DT 26819

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26819

The Rain in Spain …

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Due to heavy rain in Spain, Pommers has temporarily lost his Internet connection, giving me the chance to review this puzzle from Jay. Many of you will find it to be light relief after yesterday’s puzzle!

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.


7a    The excitement of disheartened girl prior to affair in Paris (7)
{GLAMOUR} – this excitement or allure comes from a charade of GL (GirL disheartened) and the French (in Paris) for an affair

8a    Hood’s weapon is extended before show of deference (7)
{LONGBOW} – Robin Hood’s weapon of choice is a charade of an adjective meaning extended and a show of deference

10a    Baubles to draw in books (9)
{NOVELTIES} – to get these baubles put a draw inside some works of fiction

11a    City involved in business English? (5)
{ESSEN} – this German city is hidden inside (involved in) the clue

12a    Out of practice in game with pen (5)
{RUSTY} – this adjective meaning out of practice is a charade of a fifteen-a-side game and a pen for pigs

13a    Band question opening of orchestra after standing (6,3)
{STATUS QUO} – to get this evergreen pop band put QU(estion) and the initial letter (opening) of Orchestra after standing or position

15a    Restricted cover including young child (7)
{LIMITED} – this word meaning restricted is derived by putting a cover around (including) a small child

17a    Things that eat in streams, for example (7)
{FEEDERS} – a double definition – things that eat food or streams which flow into others

18a    Explosive situation needing toxin bred out (9)
{TINDERBOX} – this explosive situation is an anagram (out) of TOXIN BRED

20a    Reject work — it’s a numbers game! (5)
{BINGO} – a charade of to reject by putting into a waste receptacle and a verb meaning to work gives the modern name for the numbers game formerly known as housey-housey

21a    Provide a service protecting concepts (5)
{IDEAS} – hidden inside (protecting) the clue are these concepts

23a    Poor entry resulting from failure of corporation? (5,4)
{BELLY FLOP} – a poor, and usually painful, entry into the swimming-pool could be the failure of a corporation or stomach

24a    Mope around — then breeze back from shops (7)
{EMPORIA} – an anagram (around) of MOPE followed by the reversal (back) of a breeze gives these large shops

25a    Merchant Navy’s third home rejecting lease (7)
{VINTNER} – this wine merchant comes from a charade of the third letter of NaVy, a word meaning at home and the reversal (rejecting) of a verb meaning to lease


1d    Spider monkey’s first in van, with hearts trembling (10)
{HARVESTMAN} – this spider with very long thin legs is created by putting the initial letter (first) of Monkey inside an anagram (trembling) of VAN with HEARTS

2d    Glen has love for a shot at tennis (6)
{VOLLEY} – start with a glen and then insert O (love) in place of the A to get a shot at tennis in which the ball is hit before it touches the ground

3d    Wandered around and finally caught a spider spinning (8)
{TRAIPSED} – this verb meaning wandered around is derived from the final letter of caughT followed by an anagram (spinning) of A SPIDER

4d    US state unfortunately okay without borders (6)
{ALASKA} – the largest state of the US comes from a charade of a word meaning unfortunately followed by KA (okay without borders)

5d    Lacking confidence in remedy after she loses heart (8)
{INSECURE} – this adjective meaning lacking confidence is derived from IN followed by a remedy itself preceded by SE (ShE loses heart)

6d    Italy is protective of black wading bird (4)
{IBIS} – Put the IVR code for Italy and the IS from the clue around (protective of) B(lack) to get a large wading bird with a long downcurved bill, long neck, and long legs

7d    All out attack under officer? (7,6)
{GENERAL STRIKE} – a cessation of work in which all are out is derived from an attack following (under in a down clue) a senior officer

9d    Person just looking for skipper to support opportunities (6-7)
{WINDOW SHOPPER} – to get this person who is just looking and not buying put a skipper or jumper after (to support in a down clue) some opportunities

14d    Promotes nation state (10)
{QUEENSLAND} – a charade of a verb meaning promotes a pawn into a higher ranking piece in chess and a nation gives this Australian state

16d    Hear about a user involved in the Exchequer (8)
{TREASURY} – put a verb meaning to hear in court around (involved in) an anagram (about) of A USER to get the Exchequer – very appropriate on budget day in the UK!

17d    Mitt supports American TV company’s growth (8)
{FOXGLOVE} – put a mitt after (supports in a down clue) an American TV company to get this growth or plant

19d    Vessel carrying pre-Christian sort of lynx (6)
{BOBCAT} – put a vessel around (carrying) the abbreviation of used to indicate a pre-Christian date to get a sort of lynx

20d    Out of reach of that in the sack (6)
{BEYOND} – this preposition meaning out of reach is created by putting a poetic word for that inside the sack or couch

22d    Spot of claivoyance on the Fourth of July? (4)
{ESPY} – to get this verb meaning to spot the abbreviation of some clairvoyance (incorrectly spelt in both print and online versions!) is followed by the fourth letter of JulY

Pommers is now back online!

The Quick crossword pun: {reverse} + {tower} = {River Stour}



  1. Posted March 21, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Normal service resumed. Many thanks.

  2. Posted March 21, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Many thanks for stepping in at such short notice Dave. As you can see I’m now back on line.

    We had 3 inches of rain in 12 hours and it fell as snow on the hills a few miles inland. They look very pretty :smile:

    I’ll have a go at this one when pommette gets home, see y’all later.

    • Lord Luvvaduck
      Posted March 21, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      So that’s where it has gone. We have had half an inch in the last six weeks. Hope you dry out soon.

      • Posted March 21, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        Dry out is the operative term! Our kitchen roof leaked again and we had water coming down the chimney, not to mention the 2 leaks in the garage :sad: At least the spare bedroom is fixed properly and didn’t leak!

        But as the Spanish always say, the roof only leaks when it rains and that’s not very often :lol:

        • Kath
          Posted March 21, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

          Oh dear – poor you and pomette – hope that the sun is out now so that you can leave all the doors and windows open to speed up the drying out process.

          • Posted March 21, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for that Kath but don’t worry too much. The kitchen’s fine as everywhere is tiled (just had to mop the floor to get rid of the soot that came down the chimney with the water) and the garage doesn’t really matter as it’s just full of junk anyway! :grin:

    • Kath
      Posted March 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      I shouldn’t think we’ve had half an inch in months – very dry. I remember at almost exactly this time of year about seven or eight years ago in Spain there was an absolute deluge that lasted a couple of days – all the roads were several feet under water. We got stuck on our way to Alicante airport, missed flight, as did hundreds of others, and spent about 36 hours at the airport before they managed to sort out the backlog of people. Couldn’t be helped but NOT fun!

    • Posted March 21, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Rain – I remember that

  3. Jezza
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I doubt there will be too many complaints about this gentle, and pleasant puzzle today.
    Many thanks to Jay, and to BD for the review.

    Now back to finish off the last few in the toughie.

  4. SpikeyMikey
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    After yesterdays brain imploding puzzle this was very gentle indeed! First in was 19a and last in was 22d. My favourite was 13a! :-)

  5. andy
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    22d spelt incorrectly in the paper version too!

  6. Simon
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    After a poor start to the week (Mon/Tue only 50% complete before seeking help here) – my first ever finish before the blog was up! (Perhaps helped by delays due to ‘the rain in spain’?)

    I’m not normally a pedant – but having put in 1D I googled to check it was a spider – it isn’t! But it is an arachnid.

    Thanks for a great blog. Like many, I now depend on it.

    • Posted March 21, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Simon

      • beaver
        Posted March 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        Morning,my dictionary stated1d was a daddylonglegs OR a small round spider with long legs,so the answer fits the clue.
        Like most solvers, i thought today’s offering was back to reality after yesterdays’ phantom toughie’. Really enjoyed it and give it **/****.
        i might have time to do some work today!

    • Posted March 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      As far as I’m concerned, if its got 8 legs and goes squish when I stomp on it, its probably a spider.

  7. wingnut
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Phew. Faith restored, liked 23a. Haven’t given up on yesterday’s yet; only 9 to go!

  8. Posted March 21, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Lol I was going to have a whinge about classifying harvestmen as spiders ( Order Opilones i believe) which they are not :) Was waiting for a quieter moment in my day at work to do so :)

    Good call Simon and welcome too :)

    • Simon
      Posted March 21, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Thank you to and Big Dave for the welcomes. Yes – apparently you need two body-parts and eight eyes to make it to spider status. These ‘opilones’ only have one and two respectively.

  9. Hrothgar
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    After yesterday’s stupendous offering (thanks again setter) today’s was a relative but enjoyable doddle.
    Last in 13a, great clue.
    Thanks jay and BD.

  10. crypticsue
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Lovely stuff, thank you Jay. My favourites include 20a, and 23a (top of the list). Thanks to BD too. Perhaps Pommers would like to send some of the rain here – the ground is already cracking up due to lack of water.

    Having had to spend the morning at a riveting training session and the Toughie being very tough, I can’t give a tip because I still have more than half to go. I am going to have another look over my lunchtime sarnie.

    • Jezza
      Posted March 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      I am glad you found the Toughie tough! I have finished it, but am awaiting gazza’s explanations for a couple.

    • andy
      Posted March 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      I think we will have had less that 3 inches in the last six months here in East Anglia!!

  11. Colmce
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Phew thats better, all the right answers for all the right reasons with no electric help, things are looking up.

    Thanks BD, and Jay, an enjoyable start to the day.

  12. Kath
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    A lovely puzzle with no problems. As usual I was slow to spot the “swap the A for the O” in 2d so didn’t quite understand for a while. Not being a chess player I didn’t know the first bit of 14d but it obviously had to be what it was. Also I didn’t know the US TV company in 17d. My favourites include 13, 20 and 23a and 17d. With thanks to Jay and BD.
    Back to the garden!

  13. Posted March 21, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    At first glance I thought ‘Here we go again’. I only had 3 across clues in to begin with, but the downs started filling up and the acrosses soon followed.

    I thought 18A, 23A and 1D very good and 4D absolutely excellent.

  14. BigBoab
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay for a lovely wee crossword, very enjoyable if a tad untaxing. Thanks to BD for the hints/review.

  15. Derek
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable, quickly -solved puzzle today.
    Liked : 8a, 13a, 23a, 25a, 1d, 9d, 14d, 17d & 20d.

    Very Spring-like weather here today – I am keeping a watch on the tulip-tree around the corner as I go to the shopping street – it is bursting into bloom.

  16. Posted March 21, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was suitably ‘hard enough’, a bit of head scratching lots of penny dropping and 2 that needed help from BD……..so anyone who gets discouraged by some of the comments about this being a doddle, fear not! A very nice and fair crossword (favourite today 23a)

  17. St. George
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks BD, I again found this a little taxing (but at least possible) my compliments on the musical choice again, although I will be humming it for the remainder of the day. ‘Da da dada da.’

  18. Annidrum
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Nice gentle puzzle although on my first read through only managed 2 clues but then a lot of pennies dropped.Have to admit I had to look “spider” up in the BRB to get 1d.
    Thanks to Jay & BD. :smile:

  19. Captain Duff
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Perfect day. Golf this morning, 4 under my handicap. Lovely lunch. Crossword outside in the sunshine did in less than an hour with help from my nearest and dearest. Plenty of time left in to do more constructive things, or not. This crossword makes up for yesterday. Lots of fun clues and, being a chess player, I particularly liked 14d. **/**** from me. Is Mary still out there looking for her dog?

    • Brian
      Posted March 21, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Amazing, could you share your secret, I’m lucky to play to mine. :-)

      • Addicted
        Posted March 21, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        Me too!

      • Captain Duff
        Posted March 21, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

        Yes. Get golfer’s elbow and don’t play during the winter. Then come back all fresh in the early spring and bingo! It won’t last of course!

  20. mary
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Arriving here a little earlier today, finished this early on but had to be somewhere once again! I put the a & o the wrong way round in 2d which made 7a the last to go in, duh! stupid or what, I knew the term for changing the pawn for a queen in chess but did not know it as promotes/queens, for a long time I thought this was bound to be a pangram today, it’s quite a while since we’ve had one I think, a couple of ‘iffy’ readings IMHO but after yesterdays offering a sigh of relief, thanks for the hints Dave, a two to three star for me today :-)

  21. mary
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Lots of sunshine today :-)

  22. henostat
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay & Big Dave for the review & hints. Needed a few to finish. Couldn’t do the right hand side. Favourites were 1,7,19& 22d.

  23. Toadson
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Honour is restored … what will tomorrow bring?

    • Kath
      Posted March 21, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Ray T? I’ve slightly lost track but I think it’s a couple of weeks since his last one – could even be three – who knows? :smile:

      • Grumpy Andrew
        Posted March 21, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        I’ve stopped buying the Telegraph on Thursdays just in case.

      • Toadson
        Posted March 21, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        And Ray T’s vary a lot in difficulty, I reckon. Time will tell!

        • Kath
          Posted March 21, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

          They certainly vary in difficulty but they’re always wonderful and something always makes me laugh!

          • Toadson
            Posted March 21, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

            Agreed … always at least one or two laughs at least!

  24. Brian
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Thank heavens for that, a very nice puzzle with a bit of a tricky right side but very fair. Not sure who the setter was but thank you anyway. Please DT no more like yesterday’s on the back page.

    • Brian
      Posted March 21, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Sorry forgot to say, nice to see a reference to the worlds greatest rock band!

    • Posted March 21, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Hi Brian

      It’s Wednesday, it’s a Jay puzzle.

      You might have been thrown by BD doing the blog rather than me or Falcon – my internet was down this morning so BD had to step in at short notice.

  25. Estragon
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Fairly straightforward today but still had to come here for some hints.
    Where do you all live? Complaining about rain?
    In Oxfordshire today has most surely been warm.

    • Posted March 21, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Hi Estragon

      I’m on the Costa Blanca in Spain and it don’t rain here very often but when it does it does the job properly! See comment #2 :grin:

    • Kath
      Posted March 21, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      We’re in Oxford too – no rain, as you know, and VERY warm. If it goes on like this for much longer my sweet peas will be flowering – my favourite flowers! :grin:

  26. Posted March 21, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    A typical Jay puzzle where for me the first pass across yielded very little but the downs came to the rescue requiring just a mopping up operation after that. Thanks to Jay and to BD.

  27. Lea
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    I am just getting to this as have been out all day. I had put the band in and was sure there would be a video so came looking and lo and behold there it was. Just wanted to say thank you Dave – it is one of my favourite of theirs and has always been my “go faster” song for the car (and yes sometimes it is too fast!).

    BTW if I change my email address I presume I get a new image!!!

    • Posted March 21, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Yes you do!

      • Lea
        Posted March 21, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Dave – but then it might be nicer!!!

  28. Lea
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Gnomey – had to solve downs before some of the across went in. BTW Dave the paper version of 22d also has an incorrect spelling – very bad proof reading!!

    Enjoyed this Think my favourite is 13a buty there were lots I enjoyed.

    Thanks for the hints and thanks to Jay for the excellent puzzle.

  29. Sarah F
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Lovely puzzle—thanks to all, from a sunny Edinburgh.

  30. Little Dave
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable and totally different to yesterday’s challenge.

  31. Addicted
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Such a relief after yesterday – very enjoyable puzzle, finished it without hints though needed them for a couple of explanations – i.e. 21a, got it,but couldn’t se why – doh!! SE corner held me up for a while but got 17d eventually and that got me going. More like this one, please!! And thanks to BD for hints.

  32. andy
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Oh this rating thing!! I found this at least *** but as usual from Jay nothing was unfair it was just me being dim. Off topic, I wonder what our non cricket / sporting friends would have made of todays Guardian offering by Pasquale..

    • Posted March 21, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

      I liked it :grin:

      • andy
        Posted March 21, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

        So did I Pommers, but take a look at the Guarniad website, quite vitriolic!

        • Posted March 22, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

          Perhaps they don’t like cricket!

  33. andy
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Ooops manners, thanks BD and Jay