DT 26609 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26609

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26609


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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

This is Jeremy Mutch’s 500th Telegraph Crossword.
It’s not often that a back-page setter is identified, but Jay, as we know him, is given a name check in today’s newspaper.

Pommers is busy preparing his apartment for a client who is arriving today, but will be back in the hot seat next week.

Once again Jay produces a not-too-difficult but nonetheless enjoyable puzzle.

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    Beanbags for eccentrics? (8)
{NUTCASES} – bean is replaced by another name for a seed the head and bags by other containers to get these crazy eccentrics

6a    Fruit that comes in hands? (6)
{PAWPAW} – the fruit of the papaya tree is a slang word for a hand, repeated

9a    Foreigner who might make call during leave? (6)
{GRINGO} – an English-speaking person in Latin America is created by putting a word meaning to make a telephone call inside a verb meaning to leave

10a    A box should contain copper, that’s correct (8)
{ACCURATE} – put A and a box or packing case around the chemical symbol for copper to get a word meaning correct

11a    Exhausted wife has worried editor at university (6,2)
{WASHED UP} – a phrasal verb meaning exhausted is a charade of W(ife), an anagram (worried) of HAS, ED(itor) and a word meaning at university

12a    Right — nothing broken and enjoying good health (6)
{ROBUST} – a charade of R(ight), O (nothing) and a word meaning broken gives an adjective meaning enjoying good health

13a    Advisers might be civil and run copy off (5,7)
{PRIVY COUNCIL} – these advisers to Her Majesty are an anagram (off) of CIVIL and RUN COPY

16a    Gallic charm providing a superior finish (6,6)
{FRENCH POLISH} – combine synonyms for Gallic and charm or refinement to get a varnish which provides a superior finish for furniture

19a    Bribe to produce good results (3,3)
{PAY OFF} – a double definition – to bribe or to be successful

21a    They may trip tense oil workers (8)
{TRIGGERS} – these devices that start trains of actions are a charade of T(ense) and some oil workers

23a    Badges one gains in broadcast (8)
{INSIGNIA} – these badges are I (one) followed by an anagram (broadcast) of GAINS IN

24a    Each has a man on board (6)
{APIECE} – split this synonym for each as (1,5) and the result is A and a man on a chess board

25a    Expert covering return of last month’s grant (6)
{ACCEDE} – put an expert (3) around (covering) the last month of the year reversed (return) to get a verb meaning to grant

26a    Composition requiring delicacy — one’s eager to start (8)
{TREATISE} – a composition or essay is a charade of a delicacy, I’S (one’s) and the initial letter (start) of Eager


2d    Neutral ground, without time — incredible (6)
{UNREAL} – nothing to do with neutral grounds, but an anagram (ground) NEU(T)RAL without T(ime) that gives an adjective meaning incredible

3d    One goes round the horse, easy (5)
{CINCH} – not a container and contents clue, but simply a double definition – a saddle girth and something that is very easy

4d    Swimmer’s weapon suppressing troll (9)
{SWORDFISH} – this swimmer is a charade of a weapon over (suppressing) a verb meaning to troll by trailing a baited line along behind a boat

5d    How one may speak, being cunning, carrying stringed instrument (7)
{SHARPLY} – a woolly definition of being abrupt is a word meaning cunning placed around a large stringed instrument

6d    One in public relations has a trained horse (5)
{PACER} – put the card representing one inside Public Relations to get a horse trained for harness racing

7d    Labour judiciary toil here! (9)
{WORKBENCH} – a charade of a word meaning labour and an assembly of judges is a place for a craftsman to toil

8d    A strict order that accepts one is aesthetically pleasing (8)
{ARTISTIC} – put an anagram (order) of A STRICT around (accepts) I (one) to get an adjective meaning aesthetically pleasing

13d    Play for time, no map being wrong (9)
{PANTOMIME} – this type of play, particularly popular at Christmas, is an anagram (being wrong) of TIME NO MAP

14d    Start to speak about one mother’s ruin (9)
{ORIGINATE} – a verb meaning to start is created by putting a word meaning to speak around I (one) and that drink that is known as mother’s ruin

15d    Supply weapons to a good number, and bill for drink! (8)
{ARMAGNAC} – a charade of to supply weapons to (3), A, G(ood), N(umber) and a bill (2) gives a type of brandy

17d    Reveal players rejected (7)
{OUTCAST} – a charade of to reveal someone’s secret (3) and the players on stage gives a word meaning rejected

18d    Supports second-class careers (6)
{BRACES} – these supports are created from the letter representing second-class and a verb meaning careers or rushes

20d    Criminal might sit on it when indecisive (5)
{FENCE} – this criminal who receives stolen goods is also something to sit on when being indecisive

22d    Shine coming from good cotton (5)
{GLINT} – a shine or sparkle comes from G(ood) and raw cotton

Well done Jay – next stop 1,000!

The Quick crossword pun: {sane} + {tanned} + {rue} = {St Andrew}

55 comments on “DT 26609

  1. Thanks to Jay for another enjoyable puzzle. Congrats on reaching the 500th puzzle – keep them coming!

  2. Well done Jerry and congratulations, here’s to the next 500. Very enjoyable puzzle today, especially 6A (Go on, admit it, who tried BANANA like I did). Particularly also enjoyed 13A, 23A, 4D, 7D and 15D (but I always like this anyway). Favourite today was 9A.

    1. Guilty with the banana – and didn’t even have the wit to question it until that corner was SO obviously impossible with that answer.

        1. I was too slow to think banana.
          This was my last answer in, and I was very vlose to looking for a hint!

  3. Super crossword and a superb achievement – congratulations to Jay on the 500th appearance.

  4. Thx for an enjoyable (if a little more than 2 star for difficulty) puzzle. Congrats on reaching the big D.

  5. I’m half-way through and thoroughly enjoying this one. Again, congrats to Jay for providing us with so much pleasure

  6. Ditto x D to the above comments. Did Jay also provide the Quickie? I feel slightly short-changed – J,K,V,X & Z, but not a Q in sight – unless I’m 19a!

  7. Very nice crossword, thank you and congratulations to Jay. Thanks to BD for the review too.

    Everyone but everyone should have a go at the Toughie today – that’s all I am saying here.

    I am often astounded by what people don’t know but this morning’s experience beats all – Google is celebrating the 189th birthday of Mendel by the word Google being illustrated by pods of peas. Someone who should surely have known better was overheard to say “Oh, it’s Mendel’s 189th birthday – did he invent the pea or something?”

    1. I’m with you on the Toughie – A nice puzzle from Warbler that is accessible to all.

    2. Hi crypticsue, you’ve inspired me, I think I’ll give it a go.
      I did try the Micawber yesterday, but could only get 4 clues, hope to do better on Today’s toughie.

  8. A fun solve this morning. Many thanks for this Jay, and congratulations on your 500th DT crossword.

  9. Congratulations to Jay (aka JEM around here) on reaching this landmark with a typically high-quality puzzle.

  10. Oh dear! Completely screwed up the top right hand corner by putting “banana” in for 6a and then not even having the sense to doubt it until EVENTUALLY it became obvious that that corner was just not going to work at all! :oops: Apart from that I enjoyed this one. Perhaps a bit more than 2* for difficulty, for me, even if I hadn’t made that stupid mistake. I took a long time to work out what the anagram fodder was in 13d and thought to begin with that the definition was going to be “play for time”. Also took a while to get 13a. All in all not my best day for the crossword. I liked 9, 12 and 25a and 7, 15 and 20d. Thanks and congratulations to Jay and to Big Dave.

    1. You weren’t the only banana person – I will admit to it, as Skempie did above. Have a go at the Toughie – you may end up a happier bunny!

      1. Thanks for the encouragement – may have a go at the toughie later on – need all the morale boosting possible after the banana! My comments are playing silly games again – sitting in the box long after I’ve posted them. Clearly not my day today!

        1. I know what you mean but, after today’s effort with the back page puzzle, getting few answers in the toughie might do me good! Haven’t looked yet – busy in garden but it looks as if it’s going to rain (again) so may be forced inside.

  11. Congratulations to Jay on the achievement and thanks for a fine puzzle with plenty of superlative clues – did you save them up for today!. Thanks to BD for the review.

  12. Many thanks and congratulations to Jay for all his hard work and to BD for his.

  13. I liked 2d and 14d best. My first thought for 6a was banana but it did not seen cryptic so I looked at 6d to get the first letter.

  14. 1a. Not sure about “bean” and “nut” being interchangeable in the fruit & veg sense? I took it that “bean” can be a slang expression for head, as can “nut”.

  15. Congratulations Jay – a fine achievement and a fine puzzle to reach it with. Favourites were 2, 3, 7 & 14d. And thanks to BD for the review, although I actually didn’t need it today – managed to work out all the word-play on my own. :-)

  16. I nearly wrote in BANANA, but 6d obviously had to start with a P, so I twigged before putting pen to paper.

    Congratulations to Jay on his 500th. How many more years to the ‘K’?

    Back to listening to Cream. :)

    1. I like your taste in music AtH1900, Live at the Albert Hall 2005 is worth a listen, I remember turning down the chance of a ticket to their farewell concert at the Albert Hall when I was at school in the ’60s, why I did that, I’ll never know !!

  17. Congratulations to Jay on the big 500. I thought this was a very good puzzle with some very nice clues. Favourite was 13a but also liked 1a 6a 13d and 15d. Here’s to the next 500.

  18. Another enjoyable puzzle from Jay, many congratulations on 500.

    I enjoyed it all except for 1 across. I had the right answer but still not too happy with why!

  19. Another enjoyable offering from Jay and congratulations on your five hundred.
    Thanks also to Big Dave for the hints.

  20. I agree. Beans and nuts are two different things, so I don’t think the clue works too well. There were plenty of good ones, though, and I thought mostly this puzzle was extremely enjoyable. At 500, I expect he’s got the hang of it by now!

    1. Butting in here -and as Vince says above – beans and nuts are the same thing when applied to bonces……

  21. Many thanks to BD for the review, and to all for the kind comments – only another 5 years (God willing) till I get to the 1000!

  22. Congratulations, Jay, on reaching the 500 mark. And thanks for such a delightful and satisfactory puzzle. It has taken me most of the day and several dips into Chambers, but I never got discouraged, was never annoyed by the solutions and actually managed to complete it. There were so many excellent clues, especially 11 and 12a and 5, 14 and 17d, but my clue of the day was 1a. Many thanks to you, Jay, and of course to BD for the explanations — not that I needed them today. :-)

  23. Best wishes on this milestone day Jay. Good puzzle today, I was only beaten by 3d.

  24. Congratulations to jay for reaching 500, and for a super puzzle today, cheers to Big Dave for the revue.
    I did all but 24a, suspected it was about chess, but couldn’t see it, so used a crossword solver to get it, most frustrating.
    I didn’t have a Banana moment, because luckily I’d already got the down clues, otherwise I might have done.
    Favourites were 6a & 9a.

  25. my family kept horses for years and never came across cinch for girth!

    congrats to my favourite setter for the big 500, and thanks to bd for the blog.

  26. 500 puzzles! 10 years? Thanks for the Wednesday entertainment! Have you ever used the same clue more than once?

  27. Funny how the brain works.
    Most people thought “Bananas”, and I thought “Pony Nuts.” (Hands……. Ponies….. geddit?)
    (Wikipedia- “In the UK, extruded pellets designed for ponies are sometimes called “pony nuts.””)
    Luckily it didn’t fit, but imagine my bemusement when I got 6d and it started with a “P”. Which is probably why it was my last answer in.

  28. Belated congrats Jay, I too was tempted to have a banana but fortunately didn’t put it in and this was my favourite clue :-) unfortunately had internet problems yesterday and couldn’t post, I think I have gremlins in my computer this week! hope to post later as yet I have only done one in todays, looks difficult to me :-(

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