DT 26650 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26650

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26650

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

What with the horrible weather outside and the ongoing frustrations of CluedUp inside it’s not been a very happy morning. However I was cheered up by this enjoyable puzzle (when I eventually got it). Let us know your thoughts in a comment.
If you’re still baffled after reading a hint, try highlighting the space between the brackets under the clue to reveal the answer.

Across Clues

1a  Earth perhaps flat? Theory, initially (6)
{PLANET} – a synonym for flat or level is followed by the initial letter of T(heory) to make what Earth is an example of.

5a  Gossip caused by jazz fan bringing in couple (8)
{CHITCHAT} – a slang term for a jazz fan goes round (bringing in) a verb to couple (to attach a trailer to a car, for example).

9a  Call number back, then ring versatile musician (3-3,4)
{ONE-MAN BAND} – a verb meaning to call or identify is followed by the abbreviation of number, then this is all reversed (back) and followed by a ring or hoop.

10a  Daughter getting drink on house (4)
{DRUM} – a slang word for a house comes from D(aughter) followed by an alcoholic drink. I spent some time trying to find out the derivation of the use of this word for house (some think it is rhyming slang for place from “**** and bass” but that has been discounted and other suggestions are not very persuasive). If you have any ideas I’d be very interested.

11a  Disease of bony part of leg, leg broken by son (8)
{SHINGLES} – a painful disease is made from the long bony bit in your leg followed by an anagram (broken) of LEG and S(on).

12a  Pub’s bill for wine (6)
{BARSAC} – this is a sweet white wine from France. It comes from a synonym for pub, the ‘S from the clue and the abbreviation for bill or account.

13a  Worthless people, hundred in total (4)
{SCUM} – insert the Roman numeral for a hundred in a total.

15a  General’s reserve that’s easy to understand (4,4)
{OPEN BOOK} – a synonym for general, in the sense of public or unrestricted, is followed by a verb meaning to reserve to make something that is proverbially easy to read or understand.

18a  One set of workers responsible for article, kind of fishy, in Daily Telegraph? (3,5)
{DAY SHIFT} – this set of workers is formed from an indefinite article and an anagram (kind) of FISHY all inside the abbreviation of the D(aily) T(elegraph).

19a  Couple by river bank (4)
{TIER} – a verb meaning to couple (in the same sense as it was used in 5a) is followed by R(iver) to make a bank (of seats, say).

21a  Bishop, during a trial, is taking the most optimistic view (2,4)
{AT BEST} – put the abbreviation for bishop (from the chess board) inside A and a trial to make a phrase meaning assuming the most favourable outcome.

23a  The man’s taken round Leeds, unfortunately paying no attention (8)
{HEEDLESS} – a pronoun for “the man” and the associated ‘S contain (taken round) an anagram (unfortunately) of LEEDS.

25a  Badly behaved child runs into club (4)
{BRAT} – put the abbreviation used for runs in cricket inside a club or racquet.

26a  Plump boy’s petition (5,5)
{ROUND ROBIN} – cryptic definition of a petition with no way of determining who was the first to sign it.

27a  Prank? Get away without notice (8)
{ESCAPADE} – a verb to get away or flee contains an abbreviated notice to make an exciting adventure (which may take the form of a prank).

28a  Channel close to Viking, say (6)
{GUTTER} – I’m not sure which channel is being described in the surface because the Viking sea area (as you’d expect) is adjacent to Norway. Start with the last letter (close) of (Vikin)G and add a verb meaning to say to make a channel or shallow trough.

Down Clues

2d  Adult leaving to start to produce a meal (5)
{LUNCH} – a verb meaning to instigate or start has its A(dult) taken out to produce a meal.

3d  Awfully mean celebrities — say who they are (4,5)
{NAME NAMES} – this is a phrase meaning to be explicit (say who the guilty parties are, for example). Start with an anagram (awfully) of MEAN and add a synonym of celebrities.

4d  Fish under bit of thick seaweed (6)
{TANGLE} – a word for coarse seaweed comes from putting a verb to fish after (under, in a down clue) a bit of T(hick).

5d  Talks with audience about value of a stately home (10,5)
{CHATSWORTH HOUSE} – the stately home of the Duke of Devonshire (which of course, this being Britain, is situated in Derbyshire) is built from a synonym for talks and the audience in a theatre surrounding a synonym for value.

6d  Owing gratitude? Yes, but heartless inside (8)
{INDEBTED} – insert B(u)T without its middle letter (heartless) into another word for yes or certainly.

7d  Some graced a rowan tree (5)
{CEDAR} – hidden (some) in the clue is a tree associated with Lebanon.

8d  Misled about cave better than the others (1,3,5)
{A CUT ABOVE} – a phrase meaning better than the others is an anagram (misled) of ABOUT CAVE.

14d  Novelist’s rent on island (9)
{CHARTERIS} – there are two candidates for this. It could be referring to the Scottish novelist Hugo, or it might be Leslie who wrote lots of books about The Saint (televised with Roger Moore’s eyebrow in the starring role). In either case it’s a verb to rent (a plane or ship, for example) followed by (on, in a down clue) one of the abbreviations for island.

16d  Lose one’s nerve in container at sea? (6,3)
{BOTTLE OUT} – a glass container for liquids is followed by an adverb meaning away from land or at sea to make an informal phrasal verb meaning to lose one’s nerve.

17d  Girl falls in station (8)
{VICTORIA} – triple definition. Here’s a picture specially for The Chairman.

20d  Jack aged so unexpectedly (3,3)
{SEA DOG} – Jack is one of the many informal terms for a sailor as is this anagram (unexpectedly) of AGED SO.

22d  Additional citation court ignored (5)
{EXTRA} – start with a short passage or citation taken from a larger work and remove (ignored) the abbreviation of court to leave an adjective meaning additional.

24d  Clip tail of frigate bird (5)
{SNIPE} – a verb to clip is followed by the last letter (tail) of (frigat)E to make a wading bird.

I liked 1a, 5a and 3d today but my favourite clue was 5d. Let us know what you liked in a comment.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {HIGH} + {DRAW} + {LICK} = {HYDRAULIC}

79 comments on “DT 26650

  1. Good morning Gazza, I really liked this one today, it took me quite a while to get going but I managed to finish without your hints and the minimum of ‘help’, lots of clues I liked 5a, 11a, 26a 27a 5d, 20d to name but a few, my favourite Tuesday crossword for a while another horrible day here in West Wales but its not raining at the moment so I guess we are lucky :-)

  2. Another fun puzzle today – nearly managed to take my mind off the weather. Well, OK, it would have taken my mind off the weather except I kept hearing the weather reminding me it was still there. Again, no real stand-out clues for me today, just good, all round fun.

  3. This is ridiculous. It’s 12.15 and I still can’t get onto the site. I want my money back. On the good side, however, it’s sizzlinlyg hot.

        1. There’s nothing to complain about the weather, it’s this d*** crossword. I have been trying since 10.00 to get on and we don’t have newspapers here

          1. My attempt to log into the DT site was easy and straightforward. Perhaps the difficulty may be caused by where you live!

      1. I went on the main DT site & used “Contact Us” (which I am doing on a daily basis now.) It’s not easily accessible but there again there’s probably a reason….

        I’m waiting for a plague of locusts to be used as the next excuse or possibly a visitation of the Four Dread Horsemen of the Apocralypse….

      2. telegraphenquiries@telegraph.co.uk


        Telegraph Enquiries
        Victory House
        Meeting House Lane
        ME4 4TT


        0800 316 6977

        Not sure how if it makes any difference as they now seem to ignore me entirely! Sometimes messages are left on the ‘message’ section of the clued up site if you click on’my account’ at the top right of the screen…..presuming you can get on! I also continue to struggle to get on!!!! BUt I did enjoy this crossword when I got there!

      3. You could try mailing Phil McNeill [Phil.McNeill@telegraph.co.uk] – he’s the ‘puzzles editor’ and I know he reads this site sometimes, so he must be aware of the problems we’ve all been having. Took ages to get on today!! I definitely think we all deserve a refund/discount.

        Anyway, enjoyable puzzle one I finally got there. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review – I was wondering about 10a too…

  4. I found this one fairly straightforward, although I was stuck on 14d for a while.
    Thanks to setter, and to Gazza.

    The only reference I can find online for 10a is (copied from a forum):
    ‘years ago burglars used to go down roads knocking on doors until they came to empty house the distictive sound of a empty house gave name to this activity and it was called drumming and over many years a house became a drum’.

    1. Jezza,
      I did find that but I wasn’t persuaded. If burglars went down a street knocking on every door wouldn’t they soon be chased off?

      1. It is a practice that is going on even today… these days they are called Anglian Windows, and they still get chased off! :)

      2. I found one explaination but don’t know if it’s serious or not! it comes from cavemen times when the roofs of their homes were made from the hide of a tyranosuarus stretched really tightly and to send messages to other neighbours they would beat out a message on the roof, this became their ‘drum’ house, the more I think about them capturing a T Rex the more I find it a bit hard to believe :-D

      3. On the other hand it could simply be Drum House near Edingburgh which was built by John Milnes :-) see I can do serious too

          1. It’s generally agreed that the use of drum for house predates the phrase Drum & Bass. The best explanation that I’ve found comes from a site called Word Detective which says:
            The Oxford English Dictionary seems to think that this usage is derived in some mysterious fashion from the musical instrument sense of “drum,” dating to the 16th century and derived from the German “trommel.” But the eminent etymologist of slang Eric Partridge felt that this 19th century slang use of “drum” to mean “home” probably came from the Romany word “drom,” meaning “road” (possibly derived from the Greek “dromos”). A slang sense of “drum” as “road” did indeed appear in early 19th century England, and the “home” sense was probably an outgrowth of this usage. The Romany origin of “drum” also makes sense, as Romany was the language of the Gypsies who played an important role in the underworld of 19th century London.

            1. Our 1949 edition of Chambers doesn’t have ‘house’ under the defniition of drum so presumably it came after that.

              1. Eric Partridge’s Dictionary of Slang dates its use to mean road or street from around 1840 and reckons that it was used to mean house before 1859.

    2. I believe “drum” comes from “beat” as in my patch, such a police officer would have. A bit contorted but it sort of works.

  5. For the first time in several days I’ve had no trouble finishing the crossword – the only one that caused a slight hiccough was 10a – didn’t know the house bit. I liked lots of these – 5 and 11a and 3, 14 and 17d. Best of all, for me anyway, was 5d. With thanks to the setter (? who) and Gazza.
    Done crossword – done ironing – and it’s STILL pouring with rain plus a howling gale! Looks as if I may have to do some housework …. :sad:

        1. My wife believes she has come across “Drum” being used in the Regency novels by Georgette Heyer.

      1. Kath – I’ve taken a look & unless you’re brave I would don the Marigolds & do bit of light dusting… trust me

          1. Thanks all – somewhat conflicting advice here – now I REALLY don’t know what to do – have to say that the trip to Tesco is currently (as usual) right at the bottom of the heap!! Will probably have a sneaky look at toughie a bit later – if I can do more than four or five clues may perservate. Going for “swim” up the garden to pick spinach now – serious risk of drowning!!

              1. Outnumbered! I’ve managed to print it off (let joy be unconfined) so I can give it a go later when I’ve finished this bloody Power Point Presentation.

  6. After a slow start I worked my way steadily through this and thoroughly enjoyed it. 10a used to be fairly common among older east Londoners but we don’t hear it in Naaarfik. You have to be of a certain age for 14d to spring to mind, as it did for me. I liked 13a (the clue and to drink) but 5d was the corker – I’ll think of this whenever I go there. Thanks to the setter and the retriever.

  7. 26a came to me very quickly as the answer was in a general knowledge crossword recently, but does anyone know when a round robin became a boring missive as opposed to a petition.

  8. Managed to finish in one session, for a change. Was scheduled to play golf but, fortunately, my two partners were equally unenthusiastic about getting drenched and blown to bits, so found myself with unexected spare time! I could have done the ironing – like Kath! – but didn’t!! Got stuck with “up beat” for 21a for too long, which didn’t help 14d! But penny dropped eventually. Most enjoyable.

    1. Eventually thee pennies droped around 11pm. Funnily enough when I worked out the name for 14d, Leslie also sprang to mind. A very distant memory, i think.

    1. One thing to remember is to use the reply button to keep posts in the same thread together (as I’ve done here), otherwise you’re doing fine.

  9. Oh dear. I seem to be in a tiny minority in not enjoying this. I completed it in good time, but just felt that there was something clumsy about the clues and I didn’t have any ah-ha moments at all.

  10. Didn’t Iike this one at all. Found it very difficult, just couldn’t get on the setters wavelength and when I got an an answer such as 28a, thought is was a bit daft. No favourites today, far too tricky for that. Thx to Gazza for the clues without which I most certainly would not have finished.

  11. I got on to Telegraph Puzzles at about 8 am with no trouble at all. Somtimes I can’t get on but if I click on the link to the Toughie setters page from my ‘favourites’ bar, I can then access the site from there. Very odd but worth knowing.

    I had no trouble solving this Tuesday crptic either and like Gazza my favourite is 5d. Thanks to him and the Tuesday mysteron.

  12. I appear to be in the minority here in finding this one quite hard and not so enjoyable. Too many proper names! 12a and 14d were possible from the wordplay, but I’ve never heard of either of them. Didn’t think much of 10a either.
    Sorry to have a moan, as the majority seem to have enjoyed it, maybe it’s just me and the wet weather.

    I’ll have 6d as a favourite.

    Thank you to the Setter and to Gazza for the review (very helpful to check some of the wordplay today).


  13. Enjoying getting back into cryptics, and into the blog again.

    Did have to use the hints quite a lot but that’s ok, and I liked 5d, 11a and 13a.

  14. Last week I hit the “Free Trial” button and entered the site immediately, from where I was able to log in. Does that tell you anything about DT priorities?

  15. Thanks to the setter & Gazza, thoroughly enjoyed this one, I was a bit slow getting started, but it all fell into place. Clues were very well written. Favourites were 5d & 26a.

  16. Had to look up 12a after a disappointing rummage through the drinks cabinet. Thanks for the help with 19a. Back to the drinks cabinet now. Cheers!

  17. Look how late it is…….
    Is there anybody there?

    Any road up, two comments only.
    1. My name is Robin, and I am overweight. So I really don’t appreciate 26a. :-(
    2. I’m surprised nobody has mentioned “The Broken Drum”, (later “The Mended Drum”) in Terry Pratchett.

    Toodle- Pip!!

  18. After a bit of random googling I found a UK regional seas map. The channel being descibed in the surface of 28a could be the faeroe shetland channel which is near the Viking area.

  19. 10a yet another possibility?! wordreference.com says “use of the word drum for a house comes from Romany word meaning road”.

  20. DRUM = HOUSE

    In the old bill we would spin a drum on a W.
    “Drumming” is knocking on a door (in the days of knockers) to establish if the occupants were at home.
    The burglar would choose from a list of potential targets not go door to door.

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