DT 26787 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26787

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26787

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Digby has other engagements today and Libellule is still on nursing duties so I have grabbed the opportunity to review a Rufus puzzle. This one contains a fair number of Rufus’s signature cryptic definitions, a couple of which require you to think out-of the-box.

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    Soldier gets pay for work, others may get it without work (7,6)
{PRIVATE INCOME} – a charade of a soldier of the lowest rank and payment for work gives money received from investments as opposed to salary for work done

10a    Crooked dealing straightened out (7)
{ALIGNED} – an anagram (crooked) of DEALING gives a verb meaning straightened out

11a    Has prep to revise, maybe (7)
{PERHAPS} – an anagram (to revise) of HAS PREP gives a word meaning maybe, possibly!

12a    A state that requires relief (4)
{NEED} – a cryptic definition of a state that requires relief, such as extreme poverty or distress

13a    Open closed teeth (5)
{UNZIP} – open a fastening device by pulling a slide along two sets of teeth

14a    Dog left to play with stones on the ice (4)
{CURL} – a charade of a worthless dog and L(eft) gives a verb meaning to play a game in which two teams slide a series of heavy smooth stones on ice with the aim of reaching a target circle

17a    Section reserved for reviews (7)
{NOTICES} – an anagram (re-served) of SECTION gives some reviews

18a    People in the wrong can cause distress (7)
{TORMENT} – put some people inside a legal wrong to get this distress

19a    US city entered in a huge novel conveyance (7)
{HAULAGE} – put the abbreviation of a US city inside an anagram (novel) of A HUGE to get the conveyance of goods, especially by road

22a    A highly vocal female (7)
{SOPRANO} – a slightly cryptic definition of a female singer with a high voice

24a    Having nothing on dark horse, back favourite finally (4)
{NUDE} – an adjective meaning having nothing on is created by reversing (back) a dark horse and then adding the final letter of favouritE

25a    Most airlines can provide this flight (5)
{STAIR} – a flight of steps is hidden in the clue

26a    Wild West dish of meat and vegetables (4)
{STEW} – an anagram (wild) of WEST gives a dish of meat and vegetables

29a    Brief article favoured hanging (7)
{CURTAIN} – a charade of an adjective meaning brief, the indefinite article and a word meaning favoured or current gives a window hanging

30a    He charges a couple of hundred to employer (7)
{ACCUSER} – a person who charges another with a crime is a charade of A from the clue, two hundred in Roman numerals and an employer

31a    Inattention may result in her going to law (4-9)
{WOOL-GATHERING} – this delightful word meaning Inattention or absent-minded dreaming is an anagram (may result in) of HER GOING TO LAW


2d    Object when put into torn clothing (7)
{RAIMENT} – put an object or end inside a verb meaning torn to get this clothing

3d    It turns to face the incoming blow (4)
{VANE} – a cryptic definition of a weathercock which shows how the wind blows

4d    It’s old news (7)
{TIDINGS} – an archaic word for news – not, as I originally entered, history!

5d    I’m the type to stamp something out (7)
{IMPRINT} – a charade of I’M and a type or lettering gives a verb meaning to stamp out or emboss

6d    One possibly in the lead as a conductor (4)
{CORE} – a cryptic definition of the conducting part of an electric lead or cable

7d    I object to a certain extent (7)
{MEASURE} – a charade of the objective form of I, A from the clue and a word meaning certain gives an extent or size

8d    Complaint made by a tiresome person (4,2,3,4)
{PAIN IN THE NECK} – this medical complaint can also mean a tiresome person

9d    Separate complaints department (9,4)
{ISOLATION WARD} – a cryptic definition of a department a hospital where patients are kept separate from others in order to prevent cross-contamination

15d    Fight waste! (5)
{SCRAP} – one double definition …

16d    Junk food (5)
{TRIPE} – … deserves another

20d    English capital put into new ground and stand (7)
{UNDERGO} – inset E(nglish) into an anagram (new) of GROUND to get a verb meaning to stand or endure

21d    Baltic country resort one is at (7)
{ESTONIA} – this country which borders the Baltic Sea is an anagram (resort) of ONE IS AT

22d    Various chaps in vegetable production (7)
{SPINACH} – an anagram (various) of CHAPS IN gives Popeye’s favourite vegetable

23d    Possibly train as a mechanic (7)
{ARTISAN} – an anagram (possibly) of TRAIN AS gives a mechanic or other skilled manual worker

27d    Post of bodyguard (4)
{MAIL} – a double definition – the postal system and defensive armour for the body

28d    Mark some golfer’s cards (4)
{SCAR} – this mark is hidden inside (some) the clue

Today’s puzzle will satisfy the anagram lovers – there are ten of them!

The Quick crossword pun: {diner} + {might} = {dynamite}

You might have guessed that I couldn’t resist this video!

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83 comments on “DT 26787

  1. Good morning Dave, nice to see you on a Monday morning, Gazza would be proud of your pictures today :-) ,
    I thought this was going to be an easy Rufus with the bottom half going in fairly quickly without any help from my friends! However the top half of the puzzle had me stumped for ages, having eventually solved it, I look backand wonder why I didn’t see them sooner! not so manyfav clues for me today just 10a and 25a, there were as usual lots I liked but although I didn’t need blog help I needed lots of other, with 6d being last in, thanks Dave and Rufus, a t least a three star for me because of the top half!

  2. Morning Dave
    This is slightly off-topic but caused by my printing of this puzzle.

    I clicked print this morning and about half an hour later went to get it off the printer only to find the damn thing was all but illegible due to lack of ink! Put in a new cartridge and went back to the website and inadvertantly clicked PLAY. The puzzle opened but then I noticed that the clock hadn’t started!!!! Always used to start when you clicked either PRINT or PLAY. To check I’ve opened the other puzzles from last week and, apart from Wednesday the site doesn’t seem to think I’ve looked at any of them! Change seems to date from last Monday’s maintenance

    Does this mean we can now all be serial cheaters without having to buy the paper? :lol:

      1. Didn’t look at the Toughie blog on Friday, which was a bit stupid as I needed a bit of help parsing 17a – Thanks Tilsit, understand now!

        Interesting conversation and interesting also that we’ve both used the phrase ‘serial cheats’ :smile:

  3. A nice steady puzzle for me today. I solved 1a very quickly so I knew 4d was not “history ” but I was thinking along those lines for a while. 13a gave me the most trouble & was my last one in. Thanks to Big Dave for the review and the quickie pun video.

  4. Standard Monday fare but none the worse for that. Some quirky solutions and very enjoyable, thanks to Rufus and Dave.

    There can’t be many 78rpm versions of [that] surviving, must be worth a fortune. Late model BSR Monarch, too. Anorak? Moi? :-)

  5. Fighting some new software at home today so managed to solve early (ish) over a cup of tea. 13a held me up for a while and I certainly solved it from the bottom up. The usual fun!. Thanks to Rufus and to BD

  6. Nice puzzle, I have to agree with Mary’s assessment. Thanks to Dave and Rufus.
    Pommers, I noticed the same anomaly regarding the site, I also noticed that it seems very ‘wobbly’ in the last few days, as if it’s preparing for the worst again!!

  7. I found this rather tricky this morning and needed several hints for the top half. I enjoyed the anagrams, especially 31a, which showed my state of mind while distracted by lively small grandson. I guess I wasn’t far enough out of the box, but think there were lots of good clues. Favourite for me was 13a. So many thanks to Rufus and to BD.

  8. Another great start to the week. Finished the crossword just as the cricket starting (excellent timing on my part I thought). No great problems this morning, but no great favourites I’m afraid.

  9. A nice steady puzzle for me today too. No real favourites and nothing that caused too many problems. Last one in for me was 13a – complete blank on that one, I worked my way through all sorts of cogs and molars until I read the hints, then it was a real Doh moment. Thanks for the hints.

  10. Gave it ** and*** today,thought there was some ambiguity over 6d.
    a cord is defined as an’ insulated conductor for household use’ and a cord is a string of several threads which is a’lead’ ie dog lead!, perhaps i’,m barking up the wronr tree.

      1. so are we saying cord is the right answer, I have just taken great pleasure in telling my brother I was right with ‘core’ and he was wrong with cord!

    1. For me the difficulty was ** until I came to the last two – it took almost as long to do 13a and 6d as it did for the rest of the puzzle

      1. Everyone’s different! As I said elsewhere pommette got 13a instantly and I didn’t struggle much with 6d as I’d spent about half an hour this morning looking for a length of 3-core cable which I knew was lurking in the garage somewhere (found it eventually!). We, however, struggled in the SW where I had the fixation on NY instead of the other US city.

  11. correct gnomethang, i ‘m still sad enough to buy a real paper!
    6d was the only solution i was not sure about,so i checked Big Dave’s blog- i agree with Mary’s brother,any change of mind dave!

  12. Like BD I was held up by 13a and 6d and so was pleased to see the 3* difficulty rating. Definitely a tougher Rufus challenge than we are used to but as enjoyable as ever. Thanks to him and BD too.

  13. I did almost all of this quickly and quite easily and then spent ages on 13a and 6d. Eventually gave up on 6d and used the hint – I only know two things about electricity – it’s very expensive and it hurts if you touch it!! I enjoyed this puzzle, as always on Mondays – I loved all the anagrams. I liked 10, 26, 29 and 31a and 4, 8 and 9d. With thanks to Rufus and BD.

  14. Glad that I was not alone in finding that 13a and 6d tipped this from 2* to 3* difficulty today. Thanks to Rufus for the challenge and to BD for the review.

  15. The top half seemed a little trickier than the bottom half today but overall it seemed a fair crossword for Monday. 8d was amusing in that several words could apply to the last four letters though of course they would not fit with 24a and 29a. I was tempted with an anagram of EARS for the last word and of course the Americans might have wanted to insert BUTT

  16. I made a mess of parts of this one – with three of the checking letters for 4d, I wrote ‘tedious’. As a result I could not solve 13a, and I also failed to solve 6d.
    Hey ho… Thanks to Rufus, and to BD.

  17. Many thanks to Rufus for a most enjoyable start to the week and to BD for the most enjoyable picture for 13a ( oh, and the review/hints )

  18. Agree with most of the comments – also did it from bottom to top and got stuck on those pesky 4-letter ones, so thanks for hints BD. Liked the long ones round the edges, though 1a took me longer than it should have!

  19. As a newbie here can someone please explain the curly brackets and the pun at the end?
    What am I missing?

    1. If you run your mouse along the curly brackets at the start of each hint it reveals the answer. The pun at the end is the pun found in the first two, or sometimes three or more words at the start of the Quick crossword.

  20. Like most people, 13a last in. I did well on the east and took time on the west today. Ever contrary. All in all most enjoyable. Thanks to Rufus and BD. Welcome Pam.

    1. Could copy your comment exactly captainlethargy. Completed the east ,a tad slower on the west ,but needed the hint for 13a. Yes ,very enjoyable & thanks to Rufus & BD. :smile:

  21. Yes, I found most of it quite quickly – I started on the Herculis, Code Words and Quick at 11.30 and had finished them all apart from the cryptic by 1.00pm, and there were only half a dozen to solve after lunch.
    So I wwould give it 2 stars for difficulty and three for enjoyment. Like so many of us 13a and 6d were the
    last to go in – the last due to Dave’s blog, although I hesitated between ‘cord’ and ‘core’!

  22. I really enjoy this site, and find the clues to the clues very helpful.


    Please drop the use of the scantily dressed ladies as pictoral clues. You really don’t need to use such images and as a woman I find them demeaning.

    1. Hi Bionic Woman and Katie,

      I’m also a woman – I don’t find the pictorial clues demeaning at all. It’s what BD and Gazza do and it is not meant to be offensive in any way. They are kind enough to sometimes include a rather good looking man, albeit occasionally, for us women!!

      This is the most wonderful site and, in my opinion anyway, should be appreciated for what it is AND the way it is always going to be – long may it remain.

    2. I agree with Kath and all the other women who have posted here in defense of BD and Gazza. I am a woman and I don’t find the pictures at all offensive. There are many mornings that they give me a chuckle and I can’t help but wondering where on earth they find them.

  23. After a hectic day I finally got round to tacking the puzzle, and initially thought I’d picked up the wrong paper. Definitely harder than the average Rufus, but as enjoyable as ever. Many thanks to him & to BD.

  24. Much the same as most of you. Bottom half in quickly. I was held up dreadfully at the top as I was sure History was right for 4d. Eventually I checked the hints and then realised why I was finding it so hard. I suppose if History had been right the clue would have ended with an exclamation mark! I did get 6d but was not overly confident. The nearest I could get for 13a was untie which obviously did not completely fit. Some long answers come straight away e.g. 9d but others much slower. I got the second word of 1a and if I had not wasted so much time with the wrong answer for 4d I would have got the first word much quicker. As a woman I have no objection to the pictures. It’s like the TV – if you don’t like it …switch off.

    1. No actually it isn’t at all like the TV, we subscribe to this site because we like crosswords, if we switched off it would surely be defeating the object

    2. I like the piccies! I have a bit of fun when finding the scantily clad blokes when relevant (or not sometimes) on a Wednesday! All adds a bit of fun IMHO and not meant to cause offence :grin: Makes a change from racing cars!

    3. I don’t mind the pictures either – there is no need to switch off, scroll past the pictures quickly – there is no need to linger on any of the pictures, it is after all the words of the hint we are after when we look down the hints and tips. At the risk of disappointing Pommers, I don’t look at the pictures of the cars either :)

      1. That’s not the point – simply posting pictures of scantily clad women is demeaning to women, whether or not I can ‘switch off’ or ‘scroll past’. It’s the principal that matters.
        It’s just not right and isn’t acceptable in this day and age when we are all aware of the message such pictures send out.

        1. This site will not become a victim of “political correctness” – it’s a bit of harmless fun.

          BTW it’s principle – the principal is the head of a college.

          1. Hear, hear – in my opinion there is far too much PC ness everywhere – keep doing everything just as you do BD – most of us appreciate you and those who don’t are, perhaps, the ones with the problems!

            1. Hi Kath – on Weds I’ll try to find a bloke as well as a girl (is that PC or just doubling the raunchy bit?) and a boat but can’t promise not to include a car :smile:. However, it all depends on the photo opportunities afforded by Jay’s clues – not been too good recently :sad:

        2. As a very PC lady, and one who battled her way in a male dominated arena in her career, I don;t have a problem in the slightest.
          I find this site SUPERB. . . and a bit of fun!
          Why do we need scantily clad anything? Even though there is the occasional scantily clad man this could be equally offensive to some!
          So come on everyone, chill out.

          As attributed to Voltaire “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
          The GREAT THING about this site is that usually no-one is offensive and we are ALL entitled to our opinion.

          Hi everyone, sorry I’ve been missing for a while. Other things got in the way – my dieting forum for one. But having now got to target (over 4½ stone lost now) I might have more to time to rejoin the fray! :smile:

          On the crossword front, most of this was 2* for me with a few 4* bits – so 3* about right. We got completely stuck in the SW corner due to pommers getting fixated with NY instead of LA. Pooh! You try anagraming GROUNDNY! :roll:

          Thanks BD and Rufus for a great Monday outing.

          1. Really well done on the weight front pmmette, I am still stuck on 1 stone!! not budged for months now, what’s your secret, maybe I should stop eating chocolate?!
            As to the ‘scanty picture’ debate, I suppose I can see where they are coming from but as someome said if you don’t like what’s on the telly switch it off, personally I haven’t found anything offensive or vulgar in any of the pictures, all a bit of lighthearted fun and sometimes very clever IMHO to find an appropriate (or not) picture, so lets keep this lighthearted and fun, but as always we are ALL allowed to say what we think as long as it isn’t offensive

    4. Have just replied in the wrong bit, I think – see above! Pommers – don’t really care for the cars but I do love boats! :smile:

  25. A fine puzzle as usual from the Monday Maestro! Really enjoyed it!
    I held us up a bit in the SW because I had NY in mnd for the US city, D’oh!
    3* about right IMHO, certainly a bit trickier than usual for a Rufus, but 13a which seems to have caused trouble? pommette read the clue and then wrote the answer in with no checkers in place :smile:
    Thanks to Rufus and BD.

    BTW – did anyone else think PAIN IN THE ARSE for 8d, or have I been doing too many Paul puzzles in the Grauniad? :lol:

    1. Yes – I would automatically have put “pain in the arse” but, because I always start with the across clues, I already had letters that excluded it!

  26. The usual enjoyable fare from Rufus – I forgot to post earlier as was watching the Diamond Jubilee programme on the TV.
    This was a kind of four separate corner puzzles linked by the fringe 13-letter jobs and the central 5-letter square.
    Faves were 13a & 16d.

    Grilled salmon with rosé wine from the Var tonight.

  27. Just as an aside – We won the bridge today :grin: :grin: First time since Christmas! And the BRB is supposed to be arriving tomorrow – my cup runneth over :grin:

  28. Thanks to Rufus and Big Dave. Very enjoyable puzzle to start the week, I put in 3 wrong answers at the top, which held me up a while. I had regular for 1a, impress for 5d,& puck for 14a.Doh !Favourites were the four framing clues.Last in was 27d.

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