DT 26681 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26681

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26681

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja.   The usual Wednesday wizardry from Jay this week. Not too taxing on the whole but a couple of slightly tricky ones to keep us alert!  I did really enjoy this one though and there’s a lot of blue today. It must be the lack of stress from not having to try for ages to get into the website so thanks to BD and Phil for the new service! Just hope it’s not needed for too long.

Like last week the picture opportunities are a bit limited but my Technical Director has been taken back on as a consultant today (at exorbitant rates) and is currently searching for a suitable video clip for 22a so many thanks to her!

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    Tolerate what a hippo may do after the end of rains (7)
{SWALLOW} – A word meaning tolerate, or put up with, is made up of what a hippo does in the glorious mud placed after S (end of rainS).

9a    Are U-boats destroyed without a destroyer? (8)
{SABOTEUR} – Take ARE U-BOATS and remove one of the A’s (without a) and then make an anagram (destroyed) of what’s left to get someone who destroys things.

10a    Vehicles carrying favourite rugs (7)
{CARPETS} –Take the usual teacher’s favourite and place it inside (carrying) some vehicles and you get a floor covering or mat.

11a    Set off for appointment outside school (8)
{DETONATE} – Definition is ‘set off’. Place an appointment, with your girlfriend perhaps, around (outside) crosswordland’s  favourite school.

12a    The confidence to contradict female (6)
{BELIEF} – This word for confidence is a word for contradict or repudiate followed by F(emale).  I certainly don’t have this confidence – not in this house anyway!

13a    Chance with love for a westerner (10)
{OCCIDENTAL} – Start with a word to describe something that happens by chance and change the initial A for an O (love (O) for A) and you get a word to describe a westerner.

15a    Present limits of house rule (4)
{HERE} – A word meaning present or ‘in this place’ is the outer letters (limits) of HousE and RulENot sure this really works, or perhaps I’m missing something!  Sure, ‘limits of house’ is HE but what’s to tell you that the limits of ‘rule’ are also required? Or is there another way RE can come from rule? Be interested in your opinions on this one.

16a    Discount logical inference (9)
{DEDUCTION} – Double definition. This word for a logical inference is also a word meaning a discount or something taken off a bill.  Neat clue!

21a    Female dentist’s paradise?  (4)
{EDEN} – Paradise is hidden in femalE DENtist.  The ? tells you that something strange is going on and the hidden word indicator is the ‘s at the end of dentist, meaning ‘of’ a female dentist.  I think this is a very clever clue and it’s my favourite this week!

22a    Initially dubious, target peeress’s job in school (6,4)
{DINNER LADY} – Start with D (initially Dubious), follow with the bit of an archery target at the centre  and then the title of a peeress. Split that lot (6,4) and you get the person in a school responsible for dishing up 21a in last week’s puzzle!  If you didn’t do last week’s puzzle, 21a was ‘semolina’. I still don’t like the stuff and I wish Jay would stop reminding me of it but I don’t mind being reminded of this TV programme!  Thanks pommette!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

24a    Tight, forgetting source of latest unhappiness (6)
{MISERY} – Take a word meaning tight in the sense of stingy and remove the L (forgetting source of Latest) to get another word for unhappiness.

25a    One seeking political change — once soldiers get precedence (8)
{REFORMER} – The usual soldiers followed by a word for precedence, in the sense of earlier, gives someone wanting political change, they would usually claim it to be an improvement! I think this expanation just about works but here’s a better one from Gazza:-  Take a word meaning once, as in earlier, and before it (get precedence) put the usual soldiers. Thanks Gazza.

27a    Singer discovering mistress in a trance (7)
{SINATRA} – This singer is hidden (discovering) in mistresS IN A TRAnce.   I’ve come across this indicator before but I’m still not keen on it. What do you think? Not keen on the singer either now I come to think of it!

28a    Shut up, declines to be transferred (8)
{SILENCED} – A word for shut up, as in having been stopped from speaking, is an anagram (to be transferred) of DECLINES.

29a    One’s love to exercise is a small part of energy process (7)
{ISOTOPE} – Start with IS (one’s), then O (love), TO (from the clue) and the usual Physical Exercise and you get a particular form of an atom (small part) involved in the production of nuclear energy, or bombs for that matter.


2d    New hat? — everyone’s hiding indifferent expression (8)
{WHATEVER} – An expression showing indifference is hidden (hiding) in neW HAT EVERyone.  I like this clue. It accurately describes the reaction I got when I went to the local in my smart new baseball cap emblazoned with ‘La Vuelta a España’!

3d    Unbalanced badly spoiled daughter (8)
{LOPSIDED} – A word meaning unbalanced or off centre is an anagram (badly) of SPOILED with D(aughter). I think I may have met this girl!

4d    A former monk may be behaving badly (3,2,5)
{OUT OF ORDER} – Double definition.  A monk who had abandoned his monastery would certainly be this. It’s also a colloquial phrase meaning behaving badly.

5d    Good drink in pub giving you wind (4)
{GALE} – G(ood) followed by one of the usual alcoholic drinks gives a strong wind – force 8 on the Beaufort scale. I always found it was Marston’s Pedigree that did this to me!

6d    Moody elk squashes rear of car (6)
{MOROSE} – The N. American name for an elk placed around (squashes) R (rear of caR) gives a word meaning moody or ‘down’.

7d    Withdraws harangues about European Commission (7)
{RECANTS} – Place some harangues or tirades around the abbreviation for European Commission and you get a word meaning withdraws or takes back.

8d    Gold cards given out in trials (7)
{ORDEALS} – Heraldic gold followed by a word meaning to give out cards, in a casino perhaps, results in some trials or tribulations.

11d    Developing a crick, he’d sit here? (9)
{DECKCHAIR} – An anagram (developing) of A CRICK HE’D gives somewhere you may sit, on a beach perhaps.  Ours certainly give me a crick in the neck!

14d    Farmworkers from Madrid, say working around one (10)
{DAIRY MAIDS} – These people who work on farms, usually girls, are an anagram (working) of MADRID SAY with an I (around one). I don’t think you get many of these in Madrid!

17d    Television item from Slough following recent onset of salmonella (8)
{NEWSCAST} – This is a television item currently on the Beeb at 1800. Take a word for recent (3), S (onset of Salmonella) and after it place a word for slough in the sense of throw off.  I quite like the false capitalisation of Slough in this one but I think ‘outbreak’ would have worked and made the clue read better!

18d    Little indication of sadness (8)
{TEARDROP} – Cryptic definition of a small indication of sadness found around the eyes.

19d    Speech day in a woman’s clothing (7)
{ADDRESS} – D(ay) placed in between A (from the clue) and a piece of woman’s clothing will give a word for a speech or lecture.

20d    Mostly felt fans suffering in arrest (7)
{SNAFFLE} – A word which might mean arrest, as in ‘get hold of’ is an anagram (suffering) of FEL (mostly FEL(t)) and FANS.  Not sure about the definition here – a bit ‘iffy’ IMO, unless Chambers says otherwise – still dropping hints to pommette but I think they fall on stoney ground!

23d    Itinerant worker chasing sin (6)
{ERRANT} – A word meaning itinerant, used long ago to describe travelling Knights, is a word for to sin or make a mistake followed by (chasing) the usual worker.

26d    Reported votes for vision (4)
{EYES} – A homophone to finish!  These organs to do with vision sound like (reported) the ‘votes for’ in a Parliamentary debate.

Lots of good clues here but my favourite is 21a – unlike last week!

The Quick crossword pun: {beaker} + {fool} = {be careful}

66 comments on “DT 26681

  1. Good morning Pommers, early on parade today. Found todays pretty straightforward or maybe it’s because I abstained from the vino last night. No particular favourite clue but a very enjoyable Xword. Thanx to compiler and to you pommers for the review which I read but did not need to refer to.

  2. Thanks to Jay for a gentle, fun puzzle, and to pommers for the write up.
    3d probably my favourite.

  3. Very enjoyable puzzle today from Jay. As you say Pommers, a couple of tricky ones such as 27a and 17d but I loved 22a (long live Victoria Wood) and 29a. Thx for the hints but glad to say I didn’t need them today. Does anyone know if my nemesis is doing tomorrow’s?

          1. I thought at first that today’s was by Petitjean, but now I’m not so sure. There are a couple of clues that have RayT’s trademark.

            1. Almost certainly a Ray T crossword. All the clue in the Quickie are single word clues. There is the trademark Queen reference in the Crypic and plenty of naked ladies. Oh, and it is about three times more difficult that the previous crosswords this week.

  4. Hola pommers and thanks for the review, the last one in for me was 18d! having put ‘wee’ for the first three letters I just couldn’t work it out! so thanks for that one, my fav clue today was 4d, returning to UK from a glorious week in Tenerife pommers, I can certainly appreciate the advantages of living in sunnier climes :-)

    1. Thanks once again to Dave for allowing access to the puzzles, clued up (down) is getting more difficult to access not better!

    2. Wecome back Mary. Hope you enjoyed the ‘Sun and Sangria’ in Tenerife! You certainly had some good weather according to the Spanish weather site I use!

      1. Thanks pommers, apart from the first day, which was overcast but very hot and humid, we had blue skies and sunshine, and the Sangria was deeeelicious missing it all straight away!

            1. Funnily enough, we’ve got a bottle of Ouzo brought back from Poros over 20 years ago, I agree it’s just not the same at home :-(

            2. And it’s nothing to do with the weather! We still have one that’s about 15 years old and it doesn’t taste right even in the Spanish sun!

          1. Years ago, the late Alexis Lichine (of Château Prieuré-Lichine) told me a story of two Margeaux rival families the sions of which had agreed to a dinner with the aim of burying the hatchet.

            They met at one Chateau and the host served his own wine – naturellement – with all but the dessert course. His rival continually spoke in scathing terms about each bottle, discoursing on the merits of his complementary wines over those served.

            When his own Chateau’s dessert wine was served he praised its bouquet, its length, its sweetness, its balance and complexity.

            “Qui, qui!” exclaimed his host, “Mais quel dommage qu’il ne voyage pas!”

            [But what a pity it doesn’t travel]

  5. Help

    I cannot get onto the site today!!!

    How can I get todays Xword? Could someone mail it to me?

    Be grateful forever if someone could help……..

      1. You are a life saver! Thank you so much, even though I didn’t pick this message up until this morning.

        Do you know what is going on with the paper? I have written a number of strongly worded emails, but they seem to get ignored.

        Once again, huge gratitude.

  6. Very enjoyable today. I did actually think it had beaten me, then I realised that I had 4D wrong (must admit that when I wrote in OUT OF HABIT I thought it didn’t quite fit in with the clue, D’Oh). Once that was corrected, everything went swimmingly. Particulary liked 17D.

    1. Just though I’d let you know that my copy of the new TP book – “Snuff” arrived today. The postman was intercepted by Mrs S who has hidden it & declared it to be a suitable present for one of my sons to give me for Christmas! Give me strength.

      1. Well, I’ve been busy dropping hints to the missus that I might possibly like Snuff for Christmas (not too sure its got through yet, despite my excellent subtlety – ‘What do you want for Christmas?’ ‘I’d quite like the new TP book, Snuff’ ‘How about some hankies and a new pair of slippers?’) But then I always associate TP’s new books with Christmas, mainly because that’s when the Calendars get handed out and the mini-series is shown on Sky.

        1. It looks like “Unseen Academicals” will be aired next year with “Sourcery” some time after that.

          1. This will make them into the “Seen Academicals” presumably, and may cause a rent into the Dungeon Dimension.

          2. Another bit of info for you – there is a production of CSI Anh Morpork in the making – expected about 2013 (bit far away I’m afraid, but hey ho), also the company that makes these programmes has bought the rights to the ‘Guards’ series (was owned by one of the Python’s I believe) so there could be even more on the way now.

      2. Had to read on down the replies before the penny dropped… TP = Terry Pratchett. So excited there’s a new book, news which had passed me by. It’s a family tradition that I get a TP book for my birthday (end of Nov) but I can never wait to read it and so it turns into an early birthday present!

  7. New personal best for me by a whisker, first time ever I’ve done the lot on first pass. Happy on that score but for me too straightforward to be truly enjoyable.

  8. Not too troubling today but entertaining. My favourite was 27a – I didn’t see that one for quite a while. My enjoyment was complete when I watched your clip at 22a; I absolutely loved that show and I’m fighting the urge to get my complete box-set of DVD’s out and waste even more time today watching every episode. It was the only sitcom to ever make me laugh and cry at the same time. Thanks for that and the review, and to the setter.

  9. An enjoyable puzzle today. I thought 13a was clever and 22a witty.
    But, Pommers, how can you not like Sinatra? He’s in a class of his own. His diction is superb and he got warmer with age.
    He won’t knock Beethoven and Brahms off my top ten list but i do enjoy listening to him.

  10. Lovely crossword, thank you Jay. Lovely review, thank you Pommers – however, I do think the picture editor could have provided a pic of the animal rather than the bird at 1a.

    For the second day running the Toughie lives up to its name. If you have time to spare to mutter and say d’oh a lot, give it a go.

    1. Sorry Sue but I’m a bit of a ‘twitcher’. We have a lot of swallows around here in the summer (good job as they eat mosquitos apparantly!) but they’ve all gone in the last couple of weeks! That may be the last one I see until next April!

      1. Our house martins went very early this year – did they believe the weather forecast where it is apparently going to be -20 soon. Lots of berries on the holly etc which is also supposed to be a bad sign. I am a fan of the hippo, hence my disappointment at the lack of illustration.

          1. Thanks for the hippos – now please tell me how to get Flanders and Swann out of my head…

            1. The only way to get rid of worms in the head is to overwrite them with something else! I can recommend listening to Dire Straits’ song ‘Money for Nothing’ at high volume at least 3 times – usually works for me!

              1. Agreed! But the intro is enough. Alternatively, Phil Collins “In the Air Tonight” … the bit that zaps from one ear to the other.

                Mind you, you’ll be picturing that gorilla afterwards!

  11. Very slow to get going today – it would have been better to start with the down clues, as it so often is on Wednesdays. I was completely defeated by 27a – can’t believe I missed it but the ones that are “hidden in the middle” are, in my opinion anyway, easier to miss when the clue is over two lines. A few in the top right hand corner took me a while – 9a and 7 and 8 down were the last ones I got, for some reason. I liked 1, 12, 13 and 22a and 2, 3, 6 (conjures up a wonderful picture!) and 11d. With thanks to Jay and Pommers.

  12. Usual top quality cluing from Jay, took me longer than normal which I put down to having had two hours sleep , a 2am dash to the vets with a howling 34kg (5st 5lb) Rhodesian Ridgeback. Had to Carry him into the car which is no mean feat I can tell you!!. Now been informed has a slipped disc. Thank heavens for insurance policy. Anyway, favourites 2d and 22a. Thanks to Jay and Pommers for typically amusing review.

    1. Oh dear – that ended up in the wrong place!! Was going to say poor you and poor Rhodesian Ridgeback – do hope that he or she is better soon. :smile:

      1. Thanks Kath, I am sure he will be fine, unlike my bank balance until the insurance coughs up!!

  13. Many thanks to Jay for a very enjoyable and gentle puzzle and to Pommers for an excellent review.

  14. Not very taxing, many in the clue answers, but enjoyable al the same.
    Thanks to setter and Pommers for the review.

  15. Lovely review Pommers…however don’t you always accuse Gazza of being the gratuitous lady pic submitter. The clue did say “he’d sit here” so really we should have had some bronzed adonis lounging on the beach! I agree with your indicator for 27a….mainly because it was the only clue I didn’t manage without your help! Top right hand corner was all a bit slow for me today too!

    1. Hi Seymour
      Quite correct! Hadn’t twigged that so I’ve changed the picture.
      Unfortunately couldn’t find a ‘bronzed Adonis’ so this old giffer will have to do! He looks a bit like me, apart from the socks, lack of beer belly and silly headgear – actually, come to think of it he doesn’t look much like me at all!

      1. That’s what comes from bowing to peer pressure. We go from a beautiful, sun kissed, nubile filly to an old scrote with socks on sat in a park somewhere in England! This would never have happened in a Gazza review. You have been warned sir, as to any further infringements of this nature.

    2. Perhaps I’ll try that one again!! I failed totally with 27a and the top right hand corner took a while.

  16. Right, back to the Toughie – phew, I’m on my 17th D’oh and I’ve only done 18 clues!

  17. Very good today, a bit of fun.

    And it was only when Flanders and Swann popped into my brain that the penny dropped for 1a- almost the last in!

    And so, back to the Toughie, and I hope it’s easier than yesterday’s!

  18. Not too taxing today but I did look at yesterday’s toughie – a step too far, but I once thought the back page was in that category too so despite the warnings I will keep trying.

  19. Really good brain work-out my favourite being 2d! I missed the concealed word hence last one in. Done on the Piccadilly Line for those who are interested!

  20. G’night all. Gotta go to bed now as it’s twenty past eleven here and I’m up early tomorrow.

    As always thanks for all your comments and some good banter today – I certainly won’t ever again replace a piccy of a nubile young lass with an old scrote! Although I thought the old scrote was, at least, an amusing image, especially the socks!

    See you tomorrow.

  21. Pommers – I think your goal of getting a picture of a bird (not the Gazza kind) and a boat into your review is admirable, notwithstanding that the execution of said strategy falls on your technical director. Thanks to Jay, Pommers and Pommette for today’s entertainment.

  22. Another good puzzle from Jay – I’m enjoying his offerings more and more of late! The top half went in very quickly, but the bottom half required more thought…with 3 remaining (12a, 27a and 17d), I had to look at the hints. Definitely did not like ‘discovering’ as a hidden word indicator for 27a, but it did at least make it clear what 17d was (I was toying with newsspot or newsslot up until then).
    12a was the only one I couldn’t get, and kicked myself when I checked the answer up above – so I guess that was my favourite! :)

  23. Thanks to the setter and Pommers,some very nice clues,I found this very entertaining.Favourite was last in 2 very well hidden !

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