DT 26477 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26477

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26477

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

We keep asking Jay for more of the same and he keeps delivering.

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.


1a    The road to ruin? (9,6)
{COLLISION COURSE} – a cryptic definition of a series of actions that will lead to conflict if it continues unabated

9a    Exhibits spread out across area (7)
{PARADES} – a verb meaning exhibits ia an anagram (out) of SPREAD around (across) A(rea)

10a    Threatened to effect a repair to cover crack (7)
{MENACED} – a word meaning threatened is created by putting a verb meaning to effect a repair around (to cover) an adjective meaning crack or first-rate

11a    People who seek pleasure are remarkably dishonest (9)
{HEDONISTS} – these pleasure-seekers are an anagram (remarkably) of DISHONEST

12a    Blunder covers bishop in flipping eggs (5)
{ERROR} – a blunder is created by putting the abbreviated title accorded to a bishop inside some fish eggs reversed (flipping)

13a    Leaders of the masses (7)
{PRIESTS} – these religious people lead masses in church

15a    The highest quality perfumes, reproduced with no end of grief (7)
{SUPREME} – an adjective meaning of the highest quality is an anagram (re-produced) of PER(F)UMES without the F (with no end of grieF)

17a    Broadcast by crude-sounding pirate (7)
{CORSAIR} – put a word meaning to broadcast after what sounds like a synonym for crude to get this pirate who used to operate along the southern shore of the Mediterranean in the 17th century

19a    King once in search of a hard worker (7)
{GRAFTER} – start with the abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth’s father and add a word meaning in search of to get a hard worker

21a    Reflective woman of refinement (5)
{MADAM} – this woman of refinement is a palindrome (reflective)

23a    Old friend’s impossible situation (9)
{STALEMATE} – a charade of a word meaning old, used for old bread, and a friend gives a situation where a chess player, not actually in check, has no possible legal move, resulting in a draw

25a    Monarchist dispensing with good, practical person (7)
{REALIST} – Drop the G(ood) from a synonym for a monarchist to get a practical person

26a    Keen listener sent for replacement (7)
{EARNEST} – a word meaning keen is constructed from the organ of hearing (listener) followed by an anagram (for replacement) of SENT

27a    Develop hysteria — a proven cure for addiction (8,7)
{AVERSION THERAPY} – an anagram (develop) OF HYSTERIA A PROVEN gives a cure for addiction


1d    Venue for the policeman’s ball? (3,4)
{COP SHOP} – a slang word for a police station is a charade of policeman’s and a ball or dance

2d    Sensational start to London university — and free (5)
{LURID} – an adjective meaning sensational is built up from L (start to London), U(niversity) and a verb meaning to free

3d    One’s trapped in one Asian country or another (9)
{INDONESIA} – put ONES inside one Asian country to get another

4d    Maintains coming back from analysts is nicer (7)
{INSISTS} – a word meaning maintains is hidden (from) and reversed (coming back) inside the last three words of the clue

5d    Siemens engineered retribution! (7)
{NEMESIS} – an anagram (engineered) of SIEMENS the Greek goddess of retribution

6d    Weight if spring starts late (5)
{OUNCE} – an avoirdupois weight is created by dropping the initial P (starts late) from a word meaning to spring (or the initial B from another word meaning spring!)

7d    Continual stream after Rome is evacuated (9)
{RECURRENT} – an adjective meaning continual is created by putting a stream after R(om)E (Rome is evacuated)

8d    Offer support for the last pony in London (7)
{ENDORSE} – a verb meaning to offer support is a charade of a word meaning last or finish and a pony with the leading H dropped (in London / Cockney)

14d    How to treat food with a tired air, perhaps (9)
{IRRADIATE} – a method of treating food is an anagram (perhaps) of A TIRED AIR

16d    Earth, for example, concerned with energy growth (5,4)
{PLANE TREE} – combine what Earth is an example of with a word meaning concerning and E(nergy) to get a growth or large plant

17d    County and cold part of Italy (7)
{CUMBRIA} – this North western county is a charade of C(old) and a part of Italy

18d    Mainly gamble on excessive love for Italian food (7)
{RISOTTO} – start with most of a word meaning to gamble and add an abbreviation for excessive and O (love in tennis) to get this Italian food

19d    Wild parties in touring car? Most serious (7)
{GRAVEST} – put some wild parties inside a Gran Turismo car to get an adjective meaning most serious

20d    Never lost heart on the way up — attempt return (2-5)
{RE-ENTRY} – remove the central letter (lost heart) from NE(V)ER and reverse it (on the way up, as this is a down clue) then add an attempt to get a noun meaning a return

22d    Domestics help in case of magistrates (5)
{MAIDS} – to get these domestic servants put a word meaning to help inside MS (case of MagistrateS)

24d    Prepare national boxing stadium (5)
{ARENA} – hidden inside (boxing) the first two words in the clue is a stadium

A special mention today for Araucaria on the occasion of his 90th birthday. Tribute puzzles are in the Guardian, FT and Independent (but not the Telegraph!)

The Quick crossword pun: {runt} + {who} + {cede} = {run to seed}

99 comments on “DT 26477

  1. Best one so far this week. Started on the across and got totally stumped (think I got 3 in), Down clues began a lot easier but again was stumped on NE corner until suddenly everything fell into place. Very enjoyable crossword today – worthy of a 4 * rating. I particularly enjoyed 15a, 16a,19a 16d and 17d

  2. Good stuff today with a great balance of clues I thought. I was a bit slow to spot 1d and 12a construction although easily guessed and obvious when penny dropped…as ever. Thanks to setter and solver. Blog weather report from up North…..bahhh rain again.

            1. Hello Nora
              Sounds like we aren’t far apart!
              Gone cloudy and cold here in the last hour or so but not windy. It did rain all day yesterday though!
              I’ve retired to the kitchen with the heater on!

    1. Weather report from Oxford – not bad – mixed clouds and sun – 9C – best of all, the torrential rain we had yesterday evening has gone!

  3. Got down to two unfinished, that I just didn’t understand, really pleased. Lovely puzzle with lots of enjoyment.

    Thanks to Jay and BD, needed a few explanations here and there.

  4. Silky smooth as ever. One of the joys of Jay is the surface readings of the clues that rarely seem forced to fit the wordplay and make sense in their own right. Couple that with very fair cluing of the answers and you have a delightful puzzle.

    With craftsmanship like this, it does not matter that the crosswords are usually at the easier end of the spectrum – they are a treasure to be savoured.

    Many thanks to Jay for another gem – favourite clue was 16d – and to BD for the usual sterling review.

  5. Thank goodness for Jay this week, a puzzle at last that I could do without the hints although still needed ‘other’ help :) a few I didn’t understand until I went back over the answers and worked them out, fav clue today 11a!

  6. finished it due to the fact I was accompanying my wife in the out patients at the local hospital (2 hours wait), still very pleased with myself

              1. Yeees a fortnight ago I actually managed to do one, can’t remember which one it was, I should have marked the date in my diary :)

                    1. Thank you UTC, if you are bored why don’t you try COW, there is a link to it on the right hand side, it is good fun, lots more from BDs site on it now, it has really helped me, by making up clues to understand cryptic clues better, give it a go if you have the time :)

  7. Another excellent Jay puzzle with 11a the favourite for me. Having said that there were lashings of great surface readings and the whole thing was to his usual high standard.
    Thanks to Jay and to BD for the review.

  8. Breath of fresh air after yesterday. Thoroughly enjoyable with excellent word play
    Thanks to setter and Big Dave for the explanations, which although always worth reading in case there is a different interpretation to mine, were not needed.

  9. Struggled a bit with 1a as could not get street out of mind but got there in the end. Favourite was 16 and also liked 1a 1d 8 17a 19d 23 27. Great crossword with no abbs.

  10. We can always depend on Jay for a fine mid-week puzzle.
    Thanks to BD for the notes – ‘pounce’ never even crossed my mind for 6d – I wrongly thought ‘bounce’!

    1. I think it works OK with either.

      I didn’t consider bounce, but Chambers Thesaurus gives both, albeit spring is under pounce but not vice versa.

      Mrs Bradford gives both under spring.

  11. Very enjoyable, thank you Jay. Hard to pick a favourite amongst so many good clues. Thanks to BD for the hints.

    The Toughie has a theme and is worth a try. Am currently trying to finish the Guardian’s birthday tribute puzzle which is hard but fun.

  12. Lovely challenge today! Nothing too difficult but very smooth readings all around.
    I still haven’t understood 10a and will consult BD’s hint after posting this. I have the indubitable answer but I don’t parse the clue. Err, just looked at it again and duh, yes, sure, now i see it.

    1a, 13a

    Thanks, Jay & BD!

  13. The first one this week that I haven’t had problems with – apart from immediately assuming that the second word of 1a was ‘street’ – didn’t get as far as putting it in though.
    Wasn’t quite sure that ‘continual’ and ‘recurrent’ were synonymous but Chambers seems to think they are so I give in!
    Favourites today include 13, 15, 17 …… oh damn it – too many to mention really! Might as well just write them all down.
    Thanks to Jay and Big Dave for the hints, although, for once, I didn’t need them – still enjoy reading them.

    1. Kath, 1a – made a bigger mistake in that I immediately pencilled in “street” for the second word. There has recently been a reference to “Carey Street” (possibly the Quickie). Thought that there was maybe another court in a street in London for more serious offenders.

      1. We were definitely both wrong – that I agree on – not so sure about the great minds bit though – speaking for myself, that is!! Let’s see how we do tomorrow.

  14. Very good CW today & enhances the lovely sunny weather for a change here in Northumberland .Back to the Baking & then the Toughie

  15. Very enjoyable. Managed all but 13A on my own. 1A and 8D made me smile when I finally got them. Cheers for the review and hints Big Dave

  16. Recently discovered that I can now login to Telegraph Puzzles at work – hadn’t been able to for ages for tedious and spurious security reasons… so I’m now doing the same day as everyone else – yay! :-D

    Just completed today’s in my lunchbreak(!) and thoroughly enjoyed it, so thanks Jay. Liked 17a, 23a and 8d, and 16d very clever – second-to-last to go in. Just had to check the hints for why 19a was what it was. Thanks BD for the hints.

  17. The usual excellence from Jay – Ta muchly.
    Enjoyed 17d as I still remember an Italian guy on a Radio 4 travel programme describing Umbria as being just like Cumbria without the C!
    Thanks for the review BD.

  18. Thoroughly enjoyable & satisfying. A minor niggle would be that several clues yielded the solution (e.g. 10a, 18d, 25a), and then I had to work out why it was correct. I always feel that it should be the other way about.

  19. top quality stuff from my favorite setter, good surface readings, good mix of clues, a few smiles and nothing that makes you think ‘ouch that’s a bit tenuous’. thanks to Jay and BD

  20. Pommette’s gone off to the dentist to have her new crowns fitted so I’m going to have a go at Radler’s NTSPP. If it’s anything like his last one I may be some time!

    BTW Mary, implants here are about €2000 each so at the current exchange rate 15% less than the UK. Pommette reckons her crowns are about half the price she was quoted in the UK 4 years ago!

    1. I’ll have to consider coming over to get them done then Pommers! :) hope Pommers is ok after her ‘ordeal’

      1. Pommette back with splendid new teeth. No injections needed today so she’s not even got a numb mouth.
        Good result !

        1. BTW, she also came back with 4 new pillows, a large piece of gammon, a piece of Wendsleydale cheese with cranberries and a bag of British sausages!
          I had no idea you could get all that at a dentist!!!!!

  21. Nice puzzle today – Thanks to setter!

    For once, having read BD’s blog in detail, I actually understood all of the wordplay!

    It’s nice, for once, to see “ounce” as a solution without any reference to cats or leopards in the clue!

    Favourite: 11a – excellent surface reading!

  22. Great crossword. I thought I was going to struggle as my first time through I only managed two clues, but then it started to fall into place. Very satisfying.

  23. A real work of art today!
    The bottom half of the crossword fell in nicely – I’d never heard of 17a, but the wordplay helped here.
    The top half was more difficult, and I needed a few hints to put me on the right track.
    But, yeah, solid stuff – I liked 21a the best. :)

  24. I liked this one. Made me think without creating a migraine. Also doable within my time frame. Amazingly, the Grown Ups seem to have liked it as well. Thanks to each.

  25. I won’t be around for the After Eighters tonight.
    Wednesday is Quiz Night and we leave here at about 2000CET and won’t be back until about 2330.
    See you guys tomorrow.

  26. Never seems worth blogging as I’m always so much later than everyone else but I did like this one and had to add my thanks to Jay for a very enjoyable solve over dinner. The only clue I didn’t really like was 16d – otherwise all good with some great anagrams – 11a and 27a particularly. Ta BD for the write-up. BTW great day here in SW London – Sunny and warm for much of the day with lots of birdsong in the garden at school :-)

    1. Hi Claire – you are welcome to join the recently formed After Eight Club for all those arriving late to the blog like myself. There are usually a few of us around including pommers & Kath amongst others. Nice cw today still have 3 to go – will get there soon!

  27. Evening all. very satisfying to complete today, albeit with some help from mrs waggers. Didn’t know RR was abbreviation of bishop.

    1. Nor me. I was trying to get a B in their even though I had the answer I could not fit it in with the wordplay.

    2. Waggers, I also wondered about RR for bishop. I have seen DD before, and also B for a single bishop as in chess?

      1. OK thanks, and you?
        Tied the quiz tonight which is good as there are only ‘2 of Us’ (our team name) and most other teams have 4 or more members. Then lost the tie-break! Doh!

        You tried today’s Toughie? Really worth a look if you’re a reds fan!

        1. Had a very quick look at the toughie and couldn’t do a single one – have retired hurt and now going to bed early after a rather late night yesterday.
          Sleep well all and good luck to anyone still doing the crossword.

  28. Well, no after-eighters tonight, we must all have done it and forgotten it. Yes? I managed to complete in about one hour at lunch time but have not been near the computer since. Hated 16d – I think (don’t have the paper with me) anyway, the plane tree one – didn’t like that at all and it was last in. Otherwise very enjoyable. Didn’t need the hints but did rely somewhat on Seiko, my lovely electronic friend! Oh that I could do without “him”! My brother lives in Cumbria,Pommers,so I got that one! But I don’t think it rains quite as much in Umbria!!!

    1. I only remember the comment because it struck me that the Italian guy must have good command of English – Cumbria without the C (sea)! Clever I thought to come up with that (unless rehearsed) and it’s stuck in my memory. Probably doesn’t rain as much but Italian winters aren’t that good from what I hear.
      Have a good friend that lives in Grange-over-Sands so I hear about Cumbrian weather quite often!

  29. Hello – there are lots of after-eighters there! Evidently my computer was having a sulk when I switched on – so sorry to all of you.

    1. No probs addicted – yes 16d was a new one on me but liked this cw overall. Tried toughie but tired now and given up

      1. I was OK with 16d as it was a clear construct from the wordplay. Once you’d put PLANET followed by RE and Energy – I thought what’s that to do with growth? Doh! – growth as in vegetation!
        Works for me.

          1. Remember it as it’s come up in xwords a few times recently. I sometimes think there’s a fashion in crosswords.’ Etna’ for example was a regular until a few months ago but seems to have disappeared. It did come op a few days ago and I remember remarking to pommette that it was a long time since we’d seen it!

            1. Yes I remember etna a few days ago. Goodnight Pommers and all. Out after work tomorrow so may not bf blogging.

  30. BD – like the ‘Corsair’ picture but it’s hardly ‘Blackbeard’. When I had my yacht I might have enjoyed being boarded by her!

      1. Thanks BD, as for the en/em lesson. See, I do listen!
        BTW, she might do ‘ravishing’ in both senses of the word, with a bit of luck!

Comments are closed.