DT 26994 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26994

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26994

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **

Hola from the Vega Baja.   Sorry but this wasn’t my favourite puzzle. It has a lot of reversals and “A (from the clue)” which started to become a little irritating.  I’ll 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           Film abandoned after indigestion? (4,4,3,4)
{GONE WITH THE WIND} – A very famous film starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh. The rest of the clue is a sort of cryptic definition.

9a           Care when news is broadcast? Negative reaction with it returning (9)
{ATTENTION} – Start with a phrase (2,3) describing the time when the late evening news is broadcast by the BBC.  After this you need a negative and IT (from the clue) reversed (returning).

10a         Ornamental wear shown by trio at rear oddly (5)
{TIARA} – The alternate letters (oddly) of TRIO AT REAR.

11a         First clue about son, a son of Abraham (5)
{ISAAC} – Take an abbreviated way of indicating the first clue in this crossword and place it around (about) S(on) and A (from the clue).

12a         Around back of cabin, note tiny rambling insignificant type (9)
{NONENTITY} – An anagram (rambling) of NOTE TINY placed around N (around back of cabiN).

13a         Easily taken in with part of hotel bill (ugly!) on reflection (8)
{GULLIBLE} – The answer is hidden in (part of) hotel bill ugly but it’s backwards (on reflection).

14a         Calm Frenchman taken with the Home Counties? (6)
{SERENE} – The area of the country referred to as the Home Counties followed by a popular French male name.

16a         Basic commodity like corn getting soft inside (6)
{STAPLE} – Think corn as in out of date or old comedy and insert the letter indicating soft or quiet in musical notation.

18a         Malicious damage got a base upset (8)
{SABOTAGE} – An anagram (upset) of GOT A BASE.

22a         Better element in bunch providing most important figure (3,6)
{TOP BANANA} – To better or outdo followed by a fruit that comes in bunches.  If you want to be pedantic you might say that this fruit comes in hands rather than bunches!

23a         Look and dress shown by round character (5)
{DECKO} – A slang term for a quick look at something.  To dress or decorate followed by a round letter.

24a         Doze in middle of duty? That’s not in keeping (5)
{UNAPT} – Place a word for a doze or short kip inside (in) UT (middle of dUTy).

25a         A place for experimenting with flower as ornamental material (9)
{ALABASTER} – A charade of A (from the clue), a place where experiments are conducted and a flower.

26a         Precautions a team, not English, organised? Much fuss about nothing (1,5,2,1,6)
{A STORM IN A TEACUP} – An anagram (organised) of PRECAUTIONS A T(e)AM (not English).


1d           Crusty dish associated with good bars? (7)
{GRATING} – A dish with a crusty topping of breadcrumbs and cheese followed by G(ood).

2d           Practice session before dance and sport (7)
{NETBALL} – A practice session in cricket followed by a dance gives a sport mainly played by girls.

3d           Players attending companion, sick fellow, with, perhaps, extra indication of cold? (4-5,6)
{WIND CHILL FACTOR} – This is a charade of a). a section of an orchestra (players), b). an abbreviation for Companion of Honour, c). another word for sick or unwell, d). F(ellow) and finally what an extra in a film is an example of.  Much easier to solve than write a hint for!

4d           Instrument that could be eternal? (8)
{TRIANGLE} – Cryptic definition of a percussion instrument.

5d           Neaten anteroom’s interior for temporary dweller (6)
{TENANT} – The answer is hidden in (interior) the first two words of the clue.

6d           Notice leader moving behind part of hospital in historic agreement (7,8)
{ENTENTE CORDIALE} – An agreement between the UK and France, signed on 8 April 1904, is an anagram (moving) of NOTICE LEADER placed after (behind) the initials of a hospital department.

7d           Fancy a drink among fruit left out (7)
{IMAGINE} – A (from the clue) and a drink said to ruin your mother placed inside (among) a fruit without its initial L (L(eft) out)

8d           Sad expression in two notes by a male in East Sussex town (5,2)
{DEARY ME} – Something you might say if you were sad or disappointed. Take two musical notes and follow with A (from the clue) and then M(ale) inserted into a coastal town in East Sussex. Then split the result (5,2).

15d         Princely sort quite open facing a poor actor in turn (8)
{MAHARAJA} – An Indian princely sort.  Start with a word describing a door that’s partly open and follow with A (from the clue) and a word for a poor actor and then reverse the lot (in turn).

16d         Fruit is a necessity when heading north (7)
{SATSUMA} – Another reversal (heading north in a down clue)!  This time of A (from the clue), a word for a necessity and another word for when.

17d         Road covering, a wintry safety measure for traffic round Portsmouth’s outskirts (7)
{ASPHALT} – Take A (from the clue) and the stuff put on roads to stop traffic skidding and place around PH (PortsmoutH’s outskirts).

19d         Austere figure in a southern church with nervous habit (7)
{ASCETIC} – A charade of A (from the clue), S(outhern), the abbreviation for the Church of England and a nervous habit or twitch.

20d         European received grave letters for selfish conduct (3-4)
{EGO TRIP} – Another charade, this time of E(uropean), a word meaning received or acquired and the three letters you may see engraved on a tombstone.

21d         I’m unfortunately upset to get seasoned meat (6)
{SALAMI} – A reversal (upset) of IM (from the clue) and a word meaning unfortunately.

No stand-out favourites for me but 1a (first in) raised a smile.

The Quick crossword pun: {grate} + {deign} = {Great Dane}

There appears to be an error in the clue for 1 down in the Quick crossword.  It looks like the clue should have been “Heavy glove”.  [I was right and the online version has now been changed.  BD]

73 comments on “DT 26994

  1. I didn’t not enjoy it, but it was one of those write it in as you read the clue ones so I would imagine the grumpies won’t be creating a 26a today :D Thanks to Pommers and the Thursday Mr Ron too.

    The Petitjean Toughie isn’t one of his most difficult either, which is fortunate for me as I am just off to catch the bus to meet Gnomey on our way to the Petitjean Crossword Workshop. I think I am the one wearing the pink carnation while Gnomey will be carrying a rolled up copy of the DT.

    1. Just like to say the Workshop was really enjoyable and a pleasure to meet Sue, gnomey, Colmce and of course Petitjean. I could have stayed for hours, but sadly work beckoned.

      1. Nice to meet you too. Those of us with a day off enjoyed a very nice lunch at the hostelry over the road.

  2. Completely In agreement with Pommers and Sue. Thought this very easy for a Thursday. A bit disappointing.

    Thanks to both.


  3. This one felt like one charade after another. Not my quickest ever solve, but definitely no more than 1* difficulty for me.
    Thanks to setter, and to pommers.

    Just started the toughie, which at its early stages looks fairly benign.

  4. This passed the time well enough without being over-taxing .
    Thanks to the setter and pommers .

  5. Before i read the above blogs,i was going to say that this crossword was one when you put in the answer then fitted it to the clue. a kind of reverse osmosis,Anyway i quite enjoyed it as start to the day and score it **/***,There was a theme throughout of french food and drink -thanks Pommers for the interpretation of 14a with the delightful Vicky Michelle-made my day!

      1. Sorry should have punctuated it,ie French,food, and drink!
        French 14a, 6d and 1d.
        Food 22a,16d and 21d.
        Drink 26a! and 7d-just my warped mind.

  6. Well, I enjoyed this! I really like logical clues you can write in as you read the clue, 11A and 14A for example.Missed the anagram at 6D but got the answer and 26A too, answers were obvious. Favourites are 11 and 25A , 8 and 16D Thanks to setter and Pommers

  7. Hola pommers, hope the cold is better? I quite enjoyed this today, maybe I’m a Grumpy? :-) At first I thought it was going to be really difficult but as you get into the mind of the setter, it is as sue and gnomey have said just a case mostly of knowing the answer and working backwards ( I enjoy that) or working it out from the wordply, I quite liked 8d, 20d, 21d, 11a and 25a, a few quibbles about some iffy readings and is corn the same as stale? corny I would have thought? Thanks for blog pommers, managed without today but always good to have the bloggers opinions, a two to three star for me today for difficulty and a three star for enjoyment :-)

      1. Hi Mary. Cold much better today thanks.

        Cricketers often say they had a “net” in the morning before play starts. The nets (plural) are where you go for your net (practice).

        1. live and learn! thanks for that, my cricket knowledge continues to improve due to Telegraph crosswords!

  8. I liked 9a, and that’s about where it ends for me.

    So, on to the Toughie, and Hoorrah that it isn’t Monday.

    Have you ever wondered, “Why isn’t there a Toughie on Mondays?” :-)

  9. Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear.
    Still, there’s always next Thursday to look forward to
    Some clever clues here but largely a form-filling exercise.
    Thanks setter and pommers

  10. Out of curiousity, can anyone tell me what the clue was for 1d in the Quick?
    My version which I printed out this morning has 1. Heavy gauntlet, but the answer has to be gauntlet…

    1. OK, looks like I can answer my own question. Just checked on the website, and the clue has now been changed to 1. Heavy glove – which makes much more sense.

      1. It’s printed as”heavy gauntlet” in the paper – at least in my provincial edition.

    2. I emailed the Ed first thing. The service provided by this blog always goes the extra mile.

  11. Well I quite enjoyed it – got 1a instantly (as I’m sure lots of others did too) and that made me laugh so started off in the right mood even though the weather here is really horrible. Probably 2* for difficulty and 3* or 4* for enjoyment.
    I thought that some of the surface readings were a bit on the dodgy side – something that I’m really only just beginning to notice even though I’ve been reading and learning from this blog for a long time now.
    I couldn’t quite manage to untangle 11a for myself so needed the hint for that one.
    I liked 1 and 9a and 4, 6 and 20d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and Pommers.

  12. Thanks to Mr Ron, & to Pommers for the review & hints. 2*/3* for me. Started with 5d, finished with 15d. favourites were 1&23a. Penny drop moment with 3d, quite entertaining. Car being serviced, so off to Potter’s Bar again later. Hope it stops raining.

  13. I thought I was in for a hard time when I got 1a straight away ( usually fatal for me ) but once into the setters mind set found it enjoyable. 22a and 4d were my favourite clues. Hopefully Giovanni will be in a good mood tomorrow!

  14. Thought at first glance that this w as going to be a nightmare like yesterday’s but perservation gradually paid off and I completed over breakfast so I suppose the 2 star is about right. Can’t say I really enjoyed it though, far too many wordy clues for my liking, quite a few of here’s the answer, now how does it fit the clue. Pls don’t think I am complaining, I am just soooo grateful it’s not one of THAT MANS!
    Did like 1a though. Thx to Pommers for the explanation of 23a and 25a.

  15. Often wonder if Geoff and Barry ever drop in, they were regulars at one time and I quite enjoyed their ‘company’

    1. Wasn’t Barry a bit grumpy and complaining – maybe I’ve got the wrong one. I do remember Geoff – think that he lives quite near to us.

      1. Hi stan and andy,
        Yes – you’re both quite right. Have now just spent quite a long time reading those old comments. We don’t seem to have changed much!!

      1. I think it was sues ‘Grumpy’ comment at the top Kath, it made me think of Barrie but as I said I didn’t find him grumpy and then of course Geoff because they were both ‘struggling’ somewhat with the crosswords and in the Clueless Club at the same time as myself :-)

  16. **/** about right I think. I had 3D straight in but couldn’t get ‘players’ resolved and need the blog for that.

    8D another I had the answer in mind for but had the ME as one of the notes so this was last in.

  17. Two stars all round about right I think. I had 3D straight in but couldn’t get ‘players’ resolved and need the blog for that.

    8D was another I had the answer in mind for but had the ME as one of the notes so this was last in.

  18. Went in fairly easy here, but 23a required a dictionary consultation for the spelling. Thanks to both. A **/** from the Gloucestershire jury.

  19. Thank you setter and to Pommers for your review. Found this hard going but got there in the end even with shortage of GK !

    Weather amazingly has stayed fine on N Norfolk coast. On to Norwich for the weekend to stay with friends, so probably no time for puzzle due to talking, eating and drinking.

  20. Evening one an all Nothing too challenging here last in being 15d (which I believe has featured before). 1* but quite enjoyable nevertheless.

  21. Anyone in the Canterbury area who is free on a Thursday morning should definitely get along to one of Petitjean’s workshops (details in a post to be found under ‘Older Posts’ including a photo of both our setter and the man who first decided you needed a slightly mad hat to solve one of his puzzles.

    Sadly I can’t get to any more but I do recommend them.

            1. ‘Soberano’ is probably the most popular brand of Spanish brandy. Sounds a bit wierd to English ears but I think it’s great – both the taste and the wordplay :grin:

              1. must have passed me by, I think I did too much Larios sin tonica! And far too much ponche. Dog walk time and it’s blo*d* teeming down. Deep joy

  22. I seem to be in a minority of one here in not liking this puzzle much but I went off it because, when writing the hints, I had to type “A (from the clue)” seven times and there’s a couple of other answers that required lifting letters direct from the clue. Also, I’ve never reversed so much stuff in living memory – and that’s a long time! All fair clueing but a bit OTT in one puzzle IMHO.

    If I hadn’t been writing the blog I reckon I would have thought 3* enjoyment. Just seemed too much of the same stuff when you have to analyse the clues in detail.

    C’est la vie I suppose.

  23. Long trip to Newcastle and back today. Enjoyed today’s puzzle. Kept dipping n to it during the speeches, made them bearable. 1a made me chuckle so lifted the enjoyment rating a notch. ** and *** from me today. Regards to all ( better late than never).

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