DT 26513 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26513

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26513

Hints and tips by Pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Apologies for being a little late this morning but there has been something of a panic in the pommers household! I got the clues for this last night but not the grid. Telegraph puzzles wouldn’t let me in this morning so I started trying to solve it ‘cold’! Managed about half before Gnomethang came to the rescue so many thanks to him! I’d never have got some of these without the checking letters. Then to cap it all I lost my internet connection for about half an hour!

The usual excellent Wednesday puzzle (presumably from Jay) which I can’t say I’ve done justice to because of the problems.
I’m sure you will enjoy it more than I did – think I’ll go for a lie down now!

I’ve marked my favourites in blue.

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 Upper House journalists regularly quarrel to get influence (4,8)
{PEER PRESSURE} – This is a sort of influence that comes from your friends and colleagues and is what started me smoking! A member of the Upper House of parliament followed by a collective noun for journalists and the alternate letters (regularly) of qUaRrEl.

9a No mum gets worried in, say, London society (9)
{COMMUNITY} – An anagram (gets worried) of NO MUM in something that London is a large example of gives another term for society.

10a Exclaims that male is discharged from offences (5)
{CRIES} – Definition is exclaims. Take a word for offences and remove (discharged) the M(ale).

11a Idiot welcomes return of information technology application (6)
{LOTION} – This sort of application which you may put on your skin is formed by taking the acronym for Information Technology, reversing it (return) and inserting (welcomes) into a term for an idiot or lunatic.

12a Violent pub full of old swine (4,4)
{WILD BOAR} – This member of the pig family still lives in Spain. Start with a word for violent or uncontrolled (4) followed by a word for a pub with O(ld) inserted (full of).

13a Serving no alcohol outside key spot (6)
{DESCRY} – This is a rather obscure word meaning “to discover; perceive; detect”. Take a term for not serving alcohol (ships in the US navy are referred to as this) and put it around (outside) the top left key on your keyboard. I’ve never heard this word before!

15a College once chasing old record for game (8)
{MONOPOLY} – Take a colloquial term for a type of college that have all become universities in recent years and place it after (chasing) a description of an old record from the days before stereo to get a popular board game involving the buying and selling of property. I still have a copy of “With the Beatles” that’s this type of record.

18a Suitable charge applied after emptying canal’s rubbish (8)
{CLAPTRAP} – A term for rubbish, as in stupidity, is made up of C(ana)L (emptying canal) followed (after) by a word for suitable (3) and a slang word for charge in the legal sense.

19a Vague total of order from menu (3,3)
{DIM SUM} – Something you may order from a Chinese menu is a word for vague and a word for total.

21a One present from list pinched by a supporter (8)
{ATTENDEE} – Someone who is present, at a meeting say, is made up of A, a supporter you may use for your ball on a golf course with a word for to list inserted (pinched by).

23a A way of stealing one run in fast-moving surroundings (6)
{PIRACY} – a way of stealing in the sense of illegal copies of DVDs etc. Take a word for fast moving and insert I and R(un).

26a How to attract attention with firm demonstration of disgust (5)
{COUGH} – Something you may do to attract attention is the usual abbreviation for firm, as in a business, and an exclamation of digust.

27a Do better than granny, accepting degree from the boss (3,6)
{TOP BANANA} – An informal term for the boss. Take a word meaning to do better than and a way a child may refer to a grandmother and insert one of the usual degrees.

28a Fix price to clubs controlled by government (6,6)
{PUBLIC SECTOR} – The part of the economy controlled by government is an anagram (fix) of PRICE TO CLUBS.


1d Preserve decency principally if out of it (7)
{PICKLED} – The nicely concealed definition here is Out of it, in the sense of being drunk. Take a type of edible preserve and add the first letter (principally) of D(ecency).

2d Tourist trade confirm (finally), satisfied (5)
{EMMET} – This Cornish term for a tourist is the last letters (finally) of tradE confirM followed by a word meaning satisfied.

3d Oligarch’s clout curiously admitted by fool (9)
{PLUTOCRAT} – An anagram (curiously) of CLOUT inserted (admitted) into a fool or idiot gives another word for Oligarch.

4d Leave be, having no spades (4)
{EXIT} – Take a word for be, as in live, and remove the S (no spades) to get a word meaning leave.

5d Clergyman and broadcaster on trial (3,5)
{SKY PILOT} – A satellite broadcaster (3) and a trial, perhaps a trial episode of a TV series, is a slang term for a military padre.

6d Finally escaped after people ran (5)
{RACED} – The last letter (finally) of escapeD after a word for people or nation gives another word for ran.

7d Part of Indonesia — nothing America finds fearful (8)
{TIMOROUS} – A word for fearful used by Rabbie Burns to describe a wee beastie is made up of an Indonesian island, O (nothing) and the abbreviation of America.

8d Lost a bearer crossing west of Senegal (6)
{ASTRAY} – Definition is lost. Take A and a bearer, in the sense of something you may use to carry things, and put them around (crossing) the S from Senegal (west of).

14d Head off prize-winning ticket salesman (5,3)
{START OUT} – Take a word for prize winning or excellent (4) and a salesman who might sell you a very expensive ticket for Wimbledon or the Cup Final (4) and split it (5,3) to get a phrase meaning head off or set off.

16d Start dancing on air, get to hold one (9)
{ORIGINATE} – a word meaning to start is an anagram (dancing) of ON AIR GET with I (one).

17d Mum’s and dad’s friend stifling a tear (8)
{PARENTAL} – Something of your mum and dad is a friend around (stifling) A and a word for a tear or rip.

18d Part of church almost entirely unplanned (6)
{CHANCE} – Something unplanned happens by this. A part of a church with its last letter removed (almost entirely).

20d Reasonable support for month in property of 15 (7)
{MAYFAIR} – The most expensive property on the board of 15a is a month followed by (support in a down clue) a word meaning reasonable or just.

22d International leader once raised female on sport (5)
{NEHRU} – This past leader of India is a female bird reversed (raised in a down clue) followed by the abbreviation of a game played by gentlemen with odd shaped balls.

24d Halt a vessel full of sulphur (5)
{AVAST} – A nautical term for stop is a container with S (sulphur) inserted (full of).

25d Large-scale source of power in shifting ice (4)
{EPIC} – Something on a large scale (a Charlton Heston movie perhaps) is P(ower) inserted into an anagram (shifting) of ICE.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

I enjoyed all the ones in blus but favourite is 14d. Is it my imagination or are there a lot of insertion clues in this?

The Quick crossword pun: {bigger} + {shoo} = {Big Issue}

48 comments on “DT 26513

  1. Brilliant Wednesday offering. Uncle Pom’s judgements underwritten! Lots of smiles and the occasional groan.

    The Toughie is not to be missed today and the Quickie’s pun is great.

    Thanks, Dr P and J!

  2. Stressed or what? I’m a night owl so having heard about the problems on the DT Puzzle site, at 01:15 CET this morning I downloaded the clues for himself and also a pdf of the grid. However, somehow the pdf didn’t save so he was doing a mild panic at 08:00 today! So thanks to Gnomey for coming to the rescue!
    Thanks to Jay – I enjoyed the crossword as I actually got to help solve it this morning.

    1. Pommette
      I’ve experienced problems downloading PDF files since installing Adobe version:X. In the end I had to uninstall it then reinstall it twice in the last 2 weeks. I use “Safari” which may or not have something to do with it. It appears to be working OK now & is an improvement (which I suppose is how it should be) on previous versions.

      1. Hi Spindrift
        I had to dump Adobe a while back as it just kept making all our PCs hang. Now use a freeby.
        Problem was, I was doing it on Pommers netbook which is running like a dog (must rebuild it) and it may well have just decided not to do the save the file. It was probably as tired as me at 02:00 this morning!

    2. Firefox users might like to know about the Add-on DownloadHelper; it’s a quick and easy way of downloading almost anything.

  3. I thought this was difficult today, but I did enjoy it. I did wonder at one point whether the setter for this was Jay.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Pommers for the excellent review.

  4. I thought this was on the difficult side too. As Pommers says there were lots of good clues so thank you to Jay, if it was you as usual. Well done Pommers. As I was solving it, I was glad it wasn’t me that had to do the review and I had the benefit of the grid.

    The Toughie is very good, tough but enjoyable.

  5. Good puzzle today, some very nice clues indeed. We are spoiled today, as the Toughie is also great.

    Many thanks to setter, and well done to the ***-***s for the blog.

  6. There are some advantages in being a “Paper” reader! I found this to be one of the more difficult cryptics, but managed all but 18d – entered “Chancy”. Took me ages to get started and was very surprised to solve all but one.

    Well Done, Pommers & Pommette, for providing an excellent blog under extremely difficult circumstances!!

  7. Worked fine for me, just finished, although I think they mave have mixed the cryptic with the toughie, phew !!

    Thanks to Pommers and Jay

  8. Ditto all above, I hope by now Pommers and Pommette are enjoying a truly well deserved drink(s)! Thanks to Setter as well.

    1. No alcohol takes (YET) but I’m off for a siesta as I’ve only had 5 hours sleep

  9. I also thought this was difficult and at one point almost gave up but eventually finished it without needing the hints. I enjoyed it very much. I’ve never heard of the expressions 27a and 5d so they were the last to go in. I completely missed the fact that 28a was an anagram so couldn’t explain the answer to begin with. Lots of good clues – 9, 12,15 (although I loathe the game!) 19 and 26a and 1, 2, 7 and 22d. I think it’s closer to 4* for me today.
    Thanks to Jay(?) and Pommers for overcoming the technical problems and doing the hints – I thought the wording of the hint for 22d was particularly interesting!! :grin:

    1. I’ve just re-read the hint for 22d! Despite all the panic in the Pommers Household – a nice bit of humour! :smile:

  10. This was definitely on the more difficult level today. I read through the clues several times before managing to solve only about 6 of them and thought about giving up! I would never have got 13a without the hint as I wouldn’t have thought about that particular keyboard key – but it’s probably a useful tool for setters! Thanks to setter for a thorough work-out and Pommers for the review

  11. Feeling a bit less stressed now after a good lunch!
    I think I agree with comments above that this is a bit harder than recent Wednesdays. Hard for me to judge though as I had to do about half with no grid and therefore no checking letters. Never tried that before and hopefully won’t have to do it again, it really is very difficult!

    1. Your challenge for next week is to produce the blog with no grid, and no clues – that will be impressive! :)

  12. Definitely on the tough side of tough for me! Managed to finish without hints but had to look up the ans to 13a – never heard of it before.
    Thanks to setter and Pommers.

  13. Many thanks to Jay for a great crossword. On my first read through, I thought my brain had turned to soup but soon settled in for the long haul through the clues. Favourite clue was 21a.

    Thanks too to P Squared for the review.

  14. Like others I was ready to give up after only about 8 answers. So I logged on here for help – but at midday there was no help. So I went back to my own reserves and to my surprise finished it without any aids. A lesson to keep persevating! A loud thankyou to compiler and a very quiet one – in case they are asleep – to the Pommers!

  15. I thought that this was the trickiest back-page puzzle we’ve had for some time, but well worth the effort. Thanks to Jay, Pommers and Pommette.

  16. Glad I wasn’t the only one who found this tough going today – I confess that, due to time limitations, I did resort to the hints for a few (eg 5d – never heard it before, 13a – would never have thought of that key), so I have to say a big ‘thank you’ to Pommers. Given all the trouble you were having, you did a great job! :-)
    I think one of the problems I had was not expecting such colloquial phrasing (eg 1d, 27a). DT crosswords have a tendency to be a bit strait-laced and old-fashioned, so this caught me off-guard, but I think it’s a good thing to bring them more up-to-date, so thanks Jay (if it was you).

  17. A tough little 4 star rascal for me. Finally ground to a halt on 13a and needed a Pommers’ hint. Just as well because I could have raised a small family before arriving at this type of key. Indeed, the solution itself was a new word to me. Thanks then to Pommers and Jay.

  18. I certainly thought that this was tough fotr a back page – a very slow start but things came together at the end.
    I reckon Pommers and Pommette deserve a swift libation having to pick this puzzle up very quickly given the difficulty. TYhanks to you both and (presumably) Jay.

    1. Hi Gnomey
      Thanks again for the .pdf of the grid. Without it there wouldn’t have been a blog today, or at least only half of one! I would never, in a month of Sundays, got 13a without the checkers, and even with them I needed the dictionary!

  19. Bit late today – had a lot of things to do this morning so didn’t really get started until lunch (missed most of the Indian innings too, grrr).

    Excellent puzzle again today – looks like this is going to be a golden week. Some very interesting answers I thought. Haven’t come across 13a since I last read Shakespeare (and that was a few years ago whilst doing English O Level (around about the time of Watergate, Bloody Sunday, the Cod War, and Palestinians taking hostages at the Olympics).

    Really enjoyed 28a, 7d and 22d and my favourite today was 27a.

  20. I found this very difficult today, even with the grid! Ground to a halt in SW corner which took me ages. I knew our solicitor friend would be in 14 but I was looking at ‘head off’ in the wrong direction. Last in was 13 which annoyed me as I never thought of that type of key. Favourite was 1a and also liked 5 7 14 15 17 27 and 28. Thanks to setter for a great puzzle and also to Pommers for working in the dark, in more ways than one!

  21. Printed this early but started it very late, agree with all the comments about the difficulty and decided after reading them to not to perservate for too long, thanks for the blog Pommers, how you ever did any of it without the grid I don’t know, pure genius! A definite 4/5 * for me today!

    1. Don’t know about genius – more like sheer bloodymindedness! Amazing what’s possible if you persevate long enough, see Patsyann’s comment #15, but I won’t be trying it again! Took me about 3 times longer than normal just to do half of it! Also have to confess to using an anagram cruncher to save time!

  22. Thanks everyone for the kind comments.
    Glad the screw-up didn’t happen last month on my first blog or that might have been the last you saw of me!
    However, Big Dave did warn me of the addictiveness of blogging so maybe not.
    Off for dinner now, maybe back later to see if any After Eighters are about.

    BTW, India v Sri Lanka looks most likely. If it’s a tie we might get a power over between Tendulkar and Murali – WOW!

    1. For a “cricket is worse than watching paint dry” person, I suddenly got terribly excited with the SL v NZ match which my “significant other” was watching yesterday so, who knows, maybe there is a convert in the making here?? I still don’t know all those blasted fielding positions and other obscure cricket terms, though, which will help with the cryptics!

  23. Well that put me well and truly back in my box after yesterday’s triumph!! Only managed 5 before turning to the hints in despair – a big thank you Pommers! – I am quite evidently not on Jay’s wavelength but will continue to – perservate! is it?

      1. No, I hadn’t gone back in – but have now. Many apologies – I obviously did miss it, thank you – and by the way, I am!!

  24. What a difference a day makes. After cruising yesterday’s offering prior to my debut post I found today’s puzzle opaque in the extreme. Eventually got down to 10 clues left before resorting to hints and tidied up. Think I’ve got some practice to do. Thanks all.

  25. I was trying to log in to print this off at 5am this morning and ended up buying a copy of the paper at Tiverton Parkway. After staring at it all the way to Bristol I wished I’d held on to my money but after that slow start I really warmed to it and ended up thoroughly enjoying myself, so well done Jay and many thanks to Pommers. 27a was my favourite.

  26. The NW corner held me up for a while but I finally sorted it out.
    Best for me 12a, 13a, 15a, 19a, 5d, 8d, 14d, 17d, 20d & 24d..

  27. Apart from the trials and tribulations of this morning I can thoroughly recommend this job! It has certainly brought a new dimension to my crossword solving and greatly increased enjoyment!
    Won’t be around tomorrow as we have to sort out our apartment for incoming clients (first of the year) but I’ll be back Friday with a comment on the Giovanni. See you all then.
    Had the libations as recommended above and going to bed now – it’s been a long day!

  28. Only just tackled this after returning to this septic isle from the warmer shores of Southern Pommerania. And what a struggle it was – must be ferry lag. I don’t seem to be able these days to deal very well with crosswording in the evening. Brain dead. So, I’ll catch up with a bit of telly after nearly 3 months without (and iPlayer blocked in Spain) and leave today’s Toughie for tomorrow.

    1. Hope you enjoyed your stay in Pommerania – nice part of the world isn’t it?
      Spring seems to have spring (at last) – been glorious here today and hopefully will get better as each day passes.
      PS Pommers gone to bed – been a stressful day for the poor soul!

  29. Am half way through reading the excellent blog and have understood why I solved no clues.

    Way beyond my ability and not my cup of tea. Surely it should have been a Toughie.

    1. Tonyp17 – this is exactly how I felt a year ago. Now with the help of all the bloggers here (including my own personal one) I am improving. Todays offering from Jay (I think) was a bit more difficult than of recent weeks but I managed about half on my own.
      Have you tried Rufus on a Monday? They are my personal favourites as I can usually do these on my own – but the last few weeks of his have been a bit more of a test.
      Have you ever had a look at http://bestforpuzzles.com There is a gentle cryptic on here every day that I can usually manage without too much bother.
      Welcome to the land of BigDave- keep at it!

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