DT 26712

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26712

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

Two difficulty ratings again – the first for those that enjoy Ray T’s puzzles and the second for those that don’t!

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    Star part, so got in cast (11)
{PROTAGONIST} – the leading character in a play (from the Greek for “first in importance” and “actor”) is an anagram (cast) of PART SO GOT IN

9a    Second vehicle’s first in concrete discharge (7)
{REMOVAL} – put a second or brief interval of time and the initial letter (first) of Vehicle inside a word meaning concrete or actual to get discharge or eviction

10a    Owns openings around top of mine (6)
{ADMITS} – a word meaning owns up is created by putting the openings at the top of mines around the initial letter (top) of Mine

12a    Student’s less fat eating recipe (7)
{LEARNER} – this student is derived by putting an adjective meaning less fat around the abbreviation of for R(ecipe), commonly shown on prescriptions as where it means take (from the Latin)

13a    Left with irritation say, following inactivity (7)
{LANGUOR} – L(eft) is followed by what sounds like (say) an irritation or annoyance to get a word meaning inactivity

14a    Barrister secretly concealing brief (5)
{TERSE} – hidden inside (concealing) the first two words of the clue is an adjective meaning brief

15a    Recoil from blast echoed around rifle end (9)
{BOOMERANG} – this recoil or rebound is created by putting a sonic blast and a verb meaning echoed or reverberated around the final letter (end) of riflEdid you try to fit backfire into 9 letters?

17a    Queen back, ready for show (9)
{REPRESENT} – reverse the Queen’s cypher and follow it with a word meaning ready or available to get a verb meaning to show or epitomize

20a    Silver monkey with mouth open (5)
{AGAPE} – a charade of the chemical symbol for silver and a monkey gives an adjective meaning with the mouth open

22a    Becoming a rugby player, very big (7)
{APROPOS} – this adjective meaning becoming or suitable comes from a charade of A from the clue, a front-row rugby player and very big as a clothing size

24a    He’s practical about American agenda (7)
{REALIST} – this practical person is derived from a charade of a two-letter word for about, A(merican) and an agenda

25a    Start of pussy cat’s spring (6)
{POUNCE} – combine the initial letter (start) of Pussy with a big cat to get a verb meaning to spring

26a    Someone getting on in cold, stertorously? (7)
{OLDSTER} – this person who is getting on in years (usually at least ten years more than your own age!) is hidden inside the last two words of the clue

27a    Keen going on about unruly teen (11)
{PENETRATING} – this adjective meaning keen or piercing is created by putting a verb meaning going on about or chattering around an anagram (unruly) of TEEN


2d           Income from flat in French street (7)
{REVENUE} – to derive this income put an adjective meaning flat inside the French for street

3d           Fair ball or tee shot (9)
{TOLERABLE} – this adjective meaning fair or acceptable is an anagram (shot) of BALL OR TEE

4d           Goblet with Guinness head on bar (5)
{GRAIL} – to get this goblet of the type sought by King Arthur and Monty Python put the initial letter (head) of Guinness on (above in a down clue) a bar which is usually fixed on upright supports

5d           One standing in order to sit? (7)
{NOMINEE} – a cryptic definition of someone who is standing for a seat on a committee

6d           A necessity when raising fruit (7)
{SATSUMA} – a charade of A from the clue, a necessity and a word meaning when is reversed to get a small citrus fruit

7d           Mob supporting rope catching case of embezzlement (11)
{PROLETARIAT} – the mob or lowest class of citizens in ancient Rome is created from a word meaning supporting followed by a rope or lasso around the outside letters (case) of EmbezzlemenT

8d           Rogue state creates damage (6)
{IMPAIR} – a charade of a rogue or mischief-makerand a verb meaning to state or express gives a verb meaning to damage

11d         After gym, ran about getting disjointed (11)
{FRAGMENTARY} – an anagram (about) of AFTER GYM RAN gives an adjective meaning disjointed

16d         Furthest route changed on flash street (9)
{OUTERMOST} – an adjective meaning furthest is built from an anagram (changed) of ROUTE on a flash or instant and ST(reet)

18d         Intention is almost honourable with model (7)
{PURPOSE} – this intention is a charade of most of an adjective meaning honourable or chaste followed by a verb meaning to pose

19d         Former wife put on pounds, sweetheart’s loss (7)
{EXPENSE} – a charade of a former wife, pounds or enclosures and the middle letter (heart) of swEet

20d         Jack in for a group playing (7)
{ABANDON} – this verb meaning to jack in or discontinue is a charade of A from the clue, a group and a word meaning playing or performing

21d         Last of malaria through extremities of tsetse fly (6)
{AVIATE} – a charade of the final (last( letter of malariA, a word meaning through and the outside letters (extremities) of TsetsE gives a word meaning to fly an aeroplane

23d         The female entertainer ends stark… (5)
{SHEER} – A final charade of the female pronoun and the outside letters (ends) of EntertaineR gives an adjective meaning stark or utter

That’s all folks!

The Quick crossword pun: {nerve} + {ardour} = {Nevada}


  1. Warren
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Ratings bang on for me. Completed fairly quickly but felt on form so time did not reflect difficulty. Really nicely constructed puzzle I thought.

    • Warren
      Posted November 17, 2011 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Toughie also good, fair and not too taxing.

  2. Posted November 17, 2011 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    As usual for a Thursday, not too straight forward, but definitely solvable. Again I nearly panicked having only got three across clues on first read through, but the downs popped in to help.

  3. Jezza
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Puzzles from RayT always demand a little more thought than the other weekday puzzles, and that is one of the reasons why I like them so much.
    Thanks to him, and to BD for the first half of the review.

  4. Vince
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Dave, the answers in the down clues, so far, are not hidden.

  5. crypticsue
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know what was up with me this morning (apart from a very swollen left eyelid which makes me look like I was in a fight) but I could quite have imagined this was a Beam that had gone astray as it took me ages to get on Ray’s wavelength and a time more suited to solving a toughie to finish it off. No particular favourites, and I was heard to mutter ‘not that damn cat again!’ Thanks to Ray and BD too.

    On the other hand, the Warbler Toughie took me no time at all to complete and is recommended to all.

    • Posted November 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Morning Sue
      After yesterday’s GOO coincidence did you spot the AUNTIE in today’s Grauniad as well as yesterday’s DT? This is getting spooky!.

      • crypticsue
        Posted November 17, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        Gnomey and I have a theory (which I believe he expounded on yesterday in one or other of the reviews) that the setters are given certain words they have to put into crosswords in a given time period. Auntie does appear to be word of the moment as I have seen it several times recently. I was going to say it makes a change from that perishing cat, but it turned up again this morning :)

        • TimCypher
          Posted November 17, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

          We’ve had that dreaded coal mine entrance in today’s puzzle, and Rufus incorporated it too into his Monday offering…:)

    • Jackie Royle
      Posted November 17, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      I couldn’t get going with this one either. Possibly because I’m still having problems with the web site and can’t get puzzles until 6am UK time, so 10 am here, well past my usual ‘cup of coffee with the crossword time’! Still, mustn’t grumble, at least the site is better than it was. I will head off now to try the Toughie.

      • Posted November 17, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        Welcome to the blog Jackie

        Most of us have given up on the site at night!

  6. Roland
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable today. I do like Ray T’s puzzles but still thought it probably warranted ***. Struggled with 27a which was last in. Dave, your hint for 19d is missing a “u” which may further confuse someone looking for help. Many thanks for the review and hints, and to Ray T for an excellent work-out.

    • andy
      Posted November 17, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      I’m confused, why do you need a “u”?

      • Jezza
        Posted November 17, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        It’s been fixed now, but earlier the hint read ‘ponds’

        • andy
          Posted November 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

          Oh I see, I hadn’t read the answer but was beginning to doubt I had it right! Apologies Roland

          • Roland
            Posted November 17, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

            There you are – told you it might confuse people – LOL. No problem Andy.

  7. Posted November 17, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Not a big fan of this one I’m afraid. I had lots of answers jotted down, but wasn’t 100% sure they were right, so couldn’t put them in. Didn’t like 9a at all and needed lots of BD’s help, but maybe the old brain isn’t too feisty today.

  8. Derek
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Pretty straightforward puzzle from Ray today.
    Faves : 19a, 22a, 25a, 4d, 6d & 21d.

    Weather in NL has now become very misty or as the Dutch say nebulous (nevelachtig). It has been misty several mornings but has gone over to sunshine later but perhaps now the long Indian Summer is over. Some forecasters predict a severe winter – to go along with the credit crunch!

    Cheers allemaal!

    • Derek
      Posted November 17, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Correction – Faves :10a not 19a! 16a was also nice!

  9. Franco
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I found this far easier than normal for a Thursday RayT.

    Enjoyment: points deducted for the lack of his usual risqué clue(s) and also for the inclusion of “that damn cat”.

  10. Posted November 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Phew! Think I agree with CS that this is a Beam Toughie somehow gone astray! Certainly found it harder than today’s Warbler Toughie and it took me about twice as long!

    Very satisfying to crack it though.

    Many thanks to RayT for the brain workout and to BD for the hints that I nearly had to resort to!

  11. Posted November 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I’ve worked out why I don’t enjoy Ray Ts puzzles. His use of language is broadly speaking ambiguous.

    • Posted November 17, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t that the essence of a good cryptic puzzle?

      • Posted November 17, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        A moot point. Let me moot then with 2 IMO examples of my point. Is irritation really anger? Is concrete real?

        • Posted November 17, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

          Try Chambers Thesaurus:

          express your irritation
          displeasure, dissatisfaction, annoyance, aggravation, provocation, anger, vexation, pique, indignation, fury, exasperation, irritability, crossness, testiness, snappiness, impatience

          concrete objects
          real, actual, solid, physical, material, substantial, tangible, touchable, perceptible, visible

          • Posted November 17, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

            Well – to messrs W and R Chambers I will offer the following comment. If you cannot separate the difference between irritation and anger them I suggest you stick to providing daft scrabble players with 2 letter words for Uzbeki cooking vessels.

    • Kath
      Posted November 17, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think that it’s ambiguous – I think that he is being deliberately (and very cleverly) misleading. :smile:

      • upthecreek
        Posted November 17, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        Kath. Surely the very essence of cryptics is ambiguity.

      • Kath
        Posted November 17, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        Of course it is. I just felt that the word “ambiguous” was being used critically when what was really meant was “misdirection” which is deliberate. Doing a crossword is practice in lateral thinking. I think that we are really saying the same thing!! :smile: Not sure that I’ve conveyed what I’m really trying to say – moral here is do NOT write a comment after supper and wine!!

  12. Kath
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    As always a great puzzle from my favourite compiler. I was very slow to get started and thought that I was going to be in for trouble today – being able to spell 13a correctly would have helped with 6d – oh dear!! Getting the four long anagrams round the outside of the puzzle quite quickly got me going eventually then it wasn’t very difficult. I liked 15 and 20a and 5, 8 and 11d. I didn’t mind the damned cat turning up again – it reminds me of something called “The cat came back” that our girls used to sing endlessly when they were very little – it drove us crazy especially on long car journeys!! I agree with Franco that I really missed the trademark risque clues. With thanks to Ray T and BD.
    Now I need to attack a monster pile of ironing …. :sad:

    • Silveroak
      Posted November 17, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      I spelt 13a wrong too. I expected to hear that more people did. A challenging puzzle but very doable. No clues whose answers were a stretch.

    • gazza
      Posted November 17, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Depending on what you think the three dots in 23d are replacing that one could be risque :D

      • Franco
        Posted November 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        Ah! I can see the “gratuitous” picture before my very eyes! :wink:

      • Kath
        Posted November 17, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        Hadn’t thought of that but it’s only mildly risque compared to some of his that have really made me laugh. :grin:

  13. upthecreek
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks, Ray for another great puzzle. As soon as i saw Queen and French i knew we were in for a treat. I particularly liked 25 – that damned cat is worth its weight in gold. Also liked 3 and 6 but all the rest were good. I suppose we have to wait a fortnight now for the next one.

    • Franco
      Posted November 17, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      25a – Just checked – (?o?n?e) on – http://www.onelook.com/

      There were many alternatives. Maybe RayT’s joke for today? :grin:

  14. mary
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Hi all late checking in tiday although I did the puzzle this morning, I found it quite easy today to see what the setter was looking for but once again did not necessarily connect the word in the answer with it, eg I wouldn’t have said protagonist for star, hero maybe but not star, there were otheres on the same lines too, saying this I did enjoy the puzzle even though Ihad to look up synonyms in several cases, took me ages to work out how 19d was worked although getting the answer fairly quickly! thanks once again for hints Dave, though I didn’t resort to them today :-)

    • mary
      Posted November 17, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      apologies for typing errors!

    • Kath
      Posted November 17, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think that the “protagonist” is the “star” so much as the “star part” – ie the person playing the most important bit in whatever it is. :smile:

    • TimCypher
      Posted November 17, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      Squinting one eye (as I often do with anagrams), I saw 1a very quickly…but I agree with you on 19d. That held me up for a bit (my mind was locked on ‘expunge’ for some reason), but this was one where the answer crept into my head and I back-justified it to fit the wordplay. From the wordplay alone, I could see the first 3 letters and the last letter, but I didn’t make the pounds connection in the middle at all…

  15. TimCypher
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    I got off to a flying start with this one – 1a went in immediately, with the top half and the bottom right hand corner hot on the heels of that.
    So, I was thinking, ‘wow, Ray’s being kind to me today’ ( :) )…then I hit the bottom left hand corner and came straight to a grinding halt. I ended up spending as much time agonising over that as I did the rest of the puzzle!
    25a was a leap-of-faith in the hope that what a certain measure of weight also happened to be a type of cat. 27a (my last in) was very draining as I was convinced the answer was ‘celebrating’ (brat = unruly teen), and spend ages trying to justify it. Then I realised that ‘keen’ could be used in the context of ‘a keen eye’, and the penny dropped!
    Bit of a struggle, I’d give it 3* for difficulty (and I love Ray’s puzzles), but top-notch entertainment as always! 8)

    • TimCypher
      Posted November 17, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Haha, reading the comments above, I infer that 25a’s cat is something that crops up quite often in these puzzles? I’d not seen it before (wishful thinking that it just happened to be a type of cat for me!), but thanks for the tip – I’ll keep an eye out for that in future…:)

      • crypticsue
        Posted November 17, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        Back in the 70s there was a type of duck called a Pochard that appeared so regularly in the DT cryptics that a friend and I on spotting one used to shout ‘Oh look it’s the crossword duck!’. It hasn’t made an appearance for many a long year, it is long overdue for a revival in my opinion.

        • Kath
          Posted November 17, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

          Never heard of the “crossword duck” – will have to keep an eye out for it! Who wants to bet that it comes up VERY soon and only CS and I get it? :smile:

  16. RayT
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks once again to BD for his analysis, and to everybody else for your comments. I thought that I’d let the cat out again as it hasn’t been seen for a while…


  17. John
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Not happy with this. Far too many clever take one letter from this and start and end of embezzlement. Did not like 27a at all. 8d not good.

    • gazza
      Posted November 17, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      Hi John – welcome to the blog.
      What do you think is wrong with those clues?

    • Kath
      Posted November 17, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      Hi John – lots of lateral thinking required. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with those clues. Yet again, it’s all to do with getting on to the right wave length of the setter.

  18. Toadson
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Liked this one – had to think about some of the meanings (protagonist took a while, and ‘imp’ didn’t immediately spring to mind for ‘rogue’). I take the point above though, that the ambiguity is part of the challenge.

  19. Addicted
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Well, I found that very difficult – needed the hints to finish (thanks Big D) and am still not sure I enjoyed it – but that may be because I didn’t really have too much time to concentrate on it to-day! No clues that really “popped out” at me – sorry Ray T!

  20. Heno
    Posted November 18, 2011 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Ray T and Big Dave, usual good stuff from Ray T, needed two hints, one of which I had to look up. Favourites were 10 & 17a, and 4,6, 16& 20a.