DT 26987

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26987

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A not too difficult (2*) puzzle today, with a 3* for enjoyment.  Quite a variety of topics in the clues and answers to test and pique one’s interest.  Thank you to setter.  Definitions are underlined in the clues. “[xxx]” denotes a synonym or equivalent to “xxx”.

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.


1    Liverpool, for example, on strike and finding empathy (7)

{RAPPORT} : A town/city capable of handling shipped goods, of which Liverpool is an example placed after(on) [strike eg. on the knuckles]. A nostalgic surface to when labour strikes were common.

5    Rock band opening a season (6)

{BASALT} : Initial letter of(opening) “band” + A + [to season food].

Answer: … formed from lava.

9    Orbison and top celebrities supporting the monarchy (8)

{ROYALIST} : First name of Orbison, late singer + what you’re on if you’re a top celebrity and get invited to all the right places.

11    Crown, say, finally reacted with wounded pride (6)

{PIQUED} : Homophone of(say) [a crown,the top of, eg. a hill] + last letter of(finally) “reacted”.

12    Disregarding dangers of skin infection (4)

{RASH} : Double defn.

13    Officers ordering a ride aboard sailing ships (10)

{BRIGADIERS} : Anagram of(ordering) A RIDE contained in(aboard) [two-masted sailing ships].

Answer: … to be found in the military.

14    Such politicians are proper moaners, with no source of help (5-7)

{RIGHT-WINGERS} : [fitting as in “it’s only proper that….”] + [moaners with nothing but complaints] minus(with no) the initial letter(source) of “help”. A political view by setter?

17    Terribly cute, on a bus, American gets under skin (12)

{SUBCUTANEOUS} : Anagram of(terribly){ CUTE, ON A BUS + US(abbrev. for “American”)}.

21    Not on drugs, son delayed fresh start (5,5)

{CLEAN SLATE} : What you are if you’re not on drugs (also if you’ve washed) + abbrev. for “son” + [delayed].

Answer:  As a noun.

22    Laugh out loud, left in lounge (4)

{LOLL} :  Acronym for “laugh out loud” in text messages + abbrev. for “left”. Defn: As a verb.

23    Struggled to cross a river, and changed (6)

{VARIED} :  [struggled, as in a competition] containing(to cross) {A + abbrev. for “river”}.

24    A great crime for soldiers surrounded by hostility (8)

{ENORMITY} :  Abbrev. for [non-commissioned soldiers] contained in(surrounded by) [hostility].

Answer: An outrageous, heinous, wicked or atrocious act.

25    One who believes in beginning to think before robbery (6)

{THEIST} :  Initial letter of(beginning to) “think” + [robbery]. Defn: … religious-wise.

26    Loving a party, make a call (7)

{ADORING} A + [party,function] + [make a call on the phone].


2    Fragrant rug found in ruins of Cairo (8)

{AROMATIC} :  [rug] contained in(found in) anagram of(ruins of) CAIRO.

3    Pence per head for fruit (5)

{PEACH} :  Abbrev. for the (relatively) new English pence + [per head].

4    Artist with Popular Front colours (7)

{RAINBOW} :  Abbrev. for an artist who is member of the Royal Academy + popular,fashionable + the front of a ship, say.

Answer:  An intangible item with many colours.

6    Pacify primate pinching pulses (7)

{APPEASE} :  One of a group of primates, alternatively, a big clumsy rude person containing(pinching) some of the edible seeds from a certain type of plant, considered as a vegetable food.

7    Agree bill and become silent (9)

{ACQUIESCE} :  Abbrev. for [a bill,a reckoning of what’s owed] + [to become silent,quieten down].

8    Assumption drawn from article on Circle line (6)

{THEORY} :  In grammar, the definite article placed above(on, in a down clue) the letter that looks like a circle + abbrev. for [a tracked line used for transportation].

10    How one may work out position of nomadic unit at large (11)

{TRIANGULATE} : Anagram of(nomadic) UNIT AT LARGE.  Nice surface with an apt and uncommon anagram indicator.

Answer:  … with the help of trigonometry.

15    Allergic production has, in time, shifted (9)

{HISTAMINE} : Anagram of(shifted) HAS, IN TIME.

Answer:  A compound produced during an allergic reaction.

16    Chamber, when full, has this report (8)

{BULLETIN} : A gun chamber when loaded, ie. full, has this (6,2).

18    Live with teams, to boot (7)

{BESIDES} : [to live,exist] + [competitive teams].

Answer:  In addition.

19    Robot needing energy for day without using liquid (7)

{ANEROID} : [robot], with abbrev. for “energy” replacing the first abbrev. for “day” in that word.

Answer:  … like a type of barometer.

20    Flexible growth must include one (6)

{PLIANT} : A living thing belonging to one of the biological Kingdoms containing(must include) the Roman numeral for “one”.

22    Primate involved in wholesale murder (5)

{LEMUR} : Hidden in(involved in) wholesale murder.

The Quick crossword pun: {eggs} + {tracked} = {extract}



  1. 2Kiwis
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 4:29 am | Permalink

    A good puzzle with the right level of difficulty for a Wednesday. Our favourites today were 11a and 16d. Thanks Jay and Scchua.
    PS. It looks like the first number of this puzzle has been omitted. Think it should be 26987 not 6987.

    • scchua
      Posted October 3, 2012 at 4:38 am | Permalink

      Thanks 2Kiwis, typo corrected.

  2. Wozza
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    A bit easier today I thought. 16d probably my favourite but all well written. 2*/3*.

    Thanks to both.

  3. crypticsue
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I know that the DT appears to be having some sort of love affair with the new iPhone but that is no reason to move our crossword into the inside of the back page. Starts the day off all wrongly.

    Sorry if I upset Stan but I have to say I found this an extremely straightforward crossword from Jay today. As enjoyable as ever so thank you to him and to scchua too.

    Micawber obviously listened last time we said his Toughie wasn’t tough, because this one definitely is. Start at the bottom, would be my advice!

    • Harport
      Posted October 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      I agree. Keep it on the back page, where I can look at it whilst eating my corn flakes, without having to fold it this way and that.
      The butler has to iron it afterwards to remove all the creases!
      And that always causes him to tut a bit.

  4. Colmce
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Really enjoyed this today, had some help from my electric friend,
    but having got the answers and revisited the clues, I really shouldn’t have been so idle, as all was clearly indicated.
    Completely missed the anagram indicator in 10d…doh.

    Thanks for the review, really helpful.

    Thanks to the setter.

  5. Jezza
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    7d was my last one in today in this very gentle puzzle. 1*/3* for me.
    Many thanks to setter, and to scchua.

    • Steve_the_beard
      Posted October 3, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Me too.

      • Heno
        Posted October 3, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        I once learned how to spell 7d, and it won me a lot of spelling points when I was at school!

  6. Brian
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    My thx to Jay for a super puzzle. Loved 15d, 25a and 5a. Learnt a new word in 19d which I had to look up. Thx to Sccha for 23a which I thought was taxied but couldn’t see the river! Really enjoyed this one, now to gird my loins for tomorrow’s challenge if it’s by that man!

    • Posted October 3, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      My guess would be Shamus for tomorrow with Petitjean & Ray T yesterday and Ray T last Thursday.

      • Hrothgar
        Posted October 3, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        ..but as long as there is an outside chance that it will be Ray T tomorrow, I shall stay happy today.

        • Kath
          Posted October 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

          . . . me too, but we very rarely have him two Thursdays running.

          • Hrothgar
            Posted October 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

            ..so pleased, Kath, to see you got 22d straightaway :)

            • Kath
              Posted October 3, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

              Sorry if I’m being dim but don’t understand.

              • Hrothgar
                Posted October 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

                You’ve always said you often fail to spot the hidden word clue. :)

                • Kath
                  Posted October 3, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

                  OK – give in!! Perhaps I’m learning – it’s taken me long enough! :smile:

      • crypticsue
        Posted October 3, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        Don’t think it will be Shamus on the back page (or inside back page Grrr) tomorrow as he is Toughie setter.

        • Posted October 3, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

          Just goes to show that I shouldn’t take up gambling as a profession.

          • Kath
            Posted October 3, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

            Yes, you should – go on!! A friend of ours put some money on an unknown horse called ‘Annie something or other’ because OUR dog is called Annie and they really like her. It won them quite a lot of money!

            • gnomethang
              Posted October 3, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

              Good horse that! Up there with Four Quenelles.

              • Qix
                Posted October 4, 2012 at 12:40 am | Permalink

                Ray T…

  7. bifield
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Struggled a bit at first but once I got started I could not see why. Over all, a nice puzzle for me today. Thanks to setter & to scchua for the review.

  8. Posted October 3, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Yes ** and *** from me too. Took a but to get going but no real problems, the obscure word was quite fathomable. Favourite clue was 14a. Regds to all.

  9. MikeT
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I so wanted to put in ‘pepper’ for 5A (from Sergeant Pepper and a seasoning) but could see it didn’t work. In the end, I had to settle for the other popular condiment, to get the right answer.

  10. Sweet William
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Thank you Jay – very enjoyable puzzle with 2 new words for me and thanks to Scchua for your review.

    Some advice please – my Chambers Dictionary is, I am embarassed to say, more than 25 yrs old. I have discovered, unsurprisingly, that occasionally some words or definitions are not included. As Christmas is approaching and I am adequately stocked with socks and underpants, I was thinking it might be a good time to update. I am not sure whether or not there are special “Crossword” dictionaries or whether I just need the the latest edition of the standard dictionary. Any advice welcome !

    • anax
      Posted October 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      The latest Chambers is always recommended Sweet William – especially as Chambers is the primary reference for Telegraph puzzles – but you might also want to get hold of Chambers Crossword Dictionary. It’s a sort of thesaurus with definitions arranged according to word length, but it also contains (at the front) just about every wordplay indicator you’re ever likely to come across.

      Amazon did have a bargain deal for both when their new editions were launched, but I don’t know if that’s still the case.

      • Kath
        Posted October 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        I’m sorry, anax – didn’t mean to barge in there but you beat me to it!

      • crypticsue
        Posted October 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        The offer still appears to be on their site.

      • Qix
        Posted October 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        Amazon has had special deals on the dictionary/crossword dictionary bundle a couple of times since the launch of the new edition, but it’s currently charging £70 for the two.


        I wouldn’t be surprised if they ran another promotion nearer to December, though.

        • Sweet William
          Posted October 3, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          Thank you as well CS and Qix ! I have no excuse now !

          • Posted October 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

            It’s often worth waiting for “Black Friday”, which is the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States. This year it falls on Friday, the 23rd of November. Amazon have some very special, time-limited, deals in the week running up to Black Friday. Last year I purchased a DAB Radio/alarm which normally costs £120.00 for about £80.00

    • Kath
      Posted October 3, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      I’d go for the new edition of the Chambers, commonly referred to on this blog as the BRB (it’s a Big Red Book)! If anyone is feeling particularly generous there are some good crossword dictionaries around. I have a very old (and falling to bits through use) Chambers Crossword Dictionary which is also really useful. It has a section at the beginning by Don Manley (Giovanni to most of us) called “Crossword English”.

      • Sweet William
        Posted October 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        Many thanks Anax and Kath. I will leave the screen on, with your replies showing, in the hope that an inquisitive passer-by might just read them !

  11. JT
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Interesting fun puzzle today enjoyable **/***

  12. Kath
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable and, unusually for Wednesdays, I found most of the across clues easier than the downs.
    I didn’t know the 10d word but it was a reasonably easy anagram, especially as I already had so many letters in. 11a and 7d were my last two. I spent a little while trying to make 1a end in ‘city’.
    Favourites 14a and 18d.
    With thanks to Jay and Scchua.

  13. BigBoab
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Jay and to scchua for a fine crossword and review.

  14. Peter
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    A very pleasant puzzle today. I completed it before 9 am, so it couldn’t have been too difficult. I enjoyed the anagrams: they helped with the framework for the rest of the answers.
    Thanks to Scchua and the setter.
    But I do have one question. Why Scchua? It’s difficult to remember and type!

  15. minddoc
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    where is the quickie pun???? I got it but looked for scchua’s answer

    • Posted October 3, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      I forgot to add it! Will do it right now.

  16. Beaver
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Pleasant is probably a good description ( Peter above) about a **/***, only one i did’nt like was 22a ,i did’nt know there was an actual acronym for’ laugh out loud’ i just assumed the answer was the first three letters plus L, you live and learn.thanks Scchua; favourites 7d and 11a.Thanks Jay for the enjoyment.

    • Harport
      Posted October 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Careful, because lol also means lots of love.

      • Peter
        Posted October 3, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        A difficult one, this. If you’re old and wrinkled, like me, LOL meant lots of love (along with other abbreviations like SWALK and BURMA) but as our Prime Minister learnt earlier this year it now means laugh out loud.
        Does that make him old and wrinkly?

        • Kath
          Posted October 3, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

          Peter – in your list of abbreviations you forgot NORWICH. I know SWALK but BURMA is one that I don’t know and will keep me guessing for a while!!

  17. Heno
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay & scchua for the review & hints. 2*/3* for me too. A nice mix of clues, no real problems. Started with 3d, finished with 16d. Favourites were 6d lol moment & 14a, also liked 19d. Started with a deluge in Central London, glad to say that it has now brightened up.

  18. Annidrum
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Lovely puzzle and like Kath wondered if the setter was actually Jay as I managed so many of the acrosses before looking at the down clues. Last one in and new word for me was 19d . Lol at 16d. Thanks to Jay & Scchua.

  19. Mark L-H
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Back down to earth today after a good run of form. Got off to a good start, but then got demoralisingly bogged down. Needed hints in abundance today, but the answers were relatively simple. Just goes to show, if you’re not on the setter’s wavelength, even the two star ones can be difficult.

  20. gnomethang
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the majrity – pretty straightforward but highly enjoyable. THanks to Jay for the puzzle and Scchua for the review.

  21. Jay
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Just back from my annual wanderings around Spain and Portugal – many thanks to you Scchua for the review and to all for the comments

    • scchua
      Posted October 3, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Nice of you to have dropped by, Jay. It’s always encouraging when a setter does that. And I hope you had a successful wander.

      • Jay
        Posted October 3, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        A wonderful wander – we did the Camino de Santiago – the Portuguese one from Oporto to Santiago – 240km at an easy stroll!

  22. Grumpy Andrew
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Better performance than yesterday (I wish the Telegraph would name the setter so that I needn’t bother if it’s Petitjean), though I couldn’t see a couple in the NE corner – I’m not a big fan of homophones. Thanks to setter and the blog. Not looking forward to tomorrow, won’t buy the paper until I find out who the setter is.

  23. Little Dave
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable although I missed 7d and 11a. Otherwise okay.

  24. tony
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Agree with you crypticsue. Now you have to open the bloody paper!

    • gazza
      Posted October 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      Hi tony – welcome to the blog.

  25. una
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    firstly, do any of you work ? looking at the times you post I guess you must either be working night shifts or living off unearned oncomes (I mean investments) or perhaps retired. lucky you. I really liked 14a , 17a, 10d,and 15d.great puzzle. please keep them properly cryptic and doable , like this one.

    • andy
      Posted October 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      Hi Una, Well I work and am far from retirement age, which seems to be being extended all the time, Scchua lives in the far east so posts his blog early.

    • Kath
      Posted October 3, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      Hi una,
      Lots of people who comment on this blog DO work. I, for one, don’t work night shifts and neither am I living off unearned income – that doesn’t mean that I don’t work – my husband works very long hours which means that I do most of the other stuff. I also have a 90 year old mother who I look after. The plus side of all this is that I do what I need to do as and when it suits me – crosswords, and commenting on and reading this brilliant blog, come pretty high up on that list.

    • gnomethang
      Posted October 3, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

      Una – I work, yes and my oncome is my own. I suspect that Scchua works during the day in his own part of the globe.
      I don’t think that we actually post solving times on this site but I will recreate a fine tradition and call this a ‘Two-Stopper’. Actually a one-stopper but I was looking at it on the platform prior to the train arrival so call it a 1.5 stopper.
      Thinking further the train that I take now to That London is the fast train so my old two-stopper is actually now a one-stopper so that might push it towards a seasonally adjusted 0.75 stopper territory.
      All this goes to show that either Bigdave44.com has improved my solving abilities OR train stops are a bad yardstick OR that Einstein was right.

      I hope you are enjoying the site ;-)

      • gnomethang
        Posted October 3, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        I have just realised that when it is raining I can’t look at the paper on the platform. This complicates my heuristics a bit.

        • Kath
          Posted October 3, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

          Yet another new word for me – heuristics – just had to look it up!! :smile: almost certainly won’t remember it if/when I next need it!

      • una
        Posted October 4, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

        late reply ,thanks and I love this site

    • andy
      Posted October 3, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      ooh, if you read the fifteen squared blog check out what times people post on there. And don’t forget if they online subscribe it appears long before newsagents open, well unless you live near a 24 hr one I suppose

      • gnomethang
        Posted October 3, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

        Evening Andy – the high point in my day today was that I managed to get tomorrow’s Sunday blog sorted so that when I buy CS lunch next Thursday she can’t order the whole lobster with a caviar sauce.
        In any case I am off to drink champagne from some ladies’ shoes.
        G’Night All!

        • andy
          Posted October 3, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

          g’d evening gnomey, well there is food for thought, or not as the case may be, you doing the Oct 20 do? As it stands I’ve got dog sitters for Derby and that do as well……

          • gnomethang
            Posted October 4, 2012 at 7:24 am | Permalink

            I’ll try to keep the 20th clear but probably won’t make Derby.

  26. una
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    ok you guys crossword and commute! I love this blog !

  27. Stoic Stan
    Posted October 5, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed today’s puzzle. All in bar two: 1a and 23a. some great clues. 5a and 16d my favourites. Thanks all.

  28. Posted October 12, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Got it late as usual (France) but as a medic. loved the skin clues. Not too difficult but enjoyable nonetheless.

  29. David
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    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.