DT 26957 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26957

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26957

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I rate this as a 2.5 in difficulty and about a 3 in enjoyment.  Begun in fits and starts, getting an answer here and there without being able to use checking letters.  However, it became much smoother after a while, and didn’t prove too difficult.  Thanks to setter.

As usual, definitions are underlined in the clues, and clicking within the curly brackets highlights the answers (bold font) or bits of the answers (regular font).

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    Obvious profit share (5-3)
{CLEAR-CUT} : To profit after deducting all costs{clear} + a share of, well, profit{cut}.


6a    Dancing permitted by graduate student? (6)
{BALLET} : Allowed,permitted {let} placed after(by) [a graduate, with a degree{ba} + abbrev. for a learner,student].


9a    Short introduction to short shorts (in the USA) (6)
{BRIEFS} : Short and sweet{brief} + initial letter of(introduction to) “short “.
Answer: Different meanings for the same word on both sides of the Big Pond – 2 countries divided by a common language?


10a    Votes against taking on colliery candidates (8)
{NOMINEES} : Votes,as a noun, of those against{noes} containing(taking on) a colliery{mine}.


11a    Official document showing father’s recreation? (8)
{PASSPORT} : father’s – don’t ignore the apostrophe{pa’s} + what one does for recreation?{sport}.
Answer: With increasing data being collected, perhaps the day might come when what one does for recreation is included in this?


12a    Unfortunately rejected Rodney’s case for pay (6)
{SALARY} : Reversal of(rejected) an expression one says when in Unfortunate circumstances{alas} + outer letters of(…’s case) Rodney. Nice surface – didn’t he have a union rep.?


13a    Omit to fix, and fumble for something the kids might play with (8-4)
{SKIPPING ROPE} : To Omit,to pass over{skip} + to attach to,to fix{pin} + to feel around clumsily,fumble, usually if you can’t see what you’re doing{grope}.


16a    Childminders put on warning mostly for parties with singing (12)
{HOOTENANNIES} : Childminders – you could call Mary Poppins one{nannies} that have been put on warning, audibly{hooted} minus its last letter(mostly).
Answer:  Informal performances by folk singers.


19a    Bush‘s strange allure (6)
{LAUREL} : Anagram of(strange) ALLURE.


21a    Son chilled outside hotel, getting educated (8)
{SCHOOLED} : Abbrev. for Son + chilled{cooled} containing(outside) H,represented by “hotel” in the phonetic alphabet.


23a    Steps around first degree of separation (8)
{DISTANCE} : An activity involving Steps on the floor – or even ceiling, as the song goes{dance} containing(around) what looks like an abbrev. for first{ist}.
Answer:  A measure,degree of separation.


24a    Working with team’s situation in field (6)
{ONSIDE} : Working, as one would say of a person or machine{on} + a team, usually in games{side}
Answer: In games like football and rugby.


25a    Offer for sale held department back somewhat (6)
{PEDDLE} : Reversal of(back) and hidden in(somewhat) “held department“.


26a    Morse, involved in link, gets boring (8)
{TIRESOME} : Anagram of(involved) Morse contained in(in) a link,bond{tie}


2d    Requirement for cowboy‘s uplifting short story about song? (6)
{LARIAT} : Reversal of(uplifting, in a down clue) [story {tale} minus its last letter(short) containing(about) a song, eg. of Londonderry{air}].
Answer: Together with his rifle and pony?


3d    Makes assertions about leaving speleologists (5)
{AVERS} : speleologists, those who explore dark places{cavers} minus(leaving) abbrev. for circa,”about“.


4d    Guard exercising caution around head of state and daughter (9)
{CUSTODIAN} : Anagram of(exercising) CAUTION containing(around) initial letter(head) “of state ” + abbrev. for “daughter “. Nice surface, reminding me of a certain father and First Daughter.


5d    Military vehicle’s most popular gear? (4,3)
{TANK TOP} : Cryptic defn: A Military vehicle{tank} + most popular,the best of the pops?{top}


6d    Jolts minister, possibly in public transport (5)
{BUMPS} : A politician who could possibly be a cabinet minister also{mp} contained in(in) a form of public transport{bus}


7d    Peers in support of country letters of property (9)
{LANDLORDS} : Titles of some Peers{lords} placed below(in support of, in a down clue) a country{land}.
Answer: People, not paper; and some are from hell.


8d    Treatments making ophthalmologist work shifts, initially (8)
{EYEDROPS} : What one might call an ophthalmologist, abbrev. included{eye dr..} + abbrev. for a musical work{op} + initial letter of(initially) shifts.


13d    Animal fat may be soaked (9)
{SATURATED} : Can’t take any more,totally soaked.
Answer: Description of what most Animal fat (in contrast to vegetable fat) are. Strictly speaking it’s the fatty acids that are this.


14d    Fellow man mostly being rough at play (9)
{NEIGHBOUR} : Anagram of(at play) “being roughminus one letter(mostly).
Defn: Cryptic, as in “love thy fellow man”.


15d    To have affairs is shrewd — outside sultanate (8)
{WOMANISE} : shrewd,smart{wise} containing(outside) a sultanate in the Middle East{oman}.
Answer: To be said of a man only – or maybe not.


17d    Developing new source of active perfume (7)
{NASCENT} : Abbrev. for new + initial letter(source) of active ” + a perfume{scent}.


18d    Small party seen in wood only occasionally (6)
{SELDOM} : Abbrev. of “Small ” + [a party,function{do} contained in(seen in) a type of tree,wood{elm}]


20d    Run through cold in country road (5)
{LANCE} : Abbrev. of cold contained in(in) a country road,smaller than the usual road{lane}.
Answer:  As a verb.


22d    Ejects or throws out leader from medieval tournaments (5)
{OUSTS} : medieval tournaments, with knights contesting{jousts} minus(throws out) its initial letter(leader).

The Quick crossword pun: {caught} + {bay leaf} = {court bailiff}

48 comments on “DT 26957

  1. Morning scchua and thanks for the h&t. I would give this 2* difficulty and 3* fun. I particularly liked 16a.

    Too early for a Toughie tip, Mr CS is insisting I accompany him on a short trip out again. Honestly, I get more time to do crosswords at work than I do when I am on holiday!

    1. Fully in agreement with you. Thought this was far easier than some of the two stars we have had this week. Really enjoyed this one. Best clue for me was 16a, nice construct. thx to all concerned.

    2. It has occured to me on rereading the comments, that because Mr CS was standing behind me saying ‘come on’, I omitted to thank Jay for a very enjoyable crossword . Apologies to him for my omission, which wasn’t deliberate.

  2. Found this hard work. 3*/3* for me. I wonder if there will be more praise or criticism for 16? I hard heard the word before but it was quite obscure. Much preferred yesterday Thanks to both.


  3. Good grief scchua! What time do you start the crossword? I only just completed yesterday’s in bed this morning. Not even got up yet!

    1. Hi small dave. Can’t take credit for an accident of geography – just happen to live time zones ahead. Otherwise wouldn’t even dream of blogging. :-)

                1. Yessss! Mary. And there really are no pigs here (not live four-legged ones, anyway). And one might say that I’m living in SIN :-)

                  1. Well even more clever then scchua, as for living in SIN well what can I say ;-) by the way why are there no pigs there or is that a stupid question???

                    1. I can’t take credit for the anagram – saw it in a couple of crosswords. To answer your question, basically it’s not viable to have agriculture, especially animal, in this land- and water-scarce red dot of an island, and thus food, almost all raw material as well as a lot of processed foods, are imported. One will have to go to the zoo or travel abroad to see a real-live pig.

  4. NO, I had never heard 16A and didn’t get it, the rest had no difficulty, thanks to setter and Scchua

  5. Really got into the groove with this setter, record time and only one outside reference (speleologist…doh).
    Spelt 16a with an a, wrong from clue.

    Thanks for hints and tips, not needed today except to sort out my e~a.
    Thanks to setter for a fun puzzle.

    Must stop pushing wrong buttons and exposing my unfinished comments. :(

  6. Yuk……. A real struggle. Brain just not in synch with this setter. Relied heavily on scchua’s (very early) hints today.

  7. Agree with Mark L H – I really couldn’t get into this one and needed the extra clues. Once I had the answers I could see how easy most of them were if you were on the right wavelength. I didn’t like 16A. I also have to admit that when I got 2D I had to work out the clue to see why I got it! I AM blonde you know!

  8. My toughie tip is that is hard but gettable if you perservate. I wasn’t helped by having to keep checking husband testing boat hadn’t drowned!

    1. If husband was in Oxford today he wouldn’t even need to be testing a boat to be in danger of drowning!! :sad:

      1. We are due for the torrential rain later. Think I am going to spend the afternoon baking cakes for the freezer, although my library book is very tempting.

        1. We were promised it and ended up with a five minute monsoon, and guess who was walking between the train station in Huntingdon and offices at the time……..

          1. You, perhaps? Well, we have had rain of monsoon proportions all day – 3/4″ in the last twelve hours. Thank goodness I cut the grass and did all post holiday washing yesterday – that just left me with was a monumental pile of ironing which I’ve done today – and the toughie and the NTSPP as a bit of light relief!

  9. I found this quite difficult while I was doing it but it’s one of those that, having finished, I now can’t see why – probably a 3* for difficulty for me.
    As usual on Wednesdays I should have started with the down clues having only got three of the acrosses on first read through – the downs helped a bit but I was still quite slow to get going – a very enjoyable battle though!!
    21a took me ages to understand – I seemed to have a few spare letters but that was because I thought the “chilled” was “cold” rather than “cooled”. I missed the “middle of the clue” bit of 25a for a long time. I thought that 8d was really sneaky – dead clever but still sneaky!
    I liked 9, 13 and 16a and 8 and 15a.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    Wet, cold and miserable in Oxford. :sad:

  10. Woohoo, new personal best! It just emphasises how subjective the difficulty level is…

    Does this make up for the way that the waterproofing of my motorcycling gear failed catastrophically this morning, ten minutes into a thirty-minute ride, leaving me with soaked unmentionables?

    Do you know, I rather think it does :-)

  11. Nice crossword about **/*** and *** for me. 16a came to me when i’d got the nanny bit-sounds like something from the american musicals like Oklahoma and 7 Brides for 7 Brothers-checked the spelling in the dictionary!Liked 8d ,took a while till the penny dropped on the wordplay.2d also caused confusion as i thought the song bit was’ aria’and wondered where the TL came from-thanks for the blog Scchua.

  12. Struggled a bit but with Scchuas’ help got through it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Many thanks Scchua and Jay for a good puzzle

  13. Hi Scchuas, I thought this was more like a two star today, because if I can do it without having to consult my books and machines, well most anyone could :-D, I did enjoy this, it is nice to have one now and again that isn’t such hard work, I thought all the instructions for the clues were clear and easily followed, I did have to look up speleologist though!
    Thank you for the blog although I didn’t need it today it is always good to read it through, I saw that although I had correct answers for one or two I had worked it out the ‘wrong’ way! Late checking in today, yet another hospital appt!! Ah well at least the sun was shining this morning but its not looking good now, I think I hear thunder in the distance, oh oh and was that Lightning!!!! time to shut the doors and batten down the hatches :-(

    1. I couldn’t!

      I think this goes to show very well how different compilers suit different folk (except for the pros among us who seem to be able to solve anyone).

      I thought this much harder than yesterday wheras some others seem to have found it at least as easy if not easier.

      1. I agree with you, Wozza. I found this quite tricky although I also agree with those who said that all the clues were entirely fair – the fence always was my favourite place to sit!!

        1. Talking of fences, have you seen the correspondence in the paper today about how to keep muntjac out of the garden?

          1. Yes, I did see it. Might have to get my hair cut and try that deterrent! I’m not sure that I agree with the list of things that people say muntjac do or don’t eat – we have masses of Cosmos and it seems to be one of the things that the little ******** leave alone – either that or we have enough not to notice the odd missing mouthful or two!

  14. Struggled today and needed 3 hints from Scchua to finish. Not sure whether it is lack of brainpower or lack of recent practice.

    Torrential downpour here – but enjoyed lovely day in the sun yesterday at RSPB Blacktoft Sands. An interesting assortment of passage waders on view.

    Thanks to setter and Scchua for your review and much needed hints.

  15. I seemed to be on the setter’s wavelength today although on first run through I only managed to enter three. i would give it 2*/3* & particularly liked 16a 11a &8d. :smile:

  16. The first time through I only had three words and thought I’d never do it, but then bit by bit … Hadn’t come across 16a for years, and spent ages trying to find an anagram for ‘Omit to fix and’ at 13a. But I did manage to finish it with a certain amount of help, so thanks to the compiler and to Scchua for the explanations. :-)

  17. Very straightforward today but fun nonetheless. Thanks to Scchua for the review and to Jay for the puzzle

  18. no problem with 16a, always preferred New Years Eve at home with friends avoiding inflated prices in bars and clubs, and with assorted dogs, as Cryptic Sue says, watching Jools. Bl***dy fireworks are a problem here so like to make sure Doglets are all placated. Back to Xword, ditto Brian, thanks to Jay, and to scchua

  19. Pls can I have another hint from someone for 25a – I have the answer but even with the hint can’t see how to explain it? Going mad!?

  20. Nice one.
    Never heard of 16a but correctly ‘invented’ the word – a fluke, really – from the straight forward combination of the two words.
    Thanks setter and scchua

  21. Hello, I have enjoyed using your website over the last two years to help me complete the Telegraph crosswords. However this change to someone called “scchua” provides no help. So for me it will be back to the Thesaurus and Bigdave44 no more.
    David Arbuckle

Comments are closed.