DT 26922 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26922

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26922

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

Ray T is back again. A bit low on innuendo, but the Queen is still there.

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.


1a    Nuptial bed is pounded, it’s certain (12)
{INDISPUTABLE} – an anagram (pounded) of NUPTIAL BED IS gives an adjective meaning certain or beyond doubt

9a    Heavy charge lit to explode (9)
{LETHARGIC} – this adjective meaning heavy comes from an anagram (to explode) of CHARGE LIT

10a    Tea around one for lounger, perhaps (5)
{CHAIR} – put another word for tea around I (one) to get an item of furniture of which lounger is an example (perhaps)

11a    Grand talent by Queen’s supporting band? (6)
{GARTER} – run together G(rand), a talent and the usual abbreviation for Elizabeth Regina to get this band that supports a stocking

12a    Small changes on page for religious texts (8)
{PSALTERS} – start with S(mall) and a verb meaning changes then put P(age) in front to get these religious texts

13a    In bathroom, female with a hard sponge (6)
{LOOFAH} – combine a colloquial word for the bathroom, F(emal), the A from the clue and H(ard) to get this item used as a sponge

15a    Opulent old American after feed (8)
{GORGEOUS} – this adjective meaning opulent or magnificent is derived by putting O(ld) and a two-letter abbreviation for American after a verb meaning to feed

18a    Possibly Armstrong’s small step with crew (8)
{SPACEMAN} – this could be Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin or Michael Collins – a charade of S(mall), a step and a verb meaning to crew a ship

19a    First woman’s hugging including display (6)
{EVINCE} – put the world’s first woman around (hugging) INC(luding) to get a verb meaning to display or show clearly

21a    Turn gay in seaside town, say (8)
{BRIGHTEN} – this verb meaning to turn gay, in its proper original meaning, sounds like a seaside town on the South Coast

23a    Mine includes endless wine, cheers! (6)
{PROSIT} – put another word for a coal mine around a type of wine without its final É (endless) to get an interjection meaning cheers!

26a    Revolutionary Labour leader with odd number returned (5)
{LENIN} – to get this revolutionary Russian leader start with the initial letter (leader) of Labour and follow it with the reversal (returned) of an odd number

27a    One can cry about sweetheart’s wandering (9)
{ITINERANT} – put I (one), a can and a verb meaning to cry or yell around the middle letter (heart) of swEet to get this adjective meaning wandering

28a    Buzzing insects and queen producing purest substance (12)
{QUINTESSENCE} – an anagram (buzzing) of INSECTS and QUEEN gives the purest substance or most perfect example of a quality


1d    Criminal, wicked convict brought up possessing Ecstasy (7)
{ILLEGAL} – this adjective meaning criminal or against the law is derived by putting a word meaning wicked or harmful and a convict reversed (brought up in a down clue) around (possessing) E(cstasy)

2d    Discourage the German and French in embrace (5)
{DETER} – to get this verb meaning to discourage put the German definite article around (in embrace) the French for and

3d    Tie given by tasteless wife (9)
{STALEMATE] – this tie or draw in a game of chess could, if split (5,4) be a tasteless wife or partner

4d    Removal, taking top off, provokes desire (4)
{URGE} – start with the removal of undesirable people and drop the initial P (top off) to get a desire

5d    Trace son in order to reveal forefather (8)
{ANCESTOR} – an anagram (in order) of TRACE SON gives a forefather

6d    Restricted Liberal leader over state (5)
{LOCAL} – this adjective meaning restricted or confined to a certain place is derived from the initial letter (leader) of Liberal, O(ver) and an abbreviation for a US state

7d    Country’s Government leader trapping Opposition leader (8)
{CAMEROON} – to get this African country put the Prime Minister’s surname around (trapping) the initial letter (leader) of Opposition

8d    One’s repeatedly under credit crunch (6)
{CRISIS} – I’S (one’s) is repeated after (under in a down clue) CR(edit) to get a crunch or major problem

14d    Speeches over budgets (8)
{ORATIONS} – these speeches come from O(ver) followed by a verb meaning budgets of controls

16d    End of testing finished head teacher (9)
{GOVERNESS} – the final letter (end) of testinG is followed by a word meaning finished and a headland to get this woman entrusted with the education of a child

17d    Metamorphosis of larvae in plant (8)
{VALERIAN} – an anagram (metamorphosis) of LARVAE IN gives a Eurasian plant which typically bears clusters of small pink or white flowers

18d    Sculpting bust, the French getting artful (6)
{SUBTLE} – an anagram (sculpting) of BUST followed by the French definite article gives this adjective meaning artful

20d    Document, it legally covers permit (7)
{ENTITLE} – hidden inside the clue (covers) is a verb meaning to permit

22d    Person of faith in Durgapur? (5)
{HINDU} – this Indian person of a particular faith is hidden inside the clue

24d    Revolution engulfing a country (5)
{SPAIN} – put a revolution or turn around (engulfing) A to get this European country

25d    Start to eat after little nibble (4)
{BITE} – put the initial letter of (start to) Eat after a little amount to get a nibble

I thought that this one was not overly difficult – but you do need to read the clues carefully.

The Quick crossword pun: {rays} + {hub} + {laid} = {razor blade}

48 comments on “DT 26922

  1. I have known a lot tougher Ray T’s than this one, but the usual enjoyment factor was there. Hard to pick a favourite so I will just thank both him and BD.

    The SW corner of the toughie takes longer than all the rest put together to sort out. I found the whole puzzle irritating so you never know, it might suit those who can’t stand our lovely back page setter.

    1. I am having a similar experience with the toughie, with three remaining in the SW corner.

      1. They are all irritatingly kick yourself ones. Have you got the shin pads ready?

        I am off to find the waterproofs because as the Olympic torch gets nearer to us, the black clouds are getting worse and worse.

  2. Well, that was a very pleasant start to the day!

    No stand aout favourite but 13a certainly raised a smile :smile:

    Thanks to Ray and BD

    Dave, part of the clue for 9a is missing.

  3. completely agree with this assessment – 3*/4* for me too. Some good tough clues but also some friendly ones to make a start with for those who are less keen on Ray T.

    So many good clues but 21 made me smile most.

    Thanks to BD & RT

  4. I thought this was fairly simple for one of his. I agree that the innuendo count is low but the Queen is there – twice! I do wish we could persuade him to have his really naughty hat on all the time!
    I didn’t have any real problems with this one. I was slow to get 15a for no obvious reason. I also got in a muddle with the long anagram at the bottom – I tried to use the wrong letters – “insects and er” – it just wouldn’t work.
    I really enjoyed it.
    I liked 1, 13 and 27a and 3, 7, 8, 16, 17 – most of them really!
    With thanks to Ray T and BD.

  5. Yes I agree with all the above. Very enjoyable. Initially had and anagram of a cry at the end of 27a. Did anyone else fall for that one? Not held up for long though, seemed to be on the right wavelength. Closer to ** than *** and a **** from me. Many thanks to all.

  6. I thought this was enjoyable but fairly straightforward, although I admit I was held up for a while on 3d, the last one I got, while trying to find a suitable adjective to describe my (ex)-wife…

  7. Many thanks to RayT for a most enjoyable and reasonably tricky crossword and to BD for the hints/review. I thought the toughie very reasonable also and quite a good one for those who find toughies beyond them normally.

  8. Having escaped the terrors of the torch procession in Canterbury, sitting with beer in hand in glorious sunshine.

    Cracker of a puzzle,21a has to be clue of the week for me.

    Thanks for the review, only needed to sort out 27a.

    Thanks to RayT for as always a clever and entertaining puzzle.

    1. It isn’t getting there until 4? And where’s the sunshine? It went from here a couple of hours ago.

      1. I’m not taking any chances.

        Dover, although it’s gone from sunny to sunny intervals.

        1. Took my mac and not my sun glasses so of course the sun came out. Our spread out communities came out in force to wave the torch on its way. The smallest child present was more impressed by the fact that she had high-fived a policeman, not once but twice. :D

  9. Can’t believe this was a Ray T, not only did I finish it but I enjoyed it. He must be feeling sorry for me! If so thank you.

    1. Nice one Brian! As Mary says – the only way to learn is to keep on trying & never stop persevating…

  10. Not that low by my reckoning .. we had nuptial bed pounding, garter, females in bathrooms, turning gay, tops taken off and sculpted busts!

    1. Was thinking like you Toadson -loads of smile inducing innuendo! Agree with 3/4* assessment. Fave 27a, but 12a last in as I was trying to rearrange letters of small after the p, managing psalmems … penny finally dropped tho. Thanks to all. Great stuff.

    2. Talking about “nuptial bed pounding” – it’s our 32nd wedding anniversary today, fnr, fnr fnr…

      1. Congrats! That prompted a search out of curiosity as to what gift you would buy a couple on their 32nd wedding anniversary. There does not appear to be anything between 30 and 35, however if anyone makes it to 90 years of marriage, the traditional gift is one of Stone!

  11. Enjoyed solving this one from Ray in the continuing sunshine in The Var.
    Faves today : 18a, 23a, 27a, 28a, 1d, 3d, 8d & 16d.


  12. On pain pills today due to severe back pain but being spaced out seemed to help with the clue solving – not that I would recommend it as a permanent solution.

  13. Very enjoyable but quickest ever solve for me. Sometimes I don’t get it with Ray T. Last one in 3d! Did on train this morning so will have to read the news now on the way back!

  14. Nearly got it and when I saw that it was a Ray T, resolved to finish it without help, which I did, for the first time ever.

    Thanks to BD and the setter.

  15. Good steady plod today, enough easy clues to yield strategic letters, liked 3d- reminded me of the ex.
    Gave it ***/*** and thanks to Ray T-long live the queen!

  16. RayT in usual fine form. Favourite was 3 but also liked 11 [last in with big guffaw] and 12. Could do with another Beamer!

  17. Setter here…

    Many thanks to BD, and to everybody for your comments. All read and appreciated, as always.


  18. Enjoyed today’s challenge – like others, I also found the SW corner the last to submit to my assault, but got there eventually.
    I only have the old-fashioned paper version to tackle (why doesn’t the DT make these free online like the Grauniad does?), which doesn’t give any hint as to the compiler. Anyone know why?

    1. I’m sure the reason the Telegraph doesn’t make the puzzles available free online is because there is a subscription service (the Times is the same).

      The Telegraph, like the Times, has never published the names of the setters for back-page puzzles.
      There’s an entry in the FAQ about it:


    2. Bemused,


      I’ve always been surprised why the DT hasn’t bought out BD’s blog.

      The DT offers Help with today’s clues @ 77p per minute – a nice little earner!

      (With regard to difficulties in the SW corner – Am I on the wrong page? Or is it you? Toughie or Cryptic?)

  19. Thanks to ray T & to Big Dave for the review & hints. Great stuff from Ray T today, I agree with Big Dave, not much innuendo, but I saw two Queens. Started with 1a, finished with 7d, which I had to use electronic help on. I knew it was a country, but Ray T tied me up in knots, I could only think head of Government was G, probably because I don’t think the two blokes in charge at the moment seem like heads of government :-) Apologies to fans of the coalition. Favourites were 1a, 21a lol, & 22d which was well hidden. Also worth a mention was 28a, which was the name of a band in the 60’s, and talk about a coincidence, a track of theirs came on in the car tonight on random play, called Gungamai. Almost like Summer in Central London today.

  20. I have struggled to do the cryptics for about a year. Only just discovered this site. Thank you BD for showing me how to read the clues-life is getting better and who knows, maybe I’ll complete one soon.

    1. Welcome geejay. This site certainly transforms one’s crosswording life. Keep perservating and I am sure you will complete a puzzle soon.

    2. I agree with CS – it really is a fantastic site. I found it just over a couple of years ago – brilliant!
      Just to make something clear – “perservating” was not a mistake in CS’s comment above – it is a commonly used expression here coined by a regular commenter called Mary (she’s off in her camper van on holiday at the moment) – it means “persevering”. :smile:

  21. Finally defeated, 12a, still not sure, needed help,rest was completed pre cricket. **|** for me, though finished all bar 12a by 9.45. Cricket was good, can’t believe saw full day. Look fwd to tmrw, need a good Friday challenge.

  22. Only been doing these for a few weeks since I found they are available on-line, I found this the most difficult of those I have managed to complete. I had to use 4 of the 5 letter hints. Many thanks to Big Dave for explaining the solutions – although I managed to get the answers correct I was baffled by the source of the “ness” in 16d, the whole of 24d and completely failed to spot the answers in 20d and 22d, even after working them out.

    The only way I could claim to solve this within one cup of coffee would be to include driving up to Chiang Rai and picking the coffee beans.

    Thanks again for the explanations, I feel like Watson when Holmes explains his reasoning.

    Big storm this morning here in the Big Mango, but lovely sunny day now, temp in low 30s.

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