DT 26871 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26871

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26871

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

I struggled with this today, but I don’t know why… how did you get on? Favourite clue – 21a. It took me ages to spot the anagram indicator.

If the hint is not enough highlight the space between the curly brackets to reveal the answer.


1. One’s fiancee proposed (8)
{INTENDED} – Double definition. A person who you are going to marry, or something planned for the future.

6. Unusually gifted young scholars may be told not to (6)
{FIDGET} – An anagram (unusually) of GIFTED.

9. Detectives in US agency, retired but sharp (6)
{ACIDIC} – A word that describes something that is sour to the taste can be created by putting the letters CID (detectives) inside a federal US bureau created to co-ordinate and conduct espionage and intelligence activities reversed (retired).

10. How a bright idea may come to you? (2,1,5)
{IN A FLASH} – Like lightning perhaps.

11. Beaten by heroic exploit in action (8)
{DEFEATED} – The definition is beaten. Place a word that means a notable act inside another word for something that is done or performed.

12. Make merry, take in a show (6)
{REVEAL} – Place A inside (take in) a word that means to take part in noisy festivities (make merry) to get a word that means to bring into view.

13. Not how other people picture you? (4-8)
{SELF-PORTRAIT} – A picture of yourself, painted by yourself.

16. Foolishly remind fellow to be up to date (4-8)
{WELL-INFORMED} – An anagram (foolishly) of REMIND FELLOW.

19. Iron man? More deadly, Kipling said (6)
{FEMALE} – FE (iron) and a four letter word that describes the sex of a man or a boy. The poem by Kipling.

21. Give warning to number after earthquake (8)
{THREATEN} – Place TEN (number) after an anagram (quake) of EARTH.

23. Reckon the deceased’s property is about one thousand (8)
{ESTIMATE} – A word that describes everything you own is placed around IM (one thousand) to get another word that means to calculate approximately.

24. Agent gets upset with point in dispute (6)
{NEGATE} – An anagram (gets upset) of AGENT with E (East – a point) placed inside produces a word that means to deny or contradict.

25. Stroke a gander (6)
{GLANCE} – Double definition. To strike something at an angle for example in cricket, or a brief look.

26. Much less neglect (3,5)
{LET ALONE} – A simple phrase that means not to mention or much less could also describe leaving something for a period of time.


2.Did some stealing — arrested (6)
{NICKED} – A slang term that can mean to steal or to arrest.

3. Bear has no right to invest (5)
{ENDUE} – Remove R (no right) from a word that means to suffer patiently without yielding to get another word that means to provide with a quality or trait or put on a piece of clothing.

4. Told he can get involved in Olympic event (9)
{DECATHLON} – An anagram (get involved) of TOLD HE CAN.

5. Forgot production lines (5,2)
{DRIED UP} – What happened to an actor who forgot his lines on stage.

6. Instinct for money in the market (5)
{FLAIR} – Put the symbol for the “livre” (pound) inside a meeting designed to promote the buying and selling of goods to get a word that describes a natural talent or aptitude.

7. Pronounced to be released (9)
{DELIVERED} – To express in words or declare or utter. Or to release or rescue.

8. Enthusiastic, still supporting City (8)
{ECSTATIC} – A word that means not active or moving is placed underneath (supporting) the London postal code for East Central.

13. Rescuing army? (9)
{SALVATION} – This army was founded in 1865 by William Booth.

14. Old master takes class in new term (9)
{REMBRANDT} – This old master happens to be a Dutch painter, put a 5 letter word for a particular kind or variety inside an anagram (new) of TERM.

15. Crossword addicts should be used to such a setback (8)
{REVERSAL} – See 9a.

17. Porridge for a stable diet (7)
{OATMEAL} – The stuff you make porridge with could also be used to a feed for horses.

18. Grave-digger needs stone to be put in position about ten (6)
{SEXTON} – An anagram (to be put in position) of STONE is placed around X (ten).

20. Dodge nowadays accepted by first wife (5)
{EVADE} – A.D. (Anno Domino – nowadays) inside EVE (first wife).

22. A spirited harp-player (5)
{ANGEL} – A class of spiritual beings attendant to God, for example seraphim or cherubim.

The Quick crossword pun: {must} + {ashes} = {moustaches}

69 comments on “DT 26871

  1. Hard going this morning would agree with the difficulty rating today, not all that much fun, bit of a workmanlike offering today.
    Mind you it might be because I am in mourning from Saturday, why did it have to be Drogba?

    1. What happened on Saturday? I know Leinster beat Ulster in the Heineken Cup Final, but I don’t remember a Drogba playing. :-)

      1. Better not show this comment to my wife who has been a Tottenham season ticket holder since the age of 7 and she s currently spitting feathers.

  2. A good start to the week ,several nice clues & one or two tricky ones. thanks to all

  3. A couple in the SE held me up, namely 18d, and 26a. Otherwise a nice gentle start to Monday.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule.

  4. Yep, found this more difficult than the usual Monday offering.
    3d held me up, same prob as you with 21a.
    Still enjoyable once I’d got into the swing of it.
    Thanks for review and to Rufus for another nicely crafted puzzle.

  5. Not sure why but I found this one much easier than normal for a Rufus crossword and more enjoyable! Favourite clue was 14d.

    Sorry to buck the trend!

    1. I’m another bucker.
      Did this quite quickly.
      Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

    2. I know I’m very late coming in, but I also found this very easy going and enjoyable when I did it this morning.

  6. I gave it**/***,i agree with Jezza-a gentle start to the week.Now i know it was Kipling who said 19 across,was he refering to the nasty habit of the preying mantis, or was it something to do with cakes?

    1. Beaver, I would have thought you enjoyed 8d as I did after last weeks delights at the Ethiad.

      1. Indeed i did through a’ haze’ of Robinsons bitter intersperced with appropriate barbed rantings to the smug ‘enemy’when Fergie time finally kicked in! Oh Frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

  7. I am on the Prolixic team – lovely straightforward stuff to start the week. Not sure which one to pick as a favourite though. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule for the usual Monday service.

    Any fans of Virgilius might like to know he is in the Guardian today under the name of his alter ego Brendan.

  8. Just about to have a go at this one over lunch.

    Been following England’s attempt to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory :grin:

    57-4, what would summer be like without an England batting collapse?

      1. It’s alright Kath the met office says it’s going to be 26°C by tomorrow but I won’t be removing any layers until I see that big yellow thing in the sky again, forgotten its name since it was last seen here in Middle England.

        1. I have moved South by about 500mtrs so not too drastic. Thanks for the concern Spin. Is Mary still contributing ?

    1. I’m with Prolixic and CS – did this one quickly, for me, which is just as well as I have far too much to do today. 3d and 18d took longer than the rest of the crossword. I wanted to make 25a “goose” but it didn’t seem to have enough letters! By the way I always thought that it was rhyming slang but can’t find it anywhere.
      Favourites include 13, 19 and 21a and 13 and 15d.
      With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    2. 13d is at hand, with Messrs Cook & Bell doing a bit of 25a and 2d -ing.
      The puzzle was about par for Roger’s course, I thought, and thanks to him and Libellule.

  9. I found this pretty straightforward apart from missing the anagram indicator for 18d. DOH!! Once Libelulle prompt alerted me to that, the last 2 (18d and 26a) fell into place immediately. 3*/4* for me. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  10. Lovely Monday test, no help needed just lots of thought. 19a I liked. Off to get cataract removed and new lens in left eye, trifle nervous , see :-) you later

  11. Don’t know why my comment went into the reply bit ….
    Wonder if this one will too or maybe I just pressed the wrong thing!

  12. Nice gentle start to the week although I thought 8d a bit of a stretch being from ‘oop North’ but enjoyable nontheless.
    Thanks to Rufus, and Libellule

  13. Gentle but enjoyable start to the week from Rufus, thanks to him and to Libellule.

  14. Thanks to Rufus for a nice start to the week. Finished it last night while watching Sherlock Holmes taking on Moriarty on PBS, so around two hours to complete which is fast for me. Last in were 25a and 15d, didn’t help that my I ended 15 d with “ED” to start with. I liked the anagram indicator in 21a.

  15. Just noticed the iPad theme off feature! Not sure where my last post went. But hard going for a Monday. *** / *** from me. Many thanks.

  16. Quite enjoyable. Liked 19a, 20d. Never heard of 3d before. Thought 5d, 15d a little weak.

  17. Whisper it quietly but the sun is cracking the pavements here in West Bridgford (comparatively speaking anyway)

    1. Sun almost out in Oxford too – well, maybe that’s going a bit too far – it is, at least, thinking about it!

  18. Thanks to the setter and Libellule for the review and hints. Found this very straightforward except for 19a, which I had never heard of, but I should have got it from the wordplay. Favourites were 9& 21a. Sun 21a ing to break through in Central London. Well done to England!

  19. No problems for me today, maybe I’m just lucky and on the Compilers wavelength, sure i’ll pay for it later in the week.
    Thanx to Compiler and to Libellule for his review.
    Well done Chelsea and West Ham, must be nice to live in London if you’re a ‘footie’ fan, regrettably I come from Portsmouth (Pompey). :-( Regards from a lovely sunny south coast, long may it last.

      1. How long does it take to have a comment deleted upon request?

        Sorry! I’ve worked in IT for years and years…..so, automatically I try out all the options. Not trying to break it, just trying to test it!

        Feel very sorry for the Spurs…but it’s their own fault ….. :cry:

        1. “but it’s there own fault” One name comes to mind Franco, thank god England didn’t employ him.

    1. was brung up in the New Forest, Remember the family feuds between The Dell and Fratton Park. To my eternal regret went to Dean Court in Bournemouth to not be seen as partisan.

  20. I found I was slow with this to-day and like Libellule wonder why and for me last one in was 21a. Lovely Rufus puzzle and thanks to Libellule.

  21. Although it’s Monday I found this one far too easy to give much satisfaction. I did however struggle with 26a and, although I got it right, it was a guess. I still don’t really understand the connection with “Much less”.

      1. Thanks Crypticsue – it just about makes sense now though use of the expression in that context is a bit obscure to me.

  22. The usual gentle start to the week from Jolly Roger.

    Liked : 9a, 19a, 21a, 25a, 8d, 14d, 15d & 20d.

    Very definitely summery weather now in NL – had lunch with my daughter today in the open air at a restaurant on the bank of the Rijn (Rhine) at Alphen a/d Rijn. First open-air meal this year!

    The trees everywhere are still very emerald green which shows how late the spring has been this weird year.
    Am now casting woolly clothing at long last!
    Ne’er cast a clout ’til May be out! I always took the out to mean finished – the French equivalent says end of April but France is further south!

    1. Derek, There is a school of thought which suggests that the “may” in question is the blossom of the hawthorn, which appears (outs) when a certian ambient temeperature is reached.
      Anyway, it has also been a very nice May day in Heavenly Henfield

      1. Hi Digby!
        Yes, I know all about the may blossom tripe but most saws are built on inconclusive reality!

        We are all products of supernova explosions!
        Denk eraan!

    2. Hi Derek, was horribly cold, and damp in Peterborough Cambridgeshire until about 4pm, the sun came through and what a relief,. Tonight was pork ribs in hoisin sauce, no wine just a rather nice locally brewed beer

      1. Nice to hear from you Andy – I remember Peterborough very well – I had an aunt and uncle who lived in Skegness, Lincs. and we often went to Peterboro’ from there.

        Tonight, I had cold roast chicken with two veg. washed down with a drop or two of Vouvray.

  23. Enjoyed today, as I usually do Rufus’s offerings. Thanks to him and to Libellule for the hints, without which I might not have finished. Fav clue was 6a which made me smile, having spent some years with fidgety young scholars! Lots of good clues today I thought.

  24. First read through – zilch; second read through did one – 21a, strangely enough Libellule! – then suddenly pennies started dropping all over the place and had done all but 5 in about 40 mins. Then had to go out, so second attempt at lunch time and all were finished – last in was 19a, took me forever, but what a lovely clue. Weird – is it the puzzle or is it one’s mindset when tackling it? Tis a mystery to me. But because of how it went to-day I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you Rufus and Libellule for the hints. Sun finally appeared here around lunchtime and it’s a beautiful evening – just wish my neighbour hadn’t taken the good weather as the best (and possibly first) opportunity to wield his strimmer!! One has to sympathise but such a pity to close the windows!

  25. I actually found this one quite easy – about ** minutes whilst eating dinner.
    It’s interesting that the other day, several people (including Big Dave) breezed one that I struggled with, yet the reverse is true today. I guess it just comes down to being on the compiler’s wavelength.

    1. Hi Bemused – welcome to the blog.
      We don’t favour quoting solving times so I’ve edited your post. It’s fine to say something like “faster than normal” or “solved in record time for me”.

  26. 3* for me for a Monday,but on reflection also can’t see why. Thanks Rufus and Libellule

  27. I was surprised to see this graded as being 3*. I thought it was very easy and done in………………..time. I must have been tuned in? 1* at most.

  28. Until very recently I have only ever done DT cryptic crosswords. When the “drought” set in and I had a bit more time than is normal for this time of year I started sometimes having a go at the Guardian ones. I have a good friend who only does Guardian puzzles and he maintains that they are far more difficult. We agree to differ on what makes a good clue but, having learnt so much from this great place, I think that some of the ones that he thinks are really clever are, in fact, a bit rubbishy. What I really want to know is the names that regular DT setters go by in the Guardian.

    1. PS – just printed out today’s and I already know that Brendan is Virgilius from what CS said.

    2. Rufus is Rufus
      Virgilius is Brendan
      Elgar is Enigmatist
      Giovanni is Pasquale
      Dada is Paul

      1. Thanks gazza – don’t recognise Dada – maybe he (I assume he is a he) only sets Telegraph toughies. I now feel that I have a bit more ammunition to carry on arguing about who is more difficult than someone else!

        1. Dada will be appearing tomorrow with a Toughie – he (as Paul) is my favourite Guradian setter and always good for some laughs.

    3. Hi Kath

      Virgilius = Brendan
      Giovanni = Pasquale
      Rufus = Rufus
      Dada (toughies in the DT) = Paul

      Can’t think of any others who set for both papers. As far as I know the other DT regulars like Cephas, Jay and RayT don’t do the Grauniad but I may be wrong.

      If you try the Grauniad puzzles look out for Arachne – Sarah Hayes, very nice lady with a wicked sense of humour!

      Favourite clue this year is from Araucaria a couple of weeks ago in the Grauniad:-

      Blue feathers found in landfill sites (4,2,3,5)

      1. Thanks pommers – will look out for Arachne – I’m all for a wicked sense of humour! Will work on that clue – might need the answer at some stage but going to think about it for a while first.

        1. Arachne set the Quiptic in yesterday’s Guardian along with Brendan being a bit of a bugger on the Cryptic. I’ll have to go on today to backsolve both of them.

  29. The usual good stuff from Rufus. Much enjoyed and pommette got most of it without help. I think 1a might be favourite for its elegant simplicity.

    Some lovely surfaces so thanks to Rufus and to Lbellule as always.

  30. Thanks to Rufus for an enjoyable solve. I completed on train between St Pancras and Wellingborough. Was hoping that my neighbour would be impressed. Got 3d but was not sure whether it was a word or whether I had made it up! Last corner in was SE. I had to leave 26a until I got home and had my dinner after which it looked obvious. What was interesting today is that there were definitely two schools in the comments and no consistency in what the bloggers found easy/difficult!

  31. This is SUCH an amazing place – you ask a question and in less than one hour you have two answers, even on a mid week evening. Thanks SO much! :smile:

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