DT 26934 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26934

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26934

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja.  No, it’s not Wednesday! Yesterday was Falcon’s turn  but we’ve also had a bit of a reorganisation and in future I’ll be blogging the Thursday puzzles as my regular slot.  So, it’s a big thankyou and goodbye from me to Jay and hello to RayT and the other Thursday tormentors!

I think this must be a RayT as it has a fair bit of innuendo and a couple of Queens.  Not too difficult but very enjoyable IMHO.  I’ve no doubt that there will be howls of protest from some quarters about the 2* difficulty rating but I rate as I find, so 2* it is!

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.


7a           Passionate chap in bunk’s in charge (8)
{ROMANTIC} – This is a word meaning passionate or amorous.  Insert a chap into a word for bunk, as in rubbish, and follow with the usual abbreviation for in charge.  One of my last in! Told you I was heading for a fall! As a sailor I couldn’t see beyond ‘bunk’ meaning a bed, d’oh!

9a           Stood at the bar perhaps, all over (6)
{AROUND} – Split (1,5) this would be something you might ‘stand’ at the bar in your local pub. As one word it means ‘all over’ or surrounding.  I stood one of these last night  for some inexplicable reason, must be losing my touch!

10a         Big cuddle by sweetheart (4)
{HUGE} – A word meaning big is a cuddle followed by E (swEet heart).  Simple but elegant!

11a         He got excited during shift, evoking nude (10)
{ALTOGETHER} – If you’re in the nude you’re also said to be in this.  You need a word for shift, as in change, and insert an anagram (excited) of HE GOT.  My first thought, which didn’t last long, was that ‘shift’ might be something to do with the shift key on the keyboard – I really need to get out more!

12a         Dread is maybe revealing horror (6)
{DISMAY} – This horror is hidden (revealing) in dread is maybe.

14a         Line in surreal gag (8)
{STRANGLE} – Put L(ine) into a word meaning surreal or odd and you’ll get a word meaning gag or suffocate.

15a         ‘Crazy Gang’ nearly great (6)
{MENTAL} – Definition is crazy.  You need a gang of chaps followed by a word for great, as in big, without its last letter (nearly).  Not sure I’ve got the best explanation for that but it’s the best I can come up with! Suggestions welcome!

17a         Woods giving warning by second tee (6)
{FOREST} –   These extensive woods are made up from the warning that Tiger Woods may shout followed by S(econd) and then the letter of the alphabet that sounds like Tee.  This is a sort of semi-&lit I think, but I’m no expert on crossword terminology.

20a         Time sure to be wasted for academically retired (8)
{EMERITUS} – A retired professor is an anagram (to be wasted) of TIME SURE.

22a         Excessive weight seen in one American capital (6)
{OTTAWA} – This is the capital city where yesterday’s blogger lives! Start with an acronym for excessive or too much, follow with A (one) and A(merican) and then insert (seen in) a W(eight) .  Personally I think a=I or vice versa should be outlawed, as I believe it is in the Times puzzles.

23a         Surprisingly taut, she’s in buff! (10)
{ENTHUSIAST} – This buff or fan is an anagram (surprisingly) of TAUT SHES IN.

24a         Act of healing from priest (4)
{CURE} – A French priest is also an act of healing.

25a         One may gush over bloke, say (6)
{GEYSER} – This might gush water out of the ground but it sounds like (say) a slang word for a bloke.  Bit of a chestnut I think!

26a         Daughter rushing home (8)
{DWELLING} – Start with D(aughter) and follow with a word which might mean rushing, as water might do out of a hole in the ground, and you’ll get a word to describe the place where you live.  Another excellent surface!


1d           Must boil stew, or food poisoning results (8)
{BOTULISM} – Food poisoning results from an anagram (stew) of MUST BOIL.  Like the surface of this one.

2d           Naked except for last of lingerie (4)
{BARE} – A word for naked is formed from a word meaning ‘except for’ followed by E (last of lingeriE).  Took some Herculean effort to refrain from illustrating this one, don’t think my blood pressure would stand it!

3d           Erotic troupe in seedy void (6)!
{STEAMY} – Take the middle letters out (void) of S(eed)Y and then insert a troupe, as in a band or even a football side, and you get a word meaning erotic or slightly pornographic.

4d           Jumper and anorak go in a jumble (8)
{KANGAROO} – This Australian jumper is an anagram (in a jumble) of ANORAK GO.

5d           German leader in Europe possibly showing detachment (10)
{CONTINGENT} – This detachment, of soldiers perhaps, is G (German leader) inserted into what Europe is an example of.  Geographically that is – I make no comment on what I think of Europe politically!

6d           Temper from woman with endless beer (6)
{ANNEAL} – Take a common girl’s name, sometimes clued as Queen, and add the usual beer without its last letter (endless) and you get a word meaning temper, as in remove stress from a metal or glass artefact.

8d           Copper on trial having highest appeal (6)
{CUTEST} – The chemical symbol for copper followed by (on, in a down clue) a trial gives a word describing the most attractive person.

13d         Second in charts perhaps for Queen supporter (10)
{MONARCHIST} – A person who supports the Queen is a colloquial term for second, as in short period of time, followed by an anagram (perhaps) of IN CHARTS.

16d         Tart is trying, displaying prowess (8)
{ARTISTRY} – This prowess or skill is hidden (displaying) in tart is trying.

18d         Magnificent tempo ends by group covering Queen (8)
{TOWERING} – Definition is magnificent.  Take the ends of T(emp)O and follow with a group, maybe within a political party, and then insert (covering) the usual abbreviation for the current monarch.

19d         Man is one, or no man is one? (6)
{ISLAND} – Double definition. According to the poet John Donne no man is one of these but the man in the Irish sea certainly is.  I’ve sailed there often enough!

21d         French to eat from trough (6)
{MANGER} – This trough from which horses or cattle are fed is also the French verb meaning ‘to eat’.

22d         Genesis, unfashionable band (6)
{OUTSET} – Genesis, as in beginning, is the definition. Start with a word for unfashionable or passé and follow with a band or group of people.  Don’t know about unfashionable but I like Genesis!

24d         Caught and everybody supporting appeal (4)
{CALL} – This appeal or shout is C(aught) followed by the usual ‘everybody’.  Easy one to end with!

Phew, changing setter certainly gets the brain cells woken up!  Somehow these were much harder to hint, but not harder to solve,  than the Jay clues which I’ve become used to. I think that shows the difference between just solving a puzzle and really trying to tease out all of the wordplay. I’ll get my head around it in the next few weeks but apologies if I’m not quite up to standard today. Some of you will be pleased to see that I have avoided being tempted by some of the more obvious opportunities for 3d pictures!
Anyway, apart from all that, I nearly gave it 5* for enjoyment after I’d written the blog but thought “what happens if the next one is even better?” One can run out of stars!
My favourite today was 10a. As I said – simple but elegant! What do you think?

The Quick crossword pun: {self} + {owns} = {cellphones}

57 comments on “DT 26934

    1. Very late at this time of year as it’s too hot for sleeping until about 0500! A siesta helps catch up on the hours missed, must have ‘gone native’!

      1. Thank you, Pommers for your nocturnal efforts ! For once with a Ray T I didn’t need the hints – so a lot happier after last Thursday’s disaster !

        Thank you Ray T – Not sure whether I am improving or you are feeling sorry for us !

  1. Morning Pommers. A very nice Thursday Ray T although personally I would have given it 2.5 or 3* difficulty, as I had terrible trouble with the NE corner. Thanks to you for the blog and Ray for the crossword. Too many nice clues but I agree with Pommers that 10a is the best.

    The Dada Toughie is a thing of great joy – I solved it in the same time as the ‘inside the back page’ puzzle and am still smiling as it is great fun throughout. Everyone should give it a go, especially the Ray T Grumpy Gang as it will cheer them up no end.

    1. Morning Sue, just about to try the Dada. Glad you agree about 10a, I thought it a lovely clue :grin:

    2. I agree, around a 3* for difficulty. A bit of a struggle to get going and 70% complete last night before brain/eye coordination gave out. Hope to finish it during the day today without having to look for help above. Right now 2 downs and 2 acrosses left to go.

    3. Finished unassisted! This does not happen very often on a Thursday. Last one in 15a (I wonder why) and had to check above that I had got it right. Pommmers, I think your explannation above is fine, it’s the clue itself which is “iffy.”

  2. I would agree with Crypticsue that this one today was a little more than 2* difficulty, and I also had a couple in the NE corner that needed a little thought. Last one in today was 15a – I couldn’t get MANIAC out of my head!
    Thanks to RayT, and to Pommers.

    Now for Dada…

    1. I just checked and this was actually a quick RayT/Thursday time for me – I got in the groove quite quickly. The last few have taken me a lot longer.

      1. The same here. My average solving time across the board for a RayT is probably about 3* difficulty. This one I would rate more than 2, but less than 3.

    2. I had the same problem with MANIAC though I wasn’t happy with it. Saw the light after Pommers’ hint.

  3. MOrning Pommers, welcome to the Thursday slot. I think you were spot on with your analysis and I admire your restraint!. Thanks too to RayT. My favourites were 10a and 17a for there simplicity.

  4. More than 2* for me today but enjoyable. Needed the hints to justify a few of my answers. Thanks to setter & to Pommers. I would not have been offended to see a picture of a boiling kettle for 3d.

  5. Good fun, I enjoyed this one quite a lot, if a bit on the untaxing side, many thanks to RayT and to Pommers. I totally agree with Crypticsue re the toughie, a Dada classic.

  6. Quick for a Thurs, but enjoyable. Had similar trouble getting ‘maniac’ out of my head!

  7. I like Ray T because I know the word play is going to be different, also, he doesn’t do too many anagrams (usually) which are my strong point, so I have to struggle more. Thought this was a great one and really enjoyed it. Agree with Jezza about maniac, took me ages to talk myself out of it – even when I couldn’t find any reason for it to be correct! Well done Pommers as well.

    1. I too thought MANIAC but couldn’t parse it! It just seemed so obvious from the definition and the checkers!

  8. i rated this **/**** before i read Pommers blog so there was no bias,best of the week so far for me, certaibly for enjoyment aspect. Best for me 11a and 23a, queen and a bit of french identifies the setter-thanks Ray T,.in fact rereading the clues there were lots of good ones ie 9a and 6d, i like alcoholic clues!

  9. Morning pommers nice to see you’re your usual self today :-) , for a RayT puzzle I have to say it is one of a few of his that I almost enjoyed, 3 or 4 left at end and with energy levels running low I resorted to your blog, thanks pommers, didn’t like 15a, but did like 17a and 19d, a three star for me today but dare I say a slightly easier RayT? Off to take one of pommers siestas now, back to bed for few hours, see you all later :-)

  10. Very enjoyable. I had expected a tussle being a Thursday as the last two weeks I struggled but a different setter. Favourite clues 3,13,19,22

  11. Brilliant, as always – perhaps we could give Ray T a gold medal – everyone else seems to be getting them!
    I loved this although I was also in the “maniac” club for ages – didn’t get as far as writing it in as I couldn’t make sense of it. It was my last one in and for some reason 9a was my second to last. 2* for difficulty and at least 4* for enjoyment from me today.
    Ones that I particularly liked include 7, 10, 11, and 23a and 1, 2 (VERY restrained, Pommers!) 19 and 22d. I like Genesis too!
    With thanks to Ray T and Pommers.
    HUGE blood blister on end of left index finger so can’t do anything properly. :sad: On the plus side maybe that allows me to have a go at the Toughie.

    1. Thanks crypticsue and Pommers – just about to have a go.
      Have stopped using CS as a shortening for crypticsue as someone else now comments as CS, I think.

  12. Magic stuff from the master of innuendo. So many good clues 1 2 7 10 11 13[ my favourite] 18 22 23. I could go on and on! Missed the Beamer last week so will keep my eyes open from now on.

  13. Glad you avoided a 3D image, pommers, my iPad only works in 2D. ;)

    No Quick crossword on iPad today, why can’t the DT get it right everyday? :(

  14. Just love Ray T’s.
    The Master.
    So enjoyably challenging.
    Many thanks, and to Pommers.

  15. Thank you Pommers. Despite the opportunity for saucy pictures, you’ve kept the illustrations very tasteful. What a refreshing change. I just got stuck on 22a and 18d, but got them with your help. Isn’t it hot! Still, I have a week in Blighty later this month so that will cool me down!

    1. Hot? I should say so! And a bit on the sticky side today – 34C and 66% humidity here, yuk!

  16. I agree with **,thought it quite easy for a Thursday, despite it being my least favourite grid, got all bar 22 without hint. Favourite doddle anagram 4. Hurrah, England have got a wicket at last!

  17. I actually enjoyed 3/4 of this, just didn’t get the SE corner. 22a, 18d and 22d were all total blanks to me. But the rest was good and esp enjoyed 26a,very clever I thought.
    Still for me and a Ray T, this was def a step forward.

  18. Stupid question time.

    On which page will I find the toughie?

    i’ve searched the paper over and over and appear to be going bonkers!

    1. It isn’t in the “ordinary” paper. It is in a supplement called Telegraph Plus on the back page. Some newsagents are not putting it in with the paper so you may not have got it. BD has copies.

    2. PS It is normally in the middle of the paper – I don’t know whether this supplement is a permanent thing or just while the Olympics are on – its arrival certainly coincided with the beginning of the games.

      1. If you buy the DT in France, the Cryptic is in the Sports Section.
        I found out the hard way after I’d thrown away the Sports Section.

        1. We’ve been caught like that too. Thanks for the reminder – we’re off over there in a couple of weeks!

          1. Enjoy :)
            But now I’ve got my wonderful ipad3, no longer have abroad ‘print’ problems.

  19. Thanks Pommers and RayT, very pleasant puzzle today. I didn’t need the hints but couldn’t resist looking at the blog when I got the definition of 3d, to see what might be in your mind; didn’t bargain on a kettle!

  20. Evening all. Many thanks to pommers for a good job well done, and to everybody for your comments. Very much appreciated, as always.


    1. Evening Ray.
      Thanks for a brill puzzle, I really enjoyed it
      See you again in a couple of weeks I expect!

  21. Glad I wasn’t alone being held up in the NE corner. slightly more than a 2.5 star for me, 11a has had me singing , quietly, a Burl Ives / Danny Kaye number which I really do now need to dismiss as trying to listen to Bachs mass in B minor on radio 3!!!. Thanks as ever to Ray T and a somewhat restrained Pommers

  22. As usual for me Thursday is always a struggle.
    Thanks to setter and nocturnal Pommers.

  23. Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the review & hints. I needed 3 of the latter to finish. 9&15a, 5d. Usual great stuff from Ray T, but I thought it was 3* difficulty at least. Favourites were 17&23a, & 1,6,19d.

  24. Just on a completely non-crossword topic – do hope that BD et al don’t mind – I am now officially completely fed-up with this “summer” (and husband is now completely fed-up with my whinging!) Tonight really was the last straw – we sat outside for a few minutes before supper – a feeble bit of sun but threatening black clouds all around us, a glass of wine, I had a cigarette, we then went in to eat. A sudden cloudburst has now left me with three soggy ciggies and a lighter that doesn’t work!
    Going to bed to read my book – in total grump! :sad:

    1. I too am going to try for a kip. Still 29C here but the aircon will come to the rescue – hang the expense! Missed my siesta due to getting engrossed in watching the sailing in Weymouth :grin: Big Ben beat the Great Dane twice – how good was that?

      My ciggies aren’t soggy and the only reason my lighter doesn’t work is that it’s out of gas :sad:

  25. Very enjoyable puzzle RayT. Thanks for the hints Pommers, needed quite a few. Perhaps that’t because I am trying to solve it at midnight after finishing work. Several clues brought a smile to my face 23a and 11a, needed your help for the latter. Goodnight all.

  26. 11 across saying “evoking nude”

    meant i got the wrong end of the stick for “she’s in the buff”

    …. got a speeding ticket today…. but not for doing the crossword.

  27. Dear Dave. I stumbled across your blog this afternoon in hopes of finding the answer to a cryptic crossword for the National post. Your blog was indeed helpful but I must say that it has also convinced me that cryptic crosswords are the devil`s tools to drive man insane. I do not believe that any man could solve one of these abyssal horrors of the void without divine or, perhaps, infernal intervention. Who would write these things? How do they do it, do they simply stab a dictionary and mutilate any words which they happened to stab through, following that with a satanic ritual wherein they sacrifice the minds of the innocent to the paganistic gods of insanity and horror? Even still, how could you engage in these things for enjoyment? I can only imagine the cruelties you bestow on your fellow man if you can enjoy these things, the mental equal to pouring a tube of toothpaste into your orange juice. I hate this, and everything it stands for. Yourself included. Thank you for your help today, I would never have solved it otherwise.

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