DT 26973 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26973

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26973

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment ***

A straightforward crossword from Rufus this morning, with far too many double definitions for my liking.

You can reveal the answer by highlighting the space between the curly brackets.


1. One’s likely to budget for inexpensive fish (10)
{CHEAPSKATE} – Split (5,5) this clue could refer to a low cost flat fish.

9. Hash settled for Middle Eastern ruler (4)
{SHAH} – An anagram (settled for) of HASH.

10. Neat electrical network that keeps farm animals in a field (6,4)
{CATTLE GRID} – Remember that “neat” can refer to bovine animals…

11. Architectural style about right? That’s sarcastic! (6)
{IRONIC} – Place one of the five classical orders of architecture around R (right).

12. Not birds, but they chirp and fly (7)
{CICADAS} – Insects that produce a high-pitched drone by vibrating their abdominal organs.

15. Traveller allowed key is satisfied (7)
{REPLETE} – A charade of a three letter word for a salesman, a synonym for “to give permission to”, and E (musical key).

16. Bags of patients (5)
{CASES} – Double definition. Containers for clothes perhaps, or a people being treated by a doctor.

17. Champions of the pack (4)
{ACES} – Another double definition, experts, or playing cards with one spot.

18. Pay attention or bend over (4)
{LIST} – An archaic word meaning to make an effort to hear something, or to tilt.

19. Starts the game off with defeats (5)
{BEATS} – Yet another double definition, rousing game for shooting , to subdue or overcome.

21. Arrests for minor assaults? (7)
{PINCHES} – A word that means to nip or squeeze painfully, is also a slang term for an arrest.

22. He fleeces his clients (7)
{SHEARER} – By removing a large woolly coat.

24. After a drive, one walks (6)
{GOLFER} – Driving off a tee…

27. One holds hands during the game (4,6)
{CARD PLAYER} – The sort of person playing bridge, pontoon, solitaire etc…

28. Growth of love at first sight (4)
{OATS} – O (love) AT and the first letter of (S)ight.

29. Metal shackles — they keep men in step (5,5)
{BRASS BANDS} – A type of musical ensemble (without strings) could also be metallic rings.


2. It precedes the final passion (4)
{HEAT} – A round in a competition for example, or an intensity of emotion.

3. Cause of breathing difficulty found? Hats off to mother! (6)
{ASTHMA} – An anagram (off) of HATS plus MA (mother).

4. The woman has to ring up for varnish (7)
{SHELLAC} – A type of varnish is constructed from SHE (the woman) and a reversed (up) word for dialling a telephone number for example.

5. Foreign port area (4)
{ACRE} – A port in northern Israel, or 4,840 square yards.

6. Tips that I’ve cut for salad (7)
{ENDIVES} – A crispy salad plant is made up from a word for the extremities of something around IVE.

7. Hire candle out, giving superior illumination (10)
{CHANDELIER} – An anagram (out) of HIRE CANDLE.

8. Smart girl seen in a city (10)
{CHICHESTER} – A city in West Sussex is created from CHIC (smart) and a girls name.

12 .Flying saucer? (4,6)
{CLAY PIGEON} – Is also a target used in a particular type of shooting.

13. Chars at night to get debt written off (5,5)
{CLEAN SLATE} – – an opportunity to start over again could if it was split (6,4) be someone tidying up well into the evening.

14. Where we can buy with money off drink on board (5)
{SALES} – Places where goods are disposed of at discounted prices, are also SS (on board) with a three letter word for beer placed inside.

15. Splits payments for accommodation (5)
{RENTS} – Another word for tears, is also a payment made by a tenant.

19. What this youngster’s mother did? (4,3)
{BEAR CUB} – A pregnant female ursine will do this…

20. Phrases articulated by Himalayans (7)
{SHERPAS} – An anagram (articulated by) of PHRASES.

23. A capital rank Arab holds (6)
{ANKARA} – Hidden within the words RANK and ARAB is the capital of Turkey.

25. Time to come up before a court (4)
{AREA} – A word that describes an open piece of ground can be made up from a three letter word for a period of time reversed (up) placed before A.

26. Electric wire to act as a conductor (4)
{LEAD} – Double definition, a piece of electric cable, or to guide or direct.

The Quick crossword pun: {christen} + {dumb} = {Christendom}

42 comments on “DT 26973

  1. Good morning Libelulle, I was amazed at the one star rating today, I found it tough for a Rufus and used your hints to finish, so disappointing as I really look forward to Mondays, fav clues 3d and 1a, didn’t know ‘clay pigeon’ was a flying saucer! and put clean sheet at 13d to start with, agree Libelulle too many double definitions today, though that should have helped me more :-(

    1. With you here, thought this rated a three star for difficulty , some very tricky clues and a couple of very poor ones too (28a and 12d). Did like 8d though.

    2. Thanks Libelulle for the best laugh of the day so far. 1* for difficulty: I think not. I agree with Mary and I also found it tough for a Rufus and used your hints to finish. Like Mary I found it disappointing because I, too, look forward to Mondays and a pleasant Rufus exercise of my brain.
      I just hope he is not setting the standard for the rest of the week.
      Still, courage mon brave, its only a crossword!!!!!

  2. Like Mary I found it harder than usual for a Monday Rufus. I did not enjoy it very much today. Thanks to Rufus & to Libellule for the hints which I did use today. Mary, a clay pigeon is a saucer shaped disc of clay, much kinder than real pigeons.

    1. Yes thanks bifield, I knew clay pigeons were used for shooting, I just didn’t know they were also called flying saucers, glad someone else found it more difficult today too

      1. I would say **/***. Some of the clues were of the ‘see it or not variety’ ie clay pigeons ,which i must admit took me too long to twig, and only after i’d got the p and g! and i used to do a lot of clay shooting.Bet you did’nt know that in the 1900 Paris Olympic games live pigeons were used-only once i may add, at least the french would have concocted a ‘tarte de pigeon-or two’

  3. I didn’t particularly enjoy this, although it was not particularly difficult. I don’t think some of the clues were very good, especially 28a. Easy to get the answer but does it really fit the defining word “growth”? I enjoyed 8d because I went to see Antony & Cleopatra there on Friday!

  4. It was all over a bit too quickly for us. Pity there is not a Toughie on a Monday for the main course. The SW corner took slightly longer to yield, so our favourites came from there, 24a, 12d and 13d. Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

  5. As so often on Mondays I did almost all of this quickly (for me, anyway) and ended up with two – 21a and 12d – that I couldn’t get for ages. I did enjoy it and thought there were some good clues, although I agree about the large number of double definitions. I also thought that the anagram count was low. Probably heading towards a 2* for me today, just because of my two minor hiccoughs!
    I liked 1, 10 and 22a and 2, 6, 13 and 19d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  6. I don’t know whether I wasn’t quite awake or what, but this Rufus took me longer than usual to sort out, not very long at all but not as short a time as a Rufus normally takes me. Thanks to him and Libellule too.

  7. Hear hear, littlemart, couldn’t agree more; however it would be a long, cheerless day without a crossword so very many thanks to Rufus and Libellule. Liked 10 and 27A, 8 and 13D

  8. Agree not too demanding, and provided a nice, gentle start to my week but I still missed the time bonus for on-line completion. One day I’ll get there…! The archaic word in 18a is new to me but not too hard to figure out, and 19d – great clue and obvious once you know the answer :-) Favourite clue was 29a, closely followed by 11a, which appealed to my Classical education as well as my sardonic wit. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule.

  9. Can I give it five stars for enjoyment – this is the first time I’ve manage three quarters of a puzzle without help!! Does this mean in another month I’ll be as good as the rest of you?
    Thank you for the hints to help finish it, and I only looked up four answers – I finally feel I’m making progress !! Clearly Rufus is going to be a chum!

    1. Yes really well done, Rufus is my favourite and it was on one of his puzzles that I completed my first without any help about two years ago, there haven’t been that many since!

  10. I thought some of today’s clues were very dubious – at 25d, is the answer really synonymous with court? I didn’t think much of 28a either.

  11. Like several others I didn’t particularly care for this one. Some iffy clues. 13d was a favourite.

    Well done Kath for winning the prize puzzle and thanks to both.

  12. Well done Kath for winning the prize puzzle.
    I did not understand the answer to 28a Libellule, could you explain it a little more.
    Usual enjoyment from a Rufus puzzle, 4*, which is why he is my favourite but a little harder than usual and, in my book, this should be 2*/3*, it has taken me all day (on and off). I felt that 18a was a little abstruse, do you think that the hearing bit is a shortening of ‘listening’?

    1. “Growth” is the definition – ie “something that grows”.
      “Love” is a single letter representation of how a tennis player might interpret that term. “At” is just AT, and “first sight” is a rather unsatisfactory way of indicating the first letter of “sight”.

  13. Sorry to be out of step with many of you, but I quite enjoyed it. My least favourite clue was 25d but hastily forgiven after 13d; very nice. 8d also raised a smile as did 13.
    Thanks Libellule and of course to Rufus, although, being retired, I don’t need my Mondays brightening up; I love ’em all!

    1. You’re not out of step with me, Buffer. I quite enjoyed it too. There is rarely a crossword that I actively don’t enjoy – it’s just that I enjoy some more than others!

  14. A golfer and a card player
    and half of Alan Shearer
    A sporty little treat
    But left not quite replete

  15. Having been largely brought up in the New Forest I’m interested to see chambers definition of 10a, i’m used to them being on roads to stop ponies and cattle getting into villages, not to mention donkeys, as opposed to them being used to keep cattle in a field, electric fences yes but.. i wait to be corrected as usual. Agree this wasn’t the easiest Rufus, but I do wonder what rating Libellule would have given his guarniad offering today……Thanks Rufus and Blogger

  16. Thanks to Rufus & to Libellule for the review & hints. Went straight through this, but was beaten by 26d,just couldn’t think of it.! Favourites were 1&10a & 13d. Had a nice walk up to Dodd Summit & got back just before the rain :-)

  17. A bit of work interrupted today’s puzzle. * and ** from me. One or two not overly clever clues and no real penny dropping moments for a ***. 12d being an example and 13d being the exception. Many thanks to all.

  18. I didn’t finish it today. 21A “Pinches” threw me. The rest I did pretty easily except:-
    I didn’t like 5d “Acre” My Dictionary had it as a bit of a Rain Forest in South America, unless I read the wrong line. No mention of Israel.
    Nor did I like 18A “List” and I reluctantly conceded that 19A “Beats” was OK after I read your hints. Ah well, at least I remembered 11A ” Ironic, from another crossword the other day. I still get cross with Crosswordland words, even after several years of doing them. e.g. how does “Saw” become “Proverb” and “Neat” become Cattle” – beats me. Still it whiles away an hour maybe. So thanks for the trouble everyone.

    PS liked 13d 29a

    1. There are SO many words only seen, or heard of, in crosswords. The two you mention are pretty common ones but there are lots of others – the one that immediately springs to my mind is “ounce” which is, in case you don’t already know and please forgive me if you do, a “snow leopard”. I’m sure that other commenters will immediately come back with an entire list . . .

    2. It is all to do with Old English – Saw from the OE verb meaning to say or tell – so saw – saying – proverb. Neat for cattle from the OE for a beast or cattle from the OE verb meaning to use, presumably refering to the cattle being used or domesticated.

      1. First encountered the word neat in “neat’s-foot oil”, used as a leather dressing to water-proof shoes in my youth.

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