DT 26727 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26727

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26727

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Pretty straight forward stuff today from Rufus, but still as entertaining as ever.

If the hint isn’t enough to help you find the answer, you can reveal it by highlighting the space between the curly brackets


1. Celebrity spy trial one triggered (11)
{PERSONALITY} – An anagram (triggered) of SPY TRIAL ONE is also a well known person.

9. Certainly not like Thomas (9)
{DOUBTLESS} – Another word for “certainly not” is also unlike the Apostle Thomas, someone who refuses to believe in something without direct physical evidence.

10. Weird how mill-race ends in the lake (5)
{EERIE} – Put the last letter of race into one of the Great Lakes to produce a word that means supernatural or mysterious.

11. Small number may get lift or fall asleep (3,3)
{NOD OFF} – NO (small number) and a word that means to take off or remove (typically ones hat).

12. Carefully select a manual digging implement (4-4)
{HAND-PICK} – To choose or select with great care could also be something that you might use to manually excavate a hole.

13. Sally alters image of Tories (6)
{SORTIE} – An anagram (alters image) of TORIES is the sort of sally that’s an excursion.

15. Weapon — injure about one thousand with it (8)
{SCIMITAR} – Put a mark left on the skin after a wound has healed around I M (thousand) and IT to get a curved sword.

18. Gives some support for regular girlfriends (8)
{STEADIES} – A word that describes firming something in a position or place could also be regular girlfriends.

19. In trouble, is repeatedly after credit (6)
{CRISIS} – CR (credit) followed by IS twice.

21. Refurbished local tea place (8)
{ALLOCATE} – An anagram (refurbished) of LOCAL TEA.

23. One who hardly rules? (6)
{TYRANT} – An absolute ruler who governs in a harsh cruel manner.

26. Not very bright, needs to be properly organised (5)
{DENSE} – An anagram (properly organised) of NEEDS.

27. Manufacturers of eye-drops (4,5)
{TEAR DUCTS} – They carry the salty contents of the lachrymal glands.

28. Split up the business and go separate ways (4,7)
{PART COMPANY} – Breaking up a formal business entity could also refer to people who separate.


1. They’re out of step and they’re over-fussy (7)
{PEDANTS} – An anagram (out of) of STEP AND for people who are concerned chiefly with insignificant detail – crossword bloggers perhaps?

2. Drinks and a sandwich (5)
{ROUND} – A drink for each person in a group, could also be pieces of bread.

3. Mad at being forgotten? (3,2,4)
{OUT OF MIND} – A phrase that means forgotten or not in memory, could also refer to a person who is no longer sane.

4. Break seal to get drinks (4)
{ALES} – An anagram (break) of SEAL.

5. An occasion of exemplary significance (8)
{INSTANCE} – An occurrence or an example.

6. Submit return (5)
{YIELD} – Double definition. To give in or the return on an investment.

7. One who smashes cars — on the circuit? (7)
{BREAKER} – Someone who takes old cars apart could also be an automatic switch that can stop the flow of electricity.

8. Entertainers needing a rest sit out (8)
{ARTISTES} – An anagram (out) of A REST SIT.

14. Sir Nigel ordered wine (8)
{RIESLING} – Another anagram (ordered) this time of SIR NIGEL is a white wine from the Rhine valley in Germany.

16. A good reason for being late? (9)
{MARTYRDOM} – a cryptic definition that refers to a death that is imposed because of a person’s adherence to a particular religious faith or cause.

17. He’s been willing to try to set up roster (8)
{TESTATOR} – Someone who has made a legally valid will before death is constructed from TEST (willing to try) and then another word for a register of names or duties reversed (set up).

18. Lads can broadcast malicious gossip (7)
{SCANDAL} – An anagram (broadcast) of LADS CAN.

20. Meet, and come up to expectations (7)
{SATISFY} – To gratify the need, desire, or expectation of. Or to be sufficient or adequate. The two meanings seem almost identical.

22. He takes out capital cover that’s not expensive (5)
{CHEAP} – Remember that in crossword land that capital can mean head. Put an item of headwear around HE for a word than means low in cost.

24. Bill’s getting a new car somewhere in Ghana (5)
{ACCRA} – AC (bill) and an anagram (new) of CAR is also the capital of Ghana.

25. Mineral found in hospital cabinets (4)
{TALC} – A fine-grained white mineral can be found hidden between the two words of hospital and cabinets.

The Quick crossword pun: {Autumn} + {attic} = {automatic}

62 comments on “DT 26727

    1. If you want to try, go for it. I’m sure you will find someone to try it out & give you honest feedback. If you don’t try, you cannot succeed.

        1. You can download a free sample of ‘crossword compiler’ from the web, which will give you an idea of how it’s done Wb, not that I can do it but I thought I’d have a go a few weeks back and downloaded this but that’s as far as I’ve got!!

            1. Just one adjustment. British crossword grids seems to be the thing to search for. Otherwise the basic search seems to be USA style word clue grids which are very different.

        2. Have you joined COW it’s a clue writing site where a word is set each week and people can enter up to four clues for the word, the results are posted on Friday evenings and the ‘winner’ gets the honour of setting the next word and judging the entries, it is good practice, there is a link to it at the side of this page

  1. A nice straightforward start to the week for me. A few headscratching moments but all were solvable. 2* fo difficulty, 3* for enjoyment.

  2. Pretty straightforward start to the week. I agree with Libellule and Bifield on difficulty and enjoyment ratings.
    On a less positive note, the Quick puzzle on the website is yesterday’s, not today’s. This is the second time in a week, much to the disgust of Mrs. M, who is now missing her daily puzzle fix. Wake up IT dept and get it right, please!!

    1. Today’s Quick 26,727 can now be accessed via:
      The “Puzzles” menu on the Home page;
      The “Crossword Puzzles” menu on the top bar;
      The “Search Puzzle Archive” menu on the right side of the screen.

    2. I still prefer an early morning stroll to the paper shop to get my daily fix. I only download if we are away somewhere not within easy reach of a shop.

  3. Good morning Libelulle, thanks for the hints although I didn’t need them today, the only clue that doesn’t ‘sit’ comfortably for me is 22d, fav clue 16d,agree with 2* rating today :-)

          1. Yes I was thinking that maybe but it still doesn’t work for me where does it say to put he inside cap? if cover applies to top of ‘capital’

              1. ok so in fact the clue is saying ‘he takes out head cover – which is cap – as Libelulle says but it still does not answer the question – where does it say to put he inside cap? is ‘takes out’ the instruction for this? and if so how does this work? sorry, just trying to understand, still very much a learner :-)

  4. In 13a Libelulle is ‘alters image’ an anagram indicator? doesn’t it read as anagram of ‘image’ ( I know that doesn’t fit) it was easy enough to get the answer but does the wordplay read properly?

      1. Hmmm…somewhere in my singles box there’s a copy of Happy Birthday. Clare Grogan was far more accomplished as an actor / actress / whatever the acceptable label is.

  5. Sailed through today, having really struggled yesterday. Favourite was 15a, and 17d was last in. Thanks Libellule although didn’t need help for once.

    Sadly it seems there’s no sudoku for pudding on the iPad!

  6. Today’s Quick 26,727 can now be accessed via:
    The “Puzzles” menu on the Home page;
    The “Crossword Puzzles” menu on the top bar;
    The “Search Puzzle Archive” menu on the right side of the screen.

    At the moment the Home page display still reads 184, as I can’t change that myself.

    It appears to have been a different problem to that on Friday. Somehow the “Start date” for the puzzle had been set for after six o’clock this evening (18:48:15 to be precise). It’s probably human error (mine) but at the moment I can’t think what. It has not simply picked up the time when I uploaded it, as the time of uploading is given as 21:59:32 (I like to edit and upload after the emails have gone quiet).

    Many apologies to all Quick solvers.

    Phil McNeill
    Crossword Editor

  7. Enjoyable, if not too difficult fare today. Really enjoyed 27A since I enjoy clues that make you look at the world in a slightly different way (a slightly warped way in my case).

  8. A very pleasant start to the week. A bitterly cold morning in Edinburgh so a walk followed by coffee and the crossword is just right!

    Apparently the giant pandas love the cold, so they are at home here!!

    Agree with ratings, and thanks to Rufus and Libelle.

  9. Fairly quick and easy today, I thought, apart from a couple of problems which were of my own making completely. 1) 18a would have been far easier if I had spelt (spelled) 14d with the “E” and the “I” the right way round. 2) I had 7d wrong – I had “wrecker” – did wonder what the “circuit” had to do with anything! Oh dear – never mind! I liked 11, 12 and 23a (I did toy with despot briefly) and 1 and 16d. With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    Jolly cold here today – going to wrap Christmas presents – have never been SO organised SO early. :grin:

        1. Guess what ?, I thought I breezed through this today and then realised I also put wrecker in as i thought that a wrecking ball swinging would be a circuit Doh!. :D

      1. Wasn’t sure about the e and the i,either, so left them blank til I’d got 18a, which gave me the answer! Me too for 7d, and like Katch wondered where the “circuit” came into it! Otherwise I don’t think I’ve ever completed a crossword in such record time, which was a lovely start to the week.

  10. It was a good monday workout today. Almost through in one reading – but not quite. My fav was 16d. Thanks to all concerned.

  11. 1 star difficulty, 1 star enjoyment for me. Really didn’t like it despite solving it very quickly but can’t put my finger on why. Maybe because I got too many answers without having to think about the underlying cryptic rationale.

  12. A little too simple today in my opinion. As a result, all over too quickly without the need for any serious thought. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule.

  13. Very enjoyable start to the week, cheered me up no end. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule. Why did I need cheering up? Opened the lounge blinds this morning to see that winter has arrived in Cumbria. Scafell and all his mates are covered in snow.

    1. I thought that was the default state for Scafell. Had something similar on a visit to Scotland. We stopped to look at Ben Nevis and the missus mentioned the snow – a passer by said ‘O course there’s snow up there, Hell hasnae freezed over just yet’

    2. Yes, knew about that – rang my brother in Cumbria to-day and he was moaning about having to clear 2″ of snow off his front path!! Heck – still a white-free zone down in the SE but, who knows for how long??………?

  14. Quick, easy, fun – it must be Rufus – this time with his cosy bedsocks on as well as his fluffy slippers. LThanks to him and to Libellule too.

    It is blooming freezing in East Kent today – I might borrow the cosy socks to go with my thermal underwear as I am expecting my friend to ring in a minute and insist I got for a 2 1/2 mile round the windy marshes with her. The things I do for fitness!

  15. Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and to Libellule for the review and hints. I found this very enjoyable but not too taxing. A nice start to the week. Favourites were 11& 27a and 17& 22d.

  16. As a paper reader who buys the paper mainly for the crossword, I felt a bit “short-changed” today – (£1.20 for the paper).

    It’s very unusual for me to just read the clues – and then “pencil” the answers in one by one without having to think!

    I would prefer a harder challenge.

    (Does anyone else find the “snow” irritating? )

    BD, please, turn off the snow!

    1. Dear Franco – I also “buy” the paper (in fact, it’s in my box before I get up in the morning!) so please don’t complain about feeling short-changed – I’ll bet by the end of the week you’ll be begrudging the price for a different reason!! A fiver on it? (And yes, I do – but there’s actually none as I write this).

    1. I only seem to get a tiny flurry intermittently – none at the moment! Don’t find it irritating at all – oh, here it goes again!

    2. The snow on mine only show’s on the blue banner right at the top of the page so as soon as you scroll down in disappears.

    3. Plus on the adverts that intermittently occur under under the Quick Crossword Pun, plus occasionally in the background of the Hints and Tips and Comments. It affects my vision badly, could even be described as an “Elf and Safety” issue. Shouldn’t be a problem for BD to remove it if he so wished !

      1. I hardly notice it at all, it’s a shame it bothers you so much Wayne, it’s all in the Christmas spirit :-)

  17. Message to Phil McNeill…can you please tell us when the site will be back to normal? I have cancelled my subscription in frustration but would willingly rejoin if I knew that I would get a proper service. There is very little..nay, some would say none…information.

    1. Roger,
      My 2c, the site seems to be working perfectly ok, although it has its glitches now and then. For the last few weeks I have been able to sucessfully download the crosswords without any major problems.

      1. I wonder what time of day you download them? Certainly when I was trying in the early morning – between 5.30 and 7 am UK time – it was a fruitless exercise. I also had a private reply saying that last week there were lots of problems last week, including wrong puzzles etc.

        1. Roger,
          Usually at about 7.00am – 8.00 am UK time… generally works ok for me. Trying to access the site overnight does seem to be a problem, probably because they are updating everybody’s scores.

  18. Late input from me as was at my daughter’s yesterday for Sint Dinner.
    Solved this with no reference to dictionaries or electronic aids whatsoever!
    Faves : 9a, 18a, 27a, 5d, 16d & 20d.

    Weather in NL is now more normal – several hail showers and grey skies – very blustery!

    The DT here now costs €3.50 (Mon – Fri) and €4.50 (Sat).

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