DT 26886 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26886

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26886

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hi, it’s me once again! Well, while the cat’s away . . .  and it gives everyone else a day off!

This looks like a RayT to me and it’s a bit on the tricky side of being tricky on a day for very tricky crosswords! At least he’s put his risque head back on so quite a few laughs as the coinage eventually dropped but it’s not easy by any means. I’ll be interested to see what you think about it. I really thought it was a lot of fun though – I think BD may regret allowing me to blog this one! Don’t think I’ve ever gone to 5* for enjoyment before but I did think this was brill, and it got better as I wrote the review! I’m back in ‘middle of the night mode’ so it might not be as tricky as I thought but I’ll leave that for you to judge, I’m just going on my own solving time. I make no apologies for the 5* enjoyment though! What do they say – the best fun I’ve had with my clothes on!

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           Undergarments? Everything’s revealed when they’re pulled from chest (7)
{DRAWERS} – These are undergarments your gran might wear. Also everything is revealed when they are pulled out of the chest of them in your bedroom!   I think this one has set the tone – read on . . .

5a           Company dutiful for rich (7)
{COPIOUS} – Rich, as in ‘a lot of’ is the usual company followed by dutiful in the sense of being religious.

9a           Compiler’s getting stick about hobby (7)
{PASTIME} –Having trouble explaining this one!  Put a word for stick, as in wallpaper perhaps, around (about) another way the compiler of this puzzle might say ‘he is’ and you get a hobby. For me it’s doing crosswords – it passes the time (hint)! I also get some stick from pommette about the time I spend solving and blogging!. Thanks to Steve the Beard for pointing out my error!

10a         Model bird going after caress (7)
{PATTERN} – A caress or gentle touch followed by a seabird gives you a model or prototype.  See comment on 1a – it goes on!

11a         Release cut including return of Queen, right? (9)
{SURRENDER} – To get a word meaning release or give up you need the usual abbreviation for our current monarch and R(ight), reverse them (return) and then insert into (including) a word meaning cut or split apart. The trademark Queen clue!

12a         Burn for wickedness with gruesome ends (5)
{SINGE} – This is a word meaning burn and it’s a bit of wickedness followed by the ends of GruesomE

13a         Time on strike, parking bum (5)
{TRAMP} – A bum or hobo is the answer.  You need T(ime) followed by a word for strike or run into and then P(arking).   So far we’ve had undergarments, caresses and now bum, I think this is going downhill rapidly! Good fun!

15a         Time demand, with no time to waste (9)
{ERADICATE} – The definition is waste, as in get rid of. Start with a long period of time (3) and follow with a word meaning demand or order but with a T removed (with no Time).

17a         Stew of scouse, late, endlessly stewed (9)
{CASSOULET} – This tasty French stew is an anagram (stewed) of SCOUSE LATE but without the final E (endlessly)

19a         Second tea or perhaps a coffee (5)
{MOCHA} – A colloquial word for a second or small period of time (2) followed by some Chinese tea gives a type of coffee much favoured by pommette.

22a         Accept it’s almost a sin (5)
{AGREE} – A (from the clue) followed by one of the seven deadly sins without its last letter (almost) gives a word meaning to accept or go along with.

23a         Common female performers put on show (9)
{BROADCAST} – A rather downmarket word (common) for a woman followed by the usual crosswordland performers or actors gives a word meaning put on show or aired.  Of course the word at the start might be meaning a ‘common female’ – you takes your choice!

25a         Redhead consumed by bust size (7)
{STATURE} – Take a word for a bust, as in a sculpture, and insert (consumed by) an R (Readhead) and you’ll get a word for your size or height.  Told you that 1a set the tone!

26a         Missionary position? It’s bitter outside! (7)
{APOSTLE} – To get a missionary or one of  Jesus’ mates you need a word for position, as in job, and surround it (outside) with some beer (bitter).  Nothing to do with the sexual position but you’ll be getting the picture by now!

27a         Put off by American flipping fritter (7)
{SUSPEND} – A word for put off or stop for a while is the usual ‘American’ reversed (flipping) followed by a word for fritter, as in fritter your money.

28a         What’s required to hold up bloomers? (7)
{TRELLIS} – A cryptic definition of the frame required to support climbing plants.  Another one a bit risqué – bloomers, we’re back to gran’s underware!


1d           Security is raised in store (7)
{DEPOSIT} – This is some money put down as security against an order. Take IS (from the clue) and reverse it (raised in a down clue) and insert (in) into a store or warehouse.

2d           Country, not a large country (7)
{AUSTRIA} – To get this European country that’s not very big you need a large antipodean country and remove the AL (not A Large)

3d           Cream for sweetheart on diet (5)
{ELITE} – This is a word for the cream or top people. It’s E (swEet heart) followed by a word used to describe diet drinks.   and also Toughie compilers when they don’t use the impaling boots!

4d           Make water stay under small flower (9)
{SPEEDWELL} – This is a rather pretty flower. Take a colloquial term for ‘make water’, as in go to the loo, and follow with a word meaning stay or linger, then put all that lot after (under in a down clue) an S(mall).

5d           Skip about on exercise run (5)
{CAPER} –To skip or cavort is a charade of one of the usual abbreviations for about, some physical exercise and R(un).

6d           Smashing atoms up is to create element (9)
{POTASSIUM} – This element, an alkali metal, is an anagram (smashing)  of ATOMS UP IS.  Sometimes it helps to have been a chemist!

7d           One continental eastern area notionally including Australia initially (7)
{OCEANIA} –This is my favourite clue! This eastern continental area, which includes Australia, is made up of the first letters (initially) of every other word in the clue!  Brilliant!

8d           Devout about to support wrong Church (7)
{SINCERE} – Definition is devout, as in serious or well meaning.  First you need a wrong or a bad deed followed by an abbreviation for the Church of England. After this lot (support in a down clue) you need the usual ‘about’.

14d         Plain speech on appealing charge (9)
{PROSECUTE} – To get a word meaning charge, in a court of law perhaps, start with some plain speech (not verse) and follow with a word for appealing, as in pretty.

16d         Voyager craft to Saturn following end of NASA (9)
{ASTRONAUT} – This voyager, who may one day go to Saturn, is an anagram (craft) of TO SATURN put after (following) an A (end of nasA).  This is very clever as the Voyager space probes were launched in 1977 by NASA to study Jupiter and Saturn!

17d         Charlie and chicks for groups (7)
{CLASSES} – C  (Charlie in the NATO phonetic alphabet) followed by some chicks or girls gives us some groups.

18d         Beat donkey after drink round river (7)
{SURPASS} – If you take a word meaning drink put it around R(iver) and then follow with the usual donkey you’ll get a word meaning beat or do better than.

20d         Drier in American state by the sea (7)
{COASTAL} – A word describing some land near the sea is a drier of hops put in the usual abbreviation for a state on the west coast of America.

21d         She could be recast by head of studio (7)
{ACTRESS} – This person could be recast at any time by the head of the film studio. She’s also an anagram (could be) of RECAST with S (head of Studio).  I guess this counts as a sort of all-in-one as the whole clue describes this person! Lovely clue!

23d         Species of black buck raised (5)
{BREED} – This is another word for a species. It’s B(lack) followed by the type of animal of which the male is a buck but it’s reversed (raised in a down clue).

24d         Crowd is controlled (5)
{DROVE} – Double definition. Controlled, as in pushed in the right direction, is also a large number of people.

I think RayT must have taken on board comments on his last few puzzles about lack of his usual double entendres and gone out of his way to provide some! Unfortunately he hasn’t provided any really good photo opportunities!
As usual the clues I like best are in blue but my personal favourites of all these have to be 7d and 21d.

The Quick crossword pun: {paw} + {chew} + {gull} = {Portugal}

89 comments on “DT 26886

  1. So pleased you gave this 4* diff, as I found it a big time struggle.
    Got there in the end apart from 2d where my answer was middle eastern based.
    Great fun though with lots of fun clues.
    Thanks for the review, only needed for the one answer.
    Ray T thanks for making me laugh and think at the same time, who says men can’t multitask?

    Off down to Dover now with the winter lines, 75 knots SW forecast…doubles all round!
    Genny and spray hood off, hatches battened.

    1. 75 knots! Arrrrrgh! You won’t be going out for a sail then :grin:

      Don’t forget some extra fenders!

      1. Don’t know why but it’s always the same with RayT. I enjoy his puzzles a lot but they always take me longer than usual to solve.

      2. … in that case if you had done the review I would probably be crying by now! :sad: I’m with Pommers on both ratings.

  2. Very very tricky, good fun as you say Pommers, finished before the hints came up but lots of electronic assistance. Thans Ray T and to Pommers for the pictures and explanations

  3. I got bogged down because I thought 1a was BRAVEST. A charade of BRA and VEST! The down clues I had at the time fitted with it. Especially with the “everything’s revealed” quip. Consider the mental image it produced!!…………..not that the actual answer made the situation any better.

    I felt sure there must be a classical myth which told of the bravest being taken out of some form of magical chest, that I just didn’t know about. This is how crosswords enlighten. Alas there is no such myth……..

    ………anyone out there care to admit the same mental process applied to them?!

    ……or does this say something about me that I would prefer to keep quiet about?

    Once that was sorted I managed to complete fairly quickly.

  4. Cursory glance, thought ‘I’ll never do this’
    Then after getting most on the right-hand side, eventually completed it within my time.
    Some really brilliant clues eg 26a
    Thoroughly enjoyable with that nice difficult edge.
    Thanks Ray T and pommers for review.

  5. I also struggled with this for a while….had 4 across clues and 4 down clues that I was stumped on. I then decided I ‘needed’ a couple of Strongbows and, hey presto…it all fell into place!

    Speedwell took me a bit of time, and had to look up that French stew. My horticultural and culinary skills and knowledge are somewhat lacking…

  6. Good afternoon pommers, this took me ages to get started on but managed to finish without the hints although needing lots of help from ‘my friends’ today, needed to read the blog for the explainations to 4d and 9a & 11a, I don’t think I know the word ‘sunder’ assunder yes but not the other, I can actually say I enjoyed this RayT today even though it was difficult, all the clues can be worked out with a little help, I agree with the 4* pommers, I even had two favourite clues today 19a and 25a :-D, well blogged pommers and illustrated ;-)

      1. I thought about that too but didn’t get quite as far as putting it in – the answer I mean not the elastic!

  7. A beam of light on a lousy rotten windy rainy horrible day. RayT at his cheeky best. Loved every minute. Best has to be 26 but all the others were great with lots of innuendo and aaaagh moments. Thanks Ray for brightening up the day.

  8. Absolutely brilliant – the best Ray T for a while, in my opinion for what it’s worth! Very tricky and I agree with Pommers on the stars for difficulty and enjoyment. I finished without the hints but needed the explanation for 7d.
    Far too many wonderful clues to pick out any in particular – I’d probably end up writing nearly all of them. Maybe 1, 25 and 26a and 4 and 21d.
    One of the (many) things that my Dad used to say was that anything that was any fun was illegal, immoral or fattening – doing a Ray T crossword is none of those!!
    With thanks to Ray T and Pommers – the only comment I’m going to make on the pictures is that it looks like a really rubbishy cassoulet!
    Who’s doing the review tomorrow? I’m already confused about what day of the week it is after two bank holidays!
    I wonder what Brian will think of this one!

    1. Hi Kath

      Agree about the cassoulet but at 0330CEST this morning beggars can’t be choosers! I’ll see if I can find a better one!

    2. That’s a bit better but, to be honest, all the pictures that Google comes up with look a bit grotty! I think it’s just that cassoulet isn’t very photogenic, unlike 10a :grin:

        1. There’s a very similar dish in Spain called ‘Fabada’ which has Chorizo sausage in it – also yummy and one of my favourites from Spanish cuisine. Like cassoulet though it also looks a bit like the dog’s dinner :grin:

    3. Kath

      The schedule for blogging can be found under Contact/Calendar from the menu at the top of the blog. As at the time of writing there are no changes for tomorrow, but that does depend on whether Tilsit gets summoned to the hospital.

      1. I’d be sorry to hear thatTilsit is summoned to the hospital but if he is you can count me out! Pommette would KILL me – she hasn’t twigged yet that I did today’s (and I ain’t telling)!

    4. Glad someone enjoyed it. Zero answers for me. May just as well be written in Greek!

  9. Anyone else getting the distinct feeling that Pommette emailed BD and asked if he would keep Pommers out of mischief while she was away? :D

    Usual time for a Ray T for me so I would say 2.5*/4*. Thanks to Ray for a nice cheeky start to Thursday and to Pommers for explaining and illustrating so nicely.

    The Toughie doesn’t take much longer than this to solve, once you cotton on to the fact that the extremely boring theme goes on.

    1. Yes but he’s doing them in the night sue so he still has all day to get up to mischief!
      As if!!

    2. Raining in Oxford AGAIN so might have a go at Toughie – do you mean letters of the alphabet or isn’t that Myno T? Possibly won’t help me much as I have no idea where he’s got to.

        1. Thanks very much – had a very quick look and got a couple – it had to be that or E! Going to have a proper go after VERY wet dog walk :sad: followed by massive pile of ironing :sad:

          1. Very little ironing for me as No1 son is away in Portugal and No2 son is on school holiday so no work shirts for Dad to do. Although I probably wouldn’t mind given the state of the weather!

            This is the last stayvacation I’m having. First opportunity I get I’m off to Pommersland for some real sun!

            1. We certainly got that! Over 30C again today but not quite as hot as yesterday and less humid so it feels a lot better. It’s not supposed to get this hot until July!

            2. I do as little ironing as possible now having done it for years, at home when I was growing up had to do all the ironing inc all the shirts, then as my own grew up with five men/boys to iron for!! I feel I have done my fair share and only iron what is absolutely necessary about 3 times a year!!! Just thought I’d say, don’t want to press the point!

              1. A friend of mine says that she irons on a “need to wear” basis – if it needs ironing they don’t wear it! I also iron as little as possible – husband’s shirts, pillow cases and jeans – I hate unironed jeans – they feel what is called “bricky” in our family.

      1. Absolutely pouring here too Kath, don’t know if trying the toughie will do me good or dampen my spirits even more so to speak :-)

        1. Have a go – we can “compare notes” later – have got a couple and they are no more difficult than back page clues. Don’t know what the rest will be like though …..

    3. I’m struggling with the Toughie, and haven’t really cottoned on to anything. I’d like to put it down to the fact I’m being distracted by the TMS commentary (about a match that is rained off), or maybe it’s because I’m just rubbish!

    4. On the contrary – I had to twist Pommers’ arm as he had been given a list of chores to be performed before Pommette returns!

      1. It’s not too bad a list and she’s not back until Sunday evening (with the woman Hitler (anag, 6-2-3)) so I have some time. Change of plan today as I did the review. I’ve spent the morning emptying and cleaning her hot tub and I’m now refilling it. Tip – if you want to fill a hot tub you must remember to close the drain or it takes quite a long time :oops:.

        1. Is a hot tub a heated pool? Why does it need heating in a very warm climate? I’d have thought it would be nicer to get into cold water if you’re very hot.

          1. Hot tub is a Jacuzzi but the bloody thing is well insulated it won’t cool down! The power’s been turned off for 2 weeks and it was still at 37C! now refilled with cold water so it’s a nice refreshing 29C at the moment.

            1. Ah – I should have known that it was a Jacuzzi. Never been in one – it must be a bit like being in a washing machine!

              1. Doesn’t do much for me but pommette likes it! I usually go in on christmas day with a bottle of fizz though :grin:

  10. Wow! What a great puzzle!

    Lots of ‘doh’ moments .

    I pariticularly enjoyed 4d.

    My enjoyment was enhanced by there being only 3 anagrams (I think) – and, whilst this certainly increases the difficulty, it surely makes it more pleasurable.

    The DT backpage setters seem to be on a great run of form lately. Keep it up!

    Dog walking in the rain now. Yeuch!

    1. I’m about to dog walk in the rain too. As someone once said to me on another very wet dog walk, “It’s one of those days when you rather wish that you just had a goldfish!”

  11. Many thanks to RayT for a very enjoyable crossword and to Pommers for an equally enjoyable review. 3*/5* for me.

    1. Hi BB, 3* is probably about right but I have to go by how long it took me. I’m always slow with RayT but I’ve just had the thought that I might be wasting an awful lot of time laughing at his innuendo before even getting around to thinking about what the answer might be :lol:

  12. I’m sorry, but this was no good for me at all today. I had to resort to the hints and even then it was a struggle. And I used to get on well with Ray T! :-(

    A question. If I go on to this site on my iPad I get Pommers’ comment but not the hints or bloggers’ comments. What to do?

    1. Before pommers comments Franny there should be a little note saying ‘go straight to comments’ or ‘skip to responses’ at least there is on my iphone

      1. No, I’m afraid there is nothing useful like that — though now I think of it there is a little number in a circle which shows, I think, the number of comments. I could try that.

  13. That was fun! Tricky, but fun, and a rather distracting theme :-)

    Re 9A. Pommers, you wrote “Put a word for stick, as in to beat soundly”. Isn’t it simply stick, as in to stick wallpaper on the wall?

    BTW I thought you were quite restrained with the pictures :-)

    Many thanks to pommers and RayT.

      1. But not a bad one, surely – only one tiny slip. You should see the damage that I can cause at work!

        1. Didn’t want to go OTT but I thought the ‘model bird’ was quite attractive :grin: Illustrating ‘missionary position’ would have been a ‘picture too far’ I think :lol:

          One of my life’s ambitions is to be a dirty old man – all I need now is to get a bit older!

        2. You must be talking about the picture for 10a. I think that I should tell you that, although I agree that it’s tiny, it’s not a slip it’s a bikini!! :smile:

        3. Up North if you give somebody a right pasting then you’ve also given someone some right stick. So for this ex-pat Tyke then Pommer’s first version also works.

          1. That was my thought process spindrift, being from Manchester, but it doesn’t quite work! Steve’s idea is obviously much better.

  14. Excellent Stuff today!. As usual with RayT they look like they are going to be right tough to start with until the little switch in the head goes on. I would hve given this *** for difficulty myself but lots if fun.
    Thanks to RayT and the busy pommers (nearly typed busty!!)

  15. Hot tub now finally up and running and bedroom aircon serviced so I’m off for a siesta Yawn

    See y’all later.

  16. Absolutely loved this one!
    RayT is most certainly my favourite setter – I think I must have a similar mindset (dirty!)
    That said, I found this more difficult than previous ones. I didn’t have anything at all in the top left until I got 1d. As soon as I saw the “D” from 1d I got 1a (see what I mean about my mindset!) – and laughed out loud.

    Am I right in thinking RayT only does every-other Thursday? Can we petition to have him every week? (Or if it were up to me – every day!)

    1. I think he does, on average, every other Thursday but just occasionally we’re lucky enough to have him two weeks in a row.

  17. Ray T back on form , too many favourites to sinle one out. Agree with ratings. Thanks to MrT for brightening up what is a thoroughly miserable day weatherwise. And thanks to Pommers too, Hottub indeed, i’ve caved in and put the heating on, the excuse however flimsy is that the wet dogs might get a chill!

  18. Three of us tried this on the lunch-break and got just 13 answers. Pointless, dreadful is how I described it, though one of my colleagues used the word “complete” followed by a four letter anagram of a Viking ruler of England. Totally up it’s own crevice and no fun at all.

  19. I’m typing this in glorious sunshine – its lasted 5 minutes in a day full of rain. This really is a long winter! Excellent crossword today has brightened everything up though. Favourite was 4d. ***/****. Great review Pommers and well done Ray T.

  20. Setter here…

    My thanks to Pommers for the fine review, and to all for your kind words.


  21. Wow! Well, I did eventually finish it but only amid lots of “hell, this is a Toughie” type grumblings. Took me AGES, but I did enjoy it – needed some friendly electronic help but not the hints – though I certainly read them for confirmation and some explanations that had by-passed me! Ghastly day, wimped out of a golf match (can you blame me?) so me and the other three had a boisterous lunch instead whilst watching the puddles grow outside the pub, then came home and “attacked” Ray T – nothing personal. A definite brain work-out – many thanks – and thanks to Pommers for his educational and amusing hints.

  22. Late input from me as was busy washing bedding after the departure of my son and his companion.

    Faves for me were : 1a, 23a, 26a, 1d, 4d & 14d.

    Some good laughs in this puzzle.

    Shall be glued to the box tomorrow watching the men’s semifinals at Roland Garros.

  23. Hurraah, managed to finish without the hints. Fantastic puzzle from Ray T, started with 1a, finished with 22a, loads of favourites including 1,11,26a and 4,16d. New it was a Ray T after reading 1a, brightened up a miserable day in Central London. Lots to laugh at, great clueing.

  24. Looking back at all the near the knuckle stuff (and having just solved the latest Private Eye puzzle) I must say that 17d is absolutely sublime!

  25. Interesting how opinions differ on appeal and level of difficulty – I struggled to finish today’s and didn’t reallly enjoy it. Also take issue with some clues, viz. surrender hardly means release and eradicate surely isn’t to waste?

    1. Hi angel

      Difficulty and enjoyment levels are always a matter of opinion and sometimes of debate!

      Re surrender, from Collins – to relinquish to the control or possession of another. Relinquish = release, well it works for me.

      Re eradicate, it means waste in the sense of the colloquial meaning of to ‘waste’ someone is to kill them. I thought that one was rather good but not quite worthy of the blue highlighter!

  26. Catching up on some of last week’s puzzles, and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I thought it was marginally trickier than the last few puzzles from RayT, but without doubt more enjoyable.
    Thanks to him, and to pommers for the review.

Comments are closed.