DT 26837 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

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}

59 comments on “DT 26837

  1. 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….. :-)

    1. 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. 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. 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. 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!

    1. 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 :-)

      1. 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:

    2. 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. 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.

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

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

            1. If that’s the right page, then it looks like he must have been busy – looks like he’s on about 3/4 of the photos. I caught one once – it was this long ————————————-

    1. Hi lulu

      I just keyed ‘carp’ into Google images and it came up on the first page. No idea who the guy is, or the fish for that matter :grin:

      If you do the same you can click through the image to the site where the picture is located so that might give you some info about the guy.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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’.

    1. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

    1. 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:

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

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

          1. … 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.

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

              2. 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” />

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

  12. 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.

    1. 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:

        1. 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!!

  13. 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.

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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?

    1. 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).

      1. 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?

        1. ‘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)

  18. 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.

Comments are closed.