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DT 26501

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26501

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

The usual Wednesday Wizardry from Jay. I found it a quicker solve than last week’s as there aren’t any 13 letter anagrams and the ones that are here dropped out neatly this morning. So 2* for difficulty but 4* for enjoyment. I toyed with the idea of giving 5* but next week’s may be even better and then what would I do? I don’t think there’s a poor clue in this puzzle but my favourites are highlighted in blue.

As has been said before, some of these clues are much harder to write hints for than to solve!

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.


8a.  Make allowances for being swindled by prisoner (7)
{CONDONE} – A colloquial term for being swindled placed after (by) one of the usual abbreviations for a prisoner or convict gives a word meaning to make allowances for somebody’s actions.

10a.   Affliction from which gaol bum might suffer? (7)
{LUMBAGO} – This nasty affliction affecting the lower back is an anagram (might suffer) of GAOL BUM.  Very nice surface reading on this one.

11a.   Memorable words to describe healthy snack? (5,4)
{SOUND BITE} – A short statement taken from a larger speech is made up of a word for healthy, or in good condition, followed by a term for a small portion of food.  Another excellent surface!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

12a.   Part of aircraft storing old rope (5)
{NOOSE} – Into the front part of an aircraft place (storing) O(ld)to get a rather alarming piece of rope.

13a.   Finally trap unstable iron particle (5)
{PRION} – This particle of protein, responsible for Mad Cow Disease, is made up of P (finally traP) followed by an anagram (unstable) of IRON.

14a.   Routine suggestion given to artist (3,4)
{RAT RACE} – To get this colloquial term for the daily routine at work take the usual abbreviation for artist followed by (given to) a word meaning a suggestion, as in a very small amount, and split the result (3,4).

17a.   Lunch for the ladies? (11,4)
{CONVENIENCE FOOD} – This type of food which is quick and easy to prepare sounds as though it might be intended to be eaten in a lavatory (Ladies?). I first thought this clue should have a ‘perhaps’ on the end but the ? does the job neatly.

19a.   Cooking meals in — that’s basic! (7)
{SEMINAL} – A word which literally means ‘of, or pertaining to seeds’, (i.e. basic) is an anagram (cooking) of MEALS IN.

21a.   Underpriced energy welcomed by man (5)
{CHEAP} – Take a slang term for a man and insert (welcomed by) the abbreviation for Energy  to get a word meaning low priced.

24a.   Short measure preceding a scene (5)
{DRAMA} – A word for a scene is a small drink, a wee drink of whisky perhaps, followed by (preceding) A .

26a.   Survival skill required on presidential yacht? (9)
{BUSHCRAFT} – the skill you would require to survive in a jungle is a charade of a recent US President and a term for a yacht, or any other type of small boat.

27a.   Lie told by skipper after wicket (7)
{WHOPPER} – This rather obvious lie or untruth is W(icket) followed by (after) a word for someone or something that skips.

28a.   Speaking slowly with no love initially for picture (7)
{DRAWING} – A word for speaking slowly, like a Texan perhaps, has L removed (no Love initially) to leave a word for a picture or sketch.


1d.   Parliamentary bill on drink goes wrong (4,2)
{ACTS UP} – A naughty child may be said to do this. Take a parliamentary bill (3) followed by a word for to drink and split the result (4,2).

2d.   Drink that’s fashionable with jazz-funk, for example (8)
{INFUSION} – A type of drink, tea perhaps, is the usual word for fashionable (2) followed by a word for something of which Jazz-Funk is an example.  I didn’t know this but apparently Jazz-Funk is an integration of Funk, Soul and R & B music into jazz. It can also be referred to as Jazz ******.

3d.   The moderation of men gaoled for fiddling pension at last (6,4)
{GOLDEN MEAN} – This term meaning “the felicitous middle between the extremes of excess and deficiency” is an anagram (fiddling) of MEN GAOLED  followed by N (pensioN at last).

4d.   Design for a risqué picture? (9)
{BLUEPRINT} – A type of design drawing if split (4,5) would give you a word for risqué and a type of picture or photo.

5d.   Sign nothing in front of the work force (4)
{OMEN} – O (nothing) followed by some workers gives a sign of things to come.

6d.   Building work confined to flat area (6)
{PAGODA} – A type of building found mainly in the Far East. Take a word for work (2), not the usual one but work in the sense that a car may be said to work, and insert it (confined to) into a colloquial term for a flat or apartment followed by A(rea).

7d.   Warning notice pasted across half of ‘Hell Brow’ (8)
{FOREHEAD} – The cleverly concealed definition here is BROW. A warning you may hear on a golf course and an abbreviation for advertisement (notice) around (pasted across) half of HE(ll).

9d.   Make changes essential to televised items (4)
{EDIT} – To make changes to a document is hidden (essential to) inside televised items.

15d.   What might be worn by eccentric technocrat? (6,4)
{TRENCH COAT} – A type of outer garment, fashionable in the 1970’s is an anagram (eccentric) of TECHNOCRAT.

16d.  Measures of pressure felt by one in one thousand suffering pubs (9)
{MILLIBARS} – These units of pressure, most commonly used for atmospheric pressure, are a charade of the Roman numeral for 1000, a synonym for suffering and some pubs with I inserted (one in).

17d.   Actors drink and cause depression (4,4)
{CAST DOWN} – The actors in a play followed by a term meaning to finish a drink quickly gives a phrase meaning to cause depression or unhappiness.

18d.   Histrionic dispenser of drinks has long time inside (8)
{OPERATIC} – Into (inside) the whisky dispenser in a pub place a word for a great length of time to get a word meaning histrionic.

20d.   Objectively, I have trouble with grass (6)
{MEADOW} – This grassy field is made up of the objective form of ‘I’ (2), the usual crosswordland word for trouble (3) followed by W(ith).

22d.   Soup tureen (period) (6)
{POTAGE} – A term for soup, of French origin, is a charade of another word for tureen and a long period of time (not the same one as in 18d).

23d.   Exploited by America, England beginning to doubt (4)
{USED} – The abbreviations for the United States and England followed by D (beginning to Doubt) give a term meaning exploited.

25d.   Current measures for treating spam (4)
{AMPS} – Units of electric current are an anagram (treating) of SPAM.  I hate the stuff, whether it’s in my computer or out of a tin!

I like all the ones in blue but favourites are 17a and 7d.

The quick crossword pun: (weedy} + (liver} = {we deliver}

99 comments on “DT 26501

  1. Lovely Wednesday treat! I concur with Pommers’ judgment. Last in was 18d as I was unfamiliar with the bar gadget referenced. Now I know. Is it a trade mark or a generic term?

    Enjoyment ****, diff ** ‘cos wnet pretty smoothly, within my coffee limit.

    Thanks to setter & outstanding blogger!

    1. Its used to dispense spirits. Every spirit bottle in a pub has them. And its a generic term – so called because it looks like a giant eye.

  2. Can’t say I enjoyed today’s offering I’m afraid. Had a lot of trouble with one or two clues but enjoyed 17a 27a and 3d

  3. Lots of good clues but 11a and 17a my favourites. Found the top half harder and was left with 11a and 6d for ages before it finally clicked.

  4. Yes some cracking Clues. Thanks to P & setter . get some lunch ready & then tackle the toughie.

  5. Sorry, forgot to thank the Technical Dept for putting right my c**k-ups this morning!
    I wrote the review in a Word document and when I copied and pasted into the Blog all the fonts and formatting went pear shaped!
    Don’t know what went wrong but I’ll leave it to Pommette and BD to do the technical bits next time!

    Also forgot to thank Jay for another fine puzzle.

  6. An enjoyable puzzle to complete, apart from 2d for which I needed the hint [and the answer] from Pommers. Not into Jazz, funk or whatever, but I got the first two letters! Otherwise, some excellent clues.Thanks to setter and Pommers.

    1. Hi Rednaxela
      Glad be of service!
      I’m not a jazz fan either but I twigged the answer from the checking letters and then keyed the second part of the word into Wiki and the 8th line is about jazz so confirmed it.

  7. Fine review for a fine puzzle, pommers. 17a and 26a were favourites – I loved the diversion in the former with the whole “Ladies who lunch’ thing..
    My main problems were in the NE corner as I read 10a as GAOL BURN online – I have done this before as my monitor is a bit too far away from my nose!. Apart from that PAGODA was a bit late in the day as I was looking for OP not GO which only gave me JALOPY or CANOPY.
    In any case thanks to yourself and to Jay and also to Pommette for the fine illustrations and behind the scenes work.

      1. 6d – Ditto – except it wasn’t the last in for me – I left it unsolved and waited for the review to reveal all! Very lazy!

    1. Gnomey – I used to have the same problem until I invested in a 17 inch monitor sited at eye level. Then realised it would be even better if I bought some “intermediate” gig-lamps – never looked back (so to speak)

          1. In my arcane argot “gig-lamps” are a Victorian soubriquet for lorgnettes or bins as my old Nan called hers…

            1. Sorry to be so dim – I’ve never heard that term before and had rather stupidly assumed that ‘gig-lamps’ were some kind of hi-tech gadget!! :oops:
              Have now stored it away in the brain – who knows when it could come in useful?!!

    2. Gnomey – thank you for your comment. Nice to be appreciated.
      I can confirm that a larger monitor and varifocals really do the trick!
      Piy poor Pommers on a 10″ netbook screen and eyesight so bad that he needs jis specs to find his specs on the bedside cabinet !!!

  8. A fairly straightforward puzzle for me today, although there were a few I had to think about in the top half.
    Thanks to Jay, and to pommers.

  9. No, no no not on Jays wavelength at all today, a 3* at least for difficulty I thought if not more, lots of clues I didn’t like eg 11a, 3d, 7d worst of all! 19a etc. however I did like 4d and 17d, thanks for an excellent blog Pommers I couldn’t have done it without you today :)
    For me its a ‘thank goodness that’s finished’ crossword!

      1. Hi Mary
        Glad to help.
        Have a go at the Toughie! I’ve done about half fairly quickly and unless there’s a sting in the tail it doesn’t seem to be out of reach.

        1. Hi pommers
          2 clues in the SW did for me, and that is all I will say about the Toughie on this page.

  10. The usual Jay Wednesday experience for me. I did like 17a. Thanks to Pommers for another excellent review.

    Not sure I agree with him about the Toughie though, I think it’s quite a challenge today.

    Mary – I thought we had a weather rota – can you please explain why we have had really cold damp fog for the last three days??

  11. I enjoyed today’s crossword – it took my mind off the shooting and helicopters buzzing around Manama. Unfortunately they’re back now to quell an anti-government march down the Budaiya highway where we live. Ho hum.

    However, I did think that “tenure” was a far better answer to 22d (being an anagram of “tureen”) and consequently struggled with the bottom RH corner for a few minutes.

    Thanks for the review and to the setter for a good start to the day. Curfew begins in 3 minutes.

    1. Glad you did at least manage to enjoy the crossword – not sure that I would be able to concentrate enough to do a single clue with shooting and helicopters all around! All sounds very scary. How horrid.

  12. Many thanks Jay for a great crossword, really enjoyed it and found it more difficult than usual. Fav.clue was 18d. Thankyou Pommers for the review.

  13. I found this more difficult than 2* rating – but lots of entertainment! Favourite – 4d.

    Will there be any complaints from the feminist lobby for 17a?

    Thanks to P&P for the review – required the explanation of the wordplay in 6d.

    The paper version: Yesterday, there was a problem with 21a. Today there’s a typo in the clue for 16d.

  14. Hi everybody,
    Apologies for my abscence for a while but I knocked a cup of tea over my laptop which is now sadly demised and have had to purchase a new one (ex display model from tesco’s got a third knocked off the price quite a bargain).

    I thought I was doing really well and breezing through this today then got stuck in the SE corner on 22d , I too did an anagram of tureen using soup as an anagram indicator and put tenure in and then took quite a while for the penny to drop, lovely bit of misinformation. :D

    1. Gari – did you buy one with a tea-proof kepboard? I did. Saved my bacon once already – well worth the extra I paid!

      1. Hi Pommette
        No I don’t think so didn’t even know you could get them, the amount I spilt wouldn’t even have filled a teaspoon, thing is I wiped it off quick and it didn’t stop working it was only when I turned it off and found out it wouldn’t turn on again I realised it had expired, took it to the mending man and the price he quoted to repair I was better off buying a new one. :D

  15. For those of us that find the Toughie a tad challenging but have finished Jay’s offering then Brendan in the Guardian has produced a cracker; several themes running through it which was confusing to start with until I could split the two.

  16. Managed this in something approaching a reasonable time. Only needed the hint to explain 6d – had a total mental block with that one – looked at it upside down, inside out etc and STILL couldn’t make sense of it – oh dear!
    For some reason 8a took a while. Have never heard of 13a but guessed and looked it up.
    Lots of great clues – 10, 26 and 27a and 4, 7 and 15d.
    Thanks to Jay and Pommers and Pommette.

  17. Two minutes before the 3.20 at Cheltenham – just about to lose some more money! Come on, “Master Minded”.

  18. I finished it all apart from one clue over breakfast but until I saw the answer above I could not see the answer to 6d. Out of curiosity, did anyone else manage it? Sorry it thought it was a ghastly clue. Did like 11a though.

    1. seemed quite straight forward clue to me once it was obvious that work referred to ‘GO’ rather than ‘OP’, so yes, I managed it.

    2. I thought that it was a good clue, using the ambiguity of “flat” for misdirection, and a less-common two-letter term for “work”. The definition was also disguised nicely.

    3. GO is fair, just about. “All systems go”. Borderline because it is really short for “All systems are go” with a wonderful Americanism turning the verb go into a noun. See Conversion (linguistic) on Wikipedia.

      1. I think that GO is fine. It can be used as a verb, synonymously with “work” or “operate”, in some circumstances.

  19. Out of interest is 3d a made up answer? I can’t find a reference to this obscure term anywhere, has the setter made it up?

    1. try looking at wikipedia :

      In philosophy, especially that of Aristotle, the golden mean is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency. For example courage, a virtue, if taken to excess would manifest as recklessness and if deficient as cowardice.

    2. No it’s real!
      I knew it as the mathematical ratio of 1.62:1 but the other definition given in the hint was lifted directly out of Wikipedia!

      1. In that sense, it’s more often known as “golden ratio”, I think, but both terms are used.

        1. You are, of course correct and I think Golden Ratio is the more correct term. First came across it in an art class at school when I was about 12!
          I remember that the art room had a life size print (3.5m x 7.8m) of Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ down one wall which I found fascinating as a young boy.

          1. Just noticed that this painting is not in Golden ratio proportions – but then it is by Picasso!

            1. No, but very much related to the Golden Section! 7.8∶3.5 ≅ √5. The GS is (√5+1)/2. The theory of the GS is essentially a theory of √5.

              It all boils down to the fact that “the smaller is to the larger as the larger to the whole” or in algebraic symbols: 1:x=x:(1+x) which is exactly the same as x^2=1+x

              So where does 5 come in? Well, solve the equation and you get x=(1+√5)/2.

              Picasso showed himself more classical with this proportion than his art would make you believe.

              1. Not sure how to reply to that Nestorius – you sound like a cross between my art and mathematics teachers!
                I take your point though and it is a very fine painting!

              1. Nestorius, you seem to have a great mind. Do you ever attempt “Enigmatic Variations” in the Sunday Telegraph? I have never got beyond the stage of being completely bewildered by reading the instructions.

                As there is always a winner announced for the previous week’s puzzle – I assume that at least one person solves it each week!

                1. I haven’t tried it yet. My mind ain’t all that great. I am just a curious guy ;-)

                  Thanks for the tip.

                  1. Nestorius – for some reason I had always assumed that you were a woman ….! Really don’t know why – perhaps it’s because you seem to know an awful lot about an awful lot of “stuff”!! Oh dear – how anti-feminist is that comment?!
                    I agree with Franco about the “Enigmatic Variations” – my mind just “boggles” at the instructions!!

                    1. You should give me a bit of credit for also knowing Latin grammar. If I would be a girl, I would have been Nestoria – or Nestrix if you wish ;-)

                      As they say in Yiddish “Volt di bubbe hot gehat a burt volt zi geven der zayde” (if Granny would have had a beard she would have been Gramps).

                      In Dutch we put it a lot cruder: “Als m’n tante wieletjes onder d’r gat had was ze ‘n autobus” (If my auntie would have had wheels under her behind, she would have been a bus – some aunt!)

                      I’ll have to give the Enigmata a try but I am not hopeful. I ain’t a buffin, merely a fount of useless knowledge ;-)

                  2. Hi Nestorus
                    When you say ‘curious guy’ do you mean curious as in ‘searching for information’ or in the sense of ‘strange’? just a thought on the vagaries of the English language!

                    1. “Curious” as in “intrigued by stuff”. That ought not be so curious as to bemuse others. We humans are relentless learners, knowers and finders-out. That exactly makes us human and endows us with virtually everything we value about being human. Take responsibility: it is difficult to define responsibility without somehow incorporating the notion of “I know this and can do it” or “You should have known and done it”

                      The biblical prophets speak about messianic times as “The whole earth will be filled with knowledge of the LORD”.

                      As learners, knowers and finders-out we convert natural resources into informational structures, i.e. food, sunlight, metals, wood into brain patterns, data files and libraries.

                      For the scientifically minded among us: we consume low-entropy high-energies photons and excrete high-entropy low-energy photons. The net increase in entropy is consumed by our information-building bodies and mind-brains.

                      That, dear Pommers, is the true reason of my curiosity. Solving crosswords and dealing with the vagueries of the English language helps to keep my brain in working order and stave off dottiness.

  20. I half enjoyed today’s puzzle – loved some of the clues (17a, 26a, 4d), but didn’t like others (1d, 6d, 20d). As I admitted yesterday, I’m a pedant, and I don’t really think grass and meadow are synonymous. Had to look up 13a and 3d as never heard of either, but wordplay did give the answers. Last one in was 18d – was convinced it began with ‘over’…
    So, thanks to Jay for the challenge and to P&P for the review.

    1. I agree that grass/meadow is a bit weak but it’s near enough for me to live with. Not my favourite clue but it’s good enough in other ways that I would defend my original comment that ‘there isn’t a poor clue in this puzzle’.
      3d, see lots of other comments. I think it works well so long as you’ve come across the term before.
      13a, As a fellow pedant I’m not sure that ‘particle’ is a fair definition here but again it’s near enough and nobody else has picked this up.

  21. Off to the quiz now. Back later to see if the After Eighters are around.
    Wish me luck as the brain has faded today but at least we have reinforcements tonight as a couple of friends are here on holiday!

  22. 22d was a puzzle for me and I would be grateful for views. “Soup” suggested to me this was an anagram of tureen and I gave the answer as “tenure” – meaning period.

    I actually think this works better than the actual answer!

    Views please!!

    1. Others have thought the same – see posts above – but to be honest that construction never even occurred to me!

  23. Very poor effort for me today! I definitely needed BD inspiration at the mid-point. I couldn’t see 17a at all and blind-sided myself with b*******er for 16d – lazy reading. I am partly blaming my cold for a fuddled head. Enjoyed 7d

    In three weeks of crosswording this has been my worst week so far!! Does it get better?

    1. Yes Matt M – it definitely just gets better and better. The more you try and the more you read this blog the better it gets. Good Luck! As Mary would say ” keep perservating” – this is ‘blogese’ for persevering!
      Do hope that the cold gets better soon – you can’t do a crossword with a thick head!

    2. Absolutely it gets lots better!
      A year or so aga I was in the CC (or nearly) and now I’m blogging! How’s that for an endorsement for this blog!

  24. In art, the Golden Mean is the exact place in a painting to which the eye goes – it can be worked out mathematically, and one teacher demonstrated this, but that was quite beyond me! However, if you stand in front of a great painting and know the maths, you will find that is the focal point of the image.
    To-day’s lesson over! Having said that, I still needed the hints to resolve the clue as didn’t understand it, even though I knew it was an anagram! Had difficulty with top half – finished bottom half quite quickly – que sera! Thanks to Pommers – needed him to-day.

    1. Oh dear – for the umpteenth time today I feel really dim!! :sad: all this completely defeats me!!

      1. It defeats me as well! Everyone on this blog seems so clever! Try the Pete & Dud link above! Dud came from Dagenham, Essex!

        1. This is an approximation so I hope all these educated folk won’t shoot me down in flames.
          If you look at a lot of the great paintings you’ll find the focal points are 1/3 of the way down or up vertically and also 1/3 of the way across. These positions are somehow pleasing to the eye, don’t know why really but it’s true.

  25. Sorry to be back so late but we won the quiz and stopped off at friend’s house for celebratory drinkie on the way home – amazing what a bit of reinforcement can do for a team!

  26. Very much enjoyed today’s puzzle – all went in pretty quickly too, well, all except 3d – I didn’t even realise I was looking at an anagram-type clue, let alone figure out the answer.

    Still fun tho’! :)

  27. Excellent puzzle today – thanks to Jay. Got a bit stuck in top left corner as for some reason we started off with the answer SALAD DAYS to 11ac, but once we’d got that right it all fell into place. Loved 17ac and 4d. My husband Ian and I live on a narrowboat and don’t get the paper first thing, so we always do the previous day’s puzzle over our porridge! Can you tell us how many setters the DT has, and how you know which one of them has set each day’s puzzle? I do know that Roger Squires does the Monday puzzle, as I’ve been in correspondence with him. And does the setter of the cryptic also set the Quick Crossword?

    1. Carmen

      I have met eight of them and know of at least another four. Three of them are in most weeks and the others share the remaining three days.

      1. So how do you know which one of them is setting the puzzle. Is it the style that gives you the clue or do you have insider knowledge? :-)

        1. With some of the setters, it is possible to recognise their style, but quite often the setter posts comments on this site claiming ownership on the day of the puzzle.
          At present there is a regular setter for 4 days of the week, and for the other 3 days, a regular setter alternates on a weekly basis with another, or mystery setter.
          At present:
          M – Rufus
          T – Shamus/Mystery setter
          W – Jay
          T – RayT/Mystery setter
          F – Giovanni
          S – Cephas/Mystery setter
          S – Virgilius

        2. Apart from the days which tend to have only one setter, it is, as you say, the style. We have achieved a lot of success in identifying Shamus, Ray T and Cephas, although this is helped by them usually being on alternate Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays respectively.

  28. Fell asleep doing this puzzle last night so finished it this morning.
    I liked 11a, 17a, 26a, 2d, 3d & 4d.
    Very interesting comments from Nestorious re square root 5 in comment 23.

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