DT 26705 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26705

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26705

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja. Maybe it’s just me but thought this was a tad harder than the last few Wednesdays, but none the worse for that! Maybe Jay doesn’t want me to get complacent! Enjoyable though and with enough easier clues to give you an ‘in’ to the puzzle for the trickier bits.

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    A drug dealer’s yacht, and a rope thrown out (10)
{APOTHECARY} – This is an old name for a drug dealer, or pharmacist, and it’s an anagram (thrown out) of YACHT and A ROPE.  Nice anagram to start you off!

6a    A nuisance is unfinished mirrors (4)
{APES}  -The definition is mirrors, as in copies. Take A (from the clue) and follow with a nuisance without its last letter (unfinished).

10a    Gather there’s action starting in valley (5)
{GLEAN} – Take a word for a valley (Scottish) and insert A (Action starting) and you’ll get a word for gather or harvest.

11a    Rogue makes refund including half of profit (9)
{REPROBATE} – This rogue is made up of a word for refund with half of the word PROfit inserted. Pommette always says I’m one  of these!

12a    A daughter boarding flight for a prank (8)
{ESCAPADE} – A (from the clue) and D(aughter) inserted into (boarding) a word for flight or getting away gives you a prank.

13a    Take exception, being almost sober (5)
{DEMUR} – This is a word meaning take exception or disagree. Take a word for sober or decorous  and remove the last letter (almost).

15a    Extend thoroughfare through mountain (7)
{BROADEN} –Start with a Scottish mountain and insert a thoroughfare or street and you get a word meaning extend or widen.  Are we getting a Scottish theme? That’s 2 out of seven so far!

17a    Complacent, starts to get lost and ends run (7)
{SMUGGLE} – The well concealed definition here is ‘run’, as in avoid customs! Take a word for complacent (4) and follow with the first letters (starts) of Get Lost and Ends.

19a    One initially tense during approaches is visibly upset (2,5)
{IN TEARS} – Not easy to explain! Start with I (one) and follow with a word for approaches or gets closer and insert (during) T (initially Tense) and then split the result (2,5) to gets a phrase which might describe someone who is visibly upset.

21a    Worker catches bus in order to save (7)
{HUSBAND} – This word meaning save or put aside for later use is one of Crosswordland’s usual workers (not ant, one of the others) with an anagram (in order) of BUS inserted (catches). I quite like the surface of this one.

22a    Muse a long time — and return books (5)
{ERATO} – One of the muses from mythology. Take a long time and add one ot the testaments of the bible reversed (return books). Is this a bit of a chestnut?

24a    Scratched, but serious in intent (8)
{ENGRAVED} –A word meaning scratched or etched out is made from inserting a word for serious or earnest into an intent or aim.

27a    Soldiers on a date, soldiers with time for change (9)
{AMENDMENT} – Soldiers are MEN. Take some and put them on (in?) A (from the clue) and D(ate). Follow with more soldiers and T(ime) and you get a change. Not sure I’ve got this right or that it works! Weakest clue in the whole puzzle IMO.

28a   Bird shot (5)
{SNIPE} – Double definition. A game bird is also a word meaning to shoot from cover, often from a long distance.

29a    Raises the temperature in London and breaks fast (4)
{EATS} – The ‘in London’ bit is an allusion to the Crosswordland theory that cockneys drop the H from the beginning of words. Take a word for raises the temperature and remove the H from the beginning and you’re left with  a word for what you do when you break your fast.

30a    Geographical feature shown in recent maps after review (10)
{ESCARPMENT} – A geographical feature is an anagram (after review) of RECENT MAPS.


1d    Ship making a right turn (4)
{ARGO} –One of the favourite old ships (think Jason) is made from A (from the clue) , R(ight) and a word for your turn or attempt. Quite a clever clue but if I never see this old boat in a puzzle again I won’t be sad about it!

2d     Go too far regarding fire (9)
{OVERSHOOT} – Definition is go too far.  A charade of a word for regarding or about and a word for fire, a rifle perhaps.

3d    Hospital put girl up for shock treatment (5)
{HENNA} – H(ospital) followed by a girl’s name reversed (up in a down clue) gives a treatment for hair (shock).  I thought this a bit tricky, spent a while trying to work ECT into something! Shock – hair, yeah, OK, I can live with that!

4d     Short article on popular call at the theatre (7)
{CURTAIN} – A call in a theatre at the end of an act is a charade of a word for short or abrupt, A (article) and the usual 2 letter word for popular.

5d     Weapons charges must include one disheartened ecowarrior (7)
{RAPIERS} – These weapons are charges (by the police perhaps) with inserted (must include) I (one) and ER, (E(cowarrio)R disheartened).

7d     Bit of a hand to cover second song (5)
{PSALM} –Part of your hand with S(econd) inserted gives a religious song.

8d     Leads attack as hare sped off (10)
{SPEARHEADS} – The lead groups  of an attack are an anagram (off) of AS HARE SPED.

9d     Low spirits? Start drinking ancient spirits (8)
{DOLDRUMS} – Definition is low spirits or the blues. Start with D (start Drinking) and follow with a word for ancient or aged and then some spirits, apparently liked by sailors. Pommette is one sailor who certainly does like this stuff!

14d     Remove all traces of oil with a better process (10)
{OBLITERATE} – An anagram (process) of OIL and A BETTER gives a word meaning to remove all traces.

16d     Rock singer’s first suit (8)
{DIAMONDS} – This is one of the suits in a pack of cards. Take the precious stone for which ‘rock’ is a slang term and add S (Singers first). There’s also a bit of an allusion to Neil here perhaps – I’ll leave out the video though, that comes next!

18d     Where there’s talk on the origin of wine? (9)
{GRAPEVINE} – Double definition. Where you might hear rumours and where wine starts its life. pommette’s found me this brilliant video, Marvin Gaye without the backing track – one of my all time favourites!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

20d     Seamstresses boxing 1000 pins (7)
{SKEWERS} – These are pins on which you stick bits of meat for the barbeque. Take some seamstresses and insert (boxing) one of the abbreviations for thousand.

21d     Expensive hot drink and meal (4,3)
{HIGH TEA} – This is a meal taken late afternoon (a bit Scottish I think?). A word for expensive (?) followed by a hot drink taken at this time gives the meal.  Not at all sure about this one.

23d     Lively beer — right temperature (5)
{ALERT} – A word meaning lively or awake is a charade of the usual beer, R(ight) and T(emperature).

25d     A model looking back for guy who spun stories (5)
{AESOP} – The guy who spun stories (fables) is A (from the clue) and word for to model reversed (looking back).

26d     Experienced in soft fabric (4)
{FELT} – Double definition. A word meaning experienced is also a soft fabric used for hats perhaps

Oh well, the Scottish theme didn’t seem to develop or am I missing things?
I like the ones in blue but favourites are 16d and 18d.

The Quick crossword pun: {offal} + {lean} + {eyes} = {awfully nice}

60 comments on “DT 26705

  1. Hola pommers, from dismal drizzly damp West Wales, I found this one very ‘workable’ today but needed all my usual help to finish it, I didn’t however need the hints, fav clues today 18d, 19a and I think 27a, not sure on that one though :-)

      1. It is not drizzly anymore but very wet, we were going to take the caravan to a firly local park this week but it’s a definite no no, we just heard that it is partially flooded!!

  2. Not the easiest but we got through it after a bit of a hiatus half way through. I got the wrong anagram for 8d which held things up. I agree, Pommers, that 21d is a bit of a stretch. Thanks for explaining 19a, which had to be the answer but was not clear to me. Off to the theatre in Malvern for the matinee, so must go and get into my formal pair of jeans. Adios!

  3. Can’t say I found this one difficult, but not too easy either. I guess workman (or woman) – like would best describe it. Some very nice clues I thought – 29A stands out for me. 17A was in Monday’s as well – do the compliers get a list of words that they have to try to fit in each week?

  4. Thanks to Jay for a pleasant, and not too demanding puzzle, and to pommers for the notes.
    Favourite clue, 17a.

    Firefly was not as Tough as I feared today, and I will be interested to see gazza’s pictorial hint for one of the across clues! :)

  5. Thanks to Pommers for the notes and to Jay for an interesting puzzle. I thought the difficulty just about right for a back page DT. Lots of good clues but I quite liked 9d.

  6. You are right Pommers. On an initial run through it seems to be hard but there are a number of clues that allow one to open it up and, thus, make it enjoyable. Loved 6a

    1. but surely the reading of this clue is terrible or am I missing something, it just doesn’t make sense!

        1. Hi yes thanks Skempie, I just don’t think that the clues make any sense when read as a sentance :-)

      1. Hi Mary 6 is A and a word for a nuisance cut short & it means mimic. 7 is a part of the hand that can be read round S, and means a song sung in church

  7. For 21a I think that “high” as a synonym for expensive is OK, in 1970’s marketing “high line” meant a more expensive model with all the bells and whistles. does anyone one remember the British Leyland cars with this designation e.g. Austin Maxi HL ?

        1. I have fond memories of a particular Austin Maxi (about which I am not going to say any more) but I don’t think if one was creating a list of cars, it woudl feature very highly.

    1. Depressingly I do, my father owned a yellow Austin Maxi. Mind you it was better than the Morris Marina he once had as well.

    2. Got side-tracked on MINT for high (a lot) but it had to be HIGH – still never heard of that for expensive though. As a medic I liked 1A -the apothecary.

  8. I didn’t find this tricky at all. For the second week running, the acrosses have gone in well and so the whole thing didn’t take me long. No particular favourites. Thanks to Jay for a nice start to Wednesday and to Pommers for the review.

    The Toughie is not that tough today and has several photo opps for Gazza :D Enigmatist (Elgar) in the Guardian is tough but fun.

  9. Has anyone else noticed that today’s puzzle is on exactly the same grid as yesterday’s and that 29a has the same answer in both puzzles! Co-incidence or what?

  10. Lots of other things to do today so have done this one in bite sized chunks – that’s my excuse for having found it a bit more difficult than usual! For some reason I just couldn’t do 16d for ages and working out where each bit came from in 27a almost defeated me although the answer was obvious. Wasn’t too sure about 28a – got into a muddle with past participles but then looked up “snipe” so that was OK. Clues that I liked today – 1, 17 and 21a and 3, 9, 18 and 26d. Thanks to Jay and Pommers.

  11. Another very tough one today. Needed lots of help. Best clue for me was 1a when it clicked. Preferred yesterday’s personally. The clues were very clever but difficult to appreciate if you can’t get them:-).
    Thx to Pommers for the hints which I needed in bulk today.

  12. Thanks to the setter & Pommers for the review and hints. A great puzzle, made me think, was pleased to get 11a & 17a, the latter defeated me the other day. 1a & 4d were the last two in. Favourites were 13 & 27a & 9,16, 18d.

  13. Back from the Antipodes feeling jet-lagged and very out of practice. I haven’t dared to write before today, having been totally stymied by most of the puzzles for the past few days. However I did manage to finish this one, with a great deal of help and in two far apart goes. Thank goodness, and Jay, for the anagrams without which I’d have been completely lost. And many thanks to you, Pommers, for your explanations, especially of 19a. It took me a long time to find 3d, and when I did I didn’t like it much. My favourite clue was 18d, but on the whole I found it very enjoyable. :-)

    P.S. I loved the interview with Rufus. Please tell me who was his poetic grandmother.

    1. Hi Franny welcome back, lovely to see you again, yes I enjoyed the interview too, he is my favourite setter, Yes please tell s who his petic grandmother was?

  14. Nice, fairly straightforward puzzle today. Had same issues as Kath with tense in 28a until I checked the dictionary and realised it’s also a noun! Thanks to Jay & Pommers.

  15. Very strange – on first read through I thought “this is impossible” – just nothing made any sense. Then I had to go out for most of the day, so eventually sat down with it around 4 pm and it just fell into place, the answers coming one after the other. Oh, that it was like that every day!! Needed Pommers for 6a (a “doh!”) moment and 22a. Because I eventually had such fun doing it, I have to say I enjoyed it immensely. Thanks to Setter and Mr. P.

  16. Another enjoyable puzzle from Jay with a rather Scottish flavour in places.

    Faves for me : 10a, 15a, 28a, 1d, 3d, 4d, 9d & 16d.

  17. Definitely one of Jay’s trickier Wednesday offerings…and I must admit to finding it a bit on the joyless side – more a chore, than fun.
    No favourite clues today, except possibly 29a. 13a, 15a and 17a held me up for a bit. Learnt a new word for ‘experienced’ with 26d too – my answer was a pure guess!
    Thanks to setter and Pommers! :)

  18. I must have been in the right frame of mind for a Jay crossword as today’s puzzle seemed easier than some previous ones. Favourite clues were 17a and 3d. Thanks to Jay for the crossword and to Pommers for the review.

  19. 28a Bird shot (5)
    {SNIPE} – Double definition. A game bird is also a word meaning to shoot from cover, often from a long distance.

    I understand – Bird = Snipe.

    But “shot” …. “sniped”?

    1. Jay, are you Today’s setter? If so, Thanks for your Wednesday puzzles!

      Did anyone else fully understand 28a?

      1. Hi Franco
        Re SNIPE there have been previous comments on the subject. I never thought about it really – a snipe is a shot and also a bird, Simples!

          1. See my analysis of 27a and gnomethang putting me right below! We all get it wrong sometimes.
            Double defs like this one are often hard for me, which is why I’m not as keen on Rufus as pommette is, but this one clicked for me straight away for some reason.

    2. Hi Jay, that sounded as though it might have come from the heart! I liked the clue.
      Will I finally get to meet you on the 26th – hope so!

  20. Enjoyed this one today – first of the week. Finished with no help apart from a check on meaning of 13a. Hi Pommers apologies for not responding on Monday – hope all is well. A resurrection of the After 8 club perhaps?

  21. Faves: 15a, 21a, 24a,18d and 20d; 9d the best. No help required today – but still not sure about 29a. “In London” means you drop an haitch? Never come across that before.

  22. I found a few things to note in Jay’s puzzle today whilst solving:
    The 4 or so anagrams went in straight away.
    The definitions were as usual fun and sometimes difficult.
    May I comment on a couple of clues with my reviewing hat on, Pommers, as nobody has answered?

    16d: Rock singer’s first suit (8) – I think it is a cryptic definition and definition. If you read it as belonging to (Neil) Diamond then you get DIAMONDS. I guess that you know that Diamonds are the first suit in rankiing from the Bridge games. Personally I would have preferred some indication of definition by example for young Neil (and a video, Harrumph!)

    27a Soldiers on a date, soldiers with time for change (9) – Jay is absolutely correct here but it is a bit tricky:
    Soldiers ON a – in an across clue means MEN after A. Then add D for D(ate) as it is in order in the clue, then some more soldiers (MEN) then the T for change. This wouldn’t work in a down clue!.

    This was a really fun puzzle for me – I had a good deal of it solved quickly but about 7 clues were hanging around to finish and I derived great pleasure in knocking them off one by one on the train to London. My favourite – which set the tone – was 1a as it told a lovely story.
    Many thanks to Jay for the puzzle and Pommers for the usual entertaining review.

    1. Hi gnomey
      Thanks for that.
      27a – I knew I hadn’t got it quite right as you’ll see fromthe comment on the review. All is now clear and the clue works a lot better than I thought.

      16d – have to disagree. The first suit in Bridge is Clubs, the suits rank in alphabetical order followed by No Trumps. So – Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts Spades No Trumps. I threw in the Neil bit as an aside and it’s probably irrelevant as the clue works perfectly as I described it. The diamond is the rock followed by the first letter of singer to get a suit.

      You coming to the Sloggers and Betters?

      1. Oops! – 16d – mea culpa! I thought that diamonds were highest somewhere – maybe not bridge but considered the SInger in ‘Rock Singer’ to e significant – is Jay back to help out? – I haven’t planned to be at the S&B what with one thang and another but might just dive up there if time and work permits.

  23. Took me a while but I got there in the end. 28a held me up as I couldn’t get “Swift” out of my head. Once I got 26d it fell into place. I’ve never heard of 22a but deduced it from the clue and crossing letters.

    Thanks to Pommers and Jay.

    Tonight’s dram was a Bunnahabhain. (Try coming up with a clue for that!)

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