DT 26765 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26765

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26765

Hints and tips by Falcon

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from blustery Ottawa where we are currently in the midst of a blizzard. Today’s puzzle is a fairly typical offering from Jay – if perhaps a bit less difficult than usual – with lots of clues where one must either strip the outer letters from words or eviscerate words.

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    Looks into note enclosing dress (6)
{PROBES} – a synonym for investigates is created by wrapping an afterthought at the end of a letter around a long, flowing garment.

5a    Rushes from overnight sleeper boarding ship (8)
{SCAMPERS} – we are looking for a word meaning to run or skip about briskly which can be formed by placing someone using makeshift sleeping accommodation inside the usual abbreviation for a steam ship.

9a    Vehicles for carrying sandwiches (6-7)
{DOUBLE-DECKERS} – these iconic London people carriers are also sandwiches made with three slices of bread.

10a    Church service finishes surrounded by friends — and weapons (8)
{MACHETES} – gather a man’s male friends around CH(urch) and the final letter of (servic)E to get a long heavy broad-bladed South American knife.

11a    Relatives going after source of dairy cows (6)
{DAUNTS} – a word meaning frightens, worries or discourages is a charade of the first letter (source) of D(airy) and your parents’ sisters.

12a    The way workers fence a part of flower (6)
{STAMEN} – the abbreviation for a common urban roadway and some workers (in this case, not the nearly ubiquitous ants) enclose (fence) A (from the clue) to produce the male part of a flower.

14a    Having an accent under pressure (8)
{STRESSED} – this adjective might be used to describe either a syllable having a more forceful pronunciation or a person enduring physical or mental overexertion.

16a    Gets all emotional, seeing first of kids being carried in new pouches (6,2)
{CHOKES UP} – it seems that one is overcome by emotion when one inserts the first letter of K(ids) into an anagram (new) of POUCHES

19a    Cancels cash advances covering credit (6)
{SCRUBS} – another word for cancels or abandons (in reference to plans, for instance) results when a name for advance payments on wages is placed around CR(edit).

21a    Searches female and takes a chance (6)
{FRISKS} – the type of searches performed by a police officer is a charade of F(emale) and a word meaning exposes to danger.

23a    Trustworthy Liberal getting lost touring Spain (8)
{RELIABLE} – the result is dependable when we have an anagram (getting lost) of LIBERAL going around (touring) the IVR code for Spain

25a    Careful thought given to payment (13)
{CONSIDERATION} – surely not a great deal of deliberation was needed on this double definition!

26a    What churches may have is expensive beers with no head (8)
{STEEPLES} – the most prominent feature of typical churches is a charade of an adjective used to describe unreasonably high prices and a synonym for beers from which the first letter has been removed (with no head).

27a    Experienced doctor starts on discrimination (6)
{TASTED} – the starting letter of D(octor) added to the end of a word denoting an appreciation for the finer things in life gives us the past tense of a verb meaning to feel or undergo. For a very brief moment, I did wonder if doctor might be indicating an anagram of STARTS.


2d    Looking happy, most of set wants to be naked (7)
{RADIANT} – the definition is looking happy which is a charade of a wireless transmitter and/or receiver with the final letter deleted (most of) and (w)ANT(s) with its covering letters stripped away (to be naked).

3d    Evidence of embarrassment as president embraces student (5)
{BLUSH} – should the former US president known as Dubya be discovered wrapped around a typical student driver, which one would be red in the face?

4d    Finishes after rent is shock problem for girls (5,4)
{SPLIT ENDS} – start with a synonym for rent – which here means an opening made by tearing or rending. Then add another way of saying finishes or terminates to get a condition that many girls may encounter with their bushy masses of hair.

5d    Perverts and drips oddly included in school tests (7)
{SADISTS} – putting the odd letters of D(r)I(p)S into tests administered periodically to assess student performance produces people who get their jollies from inflicting pain on others.

6d    A road around hollow cable produced a discharge (5)
{ARCED} – A (from the clue) plus the abbreviation for road when placed around the outside letters (hollow) of C(abl)E gives us the past tense of a verb meaning to form a continuous electric discharge between two electrodes.

7d    Herald’s quiet errors involved protecting copper (9)
{PRECURSOR} – a sign of an approaching event is formed from the musical direction for quiet plus an anagram (involved) of ERRORS around (protecting) Cu, the symbol for the chemical element copper.

8d    Flower state regularly suppressing energy award (7)
{ROSETTE} – put Gertrude Stein’s famous flower and the regular letters of (s)T(a)T(e) on top of (suppressing, this being a down clue) the abbreviation for E(nergy) to get a badge made from coloured ribbon given as a prize.

13d    Mensa seek changes — be logical! (4,5)
{MAKE SENSE} – this command to utter something that is well thought out is an anagram (changes) of MENSA SEEK

15d    Relax, accepting executed Arab leader as a consequence (9)
{RESULTANT} – As we should know, execution in Crosswordland is nearly always by beheading. Remove the first letter (head) from an Arab leader (not Gadaffi) and place the remains in a synonym for relax to get an adjective meaning occuring or produced as a consequence of something.

17d    Bean’s hair falling out on bed (7)
{HARICOT} – this bean of French descent is an anagram (falling out) of HAIR to which a camp bed is annexed.

18d    Harbours sheltering Queen’s bearers (7)
{PORTERS} – put another word for harbours (where sailors might take refuge in a storm) around the Latin initials of the present queen to create people who carry things.

20d    Amount required in accounts for harmony (7)
{BALANCE} – the amount left in your bank account after the bills are paid is also a state existing when two opposite forces are equal.

22d    Medicine needed after son’s fall from horse (5)
{SPILL} – this word meaning a fall from a horse is made up of a medicinal tablet appended to (after) S(on).

24d    Name a canvas to be put up (5)
{ALIAS} – a false or assumed name is constructed from A (in the clue) and a reversal of a sheet of canvas spread to catch the wind as a means of propelling a ship.

As is the norm with Jay, there are so many well-crafted clues that it is difficult to single a few out for special mention. Among those that appeal to me are 26a, 2d, 4d and 15d.

The Quick crossword pun: {Chanel} + {fore} + {gnus} = {Channel 4 News}

I was invited to join Wikipedia and a large number of other sites in the protest against the US censorship laws that are currently under discussion. I chose to opt for the web equivalent of an armband rather than a complete blackout – just click on the ribbon for more information. A number of similes have been applied to this legislation – for me it is like closing the entire telephone network because a few criminals use it. BD

94 comments on “DT 26765

  1. A nice puzzle today, with some good surface reads. Thanks to Jay, and to Falcon for the write-up.

  2. I needed help with 6d and 24d so thanks for the tips Falcon, it all makes sense now! Loving this website.

  3. Enjoyed the offering today but needed your help with 24d, couldn’t stop linking canvas with tent!! Many thanks

      1. 24d was my last answer in- I needed all the other letters to stop me writing in “Alice”!

  4. Very enjoyable thank you Jay and Falcon too.

    Anyone wanting to try Toughies should have a go today. Anyone who wants a Toughie to solve should look at Enigmatist (Elgar) in the Guardian.

    1. Domus it’s ‘taste’ for discrimination, on ‘d’ for doctor starts i.e. first letter of doctor

          1. It’s not too bad. We are five hours behind GMT, so I get the puzzle in the early evening of the previous day. However, I am sound asleep when activity on the blog begins in the morning in the UK.

            1. Falcon, thanks for the hints although I didn’t need them for this one. Please keep your snow in Canada and do not send it south. Chicago does not need any more snow:) I too get the puzzle the evening before, at 6 pm, which seems to be my best time for solving – don’t do so well in the morning. For the 2nd day in a row I finished this in time to get the time bonus, by about 30 seconds anyway. 5d held me up a little because we have SATs here too and I didn’t think it could be a word used in England.

                1. Thanks Dave. Something not used when I was living there but a lot has changed in 40 years. BTW I once worked for the Canadian Consulate in Chicago and I had to write a paper for the Foreign Service Officers explaining the school system in the US because it is different to the Canadian one. The biggest complaint I heard was that not many schools offered ice hockey on the curriculum:) Loved the Canadians they were wonderful people to work with and I felt I gained an understanding of another country as well as England and the US.

  5. At first I thought this was going to be reallt tough and could only do one on first run through, I found it a puzzle of four corners with the bottom left being first then the bottom right, top left and finally top right with 6d and 5a being last in, I had worked out 6d but didn’t know the word! lots of clues where you take off letters etc. not my favourite type of clue at all, all the clues are workable but I didnt think they all made sense in the reading, I liked lots of the clues but no favourite for me today, none that really made me smile or go Ah yes! Thanks for blog Falcon, hope the blizzard doesn’t cause too much trouble, I don’t envy you at all, we have been lucky here so far this year :-)

  6. After struggling with the Toughie yesterday, it was nice to get back to something a little more gentle! I enjoyed today. No real favourites. Going to have a go and todays Toughie. Thanks to Falcon for the hints and tips. Love this blog!

        1. Yes – agree totally – even if you (as in I) are being REALLY dim no-one ever makes you feel stupid! :smile:

    1. I’m going to try the Toughie too. I think I’ll sneak up on it and pretend it’s a cryptic so that I don’t feel intimidated.

  7. Very enjoyable puzzle today which required a lot of workman-like effort. I Particularly liked 9A, reminds me of a time I worked behind a bar in a hotel and ordered a smoked salmon version of the aforesaid, silly buggers made it on white bread instead of brown so I got the wrong ‘un (at £12.50 a throw).

  8. Thanks to both. Fairly straightforward except for 2D , where I had the answer but didn’t follow the reasoning. Thank you for the explanation.
    Weather in deepest Gloucestershire is pretty miserable (windy and drizzly) hence early finish .

  9. Not a particularly difficult puzzle, but I thought “overnight sleeper ” in 5a was a bit vague for “camper”.

    1. I thought the same at first, then after thinking about other ways I’d make up a clue for ‘camper’ I realised that I’d probably be done by the PC brigade and so decided that ‘overnight sleeper’ was probably valid.

    2. Oxford lists one variant of the verb camp as to “lodge temporarily, especially in an inappropriate or uncomfortable place” with the usage example being “we camped out for the night in a mission schoolroom”. Here you might hear someone say that an overnight guest camped out on the livingroom couch.

  10. Thanks to Jay for the puzzle & to Falcon for the review & hints. Found this fairly plain sailing, was held up for a while by 15d but the penny dropped eventually. Favourites were 7,8,17,24d and 27 & 5a, which was last in. Enjoyable puzzle.

  11. Many thanks to Jay for a most enjoyable crossword, I found this reasonably straightforward but it was still harder than todays toughie. Thanks to Falcon for an excellent review.

  12. Not too difficult today but rather distracted by marmalade and the thought of dentist this afternoon! I needed the hints for 27a and 24d – if I had managed either I would have got the other, if that makes any sense at all! The blasted sandwich transport took a while, for some reason, and I couldn’t work out where the first four letters of 2d came from. I liked 11, 21 and 26a and 4, 13 and 22d. With thanks to Jay and Falcon.
    Might have a go at the toughie later on (assuming that I survive the dentist) :sad: Back later, I hope!!

    1. Hope the dentist isn’t too painful. It’s a shame you can’t post your marmalade on the blog.

      Seems there’s a bit of a move towards the Toughie. I’m going to have a try – give the brain cells a proper workout.

    2. Thanks to all – have to confess that visit to dentist was only the hygienist but even that is enough to make me go pale, cold and sweaty – would almost rather have another baby!!!!

  13. Thanks to Jay and Falcon.
    I needed an explanation for 2d, and confirmation re: “Beheading” which I was less than convinced by.

    Good stuff and now if only there was a Toughie to do…….
    Oh, Hoorah! A Toughie because it isn’t Monday!

  14. This one was OK with no stand out clues. Best were 5a, 9 and 16. At least its better than the toughie.

  15. Just when I thought I had got the hang of 2 star difficulty puzzles this one comes along! Needed help with 10A as I was not looking for weapons. Got 11A with the wordplay but stiil cannot understand where the definition is. 5A I agree with others was also a bit vague. Thanks to Jay and Falcon for saving me a sleepless night.

    1. 11a – ‘Cows’ is the definition, and is a synonym for the answer. One definition of ‘cow’ given in Chambers is ‘to subdue the spirit of’.

    2. The definition in 11a is “cows”. Cow as a verb means “to frighten something into submission” (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary) or “cause (someone) to submit to one’s wishes by intimidation” (Oxford Dictionary of English). See reply to Vince above regarding “camper” in 5a.

  16. Well, glad I wasn’t in the chair today! Nothing to do with the puzzle but I woke up at about 0230 this morning with an urgent need to go to the loo. Won’t bore you with the details but I spent about 5 hours in there!
    Eventually went back to bed but then didn’t wake up until around noon so the blog would have been very late! Probably would have been posted about now.

    I know I told Kath yesterday that I could have a lie-in this morning but that wasn’t quite what I had in mind!

    Anyway, a nice puzzle so thanks to Jay and Falcon.

    Think I might go for a siesta now.

      1. Thanks to all for the kind wishes. Been a bit off all afternoon but just had an hour siesta with a hot water bottle on the tum and it seems to have improved things!

    1. David,
      Your surname was included in your alias in previous comments so this one had to be moderated. From now on it should be ok with or without surname.

  17. Ref. 5a – was I the only one who thought that “overnight sleeper” was referring to the motor vehicle rather than the person?

    1. Hi Gazza, No you’re not. That was my take on it too! Didn’t one of these vans come up quite recently?

        1. Just looked at this one and not only is it the same van it’s the same answer, save for the S on the end today!

    2. I too thought it referred to the vehicle – but then No 1 son is saving up to get a VW ****** van and so we hear about it a lot at home :)

      1. What train? Have I missed something? I also thought that the “overnight sleeper” was the vehicle and the other option didn’t occur to me.

    3. The vehicle is certainly a distinct possibility which hadn’t occurred to me. But, then again, I’ve often been accused of favouring the most difficult route to reach a destination!

        1. Advantage to you Pommers. I haven’t seen that one yet. We are five hours behind you in time, but two and a half months behind in puzzles. Today the syndicated puzzle published in the National Post should be the one that appeared in the UK on November 1, 2011 (although I haven’t had a chance to confirm that yet).

  18. Well, this was definitely a lot easier than the normal Thursday offering (and way easier than last week’s!), but still a satisfying solve. I did use the hints to explain the beginning of 2d – wasn’t thinking that kind of ‘set’ – but the rest was straightforward. Thanks Jay and Falcon, and hope you’re feeling better soon, Pommers.

      1. Oh yeah! And I’ve got no excuse as I wasn’t in the office on Monday, so should think it’s Tuesday, if anything!!

  19. I really enjoyed this one….it looked harder than it was ….i only got stuck on a couple because I managed to put in SCRAPS for 19a; being too lazy to look up saps and see if it meant cash advances …..that.ll teach me to be lazy what?

  20. Enjoyed this to-day but got held up on 10a until I realised I had spelt 2d with an e instead of an a . Thanks to Jay & Falcon.

  21. Wow! All apart from 3 in in about 30 mind SW in first and NE in last. 24d gave no trouble at all. Understand 27 now but that also troubled me as a number of alternatives which did not seem quie right. My fault I missed that sort of discrimination. 5a should have been easy but last to go in. Again a number of words fitted but not quite right eg Skippers. On reflection I think the middle of the word does refer to something you sleep in on your travels. I was too upmarket thinking Wagon Lits!

  22. Dear me, a two star, I don’t think so at least not for me, managed only 1/4 of this one, very tricky I thought.

  23. Solved this late in the afternoon after a lunch on The Wetering with my daughter and grandchildren as an unofficial celebration of my 88th anniversary.

    Faves : 5a, 10a, 21a, 27a, 2d, 7d, 17d & 24d.

    Roast chicken tonight with all the usual trimmings.

  24. Finished this, then looked at the blog and realised that in order to finish I had deluded myself into the notion that a Double Duchess was some kind of high tea multi-layered sandwich tray. Even thought she might be the wife of the Earl of S…….. Good imagination, poor execution. Thanks to Jay and Falcon. PS Has Mary made a permanent name change?

    1. I had an issue getting my wordpress account name in (gnomethang as opposed to my Facebook name) so Mary might have had the same issues.
      Second – I founf this puzzle quite hard but very rewarding. Thanks Jay and Falcon – a sound review as ever.

    2. Its only when I am using my Motorola android xoom tablet ( I think that’s it full title) that I get the other name, during the day time I will probably be on my main computer and remain plain Mary, don’t know how to change the other so I will leave well alone :-)

  25. I found this one quite tricky today. Left-hand side of the puzzle went in quite quickly, then SE and finally NE. NE really did hold me up with my mind doing gymnastics trying to think of the right synoynms for ‘set’, ‘school exams’ and ‘overnight sleepers’ – I ultimately had to turn to the hints for those. I guess they were fair.
    Decent puzzle from Jay, but no real stand-out clues for me.

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