DT 26817 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26817

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26817

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Once again I seem to have struggled more than I should have done. My excuse is the builders turned up to finish off a wall in the garden while I was halfway through the crossword, and that completely put me off my stride.

If you need to see the answer just highlight the space between the curly brackets.


1. Union without a single member (8)
{MARRIAGE} – The union of a man and a woman as husband and wife.

6. Employees’ supports (6)
{STAFFS} – Double definition, groups of people employed by companies for example, or sticks or canes used as aids for walking or climbing.

9. Took physical exercise when reminded (6)
{JOGGED} – Running at a steady slow trot or being nudged to remember something.

10. Being saucy I am put outside the room (8)
{IMPUDENT} – The definition is “being saucy”, place IM and then PUT around a secluded room used for study or relaxation.

11. Cast-off clothing (8)
{KNITWEAR} – Jumpers or sweaters for example.

12. A County Council practice is to make a charge (6)
{ACCUSE} – A and CC and then a synonym for to employ or exercise something.

13. Chef, a true star cooking on French back street (12)
{RESTAURATEUR} – An anagram (cooking) of A TRUE STAR, followed by the French word for a road reversed (back).

16. Inadequate means pint drinkers avoid them (4,8)
{HALF MEASURES} – A two word phrase that means insufficient or incomplete is the kind of drink you would not get in a pint glass unless of course you used two of them.

19. Bays, but can be silent (6)
{INLETS} – An anagram (can be) of SILENT.

21. No one in doubt the raid is over (3,5)
{ALL CLEAR} – Two words that could mean that everyone is free from doubt or confusion is also a signal that indicates that a danger has passed.

23. Points to small boy put in the high chair (8)
{ENTHRONE} – E (East), N (North), with the diminutive name for Ronald placed inside THE, for a word that describes being invested with sovereign power by being crowned. I guess. The wordplay uses up all except the last two words, leaving “high chair” as the definition, but that’s a noun and the answer is a verb ? So it seems that “put in the” is being used twice

24. Supply with power? (6)
{ENABLE} – 1. To give the means or opportunity. 2. To give legal power to. This seems weak to me, have we missed something?

25. Loan shark certain to be found in historic city (6)
{USURER} – Place a word that means impossible to doubt or dispute inside a common crossword ancient city to get someone who lends money at an exorbitant rate.

26. Just a few words may be fine (8)
{SENTENCE} – A grammatical unit or a court judgement.


2. Have riches in a vault (6)
{ABOUND} – A word that means to be great in number or amount, could be A and another word for a leap or jump.

3. You’re entitled to it, but it’s not left to you (5)
{RIGHT} – And if its not your left then it must be your?

4. The one who should get the post (9)
{ADDRESSEE} – The person to whom a letter or parcel is sent.

5. When free, retire to a place abroad (7)
{ERITREA} –An anagram (free) of RETIRE with an A added is a small country in North East Africa.

6. Brown monkeys climb all around one (5)
{SEPIA} – Reverse a word for large tail less primates and then insert I (one) to get a dark brown ink or pigment.

7. Gives up an office from basic date (9)
{ABDICATES} – An anagram (from) of BASIC DATE.

8. End on top? (6,2)
{FINISH UP} – A phrase that means to complete a task is also a charade end and on top.

13. Overtime pay for a barman (9)
{REFRESHER} – a fee (in addition to that marked on the brief) paid to a counsel in a case that lasts more than one day.

14. Sort of ruler and a clergyman for several parishes (5,4)
{RURAL DEAN} – An anagram (sort of) of RULER AND A.

15. The wages of sin — and anger (8)
{EARNINGS} – Another anagram this time of SIN and ANGER.

17. Sailors make steady progress on them, say, among swimmers (3,4)
{SEA LEGS} – Place EG (say) inside aquatic carnivorous mammals for a phrase that describes the ability to maintain balance on board a ship.

18. Pungent plant the Italian found in rock climbing (6)
{GARLIC} – Place a reversed Italian word for the inside another reversed word that describes a steep rugged mass of rock to get a bulb that has a strong odour and taste that is widely used in French cooking.

20. Initially surgeons cannot operate until really clean (5)
{SCOUR} – Take the first (initially) letters of the words surgeons, cannot, operate until and really.

22. Document you take from a letter (5)
{LEASE} – A contract granting use of a property for a period in exchange for rent.

The Quick crossword pun: {soup} + {official} = {superficial}

75 comments on “DT 26817

  1. Good morning Libelulle, I agree with your three star for difficulty today, I was stuck on the bottom left corner for ages! I was also wondering if I’d missed something in 24a? as usual lots of clues I liked but my favourite was 11a :-) lovely readings on nearly all the clues, thanks for blog Libelulle, hope all is well at home

          1. Good Morning Mary

            Some definitions of ‘of’ (preposition) – ‘from among, out from, belonging to, derived from’

    1. Hope you’ve got over the hangover now Mary. My head is still throbbing a little from Saturday night. I hear Wales was closed to traffic Sunday morning in order to keep the noise down.

  2. Good start to a sunny Monday morning – First in 21a and last one in 5d. Had to give the brain a little run up to get going – but once on the go it was fine :-) Thanks to Libellule for the Hints and Tips.

  3. A very pleasant start to the week. A few required some cogitation, although most of it went in very smoothly.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule.

  4. Back again – Didja miss me? Was helping out a colleague all last week so had to leave at 7 in the morning (forgot mornings HAD a 7) and wasn’t getting home until late.
    Enjoyable fare today, but not (IMHO) one of the easier Monday crosswords. Quite a few clues required some serious work for the grey matter (or it could be that my mind was elsewhere). Took a while to remember how to spell 13A – that word always gets me and I thought 11A was a tad on the obscure side. Generally speaking though,, I quite enjoyed this one.

    1. I was struggling with 13a – I was sure that it had an “n” in it. Then I took a break to actually read the paper and lo and behold there was the word on page 23! Maybe I should try this strategy more often!

  5. Thanks Libellule for hints and tips, and to Rufus for puzzle.
    Initial scan produced only three answers and then brickwall time. Once again not spotting anagram indicators slowed me down, got their in the end though.
    Enjoyed it greatly. 11a, 16a and 13d favourites.

  6. Mmm, not my favourite Monday puzzle, seemed to be slightly more difficult than of late. Or perhaps I just wasn’t on the right wavelength. Struggled along and tried for ages to get some sort of ‘costume’ into 11a thinking that cast must be something to do with a play. Last in was 23a and I get the ‘how’ but don’t really understand the ‘why’. Favourite clue 18d. Thanks to Libellule for the hints.

  7. About average difficulty for a Monday for me. The two that held me up, but not for very long, were 11 and 23a. I didn’t know the money meaning of 13a and couldn’t find an anagram indicator for 15d so was a bit doubtful for a while. I almost put “scrub” for 20d but didn’t – just as well! I liked 9 and 11a and 3 and 6d. With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    Lovely sunny day here – off up the garden to do useful “stuff”! :smile:

  8. Yes, this was another trademark 3*/3* challenge from Rufus. Needed the hints to confirm why I had 13d correct. Thanks Libullele.

  9. Good morning everybody, lovely day here in Guildford. Good crossword to kick the brain into gear for the start of the week. Made a mess up of 12a one of the easier clues – put in ACCOST but wasn’t sure. Looked at hint and, well it’s obvious now. Put it down to a bad night’s sleep. First in 1a, last 9a. Thanks very much to Rufus and Libullele.

    1. 1a first in for me. Worked for me. Also one or two bloggers not happy with 11a. I liked it but you need to have been taught to knot to know the term ‘cast off’

      1. At the risk of sounding sexist I think it’s about time we had a few more clues that women are more likely to know than men!! :grin:

  10. Re 6d – monkeys are not apes. This is something that appears quite often in crosswords and always irritates me! Otherwise an enjoyable and not too taxing start to the week. Many thanks to compiler and blogger. Interesting to read the new introduction from Big Dave. We are all so grateful for that moment’s madness when he agreed to take it on!

    1. You should read some of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series Patsyann – he has a librarian who has been transformed into an Orang-outang by a magical accident and who explains the difference between apes and monkeys by the simple means of picking people up and bouncing them on their heads after the have called him a monkey.

      1. I wouldn’t bounce Rufus on his head because it might affect his abiity to produce such enjoyable puzzles.

      2. I pre-ordered a new version of The Complete Discworld Companion last September but it will not be published until October 2012. I do hope that there is nothing that we should read into such a long lead time.

        1. I don’t think we need to read too much into the release date of The Complete Discworld Companion, if you check Amazon, there are at least 5 other of Mr. Pratchett’s books ready for pre-order. I think you’ll find he’s just been a little bit busy.

  11. I thought this was going to be difficult as I didn’t write anything in until 13a but then it all fell into place in a 1* time. 3* for enjoyment. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    Rufus is slightly trickier in the Guardian and not to bad in the FT, if you are looking for another puzzle or two to solve.

  12. A nice introduction to the week from Rufus. Spot on two stops for me today. Thansk to the setter and to Libellule.

  13. Thanks to Rufus for the usual gentle start to the crossword week and to Libellule for the usual extremely informative review. ( by the way, I am still unable to comment using my Sky email with the Desperate Dan avatar am having to use my old BT email, )

      1. … I think you should have trained her (or him) better then all you would need to do is call!

      2. Mary, if you’ve found your little dog, why can’t he/she appear any more on the blog?

  14. 13a. If “chef” is the definition, I don’t think the answer fits. A restaurateur is the owner or manager of a restaurant – not the chef.

    1. I think that I probably agree with you. I suppose he, or she, could be both …. this is called sitting on the fence!!

    2. Bit hard for a post mothers day crossword-seems all felt it was around***/***-i agree with you on ‘R’ being the proprietor but then i’m usually wrong as someone always quotes Chambers-which i dont have-i.ve got a dog eared Collins way past its solve by date!
      As Kath say’s could be both ,like having your cake and eating it.

    3. Exactly the comment I was about to make Vince. AND I checked the deinition in Chambers, just to be sure!!

  15. Usual problem with beauty and the eye of the beholder. I thought you were going to give today’s a 1 or 2 star for difficulty. Everything came together nicely I thought and I loved 11a, a clue that made me smile. Last one in was 22d, I never seem to remember that letter is crossword speak for landlord! Thanks to Libellule for reminding me.

  16. Once again, it’s interesting to see how opinion of the difficulty varies – I’m with the *** bunch.

    Last one in was 5D, which misdirected me very well!

    Thanks to all concerned :-)

  17. *** here I think.
    Like Mary I loved 11a, which was beautiful. Less convinced by the bottom right corner. 24A was the last in and I’m still not convinced.

    Thanks to both.

  18. Re 24a, there is another definition,
    ‘(Electronics) to put (a digital electronic circuit element) into an operative condition by supplying a suitable input pulse’
    I suppose in the sense of an internet-enabled mobile phone. Just a thought??

    1. Had you not been in Discworld you would have noticed that I alrady recommended the two ‘Rufus’ puzzles in other papers.

      1. Ah! Yes! Of course! How remiss of me! I beg your forgiveness for not having noticed. I just had a 5 minute break while preparing invoices – not the most thrilling of tasks but since Mrs S retired I need every pound available to fund her “let’s make the garden look more Mediterranean” project.

        1. spindrift….Shame on you! That’s put you firmly in your place! No amount of sarcastic grovelling can make amends! :grin:

  19. Good afternoon, all. Back after a short break & waiting for the Edinburgh cloud to lift.

    Found this quite tricky, obviously not thinking cryptically!

    Thanks to all.

  20. Also thought it more difficult than normal for a Monday, but got there eventually, though transposing an “i” and an “e” in 5d didn’t help with solving 10a. Am a bit iffy about 13a – as commented above – and also not sure about 24a, which was last in (and needed to check hints to confirm it) – first in was 1a. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  21. Real struggle today needed hints.
    Now I’m off to the pleasures of the conspiracy boards. :))

  22. I,too found this quite tricky for a Monday. *** difficulty for me. Thanks to Rufus & Libellule.

  23. 4 on the blacksheepometer for me I’m afraid but only 2 until all but 3 were filled in. Those being 19A (doh) 23A and 24A.

    Enjoyment? Well if you read J Clarkson’s motoring review in this week’s Saturday DTel he really liked the new Porsche 911 until he got a puncture and realised said transport doesn’t come with a spare tyre (d’you know I thought they had to by law) and downgraded it to 0*

    For my money 24A is the no spare tyre moment for this crossword. As Mr Knightly might have said to today’s compiler – ‘Badly done Emma, badly done’

    …….Well I did say it was 4 on the blacksheepometer. Cheers.

    1. No spare tyre is the norm now. This was my no spare tyre puzzle … I was rubbish at it … which nicely nipped any pretensions of growing competence in the bud. The spring flowers on the other hand are very cheery in the lovely weather we have been having.

  24. Thanks Rufus and Libellule.
    Nice one.
    All went well until 23a which I stared at, then stared at some more until the penny dropped.

  25. Thanks for crossword. Very quick to solve after two pints of Harvest Pale. Ran through it systematically leaving only 5d to go back to. Thought it was an anagram which left little to doubt but I wanted to put a U in it. I agree with comments but I think it does work although looked at simply it is hardly cryptic. I also struggled with the spelling of 13a. I think Chef is OK as a definition if you think of the French establishments with a chef patron. South West corner held me up for a bit. I missed the anagrams for 19 a and 15d. Always good to read the hints and comments after solving. I missed the significance of barman and letter. Good fun.

  26. I am in the *** territory – this took me longer than the Times this morning (although it must be said that the Times wasn’t particularly hard!). As usual though I ended up kicking myself when various pieces of change dropped. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule.

  27. Despite an awful commute into Waterloo this morning that took far longer than normal
    and worse this evening I couldn’t finish this. Where’s the anagram indicator in 15? Why is 2 riches? It’s only riches if it’s a large 2, if it’s a small 2 then it’s not riches.

    1. 15 – Of is the indicator. Of, as in from.

      2 abound – to be rich or well supplied – to exist in large quantities

      Seems to work better than some of the other clues

  28. Solved this after a late lunch then fell asleep – forgot to cook a chicken for dinner so had grilled fish instead.
    Slighttly tougher fare from Rufus today.
    I liked 11a, 16a, 13d & 17d.

    Weather here in NL is sunny and springlike at long last – 2 more days to equinox and 3 to perihelion!

  29. Don’t want to rain on everyone’s parade but I thought this was pretty easy, even by Rufus standards! The usual elegant Rufus clue constructions but we had done about half (in very quick time) over lunch before bridge. Then pommette disappeared for a few minutes to sort out tables for the afternoon and when she came back i’d filled in all the missing lights :grin: She’s not a happy bunny but I printed the Grauniad so she can have a look at that tomorrow!

    I’d give it */*** and favourite was 6d having visited Gibraltar last week – that’s exactly what they do!

    Thanks Rufus, it was fun, and thanks to Libellule too.

    1. P.S. 23 was last in with a note to check the blog to see if I’m missing something! Poor clue IMHO opinion as I agree with Libellile that there is double duty going on here.

  30. Hi all. Amongst a few gripes including the flimsy anagram indicator in 15d, my biggest moan is 13d which I don’t think anyone has mentioned. Rock solid general knowledge clue even though there was a cleverness to the clue. All said and done ok today with 11a and 23a quite tricky.

  31. Thanks to the setter and to Libellule for the review and hints, needed 4 of them. Didn’t really enjoy it, no favourites. Probably just me being tired after driving back from the Lake District.

  32. I was completely rubbish at this one! A false dawn therefore on the supposed ‘progress’ I was making. Ho hum. More practice needed!

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