DT 26745 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26745

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26745

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

I gave this two stars for difficult today, mainly because I had to think about 27d for a little while. Otherwise an entertaining if not overly cryptic themed (Winter and New Year) puzzle from Rufus today.

Highlight the space between the curly brackets to reveal the answer.


1. Stand still and go cold all over (6)
{FREEZE } – To become motionless or immobile, also to feel uncomfortably cold.

4. It often gets held up in winter weather (8)
{UMBRELLA} – Especially if its raining.

9. Elaborate spread (6)
{EXPAND} – Double definition, to speak at length about, or to increase in size.

10. Where many enjoy the pleasures of the slippery path (3,5)
{SKI SLOPE} – Where you might practice a winter sport….

12. The point in figure-skating is twirls (4)
{GIST} – A word that means the point or substance of an argument for example can be found hidden in the words “skating is twirls”.

13. Have head round for a party (5)
{BEANO} – A slang term for a person’s head plus O is also a celebration or a party.

14. Still, I can make a snowman (4)
{YETI} – An abominable one. A synonym for still and then I.

17. Original ground for New Year ceremony (5-7)
{FIRST-FOOTING} – A Scottish Hogmanay tradition whereby if a dark-haired man crosses your threshold at midnight it should bring good luck. This could also mean “original ground” as in a new basis or foundation for example.

20. The Good Old Days’, for which we will take a cup in singing (4,4,4)
{AULD LANG SYNE} – A Scots phrase for the times gone past or the good old days is also a song sung to welcome in the New Year.

23. No penny found in cheap pudding — it’s a pain! (4)
{ACHE} – Remove P (no penny) from the word CHEAP and then make an anagram (pudding?) of the remainder. Definition -–its a pain.

24. Run on skis involved hazards (5)
{RISKS} – R (run) and an anagram (involved) of SKIS

25. They’re drunk and sing wildly (4)
{GINS} – An anagram (wildly) of SING.

28. Party drink made Noel drunk (8)
{LEMONADE} – An anagram (drunk) of MADE NOEL.

29. In winter fox-hunting, horses will be thus afflicted (6)
{RIDDEN} – A word that describes being carried on horseback is also used to mean afflicted or affected. Is the word winter necessary or just padding?

30. The past — it seldom alters (3,5)
{OLD TIMES} – An anagram (alters) of IT SELDOM.

31. Sung or spoken at church, a work like the Messiah (6)
{CHORAL} – CH (the abbreviation for church) and then a word for spoken produces a work for a choir or chorus. Two definitions?


1. No charge for the present (4,4)
{FREE GIFT} – Something given away, often as an incentive to the purchaser.

2. A photographer’s hypothermia? (8)
{EXPOSURE} – A word that describes showing a photographic film or plate to light could also describe what happens to a body when it is out in extreme weather.

3. An element of jazz in ceilidh? (4)
{ZINC} – A bluish-white, lustrous metallic element (atomic number 30) can be found hidden between the words “jazz in celidh”.

5. Leaving footprints in the snow hurrying home (6,6)
{MAKING TRACKS} – A phrase that describes departing or setting off for home, is what would also happen if you were walking through snow.

6. Adjourned for some wine (4)
{ROSE} – A word that describes the closure of a session of an official assembly, a court perhaps is also a colour of wine.

7. He finds level ice initially over Noel, perhaps (6)
{LIONEL} – A male name, the first letters (initially) of level and ice followed by an anagram (perhaps) of NOEL.

8. Russian beer half-a-dozen go up for (6)
{ALEXIS} – A Russian name this time, take a three letter word for a beer and then reverse the number for half a dozen.

11. One playing for the Scottish ceilidh dances — not the leader (6,6)
{SECOND FIDDLE} – Simply somebody playing a violin in a supporting role. Have I missed something here?

15. Full-bodied drink (5)
{STOUT} – Double definition, bulky in figure, thickset or a strong dark beer or ale.

16. Songs about kisses under the mistletoe (5)
{SNOGS} – An anagram (about) of SONGS.

18. Solid block of cars (8)
{CYLINDER} – A metal casting that contains the pistons and cooling ducts of an engine.

19. It describes winter sale a son organised (8)
{SEASONAL} – An anagram (organised) of SALE A SON.

21. A greeting with love that comes from a Boxing Day huntsman? (6)
{HALLOO} – A call used to urge on hounds in a hunt is a variant spelling of a word used to greet someone plus O (love).

22. Half turned to church as the bells rang out (6)
{CHIMED} – Take a two letter abbreviation for church and then add a reversed (turned) prefix for half for sounds that were produced by bells.

26. Member of the opposition in Victorian times (4)
{ANTI} – Someone who is opposed to something or against something can be found hidden between the words Victorian and times.

27. Old acquaintance (4)
{KITH} – An old word for friends and acquaintances.

The Quick crossword pun: {hog} + {Manet} = {Hogmanay}

29 comments on “DT 26745

  1. Standard Monday fare, OK except for 29a. I also spent time on ‘winter’, no relevance whatsoever. I must admit that 27d had me stumped for a while!

  2. Good morning Libelulle, I hope your Christmas was full of festive happiness! I think todays crossword was at least a 2* for me probably three, I had your help for a couple of clues, thank you, I didn’t help myself by putting ‘coldsnap’ in at 2d, how stupid! didn’t really ‘see’ 29a, only one fav ourite clue and that was 14a, thanks for the help Libelulle, haven’t really got time to linger on this today, more visitors expected! Happy Boxing Day everyone :-D

    1. I would have put ‘cold snap’ at 2d too, Mary, but the letters across didn’t work. Hope you had a lovely Christmas. Ten more days to go! :-)

  3. For some reason the NE corner held me up for longer than it should, although I would still give this one 2* difficulty. Slightly odd to be dealing with a New Year theme in both this and the quick crossword when the amount of leftovers tells me it must only be Boxing Day. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule too.

    Going out for a nice walk round the marshes and then back to deal with said leftovers – Bubble and Squeak anyone??!!

  4. Very Belated Happy Christmas to all!! Found this mornings offering a nice gentle work out for our addled brains. Only problems were in SE corner, so thanks Libellule for making life a bit easier today!

  5. Ho hum really didn’t like 28A and had to check answer because of ‘Winter’. Having done it this morning with some ease I look back at all the clues and see they all have a festive/seasonal slant to them and I wonder whether our setter got frustrated that 28A would be the exception without this additional (albeit superfluous) word.
    18D doesn’t meet this criterion either.

    A pity

  6. Good morning from Hertfordshire. Generally okay today although I did fail to get 1a – how stupid! Was also convinced 8d ended with “IV” which held me up. Sitting with a coffee and the paper certainly beats going to the shops! I have ventured as far as the re-cycling point only. Have a good day everyone.

  7. Good morning from a very windy Edinburgh, just right for blowing the cobwebs away & getting back into Crosswordland–rather than trailing round horrid shops looking for ‘bargains’ which I don’t want!!!

    A gentle start to the week–many thanks to Rufus(?) and Libellule.

  8. Straightforward puzzle withe setter taking pity on all those who perhaps overindulged yesterday on the Christmas spirit? My best wishes for an easy day today after the main festivities

  9. A nice start to the week for me. 2* except for 29a which I needed help on. Now feel ready for the chaos when our grandchildren arrive. My best wishes to everybody involved with this site.

      1. Thank you :) It’s a great blog. I’ve been looking in for hints and tips for a while now, but sadly can’t find time for the crossword every day.

  10. hello all…did quite well with this…..struggled with 8d ,for some reason i could not get past the number ten
    i.e half-a-dozen go up for (4) anyway very enjoyable

  11. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule for the review & hints. Quite enjoyed this one, had to use a couple of hints to finish. Never heard of 17a, got the first word but not the second, couldn’t get 27d either. Favourites were 2& 8d.

  12. Quite straightforward apart from 29a and 27d which I just couldn’t do – wanted to make 27d “arch” but couldn’t see why so didn’t put it in. No problems except for those two. As someone else has already said 8d took a bit of time as I couldn’t get beyond “VI” being the “six”. I don’t understand how the “Scottish ceilidh dances” is relevant in 11d. I liked 12a (dead simple and took me a long time) and 2 and 5d. With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    Enjoying a brief couple of hours of peace and quiet – visitors gone now apart from daughters who have taken our dog for a walk. More arriving tomorrow and still more on Wednesday. Just about to have a look at the crossword from yesterday.

  13. A nice Boxing Day/New Year’s Day theme. I wanted to put Tallyho in 21d and hadn’t heard of the answer. Also got thrown off by winter and fox-hunting in 29a. Think they were meant to throw us off the scent:)

    1. Have you never sung?

      ” D’ye ken John Peel with his coat so gay?
      D’ye ken John Peel at the break o’ day?
      D’ye ken John Peel when he’s far, far a-way.
      With his hounds and his horn in the morning?


      For the sound of his horn brought me from my bed,
      And the cry of his hounds which he oftime led,
      Peel’s “View, Halloo!” could awaken the dead,
      Or the fox from his lair in the morning.”

      1. I think it depends which decade you attended primary school! My friend and I were only discussing the other day all the songs we learned as children that the modern, or even not so modern, ‘child’ knows nothing about.

      2. Big Dave and crypticsue, Never heard that before and I attended primary school in postwar England so I was not one of those “modern children”. However, I learnt something new today and that is always a good thing.

        1. Did you not have to undergo the weekly radio programme where we all had to sing along to such songs as ‘Who is Sylvia?’ never mind John Peel. Perhaps we only suffered this in Surrey :)

      3. and who can forget the Rambling Syd Rumpo version from Round the Horne

        D’ye ken Jim Pubes with his splod so bright,
        As he traddles his nadger in the bright moonlight?
        He wurdles his posset all through the night,
        But he can’t turn it off in the morning.

        Oh the sound of his groat threw me from my bed,
        As he blew up his mooly fit to waken the dead,
        Oh the noise of his grunge nearly blew off me head,
        And removed all the paint from the awning.

        D’ye ken Jim Pubes? Now his splod’s turned white,
        And his nadger’s been struck with an awful blight,
        And he can’t find his posset without a light,
        And he can’t turn it on in the morning.

        Oh his poor old groat, it has sprung a leak,
        And the sound of his mooly’s reduced to a squeak:
        Though he blows and he blows till he’s blue in the eek,
        We’ll no more hear him grunge in the mor-or-or-orning.

  14. Would it be unseasonably churlish to suggest that this wasn’t Rufus at his twinkling best? Whilst appreciating that many of his legion of fans maybe didn’t need too taxing a challenge today, this puzzle gave the impression of being a bit “scraping the seasonal barrel”. Particularly 29a. But I fully expect that the master will more than make up for it in the weeks ahead. Thanks to him for all his many light moments, and to Libellule for the debrief.

  15. I get these crosswords in a local paper in Wellington NZ, about a month after the UK, apologies! For 11D, is this what crossword aficionados call an &lit clue? As well as someone playing (fiddle) at a ceilidh, in a more general sense if you’re not the leader in something then you could be playing ‘second fiddle’.

    1. I’m afraid nothing specific is planned for that time but John H (Elgar / Enigmatist) and his wife Jane host a weekly gathering at a variety of venues and I will pass your details to them.

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