laugh out loud?)

              1. Brilliant! It’s not one I remember but it probably means I missed that puzzle or I would have memory of one that good! Thanks to RayT and you for bringing it back. I bet Gazza would have done a good photo too – and not of an old biddy!

        2. I had a good friend at school called Jim Cochrane, who pronounced it as -AN rather than -ANE, so I guess that’s where the E’s come from in my mind – never really thought about it until today!. I’m old enough to remember Eddie but he killed by the time I was seven. But Summertime Blues is a rock classic and so maybe not so unfair.
          I’m not old enough to remember Attlee, Lloyd George, Lord North (who comes up occasionally) and hundreds of other people while they were alive but I have heard of them. I agree it’s a fine line to judge whether someone is famous enough to include in a crossword but I think Eddie is OK.

        3. I know a fair bit of the music that’s around at the moment partly because I’m a total Radio 2 addict and partly because we have two daughters who are forever trying to educate me – they gave up trying to educate their Dad many years ago!! :grin:

  16. Many thanks to BD for the dissection, and to all for your comments. As I’ve said before, they are much appreciated.


  17. For me, this continued a really strong run of cryptics this week. 6d and 25d went in immediately, but it took a bit of thought to get going with the rest.
    They came eventually without aid, aside from 2d which I’d never heard of before (tho’ the wedding connection was obvious).
    Really enjoyed 18a, 8d and the superb 22d – huge forehead-slapping moment there…
    Thanks to Ray T for the top-notch entertainment, and Big D for explaining some of my ‘well-that-looks-right-but-I’m-not-sure-why’ answers! ;)

  18. I know we’re not supposed to mention solving times here but this won’t upset anyone! I found a half completed puzzle in a pile a old paperwork this morning but half the clues had been ripped off, so I opened the puzzle on the website, completed and submitted it.
    Recorded time?

    483 days 7 hours and 4 minutes – is this a record?

      1. Just finishing the last 7 or 8 clues that were left took me longer than his posted time for the whole puzzle! I wonder how many people actually log on as RobR – must be a lot as he scores more points than there is time in the day! Don’t look most of the time as I’m not really interested in solving times – who cares? It’s fun is what matters! I took ages to do the Toughie today but in that time I also did lots of other things so I’ve no idea how long the puzzle actually took me and I don’t care! I agree with BD that the worst thing about the DT website (apart from it not working) is the competitive element it tries to bring in. Getting rid of the timer, points, leaderboard and all that would probably make the site work better and be a real improvement. Try the Grauniad site – that’s what I did while the DT was having its problems!

        BTW, crypticsue, who is a very fast touch typist, once tried a speed test and took about 1 min 35 secs to type the answers in, having pre-solved the puzzle on paper! She had the decency not to post the time on the site!

  19. Another fine RayT outing – I would agree with the ratings as well. Just finished in Slough abd going to battle the M25 back to Kent. I may be some time!

  20. Oh dear, I found this very difficult and am only getting down to looking at hints now. Even the anagrams had me baffled. So Big Dave’s rating is very much of my mark. Ah well, I,m just going to use the hints and tomorrow is another day.

    1. I agree Scrabo. I admit I was doing this at the changes of ends during the Valencia Open 500, but even so, it was so difficult.

  21. I know this is a bit ‘left field’, because I don’t know where most of you are based, but do you ever convene in Norfolk? I have a back-page-solver friend who’s recently lost his wife and could so do with the camaraderie of other like-minded folk, but is too shy to join in the banter. I pointed him in the direction of BD’s blog, if he got stuck with clues, and I know he enjoys coming here. But I’m sure that he’d benefit from being part of this solvers’ community If he could first meet face-to face with some folk.

    1. Just get him to start blogging. Next meet in Derby on the 26th. Everyone is friendly. I first went last Saturday to. Liverpool Street and had a great time

    2. I agree with Heno – just point him in the direction of this blog. I think it takes a while (well, it did for me anyway) to pluck up the courage to actually write something but everyone is SO welcoming, friendly (and completely non-judgemental if you’re having a “dim day”) that before very long it feels like part of a normal day. I’m sorry your friend is having a hard time.

      1. Hey Kath, I had a ‘dim day’ on my own blogging day yesterday! I admitted it (which I suppose I didn’t have to) but it did cause a lot of people to come out and say they went down the same wrong road as well!
        I’ve vacated the stupid step now as I breezed through today’s offering from RayT.

    3. I agree with comments below.
      We are a very friendy bunch and any comment from a new guy is welcomed wholeheartedly .Tell your mate he can’t become part of any camaraderie unless he comes out and lets us know he’s there! I
      f he can make Derby I’ll be pleased to meet him – it’s my first meeting aslo so we have something in common!

    4. Definitely get him to come ‘here’ to meet us all, we are very friendly and chatty and chat about lots of things, I find it really good to have this site to help me along on most days when I am stuck, but also the friendliness of everyone here when you have long lonely days on your own sometimes, is brilliant :-)

  22. EASY, Dave?? It’s so difficult, I had to use two question marks after Dave – something I never normally do.

  23. My Sudoku-addicted partner got the Cochran one – could have screamed! Never does the Xword – just looked at it and said “oh, that’s Cochran” – and I’d been beating my brains out trying to think of something that began with Co and ended with “ran”. Obvously a sign of a mis-spent youth!! But, with that help, did finish eventually – also needed some hints, so thanks to BD – don’t think I would ever have got 12a without him, just wasn’t on that wavelength. Think first in was 21a and last was 22d, which I loved when the penny dropped. 10a was a good one too. Was a bit dubious about 15a – is that really the meaning?? A very enjoyable puzzle – thank you Ray T.

  24. Thanks to Ray T and Big Dave, A very enjoyable puzzle. Needed 2 hints to complete. Favourites 13 & 18 across, 8 down.

  25. Thank you Heno and Kath. I will try to get him involved in interacting with this blog, but he’s a stubborn character. Anyway, thanks for the advice.

    1. I would reiterate the comments above from Heno and Kath. I would suggest that lurking on the blog is good but posting is better. Primarily this is a crossword blog but there is an excellent community feel as well. I am sure we all look forward to the comments from fellow bloggers on the day to see how they stack up against our own expectations – I know I miss not being able to be more active on the site during the day.

      Actually posting and saying hi is the next natural step (see below) and I am sure that your friend will get along just fine, after all we have a common cause and all like minded individuals are welcome.

      Unfortunately, the only meets that occur regularly tend to be in that London or more recently Derby/Midlands and even then the turnput (whilst very good) is not a patch on the actual membership of this site or fifteensquared – you can’t realistically get a venue big enough for either!

      Here’s hoping that your friend drops by soon.


    2. See my reply to your #24.

      Gnomey has said it better than me, but the first post is the ‘Rubicon’ that he ahs to cross!

      He only has to post something like ‘nice puzzle, thanks setter and BD’ and away he goes!
      I well remember the trepidation when I first got to actually type something on a blog but the response was brilliant and well beyond my expectations, so I’ve been here ever since!

      Hope to see him soon


  26. Started this puzzle very late last night and after a good sleep finished it this morning.
    Faves : 13a, 18a, 21a, 28a, 1d, 7d, 14d & 17d.

  27. I know I’m a bit later than usual with this so probably no-one will read it but I have to say what superb clues these all were. I didn’t finish the puzzle without the hints (NE corner beat me!) but nearly every clue was solvable from the very clever wordplay. I really liked 18a.

    Ray T really is a superb setter.

  28. We (those who collectively do this every day in the pub) finished this much quicker than is normal on a Thursday

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