DT 26982 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26982

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26982

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** (**********)Enjoyment ****

The blog is a little late today as I missed the fact that Pommers was unavailable. You will have noticed that I have given two difficulty ratings. The first is for those, like me, that love Ray T’s puzzles and the other is for the usual suspects for whom every puzzle rates a galaxy of stars.

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.


7a    Terrorist leader with motive for subversion (7)
{TREASON} – a nice simple start with the initial letter (leader) of Terrorist followed by a motive

8a    Insane time around capital of Ibiza island (7)
{MADEIRA} – a three-letter word meaning insane followed by a period of time around the initial letter (capital) of Ibiza

10a    Stock’s quality about right for soup (10)
{MINESTRONE} – a stock or store is followed by the S from ‘S and a quality around R(ight)

11a    Married in rush ceremony (4)
{POMP} – M(arried) inside a verb meaning to rush or hurry

12a    ‘Unattached‘ girl’s connected to Greek island (8)
{DISCRETE} – one of Crosswordland’s usual girls is followed by the S from ‘S and a Greek island

14a    Officer is more offensive (6)
{RANKER} – a double definition – the first is an officer who started as an ordinary soldier

15a    ‘Number Ten’ ace has it worked out (11)
{ANAESTHETIC} – don’t forget that other meaning of number as something that numbs! – an anagram (worked out) of TEN ACE HAS IT

19a    Bristles when given Indian state support (6)
{GOATEE} – these bristles form a type of beard – a charade of an Indian state and a support for a golf ball

20a    One accompanies bloke playing, covering Queen (8)
{CHAPERON} – a bloke and a two-letter word meaning playing around (covering) our setters signature wordplay for Queen

22a    Satisfied eating ace food (4)
{MEAT} – a verb meaning satisfied, as in satisfied some conditions, around A(ce)

23a    Making a pittance, I expect (10)
{ANTICIPATE} – an anagram (making) of A PITTANCE I

25a    Serving last of lager in brew (7)
{PORTION} – the final letter (last) of lageR inside a brew or magic elixir

26a    Curvy nudes including redhead before Sun strip (7)
{UNDRESS} – an anagram (curvy) of NUDES around (including) R (redhead) folloed by S(un)


1d           Promotion puff that is plain (7)
{PRAIRIE} – a charade of a two-letter abbreviation meaning promotion, a puff or breath and the Latin abbreviation for “that is”

2d           Hamlet? Desperate man over Ophelia’s heart (4)
{DANE} – the first name of the Desperate comic character followed by the middle letter (heart) of OphElia

3d           Swelling, blood goes round it (6)
{GOITRE} – some blood around IT

4d           Not worried about heartless judge (8)
{CAREFREE} – the two-letter Latin abbreviation for about followed by a judge of a sporting contest without his middle letter (heartless)

5d           Meandering French river bridging ‘rue’? Not English! (10)
{SERPENTINE} – a French river around a verb meaning to rue without one of the Es (not English)

6d           Topless tart showing some brass (7)
{TRUMPET} – remove (topless) the initial S from a tart or trollop

9d           Tame Scottie made to perform (11)
{DOMESTICATE} – the definition is to tame as a verb – an anagram (to perform) of SCOTTIE MADE

13d        Form of criminal’s bird done before time ends (10)
{CONSTITUTE} – Crosswordland’s usual criminal followed by the S from ‘S, a bird, a single letter for done, as in the done thing, and the end letters (ends) of TimEthanks to Jezza and Bufo for helping me out with this one

16d        Twist a lever to lift (8)
{ELEVATOR} – an anagram (twist) of A LEVER TO

17d        Fashion do turns into monotony (7)
{BOREDOM} – a fashion followed by a verb meaning to do or steal from all reversed (turns)

18d        Hardy woman supporting house guests finally? (7)
{HOSTESS} – an eponymous Hardy heroine follows (supporting in a down clue) HO(use) and the final letter of guestS  – &Lit – the whole clue is the definition

21d        A thrill taking Charlie to get higher (6)
{ASCEND} – the A from the clue followed by a verb meaning to thrill around C (Charlie / Cocaine)

24d        Bit role (4)
{PART} – a double old chestnut definition

And I thought I was going to have a lazy day today!

The Quick crossword pun: {soup] + {urn} + {over} = {supernova}

93 comments on “DT 26982

  1. 3*/4* for me today. Last one in was 13d. Thanks to RayT, and to BD.
    For those struggling with this one, I thought the toughie was quite gentle today, and it took me less time to complete.

  2. For a RayT I found this one more easily workoutable than some of his crosswords, however I’ve still got two left 1d and 6d, and can’t quite figure out 5d though I have the answer ( I think) A three star for me today, fav clue 15a, thanks for hints Dave, back later for the other two!

    1. Hi Mary

      5d – The definition is ‘Meandering’ as an adjective. A well known French river contains a synonym for ‘rue’ (not a French word… nice misdirection!) without the letter E (not English).

  3. Hmmmm. Solving the puzzle today was not too difficult for me. However trying to see Big Dave’s blog showing the down clues has completely foxed me.
    Does anyone know why I can only see the part of the blog with the across clues?

      1. I suffered from a bout of RTFQ. I posted my question about 30 seconds before I read the line telling me that the rest of the clues were on their way.

        Sorry for the mess up :-(

  4. Excellent fare***/****.The odd old chestnutmore than compensated by some tricky clues with a smattering of misdirection, tricky grid as well.

  5. I’m still working on this and may be sometime!

    Re the clue for 10, I don’t understand where the final e comes from. Surely the quantity can be “ton” or “tonne” but not “tone”?

      1. Aha and thanks! Ironically I was doing it without my reading glasses on today which I had left elsewhere!

        That will learn me…

  6. Enjoyed this very much and agree with the BD rating – the one given for those who love Ray T puzzles!
    I got a bit held up in the top right corner but not for too long – 11a and 5 and 6d were the culprits there. I haven’t quite worked out the last three letters of 13d but I’m sure all will become clear soon.
    Needless to say I have lots of favourites today – 15 and 19a and 6, 9, 17 and 21d.
    With thanks to Ray T and BD.

    1. Kath

      I struggled with 13d too. I think ‘done’ means socially acceptable or ‘U’ and the TE come from the ends of TimE.

  7. A really enjoyable romp of a puzzle with lots of good clues. Favourites were 26a (mainly for the surface reading) and 5d. Thanks RayT and BD.

  8. I am reluctant to give my scores as people always get grumpy but I have to agree with BD’s ‘love Ray T’ rating. No particularl hold ups and lots of favourites. Thanks to Ray and BD too.

    The Toughie is, as Jezza says, not that tough but extremely enjoyable to solve so all you Ray T grumpies might like to try that instead.

    1. I’m not in the love RayT camp, but every now and then I quite enjoy one of his puzzles, today was one of those, I don’t think I will ever love RayT puzzles but each to her/his own :-)

    2. Following your post on Tuesday, which was a puzzle I enjoyed more than most for the past few weeks, I searched for a copy of Brewer’s Phrase and Fable and found it on the site of the world’s largest bookseller. the 19th edition was priced at £17.50 but as I started the process to buy it the price went up to £22.75! I suggest you may have started a run on the book and should apply for commission on future sales! Then today unbelievably there is an article in the Daily Telegraph on page 9 about the launch of the 19th edition. I am really looking forward to receiving my copy. Thanks Sue for the recommendation.

      Thanks to Dave and RayT, I too always enjoy a RayT puzzle but sometimes find them difficult to finish.

    3. CS, being a very Grumpy Old Man, I’m very pleased that, for once, you have refrained from telling us just how easy it was for you to solve today’s puzzle!

      In the past, I have often been led astray by your comments saying that “…the Toughie is easier than the Back-Pager.” However, today I’m in full agreement – definitely, easier.

      Thanks to BD & Team – What would we do without them? Not the Crossword?

  9. I don’t understand “Your comment is awaiting moderation”. Am I being dim or have I done something wrong? I replied to a comment from someone (sorry, can’t remember who) saying that he/she couldn’t see the down hints. By the time I’d sent my reply the original comment had disappeared so I did the “request deletion” thingy which I’ve never tried before but it’s still sitting there.

    1. When you request deletion your comment is not actually deleted but moved to the moderation queue. Because Tim’s comment was restored, i have restored yours as well.

      1. Not your fault Kath. It was mine for being too hasty. It is I who should now go and lie down in a dark room for the rest of the day.

  10. At least a *** for difficulty for me today, but again very enjoyable. Will await BD’s hint for 13d, can’t fathom out where the ‘ut’ comes from unless I’m completely off the mark. Best clues for me are 5d and 19a. Thanks as always to Compiler and to BD.

    1. Wayne – I couldn’t understand that either but have a look at Jezza’s reply to me a bit further up the comments.

  11. Thank you for all the stars BD – having finished without hints, you’ve made my day !
    I didn’t need my conversion table !

    In wrestling with 6d I couldn’t get “Crumpet” out of my mind until the penny dropped !
    A most enjoyable puzzle – thank you Ray T – and thank you BD for your review. Ray T’s puzzles seem to stand out in their economical use of words in the clues. All very clever – but solvable for a hacker like me.

    1. I think Ray T once said that he tries not to use more than seven words in a clue – it’s yet another of his trademarks, along with a reference to Queen, innuendo of some kind, and all the quick crossword clues and answers being single words – what have I forgotten?

  12. Thanks Dave for the ‘ute’ explanation of 13d.i had’nt thought of both ends of time- just the ‘e’, and the ‘u’ bit had escaped me completely.

    1. It puzzled me as well, so I sought help from Bufo just as Jezza posted his explanation.

      I think if only the E was required from timE Ray would have written “before the end of time”.

  13. Thanks to RayT for another great puzzle. So many good clues of which 4 6 9 11 13 14 15 and 19 stood out. No favourite as so many to choose from. A setter at the top of his form.

    1. I am firmly in the love him camp…this was FUN…even if it does work the old grey matter…thought the toughie today was a doddle-if you’ve never tried one, today is a great day to start!!

  14. Very enjoyable crossword from RayT as ever. Many thanks to RayT and to BD. The toughie today is easier than the back pager.

  15. I have no idea why I found this puzzle so difficult – apart from spelling 8a incorrectly. Last in was 19a – I spent ages on this and realised that we have had the clue before. (I think).

    There is nothing too obscure and everything seems straight forward but it was all a bit stop start. All the same some very nice clues 15a and 19a stand out for me. It might just be me but I lean towards a **** and ***.

    Regds to all

  16. Help, I’ve been cut off! My credit card number has changed and I am going mad with frustration. Not only at the lack of my daily crossword, but at the infuriating difficulty of either renewing my subscription to Clued Up or changing my card number on WorldPay. I don’t understand it, but shall persevere. :-(

    1. Hello Franny. Silly question… is “Clued Up” another name for “Telegraph Puzzles” or something different? Just curious…

  17. Big Dave, you are a sarky so-and-so! I’ll go with the three stars, rather than the zillion or so…

    Thanks for the explanations to 5D and 13D, I’d got the answers with only a partial justification.

    BTW you’ve lost Charlie from the clue for 21D :-)

  18. Oh gulp! Really hard to get into, didn’t do well at all but I did get 15a !! I am really struggling to see 10a even with the answer. I can see ‘store’ and the ‘right’ but can’t see how it comes together with ‘mine’ to make the answer. sorry!!

    1. Stock’s quality about right for soup (10)

      A stock is a MINE, as in a mine of information, then add the ‘S and TONE (quality) around R(ight)

  19. I fully agree with the second rating, close to impossible or if you like a normal Ray T, totally incomprehensible. Roll on Friday.

  20. I don’t usually have much trouble with Ray T puzzles but I had to work with this one; lots of blank intervals but got there in the end. Couldn’t quite connect the definition for 12a with “unattached”. I am sure somebody is typing furiously to enlighten me. I haven’t referred, by the way, to any form of written or electronic aid; I get more satisfaction without.
    Thanks to Ray T and BD of course.

      1. Thanks BD. I could have taken the trouble to go into the study and consult OED, but that would be risky; Mrs B is listening to the Cricket from Sri Lanka!

  21. Phew. Finished but not without some help from BD, for which many thanks. I didn’t really enjoy it but it was a lot better than yesterdays’ IMHO

  22. After reading all comments, I’m still not quite sure how ‘u’ equals ‘done’ (13d). Am I being very stupid? I checked Mrs B and she didn’t mention it either. I probably am being dense, but would welcome some wisdom.

    1. It took me a while.

      From Chambers:

      Done – (of behaviour, etc) socially acceptable

      U – (of words, behaviour, etc) as used by or found among the upper classes, hence socially acceptable

    2. jaehancock – 13d – I still don’t understand either! I’ve also read all the hints & tips. (Who is Mrs B?)

    3. no you’re not being stoopid at allJaeHancock, it was my last to parse and even then I wasn’t sure I had it right

  23. Thank you BD and everyone else too for comments. I still find it hard to be convinced about 13d, but bow to your superior knowledge.

    1. You’re in good company, Bufo, BD Jezza, all in discussion. I think we need RayT to comment. I have no idea…

      1. As the hint says, I think it means “done” as in “the done thing”, or “…it simply isn’t done!”

        From Chambers, “done” can mean: “(of behaviour, etc) socially acceptable” – hence the standard crosswordland single-letter expression.

        1. oohh, you’ve cracked it for me, why on earth couldn’t I “see it”? Will sleep a bit more comfortably now, thanks very much Qix

  24. Thanks to Ray T and to Big Dave for the review & hints. Enjoyed this one a lot, got stuck in the NE corner, needed 3 hints. Favourite was 6d.

  25. Thanks to Ray T, BD and all the bloggers. Enjoyable but I got stuck on NE corner apart from 6d (thankfully I don’t suffer from having crumpet constantly on my mind, like one blogger – Sweet William, was it? :-) ). 13d stumped me and 19a, but at least I appear to be in good company. 15a was lovely, as was 26a.

  26. I know I’m almost a month behind, but just had to post although I don’t really expect any response this late.
    I know Thursday’s can be a trial for some cryptic newbies – me for certain – but I still like to have a go seeing as I’ve been doing moderately well recently. After a day or so of straining at this one, I had so few answers I had to hold my hands up and look at the answers/explanations. Some I should have seen, others too much of a stretch.
    “done” = socially acceptable’ I see that although I would never have made the link, but can anyone tell me why u = socially acceptable?

    1. sorry, didn’t realise there was a second page and the desired explanation.
      Good thing nobody noticed :-)

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