DT 26837

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26837

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Mar Menor this week.  I’m not at home today so I had to solve this online, so maybe that’s why I slipped into 3* time. In general it’s not that hard but there are a couple of tricky ones that had me scratching the head for a while. Hope you all remembered to start with the downs! Maybe it’s just me but it didn’t strike me as one of Jay’s most entertaining puzzles, or perhaps it’s because I had to do it outside on a rather chilly balcony as the dongle doesn’t work inside the apartment!

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           Pause in front of address, seeing renovations (11)
{RESTORATION} – A pause or short break (4) placed before an address or speech gives some renovations.

9a           Final check on form for an acquaintance (9)
{CLASSMATE} –An acquaintance, or at least somebody you met at school, is  the final check in a game of chess placed after (on) another word form.  Not 100% convinced about the definition here.

10a         City mucker returns first-class (5)
{DUBAI} – This is a city in the Middle East. You need an American term for a mucker or mate and reverse it (returns) and follow with the usual abbreviation for first-class.

11a         Pass on unlimited time with section (6)
{IMPART} – Pass on, in the sense of passing on information perhaps, is made from IM (t(IM)e unlimited) followed by a word for section or a bit of.

12a         Retreats, due to his suffering (8)
{HIDEOUTS} – These retreats are an anagram (suffering) of DUE TO HIS.

13a         Cake and Vichy water on grant, oddly (6)
{GATEAU} – A cake is formed from what people in Vichy call water placed after (on) the alternate letters (oddly) of grant.

15a         A hollow nut found in ordinary fruit (8)
{PLANTAIN} – To get this type of banana you need A (from the clue) and NT (hollow N(u)T) and insert them (in) into a word for ordinary or not fancy.

18a         Infer loyal politicians will have precedence (8)
{CONSTRUE} –Definition is infer. Take a word which can mean loyal and before it (takes precedence) put an abbreviation for some politicians.

19a         Little time on board for confectionery (6)
{SWEETS} –Between two S’s (on board) place a Scottish word for little and T(ime) to get some confectionary.

21a         Drunk on music? It’s impenetrable (8)
{AIRTIGHT} – A slang term for drunk placed after (on) a piece of music gives a word for impenetrable or hermetic.

23a         A bit of liver on fish bone (6)
{CARPAL} –  A (from the clue) and L (bit of Liver) placed after (on) a freshwater fish give a bone found in the wrist.  This is the third use of ON to indicate following!

26a         Legal being executed? That’s terrible (5)
{AWFUL} – Take a word for legal and remove the first letter (being executed as in beheaded) and you’re left with a word meaning terrible.

27a         Where those on the fiddle may know the score? (9)
{ORCHESTRA} – This is a cryptic definition of where you might find some people playing the fiddle and they would certainly know the musical score.

28a         Fiend, say, hogging start of road show (11)
{DEMONSTRATE} – Take a word for a fiend (5) and another word for say and insert (hogging) R  (start of Road) to get a word for show or explain.


1d           Stretching top dog in support of motorists (7)
{RACKING} –This is a sort of stretching done as a punishment or torture in the middle ages. Start with a motorist’s organisation and follow (supporting in a down clue) with a top dog, in the sense of most senior or important man.

2d           Cutting costs (finally) on instrument (5)
{SHARP} –A word for cutting, a cutting remark perhaps, is made by taking S (costS finally) and placing it on a stringed instrument often associated with Wales.  Now we’re in a down clue ON means place on top of rather than after!

3d           Retainer given to old boy for paying attention (9)
{OBSERVANT} – The abbreviation for old boy followed by a retainer gives a word describing someone who is paying attention or taking notice.

4d           Open a beer (4)
{AJAR} – This word meaning slightly open if split (1,3) would be a slang term for a beer.  My dad used to suggest going for one (or two) of these on a Sunday lunchtime!

5d           Lie in bed suffering from food like this! (8)
{INEDIBLE} – If you ate this sort of stuff you probably would end up in bed for a while. It’s an anagram (suffering) of LIE IN BED.

6d           Jog with nothing on, clutching key (5)
{NUDGE} – To jog or push gently is one of the musical keys inserted into a word describing someone with no clothes on.

7d           Fiddle around edges, flushed (7)
{CRIMSON} – To get a word for flushed or bright red you need a word for a fiddle, not a violin but a swindle, and place it around some edges.

8d           Pig-headed and potentially rude about missing a university (8)
{OBDURATE} – A word meaning pig-headed or stubborn is an anagram (potentially) of RUDE ABOUT, but without one of the U’s (missing a University)

14d         Profit’s up on eastern (common) part of Spain (8)
{TENERIFE} – Reverse a word for profit (up in a down clue), follow with E(astern) and then a word for common or widespread to get one of the Islas Canarias, which are part of Spain.

16d         Retailer’s fresh green mint cut by half (9)
{NEWSAGENT} – This retailer is a charade of a word for fresh (3), a shade of green and NT (miNT cut by half).

17d         Expand hotel space after amount raised (8)
{MUSHROOM} – A word which can mean expand quickly is formed from an amount, of money perhaps, reversed (raised in a down clue) followed by H(otel) and some space.

18d         Church procession with no leader is a farce (7)
{CHARADE} –This farce is one of the abbreviations for church followed by a procession without its first letter (with no leader).

20d         Compound answer covering empty argument (7)
{SOLVATE} – This type of chemical compound is actually a complex formed by the attachment of solvent molecules to a molecule of solute. Take a word for to answer, a crossword clue perhaps, and insert (covering) AT (empty A(rgumen)T).  It helps to have been a chemist to get this one!

22d         Ticked over, investing old money in rising food store (5)
{IDLED} – Ticked over, as an engine does, is a reversal of an up-market food store with an old penny inserted (investing).

24d         Food for volunteers after bed (5)
{PITTA} –This food is an unleavened bread from the Middle east. Put the usual volunteer soldiers after a slang term for your bed.

25d         Single prisoner’s object of veneration (4)
{ICON} – I (single) followed by a prisoner, not lag but the other one, gives an object of veneration.

I like all the ones in blue but favourites are 27a and 5d..

The Quick crossword pun: {sure} + {tons} + {wheat} = {short and sweet}


  1. SpikeyMikey
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Had fun with this today – a couple of D’oh moments and some tricky moments – all good fun!! First in was 12a and last in was 9a. I agree with pommers on 9a across – some whatweird???? Liked 8d – not a word one hears very often these days….. :-)

    • Senf
      Posted April 11, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Needed lots of help today (thanks pommers), brain just not in sync with the compiler. But, now knowing the answer for 9a, I do get it – in my old school the students (scholars – I’m that old) were organised into forms – probably, now considered an archaic synonyym for the first part of the solution (and the second part is the chess term identified by pommers).

  2. Jezza
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one. Most of it fell into place without any real problems, and then I was left with the top left corner which took me a little longer to finish.
    Thanks to Jay, and to pommers for the review.

  3. Colmce
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Normal service resumed after an untaxing couple of days.
    Enjoyed this one, NW corner took ages, 9a didn’t help. Keep missing anagram indicators which is making solving unnecessarily difficult.
    Thanks for hints and tips.
    Thanks to Jay.

  4. mary
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Hola pommers, hope you have warmed up a bit now? This crossword involved a lot of ‘digging’ around for me, and I agree about the use of ‘on’ I’m never sure what it means! in 20d I took covering to mean ‘on’ which gave me solveat!!! too many using bits and pieces of words for me today and I thought 15a a bit of a toughie clue, a three star today IMHO, one favourite clue 27a, perservation once again the name of the game :-) we are now in the process of changing our caravan,( which we not long ago changed from a boat!!) to a motorhome, so I will be a complete wreck by the end of the day with the paperwork etc. involved, changing no plates, insurances etc. Chris is just looking forward to playing with it!! Men!

    • Brian
      Posted April 11, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      I know what you mean, a friend has just done the same thing, lots of hassle. Still never mind at least now you won’t feel the hatred of the drivers behind you boring into your head :-)

      • Posted April 11, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        I once got a birthday card with a cartoon of a snail being followed down a winding road by about 6 slugs – the last slug had a speech balloon saying “bloody caravans!”. :lol:

    • bifield
      Posted April 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      I’ve never had a caravan but I’ve had a motorhome for 10 years. Can’t beat it, it’s a big boys toy, so keep playing.

  5. Brian
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed today’s immensely, for me light years easier than Monday’s or Tuesday’s which I thought were very tricky. 15a took me back to the Caribbean where they love these awful tasting fruits. Best clue for me def 20d. Many thx to the Setter for giving me an enjoyable puzzle this week and Pommers for explaining 2d.

    • mary
      Posted April 11, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Well done Brian, isn’t it strange, I found Monday and Tuesdays much easier, as we said before ‘Horses for courses etc.’ :-)

      • Brian
        Posted April 11, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        I know, it must be my mind. I think the lack of religeous and literary references probably helped too. Def not my strongpoints.

  6. lulu
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Where did you get the picture of the carp from?. I think I know the person holding same.

  7. Posted April 11, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    I think you problems lie with your dongle Pommers. Personally, I found this one fun and a good excuse to use the grey matter. Although I remembered to start with the down clues, I had a quick read through of the acrosses and didn’t spot a single answer! No such problems on the second pass though when most of the checking letters were in place.. SE made me think a bit (OK, a lot).
    Some lovely clues today, but no real favourites I’m afraid, maybe 10A just edging the rest.

  8. crypticsue
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was ‘slightly trickier than usual Jay’ – Thanks to him for the crossword – no particular favourites today and to Pommers for the review.

    I enjoyed the Myops Toughie too = it is a Toughie but is well worth a go and a perservate.

  9. Posted April 11, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Mentally penciled in ___F___ for 20d and couldn’t work out what SULFE had to do with the price of fish. I had entered COTTA for 24d before sense kicked in and I remembered that the Italian for cream was ‘panna’.

    • droolie
      Posted April 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      I wasted a lot of time on the SE corner having made the same two mistakes. Aside from that frustration a very enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to setter and Pommers.

  10. Kath
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was a bit trickier than usual too – several took me quite a long time. Maybe I’m just being slow today. 3* seems about right. I still always get in a muddle with “on” meaning different things in across and down clues and there were quite a few of these today. I got the answer for 8d but completely missed the anagram indicator so needed the hint to explain it. I couldn’t do 9a and 17d for ages. I’ve never heard of “mucker”. My favourites were 18 and 27a and 18 and 20d. With thanks to Jay and Pommers.

  11. BigBoab
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay and to pommers for an interesting crossword and review.

  12. Annidrum
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Yes a few tricky ones to-day but very enjoyable as usual. 20d failed me though and last one in was 15a. Really liked 16d. Thanks to Jay & Pommers.

  13. Kathryn
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Please could someone explain 7D to me in more detail. I think the fiddle is CRIME and then the edges are S and N for north and south but what happens to the E from CRIME and where does the O come from? Or have I gone completely down the wrong track!? It really bugs me when I think I can see how an answer is constructed but it doesn’t quite work in my head!

    • Posted April 11, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      Kathryn, The fiddle is CON, and this is put around RIMS to give a shade of red.

      • Kathryn
        Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        Thank you… so obvious now!

    • Posted April 11, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kathryn

      Re 7d. The edges in the middle are RIMS and you need to put a swindle (3) round the outside to get the red colour. Hope that makes it clearer. Didn’t want to give too much away in the blog as some people only want a 6d in the right direction :smile:

      • Kathryn
        Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        Thank you. So obvious once my thinking was redirected!

    • franco
      Posted April 11, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Kathryn, 7d – I think Pommers has given the definitive explanation…but….”Fiddle” = “Con” & “edges” = “rims” = flushed = :oops:

      • Posted April 11, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        Nice use of the emotican France :grin:

        • franco
          Posted April 11, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

          But what’s happened to your really amusing emoticons? I have tried, but failed! I shouldn’t encourage you, but……..

          • Kath
            Posted April 11, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

            … and what happened to BD’s poor little man banging his head against the brick wall? I’d love to be able to do that one – specially when trying to do a toughie that is WAY beyond me like today! It was in his hints but can’t remember when – possibly Sunday.

            • Posted April 11, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

              Do you mean this one?

              • crypticsue
                Posted April 11, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

                That’s the chap! He’d be quite useful in emails I send during my working day :D

              • Posted April 11, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

                It can be difficult to show the actual code to be inserted, but here goes:

                <img class=”alignnone” src=”http://bigdave44.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/ouch.gif” />

              • andy
                Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

                You have summed up my day in just one emoticon! cheers

                • Kath
                  Posted April 11, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

                  Oh dear – poor you!

              • Kath
                Posted April 11, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

                Yes – EXACTLY that one! But all too long and complicated for me – please use it whenever possible – it makes me laugh! :lol:

            • Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

              There’s also this one

              Bang head on wall

              • Kath
                Posted April 11, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

                That’s just as good, but probably just as long and complicated!

  14. Posted April 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Hi Everyone, been AWOL today due to having to clean the apartment after our last tenants went home yesterday. Back home now so normal service will be resumed!

    Been very quiet today though, where is everyone? On holiday I guess.

    • Kath
      Posted April 11, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Hi pommers and Addicted – I thought that it was quiet today too – maybe pommers is right and people are on holiday. Weather in Oxford NOT so quiet – have had everything today – rain, hail, sun, thunder and “frightening” (quote from a nephew when he was little) – so much for the hose pipe ban! :roll:

      • Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        Hi Kath – did you remember to start on the downs? Not sure it did any good today!

        • Kath
          Posted April 11, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

          No – needless to say I forgot about that bit! As I’ve told you before I have the memory of a gnat, but I don’t bite!!

  15. Addicted
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t think it was that quiet, Pommers! Very tricky crossword to-day, I thought, and managed to finish only with lots of electronic help, then needed your hints to explain a couple. But perhaps it was my brain as tired as my body after a round of golf – I fear I am not getting any younger!! Hey ho.

  16. Grumpy Andrew
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Way beyond me, like climbing a mountain in fog, realized I wasn’t having any fun and went to pub.

    • Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      I climbed Snowdon along the Pyg track in fog many years ago – but we still made it to the summit!

  17. After 10 pm
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    Couldn’t finish this one unaided, despite a shot of Ardbeg! I needed the hints for 7d, 20d and 23a though the latter wasn’t helped by putting in “Cotta” (as in Panna Cotta) for 24d. I’ve not come across that term for bed before. Thanks to Pommers for the review.

  18. Posted April 12, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Interesting clue for 19a – little time (t) on board (table) for confectionery = tablet (the well-known Scottish product for which there is no real English equivalent!)
    Would have worked just as well!

    • Posted April 12, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Mike

      That’s a bit like defining a sandwich as a piece or a fizzy drink as a ginger.

  19. Posted April 12, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    19a If anyone is stil around would you mind explaing this one a bit more……..how does the “on board” work? Which part of the clue is the sandwich indicator?

    • Jezza
      Posted April 12, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      SS is an abbreviation for steamship. ‘On board’ (on/within a ship) suggests that you put something between this abbreviation, in this clue Wee (little), and T(ime).

      • Posted April 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        I see, the bit that confuses me is the ‘on’ seems to be serving 2 purposes, the ‘on board’ gives ss, but we also need the ‘on as an indicator to suggest placing the ‘wee’ inside ‘ss’……is that right?

        • Jezza
          Posted April 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

          ‘On board’ means ‘on or within a ship’, and for this particular clue, that means you need to put something inside the ship (S…..S)

      • Posted April 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, first off, thanks Jezza for responding to an old thread!

  20. henostat
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay & Pommers for the review & hints. Finally finished without the hints. Found this really difficult at first, but got there after a lot of perservation. Favourites were 26a & 4d. Last in was 18a. Very enjoyable.