DT 26627 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26627

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26627

Hints and tips by Falcon

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Today we have the usual enjoyable offering from Jay – one that I thought tended toward the less difficult end of the scale.

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.


7a Coming from the East, sailor is absorbed in marine books (7)
{ATLASES} – “Coming from the East” indicates that the clue is a reversal. In fact, the entire wordplay must be reversed. Put one of the common terms for sailor (one reflecting the briny nature of the ocean) inside (is absorbed in) an adjective meaning marine (or a noun meaning ocean) and reverse the lot to get books that aid in navigation.

8a A record spinner with a French court auxiliary (7)
{ADJUNCT} – a charade of A + a short term for someone who plays records + a French indefinite article + the way Court might appear on a street sign produces something which is attached or added to something else but not an essential part of it.

10a Serve cornmeal to the rich and famous seen here (5,5)
{MONTE CARLO} – an anagram (serve) of CORNMEAL TO gives the name of the principal city in a principality on the Mediterranean where the rich and famous were recently seen at a royal wedding (I somehow doubt that cornmeal was on the menu!).

11a Having nothing on except for start of exams (4)
{BARE} – a charade of a preposition meaning except for plus the starting letter of E(xams) describes the way a naturist loves to be.

12a One wants to change something for a carpenter (5,3)
{TENON SAW} – an anagram (to change) of ONE WANTS is a small fine-toothed carpenter’s tool, used especially for cutting projections at the end of a piece of wood formed to fit into corresponding sockets in another piece.

14a Accepting family should wear label (6)
{TAKING} – a synonym for accepting or receiving is formed by placing one’s relatives inside a label.

15a A loser plans different devices to produce energy (5,6)
{SOLAR PANEL} – an anagram (different) of A LOSER PLANS can collect energy from the sun.

19a Calling for run? (6)
{CAREER} – While it may appear to be cricket on the surface, underneath we see that one’s calling or profession is also a swift or headlong course.

20a One seeking return from popular voters being reselected (8)
{INVESTOR} – Someone whose returns have dwindled as a result of recent stock market activity is created from a popular synonym for popular plus an anagram (being reselected) of VOTERS.

22a Part of planet motorists accept is going backwards (4)
{ASIA} – The largest and most populous part of the planet is formed from the abbreviated name of a British motorists’ organisation in which the word IS has been parked (accept) after reversing (going backwards).

23a So conical a shape must be infrequent (10)
{OCCASIONAL} – an adjective meaning happening irregularly and infrequently is an anagram (shape) of SO CONICAL A.

25a Running away to change sides is liberating (7)
{FREEING} – start with another way of saying running away, then change L(eft) to R(ight), and you will have created a word that means liberating.

26a Transmit direct (7)
{CONDUCT} – a word meaning to transmit (in particular, electricity) also means to direct an orchestra.


1d Peers’ dress under street lights (7)
{STROBES} – put the sort of garments that I presume are worn (or once were) in the British upper house after (under, it being a down clue) the abbreviation for street to get the sort of lights that were a standard fixture – together with mirror balls and smoke machines – in discos of the 70’s.

2d Creature with no lead makes a point (4)
{EAST} – remove the leading letter from a general term for an animal to obtain one of the four cardinal points of the compass.

3d Shows a response concerning laws (6)
{REACTS} – a verb meaning shows a response to a stimulus is also a charade of a common email subject intro denoting concerning or in reference to plus another term for laws.

4d Part of London where men do not change (8)
{EDMONTON} – this part of London is not only an anagram (change) of MEN DO NOT but has as a namesake the capital city of one of Canada’s prairie provinces.

5d Insensitive rows on the radio — idiots! (10)
{NUMBSKULLS} – this colloquial term for stupid people is a charade of an adjective meaning deprived of sensation plus a homophone (on the radio) of a synonym for rows (propels a boat).

6d Instrument from old estate, say, indicator not actually starting (7)
{OCARINA} – this charade of O(ld) + a class of vehicle (of which an estate is but one example) + the starting letters of I(ndicator) N(ot) A(actually) is, in reality, a small simple fluty-toned wind instrument that got its name because it looks like a goose.

9d Summit cost includes new heir (5,6)
{CROWN PRINCE} – by combining a word meaning a highest point of achievement, a summit or climax with a synonym for cost into which N(ew) has been inserted, we produce a male heir to the throne.

13d Sunblock that’s nearly ooze when spread (5,5)
{OZONE LAYER} – this stratospheric protection from the sun’s rays is an anagram (when spread) of NEARLY OOZE.

16d A disease might be thus carried by music (8)
{AIRBORNE} – an adjective used to describe a disease (on the basis of how the organisms causing it are transported) might – our setter playfully supposes – also mean “carried by music”.

17d Steam cleaned or sent back for an expert (7)
{MAESTRO} – an anagram (cleaned) of STEAM plus a reversal (sent back) of OR gives us someone who is regarded as being specially gifted in a specified art, especially a distinguished musical composer, conductor, performer or teacher.

18d The sort of language used in court? (7)
{ROMANCE} – Forget about law courts, royal courts or even tennis courts. Our setter drolly suggests that this family of languages descended from Vulgar Latin would be an apt choice for a swain to use in wooing a maiden.

21d The foresight to call round, lacking time before working (6)
{VISION} – starting with a word meaning go to see (someone or someplace) socially or professionally, we first remove T(ime) and then add a word meaning working or functioning. What we get is the ability to perceive what is likely, and plan wisely for it

24d Nothing demanded outside ultimately diminishes chances (4)
{ODDS} – to find these probabilities or likelihoods, we must form the sum of O (nothing) + the outside letters of D(emande)D + the ultimate letter of (diminishe)S.

As is often the case with Jay’s puzzles, this one contains lots of solid enjoyable clues with none really standing out remarkably when compared to the rest. There are a couple of clues with fairly tricky wordplay (25a and 24d, for instance). I also rather liked 10a and 16d, while I found 11a to be appealing. However, my favourite clue was 18d.

The Quick crossword pun: {coarse) + {ticks} + {odour} = {caustic soda}

56 comments on “DT 26627

  1. I didn’t think that this was quite as tough as a usual Jay until I got a huge mental block with 1a – I had tried everything cryptic ‘sailor’ I could think of but missed the right one for ages. Thanks to Jay as usual and to Falcon for the comprehensive review.

    The Dada Toughie didn’t take me long but is very enjoyable. Everyone should give it a go.

    1. Apparently according to an email to subscribers from the editor, there will still be outages so we are supposed to:

      If you are unlucky enough to be trying to log on during one of these periods, please wait 10 minutes then try again.

  2. Bit of a curates egg for me, loved 13a and 24a but hated 18d which i thought was just plain daft. Thx to Falcon esp for 7a, 22a and 6d which I would never have got except for the splendid clues.

    1. Brian, are we talking about the same crossword? (13a and 24a ).

      Is 18d plain daft – I thought it was quite clever – I thought of law courts, royal courts and tennis courts – then eventually the penny dropped.

  3. Brian,
    I also loved 13a and 24a ’cause they weren’t printed in my paper!!!! Joking apart I actually enjoyed 18d as one of the nicer clues. I thought things were straightforward today except for 7a which necessitated a tea interval away from the paper before the penny dropped.

        1. And me – just couldn’t do it. Eventually put in “steamer” for no good reason other than it fit with the letters that I had! :oops:

          1. As far as I’m concerned, it’s spelt “atlasses”, and I don’t care what Chambers or anybody else says. :-(

      1. Although I thought of putting in Atlases, I didn’t put it in ‘cos I couldn’t see it! and thought ‘an atlas isn’t a marine book!’ Duh!

          1. Nora

            The definition is books, not marine books. The misdirection is deliberate – never fall for the surface reading!

            SALT (sailor) inside SEA (as an adjective / marine) all reversed.

  4. Morning all, fairly straightforward one today, 13a and 9d were my favourites. 7a causes some head scratching

  5. Brian,
    I too loved 13a and 24a ’cause I didn’t have to solve them in my paper! Joking apart, I thought that 18d was one of the nicer clues. The Crossy today was straightforward apart from 7a which necessitated an extra tea break before the penny dropped!

  6. As often the case with computers my first comments disappeared from screen and so I tried again only to find that the first lot then magically reappear in recent comments! I didn’t even realise that the first lot had been posted! Love computers! It must be my unlucky day ’cause Xerses also seems to have a 13a together with Brian!

  7. Liked this – failed to spot the ‘reversal’ indicator in 7a, so needed the hint. Thanks to all involved today.

  8. Hi Falcon and thanks for the review/hints, without which I would not have got 7a, 8a or 18d! I still don’t quite see 18d, I see romance as a synonym for court (verb) is romance also an actual language or are we looking at a homophone indicator here, otherwise I just don’t get it :-( , apart from that, not a very easy one for me today at least 3* personally but on reading it over I wonder why!

    1. I looked this up Mary, Romance languages are derived from Latin amd include Italian French Spanish, Romanian, Catalan, Haitian Creole, Potuguese

    2. Hi Mary,

      To elaborate on Dickiedot’s observation, according to Wikipedia, “Romance languages are the continuation of Vulgar Latin, the popular sociolect of Latin spoken by soldiers, settlers and merchants of the Roman Empire, as distinguished from the Classical form of the language spoken by the Roman upper classes, the form in which the language was generally written.” The most widely spoken Romance languages are Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Romanian, and Catalan (in that order). Wikipedia also lists some twenty additional members of the family.

  9. Having finished the Crossy early you can tell that I’m at a loose end ’cause I’ve just been spending time looking over recent comment postings. How does DON 1991 manage to claim IT illiteracy when his postings are timed at 12.19 AM and 12.23 AM?

    1. Well Moose, that’s a very good question. However, I’m not entirely sure how my IT abilities are linked to the time of my postings! Perhaps you could elaborate because I’m confused.

  10. How come everyone enjoyed 13A??? Do people really enjoy clues that are not there or is it just a metaphysical thingummy that I’m missing?
    Also had a few problems with 7A, and it was a bit of a D’Oh moment when it clicked into place. Favorite for me today was 8A – its been some time since I’ve seen that word.

    Hoping work will be over nice and quickly today so I can hurry back to catch the cricket – things seem to be going OK so far (and they’ve only been playing 15 minutes!

      1. Find a synonym for sailor, a synonym for sea, then reverse both and put the first inside the second and get a synonym for books; get a life……

        1. 7a – last in for me, therefore, Clue of the Day. Nothing unfair in the clueing, methinks

          1. 7a – Also, a very nice surface reading – just noticed – I now tend to look for the wordplay before reading the clue in its entirety.

        2. Welcome to the world of cryptic crosswords!

          The clue reads beautifully, and the wordplay is exactly defined. The trickiest part of solving this one is finding the proper synonyms.

          For me, this is a very well-written clue indeed.

  11. About average for difficulty for me today – probably closer to 3*. Just couldn’t make sense of 7a at all – eventually put in wrong answer and got it sorted out when I read the hint. I liked 10, 15 and 25a and 1, 9 and 13d. Best of all 5d. There seem to be a lot of people around here today who are suffering from “numerical dyslexia” if there is any such thing!! With thanks to Jay and Falcon.

  12. Enjoyed this one so many thanks to Jay.
    Thanks for the review Falcon, I agree with your favourites and I thing 19a deserves a mention.
    If it were my blogging day we could have had a nice picture for 10a – Paddy Hopkirk in his Mini Cooper S in 1963 perhaps!

  13. Oh well, off to computer shop this afternoon to see if they can do anything with my netbook. Spilled a glass of wine on it last night – D’OH!!!!!!!! (It was nice wine too)!
    Won’t turn on this morning and just sits there making beeping sounds so I think it’s probably gone to meet it’s maker, R.I.P.
    Have to fire up the old Tosh as pommette probably won’t let me buy a new one and she’ll be wanting this laptop back soon!

    1. I once poured a cup of hot chocolate over my Nokia Communicator (an early smart phone.) It fizzed more than beeped…… but it was definitely a late parrot.

  14. Thanks to Jay for a nice gentle puzzle today, and to Falcon for the notes.
    My last in was 18d – I was trying to fit CT or Woo into the wordplay.

  15. Many thanks once more to Jay, a very enjoyable if untaxing crossword and to Falcon for an excellent review.

  16. I wonder how many putative looters are sat working through today’s DTel crossword whilst lsitening to Classic FM?


  17. 7a makes this just about a 3* for me. Utterly flummoxed on that one. I was trying all sorts, tar, ab, rm, ot, nt clearly to no avail. I had arrived at the point that it had taken longer than the rest of the puzzle put together. So I gave in, thanks for the hint Falcon. A couple of strange anagram indicators, ‘cleaned’ in 17d and ‘serve’ in 10a. My favourite was 8a which I thought was rather clever.
    Thanks too, to Jay

  18. Thanks to Jay and Falcon for the puzzle & the review+hints, I needed 4 of them and still couldn’t get 18 down even though I knew the type of “court”. I found this very difficult, my favourites were 7 & 25 across.

  19. Thanks Jay for a crossword that I managed to do without hints, even for the wordplay, which was nice. Last one in was 11a which I took ages to see for some strange reason, and I took a while to work out the wordplay of 25a, but got there in the end. And thanks for the review, Falcon, even though I didn’t need it.

  20. Enjoyed this one from Jay.
    Faves : 7a, 8a, 15a, 26a, 1d, 5d & 9d.

    Finally got the backlog of paperwork out of the way – it piles up when one is away from main home for 11weeks!

  21. Favourite clues were both 7a and 18d!
    Super stuff from Jay and a top notch and amusing review from Falcon – thanks to you too!

    1. Yes, Falcon’s reviews are always just as much worth reading as Jay’s puzzles are woth solving.

      Thanks to both.

  22. Thanks to Jay, Falcon and everyone who has posted on this one.

    I enjoyed this – and feel better about my inability to get 7a without taking a break … I’d like to also express my appreciation for 18d. Good, fair crossword (I thought 7a, when I’d looked at it properly, was hard but fair).

    Goodnight all.


  23. DON 1991,
    It’s me that’s confused (I think that they refer to it as ‘a senior moment’). In my work I’ve been using the 24 hour clock to such an extent that seeing times of 12.19 am and 12.23 am rang alarm bells in the brain. Automatic reaction was ‘how can you have a such a time in the morning?’ My auto pilot only recognised 00.19 and 00.23. It was only after the e-mail that I came to my senses! My mind was telling me that the technology was not matching things correctly! In light of this ‘faux pas’ then I’ll either re-enlist at primary school to learn to tell the time or I’ll request that the web site reverts to the 24 hour clock.

  24. Hi Moose,

    Senior moment understood. I went upstairs this morning and had to come back down to see if I could figure out why I went up in the first place! Anyhow, thanks for the explanation.


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