DT 26825 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26825

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26825

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja where the weather has been great for the last few days – it’s been nearly as warm as the UK!

Today we have the usual great stuff from the Wednesday Wizard and with the added bonus that it’s a pangram. I think this is the first one Jay’s produced since I started doing the Wednesday blog – unless there’s been one I missed or have forgotten about! It didn’t help me much as I’d got all the obscure letters before twigging.  It’s mostly straightforward, with a few anagrams nicely spread around the grid to get you going, but there’s a few I think will cause a bit of head-scratching.

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.


7a           A bid for change — queen finally made to give up (8)
{ABDICATE} – The definition is give up. Start with A (from the clue) followed by an anagram (for change) of BID, then the animal of which a queen is the female and finally E (finally madE).  A tricky one to start with! I don’t think we’ve seen this meaning of the word queen for a while.

9a           Send abroad somebody skilful, with love for English (6)
{EXPORT} – To get this word meaning to send goods abroad you need to think of another word for somebody skilful and change the E to an O (love (O) for English).  This was my first in, I’m finally getting better at spotting these substitution clues!

10a         One day accepting church is cold (4)
{ICED} – Take I (one) and D(ay) and insert one of the abbreviations for church to get a word meaning cold, tea or coffee perhaps.

11a         Ladies with day left in struggle for illumination (10)
{FLOODLIGHT} – This clue would work just the same with gents as the first word. Take what the ladies is an example of, D(ay) and L(eft) and insert them into (in) another word for a struggle and you get a large source of illumination.  We had this meaning of ladies a couple of weeks ago!

12a         Single youth backed by brother of girl getting married (6)
{BRIDAL} – The definition here is “of girl getting married”. Take I (single) and another word for youth or boy, reversed (backed), and place them after (by) an abbreviation for brother. Quite a well-concealed definition I thought.

14a         Government representative’s misery, as sacked (8)
{EMISSARY} – This government representative is an anagram (sacked) of MISERY AS.

15a         Fruit initially served in Rover’s Return (6)
{DAMSON} – To get this fruit you need to reverse (return) another word for a rover or travelling person and insert S (initially Served). I used to make a rather revolting wine from this fruit as we had a tree at the end of the driveway! It was OK as a 26a!

17a         Take no notice in revealing design or expression (6)
{IGNORE} – A word meaning take no notice is hidden (revealing) in design or expression.

20a         Tight-lipped and tense editor shut away (8)
{CLOSETED} – This word meaning shut away is a charade of another word for tight-lipped, T(ense) and the usual editor.

22a         Television supporter of course gets somewhere to sit (6)
{SETTEE} –Start with another way of referring to a TV and follow with a supporter on a golf course, not a fan of Tiger Woods but the supporter of his golf ball, and you get a seat (somewhere to sit) for more than one person.

23a         Pay for entrée and a rum cocktail (10)
{REMUNERATE} – This word meaning to pay is an anagram (cocktail) of ENTRÉE and A RUM.

24a         John starts with a vacant pause, getting joke (4)
{JAPE} – This is a joke or trick.  It’s J (John starts) followed by A (from the clue) and P(aus)E (vacant)

25a         Frisk doctor in prison (6)
{GAMBOL} – A word meaning to frisk, as lambs are said to do, is one of the abbreviations for doctor placed in another word for prison.  I was thinking frisk = search at first which held me up a bit, d’oh!

26a         Drink from quiet hotel in Kent area beside river (8)
{SPRITZER} –  A drink made from wine with soda water or lemonade is made by inserting the usual letter for quiet and a famous London hotel (there’s one in Paris as well) into the area of England where Kent is followed by R(iver).  Around here red wine and lemonade with ice is called ‘Tinto de Verano’ – (Summer red) and it’s very refreshing on a hot day


1d           Hid from new boss, almost better (8)
{OBSCURED} – A word meaning hid is made from an anagram (new) of BOS (BOSs almost) followed by a word for better, as in made better by the doctor.

2d           Offer to protect name creates a difficult situation (4)
{BIND} – If you’re in one of these you’re in a difficult situation. It’s an offer with N(ame) inserted (to protect).

3d           Reprimand leader missing in upset (6)
{EARFUL} – A slang term for a reprimand or telling off. Take another word for upset and remove the first letter (leader missing).

4d           Plant singled out needing to absorb energy (8)
{SEEDLING} – A generic term for a newly sprouted plant is an anagram (out) of SINGLED with E(nergy).  I feared this was going to be some sort of flower that I’d never heard of until the penny dropped!

5d           Killjoy ruins drink (10)
{SPOILSPORT} – This killjoy, if split (6,4) would be a phrase meaning ruins drink, in this case a fortified red wine.  I’m very partial to this wine but it’s difficult to get around here.

6d           He has a target of a run before church — then beer regularly (6)
{ARCHER} – This person who shoots at a target is made from A (from the clue), R(un), and abbreviation for church and the alternate letters (regularly) from beer.

8d           Recalled and officially cancelled, lacking leader (6)
{EVOKED} – To get a word meaning recalled, as in stirred memories, you need a word for (officially) cancelled or rescinded without it’s first letter (lacking leader).   Not sure the word officially is strictly necessary for this clue to work but it helps the surface I think.

13d         Fingerprints trapping members who in Paris will be failures (4,6)
{DAMP SQUIBS} – These are failures in the sense of things that don’t happen as well as expected. Take a colloquial term for fingerprints and insert (trapping) some members of parliament (remember it’s plural) and the French word for who (who in Paris) and split the result (4,6).

16d         Honestly shifting around — in a furtive way (2,3,3)
{ON THE SLY} – This way of doing something in a furtive or underhand way is an anagram (shifting around) of HONESTLY.  I do like ‘apposite anagrams’ and this is a good one, nearly as good as MARGARET THATCHER = THAT GREAT CHARMER!

18d         Excused retired European politician on trend, oddly (8)
{EXEMPTED} – Start with a common  crosswordland way of referring to someone retired, or no longer involved, and follow with E(uropean), a politician and then the alternate letters (oddly) of trend and you’ll get a word meaning excused.

19d         Standards to be aimed at in island trades (6)
{IDEALS} – These are certainly standards we should all aim for. They are the usual abbreviation for island and some trades or business transactions.

21d         Freedom to move with little backing in place (6)
{LEEWAY} – To get this freedom to move take a word for to place or set down and insert a reversal (backing) of a Scottish word for little.

22d         Vessel carrying fruit — and weapons (6)
{SPEARS} – Place a fruit inside the usual abbreviation for a seagoing vessel and you’ll get some weapons.

24d         Project onset of endless growth (4)
{JUTE} – This is a growth in the sense it’s a plant. Take another word for project or stick out and follow with E (onset of Endless).

Many good clues in this one but my favourite is 16d, as I said, I do like apposite anagrams.  Bit thin on opportunities for gratuitous pictures this week.

The Quick crossword pun: {parcel} + {owner} = {Barcelona}

87 comments on “DT 26825

  1. Morning pommers,

    Nice crossword from Jay, nice review. Thanks to you both.

    I note on the right of the webpage, the link to today’s puzzle is showing as DT26823.

    1. Hi Jezza,
      Thanks, I spotted that about 10 seconds before your post appeared! Is that a variant of Gnome’s law? Just started the struggle with the Toughie, not doing too well at the moment!

      1. It’s a good toughie today, or at least I think it is. We have not see Dada for a while.

  2. All I can say is that if you found that 2* difficulty you have my complete admiration. NW was a particular challenge but had the odd other gap too. Often find Wednesday tough, must be the compiler!

    1. Hi Wozza

      We all have setters whose wavelength we seem to be on so perhaps you’re right and Jay isnt the one for you. I’ve been blogging the Wednesday puzzle for over a year now so I’ve got used to how his mind works – 9a for instance just jumped out at me but it wouldn’t have done a year ago. Perhaps it’s time I adjusted my times for the various stars. I’ll see what others think.

  3. A very enjoyable puzzle today – went well with tea and toast in the garden this morning. Grand start to the day! First in was 23a, last in 22d. Thank you pommers for the Hints and Tips.

  4. I really enjoyed this pangram. I thought I had the wrong day for a minute when I saw Queen and Paris! My favourite was 21 but also liked 1 7 11 and 13. Only complaint was 2 similar clues at 3 and 8. Thanks to Jay for a good workout and lets hope our man is back tomorrow.

  5. Very entertaining pangram today. The NW corner gave me a few problems but got there eventually. Favourite clues include 12, 13 and 22a. I’m really struggling with the Toughie today!

    Thanks to Jay and Pommers for a great review.

  6. Very enjoyable again today – a little bit drink orientated I thought (not that I’m complaining).3D took me a while for some reason, I just couldn’t see it for ages.1A was very clever as was 13D.

    Pommers, best thing you can do with 15A is to steep it in gin – tastes wonderful, but DO NOT throw out the dregs – they make a delicious (if somewhat alcoholic) sandwich filling, sort of jam with a kick.

    1. Hi Skempie

      We moved on to the gin stuff when we got fed up of the lousy wine and you’re right, it’s better than sloe gin! Great in a hip flask at the clay shoot on a cold January morning. :grin: Never thought of putting the dregs in a butty though! :sad:

    2. Friends of ours put the dregs on breakfast cereal – really not quite sure that I could fancy gin flavour at breakfast!

      1. Kath – we used to put ours in a rice pudding – delicious. It really has the texture of jam and doesn’t taste of gin at all but I wouldn’t advise getting behind the wheel of a car after one of my puddings :wink:

  7. I enjoyed this one very much and agree with the 2* for difficulty. Spent far too long trying (and failing) to make 7a an anagram of “a bid for” and “N” (queen finally) before the light dawned – always forget THAT queen! I also wanted to fit in a dog of some kind with 15a. 25a would have been easier if my ability to spell hadn’t temporarily deserted me. The clues I liked include 11a and 5, 13 and 21d. With thanks to Jay and Pommers.
    Cloudless blue sky and sun again – I know it’s lovely but my garden is confused (and so am I) – just not right for UK in March – us gardeners would like some rain and I can’t help feeling terribly sorry for the farmers. I’ll shut up now – don’t want to be a 5d!

        1. Probably not! As i’ve said before I’m the world’s worst at unravelling anagrams without some checkers so when I hadn’t spotted it after about 30 seconds I moved on (or I could have been there all day and had to award 5*). When I got back to it I had the E from 8d so knew then that it wasn’t an anagram – think again time!

  8. I agree with the 2* and 4* rating. All went in pretty straight forward today. Got held up a little in the SW corner. Had a wander round the garden pruned the bay trees, came back and it all went straight in. Many thanks to all.

  9. Phew, today’s crossword was much more pleasant for me than yesterday’s, so the stronger coffee must have worked. Some elegant clues today I thought – I particularly liked 12a. Thanks for the puzzle and the review.

  10. Hola pommers from once again a beautiful sun drenched West Wales :-D , seem to be the only one so far that didn’t enjoy this very much today, I don’t really like crosswords where you have to find a word take a letter or more off it and then make something else out of it, almost like an indirect anagram!! too many of them for me today, the one clue I really liked was 25a, sorry to be a 5d! two to three star for me today as I got really stuck on 3d and 19d Duh! thanks for blog and explainations pommers off to enjoy the sunshine now, laters! :-D

  11. I really enjoyed this crossword which I solved in the usual Jay time which I suppose would make it 2* difficulty for me. Lots and lots of favourite clues. Thanks to Jay and Pommers too.

    If anyone ever needs any 15a’s, do let me know – later in the year I will be surrounded by them and Mr CS will be saying ‘why don’t you make some more jam’ as if 40,000 jars weren’t enough.

  12. Phew! Got my confidence back after yesterday’s tough back pager! Only needed help to work out how queen was feline in 1a. Thanks to Pommers.

  13. …11a …..and there was me thinking ‘Struggle’ was an anagram indicator until I got 3d.
    Nice herring red.
    Thanks pommers and Jay.

  14. Thanks to Jay for the usual lovely wee Wednesday crossword, very enjoyable indeed. Thanks also to Pommers for a very entertaining review.

  15. Very Enjoyable! – Thanks to Jay and Pommers for the review. Not much time for puzzles recently but I made time for this and am just going to reacquaint myself with the Toughie.

  16. One of the advantages (?) of living in Texas is that I can get the puzzle on-line at the stroke of midnight (UK time – 6:00pm yesterday here). So, brain willing at the end of the day, I can have a good crack at today’s puzzle “yesterday”. This one was so good that I was only left with 3d and 8d when it was “time for bed” – and I needed some help with them today, thanks Pommers. Really liked 26a, 6d, and 13d.

    1. Your comment required moderation because you used a different alias. Both should work from now on.

    2. I have the same advantage living in Chicago and hate it when we put the clocks ahead 2 weeks before they do in England so I have to wait until 7 pm. First puzzle in ages I have not had problems with. Challenging, but not so much as to discourage me.

      1. Yet, when I went to the DT web site at seconds after 6:00pm local time last night, it said that that so far one person had completed the puzzle in 3 minutes 40-ish seconds – how can that happen?

        1. Ignore it! It’s all ********! Nobody could even write that fast, let alone do the crossword! :smile:

        2. It’s almost certainly the “puzzle tester” whose job it is to check out each puzzle by keying in all the answers, so the time is a measure of his typing speed rather than solving speed.

          1. Thanks for that nugget. Based on the times I see, some testers must be better at typing than others!

            1. I am not allowed to tell you my solving times but once solved in the paper, I can type it into the online thingy in under 2 minutes! Before you all panic, it does take me somewhat longer than that to solve the crossword!

              1. Sue, as said elsewhere, I can’t read the clues that fast, but I don’t consider crosswords a race!

                However, you might see that, according to the website I did a Jay the other week in about 3 mins – it was when printing the puzzle didn’t start the clock but they seem to have put that right now.

                I have noticed though that a guy called ‘Andrew’ (I think) can post a blog of the Grauniad puzzle at about 0100 on day of publication! How does he do that? Fast or what?

                1. I don’t consider them a race either – it is just that I have been doing them for so long and am a fast reader so I just seem to be able to both solve them in a reasonably fast time and enjoy them as I go along. Still not an Elgar time… yet!!

        3. Elgar did once do a Times competition puzzle in 2 mins 53 secs – I can’t read the clues that fast let alone fill in the answers!

  17. Thank you pommers. When I read your tip about the pangram I was able to complete the puzzle without resorting to the hints. Thank also to Jay for a lovely puzzle with enough to get me started and then some good brain-tickling clues to finish up with. My favourite today was 13d.

  18. Stagnated after completing about 2/3 and feared I might have to resort to pommersaid.
    But a break for lunch, and some of Mary’s perservation, got me going again.
    Gusting 3* for me, but most enjoyable. Thanks lads!

        1. There are a lot of pomegranates grown around here so perhaps there’s an opportunity for launching a drink called ‘pommersaid’ or ‘pommersade’ – I might have a word with the local farmers :grin:

  19. 11A has just prompted the thought: shouldn’t the facilities signed Ladies or Gents be correctly signed Ladies’ or Gents’?

    1. Hadn’t ever thought about it before – perhaps it just means “Ladies go in here” and “Gents go in there”. I do know that the misuse of apostrophes is something that drives both our daughters mad – there used to be a charity shop near us and the sign outside said “Ladie’s and children’s clothing”. In general green grocers seem to be the worst culprits.

      1. Oh the conundrum of to apostrophise or not, and if the decision is to apostrophise will it be used/located correctly.

        1. I think if in doubt don’t!! If you can’t use the blasted things properly then leave them out. I’m not always as sure as I probably should be, especially when challenged by daughters.

    2. When I lived in Scotland, I always thought the facilities there were only for the males – older ones in the Gents, younger ones in the Ladies.

  20. Spot on with wavelengths, initial scan yielded only two answers, then completely stuck, eventually saved by the anagrams and then it all fell into place quite quickly as I tuned in.
    Very enjoyable…eventually.
    Thanks to Jay and Pommers.
    Pommers took me ages to get 21d, doh.
    A pangram! devilishly clever these compilers.

    1. And you a sailor! :roll: Our twin keel Fulmar used to make a lot of 21d when pushing hard on the wind! Better to bear away a few degrees and go faster while making less of it! Good tip when racing :grin:

  21. 3 on the blacksheepometer today.

    Lots of amusing stuff but particularly 16D.

    On the subject of apposite anagrams – Elvis Aaron Presley = Seen alive? Sorry pal.


    1. Hi wb

      Here’s one of my favourites:

      ELEVEN PLUS TWO is an anagram of TWELVE PLUS ONE

      Don’t get me going – I’ve got hundreds of these :lol:

        1. Ronald Wilson Reagan = Insane Anglo Warlord

          Debit card = Bad credit

          Television programming = Permeating living rooms

          Narcissism = Man’s crisis

          Mother-in-law = Woman Hitler

          Like I said – I’ve got loads of them :grin:

          1. I have a large ***** = He is plain average :)

            or one (by Anax, I believe) – Husband and wife = Fun was had in bed

            1. Last one, and I’ve a feeling Paul used this one in a Grauniad puzzle:

              BREASTS = BRA SETS

  22. Late start today after golf. Enjoyed this Thursday offering although 3d foxed me for a while. Best clue for me def 22a which I thought clever. Thx to the setter for a nice puzzle and to Pommers for pointing me in the right direction for the aforementioned clue.

    1. Glad to have been of service Brian – but it’s Wednesday, or at least it’s Miercoles here :smile:

  23. Did all but 21d which my wife got as soon as i showed it to her. Thanks for the explanation to 1a; never heard of the queen thing.

  24. Enjoyable fare from Jay – many thanks.
    Faves : 11a, 15a, 26a, 13d, 16d & 22d.

    Sorry to read Pommers that you can’t get port easily. My local supermarket (AH) carries Warre’s so I always have ruby, tawny & white in stock to go down with the cheese course.

    Weather here is magnificent. Little wind – magnolia round the corner is progressing well.

    The re-asphalting of the main road continues – they have to put on a final layer then paint the white lines and turn-off arrows. Shall get some photos.

    Cold roast lamb and veg tonight + a drop of Tuscan for a change then strawbs/cream.

    1. We can get a just about drinkable tawny at the local Mercadona but that’s about it :sad: Think I can feel a trip to visit my mate in Portugal coming on :grin:

    1. No Mary I didn’t like it all that much either and came on the blog for some help ,but when I read it was a pangram I managed to complete it except for 3d.The thing is I usually really enjoy Jay’s puzzles. Anyway thanks to Pommers for the hints.

    2. Hi Mary and Annidrum,
      I DID enjoy it but who cares now – tomorrow is another day, and it could be a Ray T! :grin: Have to confess to missing the fact that it was a pangram YET again! Hope that you’re still enjoying the sunshine, Mary.

      1. Loving it Kath, I’m alway looking out for a pangram but admit to stupidly not spotting this one, RayT? on a quick read through quite possible but I haven’t spotted the queen yet!

  25. Not such a perfect day this week. Played golf and two over my handicap, so it’s back to normal. Enjoyed the crossword though. NW was last bit to solve. Like Kath got held up with 7a thinking it was an anagram, but finally it clicked. Favourite clues 11a, 15a, 23a, 26a and 13d. **/**** from me. Many thanks to Jay and Pommers.

    1. Hi Captain Duff

      I thought 7a was very clever. It’s so obviously an anagram (change) of A BID FOR with an N (queeN finally) on the end – but it isn’t! Nice bit of misdirection IMHO :lol: I bet a lot of others went down the same route – as did I !

      I eventually guessed the answer from the definition and a couple of checkers. I could see the A BID bit at the beginning but it took a bit of head-scratching to work out what the queen was all about!

  26. OK, off to the quiz now so back later with a bottle of wine with a bit of luck!

    I’ll leave the star times as they are for now as everyone (apart from a couple) seem to agree with 2* for this one.

    One other question though – should I have let on in the intro that it’s a pangram, or is that giving too much away, or do you prefer to spot such things yourself? I note that a couple of people said it heped them complete without resorting to “pommersaid” (like that word Digby :grin:) so I guess it was a good thing to do – unless you think different! Comments welcome. It’s a moot point really as Jay doesn’t often do pangrams and I’d probably miss the next one anyway :lol:

    1. Knowing that this was a pangram, and the other day a nina adds to my enjoyment of the puzzles, both facts had passed me by until I read the review, but I know what I’m looking for now!

    2. Hi Pommers. I didn’t read your review until I had finished the crossword. I’m glad that you mentioned it was a pangram otherwise it would have completely passed me by. It just adds to the enjoyment and a greater appreciation of the setter’s talents.

      1. Knowing it was a pangram helped as I knew I had to find K V Z. Two of course in one word. Last two in were 26a and 24d. In a puzzle of many good clues 24d was a disappointment. Growth can be applied to any living thing! Thanks all.

    3. I can only speak for myself here. I’m just grateful when someone points out a pangram or a nina since I always miss them unless we’ve had either recently – I will be looking out for the next couple of days, then will forget! Attention span of a gnat!! By the time I look at the blog I have usually finished the crossword unless it’s a real piglet – sometimes I need an explanation for why something is what it is. Knowing from the intro that I’ve, yet again, missed something neither helps with the solving nor detracts from the enjoyment. I say just keep doing what you’re doing so well!
      Hope that you won your quiz! :smile:

      1. Didn’t win tonight :sad: Too many questions about popular music of the eighties and films – not our best subjects! Third out of eight so not too bad as there’s only two of us and most other teams are four or six people, our team name is “Just the Two of Us” just to make the point :grin:

        Don’t fret – I ALWAYS miss Ninas and usually pangrams too! Yes, I spotted today’s pangram but would have missed last Friday’s Nina without an email from Gazza which was very subtle – “Have you spotted the Nina?” Subtle as a flying mallet but most welcome at the time as I’d never even thought to look. Note to self – must remember to look for Ninas and pangrams!

  27. Thanks to Jay and Pommers for the review and hints. If only I’d read pommers review first ! Didn’t have the faintest idea it was a pangram :-) Enjoyed it a lot, some very nice clues. I was beaten by the two “leader” clues. 3d only had two blanks really, but still couldn’t get it, and 8d, I had emoted from demoted, but thought that’s not quite right. favourites were 12a & 13d. Sun still blazing in Central London, burnt barnet & patellas today ! trying to do this by the lake, what a life :-)

    1. Having solved it I still missed the pangram – I usually do unless I know it is Shamus who regularly sets puzzles that are pangrammatical!.

  28. I find there’s something strangely satisfying in a pangrammatical puzzle so I was well pleased with today’s offering! Glad to see most of you agree.

    Anyway, off to bed now as it’s 0100CEST so see y’all tomorrow.

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