DT 26573 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26573

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26573

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja where there are too many mossies!  One has been feasting on my right ankle while I was doing today’s puzzle!

More Wednesday wizardry today from Jay(?).  Did the midnight solve again but haven’t got the grumpy head on so it must be good, at least I enjoyed it a lot, hope you guys do as well. Couple of tricky ones, as usual, but overall not too difficult so only 2* difficulty from me.  After 10 weeks blogging Jay’s puzzles I think I must be getting on the right wavelength.  I’ll be interested in your thoughts.

As usual the ones I liked best are in blue and if you want to see the answer highlight the space between the curly brackets.
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.


2a. Advantageous situation for European with attitude (4,8)
{POLE POSITION} – Take a European, from the country just to the right of Germany on a map, and a word for attitude or stance and you’ll get the most advantageous position on a motor race starting grid. Sorry ladies but this just has to be a picture! At least with me you know you’re going to get one so it’s best to get it out of the way on the first clue!

8a. TV doctor given a directive to stop, (4)
{WHOA} – The most famous TV doctor (William Hartnell was the first) followed by A (from the clue) gives a command to stop, often to a horse. They never seemed to listen to me! Pommette used to say “show it who’s boss”, to which I would reply “It knows who’s boss and it ain’t me”!

9a. Sources of noise from wildcats crossing a river (8)
{LARYNXES} – Take some cats (with tufted ears), which still live wild in Spain, and place them around (crossing) A and R(iver) to get the part of our bodies where our voices come from. Remember the clue is in the plural.

10a. Save lift for transport from gala (8)
{FESTIVAL} – A gala or big party is an anagram (for transport) of SAVE LIFT.

11a. Porterhouse perhaps admitting right run of luck? (6)
{STREAK} – A porterhouse is an example of this. Insert (admitting) R(ight) and you’ll get a run of luck, as in a lucky ******.

12a. Rebukes salesman, as chore goes wrong (10)
{REPROACHES} – A word for rebukes is the common abbreviation for salesman (3) followed by an anagram (goes wrong) of AS CHORE.

13a. Teetotallers finally interrupting consumer’s celebration (6)
{EASTER} – A religious celebration held in March/April is a word for a consumer with S (teetotallerS finally) inserted (interrupting).

16a. Peaks are mainly pasture (5)
{BROWS} – Pasture here is a verb. Take off the final letter of a synonym (mainly) to leave a word meaning peaks or tops of hills.

17a. A spent force in Spain? (6)
{PESETA} – 35 years ago when I first visited Spain this was a spending force. Now it’s a spent force because it’s been replaced by the dreaded Euro!

18a. Lacking water, they add red to brew (10)
{DEHYDRATED} – A word meaning lacking water is an anagram (to brew) of THEY ADD RED.

21a. Language used to reject writer with a brief lie (6)
{NEPALI} – Definition is language (of a Himalayan country). Take a ‘writer ‘and reverse it (to reject), followed by A and LI (brief LI(e))

23a. Things left for new workers after cutting remark by fifty per cent? (8)
{REMNANTS} – These things left over are a charade of REM (REMark cut by 50%), N(ew) and the usual workers.

24a. State to go red in America anticipates a party (8)
{COLORADO} – Take a verb meaning ‘to go red’ or blush and give it it’s American spelling. Follow with A and the usual party and you’ll get an American state in the SW of the USA.

25a. Hope to finish before eleven — time to leave (4)
{EXIT} – E (hopE to finish), XI( eleven in Roman numerals) and T(ime) gives a word for leave.

26a. Cancelled most of them — log unofficially (3,3,6)
{OFF THE RECORD} – A phrase for something done unofficially is constructed from a word for cancelled, as in ‘not on’, THE (most of THE(m)) and a word for a log or journal.


1d. Knock off article covering one case of vice (6)
{THIEVE} – A term for steal (knock off ) is a charade of a definite article, I(one) and VE (case of VicE).

2d. What ruminants need is perhaps a spare gut (9)
{PASTURAGE} – What you need to keep your cows fed is an anagram (perhaps) of A SPARE GUT. I thought ruminants already had about 4 stomachs so hardly need a spare!

3d. Left a box on first-class return from country (6)
{LATVIA} – L(eft), A, the ‘box’ in the lounge where you watch Eastenders (2), and the usual abbreviation for first class reversed(return) gives a country in NE Europe which was once part of the USSR.

4d. Doctor too repellent, huh? I don’t believe you! (4,3,5,3)
{PULL THE OTHER ONE} – A phrase meaning ‘I don’t believe you’ is an anagram (doctor) of TOO REPELLENT HUH.

5d. Locks after Schubert’s opening strains (8)
{STRESSES} – Another word for locks, as in hair, placed after S(after Schubert’s opening) gives a synonym for strains.

6d. Compare notes on the way back, revealing application (5)
{TONER} –This application for the skin is hidden (revealing) in compaRE NOTes but it’s backwards (on the way back). I’ve no doubt the ladies will sort me out on this one as they did Shamus yesterday!

7d. Has an obligation to accommodate Vera’s cows (8)
{OVERAWES} – The definition here is ‘cows’, as in bullies. Take a word for having an obligation, or being in debt, and insert VERA (to accommodate). My favourite clue!

14d. Kept apart, even in sitting (9)
{SEPARATED} – A word for even, as in expected (think golf), inserted (in) a word for sitting gives another word meaning kept apart.

15d. Flower we harvested for beastly character (8)
{WEREWOLF} – This beastly character of horror films is an anagram (harvested) of FLOWER WE. New anagram indicator for me but I think it works – just about!

16d. Change bed again, causing some banter (8)
{BADINAGE} – Another word for banter is an anagram (change) of BED AGAIN. Nice to see this word without reference to being old or senile!

19d. Cape benefactor finishes early, crossing motorway (6)
{DOMINO} – This is a hood or cape worn by the Canons of a cathedral. Take a word for benefactor or giver and remove the last letter (finishes early) and insert (crosses) the major motorway from London to Leeds (or thereabouts – please don’t get too pedantic about this!). New meaning of this word for me but a very fair clue makes it accessible. Gazza – learning from you about pictures!

20d. Result in English and Latin is poor (6)
{ENTAIL} – Take E(nglish) and an anagram (is poor) of latin to get a word that might mean ‘result in’. Not my favourite definition but someone will no doubt put me right!

22d. Accept trouble with physical training (5)
{ADOPT} – A word for accept, or take on board, is a charade of the usual crosswordland word for trouble (3) and the abbreviation for physical training (2) – can’t say fairer than that!

Favourite has to be 7d for its excellent surface – Vera’s cows! Lots of good clues so really not fair to highlight any.
I know you will all say “If you don’t like the heat, get out of the kitchen” but some of these are much harder to hint than they are to solve. Blogging is more of a challenge than the crossword – and I love it!

Today’s Quickie Pun: {MEATY } + {YORICK } = { METEORIC}

43 comments on “DT 26573

  1. All very enjoyable – solved over a full English breakfast in the hotel – now back on the train to the office. Many thanks to Jay for the fun and Pommers for the review.

  2. Most of this went in quickly with a couple to think about. Last one in for me was 16a.
    Thanks to Jay, and to Pommers.

  3. I like 17a and 7d best. 16a stumped me at first cos I did not know that pasture could be a verb.

  4. A very quick solve until 16a. I cheated and took Pommers hint. Enjoyably easier xword after quite a few trickier ones. Thanks again.

    1. Oh, beangrinder, taking a hint isn’t cheating. We all need help from time to time. Think of it as part of the learning process. :-)

  5. Oh dear, the changes! I’ m not at all happy as it was so much more straightforward before. Anyway, this puzzle was a great relief to me after yesterday’s. So many thanks to Jay, and to Pommers for the explanations. The pictures are always well-chosen, but I wonder what the one of the couple on the beach has to do with 19d. I enjoyed the anagram at 4d very much, but agree that Vera’s cows win the day.

  6. Is it just me, or are the crosswords getting easier as the week progresses? I didn’t particularly enjoy Mondays, Tuesday was a lot better and today’s was a delight, not to tricky but with a nice smoothness to clues. Couple of very good clues here (16A, 18A,14D) but my favourite today is 9A (even if I did keep trying to think LION).

  7. 16a was my last in as well and I’ll stick myhand up to Skempie’s Lion as well (althought I was pretty sure there is no such bird as a LIONE). Another very good Wednesday puzzle.
    Thanks to Jay and to Pommers for the review – I thought of Ms Seymour at 19d!.

  8. Oh joy – what a delight today’s was! Faith in myself restored after some of the ones earlier this week. I particularly liked 24a. Thank you setter and Pommers for the beautifully illustrated review (especially 19d)

  9. This was one of those crosswords where everything went in quite quickly so I had to read it again to see what I thought of it! A very enjoyable Wednesday puzzle, thanks to Jay. My favourite was Vera’s cows too. Thanks to Pommers for the hints and pics – as you say, solving is one thing, hinting is quite another.

    The Toughie puts up a little fight or two today but is worth the battle.

  10. Afternoon all!
    Just to let you know why I liked 7d the best, apart from its fine surface reading and well concealed definition.
    Last night while solving the puzzle I was wearing a T shirt with a picture of Jack Duckworth reading the Racing Post – the caption says “This sounds like a dead cert – Vera’s Nag!”.
    Sad, I know but I won the T shirt in a quiz and apart from the picture it’s a very fine garment!

    1. He’s still got it on now! Erm methinks it needs a wash – except my washing maching went to meet it’s maker on Sunday.
      Franny – I’m with you, don’t like the WordPress changes and actually doing the set up was a nightmare. It doesn’t quite work the same

  11. Not too tricky although a few held me up for a while. Like some others I couldn’t get beyond ‘lions’ being the wildcats in 9a. Have never heard of ‘pasture’ as a verb in 16a. 3d – ALWAYS forget about a ‘box’ being a ‘TV’. Was thinking of the wrong kind of ‘cows’ with 7d. Couldn’t explain 14d for some time – the answer was fairly obvious but I kept trying to make it an anagram since we had ‘apart’ in the clue but got there in the end. Have never heard of Pommer’s floozie on the beach being a cape and, like Franny, didn’t see what the picture clue had to do with the answer until I hovered over the picture. Really liked 17 and 24a and 4 and 7d. Thanks to Jay and Pommers.

  12. Straightforward but reasonably enjoyable crossword from Jay and a lovely review from Pommers, thanks to both.

  13. Finished but with one mistake – had ONERATES for 7 down, but now I have seen the explanation can see the udder option

      1. Thanks for the warm welcome, have been visiting frequently before, but thought it would be nice to join in

    1. With a name like that you must have been a teenager in the seventies. I remember hating my best friend at the time as he had the first Joe 90 gun I ever saw. A hero for all of us who had to wear glasses at the time.Joe 90 that is not my erstwhile best friend.

      On the other hand you may just be called Joe and be 90 years old or live at No. 90. If so then ’nuff respect bro’ as they say in the ‘hood!

  14. Hi Pommers and thanks for an entertaining review, agree todays puzzle was a nice refreshing change, with some degree of confidence in solving abilities being restored :-) last in was16a and I must admit the only thing I could come up with was ‘boobs’ ! sorry folks, :-)

    1. Hi Mary, glad that wasn’t the answer! Can’t imagine the picture I might have come up with, well, actually I can, but BD would probably have censored it!

  15. Thanks to Pommers and Jay. Enjoyed this, found it fairly easy for a change. Favourite clues were 9 and 24, which I got, and 7 which defeated me :-)

  16. Having now looked at the hints, I understood the picture reference for 19d (Miss Derval in Thunderball, played by Claudine Auger if memory serves).

    The problem I have is with the concept of “pass the cursor over the picture” … this doesn’t work on an iPhone. Neither does highlighting the (‘greyed-out’) answer. iPhone users will need to highlight it, copy it, and paste it into ‘Notes’ or the search bar of Safari to see it.

    1. Indeed it is Dominique Derval (Domino) who was Dominetta Vitali in the book! Why the change I’ve no idea!
      Good memory, she was played by Claudine Auger in Thunderball and also by Kim Bassinger in Never Say Never Again, where she was again re-named Domino Petachi for some reason.

        1. And what a part she played! – Live and let die gets my vote for the best Bond film.

          1. My goodness you’ve opened a can of worms there Jezza. In my opinion RM was the worst Bond ever. Best is a toss up between Sean and Daniel Craig. It’s nice to get back to a proper gritty Bond. Best Bond movie is a draw between Dr No and the new Casino Royale.

            1. I agree that Roger Moore was not the best Bond – my favourite was probably Sean Connery. However, out of all the films, the one I come back to is Live and Let Die. I’m sure we all have our own personal favourite. :)

              1. Indeed we do. I didn’t dislike Live and Let Die. Some of the stunts were good and I liked Sheriff J.W. Pepper (hope I remembered that correctly) and of course Jane simpered beautifully throughout. The trouble is all of the Bond films with RM in them had Roger Moore in them. Unfortunately, nudge nudge, wink wink, and a raised eyebrow does not a James Bond make. Then there’s Pierce Brosnan. Not bad but a bit too smooth (just).

                Anyway, this has nothing to do with crosswords. So, apologies to BD et al for hijacking.

          2. My favourites are Sean Connery and From Russia with Love, if only for the splendid Rosa Klebb! Can’t remember who played her but she was a great villain!

  17. Just like almost everyone else 16a was last in. In fact it took almost as much time as the rest put together. It appears that everything hes changed. For a long time Monday was just a giveaway, but for the past couple of weeks it’s been a bit of a pig. Today is what I used to expect of a Monday. All that being said it was a very enjoyable romp. So, thanks to Jay and you Pommers for a most enjoyable review.

    I’m not on twit er or any of this other new fangled rot. Oi don’t loike it, but I don’t suppose we can make it go away.

    Cheers me dears from a currently not raining cotswolds.

  18. What a fine day!
    First a great crossword to blog, an amusing Quickie pun and both Andy and Rafa won. Then, to cap it all, pommette and I won the quiz!! Good job as we were running out of vodka!

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