DT 26742 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26742

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26742

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

This was unmistakably a Ray T puzzle, but certainly one of his easier creations. All the usual trademark clues are present – initial letters, hidden words, innuendo, misdirection, and so on.  Oh! and I forget to mention the Queen.

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    Burning is acute with ring exploding (11)
{CAUTERISING} – this burning or scorching is an anagram (exploding) of IS ACUTE with RING

10a    Find disgusting flab, horrendous, admitted (5)
{ABHOR} – a verb meaning to find disgusting is hidden (admitted) inside the clue

11a    Advance over in push for glory (9)
{SPLENDOUR} – put a verb meaning to advance money and O(ver) inside a verb meaning to push or encourage to get this glory

12a    Element of Japanese comics seen abroad (9)
{MANGANESE} – this chemical element is derived from some adult comic books that are popular in Japan followed by an anagram (abroad) of SEEN

13a    Try for example by English squad leader (5)
{ESSAY} – to get this try or attempt start with a word meaning for example and precede it with the E(nglish) and the initial letter (leader) of Squad

14a    City sleeps around lunchtime, empty (6)
{NAPLES} – this Italian city is created by putting a word meaning sleeps around L(unchtim)E without its internal letters (empty)

16a    Caribou were predominant here, reportedly (8)
{REINDEER} – these caribou sounds like (reportedly) a charade of were predominant and here,

18a    Pious man punished and flagellated (8)
{STRAPPED} – a abbreviation of a pious man is followed by a verb meaning punished or reprimanded to get a verb meaning flagellated or belted

20a    Fiddle with gong for the audience (6)
{MEDDLE} – this verb meaning to fiddle with or interfere sounds like (for the audience) a gong or decoration

23a    Ancient Greek, officially recognised area initially (5)
{AGORA} – the initial letters of the first five words in the clue give a marketplace in ancient Greece – the word for a morbid fear of open places is derived from this

24a    Crowbar perhaps is put into action (9)
{IMPLEMENT} – a double definition – a tool of which a crowbar is an example (perhaps) and a verb meaning to put into action

26a    Rope’s dead wrong for criminal (9)
{DESPERADO} – an anagram (wrong) of ROPE’S DEAD gives this reckless criminal

27a    Brain possibly covered by major ganglia (5)
{ORGAN} – a part of the body of which the brain is an example (possibly) is hidden inside (covered by) the clue

28a    Governs, yet somehow holds one dominion (11)
{SOVEREIGNTY} – put an anagram (somehow) of GOVERNS YET around (holds) I (one) to get this dominion or jurisdiction


2d           Pale when on top of bird (5)
{ASHEN} – an adjective meaning pale is created by putting a word meaning when in front (on top in a down clue) of a female bird

3d           A sauce from sweetheart chasing two sailors (7)
{TARTARE} – this sauce or dressing with chopped pickles, olives, capers, etc. added to mayonnaise is usually served with fish – put the middle letter (heart) of swEet after two identical sailors

4d           Painter maybe hurried to get sanded (6)
{RASPED} – one of Crosswordland’s artists (painter, maybe) is followed by a verb meaning hurried to get another verb, this one meaning sanded or filed

5d           Joined and served in force, losing heart (8)
{SOLDERED} – a word meaning joined  by using a low-melting alloy is created when the middle letter (heart) is dropped from a verb meaning served in an armed force

6d           Old lady eager to be seen in buff (7)
{NANKEEN} – a charade of an old lady and a word meaning eager or avid gives this yellowish cotton cloth

7d           Scandals, many I fancy, in banking centre (6,7)
{CAYMAN ISLANDS} – an anagram (fancy) of SCANDALS MANY I gives this Caribbean banking centre

8d           Shoots flock or piece of clay (8)
{POTSHERD} – a charade of a verb meaning shoots and a flock give this broken piece of clay pottery, especially one found on an archaeological site

9d           Mass gathering? (6,7)
{PRAYER MEETING} – a cryptic definition of a religious gathering or service

15d         Sea creature’s elegance beneath river, right? (8)
{PORPOISE} – this sea creature is created by putting elegance or calmness after (beneath in a down clue) an Italian river (or a Chinese one if you are Gnomethang!) and R(ight)

17d         Legacy of Queen in beat generation (8)
{HERITAGE} – this legacy or birthright is created by putting Elizabeth Regine (Queen) inside a word meaning to beat and adding a generation

19d         Bad smell after spot medication one imagines (7)
{PLACEBO} – put a personal problem that creates  a bad smell after a spot or location to get medication that one imagines is going to work but actually does nothing

21d         Soon respecting left Opposition leader in England shortly (3,4)
{ERE LONG} – this phrase meaning soon is generated by putting respecting or about (2), L(ong) and the initial letter (leader) of Opposition inside ENG (ENGland shortly)

22d         Mates before midpoint of chess contest (6)
{OPPOSE} – a charade of some mates or chums and the middle letter of chEss gives a verb meaning to contest

25d         A number pulling together? (5)
{EIGHT} – a cryptic definition of a number of rowers in a boat all pulling together

A Merry Christmas to all of you, and thanks for helping to make this the biggest, most popular and best crossword site in the entire Blogosphere.

The Quick crossword pun: {water} + {alley} = {Walter Raleigh}

75 comments on “DT 26742

  1. The brandy last night must have been potent because I woke up this morning to find I’d missed crosswords 26742 to 26751. Not sure how I got on with them though todays puzzle was most enjoyable and was a little meatier than those from the earlier part of the week!

  2. Good morning Dave, you are eager to get Christmas over with, you have jumped ten days ahead to puzzle 26,752???? :-D, maybe not one of RayTs harder ones for you but hard enough for me, at least a three star, lots of looking things up and using ‘little friends’ is 9d cryptic? I cant make my mind up if 23a is clever or not! I do have one favourite clue 16a, I liked that one, din’t need the hints today but thank you as always :-)

    1. Looking at 23a again there is no real definition, it is all in the wordplay I thought that was a ‘no no’ ?

  3. Just to remember my manners and thank you for producing a superb web-site. Since my friend put me on to your blog about a year ago and after several years of mixed fortunes with completing the DT crossword, I really look forward to the wit and repartee. It is not always easy to appreciate the many hours which must go into the production and maintenance of such a site. Many congratulations.

    1. Well said. It is easy to forget that, and to begin to take the site for granted. It has tought me a lot over the past couple of years.

  4. Not been on for a while, as moved countries, but been lurking. May I wish you all a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year. Thanks to all the setters, all the contributors and of course to our host Big Dave . See you in 2012.

            1. You can’t be in the same part of Switzerland as me, then. It’s just cold and wet here in Geneva. :-(

  5. Very enjoyable today – maybe a relatively easy Ray T, but about the right level for me. I gave up half way through yesterday, with a lot to do at this time of year.

  6. Yes it is brilliant Mary. The wit I referred to also shone through with ‘Toadsons’ comment. Should it have been TORT !!!!?

  7. A nice treat after the Christmas veg shopping run. Thanks and a very Merry Christmas to Ray. I alwlys smile at 26a as I wonder when a criminal was last referred to as such. Thanks to BD too for the explanations.

    If you have time to spare from trying to remember the things you have forgotten to do for Christmas, I can recommend the Firefly Toughie too. It shouldn’t take you that long and is a nice escape from the ‘things to do list’

  8. I don’t know if Barry or Geoff ever read the blog any more but in case they do, I’d like to wish them a Merry Christmas, maybe they’ll come back next year :-)

    1. Thank you Mary, I still follow the blog but don’t contribute anymore, didn’t like some of the rather personal comments that were made. A very happy Christmas to you and I do hope your other half gets better soon.

  9. A big thanks to BD for the dissection, and to all for the comments past and present.

    A merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.


    1. Work precluded me from finishing this until late. I always love your clues as I am always waiting for the smirk and I am never disappointed. Merry Christmas and thanks for your stirling efforts throughout the year – already looking forward to 2012.

  10. Many thanks to RayT and BD. Goint to be internet free for a week so an early Merry Christmas to all Setters and everybody who contributes to this site.

  11. Really enjoyed this one from Ray T, finished very early, probably due to the fact that I got to Asda for veggie shopping at 5am and there was only me and the night team shelf stackers there………..what bliss, in and out in 30 mins.
    Thanks for the hints and tips Dave and thanks to Ray T
    Happy Christmas everyone, especially Santa Dave and all your elves!
    The paper says that there is an Elgar double toughie on Christmas Day only available to download on the website

  12. Enjoyed this one – some clues that provided doh moments 5d, 17d and 22d especially. Thanks to all. Happy Christmas to all as well.

  13. It seems to take me longer to solve each puzzle as the week goes on! I don’t think my 8 hour lunch yesterday helped either!
    Thanks to RayT for another fine puzzle, and to BD for the review.

  14. Ah a Ray T, now I understand why I can answer only one clue. For me horrible! Just cannot get on his wavelength at all. Never mind, it’s the maestro tomorrow.

    1. Thought I ought to try to understand how Ray T works so I have been through the whole thing with the splendid hints and I have to say words fail me. I would have more chance of being made Pope than completing one like this esp 21d. He uses logic which just ties me up in knots. I suppose I will have to accept that his style is just not for me.

      1. I feel the same way. I sailed through yesterday but heavily depended on the hints (thanks BD) today and really struggled, esp 21d. Thanks to RayT anyhow, the blog gives me a good challenge every day. Best wishes to all for Christmas and the New Year.

            1. Maybe I have not recovered from visiting M & S at 0600 this morning, almost alone but so many staff to help, but I struggled with this one. More than a 2* for me and much less than 4* for enjoyment.
              Thanks to Ray T and Big Dave not only for his hints but the stirling work he and his team put in on our behalf throughout the year.
              Best wishes to all for Christmas and 2012.

  15. Thanks to Ray T and to Big Dave for the review and hints. A nice puzzle from Ray T, made me think a bit, but I managed it in the end. Was held up a bit in the NE corner. Favourites were 25, 22,15 & 5 downs.

  16. Lovely puzzle but I couldn’t finish it – 8d, 22d and 20a were driving me nuts, so resorted to hints. Could have kicked myself over 20a as kep thinking “well, a gong is also a medal” but did the penny drop? NO! Never heard of 8d (and neither had my electronic friend) and hate 22d, though I have heard mates referred to as that but have never come across it in a Xword before!! Moan over. Thanks to Ray T and BD and a Happy Christmas to one and all. I shall be “away from my desk” for a few days from tomorrow.

  17. 16a was funny. Always like a laugh …. got a bit stuck in NE corner for some reason. Perhaps I needed more mulled wine (nor sure there’s any left)

  18. Needed help on 11a as I could not work out my “in” from my “0ver”. perhaps if over had been spelt with a capital I may have got it. I’m never happy when the first letter of a random word is part of the clue as mostly these only come to light when solved and therefore are of no help in the actual solving process. Essay, 13a, is not a word I associate with “try” but it will be from now on, if I remember that is. After help on these two, 9d was obvious, but is a prayer meeting a mass gathering? I suppose it could be. Anyway – still enjoyable.

  19. enjoyed this, but was thrown by putting church service for 9d, also have never heard of oppos for pals, so was wavering between appose and oppose for ages. Thanks for hints, once again Merry Christmas to all. The Toughie today is easy !!

    1. Anncantab,

      22d – I still don’t understand. “Oppos” – not “mates” at all! More like enemies, rivals etc

        1. Yes indeed, but I must say that I haven’t heard anyone use “oppo” for donkeys years. It seems to have been rather more used by my parents generation (I’m in my fifties).

          I’d like to join in with the multitude thanking everyone who runs or contributes to this website – angels, the lot of you :-)

          Happy Christmas, one and all.

          1. I agree, never heard of ‘oppo’,. Also, 21 d was a stinker, never come across ‘ere long’. Quite a reasonable crossword apart from these two, which spoilt it for me. Thanks for your help.

            1. Welcome to the blog Graham

              Oppo is in the Big Red Book as definition 4!

              opposite number noun (informal; short form oppo)

              1. Someone who has a corresponding place in another organization, set, etc, one’s counterpart
              2. A person who is allotted to one as partner, opponent, etc
              3. One’s cohabiting or marriage partner
              4. One’s mate

              Also ere long

              ere long or erelong adverb

              1. Before long
              2. Soon

      1. Franco: have only just seen your comment :my OED gives the definition of oppos as “Brit. (informal) a colleague or friend. Origin 1930s :abbreviation of opposite number

  20. Dashing off to choir practice, but wanted to say I enjoyed this when I did it this morning. Thanks and Merry Christmas to Big Dave, Ray T and all who contribute to this blog — even the lurkers! :-)

  21. OK, I know that yesterday I said I wouldn’t be here today but I ‘ve got back a bit earlier than planned.

    Saving the puzzle for tomorrow and glad to see it’s a RayT! Printed out and ready to go to Benidorm along with tomorrow’s Giovanni!

    Only come on the blog to say:-


    See all you guys next week when things get back to normal – ish!

    Cheers all


  22. Thank you and happy Christmas to all involved in this lovely site. My Xmas will involve a family gathering at which a brother will bring his Guardian with its horrible self-indulgent crossword, but he also brings home-made sloe gin so it’s not all bad.
    PS guess what, didn’t like this one at all.

  23. Oh dear!! No time at all today – got as far as allowing myself enough of a quick peep to be reassured that this was the long awaited Ray T puzzle. :grin: Beyond that I haven’t looked – not at the hints nor any of the comments.
    I’m going to store this one up as a little treasure and a reward (and hide it from my French sister-in-law who arrives tomorrow) and do it when it may (or may not) go a bit quieter in about a week!!
    In the meantime I would like to wish all you great people, compilers, bloggers and commenters (commentators?) a very happy and peaceful Christmas and an equally jolly New Year.

  24. Late input from me as was busy all afternoon with extra Christmas cards for latecomers!

    I thought this fare from RayT was a tad trickier than usual! Had a spot of bother with 14a as used noon for lunchtime at first and got nowhere with the empty nn!!

    However after dinner I really cracked the lot.
    Faves : 12a, 14a, 16a, 24a, 6d, 8d, 19d & 22d.

    Looking forward to the Friday fare from Giovanni.

  25. Hello Folks, I have been enjoying the DT cryptic for quite a while and lurking here on and off for a few weeks. Being in OZ the timing is not great so I tend to see the comments hours after the fact. However, I wanted to add my words of praise for a great resource and to let BD know that his efforts are appreciated by one of the silent host too. Merry Christmas, Bob

  26. Had to take a quick peek this morning to get answers to a few l had not done yesterday which were all in the NE corner.

    Very enjoyable.

  27. Great stuff from Ray as always! I’d have given it a 4 star for difficulty – the oppos one threw me off too.
    But, as usual, the enjoyable surface readings, tight clueing and those penny-drop moments elevated this way above your average crossword fare :)

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