DT 26865 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26865

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26865

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

The sun is shining here in the Loire and I have really enjoyed doing this Rufus crossword. It seemed slightly trickier than usual, but there are some excellent and entertaining clues which provided more than a few “of course” moments.

The answer can be revealed by highlighting the space between the curly brackets.


1. No longer enough to show what others should do (7)
{EXAMPLE} – A two letter word for “no longer”, usually associated with a former wife, is then followed by a word that describes “more than sufficient”, the end result is something that is worthy of imitation.

5. Flourishes, as spring comes in (7)
{ABOUNDS} – A word that means to occur in abundance or to be plentiful could be a word for a leap or jump inside AS.

9. Work of monumental stupidity? (5)
{FOLLY} – A word that can describe a stupid mistake is also a sort of building e.g. a castle or temple built to satisfy an eccentric fancy.

10. Catching the eye, perhaps, and marrying (7,2)
{HOOKING UP} – The eye referred to in this clue could be part of a fastener.

11. The fisherman who does will be more pleased than the boatman (5,1,4)
{CATCH A CRAB} – A phrase in rowing that refers to making a stroke in which the oar either misses the water completely or digs in too deeply.

12. Good man has a right to take the lead (4)
{STAR} – ST (saint – good man) A, and R (right).

14. Taking papers out is not an extra job (8,4)
{SPEAKING PART} – An anagram (out) of TAKING PAPERS is a different role to being a spear carrier.

18. Uninhibited side-to-side movement by footballer (4,8)
{FREE TRANSFER} – What happens when a football club releases a player once the player’s contract has expired or makes the player available just before the end of the contract.

21. Hits back in fight (4)
{SPAR} – Reverse a word that means to hit sharply or swiftly to get another word that means to fight in a practice session.

22. Notes or coins for the newsboy? (5,5)
{PAPER MONEY} – Two words when put together could describe the payment that a news delivery boy or girl could get.

25. A highly informative device (9)
{ALTIMETER} – An instrument for determining elevation.

26. Direction from a governor that must be obeyed (5)
{NORTH} – A direction on the compass can be found hidden between the two words “governor” and “that”.

27. His choice will get cross (7)
{ELECTOR} – He is a voter.

28. Is no longer a back number? (3-4)
{HAS-BEEN} – A person or thing that is no longer popular.


1. Bring about a result (6)
{EFFECT} – The power to produce an outcome, or, something brought about by a cause or agent

2. A learner can get many grants (6)
{ALLOTS} – A L (learner) and a word for large amounts. Definition “grants”.

3. Quiet, shy chap to turn into a violent one (10)
{PSYCHOPATH} – P (quiet) plus an anagram (to turn into) of SHY CHAP TO.

4. There’s a moral in the thickness of thieves (5)
{ETHIC} – Another hidden word. A principle of right or wrong is found between the two words of “the” and “thickness”.

5. Irregularities in a semolina recipe (9)
{ANOMALIES} – A and then an anagram (recipe) of SEMOLINA.

6. Bespectacled greeting in American state (4)
{OHIO} – Place a two letter word for a greeting inside OO (bespectacled) to get a mid-west American state.

7. A late drink to go to one’s head? (8)
{NIGHTCAP} – An alcoholic drink taken just before bedtime or something you might wear on your head in bed.

8. Individual copies sent up with speed (8)
{SEPARATE} – Reverse a word for imitates and then add a word that describes relative speed to get another word that means to keep apart or to be individual.

13. Mere agents might make them (10)

15. Gypsum and basalt are different (9)
{ALABASTER} – Another anagram (different) this time of BASALT ARE.

16. Gaffes to make behind the scenes (3-5)
{OFF STAGE} – Yet another anagram (make) of GAFFES TO.

17. Sally’s cultivated pear tree (8)
{REPARTEE} – And another anagram (cultivated) PEAR TREE.

19. Admittance for the course (6)
{ENTREE} – Double definition, something that provides access or the main dish of a meal.

20. Part of 100-metre dash (6)
{HYPHEN} – The definition is dash e.g. a punctuation mark. Now look carefully at the rest of the clue.

23. Huge cost of electrical safety precaution (5)
{EARTH} – A word that describes the grounding of an electrical appliance, could also be very expensive.

24. Drop out of old American college (4)
{OMIT} – O (old) and an engineering university in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Quick crossword pun: {shore} + {tanned} + {suite} = {short and sweet}

63 comments on “DT 26865

  1. Finished but tough start to the week, hope this doesn’t bode ill for the rest of the week. No nice clues, all a bit of a trudge, not much fun in my opinion. My opinion of 20d is not printable!

    1. Re 20d – Why?
      Apart from being a gift, it’s a usual and accepted form of crypticism (ouch)

        1. Oh I am so stupid, duh! thanks Hrothgar, now I have to make that my favourite clue :-D

  2. Lucky you Libellule, after a nice weekend (which required me to do garden work :-( ) its peeing down in Bristol again (well, OK, drizzling non-stop).

    Usual lovely start to the week on the crossword front though with only a couple of slip ups causing me any problem (trying to get ROUND in the 2nd half of 22A and INCOME in for 19D), the rest flowed freely. Must admit that I don’t like the expression in 10A- seems so impermanent in my opinion but it was nice to see 9A (we’re off to a wedding next week and have been sending people directions which requires them to pass a pub by the same name). 19D has to be my favourite just for the mis-direction.

    1. Must be me, I don’t see how 19d works for admittance, or how 20d works for ‘100 metre’ or how 28a works for ‘back number’ , sorry Skempie I’m hijacking your post, having trouble with blog again! Good morning Libelulle and thanks for blog, I needed help with a couple, its nice to get back to normal after a weekend of ‘happy camping’ in the campervan, it’s not the same doing crosswords from a book, even though they are Telegraph cryptic! I f I go missing for days at a time, it is because we have taken off again! no plans just when the weather decides to be nice, thanks skempie and Libelulle maybe you can explain those three to me?

      1. No problems with you hi-jacking my post Mary. Had a bit of trouble understanding 28A I must admit, but you’re reading 20D wrong, the clue says 100-metre (not 100 metre) does that make things clearer? And if you think of food rather than doorways for 19D that might help also.

      2. Mary,

        19d is a double definition. Entree can mean a dinner course and can also be a means of access. Entree for example in French means entry.
        20d 100 HYPHEN Metre
        28a back-number can also mean someone who is no longer popular

        1. Thanks Libelulle I knew ‘entree’ was entry in french but there is nothing to indicate that it is French, eg for the course in France perhaps?

          1. ‘Entree’ can also be used in the sense of ‘access’: someone’s name being their ‘entree’ into society or a club, for instance — a French word, but not necessarily French. Hope that helps, Mary :-)

            1. Thanks Franny, it’s nice to see you around again :-), yes that does make more sense to me

  3. Trickier than normal for a Monday in my opinion but enjoyable nevertheless. I still do not understand 20d. Thanks to Rufus & Libellule for the review.

  4. Well, I enjoyed this one very much and finished it without too much trouble. Only really got stuck on 13a with its football reference. I thought there were plenty of entertaining clues, especially 9, 11 and 22a, and good anagrams like 3 and 15d. I almost always get caught on clues like 20d, so was pleased not to this time. If I had to pick a clue of the day it would be 14a, as I have been an extra in my time and very boring it was.. So this puzzle and the sunshine have made a great start to my week and I thank Rufus for the fun and Libellule for the explanations. :-)

  5. A fun puzzle to start the week with several clever clues, 1a and 11a both received ticks from me. Last in was 20d, bit of a groaner once the penny dropped, but not a favourite. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  6. Many thanks Rufus and Libellule.
    Thought 14a especially very clever.
    On the whole, not too taxing.

  7. Thanks to Rufus for a very good start to the week. A little over an hour to complete with no assistance from anyone, that doesn’t happen very often. Although there was still some head scratching, 20d for example, before the penny dropped – there’s more than one type of cryptic clue!. Last in was 24d, I tried to make it more difficult than it was and needed the check letter from 25a, which was second to last in, to complete it. So, for me, * or **/****

  8. I thought this was standard Monday fair. I made a slow start with the a crosses but picked up speed with the downs. For me 20d was the favourite clue of the day and reminded me of one of my all time favourites “One’s got one” (10).

    2*/3* for me

    BTW I didn’t get an email notification this morning, just browsed through here because I assumed it must be up by now

  9. In the paper version the ‘Quickie’ pun consists of the first three clues, the third clue/answer being ‘suite’. Regarding the xword today, i found it a bit more challenging than the usual Monday morning offering but very enjoyable. Best clue for me was 20d. Thanx to Compiler and Libellule for the review.

      1. Sorry I had an appointment first thing and by the time I had got here, eventually found a parking space and then struggled into the office, remembering that I ought to email you and say the pun had three words had completely vanished from my mind.

  10. Managed this on the train this morning, with one schoolboy error, had my R and E the wrong way round in 25a which meant a struggle on 23d, needed your help to put me straight – thanks. Feeling foolish. Favourites unusually included a couple of anagrams: 14a and 3d.

  11. Enjoyed this, but not at all sure about 21a, as it seems to me there is more than one answer – I had “spat” which seems to fit equally well??

    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule as usual.

    1. That’s part of the problem with short word answers – not enough check letters. I had STAB to start with, but somehow knew it wasn’t quite right.

    2. I had exactly the same RBC, so agree entirely. I usually struggle with anything above ** rating yet I found this comparively easy, possibly my quickest completion. *-** star for me. More Rufus please! Thanks to Libellule.

    3. but is spat really a fight? I would have thought it was a minor argument or tiff, otherwise you could have STAB too (I guess you’d could get stabbed in a fight?)

      1. Lol, yeah you’re probably right, though isn’t the correct answer a practice fight and not actually a real fight?

  12. This took me longer than usual for a Rufus but I was sitting in the car waiting for an appointment I wasn’t looking forward to, rather than sitting at my desk, so that may have had some influence on the difficulty level. I would give it 3* difficulty too but definitely as entertaining as ever, thank you Rufus and Libellule.

    If anyone has our sun, can they please send it back?

  13. Many thanks to Rufus for a very enjoyable start to the crossword week, (your Guardian crossword was also excellent), thanks also to Libellule for his usual excellent review.

  14. Well I enjoyed this one, agree a little more difficult than we are used to on a Monday.
    Thanks to Libellule for review and Rufus for a good puzzle.

  15. I didn’t find this too bad today. Thankfully.

    My poor old head is still recovering from an overdose of happiness following the outcome a certain sporting contest yesterday.

    Blue moon you saw me standing alone.

    1. As a former season ticket holder at Maine Rd for nigh on 40yrs, I heartily endorse your sentiments, Blue Moon has risen.

  16. Since the recent changes I find it very difficult to use the site on my trusty Blackberry and I no longer receive emails.

    Is there a mobile friendly URL please?!

  17. Dave. I use your site every day to help me with the xword. I couldn’t do it without you. Great thanks. However when I press between the wiggly lines I just ‘copy’ for the whole clue. Not the answer. Please can you give me the answer for 24d. K

  18. I enjoyed this and didn’t find it any more difficult than is usual for a Monday. The only one I couldn’t do at all was 18a, mainly because I managed to divide it into 8, 4, rather than the other way round! How stupid can you get?
    Favourites include 9, 11 and 22a and 3, 20 and 23d.
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    Rain all morning and no electricity – all OK now – dry(ish) and, obviously, power back on!

  19. PS Where do the quotations on the right hand side come from? The Rudyard Kipling one is brilliant! :grin:

  20. Always nice after a hard weekend (isn’t retirement wonderful?) to have a relatively straightforward but entertaining puzzle with a few twists, humour and the opportunity to learn something new. Particularly enjoyed 20d. Last one in was 24d – never heard of the American College. Now I have. Many thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  21. Viewing the site on my BBerry is working well right now, using the standard URL of bigdave44.com. Once the site is loaded, I zoom in using the magnifying glass featuure, not “Zoom” from the menu, and the text keeps wrapping around to just about fill the screen. Hope that helps.

    1. Hi Senf,
      On my BBerry I open the e-mail notification I get then scroll down to the link and open that and it comes up perfect as “Big Daves Mobile Crossword” and it fits perfectly to the screen withou having to zoom or use the magnifying glass. :D.

  22. This is the first crossword I have finished!!! Thanks to ALL the bloggers and everyone who makes a comment for all your help, this is truly and great and friendly site

  23. I really enjoyed this today but only got going with the down clues. **/*** for me . :smile:

  24. I don’t see why “of thieves” is present in 4d. Or doesn’t everything in the clue have to have a purpose?

    1. I think it may be that “thieves” is describing how the 2 words are hiding/holding the answer

    2. dollar,
      Welcome to the blog.
      The word “in” defines the fact that there is a hidden word for “a moral”, however “There’s a moral in the thickness” doesn’t read quite as well as “There’s a moral in the thickness of thieves”.

      1. Thanks! In Chicago, where we get the cryptic “the night before” but still can’t complete it until Big Dave shows us how!

      2. I thought that it read particularly well because of the expression “as thick as thieves”. Not quite sure what that means but I’ve always interpreted it as being close friends – perhaps I should look it up to make sure!

  25. Hi dolllar
    Have a closer look at words five and six in the clue. OK now?

  26. Well I know everyone loves Rufus, but I have to say I still find him difficult. By the end of my second pass through the clues I still had only 4 answers!

    That said, with Libellule’s hints I was able to complete the puzzle without having to reveal any of the answers (so that’s progress!) and I have to say that the clues were fair – it’s just me…

    One day I’ll get it…

    1. You are not alone Arthur. With Rufus and Sunday Virgilius I read the blog then often go and sit on the stupid step. Ridiculous thing is i’m getting better at the Toughies!! As Mary who posts on this site says, perservate. With Rufus the clues are always fair, and as you say its “just me”

  27. The usual pleasant start to the week from Rufus.

    Liked : 10a, 11a, 14a, 22a, 25a, 6d, 8d 15d & 23d.

  28. Wel I have to say that I found this quite a bit easier than normal */** and ***/**** from me. Fair to say there are quite a few old chestnuts in there again which are easy if you have seen them before but quite difficult if not, OO for glasses is one.

    This puzzle seems to have attracted quite a bit of comment but I found it pretty fair. Regards to all.

  29. re 21a, I’m glad it wasn’t in a prize crossword, doing the newspaper version I can see why above posts think there are two possible answers. Other than that slight niggle this was a joy to solve. Thanks to L and R

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