DT 26805 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26805

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26805

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Normal service has been resumed. Mrs. L. is well on the mend, so many thanks for all of your kind comments. I struggled a bit with a few of the clues, although I suspect a certain rustiness on my part. I finally decided to give this three stars for difficulty mainly because although its easy to guess the answer to 5d, I had no idea why the answer was what it was until Gazza enlightened me.

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


1. A copper collection? (6,5)
{POLICE FORCE} – A cryptic definition to start with, the sort of coppers who enforce the law, and prevent and detect crime.

9. Open to defeat (4)
{UNDO} – Double definition, to untie, or to cause the downfall of someone.

10. Overwhelmingly distressed as the lover or the banker may become (11)
{HEARTBROKEN} – An anagram (may become) of OR THE BANKER is a word that describes suffering from overwhelming grief.

11. Plant in another bed (4)
{HERB} – An aromatic plant can be found hidden between the two words of another and bed.

14. Exaggerate one’s role playing at cover (7)
{OVERACT} – An anagram (playing) of AT COVER.

16. Let’s eat out in US city (7)
{SEATTLE} – Another anagram (out) of LETS EAT.

17. Chap meets a girl — Heather? (5)
{ERICA} – A mans name plus A is the genus of heath or heather plants.

18. Find Yank partly involved in US motor racing (4)
{INDY} – A type of American car racing can be found hidden between the first two words of the clue.

19. Check soundness of rule (4)
{REIN} – The sort of check used to control a horse sounds like the exercise of sovereign power.

20. Page has ailments — treated with these? (5)
{PILLS} – P (page) plus another word for complaints or diseases produces a word for something that might be used to treat such maladies.

22. He has publicity consultant as boss (7)
{HEADMAN} – HE plus another term for a person who works in advertising is also a chief.

23. Studio that is later converted (7)
{ATELIER} – An anagram (converted) of LATER and IE (that is) is an artist’s workshop.

24. It may be kept or eaten (4)
{DATE} – Double definition, an appointment, or the edible fruit of a type of palm.

28. Lacking a topcoat, that’s plain (11)
{UNVARNISHED} – Another double definition that refers to something that might be unpainted, and a word used in a phrase to describe a statement that is unembellished.

29. Food and money for the journey (4)
{FARE} – And another. Food and drink or a transportation charge.

30. Those on the board who make plans (11)
{DRAUGHTSMEN} – Pieces used in “checkers” or persons skilled in drawing.


2. Topless females — a bad sign? (4)
{OMEN} – Remove W from another word for ladies to leave a word for a prophetic sign.

3. Having free rein with regard to the matter (2,2)
{IN RE} – A legal preposition that means in the matter or case of or in regard to is an anagram (free) of REIN.

4. Hold me up and stay (7)
{EMBRACE} – Reverse (up) ME and then add another word for a supporting wire or rope, to get a word that means to clasp or hold close.

5. Player giving lead on pitch (4)
{OBOE} – I guessed the answer to this from the checking letters and had no idea what this was referring to, until Gazza sent me this “Orchestras frequently tune to a concert A (usually A440) played by the oboe. According to the League of American Orchestras, this is done because the pitch of the oboe is secure and its penetrating sound makes it ideal for tuning purposes. “ So now you know.

6. Church to lease out a place in London (7)
{CHELSEA} – CH (church) plus an anagram (out) of LEASE.

7. Number employed in the theatre (11)
{ANAESTHETIC} – An old chestnut. Number here refers to something that could deprive you of feeling or make you unable to move in a hospital theatre.

8. System of bookkeeping as old as the Ark? (6,5)
{DOUBLE ENTRY} – Two by two.

12. Eliminated outstanding cricket side (8,3)
{POLISHED OFF} – An informal phrase that refers to finishing or disposing of something quickly and easily is constructed from a word that can mean refined or accomplished followed by a cricketing term that is the opposite of the leg side.

13. Service chiefs? (4,7)
{HEAD WAITERS} – People who might supervise the feeding and seating of customers at a restaurant.

15. School exercise (5)
{TRAIN} – Double definition. To coach, or to prepare physically for something

16. Opera house providing extract of ‘Tosca’ last year (5)
{SCALA} – An opera house in Milan, Italy is found between the words Tosca and last.

20. Fellow tripper, perhaps (7)
{PARTNER} – Someone who you might dance with?

21. Resolute enough to put a stop to the bloodshed? (7)
{STAUNCH} – A word that means loyal and dependable also means to stop the flow of a liquid.

25. Forbidden, but a new constitution is required (4)
{TABU} – An anagram (new…) of BUT A.

26. River claims lives twice (4)
{ISIS} – A name for the Thames in Oxford is also another word for exists repeated.

27. Sounds a good player — give up! (4)
{CEDE} – Another word that sounds like SEED means to yield.

The Quick crossword pun: {morphia} + {Monet} = {more for your money}

62 comments on “DT 26805

  1. Logged on to check 5d, and to fully justify 7d. Not an old chestnut to me! (One to remember though). Thanks to all involved today.

  2. A 2* for me today A nice gentle start to the week. No real problems except my original spelling of 7d which gave me a problem with 9a for a little while. Thanks to Libellule for the review, & welcome back.

  3. A little tricky in places I thought. 5d was new to me, and I also spent a while on 20d, which was my last one in.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule (welcome back) for the review.

  4. Struggled with 10a, which was last in. For 24a I had initially entered CAKE, which I still feel is a viable answer (other than the checking letters of course). I’d agree with 3*. More difficult than normal for a Monday IMO, and most enjoyable. Thanks to setter (Rufus?) and to Libellule. Pleased to hear that Mrs L is on the road to recovery.

  5. Welcome back and glad to hear that Mrs L is well on the mend. Good old fashioned 2* entertainment and 3* enjoyment for me today. Many thanks to Rufus for the fun and to Libellule for the review.

  6. Really enjoyed this, thanks Rufus.
    LIbellule, thanks for explanations, number was new to me and I spent ages trying to justify 7d, same for 12d. Not a follower of cricket which seems to make a lot of clues harder than they need be.

  7. Once more, writing in the answer took longer than solving the clue. :)
    Ah well always Thursday to look forward to.
    Thanks Libellule and the setter.

  8. An enjoyable puzzle today. Quite pleased with myself re 5D, I actually remembered something from my music lessons at school which is quite surprising as I was constantly being asked to leave as I am totally tone deaf!! Many thanks to Rufus

  9. What an unpleasant puzzle for a Monday! Clues likes 5d and 12d leave me cold and I still don’t get 26d, what’s it got to do with claims? I’ m probably annoyed because I didn’t spot so many of the anagrams which is frustrating.

  10. I didn’t mind this one too much today, but I wasn’t entirely on the setters wavelength for some of the clues. 7d and 12d in particular. I had to wait for the hints for a few of the clues before I could finish it. Not sure I like the spelling of 25d either, but maybe that’s just me!

  11. Enjoyable but not too difficult today (but I would consider this to be a bit tougher than the normal Monday offering). I was help up for a while after putting Head Quarters in for 13D (actually fitted quite well apart from 22A). Also, I put an A at the end of 7D (Guess that could work too).

    Thanks to Rufus as ever and welcome back Libellule, glad to hear Mrs L is better.

  12. Good morning Libelulle and welcome back :-) Glad to hear Mrs L is ‘well’ on the way to recovery, I don’t think it’s just you being rusty, I thought this was a most unRufus like puzzle today, I completely went wrong on 7d putting in ‘entertainer’ which fitted nicely with everything until I came to 19a & 23a, so I give this my vote for favourite clue today, eventually finished but admittedly not without a little help from yourself, thank you, Libelulle

  13. Mondays without a Rufus would be intolerable. We need easing into the week and this puzzle, along with yesterday’s Virgilius, is most welcome. Thanks to he & to Libelulle for the review.

    By the way Rufus is in a feistier mood over on the Grauniad.

  14. 24a. For a long time I had ‘cake’ as the answer. You can’t keep your cake and eat it!

    1. Contrary to popular belief, the quotation is actually the other way around : “You cannot eat your cake and have it too.”. Which makes much more sense. The earliest recorded use is from 1546 in John Heywood’s “A dialogue Conteinyng the Nomber in Effect of All the Prouerbes in the Englishe Tongue”, as “wolde you bothe eate your cake, and have your cake?”

      I inituallt had ‘BUTLERS’ as the second word in 13d. Perhaps indicative of a former life … but whether upstairs or downstairs, I don’t know. But it certainly screwed that corner up for a while.

      I was undecided whether 7d ended in a C or an A. I guessed the former.

  15. I thought this was much more difficult than is normal for a Monday – perhaps because of the large number of four letter answers – eleven, or if you count 3d, twelve. I eventually failed with 5d although I couldn’t think of much else that would fit and needed the hint to explain 20d. I spent ages trying to make that one an anagram of “tripper” which just wouldn’t work however hard I tried. Definitely a 3* for me today. I’ve come across 7d before but still think it’s a good clue. I liked 10, 16 and 29a and 8, 26 and 27d. With thanks to Rufus and Libellule – glad to hear that Mrs L is on the mend.

  16. Having solved all three of the Rufus cryptics today (DT, Guardian and FT) this was the most user-friendly apart from the time it took me to work out the anagram in 10a and not understanding about 5d. Lovely old chestnut at 7d. Thanks to Rufus for the usual nice start to the week. Welcome back and thank you to Libellule too. Glad to hear that Mme Libellule is doing well enough for you to return to reviewing.

  17. Hi Libelulle, been looking at 25d again, where does ‘constitution’ come in? unless ‘new constitution’ is the anagram indicator?

    1. Mary – thats how I read it, basically the anagrind is “new constitution is required”, thats why when I commented on the clue I used
      anagram (new…) – note the three dots :-)

  18. Many thanks to Rufus for a very enjoyable crossword which I thought slightly trickier than usual for a Monday. Thanks to Libellule for the review, best regards to Mrs. L., glad she is on the mend.

  19. Definitely harder than usual………….the wolf in sheep’s clothing is revealed!

    However, a bit of ‘serious thinking’ as my headmistress used to say, 45 years ago, does no harm, and although not quite finished, am having a break for a walk in the sun, then back to the puzzle!

    Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule.

  20. **/*** today,gentle start to the week again, no doubt things will get tougher! 8d amused me and did’nt realise 10a was an anagram until i’d got most of the letters in-particularly the’b’quite a few of the usual suspects present which made for a quick solve.Was going to try the toughie,then realised it was monday, trying the general knowledge crossword instead.

      1. Thanks,enjoyed the puzzle,not familier with the Guardian cryptic ,i would class today’s as a’quicky cryptic’- you either see the solution straightaway,or you don’t! does it vary much in difficulty ,as the DT certainly does-will try a few more to get a feel.Familier with the Mail and Express cryptics as i usually go to skiathos and these papers come out on the same day as England, unlike the broadsheets-nothing more useless than yesterdays news.

        1. Try today’s FT – Dante is another one of Rufus’s aliases. Available free on line too.

  21. Catastrophe narrowly averted this morning. Just got the monthly bills printed before the Dell inkjet’s black cartridge holder broke (after only nine years). So frantic copying of the crossword into Word, changing letters and shading to dark blue (what else?) and settled down over lunch, only to find it hadn’t numbered the grid. Managed it anyway, after a tune-up on the oboe. Hope the HP replacement gets here soon.
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  22. Enjoyed this one, apart from those pesky 4-letter clues! Only answer I could think of for 5d happened to be correct, but couldn’t think why, so much obliged for the very informative explanation! Only tme wll tell if I remember it, of course. Had to check 25d as also thought it was a double O at the end – another one to remember for the future.Last in was 30a, having spent rather too long trying to make something to do with architects fit, but got there eventually. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  23. Wlcome back Libellule, glad to hear Mrs L on the mend.

    Just about to have a go at this one in the bar – maybe back later with a comment.

  24. Like many others found this a bit trickier than usual for a Rufus but enjoyable all the same. These pesky four letter words held me back and as for 5d could only be that word (I think) with the two O’s but I had no idea why it was ,so many thanks for the music lesson Libellule and nice to see you back. :smile:

  25. Only 4 hours and 1 ref to the BRB.
    Feeling very smug ( never felt it before)
    Everybody knows you need an O*O* to tune the orchestra. :)

  26. Bit of a tricky one for a Monday Rufus today imho. But it could have something to do with being sat in yet another bar!
    Last one in was 5d and despite playing in orchestras for 20 years this one had me scratching my head. Oh well – great D’oh moment when I got it.
    Off to a different bar to try the Arachne Quiptic.
    Thanks to Libellule and Rufus for today

  27. 1. Welcome back Libellule and best wishes for your wife’s full recovery!

    2. The usual pleasing puzzle from Rufus of a Monday!
    Faves : 1a, 17a, 28a, 30a, 7d, 13d, 21d & 26d.

    3. Re 5d – one of the people in the adjacent apartment block was an oboe player and he could be heard practising regularly – I met him outside one day and he mentioned that he had to keep the orchestra in tune!

  28. Once again, I would like to thank everybody for their kind comments. Its nice to be back :-)

  29. Good evening everyone. I struggled a tad today but on the way home I managed to complete it save 20d (how obvious!). 8d has cropped up before and 5d is an instrument my son is practising as I type! I am away for a few days and back on Friday.

    1. 20d was one of the two that I needed the hint for today – I kept trying to make it an anagram of “tripper” and then, even when the answer became obvious, I STILL didn’t “get” it. The other one was 5d – although the answer couldn’t be much else I didn’t understand the “why” bit. I think (but don’t really know) that having a son practising a 5d could be a bit easier on the ear than a daughter, many years ago, practising a violin!!

  30. Thanks Libellule, great to have you back and to hear Mrs L is ok. Woo hoo, normally it’s the 4 letter words that throw me, but the 5d more by chance I think I could parse. Thanks to your good self and Rufus

  31. Thanks to the setter & to Libellule for the review & hints. Quite enjoyed this one, no real problems apart from 5d, which was last in, got it from the checkers but had no idea why, thanks for the explanation. Favourite was 10, because I didn’t realise it was an anagram for ages. Nice start to the week.

  32. I would have had little trouble with this puzzle if I hadn’t had “word” for 24a initially (makes sense -yes?) so had trouble with 12d and 13d until I realised my mistake. A nice start to the week and thanks to the compiler and Libellule.

  33. I enjoyed this puzzle but thought there was quite a lot of ambiguity about some of the answers

  34. Two days behind owing to a long weekend – surely the clue for 5d should have the answer oboist not oboe? and how do you tell if 7d ends tic or sia?

    1. Pookie,

      Re. 5d
      (Music) a person who plays this instrument in an orchestra e.g. second oboe

      Re. 7d
      By keying in the answers to the crossword into the interactive puzzle on Clued-Up.

    2. Further to Libellule’s comment:

      Anaesthesia is the loss of feeling and an anaesthetic is the agent that causes that loss of feeling. If the former had been intended it would have been clued as numbness, destroying the surface reading.

  35. I’d suggest that both oboe and oboist can refer to the player, much like “lead violin” referring to the player. The number is the thing that numbs, which is the anaesthetic. Anaesthesia is what results. That’s how I read them anyway – probably wrong!

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