DT 26801 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26801

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26801

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja.  Well I can’t believe it but this week it’s a year since my “Baptism of Fire” as a blogger – 2 March 2011! Where has the time gone? I’ve really enjoyed doing all the reviews and I thank you all for the nice comments that you’ve made. I hope you’ve found my efforts useful.

Over the year Jay has consistently supplied us with excellent puzzles and this one is no exception. The only problem is that sometimes they’re a bit thin on photo opportunities – not this time though!

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           Old-fashioned drunk, say, outside holding forelock (7)
{SQUIFFY} – To get this slightly old-fashioned term for drunk or tipsy you need to take SY (SaY outside) and insert (holding) a word for a forelock, beloved of Teddy Boys. My grandmother used to say she was this after her second glass of sherry!

5a           Makes changes to repairs on article (6)
{AMENDS} – The definition here is makes changes to. You need a word for repairs placed after (on) an indefinite article.

9a           Averse to change between sides in volte-face (8)
{REVERSAL} – An anagram (to change) of AVERSE placed between abbreviations for two sides gives another word for a volte-face.

11a         Officer a lot of wardens ignore (6)
{ENSIGN} –A low ranking officer is hidden in (a lot of) wardens ignore

12a         Arrest made by head of security in front of tent (4)
{STOP} – A word meaning arrest or cease is made up of S (head of Security) followed by a circus tent.

13a         Bad experiences getting right names wrong (10)
{NIGHTMARES} – These bad experiences are an anagram (wrong) of RIGHT NAMES.

14a         Anticipating long life, star played around (12)
{FORESTALLING} – Another anagram (played around) this time of LONG LIFE STAR gives a word for anticipating.

17a         Parts of computers showing maternal love in poets? (12)
{MOTHERBOARDS} – These are the main parts of your computer. Take your maternal parent and follow with some poets with O (love) inserted.

21a         Enter middle age in a state of unconsciousness, facing bankruptcy (5,5)
{GOING UNDER} –The definition is facing bankruptcy. Start with a phrase meaning to enter (2,2), follow with G (middle aGe) and then a word meaning in a state of unconsciousness, from an anaesthetic perhaps, and split that lot (5,5).   This whole clue could also be a description of me!

22a         Speaking lines, actors might need them (4)
{CUES} – ‘Speaking’ in this clue is a homophone indicator.  What actors might need if they’ve forgotten their lines sounds like (speaking) some lines of people waiting to be served.   I’m not usually keen on homophone clues but this one works!   

23a         Nearly closed inside — better count takings (4,2)
{CASH UP} – Take a word for closed and remove the last letter (nearly) and place what’s left inside a word meaning to do better than. Split the result (4,2) and you get a phrase for count takings as a shopkeeper does at the end of the day.

24a         Harness expensive-sounding beast (8)
{REINDEER} – This beast is a charade of a piece of harness and a word sounding like another word for expensive

25a         Expand in elaborate detail (6)
{DILATE} – A word for expand, as the pupil of your eye might, is an anagram (elaborate) of DETAIL.

26a         Volunteers in a cottage in France cause trouble (7)
{AGITATE} – To get this word meaning cause trouble or stir up you need A (from the clue) followed by a French holiday cottage with the usual volunteer soldiers inserted.


2d           Search one working for the answer to this! (8)
{QUESTION} – A search followed by I (one) and a word for working, as in not off, gives something that requires an answer.

3d           Single container must cover end of wage freeze (3,2)
{ICE UP} – Take I (single), a container from which you might drink tea and insert E (end of wagE) and split the result (3,2) to get a phrase meaning to freeze.

4d           Angle on profit from such fabric (7)
{FISHNET} – A word for angle, with a rod and line perhaps, followed by profit after expenses gives a type of see-through fabric.   And an opportunity for a gratuitous photo!

6d           Developing remit as experts (7)
{MAESTRI} – These experts are an anagram (developing) of REMIT AS.

7d           Cast gains a lot from dreams of home (9)
{NOSTALGIA} – These dreams of home, or of the past, are an anagram (cast) of GAINS A LOT.   This stuff isn’t what it used to be!

8d           Slumped, unhappy eating scrambled egg (6)
{SAGGED} – Take a word for unhappy (3) and insert (eating) an anagram (scrambled) of EGG to get a word meaning slumped or drooped.

10d         Support a hospital — finally bid cash (5,6)
{LEGAL TENDER} – The definition is cash, as in “banknotes or coins which by law must be accepted  as payment of a debt” (thanks BRB!). Start with one of the usual supports and follow with A (from the clue) and then L (hospitaL finally) and finish with another word for bid or offer.  That’s another one that’s more difficult to explain than it was to solve!

15d         The writer’s back — crazy, pinching hotel cheese! (9)
{EMMENTHAL} – Take how the writer of this crossword might refer to himself (2) and reverse it (back) and follow with a colloquial term for crazy with H(otel) inserted to get this sort of Swiss cheese with large holes.

16d         Supporter present for victory in Europe in period before Christmas (8)
{ADHERENT} – A Jay trademark clue! To get this supporter you need to take the period leading up to Christmas and swap the VE for a word meaning present, in the sense of in this place (present for Victory in Europe).

18d         Announce correct time, welcoming parliamentarian (7)
{TRUMPET} – A word meaning to announce loudly is made up of a word for correct followed by T(ime) with the usual parliamentarian inserted (welcoming).

19d         Mad dog could be! (7)
{BARKING} – Double definition. A slang term for mad is also something that a dog might be doing, especially if it’s mad!  I seem to remember a conversation on the blog recently about this term – a small town in Essex!

20d         Chicken or fish (flipping uncooked inside!) (6)
{COWARD} – This is a person who is chicken.  Take a popular chip-shop fish and insert (inside) a word meaning uncooked but backwards (flipping).

22d         Panic a detective arresting soldier in training (5)
{CADET} – This soldier in training is hidden in (arresting) panic a detective.

As usual there’s lots of good stuff in this but my favourites are 2d and 19d – how about you?

The Quick crossword pun: {hoarse} + {tray} + {leer} = {Australia}

109 comments on “DT 26801

  1. Thanks Jay and Pommers.
    Great graphics, especially 4D.
    Yet another quick 600 points for the online submission.
    The cheese is normally spelt without the H.

    1. Happy Blogging Birthday Pommers :) I just thought I’d mention that since you’ve started using smileys from this sherv.net site, I get an “unauthorized URL detected” warning keep coming up on my screen from my internet security provider, and it won’t allow your smileys to be viewed. Do we know that sherv.net is a safe site?

      1. No reason to suspect otherwise and the firewall and protection on this netbook was installed by pommette, and she’s absolutely paranoid about security – worked on the systems side of Barclays Bank’s on-line banking system!

        1. Well done Pommers some great reviews and hints, I’m amazed that a year has passed already, keep up the good work !

    2. I add my bloggersday good wishes, always enjoy your contributions, and love the emoticons! And the pictures.

  2. Happy Blogtastic Birthday!

    This was a delightful Jay crossword. In typical Jay fashion, the across clues yielded little fruit but the downs compensated and my initial impression that this would be a stinker was proved false by coming in nicely as a two stopper.

    Thanks to Jay for the treat and to Pommers for the review.

    Anyone tempted to look at Osmosis in the Toughie will find it fiendish but fun.

    As it is 29 Feb, you may enjoy an excellent themed crossword by Anarche in the Independent.

  3. Yes a 2 star EXCEPT for 16 d which was so tough. Thx to Pommers for the explanation and answer which I would not have seen in a month of Sundays! Apart from that a very pleasent experience with some clever clues – 17a and 15d.

  4. Nice puzzle, too quickly solved though. All 3 puzzles so far this week have been 2* or less IMO. Thanks to Jay and to Pommers.

  5. Straightforward puzzle today. The spelling of 15d was a new one on me but no real problems. Favourites were 17a & 16d. Thanks to Jay & Pommers, Happy anniversary, may we see many more.

  6. Thanks to Jay and Pommers for the review & hints. Found this straightforward with some really good clues. Favourites were 1a & 16d. Still cloudy in central London, but had some Sun yesterday afternoon.

  7. Thanks to Jay.
    Pommers thanks for the hints and tips, I completed this without help, but appreciate the explanations of 2d,15d,16d which I didn’t get directly from clues.

    Thrown a bit by shpelling of 15d.

    Auxiliary observation, I notice nobody publishes time for solving. It would be handy for me to have some sort of benchmark that I can measure my progress against.

    1. Posting solving times is a no-no on this site as many people find them discouraging. If you want I can email you my times that give the various star ratings.

    2. Hi
      Well this might encourage you took as it took me over two hours, but I still loved every min
      Yes that 120 of them!

      1. Hi Mark and welcome from me too.

        A couple of hours might well have been my time 3 or 4 years ago. It’s amazing what practice, this blog and the discipline of doing the reviews does for your solving skill. I was a lot quicker today!

  8. Happy Blogging Birthday Pommers!!! Great puzzle – started off thinking i couldn’t do it at all and then slowly slowly it all came together – to me that’s the sign of a good one! thanks to all.

  9. I enjoyed this one today, although I got stuck on the NW corner for a while. Favourite clues 1a and 16d. I am now back in the Middle East,and for some reason (??!) your graphics for 4d and comment 2 have been blocked. I can only imagine what they must be! Thanks for Jay and Pommers for review and hints.

    1. Not surprised 4d was blocked as it’s a lady in a fishnet bodystocking! Why comment 2 was blocked I’ve no idea – it’s simply an smiley blowing out a candle on a birthday cake!

          1. Sorry Pommers, I can see the 4d image and agree – very tastefu!. What I can’t see is the emoticon in comment 2, as per my comment about internet security above.

            1. It seems only the men find the illustration of 4d tasteful. Not I. It’s a shame to spoil an excellent crossword with something so tacky.

              1. While expecting the obvious picture opportunity would not have been missed, I do think a fishnet clad leg would have sufficed in this instance.

      1. I suspected as much for 4d. Comment 2 – well, perhaps it will appear later – these things sometimes do.

  10. Nice puzzle today. All pretty straight forward. Was looking forward to checking I had 4d correct as soon as I finished. Predictable but not disappointing. Thanks for a good puzzle, review and hints.

  11. Liked this one today. Nice and straightforward with just enough to make you think. Loved the photo clues. Particularly liked 21a and 16d. Thanks to Jay and to Pommers.

  12. A lovely puzzle this morning, though I needed a bit of help to finish. I made life difficult for myself by putting in ‘overseat’ for 9a (an anagram of ‘averse to’. It seemed to fit the clue vaguely) but managed to correct myself eventually. I’d never heard of 17a, but then I’m not technologically inclined, and I was puzzled by 16d — not sure I like four letters replacing two. My favourites were 1 and 22a and 2 and 19d. Many thanks to Jay and to Pommers for the entertaining explanations. :-)

    1. Hi Christine and welcome to the blog. We hope to hear from you again now you’ve broken the ice :grin:

      Quickie pun now there – it’s added by BD rather than me.

  13. Happy Blogbirthday Pommers. This was a 2* difficulty as far as GETTING the answers but so many of them took me a long time to unravel the WHY bit that I think I would give it 3* – maybe I’m just a bit on the slow side today! I really enjoyed it. I’ve never heard of 17a but the clue was very clear. Too many good ones to write them all down so just a couple – 19d and 1a. Reminds me of Dorothy Parker (I think)

    “I love a Martini,
    One at the most,
    Two I’m under the table,
    And three I’m under the host!”

    Do hope that I’ve got that right(ish)!

    With thanks to Jay and Pommers – I love all the new “faces”!

    1. The version I know is:
      I wish I could drink like a lady,
      I can take one, or two at the most,
      three and I’m under the table,
      and four I’m under the host.
      Thanks to Jay and congratulations to Pommers

  14. On a completely unrelated matter, does anyone know a way of printing the crossword from the Independant web site? I seem to remember someone on 225 once said it was possible.

  15. Congrats Pommers – here’s to the next 52 weeks.

    Fun but not overly taxing puzzle today, top left held me up the longest (but not too long) until the hairstyle popped into my head (been a while since I had enough hair to worry about styling it).
    Contrary to others, I’ve always spelled 15D with an H, but not with a double M, Oh well, we all live and learn.

  16. 1.5* difficulty, 3* fun, thank you Jay. Thank you to Pommers too for his anniversary blog.

    Anyone looking at the fun fiendish Toughie today should start on the right hand side. I had all of that in and only one on the left for quite a while.

  17. Off out soon and won’t be back home until tomorrow afternoon. Don’t know if I’ll be able to get on-line later but if not see y’all Friday. I’m sure others will be around if anyone needs a bit more help.

    Thanks for the nice ‘birthday’ comments and here’s to the next year! :grin:

    1. Sorry I missed you today pommers, happy blogging birthday, can’t believe it’s a year, well done :-D

  18. many thanks to Jay for a very enjoyable crossword and to Pommers for an excellent review. Congratulations Pommers on your 1st birthday and for your choice of picture clues.

  19. Enjoyed this one today, I’m with Franny on 16d seems unfair to remove two letters and replace with 4, lots of favourites today :-)

          1. You think we’d have something better to do wouldn’t you :roll: off to cinema soon to see The New Marigold Hotel, it’s supposed to be really good

      1. How to do the “faces” is all in the FAQ section at the top. The smiley one :smile: is colon smile colon (no spaces).

  20. Really enjoyed this – prob 4* as several clues made me laugh. Faves 22a, 15, 19, 20d. Thanks to all

  21. On another note, can someone confirm the answer to 21a in the quickie? I’m thinking ‘sexy’, as this makes a pangram for me. Yet ‘ sexy’ doesn’t quite fit the clue to my mind … ?

        1. Today’s Quick Crossword.

          If the pun contains more than 2 words, the paper version usually puts all the clues involved in italics. No italics today – so I went for “Coarse” + “Tray” = “Corsetry. But I’m most probably wrong!

          Corsets! How do you add a picture to a comment? :wink:

          1. I thought the same at first. Not sure what caused me to spot hoarse + tray + leer, and then not sure what prompted the Australia moment! Saying it out loud often helps, but only when you can be sure you’re alone!

  22. Going for**/ ****,easy to get the solutions,harder to work out why-very enjoyable today ,was on his wave lenght- must be the hangover.
    PS-loved the fishnets and the stocking filler.

  23. All the very best Pommers, thanks for your continued assistance, heaven knows I need it. Managed today though, unassisted hurrah!

  24. This was a 2 and a half pints of Black Sheep puzzle today for me. Last one is was 22A.

    Lots of cute clues and a nice variety of clue types too. I’m not sure I’d agree 4D was actually a fabric per se (Flannel was my first guess which errooneously gave me 1A and then 2D) but I’m willing to forget this given the proper and fair pictorial addition to the clue. Could I really have looked forward to a pictorial clue for Flannel?

  25. Well, I managed to get on-line but I’m sat on the path outside a friends apartment (he’s in the UK but fortunately has left his router turned on :smile: ) so I’m not staying long!

    4d seems to have got one or two of you a bit ‘hot under the collar’! :grin: Thought it might so perhaps I ought to change it to the net full of fish – or perhaps not!

    I’ll try to get back later if it doesn’t get to cold here.

  26. Well done and thanks Pommers for both reaching the year and for your excellent blogs (including this one). Great stuff again from Jay – thanks to you to.

  27. I always enjoy Jay’s puzzles and this was no exception although I got really vexed with 16d as I could see what the answer was from the checking letters but couldn’t see how I was going to get VE in!! Thanks for the explanation Pommers and happy blogbirthday! :smile:

  28. 1. Congrats to Pommers!
    2. Another enjoyable puzzle – not very taxing.

    Faves : 12a, 17a, 21a, 26a, 4d, 15d, 16d & 20d.

    3. re 4d – it is not in CCD under “fabric” and in BRB it is given as a type of weaving rather than a fabric.

    Pommers – your photo for 4d suggests that she is ready for another sort of weaving!

  29. Well done, pommers! You always provide a very amusing and a very informative blog!

    Also, many thanks to Jay!

  30. Happy birthday!
    Another excellent job by Jay too.

    Favourites: 16D, and the picture for 4D ;-)

  31. I had maîtres down for 6d. Isn’t it used to denote a senior – and, by implication, expert – employee?

    1. …. the only minor problem is that it completely screws up the rest of that corner, but I can see what you mean!! :smile:

  32. May I add my belated good wishes Pommers (not forgetting that Pomette has helped out a little too!!). Jay always seems to provide you with plenty of provocative pictorial possibilities, and he hasn’t let you down this time!!

  33. Lovely puzzle, very nicely pitched. 1a and 22a had me foxed but that’s no complaint. Thanks to the setter and as ever this great site.

  34. Well done Pommers – I would like to think that Jay might have given you that slam dunk for 4d knowing it was your anniversary. Anyway, it was a more than balanced review with three fine male specimens for the ladies, if you count the reindeer. All very entertaining with thanks to P & J.

    1. What is a “slam dunk”? Do hope that it’s not one of those things that I wish I’d never asked!!

      1. Frequently used expression in the US. Americans love to use any expressions that come from their favorite sports, basketball, football and baseball. Thanks for the hints Pommers and Happy Anniversary. I am full of admiration for all the bloggers who are working against a deadline to solve some difficult puzzles sometimes. I found the puzzle today challenging, in a good way, but needed your explanations for 1a, 12a and 16d even though I got the answers!

    2. I also thought he might have given me the ‘slam dunk’ but also thought he might be taking the mickey out of his blogger with 21a :lol:

      1. But 21a might have been an opportunity to show a picture of the Titanic for your nautical side.

        Kath – yes sorry, a slam dunk is an easy but usually spectacular shot particularly in basketball. I lived in Chicago for quite a while and saw a guy called Michael Jordan make many of them. Maybe it will appear in a DT crossword some time and then we can refer back to this blog……

  35. Enjoyed to-day’s though didn’t have a lot of time at it, due to being out all day and just settling down to get stuck in when a visitor arrived – however, managed to solve apart from 22a & d, for which I needed hints – thanks Pommers! And many happy returns, I really enjoy your hints, explanations and illustrations! Can I just say that I think “solving times” are, actually, a pain in the ****!!! The joy of the Xword, to me, is being able to have a quick look over breakfast, another mullover at lunch time and then looking forward to maybe finishing it in the evening. Doesn’t matter how long it takes providing you enjoy it. My Dad used to start it with his morning coffee and then deliberately put it down so he had something to look forward to over his afternoon tea. Come on people – stop watching the clock – just enjoy it!! Thanks to Jay and Pommers (again).

    1. The pommers only ever times himself on the days he has to blog. The rest of the time we sit and do the back page puzzle together over lunch. Me trying to solve, him blogging for me when I get stuck! Very instructive.

      Some days we have to leave it for a while and come back later after a big of cogitation and perservation!

      I agree – forget how long it takes. Just enjoy!

  36. Oh I so remember 12 months ago !!! There was the pommers having a minor (or was it major?) panic about
    1) whether he could even solve the crossword
    2) whether he could then write a decent blog.

    He did it, worried about whether it was ok and then it got published – so no going back!

    I have actually enjoyed the last 12 months too as it has taught me so much about how to solve cryptic clues. And I’ve met lots of lovely people here on BDs blog!

    Happy blogtastic birthday pommers!

      1. Thankyou gnomey

        Point 1 isn’t so much of a worry nowadays (famous last words!) but point 2 always is! Don’t know why I continue to do it :grin: Actually I do know, it’s lot of fun because it gives you two different views of the puzzle – one as an normal solver (to get the answers) but then another when you have to write the blog and prove you really understand the setter’s intentions – and hopefully it helps a load of people who are still learning the art of cryptics..

  37. You may have noticed from the rash of posts from pommette that we’ve now got the dongle working! Orange must have put a new mast up somewhere around here :grin:

    Thanks again to everyone – I’m off duty next week as I’m off to the Costa del Sol for a week’s holiday.

    PS – solving times – who cares? Certainly not me!

  38. Hi first time on here, learned so much from the hints and getting better. Thanks Dave

  39. Enjoyable stuff from Jay here!
    16d took a while for me to twig what was going on…the answer was clear, but I didn’t know why. Big d’oh where the penny finally dropped, and that’s exactly how it should be.
    So that was my fave clue, but I also liked 12a, 17a, 22a (another big d’oh as I realised the clue type) and 19d.
    Thumbs up from me! :)

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