DT 26721 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26721

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26721

Hints and tips by Libellule

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

This crossword from Rufus gets five stars for enjoyment because it is 25 years since his first Telegraph crossword was published. So I would like to add my congratulations to what I suspect will be many.

The answer can be revealed by highlighting the space between the curly brackets.


1. Agent bound to be reinstated (8)
{REPLACED} – An informal three letter word for an agent is followed by another word that describes restraining or constricting by tightening cords or ribbons, the result is what happens when something is put back in its original position

6. To step back will give foot protection (6)
{TOECAP} – Take TO and then reverse another word for a stride to give the sort of protection found on the front of a boot.

9. Business fixed in minutes (6)
{AGENDA} – A list or program of things to be done or considered.

10. Holiness surprisingly intact in the outskirts of Surrey (8)
{SANCTITY} – Place an anagram (surprisingly) of INTACT inside the first and last letters (outskirts) of Surrey.

11. Stumbling upon clue for ‘disconnect’ (8)
{UNCOUPLE} – An anagram (stumbling) of UPON CLUE.

12. Part the cad needed to play (6)
{DETACH} – Another anagram (needed to play), this time of THE CAD.

13. There’s a poor beginning but a capital ending to this tale (4-2-6)
{RAGS-TO-RICHES} – A phrase that refers to a situation in which a person rises from poverty to wealth.

16. Infant prodigy is hardly to be marvelled at (6,6)
{LITTLE WONDER} – Two words that could describe a child of amazing talents could also be used to describe you being “hardly surprised”.

19. Ways to get round little children’s demands (6)
{SWEETS} – Put an abbreviation for streets around a three letter word for very small or tiny to get the sort of things children demand that are high in sugar content.

21. The second man to hoist a flag? (6-2)
{RUNNER-UP} – A competitor who finishes second could also be someone who raises a flag up a pole.

23. Part of a movement set to swing time (8)
{PENDULUM} – A swinging weight, that can operate for example, the mechanism of a clock.

24. Drug user did wrong, breaking law (6)
{ADDICT} – An anagram (wrong) of DID inside (breaking) a legal document is a person who has become dependent on narcotic drugs.

25. Meat in an iron container cooked in blazing brandy (6)
{FLAMBE} – Put the word that describes the flesh of a young sheep inside the chemical symbol for iron to get a cookery term that describes pouring liquor over and igniting.

26. Avoidance of supposedly unhealthy habits (8)
{NATURISM} – Think of habit used in this sense as clothing.


2. Motor that could be on fire (6)
{ENGINE} – A synonym for a machine that converts other forms of energy into mechanical energy can also be prefixed by the word fire to get a vehicle that carries firemen and their equipment.

3. Fifty, in turn, give tongue (5)
{LINGO} – L (the Roman numeral for fifty) IN and then another word meaning to take your turn in a game for example.

4. Pretend to be ill, we hear, to get a drink (9)
{CHAMPAGNE} – A drink that sounds like (we hear) SHAM and PAIN.

5. Course set south in barren terrain (7)
{DESSERT} – Place S (south) inside a dry desolate area to get what is typically served at the end of a meal.

6. Adjusted number on front of door (5)
{TUNED} – Another word for a song and then the first letter of door describes what you would have done to a radio if you had found the right channel.

7. Property conveyance? (6,3)
{ESTATE CAR} – This is a type of motor vehicle.

8. Was aggressive at first, then changed course (8)
{ATTACKED} – The definition is “was aggressive”. Take AT and then add another word that means to have changed course or direction while sailing.

13. Foreign city bank headed by scoundrel (9)
{ROTTERDAM} – A port city in Holland is constructed from a slang term for a despicable person which is then followed by a type of bank that would control the flow of water.

14. Communist and German worker laid off (9)
{REDUNDANT} – RED (communist), the German word for and, and finally the usual crossword word for a hard working insect.

15. Important person that’s going round in London (3,5)
{BIG WHEEL} – A slang term for an important person could also describe the London Eye.

17. Craft operatives who twist one’s arm (7)
{OARSMEN} – An anagram (twist) of ONES ARM.

18. They are unqualified to deal with complaints of bird sounds (6)
{QUACKS} – Double definition, one of which is the sound ducks make.

20. Loves an anagram to work out (5)
{SOLVE} – An anagram of LOVES. An interesting anagram indicator.

22. The Spanish red rose wine ingredients come from it (5)
{ELDER} – The Spanish word for the, followed by a reversed (rose) RED is also a shrub that has red or purplish-black berries.

The Quick crossword pun: {goat} + {appeases} = {go to pieces}

41 comments on “DT 26721

  1. Good morning Libelulle and good morning Rufus, congratulations on your 25th anniversary, Mondays are usually my favourite crossword days thanks to you, I love your ‘Monday Style’ , I found todays harder to get into but once I got going thoroughly enjoyed it, so 5* enjoyment along with Libelulle, 3* difficulty for me though, loads of clues I like today but my favourite of all was 20d :-) thanks once again Libelulle and Rufus :-D

  2. Congratulations Rufus, hope we have many more. I always enjoy Monday mornings as it helps me to get my head working again after the weekend. I got a bit stuck on 26A but managed it after thinking VERY laterally indeed.

    You deserve a bottle of 4D for your efforts.

  3. Congratulations to Rufus for your 25 years, and to Libellule for the review and hints. A super puzzle, must agree with Libellule about the star ratings. So many great clues, favourites 1,6,16, 19 & 25a. 4,13,14, 18& 20d. Superb, most enjoyable.

  4. Congratulations Roger / Rufus, it was a pleasure to meet you on Saturday. Favourite today 20d. Thks also to Libellule.

  5. I would like to echo the congratulations and agree that this particular puzzle was a very fine example of the setter’s art. Once again, I concur – 20d was my favourite out of many great clues. Thanks to both R and L.

  6. Happy anniversary to Rufus and thank you for another lovely start to the week – here’s to many more!

    Thanks too to Libellule for the review.

  7. A most enjoyable puzzle – I think Rufus saved this one up for the occasion!
    Thanks, and congratulations!! Thanks also to Libellule for the review.

  8. Happy anniversary from me too. I always enjoy the Monday puzzles and this was no exception. I particularly liked 26a and 18d. Thanks to Libellule.

    I think I am right in saying that The Listeners play off for the third place in Only Connect is on tonight on BBC4 at 8.30.

  9. Happy 25th from a cold, Paynes grey skied east Kent. Only 75 to go to the centenary! Really enjoyable. Monday is also my fave day, so you’re obviously doing something right.10a was my fave and 16a was hardest, like everyone (it seems) 26a was the last. Well done to you and Libellule.

  10. Congratulations Rufus and thank you Libellule. My favourite for a while, so an hour of smiles rather than frowns. Particular joys were 20a and 18d. Well done.

  11. Congratulations Rufus and thank you Libellule, as usual and enjoyable start to the week, my fav 20d

  12. Manycongratulations to Rufus for his 25yrs of great fun crosswords and today was no exception. Thanks also to Libellule for his usual masterly review.

  13. I left my original message on the comments page much earlier but just in case you’ve missed it Rufus – thanks once again for making Mondays something to look forward to.

  14. Congratulations Rufus, very enjoyable today, as ever. Thankyou Libellule, I needed a nudge in the right direction with 26a which, when I thought about it, turned out to be my favourite today.

  15. Thanks for an excellent start to the week, Rufus.

    I got off to a bit of a stupid start by putting in ‘moving van’ at 7d. Anybody else, or am I the only nitwit today?

    I think my favourite clue was 14d as it was so smooth, but there were plenty of others to make me smile.

  16. Wherever you have gone for some well -earned R&R, Rufus, do come back eventually. Monday mornings just would not be the same without you !!

    1. He did indicate last week that he had done all the puzzles up to February so we should be all right :)

  17. Yes, Congratulations, Rufus, on your Silver Crossword Anniversary, and thanks again for another enjoyable start to the week.

  18. Lovely puzzle, much enjoyed – thank you Rufus and may I add my congratulations to all the others.
    Yes – there were quite a few anagrams but I personally thought they were very well disguised and it needed some pondering to see them. Fav clue was 4d when the light finally dawned – had spent far too long trying to get “malinger” in there somewhere!! And, yes, 26a last in for me as well.

  19. Thanks to Rufus & Libellule!

    I thought today’s anagrams were a lot easier than the Rufus record breaker!

    “Giggling troll follows Clancy, Larry, Billy and Peggy who howl, wrongly disturbing a place in Wales (58)”

    Solution: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

  20. Congratulations from me too, Rufus. Really enjoyed this one. Needed the hint to explain why 2d could be “on fire” – how silly of me!! :oops: Also don’t quite understand the relevance of “unhealthy” in 26a. Perhaps this is the start of yet another dim week for me!! Lots of lovely clues, too many to write them all down, but perhaps 25a and 4, 18 and 20d. With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    1. Kath,
      Definition of nudism – The belief in or practice of going nude, especially in secluded, sexually mixed groups for reasons of health.
      i.e. it is considered unhealthy to wear clothes.

      1. OK – thank you Libellule – never knew that bit – always thought that it was either perverts or the young and beautiful who didn’t want “strappy marks” in their tan!!

      1. I didn’t – always thought he was a woman!! I think it’s because I kind of say “LuLu” in my head!! Sorry Mr. Libellule.

  21. Belated congratualtions to Roger – a nice entry on the back page too! Well done. I enjoyed today’s which I thought was a good start to the week 26a being my favourite. Completed on the Victoria Line.

  22. Many thanks for all the kind words – much appreciated!
    Delighted to meet bloggers at Derby, and thanks to Big Dave for lots of things, including photographing me with bloggers Pommers and Pommette and fellow setter Jeremy.
    I am indeed in sunnier climes, back for Christmas. I have set three themed puzzles over the Yuletide season – hope you enjoy them.
    Best wishes to all! Rufus

    1. Really sorry not to have made it to Derby – would love to have met you – I love your crosswords, such a wonderful start to the week, especially when recovering from the weekend!!
      Glad that you met Pommers and Pommette. I would love to have been able to be there and meet them too – they sound such good fun. :grin:
      How lovely to be in sunnier climes – do hope that you enjoy your stay. I’m quite sure that I will enjoy your themed crosswords.

  23. Late input from me as went shopping with my daughter in The Hague area – getting ready for Christmas (25 December not Sinterklaas) and then had dinner at her place with the family.

    !. Congratulations to Roger Squires on his 25years of setting! Well done.

    2.The usual pleasant start to the week from him.
    Faves : 13a, 16a, 4d, 15d & 18d.

    Must now get some shuteye!

  24. This must have been the fastest I’ve ever completed a Telegraph crossword but no less enjoyable for that. Printed it off in the pub over a pint of Doom bar and whizzed through it at home with a glass of Sloe wine. There lies the answer to every conundrum! Many thanks to Rufus and Libellule and a toast to next 25 years.

  25. Best wishes, Rufus…..A really enjoyable crossword. I particularly liked 4d and 14d. Not so sure about 26 across….unhealthy habits aren’t really the raison d’etre behind the practice of naturism.

    1. Just seen Libellule’s dictionary definition above and must confess as a lifelong naturist that that definition was a new one on me !!!

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