DT 26859 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26859

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26859

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

This entertaining Rufus puzzle is a typical start to the crosswording week.

If you highlight the space between the curly brackets you cab reveal the answer.

1. Smart Alec’s brother? (6,4)
{CLEVER DICK} – Could be an intellectual who is irritatingly knowledgeable

9. In this place he really is friendless (4)
{HERE} – Remove ALLY (friendless) from “he really”.

10. Reckless, having an iridescent cocktail (10)
{INDISCREET} – An anagram (cocktail) of IRIDESCENT.

11. Tick that’s awarded for high marks in exam (6)
{CREDIT} – Tick is used in the sense of deferred payment of a loan.

12. It’s difficult to see if they’re broken (7)
{GLASSES} – You could always try using contact lenses…

15. They may be required to be met (7)
{DEMANDS} – They would need to be met when someone e.g. a kidnapper requires or ask for them as a price or conditions.

16. Demonstrates how to get on board (5)
{SHOWS} – A word that means to demonstrate by reasoning or procedure is also HOW inside SS (steamship).

17. Curse unwilling learner dropping out (4)
{OATH} – Remove L from a word that means reluctant or disinclined to get another word for a blasphemy.

18. Duck taking cover on the beach (4)
{LIDO} – O (duck) is placed after the sort of cover you might see on a saucepan.

19. Increases the rent? (5)
{TEARS} – Enlarging a gap by pulling something further apart.

21. Worker was taken aback by carpenter’s tool (7)
{HANDSAW} – A word for a labourer for example, is then followed by a reversed (taken aback) WAS.

22. Dread going round globe and therefore don’t (7)
{FORBEAR} – Place a word that means to be afraid, around a three letter word for a spherical object to produce a word that means to refrain from or resist.

24. Part of mass is identified with St Francis (6)
{ASSISI} – A town in in Umbria, the birthplace of St Francis can be found in the words “mass is identified”.

27. Ulster may depend on it (4,6)
{COAT HANGER} – An ulster in this sense is a long loose overcoat.

28. A growing source of fuel (4)
{TREE} – Wood too.

29. They’re widely grown for eating (5,5)
{BROAD BEANS} – A plant from the pea family that has long thick pods could also be wide in extent.


2. Conditionally given a fast time (4)
{LENT} – Double definition, given temporarily or the 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday until Easter.

3. Expresses requirements for a choir (6)
{VOICES} – Another double definition, Expressions or utterances of an opinion for example, or singers.

4. Cooking instructions in precise form (7)
{RECIPES} – An anagram (form) of PRECISE.

5. Side turning Caesar was warned about (4)
{IDES} – An anagram (turning) of SIDE in the Roman Calendar refers to the 15th of March or May or July or October or the 13th of any other month.

6. Cut the top off drawings of boats (7)
{KETCHES} – Remove S from preliminary drawings to get two-masted sailing vessels.

7. Late? Punctual? Or very punctual? (4,2,4)
{DEAD ON TIME} – A phrase that means at exactly the time arranged or expected can be made up from a word meaning recently deceased and two words meaning according to schedule.

8. If one doesn’t enter it one’s pulled through (6,4)
{DEATH’S DOOR} – If you recover from a very serious illness then you will not have passed through this particular portal.

12. Toast? Well, we enjoy it! (4,6)
{GOOD HEALTH} – A phrase used when drinking to the honour of someone can also mean to be in a good physical condition.

13. Dumbfounded by a dishonest arrangement (10)
{ASTONISHED} – An anagram (arrangement) of A DISHONEST.

14. Noisy woman is quiet about one point (5)
{SHREW} – SH (quiet) RE (about) and W (West, one point).

15. If all plants were this, there would be no great variety (5)
{DWARF} – An atypically small plant.

19. Duty on one Citizens’ Advice Bureau to provide transport (7)
{TAXICAB} – A three letter word for a levy, I (one) and the acronym for Citizens’ Advice Bureau.

20. He’s to do wrong and has to be comforted (7)
{SOOTHED} – An anagram (wrong) of HES TO DO.

23. It may take an age to get a sun-tan (6)
{BRONZE} – Not the Stone Age or the Iron Age…

25. Card game for well-off circle (4)
{FARO} – A card game in which players bet against the dealer on what cards he will draw is constructed from a word that means at considerable distance and O (circle).

26. Stitched up in news broadcast? (4)
{SEWN} – An anagram (broadcast) of NEWS.

The Quick crossword pun: {wreck} + {elect} = {recollect}

51 comments on “DT 26859

  1. I agree, a very entertaining start to the cryptic week – my only (slight) hold up was with 8d but reading the clue out loud to Mr CS soon did the trick. Thanks to Rufus for the crossword and Libellule for the explanations.

    Off out now for a 7.5 mile walk (we had a choice of today or tomorrow and the forecast for tomorrow is awful so we have our fingers crossed that this sun (yes, really, sun) keeps out.

  2. Fully agree, a very pleasant start to the week. My hold up was 15a but so obvious when you see it (or at least when Mrs B saw it!). Best clue for me was 27a.
    My thx to Rufus and of course to Libellule for the hints which today I didn’t need for once.

  3. Help, BD. I’m stuck in Mobile View, where I can’t view the comments, & I can’t switch views. I get the box asking if I want to switch views, click on Ok, then it stays on Mobile view. I’m using an HTC Desire.

      1. Hi BD, it all works ok from my iPod. I just re-booted my HTC Desire & was able to switch views. I’m sure it’s something to do with the phone, as everything was ok yesterday.

  4. I was held up by spelling 10 differently and never having heard of the card game. Otherwise a relatively straightforward and enjoyable Monday challenge.

    Many thanks


  5. Look forward to Mondays, a nice not too demanding puzzle to start the day in sunny Dover.
    Thanks to Libellule for hints and to Rufus for a lovely puzzle.

    Might mosey on over to the Grauniad to check Rufus there.

  6. Enjoyable, liked 1a (well I would wouldn’t I) Thanks Rufus and Libellule

  7. Good morning Libelulle, what a lovely puzzle from Rufus today, so many clues I liked, all very smart and witty, got held up on 25d never heard of that game and 27a, so thanks for those Libelulle, apart from that no other help needed at all today, fav clues 1a, 5d, 7d, 8d, 12a, 24a, 28a, 15d, and on and on and on…………, thank you Rufus for an entertaining crossword which didn’t take me too long today, the rain has cleared up and the sun is threatening to come out, so happy bank holiday Monday everyone :-D

  8. An enjoyable start to the week! Liked 1a, 2d and 27a. Confused by odd spelling of 10a, which is not in my (30 year old) Chambers or my new Chambers “electronic friend”.
    Thanks to Rufus and Libelulle.

        1. I stand corrected! I don’t have the crossword dictionary, but found the alternate spelling in my 1978 big red Chambers and Franklin Chambers (electronic) at the third attempt.

          1. njm
            It’s NOT an alternative spelling: “indiscrete” and “indiscreet” are two different words with different meanings. Get a decent dictionary.

            1. I agree that they are different words. I am more familiar with using the word “discrete” in a legal context when considering a particular issue in isolation from the whole. It is always embarassing when the “trypist” uses the other word! Very enjoyable puzzle. Got most of them first time round – better than counting sheep last night! Did not know the card game. Did know what an Ulster is from previous crosswords. thanks to setter, BD and Libellule!

  9. I agree – 2* for difficulty although I was slow to get 8d. Was I the only twit who started off with “peat” for 28a? I’ve never heard of the card game. Apart from those I didn’t have any problems. I liked 1, 12 and 29a and 7 and 8d. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    Raining ….. :sad:

    1. Thanks both – I’m always encouraged when I’m not the only one to get something wrong! :smile:

  10. Usual fare from Rufus today and usual fun finding the answers. No real problems today, 1A was a very fun clue and 27A needed a bit of thinking about but today’s favourite must be 8D.

  11. Gentle start to the week I thought but, as others have said, very entertaining. First mate and I decided to go out for breakfast and we completed the crossword before we completed the toast. Why do restaurants pre-cook bacon? Its like old leather by the time it arrives on your plate. Anyway, lots of nice clues. Hadn’t heard of the card game or an Ulster. Started with 28d and finished with 8d. **/*** Many thanks to Rufus and Libellule. Also got my notification that the new post was up – thanks BD for sorting it out.

  12. I agree with others, a nice gentle start to the week with a couple of fun clues -12a and 19d. I got stuck on 8d as I couldn’t get Pearly Gate out of my mind, it seemed to fit the clue and the space available, although not the other checking letters!
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  13. Quickest I’ve ever finished, so it must have been a gentle one. However, like many others never heard of the card game at 25d, and I play a lot of cards. Only got it as it fitted the cryptic bit too well to be anything else. I agree with skempie, best clue was the slightly dark humour of 8d.

  14. Thats two new words i’ve learnt today. “Ulster” and “Faro” although I cant say its improved my life in any way!

    1. You could wear the former and play the latter! I knew the coat, but not the game.

  15. Pretty straight forward 8d held me up for quite a while until the penny dropped. ** and a bit and *** from me. Many thanks to all.

  16. Very, very difficult today.
    I did it! Without any help from book, person or ‘puter…I did it, I am not an old frat I’m a clever old booger!

  17. I know that I’ve told this one on the blog before but it’s STILL raining so I’m playing!

    What do you call a man with no arms or legs who can swim?

    What do you call a man with no arms or legs who can swim the channel?

  18. I was a real dope and put Stupid Jack at 1a, which really really really messed up the top left until I read the hint. Stupid Nora!

  19. Thanks to Rufus & Libellule for the review & hints. Enjoyed this one, nice start to the week. Couldn’t get 15’s & first word of 8d, just me being dim. Favourite was 19a. Typical Bank Holiday weather in Central London, when is it Summer?!

  20. Confirming everybody else’s comments a usual enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to Rufus and to Libulelle for the hints which I needed a couple of times. There is no doubt that Rufus sets a good puzzle

  21. A very entertaining puzzle thanks to Rufus. I didn’t know the card game which was last one in but spent some time on 8d. **/**** for me. So many witty clues but loved 1a,11a 27a 2d&7d. Thanks to Libellule for the hints. :smile:

  22. Nice pleasant start to the week, did it without any help electronic or otherwise favourite is 29a.

    Also thanks to BD I got the e-mail notification last night on my Blackberry and can now access the blog easily from it, I do like the new layout on it as it comes up as” Big Dave’s mobile crossword”. I generally access it from my Blackberry as I work night’s and usually do the cw during my break in the early hours. :D.

    1. I thought it would be a good idea to add “Mobile” to the title so that if there were any queries I could find out which theme was being used.

  23. Most enjoyable and amusing start to the week. Not quite certain of 8d – I see the significance of “pulled through” now- thanks to your excellent & informative site
    Jan in sunny Spain

    1. Reminds me of the sign in the Florist’s shop:

      “If your mother-in-law is at death’s door our flowers will pull her through”.

      Very enjoyable – managed it entirely unaided Yippee!!

  24. Lovely puzzle and hints not needed. My hang-up was 22a but got there in the end. Loved 27a. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  25. I had three hanging put (as is usual for Rufus) for an AGE until they finally came together (I remembered the card game!). Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule.

  26. Solved this enjoyable puzzle from Rufus while watching Ronnie, Ali and Michaela busy at the table in The Crucible.

    Liked : 11a, 15a, 22a, 27a, 29a, 3d, 7d, 8d & 23d.

    A preprandial borrel of genever before dinner then back to Sheffield on the box this evening.

  27. Very enjoyable – a busy day so done on and off between chores. 27a was my favourite and I was pleased to remembera previous reference to “Ulster”. 4d has cropped up previously too.

  28. My stumbling blocks albeit briefly mirrored other comments, thanks Libellule and Rufus

  29. Enjoyed this: very wry, is Rufus. I puzzled away at some of these clues for ages.
    Woke up early this morning, and still half-blind and half-asleep, suddenly ‘got’ 15a, 18a, 22a and 25d without knowing how. Or rather, they seemed to ‘get’ me.
    Might try that method again…

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