DT 26789 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26789

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26789

Hints and tips by pommers

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

Hola from the Vega Baja.  Another enjoyable offering from Jay which raised a few smiles and had a few d’oh moments as well. If I’ve counted right there are 4 anagrams and 2 partial anagrams so that should keep some of you happy! Also the usual quota of ‘take the first and/or last letter’ type of clue.
Unfortunately limited opportunities for pictures of scantily clad ladies!

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           Paper clip? (5,7)
{PRESS CUTTING} – A cryptic definition of something you’ve clipped out of a newspaper.

9a           Big guns getting sick boarding vessel (9)
{ARTILLERY} –These big guns are formed by placing a word for sick or unwell inside (boarding) a vessel, not a boat or container but a blood vessel.

10a         Play short in front of area (5)
{DRAMA} –This is a play acted on stage. Take a short, as in a wee glass of whisky, and follow with A(rea).

11a         The type of deposit made by sailors? (6)
{TARTAR} – A type of deposit found on your teeth is made from one of the usual sailors twice. I quite like the surface of this one. Had me thinking JETSAM for a while.

12a         Financial stake in pursuit (8)
{INTEREST} – Double definition. A word for a financial stake is also a pursuit, as in hobby.

13a         Soldiers with wind flinch (6)
{RECOIL} –Take some of the usual soldiers and follow with a word meaning wind, as in wind up a piece of rope, and you get a word for flinch or shy away from. This one raised a bit of a smile, but then I do have a rather schoolboy sense of humour!

15a         Pit dog rarely outside (8)
{COLLIERY} – Definition is pit or coal mine. It’s formed from a sheep dog followed by RY (R(arel)Y outside).

18a         List of court cases is clear and ordered (8)
{CALENDAR} – This list of court cases is an anagram (ordered) of CLEAR AND.  Checked this in the new BRB and one of the definitions is a list of prisoners awaiting trial. Well, now I’ve got it I may as well use it!

19a         A beast is barking, but calms down (6)
{ABATES} – This word meaning calms down is an anagram (barking?) of A BEAST. Never come across this anagram indicator before but I suppose it works – barking mad. As a friend of mine used to say – “He’s a small town in Essex – Barking!”.

21a         Step in front of empty net or grating (8)
{STRIDENT} – Take another word for a step or large pace and follow with NT (empty N(e)T) to get a word for grating in the sense of a sort of voice which may grate on you.

23a         Aquatic bird mostly found by South Africa’s capital (6)
{ZAGREB} – An aquatic bird without its final E (mostly) placed after (found by) the IVR code for South Africa gives the capital of Croatia. This abbreviation is also South Africa’s internet top level domain.

26a         Cooperative’s revealing performance? (5)
{OPERA} – A musical stage production is hidden in coOPERAtive.

27a         Banned oilman’s craft? (9)
{OUTRIGGER} – A type of boat used in the Pacific islands is a charade of a word for banned (3) followed by a guy who works on a drilling platform (6).  Not sure about this clue. 1. The answer is a part of a boat, not the whole thing. 2. I think the first part meaning ‘banned’ is a bit thin. 3. Although I didn’t think twice about the second word meaning an oilman that definition isn’t in the BRB or any of the on-line dictionaries I use. Apart from that it’s fine! Discuss!

28a         What might mean the end for telepathy and modelling? (5,7)
{DEATH PENALTY} – This would certainly be your end if you suffered it! It’s an anagram (modelling) of TELEPATHY AND.  Took me a while to spot that this is an anagram – well concealed IMHO. I spent quite some time trying to do something with ESP and SITTING etc before the penny dropped, d’oh!


1d           Pot factory on the outskirts of Exeter (7)
{PLANTER} – A type of pot in which you might grow flowers. Take another word for factory and follow with ER (outskirts of E(xete)R).

2d           Lessor initially lost log (5)
{ENTER} – Take someone who leases something and remove the first letter (initially lost) and you’re left with a word for log, as in put something in a record.  One of those tricky to hint without using the answer itself!

3d           Redesigned Oval isn’t a cure for all that’s bad (9)
{SALVATION} – An anagram (redesigned) of OVAL ISNT A is a word for a cure for everything or anything.  This isn’t an allusion to our current cricket team by any chance?

4d           Functions provided by amorous escorts (4)
{USES} – A word meaning functions is hidden (provided by) in amorous  escorts.

5d           Fitting end of affair in bonding with heartless organisation (6,2)
{TRYING ON} –This fitting is what you might be doing at your dressmaker or tailor. Take another word for bonding or joining and insert R (end of affaiR) and then follow with ON (heartless O(rganisatio)N).

6d           A reminder that George is inside, naked (5)
{NUDGE} – Ignore the comma in this clue and just do what it tells you. Insert G(eorge) into another word for naked and you’ll get a reminder or push in the right direction.

7d           Patient workers with time frame for window (8)
{CASEMENT} – The well disguised definition here is ‘frame for window’ and it’s a charade of a hospital patient, some workers and T(ime).

8d           Miserable effort by friend (6)
{PALTRY} – This word meaning miserable in the sense of not much is a friend followed by an effort or attempt.  Is it just me or is this clue the wrong way round?

14d         Amounts of energy required for fixing oil scare (8)
{CALORIES} – These amounts of energy are what you have to cut down on if you’re on a diet. They are an anagram (fixing) of OIL SCARE.

16d         A bookkeeper’s sign preceding revolutionary Iran (9)
{LIBRARIAN} – This bookkeeper isn’t an accountant but literally someone who looks after books. Take one of the signs of the Zodiac (mine as it happens) and follow with an anagram (revolutionary) of IRAN.

17d         Waterproof paint? (8)
{RAINCOAT} –This is a waterproof garment. If split (4,4) it would be a phrase which could just about describe a layer of paint intended to repel water.

18d         The practice of patronage (6)
{CUSTOM} – Double definition.

20d         Without having had a drink, bore becomes involved in cunning (7)
{SOBERLY} – This is an adverb describing how you would act if you hadn’t had an alcoholic drink. It’s an anagram (becomes involved) of BORE placed in another word for cunning.

22d         Hanging Dr Parrot (5)
{DRAPE} – This hanging or curtain perhaps is DR (from the clue) followed by a common crosswordland word for parrot, in the sense of copy.  Poor Dr Parrot!

24d         Star’s equipment held without protection (5)
{RIGEL} – This star is the brightest in the constellation Orion (it’s the one at the bottom right) and it’s made from some equipment followed by EL (hELd without protection).

25d         Second best finish (4)
{STOP} – Take S(econd) and follow with a word for best to get a word meaning finish or cease. Another good surface, simple but elegant.

Lots of good clues today but my favourites are 13a and 6d. How about you?

The Quick crossword pun: {carries} + {horse} = {curry sauce}

116 comments on “DT 26789

  1. Lovely day here in Edinburgh—all the crocuses are out.

    Just getting started on what looks like an enjoyable crossword— thanks to setter and for the review.

    No scantliy-dressed ladies? The piccie for 17d is ‘marginal’ but that’s what all we ‘glamour-pusses’ (there’s an old phrase for you!) wore in the late-sixties, AND with the platform shoes as well!

    An old Edinburgh ‘put-down’ for someone who was putting on airs and graces, was ‘all fur coat and nae knickers’. Well, no fur coat in this piccie, but plenty of leg and just a teensie glimpse of knickers!

  2. Pommers
    Re:23a – I find the photograph of two completely nude birds, frolicking in water with goodness knows what on their minds, demeaning to the rest of the avian community who are innocently going about their business with nothing more salacious on their minds than finishing the DT crossword. Desist with the use of these gratuitous photographs.

    1. Ah, but it’s spring. They will have plenty on their minds shortly, as will the whole of the animal kingdom!

        1. The funniest thing I see at our local pond/wildlife park is the little male frogs earnestly following, and trying to mount the much larger females, all the while croaking loudly!!

  3. Well, I managed a girl, a boat and a ‘sort of’ car, it’s supposed to be the front of a Ferrari but I don’t suppose it’s real :grin:

  4. Re 19a – A friend of mine used to refer to people as being Upney (on the District Line) – meaning Beyond Barkiing!

  5. Hola pommers, getting in early today, being half-term here, the usual innundation of grandchildren leaves me a lot less time and a lot less accessibility (because of use by said grandchildren!) to my computer, tablet, iphone etc. hopefully today will be quieter, I haven’t even had time to comment on the ongoing bionic-woman saga! I’m amazed no-one has come up with an appropriate picture of the original bionic woman yet? The said grandchildren, now being older do not have to get home for early bedtime anymore and at ten o’clock last night peace was eventually restored! Hopefully today I will have more time, love them to bits tho’ but as my Mother used to say, nice to see them coming even nicer to see them going!! :lol:
    Re 27a, pommers, I don’t really know what you mean, the ‘ourtigger’ according to ‘google’ is anything from a small canoe up to a medium sized ferry, used in the Phillapines? I found it a crossword where I had to work out what the setter wanted, look up the answers and work the clues back! hard work, last in for me was 23a, surely ZA is the Afrikaans abbreviation for Zuid-Afrika, in which case shouldn’t this have been indicated somehow? Fav clue today 6d although I did hover between the correct answer and barge! which fits the clue equally well? A three star at least for me today, good luck everyone, keep perservating, thanks for hints etc pommers :-)
    ps. can you thank pommette and I look forward to hearing from her, when she has the tome

    1. Morning Mary

      Key outrigger into Wiki and the article starts with the following:-

      “An outrigger is a part of a boat’s rigging which is rigid and extends beyond the side or gunwale of a boat.
      In an outrigger canoe and in sailboats such as the proa, an outrigger is a thin, long, solid, hull used to stabilise an inherently unstable main hull”

      I guess such boats might be referred to as outriggers but it should really be qualified by the type of boat using the rig – as in ‘outrigger canoe’ above. Pedantic I know but there’s nowt wrong with a bit of pedantry in a crossword!

      You’re right about ZA being derived from Africaans (Zuid Afrika) but it is the current IVR code and domain for South Africa so doesn’t really need indicating.

      1. Thanks pommers, now how about a picture of the original ‘bionic woman’ ? It’s very quiet here without collywobbles, he seems tohave gone missing these last few days?

        1. I think BD may have scared him off slightly when he redacted a comment made by collywobbles during our recent spat but he may be on holiday of course with it being half term for most of the country.

        2. Ask and you shall receive! I’ve put it at the bottom of the post :lol:

          Don’t know where Collywobs is. He has been back since the spat so I don’t think it’s anything to do with that.

          1. Thank you for a very welcome trip down memory lane. I’d forgotten how beautitful Lindsay Wagner was/is, more so than Farrah Fawcett in her day.

              1. Bloody Hell! She’s as fit as a butcher’s dog and she’s in her 60s. She makes the modern “pin ups” look like a right bunch of swamp donkeys…lights the blue touch paper and stands well back…

          2. I’m back after a short trip and go to pick up the Mem-Saab tonight back from her visit to Blighty. Enjoying the puzzle and 3* seems about right. What spat? Bonjour Mary, ca va. It’s warm here now after some freezing and we have blue skies.

              1. Nice to be back Mary, I’m finding this one quite hard. I’v done all of the North but I’struggling with the South. I havn’t had to revert to Pommers hints yet but I think that I’m going to have to

  6. most of it done quite quickly . 23a and 24d could have been left undone forever without help. Thanks to Pommers and Jay.
    And the pictures are very tasteful.

    1. Hello Little Mart – couldn’t agree more with your comment! Spose I should have known 23a, but never heard of 24d.

  7. My version of the BRB has “…a boat having such a device; a light racing-boat with projecting rowlocks”.

    1. Fair enough, hadn’t spotted that! Jay must be referring to the other meaning of outrigger which is the projecting rowlocks, as on a scull, rather than the stabilising float.

      Still don’t think the rest of the clue is brill but I did say “Discuss” :grin:

      1. I was happy with it as it was.

        • A projecting rowlock giving extra leverage to the oar
        • A boat having such a device or rowlocks
        • A light racing-boat with projecting rowlocks

        And from the ODE

        • A person who works on or helps construct an oil rig

        1. I’ve also managed to find a specific connection between oilman and rigger at last :smile:

          rig·ger n.
          1. One that rigs: oil and gas riggers.

          That’s in the Free Dictionary, which I don’t often use.

          I take it back – the clue’s OK after all. Should never doubt Jay’s clues. :smile:

      2. I’ve got this nagging thought at the back of my mind that I’ve seen the word “outrigger” in relation to a type of boat in one of the classics but I can’t remember which one. Robinson Crusoe? Swiss Family Robinson? Moby Dick? Mutiny on the Bounty?

  8. Very enjoyable crossword. The top left corner would have been considerably easier if I had not made 11a “anchor”! :oops: Was hoping that others might have done the same but no-one seems to have admitted to it yet. Once I started to doubt that one all was fine. I was very slow to get the second word of 1a and 12 and 23a also took a while – I always forget about the “ZA” bit. My best ones today include 13, 15, 19 and 28a and 4, 6, 17 and 22d. With thanks to Jay and Pommers.

    Beautiful day in Oxford – sunny and quite mild – might do some gardening. :smile:

    1. Kath, thank you for your very kind enquiry re my wife yesterday, she is absolutely fine and is competely clear of the cancer. By the way, it is also a beautiful day here in Kirkcaldy and my wife and I have just had a grand wee walk along the esplanade in lovely sunshine.

  9. Enjoyable crossword today which needed a few spare brain cells to do their bit, 11A, 23A and 2D need some very careful deliberation on my part. I was also torn between nudge and barge for 6D and needed a checking letter to be certain, I also managed to spell calendar wrong (I do this often for some reason, getting the last a and the e the wrong way round, one day I’ll learn).

    I was a little upset at seeing the gratuitous photograph of naked windows – please ensure there are curtains next time.

    Have decided to leave the fennel to the weekend (gives me some time to think about what to have it with). Just need to work out what I’m going to do with a Sweet Mama Squash now (don’t really fancy making it into soup, so I guess there could well be a stew in the offing). Actually, Sweet Mama Squash doesn’t sound too PC either, best I have a word with the Riverford Veggie people.

    1. I had problems with the same three clues Skempie. I gave up and had to read the hints for 11a and 23a. I’m not convinced about 2d although I did enter it unaided. I haven’t looked it up but I would have said that a lessor is someone who lets something out eg, a landlord, whilst a renter (or lessee) is someone who takes on the lease i.e. the opposite of lessor. Still, I’m sure someone will put me right.

        1. Hi Mary, I’m sure you must be right. I just don’t understand why renter would mean both lessor and lessee. It’s similar to employer and employee, so you would have thought there would be two words, renter and rentor maybe?

          1. In hindsight I think you are probably right Roland, I was just so pleased at getting the answer I didn’t stop to think about it!

              1. Thanks Dave – I wonder whether it originally only meant a tenant, and through popular (mis)use has come to mean the opposite? Similar to people who have the annoying habit of “itching a scratch” if you know what I mean.

    2. Skempie – Squash wedges are a classic recipe for my diet. Cut into chip or potato wedge size pieces. Spray (or drizzle) with a bit of olive oil and rub all over. Then coat with something. Either a crushed Knorr chicken cube, some herbs, or chilli (if you like things hot) and roast in a hot oven for 20-30 mins.
      Stunning – great doen with Butternut Squash too I’m told – but we’ve never had as it isn’t too easy to get round here!

  10. Very enjoyable, thank you Jay and Pommers.

    The Toughie is a complete beast! Also it helps you finish it if you can spell!!

  11. Thankfully this was quite straightforward today, especially after the evening we had yesterday!
    A rash that spread across the arms and face of our daughter during the evening, combined with fever and vomiting resulted in a trip to A&E, where 2 doctors, and a senior consultant would not rule out possible Meningitis. Fortunately, blood tests came back in the early hours of the morning that it was only a viral infection.
    Thanks to Jay, and to Pommers for the notes.

    Despite the headache, I’ll have a look at the Toughie now.

      1. Thanks Kath – It turned out to be one of those winter viruses, however when a rash starts spreading with other indicative symptoms, you automatically think the worst (especially as she has already had chicken pox). I think with something like that, it is better to err on the side of caution.

        1. Yes – definitely better to err on the side of extreme caution, especially with a baby or toddler – yours can’t be much more than that. I do remember when you said in a comment that she had been born but, although I CAN remember her name because it’s such a lovely one, I really can’t remember how long ago it was.

          1. Sophia – 8/12/10. She’s much better today, and sitting on my lap as I write. Thanks mary and pommers as well for your wishes :)

            1. Jezza, I thank the good Lord for the continued health of your little one, I may be getting on a wee bit and my grandchildren are older than your wee girl, but I well remember sitting up all night with my youngest daughter and later my grand daughter in similar circumstances, fortunately everything turned out OK for them and I pray the same for your wee lass.

              1. Hi BigBoab

                What a nice comment. That’s what I love about this blog – most of us regulars have never even met eachother (I’ve met Andy and BD but that’s about it) but there is an underlying ‘friendship’ developing and a bit of mutual support, or at least genuine concern expressed, when it’s required. Long may it continue :smile:

                Makes discussion and jokes about political correctness pale into insignificance IMHO!

              2. Thanks BigBoab for your kind words. I read above that you wife has made a complete recovery – that is excellent news!

    1. Phew! Bet that was a bit of a panic! Hope she’s OK.

      The top half of the Toughie’s OK but I’m really struggling with the bottom half.

  12. Sorry,could only score it as* and **,did’nt even need my second cup of tea.
    Reminded me of the old monday crosswords when the setter took pity,gently teasing the brain into action following a ‘heavy’weekend!
    Got one wrong yesterday,put ‘up the shoot’ instead of ‘up the spout’ I’m sure my old granny used to say’ her next door is up the shoot again’-maybe not,the brain atrophies.

  13. Well, I needed hints to finish this today, courtesy of 11a and 23a – just couldn’t see them, and ZA never even occurred to me – Doh! The rest went in quite easily. Thanks to Jay and Pommers.

    1. ZA is worth putting in the brain as it’s come more than once in the last month or so, maybe not in the DT but I do Grauniad and FT puzzles sometimes so it might have been some of those..

  14. Hi pommers, you have a small typo in 3D, the anagram is of “OVAL ISNT A”.

    Nice crossword, thanks to everyone involved :-)

  15. Slow start, then all fell into place except 24d – I hadn’t read the debate on 27a, and had inserted outfiTTer. Dumb! Thanks to Jay & Pommers for their faultless contributions to a pleasant solve.

  16. OK I’ve got the message – you think my comment re scantily clad ladies being demeaning is, how would the Mail put it?, “Political Correctness Gone Mad”.

    One question – would you be happy if it were your daughter?

    End of.

    PS Found the crossword very tricky today and agree that 27a was a very dodgy clue

    1. Hi Bionic Woman, re 27a it was only until I’ve read the posts that I have learned so much. I entered the clue straight away, without knowing all the techie bits, live and learn!

      1. Hi Andy, Yeah I got 27a pretty well straight away and it was only when I started writing the hint that I began to have doubts. Wondered where I’d connected rigger and oilman from so looked in the BRB and it’s not there! (Must have been a dim memory from some other puzzle as CS says it’s been used before). Also didn’t know about the other type of outrigger!

        I shouldn’t doubt Jay, if I think something’s not quite right it’s almost certainly me that’s missing something :grin:

        1. That is exactly why I couldn’t write the hints, I nearly always finish the puzzles, but do I always understand why!

  17. Well I as usual enjoyed Jays offering, although as Pommers is ! Blaming ot not sure about 8d. Loved 28a because it took me so long to see. Now if anyone is or has been on the stupid step please throw me down, I am well hidden in the earths core now, some lifeline because I couldn’t see 11a, Dumb Dumb Dumb.

    1. Not dumb – just a brief blind spot! Anyway being unable to do a clue is one hell of a lot better than getting it wrong thereby screwing up a whole corner – for quite a while I had “anchor”!

      1. Thanks Kath. I can see that could have made that corner a tad tricky. Just looking at my previous post, oh dear I think my fingers type faster than the browser doo dah dongle thingy can keep up with! What I had meant to say is I am blaming, everything on the fact that just one tiny bit of ice on the pavement sent me arse over wotsit on Tuesday morning. I am typing with my left hand not connected to the broken wrist on the other. My stupid Ridgeback, as I thought, ran to our local pub and raised the alarm because I was unconscious. The cleaners followed him to the footpath and a short stay in A & E later i was fine. Not sure if it is OK to give a big up to Thabo on a crossword blog but if it wasn’t for him I might not be here

          1. Oh yes Gnomey. When we go walking in that direction if i’m undecided as to whether to have a pint, he takes control (so he thinks) so I have to imbibe and he has to get cuddles and strokes, and if i’m not looking the bar staff give him crisps!!

        1. Bloody hell Andy – why didn’t you tell us earlier? Sounds nasty. Hope you’re OK and BTW it sounds like a well-educated dog to me :smile: Buy it and extra bone or whatever :grin:

        2. OH DEAR!! That sounds awful – poor you! :sad: You obviously have a more useful dog than ours – I don’t think she’d have a clue what to do if I was unconscious in front of her – she’s a collie, as I may have mentioned a few times before, and they’re meant to be one of the most intelligent breeds but I still don’t think she’d be of any use at all!

        3. Well done that dog! I’m pretty sure that if that happened to me my mutt would take the opportunity to snuffle around in my pocket to extract the treats that he knows I carry there.

        4. Thanks for your kind thoughts. I’m fine, if a little sore in inconvenient places. Friends helping out with dog and other domestic things. The scary bit as I’ve now discovered is I was a matter of inches from the edge of the river by the time the ambulance arrived. Knocked out and a river that close not the best of combinations!!!

  18. Enjoyable fare from Jay!
    Faves : 1a, 11a, 23a, 27a, 3d, 6d, 17d & 24d,

    Still not warm over here but wet!

    Roast chicken tonight then rasps. Bordeaux for a change.

  19. THanks for the review and the pictures. pommers. This was one of those puzzles that looked like it was going to be reakky hard but I mustered enough checking letters and had a few brainwaces on the definitions to get me to the end in a 2/3 star time. Many thanks to Jay as usual.

  20. Nearly as fast as a Rufus for me. Everything went in well, some nice clues. Thanks Jay and pommers

  21. Well I did enjoy that one, though it took me a while and, like I said up above somewhere?!, had to resort to hints for the east side. 15a really bugged me – kept thinking “coalmine” but couldn’t justify it so was nearly there but brain wouldn’t go the final mile – uugghh! Thanks to Pommers for excellent hints and Jay for the work-out.
    PS: I am not offended by scantily clad ladies but perhaps we could sometimes have scantily clad men to even things up a bit??!

    1. Hi Addicted – as I said to Silveroak earlier, you had your bit yesterday! Let’s see what BD comes up with tomorrow (I think it will be his turn).

      Re 15a – don’t worry happens to us all occasionally :grin:

  22. Thanks to Jay & Pommers for the review & hints. Finished at last! Had to battle through the last few clues, 23,24,12. A good puzzle with a nice mix of clues. Favourites were 27,28 because it took me ages to see it was an anagram & 25 because it was just 3 simple words to create a clever clue.

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