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DT 26591

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26591

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hello from the Vega Baja. A pleasant, and not too hard, offering this week from our Wednesday Wizard. I seem to have used quite a bit of blue highlighter on this one so I’ve given it 4* for enjoyment.

Don’t expect too many comments from me this afternoon – I’ll be watching the tennis!

As usual my favourites 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.   Outlet for a target surrounded by ships (4,6)
{FLEA MARKET} – This is an outlet where you might buy old or used articles, curios and antiques. Take A (from the clue) and a target, of a swindle perhaps (4), and around it (surrounded by) place a word for a large number of ships.

6a.    Beat record after a touch of finesse (4)
{FLOG} – F (touch of Finesse) followed by (after) a record or diary gives a word meaning beat or thrash.

10a.    Fat police informer gets time for name (5)
{STOUT} – Definition is fat, as in slightly overweight. Take a slang term for a police informer and change the N to a T (Time for Name).  How many of you are old enough to remember the Toucan ads?

11a.    Too enthusiastically concerning love in poet (9)
{OVERBOARD} – A word for being too enthusiastic is made up of a word for concerning (4) followed by a poet (a word used to describe Shakespeare perhaps) with O (love) inserted.

12a.    Words to score for party animal making a comeback (8)
{LIBRETTO} – These words to a musical score are made up of the abbreviation for a political party followed by an aquatic mammal reversed (making a comeback).

13a.    Extremist constrained by powerful tradition (5)
{ULTRA} – An extremist is hidden in (constrained by) powerfUL TRAdition.

15a.    House with that morning after feeling? Not good (7)
{HANOVER} – This is a royal house of which Victoria was the last monarch. Take a word for the morning after feeling (after drinking too much the night before) and remove the G (not Good).

17a.    Model and former politician drowning in beer (7)
{EXAMPLE} – Definition is model. Take the usual word for former, as in former spouse (2), a word for beer (3) and insert (drowning in) a politician.

19a.    Unauthorised act ordered by savage (7)
(WILDCAT} – A word for savage or uncontrolled followed by an anagram (ordered) of ACT gives a word meaning unauthorised, industrial action perhaps.

21a.    Pair outside happening to stop (7)
{PREVENT} – P(ai)R (outside) and a word for a ‘happening’ gives a word meaning to stop.

22a.    Show hesitation seeing own source of regret (5)
{HAVER} – A word meaning to show hesitation is made up of a word for to own and R (source of Regret).  How many of you, like me, spent some time trying to do something with ER or UM for the hesitation?

24a.    Talk of money and father’s sweet (8)
{LOLLIPOP} – A ‘sounds like’ (talk of) clue. Take some letters (5) which aren’t a real word but would be pronounced the same way as a slang term for money and follow with an affectionate term for father (3) to get a type of sweet much favoured by Kojak.

27a.    Hang on — the movie’s a wrap! (9)
{CLINGFILM} – This stuff that you might use to wrap food is a charade of a word for to hang on and a word for a movie.

28a.    During races, there’s little noise from bird (5)
{TWEET} – Insert (during) the Scottish word for little into the famous motorbike races in the Isle of Man to get the sound of a bird.

29a.    Just a little run! (4)
{DASH} – Double definition. A word for a little bit is also a word for run or hurry.

30a.    Old film track — one needing treatment (10)
{PSYCHOPATH} – This person, who definitely needs treatment, is a charade of an old Hitchcock movie and a word for a track.


1d.    Go without food, being tight (4)
{FAST} – Double definition. A word for to go without food (during Lent perhaps) is also a word for tight in the sense of stuck.

2d.    Too menial to get worked up! (9)
{EMOTIONAL} – A word meaning worked up is an anagram of TOO MENIAL. The anagram indicated by ‘worked up’ is also the definition – a nice semi all in one.

3d.    Drive shaft finally found in dock (5)
{MOTOR} – A word which can mean to drive is T (shafT finally) inserted (found in) a word for to dock or tie up a boat. Finally found an excuse for a car!

4d.    Early creature — so retro after a fashion (7)
{ROOSTER} – A creature which will wake you up early in the morning is an anagram (fashion) of SO RETRO. There was one of these living on a farm near my house in the UK. It took about 2 years of living there before I was able to sleep though the noise!

5d.    Stye — or carbuncle? (7)
{EYESORE} – A sort of double definition. Carbuncle in the sense that Prince Charles famously described the proposed Sainsbury Wing extension to the National Gallery in London and a stye in the visual organ could both be described as this.

7d.    Inclined to rely on time (5)
{LEANT} – A word for inclined or tilted is a word for to rely on followed by T(ime).

8d.    People with responsibility for issue spot danger in ruins (10)
{GODPARENTS} – These people, who are responsible for the spiritual well-being of children (issue), are an anagram (in ruins) of SPOT DANGER. Don’t know about you guys but I haven’t seen mine since I was about 5! Probably explains a lot!

9d.    Stubborn old boy scheduled to capture traitor (8)
{OBDURATE} – The abbreviation for Old Boy, a word for scheduled (3) with a traitor (3) inserted (to capture) gives a word meaning obstinate.

14d.    Think what cows do (4,3,3)
{CHEW THE CUD} – Double definition. What cows do to help digest their food is also a colloquial phrase for thinking something over.

16d.    Vehicle entering where lines exit community church property (8)
{VICARAGE} – The answer is a house owned by the church. You need to think of a small rural community (a largish hamlet perhaps) and replace the two L’s with a vehicle (entering where lines exit).

18d.    Strange events mean phone is out of order (9)
{PHENOMENA} – These strange events are an anagram (out of order) of MEAN PHONE.

20d.    Agrees links should cover everybody (7)
{TALLIES} – Take some links or tethers (4) and place them round (should cover) the usual 3 letter word for everyone to get a word meaning agrees or corresponds with.

21d.    Argument from the forces of law, mainly recruiting English males (7)
{POLEMIC} – To get this word for argument take the forces of law and order & remove the last letter (mainly) then insert (recruiting) E(nglish) M(ales).

23d.    Life support vessels (5)
{VEINS} – A cryptic definition of vessels which carry blood around the body.

25d.    Opening bars is popular with half of troops (5)
{INTRO} – The opening bars of a piece of music are the usual word for fashionable (2) followed by TRO(ops) (half of troops)

26d.    Ache, spelling out third letter after mislaying first (4)
{ITCH} – This is an ache in the sense of a yearning or yen for something. You need to take the third letter of acHe and then spell it and then remove the first letter (mislaying first). Hope that made sense, I’ve had several attempts at explaining that one and I think this is the best I can come up with!

As usual some of these are much harder to hint than to solve and this week I’ve been struggling to find suitable illustrations.!
I like all the ones in blue but favourite is 5d.

The Quick crossword pun: {Walter} + {rink} + {Hans} = {watering cans}

42 comments on “DT 26591

  1. Excellent puzzle today, just right for a Wednesday, not too tricky, but not overly easy and some good cluing too. I particularly enjoyed 1A, 15A, 27A, 9D, 16D 21D and my favourite today was 30A (took a bit of thinking about that one, especially with the checking letters – I think they made it more difficult).

  2. Thanks for the fine review pommer – your favourites are pretty well mine with 2d and 27a being excellent favourites. Once again this was a game of two halves – the acrfoss clues yielded very little, the downs came in thick and fast and ultimately it was a very quick solve but still packed with quality. Many thanks Jay!

  3. Very fine puzzle today, some clues made me smile such as 24a but the best for me were 27a and 30a. Many thx to todays setter and as always thx to you guys for the blog.

  4. A fun, gentle puzzle; Nothing too tricky today, although I momentarily had ‘free’ for the first word of 1a, until I realised that I could not get ships into the wordplay! Fav clue 10a.
    Thanks to Jay, and Pommers.

    1. I put that in too and rejected it for exactly the same reason ‘What’s that got to do with SHIPS???? D’Oh !!!!’

  5. Thoroughly enjoyed this. Favourites 1a 27a and 30a. I did fall for the trap in 22a with er and um for a while until the penny drop moment. Fine review Pommers and thanks to Jay.

  6. Favourites were 22a and 21d. 14d left me a smidgeon displeased. Colloquially, the phrase is more used to refer to talking than thinking. Indeed, thinking might have little to do with it. :)

    1. I would disagree on the 14d assessment personally. Chew the FAT is to argue the toss or gossip, Chew the CUD is quite literally ruminate which is a thought process. Chambers backs this up but my understanding was the same.

        1. I wrote the right answer in to this one, and then couldn’t do ANY of the across clues that came off it, and wondered if I’d got it wrong.

          Until I stopped trying to put “er” into 22a, and then it all started to unlock.

  7. A very nice Jay puzzle today, thank you to him. Like Gnomey, I did initially have more success with the downs, and then worked my way back up from bottom to top of the across clues. My favourite was 27a, although there are, as Pommers points out, lots of other good clues too. Thanks to Pommers for the hints.

    The Shamus Toughie puts up a bit of a fight to start with but, with quite a bit of lateral thinking soon falls into place. The themed crosswords in the Guardian and FT are good too.

      1. I didn’t know until gnomey told me recently that Brendan is another pseudonym for Brian Greer – Virgilius on Sundays in the Telegraph, and one of my favourite setters (apart from Jay of course!).

        1. For all you who might wonder – the excellent ‘Best for Puzzles’ site (a link is kindly provided on the right of this page) has a very good section on ‘Who’s Who’.

          1. It also offers a daily ‘coffee break cryptic’ which would get about 1* difficulty from me but is usually an enjoyable interlude as it uses all the common cryptic tricks but is pretty easy. Good for getting the brain into gear over the morning cup of tea!

  8. Been out of action & off crosswords recently but am back, and getting the brain working again. Great puzzle and thanks to setter & reviewer.

    Now to watch Murray!

  9. Either I’m deteriorating Pommers or you are improving but I think that 2 *’s is a bit generous, or mean, depending on how you look at it

    1. Hi Collywobbles
      It may be me getting better I suppose! I’ve blogged about a dozen of Jay’s puzzles now and I think I may be getting to know how his mind works! For example, he nearly always includes a substitution clue, which was a type I was always slow to spot. Today we have 2 and I got them both immediately (10a and 16d).

      1. I am with Pommers on the 2* difficulty for this week’s Jay based on my solving time. I have been known to take a bit longer than today to solve his crosswords, particularly on the occasional Wednesdays when I was in the reviewing hot seat :)

      2. Hi Pommers, yes those substitution clues are good, I got 16d ok but 10a was my last one in.

        1. Collywobbles, a substitution clue is where a word in the wordplay is defined then a letter (or short word) must be substituted to lead to the definition. Pommers has identified the two above and explained them well so best take a look.

          1. Tks Gnomey, but I want to try to finish without looking at Pommers hints and then only resort to them as a last resort so as to improve my xword skills

            1. Hi Collywobbles
              A phrase in a clue such as ‘energy for Romeo’ would mean substitute an E(nergy) for R(omeo) in a word indicated by another part of the wordplay to get the word indicated by the definition. 10a is a fairly straightforward example.

              1. Blimey Pommers, that’s a bit complicated for my simple mind but thanks for the explanation

                1. Once you get the hang of it it’s not too bad, and can produce some very good clues.
                  Take 10a today. OK, you have to spot what’s going on but then it is really quite good and very fair. The clue splits into 3 parts:
                  Fat = definition/answer
                  Police informer – think of a slang term for an informer or grass
                  gets time for name = substitution indicator, In the police informer swap the N for a T and, hey presto, you have a word meaning fat.
                  Watch out for indicators like ‘this for that’ and ‘enters where something leaves’.as in today’s examples.
                  You’ll nearly always get one on a Wednesday, as I’ve realised since blogging, but otherwise they aren’t all that common outside of Toughies.

  10. Nice puzzle today, thanks to the setter, and to Pommers for explaining the two answers I got but couldn’t justify (26d (horrible clue) and 16d- I was imagining that “viage” being a journey was where lines leave……. or something……)

    Favourite clues were 5d, and 4d, into which I confidently started to write “tortoise” until I got to the “e” and there was no room for it!

    1. Hi Lostboy
      I quite liked 26d – it was trying to explain it which was ‘horrible’!

  11. Another enjoyable and well-balanced puzzle. Made very good progress until I screeched to a halt at 30a. Had to get out and kick the tyres for a mo until the doh moment arrived. Clues were straightforward enough though nearly misled by the meaning of outside in 21a. Liked 27a in particular. I’m off now to not watch the tennis. Thanks all.

  12. Good puzzle today, thanks to the setter, and to Pommers for the review & hints.

    Managed this fairly comfortably, got a bit stuck in the NW corner, but got there in the end.
    Got 26d and12a without knowing why :-) Thanks to Pommers for the explanations.
    Favourites were 1a, 10a & 27a.

  13. Very enjoyable was this although 26d (the last to go in) was a tad clumsy. 1a was nice. I completed it on the Circle Line, east bound at Aldgate.

    District Line tomorrow so who knows!

  14. G’night all. Been a hard day! What with blogging, a bit of gardening in the heat and then about 6 hours of tennis I’m about done in so off to bed now. At least Andy Murray won but what happened to Federer? At 2 sets up I thought it was going to be a formality!
    See you again tomorrow, especially if it’s a RayT!

    1. YES – the thought of a Ray t tomorrow has instantly cheered me up!! :grin: Do so hope that I get the time to look, let alone do it!

  15. Very late tonight – yet another tricky day with my Mum so didn’t even look at crossword until about 5.30pm – always throws me out if I don’t try to do it after first dog walk with lots more coffee and toast! I thought it was a very nice and reasonably easy one but couldn’t explain my answer for 16d until I read the hints (thanks Pommers) and, although I got the answer to to 26d, I still don’t understand it. Too late now, and too tired, to worry about it any more. :sad: Really liked lots of these, including 1, 12, 15, and 24a and 23d. Joint favourites for me today were 27 and 30a. With thanks to Jay and to Pommers.
    Sleep well all.

  16. Like others I thought the across clues a little more taxing- my fav were 27a & 11a. I put *o*** for 22a and wasted time trying to work out why… Duh !

  17. A friend and I tackled this together and finished it! First cryptic crossword I have ever finished :D

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