DT 26495 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26495

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26495

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

Once more unto the breach dear friends! Another nice Wednesday puzzle, presumably from Jay, with the usual couple of tricky clues to make one think.

While I was solving this one I thought 2* but looking at my time I have to give it 3*. There are a couple of long anagrams which aren’t hard clues to crack but they always slow me down so perhaps the 2* is more accurate. Be interested to see what others think.

Thanks again to the Technical Director for the photos and funny video.

I’ve marked my favourites in blue.

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.  Long for some bread? (6,4)
{FRENCH LOAF} – A cryptic definition to start us off. This is a type of bread that is long and thin.

6a.  Graduate of French sent back produce from Holland (4)
{EDAM} – One of the usual abbreviations for graduate followed by the French word for ‘of’ all reversed (sent back) gives a popular Dutch cheese.

9a.  Little monkey admitting unsatisfactory answer (5)
{LEMON} – this term for something unsatisfactory is hidden (admitting) in “little monkey”.

10a.  Leaves dish? (5,4)
{SALAD BOWL} – Another cryptic definition. The sort of dish where you may put leaves, of lettuce for example.

12a.  Possible cause of faint recovery? (8,5)
{SMELLING SALTS} – The stuff Victorians used to wave under a young lady’s nose to rouse her from a faint, probably caused by her corset being too tight!
I think Gazza may have put a photo here!

14a.  Written analysis that might rate site appallingly (8)
{TREATISE} – A written analysis is an anagram (appallingly) of RATE SITE.

15a.  Inside job is troubling restaurant (6)
{BISTRO} – This type of small friendly restaurant is hidden (inside) in “job is troubling”.

17a.  A new job finishing early for American presenter (6)
{ANCHOR} – An American term for a studio based newsreader is a charade of A, N(ew) and a word for a job with its last letter removed (finishing early)

19a.  Mainly enthusiastic, welcoming rampant greed for breakfast dish (8)
{KEDGEREE} – A Victorian breakfast dish made from flaked fish, eggs and rice. Take a word meaning enthusiastic (4) and remove the last letter (mainly). Into this (welcoming) place an anagram (rampant) of GREED.

21a.  Sweet but daft person chasing adder (6,7)
{SUMMER PUDDING} – Place an affectionate term for a silly person after (chasing) someone who adds up to get a dessert made from fruits in a mould made from white bread.
One of my favourites! (The dessert that is, not the clue but that’s not bad either).

24a.  An urge to get away, yet chef works on sex appeal (5,4)
{ITCHY FEET} – Someone with these has an urge to move on. Put an anagram (works) of YET CHEF after (on) the usual word for sex appeal.

25a.  Concoct an opening in the kitchen (5)
{HATCH} – A verb meaning to concoct, a plot maybe, is also an opening between the kitchen and dining room through which food may be passed to the diners.

26a.  Only ones to finish cheer for the Spanish (4)
{SOLE} – A word meaning only, as in alone, is made up of the last letter (to finish) of oneS followed by the cheer Spanish people shout at a bull fight.

27a.  Dish that tied a snake in knots? (5,5)
{STEAK DIANE} – A dish which became popular in the 70’s is an anagram (in knots) of  TIED A SNAKE.
I remember the days of this stuff, prawn cocktail, Chicken Maryland and Black Forest Gateau and a bottle of Blue Nun!

Waiter Leo Reginato prepares steak Diane at the Carnelian Room


1d.  Fine antique pen (4)
{FOLD} – This pen, not a writing implement but a pen where sheep may be kept, is made up of F(ine) followed by an adjective that could describe something antique, like me perhaps!

2d.  All together on service being broadcast (2,5)
{EN MASSE} – Broadcast here is a homophone indicator. A phrase, of French origin, meaning all together or at the same time, sounds like “on a church service”.

3d.  Design on icy centre of sweets (13)
{CONFECTIONERY} – A generic term for sweets and chocolates is an anagram (design) of ON ICY CENTRE OF.

4d.  Having no inclination to be low in spirits! (8)
{LISTLESS} – A word meaning low in spirits or energy could also mean to have no incline or lean so much if split (4,4).
IMHO this clue doesn’t quite work. It’s to lean not as much rather than not at all as is indicated by “having NO inclination”. Unless anyone tells me otherwise!
Thanks to Jezza et al for spotting the wordplay.

5d.  Exhausted, ringing endlessly (3,2)
{ALL IN} – A word for ringing, on a telephone perhaps, has its first and last letters removed (endlessly) to leave a phrase meaning exhausted or very tired.

7 d. Go down in value — allow a little fall (7)
{DROPLET} – A word meaning to go down, in value perhaps, (4) followed by a word meaning allow (3) gives a small bit of rain.

8d.  Things that grind factory diamonds, for instance (10)
{MILLSTONES} – A type of dark satanic factory once common in Lancashire (4) followed by a colloquial term for diamonds (6) gives these things that grind, flour perhaps.

11d.  Noted new diet using dish (13)
{DISTINGUISHED} – A synonym for noted is an anagram (new) of DIET USING DISH.

13d.  Cooks joints in vessels (10)
{STEAMSHIPS} – The definition is vessels, as in sea going vessels. Split the answer (5,4) and you get a method of cooking followed by one of the joints in the human body.

16d.  Doctor embraces objective suppressing army feud (8)
{VENDETTA} – A feud is constructed by taking a word for a doctor of animals and placing within it (embracing) a word meaning objective or aim. Place this on top of (suppressing in a down clue) the abbreviation for part time soldiers.

18d.  Mike is absorbed by output of mine — that’s funny (7)
{COMICAL} – Mike this time isn’t the phonetic alphabet word for M but an abbreviation of microphone. Take the other abbreviation of microphone and put it (absorbed by) in the output of a mine or colliery to give a word meaning funny or amusing.
Nice bit of misdirection here. I spent quite a while trying to put M into something until the penny dropped!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

20d.  Adjusted target area for races at sea (7)
{REGATTA} – An anagram (adjusted) of TARGET followed by A(rea) gives a festival of yacht racing.

22d.  Tuck shop’s last late shifts (5)
{PLEAT} – The sort of tuck you may have in an item of clothing is the last letter of shoP followed by an anagram (shifts) of LATE.

23d.  Oxford is second to Plymouth! (4)
{SHOE} – Take S(econd) followed by the part of Plymouth where Sir Francis Drake is said to have played bowls to get the type of Oxford you wear on your foot.

I like all the ones in blue but favourite is 18d.

The Quick crossword pun: {forty} + {chewed} = {fortitude}

105 comments on “DT 26495

  1. Good morning/afternoon Pommers, haven’t read your hints yet but will be doing so shortly, a really good day for me today, my fourth (I think) ever solve without having to resort to any help whatsoever, so a good day, with sunshine yet again, I thought at a couple of points I would have to resort to ‘help’ but perservated and got through unscathed, a lot of clue involving food and sweets at least 4 with ‘dish’ in and here’s me trying to resist food because it’s Ash Wednesday!! took me ages to see 9a – Duh! lots of clues I liked today but no one favorite, good luck CC members a good day for perservating :)

  2. Glad to see that Pommette got her cup of tea then!

    The usual very nice dose of Jay’s magic this morning. On solving time, this was well under a two stopper so I would say overall two stars for difficulty but would agree with you on the enjoyment rating.

    Favourite clues were 1d and 13d.

    Many thanks to the Wednesday Wizard for the crossword and to Pommers for making the tea – oh yes, and for the blog!

    1. Hi Prolixic – thanks for your thoughts. In fact I’ve had about 3 cups courtesy of Pommers whilst I was doing the “techy” bits. Otherwise he wouldn’t have got them done. A few threats occasionally are quite beneficial!

  3. I found this a very gentle stroll over an early breakfast.
    Once again I question the 3* for difficulty but there again if I had to write the hints and tips I would rate it much higher.
    Thanks to setter and to Pommers for the hints and being brave enough to do it again.

  4. I think 4d is ok – If you had no money, you would be penniless…

    Thanks to Jay for the puzzle, and to Pommers for the review.

  5. Enjoyable if not too taxing. I have to disagree about 4d. If you have an inclination you can be said to ****. If you lack or are without something you could be siad to be ****less.

  6. Very enjoyable Xword today. Too many good clues to pick a favourite. Thanx to compiler and to Pommers and his able accomplice for an excellent review.
    Last DT Xword for me for 12 days, off on holiday scuba diving and photographing in the Red Sea.

    1. Have a great holiday. I’d love to go diving in the Red Sea but Pommers can’t ever go thanks to a bad fall several years ago that damaged his chest so that he’s now banned from diving.

  7. How interesting is the English language?

    List less can mean either to not list as much or to have no list. The setter has chosen the latter.

  8. Yes another Good solve with many nice clues. Now dragging “hubby” off the do shopping, etc
    Thanks to all . few flakes of snow here in northumberland but now sunny still very cold!

  9. Another fine review, Pommers. Thanks to you and to your lovely technical assistante. For me this was certainly a ‘two-stopper’ equivalent.
    Regarding 4d I would agree with Jezza and Ranger – consider the Clueless – without a clue.
    In any case 17a was my favourite. Thanks again and thanks to Jay for the usual high standard puzzle.

  10. Well done Pommers. A really dishy puzzle today which I enjoyed immensely. Made me quite hungry. I thought all the clues were good with 12 and 21 my favourites. Certainly made up for yesterday!

  11. Thanks to those above for sorting out 4d, how silly of me D’oh! I put it down to doing crosswords early in the morning before I’ve had sufficient cups of tea!
    I’ve adjusted the blog accordingly (or rather Pommette has).

    As I said before, apologies to Jay for ever thinking he might use a dodgy clue!

  12. Well done again pommers, and of course pommette. 17a also a favourite among many fine clues from Jay. Thanks all

  13. Not too difficult today, 2* in my opinion. Liked 12a and 17a. 4d seemed pretty straight forward to me, no problem with it at all.

  14. You’re right, 27a brings back memories. If you were a sophisticate you could have Riesling, or even, if you really wanted to impress, Mateus Rosé.

    1. Pleeeeeese, here I am drinking diet cuppa soup and trying to be good for Ash Wednesday and all these tempting memories creeping in :-D

      1. Yes indeed, Berni Inns, the place to go after pub closing time at ten thirty! unfortunately the nearest one was 25 miles away!

  15. An enjoyable puzzle – with an awful lot of food [for thought, maybe] involved in both clues and answers!! Thanks to setter and Pommers for the review

  16. I would say 1.5 difficulty and 4* enjoyment for me. Thanks to the Pommerses for the lovely review. I enjoyed the foody theme and 10a made me smile the most. Thanks Jay for a nice start to the day, even if it did make me hungry.

    The other one is good and proper Tough today.

  17. That was a two-session challenge: over morning coffee and during a mid-morning break.
    SE corner was in last. I did not know the 19a word which was in last. I worked it out from the wordplay and assumed it just had to be correct. I assumed by the sound of the word that it wis probably some revolting Australian concoction of stale sheep gut with raw emu eggs and kangaroo earwax. Little did I suspect it is an entirely civilised Victorian breakfast. Summing up: I learned something but that isn’t refraining from insulting the colonials.

    My topper of the day has got to be 11d for an absolutely brilliant anagram with supersmooth surface.

    Thank you Jay and cheers, Pommers, for a witty write-up! Also kudos for special effects editor.

  18. Lovely puzzle today. The long 11d anagram took me a while (thinking of the wrong kind of ‘noted’) as did 8d. Got a hit held up with 21a as I managed to spell 3d with an ‘A’ three letters from last – stupid – there wasn’t even an ‘A’ in the anagram!! I’d never heard of this meaning of 17a but it was easy enough to work out and look up.
    Favourites today include 10, 12 and 25a and 2, 13 and 23d.
    Great video – I love them almost as much as Dave Allen!!
    Thanks to Jay and to Pommers (and Pommette)

    1. The 2 long anagrams were what slowed me down so I had to go for 3* difficulty. The problem is that I skim though the clues quickly to get any where the answer jumps out and if I spot an anagram I can’t resist trying to work it out. Without checking letters it isn’t so easy if it’s more than about 9 letters – you’d think y now I’d have learned to leave them until later

        1. Yes I know you like Rufus but I often find I am not on his wave length but don’t have that trouble with Jay and Giovanni – strange eh – but then we all see things from a different angle so it’s not surprising that we have different days.

      1. Usually find Friday the hardest, Wednesday the easiest and Thursday, when it’s Ray T, the best!! Have I opened a can worms here …. ? Having just written that, where did it come from I wonder? Am sure that someone will enlighten me – SUCH a knowledgeable load of people on this site.

        1. Interesting comment!
          I find Monday’s Rufus the easiest followed by the Wednesday Jay (fortunate as I’m now blogging it!). Love Fridays and Sundays although they are a little trickier (usually).
          The other days are all good but variable with setter. I really like RayT, on Thursday, the Shamus pangrams on Tuesday and a Saturday Cephas, but the other mysterons seem to me to be doing a fine job.
          I guess I just like them all, for different reasons, so long may the setters continue to amuse and befuddle us!

          1. Agree with that Pommers and I think we all agree that this site has helped us all increase our enjoyment (and of course learning curve).

  19. Slow start, but finally got 18 answers after a couple of hints helped me along. Annoyed that I missed both the hidden words. Enjoyable anagrams that fell into place fairly easily for once.

    Thanks to Jay and the blogging team.

  20. Nice puzzle this one, only needed help with the last down clue since i know next to nothing about footwear!

  21. Solved this in record time having needed hints for the previous two days. I tend to find the wednesday puzzles more straightforward indeed have had problems with Rufus’ Monday crosswords recently. Still very enjoyable thanks to setter and Pommers.

  22. Just back from shopping/coffee and really enjoyed this. I got the long anagrams first so had a good start. Was held up on 2d and for 1a I took time to get the first word. Kicked myself when I did.

    Sun was shining this morning but it has gone a bit dim now – not cold though.

    Thanks to Pommers and Pommette – excellent review (and technical expertise). Also thanks to Jay for puzzle.

    1. Lea,
      Today’s Toughie is by your favourite setter – you ought to give it a go!

      1. Thanks Gazza – will give it a go and see how I do. Don’t usually have time to do all three. Hve been doing the quick to improve my word associations. Will let you know how I make out on the Toughie blog.

  23. found this too easy today after a couple of good challenges. finished it on the trip to work. liked a few clues though.

  24. Finished in record time and with no help at all, so I think a 1* for me, but very satisfying. Given the theme, I’m glad I was doing it over lunch! Liked 10a for its simplicity and 21a made me smile – lovely clue & dessert.
    Thanks to Jay and Team Pommers – liked the lateral picture for 17a.

    1. Glad you liked the picture. As a yatchsman and also “petrol head” you’ll probably find yacht and racing car photos included at the slightest opportunity! Managed a car last week and 2 yachts this!

  25. All this food and it’s the beginning of Lent! However, I enjoyed this very much. Wasted a good deal of time trying to fit ‘baguette’ into 1a and also mis-spelled 3d, but finally I finished it and enjoyed it all to the last crumb. There were lots of good clues, but I specially liked 12, 19 and 24a.

    Thanks to Jay and the two Pommes. :-)

    1. Just as an informational – I always assumed that baguette = french loaf/stick, until I started living here… the locals seem to use the word to describe anything thats long and thin. :-)

  26. Setter here
    Many thanks to Pommers for a super review, and apologies to all for loading the crossword with so much food on the first day of Lent! Thanks for all the comments.

    1. Thank you Jay and thanks for a brill puzzle.
      Once again apologies for doubting you on 4d, I seem to have had a mental block on that one!

      1. Thanks to Jay for a fun puzzle and to the Pom-Poms for their synergistic blogging success.

        1. On no . . . hope this doesn’t stick!
          Way back in 1990 my team of 22 year old programmers ‘borrowed’ my brand new BMW as I damaged my back. I got sent home on the train (as I couldn’t drive) and it got left at my flat in Docklands with them looking after it. On my return they had stuck a pair of fluffy dice to the rear-view mirror (and I mean stuck – glued so I couldn’t remove them) and they laughed and called me pom-pom for ages – until I threatened to give them all bad annual appraisals!
          Joke is – it was a black BMW 318i and all the drug dealers in the area drove around in them – with the fluffy dice of course!

  27. I got on with this much better than yesterday – an enjoyable crossword. Thanks to all. P.S. I’m surprised Blue Nun doesn’t get a mention above!

    1. I mentioned it in the hint for 27a.
      However, I had completely forgotten about Black Tower until unfortunately reminded of it by Spindrift!

      1. Sorry – hadn’t seen the hint. By the way, does anyone have the misfortune to remember Concord British Wines?

  28. Thanks Jay for a load of good fare! I enjoyed it all.
    I liked 9a, 21a, 27a, 4d, 8d & 23d best.
    Also nice work from Pommers.

    I enjoy reading the comments – it is amazing what you all eat and drink!

  29. Found this quite easy, except i put steamboats for 13d as we used to cook in these when we were in Burma :you put in chicken stock and cook the meat in small pieces in it over charcoal. Quite a slow process, you have to have a few g & t s tax free from the embassy shop while you are waiting for it. Last to go in are the veg., then drink the liquid as soup. Made a good party !

    1. Anncantab – sound very much like a Spanish Cocido – which literally means ‘cooked’.
      It is chicken stock, saffron, chunks of meat, chick peas, spuds and carrots, and do exactly the same – eat the solid bits and drink the rest as a soup. We have it quite a lot in the evenings and get told off by our Spanish friends as it should only be eaten at lunchtime!

  30. Off to the quiz night shortly – wish me luck as I may have worn my brain out today with the blogging and then tackling the excellent Toughie.
    Maybe check in later to see if the After Eighters are around.

  31. I very much enjoyed this and am happy to say that is the first I have completed without any reference/dictionary assistance. Leads one to think that it must be ** for difficulty for everyone else – still **** for me though!

    1. Really well done Matt M its great when you get your first one without any help isn’t it, I have managed only 4 in almost two years now!!

    2. Hi Matt M
      In one way I’m disappointed you didn’t need my carefully crafted hints but I’m really pleased you are now out of the Clueless Club, forever, as there is no return allowed! Well done!
      2* about right for most but I put star rating based on my time and I can’t resist trying to solve 13 letter anagrams with no checkers! Stupid and slows me down so I’ll try to remember next week!

      1. Thanks all. It certainly got me through a hum-drum meeting. I think I might have crumbled had I been at my desk. 11d certainly had me scratching the nogin – I almost jumped out of my chair and broke my cover!

        A completely tame 6a had me stumped but unlocked the whole thing. Also chased MO, MA, MEDIC, DR etc for 16d.

        1. Yeah, not sure that Vet for doctor is completely fair but I can live with it. or maybe I’m missing something again! Wouldn’t surprise me.
          I also take crosswords to long boring meetings. If you’re not overlooked directly people think you’re just taking notes! Worked well at our apartment community AGM last week!

  32. Hello all,
    We completed this in daylight today (which is a first for us) over a steak and kidley pudding in The Colesbourne, a cracking pub just south of Cheltenham. Great puzzle, excellent clues and really first class gravy.

  33. Good stuff again from Jay. Thanks for the blog too. Big birthday coming up for me. Stocked up on Babycham from Lidl as ironic throwback! Decent stuff too of course.

  34. Nice crossword today. Didn’t need the blog but enjoyed it. Thanks pommers and Jay.

  35. Didn’t win the quiz – lost on a tie-break again! How the hell am I supposed to know how many times a year the average Frenchman has sex? And who knows anyway as they probably lie about it!
    Answer apparantly is 247 times but where that comes from I’ve no idea.

  36. The Spurs done good tonight. BD will be happy!
    Missed all the good bits but it was on the telly during the quiz with the volume off so I sort of kept up with it.

    1. There were no good bits. It was a bit like last night but ACM did not have a Messi!

      1. Nobody but Barca has a Messi – awesome or what? What happened to Ronaldo, erstwhile Old Trafford darling who seems to have disappeared? Real M aren’t looking so good this year!

  37. Found today’s offering quite straight forward and for once I understood all the wordplay.

    Thanks to Setter. Thanks also to Pommers and his assistant for the review.

  38. Hello all. Lots of foody answers today. Hi Pommers – fortunately did not need your hints today – was slow going to begin with but once I got going all was ok. I have been silent for a few days but now back!

    1. Welcome back Ainsley!
      I saw all the foody bits but literally forgot to put a comment in the blog (I’ll learn when the stress levels get lower!) and never made the connection with first day of Lent! My religous knowledge is very poor! Don’t think that was in Jay’s mind as I don’t think the setters know exactly which day a puzzle will be published, may be wrong there as they obviously do for Xmas!.

  39. Now I found this easier than yesterdays 2 star, there we go! Didn’t do it until Thursday but worth the wait esp as Thursday looks like a dreaded Ray T! UGH!

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