DT 26969 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26969

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26969

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Scchua has moved to Friday this week (and it’s Falcon tomorrow) leaving me to tackle yet another fine puzzle from Jay.

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    Basic assumption of stance against drink? (11)
{SUPPOSITION} – a stance is preceded by a drink

10a    Feeling sorry about judge’s determination to free student (5)
{RUING} – start with a judge’s determination and drop (to free) the L (student)

11a    ‘Relate‘ organised paper with volunteers at home (9)
{APPERTAIN} – an anagram (organised) of PAPER followed by the volunteer troops and a two-letter word meaning at home

12a    Manual controls on top of fairground attractions? (9)
{OVERRIDES} – a word meaning on top of followed by some fairground attractions

13a    Join by just accepting the end of bombing (5)
{MERGE} – a word meaning just or only around (accepting) the final letter (end) of bombinG

14a    Convincing information for son in price (6)
{COGENT} – a three-letter word for information replaces the S(on) in a price or charge

16a    Reluctant to get a makeover without length cut short (8)
{TRUNCATE} – an anagram (to get a makeover) of RE(L)UCTANT without L(ength)

18a    Fruitful but diminutive academic, around fifty-one, in charge (8)
{PROLIFIC} – a shortened form (diminutive) of a senior academic around the Roman numerals for fifty-one then add the abbreviation for in charge

20a    First pair of horses in front of home straight (6)
{HONEST} – the initial two letters (pair) of HOrses followed by a cosy home

23a    Devices for picking up new clothes outside (5)
{TONGS} – N(ew) inside a colloquial word for clothes

24a    Where to see judge giving space to romance? (9)
{COURTROOM} – some space after a verb meaning to romance

26a    Old maid, for example, wrapping book and exercising vigilance (9)
{OBSERVANT} – O(ld) and the occupation of which maid is an example around (wrapping) B(ook)

27a    Power of jet fighter leads to high tension (5)
{MIGHT} – a Russian jet fighter followed by the initial letters of (leads to) High Tension

28a    Forecast covering area workers creates a sticky situation (11)
{PREDICAMENT} – a verb meaning to forecast around (covering) A(rea) and some workers (not the insect variety)


2d    Make one from backing asset in university (5)
{UNITE} – hidden (from) and reversed (backing) inside the clue

3d    Heavy metal bars putting pressure on unusual origin (3,4)
{PIG IRON} – P(ressure) followed by an anagram (unusual) of ORIGIN

ARVE Error: need id and provider

4d    Dubious environment for new drink (6)
{SHANDY} – a word meaning dubious around (environment for) N(ew)

5d    Hanging records go! (8)
{TAPESTRY} – a verb meaning records followed by a go or attempt – hanging here is a noun

6d    Fork out a ransom for one in eight (7)
{OARSMAN} – an anagram (fork out) of A RANSOM gives one of eight in a rowing boat

7d    Concentration before calling (13)
{PREOCCUPATION} – a prefix meaning before followed by a calling or job

8d    Bearing the cost of conveyance (8)
{CARRIAGE} – a double definition

9d    Assign a low value to muted trainees in disarray (13)
{UNDERESTIMATE} – an anagram (in disarray) of MUTED TRAINEES

15d    Personal quality of Eros, say, full of love and endless sense (for a change) (8)
{GOODNESS} – put the kind of supernatural being of which Eros is an example (say) around (full of) O (love) and add an anagram (for a change) of SENS(E) without its final letter (endless)

17d    Cut back on tough fish (8)
{PILCHARD} – reverse (back) a word meaning to cut and follow it with a word meaning tough

19d    Financial institution that’s fashionable, of course, on river (7)
{INSURER} – a two-letter word meaning fashionable followed by a word meaning of course or certainly and R(iver)

21d    Choose single parent as best (7)
{OPTIMUM} – a charade of a verb meaning to choose, I (single) and a parent

22d    Unsophisticated game with set, since losing regulars (6)
{RUSTIC} – a two-letter abbreviation of a team game followed by the even letters (losing regulars) of two words in the clue

25d    Producer of music newspaper, for example (5)
{ORGAN} – a double definition

ARVE Error: need id and provider

A typical telegraph puzzle from our Wednesday Wizard.

The Quick crossword pun: {ardour} + {snails} = {hard as nails}

35 comments on “DT 26969

  1. A very satisfactory workout. 14a a typical clever jay substitution which we now look for on a Wednesday. Favourites 17d and 22d. Thanks Jay and BD.

  2. Definitely a three star for difficulty today even though I did finish it with a little help from my electronic friend. I didn’t need BDs hints today and it was very satisfying “agreeing” with his explanation of the clues.
    Thanks, BD, and Jay for a very enjoyable puzzle.
    But should I tackle the toughie when it starts raining?

    1. We found the Toughie quite challenging but some really good laugh out loud clues. Well worth a look in our opinion.

  3. What a difference a day makes. Much better for me today. Have to say I enjoyed this one much more than yesterday. Some very good clues. Some well disguised anagrams. I would say much easier than a *** possibly less than a ** if yesterday was **** but at least a **** for enjoyment. Many Thanks to all.

  4. As usual with Jay’s puzzles I was slow to get started but then all fell into place without too many hold-ups. Probably somewhere between 2* and 3* for difficulty for me.
    My last ones were 23a and 19 and 22d. I could see why 14a was what it was but couldn’t work out why for a while. Got a bit stuck with 26a as I kept thinking of “Old maid” as the card game that we used to play with a very old great aunt when we were kids!
    I liked 11 and 20a and 5 and 8d.
    With thanks to Jay and BD.

  5. This took me such a long time to solve, and I needed so much help to complete that I was all set to say I didn’t enjoy it at all. However, on looking it over and reading your explanations I must admit there were a number of clues which I did like very much: 18, 23 and 25a and 15 and 21d for instance. So, thanks after all to Jay and to BD for the explanations.

    P.S. Sorry about yesterday’s curate! :oops:

  6. Typical of a Jay puzzle the acrosses yielded very few on first pass (four I think) but then the downs came to the rescue and it all fell into place nicely. 2*/3* I reckon. Favourites 10a and 8d.

    Thanks Jay and BD.

  7. Everyone’s already said what I was going to say. Start with the downs, very enjoyable 2*/3*. Thanks to Jay, no special favourites today, just a nice all-round enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to BD too.

    The Micawber Toughie is tougher than the last one, but both do-able and very enjoyable.

  8. **/*** for me today, all seemed very logical,must have been on the right wavelenth,did’nt think the answer to financial institution 19d quite worked and did’nt like B fof book in26a,but i have seen it before. Anyway most enjoyable -thanks setter.

  9. BD, you have a couple of typos in your hints.

    7D has “prefic” where you meant “prefix” (I know, only one key over on a standard keyboard!).

    17D has “a word meaning to clip” which is a little stronger than a hint, I think :-)

    Very enjoyable, but I didn’t need to refer to a dictionary so maybe only ** hard.

    Thanks to BD and Jay.

      1. BD, did you get my e-mail giving you my home address, just wondering cos i haven’t heard anything since.

        1. Yes I did. I’m still waiting to receive the extra book. If it hasn’t arrive very soon I’ll post the first two and the other one separately.

  10. I agree with everyone who thought this a 2*/3*. I managed to finish without any help and just the odd pause for thought. And I’m definitely getting better at spotting the substitution clues – they always used to catch me out.
    Thanks to BD and Jay.

  11. Great puzzle, nice workout.
    Thanks Jay and BD.
    A-HA as AP would say happily today but not yesterday.

  12. I’m all but done. I don’t get 2d. Help please. Enjoyable crossword today. Thank you BD and setter

        1. you were not alone, I missed the reversal indicator on first read through and thought backing asset meant the T , with Uni but where was the E?, D’oh and birch twigs for utter stupidity on my part. Many thanks to Jay and BD

          1. True, but that this one was very devious and very clever imho, bit like my nemesis Virgilius hidden words, anyway Qix not seen you comment for a while, hope all is well……

            1. I guess that you missed my diatribes from yesterday then… ;-)

              I have been busy with other things lately, though, and I’m very touched that you noticed!

  13. Very enjoyable with some tough but very fair clues. Nothing silly like yesterday’s 1d although that did spark some interesting comments. Thx to the setter and to BD for some explanations.

  14. JThanks to Jay & to Big Dave for the review & hints. Agree with Big Dave, a super puzzle from Jay. Started with 3d, finished with 4d. Favourites were 18a & 5d. Very pleasant day in Central London, Sun in & out.

  15. In contrast I fount this tough. Always struggle with Jay, I must be on a different wavelength.

    4*/3* for me. Thanks to both.


  16. Really enjoyed this once I got started ,first couple of runs through yielded very little ,then suddenly things started to fall into place(as often seems to be the case for me with a Jay puzzle) . However I was left with 16a & 20a ,even though I realised from the very beginning that 16a was an anagram of reluctant minus the “l” but it didn’t work with “carrying” in 8d!!! . Then as I began to read BD’s hint for 8d I had a huge D’OH moment. Great puzzle & thanks to Jay & BD.

  17. Didn’t start on this until after lunch and found it fairly plain sailing, with some very clever clues. Completely missed the substitution pointer in 14A and ended up with a highly convoluted answer, based on ‘cent’ being the price of something with ‘og’ inside – representing ‘(son) of God’….. or maybe I was just hoping for divine intervention! BD’s hint made a lot more sense …

  18. Busy day in the garden and other odd jobs (a day off from work – huh!) Anway, zipped through this and 2* for me. Very nice puzzle.

  19. Well, I’ve had a couple of goes and am beginning to think that the Toughie has strayed on to the back page! So I thought I’d look at the blog to see if I was alone in this theory and, unfortunately!! – I am. So it must be me – woe is me! Without scanning the hints I will have another go – perhaps I’m just in a bad place to-day?? I dunno. Hey ho……….

    1. Having computer trouble so if this comment (or something along the same lines) happens twice it’s the gremlins, not me going potty!
      Try again Addicted – I had trouble getting going with this one but eventually it all went OK. Good luck. :smile:

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