DT 26807 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26807

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26807

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa where we are about to experience some very unseasonable weather – the outlook for Wednesday is sunny and +12 degrees (Celsius).

Today we have a typical puzzle from Jay, although it is missing the usual substitution (A for B) type clue that I have come to expect from him. I debated whether it deserved 2* or 3* for difficulty. While I solved the majority of the clues more rapidly than usual – I did find that the last few put up quite a fight.

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 Break journey and check insurance, with traffic finally disappearing (4,4)
{STOP OVER} – we start with a two part charade; the first part is a verb denoting check or halt and the second is a noun meaning protection by insurance against a loss with the final letter of (traffi)C removed.

9a Status conferred by cardinal’s address? (8)
{EMINENCE} – a word meaning honour, distinction or prestige is also a title of honour for a cardinal

10a Just grounds for amusement (4)
{FAIR} – an adjective signifying adherence to honest practices also describes a locale where a collection of sideshows and amusements may be set up

11a Effective obstacle that’s quickly broken? (5,7)
{SOUND BARRIER} – this obstacle could be broken by a very fast aircraft – a charade of a word meaning effective or useful and an obstacle

13a Made sure foul was deliberate (8)
{MEASURED} – an anagram (foul) of the first two words in the clue is an adjective meaning carefully chosen or considered

15a Add a couple of pages to finish (6)
{APPEND} – string together A (from the clue), two P(ages) and a word meaning finish (either as a verb or a noun) to obtain a verb meaning to add or attach something to a document

16a Celebrated performer of gangsta rap (4)
{STAR} – we can find this celebrated performer hiding in (indicated by “of”) the final two words of the clue

17a Hat, or top of trilby, seen in bog (5)
{MITRE} – an ecclesiastical headdress is formed by inserting the first letter (top) of T(rilby) into a patch of deep mud

18a Source of tension in rough sea is worrying (4)
{EATS} – the definition is “is worrying” (as in “What is worrying you?”); the answer would be the first letter (source) of T(ension) in an anagram (rough) of SEA

20a Batsman’s need for bottle? (6)
{OPENER} – we are looking for a specific batsman – one who begins the batting for their team; a bottle and one of these will also enable you to quench your thirst

21a Gyrating banshees? They’re history! (3-5)
{HAS-BEENS} – an anagram (gyrating) of BANSHEES could be washed-up 16a’s

23a Hybrid present in turbulent water (5-7)
{CROSS-CURRENT} – a flow of water at right angles to the main flow is created by prefixing the offspring resulting from breeding different species to an adjective designating here and now

26a The origins of interesting old tale about Whit (4)
{IOTA} – a Greek letter synonymous with a very small amount is formed from the first letters (origins) of four words in the clue

27a Risky adventure involving a day in flight (8)
{ESCAPADE} – a daring, adventurous or unlawful act results when A (from the clue) and D(ay) are inserted into an act of fleeing from danger

28a Anticipated free go on mobile (8)
{FOREGONE} – an adjective describing a result that can be predicted with certainty is an anagram (mobile) of FREE GO ON


2d Gives tuition on right side of ballot box (3,5)
{TEA CHEST} – start with a verb meaning instructs and append to it the last letter (right side) of (ballo)T to get the type of box in which the raw material for a stereotypically British drink is transported

3d Spurs resting in play for budgetary control (5,7)
{PURSE STRINGS} – these cords , which literally and figuratively control access to financial resources, are an anagram (in play) of the first two words of the clue; the surface reading would seem to suggest that English footballers – at least those from Tottenham – don’t get paid during breaks in the action!

4d One assesses the price of victory with a variable rule (6)
{VALUER} – someone who puts a price on an object is a charade of V(ictory), A (from the clue) and an anagram (variable ) of RULE

5d Send ruminant up for grass (4)
{REED} – reverse (send up in a down clue) a forest animal to get a type of grass

6d House of sin welcoming a tabloid paper? (8)
{VICARAGE} – the definition is “house” (one occupied by a man of the cloth – and hopefully not a sinful place) which is build from a synonym for sin wrapped around A (from the clue) and a derogatory colloquial term for a tabloid (as if tabloid was not derogatory enough)

7d Individual opposed to article on revolutionary Italian (4)
{ANTI} – someone who is opposed to a particular policy, party or ideology is a charade of an indefinite article on top of a short upturned measure of Italian vermouth

8d Ladyboys getting married? In this part of Scotland! (8)
{HEBRIDES} – a group of islands off the western coast of Scotland, if split (2,6), would become a bunch of effeminate male partners in same-sex marriages


12d Acting on behalf of band touring Spain here (12)
{REPRESENTING} – the definition is “acting on behalf of”; it is made up of a circular item of jewellery going around (touring) the International Vehicle Registration code for Spain and the other common response to a roll call

14d Begin doubting urge to discard (5)
{DITCH} – a word meaning to discard or abandon is formed from the first letter (begin) of D(oubting) followed by a strong restless desire

16d The sort of day for changing her Crocs? (8)
{SCORCHER} – this anagram (changing) of HER CROCS describes the sort of day when one’s feet might become very sweaty in Crocs

17d Native initially overlooking c-cold in ruined manor (8)
{MOROCCAN} – this native of a northwest African country could be the result of putting the initial letter of O(verlooking) and the stuttering abbreviation for C-C(old) inside an anagram (ruined) of MANOR

19d Barrel — good gun metal (8)
{TUNGSTEN} – a very hard metallic element used in the filaments of electric light bulbs (at least before the advent of CFLs and LEDs) is a charade of a cask for holding wine or ale, G(ood) and a lightweight British sub-machine gun

22d Rod’s gardens in Kent area finally flower (6)
{SKEWER} – this sort of rod might be employed by a chef at a barbeque; to find the solution, place the name of what are surely England’s most prestigious gardens inside the abbreviated geographical designation for the area where Kent is located and then add the final letter of (flowe)R

24d Killer bearing donor card? Quite the opposite! (4)
{ORCA} – the first part of the clue would suggest that the solution is hidden in (born by) “killer”; however, the second part tells us that the opposite is true. The definition is killer (a killer whale, to be more precise) and it is lurking in the depths of “donor card”

25d River charge raised means potential danger for ships (4)
{REEF} – R(iver) plus a reversal (raised, in a down clue) of a synonym for a charge (for services from a lawyer, for example) create a hazard for ships (and the careers of Italian sea captains)

My favourite clues today were 11a and 8d, with honourable mention going to 21a, 3d, 6d, and 16d.

The Quick crossword pun: {juicy} + {wart} +{icy} = {d’you see what I see}

92 comments on “DT 26807

  1. Lovely gentle puzzle today – first in was 11a and last in 7d. Very enjoyable! Thanks to Falcon for the Hints and Tips :-)

  2. I thought this was a much gentler Jay puzzle today although I can see where a couple of answers might hold one up – I paused briefly on the last 3 or so but saw the light quite quickly and still posted what I would consider a * star time for Jay. Much fun as usual so thanks to Jay and to Falcon for the fine review.

  3. No troubles in this one today. I enjoyed it, so thanks to Jay, and to Falcon for the review.
    Favourite clues, 11a, 6d, and 8d.

    Minor typo in the answer to 17d.

      1. Dave, thanks for fixing this while I slept. The funny thing is that I remember seeing that error and thought I had fixed it. I guess that is the downside of hidden answers – it hides mistakes from the proofreader.

  4. Straightforward enough for me. Hard enough to make me think but easy enough to be able to complete it without help Favourite 6d. Thanks to Falcon for the review.

  5. All but four entered at first pass, so over too quickly. 1* for me. Thanks to Jay and Falcon.

  6. Lingered a nanosecond longer on 22d otherwise pleasant cobweb shifter.
    Thanks Jay and Falcon (miss the risque graphics today)

    1. ..(miss the risque graphics today)..
      All the more reason to check out the Toughie blog later. :D

      1. Be careful! Go too far and you’ll have the blog squad screaming down your ears about the gratuitous use of images which denigrate (insert your own pet cause here) and have no place on this site.

        Personally I can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with as I’ve scanned the Toughie and it offers all manner of interpretations to those with a 13 year old boy’s mind, such as myself.

  7. Thought there might have been a picture for 8d. Had the US spelling for 17a for a time and that held me up a while! Other wise nice puzzle. Thanks all.

      1. Please make it go away mister! What’s wrong with a picture of the place itself? Instead we’ve got some very dodgy looking girly boys from Bangkok or the likes!

        1. I guess the group of ladyboys from Bangkok was not a big hit – so I’ve added a picture of a well-known group from the Isle of Lewis.

            1. Well, I’ll say this much for the “bride” as compared to the Bangkok chaps — what you see is what you get.

  8. Thanks to Jay for puzzle and to Falcon for hints and tips.
    Initial scan produced 6 answers and then got completely bogged down until I spotted some missed anagram indicators and hidden clues when it all fell into place.
    Very enjoyable, 6&8d favourites. 22a didn’t enthuse me.

  9. Another easy puzzle with some lovely clues of which the best was 2d. 6d also made me laugh – house of sin! Other goodies were 3, 8, 17d and 21. The toughie isn’t for the second day running. Its just as easy as this one.

    1. **/*** again-all this weeks so far very similar,bet tomorrow is harder! Only stuck on 22d, as were others-subconsious finally got me there as i was driving round when the garden bit clicked’ was thinking of rod’s steiger,stewart and even emu-time for the toughie we’ll see if you’re right or just had a lucky day!

      1. Thanks for the tip i gave it ***/****,it was’nt too difficult for a toughie, arrived at the right solutions but had to check the’hints’to find out why for some.w orth looking at Gazza’s pictorial interpretations to 15a and 2d-sheer delight,the mans a genius.

    2. Agreed re Toughie. I don’t normally do them, but today’s and yesterday’s were very “friendly”

  10. G’morning all. I’m a first timer to the site. Been reading it for a while and love the help, advice and comments. Wife and I have a bash at these over coffee. Managed this one OK so we give it 2*. First in 19d, last 8d and favourite 8d. Very enjoyable

      1. Thank you Big Dave. We normally do the cryptics a few days behind publication, we print them off the website as we subscribe online. So, although your site remains just as useful, there was no point in me leaving a message as everybody had left the building. Today we are doing it in real time.

        1. The person who wrote the review gets an email when someone makes a comment so you will always get a response even if you are several days behind the ‘crowd’.

    1. Hello Captain and welcome, I think if I’m not mistaken you are our second ‘Captain’ , hope you call in often, as you know, everyone is very friendly and helpful :-)

  11. Fairly straight forward today, but an enjoyable puzzle nonetheless. Thanks to Jay and Falcon. I liked the wordplay in 6d and 8d, so would put them as favourites. I did get a bit carried away with all the anagrams and tried to put ‘water serpent’ as the answer for 23a (PRESENT+WATER) – somehow it didn’t fit! The Toughie is definitely worth a look today as well.

  12. Good afternoon Falcon and thanks for the blog although I didn’t need it today, it is always good to read, a lovely puzzle from Jay today IMHO and a two to three star for me, Although, as I might have said once or twice! Rufus is my favourite setter, Jays puzzles often have this knack of restoring my confidence, when I begin to wonder if I’ve improved at all in the almost three years I’ve been doing these! Lots of clues I really liked today with 6d & 8d being my favourites, another lovely sunny day but colder than yesterday when it was actually warm enough to sit outside :-)

    1. I thought we might equal your temperature today (Google telling me that the high predicted for Cardiff is 12°). However, the weatherman here has now backed off on his optimism and is currently predicting a high of only 9° – still an exceptionally warm day for this time of year.

    2. Hi Mary – Like you I love Rufus, but found this one today a pleasure to do – as I got lots of the answers. Don’t often get the chance to do Jay’s puzzles ad pommers has to do them quickly without any input form me. So a nice change to be able to do it online in the sunny, but very windy and not so warm, Costa del Sol.

  13. I found this slightly easier than normal for a Jay but I would, given the number of spots by favourite clues, probably have awarded this 4* for entertainment, 6d being the one that made me chuckle most. Thanks to Jay for a super start to Wednesday and to Falcon for the review.

    The Micawber Toughie isn’t, as others have said above, the toughest but is so lovely to solve that everyone should have a go.

    1. Hi Sue,

      Prompted by your comment, I had another look through the clues and – by the light of day – can see that I may have shortchanged Jay a tad on the enjoyment factor. My judgement may not be the most highly tuned at 2:00 AM!

      1. One of the advantages of doing the reviews of the weekend puzzles is that you do have time to let them ‘grow on you’. The difficulty rating I base on time taken but the entertainment stars often increase following the writing of the review. .

        1. You are so right. I find that having to keep one eye on the clock usually does nothing to enhance one’s enjoyment of the puzzle.

  14. Thanks to Jay for a lovely wee crossword and to Falcon for an excellent review.

  15. Probably a 3* for me today as the last four took ages – 20a, 16, 17 and 22d. I thought the capitalisation of “Whit” in 26a was a bit sneaky! I enjoyed it all very much – best clues include 21 and 23a and 6 and 8d. With thanks to Jay and Falcon.
    Awful weather here today – chilly with heavy rain on and off. :sad: I suppose that’s quite a good excuse for having a go at the toughie! :smile:

    1. Thanks for reassurance on the fuschias Kath, I’m never sure, I knew you would know :-)

      1. My “dead” fuchsias aren’t!! I thought that the -11C that we had one night about a month ago might have been a bit too much (or little) for them even thought they are in the greenhouse with some heating but they are all shooting! I’m SO pleased – I love them. :smile:

  16. Brilliant puzzle today at least for me. Especially loved 8d, made me roar with laughter.

    1. You and me Both Brian. Trying to explain to the physiotherapist why I was convulsed at he brides took some explaining I can tell you!!!

  17. Thanks Mary. You were quite right to put ‘Captain’ in inverted commas – I’m more Duff than Captain I’m afraid. My last sailing excursion ended with my sailing dinghy in a reed bed on Barton Broad. It took the best part of an hour of rowing to get out. My passenger, who hadn’t sailed before was understanding, if not impressed!

    1. Hi Captain and welcome. Don’t worry about the sailng – pommette has the honour of being the only person I’ve ever seen sail a Topper round and round in circles without moving the sail! Theoretically impossible but she did it! I had to swim out to her to stop the dizziness :lol:

        1. Happens to us all! I once miscalculated tidal height and hit a submerged sandbank while doing about 5Kn – bit like driving a car into a solid object at 6mph. :sad:
          Fortunately no damage to the boat but father-in-law was down below in the heads having a pee :grin: I can’t post on this blog what he actually said but it sounded as though he wasn’t very impressed with a ‘Yachtmaster’s’ seamanship :lol:

          1. Many years ago we hired a motor cruiser, again on the Broads. Within an hour of taking possession of our craft the weather had gone from bright sunshine to an icy blizzard. It was Easter and there were still diehard anglers on the river banks. The combination of fishing rods, snow and a tight bend in the river ended with our boat making heavy contact with the corner of a jetty – result a hole in the hull. When I phoned the boatyard they asked whether the hole was below the waterline (no) and was the hole bigger than my head (also no but only just). They then told me to carry on and they would fix it at the end of the holiday. So with this ‘badge of shame’ we sailed on and I always tried to position the boat on mooring up where our hole would be least visible.

        2. We were out in our motor cruiser one day and had gone a little further than normal up the river Cleddau towards Haverfordwest when my Mother who had come out for the day with us said ‘I think we just went over something’ which was so funny as we were in a boat not a car! unfortunately she was right we had gone too far up for a boat our size and were stranded on a sandbank, we thought we would be there until the next tide but fortunatley a ‘small’ boat came up river and managed to pull us off, we had several ‘amusing’ escapades but I am glad to say we are now ‘boatless’ :-)

          1. Hi Mary, we too are boatless but I’ve a load of funny anecdotes that I might use one day, like the one involving corned beef butties with brown sauce :grin:

            1. I think the funniest thing I remember pommers is when we were on our berth in the marina and friends that had been visiting (bear in mind drinking only tea) were leaving to go, Poppy got off the boat and turned the wrong way and went straight into the water, it was so funny, we were in sitches :-)

  18. Hello all from a sunny, but chilly, Costa del Sol!

    Just about to have a go at this one – in the bar again :grin: Try to get back later with a comment.

    Going to have a look at Gibraltar tomorrow so probably won’t be around.

  19. Too much for my old enfeebled brain had to come here 3 times!
    How did anybody get 22d ? :(

    1. With difficutly, Estragon!!! Took me forever and it wasn’t until those famous gardens popped into my brain that I made any sense of it.

    2. My last one too – mainly guesswork . Wasn’t until I started doing the “last resort” stuff,ie going through the alphabet and getting to “K”, that I suddenly saw what it was.

  20. Another enjoyable Jay puzzle. My favourite has to be 8d as I am one of them…….not the ladyboy but a lady from there! Last one in was 22d and only managed it with Falcon’s hint. Thanks Falcon and Jay. :smile:

    1. We are having a short holiday on the Isle of Lewis in 3 weeks time. Never been there before but we hear it is beautiful. I have to ask, where do you get your ‘smilies’?

      1. Hi Captain Duff, That’s actually where I come from and I hope you have a good time and most importantly that you get decent weather. If you look at the top of the page and click on FAQ’s and then click on emoticons you will find out how to do the smilies or any other expression you care to use. Welcome to the blog . It’s great ,isn’t it. :smile:

        1. Thanks Annidrum. I have been avidly following the weather forecasts for that area closely and might have to add some heavier gear to my wardrobe. :)

      2. As some folks seem to think I made an inappropriate choice when selecting the illustration for 8d, I have added a picture from the Isle of Lewis. My advice is to study the ferry schedules carefully. I arrived at Uig (the ferry terminus on the Isle of Skye), only to find that the ferry ran only every second day to Lewis and Harris. As a result, I never made it there. However, the silver lining was that I substituted an incredibly beautiful (but white knuckle) drive around the Wester Ross Coastal Trail.

        1. Hi Falcon. Hopefully we will be OK as we are flying into Inverness and then taking a transfer onto Stornoway. Maybe that’s when the white knuckle drive begins! Great tips and hints by the way.

          1. Don’t worry, the white knuckle drive is off the beaten path – along the coast on the Scottish mainland. There is no need to traverse this route to get from Inverness to Stornaway, although it is definitely breathtaking – in more ways than one!

  21. Did manage to finish without hints – though many thanks Falcon – but some of the clues took me ages – e.g. 22d, 2d and 1a. Tried for far too long to make an anagram of “insurance” without the “c” before I got 4d and the penny dropped. Most enjoyable – thanks to Jay for a Wednesday goodie. Fav was 11a, a short head above 8d and 221a.

  22. Back again. Agree with Falcon’s assessment of 2*. Would have been only 1* but it took agaes for the penny to drop on 6d, D’oh!

    Thanks to Jay for a great puzzle and also to Falcon for the blog and for covering while I’m on my hols.

    1. Thanks to Jay from me too. A lovely crossword that I was able to do for a change.
      And thanks to Falcon for blogging and letting me drag the pommers away on holiday. :)

  23. Late again, turns out that Wednesday is a late finish for me, grrrrrr. Finished the crossword before I went to work this morning but didn’t have time to post.
    Very enjoyable offering from the Jayster today, probably slightly easier than his normal IMHO. Must say, I though 6D very clever indeed on many levels.
    Must also say that I loved the quickie pun – took a wee while to figure it out and then only by saying it aloud – lucky nobody was watching (or in earshot).

    1. I thought the quickie pun was the most appropriate pun for the crossword yet

  24. A very late input from me – got the puzzle later than usual (TXBD).

    Faves : 20a, 23a, 2d, 8d & 19d.

    Weather here in NL is torrentionally pluvious!

  25. Many thanks to Jay and Falcon, 6d and 8d made me laugh, Jay doubt that
    you will read this but I had to explain to my home visit GP why I had an attack of the giggles at these, and then trying to parse them. I have a broken wrist and ankle at the moment so you have very much brightened my day thank you so much

  26. 9 across, 6d 19d and 22d were the ones that kept me puzzling even with cross letters! Loved the ladyboys clue! Got the answer before getting the clue.

  27. Thanks to Jay and Falcon for the review & hints. Really enjoyed this one, a lot of fun. Zoomed through it, but stuck on 5 spread all over the puzzle. A couple of double unches. Couldn’t blog yesterday due to the Camden Beer Festival! I’ll keep perservating with this one.

    1. Got one myself, got 2 from reading the blog & 2 from the hints 17a & 6d. Favourites were 19a, 6& 8d.

  28. This is today’s (May 22) in Canada’s National Post and we needed help with 22d – which we really shouldn’t have done, it was quite straightforward. However, I found that the “Find” thing on the site has been changed. Now it’s Search with Google, or some such thing, and it gave me ads. and other junk that I didn’t want. The old style plain search was much nicer and quicker. Grumble, grumble.
    We never miss a day of the DT in the National Post, and, not always being very bright, often have to resort to Big Dave’s help for the last elusive answer, or two. Can never work out what date we should be looking for, so searching by a single clue is much the easiest way.

    1. You might be interested in having a look at my own blog, the National Post Cryptic Crossword Forum, which covers both the weekday DT puzzles as well as the Saturday Cox and Rathvon puzzles. For the weekday DT puzzles, I provide a link to the review at Big Dave’s site.

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