DT 26747 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26747

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26747

Hints and tips by pommers

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

Hola from the Vega Baja.  Well, I managed to survive Benidorm more or less unscathed and have got home to find this excellent puzzle from the Wednesday Wizard – deep joy! For the most part it’s really only a 2* difficulty but a couple of clues had me scratching the head a bit so I drifted over into 3* time. It will be interesting to know what others think.

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           Run, in case of savings and investments (6)
{SHARES} – Place a word meaning run or rush inside S and S (case of SavingS) and you get some investments, on the stock market perhaps.

5a           Co-operate, putting drama before dance (4,4)
{PLAY BALL} –A drama, on a stage maybe, followed by a dance gives a phrase meaning to co-operate or go along with.

9a           Hindu belief in flower on banks of Rhine (13)
{REINCARNATION} –RE (banks of RhinE) followed by IN (from the clue) and then a flower, often worn as a buttonhole, gives a belief of the Hindu religion.  For one horrible moment I thought I needed some obscure Hindu deity but fortunately it’s not that complicated!

10a         Drink it on bail for a change (8)
{LIBATION} – A word for a drink is an anagram (for a change) of IT ON BAIL.

11a         Reverse of French achievement (6)
{DEFEAT} – This reverse is a charade of the French word for ‘of’ and an achievement or exploit.

12a         Regret accepting key delivery (6)
{RESCUE} – This is delivery in the sense of being delivered or saved from something. Take a word for regret (3) and insert a key, not a musical key but look to the top left of your keyboard.

14a         Book in New Testament covering church affairs (8)
{ROMANCES} – These affairs are affairs of the heart. Take one of the books of the New Testament and insert (covering) the abbreviation for the Church of England

16a         Errors in items of intimate apparel (8)
{BLOOMERS} – Double definition. These errors or mistakes are also some old lady’s underwear.  Bit of an old chestnut I think but it still made me smile!

19a         Dictator’s son locked in warehouse (6)
{DESPOT} – A dictator or tyrannical ruler is S(on) inserted (locked in) into a warehouse or storage facility.

21a         Current number of students following a course (6)
{STREAM} – Another double definition. A word to describe the students all studying the same subjects is also a current in the sense of flowing water.

23a         Unexpectedly caught in tuna war escalation (8)
{UNAWARES} – A word meaning unexpectedly is hidden (caught in) tuna war escalation. I like this one. I spent quite some time trying to put C(aught) into an anagram (unexpectedly) of TUNA WAR to get a word meaning escalation!

25a         Water-borne constituent? (8,5)
{FLOATING VOTER} – This constituent, who hasn’t decided which candidate he wants to win an election, sounds as thought he might be water-borne.

26a         Outwardly healthy passion offers ideas for way of getting to sleep (8)
{HYPNOSIS} – A way of getting to sleep, or into a trance, is made up of the first and last letters (outwardly) of the next four words of the clue, HealthY PassioN OfferS IdeaS.  Clever clue!

27a         Cat crossing a river has a bit of neck (6)
{LARYNX} – A part of your neck is made by taking a wild cat, with tufted ears, and placing it around (crossing) A (from the clue) and R(iver).  The species of this cat which still lives wild in Spain is the world’s most endangered feline with numbers in the wild thought to be as low as 100 individuals!


2d           Drugs for the leading actress? (7)
{HEROINE} –Take two recreational drugs, the full name of the first and the abbreviation for the second, and you get the leading female part in a play or film.

3d           Shelled crab has it on a dish with rogan josh (5)
{RAITA} –Remove the outer letters (shelled) of (c)RA(b) and follow what’s left with IT and A (both from the clue) to get something eaten with rogan josh or any other curry.

4d           Forging relic’s age is an act of heresy (9)
{SACRILEGE} –An act of heresey is an anagram (forging) of RELICS AGE.

5d           Mate’s standard lease is up (7)
{PARTNER} – Standard, on a golf course, followed by a word for ‘to lease’ reversed (up in a down clue) gives a word for your mate or other half.

6d           A person protected by another honour (5)
{AWARD} – A (from the clue) followed by a young person under the protection someone not his parent gives an honour or prize.

7d           Instructions for monarch to be executed in underwear (9)
{BRIEFINGS} –Take a monarch without his first letter (to be executed, meaning head chopped off) ind insert into some men’s underwear to get these instructions.

8d           Pedigree cattle finally corralled by genial lunatic (7)
{LINEAGE} – Your pedigree or ancestry is made by inserting E (cattlE finally) into an anagram (lunatic) of GENIAL.  I quite like the surface of this one, it raised an amusing mental image!

13d         Secretive and depressed, stop operating (5,4)
{CLOSE DOWN} –A word for secret (5) followed by a word for depressed (4) gives a phrase meaning to stop something operating or turn off.

15d         Old-fashioned but alive, and made changes (9)
{MEIAEVAL} – This word can be taken to mean old-fashioned but really means from the ‘middle ages’. It’s an anagram (changes) of ALIVE and MADE.  I’m often not keen on clues where the anagram fodder is split but I think it works in this instance.

17d         Attacks permits to go by plane (4,3)
{LETS FLY} – Attacks or has a go at someone is a charade of a word meaning permits or allows and a word for to go by plane.

18d         One of five in street finally recognises eye problems (7)
{SQUINTS} – One of five children placed in the abbreviation for street and followed by S (finally recogniseS) gives some eye problems.

20d         Go too far — finished on ladder (7)
{OVERRUN} – A word meaning to go too far is a charade of a word for finished or ended and another word for a ladder in a stocking.

22d         Science degree thus not needing university (5)
{MATHS} – This science is one of the usual degrees followed by THS (TH(u)S not needing University).

24d         Up for porridge after tea finishes (5)
{ASTIR} –A (teA finishes) followed by another word for porridge, as in time in jail, gives a word meaning out of bed or in action.

A lot of blue again but my favourites are 12a and 8d.

The Quick crossword pun: {salver} + {door} + {dally} = {Salvador Dalí}

51 comments on “DT 26747

  1. Hola pommers, feeling under the weather so head not thinking straight today, finished about half without your help!! so thank you pommers and back to bed for an hour I go , expected in sister-in-laws for lunch 1pm, typical the very day someone cooks for me I dont feel like eating!! :-(

  2. This Christmas I have been able to sit down and tackle at least 2 crosswords daily (apart from the 25th). Without question the more one does the easier they become – a truism for all in life I suspect.

    Today’s was a good mix of different types of clues I thought and not too much to concern me although 12A had me stumped for ages and I needed a prompt. Good clue.

  3. Dare I say it, I liked this puzzle. Took me a while to see ‘defeat’ as ‘reverse’. Liked 9a and 7d – for which the picture posted by Pommers should make up for the disappointing ‘vital statistics’ image yesterday! Also needed the blog to fully justify 26a – very clever.

  4. Very surprised to see my passport photo being used to illustrate 7d, but like I always say, if you’ve got it, flaunt it. 5d possibly my favourite and 12a was too good for me. Thanks to pommers and the setter.

  5. Merry Christmas and many thanks to Jay for the usual high quality puzzle and to Pommers for the usual high quality review. I had to scoot through this (see why in 6 minutes time!) but luckily there were not too many problems!.

  6. Thank you Pommers for the hints and a couple of explanations to confirm hunches. Took me a while to recognise the evil in 12a. Also thought 26a was a very clever construction.

    1. I concur completely, except that I feel the word for 26A is “fantastic”! Pardon my ignorance, but I’ve never seen this complex construction before.

      Steve the Beard, beginner, only been doing the DT Cryptic for fifteen years :-)

      1. Virgilius used a similar construct only three days ago!

        2d Rookie using two-way radio, being extremely selective (4)

        Work it out for yourself, but please don’t post the answer until after 12.00noon next Friday as this is from a prize puzzle.

        1. Hi Big Dave!

          If anything, I like that one even more! Assiduously not posting the answer, still not, still not…

  7. A most enjoyable puzzle, not too difficult, with some very nice clues. Liked 2, which was last in, 7 and 15 but favourite was 25. The Toughie looks a different kettle of fish!

      1. Indeed you do, especially if like me you spent the morning being conversationally ‘battered’ by your sister-in-law :)

          1. I always have to think about that when I am posting on Facebook. And on that subject, I sometimes think it would be nice to have a “Like” button on this blog:)

              1. Not complaining BD – this is a great blog with more information than I could possible wish for to help me for which I am very grateful. Was just being tongue in cheek.

  8. In that limbo that post-Christmas sometimes creates, I had time to sit and and work this one out! Very much enoyed it and didn’t need hints – though many thanks Pommers for them, and the explanations. I’d justified 20d as knocking the last letter (finished) off what makes up a ladder – i.e. a series of *****, but your explanation is far better! Got 26a though couldn’t think quite why – had done the right thing with the first word and then, of course, when I studied the clue the penny dropped on the rest! Had to check the spelling of 15d or I’d have been all over the place. Now might have a look at the Toughie but am not sure where I put my mad hat!! Thanks to Jay for some fun.

  9. Pommers, I didn’t know Benidorm was dangerous in the winter months! I don’t suppose there were many men on the beach who bore much of a resemblance to 7d.

  10. 26a was annoying me, because I thought it was an anagram of the outer letters of healthy and the word passion, but that left an ‘a’ short, so thanks for enlightening me. I wish I’d seen it myself! Must try harder.

  11. Eventually finished but for me no fun at all. Can’t see a single clue that seemed pleasent, just a tricky slog. Thx for the valuable clues. That’s two tricky ones on the trot, any chance of an easier one for tomorrow
    (NOT A RAY T)

    1. I used to dread Ray T but the fear abated one glorious day when I managed to finish him without help. I still find him challenging, and I don’t think I’ll ever long for his puzzles in the way that Big Dave does, but I’m slowly learning to love him!

  12. Thanks to Jay and Pommers for the hints and tips. A real treat for my Birthday! Enjoyed this a lot. A few made me get my thinking cap on. Favourites were 2& 7d. 11,12, 25,26, 27a. Penultimate clue in was 26a, got the first 2 letters & had the checkers before the penny dropped. Last in was 14a.

  13. Not posted recently but always check in for the ones that defeat me. Christmas greetings and thanks to all the setters and bloggers. Keep up the good work.

  14. Bonjour Pommers. Many thanks for the hints, I did need to use some of them although I did not have to look at the answers. I did think that 11a was a bit ‘iffy. Thanks to Jay for an interesting puzzle

  15. Back to work today – a lovely quiet commute! Did not get the paper yesterday so I was potentially going to be a tad rusty. I started this on the way home and it presented the odd difficulty but once I got going I thought it was fine. 7d and 26a were my favourites. 14a was nice too. Overall I feel pleased with my performance and was clearly tuned in. Thanks for the review. 3*.

  16. Hi,

    I need some help, even though the request is not related to todays crossword, hope this is OK?

    When I am on leave, and particulalry over Xmas where there isn’t a great deal to do outside, I use “clued up” to print out some of the older cryptic crosswords as well as doing the daily telegraph cryptic. Clued up has the answers, and usually I can work out the word play from the answer, but I have come across two clues and answers from DT25536 which I cannot work out? This crossword predates Big Daves blog start date in Jan 09, so I can’t look there.

    If there is anyone out there who can shed any light on these, I’d be grateful.

    Sorry Pommers for hijacking todays blog for my own use, but I’m sure you’ll understand my frustration!

    Vera or city? (4,5)
    Answer – Half Truth

    In Australia, football is supreme, O.K.? (5)
    Answer – Rules

    1. Hello Alan

      No problem with hijacking the blog. Been very quiet on here today anyway!

      Got the first one. VERA and CITY are both half of the word VERACITY = TRUTH.

      Still cogitating the other – back in a bit.

    2. Got the second I think!

      Think ‘Australia rules OK’. Australian Rules football. Reckon that’s it. Sort of all-in-one?

      Perhaps someone else can do better.

  17. Thanks Pommers,

    Definitely agree with the explanation for Vera or City, not yet convinced about the second, but that could be just me cos the penny hasn’t dropped yet!

    1. Not sure about the second either! I think the definition is ‘is supreme’ = RULES and so it’s got to be something to do with their odd sort of football, but I can’t see it clearly. Also not sure what the ‘OK’ brings to the party.

      Think we need some help here!

  18. Alan – definately a word-play on “supreme” and the Australian version of football so “rules” it is. I agree with the previous comments.

  19. Hi,

    Just googled Australian Football (should have maybe done this in the first place) to find that the full title for their Football is “Australian Rules Football” – never heard of this before.

    But looking at the clue again, the “is supreme” part is just replacing “Rules”, and the OK bit is possibly superflous, but it reminds me of my youth when I would write a certain football team in the back of my text books at school followed by Rules OK!!

    Anyhow, thanks for everyones help!

  20. Late input from me – Back home temporarily after a memorable Christmas withh my son-in-law, daughter and family.

    Got Tuesday & Wednesday copies of DT and solved them.

    Best clues for me : 9a, 12a, 25a, 27a, 3d, 7d & 22d.

    Must go collect the fireworks today for return to the family on New Year’s Eve!

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