DT 26955 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26955

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26955

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

An enjoyable if not too taxing crossword this morning. I particularly liked 21a. If you have any thoughts please feel free to leave a comment.

The full answer is hidden between the curly brackets.


1. Covered passages in a sacred building (7)
{ARCADES} – An anagram (building) of A SACRED.

5. Hint there may be a number in favour (7)
{FLAVOUR} – A word meaning taste or a quality can be created by adding L (the Roman numeral for 50) to favour.

9. Wine and port provided with German agreement (5)
{RIOJA} – A Brazilian port and the German word for yes is also a well known Spanish wine.

10. Good ones can always grow better (9)
{GARDENERS} – Percy Thrower, Geoff Hamilton, Monty Don for example, but not Alan Titchmarsh.

11. Showers seen at the bathroom trade fair? (10)
{EXHIBITORS} – A clue that is meant to mislead… for shower in this case – think of what the people displaying their wares might be called.

12. Select fruit (4)
{PLUM} – Double definition, something desirable, or a damson.

14. I am under some order for a minor legal offence (12)
{MISDEMEANOUR} – An anagram (order) of I AM UNDER SOME.

18. Inflation may result from cut back to going rate, perhaps (12)
{EXAGGERATION} – Reverse (back) a three letter word for cut (as in dismiss or fire) and then add an anagram (perhaps) of GOING RATE.

21. Island centre of missionaries (4)
{IONA} – Look carefully at the last word and you will find a Scottish island (that was at the heart of Christianity in Scotland for centuries)
hidden there.

22. A bishop has the answer — forgiveness (10)
{ABSOLUTION} – A B (bishop) and a word for the correct answer to a problem.

25. Find out how death must be regarded (9)
{ASCERTAIN} – AS and then “nothing is ******* but death and taxes” to get another word that means to discover through examination or experimentation.

26. Crest of game bird having part missing (5)
{RIDGE} – A narrow raised land formation is also a bird that has the first four letters removed (PART).

27. Put in a seat (7)
{ELECTED} – As perhaps chosen to represent a constituency in the Houses of Parliament.

28. It comes last, locked in reverse (7)
{DESSERT} – The final course of a meal is also the reverse of a word that means having long locks of hair.


1. A selfish characteristic, no argument about that (6)
{AGREED} – A and a word that means excessive desire for something produces another word that means to come to an understanding or be in accord.

2. Gardening accessory that’s old hat (6)
{CLOCHE} – A close-fitting woman’s hat with a bell-like shape is also used to protect plants from frost.

3. A moving entrance (10)
{DRAWBRIDGE} – This could be the main entrance to a castle.

4. Sense of position, say (5)
{SIGHT} – This sense sounds (say) like site.

5. Remote? By no means (3,4,2)
{FAR FROM IT} – A phrase that means not at all (by no means) could also be considered to describe something that’s a long distance away.

6. Experts break case (4)
{ACES} – An anagram (break) of CASE.

7. Miss finished appearance (8)
{OVERLOOK} – A word that means to fail to notice or consider something is a charade of a word that means no longer in progress and another word for to seems to or appear to be.

8. Evergreen female duo (8)
{ROSEMARY} – Two girls names can be put together to get an aromatic evergreen shrub used as a herb.

13. Chap works in military operations (10)
{MANOEUVRES} – MAN (chap) and a word usually used to describe works of art, literature, or music etc.

15. Target area for local missile launchers (9)
{DARTBOARD} – This target area would be found in your local pub perhaps…

16. It appears in a woman’s secret birthright (8)
{HERITAGE} – Put IT inside something a woman does not like to discuss to get something that can be passed down or the status acquired by a person through birth.

17. One may form a strong attachment to a craft (8)
{BARNACLE} – “Any of various marine crustaceans of the subclass Cirripedia that in the adult stage form a hard shell and remain attached to submerged surfaces, such as rocks and the bottom of ships”.

19. Light linked to switch (6)
{KINDLE} – An anagram (to switch) of LINKED.

20. Agitated state obtains peace with United Nations (6)
{UNREST} – A word that means anxious or apprehensive can be constructed from UN (United Nations) and another word that means at ease.

23. Had conceded (5)
{OWNED} – Double definition, to have or possess, or to make a full confession or an acknowledgement.

24. Expression of annoyance as five hundred desert (4)
{DRAT} – D (500) and the sort of person who leaves his friends in time of trouble.

The Quick crossword pun: {purse} + {severe} = {persevere}


59 comments on “DT 26955

  1. Bonjour Libellule. A very nice start to the week from Rufus. I too liked 21a and 16d made me smile too. Thanks to you for the explanations and Rufus for the crossword.

    Fans of Virgilius will be delighted to know that he has set today’s Guardian crossword (as Brendan) and it is very good

    Off now for a walk along the coast with my friend and her dog.

  2. Hideous start. Wrote in ‘install’ for 27A and then totally at sea in the SW corner for ages.

  3. 20 down doesn’t work. Am I the only person who has “*N*E*T” in the boxes?! “UNSEAT” fits but makes no sense – are Emperor’s new clothes being worn here?!!

    1. You have the right clue letters but the missing ones are not S and A. Think of peace as what you get when you sleep

      1. Thanks – got there in the end – I was trying to make sense of the solution provided by Libellule!

      1. Hi Mary, glad to see you are back, I hope in full swing, I’m still struggling, even with help from Libellule. I like to use the hints without looking at the answers

  4. Put in install for 27 – that slowed me down

    Libellule – I think you’ve put the wrong word in brackets for 20 (or else I’ve got 26 wrong)

  5. Finished now with the help of the excellent hints. For me not the best Monday puzzle, just couldn’t get on the wavelength or see most of the anagrams. Funny how sometimes when you see the answers, they are all reasonable but they just won’t come!

  6. Question. I often use an iPad to look at the blog. Does the page refresh automatically. Oh and if I wished to highlight in side the brackets is that possible?

      1. Trying the advice out it doesn’t seem to work. Perhaps if I took it out of iPad format.

    1. If you press between the brackets a little magnifying glass appears. When you take your finger off it is highlighted inblue and says copy or define above. Press define and voila the dictionary definition appears.

  7. Agree, a nice gentle entertaining puzzle. Liked 11a for its clever misdirection (well it misdirected us for a while) Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

  8. I’m surprised that this was a Rufus as it doesn’t feel like one of his Monday morning offerings. Is it just me?

    1. I agree – this one did not seem to have very much “sparkle.” I finished it last night before lights out, but it was a bit of a grind. I would give it **/** – no real stand out favourites, but I did like 22a, 7d, and 15d.

  9. Morning Libelulle and thank you for the hints, I did not find this an easy puzzle, at least 3 star for me today, I did not feel like perservating long and hard over this and apart from one or two clues it did not have a ‘Rufus feel’ about it, however liked 21a, 22a and 26a
    A nice day just to go back to bed, i.e. dull, gloomy and very wet!! Never heard tressed to describe long hair before??

    1. Hi Mary

      I don’t have my BRD to hand, but the COED says:

      Tress: verb, archaic, arrange (a person’s hair) into long locks.

    2. Phew. Finished. I found this quite hard and referred to Libellule quite a lot, for which many thanks Libellule, and also thanks to Rufus, if it is you, for a good and challenging puzzle. Tresses does come up from time to time Mary but I have not seen ‘tressed’ before

    3. Mary, (welcome back)
      Just shows and proves different strokes, I did this (for me) in roughly normal time hence the usual stars for enjoyment and difficulty, although between two and three for difficulty might be more accurate. I did think there were some trickier clues that had me scratching my head… (but thankfully not for too long).

  10. 24d doesn’t really work does it? a rat is someone who deserts his friends etc. but desert here is being used as a verb, is to desert the same as to rat, if you see what I mean?

    1. Mary – I was also uncertain about 24d. I don’t have the BRB, but my Concise OED gives one meaning of rat as a verb “to desert” – probably just a definition we are not used to (but Rufus ia).

  11. As a complete cryptic crossword beginner, I can’t thank you all enough for the hints – and occasionally the answers – to the daily crosswords. I’m actually starting to understand the thinking.

  12. Unusually for a Monday Rufus, had real problems unravelling this puzzle.
    Still got there in the end with some electric help.

    Thanks for review which provided explanations which had passed me by.

    Thanks to Rufus for a harder than usual test.

  13. I also needed some hints to get going. None were that difficult once ‘seen’, but couldn’t get on the wavelength initially. Thanks to all.

  14. I managed to finish today’s crossword quite quickly (for me)
    I enjoyed 1 and8 down

  15. Helpful suggestion needed! My sidebar disappears as soon as I select one of the reviews. Any ideas on how to restore would be appreciated.

  16. I got there with a lot of help from Hints and Tips. Most liked 16d which brought a wry smile to my face.

    Thank you setter and Libelulle.

  17. I think the linked clues in the Quickie might be Rufus having a gentle play with Mary’s favourite word?
    Otherwise I agree that this cryptic perhaps isn’t quite vintage fare from The Master.

    1. Digby,
      I don’t think Roger has set his own quick crossword for a number of years now… trying to think of an appropriate pun used to drive him crazy. Its more probable that the quick was set by someone else.

  18. I also found this quite difficult and needed help to finish. Wanted to put “enthrone” for 27a, but of course it wouldn’t fit so I waited until I had more letters. I didn’t like 5a because it didn’t seem right to have the same word in the clue as in the solution. That said, though, there were a number of clues that amused me very much, and I suppose my favourites were 22 and 26a and 13 and 17d. Many thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  19. Finally caught up with the weekend’s crosswords and today’s. The invasion of children and grandchildren has made progress difficult ! All in order now, so thank you setters and reviewers – enjoyed them all, particularly finding the hidden words in the Virgilius puzzle.

  20. A usual fine offering from Rufus but on the benign side I thought. favourites 16d and 21a.

    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    To anyone who knows my surname you might like this, which I found in Toughie 52 this morning:-
    Confectionery favourite obtained from bananas (7)
    Made me laugh anyway :lol:

  21. Interesting to see that some other solvers have perhaps had a few issues today? Normally I can race through a Monday puzzle, but am really struggling today! Or maybe my brain has gone missing after a visit to the in-laws ….

  22. 11 across … Baffled … I had to uncover the answer and can see why the answer relates to “showers” in its other meaning, but why is “bathroom” included in the clue? For me that was a real red herring. Thanks to all for the help and advice.

    1. It’s all part of the dastardly plan to try to mislead us. A bathroom trade fair is where you might expect to find showers.

  23. A very entertaining 90 minutes this morning.
    I loved this – for the very solipsistic reason that I solved it.
    First time I’ve finished a DT cryptic!! “Calloo, Callay!”
    So naturally I loved all the clues and thought them very demanding! :-)
    I agree that ‘bathroom’ was a tease. But when you go back to ‘how the clue might otherwise be written’ it’s justifiable.
    Actually I thought 20d and 23d were maybe a bit too easy and not quite pointed enough. But 1a, 2d, 3d, 9a, 15d, 17d, 18a, 19d, 21a, 25a, 26a and particularly, 28a (very witty surface, and of course, it did come last!) were all brill, and some very chucklesome.
    Many thanks to the compiler and to Libellule, whose hints – for maybe the first and last time – I did not need today.

    1. Well done Asterix. Isn’t it great to have this blog so we share the experience. Congratulations from our side of the planet.

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