DT 26813 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26813

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26813

Hints and tips by pommers

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

Hola from the Vega Baja.  This was the usual entertaining stuff from Jay but one of my quickest solves ever, I don’t think many people are going to need the hints today! It would have been a straight 1* had it not been for two clues where I made problems for myself. There are no obscure words and five anagrams to give you a start, which I know many of you like. I also expect that some will disagree with my rating!

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           The reverse of bargain items of jewellery (4)
{PINS} – These are items of jewellery that you might wear in a tie perhaps. Take another word for a bargain and reverse it.

3a           Inexperienced hiker’s problem? (10)
{TENDERFOOT} – This word for an inexperienced person, if split (6,4) would be a condition that would certainly be a problem for a hiker.  I suppose it also describes what you might have after you’ve finished the hike!

8a           Still one phone after meeting starts (8)
{IMMOBILE} – A word meaning still or not moving is a charade of I (one), M (Meeting starts) and the sort of phone you carry around with you. Struggled for a while on this one as I was convinced it would start with the M until 1d came to the rescue, D’oh!

9a           Charlie got married again and worked on a yacht (6)
{CREWED} –  Start with C (Charlie in the NATO phonetic alphabet) and follow with a phrase that means got married again and you get a word meaning ‘worked on a yacht’.  No, I’m not going to use Captain Pommette again!

10a         Disturbing noises of an illegal enterprise? (6)
{RACKET} – Double definition of some irritating noise and an illegal enterprise.  Bit of an old chestnut and my first in.

11a         The French agree, accepting hotel with fatal consequences (8)
{LETHALLY} – This word describing something which happens with fatal consequences is made up of a French definite article followed by a word for agree or correspond with H(otel) inserted (accepting).

13a         He’s kinda stupid, being fleeced like that! (8)
{SKINHEAD} – An anagram (stupid) of HE’S KINDA gives someone who has been well fleeced, as in having had his hair cut off.

14a         Tyrant’s place on the outskirts of Dundee (6)
{DESPOT} – Take DE (outskirts of DundeE) and follow with a word for place or site and you get this tyrant.

16a         Hold back a bit of breakfast, if leaving (6)
{STIFLE} – A word for hold back or smother is hidden in (a bit of) breakfast if leaving.

19a         Depressed by mould on fur (8)
{DOWNCAST} – Definition is depressed as in unhappy. It’s a word for fur (?) followed by a word for mould, metal perhaps.  Not really happy with ‘fur’ as the definition for the first part of this. The BRB gives it as soft feathers or fluffy hair, no mention of fur that I can see.

21a         Close study of broken nails, say (8)
{ANALYSIS} – This study is an anagram (broken) of NAILS SAY.

22a         Route that’s for one supporting band (6)
{ROADIE} – This is the guy who supports or helps a rock band. Take another word for way, as in a way you might drive along, and follow with the abbreviation for that is (that’s).

23a         Withdraw story after six-pack, and make a rapid climbdown (6)
{ABSEIL} – Take a story or untruth and reverse it (withdraw) and place after the usual six-pack (not tins of beer) to get a rapid way of getting down a rock face.

24a         European spies held by China grow weak (8)
{EMACIATE} – A word meaning to grow weak or thin is made from E(uropean) followed by your china (think Cockney) with the usual American spies inserted. What do you think about the capitalisation here?

25a         Dwelling on estimate being wrong (10)
{MAISONETTE} – This dwelling is an anagram (being wrong) of ON ESTIMATE.

26a         Dinner date with an anorak (4)
{NERD} – This anorak is hidden in dinner date.


1d           Proper nozzles for watering flowers (9)
{PRIMROSES} – A word meaning proper, in the sense of formal or strait-laced, followed by the type of nozzles you might find  on watering cans gives some flowers.

2d           Presents for fussy sticklers in golf (8,7)
{STOCKING FILLERS} – These small Christmas presents are an anagram (fussy) of STICKLERS IN GOLF.  I wasted far too much time trying to crack this one with only 3 checkers in place! Note to self – leave long anagrams alone until you have over half the checkers!

3d           New titles covering hospital growth (7)
{THISTLE} – An anagram (new) of TITLES with H(ospital) inserted (covering) gives a plant (growth) associated with Scotland.

4d           Wanted to pinch student, annoyed (7)
{NEEDLED} – Insert (to pinch) the usual student into a word for wanted or required to get a word meaning annoyed someone.

5d           Previous wife, given a summons, gets emotionally disturbed (7)
{EXCITED} – The usual previous wife or husband followed by a word meaning given a summons to appear in a court of law gives a word meaning emotionally disturbed or aroused.  Not come across this meaning of the summons word before but the answer was fairly obvious – thanks BRB!.

6d           Thought process of club charging nothing? (4,11)
{FREE ASSOCIATION} – This is a sort of thought process that’s useful in solving crosswords. It also describes a club that doesn’t charge subs. I’m practicing this for today’s Elgar Toughie!

7d           Drink rum in case of tragedy (5)
{TODDY} – This is a warm drink involving whisky and it’s a word for rum, as in strange, inserted into TY (case of TragedY).  Might need a strong one of these after the aforementioned Elgar Toughie!

12d         Ladies left spectacles (3)
{LOO} – The ladies (or gents for that matter) is L(eft) followed by two letters that look a bit like a pair of spectacles.

15d         Called before finishing journalist’s legal document (5,4)
{TITLE DEED} – Take a word meaning called or named and follow with E (beforE finishing) and then the usual journalist. Split that lot (5,4) and you’ll get a legal document.

17d         Element causing a bit of trouble at home (3)
{TIN} – This metallic element (chemical symbol {Sn}) is T (bit of Trouble) followed by the usual word for at home.

18d         Letter from old record store on origin of needles (7)
{EPSILON} – A Greek letter is made from a type of vinyl record followed by a grain store and N (origin of Needles).

19d         Protest from daughter is broadcast (7)
{DISSENT} – This protest or disagreement is a charade of D(aughter), IS (from the clue) and another word for broadcast.

20d         Conflict over military rations? (7)
{WARFARE} – This conflict, if split (3,4) would be a phrase which might possibly describe the army’s food.

21d         Warning from French-style Marine (5)
{ALARM} – This warning, if split (1,2,2) would be a French phrase meaning in the style of a Royal Marine.

Favourites are 13a, 26a and 7d.  This puzzle has grown on me while writing the review, maybe I should have gone for 4* enjoyment!

The Quick crossword pun: {pullet} + {toff} = {pull it off}

62 comments on “DT 26813

  1. Very enjoyable today. Thanks to Jay for the entertaining puzzle, and to pommers for the review.

    Back to complete the Toughie, which so far looks reasonably gentle (by Elgar’s standards).

      1. Morning pommers. I started off quite well, but have now put it aside to cogitate on a few!

  2. No obscure words Pommers? At least two people yesterday weren’t aware of flax – what price primroses? :)

  3. Thanks Pommers for hints and tips, and to Jay for setting.
    Made this more difficult for myself as I saw difficulty where there was none!
    Is 2d early or late as a clue?

  4. Hola pommers, frome the sunny (not) Costa Llanstephan! Must be me then, I had a mental block for ages with this one having only done 9a on first run through! Eventually ‘getting into it’, ending up with quite a few favourites :-D 7d, 22a, 1d, 12d fav of all 26a, off to read blog now pommers, always good value :-)

  5. 1d and 8a caused me to trip up for a while (as it looks like they did others!). Good fun puzzle from Jay today – thanks to him and to pommers for the review

  6. Really enjoyable today, I liked the humour. Just about finished cup of coffee before last one in which was 8a. Like Mary, first one in was 9a. Had to look up 18d after getting the answer – note to self – must learn Greek alphabet! Particularly liked 23a, 24a, 2d, 15d. **/**** from me.

  7. 1* difficulty for me too. My only hold up was staring at the first part of 1d until the penny clanged. Thanks very much to Jay for a nice start to Wednesday and to pommers for the review.

    Elgar is a pussycat today – there’s something about the clues round the edge that should get everyone started off on it.

  8. Nice easy puzzle today – enjoyable too. I have an issue with 12d (Glasses for OO) This is more of a coded message than a clue. Easy enough for experienced solvers that have seen it before but must be very obscure to the newcomer. Minor gripe over, otherwise very nice job. Many thanks. */**** from me.

      1. Yes I agree. I have seen it before. I just think there are better ways of cluing OO. Should not detract from an enjoyable puzzle though.

        1. It’s one of those that was probably quite amusing and a bit of a penny drop when first used but it’s getting a bit long in the tooth now.

    1. I think we’re all agreed it was a one * ish romp today with a *** ish enjoyment -a bit like the Monday crosswords of yesteryear!
      Bet thursday’s will sort the men from the boys. I agree it would have been a challenge for new adicts.

    2. With you all the way, got the answer from the wordplay but also never seen OO as spectacles before.
      Bit naughty for any newbies.

  9. I always enjoy the Jay puzzles and this was no exception. Favourite clue today 1d! Thanks for the hints, although not really needed today.

  10. Very enjoyable today, but got throught it. I did struggle with 1D and 19D. Thanks to Jay and Pommers for the solutions!

  11. Got stuck on 15d and 24 and 26a for a while because I had page for the second word in 15d. Other than that a pleasant puzzle. It was hard to pick a favourite as they were all good clues. Didn’t need the hints but I enjoyed the illustrations Pommers and Jay thanks for the fun puzzle.

  12. Pommers, nice balance in the photos today – one each of respectably and not so respectably dressed men and women.

    A very enjoyable crossword. My last in was 24a because I was thinking of China in terms of either the country or ceramics, and not rhyming slang. I agree with the difficulty rating.

  13. The Blacksheepometer was looking at a record ever half a pint until the final 3 clues which together took a further pint. So I reckon 1*-2* about my take on it.

    Particularly liked 13A and 12D the latter which I suspect is well known to more experienced crossword boffins but is new to me.

  14. Most of the comments suggest that this was a “walk through”.
    Not for this wartime grammar school boy..I had to come here for 3 hints.

  15. Great puzzle but needed the hint for 24a . I just couldn’t see it and of course could only see China as the country. I really must try and remember the cockney slang and the CIA for spies. Thanks to Jay and Pommers.

    1. Hi Annidrum – you have just said exactly what I was going to! Could NOT get 24a for the life of me – so obvious once it’s explained, isn’t it? Otherwise everything slotted in and thought it a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle.

  16. re:5d Wasn’t the word “cite” used in divorce cases years ago when it was more of a rare occurrence? I seem to remember there used to be a list in the local press “citing” co-respondents.

    1. I think you’re right spindrift and it’s come back to me now but could I remember it this morning? Glad the answer was so obvious and I had the BRB to hand to check it!

  17. Thanks Pommers for the excellent review and my thanks to everyone for the always read comments.

  18. How strange, I found this much harder than the rest of you! And surely 3A is a primarily American usage?

    I must confess; when I wrote in the answer to 2D, I made a hopeful marginal note saying “nice picture?”. Well done, Pommers!

    Thanks to all concerned :-)

    1. Sorry Collywobs – been out quizzing (lost by a mile!) so wasn’t here to reply. :sad:

      Where you been? Mary was asking about you the other day.

    1. Because there are six pairs of abdominal muscles – so Mr CS assures me, although it is many years since they have been visible – now lost under his ‘corporation;. :D

    1. Hi Collywobs

      Not keen either as you can see from my comment in the review. It must ‘sort of’ work as I solved it but then went checking the BRB to see if FUR was an obscure definition for DOWN but it’s not there. It’s not a good clue IMHO.

  19. Loved it, if only because, for the second day running, I managed it all on my own! :grin:
    I did this one sitting in a little tiny Suffolk town having a cup of coffee (and cigarette therefore outside with all the other “criminals”) while I was waiting for my cousin to finish her teaching duties. Lots of lovely clues which made me laugh so was nearly labelled as a batty fool laughing to herself! These included 13a and 1 and 12d. With thanks to Jay and Pommers.

      1. Whenever we go to Spain it always feels as if there are no anti-smoking laws – everyone just does whatever they like – bit like France really – they have ways of getting round anything they don’t like – I love it!! :grin:

        1. The ‘no smoking in bars’ law is actually enforced in Spain! There are undercover ‘smoking police’ in Alicante going round bars to check and a €1000 fine for lawbreakers. It’s been a boon to the awning makers – loads of bars now have covered and partially enclosed outside areas with patio heaters. Great if you like the thought of global warming and unnecessary use of fossil fuel. Typical EU correctness IMHO as saving a few people from ciggie smoke will help to kill the whole planet!

      2. … just realised that you probably mean where you come from in GB! Oh dear – if in doubt blame a very long drive home from Suffolk and getting just a little bit lost on the M25 …. don’t even ask!!! :oops:

        1. Kath, you can’t actually get lost on the M25. Just keep going and you’ll get back to where you started, but you may be some time :grin:

          1. … I was quite a while!! Just reinforces my husband’s opinion of my sense of direction – he always says he knows that I’m capable of getting myself from A to B – it just a minor matter of the C, D, E, F etc!!

  20. I didn’t find this too easy! Had to have help with 1a 19d and 4a – not difficult so a bit dispiriting – the rest then fell into place.

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