DT 26733

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26733

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment ***

I am not expecting anybody to need the blog today…

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


1. Edna’s kebab is mixed with cheap tinned food (5,5)
{BAKED BEANS} – An anagram (is mixed) of EDNA’S KEBAB.

9. Duck, mate! Here comes a stone! (4)
{OPAL} – O (duck) and another word for a friend is also a gemstone.

10. Not in favour of rigid price control that’s for winter motoring (10)
{ANTIFREEZE} – Take a word for “not in favour of” and another word for “rigid price control” to get a liquid (usually ethylene glycol) that is added to the water in your radiator.

11. They give gold to be held by university staff (6)
{DONORS} – The definition is “they give”. Put OR (gold) inside another term for college or university professors,

12. Drawing stumps? (3-4)
{FAG-ENDS} – The stubs of cigarettes or the frayed ends of lengths of cloth or ropes. Drawing I presume is referring to inhalation.

15. Unusually precise cooking instructions (7)
{RECIPES} – An anagram (unusually) of PRECISE.

16. Facilitated return of stamped addressed envelope to editor (5)
{EASED} – Reverse (return) the abbreviation for stamped addressed envelope and then add ED (editor).

17. Transmit broadcast of quarter-final (4)
{SEND} – S (a division of the compass, a quarter) and END (final).

18. Very keen to do a turn as a singer (4)
{DIVA} – Reverse (do a turn) a word meaning very keen or enthusiastic to get an operatic prima-donna.

19. They’re proverbially hard things to drive home (5)
{NAILS} – a word in a phrase that is used to describe someone who is physically tough or is stern and unyielding are also pointed pieces of metal used as fasteners.

21. Fires badly singe it (7)
{IGNITES} – An anagram (badly) of SINGE IT.

22. Emanate from an aquatic mammal (7)
{MANATEE} – Another anagram (from) this time of EMANATE.

24. Improve — one’s bust line? (6)
{UPLIFT} – A word meaning to raise morally, spiritually or culturally, is also essentially what a bra does.

27. Possibly treats nine to dinner (10)
{ENTERTAINS} – An anagram (possibly) of TREATS NINE.

28. Celebrity — like Georgie? (4)
{FAME} – This Georgie is a rhythm and blues, jazz singer and a keyboard player who had a string of 1960s hits.

29. It doesn’t really make fast relative speed (6,4)
{GRANNY KNOT} – A way of tying two pieces of rope together that is liable to slip or jam is constructed from an elder relative and a measure of nautical speed.


2. Name expert seen about skin problem (4)
{ACNE} – Put ACE around N (name).

3. Show a different Venice (6)
{EVINCE} – An anagram (different) of VENICE.

4. How price is displayed by pub laws (3,4)
{BAR CODE} – A pricing pattern that can be read by a laser scanner is built from another word for a place where drinks are served and a word for a comprehensive collection of laws.

5. Tip-top (4)
{APEX} – The highest point or the pointed end of an object.

6. Ground prepared for development? (7)
{SEEDBED} –A plot of land used for growing young plants is also a place where something develops.

7. Not altogether how pyramids are built (2,2,1,5)
{UP TO A POINT} – A phrase that means “to some extent or somewhat” could be how you build a pyramid.

8. Narrow escape — from a cut-throat? (5,5)
{CLOSE SHAVE} – Cut throat in this clue is a reference to a type of razor.

12. Hand-to-hand combat? (10)
{FISTICUFFS} – Another word for pugilism that consists of two words for striking blows with the hands.

13. Dining out with meal and drink (3,3,4)
{GIN AND LIME} – An anagram (out) of DINING and MEAL.

14. Stories that may be read, anyway (5)
{SAGAS} – Another word for Icelandic or Norwegian prose narratives is also a palindrome.

15. State true figure (5)
{REALM} – A word for a kingdom or a royal domain is another word for genuine or authentic followed by M (Roman numeral for a thousand).

19. It’s intended to encourage laying in a little money (4,3)
{NEST EGG} – An artificial object placed in a nest to encourage a bird to continue to lay is also a sum of money put by as a reserve.

20. Colouring when second offence is detailed (7)
{SAFFRON} – An orange yellow to moderate orange colour is S (second) followed by another word for an insult that has its last letter removed.

23. Criticism at change of course (6)
{ATTACK} – AT and a nautical change of direction.

25. English worker climbing Italian peak (4)
{ETNA} – Its that Sicilian peak, again. E (English) and crossword lands favourite worker reversed (climbing).
26. Preposition or noun typist omitted initially (4)
{ONTO} – The first letters (initially) of “or noun typist omitted”.

The Quick crossword pun: {hie} + {pot} +{in use} = {hypotenuse}


  1. Posted December 12, 2011 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    No problems for me today but fun nevertheless. Definitely 1* for difficulty, I’ll look at the toughie after shopping with my good lady.

    • Posted December 12, 2011 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Being Monday, of course no toughie.

  2. Posted December 12, 2011 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Good fun, I particularly liked the accompaniment for Edna’s kebab!

  3. BigBoab
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Typical Monday morning fare, 7 anagrams and a mixture of childish clues with some fun ones. I liked 12d and 24a. Thanks to the setter and to Libellule for the review.

  4. Captain Lethargy
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    A lovely start to the week that caused no probs – mainly because I like anagrams of which there were a lot.
    I found 12d and 20d the hardest and Like Father Brian my fave was Ednas.

  5. Jan
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the 1 star – congratulating myself on getting better only to realise it was an easier puzzle. Thanks anyway for the hi ts which for once I didn’t need.

  6. mary
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Strangely enough on first run through I hadn’t filled in many blanks and it took me a while to get going today, lots of lovely Rufus clues 1a, 7d, 29a 12a to name but a few, I hadnt heard of 3d or 22a therefore at least 2* fr me today, enjoy everyone, I am now going to try eXternal puzzle on COW but I think it will be too good for me, we’ll see
    Thanks for hints Libelulle though as you say not needed today :-)

    • eXternal
      Posted December 12, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Please persevere with it, Mary. I hope you should be able to do at least most of it.

      • mary
        Posted December 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        Have done, see comment on COW :-)

  7. Posted December 12, 2011 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    It mst be Monday. Fun puzzle today, but not overly taxing – just what’s needed after the Office Party!

  8. Jackie
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    A lovely easy start to the week. The web site has improved in leaps and bounds recently (hope I’m not tempting fate) and I can even print off the crossword at 6 am Dubai time and look at it over breakfast. Thanks to all concerned, including setter and Libellule.

  9. spindrift
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Pleasant start to the week as we have come to expect from Rufus. Thanks to he & to Libellule for the review.

    In passing The Guardian has a more difficult Rufus offering if anybody’s interested.

  10. crypticsue
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Definitely 1* difficulty – I was in line for a world record but I had a huge mental block with 6d and a d’oh moment with 26d. Thank you to Rufus for the usual entertaining start to the week and to Libellule for the explanations.

    • Zak
      Posted December 12, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, me too: I filled all the across clues in without any gaps before starting the downs for the first time ever, and had everything except 6d and 20d in in less than half the time of my fastest solve. Sadly my brain then failed. But very enjoyable nevertheless. 12a and 29a have smileys next to them.

  11. Kath
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Agree with all the previous comments – only needed the hint to explain 20d – completely missed the significance of “detailed” in the clue and couldn’t make any sense of it at all. Maybe I’m going to have another “bad crossword” week! Apart from that I didn’t have any problems although 12d took me a while to see, having assumed that 12a was an obscure “crickety thingy” and was, therefore, probably going to have a “leg” in it. Oh dear!! Once that was sorted out it was all fine. Favourites today are 1, 28 and 29a. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  12. Warren
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    It must be time by now for compilers to declare a moratorium on 18a – whichever way round – or at the very least to find a different way of cluing it.

    • eXternal
      Posted December 12, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      How about ‘Singer’s an idiot with a following (4)’

      • Kath
        Posted December 12, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        I wouldn’t have got that if I hadn’t known the answer – never heard of “div” but have looked it up now. Thanks – another one to be stored away for future use! :smile:

      • mary
        Posted December 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        like it :-)

      • Captain Lethargy
        Posted December 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        Very good!!

    • Mr Tub
      Posted December 12, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      18a was my favourite clue today!

  13. Steve_the_beard
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    No picture for 24A? An opportunity missed, I feel ;-)

    • Libellule
      Posted December 12, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      I don’t do pictures.

    • mary
      Posted December 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      You have to wait for a Gazza day :-)

    • Silveroak
      Posted December 12, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Actually I prefer no pictures. Sometimes I just need a small hint and the picture gives the whole game away.

    • Kath
      Posted December 12, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

      I do occasionally wonder what would happen if a Ray T crossword overlapped with Gazza doing the hints …. ! :grin: The mind boggles!!

      • Prolixic
        Posted December 13, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        You will have your chance on Wednesday as Gazza is the reviewer for a Beam (Ray T) Toughie!

        • gazza
          Posted December 13, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

          No pressure there then :D

  14. wbgeddes
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    May I say as an occasional visitor to this site what nice people you all seem to be. It is genuinely a pleasure to come here even if I’m not doing the crossword just to be amongst such intelligent, kind and civilised company.

    • mary
      Posted December 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      you may indeed wb, thank you :-D oops, I presume i was included ;-)

      • wbgeddes
        Posted December 12, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        Mary. You are indeed at the very 5D of the contributory 11A to this site.

        • mary
          Posted December 12, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

          very clever wb thank you :-)

    • Posted December 12, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Ooooo – must be a promotion, don’t think I’ve been called civilised before

      • Kath
        Posted December 12, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

        Make the most of it – it might never happen again!! :smile:

  15. Chris
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I thought 7d and 29a were fun, and 12a clever. Also got a bit stumped by 6d, but the rest was pretty quick today.

    And I liked the 1a anagram.

    • Chris
      Posted December 12, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      PS out of the corner at last, mulled wine all gone

      • mary
        Posted December 12, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        Now you know you didn’t have to stay that long Chris! :-D

  16. wbgeddes
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Well now, 12A. Totally threw me because I had DOGENDS in for this and jolly pleased I was with it too. Anyone else familiar with this word?

    • mary
      Posted December 12, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      yes wb that’s what my grandfather used to call them

    • Kath
      Posted December 12, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

      I had “leg ends” for a little while – didn’t help much with 12d!!

  17. Jerseyman
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    I agree about the difficulty rating, definitely a one! I normally warm up on the quickie but I saw ‘acne’
    and ‘baked beans’ immediately and carried on in the same way and before I knew it I was finished!!
    Only hold-up, like Cryptic Sue, was 6d but Libellule soon knocked that on the head, many thanks!

  18. Bob H
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Well, I was going like a train and although completed I was thrown by some of the answers. I don’t really do “Crossword Land” as it were and I have none of the books that quote endless synonyms etc and I know only a few greek letters. However after feeling miffed at the use of the word “detailed” in 20 down its just occurred to me that this means De-tailled. So that’s a triumph of understanding for me. However I am still not sure about 17 across. Should it have been “Transmit” or “Broadcast” but not both?
    5 down did not seem cryptic to me so I could not see the reasoning. And “finally drawing” stumps 12 across, I did get “fag end” after filling in 12 down but how does this relate to “Drawing”. I hope I don’t sound negative as I actually enjoy this daily puzzle (and of course help from this wonderful blog, even though I hardly ever look at it to solve a puzzle, its nice to know the reason for some of the answers.)

    • mary
      Posted December 12, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Hi Bob I think in 12a drawing possibly relates to drawing in of smoke through these?

      • mary
        Posted December 12, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        and no it’s not negative, I often get an answer but don’t quite understand it, then I query it or ask someone to explain to me and someone always does, it’s how we learn :-)

    • Posted December 12, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Re 17A – Broadcast in this case is the noun (as in outside broadcast) so you would transmit a broadcast (if you’re into computer speak, think of it like a podcast – you don’t podcast something, but you can do things to a podcast such as transmit it or read it).

      • Bob H
        Posted December 13, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Mary & Skempie. I still don’t get fag. But there we are.
        Broadcast is also a verb and surely if you podcast something that is a verb. Anyway life is too short to worry about it, but thanks for the response.

  19. Brian
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Don’t see the bottom half as 1 star, more like a 3 star for me. Thought some of the clues were very tricky ie 20d, 23d and 13d. Liked the top half though, very good.def a puzzle of 2 halves, bit like the spurs game yesterday, wonder how much stoke paid that bent ref!

  20. Franny
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    I managed to do this while drinking my breakfast coffee this morning. Both went down very smoothly and almost in no time at all. So encouraging, but really almost too easy — some people are never satisfied! My only slight hold-ups were at 12a, where I suspected a cricket term, and stupidly at 26d. Many thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule comme toujours. :-)

  21. Addicted
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    A very quick solve for me too – last in 26d and 29a – thought I would need the hints but the penny dropped in time! 12d was a head-scratcher for a while, too. Liked 7d, made me smile. Thanks to setter and Libellule. Bet we won’t all be so pleased with ourselves for the rest of the week??!

  22. Heno
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter & Libellule. A very straightforward start to the week, but still enjoyable. Favourites were 9,28, 29a & 7,12, 14d. Last in was 26d.

  23. Collywobbles
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    I regret to say, Libellule, that I am having to refer to some of your hints, for which many thanks, in either confirming my answer or in getting the answer. Therefore, I would put this down as 2* or may be my brain is addled after French classes.

  24. Collywobbles
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    By the way, gin and lime must taste terrible

    • Kath
      Posted December 12, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      My Dad was somewhere (don’t ask me where – can’t remember) in WW2 and asked for a gin and lime – he was brought a glass FULL of gin and a lime – as in a whole lime!!

  25. Collywobbles
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Libellule, Does 20a relate to the colours of the spectrum, eie, being the second colour?

    • Posted December 12, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think so… but its a nice idea

      • Collywobbles
        Posted December 12, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

        So I don’t fully understand how we get the S?

        • gazza
          Posted December 12, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

          Libellule has fully explained it in his hint.

          • Collywobbles
            Posted December 13, 2011 at 8:13 am | Permalink

            I didn’t understand the hint

            • Roland
              Posted December 13, 2011 at 10:54 am | Permalink

              S comes from the initial letter of “second”, then followed by affront with the last letter missing (de-tailed).

              • Posted December 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

                Thanks Roland. It was the ‘An orange yellow to moderate orange colour’ in the hint that threw me. I didn’t really understand it and I still don’t

                • Libellule
                  Posted December 13, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

                  There are generally a couple of definitions for Saffron… such as
                  a. A corm-producing plant (Crocus sativus) native to the Old World, having purple or white flowers with orange stigmas.
                  b. The dried aromatic stigmas of this plant, used to color foods and as a cooking spice and dyestuff.
                  2. A moderate or strong orange yellow to moderate orange.
                  The second referring specifically to the colour saffron.
                  Both 1a, and 2 would satisfy the defintion.

  26. Posted December 12, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Disappointed with all the 1* ratings – I got very stuck! Yah Boo!

    • Collywobbles
      Posted December 12, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      I agree but what about the ‘S’

      • mary
        Posted December 13, 2011 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        If you mean 20d collywobs the ‘s’ comes from ‘second’

  27. Derek
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    A pleasant start to the week from Rufus as always!
    Faves : 12a, 29a, 8d & 13d.

  28. Helen
    Posted December 13, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone how to highlight between the brackets using an iPad?

    • Prolixic
      Posted December 13, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      You can’t – but if you select Reading Mode (iOS 5 required ) you can see all the answers.