DT 26873 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26873

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26873

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja.  Yet another fine puzzle from the Wednesday Wizard!  It might have been only 1* but for the five long anagrams which I’m always slow at unravelling. Still, they do give a lot of checkers! If you’re a fan of anagrams (unlike me) I guess the puzzle would be 4* enjoyment.

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.


1a           Person who does nothing but roulette, as at work (5-5)
{LOTUS EATER} – A nice anagram to start off with. This person who does nothing is an anagram (at work) of ROULETTE AS.  Couldn’t resist the picture, we’ve not had a racing car for a while!

6a           Help the top socio-economic group gamble (4)
{ABET} – Take the letter for the top socio-economic group and follow with a gamble and you get a word meaning help or assist. This is possibly the easiest clue in the puzzle but I quite like its surface!

9a           Looking embarrassed in company — that’s the belief (5)
{CREDO} – The usual word for embarrassed inserted (in) into the usual abbreviation for company gives a belief.

10a         Doctor gets air circulating in between runs (9)
{REGISTRAR} – This hospital doctor is an anagram (circulating) of GETS AIR placed between two R(uns).

12a         Complete change from reforming impostor — shame! (13)
{METAMORPHOSIS} – A word for a complete change is an anagram (reforming) IMPOSTOR SHAME.

14a         One working in factories makes loads! (8)
{MILLIONS} – I(one) and a word for working, as in not off, are inserted into some dark satanic factories to give loads, as in a very large number.

15a         National service over, marines all lose interest initially (6)
{SOMALI} – The definition is a National, this time of an East African country, and it’s made from the first letters (initially) of the next six words of the clue.

17a         Objects of historical interest found by priest in church seen on the left (6)
{RELICS} – To get some objects of historical interest you need to insert crosswordland’s favourite old priest into the abbreviation for the Church of Rome and follow with an S (Seen on the left).

19a         Style of writing covering border flower (8)
{PRIMROSE} – Take a style of writing, (not verse – the other one) and insert (covering) a word meaning border or edge and you’ll get a flower.

21a         Experienced discrimination? (8,5)
{ACQUIRED TASTE} – This is a sort of all-in-one. A word for experienced followed by a word for discrimination, as in refinement, gives a phrase which means you experienced discrimination. Not sure I’ve done that very well but I can’t think of a better way of explaining it.

24a         Undertakings on energy discharges (9)
{EMISSIONS} – E(nergy) followed by some undertakings or assignments gives some discharges.

25a         Try, for instance, following rest inside (5)
{ESSAY} – Take ES (rESt inside) and follow with a word meaning for instance or for example to get a word meaning try.

26a         Took issue with smack (4)
{KISS} – The definition is smack and it’s hidden in (with) took issue.

27a         Dogged setters nip when teased (10)
{PERSISTENT} – A word for dogged is an anagram (when teased) of SETTERS NIP.


1d           Spike delicate material (4)
{LACE} – Double definition. A word for spike, as in spike someone’s drink, is also a delicate material.

2d           Accept her maladministration conceals a lot of hot air (7)
{THERMAL} – A current of hot air, used by gliders to gain height, is hidden in (conceals) Accept her maladministration.

3d           Cuts out strong drink rounds for judge (5-8)
{SHORT CIRCUITS} – Definition is cuts out. Start with a term for a strong drink such as whisky and follow with a word for the periodical journeys around an area made by judges.

4d           Chiromancy is represented without church bitterness (8)
{ACRIMONY} – Remove the CH from chiromancy (without CH(urch)) and make an anagram (is represented) of what’s left to get some bitterness or ill feeling.  Just for the hell of it I looked up CHIROMANCY – it’s another word for palmistry! Educational things crosswords!

5d           Keen consumer’s good for credit at last (5)
{EAGER} – To get a word meaning keen you need to think of another word for a consumer and replace the T with a G (Good for crediT at last).

7d           Person serving coffee — except it’s a blend (7)
{BARISTA} – This is a person serving coffee in a coffee bar. Take a word for except and follow with an anagram (blend) of ITS A.  Never heard of this word but the wordplay is clear enough to work it out and then visit the BRB.

8d           Goes on roof covering points of entry (10)
{TURNSTILES} – These are the things that guard the points of entry to a football stadium. Start with some goes, in a board game perhaps, and follow with what makes up your roof.

11d         People who teach fish experts? (13)
{SCHOOLMASTERS} – These people who teach for a living, if split (6,7), would be a group of fish followed by some experts. It’s also an anagram of THE CLASSROOMS which is a bit spooky!

13d         Person who knows it all planning alms racket (5,5)
{SMART ALECK} – A slightly derogatory term for someone who thinks he knows everything is an anagram (planning) of ALMS RACKET.

16d         Demonstrates against, and in favour of, internationals (8)
{PROTESTS} – A word meaning demonstrates against is a charade of one of the the usual terms for ‘in favour of’ and some international cricket matches.

18d         Left with one pound, finally orders drinks, for example (7)
{LIQUIDS} – A drink would have to be one of these otherwise you would have to eat it instead! It’s made up of L(eft), I (one) followed by a slang term for a pound (Sterling) and S (orderS finally). I thought the definition was quite well concealed in this one!

20d         Rhyme in old English for ‘Supervise’ (7)
{OVERSEE} – Place another word for a rhyme inside O(ld) and E(nglish) to get a word for supervise.

22d         Call up, getting green light during the latter part of the day (5)
{EVOKE} – Take the latter part of the day and insert (during) a term for getting the green light to give a word meaning call up, a memory perhaps.

23d         Calmly suggest removing hearts in sac (4)
{CYST} – This is a sac in the medical sense. Remove the middle letters (hearts) from C(alml)Y S(ugges)T. Wanted a picture for this but the ones I could find all made me feel slightly queasy!

Favourites are those in blue but there isn’t a real stand-out one for me today – how about you?

The Quick crossword pun: {mast} + {hair} + {peas} = {masterpiece}

58 comments on “DT 26873

  1. Phew! Bit of a panic this morning! About half an hour ago I was just about to click ‘publish’ when my internet went down! Cripes, can’t even send BD an email to tell him to do the publshing!

    Still, we’re back on now. Apparantly they’re having power problems which Iberdrola (the Spanish electricity company) are having a problem fixing. That reminds me of a joke.

    Bill Gates asks his son what he would like for his 5th birthday. Son thinks a bit and says “Dad, can I have a cowboy outfit” so Bill goes out and buys Iberdrola :lol:

    (works just as well with BT or Ryanair!).

  2. A very pleasant start to my birthday. Off for lunch by the river to enjoy the sunshine.

    Thanks to the setter and Pommers (ps you have transposed the last two numbers of this crossword which might be confusing)

    1. Thanks Pommers and Franny … and after sun and lunch comes a well-earned post prandial nap!

  3. Not only was No.2 son a 7d after leaving university with no idea what he wanted to do but he’s now an 11d! Although I don’t remember him looking anything like the picture.

    Thanks to setter & to Pommers for the review now it’s back to writing a training program for Japanese salesmen. Don’t ask but it pays the bills.

    1. Must be a thing No 2 sons do. My no 2 is currently a 7d in Sydney Australia!

      1. Where in Sydney, crypticsue? I shall be going there later in the year and would happily buy a flat white from him. :-)

        1. He is leaving to go to Thailand and Vietnam on 26 July. I am not exactly sure where he works, it is a privately owned coffee shop near the Harbour Bridge, I think.

            1. It is a shame you won’t get to taste one of his coffees as he really is a great barista (and I am not just saying that because I am his mum) but it is better for me because it means it is the start of his journey back to the UK.

  4. Hola, Pommers. Thanks to the anagrams, which I always appreciate, I managed to do this with very little trouble and enjoyed it very much. The only clue that held me up a bit was 21a, as I had the first word as ‘educated’ then ‘advanced’ before the penny dropped. I agree with you as to the best clues though there were no particular favourites. Thank you for the explanations and to the Wednesday Wizard for the fun. :-)

  5. Very enjoyable but a wee bit on the easy side and too many anagrams. Thanks to the setter and to Pommers, ( I just called at our local Costa Coffee and I’m afraid the baristas looked nothing like your picture)

  6. Hello Pommers from sunny Dover, temp rocketing to almost 18°!
    Nice easyish one for me, I like anagrams.
    Thanks for review.
    Thanks to setter.

  7. Very enjoyable even if I was slow on the first word in 21A and 24A, no problems otherwise. Not so good on the Toughie though , will need some hints to finish that

  8. Sorry, thanks to setter for giving me a lot of pleasure and Pommers for the clear, decisive hints

    1. Hi Collywobs

      It’s the low-lying, fertile coastal plain between Alicante and Torrevieja. Almoradi, where I live, is right in the middle of it. Lot of citrus fruits and market gardening.

      1. Sounds nice Pommers, I would think that you get a lot of sunshine, as we do over here in the Languedoc

        1. Apparantly we get 320 sunny days a year but nobody can tell me exactly how many hours of sunshine you need in a day for it to class as ‘sunny’!

  9. Three sunny days in a row must be Summer!

    Pretty straight forward today with a couple of old favourites 7d and 6a. Couple of nice anagrams and couple of clues that we worked out after being solved (if that makes sense).

    All in all much easier than yesterday but not quite as enjoyable. Middle of the road **/*** and **/*** from me. Many Thanks.

  10. A very ‘person’able crossword today! Liked the anagrams, including the one of the puzzle number Thanks to pommers for the blog and of course the Barista, and to the setter. Nice start to a sunny day in leafy Hampshire for us 1a’s…. ;)

  11. Nice and gentle 1* for me because I have a knack of seeing anagrams quite easily.

    The whole took me one cup of Americano served by someone who looks nothing at all like 7D. I really must change coffee shops if this is what I’m missing.

  12. I felt as if I was on automatic pilot filling this one in; enjoyable but no thought required.
    Thanks to Jay, and to pommers for the review.

    I haven’t had the chance to look at the toughie this morning. Perhaps after I have gone to buy the bbq food for this evening.

    1. If anybody has any spare sun can they send some to East Anglia please, solid Grey skies. Even though I’m stuck in an office it would be nice to sit outside in it and eat lunch!

      1. We’ve waiting a long time for it to come to East Kent, so sorry, but no we can’t :D

          1. Think you meant that for CS, not me! I’m generous to a fault so I’ve sent you all our clouds!

            1. He can’t possibly mean me – not if he wants cake at future S&B Gatherings :D

  13. So, I tell everyone to start with the downs and it wasn’t necessary today. Very enjoyable thank you Jay. No special favourites just all round fun. Thanks to Pommers too.

    A couple of sticky moments in the Toughie but worth a go. Lovely and sunny here – had to pop out earlier and was very reluctant to return to the office.

  14. Agreed about a **/***,luckily the easy clues were’on the outside’ so lots of first letters to work from ,which always helps.Liked 8d and learned a new word 7d-must travel more! I think very pleasant, as Phercott comments, is just about right.

  15. Agreed with the general concensus – typical Jay but a shade easier than normal – I don’t mind the odd anagram!. Thanks to Pommers and to Jay.
    The Toughie is a reasonable ‘entry-level’ puzzle and quite good fun as well.

  16. Enjoyable offering today with a nice balance of clues. For me 7d, 19a and 14a were the best clues. Thx all round.

  17. Hurrah!
    The back page wouldn’t be the same without a visit from the Lotus Eater.
    Cosily enjoyable.
    Thanks setter and Pommers.

  18. Well Jay is now officially my favourite setter! (Note: Subject to change without notice. Setters’ rankings can go down as well as up. Always remember your crossword setters’ ranking may be at risk if you do not keep the punters happy.)

    I managed to finish this completely – with the help of some friends (human) and some friends (electronic) but without recourse to Pommers’ (as always) excellent hints! So I am feeling very chuffed. Just what I needed after yesterday’s wounding.

    With thanks to all involved.

  19. Never heard of this? How have you avoided the Starbuckization of the world? That’s a tall order, asking a latte for us to believe, but quite grande.

  20. As crypticsue gave advice yesterday that ” it is the convention not to mention solving times on this site” all I will say is that without hints my entire NE corner on yesterday’s puzzle would still be blank, and probably no change by next Christmas. Today on the other hand all went in like lightning. Yesterday for me was a ten star! Today one star. Does anyone out there agree, or is it just my erratic performance? I finish around seven out of ten without hints, but tend to throw in the towel and go to the golf course if I get stuck.

    1. You’re right about this one Dave. It was only the anagrams which took me out of 1* solving time – anything over about 7 letters and I’m very slow for some reason. Usually solve them by guessing possible answers from the definition and then seeing if they fit the fodder. Agree yesterday’s was a bit tougher but not 10* surely but the grid didn’t help!

  21. nice one today. Thanks setter and doodah-whats-it-called-again (Pommers)

    Got 12 A so got a checked letter for 11 D…. convinced myself the answer was ICHTHYOLOGISTS although 1) it didn’t fit (as a plural) and 2) the word-play didnt suggest it and 3) got 25 Ac which torpedoed it out of the water :)

    Just wanted it to be that as i convinced mysef when i came across the word in a quiz about 14 years ago i would NEVER use the word AGAIN :) and wanted to be proven wrong :p

  22. Good fun today with well constructed clues. I really enjoyed it. Thanks to Pommers and the Setter.

  23. Thanks to the setter and to Pommers for the review and hints. Quite enjoyed this one, but was beaten by 23d thanks to my lack of medical knowledge :-) favourite was 1a. summer has arrived in Central London at last, I hope it lasts !
    What’s happened to the comments? page one says there are 51. I can read 1 to 25, press next etc to see the latest three, but can’t access the ones in the middle, getting fatal error out of memory, while using my Mac on Google Chrome.

    1. I think the number (51 in this case at the moment) refers to the total number of comments (including replies to comments). The first page has 25 “top level” comments (some with a reply or replies and some without), then on the next page there are (currently) 3 more top level comments making a total of 51 (52 now that I have replied) in total…

      I’m sure BD can explain it better…

      1. I ’m sure BD can explain it better

        No, I can’t! You’ve got it spot on. I can only control the number of top-level coments per page.

      2. Thanks for the explanation Arthur & to Big Dave. I’m with that now, I panic when things change :-)

  24. Started this in the afternoon but had to abandon it until this evening and have now finished it.

    Faves are : 1a (had to learn that poem at school { -in the afternoon they came unto a land in which it seemed always afternoon-} about all I recall now!), 21a, 3d & 18d.

    I don’t mind anagrams as I have a mathematical ability to unravel them quickly!

    Had the windows open all day to get some cooler air into my flat – there was a northern breeze.

    Also got the bed into summer configuration with lighter bedding.

  25. 2nd complete crossword without peeking at hints this week :-) Enjoyed 1a as it was a new word for me, will be using that phrase on a few people I know!
    Thanks Jay, very enjoyable.

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