DT 26884 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26884

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26884

Hints and tips by Crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

I must admit to a slight disappointment that there wasn’t a Jubilee theme to this crossword which I found slightly trickier than usual for a Tuesday.  This might  have been caused by on-the-day blogger’s panic, so I will be interested to see what others think.

If you need to, highlight the space between the curly brackets to reveal the answer.


1a           Low bash organised by lad with nothing lacking (6)
{SHABBY}  Not the usual definition of this adjective, but low or paltry.   An anagram (organized) of BASH followed by another word for lad with the middle letter removed (O lacking).

4a           Preliminary entertainment with a jolly at college (4-2)
{WARM-UP}  An act which appears before the main event –  A charade of W (with) A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for Royal Marine (Jolly is a slang term for a Royal Marine))followed by the two letters used to indicate that someone is in residence at a university or college.

8d           Flattery from gentle older citizen defending son (4,4)
{SOFT SOAP}  Flattery or blarney –   An adjective meaning gentle followed by the abbreviation for Son and then the initials used to refer to senior citizens.

10d         Conflict beginning to tarnish point of view (6)
{TANGLE}   Another charade – the initial letter (beginning) of Tarnish, followed by a point of view or way of looking at something, gives us a verb meaning to become involved in conflict or argument.

11a         One revered actor on radio (4)
{THOR}  The surname of the revered actor  probably best known for his role as Inspector Morse (yes I know he was in the Sweeney too!), sounds like (on radio) the revered (by Scandinavians)  God of Thunder.

12a         Companion with idiot largely stuck in river getting condition from dampness? (6,4)
{TRENCH FOOT}  A nasty condition suffered by soldiers spending too long in cold wet boots.   Insert into one of the major rivers of Britain, the abbreviation for a Companion of Honour and almost all (largely) of a synonym for idiot.

13a         Inner self is transformed to include depth and social quality? (12)
{FRIENDLINESS} An anagram (transformed) of INNER SELF IS plus  D (include Depth) forms an adverb meaning a quality of social intimacy or acquaintance.

16a         Act in accordance with directors and be ignored (2,2,3,5)
{GO BY THE BOARD}  An expression meaning to act according to wishes of the directors of a company also means to be ignored or discarded.

20a         Street by harsh Northern town reportedly offering fruit (10)
{STRAWBERRY}  A popular summer fruit is a charade of the abbreviation for street, followed by an adjective meaning harsh, hard or crude, and then finally a homophone of a town in Greater Manchester.

21a         What footballers might do illegitimately in dodgy club (4)
{DIVE}   A double definition – An instance of pretending to have been tripped by an opposing football player or a slang term for a disreputable club or bar.

22a         Lowly chaps with bottle getting very shortly excluded (6)
{MENIAL}  Lowly or servile –  the ‘proper’ word for chaps followed by a type of small bottle from which the first letter, an abbreviation (shortly) of very, has been removed or excluded.

23a         Thick piece around lunchtime for squirrel (8)
{CHIPMUNK}  A North American terrestrial squirrel –  Insert a short way of indicating the time that many people have lunch into a thick piece of something such as bread or wood, or, given the lunchtime theme, possibly a thicker chip!

24a         Old man taking in a deity in temple (6)
{PAGODA}   An Eastern temple –   Insert into a childish familiar word for father, A from the clue and a synonym for deity.

25a         Issue in which say a body of engineers needs backing (6)
{EMERGE}   To issue or come out – backing indicates the need for both a reversal of the abbreviation used when giving an instance of something, and of the abbreviation for the body of engineers  responsible for the maintenance of all (Royal)  Electrical and Mechanical Engineering equipment in the British Army.


1d           Squeeze into space pump, say, with instrument (8)
{SHOEHORN}   A nice simple charade to start the downs   The figurative meaning of a verb meaning to fit into a tight or insufficient space –  Follow the type of footwear of which a pump is an example with a musical instrument made of brass and having a tube tapering to a mouthpiece.

2d           Modify piece of local terminology (5)
{ALTER}   Hidden in locAL TERminology is a verb meaning to modify.

3d           Went on water around lake in a puffed-up state? (7)
{BLOATED}  Puffed up or swollen –  insert L (around Lake) into part of a verb meaning sailed on water in a type of small vessel.

5d           Estate maybe with line by the sound of it providing support for TV presenters (7)
{AUTOCUE}  The short form of a word meaning vehicle (estate here meaning a type of car) followed by a homophone for a line of people –  TV presenters use this form of support to show the text of their scripts.

6d           Clear root of orthodoxy in a set of party goals (9)
{MANIFESTO}   A political party’s intentions, motives and goals  are obtained by combining an adjective meaning easily seen by the eye or perceived by the mind with the root or initial letter of Orthodoxy .

7d           Cushion not well held by prisoner (6)
{PILLOW}  A cushion for a sleeper’s head –  insert an adjective meaning not well or sick into the abbreviation for a Prisoner of War.   

9d           Short price I misread is out of date (11)
{PREHISTORIC}   An adjective meaning extremely out of date is obtained from an anagram (misread) of SHORT PRICE I.

14d         Impression made by English students’ event with French wine included (9)
{ENGRAVING}  A piece of carving or print made by cutting or incising designs on metal or wood –  An abbreviation for English a type of student fundraising event into which is inserted the French word for wine.

15d         Area supporting leading Lib Dem in a familiar way? (8)
{PROVINCE}   A portion of an empire or state marked off for purposes of government.   A preposition meaning for, followed by the familiar way one might address the Liberal Democrat MP who is currently the Business Secretary in the Coalition Government, and who crops up more often in cryptic crosswords than he does in the news!   However, if anyone was to revisit this crossword in, say, ten years time, would they remember him?!

17d         Robert with snow now disappearing was first in winter vehicle (7)
{BOBSLED}  A short type of sleigh – the diminutive form of Robert,  S (the clue tells you that now ‘disappears’ from snow) and the past participle of a verb meaning to go ahead.

18d         Delightful place is by yard with cross outside, on reflection (7)
{ELYSIUMThe one that held me up!   On reflection indicates that a reversal of the wordplay is required.  Insert IS (from the clue) and the abbreviation for Yard into a cross between a donkey and a horse and then reverse the result to get a delightful place or state.  I always forget that definition of ‘cross’!!

19d         Look up in support of good man and actress (6)
{STREEP}   An Oscar winning American actress – Follow the abbreviation for a very good man with a reversal (up in a down clue) of a verb meaning to look at closely.  Whatever Brian has to say about today’s crossword, he MUST surely  have got this one right!!

21d         Peculiar media boss on the way up? Object (5)
{DEMUR}  A verb meaning to object, balk, dissent or hesitate about,  is another reversal  of both a slang term for peculiar, odd or strange and the ‘boss’ in charge of a newspaper.

Thanks to Gazza for giving me the chance to do an on-the-day blog while he has a well-earned  lie in.   I hope he approves of the illustration for 7d :)   Thanks to the Tuesday Mysteron too.   Favourite clue?   That’ll be 11a.   I will be back in a while – our local pub is offering a Royal Full English Breakfast this morning and, as it seems a very  long time since I had a piece of  toast before going to get the paper……!!


The Quick crossword pun: {FARM} + {ERR} + {SEE} = {PHARMACY}

67 comments on “DT 26884

  1. 11 across

    there may also be a case for Anthony SHER (revered actor ?) – and the (french) word CHER – meaning “dear”,” cherished” or “revered”

    1. An interesting thought – however, I think ‘one revered’ has to be a god or deity.

      1. I also went with sher. My rationale – ‘She’ as in Henry Rider Haggard’s tale on R (radio). I found this crossword only worth a */**.

          1. If ‘Sher’, there would be no real need for the word ‘One’ at the beginning of the clue. I went with the Thor/Thaw answer.

      2. my mind went the other way. I got thor through thora hurd (radio). Apologies if I have misspelt her name!

  2. Good morning Sue and really well done on this one, I agree with the three star rating at least, I found the Left side easier and had completed that with a blank righthand side!! A few there I wouldn’t have got without your help but nothing I can really argue about! A few I liked today but no real favourite, thanks for the clues, I really needed to finish this before being invaded by grandsons!! One or two I thought would do well in a toughie too

            1. Apparently it is called a ‘boyfriend’ pillow and is designed to comfort lonely ladies as they sob themselves to sleep !

    1. Hi Mary

      Have a go at the Toughie if you have time. I actually solved it quicker than I did this one!

      1. Hi pommers unfortunately I am expecting an invasion of grandsons today, however if they decide to go early ( i.e. before 9pm! ) I may have a go :-)

          1. Depends how old you are :D We hadn’t better talk any more about the Toughie here but continue our discussion as to age related musical memories when BD puts the blog of that one up in a while.

      2. Had a look and ran away screaming :-) got three answers and didnt understand two of them. Now I remember why I turn that page over very quickly.

  3. Morning Sue

    Pommette’s back in UK for the rest of the week so I don’t have to wait until lunchtime to do the crossword!

    Agree with the 3* difficulty as there’s a couple of tricky ones in this but I did enjoy it so I’d go 3* for that. Wasn’t helped by mis-typing 3d and putting a V as the first letter – didn’t make 1a very easy! :grin:

    BTW, I also always forget that meaning of cross :sad:

    Thanks for the review and I’m sure Gazza will approve the gratuitous picture! Also thanks to the mysteron.

    1. If pommette is back in UK at the moment would it be fair to blame our miserable weather on her? You two do seem to jinx it a bit!

      1. Your probably right Kath – at least she’s left the sun and warmth here with me! Can’t blame her for the weekend though as she didn’t fly back until yesterday afternoon.

  4. Fairly routine stuff, I thought.say **
    Only delayed by eventually getting the last two letters of 18d ie UM which then gave me straightaway the last in ,25a, which I then fitted to the rather pedestrian clue.
    Thanks setter and Crypticsue for the review. (and for the 7d graphic)

    1. Why do you want to do that collywobs? Can’t help you I’m sorry, I subscribed but I only get BDs notifications!

      1. Well, Mary, I ticked the box and now I get every comment that everybody makes all the time and it’s getting a bit onerus reading them all and cancelling them. How many grandsons have you got

        1. I’ve unsubscribed you from the only two posts to which you were subscribed.

          Best not to tick the box if you don’t want the emails!

          1. Blimey! To have that many grandchildren of the ages they are either you or your children started very young or you’re much older than I think you are!! :smile:

            1. I have two sons and two stepsons Kath all of similar ages, my eldest stepson now nearly 40 gave us our first grandson when I was 44, then my youngest son, now 35 had two boys within 3 years or so, then my eldest son, now 40, had one boy, then my eldest stepson had another son and a daughter
              my youngest stepson who is 36 as yet has no children! Hope that doesn’t confuse you :-D

              1. Only a little bit confusing!! I’m STILL envious – no sign at all of either of our two producing babes yet. :sad:

        2. I wouldnt mind getting every comment people make in reply to just mine but must agree to have them all would be a bit much :-D

  5. A bit of a pedestrian puzzle this morning. I had to wait for Sue’s clues to get 5d after a mental block stopped me compleatiing the thing. Thanks especially to Sue and the Setter of course.

    1. To get any enjoyment one needs to feel triumphant in outwitting the setter. With a pedestrian effort such as this, there is no sense of achievement and consequently, very little fun. What we need is more angst, more struggling, more blood sweat and tears – but what joy when the final answer goes in.

      1. Angst? Struggling? Blood, sweat and tears?

        As someone said to Leslie Ash after she suffered two broken ribs due to “energetic sex”…

        … I don’t think you’re doing it right!

  6. Tricky but not particularly enjoyable, thanks nonetheless to the setter and to Crypticsue for an excellent review.

  7. Liked this one, but I get enjoyment from the trickier ones. Thanks CS – would never in a million years think you suffer from bloggers panic – and the setter.

    1. I only suffer from on-the-day bloggers panic. There is lots of time to sort out the weekend reviews before they are unleashed on the public.

  8. Anyone had a go at the Grauniad today? We have the stretcher/brick connection again – spooky!

  9. Thanks to the Mysteron & to Crypticsue for the review and hints. I thought it was tricky too, mainly in the SE corner. I don’t know about Blogger’s Panic, but I take my hat off to all the reviewers. I’m sure I’d freeze, but luckily I may not reach that standard :-) Although I did manage today’s without the hints. Started with 2d, finished with 11a, lucky guess, but couldn’t parse it until I saw the picture. Favourite was 25a. Still too cold in Central London to continue house painting. Not for me, but for the paint :-)

  10. Finished but not my favourite puzzle. So many of the answers you can see from the checking letters but the wordplay is obscure such as 5d and 11a (never seen radio used as a clue for sounds like before).shame as there were so nice clues such as 12a and 20a but overall not a pleasent exercise IMHO.
    Many thx to Crypticsue for expaining some of the convoluted wordpay.

    1. [[…never seen radio used as a clue for sounds like before]]

      It was used here Brian:

      DT 26651

      and at the time you said “it never occurred to me that radio meant sound like” and Falcon explained it to you!

      DT 26651

      1. Ah just goes to show the old memory isn’t what it was! Perhaps I will remember now.
        BTW very impressed with your record keeping.

  11. I enjoyed this – thought it was about a 3* too – it’s taken me a while but have been doing other stuff in between. I was slow in the top right corner and all the ones that were holding me up were 10a with the others – I was stuck on 10a and 5 and 7d for ages. I completely missed the pump/shoe connection (stupid or what) so needed the hint to explain that one. I also always forget about a mule being a cross so 18d held me up too. The picture for 11a nearly made me cry – I thought he was SO lovely. Younger daughter was an extra in one of the episodes of “Morse” – she and a friend spent a sunny day (needless to say in a pub garden) being fed smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches – she said he was wonderful.
    I liked 16a and 9d.
    With thanks to the setter and CS for the hints – do hope you’ve recovered from the panic/nerves now!

    1. I am fine now thank you Kath. As soon as you post publish, there isn’t a lot more you can do. A glass of champagne with the Royal Full English helped although it does appear to be having an effect on my ability to solve the cryptics in the other dailies. I can feel a read of the library book through closed eyelids coming upon me while there is still a glimpse of the sun :D

      1. Hope that you make (or made!) the most of your glimpse of the sun – absolutely ******* down here. I have SO much washing to do from the weekend – sheets, towels etc – think they may just have to wait for a while.

  12. I actually found this easier than yesterday’s which I really didn’t get on with. Maybe the dialect didn’t suit us youngsters! I was also confused yesterday by a couple of clues that U recognised from the Guardian but had different answers! Anyway, just three more clues to go today whilst I’m sat by the river having my lunch in the sun :-)

  13. I didn’t find it too bad for once though the SW corner had ne head scratching for a while.
    Thanks for the help Sue, and thank you setter for NOT making it jubilee linked (thoroughly fed up with it all, gone on too long, please can we end it now. Thanks)

  14. Not too difficult a puzzle.

    Faves : 4a, 12a, 23a, 25a, 1d, 5d, 15d & 18d.

    On my own again – my son is probably in Beaune by now!

    Back to Roland Garros on the box.

  15. While the cat’s away this mouse will play :grin:

    Off to the local now to watch Djokovic v Tsonga and have a go at a Grauniad Brendan (Virgilus) from a couple of weeks ago. Oh, and have a couple of cold beers as well (it is very hot here!) :grin:

    See y’all later or perhaps tomorrow. No, I’m not in the chair as it’s Falcon’s turn but I’ll be around.

  16. Hello all,

    Finished finally! Knew the answers to some without understanding how the clue would get me there e.g. 12 a In these cases very grateful for Hints and Tips to help me follow the thinking/context.

    For me the smst enjoyable/fun 1d most difficult 18d

    Also glad not a Jubilee related crossword as l am Jubilee’d out

    Thanks to CS for help and to the Setter for provoking thought

  17. Too many distractions again today… Mrs B will be back at work tomorrow. Looking forward to a bit of piece and quiet. 5d last in, just couldn’t see it. 15d very good. Nice mix of clues. I’ll go with ***/**

  18. Found this one really difficult and needed quite a few hints to finish – thank you CS. Also pleased to find that CS gave it 3* for difficulty, so felt a tad better! Liked 12a and 9d – didn’t like 1d, vey convoluted! OK – roll on tomorrow – perhaps I shall do better!

  19. Completed the SW corner fairly quickly last night. Now, slowly working through the rest with help from CS (thanks). But, forget everything else, nine Rolls-Royce Merlins in close formation (over the Palace) – what a beautiful sight!

  20. In my case I found the top half easier than the bottom half. In fact I got 1a and 4a on the first reading and thought I was on a roll. Dried up a bit after that though… Although I got it by myself I didn’t much like 5d – a bit too American for my taste.
    Needed the hints for about half a dozen clues – but I’m getting better!

    Thanks as always to all (setter/hinter/bloggers) for helping me to enjoy my learning.

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