DT 26757 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26757

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26757

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Personally I thought this was a bit trickier than usual for a Monday morning, but thats probably me having a bad day. However it was still fun, especially 23a and 14d for example.

The answer is hidden between the curly brackets. If you need to see what it is, highlight it.


1. Trustworthy, but guilty (11)
{RESPONSIBLE} – A double definition to start. Able to be depended on or to blame for something.

9. At risk when making a call (2,3,4)
{ON THE LINE} – A phrase that describes using the telephone, could also describe at risk of failing or being harmed.

10. Pick Scrabble tile E (5)
{ELITE} – An anagram (Scrabble) of TILE E.

11. A vote to the other side (6)
{ACROSS} – an X or on the other side of.

12. Dictates alternative way to prove gold genuine (4,4)
{ACID TEST} – An anagram (alternative way) of DICTATES is a phrase for a conclusive method to establish the worth of something. The phrase originally comes from a simple and effective way to find out if gold was really gold.

13. Boat about to leave for Caribbean island (6)
{TOBAGO} – An anagram (about) of BOAT and then a two letter word for depart is an island in the south east Caribbean.

15. Looks closely — about time to be wearing glasses? (8)
{INSPECTS} – A word that means to examine carefully could also be two words that informally describe wearing glasses (2, 5) around T (time).

18. Taking trouble to point out (8)
{ADOPTION} – ADO (trouble) and an anagram (out) of POINT.

19. Take the stand at trial (6)
{ATTEST} – A word that means to give evidence in a court of law could also be AT and another word for an experiment.

21. Raised voice in row on river (8)
{FALSETTO} – A male singing voice with artificially high tones can be made up from a river in Cornwall and then another two words for an argument (row) (3,2).

23. Housework to the French is fair game (4-2)
{HOOP-LA} – HO (house) OP (work) and then the female variation of the French word for the is indeed a fairground game.

26. Right! Breathe out and relax! (5)
{REMIT} – A word that can mean to relax in pace or intensity for example is R (right) and a word that means to expel or exhale.

27. Subject to job stress (9)
{UNDERLINE} – A word for subordinate for example and then another for an occupation or profession produces another word for stress e.g. to state forcibly, emphasise or reinforce.

28. Revolutionary gowns by Peter French (11)
{ROBESPIERRE} – A French revolutionary, the leader of the Jacobins and the architect of the Reign of Terror is constructed using a word for long loose flowing outer garments and the French variation of Peter.


1. Brazilian city needs diplomacy for control of civil disorder (4,3)
{RIOT ACT} – The shortened version of the name for a port and the second largest city in Brazil plus a word that means having skill or judgement in handling difficult or delicate situations is a law that was enacted in 1715 and finally repealed in 1973 and it stated that if twelve or more people unlawfully assembled and disturbed the peace, they must disperse upon proclamation of this.

2. Spirit often drunk in ancient times (5)
{SATYR} – A cryptic reference to a mythological creature that looked a bit like a a goat and had a fondness for unrestrained revelry.

3. Give short change in error (9)
{OVERSIGHT} – An anagram (change) of GIVE SHORT.

4. Miss dance (4)
{SKIP} – Double definition, to pass over or omit something, or to hop or jump lightly.

5. They’ve created a new bar scene (4,4)
{BEER CANS} – An anagram (new) of BAR SCENE. A semi-all-in-one?

6. Aim to include me? Correct (5)
{EMEND} – Another word for intention or purpose is placed around ME. Definition correct as in “to improve by editing”.

7. Makes a fuss when a secret is found out (7)
{CREATES} – An anagram (is found out) of A SECRET.

8. Know-all may appear to be perceptive over the port (8)
{WISEACRE} – Another term for a person who is a smart aleck, is made from a synonym for prudent, erudite or knowing and then a port city of northern Israel found on the Bay of Haifa.

14. Is it similar to a hurricane light? (8)
{BLOWLAMP} – A cryptic reference to a sort of torch that that mixes air and gas to produce a very hot flame sometimes used by a plumber.

16. Vessel — right one in which to serve stew (9)
{POTPOURRI} – The definition is stew. POT (vessel) with POUR (to serve) placed inside R (right) and I (one).

17. General artiste who played a small part in Barnum’s circus (3,5)
{TOM THUMB} – The stage name of Charles Stratton an American midget who was exhibited in. Barnum’s circus.

18. Initially provided set up in new start (2,5)
{AT FIRST} – An anagram (new) of START with a two letter word that means “on the condition that” placed inside and reversed (set up).

20. Swingers’ bar (7)
{TRAPEZE} – The sort of swinger you might also find being used by circus acrobats.

22. Record a stage direction (5)
{ENTER} – Double definition. To write or put in or to come or go in.

24. He’s good and early! (5)
{PRIOR} – The deputy head of a monastery or abbey, or a word that means previous or preceding.

25. Matters of give and take between our betters (4)
{ODDS} – Giving probabilities and taking probabilities when associated with laying or accepting a bet.

The Quick crossword pun: {Benny} + {fishery} = {beneficiary}

52 comments on “DT 26757

  1. I don’t think I am firing on all cylinders today, because I made heavy weather of this today.
    Thanks to setter, and to Libellule for the notes.

    For those who like political themes, there is a (reasonably) straightforward puzzle by Brendan (aka Virgilius) in the Guardian today.

    1. I thought this was hard too. 16d took me the longest to solve. Perhaps they will get easier as the week goes on:)

  2. Harder than usual for a Monday – with a lot to do today I used a couple of hints to finish the bottom-left corner. Liked 28a, Not too convinced by 5d and 14d. Thanks to all involved today.

    1. It was the bottom left that had me stuck too, so thanks to Libellule for the hints. I always feel a bit thick when I get stuck on more than a couple of clues, so it’s great to have this blog which often tells me I’m not the only one making heavy weather of things.

  3. I can only agree that this was a tad trickier than the normal Monday fare, but very good fun to do I thoroughly enjoyed 28A – very clever indeed but I’m wondering how many ‘I’ve never heard of that port’ comments we’re going to get for 8D.

  4. Is it Monday I asked myself. Held up by 8d as, and know i’m going to be alone on this, never heard of the expression. Thanks to setter and Libellule.

  5. Good morning Libelulle and Happy New Year, I think I missed you last week :-) , I found this tough for a Rufus puzzle, but did finish without the hints eventually, a few I’d not heard of eg 28a and 8d, got 21a but didn’t know how until I read your explainations, thank you, fav clue today has to be 13a, not sure about 5d though how this really works? good luck everyone, enjoy :-D

  6. I couldn’t believe that it was Monday and thought that I must be having a really bad day so I was relieved to find out that I’m not the only one – this has taken me about twice as long as usual. Eventually managed to finish it but needed the hint for 2d – I had heard of it but just couldn’t do it. Had also heard of 8d but it took a while – isn’t it more commonly “wiseguy”? This seemed to be a mixture of some very easy clues and some really difficult ones. I liked 13, 18, 21, 23 and 28a and 16, 17 and 24d. Need a rest now – Mondays don’t usually do that to me!! With thanks to Rufus, assuming it really was set by him, and Libellule.

    1. Wiseguy is really an imported American expression meaning someone who thinks he is clever whereas wiseacre is an Olde English term for someone who thinks he knows a lot but in reality knows very little (the sort of person I always up being talked at by at parties)

  7. Usual fare from Rufus, I thought – a lot of very good clues, but the puzzle was let down by others that, to my mind, seem weak and stretched.
    28a and 20d were my favourites!
    Thanks to Libellule for the hints, many of which were needed for the lower half of the puzzle.

  8. Having examined my conscience, I don’t think it’s spoiling any fun to note that the clue for 11ac in today’s FT prize puzzle is word-for-word the same as this puzzle’s 2d. I say nothing as to whether the answers are similar…

      1. Haha thanks all – I kinda thought I’d commented here before, but it must have only been “in my heart many times”, as Jimmy Carter might put it. For the avoidance of doubt and/or offence, I *adore* seeing the same clue in different places and no aspersions are ever cast when I spot ’em!

  9. Defiitely tougher than we expect for a Monday – at one point I did wonder if it was really a Rufus puzzle. Thanks to him and Libellule too.

    I second Jezza’s recommendation of the Guardian puzzle – Lostboy will find it a good substitute for his missing easyish Toughie.

  10. Many thanks to Rufus for an excellent Monday crossword, very enjoyable indeed. Thanks also to Libellule for the superb rewiew.

  11. It’s Groundhog Day! I have definitely seen this crossword before in the DT. Realised after 4-5 clues I had done this before, and came onto the site expecting to see that someone had commented there was a boob today.

    1. drewstew,
      I am not sure if you have seen this crossword before, but its possible that some clues might feel a bit famiiar. Rufus does re-use clues from time to time when he feels enough time has passed from when they were previously used.

  12. Much harder than a normal Monday puzzle. But some nice touches. Like others I cannot get 5d to work, beer and bars are linked but it seems pretty weak to me.

  13. Lots of us fiding this difficult today. Can anyone explain “They’ve created” in 5d?

    1. Vince,
      Its meant to be a semi all-in-one – in that beer cans have created a new way of drinking beer…(and with those that contain the “widgets” you could argue that perhaps they have).

      1. I agree that its meant to be a semi all-in-one, but I don’t know of bars selling beer cans. Maybe Rufus is mixing it up with beer bottles, where one could argue that they are far more prevalent in bars than used to be the case. People holding beer cans conjures up an entirely different image for me.

        1. I would say that there are a lot less beer bottles in pubs today as than there were when I first started working in one (child labour I hasten to add) when it was my job to stock up the shelves with Light Ale, Brown Ale, Mild, Stout, barley Wine. These days its all kiddies fizzy alcopoppy things.

  14. Thanks to the setter, & to Libellule for the review and hints. Did the top half ok, but needed 9 hints to finish. Thought some of the definitions were a bit obscure especially 18a and 26a. Quite enjoyed it though, favourites were 15a, 14d & 24d.

  15. I completed the top half without too much difficulty, then took a while to get a foothold in the bottom half, but finished it in good time in the end. Agree that it was a bit more challenging than the usual Monday, but none the worse for it IMHO. I especially liked 15a, 28a and 2d, but agree that 5d is a bit weak. Thanks to Rufus & Libellule.

  16. Finished at he second attempt but didn’t really enjoy this one. Tricky and no WOW clues. Thx to Libellule for the hints which were needed for a couple and to explain some answers (still don’t really understand 5d, weak IMHO). Not nice for a Monday.

  17. I too wondered if to-days setter was Rufus as I found it a bit trickier than the usual Monday fare but I also think maybe the old brain was needing wakened up as there were a few Doh moments when I finally saw the light. I liked a lot of the clues but my favourite was 28a. Thks to Rufus & Libellule.

  18. Andrew,
    That was the normal Monday setter (look at the style). However I think he forgot to put his pink fluffy slippers on today.

    1. Think that he was wearing at least his wellies if not something a bit tougher! :smile: I enjoyed it but it wasn’t what I was expecting, it being Monday.

  19. So reassuring to know I wasn’t the only one to find this tougher than normal for a Monday. Not sure I’m looking forward to the rest of the week though!

  20. Er…found this decidely tough – top half fine bottom half less so. 4* and far from completed. Better luck tomorrow.

  21. Poo. Too hard for me, left with 21a, 16d and 22d unfinished.

    Still, at least it stopped me whingeing on about the Toughie.

  22. I found this one quite easy so I’m very surprised at some of the comments. Normally I struggle with Rufus. I’ve never heard of 8d but managed to work it out from the clue and looked it up in Chambers to make sure.

    Thanks to the setter and Libelulle.

  23. I got the top half out of the way very quickly then slowed down with the SW corner.
    Finished it off this morning after a good sleep overnight!

    Outstanding faves : 28a & 14d.

    Unusually harder fare from Rufus!

  24. I really don’t see which part of the clue for 18d implies “on condition that” – I got the answer, but really cannot justify the “if” part of the answer.

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