DT 26507 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26507

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26507

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Today we get a good solid offering from Jay (I presume), one which (if I may borrow a phrase) could be described as a Goldilocks puzzle – not too easy, not too hard, but perhaps just right (depending on how you like your porridge, of course). While there are no clues that really stand out, there are no stinkers either. However, there is a rather hearty serving of charades.

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 Packaging head doctor stole (10)
{SHRINKWRAP} – chemists might be surprised to learn that clinging plastic packaging material is formed when a woman’s fur scarf is added to an informal term for a psychiatrist

6a Complain of pressure put on transport (4)
{CARP} – apply P(ressure) to the end of the standard family vehicle to get a verb meaning to find fault or criticize, especially when unwarranted

10a Doctor given refuge by troublesome dictator (5)
{MEDIC} – a colloquial term for a doctor is hidden (given refuge) in the last two words of the clue

11a Puzzled by play during tie (9)
{INTRIGUED} – a verb meaning raised one’s curiosity or interest is an anagram (play) of DURING TIE

12a Food from continent absorbing male sibling (8)
{AMBROSIA} – this food of the gods in Greek mythology is prepared by inserting M(ale) and a shortened term for a sibling into the largest continent

13a Exploits river deposits heartlessly (5)
{DEEDS} – start with a river with which Mary is likely familiar and append to it the initial and final letters of D(eposit)S (i.e., with its heart removed). Scots may well think that a different river is intended.

15a Arm stretched out in extended curtain call? (7)
{LONGBOW} – this rather large-sized weapon, if numerated (4,3), would describe what performers take during an effusive outpouring of applause

17a One on the fiddle getting wind? (7)
{TWISTER} – Dorothy and her fellow Kansans might have mistaken this British swindler for a violent and destructive wind storm

19a Fork out money to cover America for delay (7)
{SUSPEND} – a word meaning to halt temporarily is formed when one deposits an abbreviation for America (the country, not the hemisphere) into a verb meaning to deplete one’s monetary holdings

21a A bad start in incredibly large branch of maths (7)
{ALGEBRA} – if you start with A, then add to it an anagram (incredibly) of LARGE into which you have inserted the starting letter of B(ad), the result will be the branch of maths which (in Crosswordland) is principally known for its unknowns

22a Permit given to popular point of entry (5)
{INLET} – a simple word sum of a slang term for popular and a verb meaning to allow produces a narrow opening such as that through which air or fuel enters the cylinder of an engine

24a Second question read out covering source of nuclear waste (8)
{SQUANDER} – start with S(econd) + QU(estion), then append to it an anagram (out) of READ into which you have inserted the first letter (source) of N(uclear). The result is a term meaning to expend resources in a reckless and foolish manner.

27a Carrot? That’s original with one hundred for the initial victory (9)
{INCENTIVE} – to create a word meaning an inducement, take a word meaning original or innovative, remove from it the initial letter of V(ictory) and, in its place, insert the Roman numeral for one hundred

28a A master’s degree given to doctor for such scenes (5)
{DRAMA} – perhaps these scenes of excitement and emotion are played out in the operating theatre. In any event, the solution is formed by adding A + an arts degree to the standard abbreviation for a doctor (medical or otherwise)

29a Cut back and start missing paper (4)
{EXAM} – a reversal (back) of the kind of cut that might be associated with a woodcutter plus the starting letter of M(issing) gives the kind of paper that the student in 28a would have had to write to get his or her degree

30a Following corrosion, charges for foils (10)
{FRUSTRATES} – a charade of F(ollowing) + a coating on metal caused by oxidation + prices expressed on a per unit basis produces a verb meaning thwarts


1d Sport adding nothing to total (4)
{SUMO} – in Crosswordland maths, when we add nothing to total, we do not get total (as we would in normal maths) but instead we obtain a style of Japanese wrestling

2d Fresh mindset supporting game’s first principles (9)
{RUDIMENTS} – this being a down clue, the word “supporting” signals a charade in which an anagram (fresh) of MINDSET follows a variant of the game which derives its name from a school in Warwickshire

3d Perhaps certain to lack volunteers if more precise (5)
{NICER} – start by removing Crosswordland’s standard volunteer force from CERTAIN and then form an anagram of the remaining letters to get an adjective denoting more subtle, such as the type of distinctions that one might expect to find in a well known city in the south of France

4d Parliamentary enforcer perceived a way of making cuts (7)
{WHIPSAW} – the woodcutter from 29a returns with a different tool, one formed by combining a member of a parliamentary party responsible for members’ discipline and a verb meaning to have become aware of something through visual observation

5d Race motorists in a tense draw (7)
{ATTRACT} – if one were to add a club for automobile enthusiasts to a race for motorcyclists, one might have a tense draw. However, if we were to put this combination into A + T(ense) we would have a verb meaning to lure

7d A last letter regularly queried shade (5)
{AZURE} – a charade of A + the last letter of the alphabet + the even-numbered (regular) letters of qUeRiEd gives us the colour of the sea near the city which is alluded to in the hint to 3d

8d Dull sort of crossing (10)
{PEDESTRIAN} – an adjective describing someone travelling on foot is also used to mean dull, unimaginative, or uninspired – perhaps reflecting the opinion of the members of the “gentlemen’s” club in 5d

9d Lighting fire, family doctor starts with fish (8)
{KINDLING} – a word meaning “starting or making something start burning” is a charade of one’s relatives + the starting letter of D(octor) + a long, slender member of the cod family

14d Would it take its place in modelling? (10)
{PLASTICINE} – in this semi-all-in-one clue, a well-known brand of modelling clay is also an anagram (modelling) of ITS PLACE IN

16d Complaining from line in heavy defeat (8)
{BLEATING} – a verb meaning complaining (like sheep, perhaps) is created by inserting L(ine) into a noun denoting a thorough thrashing

18d Propose to sailor in addition to dinner? (5,4)
{TABLE SALT} – one of the two common condiments present at almost any meal is produced by combining a verb meaning (in Britain) to put forward for discussion with one of the many informal terms for a sailor. In the United States, the former term means to postpone discussion indefinitely while in Canada I believe it can take either meaning.

20d Image principally found in tramp’s file (7)
{DOSSIER} – insert the principal letter of I(mage) into a slang term for a homeless person sleeping on the street to create a file of papers containing information on a person or subject

21d Charms a drug smuggler on the way up (7)
{AMULETS} – small objects worn to protect the wearer from misfortune are created from a word sum of A + a drug smuggler who takes the name of a stubborn beast + a reversal (up) of the abbreviation for a type of public road

23d Material collected by early craftsmen (5)
{LYCRA} – early craftsmen would have been unlikely to encounter this synthetic fibre, a brand of polyurethane-polyurea copolymer that was invented in 1959. However, the material is hidden (collected) in the last two words of the clue. By the way, in North America, this material is more commonly known as spandex (which cryptic crossword enthusiasts might recognize to be an anagram of ‘expands’).

25d Daughter caught in rain storm is a low point (5)
{NADIR} – the depths of despair (the name derived from the low point on the celestial sphere) can be produced by placing D(aughter) in an anagram (storm) of RAIN

26d Talks on film (4)
{JAWS} – the title of a 1975 film about a shark sampling a smörgåsbord of New England vacationers also means to chatter or gossip

Among my favourite clues were 15a and 27a, and in 17a I learned a new British expression. One of the last clues to be solved was 14d, where I tried to construct a solution along the lines of POSITING (IT contained in POSING), which (except for the discrepancy in number of letters) seemed quite possible (with the clue itself seeming to be an example of a postulation).

The Quick crossword pun: {beak} + {heir} + {fool} = {be careful}

48 comments on “DT 26507

  1. Very enjoyable pangram; I thought this was great.

    A little trickier, I think, than the average back-pager, but all the better for it.

  2. I thought that this was another very good crossword. In typical Jay style – I took a while to get started and then accelerated to the end. If anyone is struggling, knowing it is a panagram will undoubtedly help. Favourite for me was 14d.
    Thanks to Falcon for a lovely review and to Jay for a fine puzzle.

    1. 14D was a very good clue – and Falcon’s comment on 26D alone makes the review worth reading!

      1. Totally agree – not so sure Pommers could have spelt smörgåsbord though …….

  3. Glad to see it wasn’t just me that had trouble getting started with this one although like Gnomey, I did get to the end in the usual time. Thanks to Jay for a great crossword and to Falcon for the review, particularly the splendid hint for 26d. I did like that clue and also 1a and 14d.

    Can’t comment on the other puzzle yet because I am only just starting it!

  4. The West was in very quickly but the East was a bit trickier. Last in was 17a.

    Favs: 1a as the topper, 27a (I spotted the letter swap immediately, a first for me!!).

    Very enjoyable pangrammatic challenge! I concur with Falcon’s Goldilocks call.

    Thanks J & F!

  5. Phew, that took some finishing. Got stuck with the last four clues, 14d,29a,18d,26d, all easy clues that were just not on my wavelength for some reason. I feel ashamed at not getting 18d, unforgiveable!.
    Thanks to Falcon and Jay, a couple of rare birds indeed.

  6. Another good puzzle from Jay, with a couple at the top I had to think about. I wanted to put 3d in earlier than I did, but I was not happy with the synonym at the time!
    Thanks to Jay, and to Falcon.

    1. Jezza, that is actually the original meaning of the word – precise or exact. Unfortunately it has now been watered down to ‘I’m too lazy to think of a better word for OK’

      1. I know – I did look in the dictionary to confirm! As you say, it has been ‘watered down’, and I don’t think I have ever said it with that definition.

    2. With you on 3d Jezza. Had the anagram but couldn’t see the connection and no Chambers to hand!

  7. Well that was a work-out and a half and made more difficult by the number of charades. Never spotted the anagram in 14d – I only got the answer by the checking letters and I thought “yes, that’s used in modelling”! My last one in was 26d – one of those pesky 4 letter words I love/hate. The penny only dropped when I realised which letter I was missing for the pangram. An excellent puzzle, so thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the review

  8. Enjoyed this one today – made me work at it. After first run-through I only had 5 or 6 answers, these gave letters to get 4 or 5 more, these gave me another 3 or 4, etc. Just the way a good crossword should do.

  9. After yesterdays quiet reintroduction, I found this very difficult . Certainly more than a 2* for me. Found it difficult to get on the right wavelength but being aware it was a pangram helped. Many thanx to the Compiler for bringing me back to reality with a bump and to Falcon for an excellent review. Liked the pun in the quickie also.

  10. I also came to a grinding halt after a good start. 1a is newspeak but luckily Onelook had heard of it. Main problem was 26 which took ages before the pangram came to the rescue. Favourite was 21a but all the others were good [apart from 1a!]. Thanks to Jay for fine puzzle.

  11. A good work-out, with very little allusion to sport. That should please Mary. Where is she?

  12. Oh dear, there was far too much about this that I didn’t understand. Only got a dozen answers without any help.

    Thanks for puzzle and review.

  13. When I first looked at this one I thought ‘Phew, glad I’m not on blogging duty today!’
    Like others a slow start but then it all sort of came together in a rush. I’d have given it 3* for difficulty though.
    I spend most of my money on wine, women and song but I 24a the rest!
    No particular favourites but also no clues that I though weak, just good all-round entertainment as usual from Jay.
    Thanks Jay and thanks to Falcon for a great blog.

    1. Pommers, unless you have a daughter or two that you are generous to I would change the ‘women’ to ‘woman’ before pommette clocks it then clocks you!

      1. Gnomey – he doesn’t spend his money on me and no daughters (at least not any I know about . . . )
        Would I clock him? No – he might stop cooking for me and then where would I be?

  14. Another tricky little rascal for me. Like pommers said, a VERY slow start with only 6 in the first pass. Second pass didn’t help too much either and at this point a few anglo-saxon words could be heard in Almoradi.
    Spotted it was a pangram but I was being really thick – could I get 26d? Nah!
    Ah well – I’m still learning.
    Thanks to the 2 birds for cw and review. Off to battle with Carrefour now to find a new cafetiere

    1. Probably out enjoying the sunshine – I know that I have been and have only just come to do today’s puzzle.

      1. No sun here – cold, wet and windy!
        It did occur to me that everyone was watching the budget!

        1. That’s possible as well – will get the highlights later otherwise ight get frustrated at the fact that they aren’t looking after the right people.

  15. Really struggled with this today and for a change didn’t feel as though I had enjoyed it – sorry. In fact I finished the quick crossword before I did the sryptic which is unsual for me.

    Oh well – tomorrow is another day.

    Thanks for the excellent review Falcon and thanks to Jay (if you are today’s setter).

  16. Too tricky for me to-day – needed LOADS of the hints – won’t say quite how many! But could see what a good puzzle it is once I had managed to finish. Think the round of golf this morning is sensational sunshine must have cooked my brain, or something! Echo Pommette’s thanks to the two birds.

  17. Started off OK today in the bottom half, but then got seriously bogged down and missed the fact that it was a pangram – that would probably have helped! Gave up and used the hints for more than I should have, so thanks Falcon, and Jay (?) for the challenge.

  18. Found this more difficult than a 2* – hope that’s due to another late start. On the first read through of all the clues I got about five answers. Didn’t spot the pangram even when I’d finished it and, although I got the answer immediately to 27a needed the hint to explain it – when will I learn the swap of one letter for another?
    I thought this was a really good puzzle and enjoyed it very much – I also enjoyed reading the review.
    Best clues, for me, today include 1, 21 and 30a and 4 (although it took a long time and I had to look it up) 14 and 21d.
    With thanks to Jay and Falcon.
    Off to the garden now – bright blue sky, lovely sunshine and 19C in Oxford. :smile:

    1. H iKath
      Here in sunny Spain it’s 14C, peeing down and windy enough to blow a dog off its chain! I’m in the kitchen with the heater on listening to ‘Steve Wright in the Afternoon’ as there’s nothing better to do!

      1. Hi everyone, did crossword out in the sunshine today, what a beautiful day, 19 deg here today, summertime for a few days, sat in the garden all day reading, crosswording and just generally relaxing, like lots today I found it hard to get started on this but I was in no hurry as the day was so lovely, if only I had realised it was a pangram I might have got 26d sooner instead of it being the last one in!! Thanks for the review Falcon, as you said no favourites today but no horrors either :) Tried all ways to make 27a fit the wordplay except the right way!

      2. Up England, is what I say – sunny here from dawn to dusk and about 17c at it’s best – eat your heart out Spain!

  19. Very enjoyable puzzle from Jay!
    1a, 12a, 15a, 27a, 4d, 8d, 14d & 26d were good clues.

    Weather still magnificent here in NL.

  20. Another day at work for me today, so gave it a time limit, and did about two-thirds. Perhaps a little beyond me now .. give it a couple more years (or a longer time limit) and maybe not! Funny thing is, having read the review this evening, every single clue makes sense – nothing ‘dodgy’ at all. A tough but fair puzzle for me. I held myself up on 18d as ‘table’ contains ‘AB’, so I thought I had found the sailor! 1a very witty. Thanks to setter and Falcon.

  21. Busy day so only a brief chance to look at it and thus no chance to complete it. I have looked at the answers and it looked a good un!

    Hopefully will be able to devote some energy to tomorrow’s.

  22. A good traditional Jay crossword with lots to savour. Thanks to him and to Falcon for the review.

  23. I think I hate all you folk in Blighty for stealing our Spanish sunshine. Today has been cold.
    Went out tonight for our regular weekly quiz and I had to wear a thermal top, big fleece jumper, big fleece jacket and pure wool wrap. Uggs to keep my feet warm and sat under a patio heater AND I WAS STILL COLD.
    Oh well, Mr Sun will come back here soon when he gets fed up of the UK.

Comments are closed.