DT 26709 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26709

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26709

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Standard stuff from Rufus this morning although I didn’t think the cryptic defintions were as good as usual. I also had to do some serious thinking to remember the phrase at 8a.

Highlight the space between the curly brackets to reveal the answer.


1. It swims with the current (8,3)
{ELECTRIC EEL} – A freshwater fish from South America capable of generating up to 600 volts.

8. Short of capital (7,4)
{BORACIC LINT} – Cockney rhyming slang for skint.

11. Lady love is after the money (4)
{LOIS} – O (love) and then IS, after L (Pound – money) produces a girls name.

12. About turn in Old Ireland (4)
{ERIN} – Reverse (turn) RE (in reference to) and then add IN for an archaic word for Ireland.

13. Favourite finds affection in garden (7)
{BELOVED} – Put LOVE (affection) inside a small plot of cultivated or planted land to get someone who is cherished.

15. A communication you’ll understand when you get it (7)
{MESSAGE} – A typically short communication sent from one person to another for example.

16. Colour scheme for last month — heraldic gold (5)
{DECOR} – Take the abbreviation for the 12th month and then add the heraldic term for gold to get a decorative style or scheme.

17. It’s something to build on (4)
{SITE} – A place where a structure or group of structures will be located:

18. Student has outstanding exams, getting firsts in Oxford, say (4)
{SHOE} – The first letters of the first four words spell out what one definition of an Oxford is.

19. Be off for the rest of the night (5)
{SLEEP} – What you might do when you go to bed.

21. In-law embracing divorcee? That’s not quite right (7)
{INEXACT} – IN and another word for a statute or decree is put around (embracing) the standard two letter crossword word for a divorcee for a word that means not strictly accurate or precise

22. Cut some grain in an outhouse (7)
{SHEARED} – Definition is cut. Place the seed-bearing spike of a cereal plant inside a small building used for storage.

23. Issue a period return (4)
{EMIT} – Reverse a word for an interval of years, days, or minutes to get another word that means to give or send out.

26. Heat too much water? (4)
{BURN} – A double definition, to set something on fire, or a Scottish stream.

27. Late payments? (5,6)
{DEATH DUTIES} – A cryptic definition that refers to the taxes that can be levied on the estate of someone who has died.

28. Working in MPH, AA meet required speed (11)
{AMPHETAMINE} – An anagram (working) of IN MPH AA MEET is also a drug called speed.


2. Insect audible in Asian country (4)
{LAOS} – This country sounds like louse.

3. Caught, suspended and reformed (7)
{CHANGED} – C (caught), and then a word that means too fasten from above with no support below. Definition reformed.

4. Tumbledown place I may be brought in to manage (4)
{RUIN} – Place an I inside another word for control or direct to get a place that is falling down for example.

5. The coalminer’s dog, Rex (7)
{COLLIER} – Another word for a coalminer is a type of sheepdog plus R (Rex).

6. Bird seen in wilderness (4)
{ERNE} – A word for sea eagle can be found within the word wilderness.

7. Assemble best policies, none the less, for referendums (11)
{PLEBISCITES} – An anagram (assemble) of BEST POLICIES with O removed (none the less).

8. Mr Goat and son — a dangerous combination (5,3,3)
{BILLY THE KID} – The nickname of William H. Bonney, an outlaw.

9. Maybe our teacher’s not to be trusted (11)
{TREACHEROUS} – An anagram (maybe) of OUR TEACHERS.

10. Free newspaper? (11)
{INDEPENDENT} – The name of one of the daily newspapers is also a synonym for “free from control”.

14. Gave the players a hand (5)
{DEALT} – What you would do if you were playing poker for example and were gave out the cards.

15. He gave people the law and doctors directions (5)
{MOSES} – The abbreviation for Medical Officer plural, followed by E (east) and S (south).

19. Cancel score (7)
{SCRATCH} – Double definition, A slang term that means to cancel something, or a word that means to make a thin shallow cut on the surface of something with a sharp instrument.

20. Ghost in the ruins of Hampton (7)
{PHANTOM} – An anagram (ruins) of HAMPTON.

24. Side of fresh meat (4)
{TEAM} – Another anagram (fresh), equally straight forward, this time of MEAT.

25. Entrance, using commercial with sex appeal (4)
{ADIT} – AD (commercial) and IT (sex appeal).

26. Vegetable head (4)
{BEAN} – Any of various leguminous plants in pods, or a slang term for the head.

The Quick crossword pun: {virus} + {cape} = {fire escape}

78 comments on “DT 26709

  1. Nice straightforward start to the week and like all Londoners the best clue was def 8a. Thought 15a was a bit weak but whatever, thx to Rufus for getting the week off and running well.

  2. Off to a flying start toaday, then came across 2d and 8a. Resorted to the hints to put me out of my misery (a lot to do today). Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  3. Ah Libellule, you’re obviously not a son/daughter of ‘The Smoke’, I sussed 8a right away! Don’t hear it much nowadays, especially here – Norfolk enchants. 28a was nostalgic too, recalling the 1960s when I dealt it. By explanation I was a dispensing assistant in a chemist’s shop. :-)

  4. 8a made me smile, I haven’t heard that expression since I left London 40 years ago. I thought that 24d was a poor effort, perhaps there should be a rule that anagrams must have at least seven letters?

  5. Quite enjoyable except for 8A – I’m not a Londoner, but did spend a couple of years in the East End as a barman, the nearest this phrase ever came up was in the usual Cockney foreshortening of Brassic, so I had a few problems with this one. Everything else seemed quiet straightforward though.

      1. I realise that Brian, but Brassic isn’t the first half of Boracic. Its more like the first part of Brassica, just a pity lint (or mint) isn’t part of the brassica family.

        1. That’s the wonder of Cockney, Skempie, things aren’t always what they seem. Long ago I nearly died in an East End pub where an old boy was belting out one of those old ballads, full of pathos. “The one I adore” came out as “the one-eyed whore”. :o)

          1. Looking forward to having a clue similar to ‘Ow bist me Babber’ the answer of course being ‘Good Morning’, then seeing how many complaints turn up

        2. Any Cockney knows that the rhyming slang is not exactly what it seems. That’s the challenge of understanding it.

                1. Well I lived in London for 30 years and have to say this is the first time I’ve ever heard the exprtession. Maybe I lived in a more cosmopolitan area :-)
                  Thought the whole crossword was quite easy but came to glaring halt on that one. Very poor cluing. My word search came up with boracic but I discarded it as simply coudn’t see how it would fit in.

    1. Hi all,
      Have to agree with Skempie, I’ve never heard that particular phrase and there was nothing in the clue to point you in the direction of rhyming slang. Pretty poor IMO.

      Apart from that a nice start to the week.

  6. Thanks to Rufus & Libellule, seemed quite straightforward apart from 7d, which I knew was an anagram, but got from having heard of plebs.
    I thought 8a should have had an indication of being Cockney Rhyming slang, luckily I’m a Cockney, and I managed to get it!
    Favourite was 1a.

      1. Thanks Gazza, I missed that. So short is about having no money, even though the whole clue could mean that too? It’s a clever clue.

    1. I took the “of capital” part of the clue to be both monetary and specific to London. As mentioned above, I had it in my head that it was Brassic. Learned something new today which often happens to me doing the cryptic.

        1. Thanks Father Brian, I fully understand the clue now. Even though I got the answer, part of it went over my head. Full marks to Rufus for the subtlety :-)

  7. I didn’t enjoy this today — perhaps just not in the mood, but I needed far too much help. And, as an ex-pat Antipodean, I would have liked more of a cockney indication for 8a — just ‘capital’ wasn’t enough. We’ve seen 18a very recently, too. Oh, grumble, grumble! But thanks, Libellule, and Rufus too, although I was so not with it. :-(

  8. Not too difficult although I’d never heard that particular bit of rhyming slang and only got it when there was almost nothing else that would fit with the letters I had. Made life tricky by putting “base” for 17a thereby completely messing up 7 and 8d for a while. I was quite happy with “base” as I’d already decided 7d was an anagram and had a “b” in it somewhere – oh dear!! I’ve never “met” 7d before. Am I the only one to get 17a wrong? I agree with Franny – we’ve had an 18a quite recently. No clues that stand out, for me, today.

    1. Chris

      You hardly ever hear this as a phrase – usually it’s just “boracic” pronounced, as Dream weaver pointed out above, as “brassic”

  9. This was a straight run through today. I liked 8a and 5d . You see those and think I can do this. Lovely start to the week here in gey and overcast Thanet. Thanks to all concerned.

  10. Finding this a bit tricky today, but perhaps the grey Edinburgh gloom is fogging my brain!

    !2a is also a very popular girl’s name here in Scotland—don’t know why.

  11. Hi Libelulle, late today, one of sons been here sorting out my i phone and internet connection! I just hate it when my brother who has been doing these since he was in college rings early and says ‘nice easy one today bye!! ‘ Grrr ! Anyway in between ‘helping’ with the internet/phone problem I managed to finish it all but 8a, now the only thing I could fit there was ‘boracic lint’ but didn’t have a clue what this had to do with the clue! I really dislike these cockney slang ones, it’s the same really as a foreign language to me, as for 15a, sorry I really don’t ‘get it’ ??? unusually for a Rufus crossword I didn’t have a favourite today, so I guess I must be in the same mood or frame of mind as Franny, thanks for hints Libelulle, needed them to understand 8a but still don’t ‘get’ 15a

  12. I’ve never heard of 25d. Presumably ‘adit’ is the opposite of ‘exit’. Is the plura ‘adeunt’? You know…….. eo, ire, ivi, itum !!

    1. Adit is derived from the 3rd person singular present tense of adeo (to approach) so, as you say, the 3rd person plural is presumably adeunt (though I don’t think it’s used as a stage direction like exeunt).

    2. To be precise, an adit is a horizontal entrance to a mine (such as those much beloved in Western’s where they ALWAYS get dynamited).

  13. I enjoyed this one today, thank you Rufus. Didn’t take me long but I suppose that was because I knew 8a which I actually have a dot by as a favourite, together with 8d. Thanks to Libellue for the review too.

  14. Has nobody mentioned that the price of the Daily Telegraph has today leapt from £1.00 to £1.20?

    I always find Rufus difficult, but today more so than ever – maybe because my mind was more concerned with the rate of inflation.

    If this continues, I’ll soon be “Brassic”!

    1. Luckily for me the lady in the newsagents didn’t notice it either. I shall have to own up tomorrow and pay the difference.

      1. I was expecting some sort of explanation or apology for the price hike within the pages of this almighty organ (as Lord Gnome might say).. But I haven’t found it yet.

        Tomorrow’s “Letters to the Editor” will be interesting!

        Disgruntled, Tunbridge Wells!!

        1. Apparently the Independent went up in price recently, so the DT followed suit. My pre-paid vouchers last for a few weeks more, so I won’t feel the pinch for a while. I seem to recall paying 2d (< 1p) for "The Northern Echo" when I was a lad. And a shilling for a pint. Mustn't grumble, I suppose!

    2. I noticed that. I will be printing off the crosswords from Clued Up from now on – no more daily paper for me.

    3. Oh dear just walked into the newsagent and threw a pound down and walked out will have to go in and confess tomorrow
      Enjoyed the crossword and even I a northern lass knew 8 a

  15. Enjoyed that – certainly a ton easier than last Monday’s, if my memory serves me right! Nice start to the week and didn’t need hints, for once. Even got 8a, though it took a while. Am not a Londoner but there was quite a bit of rhyming slang around when I was younger, so I guess it just sticks in the little grey cells somewhere? Thanks to setter and hinter.

  16. I’m much before 10 pm today – got other things to do this evening. A nice gentle start to the week from Rufus this time. Usually his cryptic definitions beat me but not today. Even though I’m a Yorkshireman, the answer to 8a came easily so it can’t be that obscure! However, I’ve not heard the answer to 26d being used to mean “head”.

    Thanks Libellule for the review.

  17. A nice, gentle and enjoyable start to the week. Thanks to Rufus for the fun (over too quickly) and to Libellule for the review.

  18. Ok I’ll be the only one to admit that I am hignorant and did not know the great big long word in 7d….so the rest of you in CWL can stop feeling nervous now! I shall henceforth inject it into my everyday conversations and impress no-one! ….and very interesting about the origins of “brassic” too – I’ve learnt lots today!

    1. I didn’t know the long 7d word either, so you’re not the only one. I didn’t help myself by having “base” for 17a …. :sad:

  19. I don’t normally finish a 3* so I am quite proud of myself today. I did use a couple of hints for which thanks, Libellule, and to the setter for an entertaining puzzle

    1. Geoff,

      Apologies, I made a mistake on publication, I forgot to adjust the stars from a cut and paste from last thursday :-) So your email may say 3 *** but the blog was corrected to be a normal 2 **.

  20. Nice crossword today, only got held up by 8a, and I was a student in the East End for over 4 years !
    Interesting that the answer to 10d actually is free in lots of places, e.g. my gym. It is apparently used as a loss leader for the company.
    Also have been interested to read the article on page 23 of the paper. I think by a regular contributor to this blog? Where would crossword setters be without the English of the KJV ?
    thanks for hints.

  21. This lulled me into a false sense of security; I thought it was going to be a stroll but then laboured on 6 questions partly the result of “electric ray” rather than eel. I did soldier on and wrapped it up on the Picadilly Line. A nice start to the week.

  22. Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle, and to Libellule for the notes.

    I had no trouble with 8a – I think as kids we also said that we were ‘Peer Gynt’.

    1. I can never remember how to spell it – I always think it is spelt with a SS instead of the C – Apart from that no troubles and a very nice puzzle – I enjoyed 1a – classic Rufus!
      THanks to you both.

  23. Enjoyable Rufus as ever!
    Forgot to send this in as was busy with other things.
    Faves : 8a, 18a, 28a, 8d & 15d.
    Had to consult Cassell Dictionary of Slang for 8a!

  24. Not a bad start to the week! Like others, I wasn’t familiar with 8a and 19d was a word I wasn’t familiar with either!
    Some shaky clues (e.g. 17a) but some very lovely cluing such as 5d, 8d, 10d and 15d!
    Thanks to Rufus and Libuelle! :)

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