DT 26909 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26909

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26909

Hints and tips by Falcon

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa where we are experiencing a spell of sunny, 30+ degree weather. We just celebrated Canada Day on July 1 and our neighbours to the south are celebrating their national holiday today. So Happy Fourth of July to any American readers out there. The puzzle makes no specific mention of the occasion (only a passing reference to an American in one clue), but there is certainly ample food and drink to throw quite a party.

I found the puzzle, while quite enjoyable, to be a bit less difficult than usual. Jay has also given us a good variety of clue types today. There are the customary ‘select certain letters from a word’ clue (but the puzzle is not overloaded with them) as well as at least one of his substitution type clues.

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 Lie about London’s food (4,3)
{PORK PIE} – a traditional British dish is also Cockney rhyming slang for an untruth. I’m guessing that the definition is “lie about London” suggesting that this figure of speech is used mainly in parts of London (in particular, the East End).

5a Iris maybe making bread (7)
{BLOOMER} – a showy garden flower may also be a large loaf of bread (in Britain, at least).

9a A cost involved over a black pepper sauce (7)
{TABASCO} – a pungent sauce made from the fruit of a capsicum pepper is prepared by wrapping an anagram (involved) of A COST around A B(lack).

10a Pasta and beans (7)
{NOODLES} – a quintessentially Italian dish doubles as a slangy term for heads (the kind found on shoulders, not those used by sailors); Chambers says that this usage is North American, although Oxford makes no mention of this

11a A couple of tomatoes added to stew creates an awkward situation (3,6)
{HOT POTATO} – A and the first two letters of TO(matoes), when appended to a meat and vegetable dish, produces a a difficult or controversial problem or situation.

12a River horse, so to speak (5)
{RHONE} – a river in France (well mostly, at least) sounds like a horse whose coat is thickly flecked with grey or white hairs; the first thing to pop to mind was HIPPO, but that would hardly be cryptic

13a Measures bit of salt eaten by deer (5)
{DOSES} – these medicinal measures consist of a bit of S(alt) injected into two or more female deer.

15a Simple mention exposes piece of equipment (9)
{IMPLEMENT} – a tool or utensil is hidden (clued by “exposes”) in the first two words of the clue.

17a Live in reduced surroundings? It’s hardly worth considering (5,4)
{SMALL BEER} – a two letter synonym for “live” surrounded by a synonym for “reduced” creates something trivial (which might be less than the standard measure in your local).

19a Fool — going back to take in a line dance (5)
{SALSA} – Crosswordland’s favourite fool reverses himself and swallows A L(ine) to create a spicy Latin-American dance.

22a Military unit gets one for a creature from the deep (5)
{SQUID} – the sight of “for” should immediately raise the substitution flag; start with a small group of soldiers, then remove the A and replace it with the Roman numeral for one to get a marine mollusc.

23a Nothing in beer — and no one runs for wine (5,4)
{PINOT NOIR} – start by placing a letter that looks like nothing into a standard measure of beer, then append NO, the Roman numeral for one, and R(uns) to produce a wine made from grapes chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France.

25a Go and live abroad with no golf, in Dubai for example (7)
{EMIRATE} – start with a word meaning to leave one’s native country and settle in another; then remove the letter which is represented by the code word golf in radio communication; the result is any of several sheikdoms on the Persian Gulf, Dubai being an example.

26a Identification required in a town generates sarcasm (7)
{ACIDITY} – a short term for identification documents situated inside A and a large town with a cathedral creates bitterness or sharpness in a person’s remarks or tone.

27a Takes in set involved in excavations (7)
{DIGESTS} – the definition is “takes in” and it could apply to either food (an appropriate choice given the amount of it present in today’s puzzle) or information; the solution is found by putting an anagram (involved) of SET in excavations (perhaps those conducted for archaeological purposes).

28a Boffin becoming chief of hen production (7)
{EGGHEAD} – a person having arcane knowledge could whimsically be said to be in charge of an item of food produced by chickens; for this clue to work, you need to associate the solution with the entire phrase “chief of hen production” rather than looking at the individual subcomponents.


1d Set the level and tried to sell (7)
{PITCHED} – adjusted the frequency or delivered a spiel to prospective clientele.

2d Retrospective discounts for beers at brewing (7)
{REBATES} – these discounts for which one must mail in paperwork and wait months for a cheque to arrive in the post are also an anagram of BEERS AT; I would be quite happy if they would just give me a beer and forget all the hassle

3d In Mexico, money protects the origin of tartare sauce (5)
{PESTO} – when Mexican money is wrapped around the first letter of T(artare), the result is an Italian sauce for 10a.

4d Terribly overactive with no right being reminiscent (9)
{EVOCATIVE} – removing R(ight) from OVERACTIVE and forming an anagram (terribly) of the remainder would result in bringing a feeling vividly to mind.

5d House call? (5)
{BINGO} – what one might call out when one’s card is full; it took me a while to fathom this clue as the British version of this game seems to bear as much resemblance to the North American variant as soccer does to North American football, or as cricket bears to baseball

6d Arrange duo’s roles without a stink (9)
{ODOURLESS} – an adjective meaning having no smell is an anagram (arrange) of DUOS ROLES

7d Sugar from whisky like this raised energy (7)
{MALTOSE} – a form of sugar that is an intermediary product in the production of a type of whisky is a charade of (1) a shortened name for this type of whisky, (2) a short word meaning like this (as in “I want you to do it just like this”) which is reversed (raised in a down clue), and (3) E(nergy).

8d Admires pectorals, admitting deference (7)
{RESPECT} – a word meaning consideration for the wishes of others is hidden (clued by “admitting”) in the first two words of the clue.

14d Fondly-remembered youth’s healthy dishes covering twenty-four hours (5,4)
{SALAD DAYS} – the definition is “fondly-remembered youth” (the solution being a phrase coined by William Shakespeare in Antony and Cleopatra in 1606); to get the answer, put a category of healthy dishes largely comprising mixtures of raw vegetables on top of (covering, in a down clue) a time period of 24 hours.

16d Attendant welcoming a charter for ancestry (9)
{PARENTAGE} – an attendant training for the knighthood placed around A and a verb meaning to hire (an automobile, for instance) produces a word denoting one’s ancestral origins.

17d Exclude American during budget (7)
{SUSPEND} – the definition is exclude (by, for instance, temporarily removing one’s privileges); insert a short synonym for American into another word for budget (although I question whether these are truly synonyms); on this latter point, a budget is the planned expenditure and the word we need means the actual expenditure (they are only equal if the variance is nil)

18d Funny thinking heralded by the first of April (7)
{AMUSING} – an adjective meaning diverting or entertaining is constructed from a verb meaning pondering silently preceded (heralded or ushered in) by the first letter in A(pril).

20d Flipping Christmas at home, initially eating like a lion (7)
{LEONINE} – the definition is like a lion; it is a charade of (1) a reversal (flipping) of another name for Christmas (now found only in Christmas cards and carols), (2) a short word signifying at home, and (3) the first letter of E(ating).

21d Lined up for an attack, reportedly (7)
{ARRAYED} – a past participle meaning to be put in order sounds like a sudden unexpected attack.

23d Journalists do some weightlifting (5)
{PRESS} – a double definition; a collective term for journalists or to perform a type of weightlifting manoeuvre

24d Slim girl’s first obsession (5)
{THING} – a synonym for slim plus the first letter of G(irl) produces a word meaning an obsessive interest (often used in the phrase “have a _____ about”).

I was able to finish the puzzle without any electronic assistance in fairly short order, despite encountering several words and terms that are new to me (fortunately, they were all readily decipherable from the wordplay). I don’t recall any real standout clues. I do rather like 11a, 17a, 23a and 28a made be smile (once I had figured out what a boffin is). I did note as I wrote the review that the quality of the clues seemed to peter out toward the end (or maybe it was just my brain petering out).

The Quick crossword pun: {times} + {owns} = {time zones}

56 comments on “DT 26909

  1. I enjoyed this more than most Wednesdays – perhaps because I found it easier than usual! Lots of good clues, 23 & 28 probably made me smile most 2*/3* for me.

    So thats 3 fairly straightforward days in a row – should we get our heads down now for tomorrow?

    Thanks to both and happy celebrations to our friends in the colonies.

  2. Good morning Falcon, a slightly easier puzzle today from Jay I thought, nevertheless I still needed my usual ‘help’ for some clues, three clues I liked were 11a, 13a and 28a this one made me smile :-) I thought the reading of 14d was a bit iffy but on the whole I enjoyed this one, thanks for hints Falcon just going to read through now, lucky you with the weather it is awful here once again, it has got to a point where I am just grateful if it is dry :-(

  3. This was Jay at his most gentle today. Thanks to him, and to Falcon for the notes.

    Re your hint for 7d, you forgot to mention the reversal (raised) of the the second part of the charade.

      1. Dave,

        Thanks for making the correction. I assure you that the oversight was not due to having over indulged in the elixir mentioned in the clue.

  4. Another done and dusted in short time, feeling pleased with self till everybody says its easy :(

    Thanks for review not needed today, even managed to sort out the parsing with no help.

    Thanks to setter for nice start to day.

  5. So, Wednesday is the new Monday or there are now two Mondays in the week.
    Thanks Jay and Falcon.
    Roll on Ray T tomorrow :)

  6. I still don’t understand why the answer to17a is small beer. Please can you explain.

    1. A synonym for ‘live’ is BE, and this goes inside SMALLER (reduced surroundings).

  7. I found this one pretty straightforward, only stumbling on 7d and 12a (don’t ask me why!). A few I had to work backwards from the answer to the clue, such as 16d when I hadn’t thought of charter as hiring. Thanks to both Jay and Falcon or a gentle start to Wednesday.

    1. Same here Susie – needed hint for 12 and answer for 7. So ultimately defeated me!

  8. Turned out easier than at first glance ,one of those i did in quarters for some reason, **/***, enjoyed it . Lost cat turned up today-renamed it Higgs!

    1. I don’t understand the new name but I’m really glad your lost cat has turned up – it’s SO awful when they go missing.

      1. The scientists at CERN today announced that they had found* the Higgs Boson particle. I assume that’s what Beaver is referring to!

        * well not actually “found”, but to quote the BBC “[CERN] scientists report discovery of a new particle that is consistent with the Higgs Boson”.

            1. I’ve been listening to it on the radio Kath but it’s all way beyond me too!

            2. You’re not a HHGTTG fan, Kath?

              Arthur Dent clearly is, given his choice of moniker :-)

              (HHGTTG = Hitch Hikers Guide etc.)

              1. I couldn’t stand that programme, I know lots of people who really like it however

            3. A Vogan is an alien Kath from ‘HHGTTG’ I think they came from a planet called Voganshere or something similar

              1. Just to put this to bed… Wiki says…

                “The Vogons are a fictional alien race from the planet Vogsphere”

  9. Like everyone else I thought this was straightforward – the only thing that held me up was working out why 8d was what it was. I STILL miss the in the middle of the clue kind of answers and this is an easy one to spot ie it doesn’t even cover two lines of the clue. 5d was one of my last ones to get – was thinking “Iris Who” for quite a while. :roll: I know that we’ve had 17a before but I’m more familiar with the expression “small fry”.
    My favourites today include 10, 12 and 28a and 18d.
    With thanks to Jay and Falcon.

    1. Hi Kath How were Vincent and Flavia? I’ve seen them once in the roadshow but not in their own show

      1. They were absolutely wonderful – we all really loved it. It was a very good evening, made even better by bumping into some friends who I haven’t seen for SOOOO long!!

      2. If it comes your way Mary, snap up a ticket straight away. My friend and I thought it was the best thing we had ever seen and agreed that if it comes anywhere near us in future, we would definitely go again.

        1. The nearest it’s likely to come is Cardiff but that’s not too bad, thanks Sue and Kath I will google it now to see where the venues are

          1. unfortunately it finishes in July and it’s not coming to Cardiff, it is on in BBristol until Saturday but I cant make it there this week

  10. Good workout today, for me 2/3 star for difficulty, took a while to start then went well until the top right held me up for a bit until I remembered my late mothers Wednesday night obsession which gave me 5d, all fell nicely into place then.
    Mary why Higgs, think Higgs Boson Particle, just found by CERN.

    1. Sorry forgot to thank Falcon for the hints and more especially for the picture of Gods Water for 7d!

    2. Hi Brian its all a mystery to me but I must admit I like the thought of supersymmetry!
      You really are coming on well in the world of cryptic crosswords, well done :-)

  11. Very nice, thank you Jay. Not sure about the homophone in 12a. Thanks to Falcon too. I thought the quick pun was particularly appropriate given that Falcon was blogging rather than Pommers.

    The Toughie is nice too. And if you have finished that, I do recommend Arachne in the Graun.

      1. I’m going to try the Toughie, but I normally find Giovanni’s difficult, especially as it has only 4 anagrams !

        1. If you’re about to try the Toughie (presumably that means haven’t tried yet) how do you know that it only has four anagrams? Given the number of questions that I have had to ask today I think I’m probably having one of my less than bright days!! :sad:

            1. See – I said that I was having a dim day! :sad: Just didn’t think of reading the review before attempting it because I never do that. If I did I’m not sure that I’d ever even attempt one …

  12. Thanks to Jay and to Falcon for the review & hints. I would agree on a 2* for difficulty & 3* for enjoyment, found this quite straigthforward, but entertaining. Started with 1a, finished with 16d, favourite was 17a, but i prefer a large one :-) Come on Murray !!

    1. Come on Murray ????

      Being English I always support whoever Murray is playing!

      Vamos! David Ferrer!!

  13. I agree with most of the other “posters”, not too difficult and enjoyable. I didn’t need to overuse the electronic device today.
    Thanks to Jay and Falcon.

  14. Very enjoyable today, thanks to Jay and Falcon. Why do we have two solid weeks of Tennis and no Test Matches? I could be wrong, but I bet there are more Cricket lovers than Tennis.

    1. We have two solid weeks of tennis because the rest of the year it’s cricket, football, rugby, golf, snooker – shall I go on – perhaps not!! :smile:

  15. Enjoyed this, as I do most Wednesdays. Does anyone know if Jay sets for other papers, and the name he uses?

  16. Despite getting drenched and then onto a hot train I managed to finish this off quite quickly. A good distraction from drying out.

  17. An eclectic combination of salsa, pork pie and hot potato
    All washed down with a small beer (and tobasco?)
    A second course of squid noodles
    and Pinot Noir (in small doses)

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