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DT 26826

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26826

Hints and tips by Digby

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Maybe it was the effect of a late night, after a gruelling tennis match against mighty Brighton, but I found this at the high end of difficulty for a back-pager. All the clues were solvable with the application of a little preservation, so get stuck in and enjoy it. A satisfying solve.

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.


4a Memento taken from part of castle before Eastern drink (8)
{KEEPSAKE}   A gentle charade to start with – take the stronghold of a castle and add the national beverage of Japan

8a Woman’s in resort getting help in high places (6)
{SHERPA}   These rugged individuals are the backbone of Himalayan expeditions, formed by the female pronoun inside a word for a (typically) health resort

9a Rudimentary island with nothing beside brewed tea (8)
{INCHOATE}  Build this adjective meaning rudimentary or incomplete from a small island, O and an anagram (brewed) of TEA

10a Female garment a shopkeeper’s responsibility? (8)
{STOCKING} A double definition. (Bouquets or Brickbats to Gazza for supplying the illustration)

11a Woman keeping quiet describing bog? (6)
{MARSHY}   A guest appearance for our favourite Welsh blogger! Take a female name and insert a small word for “be quiet” to derive this adjective for a wet tract of swampy land

12a Frivolous fellow with insolence getting to criticise team’s leader (8)
{FLIPPANT}  F(ellow), 3-letter words for “cheek” and “to find fault” and T(eam) together build this synonym for frivolous

13a Like an intimate conversation just before lunchtime? (3-2-3)
{ONE-TO-ONE}   The precise time that you might have be having an intimate chat with a friend?

16a Friend infused with energy about origin of this stray animal (8)
{ALLEYCAT}   A synonym for friend, with E inserted (infused), a 2-letter abbreviation for about, plus T(his) produce a stray feline

ARVE Error: need id and provider

19a Country round has to be arranged (8)
{HONDURAS} Simply make an anagram (arranged) of ROUND HAS to discover this South American republic

21a It’s a team game, therefore cricket club requires one ruling (6)
{SOCCER} “Cricket” is slightly misleading, as this other, less refined  team game is made up of a small synonym for therefore; MCC with no Marylebone; and the standard abbreviation for “One’s Queen”

23a  Hick’s moving in unrefined form of transport (8)
{RICKSHAW} This oriental, man-powered transport is built from and anagram (moving) of HICKS inside a synonym for unrefined

24a Party creature, say, one taken in by cool tip when drunk (8)
{POLITICO}  This kind (say) of political person  is an anagram (drunk) of COOL TIP with I (one) inserted

25a Pass drink with son in middle of week (6)
{ELAPSE} A verb meaning to pass (time) is derived from a word to drink (normally associated with animals) and S(on) inserted into EE (middle of week)

26a Tense coach beset by second journalist (8)
{STRAINED}  Similar construction to the previous clue – a synonym for to coach, with S(econd) and then our *senior journalist wrapped outside (beset). (*Can’t someone come up with another clue for this?)


1d Movement between points an element in badminton? (7)
{SHUTTLE} This word appeared a couple of weeks ago in DT26814. Here it is derived from a double definition of a regular means of transport (train / bus / plane) and the feathered target in badminton.

2d Price altered a bit heartlessly in steep location (9)
{PRECIPICE}  Start off with an anagram (altered) of PRICE , add a word for a bit, missing its middle letter, to derive  this kind of cliff-face.

3d Bird circling a river and sailing venue (6)
{MARINA} An Indian bird, related to the starling, around (circling) A R(iver) produces a mooring for boats. (IMHO  the word applies more to a kind of harbour, rather than to an event, as implied in the clue)

4d  Lorry driver took freight with hand in shift (6,2,3,4)
{KNIGHT OF THE ROAD} An anagram (shift) of TOOK FREIGHT / HAND leads to this description of a trucker (often seen with KING as the first word)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

5d Load cook initially found having to cut sign of additives? (8)
{ENCUMBER} Take the EU code for food additives with C(ook) inside (cut) to produce a verb meaning to burden

6d Clean search (5)
{SCOUR} Double definition. Author’s note – a few of you came up with SWEEP as the answer. Fair enough, but we’re looking for a more thorough clean – and search.

7d Equipment with revolutionary name in domestic setting (7)
{KITCHEN} Our favourite rebel is wheeled out again, inside a synonym for equipment and N(ame) to produce a place in the house where there never seems to be enough room. (What would compilers do without him!?)

14d Public official with colleagues and money in ME country (9)
{OMBUDSMAN} Apparently a Norse term for an intermediary is derived from a colloquial (US?) term for colleagues, and M(oney) inside one of the Gulf States

15d Archer’s predecessor, Northern type with venom (8)
{SCORPION}  Time to open your  astrological references –  take the star-sign represented immediately before the Archer and add N(orthern) to derive this creature with a sting in its tail

17d Watch ruffian seizing man on board? Not right (7)
{LOOKOUT}  A noun meaning ruffian wraps around (seizes) a chess piece missing its leading R(ight). The resulting verb, or noun, means watch

18d Chap taking in road with sun getting discomfort (7)
{MALAISE}  The masculine descriptor surrounds (takes in) the road from Edinburgh to “The South”, S(un) and means discomfort, or illness.

20d Little change found in prison before foreign article (6)
{NICKEL} This coin is small change in North America and is made up of slang for prison before the in Spanish

22d Some machinations to get porcelain (5)
{CHINA} Hidden inside the long word is a synonym for porcelain, originally made here

Maybe this was made more difficult by frequent interruptions to check our progress in Galle, but I stick by my original assessment. Please add yours below.

The Quick crossword pun: {musk} + {add} + {day} = {Muscadet}

83 comments on “DT 26826

  1. I must have been on the right wavelength for our Mysteron as I polished off most of this whilst waiting for the dentist and the final few went in smoothly shortly after. Very enjoyable to solve.

    Anyone wanting to try their hand at their first Toughie will find Kcit very approachable today. Well worth a bash.

    Thanks to our Mysteron and to Diggers for the review.

  2. Thanks setter, and Digby for the review and graphics – solved all too quickly for me.
    Pleasant, though but not , for me, a usual Thursday (or 26818 Tuesday)

  3. Enjoyable and fun crossword and not too taxing. Thanks to our mystery setter and to Digby for the review and photograph.

  4. Surprised at your 3* difficulty, as I found this reasonably straightforward and completed it without hints and minimal googling.
    4d went in quickly and it all fell into place quite smoothly after that.

    1. Whoops, hit submit in error.
      Thanks to Digby for review, Gazza for the pic (is female redundant in this clue?), and to compiler for an enjoyable puzzle which I could actually complete!

      1. I don’t think that “female” is redundant – you don’t catch many blokes wearing stockings – at least I hope you don’t!!

          1. and i have mates in the building trade who do too, though they don’t like to admit!!!

  5. Thanks to setter for an enjoyable, gentle puzzle, and to Digby for the review.

    The Toughie today is almost as gentle as this one.

  6. Good morning Digby, thanks for todays blog/hints, is this not a RayT today then? I thought the clue at 21a indicated that it was? Whoever it was I thought it to be between a two and three star today, with all the clues, as you say with some perservation applied :-) ‘workable’ , however I did think some of the readings were ‘iffy’ eg 2, 4, & 5d and 11a, how can someone keep quiet if they’re describing something? Well I can’t anyway, thanks for the mention here by the way, much appreciated :-D

      1. Now how did I know someone was going to say that :-) Love charades, it’s the keeping quiet bit I get a problem with! :-D

  7. No great demons today but required a bit of thinking about. While I worked 17D out quite easily, I as a bit puzzled as to how it worked as I took LOOK to mean watch, which would have meant the second part needing to be LEFT out rather than NOT RIGHT, guess I was just over complicating things.
    I thought 5D was a very clever clue.

  8. Slow to start bt got there in the end. All fair. Nearly put sweep in for 6d. 9a was a new word to me. Favourite was 15d with a new construct that i got after a while. Ta to the setter and Digby.

    1. I’m with you on ‘sweep’ wingnut that’s what I put at first, also never heard 9a before

      1. Me too. I also put in ON as the middle word for 13a which held me up for a while.

        1. I had ON in 13a as well. It meant that 14d was a complete mystery, until I gave in and looked up the answer (with two others in the SE corner) above.

  9. Oh for the days when I played with 1d and looked more like 10a!! long gone I’m afraid (well I never really looked like that!) :-D

  10. A painfully sleepless night (recent cartilage operation) meant I started this at 3am and I was very glad to have it to pass the dark hours. Now I’m just stuck for something to do today.

    maybe the timing but I din’t find this too bad at all, a good challenge but nothing unreasonable there. 5d a favourite of mine too.


    1. Hope you feel better soon Wozza, maybe good day to try the ‘toughie’ then? Jezza says it’s quite ‘gentle’ today

      1. thanks. unfortunately the toughie doesn’t come on the iPad and I’m not mobile to be able to get a paper. I guess there’s always daytime TV!

        1. there must be others you can get on the ipad maybe someone more ‘genned up’ can tell you

  11. I quite enjoyed this one today, although it took at least one cup of coffee before I wrote my first answer. Hadn’t heard the expression for 4d before except with king as the first word, and like others 9a is new to me. Favourite clues, 12a and 16a. Thanks to setter and Digby.

  12. I had neither a late night nor a gruelling tennis match, but I thought this was a particularly tough back page. I did enjoy it so thank you to the Mysteron and to Digby too.

    Take Prolixic’s advice and try the Toughie. I found it easier and quicker to solve than the back page. I haven’t had time to look at them yet but Paul (Dada) is in the Guardian and Loroso (Anax/Elkamere) is in the FT. Am out to lunch now with a friend so will have to look at them when I get home .

  13. This was about a 3* for me today. I did the top half quite quickly and easily, most of the bottom half, and was then left just with 16a and 15d which took ages. I thought it was a really good puzzle and enjoyed it very much. Probably too many to write all the particularly good clues down so maybe 17d as my favourite today. With thanks to the mystery setter and to Digby.
    More sun – off to “play” in the garden now. Was attacked by a vicious biting beastie in the garden yesterday and have an arm like a football. :sad:

    1. Ouch! but didn’t you say your husband was a doctor or have I imagined that, so you will have all the TLC you need, hope it’s better soon, what bit you?

      1. Thanks – don’t know what bit me. And yes, husband is a doctor – unfortunately it doesn’t work quite like that … ! I have in the back of my head something along the lines of the cobblers children always being the ones who go to school with holes in their shoes!! Think that I’ll probably live – just don’t do suffering in silence – some people would say I don’t do anything in silence!

  14. Thanks to Digby for his blog and all for their comments – greetings from a tropical south London.

    1. Hi Shamus – The Mysteron un-masked! Nice to see you on the back-page.Greetings from balmy North Henfield.
      You will see from the comments that you have provided a nicely-judged balance of fairness, difficulty and enjoyment.

  15. Best so far this week,***/***, for some reason did the left half first while watching England’s predictable demise,never heard of 24a,but solved it when i’d got all the available letters in the clue,worked out 9a as i’d heard the word before but did’nt know what it meant!
    Roll on friday-must buy a jerry can.

  16. A slower start than yesterday. Completed the NW corner including 4d (I like 15 letter clues – they always seem the easiest to solve) fairly quickly and a smattering of the rest before Texas “bedtime.” Now I have to try and fit work around completing it. Might have to resort to “uncovering” some answers later.

  17. A nice puzzle, needed a bit of thought, but nothing too strenuous. I liked 9a, worked it out and then checked its meaning – bingo!

  18. Well, there seems to be a bit of a difference of opinion today! Pommette and I are firmly in the “gentle” camp as we solved this quicker than I did yesterday’s. Must have been just on the right wavelength as it all fell into place very quickly :grin:

    No real favourites but I did like 4a even though I’m sure I’ve seen it, or something very similar, before.

    Many thanks to Shamus and Digby.

    P.S. Lovely day here – pommette has her sewing machine out in the courtyard fixing some cushions!

          1. Does that include the Isle of Lewis? We are packing tonight for a four day break there and deciding how many layers to bring!

              1. Thank you Kath. We have packed far too much as usual and I’ve just thrown in a thermal vest for good measure. :)

          2. My poor garden now thinks it’s summer – it hasn’t really had winter yet – what will it think next week? :sad:

      1. Please no, I’ve just bought a lovely summer dress for the wedding on Easter Sat, ah well can always go back to first choice , trousers ensemble, I’m not a dress person really, if it’s not a warm day I’ll take it back! :-D

        1. Wear the dress – always good to do something different. My (irritating) sister has this irritating saying:- If you always do what you’ve always done you always get what you’ve always got!

  19. Thanks to the setter & Digby for the review & hints. I enjoyed this one a lot, found it a bit tricky in places, but got through it with a bit of furrowed brow. Favourites were 8 & 21a and last in was 18d. Still blazing in Central London.

  20. Half way through – literally!

    4D done and everything filled in to the East of it.

    Absolutely not a thing – sans sauçisson – nada – ddim – niente, to the West.

    Anyone else had this experience?

        1. Kath I now have non stop giggles, first dog walk on my own for a long time just been topped by your comment.

          1. Well I’m glad I’ve given someone a laugh!! It just wasn’t QUITE what I meant to say!! :oops: again!

  21. A non-taxing solve – puzzle from Shamus I see.

    Faves : 8a, 11a, 16a, 23a, 2d, 5d, 15d & 17d.

    Only one bicycle strip to be laid on the road and then painting to finish off the job. Weather has been pefect all week but now is clouding over.

  22. I agree with Pommers, a lovely gentle ride, much smoother than our last 5 batsmen had!
    15 down I found a little stinger, amongst a sea of balm!

  23. I really enjoyed this today and all the more because ,most unusually ,I finished it before Mr.A.! Last one in for me was 25a . It didn’t help that I had misspelt 20d. Doesn’t say a lot for my Spanish and I live in Spain !!! Another beautiful day here and I’m actually doing some gardening Kath. Thanks to Shamus for the lovely puzzle. :grin:

  24. Ref 21a. I read it as So+cc(cricket club) + Er. Don’t quite see the reference to Marylebone in the ‘Hints’ as relevant, or anything in the clue that suggests omitting the ‘M’. I’m sure greater minds out there will put me right. Thanx to Compiler and to Digby for the review.

    1. Not a greater mind, but you are quite correct in your assertion.
      I was merely trying to explain the clue in a way that (hopefully) resonated with cricket and the events in Sri Lanka.
      Sorry it this resulted in confusion!

      1. Thank you Digby, thought I’d missed something. As for the event in Sri Lanka……………………………’nuff said.

  25. Grrrrrrrr…nice one today….got into a quandary by putting STRIP for 6 Dn (which fit) but after a lot of sotto voce profanities realised it couldnt fit in with the O for 9 Across

    Nice puzzle nonetheless and thanks for Digby…needed a couple of nudges in the right direction on 2 clues.

  26. Very enjoyable. The pen flowed quite fast to begin with and with 4d solved it was a strong link to all four corners. And then came 9a! Even with Digby’s excellent help I had to give up and unveil the answer. Its a new word for me and I’m not sure when I will slip it into conversation but I’ll try, just to show off. ***/**** from me. Lots of good clues too numerous to mention. Many thanks Digby and setter.

    1. 9a comes up quite often – well, sometimes anyway, in crosswords. I think it must be how I know it.

  27. I’m with you Wayne. The abbreviation CC will suffice for any cricket club as with FC for football, GC for golf etc. Never heard of 9a! Fav clue 4d but, like Jackie, I thought they were KIngs

  28. Busy day for me today. Late finish. 15d and 16a last in. Many good clues again. Probably a 4*/4* from me, probably made a little more difficult by distractions!

    1. The same last clues for me too – those two together took as long as the rest of the crossword.

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