DT 26657 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26657

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26657

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja.  Maybe it’s just me having my grumpy head on this morning but I don’t feel this is Jay at his entertaining best. A pleasant enough puzzle though and not too taxing. I couldn’t find an excuse for a racing car so this week you’ve got a couple of aircraft as the friend that’s staying with us at the moment is an aviation nut!

The clues I like most are in blue and the answers can be seen by highlighting 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    Runs in puffed, having caught on (7)
{GRASPED} – The definition is ‘caught on’ in the sense of understood or got the picture. Take R(uns) and insert into a word meaning puffed, as in breathed heavily.

5a    The extent of wind around back of shed (7)
{BREADTH} –This extent or dimension is a very light wind placed around D (back of (she)D).

9a    A bit of appreciation, as always showing such sound quality (5)
{NASAL} – The sound quality of someone speaking through their nose is hidden in (a bit of) appreciatioN AS ALways

10a    Chief supports mother wearing corset (9)
{MAINSTAYS} – These chief supports, if split (2,2,5), form a phrase which could mean ‘mother in corset’.  They are also the chief support for the rig on a sailing ship and run from the foot of the foremast to the maintop as I’m sure our naval members already know! It’s also the NATO designation for the Russian AWACS aircraft.

11a    Recollect alarm in age of administration (10)
{MANAGERIAL} – An anagram (recollect) of ALARM IN AGE gives an adjective meaning ‘of administration’.

12a    Cut rolls on the way back (4)
{SNUB} – This word meaning cut is also some bread rolls backwards (on the way back).

14a    Educated person who’s trouble for a smart set (6,2,4)
{MASTER OF ARTS} – This person is very highly educated and we usually see only the abbreviation in crosswords. He’s also an anagram (trouble) of FOR A SMART SET.

18a    Rotten article — tape not for publication (3,3,6)
{OFF THE RECORD} – Something said but not intended for publication is made up of a word for rotten (3), a definite article, and a word which can mean ‘to tape’.

21a    Occasions to cut married links (4)
{TIES} – The definition here is links or joins together. Take a word for occasions and remove the letter M from the middle (cut Married).

22a    Deal with calls for brands (10)
{TRADENAMES} – A charade of a word for deal and a word meaning calls, in the sense of ‘gives a title to’, produces a word for brands or logos.

25a    Go in one and sit back suffering from this (9)
{ENTERITIS} – A nasty stomach ailment is made up of a word for ‘go in’, I (one) and TIS (sit back).

26a    Dread losing leader may be a mistake (5)
{ERROR} – Take a word for dread or great fear and remove the first letter (losing leader) to leave a word for a mistake.

27a    Less worried about total burdens (7)
{SADDLES} – An anagram (worried) of LESS placed around (about) a word meaning total or tot up gives a word meaning burdens.

28a    The quality of humour from heartless Yorkshireman in shift (7)
{DRYNESS} – A quality of humour which may or may not be associated with Yorkshiremen. Take YN (heartless Y(orkshireme)N) and place in a word meaning shift, as in lady’s clothing.  I seem to remember we had this lady’s clothing quite recently!


1d    Gone off setter? It’s the chromosomes! (6)
{GENOME} – An anagram (off) of GONE followed by how the setter might refer to himself gives a word for the order of genes in a set of chromosomes or the full genetic sequence of an organism. I think that’s right but I was a chemist, not a geneticist!

2d   Missing son adopted by a criminal (6)
{ABSENT} – Take S(on) and insert into (adopted by) A (from the clue) and an adjective meaning criminal or dishonest to get a word for missing.

3d    They reveal lies in old college charts (10)
{POLYGRAPHS} – Take an abbreviation for a type of college which no longer exists (they’ve all become universities) and a word for charts to get the machines which detect when someone is lying.

4d    Mostly chaste object (5)
{DEMUR} – The definition is object in the sense of disagree. Take a word for chaste or modest and remove the last letter (mostly).

5d    From car BBC air old curiosities (9)
{BRICABRAC} – These old curiosities or nicknacks are an anagram (from) CAR BBC AIR. I always thought that this was (4-1-4) and so does my on-line dictionary but no doubt Chambers will have it as one word – really must get a copy!

6d    Simple cases of eczema and scurvy (4)
{EASY} – A word meaning simple is made from the outer letters (cases) of EczemA and ScurvY

7d    Here plates, rinsed, are endlessly placed (8)
{DRAINERS} – Somewhere you put plates to dry after rinsing them is an anagram (placed) of RINSED and AR (AR(e) endlessly). As ‘placed’ is also telling you that this is where the plates are put I guess this is trying to be a bit of an all-in-one but I’m not sure it works very well!

8d    Tries hotel when on a do (3,1,4)
{HAS A BASH} – A phrase meaning tries is made up of H(otel), the usual synonym for when, A (from the clue) and a word for a do or party.

13d    Offer entry free — what arrogance (10)
{EFFRONTERY} – This arrogance or cheek is an anagram (free) of OFFER ENTRY.

15d    Charges added to bitter salts (9)
{TARTRATES} – These salts of tartaric acid are a charade of a word meaning bitter (4) and a word for the hourly charges of a tradesman (5). Sometimes it helps to have been a chemist!

16d    In favour of lock in defensive structure (8)
{FORTRESS} –One of the usual words for in favour (not pro – the other one) followed by a lock of hair gives you a defensive structure or castle. I quite like the surface of this one – of course you would be in favour of a lock in one of these!

17d    Pretended to be touched (8)
{AFFECTED} – A double definition of a word meaning pretended or ‘put on’ and a word meaning touched, emotionally perhaps.

19d    Combine to support energy issue (6)
{EMERGE} – E(nergy) followed by (support in a down clue) a word for combine gives a word meaning issue or come forth.

20d    Assumes pursuits lost without it (6)
{USURPS} – A word meaning assumes or takes over is an anagram (lost) of PURSUS (persuITs without IT).

23d    Given medicine, slept half-heartedly (5)
{DOSED} – Take a word for slept, rough perhaps or on your mate’s sofa, and remove one of the double letters from the middle (half heartedly) to get a word for given some medicine.

24d    More talk without limits — a test! (4)
{ORAL} –  This is a sort of reverse of 6d! Take the words ‘more’ and ‘talk’ and this time remove the outer letters (without limits) to leave a word for a spoken exam or test (mORe tALk).

I think my favourite has to be 10a for the rather bizarre image it conjured up in my diseased imagination!

The Quick crossword pun: {ways} + {toff} + {space} = {waste of space}

60 comments on “DT 26657

  1. With the grandchildren in nursery and not being at work I had the whole day to do this crossword. But I’m finished in one sitting over my breakfast. Must have been 6d but I don’t care. I liked the whole thing esp 7d which I kept thinking was dressers until i had all the crossing letters and then it hit me. What am I going to do now?

      1. I would if I could get into the b***** website! It was working OK earlier for the cryptic (fortunately) but now it won’t let me back in! Grr. . .

        1. My personal best this morning. No, not the cryptic – the website – it only took me 3 attempts & 2 reboots before I was in. Let joy be unconfined & on with the dancing (or something along those lines anyway).

          My £2.99 refund arrived in my account this morning & I haven’t a clue what to treat myself to…

          1. I got in in two, which must be a personal best over the last several weeks. I’m treating myself to two bottles of Valencian wine with mine. If problems continue and I can squeeze another month’s refund out of CluedUp, I could end up with a drink problem!

            I enjoyed this crossword, especially 10a (thank goodness it’s Pommers today, otherwise I’m sure there’d have been a women’s underwear illustration), but I think 5d should have been numbered 4-1-4.

            1. I have a drink problem! Just noticed there’s only one cold beer in the fridge – visitors for you!

      2. I’ve given it a go and done 6 on first pass with a few others where I can’t see the cryptic bit (so I might be wrong) eg 15d- I can think of a colour that starts with t?r but not a connection with bird changes . One thing I’ve never grapsed is what an ellipsis at the end and start of adjacent clues mean; help?

        1. Wait until the Toughie review appears then I’m sure all will be revealed plus it makes it easier for your fellow bloggers to follow the thread if your comments are placed there.

    1. Why not have a go at the Toughie? I’m trying to do it every day & every day I get further when before I would have taken one look & hidden behind the sofa until Nurse took it away. Yesterday I finished it albeit with BD’s help.

        1. With the cuts to front line nursing staff then Pickford’s is an obvious alternative use for those finely toned biceps & fetlocks…

  2. It pays to complain. After my irate e mail to Telegraph Puzzles I’ve been given a two month refund of 5.98 pounds. I’d still rather have the crossword though.

      1. I have been given a one month refund but where it has gone I don’t know as that account doesn’t exist any more!!

      2. I’ve just asked for another 2.99. Every little helps, as the saying goes and as a very frugal person, I can make a little go a long way. Better in my pocket than in CluedUp’s inept hands.

  3. Good morning pommers, I note that your guest is an aviation nut! I have a mate who is also an aviation nut plus being a keen photographer. He has posted a series of photos from the recent Leuchars Airshow. If your guest is interested he can view them on :-
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/davetrott/sets/72157627652099684/ they’re well worth a look, hope it’s ok to post this info on this blog. As for the Xword I found it entertaining, but there again I always do. Thought the quickie pun was clever also.
    Thanx to Compiler and to Pommers for his review.

            1. Morning Wayne and thanks for the link. I’m sure Ian will enjoy looking – he’s currently standing out the back with his bins cos a light aircraft is flying over!

          1. I’ve just taken a look at that site. What a prissy lot they do seem. Give me this site & the opportunity to go off topic when it is suitable together with Gazza’s pictures any day of the week!

  4. Thanks to Jay for the puzzle, and to Pommers for the review.
    As gazza says above, the Toughie today by Micawber is entertaining, and not overly difficult.

  5. Bit pushed for time, but good puzzle I thought. After first pass through, thought I was in trouble (did about 5!) but afterwards, all fell intolace.

  6. Hola pommers and thanks for the review, I agree with 10a being my fav clue too, a few I liked today and at one point I thought 1d was going to be Gnomey!! put stab at 12a first! 23d I thought was supposed to be a homophone, dosed/dozed but didn’t think it quite worked, especially as there was no indicator , so thanks for the explaination pommers, last one in for me 7d, can’t see that it quite works either, didn’t need so much ‘help’ for this today

  7. I think that this puzzle is worth 3*s at least. Either that or the sun and heat has addled my brain. Or it might be the Pastis – Mrs Collywobs says it’s that

      1. I would really like to be in Blighty where I can cool off instead of having to keep going into the pool and getting wet

        1. We might have sun and slightly warmer temperatures than usual but we don’t need to be upset by thoughts of pools and pastis – a ham sarnie at the desk isn’t the same thing at all.

            1. I only said slightly warmer. The sarnie is very nice and I have some lovely tomatoes from our garden too.

          1. Please don’t say that Mary. I’ll be in the north east of England next week, and am already dreading the thought of sweaters and shoes.

    1. 1d is clever. I’ve had a little spurt so, maybe, I was a bit hasty in my assessment – or the Pastis is wearing off – Mrs Collywobs says it’s that

  8. I found this quite easy today so either it is or I’m having a good day – about time too! I think I’ve only ever seen 5d as 4-1-4 but Chambers has both. I liked 10 and 18a and 1, 3, 6 and 17d. Thanks to Jay and Pommers.
    Off to cut grass AGAIN – it’s growing faster than it has all summer (if that’s what we call the last three months!)

    1. Thanks for clarifying the numbering of 5d, Kath. I wondered if the hyphens had been deleted from the English language since I emigrated. There was a suggestion that they should be at one time, along with my beloved apostrophe. I think we need an Academy of English, along the French lines!

      Isn’t grass tedious? We don’t have it here, as it’s too wasteful of water in this climate to keep it nice, and I really don’t miss the mowing.

  9. I enjoyed this one although if I had started with the down clues, I might have had more confidence that I was on Jay’s wavelength. Thanks to him for the nice Wednesday crossword and to Pommers for the review.

    The Toughie is superb so do give it a go. If you want a really tough challenge (and I am not saying that Micawber wasn’t) then join me in trying to unravel the Paul in the Guardian.

    1. I tried last week remember? I’ve only just finished the perishing thing & that was only by going back on the website to see some of the answers. And I don’t even like Elton John!

      1. It took me ages to unravel but I got there eventually. Might have got on better if the workmen refurbishing our building hadn’t been using a hammer drill.

        1. I wish I hadn’t read this comment. I’ve now had to go and print off the Paul when I should be doing other things :D

          1. I’m leaving Paul well alone. I’ve got to contend with the Toughie, the Cryptic, the Quickie & the Codeword. Enough, methinks, for a quiet night in with a couple of bottles of Oyster Stout to quaff.

  10. A pleasant, non-taxing solve from Jay.
    Faves : 10a, 18a, 21a, 1d, 7d & 20d.

    15d is becoming an old chestnut!

    Must now cook another stuffed paprika for late lunch – no red Menetou-Salon today!

    Nice aircraft pictures Pommers – my late father was an aero engineer so I used to read Flight and The Aeroplane at an early age.

    Also sat at Amy Johnson’s desk at The Boulevard School when we lived in Hull.

    1. Agree about 15D. Only a week ago since we had that.

      On this subject I wonder is there a league table of most frequently occurring chestnuts?

  11. Thanks to Jay and to Pommers for an entertaining if untaxing crossword and a most enjoyable review.

  12. Many thanks to Jay for a pleasant crossword to solve on the way to work and to Pommers for the review.

  13. Not bad but some very convoluted clues. Thx to Pommers for the clues without which I would never have got 22a, 28a and 20d (even my electronic anagram solver didn’t come up with the right answer.
    Liked 1d and 25a, nice clues for me.

  14. I used to have to think twice between affect and effect until I read somewhere that you can cure this by remembering you effect an affectation. Er or affect an effectation. Is it?

    No def the former.

    I think.

  15. Quite a few synonyms in there that didn’t readily spring to mind (‘breath’ for ‘wind’, ‘tress’ for ‘lock’ – haha, but I did get ‘stays’ for ‘corset’), plus a few anagram indicators I’d not seen before (‘lost’, ‘recollect’, ‘free’)…but, mercifully, those clues were scatted amongst clues which I could get, so the checking letters pointed me in the right direction.
    So, yeah, nice puzzle, and the basis for a fun social solve over a lovely cup of tea with a visiting friend! :)

  16. Sorry, not been around much today due to aforementioned visitors. Thanks for the kind comments as usual.

    1. no prob pommers thanks for blog, lots of work & appreciated, right off to prepare for my ‘in house’ ladies night, wine, red bull and pimms cooling in the fridge, lots of nibbles, choice of ‘girlie’ dvds and good friends arriving, when the cats away and all that…………. may be a bit late in tomorrow :-D

      1. I won’t be here tomorrow and the crossword will have to wait ’till late!. We have a same-day turnaround on our apartment. Busy, busy, busy . . . .!

  17. Thanks to Jay for an enjoyable puzzle and to Pommers for the hints. Managed this ok. Jay seems to like subtraction clues. 20d & 21a for instance. Favourite was 10a.

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