DT 26951 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26951

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26951

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

 I found this reasonably easy, difficulty of 2*, thankfully, as I’ve yet another blog to do today; and enjoyment at 2.5*.  My favourites were 16a, the it’s-not-what-you-think 13a, and 13d.  Thank you to setter.

Following last week’s mixed reaction to the format, I’m offering another format today.  The Across explanations are with the curly brackets, and clicking between them brings up bits of the answers, same as last week.  The Down explanations have underscores replacing the curly brackets, but, doing this, bits of the answers cannot be given.  Please state which of the formats is preferable.

Definitions are underlined in the clues.


9a    Brothers’ keeper is more important (5)
: Double defn: 1st: Brothers as in a religious community; and 2nd: more important,takes precedence over.

10a    Observer magazine (9)
: Double defn: 2nd: Name of an English magazine .


11a    Outside hospital, treated livers dry up and shrink (7)
: H,abbrev. for hospital contained in(Outside) anagram of(treated) {livers}.

12a    Before much time has elapsed, peer angrily finishes working (5,2)
: {EARL},peer, the title + Y,last letter of(angrily) + {ON},as when a person or appliance is working.


13a    Best way after argument is rejected (5)
: {ST},abbrev. for a sort of road,way, placed after(after) reversal of(rejected) {ROW},an argument.

Answer:  As a verb, to beat,best someone; at first I thought it was “first”.


14a    Conscious, but feel raw, as sick (4-5)
: Anagram of(sick) {FEEL RAW AS}.

Answer: Conscious of one’s own being.


16a    Article by journalist in places where records go completely reversed the position (6,3,6)
: [{THE},the definite Article + {ED},abbrev. for a top journalist] contained in(in) {TURNTABLES},places where records go,electrical appliances to be nostalgic about.

19a    Criminal always appearing after terrible commotion (9)
: {EER},poetic form of always, placed after(appearing after) {RACKET},terrible commotion,and noise.


21a    Occasions for millions breaking links (5)
: M,abbrev. for millions, contained in(breaking) {TIES},links, that bind.


23a    Release son caught by a foreign section on the way back (7)
: S,abbrev. for son, contained in(caught by) {UN},”a” in a foreign language + reversal of(on the way back) {PART},a section,bit.


25a    Yankee made money and felt nostalgia (7)
{YEARNED} : Y,represented by Yankee, in the phonetic alphabet + {EARNED},made money.


27a    Signal intention, and help with great changes (9)
: Anagram of(changes){HELP + GREAT}.

Answer: To unwittingly divulge,Signal one’s intention. Also something else to be nostalgic about.

28a    Haggard‘s taken gun out (5)
: Double defn:. 1st: In appearance.


1d    Parrots? A nuisance, for the most part (4)
: A + ____,almost all the letters,for the most part of “____”,a nuisance.


2d    Glass border (raised) runs right around ring (6)
: Reversal of(raised, in a down clue) ___,a border + [R,abbrev. for runs, as in cricket + R,abbrev. for right] containing(around) O,letter that looks like a ring.

Answer: Also what it’s made of.


3d    Sherlock‘s personal view? (7,3)
: _______, personal to one + ___,to see,view.

Answer: An example is Sherlock, maybe.

4d    Note charitable gifts in book (6)
: __,a note added to a longer one + ____,what a charitable person gives.

Answer: In the Bible.


5d    In France she welcomes one after vicar making early morning call (8)
: ELLE,in France., the word for “she“, containing(welcomes) I,the Roman numeral for “one“, placed after(after) ___,abbrev for addressing a vicar.


6d    North’s leading light? (4)
: Double defn: 1st: One for navigation.


7d    A-list, say, planned something on yacht, maybe (8)
: Anagram of(planned) A-LIST, SAY.


8d    Members of the royalty wince inwardly, beset by urges (10)
: ___,inner letters,inwardly, of “wincecontained in(beset by) _______,urges, as a verb.


13d    Note during targets barrels for collection (5,5)
: __,musical Note, one that goes “with jam and bread” contained in(during) ___,serious conflict, + _____,targets for archers, jokes or ridicule.


15d    Forward-looking, runs into new position of advantage (5-5)
: R,abbrev. for runs, contained in(into) anagram of(new position of) ADVANTAGE.

17d    Addition to food staggers a junior officer (4,4)
: _____,staggers + A + __,abbrev. for a junior officer.


18d    One who acts in haste, perhaps, crossing head of police (8)
: Anagram of(perhaps) IN HASTE contained in(crossing) P,first letter,head ofpolice“.


20d    Reach yacht (heirloom) — with hearts missing beat (6)
: Internal letters,hearts missing of _____, _____ and ________.


22d    People quash most of story as unbalanced (6)
: ___,people, or about half of them placed above(quash, in a down clue) ___,most of letters of “____”,story.


24d    Storm from tabloid (English) (4)
: ___,a tabloid,paper of bad repute + E,abbrev. for English.


26d    Assume goose finally to be cooked (4)
: ___,assume,put on + E,last letter,finally of “goose“.

The Quick crossword pun: {war} + {terse} + {off} + {tenor} = {water softener}

67 comments on “DT 26951

  1. Tricky little beggar today. Lots of “here’s the answer but why does it fit the clue” (16a, 13a, 23a). Still don’t get 26d, what’s its got to do with assume. For me. 3* diff/2* for enjoyment. No favourite clues today. Much prefer the method you use for the across clues, the other way is confusing esp for a bear of very little brain. Thx for the explanations.

      1. I much prefer the across method. Think the site is brilliant and makes the crossword much more enjoyable knowing that you have a back up if you are really stuck.

  2. I thought is was a bit tricky in places but with plenty of penny drop moments . Overall a 2* for difficulty. No particular favourites. I prefer the format for the across clues. Thanks to setter & to Scchua for the explanations.

  3. Took a while to get going today but then enjoyed it. Not sure that what I have for 13a is is right it seems to mean opposite.
    Across format much easier to follow. Thanks to scchua, setter & of course BD.

    1. The first word of the clue, and your answer, are both verbs meaning “to get the better of”.

  4. Many thanks for the hints Scchua. I found 13d and 27a the best clues and, here in the Languedoc, we do not have to be nostalgic about telegraph poles – they are all around us as they are in most of France. Thanks also to the setter for an excellent puzzle. I prefer the across type hints. I don’t see the point of the down type and they are a bit confusing.

  5. Took twice as long as usual and found it very hard; 13a very abstruse. Went to this blog expecting 3* for difficulty and found “2* reasonably easy”. How dispiritng; what do others think?

    1. Sorry, I didn’t mean to dispirit you (or anyone else). That’s why I always hesitate giving a difficulty level, as so much is subjective, and there are so many contributing factors to finding it easy or difficult. Just before doing this one, I was doing yesterday’s FT, which took quite a bit longer, and my assessment was probably affected by that.

  6. Must say I don’t like the way that Scchua does the hints at all my favourite is Gazza’s with his tongue in cheek style.

    Overall I enjoyed today’s CW it had just the right amount of teasing to make it pleasurable, off to do the toughie now. :D

    1. I concur on the presentation method – too complex. Needed some help today; this format may work fine on a PC or laptop, but viewing the blog on my BlackBerry is not easy. Can we have something more like the other bloggers – apply the KISS principle.

      1. I also use a Blackberry most of the time and agree with you that the new format is a lot harder to use.

  7. I liked this one today – because I managed to finish it without too much difficulty. Hurrah . I think 2 star is about my limit of expertise.
    Was unsure about the reason for 23A “Unstrap”. Thought UN was United Nations (foreign). So thanks for explanation. In fact without this blog, I’d be completely banjaxed on some occasions. Actually, I’ve just looked up “banjaxed” and it tends towards ruined/unrepaired so this might not be correct, perhaps flummoxed is better.

  8. Finished, but took ages. Found it very difficult – particularly the wordplay in 13a. Put the answer in without really knowing why best is worst !

    Enjoyed the struggle though ! – thank you setter and to Scchua for your review.

  9. A particularly easy Jay today but very enjoyable so thank you to him and to scchua too.

    The Elkamere TougHie is good too. wHy not Have a go!

    PS: There is superb fun to be had also with Arachne in the Graun.

  10. Nothing particularly easy about this I thought. But I have had a 3 week break from crosswords so it will probably take me that long to get going again. Thanks for the hints, 5 required.

  11. Thought this was a good one – once I had got the theme of newspapers. I also had first pencilledin for 13a.
    Good fun and not too taxing for a Wednesday.
    Thanks to all.

  12. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for a quite enjoyable if untaxing crossword and a very entertaining review, I loved 13a. I think, in answer to Gari, that there is room for the different types of reviewing, I too enjoy the tongue in cheek style of Gazza but also enjoy the less jocular Libellule and the joviality of Pommers etc and I do believe that the scchua method will become a great favourite among the myriad followers of this wonderful site.

  13. Enjoyed this one – particularly 7d which of course was very easy for a sailor :grin: Overall I’d give it 2*/3*.

    What did I say last week about English being “a language designed to confuse foreigners”? If you didn’t believe me then just take a look at 13a :lol:

    Thanks to Jay and scchua.

    1. 13a made me smile as well – I first realised the best/worst thang about 20 Years ago when I was attempting the Enigmatic Variations in the Telegraph. Lovely Stuff!.

  14. This CW seemed much easier than those of Monday and Tuesday; it it just me?

    Format; please use a smaller font, there’s no need to shout! I particularly like the underlining of the meaning, which other analysts seem to be adopting. If I had to choose, then I would prefer the format used for the across clues.

    Favourites; 16A, 15D, 20D.

    Thanks to Jay and scchua.

      1. Thanks, that’s exactly what I wanted.

        I always use a desktop system to look at this website. How does it look now to more mobile people?

  15. Thank you for the tips & hints, but I can only work out the answers from Scchua’s efforts after I have already solved the answer for myself. The tips are far more complicated than the clues. I like Pommers best, he seems like a real person.

      1. Scchua usually blogs on another site where the answers are in clear, and is trying to adapt his style to our ‘requirement’ that the answers be hidden and only elements of the wordplay that are actually present in the clue are shown in the hint.

        1. I’m sure I’ll get used to it in time, old dogs etc. etc.Still learning Android, so give me a bit more time! ;)

          Great to have the variety of your different bloggers, brightens up the days when the penny drop moments fail to come..
          Keep up the good work chaps its greatly appreciated…

  16. This was pretty much a straight-shoot for me, apart from 13d where I went for ‘ducts’…ah well…
    13a also puzzled me, but I couldn’t see how it could be anything else, so I put it in without much afterthought – thanks to scchua for the explanation there.

  17. I prefer the ‘across’ format and the Definitions being underlined . Scchua’s format differs from the rest but I personally have no problem with that’ ‘variety is the spice of life’.
    Thanx to Compiler and to Scchua.

  18. At first glance, Scchua’s style can seem a bit confusing, but I personally find it explains the clues fully in a way other bloggers don’t always, and I love the underlining, so thank you. (My preference is for the across style.)
    I found today’s puzzle reasonably straightforward, but I got myself in trouble in the SE corner by not spotting the anagram in 15d. None of the English words that fit the first half were making any sense – now I know why!
    Thanks to setter and Scchua.
    PS I like your dragon.

  19. Thanks to jay and to scchua for the review and hints. I prefer the across clues format. Good explanations. Agree with Crypticsue that it was a fairly gentle Jay, but was entertaining. Started with 10a, finished with 7d, new word for me.Favourites were 13 & 20d. Nice weather predicted again tomorrow in Central London.

  20. As a beginner I just wanted to congratulate you on a great site. I love the across format as it really helps me understand the type of clue as well as the hints. Thanks Scchua

  21. Great puzzle, some very cheeky constructions.
    Perhaps, a 3***
    Thanks Jay and scchua, I like your concise style.

  22. Thanks AlisonS for your comment. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. As I mentioned in one of my comments last week, I tend to err on the conservative side, more towards over- than under-explaining. With that objective, at the same time I try to standardise the explanations, to be concise and to save time in writing the blog. I wish I could, but it’s impossible to write a blog to suit every taste and need.
    Thanks too to all the other commenters.

    1. “it’s impossible to write a blog to suit every taste and need”.

      Of course it is, and any attempt to do so is doomed to failure!

      IMHO your initial approach has been greeted warmly by the Good Folks here, and your open-mindedness to the comments does you credit.

      I seriously doubt that anyone here is going to flame you! :-)

  23. I am improving on my crypticness….however today used my laptop whereas usually use phone to look at hints—-had never noticed before that you gave the answers here! think I will always use my phone !!

    1. btw I am new to doing cryptic puzzles and i love them – my dad tried to teach me about 40 years ago ……but I was young then

      1. Sorry, Because we had 3 comments, all from Sue, requiring moderation, I assumed that it was the same person. So welcome to you, Suebuzz, as well.

  24. Definitely 3* for me – took me a while to get it done last in being 15d. Enjoyable.

  25. Fortunately this one was reasonably gentle, as I solved it online, which really is not something I enjoy; I much prefer a pen and paper, if only for the anagrams, rather than working them out in my head. I suppose I could always find an internet cafe in Marrakech and a printer, but at over 40c, I think i’ll stay put with a cold beer!
    Thanks to Jay, and to scchua.

    1. Hi Jezza, hope you’re having a great hols. :smile: Do what I do, solve online but have a pen and a bit of scribble paper handy for anagrams etc.

      BTW, very hot and sticky here (ask Prolixic!) – how’s it with you? Probably hotter but drier!

      1. Hi pommers

        Not quite in holiday mode yet having spent today greeting the in-laws and other such things you do on the first day…
        This morning the temperature was 45c when I looked, but there is not the level of humidity that you can get back in the UK at 25c. I spent the last few days in London with a permanent film across my forehead, but since yesterday I have been remarkably dry (not in a TT sense I hasten to add!).

        1. I was right then – for once! A lot hotter but more comfortable due to low humidity. Today here was only 34C but 84% humidity so very yukky :sad:
          Be better in a couple of weeks as Autumn draws in!

          1. Thanks very much guys, as a UK motorcyclist dodging the heavy showers I find it hard to express how happy I am that you are so warm! :-)

            1. Southern Spain is not motorbike friendly! You would not want to be sat at traffic lights for a couple of minutes wearing a crash helmet and leathers! in these temperatures even riding a bike in appropriate clothing is a bit OTT as far as I can see.
              The best thing here (which I can’t afford) would be a soft top car (Mazda MX-5?) with aircon – spring/autumn with the roof down and winter roof up with heater and summer roof up with aircon – perfecto :grin:

          2. Enjoy the Hols Jezza.
            I don’t ever look at Temperature/Humidity without a psychrometric chart – One needs the atmospheric pressure and also a dry bulb temperature to give you the Moisture Content in the air. The Humidity level quoted is always Relative Humidity which by definition depends on the temperature.

            1. Thanks gnomethang
              That is a most useful snippet of information, which I will bear in mind in future.

    2. I have put together some information on how to access daily crosswords when you don’t have access to the paper. Hopefully it will appear somewhere here before too long. It covers access via the internet and smartphones / tablets (largely restricted to iPhone / iPad).

      1. For me, the next step forward is a laptop that can also print A4 paper…Perhaps it is already out there somewhere!

  26. I loved this – I liked the way the clues gradually teased and elucidated themselves as letters became clear. A very pleasurable teatime recreation.
    I did wonder about 13a (as I expect many others did). But I got it anyway without knowing why it was what it was, and on learning I liked the irony.
    Favourites: 4d, 7d, 18d, 15d (which I didn’t get) 9a, 14a, 16a (very clever) and 19a.

    Many thanks to both setter and blogger scchua – and I really appreciate the underlining, which sometimes helps to solve the clue without reading or peaking further.

  27. Found this very tricky today, got one-third fairly quickly and then ground to a halt. Solved a couple of answers by elimination but could not link back to the clues! Am on the wrong wavelength, must be the result of trying to solve at 22:00 after a long day. Many thanks for the hints.

  28. A nice straightforward solve from Jay today so thanks to him.
    With regard to hint stylee I am of the opinion that an underline of the definition helps enormously (so as not to have to explain it unless it is particularly deviliish!) and I will employ this device in the future.
    Personally I prefer the more verbose method employed by others in the explanations/hints, particularly as the hidden brackets do not help the mobile viewers at all (it is a copy and paste in a different application in order to read the word)
    As AlisonS suggested, once one has learned the rules of the cryptic crossword solving then Scchua’s approach quickly helps out which is actually a plus for me on the occasions where a hint is required.
    In any case thanks to scchua for a very well considered ‘Blog.

  29. Really enjoyable and clever. Did two thirds on London Nottingham train last night in between listening to interesting conversations. Finished rest quickly now. Did not need hints but enjoyed reading them and other comments. Looking at hints on my laptop I can see the answers in the curly brackets without highlighting. Seems odd.

  30. Grateful for the help but much preferred the old layout of clues. This new format is trying too hard and presentation looks really messy. Please go back to the simple layout.

  31. Please bring back Pommers! Scchua seems to have missed a point as I see it re this site. It is meant for average joes and janes who are not intellectual snobs, FT really!

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