DT 26862 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26862

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26862

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Ray T is back! I thought this was one of his easier puzzles, but feel free to disagree. Just a little bit of innuendo and a brief visit from the Queen this time

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.


7a    Perform with partner keeping in control (8)
{DOMINATE} – a two-letter verb meaning to perform is followed by a partner into which IN is inserted (keeping) to get a verb meaning to control

9a    Still Caledonian’s first dressed in tartan (6)
{PLACID} – to get this adjective meaning still put the initial (first) letter of Caledonian inside (dressed in) another word for a tartan

10a    Pull in female dress (4)
{DRAG} – a double definition – to pull and female dress for a male

11a    Unbeliever ends in penitent suffering getting thinner (10)
{TURPENTINE} – put the outside letters (ends) of UnbelieveR inside an anagram (suffering) of PENITENT to get this paint thinner

12a    Where, with volume, a yodel comes back? (6)
{VALLEY} – to get somewhere that you might hear yodelling start with V(olume) and the A from the clue and then reverse (back) a yodel or shout

14a    Go abroad, it’s grand in Abu Dhabi (8)
{EMIGRATE} – a verb meaning to go abroad is created by inserting G(rand) inside Abu Dhabi, for example

15a    Pressure’s socially acceptable wearing frock (6)
{DURESS} – this pressure is derived by putting the single-letter for socially acceptable inside (wearing) a frock

17a    Comfort about female swallowing deceit (6)
{RELIEF} – this comfort is derived from the two-letter word for about and F(emale) around (swallowing) a deceit

20a    Outline a score in production (8)
{SCENARIO} – this outline comes from an anagram (production) of A SCORE IN

22a    Push Tory leader for financial statement (6)
{BUDGET} – a verb meaning to push followed by the initial letter (leader) of Tory gives a financial statement of the kind given by the Tory leader’s next-door neighbour

23a    Belief’s intimate, so converted (10)
{ESTIMATION} – this belief or opinion is an anagram (converted) of INTIMATE SO

24a    Starts to reek, often turning smelly (4)
{ROTS} – the initial letters of (starts to) four words in the clue gives a verb defined by the whole of this &Lit clue

25a    Stand catching one fish (6)
{PLAICE} – put a word meaning stand or position around (catching) I (one) to get this flatfish

26a    Admit accepting end for bank (8)
{GRADIENT} – put a verb meaning to admit or allow around a verb meaning to end or xxx to get this bank or slope


1d           In eating, our man devours (8)
{GOURMAND} – a lover of good fare is hidden inside this &Lit clue

2d           Tribe supported by good chief (4)
{KING} – a tribe of people belonging to the same family is followed by (supported by in a down clue) G(ood) to give a chief or ruler

3d           Liberal in Conservatives perhaps, to a degree (6)
{PARTLY} – when L(iberal) is placed inside the grouping of which the Conservatives are an example (perhaps) the result is an adverb meaning to a degree

4d           Secretary turned up with slight stomach (8)
{APPETITE} – reverse a two-letter abbreviation for a secretary and then add a word of French origin meaning slight or small to get this stomach or desire for food

5d           Changed midstream detaining Navy engineer (10)
{MASTERMIND} – put an anagram (changed) of MIDSTREAM around (detaining) N(avy) to get a verb meaning to engineer or think up

You might know Dave Tilley better on this site as Tilsit!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

6d           Allow outside pub to see bird (6)
{LINNET} – put a verb meaning to allow around (outside) a pub to get this common finch, so named because it feeds on flaxseed

8d           Got well-educated, no beginner (6)
{EARNED} – this verb meaning got or received

13d         An impediment to free speech? (10)
{LARYNGITIS} – this Inflammation of the Inflammation of the larynx can make it difficult to speak

16d         One displaying tackle on pitch? (8)
{STREAKER} – a cryptic definition of someone who runs on to a football or cricket pitch without clothes

18d         Fugitive escaping without time (8)
{FLEETING} – this adjective meaning fugitive or transient is derived by putting a verb meaning escaping around (without) T(ime)

19d         It’s tedious doing well? (6)
{BORING} – a double definition – tedious or drilling a well

21d         Exclusive class owns large country pile (6)
{CASTLE} – put an  exclusive or hereditary social class around (owns) L(arge) to get a very large country pile

22d         Grab any anti-capitalist hugging tree (6)
{BANYAN} – hidden inside the clue (hugging) is this Indian fig tree with vast rooting branches – bonsai fits the checking letters, but not the wordplay!

24d         Queen turned over in check (4)
{REIN} – reverse this setter’s signature cypher for Her Majesty and add (over in a down clue) IN to get a check

That’s it folks!

More hints very soon.

The Quick crossword pun: {parch} + {lick} + {lips} = {partial eclipse}

By the way, the clue given in the newspaper for 1 across should have been “scorch” instead of the answer itself!

62 comments on “DT 26862

  1. Not too many problems today (except with 1A in the quickie, grrrrrrrrr), although I’m not too certain about ‘belief’ being ‘estimation’ – rather tenuous link I thought. I thought 16D was excellent.

    Grey and threatening to rain here today, hope its a bit better up at Chester-Le-Street where Somerset seem to be doing rather well with a scratch team (or is it Durham doing badly?)..

  2. Good morning Dave, not one of the easier ones for me, at least a three star and not one I enjoyed either, often a crossword is hard but still enjoyable but not this one for me, I know you say 24a is one of those &lit clues, but to me the definition is just missing? In 1d is gourmand the same part of speech as devours? I know lots of people like RayT and this week the surface readings are better but not one for me today :-(

    1. The definition part of this &Lit clue is the “our man” – devours is there to give the final letter of the hidden word.

      1. Right I see that one now, too clever for me I suppose :-( , what about 24a? where is the definition there?

        1. Mary, the definition is “Starts to reek, often turning smelly”.

          For an &Lit clue the whole of the clue gives the definition.

          1. Mmmmm I’m never going to quite understand that, I know exactly what you’re saying but they just don’t sit right with me, some I feel are more complete than others, thanks Dave :-)

  3. A gentle offering today which was good fun. My last in was 16d, which knowing the setter, should have gone in much quicker; I did smile when the penny dropped!
    Thanks to RayT, and to BD.

    For those who struggle today, Shamus has fairly fluffy footwear on today with the toughie.

  4. Agreed on the above – a very quick solve for a RayT but still a lot of fun. The Toughie didn’t take too much longer and is worth a tickle. Thanks to BD and to RayT.

  5. I think I’m with Mary on this one. I got there in the end, but needed help from the books and gadgets as well as a couple of explanations from BD. More of a chore than fun, but heyho, can’t please everyone all the time. Favourite clue today 16d. Thanks for RayT and BD.

  6. Thanks BD and Ray T.
    Very enjoyable.
    Hurrah – exposer has appeared yet again!.

  7. I always enjoy RayT puzzles, this one was a bit of a struggle, but cracked it eventually .
    Thanks to BD for hints, but not needed today.
    16d made I laugh.

  8. Not one I enjoyed, agree with Mary. It seemed sort of lumpy somehow, didn’t flow. Thanks Ray T and BD for the hints. Chucking it down in North West, has been since noon yesterday, forecast says improving maybe I’ll get in the garden.

  9. **/*** for me today.seemed to be on the right wave length.Was thinking of the tv programme with regard to 18d! did’nt realise that fugative was an adjective as well as noun- enjoyable distraction anyway.

  10. I liked it! It was a bit of struggle but that was down to my mind wandering off on a tangent about other things. Favourite clues 11 16 and 13d. Waiting for the clue for 4D. Onelook gives some options but can’t see why any should fit!

  11. As always I enjoyed today’s crossword. Some of these took me a while to sort out so probably closer to 3* for difficulty. Even with alternate letters I couldn’t get 11a for ages, and the same goes for 23a – those were my last two. Lots of good clues – 10, 14, 22 and 24a and 3, 13 and 16d. With thanks to Ray T and BD.
    Not actually raining but looking as if it’s thinking about it – TERRIBLY windy – hate weather! :sad:

  12. This must be one of his easier ones as it is the first Ray T I have ever finished. Did need the hints for a couple but this is a step forward for me. I even understood some of the answers fully, not all though but small steps. Made up for the golf being cancelled due to the weather.

    1. Well done from me too – his are worth “perservating” with. One day he’ll probably be your favourite setter! :smile:

      1. One word answer to that one for me Katn – Never – Got my favourite and am sticking with him :-)

    2. Well done Brian, I was not on the wavelength at all today, got there in the end. Keep Persevating!

  13. I always have trouble getting started with a Ray T (it’s a wavelength thing, I ithink) but once I got going I was fine. 2.5* diffficulty for me. 16d made me smile. Thanks to Ray and BD too.

    I enjoyed the Toughie – probably would have been fairly quick to sort out, but I had to leave it to officiate at an event, handing out badges etc and didn’t think having the paper on the desk would be a good impression!

  14. Trip in motorhome cancelled due to the weather!! So just ironed and hung a pair of 90×90 curtains, time to sit down now!

    1. I’m just making conversation too!! It’s absolutely chucking it down again here – done crossword, finished ironing, ALMOST finished toughie (stuck on six) made bread ….. now what? Wet dog walk I suppose!

    2. Thx Guys, appreciate the sentiment but I think it will be a long time before that happens. In the meantime, let’s all watch the rain, yuk!

  15. Nothing contentious today, heading towards a *** and ***from me.
    I know socially acceptable = U, (Upper?) not sure exactly why. Minor delay with 15a that in turn held up 13d and 15d. When the penny dropped they went in without bother.

    Slow going for no apparent reason other than the continuing demise of Rovers :(

    1. U for socially acceptable comes from the film classification (think it may mean universal)

      1. I think the use of U for socially acceptable derives from its use to mean upper-class (as opposed to non-U) rather than from the film certificate. The film certificate usage is normally clued by words such as “for all to see” or “everyone can see”.

          1. I thought U came from Nancy Mitford’s classification of appropriate behaviour, that is, U or Non U.

            1. Interesting. My original thought was the U was from Upper. Both make sense. Never heard of the Nancy Mitford saying. You learn so much from these pages.

            2. Me too, from Noblesse Oblige by Mrs Peter Rodd aka NM. I’ve got a first edition (very grateful recipient) given as a birthday present.

  16. Somehow not on the right wavelength today. We got 6 of the acrosses and then 6 downs on first pass and then ground to a halt for a few minutes. Well into 3* time. :sad:

    Some very nicely concealed definitions and a couple of excellent &Lits which, unlike Mary, I like a lot! :grin:

    Thanks to RayT and BD.

  17. Thanks to RayT for a nice wee crossword today, enjoyable and untaxing, thanks also to BD for the very nice wee picture and the review.

    1. I can’t remember when it was, but Tilsit always says that he has been on Mastermind and Countdown and came second both times!

  18. Nice to see RayT back again. Very enjoyable as usual with 16 the stand-out clue. Also liked 11 13 14 19 and 26. I always get a laugh with Ray’s puzzles and this was no exception.

  19. Thanks to Ray T & Big Dave for the review & hints. I disagree with the 2* rating for difficulty, I’m still 8 answers short & struggling. Back later.

      1. Total change of subject here but are you under water – I wouldn’t mind betting that Upton is.

          1. Good – I’m glad you’re OK. I have SO many memories of Upton being flooded and having to drive a very long way round to get home.

      2. Sorry BD but I really struggled. And after my success yesterday I’m feeling deflated. After struggling for ages with 1A in the quikie I was eager to start this one but wish I hadn’t. More like a five star for me I’m afraid, thanks for your help and I’ll beware when RayT is at large again!

  20. Thoroughly enjoyed this cryptic – and finished faster than the Quickie which I thought was a stinker today!
    Like many enjoyed 16D but thought that 24A was tenuous.
    Might try the Toughie today then….

  21. Finally finished, needed five hints, and had to look up one of those. It’s the worst I’ve done on a Ray T for ages. A good puzzle, just me being obtuse today. favourites were 1 & 22 downs, both being written-ins, but very clever. Squash Tournament again tonight, weather awful in central London, roll on the weekend if the forecast’s right :-)

  22. A pleasant afternoon solve for me – get the DT after lunch every day.

    Liked : 11a, 12a, 14a, 26a, 13d, 16d, 19d & 21d.

    BD, is that you in the picture under 1d???

  23. Evening all. Thanks to BD for the review, and to everybody for your comments.


  24. just noticed that in the pic for 1d BD managed to get a bit more sauce into a RayT. As a child we went to a pub called the Red Linnet in Barton on Sea which has helped with 6d today.

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