DT 26938 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26938

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26938

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Hola from the Vega Baja.   Now listen very carefully, I shall say this only once!  Libellule usually does Mondays but filled in for Gazza last Friday and so Gazza returned the favour yesterday. Gazza normally does Tuesdays and I now do Thursdays, and I’ve no idea who’s going to do Wednesdays in future, but I can’t do my Thursday slot this week so I’m filling in for Gazza today. (Simples?)  I think I might be losing the plot here – what day is it anyway?

Now to the crossword! Didn’t really enjoy this one very much and it didn’t get any better as I wrote the review.  Easy enough to solve but not much entertainment value or grins as far as I can see. Be interested to hear your views.

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           Very large vehicles gaining awards (6)
{OSCARS} – An abbreviation for ‘very large’ in clothing perhaps followed by some vehicles is some awards beloved of the film industry. Bit of a chestnut but first in so I’m on a roll again!

5a           One’s lair, in peace, in local (8)
{RESIDENT} – Definition is local, as in one who lives locally.  I think you have to read one’s as ‘one has’. Therefore take an I (one) and with it (has) place a word for a lair and then insert them (in) into a word for peace or ease. Not a good clue IMHO, but it is only a matter of opinion.

9a           No need for a prompt on stage if this character gets tense (6-7)
{LETTER PERFECT} – If an actor was this he wouldn’t need a prompt.  It’s also a character (think alphabet) followed by a tense in the grammatical sense.

10a         ‘Beefy’ fare perhaps for riotous do in Oval (8)
{VINDALOO} – This Indian food (fare) is indeed ‘beefy’, as in strong.  It’s also an anagram (riotous) of DO IN OVAL.  Prefer it with prawns myself and beefy doesn’t begin to describe it!

11a         Stratagem revealed by doctor during walk (6)
{GAMBIT} – A stratagem is formed from inserting one of the usual abbreviations for doctor into a word for walk or way of walking.

12a         Tricky question: given time to relax, start to reply (6)
{TEASER} – This tricky question is a charade of T(ime), a word for relax and then an R ( start to Reply).

14a         Leave last from chateau encircled by French lake (8)
{FURLOUGH} – I think this is a bit of a multi-national clue!  Definition is leave, as in time off work and I think it’s a bit American. Start with a U (last of chateaU) and place around it (encircled) an abbreviation for French and then follow with an Irish word for lake.

16a         Unsophisticated, eat sloppily and drink (5,3)
{GREEN TEA} – This drink is a word for unsophisticated or inexperienced (5) followed by an anagram (sloppiliy) of EAT.

19a         Row involving Greek character put in jail (6)
{DETAIN} – Insert (involving) a Greek letter into a word for row or noise and you’ll get a word that could mean put in jail.

21a         Precisely what’s required in old golf club, with foremost from Turnberry being entertained (4- 2)
{SPOT ON} – This is a phrase which means ‘precisely what’s required’. Take a favourite old golf club and insert (being entertained)  a T (foremost of Turnberry) and then split the result (4,2).  Don’t know if golfers still use these clubs – perhaps gnomey can enlighten us!

23a        Knowing 8, such a crossword can’t be solved? (8)
{CLUELESS} – This is a sort of double definition but if you haven’t solved 8d it’s probably impossible to solve – as would be a crossword grid that was this.

25a         Ali had what Oliver wanted? (6,7)
{SECOND HELPING} – What was Oliver Twist after when he asked for ‘more’? It’s also what Ali the boxer had aiding him in his bouts.

26a         Base of statue may be newly plastered right away (8)
{PEDESTAL} – The base of a statue is an anagram of PLASTERED but without the R (R(ight) away).

27a         Until now gallery has accepted what’s bizarre, without limit (2,4)
{TO DATE} – A phrase meaning until now is our usual gallery with a word for bizarre or strange inserted (accepted) but without its last letter (without limit). Then split it all (2,4).


2d           Parody about life initially makes us cross (7)
{SALTIRE} – Odd word for the day! It’s an heraldic term for a diagonal cross  and it’s a word for parody with an L (Life initially) inserted (about).  It’s also the term for St Andrew’s Cross – the flag of the guy who won Olympic gold in the tennis last Sunday. Fortunately for me I’ve come across this word for a cross in a crossword before! Doesn’t come up in everyday conversation very often

3d           In fact, Edison appeared on stage (5)
{ACTED} – Appeared on stage is hidden (in) in fact Edison.

4d           Suspect something’s amiss, with master criminal holding everything up (5,1,3)
{SMELL A RAT} – This phrase meaning to suspect something’s not quite right is an anagram (criminal) of MASTER with a word for everything reversed and then inserted (holding up, in a down clue).

5d           Rebuke salesman over cover (7)
{REPROOF} – A rebuke is the usual travelling salesman placed on top of (over in a down clue) the cover on the top of your house.  The one of these on our garage leaks – but only when it rains!

6d           Shoot any number out of season (5)
{SPRIG} – Take the abbreviation for any number out of a season and you’re left with a shoot of a plant.

7d           Very attractive man met aboard at sea (9)
{DREAMBOAT} – This very attractive man is an anagram (at sea) of MET ABOARD.

8d           Love recording with husband inside (7)
{NOTHING} – Think of what love is in tennis.  Take a word for recording or remembering and insert H(usband).

13d         Select cap randomly from display (9)
{SPECTACLE} – A display, like the Olympic opening ceremony, is an anagram (randomly) of SELECT CAP.

15d         Fish reportedly studied on Hebridean island by English leader of team (3,6)
{RED MULLET} – To get this fish which is popular for eating around the Med you need to start with a word which sounds like (reportedly) a word for studied (at university perhaps) and follow with a Hebridean island, E(nglish) and then a T (leader of Team).

17d         Sharp reply about employing one on job (7)
{RIPOSTE} – Definition is ‘sharp reply’. Take one of the usual abbreviations for about and insert (employing) I (one) and a word for a job or position at work.

18d         Everybody catching salmon in the drink? (7)
{ALCOHOL} – This is ‘drink’ as in what you’re not supposed to drink if you’re driving.  It’s a word for everybody with a ‘silver salmon’ inserted (catching).  Hands up anyone who’s ever heard of this fish! You get team GB’s 19th gold medal!

20d         Understanding of current things in variety (7)
{INSIGHT} – Understanding is the symbol for electric current followed by an anagram (in variety) of THINGS.

22d         Not one tenor in group of singers (5)
{NONET} – This is a group of nine singers or musicians. It’s a word for ‘not one’, i.e. less than one, followed by T(enor).

24d         Boy stopped by Irish landowner (5)
{LAIRD} – Take a word for a boy and insert (stopped by) an abbreviation for Ireland and you get a Scottish landowner.

Not much blue today but I did like 25a. What do you think?

The Quick crossword pun: {sinned} + {roam} = {syndrome}


76 comments on “DT 26938

  1. OK, off to bed now after my nocturnal efforts at what might be considered a blog!

    Before I go though there’s just one thing . . .

    I said a few days ago that I might post my thoughts on the Olympics at some time and that I would be in a minority of one. Now seems as good a time as any as you’ll all have time to have a go at me before I get up tomorrow!

    Quite simple really – The Olympic motto is “Citius, Altius, Fortius“, which is Latin for “Faster, Higher, Stronger”. Therefore things which can be measured. I simply think that all sports which rely on judges opinions to pick a winner should be excluded. Unfortunately this would exclude diving, all forms of gymnastics, boxing, synchronised swimming, most ice skating (apart from races), ski jumping and probably a fair few more that I can’t think of at the moment. At least if you win a race, jump higher/longer or chuck something further etc it’s obvious who’s won, but who are these guys who never seem to be able to agree about what’s what but have an immense power over the future lives of some very talented young athletes?

    1. You’re not in a minority of one, Pommers. I agree that those sports requiring subjective judging should go. Personally I’d also strip out sports which are essentially team games (football, hockey, basketball, etc.) for two reasons – firstly no matter how talented a person is he or she has no chance of winning a medal unless they belong to a country with a strong team, and secondly, if we dropped the team games the need for a large number of stadia would also disappear and this might give smaller countries some chance of hosting the Games.

        1. I totally agree with you Pommers and I thought that your opening comments were very funny. I also agree about the team games although I would consider introducing Rugby and Cricket as exceptions

            1. Hi Collywobs,
              I think that Mary’s not very well at the moment and is having a bit of time off – I hope that she feels better soon, as I’m sure we all do.

      1. I think there are only two sports worthy of being considered: Heptathlon and Decathlon. For these you have to master many different disciplines and excel, whereas Usain Bolt (for example) only has to run quickly.
        So, for me, Jess Ennis is the true star of the games

    2. I understand what you mean about the Olympics, pommers, but, as a “girl”, I do enjoy watching the diving and gymnastics far more than watching people running, jumping etc etc as fast or as high as possible.
      I heard something on the radio yesterday – not sure if it made me laugh, or despair of what my Dad would have called “the average British moron”! Someone was asked why the asymmetric bars in gymnastics are now called the uneven bars. The answer was that too many people didn’t know what asymmetric meant!

      1. :lol:

        Didn’t say I don’t like diving and gymnastics because I do like them – can do without synchronised swimming though!. I just think that as the winner is a matter of the opinion of the judges then they shouldn’t really be in the Olympics.

    3. Thing is, I like sport, and I think that is what it should be about.

      What it clearly should not be about is
      Opening Ceremonies

    4. Sorry, finger trouble….
      Thing is, I like sport, and I think that that is what it should be about.

      What it clearly should not be about is
      Opening Ceremonies
      Closing Ceremonies
      A ludicrous torch “relay” using 18 vehicles driving over 8,000 miles (each)
      Politicians on zip wires
      Politicians trying to score points
      Seb Coe.

  2. In agreement with you Pommers, both about the crossword (easy enough but no fun) & about the Olympics. You are definitely not alone in your corner.

  3. I quite enjoyed the crossword and it didn’t take me long despite brother in law and husband deciding to ‘help’ me. Grrr. Thanks to the Tuesday Mysteron and ‘Confused of Spain’.

    The Toughie took me exactly twice as long as this one and I learned two new words too! Defintely worth a go.

    And the Olympics – well I am slightly biased having from an early age been encouraged to shout at uncle running at Olympics and other events but I will agree about the football and similar. I also agree with the letter in today’s paper which says that the best thing about the Olympics is the Matt cartoons. Todays is another wonderful example.

        1. There is another good one in the Olympics bit, I will scan it and send to BD as I am not sure how to put a pic in a comment.

          1. I’m sorry for being dim YET again but I don’t understand this one – someone explain, please.

            1. The horse that won the showjumping is doing a Usain Bolt

              The man over the fence has whiplash from following Usain’s run,.

      1. I laughed out loud when I saw this this morning. Surely a contender for the best Matt ever? He truly is a genius.

    1. Poor you – I HATE it when someone decides to “help” me with the crossword – my French sister-in-law is the worst culprit!!

  4. Pleasant enough, but a quick solve and no particular favourites.
    I presume the surface reading of 10a was making a reference to Sir Ian Botham.

    Thanks to setter, and to Pommers.

  5. I enjoyed this one completed with no help apart from my own brain, which seems to have woken up after dozing through yesterdays effort. Liked 14 and 25A 2, 8 and 18D . Also agree with opinions expressed so far about the Olympics but at least the Great British Public don’t have a say!!

  6. Lurkers from the antipodes coming out of the closet. These crosswords are published in the Wellington NZ newspaper The Dominion Post about 2 months after they appear in the DT. We used to get them a few days after publication from papers handed on by a neighbour. We have been doing this for the last year or so. Our pattern has been to do the puzzle, which we usually complete, albeit not very quickly, and then go to this site to read all the comments. Last week our neighbour cancelled her subscription. We have become so attached to this wonderful blog and its wonderful contributors that we have now taken out a subscription to the puzzle website so that we can do the puzzles in real time with you all. In fact they get posted at morning coffee time for us which means that we do the puzzle and then have to wait until bedtime for the review to appear on this blog! Having access to this site has added a whole new dimension to the enjoyment of cryptic crosswords. Thanks so much Big Dave and all the contributors.

    1. The Dominion post in NZ usually carries about 5 crosswords a day – some Telegraph some Times some local

      If you get down there it is more available in Wellington and South island, you can get it in Auckland but mainly at the airport or some Whitcoulls – there is one smart stationers in Eden Park which sells it but in Auckland you have to pay a dollar more.

      Its great to see this site getting that far out. Welcome more Kiwis. I get down there for a few months every year and either subscribe to the puzzle site and/or buy the Dominion for the duration

    2. This “place” is such a mine of information – and not JUST about crosswords!! Welcome from me too! :smile:

  7. I agree with everything said by pommers except for his summing up at 2d, this is indeed an everyday word north of the border. Thanks to the setter and to pommers.

    1. Hi Bob, I feel very ashamed that 2d was my last one in, especially as I have just had one sent to number 1 son for his birthday for his new house in New Jersey ,USA.!!

  8. Morning pommers,
    What happens to the bloggers when the music stops?
    Enjoyed this one, but was over far too quickly, will check out the Toughie this afternoon. Re. The olympics, I don’t have any issues over the size, number or type of games involved, but I do dislike the commercialism, aggressive sponsorship, jingoism etc that seems now to be part and parcel of a modern olympic games…

    1. I agree with you, Libellule, but one thing I do like about the TV coverage is the lack of advertising in the arenas, particularly those horrible, moving adverts that are so distracting in the coverage of most sports these days.

  9. Everyone in olympic mood today by the look of it-looking forward to a’ Pendletons Twicer’.
    Started off at a gallop then stopped at 14a, had put in reprove for 5d-very reasonable as it was made up of rep+an anagram of ‘over ‘ to give a rebuke -anyone else fall for this?.
    Anyway, all fell into place once 14a was solved.I think Pommers is right about’Beefy’ as he is renouned for his love of curries and performing at the oval-or is this too clever.
    Score it **/**, liked 25a and of course 10a.

    1. I thought that I was surprised to learn that vindaloo was always a beef dish.
      But no, apparently it’s all to do with IB.

  10. I made the same mistake for 5d, hence needing Pommers’ help for 14a, which had me stuck. I enjoyed today’s puzzle, so thanks to Mysteron and Pommers.

    On a separate note, I’ve been looking at a lots of websites lately, where “you’re” has now been replaced with “your”! GRRR!!!

  11. I enjoyed this one lots. I found it quite easy to get the answers but working out why was more difficult with quite a few of them. I needed the hints to explain 23a (still not sure what it’s got to do with 8) 25a and 18d – realised that part of it was going to be an unusual name for a salmon but thought that the “C” was “catching” so only got as far as looking up “oho”! :oops:
    I liked 14 and 16a – I also liked pommers’s introduction – I’m VERY confused by what day it is – the confusion is added to by everything on the radio being with the wrong people at the wrong times.
    With thanks to the setter and pommers.
    A better day here – warmer and, so far at least, dry. Feel a bit less like Shrek living in his swamp!!

    1. Hi Kath

      re 23a – if you know nothing (8d) you’re CLUELESS. If a crossword was CLUELESS it couldn’t be solved.

      1. Thanks – managed to read the answer for 7d instead of 8d – needless to say I couldn’t quite see why knowing a “dreamboat” would make you “clueless”! :roll:

  12. Too many over-convoluted clues for me. Just could not get going – so I give it *** (or maybe ****)/* But, having lived in British Columbia, I had heard of the salmon in 18d – it’s a Pacific variety – not that it helped in solving the clue. Thanks Pommers.

    1. Blimey – another gold medal, to you, as promised by pommers in his hints – I’ve never heard of the salmon!!

  13. I enjoyed today’s puzzle very much but over too quickly. Well Pommers: having established you are by no means in a minority of one, I claim the title. So far as concerns the Olympics I can only say that those few functional brain cells remaining available to me, are occupied elsewhere; come to think of it, my mind meandered in a similar direction with Wimbledon and that whole Jubilee thingumy.
    Thanks to you, just the same and setter.

  14. Interesting comment in the DT on line – with the Brownlee brothers taking Gold and Bronze in the Triathlon, Yorkshire (on its own) is ahead of Japan and Australia in the medals table!

    1. Hi Senf, Yorkshire was 8th in the medal table a couple of days ago. Not sure where they are now!

      1. Pommers – based on the DT report and the current medals table, Yorkshire would be 18th – Japan and Australia are 18th and 19th (as I type this).

  15. The left side was fine if dull, the right side was in my opinion absolute rubbish. Personally I loathe clues that require you to solve another one first as in 23a and could we please have a rule that we speak English in this country not damned American and stop using American terms and slang. Its not clever, just lazy. Also a Nonet according to Chambers is a composition for nine players and not a group of singers.

    1. Hi Brian, agree about NONET. Nearly said so in the hints but the clue does ‘sort of’ work.

      1. The ODE defines nonet as:

        • a group of nine people or things, especially musicians.
        • a musical composition for nine voices or instruments.

        Which was always my understanding – I’m surprised the former definition is not in Chambers.

        My attitude is that if it is in Chambers it is definitely OK and, if not, if it is in the ODE or Collins then it is still OK.

    2. Ha Ha Ha
      Hi Brian :)
      All the restrictions you place on crosswords are designed to make them solvable for you.
      Perhaps, others might welcome a little mind-stretching.

  16. Can I be the first to say “Hip, hip, hooray” to pommers for really stirring things up today – I know that everyone is watching the Olympics but it has been AWFULLY quiet here for the last ten days or so …..
    So who is doing the hints on what day for the rest of the week? I know it doesn’t really matter but it does help me to know what day of the week it is!! How sad is that?!!

    1. I’m doing tomorrow and Gazza is doing Thursday and Friday (I hope).

      I’m hoping that a new guest blogger might be able to do some of the Wednesdays – watch this space!

  17. Sorry, been out to the local to celebrate Sir (Lord?) Chris Hoy and Princess Laura, also to commiserate with Queen Vic – can’t win ’em all! Thanks for everything you’ve done in the name of Team GB! The horses done good again (thanks again Matt) and as for the Triathlon – WOW.

    I might publicly volunteer for next Wednesday as pommette is back in the UK next week! I shall await word from the Boss. Might be nice to have a last Jay puzzle but won’t help me in knowing what day it is – ‘Confused of Spain’ :grin:

    1. Forgot to mention Nick Dempsey in the windsurfing! Well done to him and what a day! Four Golds and a Silver out of a possible five medals – better than ‘Super Saturday’!

  18. Pommette’s gone to bed with the aircon on so I may go and join her soon. Lovely day here today, only about 32C, low humidity and a nice breeze!

    Think that cycling had a retrograde step today – apparantly it’s perfectly OK to elbow your opponent but you slightly cross a red line for a couple of metres and you’re out! I know that ‘rules is rules’ but honestly? Where in the rules is elbowing an opponent allowed, they’ll be sticking metal rods through peoples spoke’s next – not specifically outlawed in the rules of the game!

    Surprised at the amount of agreement about my comments on ‘judged’ sports – thought the gymnastics fans would be out in force!

    1. Feel a bit like Billy-no-mates here! I still like watching gymnastics but I do see what you mean about athletes being judged ie it’s someone’s opinion rather than fastest, highest or longest which is pretty definitive. Oh well – who knows – raining AGAIN – going to bed!!

      1. I loved the gymnastics this afternoon, watched in breaks between our wonderful rides in the Velodrome.

  19. Enjoyed it today, probably about my level 2*. Took a while to get started then they went in quite quickly. I also knew what a Coho was do I get Silver medal?
    Lots of cloud on the hills, 15k today work tomorrow so off to bed. Well done to all the Olympians, it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do it to the best of your ability. Hope that’s not too trite. . .goodnight!

      1. Thanks BD, missed your comment last night, up at 0530 for work today. Still it means I will have all afternoon for todays crossword. Weather nice and calm here in Aberdeen and no FOG, so that’s a bonus. Looking forward to todays puzzle. Will blog / probably study the hints later.

      1. Hi Pommers sorry I am not that good a musician. But I do remember one of the tracks something about magic be in every flower that I give to you? Distant past and happy days.

  20. Thank you setter. I was doing OK until the NE corner when I had “reprove” for 5d – and therefore downhill from there.

    Thank you Pommers for putting me back on track.

    Sad about Queen Vic and The Nemesis ! I think Herr Kommisar shows all the inconsistency that would make him an ideal Premier League ref !

  21. I agree with all the comments about this crossword in that it is boring and tedious. I am not enjoying it and I am 3/4’s way through it and I’m stopping now and going on to todays’

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