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DT 26687

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26687

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja, where Autumn has set in – jeans, socks and rugby shirt required today!

A super puzzle today from the Wednesday Wizard with some fantastic clues. I thought it a bit trickier than his recent offerings but very entertaining and I nearly gave it 5* for enjoyment, but that might be just due to my mood at the moment. A few ‘D’ohs’ and a few bangs of the head on the table as the pennies dropped but that may be due to having visitors and therefore more than the usual excessive alcohol intake!

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    Bags left in bags (6)
{SLACKS} – Of course, the definition is ‘Bags’, as in casual trousers. Take a word for bags in the sense of what coal might come in and insert L(eft).   I like this clue a lot!

5a    What are worn at work, generally before start of strike? (8)
{OVERALLS} – A garment a workman might wear is made from a word meaning generally or ‘on the whole’ followed by S (start of Strike)

9a    Looking for a design, in a way (5,1,7)
{AFTER A FASHION} – The definition is ‘in a way’ or ‘sort of’. Take a word meaning looking for, searching or chasing and follow with A (from the clue) and a word meaning design or mould. This clue is not easy to hint so if anyone can improve on my attempt I’ll be very grateful! Have to say it’s one of my favourites though.

10a    The girl who’s left gold in the keeping of criminal buyer? (8)
{FLORENCE} –  Start with L(eft) and heraldic gold and place them inside (in the keeping of) a guy who buys stolen property to get a woman’s name (the girl). This was my Grandmother’s name and pommette and I named our boat after her  – look me up under the bloggers tab to get the boat name (it’s the Italian version of this girl’s name).

11a    Head of crime family needs essential drug-runner (6)
{DONKEY} – Take the title of the head of a crime family – think Mr Corleone in The Godfather – and follow with a word for essential and you’ll get a colloquial term for someone who carries drugs, not a ‘mule’ but similar!

12a    Bitter setback in South Africa’s levels of society (6)
{STRATA} – Definition is levels of society. Take SA (South Africa) and insert a word meaning bitter or sharp tasting but reversed (setback).

14a    Carrier carrying item of underwear — it’s a farce! (8)
{TRAVESTY} –The carrier your butler may use to bring you your afternoon tea has inserted (carrying) an item of underwear to give a word meaning a farce.

16a    Sort sure to crash in lower gear (8)
{TROUSERS} – Gear as in garment! Something you wear on your lower body is an anagram (to crash) of SORT SURE.

19a    Reveal rent for retail store (6)
{OUTLET} – To reveal or make public followed by to rent, as in lease, gives a retail store.

21a    Supports people in case of bias (6)
{BRACES} – These supports, for your trousers perhaps, are a word for a people inserted in BS (case of BiaS).

23a    Running a temperature, shows sign of exhaustion wearing these (3,5)
{HOT PANTS} – If you were running a temperature you would be this (3), followed by what you might do if you were exhausted or out of breath, gives a type of woman’s clothing from the 70’s – which certainly raised my temperature! I just hope I’ve come up to Gazza’s pictuure standards here!

25a    Blair? I’d bet all worried about game played here (8,5)
{BILLIARD TABLE} – A place where a game like snooker is played is an anagram (worried) of BLAIR ID BET ALL.

26a    States repeatedly breaking treaties (8)
{ITERATES} – A word meaning states repeatedly is an anagram (breaking) of TREATIES.

27a    Manners covered in hasty lessons (6)
{STYLES} – These manners are hidden (covered) in haSTY LESsons


2d    The French left a confused flier (7)
{LEAFLET} – Take the usual French definite article and follow with an anagram (confused) of A LEFT and you get a flier or brochure.

3d    Share half of beer — that’s cleverer (5)
{CUTER} – Your share of a business deal (3) and ER (half of beER) gives a word meaning cleverer or  more quick witted.

4d    Loss of stock from years under psychiatrist? (9)
{SHRINKAGE} – This is a term for the loss of stock from a warehouse or a shop and it’s made from a word for many years placed after (under in a down clue) a colloquial term for a psychiatrist.

5d   What copper may be when out of uniform? (7)
{OFFBEAT} – Cryptic definition of what a policeman (copper) might be when not working his usual round.

6d    Wrinkled, lacking credit but comforted (5)
{EASED} – Take a word meaning wrinkled and remove CR (credit) and you get a word meaning comforted or made better.

7d    Lamenting changes in political allegiance (9)
{ALIGNMENT} – A political allegiance or coming together is an anagram (changes) of LAMENTING.

8d    Permit covers nine — dangerously lax (7)
{LENIENT} – The usual word for permit or allow placed around (covers) an anagram (dangerously) of NINE gives a word meaning lax or easygoing.

13d    Genial Navy bunch — full bars with no outsiders (9)
{AVUNCULAR} –  Definition is ‘genial’. Take each of the next  4 words of the clue and remove the first and last letters. (with no outsiders ). String what’s left together and you get the answer!  My favourite this week – brilliant!

15d   A job with a group on the rise for these renegades (9)
{APOSTATES} – These are people who’ve given up a religion – renegades. Take A (from the clue), a job or position. A (from the clue again) and a group reversed (‘on the rise’ in a down clue). Tricky little rascal!

17d    Dish that’s unusual and something of a bore (7)
{RAREBIT} – A word for unusual, or not common, followed by the business end of your electric drill gives some food a bit like cheese on toast and often associated with Wales.  I’ll not mention the ‘virgins in Cardiff’ bit!

18d    Areas where head of state is apprehensive, reportedly (7)
{SPHERES} – Areas of influence or expertise are made from S (head of State) followed by some letters, which aren’t a real word but if pronounced, would be a homophone (reportedly) of  fears (be apprehensive).

20d    Within context, remember the highest limit (7)
{EXTREME} – The highest or outer limit is hidden (within) in contEXT REMEber

22d    Dress for work duty (5)
{SHIFT} – Double definition. A woman’s dress is also a period at work.

24d   A second letter is read out in church (5)
{ABBEY} – A( from the clue) followed by B (second letter of the alphabet) and a slightly dodgy homophone (read out)  for IS ,as in BE, gives a type of church.  My least favourite clue today!

Isn’t 13d a splendid clue? My favourite but I like all the others in blue, a lot again this week..

The Quick crossword pun: {rasp} + {hooding} = {rice pudding}

63 comments on “DT 26687

  1. Very entertaining – thanks to Jay and Pommers. There seems to be a bit of a theme around garments (perhaps indicated by 9a and/or 27a).
    I took 24d to be just A + homophone of B (the second letter).

    1. Morning Gazza, you’re probably right about 24d. I’m probably trying to read too much into it but I still think the homophone’s a bit on the dodgy side!

      1. I agree with Gazza’s explanation of the clue, but i agree with you, Pommers, about the dodgy homophone. I feel the same about all “homophines” that are not proper words, such as “pheres” in 18d.

        By the way, I’ve managed to access the website three days running! Does this mean that the problems are sorted – although the apology is still there???

        1. I think Gazza’s right and I got it a bit wrong on 24d!
          Crypticsue probably got the website right a few days ago with her comment that now the puzzles are on here fewer people access the DT site so it now works!

        2. I don’t like 24d either. I got it because it was the only thing that fit and relied on this blog to tell me why but I still don’t completely get it because I would pronounce the last 3 letters to rhyme with ray.
          I am still having major issues getting on the site and am so grateful to BD for putting the crosswords up before even the DT does. Since I am in Chicago, I usually try to get them before I go to bed and they are usually there soon after midnight UK time so he must be up very late. I find the only time I can get on to the site to check my answers is after 6 pm UK time. Perhaps they will have it fixed by Christmas!!!

  2. I seem to be on a different wavelength, found today’s puzzle a breeze but yesterday’s I couldn’t get going the star system doesn’t seem to work for me. Thanks for nthe review Pommers and to he setter for giving me my confidence back :)

  3. Hola pommers, what a relief this puzzle is after yesterday, although I didn’t really have a favourite clue, almost all of the clues read nicely and were ‘workable’ , of course I still needed bits of ‘help’ but didn’t need the blog today, the jury is out on 13d for me I can’t make my mind up if it’s clever or not!! I agree with you pommers about the homophone in 24d, whichever way you do it, slight theme in this one today, I agree, Jezza, ‘supported’ by pommers pictures in 21a and 23a, nice sunny day so far but much colder, good luck everyone, enjoy:-) thanks as always for blog pommers and Jay for providing relief after yesterdays puzzle

  4. I agree with you, Jan, re the star system. I rarely concur. Today’s much more enjoyable than yesterday’s and simpler too. Let’s hope for more of the same!

  5. Tricky to start but so much better for me than yesterday’s impenetrable effort. Best clue is 13d, so damn clever! Not sure about 11a, surely these people who bring in drugs are mules rather than donkeys?
    Thx to Jay for rescuing the week and to Pommers for explaining 1a so well which I def would not have got otherwise (I’m far too young to know what these are :-) .)

  6. I have to agree with those who have not got on with the stars for yesterday and today; Lady L. and I (actually, more Lady L.) breezed through today in close to record time – what that is is an embarrassing state secret, while yesterday was a long slog. We got 13d but needed it to be explained – thanks, Pommers. We were in Spain for the last two weeks and while the sun remains, there is a subtle contrast in temperature back here in the Welsh Marches.

  7. After struggling so much yesterday, it was such a relief to complete this without even referring to the thesaurus.

    Pommers, what’s all this about socks? I agree it’s cool first thing, but certainly not jeans and socks weather a couple of hundred km north of you. I love autumn here – it’s like a second spring with the garden breathing a sigh of relief and bursting into bloom. Poor Señor Nora is in Hull, and really feeling the chill!

    1. Not wearing socks now but when I was writing the blog at 2 o’clock this morning it was distinctly chilly! You’re right about the garden in Autumn and even our cats start to get a bit active, not a lot!

  8. Enjoyable offering today and not too taxing. Some wonderful clues today especially 18D and of course 13D (is this a new style of clue, can’t say I’ve come across anything similar before?)

  9. I found this very straightforward today, all but 4 written in at first pass, so it would be only * for me. Agree with Gazza re 24d, and with Brian re 11a. Thanks to Jay & Pommers for review.

  10. Little entered at first pass but once started no real difficulty. Needed Cambers to confirm 11A. Did not thick that this was a 3* for difficulty but I did enjoy it.
    Thanks to setter and Pommers for the review. Never mind the jeans car windscreen scraping weather has returned.

  11. I spent a couple of seconds on 2d wondering if there was an insect called a flealet, before realising it was a different meaning of flier required! Very enjoyable crossword. Agree that 13d was brilliant. I had the answer but it took much cogitating to work out why. Thanks to compiler and blogger.

    1. My first thought was a bird or aircraft for 2d (to give me a good photo opportunity) but then the penny dropped with a loud clang! Silly really as I spent 20 years in Marketing so the term should be second nature!

  12. Finished, in record time for me if it is truly 3* which I would not normally complete without referring to Pommers hints but thanks anyway Pommers. Loved 13d. It must be the clue of the week

    1. Hi Collywobs
      I gave it 3* based on my solving time but maybe my brain was a bit addled last night as everyone else seems to think it’s not that hard. Strange though that I thought yesterday’s was a particularly easy puzzle!
      Well done to you anyway!

  13. Definitely 4* entertainment. I loved the theme – not least because it helped me get 1a (a word much used by my dad, but not much since!). Thanks to Jay for the straightforward fun and Pommers for the excellently illustrated hints.

    The Toughie is user-friendly today too.

  14. Not only is 13d a superb clue it’s al;so a lovely word – not only to read but to say out loud. Thanks to the setter & to Pommers for the review.

    Incidentally Pommers has. INMHO, managed to redeem himself with the photograph for 23a after his recent foray into park life! Although the rather fey & winsome chap at 13d does look a little light on his feet…

  15. Great crossword, great review ( Ididn’t mind the homophone at 24d however ) Many thanks to Jay and to Pommers.

  16. To pommers re 17D: surely the second syllable is derived not from anything to do with drilling but from the phrase “a bit of a bore”? Or is this so obvious that you didn’t want to mention it in your hint??

    I too thought 13D was wonderful!

    1. Come on! True Welsh rarebit (not just “cheese on toast”) washed down with pints of Brain’s is one of my abiding memories of post match celebrations (regardless of who actually won) when the old Cardiff Arms Park was still with us. Happy days!

    2. You may well be right! I never thought of it that way, perhaps Jay will come on to explain!

    3. I just thought that a partof a drill (bore) is a bit, as in ‘drill bit’.
      Thoroughly enjoyable stuff from Jay today and thanks to Pommers for the review and the obvious photo!

  17. Super crossword from Jay. Thanks to him and to Pommers for the review. I think blogging at 2am is taking your responsibilties a little too far though!

    1. Over the Summer blogging in the night is fine – it’s cooled down a bit and allows a lie-in the following morning! It is getting a bit chilly now overnight so we’ll be back to the morning blog soon. Pommette also reckons if I do it in the night I should knock a star off my difficulty rating as I’m always faster in the mornings – she may well be right judging by today’s comments!
      But why did I think yesterday’s was very easy when everyone else seems to think it was hard?

  18. Today was quite a relief after yesterday’s struggle – not difficult at all, at least I didn’t think so, but enough to keep me happy for about the normal length of time. For some reason 1a and 18d were the last ones to go in. Slightly screwed up to begin with by putting in “uniforms” for 5a (even though it didn’t seem quite right) but realised fairly quickly that it was wrong so that was OK. Really liked the surface reading of 16a – my husband drives an automatic car and whenever he drives mine (which isn’t) he forgets that he needs to change gear so has this horrible habit of accelerating quite hard and for quite a long time before he remembers to change into second – not good, for me or my car!! Best clues for me today include 9 and 23a (brings back memories!) and 13d. With thanks to Jay and Pommers.

  19. Isn’t it strange that so many of us beginners found this so much easier than yesterday’s? I did too and have only one clue to do but I will be out all afternoon and refuse to look at the hints until this evening in the hope that light will dawn. It’s 21 across and there are so many possibilities with the checking letters but none seems to quite match the clue.

  20. Same as Digby, I needed the blog to see why for 13d – annoyingly, I’d sussed out where the ‘ar’ came from, just hadn’t extended the logic back to the previous three words!! Very clever clue, and a lovely word. :-) Thanks to Jay and Pommers – liked the balance of pics for 21 & 23d (even if he is a little blurred!) – was that Pommette’s input?!

  21. Lovely stuff, thanks to setter and blogger. Tomorrow being Thursday means I will look elsewhere for my cryptic fix.

  22. Enjoyable puzzle.
    Faves : 1a, 10a, 16a, 23a, 4d, 13d & 17d.
    Agree with Pommers that 24d is slightly weird.

    Roast leg of lamb with Médoc tonight – leftover from my son’s visit.

    1. What’s left over – the wine or the lamb? Just had a 3 hour Spanish lunch so I don’ think I’ll be eating tonight!

  23. Ah yes, “a case of” means the outside letters. And so that is the explanation for 21 across. Must try and recognise all these little cues in the crossword world.

  24. Many thanks to Pommers for the very well reasoned-out blog and to all for the always eagerly read comments! It makes the hours of sweat worthwhile.

  25. Great puzzle my favourite being 10a. Easier than yesterday’s I thought but nevertheless enjoyable and finished on way in to work before Earl’s Court.

  26. Didn’t get to even look at yesterday’s until I went to bed and then definitely thought my brain had deserted me! So was pleased to find that others found it equally difficult – it could have been a Toughie as far as I was concerned! Relief to-day to find brain was still with me, though did need Pommers for 27a (manners??) and definitely 24d, which is paticularly weird, I think. Also thanks Pommers for the explanation of 13d – I did get it, but didn’t understand why – so, agree, very clever clue. Did anyone else have the fierce hailstorm to-day? Yet MORE leaves to clear up!

  27. Thoroughly enjoyed today’s puzzles… managed all but two clues without hints which is pretty good for me. It was 1a that gave me so much trouble but when the penny dropped it made me smile and remember my nanna who used that word for trousers all the time. When I was small I thought it meant her trousers were loose and kept waiting for them to fall down… they never did!

  28. Don’t suppose we’re going to have a Ray T tomorrow are we? :sad: We’ve been lucky enough to have had his crosswords for the last two Thursdays. I know that he (or certainly his crosswords) is the “bete noir” (sorry folks – can’t do a circumflex on this keyboard) for some people but I just love them!

  29. OK guys, we’ll have to agree to differ! I thought yesterday was very easy and today had some tricky clues. You seem to disagree, but I notice a few posts saying thanks for the explanation of 13d. IMO a brilliant clue!
    Now a thought. You may have the answer from the checkers and the definition and say you’ve completed the puzzle, but if you can’t parse it, have you really solved the clue? Personally, I think not!
    Or is that something that’s happened to me since I started blogging?

    Anyway, off to bed soon so thanks for all the comments and I’ll see you in 2 weeks – it’s Falcon’s turn next week.

  30. Thanks to Jay and Pommers. A great puzzle with some very clever clues. Needed the hints for 11 & 13,but had to look up 18. Favourites were 13 & 1. Strange, I found yesterday’s easier than this one, it must be the different styles of the setters.

  31. Lovely puzzle today – thoroughly enjoyed it! Many thanks to the setter and to pommers for the notes. Like many others I loved 13d; a clue format I’ve never seen before.

    Ardbeg this time – it’s a chilly night!

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