DT 26531 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26531

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26531

Hints and tips by pommers

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

Buenas Dias from a gloriously sunny Cheshire, I seem to have brought the Spanish weather with me!

Maybe it’s just me having an off day, after spending 7 hours driving here from the far end of Cornwall yesterday afternoon, but I’m not at all sure that this is a Jay puzzle. I certainly found it a lot trickier than recent Wednesdays and it doesn’t seem to me to have the usual flair we’ve come to expect from Jay. I’ll be interested to see what you guys think of it.

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 sort of flower hotelier gets worried about outside work (10)
{HELIOTROPE} – A sort of plant which turns its leaves towards the sun is an anagram (gets worried about) of HOTELIER placed around (outside) the usual abbreviation for work.

6a.  Raised dough with no agent, initially (4)
{BRED} – Take a word for something made from dough and remove the letter A (no Agent initially) to leave a word meaning raised, in the sense of raised a family.

9a.  Youth enrolled in opportunities programme (5)
{SPROG} – A colloquial term for a young person is hidden in opportunities programme. This term is used for first-formers at Manchester Grammar School, or at least it was in my day!

10a.  Quicker ways of getting spirits down? (5,4)
{SHORTCUTS} – The definition is ‘quicker ways’ as in quicker routes to somewhere. Take a term for a measure of spirits followed by a word for ‘to down’ in the sense of felling a tree. This was my last in and I’m not sure it really works, or maybe I’m missing something.

12a.  Major disturbance caused by arrangement of loan factoring (13)
{CONFLAGRATION} – There was one of these on the M1 last Friday and it certainly caused a major disturbance! It’s an anagram (arrangement) of LOAN FACTORING.

14a.  Main course directors (8)
{HELMSMEN} – ‘Main’ is an indication of a nautical clue and we have a cryptic definition of people who steer boats.

15a.  Weak celebration following poor exam grades (6)
{EFFETE} – A word meaning weak or degenerate is two poor exam grade (the second one was a fail when I were a lad) followed by a celebration often associated with the local church.

17a.  Lotions finally applied to carpet burns (6)
{ROASTS} – Take a word for carpet, in the sense of tell off, and add an S (lotionS finally) to get a word meaning burns or overheats.

19a.  Ignorant of nice changes incorporated into home (8)
{NESCIENT} – A home of a bird with an anagram (changes) of NICE inserted (incorporated) give a word meaning ‘ignorant’.  A rather obscure word which I’ve only ever come across in crosswords!

21a.  Definitive musical backed by writer (Italian) (13)
{AUTHORITATIVE} – A word for a writer followed by one of the abbreviations for Italian and a famous Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical reversed (backed) gives a synonym for ‘Definative’.

24a.  Constant pain regularly found in flying insects (9)
{INCESSANT} – The definition is ‘constant’. Take the alternate letters (regularly) from pAiN and insert them into an anagram (flying) of INSECTS.

25a.  Senseless talk from student ejected from party in Ireland (5)
{HOOEY} – Take an Irish or New Zealand term for a party and remove an L (student ejected) to get a colloquial term for senseless talk or drivel.

26a.  Appear to understand source of malevolence (4)
{SEEM} – A word meaning appear, in the sense of ‘you appear to be . . . ‘ is made up of a word for understand, or get the picture, followed by M, (source of Malevolence).

27a.  Money given to barristers for drinks (10)
{REFRESHERS} – A double definition of fees paid to barristers and a cool drinks on a hot afternoon.


1d.  English composer is heartless master of ceremonies (4)
{HOST} – This master of ceremonies is a famous English composer, of The Planets Suite, with the middle letter removed (heartless).

2d.  Poetic players in cradle oddly dismissed (7)
{LYRICAL} – A synonym for poetic comes from pLaY eRs In CrAdLe with the odd letters removed (oddly dismissed).

3d.  Speeches welcoming surprising gains for companies (13)
{ORGANISATIONS} – Take a word for speeches and insert (welcoming) and anagram (surprising) of GAINS to get a word for companies or confederations.

4d.  Determined to find the answer in ‘Scarlet’ (8)
{RESOLVED} – A word meaning ‘to find the answer’, especially to a crossword clue, inserted into another word for scarlet (3) gives a synonym for ‘determined’.

5d.  Fork right, absorbed by horrible stench (5)
{PRONG} – Take a colloquial term for a horrible stench and insert R(ight) to get a fork or, at least, a part of a fork.

7d.  Heavy defeat at home — begin expecting standard procedure (7)
{ROUTINE} – A standard or normal procedure is a charade of a heavy defeat, IN (at home) and E (begin Expecting).

8d.  Sterilises ruined cities and finds one is lost (10)
{DISINFECTS} – Another word for sterilises is an anagram (ruined) of CITIES and FINDS with an I removed (one is lost).

11d.  Where one might stop to trade illegally in lungs? (7,6)
{TRAFFIC LIGHTS} – Where you may have to stop your car is a word for trade illegally, in drugs perhaps, followed by another word for lungs.

13d. Women who do are fools to accept a date (10)
{CHARLADIES} – ‘Women who do’ is the cleverly concealed definition. Take one of the more uncommon terms for fools and insert (to accept) A and D(ate). I may be wrong here and the date to insert may be the 2 letter abbreviation for our current era.

16d.  Put off protecting prison vessel (8)
{DECANTER} – A word for ‘put off’ or discourage placed around (protecting) a colloquial term for prison gives the sort of container used for port wine.

18d.  Part 1 clearly incorporates a single clause (7)
{ARTICLE) – A clause in a contract, treaty or other formal agreement is hidden in pART 1 CLEarly if you change 1 to an I.

20d.  Sees mineral deposit as a blot on the landscape (7)
{EYESORE} – This blot on the landscape is a charade of a word for ‘sees’ (4) and a mineral deposit (3).

ARVE Error: need id and provider

22d.  That’s to cover magazine representation (5)
{IMAGE} – Place the usual abbreviation for that is (from the Latin id est) around (to cover) an abbreviation for magazine to get a representation or picture.

23d.  A positive response? Lots of them! (4)
{AYES} – A charade of A and the word you would use to reply positively to a questions gives the word for the positive votes in parliament.

No real favourites today but 11d raised a smile.

The Quick crossword pun: {wart} + {sarong} = {what’s wrong}

36 comments on “DT 26531

  1. The sun is definately getting to the Setters, another pleasant sunny offering on another pleasant sunny day.
    Thanks to Pommers and the Setter.

  2. Well, never heard of the answer to 27A in regard to barristers – perhaps its because I’ve never worked in law and never been in (that much) trouble.
    Apart from that, a very interesting puzzle and some tricky clues – worked out 11D quite easily, but had no idea why – had to check up on types of offal. Also never heard of 19A (although I’ve heard of other derivatives from it).
    Enjoyed 1A, 2D, 22D but today’s favourite has to be 21A – I really enjoyed this one (nearly in the same league as the classic Times clue GEGS (9,4)

  3. I thought this was quite tricky in places, and certainly more so than we come to expect on a Wednesday. That’s no bad thing though, and I enjoyed working my way through the puzzle.
    Thanks to setter, and to pommers for the review.

  4. A trickier puzzle today, with some more obscure words – 15a and 19a are two examples, but I’ve actually heard them both before. Needed your help Pommers for 10a. I couldn’t get “shoot outs” out of my mind and it was the only thing that seemed to fit; and 14a I needed to look at the answer, even though I had the sea in mind. Overall, some very clever clues. Back out to the garden now to enjoy the glorious sunshine. [hope it lasts over the Easter weekend] Thanks to setter and Pommers for the review

  5. I thought this was a great crossword – ‘doable’ (sorry to those of you who hate that word) but quite tricky in places too – much harder than the last couple of days. I liked 9a but, to me anyway, a ‘sprog’ is a baby or small child whereas a youth is a young adult. I had never heard of 19a and had put ‘innocent’ (in very light writing as it clearly wasn’t quite right) but getting 11d scotched that one! Didn’t know that ‘conflagration’ could be a major disturbance – thought it was a big fire. Also didn’t know the legal meaning of 27a. I loved 25a – an expression often used by my Dad, along with others like ‘poppycock’!
    Favourites today include 9 and 25a and 11 and 13d.
    Thanks to Jay (?) and Pommers. Back to the garden now – hardly dare to say this but we could do with some rain …

  6. A lot harder today. Some nice anagrams, I thought. I wondered whether the the spirits in 10a were being reduced in strength by being diluted or *** by the second word in the solution. Thanks to Jay for the workout and the Pommers collective for the hints and illustrations.

    As Shamus promised yesterday, the Toughie does put up a fight – Gnomey and I had 32 emails of mutual support, surprisingly without actually giving each other any hints before we both finished it!.

  7. Good puzzle, a little tougher than usual for a Wednesday, and none the worse for that.

    Thanks to the setter and Pommers.

    Who are the handsome couple pictured at 14A :?:

  8. Well done, Pommers,
    But if you go to Spain remember that dia is masculine even though it ends in ‘a’.
    Buenos dias !

    1. Hi Harport
      Quite correct!
      It’s one I always forget as the locals where I live pronounce it ‘Buena Dee’ but I’ve been told they have a very thick local accent. A Spaniard I know, who has lived in England, said to me once that it’s the equivalent of broad Geordie!

  9. Very enjoyable crossword and quite tricky in parts, my favourite clue was 11d. Thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

  10. Buenos dias Pommers. I’ve never come across 19a before, but will try to add it to my active vocabulary. Other than that, after a slow start, this puzzle seemed to flow fairly well.

    On the weather front, rain rain and more rain is forecast here in Spain, so you’ve not taken the weather with you! None yet today in Valencia, but we keep doing rain dances as we need it so badly.

    1. Hi Nora
      Looks like I brought the sunshine to the UK and the rain has moved in to fill the gap!!
      Weather here today is about the same as in Alicante last week – very warm and sunny! I’m beginning to think I should have brought my shorts!

  11. I think I must have had my ‘grumpy’ head on this morning after yesterday’s marathon! Last Wednesday it took just 5 hours door to door from Almoradi to Middlewich (about 1600 miles) and yesterday it took 7 hours from Truro (about 320 miles) – how does that work?
    Just re-read my own blog and decided that this is actually a very good puzzle. Nice mix of clues with a few tricky ones thrown in, so apologies to the setter, especially if it is Jay!

  12. Many thanks to the Pommers for the review – sometimes it just happens that the words lend themselves to trickier clues – the NESCIENT was a replacement for Tea Chest which appeared on Monday! (the only other word that fitted). Thanks to all for the comments.

    1. Jay,
      Thanks for explaining the reason why you used that word, I did wonder when I solved the crossword whether the choice of word was “monday” releated…

    2. Hi Jay, sorry again about the grumpiness. I really shouldn’t vent my annoyance at British traffic jams on the crossword setter – it’s nothing to do with you, unless it was you that caused the accident on the M6 just north of Birmingham yesterday!
      Actually, I didn’t mind NESCIENT as I came across the word a few months ago in (I think) a Grauniad xword.
      Just as a matter of interest, 13d, is it A and D(ate) or Anno Domini that was intended?

      1. It was intended as A +D(ate). Clue might have been more tricky if I’d put “our age” for the AD!

  13. Thie is either very difficult or I am not thinking (at all) cryptically, probably both!

    Have only done 3 clues, so am having to have a look at the hints and work from there.

    Suspect there will bw quite a few ‘Doh!’ moments!

    Thanks to seeter and to Pommers.

  14. I must have been on the right wavelength as I did not find this trickier than usual. All the usual smoothness. Many thanks to Jay and to Pommers for the review.

  15. Well I didn’t help ,myself by putting the wrong word in 27a on first run through. I put bartenders – still think it fits but obviously it held me up for ages on getting the second word of 11d. Don’t like that word for 19a – we’ve had it before (quite a while ago) and I forget it every timew!!

    Pommers – lovely review – excellent photo and pleased to see Pommette taking it easy! Enjoy your visit to UK – weather is supposed to get better for the weekend.

    Thanks for puzzle Jay

  16. My solving time means that I found this about standard for a Jay and another excellent puzzle. No reason for Prolixic not to know nescient!
    Thanks to Jay and to pommers. Just had a scorching round of golf and am enjoying my winnings – 3 pints!

  17. I was brought crashing back down to Earth after yesterday’s straight-forward crossword. I managed to get the top left corner done, and not a whole lot else before I had to come here to obtain the hints. Nonetheless, I enjoyed learning how the clues related to the answers that one day I’ll hopefully be experienced enough to solve without help!

    1. Keep reading this blog and before you know it you will be able to do all the crosswords – SO much help around here – even at weekends when there are no answers someone always replies to a plea for help – just keep going!

    2. Hi Andrew, totally agree with Kath, sometimes even with the answer and clue I still dont understand the construct, but if you ask there is always someone who will take the time to explain further, the best way to learn IMHO.

    1. I’m here, briefly, before hitting the pit. Just looked at the excellent Youtube link for ‘Blott on the Landscape’. First Class stuff!

  18. Got ours late, as usual (in France) but loved it!
    14A (Helmsmen) held us up somewhat as we toyed with Captains but particularly liked Nescient (new word), Authoratative, Disinfects (we are medics!) and Charladies.

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