DT 26866 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26866

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26866

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I don’t know who today’s setter is but he or she has given us an interesting puzzle which is a bit different from our usual Tuesday fare. I enjoyed it – let me know how you got on and how you liked it.

Across Clues

7a  Rather inferior wine I bottled, rouge with no body (8)
{MEDIOCRE} – the definition here is rather inferior. A brand of red wine from a region in South-West France contains (bottled) I. This is followed by the outer letters (with no body) of R(oug)E.

9a  Band together once more? No kidding (6)
{REALLY} – this is an interjection expressing surprise (no kidding!), but it could also cryptically, as (2-4), mean to band together once more.

10a  Spirits supplied by good landlords (6)
{GHOSTS} – G(ood) is followed by pub landlords.

11a  Singular person who amuses perfectionist (8)
{STICKLER} – this is someone who insists on a high quality of behaviour. S(ingular) is followed by a person who makes you laugh (like Ken Dodd, say).

12a  Book a week in it, local resort (1,4,4,5)
{A TOWN LIKE ALICE} – an anagram (re-sort) of A WEEK IN IT LOCAL gives us the title of a novel by Nevil Shute.

15a  Woodhouse or Wodehouse finally married academic (4)
{EMMA} – what we want here is the eponymous heroine (Miss Woodhouse) of Jane Austen’s novel. String together the final letter of (Wodehous)E, M(arried) and a higher academic qualification.

17a  Head of coven enters accompanied by hag (5)
{WITCH} – hag is the definition. Insert the first letter (head) of C(oven) inside a preposition meaning accompanied by.

19a  Some basket chairs, etc, hard to carve (4)
{ETCH} – hidden (some) not once but twice in the clue is a verb to carve.

20a  Coming from where we do is wonderful? (3,2,4,5)
{OUT OF THIS WORLD} – a phrase meaning wonderful could, literally, mean away from where we come from.

23a  Jokes about boy, last to wear dressy clothes (4,4)
{GLAD RAGS} – these are smart clothes for a special occasion. The type of jokes told by stand-up comedians go round a boy and the last letter of (wea)R.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

25a  Immediately pay the penalty, catching cold (2,4)
{AT ONCE} – a verb meaning to pay the penalty or make amends goes round (catching) C(old).

27a  See rubbish leading to cave (6)
{GROTTO} – this small cave comes from an informal word for rubbish (or Reggie Perrin’s successful business) followed by TO.

28a  Avoid team that has upset favourites (8)
{SIDESTEP} – a verb meaning to avoid is a charade of a team and a reversal (upset) of favourites.

Down Clues

1d  Netting used in game show (4)
{MESH} – hidden (used) in the clue is some netting.

2d  A wife, after lively dances, brings out puzzle (6)
{JIGSAW} – add A and W(ife) to lively dances to make a puzzle.

3d  River Trent’s banks? (4)
{TEES} – this is a river from the North-East of England. It’s also how you’d spell out the extremities (banks) of T(ren)T.

4d  Pottery in Russian vehicle (6)
{TROIKA} – double definition – pottery from Cornwall and a Russian vehicle drawn by three horses abreast.

5d  Rebound causing defender to shoot (8)
{BACKFIRE} – this rebound is a charade of a defender (in football) and a verb to shoot.

6d  Conservative writer? Correct (4-6)
{BLUE-PENCIL} – this is a verb meaning to correct or censor. It’s the colour associated with the Conservative party followed by a writing implement.

8d  Legal precedents about part of UK to the north (4,3)
{CASE LAW} – the definition here is legal precedents. Start with a two-character abbreviation meaning approximately or about and add a constituent part of the UK which has to be reversed (to the north, in a down clue).

13d  Stolen jewellery? Nonsense (10)
{TOMFOOLERY} – this word means foolish behaviour or nonsense. In the world of rhyming slang the first syllable is used to mean stolen jewellery (because the rest of the word rhymes with jewellery).

14d  Latest in dock 19 is a two-master (5)
{KETCH} – the last letter (latest) of (doc)K is followed by the answer to 19a to make a two-masted boat.

16d  Cure if I don’t eat is useless (8)
{ANTIDOTE} – an anagram (is useless) of I DON’T EAT produces a cure.

18d  Old man, leader of Hallé and American orchestra (7)
{HUSBAND} – the person that a woman may refer to as her old man comes from the leading letter of H(allé) followed by an abbreviation for American and a synonym of orchestra.

21d  Colours on bottle (6)
{FLAGON} – colours here means the standard flown to identify a country or regiment for example. Add ON to make a large bottle.

22d  Player, one wearing odd boots (6)
{OBOIST} – this orchestral player comes from I (one) contained in (wearing) an anagram (odd) of BOOTS.

24d  Belt found in small wood (4)
{SASH} – this is a belt or band worn round the waist or over the shoulder. S(mall) is followed by a type of wood.

26d  Chapter about origin of wedding band (4)
{CREW} – what we want here is a band or group of people working together. String together a) the single-character abbreviation for chapter, b) a two-character preposition mean concerning or about and c) the first letter (origin) of W(edding).

I enjoyed a lot of these clues and found it difficult to pick out a few favourites, but I’m going with 1a, 17a, 3d and 6d. Let me know what you liked.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {CORE} + {NURSE} + {TONE} = {CORNERSTONE}

99 comments on “DT 26866

  1. I quite liked this one, although I was a little unsure what the ‘See’ had to do with 27a; perhaps it simply added to the surface.
    Thanks to setter, and to gazza.

    I liked the toughie today – Osmosis in a gentle mood.

    1. I didn’t know where that ‘g’ came in either — ‘grotty’ I know, but ‘grot’?? :-)

  2. Got stuck on 3d for an absolute age until the penny dropped, not a lover of the 4 letter clues/answers. Overall xword was very enjoyable, no particular favourites. Thanx to Compiler and to Gazza who’s review I’m just about to read.

    1. I agree on the 4-letter words, 3d and 11a were the only clues I needed help on – thanks Gazza. Liked 12a and 20a. A good test of the brain cells.

  3. I agree, different but interesting. No real problems. Thanks to setter & to Gazza for the review.

  4. Enjoyed this today really liked 3d and hated 26d. Thanks Mr Mysteron and Gazza for the hints. Chucking it down in Bolton, drat won’t be able to garden, regrettably this means shopping is on the agenda

  5. I enjoyed this puzzle a lot. last one in was 3d. Very clever. Thanks setter and of course Gazza.

  6. Interesting just about sums it up. I quite liked a lot of this puzzle, but parts left me wondering (3D, 26D for example). I quite liked the two long across clues (12, 20) and nice to see 4D.

  7. With Wayne as I was stuck for ages on 3d as well. Otherwise not too stretching today. Enjoyable though.

  8. Great puzzle.
    Thanks compiler and Gazza
    Only got 15a – clever clue – after getting guessing correctly 13d
    Memo to self – learn Cockney Rhyming slang, once and for all!!

  9. **/***like others put the right answer to 3d in(only river i could think of with-e-s) but could’nt see the wordplay until i read the blog- thanks Gazza-(even then the penny did’nt drop at once). I was trying to use the’ banks’ or last letters of trents-ie the t and s in some way which did’nt help matters! Never mind enjoyed it.

  10. I really enjoyed this puzzle too and gave several clues a tick as I wrote in the answers. Mentions go to 9, 10, 25 & 27a, and 2d. Many thanks to mystery setter and Gazza for the explanations which I needed.

  11. This was tricky today, but I enjoyed it, especially after finding the two long across clues. I hadn’t heard of 8d, which was last in and was glad of the explanations for a number of words. The clue for 7a seemed very convoluted, but I should learn to deal with such things. I’d also like to know what the ‘see’ is at 27a. I liked the clue for 15a, it being my favourite novel, but there were no real preferences. Many thanks to the compiler, and to Gazza of course. :-)

    1. As Jezza says, I think that the ‘see’ just adds to the surface. What you ‘see’ in the answer is rubbish leading to.

  12. I enjoyed this one a lot – I love the unpredictability of the crosswords on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For me it was at least 3* for difficulty and maybe a bit more.
    I needed the hint to explain 3d – it was the only river I could think of that fitted but couldn’t see why. Also needed the hint to explain 4d – never heard of the pottery. I didn’t know the first definition of 17d. I thought that I was quite good on rhyming slang but seem to meet a new one almost every week!
    Lots of brilliant clues – 7, 11 and 17a and 8, 13 and 18d – loads of the others too!!
    With thanks to the setter for a really good crossword and to gazza for the really good hints!

  13. Interesting, enjoyable with a touch of the ‘can I finish it – yes I can in a reasonable Tuesday time’ about it. Thanks to the Tuesday Mysteron and to Gazza as usual. I liked 3d amongst many others.

    The Osmosis Toughie is good too – is it just a coincidence that 21d in the backpager is identical to 22d in the Toughie – and in the same place in the grid too??

  14. Yes I seem to be in agreement with a ***/****. Like most 3d was last in and I also missed the word play assuming a bank could be a small mount used instead of a golf peg. Many thanks to all.

  15. I don’t understand what bandwidth error means – do we need to do anything differently?

    1. I think its a site error, looks like BD has fixed it though. Nothing for us users to do.

      1. tricky stuff is bandwidth, a bit more technical than a wheelbarrow…..

        1. … think that I’d better stick to the wheelbarrow!! I would be if it would just stop raining for long enough.

  16. Very enjoyable crossword from our mystery setter and a very fine review from Gazza, many thanks to both.

  17. Nice one! Really enjoyed this :grin:

    Last in was 7a, kept trying to use something like PLONK for very inferior wine, d’oh and double d’oh!

    Favourites were 7a and 17a but lots of other good stuff.

    Many thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  18. If I count the time it took, this would be more than 3* for me, but I didn’t feel as if it warranted the extra * for difficulty (no prompts needed, anagrams done without electronic help), so 3*/4* for me too. Perhaps the little grey cells were working to rule this morning?

    3d penultimate in for me, tho’ obvious once the penny dropped! 4d last in since I had never heard of either meaning of the double definition. Thanks to Gazza and setter.

    I envy you your bandwidth, B.D. Can’t get over 2GB here for love or money, even tho’ I’m only 2 miles from town on a main road.

  19. Re 8d – Another possible explanation, especially if the compiler comes from the North West? – ‘ees’ in my part of the world are areas on the sides (banks) of rivers:
    Definition: Ees (plural of ee) is a term for a piece of land liable to flood, or water meadow.It is still used locally in Greater Manchester to indicate former water meadows and flood basins adjoining the River Mersey:’Chorlton Ees, Sale Ees and Stretford Ees.
    So I got ‘T’ (for Trent) + ‘ees’ (for banks) = Tees

      1. The same way you got the ‘G’ of Ghosts from ‘g(ood)’ in 10a.

        1. G is a standard abbreviation for good (as used when your teacher wrote VG on your homework) but as far as I know T is not a recognised abbreviation for Trent.

          1. OK I take your point, but it gave me the right answer anyway!

        2. Sorry just realised – reference is wrong should be 3d not 8d

    1. Hi Mike

      I was born in Stretford and brought up in Sale and got my first flat in Chorlton but I’d completely forgotten about EES!

      Thanks for bringing back some memories :grin:

      1. Hi Pommers

        The nb Constance Tilly in my ID refers to my narrowboat so I pass Stretford Ees regularly on the Bridgewater Canal. The Ees are well maintained and looking very smart at the moment

        1. A friend of mine has narrowboat called “Unchained Melody” which is kept in Middlewich – keep an eye open for the as they usually have a lot of beer on board :grin:

          1. I once saw a narrowboat manned by an old boy moored at Fradley junction & he called it “Fircombe Hall”.

            1. I once saw a guy with a T-shirt on which was emblazoned

              WHALE OIL

              Well, it amused me anyway :grin:

              1. In the 4th form back in the 70s we managed to get Emperor Rosko to say that phrase as part of a dedication in a Radio 1 roadshow. I don’t know how we managed to get it through but we fell about in the portakabin which was our temporary (5 years!) classroom listening to a contraband trannie.

  20. Hi Gazza, thanks for hints needed 7a,3d and 8d!!!!I still don’t see 13d, what does ‘tom’ have to do with stolen? fav clue now I understand it is 14d along with 20a, I really thought I’d finish this without any help today until I got stuck on that top left corner Duh! a two to three star for me today and enjoyable :-)

  21. Very enjoyable crossword for us (First Mate and I). We needed the explanation for 13d. Favourites were 7a and 3d but there were a lot of other excellent clues too. As we finished this before Stabucks kicked us out we award **/***. Thanks Gazza and compiler

  22. Afternoon all! Early input from me – not a difficult puzzle.

    Liked : 9a, 12a, 15a, 20a, 23a, 3d, 6d, 8d, 13d & 21d.

    Did not know that troika was also Cornish pottery so we are never too old to learn – thanks Gazza! Not in my edition of the BRB.

    Weather here still very mixed but always on the cool side.

    1. Our daytime TV is full of programmes about antiques and Troika Pottery is always appearing. Don’t think I could afford any though :)

      Thunder and heavy rain at the moment in East Kent – just before I have to leave the office and run to the car :(

      1. Hi Sue!

        I googled Cornish Troika Pottery and found several interesting articles.

        Have lived in NL over 45 years now.

      2. Hi Sue – it has rarity value as the place was only in existence for about 20 years, closed in early eighties I think :sad: Distinctive stuff though and, I believe, quite sought after..

        Hot and sunny here with a breeze so a great drying day – we’re on the 5th load of washing!

        1. P.S. No idea why it’s named after a Russian 3-horse carriage – some strange people in Cornwall :grin:

          1. Apparently the trio who founded the company in 1963 chose the name for its Russian meaning of three equal partners.

        2. Hi pommers my brother went down as far as Peniscola, stayed for a week and they are now in the mountains at a place called Caspe after that I think they are heading towards Paploma, very hot

          1. Hi Mary, Pensicola is about a 3 hour drive north of here. Don’t know it but Benicarlo just to the north of Pensicola is OK – nearly went into a boat brokerage business there once! Glad I didn’t :grin:

            Your brother thinks this is hot? Tell him not to be here in July – that’s Hot (with a capital H). :grin:

            1. He loves the heat, he used to drive down every school hols when his boys were young to Salou! Also because he was a Spanish and French teacher he loves speaking the lingo

      3. Thunder, heavy rain and hail in Oxford – just back from dog walk and we are both (collie and I) like drowned rats. We seem to have had a bit of an issue with timing as the sun has come out again now that we’re home! :sad:

  23. Thanks to the setter & to Gazza for the review & hints. Enjoyed this puzzle, but couldn’t get on the setter’s wavelength. Even though I know a lot of Cockney rhyming slang, I’d forgotten jewellery, so couldn’t get 13d. needed 5 other hints, four of which I had to look up, all in the top half. favourite was 18d. Only 6 degrees C in Central London, when’s summer coming !

  24. Really enjoyed this one (as I finished it unaided) but struggled with 3D. I must admint I guessed it in the end but thanks to your explanation I now understand. Many thanks to the setter and obviously to Gazza.

  25. I really enjoyed this and managed to complete without help but needed the hints to understand 3d,8d(was looking for somewhere up north & couldn’t see it!) & 13d. Don’t know much Cockney Slang.
    Thanks to the setter for a great puzzle & to Gazza for the hints.

  26. I wish my blog was working properly I can’t make more than two comments and it goes off, I have to keep ‘re-linking’ it! I will wait for one of my sons to come and see if he can sort it out!!

    1. Re- linking? You sound very knowledgeable – I don’t know what it means and wouldn’t know where to begin – would have to wait for 18d to get home!

      1. No Kath, its just a word I thought of because I don’t know how to describe it otherwise ;-D ! its been like this for over a week now! I really don’t have a clue either

      1. Oooh yes, I’m afraid if I download something else I will get lost all over again! I’m already off COW, I don’t want to lose this too! I knew I should have done more in those computer classes a few years back, well twenty years ago is a long time

        1. I’ve never managed to get onto COW!! On a rainy day I’d love to look, or even have a go at it, but it seems to be beyond me! :sad: One day, when husband is around to tell me where I’m getting stuck, I will.

          1. It’s good fun Kath and everyone is helpful and friendly, I’ve found it has helped me a lot in solving too :-)

              1. Go to the links tab above. Scroll down until you get to DIY COW (it has a mauve background) and click.

              2. Kath – DIY COW – it would be interesting to see your input.

                1. In the right-hand panel – find “Links” which is located under “Contributors”.
                2. Click on “Other Sites of Interest”
                3. Then it’s DIY COW

                Beware there is a heavy price to pay if you actually provide the Clue of the Week!


            1. Thanks eXternal, I would love to but I have somehow been logged out and cannot remember my password etc to get back in!!! If I come back I will not be myself at all :-(

  27. I enjoyed todays crossword, not too difficult and not too easy, good variety

  28. I enjoyed today’s very much esp 10a and 17a. I had no idea what the book was in 15a but the clue could only be one name and it took me ages to see the connection in 3d which was very clever. As my mother would have said if the setter was any sharper he would cut himself! But best clue for me was 13d, as a Londoner it was nice to see. Just hope setters don’t start including Geordie slang or I am in real trouble. :-)

  29. Many thanks for the hints Gazza, I really needed some of them. Cloudy and sign of rain here in the Languedoc following some very hot days

  30. All good fun today. Thanks to the setter and to gazza for the hints – The Tomfoolery held me up the longest!

  31. Very enjoyable although I did fail to get 7a, 3d and 2d the latter being rather embarrassing!

  32. Have developed an interest in cryptic crosswords in the past 10 months.
    I’m improving all the time, but more that, I am enjoying the crosswords and seeing where I have missed a clue or taken a nutmeg in no small measure thanks to this website. It’s a fun website.

  33. Changed my name from “Little Dave” in deference to my namesake who I think was in the blog before me. Did this one in bed last night and filled the final two clues on waking this morning. No severe problems (it was certainly ***) but there were three answers which although I knew they were correct could not fathom the cryptic bit at all. These were 8d (didn’t pick up “to the north”), 13d (never heard of this as rhyming slang) and like many others 3d was my last entry and would never have spotted the cryptic bit without your hints. And I live about three miles from the River Trent.
    I have a suggestion for a possible future clue. “Distance across Glen Miller’s ensemble was Big Dave’s problem.” Answer is “Bandwidth”. Oh dear, sorry about that.

    1. In common with most Cockney rhyming slang, Eastenders would use only the non-rhyming part – in this instance “tom”.

      The less said about your clue, the better!

  34. I am a day behind but did puzzle in fine style this morning at 6am. Last one in was 13d after a while thinking aboutbv15a and16d. Still dont see the connection with stolen though do see rhyming slang.

    1. Welcome to the blog PTB

      From Chambers: Tomfoolery – Jewellery, esp stolen jewellery (often shortened to tom; rhyming slang)

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