DT 26931 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26931

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26931

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Standard stuff from Rufus this morning, but the usual fun. If this seems to be over too soon, Gazza recommends Brendan (Virgilius) in the Grauniad.

The actual answer is hidden between the curly brackets

1. Superficial display is all-embracing (7)
{SHALLOW} – A synonym for present or exhibit is placed around ALL to get a word that means lacking in depth.

5. Athlete who’s out of place on the track (4-3)
{ALSO-RAN} – A contestant who fails to finish among the first three in a race…

9. The words of a song upset Cyril (5)
{LYRIC} – An anagram (upset) of CYRIL.

10. Understanding the crowd (9)
{GATHERING} – Double definition, concluding or a group of people.

11. The earliest literary form (10)
{MANUSCRIPT} – A book or document written by hand.

12. A key, it is needed for opening (4)
{ADIT} – A D (musical key) + IT is an almost horizontal entrance to a mine.

14. Painter calling home, possibly about start of employment (12)
{MICHELANGELO} – The painter of the Sistene Chapel is an anagram of CALLING HOME around the first letter of employment.

18. Hard court service? (5,7)
{ROUGH JUSTICE} – I suppose you are meant to think about a tennis serve, however the answer you want is a phrase that describes a punishment that is not fair or is too severe.

21. Institution that’s likely to make a hit (4)
{CLUB} – Double definition, A group or association of people with common aims or interests or a stout heavy stick.

22. Executive recruitment agent seeking a school principal? (4-6)
{HEAD HUNTER} – A recruiter of personnel, especially for large companies.

25. Hole in one, perhaps, for mariner’s dependant (9)
{ALBATROSS} – A score of three strokes under par for a hole in golf could also be a constant and inescapable burden as described by Coleridge in the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”.

26. Unable to sleep because of an all-night party? (5)
{AWAKE} – A and the sort of party that takes place over the body of a deceased person before burial.

27. They reward or punish unruly priests (7)
{STRIPES} – An anagram (unruly) of PRIESTS are also pieces of fabric worn on a military uniform or strokes from a whip or cane.

28. Time the bowler started? More than time! (7)
{OVERDUE} – Time to start a new series of six balls in cricket, could also be a word that means coming or arriving after the scheduled or expected time.


1. Banger unfortunately overturned on motorway (6)
{SALAMI} – A highly spiced Italian sausage is a reversed (overturned) word used to express sorrow or grief followed by MI.

2. They’re used for protection, with strings attached (6)
{APRONS} – A protective garment, tied around the waist, often used when cooking.

3. Key workers seen in hairdressers? (10)
{LOCKSMITHS} – People who make or repair security devices usually seen on doors…

4. Grew agitated about a gambling venture (5)
{WAGER} – An anagram (agitated) of GREW about A.

5. George can fly a kite unaided (9)
{AUTOPILOT} – George is an informal name used to describe a device that automatically keeps planes on a steady course.

6. Next year’s grass court player? (4)
{SEED} – A player given a rank for Wimbledon for example, is also what might be sown in order to make the grass grow.

7. Check grass-raised animals (8)
{REINDEER} – A word that means to check or hold back is followed by a reversed (raised) word for a tall perennial grass to produce the sort of animal you might find in Lappland.

8. Antigone’s form of denial (8)
{NEGATION} – An anagram (form) of ANTIGONE.

13. I can upset clergyman — but it’s not right (10)
{INACCURATE} – I then a reversal (upset) of CAN which is then followed by a clergyman appointed to assist a parish priest.

15. Use photos to restore position of chimneys (9)
{HOUSETOPS} – Another anagram (to restore), this time of USE PHOTOS.

16. Pupils who draw on their teacher’s guidance (3,5)
{ART CLASS} – A lesson in which you learn to draw or paint.

17. One proverbially remains cool, though often framed (8)
{CUCUMBER} – Is also a cylindrical green fruit with thin green rind and white flesh usually eaten as a vegetable.

19. Leave without resources — need way to get currency (6)
{STRAND} – ST (street, way) and the South African currency.

20. Economic measure makes you go cold all over (6)
{FREEZE} – A word that can describe fixing prices or wages, for example at the current level could also describe making something very cold or chill.

23. Girl’s firm provides entertainment (5)
{DISCO} – DIS (girls) and CO (firm).

24. Stage favourites’ elevation (4)
{STEP} – One of a series of actions is also a reversed (elevation) word for objects of affection.

The Quick crossword pun: {knight} + {mayor} = {nightmare}

67 comments on “DT 26931

  1. Straightforward stroll in the park. Hard enough to make me think but not too hard to make me tear my hair out. Very enjoyable

  2. Just about as gentle as a Monday could be, but most enjoyable all the same.
    13d Favourite clue.

    Thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule.

  3. Bifield took the word out of my mouth. Very pleasant start to the week. No stand out clues. * or ** and **** from me.

    On a different note does anyone else using the Ipad version now get annoying ‘Network not available’ messages even though there is a connection every time the Ipad is put down, or is it just me?

    Many thanks to all.

    1. Don’t get that message, but it is erratic in downloading each day. This morning was perfect, but yesterday took ages – I had to close and open the app several times.

  4. An excellent puzzle to start the week. Fav. clue 5d. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  5. I actually managed to complete this and understand all the wordplay without having to check on this blog!

    I’m still quite new to this, but I have the impression that the puzzles increase in difficulty from Mon-Fri? I can usually (eventually) complete Sat, Sun and Mon; but last week for example I found Thu and Fri mostly impossible.

    Very windy, occasional showers, 29C here in the Big Mango.

    1. Jeremy,
      In terms of difficulty that is generally the case, but it isn’t always true…

    2. I thought last week’s Thurs and Fri puzzles were two of the hardest for a long time, so don’t worry if you struggled – so did a lot others!

    3. Many years ago, this was certailnly the case with an easy monday crossword leading to a friday toughie, now anything can happen, last thursday’s, by common consent was of ‘toughie’ standand with friday’s just being’difficult Try drinking a bottle of wine when attemptying a difficult crossword,you may not solve it but you won’t feel as grumpy!

    4. I think if you are quite new to crosswords you are doing pretty well to be able to do the Sunday ones – before I found this blog they were the ones that I really couldn’t do at all.
      I agree with everyone about the difficulty increasing as the week progresses but Tuesdays can be a bit unpredictable – sometimes they are pretty tricky.
      Good luck – this is a very friendly and helpful “place”!

  6. A pleasant start to the week. Some easy and some that needed my little electronic helper.
    Thanks to Rufus. I would thank Libellule but I didn’t need you this morning!
    Sunny in the Chilterns today but just starting to cloud over

  7. Hi all, sorry to have missed you yesterday but I was on chambermaid duties again – at our own apartment this time. Ought to start posting as ‘Mrs Mop’ during July/August! :grin:

    Haven’t looked at yesterday’s Virgilius but like Gazza, I can recommend his effort in today’s Grauniad. Now off to try this one – see y’all later.

  8. Nice to get a normal crossword after the poor offerings on Thursday and Friday of last week

  9. A gentle intro to the week, very enjoyable for all that after a heavy weekend… not going to spoil it by looking at another one today… keeping my powder dry for later in the week!

    Haven’t seen 12a for a long time, confirmed it in Chambers, otherwise no cheating today.

    Many thanks to Rufus and Libelulle

  10. Nice Monday puzzle, just one held me up and that was 24d, still not sure I totally understand it. Thx to Libellule for the xplanations. One last thing, why dependent in 25a, surely that doesn’t mean a burden or is it part of the poem?

    1. Brian,

      Re 24d

      Its PETS (favourites) reversed/raised (elevation) to produce STEP (a stage)

    2. One definition of ‘dependant’ is hanging down, which is effectively what the albatross was doing around the neck of the Ancient Mariner.

  11. Very nice crossword, done quite quickly – well, for me, that is.
    I spent a few minutes trying to make 12a end in “ie” and have to confess to needing to check the spelling of 14a. I’m not sure the Italians would appreciate 1d being called a banger!
    I liked 18a and 5, 6, 15 and 17d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    I’m going to print out the Guardian crossword and have a go later if time permits – far too much to do today.

  12. The usual nice straightforward start to the week, thank you Rufus and Libellule too.

    I too highly recommend the Brendan in the Graun.

  13. A gentle start to the week – thanks Rufus. Only two (of the pesky four lettered variety) left at lights out last night.

    12a – I was sure that what I had come up with was a word, but had to wait until this morning to confirm on Ask.com. Also pretty sure that the only reason I knew the word was that it has appeared in crosswords before!

    24d – I had decided that it had to be STEP but could not work out why, so thanks to Libellule for helping out there.

    Favourites were 5d and 18a.

  14. Very pleasant start to the week; had this one cracked before the review appeared. I liked 25a, not being a golfer, it took a minute to dawn.
    Thanks to Libellule, although I didn’t need to resort to you today. Thanks Rufus, only two vaguely nautical clues in this.

  15. Gentle but always so clever! Last one in 6d which then turned out to be my favourite for elegant simplicity. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule as usual.

    1. It’s beginning to look as if you are! You must have been in a bit of a pickle with 11a! :smile:

    2. Probably….
      However I will put my hand up to putting SPRITES in at 27a before I saw the error of my ways.

          1. i didn’t do sprites, but returned to 2d once i got 11a, even then it took awhile to geddit, but when i did i think it was my favourite clue.

            1. Having joined the “sprites” club, it did make 24d a bit tricky – even though 15d,16d, and 17d all went in OK to make it worse!

              Thank you Libellule for your help – it took me a while to decode 24d.

  16. Very straightforward but no less enjoyable for that. Thanks to setter and Libellule for the review. Naturally I was tickled by 25a!

  17. Unlike the sainted Bob G, I like Mondays.
    Thanks to Libellule for the review, not needed today.
    Thanks to Rufus for the usual high quality fare.
    Having another crack at no electric helper, last week’s effort being cruelly derailed on Thursday.

    1. Welcome to the blog Annie, I hope we will see more of your comments in the future.

    2. Good luck – this is a great site and, by the way, our dog is called Annie! She’s a collie cross and is wonderful! :smile:

    3. nobody bites here Annie, no question is deemed daft, that’s how we are all learning. Hope to “see ” you more often on this site

  18. A very enjoyable Rufus to start the week!

    However, 11a – Manuscript – I think I’ve missed the cryptic element!

    1. StanXYZ
      A common literary form might be for example an allegory, an autobiography, a ballad, a biography etc…

  19. Good stuff as usual but this was Rufus in benign mood I thought. Arrived at Bridge Club a bit later than normal but finished before the play started – usually left with 2 or 3 that distract me over the first hand or two as I’m thinking about them and not the cards! Irritates pommette no end :grin:

    28a might be favourite.

    Now to see if my recording of Tom Daley has worked!

    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    1. … but isn’t he diving on his own too? I may have missed lots – been cutting grass, AGAIN! :roll: Have had TV on and been in to watch bits – only seen the synchronised diving.

      1. He’s got another go but today was one that was an expected medal – can’t win ’em all. Sometime over the next week or so I’ll post my thoughts on the Olympics. I’ll have to choose my moment well, as I’ll be in a minority of one and no doubt stir up a lot of angst, and this time of night is not the time!

    2. PS The equestrian “mob” did pretty well too. Someone on the radio today said that we’ve had “Henman Hill” and “Murray Mount” and now we’re going to have “Zara Plaza”!!

  20. Thanks to Rufus & to Libellule for the review & hints. Usual good stuff from Rufus, needed the hints for 2 & 19d, just couldn’t get ’em. favourite was 27a. Late blogging due to watching the Olympics, brilliant to get a gymnastics medal, even though Silver turned into bronze :-)

  21. I need to start these puzzles earlier than 1.30am so as my brain is functioning correctly.
    Still getting back into the mindset of crosswords after years away.

    Adit tripped me up tonight/this morning.

    Thank-you Libellule

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