DT 26715 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26715

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26715

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

A very enjoyable crossword from Rufus to start the week.

If you need to reveal the answer just highlight the space between the curly brackets.


1. Elector all at sea? (8,5)
{FLOATING VOTER} – Someone at an election who has no allegiance to any political party.

10. Girl meets chap, starts talking, but is unyielding (7)
{ADAMANT} – ADA (girl) plus a three letter word for an adult male and then finally the first letter (starts) of talking produces a word that means extremely hard or unbreakable.

11. The stone archaeologists treat so cryptically (7)
{ROSETTA} – An anagram (cryptically) of TREAT SO is a tablet that provided the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics.

12. Three students seen around university in break (4)
{LULL} – Place three L’s (students) around U (university).

13. Insert in ballad (5)
{INLAY} – IN and a word for a song can also be decoration by setting pieces of wood into a surface, marquetry for example.

14. Grudging admiration of diplomat who lacks nothing (4)
{ENVY} – Remove an O (lack nothing) from a word that describes a diplomat of second class (below and ambassador) to get another word that describes an admiring discontent aroused by the possessions, achievements, or qualities of another.

17. Gives voice and breaks tension (7)
{INTONES} – An anagram (breaks) of TENSION.

18. Account for what is no longer clear (7)
{EXPLAIN} – A word that means to offer reasons for or justify something is EX (no longer) and another word for obvious or open.

19. Alpine flower (7)
{GLACIER} – Remember in crossword land that a flower could be a river… So what kind of river would you expect to find high in the mountains?

22. A bitter brew that might go to father’s head (7)
{BIRETTA} – An anagram (brew) of A BITTER is a stiff square cap worn by Roman Catholic clergy.

24. So backward about turning up for work (4)
{OPUS} – Reverse SO and place it around a reversed UP to get a musical composition.

25. This one’s a real stinker! (5)
{SKUNK} – An American mammal that ejects an unpleasant-smelling fluid when attacked. Cryptic?

26. Plan to put a pound in the kitty (4)
{PLOT} – Another word for plan is L (pound) placed inside an informal word for a common fund.

29. They won’t stand for being models (7)
{SITTERS} – People who pose or model for example would not be standing up.

30. Create trend (7)
{FASHION} – Double definition, to make or the prevailing style or custom.

31. Needle-worker found in practice (13)
{ACUPUNCTURIST} – A person who performs a Chinese medical practice in which specific body areas are pierced with fine needles for therapeutic purposes.


2. It’s not bound to be distributed (7)
{LEAFLET} – A typical Rufus gentle cryptic definition. This refers to a printed and folded sheet of paper that’s that is usually distributed for free.

3. Open with a shock (4)
{AJAR} – A word that means slightly open is A and anther word for a jolt.

4. Means to stop and isn’t worried about it (7)
{INTENDS} –The definition is means. Take a three letter word meaning to finish or bring to a conclusion and then place an anagram (worried) of ISNT around it.

5. A beggar sorting out contents of bins (7)
{GARBAGE} – An anagram (sorting out) of A BEGGAR.

6. Evict some impecunious tenants (4)
{OUST} – A word that means to force out of a position or place is hidden between impecunious tenants.

7. Land on a site needing development (7)
{ESTONIA} – An anagram (needing development) of ON A SITE is also a Baltic country.

8. Show jumper seen in the gym (8-5)
{VAULTING-HORSE} – A piece of gymnastic apparatus that you would jump over.

9. Expectant mother? (4-2-7)
{LADY-IN-WAITING} – a woman appointed to attend to a queen or princess could also be pregnant.

15. It’s hard hit when ironworkers strike (5)
{ANVIL} – A heavy block on which metals are hammered during forging.

16. Ship’s rigging in boxes (5)
{SPARS} – Double definition. Nautical poles used to support sails and rigging or training fights.

20. Acquit a drunk, now living on water (7)
{AQUATIC} – An anagram (drunk) of ACQUIT A.

21. Acquires lots of money — like a croupier does? (5,2)
{RAKES IN} – An informal phrase that means to acquire money in large amounts could also refer to how a croupier moves chips on a table.

22. Profit from charity performance (7)
{BENEFIT} – Double definition. An advantageous gain or return or a public performance held to raise funds.

23. Labels for matches (7)
{TALLIES} – Another double defintion. Labels used for identification or a verb that describes things that are very alike to other things.

27. Look up to observe (4)
{KEEP} – Reverse a word for a quick or furtive glance to get another word that means to celebrate or to observe with due rites or ceremonies.

28. A king on way up to be an emperor (4)
{TSAR} – A R (king) is placed after a reversed (up) ST (way).

The Quick crossword pun: {bawl} + {bare} + {rings} = {ball-bearings}

47 comments on “DT 26715

  1. Good morning Libelulle, maybe it’s just me but this didn’t seem like a ‘usual’ Rufus today, lots more word assocaitions than normal IMHO? Does 28d work, because surely the AR is under the TS and not on top of it?
    nice to finish early but not one of my favourite Rufus puzzles today, thanks for hints Libelulle, just going to read through now :-)

    1. Mary,
      Re. 28d – It works for me, but Gazza made the same comment he also doesn’t like “on” meaning after in a down clue.

  2. Re 25ac: not very cryptic but a nice pseudo-self-reference as it can be read to refer to the clue itself.
    Perhaps better “This one’s a real stinker – or maybe not?”

  3. I am with Gazza on 28d (having confused CrypticSue with a similar (albeit unintentional construction) in a test solve).

    I whistled through the crossword today – about a 1/2 * for difficulty! Enjoyable but not up with Rufus’s best crosswords. I wonder what he will produce for his anniversary next Monday.

  4. A quick finish, with some clues just about cryptic, I thought. Last one in 27d. Thanks to all involved today.

  5. One of Rufus’ easier puzzles today I thought. I particularly enjoyed 10A as it didn’t have the usual reference to ‘first man’.

  6. Enjoyable, half easy, half more difficult crossword today. 27d was last for me as well (it’s always the short ones!),

  7. A good start to a busy week (niece coming this afternoon for 3 days with baby so no time for xwords tomorrow!).

    Haven’t heard 9d for years.

    Thanks to Rufus and reviewer.

  8. Re Prolixic at 3 – How did you know it was the exact 25th anniversary of my first DT crossword? It wasn’t until I read the article about Peter Chamberlain’s 25th anniversary recently that the year 1986 rang a bell. I’m afraid next week will not be anything special – what’s new! – as I have already sent puzzles in up to February 13th. I find it’s the only way to relax on holidays, otherwise possible clues/soluitions are going round my head all the time!
    I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Libellule for his excellent comprehensive blogs. I am also looking forward to meeting Big Dave again at Derby on Saturday.

    1. I too am looking forward to Saturday. Pommers and Pommette will also be there.

      We had this message on the Telegraph Puzzles site, which answers your question:

      “Many congratulations to Peter Chamberlain, who celebrated his 25th anniversary as a Telegraph crossword compiler on Saturday. You can read about Peter’s achievement here: Peter Chamberlain interview.

      “Congratulations will also soon be due for our Monday setter, Roger Squires, who reaches the same 25-year landmark on Nov 28. You can read all about Roger here: Roger Squires interview.”

    2. Congratulations, Roger. Your crosswords are always a bright, cheerful start to my week.

      Best wishes for the future.

    3. Hello Roger

      Pommette is looking forward to meeting you, as am I, as you always provide her with her best entertainment for the week!
      Congratulations on your 25th and long may you continue, BTW, I thought your offering in today’s Grauniad was a bit on the tricky side!

      Best wishes pommers and pommette

  9. I can’t solve any cryptic faster than today’s so definitely 0.5* difficulty, but I did manage to enjoy myself at the same time. Thanks to Libellule for the hints and to Rufus for the puzzle. I am sorry that I can’t be in Derby on Saturday but I would be on trains longer than I would actually be at the event, which rules it out for me.

    I can recommend all the rest of today’s cryptics too – anyone wanting a really tough challenge should go for Morph in the Indy.

  10. This puzzle shows that they do not have to be difficult to be enjoyable. Very good cluing of which my favourite was 11a. No names , no abbs and no newspeak. Brilliant!

  11. Thought at first this was going to be a 25a but mostly it fell into place quite nicely. Struggled with the last couple 18a and 14a but thx to Libellule for the getting me through. Best clue for me was 31a, obvious when you stop trying to fit sewer into it! Thx to Rufus for an enjoyable start to the week

  12. 9d and 12a were my favourites today. Dare I tempt fate by suggesting this was a gentle start to the week?

  13. I haven’t done a Monday puzzle for ages (nor have I commented for ages) but enjoyed this. Only reason I got 25a was with the down letters otherwise I couldn’t see it as cryptic.

    Re 28d – I am with you Libellule but I can see where Mary and Gazza are coming from (after reading the comments that is). Remembered the flower in crosswords and as a result put 19a as my clue of the day.

    Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

  14. Very gentle one, this. Some nice stuff, but the CDs weren’t very deceptive. Totally agree with Mary that 28d doesn’t work.

  15. Yes, one of the easiest for a while. Some very gentle cryptic definitions and a lot of anagrams. I thought 12a and 18a were neat (thought not difficult).

  16. Agree also one of the easier ones but then I think it’s jolly nice ocasionally to sail through one without too much head scratching! Gave myself a hitch by putting “nero” for 28d, til I read the clue again and registered it said “king” not “monarch”. Second meaning of 23d was a new one for me – liked 1a and 18a. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  17. Very enjoyable start to the week after a busy weekend didn’t need any electronic help today just the grey matter many thank’s to rufus and libellule for a few of the explanations, I got the answers on a couple but couldn’t see how especially 13a . :D

  18. The usual enjoyable start to the week from Rufus. Some jolly laughs in it today!
    Faves : 1a, 11a, 19a, 22a, 31a, 4d, 8d, 9d, & 21d.

    Weather here has been complete mist for the last two day – 100% nebulosity!

    Magret de canard à l’orange ce soir avec Beaujolais!

      1. Hi Franco!

        “Eet Smakelijk” of “Smakelijk eten” zijn bijna hetzelfde!

        Waarom vraagt U deze?

  19. Thanks to Rufus for a very enjoyable puzzle, but over too quickly, especially as there isn’t a toughie today. Favourite clue 31a.

  20. Hi folks. A gentle stroll although I did struggle with how to spell 31a!!! Nothing really stands out but a nice challenge which is what it’s all about really!.

  21. One station! Very disappointed until I looked up and saw a pretty lassie sitting opposite sucking the end of her pen as she struggled with the puzzle. I gave her a little help … and got a sweet smile in return. My morning turned right around. :)

      1. Sadly, not. But the trains were screwed up by a “signal fault”. Unfortunately, SW Trains didn’t indicate what this remarkable or notable defect was. :)

  22. :oops: :oops: and another one :oops: perhaps I should disappear now and never be seen here again!!
    Pigs and ears spring to mind! Busy day – early dog walk; straight into town to make a start on Christmas shopping; home and quick cup of coffee (and, dare I say it) a cigarette before second dog walk; cut grass (ie picked up leaves); dark by then so came in and got fire ready and made supper then sat down with sigh of relief to do crossword. First fatal error – quick look at 1a and, without doing the “sums”, put in “atlantic ocean”! PLEASE don’t anyone ask me how!! Took me a while to realise what I’d done – in other words until none of the down clues (apart from 3d) seemed to work!! Once I’d realised what I’d done it was all very straightforward. On that happy note I think I’ll go now ….

  23. Thanks to Rufus & Libellule, I found this plain sailing, but still enjoyed it a lot. Favourites were all the outside long ones, all made me laugh, 1,31, 8,9. A nice start to the week.

  24. A pretty simple solve today but enjoyable nonetheless! I do like the surface readings that Rufus comes up with!
    If you want something similar but a little bit trickier try his offering in today’s Grauniad.

    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule as usual on Mondays – where would we be without you both?

  25. Another pleasant start to the week with no real difficulties. Thanks to Rufus & to BD as usual.

    If anybody is looking for a real challenge then The Week magazine has a belter with a clever theme running through it. Highly recommended. I’ve been looking at it on & off since Friday & finally cracked the theme this morning at 6:30!

        1. Libellule, please accept my most humble apologies! A case of brain not being full functional without a second infusion of Yorkshire Gold.

  26. am quite new to the world of cryptic crosswords. i did quite well with this , only 4 not solved.
    i still d’ont see 13a (inlay)
    a great site !

    1. Welcome to the blog jampudd.
      Re 13a the definition is insert – “To set (pieces of wood or ivory, for example) into a surface, usually at the same level, to form a design.” and the answer inlay is constructed from IN and another word for a song LAY as in a narrative poem, such as one sung by medieval minstrels; a ballad. Or a song; a tune.

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