DT 26915 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26915

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26915

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja.   In view of the weather in the UK recently I won’t mention what it’s like here!  Today we have the usual enjoyable fare from the Wednesday Wizard. Not too tricky but with a couple to cause a bit of head scratching.

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           Evidence of steps taken to pay for pictures (10)
{FOOTPRINTS} – These are evidence of steps taken by someone in the mud perhaps.  They’re a charade of a word for pay the bill and some photographs.  Always happy when 1a goes straight in!

6a           Investor closing theatre early (4)
{STAG} – A speculator who applies for shares in a new issue in anticipation of a rise in price when trading commences is also another word for a theatre without its last letter (closing early).

9a           Pole dancer’s last couple put on taxi (5)
{CABER} – Put ER (dancER’s last couple) on a taxi and you get a pole which gets tossed in Scotland.












10a         A quiet tip following crook’s first source of money (9)
{CASHPOINT} – Start with C (Crook’s first) and follow with A (from the clue), quiet (not P, the other one) and another word for tip or apex and you get a machine where you might withdraw money from your bank account.

12a         Rants in front of HGV, amazed (13)
{THUNDERSTRUCK} – A word meaning amazed is a charade of a word for rants and an HGV or lorry.

14a         Runs in frantically shaping choice of words (8)
{PHRASING} – This choice of words is an anagram (frantically) of SHAPING with R(uns) inserted.

15a         Country church on common, unfinished (6)
{GREECE} – The sort of common you find in the middle of a village without its last letter (unfinished) followed by the usual abbreviation for the Church of England gives a country in eastern Europe.

17a         Work on child’s plaything for a bit (6)
{DOLLOP} – This is a bit, of cream or jam perhaps. It’s a young girl’s toy followed by the usual abbreviation for a musical work.  Lovely word – not heard it for years!

19a         Part of paper clip? (8)
{MAGAZINE} – Something you get with weekend papers is also another word for the clip of ammunition in an automatic pistol or rifle.

21a         Soldiers in pink? It’s a religious belief (13)
{REINCARNATION} – A charade of some of the usual soldiers, IN (from the clue) and the flower often called a ‘pink’ gives a belief held by some religions.

24a         Getting worse and, turning whiter, confess (9)
{RELAPSING} – Take a word for whiter or lighter in colour and reverse it (turning). Follow with a slang term for confess and you get a word meaning getting worse, after an illness perhaps.

25a         Enthusiastic about accepting river passage at the outset (5)
{INTRO} – This is the passage at the beginning of a musical work.  Take a word for being enthusiastic or keen on something and insert R(iver).

26a         Blackbird dish? (4)
{BOWL} – B(lack) followed by a bird of prey gives this dish.

27a         Shows bias and teases kids in trouble (5,5)
{TAKES SIDES} – An anagram (in trouble) of TEASES KIDS gives a phrase meaning shows bias.


1d           Confront footballers before church (4)
{FACE} – The footballers’ governing body followed by the Church of England gives a word for confront.

2d           Lowry regularly snapped the Queen’s celestial craft (7)
{ORBITER} – This is a celestial craft as in a spacecraft.  Start with OR (LOwRy regularly), follow with a word meaning snapped, as an angry dog might do, and finally the usual abbreviation for our current monarch.

3d           Explosive rhythm section excel (10,3)
{PERCUSSION CAP} – An explosive in the sense that it’s a type of detonator used in firearms. Take the rhythm section of an orchestra and follow with a word meaning excel or do better than.

4d           Disturbance — aim to lose time for detectives (8)
{INCIDENT} – A trademark Jay clue! Take a word for aim or ambition and remove (lose) the T (ime) and replace it with some detectives. You get a disturbance which said detectives might be called to investigate.

5d           Detect a serviceman concealing weapon (5)
{TASER} – This weapon is hidden in (concealing) the rest of the clue.

7d           Some praise cult regularly welcomed by family (7)
{TRIBUTE} – To get this praise you need a word for family or clan and insert (welcomed by) UT (cUlT regularly).

8d           One who holds onto the attendance receipts? (10)
{GATEKEEPER} – This is a sort of all-in-one. Take a word for one who holds or retains and place it after (onto) the attendance at a football match and you get someone who might be holding onto the receipts from the football match.  This is one of those that’s much trickier to explain than it was to solve! I might be reading too much into it as it works as a cryptic definition as well!

11d         Dad’s seen as impartial — safe somehow (13)
{PATERFAMILIAS} – Dad, as in a male head of the family, is an anagram (somehow) of IMPARTIAL SAFE.

13d         Crustacean and crispbread? Maybe (6,4)
{SPIDER CRAB} – This crustacean is an anagram (maybe) of CRISPBREAD.  Lobster and Ryvita? Don’t think so somehow!

16d         Stood during former Tory leader’s rant (8)
{HARANGUE} – To get this rant you need a former Tory leader (he’s the current Foreign Secretary) and insert a word for stood, as in stood for election.  This one threw me a bit as I was thinking former is EX and Tory leader is a T. Insert (during) the stood into them to get the rant. D’oh!

18d         Stricken student needs help with depression (4,3)
{LAID LOW} – A phrase meaning stricken is a charade of the usual student, another  word for help and a depression (think meteorology).

20d         Fired after editing changes (7)
{IGNITED} – A word meaning set on fire is an anagram (changes) of EDITING.

22d         Artist (Italian) laid on a yoghurt dish (5)
{RAITA} – This yoghurt dish, often served with curries, is the usual artist followed by an abbreviation for Italian and A (from the clue).  Pommette makes a great one of these and it’s also very nice in Fajitas!

23d         Many failed to put son last (4)
{LOTS} – To get a word for many you need a word for failed, as Andy Murray did last Sunday, and move the S(on) to the end.

Plenty of good stuff in this one but favourites for me are 8d and 16d.

The Quick crossword pun: {gauche} + {hopping} = {go shopping}

41 comments on “DT 26915

  1. Morning pommers

    A nice puzzle today I thought. My only error was entering FRANCE for 15a, which does not fit the wordplay but I threw it in without much thought; fortunately, 7d corrected it.

    Thanks to Jay, and to yourself for the review.

    1. Hi Jezza

      My first though was France too but I didn’t actually put it in as I couldn’t parse it. Sometimes you get lucky!

      1. At the time I thought FRAN(K) is a very weak synonym for COMMON, but then swiftly moved on. More haste……

        1. That thought crossed my mind but then I suddenly twigged there’s another country ending in the CE.

  2. I must have been on the right wavelength today as this went straight in and was probably my fastest ever solve – a short bath!

    No stand out clues for me but lots of good ones and all nicely written. 1*/3*

    thanks to both.


  3. 17a is a word still used by my family in Yorkshire to describe how much mustard is to be put on a beef sandwich. Another phrase is “a slack handful” used to describe the attendance at Bootham Crescent back in the 70s!

    Thanks to the Wednesday Wizard & to Pommers for the review.

    1. I love your slack handful spindrift. I will try to slip into conversation sometime in the future.

  4. Really enjoyed this puzzle, good witty clues.

    Thanks to Pommers for the review, and to Jay for the puzzle.

  5. I found this puzzle very difficult to begin with but, as I worked at in, the words seemed to fall into place fairly easily. Half way through but still working at it.
    I won’t mention the weather here either

  6. Much better today after yesterdays fiasco. Some lovely clues. Don’t know if we have had it before but particularly enjoyed 26a.
    Some nice anagrams too. I agree, **and **** from me. Many thanks.

  7. I always enjoy Wednesday puzzles.
    I took a while to see why 15a was what it obviously was – thinking of the wrong kind of common! 19a and 16d took me the longest – I managed to convince myself that 16d HAD to begin with “ex” which meant that I couldn’t do either of them – then the light dawned. 26a made me laugh – it reminded me of an illustration in a Roald Dahl book that our girls had when they were little – “The Twits” – Mr Twit made bird pie and there was a picture of a pie with birds feet poking out of the top.
    I liked 17, 19 and 26a and 16d.
    With thanks to Jay and pommers – and I’m not even mentioning the weather any more!!
    Doing quite well with the Toughie but seem to have ground to a bit of a halt for the moment – will do a few useful things and go back to it later.

  8. Finished now. Phew. For me, that was difficult but thoroughly challenging and enjoyable (thanks Jay). I completed it without using your hints, Pommers, although I did need to refer to the rationale a number of times (for which many thanks). I’snt Greece in central Europe. I’m sorry that I can’t look at your map because every time I click on any link I get this bloody prize site called ‘Enquete Internet Nationale’. Can anybody help me to get rid of it? Dave, your’e good with computers, please help.

    1. East of Greece & the Greek islands is Turkey. Turkey is Western Asia so that makes Greece Eastern Europe for me.

      1. That’s what I thought but the mistake is capitalising Eastern – then you get a phrase for the ex-Soviet countries rather than what I meant, ‘at the eastern end of Europe’.

        1. Yes, I will certainly go along with that. In my childhood, atlases showed Turkey as Asia Minor.

        1. Azerbaijan hosted the Eurovision Song Contest (so I have been told) – that makes Greece almost central Europe!

          6a – I missed the opportunity of investing in umbrellas!

  9. Got stuck in top r.hand corner for some time, after romping through the rest,finally got 6A ,7D and that finished it. Good fun, very enjoyable. Thanks to Jay for providing the fodder and Pommers for explaining it

  10. I really look forward to Wednesdays and wasn’t disappointed by Jay :). Didn’t know 11d so had to look it up. Thanks to all.

  11. Slow start but gained pace as it went along. Had the same problem as others with 16d trying to fit ex in until the eureka moment. Thanks to setter & to Pommers for the hints.

  12. Took me slightly longer than ‘normal’ for a Jay – I am going to blame the workmen drilling and hammering under our office. Thanks to Jay and Pommers too.

    The Dada Toughie is a thing of joy and well worth everyone having a go.

    Sunny morning on and off but now heavy black clouds. We are promised a couple of months rain this afternoon so have the ark on standby.

  13. Many thanks to Jay for a very enjoyable crossword and to Pommers for a very entertaining review.

  14. I always enjoy the Jay crossword on a Wednesday! Thanks to him and also to Him (aka pommers)!

  15. Reasonable straightforward for a Wednesday which surprised me, although it did take some time to get going last night. At lights out, I was left with 4 acrosses and 3 downs which I gratefully accepted Pommers help on this morning. Favourite was 8d. Hasn’t 21d been used fairly regularly in the past?

  16. Thanks to the setter & Pommers for the review & hints. Started with 1d, finished with 16d,favourite was 19a. Very enjoyable. Sun almost out in Ullalpool.

  17. Made this harder by putting ‘headline’ for 19a but got there in the end. Very enjoyable.

  18. Nice puzzle today, thought it was going to be difficult but once underway it fell nicely into place. Still not sure about 13d.

  19. Thought this was going to be much harder than it turned out to be. Challenging but fun. Last two in were 18a and 16d. Had to look up 11d for confirmation. **/**** from me. Dark clouds prevalent here today but I did manage a game of golf this morning, ducking and diving the showers. Many thanks to Pommers and Jay.

  20. Threatened to be laid low
    by a tricky intro
    But lots of pennies dropped
    which ignited a finish

  21. Oh dear, not doing very well at all this week so far – and it will probably only get worse! – needed hints to finish – AGAIN! Brain definitely not in gear. But it was a good puzzle and I should have got more than I did as they all made sense, which is more than can be said for yesterday’s, in my opinion. Liked 1a and 12a – never heard of 22d but got it from the wordplay. Thanks to setter and Pommers. (You don’t have a spare room by any chance, do you Pommers? I believe I’m growing webbed feet!!!)

    1. …. webbed feet is better than foot rot which I think I have! :sad:
      I know that I’m one of the worst culprits but does anyone else think we should think of another topic – I know there is always the crossword but when we’ve exhausted that AND the endless rain …. answers NOT on a post card but here please!! :smile:

      1. Forthcoming Olympics? Motorbike race next Sunday in Italy? The parlous state of the Spanish economy? The merits or otherwise of lobster on Ryvita? Might be palatable with a LOT of mayonnaise :grin:

      2. Hmm – keep going – nothing sounds TERRIBLY interesting so far – any other suggestions? Lobster on Ryvita already ruled out, even with lots of mayonnaise!

        1. I was going to suggest a discussion about the ultimate question of life, the universe and Everything – but we all know the answer is 42 :grin:

          What do you think about Spanish IVA (VAT in English) rising from 18% to 21%? About as interesting to you as a cricket match I guess but will cost me a lot!

          Don’t know about you growing rice but we can do it here! Paella was invented in Valencia! We don’t get the rain but we can irrigate!

  22. Didn’t win the quiz tonight (came second) but did win two rounds so got a bottle of wine and a bag of chocolate eclairs – yummy :grin:

  23. As usual got it late but worth the wait. At first glance could only manage 27a but the 1A/1D/9A/3D & 5D then fell into place.
    I liked the pure simplicity of 26A BOWL and 23D LOTS. Nice anagrams too.

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