DT 26795 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26795

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26795

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I was supposed to send this puzzle to Falcon so that he could write the review, but I had an early night instead! There’s a hint of Lent about the puzzle – possibly more so than I have identified.

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    Tight and loose (4)
{FAST} – double definition – fixed tightly and loose or promiscuous – and to abstain from food as a religious duty during Lent!

9a    Lent beginner liquid dye and washes (3,9)
{ASH WEDNESDAY} – the start of Lent is an anagram (liquid) of DYE AND WASHES

10a    Top place is vacated in a vote (4)
{APEX} – the top or peak is created by putting P(LAC)E (vacated) inside A from the clue and the mark that indicates a vote

11a    Self-reproach for smashing centre pane (10)
{REPENTANCE} – this self-reproach is an anagram (smashing) of CENTRE PANE

15a    Crushed ice — chunk of iceberg ran it aground (7)
{GRANITA} – this grainy-textured flavoured water ice is hidden inside the clue

16a    City then floundered following first of goals (5)
{GHENT} – this Belgian city is created from an anagram (floundered) of THEN following the initial (first) letter of Goals

18a    Plant lost time working with energy (9)
{MISTLETOE} – this evergreen shrubby plant with white berries is an anagram (working) of LOST TIME followed by E(nergy)

19a    Relative some say is not in favour (4)
{ANTI} – how some might pronounce this female relative is actually a word meaning not in favour

20a    A source of rancour enveloping church growth (4)
{ACER} – put A from the clue and the initial letter (source) of Rancour around the Church of England to get this tree of the maple genus

21a    Ruined a good journalist after reckless boast (9)
{SABOTAGED} – this verb meaning ruined or vandalized is created by putting A from the clue, G(ood) and the usual senior journalist after an anagram (reckless) of BOAST

23a    Are they tied to rates at sea? (5)
{KNOTS} – a double definition – what can be tied in ropes and a measure of speed (rate) at sea

24a    Foot sounds horn — bike oddly disappears (7)
{TOOTSIE} – to get this slang word for the foot start with a verb meaning sounds a horn and follow it with the even letters (oddly disappears) of bIkE

26a    Topless post given to casual worker as enticement (10)
{TEMPTATION} – remove the initial letter from (topless) a post or position and precede it with a casual office worker to get this enticement

29a    Noise made by pig is fine, eating at home (4)
{OINK} – the noise made by pig is created by putting a two-letter word meaning fine or satisfactory around (eating) a word meaning at home

30a    Burning a couple of thousand, absorbed by general increase in prices (12)
{INFLAMMATION} – this burning is derived by putting the Roman numerals for two thousand inside (absorbed by) the general rate of increase in prices

31a    Turn left, following game (4)
{GOLF} – a charade of a turn or attempt, L(eft) and F(ollowing) gives a game which is a good walk, spoiled


2d    Accessory developing rut in a quiet act of mortification (12)
{APPURTENANCE} – this accessory associated with a particular style of living is created by putting an anagram (developing) of RUT inside A from the clue, the musical notation for quiet and an act of mortification or atonement

3d    Biologist’s duty over, with nothing omitted, reportedly (10)
{TAXONOMIST} – this biologist who studies the classification of plants or animals is a charade of a duty imposed by the government, a word meaning over or about, O (nothing) and a what sounds like (reportedly) a word meaning omitted

4d    Photographed accepting solicitor’s last brief (5)
{SHORT} – put a word meaning photographed around the final (last) letter of solicitoR to get a word meaning brief

5d    Furtively look both ways (4)
{PEEP} – this palindromic word means to look furtively

6d    Sensation turning up in ‘Flog it’ revealed (7)
{VERTIGO} – this whirling sensation is hidden and reversed (turning up in a down clue) in the clue

7d    The origin of ‘Dig for victory’ in regular garden (4)
{EDEN} – put the initial letter (origin) of Dig in place of the V(ictory) in a word meaning regular to get the world’s first garden

8d    Noisy exhaust — new one in the boot? (4)
{TYRE} – what sounds like (noisy) a verb meaning to exhaust is actually something, usually new, that is found in the boot of most cars

12d    Eats badly with outlay crossing a part of America (4,5)
{EAST COAST} – an anagram (badly) of EATS is followed by an outlay or expense around (crossing) the A from the clue to get a part of America

13d    Language repeats on broadcast (9)
{ESPERANTO} – this international language devised by Dr LL Zamenhof in 1887 is an anagram (broadcast) of REPEATS ON

14d    Booth in church finances loos being renovated (12)
{CONFESSIONAL} – this booth which is found in catholic churches is an anagram (being renovated) of FINANCES LOOS

17d    Stubborn alcoholic supports top on beer (10)
{HEADSTRONG} – an adjective meaning stubborn is derived from a word meaning alcoholic when applied to a drink under (supports) the top on a beer

22d    Where to rest one’s butt? (7)
{ASHTRAY} – a cryptic definition of where to place the end of a cigarette

25d    Broadcasting side with first-class runs (2,3)
{ON AIR} – a word meaning being broadcast is built up from the other name for the leg side in cricket, an adjective meaning first-class and R(uns)

26d    Cotton on a small branch (4)
{TWIG} – a double definition – to cotton on and a small branch

27d    Cause offence with note seen by two females (4)
{MIFF} – a verb meaning to cause offence is a charade of the third note of the scale in sol-fa notation followed by two F(emale)s

28d    Russian front led by one? (4)
{IVAN} – this name of a former Russian tsar comes from a shortened version of a word meaning the front preceded (led) by I (one)

Apart from 2 down, this is a very straightforward puzzle.

The Quick crossword pun: {seize} + {hoarse} = {seesaws}

85 comments on “DT 26795

  1. A puzzle of four quarters as far as I’m concerned. Top right, Bottom left and bottom right presented no problems whilst the top left took some serious thinking about. Once I’d realised that 1A wasn’t HEAD or PROP, then things got a little easier. I’ve never heard of 1D but the clue was solvable once the (correct) checking letters were in. 3D was quite a clever clue (once I’d stopped trying to fit DARWIN in there) but my favourite clue today has to be 21A.

    1. I’ve not heard of 2d either. SE/SW easy and rest folowed. Needed a hint for 2d though. Thanks for the review BD.

  2. I found this a straightforward problems. A few headscratching moments followed by a smile but an entertaining interlude. Thanks to Big Dave for his usual good review.

  3. I’ve never heard of 2d either, and couldn’t work out the clue for 7d although knowing what the answer had to be. A quick solve apart from those two for which I needed the hints. Thanks to setter and to Dave for the review/hints.

      1. I’m keeping quiet until after the game collywobs, Come on Wales! what a great weekend, rugby tomorrow and Liverpool v Cardiff on Sunday, yes come on both Red teams :-)

          1. This is not about Nationality Dave, I have always supported Liverpool, now if Cardiff were playing anyone else, say Spurs for example, it would be a very different matter :-)

        1. I’m looking forward to it and come on England but I’m just being nationalistic rather than realistic (actually I can’t get my boots on because I’ve got gout so I won’t be available)

              1. They’ve also got George North who’s worth 2 forwards on his own. This armchair back will be firmly esconced in his study with a plentiful supply of ale to see me through both games on Saturday however like you I can only think of the England team as “building for the future”…

                1. That’s it sd. Your’e lucky to have ale. I have to get mine sent down. However, the good news is that a consignment of Jennings Snecklifter has just arrived

  4. For me this was probably one of the most straightforward puzzles that we’ve had for a while. Almost all of the little four letter words took longer than everything else put together – 10 and 31a were my last two answers and I needed the hint to explain 7d – really should be used to this type of clue by now!! I loved today’s crossword, especially 24 and 29a, which both made me laugh, and 8, 14 and 22d. With thanks to Jay and BD.
    We have no electricity tomorrow – do hope that crossword isn’t TOO tricky as I’m going to be on my own with no help from here!! Oh dear!! :sad:

      1. I think he did last Thursday – we’re not usually lucky enough to have him two weeks on the trot! We’re probably going to get a real stinker and I’m going to be sitting in the kitchen with no help getting very grumpy!!

            1. A few weeks ago someone, can’t remember who, said that he or she had gone to the local library and had trouble getting into it (this site, not the library) and someone else suggested that that was the reason!! :grin:

              1. Kath,
                It was me.
                I typed in bigdave44, and up came the “banned sign”.
                Thankfully the chief librarian knows me, and after a giggle, and a sideways glance,
                she contacted the County computer techie, and he removed the ban on the site.
                Martin Hammon.

                1. Martin,
                  Your comment needed moderation because you’re using a different alias from previously (no longer a barber!). Both should work from now on.

            1. It’s very rare for me not to enjoy a crossword but my absolutely favourite setter is Ray T, especially when he’s in a “saucy” mood! There’s always at least one clue, and usually more than that, that makes me laugh.

  5. “This is a very straight forward puzzle”

    I should cocoa, I found this v difficult, but strangely got 2d quite quickly, did get easier when I twigged the theme.

  6. Good afternoon Dave, well I must say I found this a tricky one today, never heard 2d or 3d or 15a and had inflagration in for 30a, thinking inflammation couldn’t be right because it’s nothing to do with burning or the theme of the day, whereas inflagration well you can imagine the flames of Hell etc. ! OK I know it’s not got ‘a couple of thousand’ but I like it and it’s staying :-) I think a 3 star for me, I thought some of the readings were ‘iffy’ , however loved 26d and 22d, I think all the clues are workable but once again I had to check my answers with my electronic friends etc.

    1. I also had inflagration but got the ‘gr’ from the first two letters of grand (thousand) – “a couple of thousand”.

    1. Mary,
      Today’s Toughie, compiled by Elkamere (i.e. Anax), is a special tribute to Rufus so you might like to have a go at it.

      1. I think it’s really difficult. I have just given in and looked at the across hints and now I’m going to have a go at the down clues.

        1. I see what you mean Kath I have had a quick look and don’t know if my mental powers are good enough especially this time of day!

  7. What a really horrible day it is here today, misty pouring with rain, windy and none too warm either, yuck!

    1. It’s like that here too – it’s because “they” have declared that we have an official drought!!

  8. Very enjoyable – agree with the BD ratings. Good theme too. I did know the word in 2d but had to think about how to spell it. 3d was straightforward too – if you solve the big GK in the Saturday puzzle, the lady setter is obsessed with the subject :) Thanks to Jay for the crossword – nice theme – and to BD for the hints and explanations.

    There are a number of special themed puzzles today – Happy Birthday Rufus – and the Toughie is more friendly than the Guardian one :)

    1. Yes C S, you’re absolutely right about that lady setter for the GK and her obsession with this and obscure mythological figures. :grin:

  9. Jay in very benign mood I thought.

    Like others I had to check 2d in the BRB but it was fairly straightforward from the wordplay once the checkers were in.

    Last in was 1a where it took ages for the penny to drop – pommette got that one :grin:

    Thanks to Jay and to BD for the unplanned review!

  10. yup – straightforward as they come, but enjoyable. Like Sue I forgot how to spell 2d, got the E and U in the wrong places.

  11. OK, new resolution, I’m going to post comments when I enjoy a crossword, not just when I want a moan, so…I enjoyed this. With, naturally, a couple of reservations, mainly 2d, an unforgivably obscure word. I know some posters here will argue that on the bonus side, that means I’ve learnt something, but I attempt to do crosswords for relaxation, not a futile exercise is trying to work out a word that I’ve never heard of. If you take this defence of obscure words to its logical conclusion, you might as well entirely fill up a crossword with words that 99.9% of readers don’t know – think how much we’ll all learn then. I wish setters would keep in the mind the fact that some solvers such as me aren’t sitting at home or in an office with easy Google access or reference works. I attempt the crossword on my commute to and from work, usually with no internet signal, so I’m never going to complete a puzzle that has a word such as 2d. Even when I do have Google access, being forced to use it makes for a very unsatisfying experience.
    One more thing – don’t get 7d, although I put it in. How does een mean regular?
    Thanks as ever for the very useful blog.

      1. Blimey Mary, i am impressed! Like Andrew I could see the answer but until you said I had no idea why. Well done.

    1. Hi GA I totally agree about not being able to solve crosswrords with obscure knowledge and words without using google etc. there were at least three words I needed to look up today, this as you say would make it impossible for me, an average solver, to solve on a desert island for example! some people may argue that I’m not even an average solver :-D

      1. Hi Mary – as tempting as it is, I’m not going there again. Back to my hammock………….:)

  12. Enjoyable and straightforward, indeed.

    Small typo in the hint to 23A (“toed”?).

    I spotted that because 23A was the last one in for me. Remind me again, what was the particular branch of topology that I was studying so many years ago? Doh!

    Thanks to all involved :-)

  13. Another one done over lunch – they must be getting easier as am sure I’m not getting better!! However, that’s not quite true – I needed hints for 1a and 19a – hate the pesky 4-letter ones! – 1a makes all the sense in the world but I really don’t like 19a! Liked 9a – even though it is an anagram it’s very cleverly worded, in my opinion. Thanks to setter and BD for hints.

  14. Thanks to the setter & Big Dave for the hints and review. Enjoyed this one, never heard of 2d, but got it from the wordplay. Tied up in knots by 23a, just couldn’t see it :-) Favourites were 9,24,29a.

  15. Not too taxing today but had to resort to crossword clue solver site for 2d despite having all the checking letters as my little electronic helper didn’t list it, but it is biased towards americanist spelling and only cost £9.99. :roll:

  16. As a matter of proofessional pride I should have been on to this sooner (Clue: “Religious figure’s lost esprit” and definitely 1d today!) Instead I was obsessed for ages by rugby forwards in 1a and never got the obvious answer even when the theme emerged. Stuck on the churchy growth in 20a too, which seemed a bit of a stretch to me.

    Perhaps I should eat something and think better!

    I don’t post very often but thanks to all for all the clues and banter!

  17. ** /** today,like a few others got the garden in 7 down( last to be solved) ,but only understood the’dig for victory’ from the blog-thanks Big Dave’thought it might have been something to do Antony EDEN who was foreign secretary during the1939-1945 war when the Dig for Victory campaign was introduced- at least i was thinking laterally!

  18. I always enjoy Jay’s puzzles and to-day’s was no exception. Like many others didn’t know 2d and had to refer to the BRB . Favourites 23a ,24a &29a. Thanks Jay & BD

  19. Thought this was very tricky. Kept missing the a in so many clues. New word for me today, 15a.
    Only finished with the help of the excellent hints.

  20. Pretty straightforward stuff today, with 1a and 28d my last in – didn’t really like 1a to be honest.
    2d was a word I’d not heard of before but the wordplay, the checking letters and a quick google to make sure that this was actually a word saw me through!
    No fave clues today – thanks to Jay and the big guy for the explanations! :-)

  21. I agree a gentler Jay puzzle today but none the worse for that, entertaining as it was. 2d was OK – Haven’t run by the word recently but I knew it and the cluing was fair as usual.
    Thanks to JAy and to BD for the review.

  22. Have no problem in learning new words, I love words but can see how it could be annoying. As is usual a four letter word stumped me e.g. 1a. So bl””dy obvious when you see the hint. GGrrr. With so many topical clues today in other xwords I liked 9a. Thanks to Jay and BD

    1. It’s always the little four letter words that finish me off too – I couldn’t see 1a for ages and the one that I really nearly missed was 31a – I don’t think I’ve ever heard of “f” being “following” before.
      Do hope that all your injuries are getting better and that your heroic dog is still getting lots of treats! :smile:

  23. Found my way through this puzzle without help, but came here to understand a couple of yesterday’s clues, namely 13a and 11d. Those two had me stumped. Thank goodness for this blog – finally I understand.

  24. Like many other comments I agree. Top left corner virtually impossible for me, the rest very simple. Never heard of 2d or 15a, and could not get 1a at all. So I would award the top left corner 5 stars and the rest 1 star.

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