DT 26741 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26741

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26741

Hints and tips by pommers

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

Hola from the Vega Baja. Phew, I think Jay must have missed the memo about being easy on us solvers this week! I found this to be a bit tricky in places! Perhaps it’s just me! Enjoyable tussle though.

I’ve gone for 3* but my time was getting very close to 4* again. As is often the case with a Jay puzzle I’d recommend starting on the downs. It’s abit light on anagrams so I know some of you will be disappointed.

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           Memorable arrest? Yes (6)
{CATCHY} – A word you might use to describe a memorable tune is made up of a word which could mean arrest or ensnare followed by Y(es).

4a           Means, say, salary must be topped (8)
{AVERAGES} – Definition is means, as in the plural of an arithmetical mean. Take a word for say or state (4) and follow with another word for salary without its first letter (must be topped).

10a         Instrument of agreement — Italy has refusal rejected (9)
{ACCORDION} – This instrument is a word for agreement followed by I(taly) and a refusal reversed (rejected).

11a         A f-fortune to distribute (5)
{ALLOT} – A (from the clue) followed by a word for a fortune or large amount with its first letter repeated (as in f-fortune) gives a word for distribute or share out.

12a         Lacking excitement from paid sportsmen with agents on the way back (7)
{PROSAIC} – A word meaning lacking excitement or dull. Take a word to describe paid sportsmen (remember it’s plural) and follow with the American spy organisation reversed (on the way back).

13a         Type of panel accepting church student (7)
{SCHOLAR} – Take a type of panel which might generate electricity and insert one of the abbreviations for church to get another word for a student.

14a         Half of rest attack work on renewal (5)
{REFIT} – RE (half of REst) followed by an attack, of epilepsy perhaps, gives you a word meaning to work on renewal.  For some reason it took ages for the penny to drop here. No excuse as I’ve done this to two boats during my sailing years!

15a         Sort of advertising ruined by defensive armour (8)
{MAILSHOT} – This is a technique used for advertising or promotion. It’s a word for ruined or worn out placed after (by) a type of armour worn in the middle ages. I had a different answer at first before 7d showed me the error of my ways ! It’s the sort of advertising I uaually just throw in the bin so you can probably guess what my answer was.

18a         Manage a new record outside and leave (3,5)
{RUN ALONG} – A phrase you might use to tell a child to leave or go away. It’s the usual word for manage (3) followed by A (from the clue) and N(ew) with a record, of a ships voyage perhaps, placed around it (outside).

20a         Yarn, or story about rights of business and payroll (5)
{LISLE} –A type of thread or lace, from the French city of the same name, is made from the usual (untrue) story placed around the right hand letters of businesS and payrolL

23a         In America, rib outlets serving deer (7)
{CARIBOU} – This American deer is hidden in (serving) America rib outlets.

25a         Get better regarding insurance (7)
{RECOVER} – To get better after an illness if split (2,5) would be a phrase which might mean regarding insurance.

26a         Bar stopping others taking part (5)
{INGOT} – This bar, of gold, perhaps is hidden in (taking part) stopping others.  Had a mental block on this and it was my last in! Don’t know why as once you’ve spotted the answer it’s pretty obvious. You probably heard the penny drop in the UK! D’oh!

27a         A firm to resist such easy money (1,4,4)
{A FAST BUCK} – An American phrase for easy money. Take A (from the clue), a word for firm or stuck (4) and a word meaning resist, as in resist a trend (4).

28a         Shows friendliness, with energy for one of sons (8)
{MATINEES} – These shows are usually put on during daytime. Think of a synonym for friendliness and change one of the letters S to an E (Energy for one of Sons). You might say this clue is slightly unfair as there is no indication as to which S should be changed. It would work better if the clue said ‘ energy for first of sons’ IMHO.

29a         Inventor’s lack of affectation rejected (6)
{EDISON} – Take a phrase (2,4) meaning lack of affectation and reverse it (rejected) and you get a common crosswordland inventor.  This took me longer than it should as I first read the clue as AFFECTION! I blame the new contact lenses!


1d           The drink for people under canvas surrounding hotel (8)
{CHAMPERS} – This fizzy wine, much loved by pommette, is a word for people in tents (under canvas) placed around H(otel).

2d           Check carpet (4,3)
{TICK OFF} – This is a phrase meaning to check, as you might check things on a list. It also means to carpet as in reprimand.

3d           Two little boys steal inside for a drink (6,3)
{HERBAL TEA} – Two boys followed by TEA (sTEAl inside) gives another drink.

5d           Cosmetic adjustments to naming archives (9,5)
{VAINSHING CREAM} – A cosmetic is an anagram (adjustments to) of NAMING ARCHIVES.

6d           Fish for fresh char, catching nothing (5)
{ROACH} – Take an anagram (fresh) of CHAR and insert O (catching nothing) to get a freshwater fish.

7d           Scientist’s island captured by Spanish warship with no name (7)
{GALILEO} – This famous Italian scientist is an old Spanish warship with the N removed (with no Name) and I inserted (Island captured).

8d           Film idols accepting one must get strings (6)
{SITARS} – Place an I (accepting one) inside some film idols and you get an Indian stringed instrument played by George Harrison amongst others.

9d           Bale out distraught after dance with doctor, upset (14)
{DISCOMBOBULATE} – A very obscure word for to upset or confuse! Take a dance, or place where youngsters dance the night away and follow with one of the usual abbreviations for doctor and then an anagram (distraught) of BALE OUT.  I guessed this word from the checkers and then had to work out the parsing! I was quite surprised to find it is actually in the dictionary as I always thought it a made-up word!

16d         Consequently legal, journalist made advances (9)
{SOLICITED} – Another word for consequently (2), followed by a word for legal (5) and the usual journalist gives a word meaning made advances or touted for business.

17d         Puts up with family’s military headgear (8)
{BEARSKIN} – This military headgear worn at Buckingham Palace is a word meaning puts up with followed by the usual family.

19d         Winning on equity — just (7)
{UPRIGHT} – How you might describe the guy winning in a poker game (2) followed by another word for equity gives a word meaning just or upstanding.

21d         Enjoys island abandoned by rescuers (7)
{SAVOURS} – Take some rescuers and remove the I (Island abandoned by) and you’re left with a word meaning enjoys.

22d         Second child is married, creating a rift (6)
{SCHISM} – Just take the first four words of the clue in order and you get a split or division, of a church maybe, i.e.  S(econd), CH(ild), IS and M(arried).

24d         This anticipates charge for police staff (5)
{BATON} – This word goes in front of ‘charge’ to give a type of charge the police may make to quell a riot. It’s also a staff or stick.

I like all the ones in blue but favourites are 28a, 3d and 22d for its simplicity.

The Quick crossword pun: {Allies} + {ally} = {a lie’s a lie – let me know if you van think of something better BD}

65 comments on “DT 26741

  1. I breezed this one, makes a change for me to ‘beat’ a reviewer. It must have been the carpet fitter’s 7:30 arrival bringing me to my senses early.

    Quickie pun: I thought it’s ‘Alley Sally’, not that that’s much better. :-)

    1. Ah, but just because I can usually parse a clue once I’ve got the answer it doesn’t mean I’m any good at solving them! As you can see from the blog I made a couple of problems for myself this morning!

  2. This took me a little longer than normal, which I put down to being preoccupied with other things, namely clearing the paperwork on my desk, so that I can get in the pub by midday!
    Thanks to Jay for an enjoyable puzzle, and to Pommers for the review.

    No time for the Toughie this morning, and by the time we are kicked out of the Italian restaurant late afternoon, I don’t think I will be in any fit state to tackle it! :)

  3. I agree with you on 9d, I too thought it was a made up word.Almost completed while out waiting in doctors surgery so had to wait till I returned home to check. My favourites, 4a,12a, & 16d.

  4. We’re on the same wavelength today, Pommers. I also found this rather tough going, but managed to get through in the end, for all except 15a, which I’d never heard of and none of my resources could find for me. I took a long time finding 14a too, as well as 26a, and agree it was a good idea to start with the downs. 9d surprised and amused me, and it’s been a long time since I’ve heard of 5d — does anyone use it any more? As for 20a stockings, as I remember they were much less glamourous than those in your photo. No special favourites today, but thanks to Jay for the mental exercise and to Pommers for the explanations. :-)

    1. Hi Franny
      Re 15a, I suppose it helps to have had a career in Marketing for that one. I did enough of them over the years! (but I put JUNKMAIL in at first, D’oh!).

      1. Heh, I nearly did too, but, having had the ‘I’ in place from 5d, my pen made a hasty retreat. :)

      2. I did this on first pass over the across clues so had no checkers at all at that point. I though JUNK = RUINED? Not good but near enough and then MAIL = ARMOUR (which turned out to be right in the end). Seemed to work but then, when going through the downs, I solved 7d without even looking at the grid and when I found it didn’t fit it was obvious that I must have got 15a wrong – time to think again! And I’d wasted ages trying to solve the 5d anagram with an N as the 7th letter!

  5. Superb crossword from Jay today. Fair and square in the two star zone for me. Loved 9d – I think we had Firefly include discombobulated recently and I recall it appearing in a NTSPP in the early days :)

    Many thanks to Jay for the treat and merry Christmas to him. Thanks too to Pommers for the review and liberal use of blue!

    1. And I wonder who was responsible for the NTSPP 012 then!!
      It also appeared in a toughie by Kcit : Unsettled dance club, with doubt and blame flying about (15)

  6. Even if 9D is a made up word, it works for me. Words come and words go, I’ve heard 9D on many an occasion, so I guess that its a word that’s a’coming. Thoroughly enjoyed today’s offering (thanks Jay) and as per usual, only had 3 answers after first read-through of the across clues, thankfully everything was rectified once the downs started to go in.

    Re the quickie. Think you are right BD – looked at it for ages and that was all I could come up with. Incidentally, does anyone know 19A in the quickie? Got me totally stumped, I assume it has a B in it to make it a pangram.

  7. Hola pommers, a tough one for me today with you on the 3 stars at least!! 9d last to go in,no real favourite clue unfortunately, thanks for blog pommers once again, lots to do today, the elves are waiting see you all later :-)

  8. What a tough crossword, far too difficult for mortal man. Took me 20 mins to get 4 clues and then I didn’t understand 4a until the hint. Don’t know about the answers, I couldn’t work out most of the clues! Not for me I’m afraid.

  9. This seemed really hard while I was solving it – and forget the usual practice of the downs going in before the acrosses, I had all the right hand side and hardly anything on the left today! However, my solving time indicated a 2* difficulty rating for me. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to Jay – I hope I get the chance to meet you again next year. Thanks to Pommers too.

    Some of the people struggling with the back page might like to give the Giovanni Toughie a go instead/as well.

  10. Very hard going for me, especially after the ones earlier in the week! But then I have been awake since 2am with my back, and the painkillers have spaced me out, so not a crossword day for me, I’m afraid! I’ll have a look at the hints later when my brain recovers and see if I can understand them.

    Thanks to Jay and Pommers.

    Good luck to the rest of you!

  11. For once had time to concentrate (unusually not up to my eyes in festive preparations as are going away so sister-in-law has all the hard work, though no doubt I’ll be pressganged into the kitchen once there!!) Loved this one though didn’t find it easy, just enjoyed battling with it. Needed my little Seiko helper for three – most particularly 9d!! would otherwise not have got that little devil. And 1a had me staring blankly into my coffee for a while. 28a last in – had thought of the word you have to change – which didn’t fit, of course – but it never occurred to me to swap a couple of letters – doh! to ape Pommers. Thanks to Jay for the fun and Pommers for excellent hints and explanations.

  12. I agree with others that this was a bit more tricky than Monday or Tuesday, but I got there in the end. 9d took me a while, which was infuriating because last week I spent some time explaining this word to a couple of friends – one Slovakian lady and one Danish lady, both of whom speak excellent English – and today it was one of the last words I filled in! Must try harder.

  13. Good Lord, this was super-tricky for a Wednesday – Jay must positively hate us this Christmas!
    It took some serious perseverance to get through this – and a lot of guessing based on checking letters, as I could make no sense of the wordplay for 14a, 18a and 3d, tho’ the answer looks sorta right.
    20a was a new word for me, and I needed the hint for that.
    I quite liked 29a, and still wonder to myself how that lept out – definitely one where you get the answer and back-justify it to the clue.

  14. Most enjoyable crossword for a week or two. I particularly liked 4a, 11a, 15a, 1d, 9d, 24d.

    If you have teenage kids you won’t think 9d such an unusual word!

    I thought 24d included a cricketing allusion – a run charge (bat on – instead of declaring)

    I did have trouble understanding the clue for 29a although the answer was (crossword-speak) obvious.

    1. Hi Chris
      Re 24d. That thought briefly crossed my mind but then you’re left with ‘police staff’ as definition which doesn’t really work. Police have truncheons not batons, except for very senior ones perhaps.

    1. Hi Tom and welcome from me too.

      My first thought was STAIRS but, fortunately for me, I couldn’t think of a connection to strings so thought again. If I’d known I would have put it in with some confidence as I already had the firsr S and the R from first pass over the acrosses – that would have messed up 11a big-time.

  15. A tad trickier imho than normal Jay wednesday fare. I too had an issue albeit nitpicky re 28a until 9d solved. Jay have a great Christmas and Pommers Pommette and the fat cats also.

    1. Thanks Andy, and the same to you. Don’t know what you’re up to but we’re off to Benidorm on Friday for a few days in a centrally heated hotel where someone else does the cooking!

      ‘Have a good one’ from both of us!

      1. Off to the New Forest to visit the family. Depending on how they behave I might leave the same day as I arrive or else stay until following Wednesday. Benidorm and a hotel sounds heavenly in comparison!

      1. Thanks pommette and cats for the Miaow. It won’t take much to incite a riot, they have been watching with dismay as my bags get packed and their crates / bags get prepared ready for their festive trip to the kennels!!

  16. Difficult one today ! When I had to wear 20a stockings at school, they were much less glamorous than in the picture, also the regulation (red) knickers. Ddin’t realise that it is a French town. Thanks for much needed hints.

      1. Don’t think that these would have excited you : elastic round the legs, and thick woolly material.

  17. Surprised nobody’s commented but I think I got the parsing of 11a wrong!!!
    Just occurred to me that ‘fortune’ surely wasn’t meant to have anything to do with ‘loadsa money’ but it’s ‘luck’ or ‘your lot in life’!

    Sorry Jay! Can’t win ’em all! Have a great Christmas and I’m looking forward to next year’s puzzles.

      1. Hi Kath.

        True but the luck bit is better – I’m sure that’s what Jay meant. Perhaps he will enlighten us.

        And a Happy Christmas to you and your’s as well.

  18. Glad to read that others found this a tad on the tricky side – I think we’re all overloaded with Christmas as, looking at it now that I’ve finished, it doesn’t seem that difficult. Mistake number one was doing this much later than normal, (after making MORE mince pies, bread and blinis, cleaning all the copper in the kitchen, making beds for impending invasion and taking collie for two walks) so was out of routine. Mistake number two was, as Pommers did, reading “affection” in 29a. 9d is one of the favourite words of one of my favourite friends so no trouble with that.
    Lots of good clues including 12, 27 and 28a and 2, 9 and 22d. With thanks and “Happy Christmas” wishes to Jay, Pommers and Pommette.

  19. Found this a hard slog to-day . I too was convinced 9d was a made up word and had to use your hints Pommers. Last one in 20a a la Nora Batty rather than your pic. Couldn’t figure out why 14a was what it was until I read the hints. Thanks Pommers and you and Pommette enjoy Benidorm. Wet and miserable here in Northern Spain today but can’t complain as it’s been like summer up until the end of last week.

    1. Glad to have been of service. Where are you? Weather on the Med coast has been sunny but a bit chilly for the last few days but the temp got up to 21C today! How’s that for late December? Forecast the same tomorrow then going a bit rainy over Christmas.

      Feliz Navidad!

  20. Very enjoyable fare from Jay!
    Faves : 10a, 15a, 20a, 28a, 3d, 5d, 9d & 21d.

    Stuffed paprikas tonight with Gigondas then rasps and cream.

        1. Don’t quite understand why but, although today is the winter solstice, TOMORROW (ie 22nd) is the shortest day this year – PLEASE don’t anyone question me – am only quoting …. ! Must be summer soon!! :smile:

  21. Great puzzle today! Thanks, Jay!

    A very nice mix of clues – some easy, some not so easy and some very difficult (especially in the SW Corner).

    Favourite: 28a – I have no complaints about “…one of sons” rather than “first of sons”.

    Feliz Navidad a pommers.

    (Personally, I’ll be glad when Christmas is over!! Regards, Scrooge.)

    1. Evening Franco

      In the village where I lived in England I was a founder member of the pub’s ‘B’ah Humbug Society’

      I don’t really mind about 28a, because the two letters are next to eachother it’s not a problem. Just thought I’d throw the comment in to see if it caused discussion, until now apparantly not!

      Feliz Navidad a tu tambien.

  22. Off to quiz night now but I’ll maybe pop in later to see what’s going on.

    Won’t be around tomorrow and going to Benidorm Friday with probably no internet so see you next Weds for the next Jay offering. Hope it’s as good as this one!

    A Very Happy Christmas to one and all.

  23. Many thanks to Pommers for all the reviews over the past year, and to all for your comments. Enjoy Christmas and see you all for the New Year if not before. For those in Spain, don’t forget to buy grapes for the midnight chimes!

    1. Hello Jeremy

      Really nice to meet you at last in Derby. The grapes in Spain come in tins of 12 ( as you must know) and they are laid in already. The fireworks for New Year in the local town are usually spectacular but this year who knows – cutbacks etc – so we live in hope!

      Enjoyed the reviewing, as I have the puzzles, and particularly today’s as I found it a bit tricky! I like that in a puzzle! I nearly went 5* for enjoyment but then I’d be a bit stuck if you do a better one next week!

      What about 11a? Got it wrong? Or does it work both ways?

      Have a great Christmas and we’ll meet again next Wednesday I believe. Hope it’s a bit easier than today’s as I’ll be a bit ‘Duntish’!

    2. Jeremy – and a Merry Christmas and a Happy new year to you too! And everyone else here at Big D’s

      As pommers said, we already have the grapes – but thanks for the reminder. I must find them though! I bought them and put them away a couple of weeks ago.
      In LIFF this is a
      FIUNARY (n.)
      The safe place you put something and then forget where it was

      I may then have to go
      KELLING (participial vb.)
      A person searching for something, who has reached the futile stage of re-looking in all the places they have looked once already, is said to be kelling.

  24. Just thought I’d say Happy Christmas to everyone now, as probably won’t be blogging again until the New Year. Hopefully I’ll be doing th Xword at sister-in-law’s as believe she’s “on-line” but won’t be blogging. So – back again in 2012 – oh heavens – where do the years go??????

    1. Hi Addicted

      Agree about the years! It’s ony a few of them since I was a teenager, or at least that’s how it feels to me! But the upside is I’m now a retired old giffer and have time to solve and blog crosswords! More fun than working for a living!
      Have a great Christmas and best wishes for 2012.

  25. Thanks to Jay for a great puzzle, and to Pommers for the review & hints. A puzzle of two halves, I did most of the right hand side before going out to a Christmas Dinner, then managed the left hand side this morning after sobering up ! Found it all quite tricky but managed without the hints. Favourites were 9d & 12a.

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