DT 26925 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26925

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26925

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

I don’t know why but this was a game of two halves for me today, most of the crossword went in pretty quickly, as it usually does on a Monday, but then I ground to a halt and struggled to finish.

Highlighting the space between the curly brackets to show the answers


1. Good man and yet unprogressive (10)
{STANDSTILL} – ST. (good man) AND plus a word that means up to or at a specified time.

9. A bit of land is being given to the French (4)
{ISLE} – IS and the masculine form of the French the.

10. Where to view great partnership? (10)
{GRANDSTAND} – Two batsmen scoring a thousand runs perhaps?

11. Soldiers in the trenches did this craft (6)
{DUGOUT} – What soldiers would do to make or maintain trenches is also a boat or canoe made out of a hollowed-out log.

12. The S African flag (7)
{FREESIA} – A plant that a relative to the Iris is also a native to South Africa and has one-sided clusters of fragrant, variously coloured flowers.

15. Fruitless tries converted by the French (7)
{STERILE} – An anagram (converted) of TRIES and the French word at 9a.

16. Relative’s somewhere in S France, we hear (5)
{NIECE} – This relative sounds like Nice.

17. Piece of news I encountered on return (4)
{ITEM} – I and a three letter word that means to come upon is then reversed (on return).

18. Betray mum and ring head of police (4)
{SHOP} – SH (mum) and O (ring) and the first letter (head) of police.

19. Tree that can reach a great height (5)
{PLANE} – A tree that has the same name as a flying machine.

21. Church eminence (7)
{STEEPLE} – Is also a tall tower.

22. Trampled, with or without study (7)
{TRODDEN} – A word that means to have walked on or over produces the same meaning whether it has a three letter word for study added to it or not.

24. Music sets worker on edge (6)
{ANTHEM} – A hymn of praise or loyalty is constructed from a hard working insect and the sort of edge you might find on a piece of cloth.

27. A man takes action as a precaution (4,2,4)
{JUST IN CASE} – A mans first name e.g. A Roman historian, or (the first name of the singers (?) Bieber, Timberlake) is then followed by another word for a legal action or suit to produce a phrase that means “if there happens to be a need”.

28. Money provided by dissolute roué? (4)
{EURO} – A simple anagram (dissolute) of ROUE.

29. Deceived about employee being badly treated (10)
{MISHANDLED} – Place a word that means having given false information around a word for a person who performs manual labour to get another word that means to treat badly.


2. Collector emerges clutching rent (4)
{TORE} – The answer is hidden between the two words collector and emerges.

3. Minority of lawyers could be 90-year-old — not half (6)
{NONAGE} – Take a word for a person who is between 90 and 100 years old, remove the latter half and you now have a word that defines the period during which one is legally underage.

4. Continually hold us up to the mark (7)
{SUSTAIN} – Reverse (up) US and then add a word for a discoloured spot or smudge.

5. Rain is unusual in this country (4)
{IRAN} – An anagram (is unusual) of RAIN.

6. Fear of redundancy drove him to breaking point (7)
{LUDDITE} – A textile worker opposed to mechanisation who rioted and organised machine-breaking between 1811 and 1816.

7. Amazed, and so is the organisation (10)
{ASTONISHED} – An anagram (organisation) of AND SO IS THE.

8. Choose to pay the bill produced by cricket side (6,4)
{SETTLE UPON} – Two words that can mean to choose, is constructed from a phrase that means to pay a bill, is followed by ON (a cricket side).

12. Investments in swings and roundabouts will get equal distribution? (4,6)
{FAIR SHARES} – A word that describes travelling entertainment with sideshows, rides, etc is then followed by a word that represents the stock of a corporation or company to get a phrase that means being in accordance with relative merit or significance.

13. No problem in Baker Street? (10)
{ELEMENTARY} – As Sherlock Holmes might have said to Watson.

14. Religious passage a tissue of lies (5)
{AISLE} – A and an anagram (tissue) of LIES.

15. Not much seen in street collecting tin (5)
{SCANT} – Place another word for a tin inside (collecting) ST.

19. Preserve Victoria, say, over embarrassing situation (4,3)
{PLUM JAM} – Victoria in this clue refers to a type of fruit, this is then placed in front of (over) a nother word for a predicament or difficult situation. Definition preserve.

20. Girl about to set up exciting material (7)
{EROTICA} – A girls name, ERICA is placed around a reversed (set up) TO.

23. Took steps in time (6)
{DANCED} – Moved in time to music…

25. Give us directions for Customs? (4)
{USES} – US and two compass points is also a word that can mean habitual practices. Don’t be misled by the capital letter used for customs.

26. He’s a reformed Wimbledon champion (4)
{ASHE} – An anagram (reformed) of HES A produces the male singles Wimbledon champion of 1975.

The Quick crossword pun: {byes} + {sick list} = {bicyclist}

48 comments on “DT 26925

  1. A 2* for me today. A pleasant steady solve. I solved 12a from the crossing letters then had to google my answer to justify it. Thanks to setter & to Libellule for the explanations.

  2. I had the same experience bottom half went in fairly quickly and then the top half took ages.
    12a foxed me until the penny dropped same detail for 11a.

    All in all a very nice start to the week.

    Thanks Libelulle for the review, and to Rufus for another one of his finely crafted puzzles.

    Going to try for a week of solving without recourse to electric helpers.

  3. Not my cup of tea today. Still don’t understand 12 even with your explanation. What’s it got to do with flag? 4*/2* for me. Thanks to both.

    1. The British wild Iris is known as Yellow Flag, so the name is probably used more generally for the family as a whole.

  4. Similar scenario to Libellule where most when in very quickly, and then a minor struggle at the end with the last 2 or 3.
    Thanks to setter, and blogger.

  5. All went remarkably well until I arrived at 11a and 8d – they took a while to sort out. I didn’t quite understand why 10a was what it was (my lack of knowledge of cricketing terms never fails to let me down!) so needed the hint to explain that one. Probably between 2 and 3* for difficulty for me today.
    I liked 18 and 27a and 3 and 13d.
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    Hot and sunny in Oxford – and about time too!

  6. Good morning Libellule. In 18a why is ‘Mum’ SH?

    Doh, I’ve just had a Gnomey moment, please forget thar

    1. Keeping ‘mum’ is to be silent or to shh! There was a WW2 poster that said “Be like Dad – keep Mum!”

  7. Where’s the British rain when the cricketers need it? :lol: 117-5 now!

    What an embarrassment!

    1. Morning

      I do like my cricket, but on this occasion, I am not prepared to sacrifice the sunshine for rainfall. :)

      The Olympic torch will be about 3 miles away from me in Wimbledon this afternoon, but I don’t think I will try and get any closer!

  8. Pleasant start to the week, score it **/***.Would have struggled with 12a without the ‘F’, apt i suppose as our cricketing heroes are struggling at the Oval with South Africa ,they’ve replaced the aussies as the team i want to beat- if i had a daughter it would be just my luck if she brought smith home for tea!

  9. A trickier challenge from Rufus this morning but very enjoyable. Thanks to him and Libellule too.

    I thought the Quick pun was very appropriate given the weekend’s success.

  10. Wall-to-wall sunshine in Birmingham, a wonderful result in the Tour and a straightforward Monday crossword that would confirm my crossword prowess (at least in my mind)… or so I thought. I should have realised by the way the cricket was going that it was all going to end badly and of course it did! Completely flumoxed by 12a, found 8d a tad tenuous and still don’t quite get 3d… Many thanks to the setter and Libellule for a comprehensive set of hints. Cheers!

  11. Fairly standard Rufus and none the worse for being so. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule.

  12. 20. Girl about to set up exciting material (7)
    {EROTICA} – A girls name, ERICA is placed around TO.
    I was looking forward to a picture to support this answer

    1. Can I just point out once again that this CS isn’t me, not least because if Libellule were to provide illustrations for his blogs, that would be the last one I would want illustrated.

      1. Take care, dear Lady, lest some ungallant person should quote Shakespeare here…

    2. In all the time I have blogged I have never used pictures to illustrate clues or answers, and I am not planning to start now. Try using your imagination :-)

  13. Not sure when it happened as I’m not a daily puzzler, but oh the delight of finding I can get the bracketed answer on my iPad instead of having to copy and paste.
    Grateful thanks to whoever organised this.

    1. Pam, Please elaborate on how you get an iPad to show the answer in the brackets. I have no clue … No pun intended ! Thanks, Pedro.

        1. Welcome to the blog Pedro

          If you can enlighten me I’ll see if i can update the FAQ.

          The touch screen theme used with the blog is documented here, but I use neither iPad nor iPhone (and I refuse to use any Apple software as well!). The only item I use is Safari, and that is only to check compatibility when I make (infrequent) changes.


          1. Just out of interest – why are you anti Apple “stuff”? We use nothing else. Husband knows what he’s doing – needless to say I don’t – so that’s what we do. I “inherited” his old iPhone (mainly because he needed an excuse to have the newest one!) – have to say that I quite like it although I don’t use most of what it’s capable of. All these clever things are WAY beyond me!! All I want to be able to do is make and receive calls and texts!

            1. I don’t like products that provide non-compliant software.

              I purged iTunes because it wanted to update itself every five minutes.

            2. Kath,
              I have the same view about Apple as I do about Microsoft, both companies treat thier users badly and provide expensive locked in software of varying quality. Although personally at the moment I dislike Apple more than most, since they broke System V semaphores in MacOSX Lion. (Don’t ask).

  14. I am alone in thinking this the worst Monday puzzle for a very long time? I found it horrible esp the top left, nonage indeed, yuk!

    1. Sometimes I worry about you, Brian. I do think you should learn to speak your mind more and stop keeping so much to yourself! :smile:

    2. Don’t worry about it Brian. We all have our off days and maybe you should just put it down to Monday-itis!

    3. I’m with you Brian, im not usually a curmudgeon, but today’s puzzle was not fun. Half in quickly, and half was not just tricky but awkward – too much of a stretch.
      But as usual, thanks for the clues, I needed many.

  15. Very enjoyable. Favourites were 27a, 6d and 13d. Last in 3d. **/**** Many thanks to Rufus & Libellule. Olympic torch passed near by in Shere on Friday – good friend’s father was carrying it. He is 87 and loved every minute of it. He went into a restaurant in the evening still wearing his Olympic track suit and everybody gave him a round of applause and all wanted their photograph taken with him. He said that it was a day he’ll never forget.

    1. When the Olympic torch went through Sheffield my sister went to watch. She said that there was so much else going on that by the time the “poor insignificant little man” carrying the torch came into sight it was a bit of an anticlimax. I think the “poor insignificant little man” was Lord Sebastian Coe!

      1. Excellent! I wonder if Lord Coe has chosen Steve Ovett to be the one who lights the Stadium torch – I think not somehow!

  16. I go with *** and *** today – 3d and 12 a last ones in nudged it up from a **

    Must say waiting with baited breath for the pictures – Many thanks to all

  17. 2d was so clever!
    I guessed the word and Lo and Behold.
    Many thanks Rufus and Libellule

  18. Thanks to Rufus & to Libellule for the review & hints, needed two to finish, just couldn’t get 12a & 8d. Favourite was 3d. Summer at last in Central London, make the most of it, as it’ll only last for three more days. :-)

  19. Schizophrenic today, some of easiest clues ever, 26, 17, 24!!!, and some real stinkers, 12a, 3, 22a, very odd. Enjoyed the traditional Monday grid, sadly 100% well gone already. I predict a turbulent week ahead…..favourite doddle anagram, 7d.

  20. Is the pun a reference to “Sir” Bradley? If so, how did he know?

    Excellent puzzle but a bit trickier than usual – and the Rufus in the Grauniad took us a lot longer! Is Rufus trying out the footwear I wonder?

    Many thanks to Rufus for two great puzzles (he’s pommette’s favourite setter) and also to Libellule.

  21. Sometimes when you expert reviewers say it’s a 2* I struggle. Then like this one you say 3* and it all sailed in no trouble. Did it in bed last night. Entertaining clues as well. Favourite was 27a.
    It’s really literary references that stump me, and there weren’t any today.

  22. We completed this lat night except 8d. Why does a cricket side produce on?
    I should add a classical education cured me of all interest in cricket so please forgive ;-)

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