DT 26883 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26883

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26883

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment ***

I hope everybody is enjoying the Jubilee holidays. This seemed to be the most straightforward Rufus crossword I have done for some time, what did you think?

If you need to, highlight the space between the curly brackets to reveal the answer.


1. Keep arguing — like Mrs Sprat does (4,3,3)
{CHEW THE FAT} – A phrase that means to talk socially, could also be what Jack Sprats wife does when they eat. I personally thought that this phrase just meant to talk socially however Chambers has “to keep on arguing the point; to converse, gossip”.

9. Finished? Then I accept the offer (4)
{DONE} – Double definition. To be completed or a word used instead of saying okay.

10. Flags put out in honour of a brave man (10)
{DECORATION} – A word that means making something more attractive, adorning for example is also used to describe a medal.

11. It’s used as antifreeze in bitingly cold weather (6)
{GLYCOL} – A liquid used as antifreeze can be found hidden between the words bitingly and cold.

12. Sort of sight he encountered in the Alps (7)
{HEIGHTS} – An anagram (sort) of SIGHT HE.

15. A number, for example, press for some form of restraint (3-4)
{LEG-IRON} – L (fifty in Roman numerals) E.G. (for example) and a word to describe pressing clothes produces a chain or shackle for the ankles or feet.

16. It is well used by desert travellers (5)
{OASIS} – Where you might find water in the desert.

17. Ring-road goes round a kiln (4)
{OAST} – The definition is a kiln for drying hops for example. O (ring) and ST (road) placed around A.

18. Completely new sweet flavour (4)
{MINT} – Double definition. As if new or a type of sweet e.g. a polo

19. Spanish snacks of cooked pasta (5)
{TAPAS} – An anagram (cooked) of PASTA.

21. Is embraced by a need for something aromatic (7)
{ANISEED} – Place IS inside A and NEED to get a liquorice flavour.

22. Companion given a smile, causing annoyance (7)
{CHAGRIN} – CH (Companion of Honour) A and another word for a broad smile.

24. Temple ornament I’d made badly (6)
{DIADEM} – An anagram (badly) of ID MADE are a type of jewelled head-dress.

27. Hostelry needs approval for modernisation (10)
{INNOVATION} – A word for a public house is followed by a word for prolonged applause for a word that describes creating something new.

28. Frenchman provides a positive answer about centre of gravity (4)
{YVES} – A French mans name is V (the centre of gravity) inside a word that is a consenting reply.

29. Asian long-distance runner has audition for commercial (10)
{INDUSTRIAL} – This Asian long distance runner is a river that flows through India and Pakistan. Then add a word for an examination or test. Result is another word that describes manufacturing, business or commerce.


2. Went quickly — to keep out of sight, it’s said (4)
{HIED} – A sounds like clue (it’s said). A word that means to hasten sounds like a word that means to conceal from view.

3. Courting ducks take wing outside (6)
{WOOING} – Take OO (two ducks) and place wing around them.

4. Stop at sea (5,2)
{HEAVE TO} – A phrase that describes stopping at sea.

5. Just beautiful! (4)
{FAIR} – Double definition, equitable or of pleasing appearance.

6. Mouth-organs held in silence (7)
{TONGUES} – These organs are found in mouths.

7. Stretcher bearer? (3,7)
{HOD CARRIER} – Stretcher in this instance refers to a brick.

8. General still a Duke even if he lost his head (10)
{WELLINGTON} – This General won the battle of Waterloo, if you removed the first letter from his name he would be an American jazz bandleader and musician

12. Their union offers security (4,3,3)
{HOOK AND EYE} – A clothes fastener.

13. Jogs for ages — it isn’t bad (10)
{INSTIGATES} – An anagram (bad) of AGES IT ISNT for a word that means provokes or incites.

14. Food the French may get unhappy about (5)
{SALAD} – Put a word that means depressed around the French feminine word for the to get a green leafy meal.

15. Colour I call unusual (5)
{LILAC} – An anagram (unusual) of I CALL.

19. Ends interim arrangements (7)
{TERMINI} – Another anagram (arrangements) this time of INTERIM.

20. Bundles to haul on board (7)
{SHEAVES} – Bundles of grain for example, SS (steamship, on board) around a word that means to raise or lift usually with great force.

23. It carries away the waste from a fish cleaner (6)
{GUTTER} – Something used to drain rainwater, could also be someone who prepares fish.

25. Take a meal up for the woman (4)
{ENID} – Reverse (up) a word that means to have dinner to get a girls name.

26. Artist about to put up list (4)
{ROTA} – RA (artist) placed around a reversed (put up) TO.

The Quick crossword pun: {lights} + {sapphire} = {lights a fire}

87 comments on “DT 26883

  1. Morning Libellule. I don’t know about others, but I think I might enjoy the Jubilee a bit more if someone turned the wind and rain off! thought the quick pun was particularly appropriate for today, although passing the site of our beacon on my way back from the papershop, I do wonder given all the thick drizzle how many other beacons we will get to see across East Kent this evening.

    A nice straightforward Rufus to start the week, so thank you to both of you. I

    1. Morning Sue,
      Sun shining, blue skies and approx 21 degrees today south of the Loire today. Although we are expecting showers this evening.

      1. Typical Bank Holiday weather here. Have wrapped up warm and am making casseroles (meat for me, bean for Mr CS) to stock up the freezer. It is brightening up on the horizon (what my Yorkshire granny would have called ‘taking up’) so fingers crossed for later on.

          1. Did I mention my sister-in-law used to live in the Languedoc for a few years collywobs until moving to Callac in Brittany 4 years ago
            it’s a beautiful area of France

            1. I think that you did Mary but the weather is much warmer here and we get 300 days of sunshine a year

              1. I meant the Languedoc was lovely Collywobs, she was near Marvejol in La Lozerre region

  2. Good morning Libelulle, I’m afraid I didn’t find this straightforward today, not one of my favourite Rufus puzzles, putting ‘lock and key’ in for 12d didn’t help! I don’t think I’ve ever seen 2d before and a few others I got stuck on so merci Libelulle for your help, at least a two star for me today and no favourite, which is unusual for me on a Monday, the sun is shining at the moment here, hope it shines for all of you today :-)

      1. And I agree too. Is 2d the past tense of ‘hie’ – if so, never heard of it

        1. I can only think it must be collywobs, it’s given as ‘vi’ in Chambers which I think stands for ‘verb intransitive’ , does tha mean past tense?

      2. According to Chambers Hie is poetic or archaic for hurry or hasten and hied is ‘vi’ ?

        1. I remember a phrase from a Geordie translation book ! “Hie ye oer ererwiyerama!” which means “Hasten over here with your hammer!”…almost as good as the Yorkshire expression – “Tintintin” – it is not in the metal container

    1. I started 12d with ‘lock and key’ too, and I agree not that straight forward for Rufus, so thanks for the help Libellule. As for ‘vi’ – Ask.com (http://www.ask.com/wiki/Intransitive_verb) gives ‘In grammar, an intransitive verb is a verb that has no object. This is distinct from a transitive verb, which takes one or more objects.’ That’s the grammar lesson for today.

      1. Thank you Senf :-) that much clearer now! Glad |I wasn’t the only one to put ‘lock and key’ seemed obvious to me

        1. Hi Mary, and welcome back. Hope you had a great time in the new motorhome.

          When pommette read me the clue for 12d I instantly said “lock and key” but the she rather disparagingly said “Nice try Mike, but it don’t fit the checkers”! Cheeky or what? She’d already marked the clue as solved before I had a chance! Sometimes on Rufus day she thinks she’s better than me – and she’s right :grin:

          1. Thanks pommers good to be back, half term week here I just have to be careful now that my computer doesn’t get hijacked by grandsons!!

      2. Nowt wrong with a bit of pedantry and grammatical exactitude in crosswords, love it! Thanks Senf :grin:

  3. Allowed me to feel quite Churchillian this morning. He reckoned to do the Times cryptic while his egg boiled. Not quite that quick, but I found this a very easy start to the week.

  4. Thanks to Libellule for today’s hints. Completed it but couldn’t see why 7d related to ‘stretcher’ – didn’t know it was a word for a brick.

    1. Neither did I Bemused but it does give it in CCD, I would never have thought of it!

        1. From what I can gather Collywobs a header brick is one that is laid at 90 deg to the wall it’s in and a stretcher is one laid with its full side showing

  5. Satisfying today. Only needed 3 hints to finish. Thanks
    Libellule and to Rufus, always my favourite.

  6. Enjoyable and fairly straight forward.
    Thanks for the review.
    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle.

  7. Very straightforward EXCEPT for 1d (not a word I’ve come across before) and 13d. No way does instigate mean to jog and Chambers agrees. Apart from that the only clue that I found clever was 8d.

    1. For once I am in agreement with you Brian, I also consider jog to be a tenuous synonym for instigate.

  8. Lovely crossword and typically Rufus. I would change my rating back to 1* once I had unblocked a couple of easy clues that I could not see first time around

  9. Woo-hoo, new personal best! I loved 7D, and 16A made me laugh (don’t know why I’m in such a good mood, I’m working today and tomorrow…).

    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  10. Very gentle start to the week from Rufus but reasonably enjoyable, thanks to Rufus and to Libellule.

  11. Agree with the general comments. One or two clues were a bit too obvious. I was up late doing Dads Taxi duty when I got back the I pad version was available 3/4 went in straight away before I fell asleep. Ground to a halt this morning.. Blame it on having my equilibrium disturbed. Thanks to all.

  12. Had to come here to find that brick was synonymous with stretcher.
    Otherwise enjoyable.
    Cold and wet in the home counties.

  13. I suppose this was quite straightforward but my brain is not functioning properly after the last couple of days. All was fine until I got stuck in the top right corner and couldn’t get the first bit of 7d and, stupidly, couldn’t do 9a either. Based on those it was probably a 2* for me. I got 1a quickly but thought that it was chatting at length rather than arguing. 24a took me a while as I was thinking of the “churchy” kind of temple and not the “heady” one. Oh dear!!
    No particular favourites. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    Weather here is better than it was yesterday (how could it NOT be?) but far from summery – at least it’s not raining. I’ve still got yesterday’s cryptic and the NTSPP and the prize puzzle from Saturday so they should keep me quiet for some time.
    The muntjacs have eaten all my lupins! :sad:

    1. Hi Kath did I miss your birthday?
      How come they are in your garden all the time??

      1. Birthday was Saturday – entire family, plus a few more for the whole weekend, and thirty plus for what had been planned as a barbecue yesterday pm – now that will really teach us to EVER plan a barbecue!! Could we have picked a worse day – I think not!!! Twenty four hours of non-stop heavy rain. Oh dear! :sad: We still had a very good evening though – inside! :smile:
        So far as the little ******** that are eating their way through the garden are concerned I think they live in the fields and woods just behind us and pop in here for a tasty snack when they get fed-up with grass. Thankfully they either haven’t found the sweet peas or, more likely, they don’t like them!!

        1. Mary,
          There are a lot of Muntjacs in Oxfordshire, I used to see them on a regular basis when I lived in the Chilterns. I am not surprised they are now raiding gardens for food. What is probably not general knowledge is that you also have to look out for wallabys too.

          1. Be careful everyone – I’m getting VERY touchy about this!! I think they come in early in the morning, around dawn, before we (or more importantly, collie) are awake and just help themselves to whatever they fancy. As soon as I’m awake I do a wander round the garden to see what their latest favourite (victim) is. Oh dear!! :sad:

        2. Muntjacs in peterborough too, cannot let the lurcher or saluki off the leads near the river, Thabo couldn’t care less though. Not seen wallabys though

          1. I’d try it franco, as i love venison, but dragging dogs home with a carcass betwen them, on a main road.. maybe not !

          1. Thanks Mary. Very hectic weekend – about to have an early night in the hope that I might feel something approaching human tomorrow.

  14. Wish I’d had a clock on this one as we must have broken our record!

    Favorite was 11a, if only for its super surface.

    Very enjoyable so many thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  15. Found this pretty straightforward, which was a nice change as I have been struggling recently. 12d took me a while and 9a was last in(as I’ve said before, I hate those pesky 4-letter ones!) Most enjoyable, thanks to setter and hinter.

  16. I was about to post to say that I was at odds with the general consensus here, finding this really rather difficult (I have often found that I just don’t “click” with Rufus) and that I had only managed less than a third of the clues before turning to the hints. Then I looked at the hints – wrote in 1a and 10a and, all of a sudden, I was off…
    Managed to do all the rest with only the occasional peek to check that I had it right.

    Some I made unnecessarily difficult for myself, looking for more complexity that was actually needed. For example 21a I spent ages looking for a synonym for “a need”, trying hard to fit “yearn” or “lack” in there somewhere, when all along I just needed the words in front of me!

    Thanks as always to Rufus, to Libellule for his brilliant hints which got me going, and to everyone here.

  17. Flew through this one and, having done a little amateur brickwork, stretcher was no problem. You might like to keep it in the bank in case it crops up some time that a brick/block that covers the space of two courses, is a jumper.
    Lovely day here in West Cumbria, clear blue sky, slight breeze and warm; the street-partygoers are making the most of it.

    Thanks libellule, although I didn’t need you today and Rufus.

  18. Off topic but not sure where to post this: anyone know where the photos from S&B 9 are kept online?

    Thanks all!

  19. Well I never!
    Put in Hod Carrier not knwing that a stretcher was a type of brick.
    Could not think of any other three-letter word carrier
    So, got the right answer
    But I shall award myself no points as I should have looked up stretcher before putting in hod carrier.
    Lovely crossword thanks Rufus and Libellule.

  20. many thanks to Rufus and Libellule, still have to attempt sat and sun offerings, been away this weekend, house looks like widow twankees laundry trying to dry everything, including a tent draped over bannisters!!! Slowly defrosting, an advanced e-punch to pommers before he says anything! A bath awaits

  21. Whenever I manage to solve a Monday puzzle it always gets one or two stars for difficulty! However I did manage to solve it at a beer festival despite the distractions…

  22. Hi Hrothgar.
    Don’t want to seem pedantic here, but a stretcher is not a type of brick. A standard brick only becomes a stretcher when it is laid, end to end with others, in a wall when only one or both of the long sides can be seen; depending on whether it’s single skin or not.

  23. I don’t think I got an email alert today unless I accidentally deleted it on my iPhone when braving th Kent Garden Show in the cold. The main purchase ended up being an extra sweater for my wife who was so cold…

    Could somebody explain what is cryptic about 4d? Shouldn’t it be in the quick crossword?

    Very straightforward and not my favourite Monday but always worth having a go.

    1. 4d Presumably you’re meant to think it means remain at sea, but I agree that it’s not very cryptic.

      1. It almost put me off as I thought it couldn’t be that obvious. But once I had the connectors it had to be what it was.



    2. Hi Wozza

      Re 4d. As a sailor I just wrote in the answer without really thinking about it and moved on to the next clue. Looking at it now I would say it isn’t cryptic at all. It’s merely a simple definition of how you stop a yacht in open waters and therefore should be reserved for the Quickie or the GK. Gazza’s probably right but it’s so thin that it’s worse than the soles of my deck shoes (really must get some new ones!).

  24. Thanks to Rufus & to Libellule for the hints and tips. Enjoyed this one, found it reall y easy but couldn’t get 2d and 10a, needed the hints for those. Had never heard of hied. Favourite was 29a.Temperature was below 10C last night in Central London, so much for flaming June !!

  25. Solved this yesterday but couldn’t get to the computer as my son was fast asleep in the spare bedroom but is now on his way to the Var in my car.

    Usual pleasant start to the week from Rufus.

    Faves : 1a, 15a, 29a, 2d, 6d, 7d & 12d.

    Re 7d – I thought of Bow Carrier at first!!

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