DT 26581 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26581

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26581

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hola again from the Vega Baja – bet you didn’t expect to see me again this week! Gazza is unavailable this morning so I’ve taken up the reins for him.

I’ve never blogged anything other than a Wednesday Jay puzzle so this was an interesting experience. Giovanni has provided a splendid puzzle with some elegant and complicated clues but, thankfully, it’s nowhere near as hard as last week’s!

As usual the ones I like 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.


1a Criticise a church with a ‘miracle cure’ (7)
(PANACEA} –A word for a cure-all is a charade of another word for criticise, A (from the clue), the abbreviation for the Church of England and A (again from the clue). Nicely constructed clue without a wasted word.

5a Tribal chief as executioner? (7)
{HEADMAN} – Double definition, the ? indicating that it’s perhaps a little whacky. The head of a tribe might also be the guy that wields the axe at an execution.

9a Rose? No female to be put down (5)
{LOWER} –The ? indicates we need to think of something that a rose is an example of. Remove F(emale) to leave a word meaning put down or descend.

10a Cast characters with pride into hell (9)
{PERDITION} – A word for hell is an anagram (cast characters with) of PRIDE INTO.

11a Dishes of scouse prepared with salt mixed in (10)
{CASSOULETS} – These French bean and sausage stews are an anagram (prepared) of SCOUSE with the letters of SALT inserted, but in a different order (mixed in).

12a Dogs for instance will go back a short distance (4)
{STEP} – The longest journey starts with a single one of these! It’s a word for what dogs are an example of reversed (will go back).

14a A couple of million being sunk in financial problem? That could bring pain (12)
{INFLAMMATION} – Take a word for a financial problem (rising prices) and insert (being sunk in) A and two M’s. The result is a type of swelling that can certainly cause pain!

18a Protracted disunity that was once more common in primary schools (4,8)
{LONG DIVISION} – A mathematical process that’s being de-emphasised in primary schools is a word for protracted (4) followed by a word meaning disunity (8). I remember hating this as a child!

21a Odd bits of prose taking time — for one used to writing else? (4)
{POET} – Take the odd letters (odd bits) of PrOsE followed by T(ime) to get someone used to writing something else, other than prose, so it might take him time .  I can’t really see what the word ‘else’ brings to this clue, unless it has some obscure meaning that I’m unaware of!   Many thanks to Qix for pointing this out! This clue is cleverer than I first thought so I’ve put it in blue now I fully understand it!

22a One up in the air was endlessly stressed, troubled (10)
{STEWARDESS} – The proper word for a ‘Trolley Dolly’ on an aircraft is an anagram (troubled) of WA(s)(endlessly) and STRESSED. I think I’ve got that the right way round but it works as an anagram of WAS and (s)TRESSED as well!

25a Nasty teacher — ah, grief! (9)
{HEARTACHE} – This grief is an anagram (nasty) of TEACHER AH. Wish they were all that simple to explain!

26a Relation isn’t 100% fun, clearly (5)
{UNCLE} – A relation is hidden (isn’t 100%) in fUN CLEarly.

27a Old man passes away? More than one! (7)
{DADDIES} – If you split the answer (3,4) you have a phrase meaning your father (old man) passes away. As one word it’s the plural of a childish word for father.

28a Proposition from those people holding valuable material (7)
{THEOREM} – A proposition, often mathematical. Take a word for ‘those people’ and insert (holding) a valuable material from which you might extract a metal for example.


1d Bluebottles — insects sinking under river (6)
{POLICE} – The answer is what ‘bluebottles’ is a slang term for. It’s constructed from an Italian river (2) followed by some parasitic insects (4).

2d Fairly recent aspiration expressed in (say) Durham? (6)
{NEWISH} – The abbreviation for the area of the country where Durham is followed by an aspiration or hope gives a word meaning fairly recent. For the clue to work properly you need to look at the answer split (2,4) and you get a phrase for how you might describe a hope expressed in this area. This is one of those that’s a lot easier to solve than it is to explain! Hope the hint makes some sort of sense!

3d Dish served in bar once — and badly (10)
{CARBONNADE} – Another French casserole! It’s an anagram (badly) of BAR ONCE AND. Was Giovanni hungry when he compiled this puzzle?

4d Alarm has a friend stammering (5)
{APPAL} – A friend stammering could be written as f-friend. Take another word for friend and treat it the same way and place it after A (from the clue) to get a word meaning alarm.

5d This dream conjured up in a novel (4,5)
{HARD TIMES} – A Dickens novel is an anagram (conjured up) of THIS DREAM. I’ve tried to read this one about 3 times but get bogged down and give up after about 50 pages! A literary buff I am not!

6d A country’s former name mostly used in the bigger area around it (4)
{ASIA} – A followed by the old name for Thailand without its last letter (mostly) gives the continent where you’ll find Thailand.

7d Dominant volunteers in support (8)
{MAINTAIN} – A word meaning support, as in support a dependant perhaps, is a charade of a word for dominant (4), the usual vulunteers (2) and IN. I found this very tricky until I got the checkers, then the penny dropped with a clang probably heard in Madrid! I’d spent ages thinking that IN was a containment indictor and I was trying to insert the volunteers into a word for support to get ‘dominant’, D’oh!!!!!

8d One over the eight may fall in this activity at the pub? (8)
{NINEPINS} – Another name for skittles, as opposed to ten pin bowling. The whole clue is a cryptic definition of this game. Another one easy to solve but difficult to hint!

13d US city produces arts graduate almost coarse in style (5,5)
{BATON ROUGE} –Take another word for coarse (5) and remove its last letter (almost),then  insert it (in) into a word for style. Place that lot after the usual abbreviation for Bachelor of Arts and split the result (5,5) and, hey presto,  you get the capital of Louisiana.

15d Numbers will follow this rule book (9)
{LEVITICUS} – The third book of the Bible where you’ll find some laws and a Priestly code is followed by the book of Numbers. Very clever clue IMHO!

16d Old ships sadly not ‘Bristol fashion’? (8)
{SLIPSHOD} – A word for ‘not Bristol fashion’ or untidy is an anagram (sadly) of OLD SHIPS.

17d Wanted at home, daughter called on the way up (2,6)
{IN DEMAND} – Something wanted may be described as this. The first word is the usual one for at home (2). Follow it with D(aughter) and a word for called, as in titled, all reversed (on the way up in a down clue).

19d Wine put on vehicle in seaside resort (6)
{REDCAR} – The colour of the wine you might drink with 11a or 3d with a vehicle gives a seaside resort in NE England.

20d Greets Eastern revolutionary, showing respect (6)
{ESTEEM} – Take a word for greets and E(astern) and reverse the lot (revolutionary) to get a word for respect.

23d Crop beginning to wilt leading to barren area almost (5)
{WHEAT} – W (beginning to W(ilt)) followed by an uncultivated area of land (scrubland perhaps) without its last letter (almost) gives a cereal crop.

24d Case in one truck down under sent north (4)
{ETUI} – A small case that ladies use to carry sewing stuff is I (one) and an Australian term for a utility vehicle all reversed (going north in a down clue). Not seen this case in a crossword for quite a while – welcome back!

I like all the ones in blue but favourite has to be 1d !

The Quick crossword pun: {con} + {Dee} + {meant} = {condiment}

100 comments on “DT 26581

  1. Good morning Pommers, my your early. Finished in reasonable time today. 1d made me laugh and brought back memories (’nuff said). 11a and 3d making me hungry so off for a 2nd breakfast. Thanx to Compiler and of course to Pommers the ‘stand in’.

    1. Morning Wayne. Not all that early – we’re an hour ahead of BST here. At this time of year it’s best to get up early so you can get some things done before it gets too hot, 34C yesterday afternoon! Different story in Winter though when it’s best to stay in bed until the sun has had a chance to warm the place up a bit!

  2. Usual excellent fare from the Friday maestro, hard in parts but always fair. Thank you.

  3. Hi Pommers.

    In 21a the “else” means that the “one used to writing” is used to writing something other than prose.

    1. Hi Qix

      Guess you’re right about that but I think the clue would still work without it.

        1. It would, but I think that “else” makes the surface read much better. Writing “odd bits of prose” might well take some time if you’re more used to writing something else. Without “else”, the clue is saying that someone used to writing takes a long time to write, really.

          1. Yes thanks Qix, on looking at it again with your explaination that really does make sense :-) sometimes I am so glad to get the answer that I can’t ‘see’ any further and on other occasions I just look for too much in a clue, if that makes sense?

          2. I’ve updated the hint accordingly – some time ago but I forgot to tell you.

  4. Very enjoyable, thanks Pommers and Giovanni for lots of winter stews in salad season!

  5. Hola once aqain Pommers, from once again wet and windy West Wales, I enjoyed this as a whole but thought a few, at least as far as I was concerned, belonged in the toughie, took me ages to get 6d and 24d, dithered for ages on 26a, just not seeing what was ‘clearly’ in front of me! no real favourite clue and I had to use my ‘friends’ a lot, but did enjoy it, off now to buy thermal stuff for one of sons who is climbing Kilimanjero (bet thats spelt wrong) for cancer charity next week, think once he’s finished with it I’ll use it myself!! :-) good luck today everyone

  6. Excellant CW this morning no problems & no hints needed ,……still a bit of sunshine here in Northumberland but pretty chilly for June &expecting the rain to reach us this afternoon…a little of Pommers heat would be welcome!!
    Back to Toughie with the Coffee.

    1. You’re welcome to some of my heat. we have a little too much here and it’s only June! God alone knows what he’s got in store for us in August!

  7. Perhaps Giovanni hoped we would all get into a stew with this crossword! It was a good fun and fair offering from the Don today. Many thanks to him and to Pommers for the review.

  8. Lovely weather here today (NOT). Unfortunately it looks like they have the same problem down at the Rose Bowl, so another day watching waffle and repeats :-( Looks like I’ve no excuse not to do the ironing (only been sitting here for 3 days).

    Anyway, back to today’s puzzle and very enjoyable it was too. Really enjoyed 10A, and 15D. 11A and 3D quite cheered me up as I managed to spell them right first time (I’m not too good at spelling foreign). Favourite today has to be 1D as its years since I’ve heard that bit of slang (probably not heard it since the 60’s and really brings back memories of the Goons).

  9. Cassoulet, carbonnade – I’m getting quite hungry but I am finding this Xword quite difficult. Perhaps 4*s

    1. I am afraid, Pommers, that I am having to refer to your hints and answers quite a lot which iritates me but many thanks for your clarity and explanations. By the way, has somebody changed the structure of the blog?

      1. WordPress made the changes a couple of weeks ago. IMHO it was a case of ‘It ain’t broke so why fix it’!

        1. There is very little change here in the Languedoc and that’s the way I like it. Thanks for your clear explanations and additional extra comments

            1. Hi Mary. Sorry about my absence but I’ve been out in the sun for the past few days

  10. The NW corner held me up as in 11a OUTCLASSES is also an anagram of SCOUSE and SALT and is (roughly) the slang meaning of DISHES.

    1. I had that pencilled in at first but was never a 100% happy with it! Held me up for a bit on the downs too! I think it was getting 1d which showed me the error.

  11. After yesterdays this seemed like a piece of stew!!!! very enjoyable but couldn’t get 22a and 20d so thank you Pommers – I always enjoy your review :)

    1. The second word of the answer is D NAMED (Daughter called) all reversed. I’ve amended the hint.

      1. Thanks Pommers. It’s not really ‘on the way up’ is it. By the way, as frequent travellers on Ryanair Mrs Collywobbles and myself can confirm you comments about the stewardesses – they herd us like cattle and treat us like pigs. We long for an acceptable competitor

        1. Because it’s a down clue I think ‘on the way up’ is an OK reversal indicator – wouldn’t work in an across clue.

          You may have picked up, from comments on Weds and crypticsue’s comment below, that pommette is in the UK visiting the aged mother. Just €70 return on Jet2, Alicante to Manchester and back, which was a lot cheaper than Ryanair for a better service so perhaps a viable comptitor is emerging!
          Someone once described Ryanair as ‘The last resort of the desperate traveller’, a sentiment with which I heartily agree!

          1. If Jet2 come to the Languedoc I and Mrs Collywobbles will be their first customers – we are desperate

            1. That’s the problem isn’tit – not all airlines cover all routse so you have use what’s available. Fortunately for us the Alicante – Manchester route is about the busiest in Europe so we have a choice fromf loads of airlines! We just pick the cheapest flights and it’s not often Ryanair! in fact I’m quite willing to pay a tenner more to avoid them!

  12. Usual Friday fare from Giovanni – always takes me very slightly longer to do the Friday puzzle but it’s a very enjoyable experience. Thanks to him and to Pommers for the review – nice to see you are keeping out of mischief while Pommette is over here in the rain.

    The Toughie is very enjoyable too, so give it a go – do bear in mind that it is Friday :)

    1. THe Toughie is great today, although I didn’t find it all that tough.

      The Guardian has an excellent puzzle today, with one truly outstanding clue.

  13. Very enjoyable again today from Giovanni, although not too taxing. Last in for me was 14a which I found quite difficult until the last couple of crossing letters made it obvious. Liked 1a and 6d. Many thanks to setter and to Pommers for the review.

  14. Very enjoyable today! Last one in was 6d, found that quite hard.
    The weather here in the Marches is dull awaiting the forecasted deluge this afternoon!

      1. The deluge has just arrived here – spare a thought for the drowning Gnome – he’s playing golf all day in West Kent.

              1. AHEM!
                I was playing like a chump before the rain came down. Iplayed slightly better when it started raining.
                McIlroy must not choke again like he did at the Masters.

                Thank for asking!

                1. Indeed he mustn’t!

                  At least you didn’t have the ‘electrical activity’ which seems to have curtailed play today!

  15. A very enjoyable puzzle today but I felt personally that it only warranted 2 stars for difficulty. My favourite clue was 14a simply because it put a wry grin across my face! I am sorely tempted to print off the Toughie now but as I should be studying I’d better leave it till later. Many thanks to all the setters and reviewers for a very enjoyable week.

  16. Had trouble getting started on this today, but once I did start the rest followed fairly easily. One problem was that I don’t think I’ve ever heard that particular nickname for 1d before – from previous comments I’m guessing I’m not quite old enough! I also decided that 1a meant ‘criticise’ and it took me ages to realise that it didn’t. Favourites were 18a and 15d. Thanks to the Don, and to Pommers for the usual entertaining review.

    1. Hi Alison
      Perhaps you aren’t old enough for 1d! i think it comes from the 1960’s or possibly a lot earlier. I’ve heard the term but not for many years – there’s much ruder terms for these guys nowadays!

    2. PS. BD – any particular reason the header’s gone all Irish? Bit late for St Paddy’s day…

      1. Gone Irish??? What did I miss? Looks all the same to me here perhaps its the browser doing it.

          1. It’s probably my browser – we’re still on IE6 at work(!). I’ll have to have a look at home. I’ve also noticed that the pictures under the green banner are all very Christmassy – I’m guessing the rest of you aren’t getting that either…!

  17. Usual enjoyable fare from The Don – somewhat easier than generally!
    1a, 11a, 14a, 18a, 27a, 1d, 6d, 8d, 13d, 15d & 19d were my likes.

    Merci bien Giovanni et Pommers!
    Weather down here on the Côte d’Azur has become slightly damper today but the land needs a drop of water.

  18. Found to-day’s so much easier than yesterday!! I must be more on Giovanni’s wavelength than Jay T’s? Finished without the hints – but always read them just to check and to get some explanations for ones I “think” I’ve got but don’t always understand – i.e. 6d being an example, never gave a thought to Siam!! Thanks to Pommers for the excellent explanations and “interesting” illustrations! Once I’ve done the beastly shopping I might be brave enough to attempt the Toughie – perhaps? We’ll see!

      1. Ooops – sorry! A wee slip of the brain there – apologies to the two eminent compilers. But you’re right, Pommers, it could produce an interesting puzzle! (Send us some of your sun please – we have heating on AND a fire lit in the grate – grrrr!!!)

  19. As someone originally from the town in question, i take issue with the descritption ‘resort’… only appropriate in this case with the word ‘last’ as a prefix.

    I had nineball (pool) for 8 down which fits nearly as well i think (though usually hyphenated) and consequently made 12 and 14 last in. It also made me look for amm inside an anagram (problem) of financial… which nearly works!

    Usual friday quality, thanks to the Don and pommers for the review.

  20. Nice puzzle today.

    I spent some formative years in 19d- always nice to see it pop up!

      1. jests aside, lots of nice people there and i have happy memories… its just, well, not a holiday hotspot

  21. A lovely puzzle completed quite quickly for a Friday DT. The food clues were favourite for me. Just drying out now after the spoilt walk!

    Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle and Pimmers for the excellent review.

      1. Just off to the local to meet some friends for a pre-prandial. Don’t think they’ll have Pimms but I’ll ask – it’s that sort of day (33C in the shade)! Might have to be chilled Sangria instead!

        1. My little car and I have just swum home with the heater on in the car and I have just put on a sweatshirt over my work clothes. Definitely not 33 degrees and chilled sangria here – prawn curry and cold beer instead.

        2. Am looking out of the window at a torrential downpour wondering just when I will be able to walk the dogs who dislike the rain as much as I do. Slow cooker lamb shanks and bottle of red here.

      2. I would like to think so! Unfortunately the I is next to the O on the fat fingery iPhone.
        Note that I actually mixed those two up again!

  22. Nice puzzle today thanks Giovanni and Pommers, got 8d straightaway as I play in a local league here in Dover on a Sunday night, although we call it Skittle’s and the alley’s we play on are 15 meters long and made of concrete with a camber down the middle which makes it quite a skilful game especially after a few pints, but we do have a good time doing it, been playing it for 20 + years and still not got any better although got a few trophies during that time. :D

    1. Played Skittles tonight in a mixed team, (4 men & 4 Ladies) in a knockout competition we won by an alley (241-209).
      The drought is strong in the Dover we had to abandon the game and adjourn to the bar for 30 minutes due to torrential rain as the wooden skittles were floating away. :D

  23. Thanks to Pommers & Giovanni for a very enjoyable puzzle. I’d never heard of 13 & 15 down, still, live and learn. I got 24d, but I’d never heard of the Aussie utility vehicle either, very interesting.
    Favourite was 27a.

  24. Shock weather report from the far north coast….lovely all day! Not often we can triumph over the south ;-) Easier puzzle than usual for Friday but top quality. Thanks G&P.

  25. G’night all.

    Going to bed now as I’ve got an early start tomorrow and a busy day, including meeting for lunch with a friend with whom I shared a house for a year when at university. Haven’t seen the guy for about 30 years although we’ve had desultory contact via email – he’s been in Saudi Arabia since about 1985! Should be interesting if nothing else!

    Thanks to those who made nice comments about my blog and also thanks for all the other chatty comments, they made for some pleasant breaks from the ironing (the things I do for pommette in this heat!).

    Blogging again in a couple of weeks – I think it’s Falcon’s turn next Wednesday.

    1. Buenas noches! Señor!! As always a very entertaining Blog!!

      SE (England) weather report – drought over – beware of flooding!!

  26. On late shift tonight. Really enjoyed today’s offering, unlike yesterday’s toil. A good mix of clues for an average solver like me. Just as the back page should be IMHO. A 3* I think. Some were easy but gave a foothold for others. Of an age to like 18a&1d but fav was 15d. Thanks to all.

  27. I enjoyed this puzzle, and it took me quite a bit longer than the Toughie today.

    Some very good clues here, and nothing to complain about at all.

    Well done to pommers/PIMMERS for the blog; best of luck with the lunch.

  28. A nice crossword. I thought it was a little bit easier than normal for a Friday…

    Favourite clue was 27a

    Have a nice weekend everyone.


Comments are closed.