DT 26783 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26783

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26783

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja.  This puzzle will be a lot easier if you can solve 10a quickly as 5 of the other across clues refer to it. I found it a little tricky as I’m not familiar with a couple of the types of 10a but I got there in the end. Some of you will probably think it a doddle! It only just got into the 3* time for me  so if I knew a bit more about 10a probably only 2*.

It’s also the first time I’ve had to blog a puzzle where so many clues refer to another. It’s not easy to hint those that refer to 10a without giving 10a away. Hope I’ve done it OK.  I’ve been blogging Jay’s puzzles for the best part of a year now and he’s never done one with so many linked clues in all that time so the thought’s crossed my mind that this may not be one of his, perhaps he’ll pop in and let us know.

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           Footwear worn by socially acceptable form of 10 (5)
{HOUSE} – This is a form of 10 which originated in Chicago in the 1980’s. You need a word for some footwear, which normally covers the leg as well, and insert (worn by) the letter for socially acceptable or posh.  I resisted the temptation to illustrate this one – you’ll see what I mean when you twig what the footwear is. Just wait for 28a!

4a           The purging effect of desperate act is rash (9)
{CATHARSIS} – A purging effect is an anagram (desperate) of ACT IS RASH.

9a           Sickened by Auden capriciously adopting parliamentary constituency (9)
{NAUSEATED} – An anagram of AUDEN (capriciously) with another word for a parliamentary constituency inserted (adopting) gives a synonym for sickened.

10a         Face such consequences in chamber, for example (5)
{MUSIC} – This word comes from another phrase meaning ‘Face the consequences’. Chamber is also an example of this.

11a         Puts a limit on bronze device on ship (7)
{CAPSTAN} – This is a device on a ship used for raising the anchor. Take a word for puts a limit on, spending maybe, and follow with a word meaning bronze – either the colour or lying in the sun. We had something for lifting the anchor on our boat – it was called pommers!

12a         Waits around for ships to welcome head of government (7)
{LINGERS} – A word meaning waits or hangs around is some large passenger ships with G (head of Government) inserted (to welcome).

13a         10’s on us if remixed (6)
{FUSION} – Another sort of 10 is an anagram (remixed) of ON US IF.

15a         Encroach upon resorts in very French surroundings (8)
{TRESPASS} – To encroach on someone else’s property without permission is the French word for very with some health resorts, Bath or Harrogate for example, inserted.

18a         Greek’s old banger in call for help (8)
{SOCRATES} – Insert a slang term for a rather scruffy old car (old banger) into the Morse code radio distress call to get this old Greek philosopher (he was also captain of the Brazilian football team at the 1982 World Cup).  The radio call is said to come from ‘Save Our Souls’ but personally I think it’s just that it’s easy to key in Morse if you’re in a panic!  Unfortunately the footballer in the photo died last December.

20a         10 back working after college (6)
{TECHNO} – This is a type of 10 that I wasn’t familiar with. Take an abbreviation for a technical college and follow with a word for working, as in not switched off, but reversed (back).

23a         10’s light boat plies regularly (7)
{SKIFFLE} –Another kind of 10 often associated with Lonnie Donegan is a small, light boat followed by the even letters (regulary) of pLiEs.

24a         Fugitive’s key — copy key! (7)
{ESCAPEE}This fugitive is a charade of a key, copy and another key. The first key is the top left key on your keyboard followed by a word meaning copy and then a musical key.

26a         Approval from Continentals means contacting board (5)
{OUIJA} – A board you may use to contact the departed is yes (approval) in French followed by German (Continentals).

27a         State student allocated to form 1 is sort of 10 (9)
{CLASSICAL} – This is another form of 10 much loved by pommette.  Start with another word for form, as in a school, follow with I (one), the abbreviation for California and the usual student.  I had a little difficulty with this one as I thought CAL for California and twigged what the form 1 was but then had a student left over! D’oh!

28a         Embellishes the truth of raised hemlines! (7,2)
{DRESSES UP} – A phrase meaning embellishes the truth sounds as though it means the lady’s hem is a lot further from the ground than it used to be.

29a         Drugged, but oddly steady after party (5)
{DOSED} – The usual party followed by the odd letters of StEaDy gives a word meaning given drugs.


1d           Physically restrains workers, absorbing blow (9)
{HANDCUFFS} – This could be a verb meaning physically restrains or it could be a noun meaning the things that do the restraining. Take some workers, not ants but the other ones, and insert a word for a light blow or slap.

2d           Take over American university vacant readership (5)
{USURP} – The usual abbreviations for American and University followed by RP (vacant R(eadershi)P) gives a word meaning to take over or take the place of.

3d           Choose right, love, and finish with silver! (7)
{ELECTRO} – A word for to choose, an MP perhaps, followed by R(ight) and O (love) gives a word meaning finish with silver.   I think it’s actually an abbreviation but no doubt it’s in Chambers. Apparently pommette’s case was too small to carry a BRB (again)!

4d           Mentioning mainly Liverpool, for example (popular with golf) (6)
{CITING} – What Liverpool is an example of without its last letter (mainly) followed by the usual word for popular and G (Golf in the phonetic alphabet) is a word for mentioning or quoting.

5d           Top craftsmen perhaps netting theologian’s fish (8)
{TIDDLERS} – This is a colloquial term for some very small fish and they’re some craftsmen, who might work on your roof, with the usual theologian (Doctor of Divinity) inserted (netting).

6d           Lads upset about short day? Nuts (7)
{ALMONDS} – Anagram (upset) of LADS around the abbreviation (short) for one of the days of the week gives some nuts. There’s a lot of these grown near here and I love them!

7d           Foolishly, she can — accommodating idiot Englishman (9)
{SASSENACH} – This is how a Scot may refer to an Englishman. It’s an anagram (foolishly) of SHE CAN with the usual fool inserted (accommodating).

8d           Causes amazement, with no hospital strikes (5)
{SOCKS} – A word for causes amazement with the H removed (no Hospital) leaves a word meaning strikes or bashes.

14d         Money lost in selling if car ices over (9)
{SACRIFICE} – This money lost by selling something below cost is an anagram (over) of IF CAR ICES. A topical clue in view of the UK weather but a new meaning of the word for me!

16d         How crude shelter carried by sleigh was shifted? (9)
{SHOVELLED} – Take another word for a sleigh and insert (carried by) a crude shelter and you’ll get what you’ve all probably done to the snow on your driveway recently in order to shift it. Another topical clue!

17d         Justifications from French receivers (8)
{DEFENCES} – ‘From’ in French and some receivers of stolen property gives us some justifications.

19d         A fine idiomatic expression heard in violent disturbances (7)
{AFFRAYS}–A (from the clue) and F(ine) followed by a word which sounds like (heard) an expression gives some violent disturbances or scuffles.  Not really sure what the word idiomatic brings to this clue.

21d         Removed and worked out with no sign of hesitation (7)
{EXCISED} –Definition is removed or cut out. Take a word for ‘worked out’, in a gym perhaps, and remove the usual hesitation.

22d         Leave temporary accommodation to support lower socio-economic groups (6)
{DECAMP} – Two of the lower socio-economic groups followed by (to support in a down clue) some temporary accommodation, not tent this time but it’s on the right lines, gives a word meaning to leave.

23d         Dress down, feeling the chill after the end of mass (5)
{SCOLD} – Dress down, as in tell off, is the definition. It’s a word for chill placed after S (end of  masS). Yet another topical clue?

25d         Old people finding source of coal in mines (5)
{PICTS} – These are people who lived in Scotland many centuries ago. Take another word for mines and insert C (source of Coal).

I thought this puzzle lacked some of the sparkle I’ve come to expect on Wednesdays but maybe that’s just me!  So, not so much blue this week but my favourites are 5d and 6d.

The Quick crossword pun: {hoard} + {DERV} = {hors d’œuvre}

91 comments on “DT 26783

  1. Hi Pommers – Yes, solving 10a quickly was certainly the lead-in for me. Some tricky clues I thought but quickly solved. As you say though, I can imagine one might take a little longer if unfamiliar with some of the linked clues. **/*** for me. Thanks to setter and to you for the review.

  2. I found this tougher than the average Cryptic but very enjoyable. I twigged the theme about three-quarters through, them romped through the remainder of the clues. Thanks Jay and Pommers.

  3. I found this quite straightforward – I completed it within my morning bath but I didn’t enjoy it much. I thought the linking clues meant if you didn’t get 10 you were stuck in many places and if you did get 10 too much of it fell too easily.

    It interests me to contrast this with the debate over Monday’s endure. Because I am new to this I had no idea there where any rules and so my mind wasn’t limited by what to expect and that clue was one of the first I got and seemed and still seems perfectly reasonable to me, wheras today was presumably within “the rules” but seems much more unreasonable – so much hanging on one clue.

    Still, the rule are the rules…

  4. Like Wozza, I didn’t enjoy this one much because of the linking clues. Thanks to pommers or the hints and tips – you might want to check the answer to 19d in the bracket – think it needs an ‘s’ adding :-)

  5. A quick scan through the puzzle gave me 10a straight away. Most of the rest went in without much trouble, although there were a couple I needed to think about at the end.
    Thanks to Jay, and to Pommers.

    1. The Toughie is quite straightforward today (once you realise it is MynoT, and his characteristic theme……)

  6. No problems today, but not one of my favourite crosswords. I always find puzzles that require the solver to find one answer in order to find a bunch more extremely annoying (it is fairly common in weekend/toughie crosswords) and I consider puzzles like this to be a bit of a cop out on the part of the compiler. I’m wondering how many complaints there’ll be over 4A

    1. Yes why would there be any complaints? Perfectly straightforward anagram indicated by “desperate”as far as I can see as a layman in these things.

    2. I can’t see a problem either, unless you’re referring to yesterday’s conversation about mental problems, but I can’t see the use of 4a causing offence.

      1. Neither can I see a problem and I really don’t think that the debate about ‘mentak problems’ needs to be progressed since that clearly was not the intention of the setter and only had one complaint.
        It’s freezing here today in the Languedoc and that damn wind will not stop blowing.
        I’m just starting the puzzle but I’m going to begin with looking at Pommers 10a to save myself a lot of obvious heartache. Thanks Pommers

    3. Sorry, been out all afternoon. I was just referring to the fact that its a word not usual used in normal day to day conversation, I find that a lot of times that such a word appears in a crossword, we seem to be inundated with with ‘I’ve never heard of it’ or ‘its not fair’. It was meant to be a light-hearted comment anyway, I hope I didn’t upset anyone.

      1. Didn’t upset me skempie – just wasn’t sure where you were coming from! It was the music in this one I’d never heard of! Lack of teenage kids I guess, or any kids for that matter! :Grin:

  7. Morning pommers, well done with the hints, difficult as you say not to give too much away, your pictures are getting as ‘good’ or maybe as ‘bad’ as gazzas! what with low necklines and short hemlines! I really dislike crosswords where so much is based on one clue, it took me a while to see it but then the others weren’t so bad, 1a took me ages!! 26a fav clue today, simple I know but I like it :-) possibly a three star for me too today pommers, thanks for blog, off now to visit accountant!!!! Nice and sunny here today so far, good luck all, it is a very work outable crossword with a little perservation! no real obscure general knowledge needed, thanks for blog pommers

      1. Chambers does give one definition as ‘socks’, as well as stockings.
        Interestingly, an anagram of this gives another type of footwear, but after the debacle with Rufus on Monday, I doubt it!

          1. Apart from being an indirect anagram worn would be doing double duty as it’s the indicator for inserting the U which would make it a doubly bad clue!

        1. Hi Jezza

          I found the socks bit in Collins as well which must what it’s about as stockings can hardly be described as ‘footwear’.

          1. My copy of Chambers has the definition “a covering for the legs or feet”. I don’t see a problem with it being described as footwear in that case.

      2. I’d say 1a should be legwear, not footwear. And I’m ashamed of myself for knowing about such awful types of 10a as 1, 13 and 20a. In my defence, I’ve heard OF them, but never listened TO them!

        1. Good call on 10A Nora. My socks tend to cover more of my foot area than by leg area (all of the foot area apart from the big toe really)

  8. This was a bit odd for me. I solved 13a bfore I got the theme as it’s a fairly obvious anagram and I could only see the one answer. I’d forgotten it was a type of 10a which is a bit stupid as it came up quite recently I think.
    Then I got 23a and 27a and then the penny finally dropped!

    Vaguely remember 1a but have never heard of 20a as a type of 10a.

    Ths was a 2* puzzle which took 3* time because of those 2 clues!

    1. Pommers re:20a – you obviously did not bring up a budding Ibizan DJ as we did. The foundations of the house had to be reinforced and I still haven’t got all of my hearing back. Please don’t mention the party the lads threw while we were on holiday in 2003 as our neighbours have only just started talking to us again.

      1. My parents had similar problems with me but in those days it was Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin et al! (I think my dad was a closet fan of the Stones!).

        Happy Days :grin:

            1. VdGG – first LP I ever bought – H to He, music was good but also had the equation for a thermo nuclear explosion on the cover – heaven.

              1. I was looking for a Jefferson Airplane album on Monday in my old vinyl collection and came across Wishbone IV – what a fine album!

          1. I’ve just looked at your avatar! Front cover of an album me & my mate used to listen to while sat in Virgin Records in Sheffield. It had old aeroplane seats (I think) and it was the first time I listened to music through ear phones. Happy days!

  9. I thought this was about the right level for a back page puzzle. A nice mix of clues which I found very enjoyable with just a few to cause some headscratching and then a smile when the penny dropped. Thanks to Pommers for the review.

  10. I can’t see what the answer to 14d has to do with money, must be missing something obvious. Wouldn’t the clue work better as “Give up if car ices over”? Thanks for the clues, couldn’t get 26a even with three of the letters in place.

    1. Hi Tridymite, according to Chambers one of the definitions of sacrifice is “loss by selling cheap”.

  11. This was yet another one of those start with the downs Jay puzzles, and even then they put up a bit of a fight. I didn’t get 10a until I had quite a few of the related clues! 3* star difficulty for me and 3* fun too. Thanks Jay and Pommers.

    The on-going tediously themed MynoT toughies roll on. Have a go but it has some tricky moments and isn’t much fun.

  12. A typical JAy solve – I started off thinking it was going to be a stinker but after the down clues all went in OK. Thanks to Jay and to pommers for the review (managed to get a motor in this week I see!)

  13. Although I did not get the key word immediately, I still found this a very gentle Jay crossword – about one star for difficulty today but three or four for enjoyment. Thanks to the setter and the Pommers for the review.

    I heartily konkur with KrypticSue’s komments on the Toughie Krossword.

  14. Fairly swift solve for me. I liked the clueing style, but found the link to 10a meant I found the answers to some of the linked clues and then back-worked the parsing, which is not so enjoyable. Still, thanks Jay and pommers.

  15. Having put STUNS in at 8d (it just about works) 10a became impossible, which threw the rest of the puzzle out to lunch! Thank goodness for the blog, or I would gone NUTS. I like almonds too! Thanks for my sanity Pommers.

    1. That would make things a tad tricky!

      Now you’ve caused me to look at 8d again I see that I could have said that the answer is also the type of footwear alluded to in 1a! Bit late to change the blog now!

    2. I thought about “stuns” too but couldn’t quite justify it – just as well – I had enough trouble with 10a without complicating things any more!

  16. I enjoyed today’s which for me was quite hard but very fair. Some very clever clues such as 12a,15a & my personal favourite 27a. My thx to Jay for the excellent puzzle and to Pommers for explaining one or two of the answers. Oh and to Mrs B for her help with the modern music in 1a and 20a.

  17. I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as I usually do on Wednesdays. I’m not very keen on the kind of crossword which has lots of answers hanging on one clue – especially when it takes me as long as it did today to get the relevant clue!! Another dim day! Oh dear – it wasn’t THAT difficult! :sad: Looking at it again now I did enjoy lots of these and didn’t have too much trouble with anything once I’d sorted out the blasted 10a. Oh, yes I did – I needed the hint to explain 24a as I always forget the key at the top left of the keyboard – what does it do anyway? I liked 15 and 28a (picture clue for 28a reminds me of a joke!) and 6, 8 and 25d. Best of all today was 26a, for me at least. With thanks to Jay, assuming he set this one, and to Pommers.

  18. I liked this one a lot, particularly when the penny dropped over 10a and particularly as I managed to complete it without artificial aids for a change!

  19. I agree with Pommers,enjoyable tricky little number(10)! some new 10’s for me too; worth *** as i had to think quite a lot.Did’nt understand 14d- the money lost meaning of sacrifice-anything to do with cards(bridge)?

    1. There is a term in bridge, ‘sacrifice bid’. It’s when you knowingly bid an unmakeable contract to steal your opponents play, in the hope that the penalty you incur for going off will be less than they would have scored themselves. Sometimes it works but it can go disasterously wrong! But this is nothing to do with money.

      Collins on-line gives the following as its 6th definition of sacrifice

      “loss entailed by giving up or selling something at less than its value”.

      It’s a new meaning of the word for me too.

  20. Thanks to Jay and to Pommers, very straightforward crossword today and the best thing for me was the picture at 28a.

  21. I got off on totally the wrong track by getting 13a first and assuming that the theme was types of power. Thanks to Jay and Pommers.

  22. This took me just a bit longer than yesterday’s, so a 2*, but I did have to check 3d on Google and I hadn’t parsed 24 & 27a correctly: 27a I had the same problem as Pommers with the state and the student, and 24a I’d thought was the first key written out in full and then the last letter copied. Close, but no cigar! I got most of the LHS first, which helped me get 10a, rather than the other way round, and I too thought the footwear in 1a a bit questionable, but if Chambers says so… Thanks to Jay and Pommers.

  23. Loved this. A nice steady and enjoyable puzzle. No particular faves just all good.

  24. Thanks to Jay & Pommers for the review & hints. Managed this ok. Was held up for a while in the SE corner. Managed to finish whilst attending the Battersea Beer Festival! Favourites were 11& 24d. Nice puzzle. I fear the Beer will stop me attempting the Toughie :-)

  25. Many thanks to Pommers for the excellent analysis, and to all for the comments. I don’t do very many linked clues – this grid, as I was filling it in, produced a few music references, so I stuck a couple more in and…

    1. Fair enough Jay, it was just that the music types you picked were ones I don’t know much about, and in one case had never even heard of! Now, had it been Rock or Blues, that would have been a different kettle of fish!

      Anyway, nice puzzle, so thanks for that but please don’t do it again, it makes writing hints difficult! At least you gave me an excuse for a racing car! :smile:

  26. I really thought today’s puzzle was terrific – I struggled to get going but solving 10a helped! I cannot recall a puzzle being constructed and linked to a single answer such as this. I may be wrong. 26a has featured several times and my favourite was 4a. Best puzzle of the week by a distance in my view. Thanks for the review, the comments and the picture of course.

    1. Hi Dave

      Puzzles with a lot of clues linked to just one, like this puzzle, aren’t vey common on the back page. More common in Toughies and even more common in the Grauniad.

      You like almond trees then? :smile:

  27. I usually really enjoy Jay’s puzzles but this one not so much. Got 10a very quickly but 1a held me up for ages. However I enjoyed it a lot more than yesterday’s . Thanks to Jay & Pommers :smile:

  28. Quickly solved puzzle today as soon as the collection of TENS was out of the way!
    Faves : 4a, 18a, 26a, 2d, 5d & 7d.

    Still very cold over here clear sky with dazzling planets – moon will be up shortly. Just past full.

    Second go at the roast kip (chicken) this time with Chinon – arrived today – then fruit and cream comme d’habitude.

      1. It seems that my original posting has vanished so here it is again.
        Qicklysolved puzzle today once the collection of TENS was out of the way.
        Faves : 4a, 18a, 26a, 2d, 5d & 7d.

        Still very cold here -cloudless sky with brilliant planets and moon just past full.

        Second go at the roast kip (chicken) with newly arrived Chinon. Fruit & cream comme d’habitude.

  29. Enjoyable. The type of college is somewhat outdated – my husband went to one of those. They have reinvented themselves more than once since then. Liked 26a and 27a and many more. Thanks. Off to my french group now. So please that french words are used more in cryptic than other languages as it is the only foreign language I know!

  30. Sorry half of my entry seems to have deleted itself. I think I started by saying that I had no problem with 1a or 4 a although the latter took me quite a long time to solve. NE corner last to go in. I got a number of the connecting clues before I twigged 10 a.

  31. Yup, I enjoyed this one, but did enjoy the posts about 1a, Hose came straight to mind but I hadn’t considered the leg / foot debate. Glad that I at long blxxdy last the first three letters of 24a has registered! Many thanks Jay and of course Pommers

    1. Hi Andy, the other key I’ve seen used recently (Grauniad I think?) is ALT so always worth remembering. There’s a few other possibiliities which I heven’t come across but TAB, ENTER, FI and F10 seem usable. Don’t think even Araucaria could get CRTL or PGUP/PGDOWN into an answer but you never know – he’s pretty devious!

      1. I suppose that INS and DEL are also candidates but I would object as my keyboard actually has the whole words on the the keys but I know others don’t. We must be on our guard! :smile:

          1. On mention of Araucaria pommette pointed out that there are keys labelled HELP, HOME and END. Also, as she’s really Machiavellian, that F could be clued as something like ‘a key between keys’, as it lies between D and G on a keyboard! Hope Araucaria isn’t reading this! I think that’s about as far as my cryptic cells will go – if pommette had been around at the time she would have been at Bletchley Park!

  32. Must confess I couldn’t quite complete without the hints – needed them for 4d and 21d – oh yes, and 26a (which I should have got). Enjoyed this one but 10a didn’t manifest itself until I’d got 23a – can you believe that? – then I had a “doh” moment and things became clearer. Have never heard of 1a as as a form of 10 (but did some research and convinced mysef I was correct ) – nor 20a if it comes to that, so was at something of a disadvantage! Interesting puzzle but possibly not one of my favourites! Thanks to Jay and Pommers for the excellent hints.

Comments are closed.