DT 26284 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26284

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26284

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

A typical Rufus crossword to start the week, nothing too complicated (and I hope contentious). However I do wonder whether the definition in 10a should be plural.
Addendum: I have pondered this and done some checking: n. pl. fruit or fruits, fruit is viable both as a single or plural noun. I stand corrected.
Please feel free to leave a comment.

If you need to see the answer directly just highlight the space between the curly brackets.


1. Call back to obtain a financial plan (6)
{BUDGET} – This kind of financial plan could be the financial and economic statement that is made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Reverse (back) a word used to “to confer any name or dignity upon” (call) followed by another word for to obtain.

4. Nowadays, treat it as comparable with plenty (8)
{ADEQUATE} – An abbreviation for Anno Domini (nowadays) is followed by a word meaning to state as equal (treat it as comparable with), definition, plenty or more generally you would associate this word as meaning sufficient.

9. Scored, but caught (6)
{NICKED} – Double definition, notched, or a slang word for arrested.

10. Fruit crop? It’s a disaster (8)
{APRICOTS} – An anagram (disaster) of CROP IT’S A are fruits.
12. Band call (4)
{RING} – Another double definition, a small band of metal worn on the finger for example or a telephone call.

13. It beats a man with skill (5)
{HEART} – String together two words, a masculine pronoun, and then a three letter word for skill for an organ that beats within the body.

14. We hear there’s equal support (4)
{PIER} – A sounds like clue, another word for equal sounds like a support that could be the support of an arch or a bridge.

17. Now it holds men in premonition of evil (12)
{PRESENTIMENT} – Now (as in not the past or the future) followed by IT with MEN inside (holds) is a a premonition or foreboding, especially evil.

20. Panic, having a capital depletion (4,4,4)
{LOSE ONES HEAD} – Capital in this case is a synonym for head.

23. Outbreak of rain in the country (4)
{IRAN} – A simple anagram (outbreak of) of RAIN.

24. A light across the ship (5)
{ABEAM} – A word meaning at right angles to the length of a ship or airplane, is also A and a ray of light.

25. Generator is put back by engineers (4)
{SIRE} – A begetter or producer (a father) is a reversal of IS (put back) followed by the usual abbreviation for Royal Engineers.

28. For an NCO such punishment may well involve stripes (8)
{CORPORAL} – An easy clue to answer, but very nicely put together two stripes (chevrons on a sleeve) could also be stripes formed by a lash.

29. Art gallery for the blind (6)
{LOUVRE} – A gentle cryptic definition. A slat in a blind is also a famous art gallery in Paris.

30. Spit in the sea (8)
{SANDBANK} – Another cryptic definition, the spit referred to here is a narrow tongue of sand running into the sea.

31. A French wine cartel broken up (6)
{CLARET} – An anagram (broken up) of CARTEL is a red wine from Bordeaux.


1. By no means wiped out (8)
{BANKRUPT} – You have no means, and are therefore declared financially insolvent.

2. Tucking into venison, can’t be the wine pourer (8)
{DECANTER} – Put CANT inside (tucking into) the animal whose meat is associated with venison. Can venison be used as a synonym for the animal like this?

3. They may look right to superiors (4)
{EYES} – Effectively a command to troops to look right, used as a salute when marching.

5. Store in which to go mad (12)
{DEPARTMENTAL} – A type of store that sells a large variety of goods is constructed from a word meaning to go away (to go) and a slang word for emotionally crazed.

6. There’ll be questions asked if this programme is broadcast (4)
{QUIZ} – The sort of programme that tests someone’s knowledge.

7. Publicity is about over for this handsome youth (6)
{ADONIS} – AD (publicity), plus IS (about) another word for over (the position above) is a young man in Greek mythology who was loved by the goddess Aphrodite,

8. Possibly run and see to make certain (6)
{ENSURE} – An anagram (possibly) of RUN and SEE.

11. Simple Simon, say, gets Father Bear in trouble (7-5)
{FEATHER-BRAIN} – Another anagram (in trouble) this time of FATHER BEAR IN could be a silly frivolous person, Simple Simon for example.

15. Fabulous writer of English soap that’s broadcast (5)
{AESOP} – A straightforward anagram (broadcast) of SOAP and E (English) gives you the name of a well known writer of fables.

16. Gangs that, at heart, give one some anxiety (5)
{ANGST} – A hidden word between gangs and that produces a word for a general feeling of anxiety.

18. One convinced of evil involved in drink (8)
{BELIEVER} – An anagram (involved) of EVIL is placed in an alcoholic drink for someone who accepts that something is real and true.

19. Any one of the following (8)
{ADHERENT} – Another word for a supporter or follower.

21. Show where traffic goes round (6)
{CIRCUS} – Oxford or Picadilly?

22. The buck stops here (6)
{WARREN} – Is where a male rabbit might live.

26. A mistake whichever way you look at it (4)
{BOOB} – A palindrome, gives another word for a blunder. I am so glad Anax isn’t doing pictures for this one.

27. Metal sheet used for fencing (4)
{FOIL} – Finally another double definition, a metal sheet that might be used in cooking, or a blunt fencing sword.

62 comments on “DT 26284

  1. Great start to the week! Some clever clues but favourite def 22d, (bloody rabbits, we are overrun with them). 10a must be singular as it’s the name of a fruit and an anagram of ‘crop its a’. Must admit I got 1a straight away as a financial plan but took the excellent explanation above before I could see the call back bit! Loved todays, such a relief after Friday and Saturday (still can’t get 28a from Saturday GRRRR!)

    1. Agree with every word, Barrie! This is a pleasant start to week, enjoyable and clever, much more my line. Have given up on Saturday, and the American Pie of yesterday.

    2. what can I *** Barrie? about 28a Saturday maybe just maybe the stars represent the 1st 3 letters of the last word, you’ll have to guess what they are to try it out! Surely now you will get it but maybe 28a applies !

      1. If this is TOO helpful no doubt BD will censor it, but Barrie needs to be put out of his misery! Anyway, as it’s not posted on Saturday’s hints, I feel justified. There’s no saying if I’m right in this, but time, and the editor’s pen, will tell! A nice start to the week – thanks Rufus & Libellule. No doubt you’ll be enjoying some 31a later today?

      2. Ah I get it AT LAST. It’s been bugging me all weekend!! Not really a phrase that I would put in common use but I have heard it. Thanks for the hint. :-)

  2. A very nice Monday puzzle from Rufus – a birthday present for Nubian? – Happy Birthday Mr Soigne! Barrie – I can send our cat round – there’s hardly a rabbit left in our bit of East Kent – should have called him Nimrod!

  3. Good morning Libellule, Barrie and Sarah, unlike all of you, this wasn’t too easy for me and as i have lots to get done today I was really grateful for your help on several Libelulle, fav clues 22d, 28a, 29a, I know I have finished early but you don’t know what time I started!!! :) Not my fav crossword today

  4. Nice start to the week, thanks to Rufus.
    Re 10a, I think plural is ok, as oranges could be described as fruit, but oranges and lemons would be called fruits..?

    1. I may be in a minority but I call them all fruit, you could say ‘look at all that fruit’ or you could say ‘look at all those fruits’ – I prefer the first :)

      1. I have pondered this and done some checking:
        n. pl. fruit or fruits, fruit is viable both as a single or plural noun. I stand corrected.

    1. Mary,
      As per the hint:
      Its a cryptic definition, a single follower/supporter, out of a large number of followers (following)

  5. Thank You Sue and Mary for your kind regards. I received a French card from my wife and it read ‘ Un an de plus et toujours bon pied, bon oeil !’ . I get the the year older bit but the feet and eyes are lost on me, maye Libellule can help.
    I thought todays was a nice start to the week and Rufus put some good clue together.
    Fav was 17a, I think it is a new word for me.
    10a I took the word ‘crop’ to be a definition as well as part of an anagram and so the plural worked fine for me.

    1. Nubian,
      Literally – good foot good eye, idiomatically, “fit as a fiddle”, “alive and kicking” etc

      1. Thanks for that Libellule, I did confuse my friend Michel when I said ‘The world is my oyster’ and he’s an English teacher, so justice does prevail.

          1. Just thinking about an old RN saying when I read you blog Digby. ‘An old sailor never dies, he only smells that way’
            Happy days

            1. Yes – Fleet Air Arm (Eagle, Ark Royal etc) 1967 – 87. Did our wakes ever cross, I wonder?

              1. Greenie, 1971-80. did Guardship for Royal Yacht and ops with the Ark I think in 76 American bicentennial. Went alongside the Ark in Rosy Rhodes Puerto Rico. Nimitz was there at the time, gigantic thing.

                1. Forgot to say was on HMS Eskimo at the time. wouldn’t be able to call her that now. damn PC brigade would have a fielday

                  1. Then we may have met in “The Black Angus” in San Juan!!?? Our watering hole after a day on the weaponry ranges in the trusty old Buccaneer!

                    1. And the Speakeasy and the other one I can’t remember the name of.I have a photo of doing a RAS. I wonder if Big Dave will let me have your email, that is, if you want a copy.

    2. Happy Birthday, Nubian! I add my good wishes, and hope you have a good 2d of 31a to celebrate with. :-)

      1. Thanks Franny, you have given me another exuse to raise an extra glass tonight.

  6. Enjoyable start to the week. A minor quibble with 13a. Shouldn’t it be “the man” rather than “a man”? I think the latter is too general. As it happens, it was the first answer I put in, so it wasn’t difficult.

  7. Lovely puzzle that had me guessing in the South West – I wrote headland in for 30a and forgot that I hadn’t confirmed it which caused problems.
    Hats off to Rufus for 22d and 1a.
    Thanks Libellule and Bon Anniversaire a Nubian.
    I owe you an email but can only Manage it this evening.

      1. Nubian – I’m fine with BD letting you have my contact details. Otherwise look on http://www.gpslt.com and send one via the “Contact Us” link. Yes, that is me on the Home Page!

  8. More than a ** for me, I needed quite a few hints. Finally got most of it, but did have to look at a couple of answers. 22d definitely the best one. Quite happy with 10a as is.

    Thanks for an enjoyable puzzle and great review.

  9. I agree, this was a lovely puzzle to start the week with. I took far too long working out 11d and also 22d (I was thinking of stags). Favourite clue was 29a. :-)

  10. Re 10a, I also take fruit to be plural, and prefer it to fruits. Hope this post works as made on phone.

  11. Agree with star ratings – did it over a lunch time bacon sarnie! Was held up cos put ‘netted’ at 9a – quite a clever answer I thought – and so puzzled over 2 down for a while. Also, interesting to see ‘nowadays’ and ‘now’ requiring different answers AND ‘ad’ being used in various meanings too.

  12. I thought that this could, perhaps, have had 3* – took me longer than usual but have been on the go since 3.15am due to having to go to help 88 year old mother who had got stuck! Is that a reasonable excuse?! Couldn’t do 22d until I read the hint – thank you for that. Think I would probably prefer rabbits to moles – our garden is overrun with them!

  13. This wasn’t that much more difficult than yesterday, but I think the variety made it a lot more fun. I particularly enjoyed all of those clues I should’ve seen coming a mile off, 1a, 12a, 23a, 29, 6d, 22d, 27. I owe myself a 31 a now, and happy birthday Nubian.

  14. A late but sincere “Happy Birthday” Nubian, I’m drinking a toast to you as I type!!

  15. Happy birthday to Nubian! I don’t know if you still had the rum ration in your naval service, but I would have let you have “gulpers” instead of “sippers”, or even “grounders”. I served in destroyers and frigates to start with, as a Boy Seaman to Petty Officer, then changed to flying in the Fleet Air Arm for 10 years. When I saw Eagle and Ark Royal my interest arose until I realised I had left in 1963. As well as those two, I served in several other carriers – Ocean, Bulwark, Hermes, Indefatigable and three different times in Albion.

    And thanks to Libellule for his excellent, as usual, blog!

    1. Thanks Rufus. I served on Tribals most of the time. Jaguar,Plymouth,Eskimo,Nubian. They stopped the tot about two months before I joined. They must have heard me coming !.
      Great puzzle today thanks.

  16. Enjoyed today’s puzzle and found the NW corner the hardest. Thought I was going to zoom through but this corner stumped me for a while – 2d being an obvious answer and being linked to one of my favourite things if you get my drift!

    2* but the NW made it 3* for me. Only easy if you know the answers!

  17. Late today so belated birthday greetings to Nibian and thanks to Rufus for an excellent crossword.

  18. Hi there,

    Thanks ever so much! That’s brilliant!
    I’m French and love doing cryptic clues…We don’t really have the equivalent in France! I’m so delighted you put this online… Is it possible to have the grid as well though to get “unstuck” thanks to the words already found? Anyway, this is really really great already as it is!

      1. Big Dave, this may be the drink but the Soignee has said the next meeting at the White Horse , we will go and meet all these people you keep talking to on line. they sound so nice. So you must tell us the time of the next soiree..We need a weeks nottice as we live ‘up North’ but it would be great to meet you all.

          1. Thanks BD, will probably be there for the 30th October, can you recommend a good hostelry ?

    1. Hi Nadine Bon Soiree et bon chance, Big Dave will help you as much as you want.

  19. Nubian

    Belated Happy Birthday

    Didn’t get to finish this until this morning – it was a good one even though my pet hate of 4 letter words seemed to dominate they were reasonable to work out.

    Thanks for the blog Libellule – excellent as usual and thanks for the puzzle Rufus.

    1. See libellule’s reply to comment #7. Try replacing the “the” in the clue with “those”.

      1. I’d already seen that – sorry should have said – but I’m afraid the penny just won’t drop on this one – can you spell it out as if I’m a complete idiot ?

          1. Thanks – I know you don’t often hear from me – don’t usually have anything to say – but I’m a frequent visitor and appreciate this site very much. Cheers.

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