DT 26841 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26841

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26841

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Another typically enjoyable Rufus crossword to start the week. Got a bit stuck on 8d (don’t ask why) when I thought the answer was “in ones power”.

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

1. Is worthless as a cash customer? (2,2,7)
{OF NO ACCOUNT} – A phrase that means to have no value, could describe someone who does not have a use a bank to store their money.

9. Noticed to be seven minus five (4)
{SEEN} – Remove V (five) from seven.

10. There’s no need to worry with sleep guaranteed (4,7)
{REST ASSURED} – A term that means to be assured or to be certain could also be a guarantee of good sleep.

11. Scandinavian drink introduced by Mickey (4)
{FINN} – This individuals capital would be Helsinki.

14. King in bed’s a poor kind of sight (7)
{BLEARED} – Put a tragic Shakespearian king inside BED to get a word that means to have blurred or reddened eyes.

16. Qualifications for figuring all the angles? (7)
{DEGREES} – The sort of qualifications you might gain at University.

17. Uncle who helped found Italian city (5)
{REMUS} – A the fictional storyteller of Southern American tales is also the brother of Romulus.

18. Time to return for discharge (4)
{EMIT} – Reverse time.

19. Heads back to deliver a knock-out blow (4)
{STUN} – An old chestnut. A slang term for heads when reversed (back) is a term that means to daze or render senseless.

20. They fly the flag for Europeans (5)
{POLES} – And another one – boom-boom! Their capital is Warsaw.

22. Meat stewed in ovens (7)
{VENISON} – An anagram (stewed) of IN OVENS.

23. Sort of roll made with herb found across America (7)
{SAUSAGE} – Put USA inside a herb of the genus Salvia to get a savoury roll that has meat in it.

24. Adds up the numbers of infants (4)
{TOTS} – Double definition.

28. Arrange the score with art (11)
{ORCHESTRATE} – An anagram (arrange) of THE SCORE and ART.

29. Neat running of Oxford university (4)
{OXON} – This is crossword lands alternative definition of neat. Think of a bovine animal and then add ON (running, e.g. switched on).

30. An unfair comparison (2,4,2,3)
{AS UGLY AS SIN} – The sort of comparison you might make if someone or something was particularly unattractive.


2. Part of guitar made from pine (4)
{FRET} – A ridge across the fingerboard of a guitar also means to be be vexed or troubled.

3. Picks spot for recreation (4)
{OPTS} – An anagram (for recreation) of SPOT.

4. Cancel the commission for one who looks after the money (7)
{CASHIER} – To dismiss from a position of command or responsibility is also someone who pays and receives money.

5. Work in the music business (4)
{OPUS} – The term for a musical composition.

6. Do they have piercing eyes? Just the opposite! (7)
{NEEDLES} – they do have eyes, but its the tips that do the piercing.

7. Diesel train specially designed to accommodate people (11)
{RESIDENTIAL} – An anagram (specially designed) of DIESEL TRAIN.

8. Bent for submission (2,4,5)
{ON ONES KNEES} – What you would be doing if you were genuflecting.

12. Keeping watch… (11)
{OBSERVATION} – The act of noting and recording something is also the act or faculty of observing.

13. …notice acquiescence (11)
{RESIGNATION} – The act of leaving a position or an office is also the unresisting acceptance of something as inescapable.

15. The spirit of my French translation (5)
{DEMON} – The French words for of and my produce an evil supernatural being.

16. Noblemen, they’re put up for fights (5)
{DUKES} – Noblemen with the highest hereditary rank is also a rhyming slang term for your fists.

20. Quietly put out sailor that’s fired from a submarine (7)
{POLARIS} – P (quietly) and an anagram (out) of SAILOR is also an intermediate-range ballistic missile.

21. Stays if made content (7)
{SATISFY} – An anagram (made) of STAYS IF.

25. Tough, loveless, confused cut-throat (4)
{THUG} – Remove O (loveless) from TOUGH, and the answer is an anagram (confused) of the remainder.

26. Flag raised in the garden (4)
{IRIS} – The term flag also describes a plant that has narrow sword-shaped leaves and showy, variously coloured flowers.

27. Part of the Tuileries holding the sewers (4)
{ETUI} – A hidden word is found between the and Tuileries that describes a small box containing scissors, tweezers and needles etc.

The Quick crossword pun: {baker} + {light} = {Bakelite®}

66 comments on “DT 26841

  1. Good start to the week, not too challenging but with some neat clues such as 16a, 28a and esp 6d. My thx to Rufus for starting us off well, sorry Libellule I didn’t need your hints today but I do appreciate the work that goes in to compiling them.

  2. A gentle start to the week. A pleasant enough puzzle; no particular favourites, not overly keen on 2d.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule.

  3. Very pleasant start of the week.
    One observation: in 12d the double def doesn’t quite work. “Keeping” is “observance”, not “observation”.

    Thanks to setter and reviewer!

  4. Sorry but how do I print a copy of this crossword from BD’s site.
    DT has not processed my Worldplay subscription renewal payment, extremely, very annoying.
    Many thanks

    1. Sorry, you can’t print Telegraph puzzles from here. We did have a special arrangement a few months ago, but that ended when the problems with the Telegraph Puzzles site were fixed.

      1. Many thanks BD for your prompt reply – I thought you had some months ago.
        The DT puzzle site leaves a lot, with respect, to be desired :)

    2. If you let BD supply me with your e-mail details then I can scan a copy & e-mail it you as a PDF attachment.

      1. Many thanks for the offer, spyndryft, but I actually bought the DT, enjoyed reading it.:)
        My payment was made at 01:36 am so I should imagine there’s a time delay.
        I’ve receceved an acknowledgement to the E-mail I sent them, so. hopefully shouldn’t be too long.

  5. Apleasant gentle start to the week. I enjoyed it immensely. 13d was my last one in but no real problems. Thanks to Rufus & to Libellule for the review.

  6. Good morning Libelulle, thanks for the hints/review, for me this didn’t quite seem a typical Rufus today a bit more GK than usual, the top part took me much longer than the rest of the puzzle for some reason, didn’t like 11a, fav clues today were 9a and 23a, I also thought 12d should be observ’ing’ , off to finish yesterdays, unexpected visitors from 1pm until gone 9pm meant I couldn’t complete it yesterday :-( , very grey and cold here today

  7. Morning all. Untaxing (are we allowed to use this word considering the furore in Government at the moment?) puzzle today with no real demons. Enjoyed 17A, very clever I thought.

  8. Good start to the day for me, got a bit hung up on 12d but as it was all that fitted it went in.
    29a, that’s a meaning of neat I had never come across before.
    When I’m a Xword editor I’m going to ban 4 letter clues, they cause me more grief than the rest of the clues put together! (although todays weren’t too bad).

    Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the hints and tips.

      1. Sometimes they can be tricky, but I thought all the 4 letter clues were dead easy except for 29a.

      2. They can be tricky, but I thought today’s four letter clues were all dead easy, except for 29 across.

    1. … a couple of yesterday’s THREE letter answers caused me a bit of grief…! I agree that it’s always the little ones that are difficult.

  9. I thought this was fairly straightforward although I had a total mental block about the last bit of 1a. Also couldn’t get 14a for ages. I’ve heard of the drink in 11a but had to look it up to find out what it is. I didn’t know that 16d is rhyming slang. It hadn’t occurred to me that there was anything wrong with 12d until other people suggested that there was – I think it’s OK. My favourites include 11 and 17a and 6 and 15d. With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    Cold but sunny here – need to cut the grass if it really is going to rain for the rest of the week as is forecast.

  10. I was born within the sound of Bow bells, but I can’t work out the rhyming slang connection between ‘dukes’ and ‘fists’ (16d) I got the answer so i must have heard it before – someone point out the obvious for me please!

  11. This took slightly longer than usual for a Rufus but then I was interrrupted by an electrician who wanted me to move a lot of stuff out of his way and then proceeded to do a lot of drilling – and I come in to work early specially to do the crosswords in peace and quiet!) As entertaining as ever, thank you Rufus and thank you to Libellule too.

  12. Usual Monday morning Rufus crossword and none the worse for that, not difficult but always enjoyable. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule.

  13. A nice gentle start to the week, hope it stays that way! All but two in each direction (with a couple of errors found with Libellule’s help this morning) finishes last night. As well as the two old chestnuts identified by Libellule, it was good to see 27d showing up again.

  14. A nice start to the week for me too, 13D my last one in, not heard of 26D described this way before. Thanks to Libellule and Rufus.

  15. Rufus obviously had 3 shredded wheat for breakfast when he came up with today’s cryptic in the guardian. I recommend it to the house.

    1. spyndryft, only 3 shredded wheat? More like 4! I found today’s Rufus in the Grauniad very difficult indeed! But, I always find his cryptic/double definitions so much more difficult than clues where you can arrive at the solution by using the wordplay!

      I also found the Guardian Quiptic quite difficult today – I’m sure I’ve seem this theme fairly recently? The Quiptic is supposed to be for beginners – I must regressing. :cry:

      1. Did you finish it? If so why is 24a – HARRIS- island boatman. I understand the island reference but boatman?

        1. Now that is weird! I’ve just ordered that book to replace the one my father had and which I haven’t read since I was a boy.Thank you.

    2. Oh – I was looking for an excuse to put off cutting the grass so tried to print out the Guardian cryptic – printer just said “NO”! I’m not so much a “technophobe” as a “technoclueless”! It’s all fine as long as everything is working but don’t know where to begin when it isn’t. Husband away until Friday – I cut the grass!

  16. Lovely gentle puzzle and ,hooray, I remembered 27d. Last one in for me was 14a as ,although it occurred to me ,I didn’t think it was a proper word. As the saying goes,”you learn something new every day. Now I’m off to finish my book ..a cracking story and piece of writing called “The Black House” by Peter May. It’s not just that I’m biased because it takes place on the island on which I grew up,it’s a great story. Anyone read it? Thanks to Rufus & Libellule for confirming 14a . :smile:

    1. Hi Annidrum. 14a was last one in for me too. Having just come back from your lovely island, I am intrigued about this book. I believe it is the first one of a trilogy. I must look out for it.

        1. We arrived on the Friday (the end of our hot spell three weeks ago). It was a wonderful sunny day on the Saturday when I went sea fishing for the first time – loved it). The next two days were grey with misty rain but it didn’t stop us from going on long hikes. We saw seals, cormorants, grouse, deer, Highland cattle and sea eagles and each afternoon we returned to the lodge where we were staying and have home made cake and tea sitting by a peat fire. Superb.

    2. Don’t know the book – what is the island? Always on the look out for something interesting to read.

  17. Lots of easy ones and a few head scratchers today. First in was 2d. The best use of a fret board I have seen is by guitarist Jon Gomm. If you haven’t seen him in action then I recommend that you find him on YouTube playing Passionflower. Thanks Rufus & Libellule. **/*** sounds about right.

  18. What an enjoyable puzzle proving, yet again, that Rufus is King. They don’t have to be difficult to be enjoyable but they do have to be interesting. Thank you to him and to Libellule for the hints

  19. Thanks to Rufus & Libellule for the review & hints. I needed two to finish. Couldn’t get 14a & 13d, apart from them I found it straightforward. Favourites were 9& 22a and 16 & 20d. Cold in Central London.

  20. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review & hints. I needed two hints for 14a & 13d, the latter I had to look up.The rest of the puzzle was straightforward and most enjoyable. Favourites were 9 & 22 acrosses & 16 & 20 downs. Cold in Central London today.

  21. What’s the Rhyming slang for Dukes please? I knew they meant fists, but don’t know the couplet.

  22. I thought some of the clues were a tad clumsy – 1a particularly. 14a rather weak too. 20d was my favourite. Finished it on the way home after a struggle with it on the commute in. Maybe I was not tuned in today?

  23. Managed that without hints – but then it’s Monday, isn’t it? Am sure the rest of the week will sing a different tune! Got 16d because I couldn’t see what else it could be, so am glad for the comments explaining; not sure about 14a? funny sort of word. NE corner last in; head scratching for a while then suddenly got 2d and 4d and the rest flowed. Most enjoyable. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  24. Back here after a break from cryptics— have been struggling with them for weeks. Found this tricky in places so not quite back in to the fold yet, but hope to persevere.

  25. Every time the word “sewer” appears, I tell myself to remember the needle and cotton connection and then it takes me all crossword to actually remember my own advice. I once had a venison sausage and it was very nice indeed.

  26. I solved this puzzle from Rufus last evening but could not log in owing to computer problems now cured!
    Re 30a : I cannot find the phrase (well enough known) in the BRB or any other of my large collection of books – dictionaries, slang books or XWD helps!
    Any hints where it is found?

  27. Hi Derek!. In my youth this was avery common expression but, following your query, I too have found it difficult to find its provenance in modern books. But It does appear in several of my books of Quotations and it is also in the Phrase books used by setters – e,g,The Crossword Phrase Dictionary (Brian Edwards) has it in full, and Chambers Phrase File (Roger Prebble) – includes it without the “as” – just “ugly as sin”. I think this phrase should now disappear! Thank you for bringing it to my attention. Best wishes! Roger

    1. Many thanks for your reply Roger!
      I have since found two references in my collection:
      – Everyman’s Dictionary of Quotations & Proverbs : D.C.Browning (reprint 1965) p448 #6801;
      – Chambers Idioms : Kirkpatrick & Schwarz (reprint 1983) pp 332 & 403.


        1. Hi banksie, NEAT is simply an archaic word for a domestic bovine animal. I’ve seen it used to indicate COW, BULL and OX. Remember because it turns up on crosswords quite regularly.

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