DT 26675 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26675

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26675

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja.  First I would like to say a big thanks to the DT crossword editor, Phil McNeill, for emailing me the puzzle at midnight last night, otherwise you might not have had a blog today! Also thanks to Libellule for organising it.

As for the puzzle – a bit trickier than the last couple of weeks, I thought, so I’ve gone for 3* difficulty. Although about 80% of it went in easy enough I sort of ground to a halt on the last 3 or 4 so I’ll blame it on brain fade at 0100CEST! The only thing wrong with this puzzle is a distinct lack of picture opportunities but I’ve had a go (and managed a car)!

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.    Secret doom dogs family (11)
{CLANDESTINE} – Definition is secret. Take a word for family (Scottish) and follow (dogs) with a word meaning doom or fate. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this word for fate without a D on the end but I looked it up to check!

9 a.    Ditch worker for cutting (9)
{TRENCHANT} – A word meaning cutting, as in a cutting remark perhaps, is a charade of a ditch and one of the usual workers.

10 a.    What a warbler might do in source of trout stream? (5)
{TRILL} – Think bird for warbler, not the Toughie setter! The sound a bird may make is T (source of Trout) followed by a type of stream , often found in a landscaped garden.

11 a.    Part of play concerned with court proceedings (6)
{ACTION} – The first part of a play followed by a word meaning concerned or about gives a court proceeding or legal ******.   Not 100% sure this clue is really fair but I like it, maybe you’ll disagree !

12 a.    Spoilt devil given broadcast (8)
{IMPAIRED} – One of the usual devils followed by a word for broadcast gives a word meaning spoilt or damaged.

13 a.    Hard work plus a new catchphrase (6)
{SLOGAN} – Take a word for hard work, A (from the clue) and N(ew) and you’ll get a catchphrase used in advertising. Is this one a candidate for the rest home for retired crossword clues?

15 a.    Providing workers stick at home, start grumbling (8)
{STAFFING} – The definition is ‘providing workers’. Take a stick or rod, IN (at home) and G (start Grumbling). Put the lot together and you get the answer.

18 a.    How one might resent beer? (8)
{BITTERLY} – Cryptic definition of how you might resent something. Can’t think of a better explanation at the moment but I think this is my favourite!

19 a.    Hide from vet (6)
{SCREEN} – Double definition. How you might hide something is also a word meaning vet, in the sense of checking out.  I was a victim of ‘positive vetting’ once when pommette was doing a job for the RAF! At least I didn’t get thrown in the Tower of London!

21 a.    In what way is a lemon sweet? (8)
{SEMOLINA} – This rather horrible sweet or pudding (IMO anyway) is an anagram (in what way) of IS A LEMON. Disgusting stuff I used to get with school dinners!

23 a.    Tries to deceive banks (6)
{BLUFFS} –These high, steep banks of a river or shoreline are also a word meaning tries to deceive, in a game of poker perhaps.

26 a.    One dries a tear finally, swallowing anger (5)
{AIRER} – Somewhere you may hang your clothes to dry is A (from the clue) and R (teaR finally) with a word for anger inserted (swallowing).

27 a.    Specialist unit’s undertaking on behalf of church (4,5)
{TASK FORCE} – A specialist unit is made up of a word for an undertaking or job, a word meaning ‘on behalf of’ or ‘in favour of’ and an abbreviation for the Church of England.

28 a.    Showing the difference in argument against police entrapment (11)
{CONTRASTING} – Take a word for against or contrary and a word for a police entrapment or a con (think of the film starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford) and you get a word meaning showing the difference.


1d.    Blade made from copper salts being forged (7)
{CUTLASS} – CU (chemical symbol for copper) followed by an anagram (being forged) of SALTS give a blade beloved of pirates.

2 d.    Ward off disaster at last during a check (5)
{AVERT} – Definition is ward off. Take A (from the clue) and a word meaning check out and insert R (disasteR at last). We’ve got ‘vet’ meaning check again!

3 d.    Degree given to redcoat in error (9)
{DOCTORATE} – An anagram (in error) of TO REDCOAT gives a higher degree.

4 d.    Feet up, for a change (4)
{SWAP} – Reverse (up in a down clue) the feet, of your dog or cat perhaps, and you get a word for change or exchange. This was my last in! No idea why as it’s one of the easier clues but I had real case of brain fade here!

5 d.    A close friend’s hint (8)
{INTIMATE} – Double definition. A close friend is also a word meaning to hint or allude to.

6 d.    Run over? (5)
{EXTRA} – Something over, as in more than required, is also a run in cricket that isn’t scored off the bat.

7 d.    Optimistic investor to follow a very determined person (7)
{BULLDOG} – An optimistic investor on the stock market followed by a common crosswordland word for follow gives a colloquial term for a very determined person.

8 d.    One King George invading American state becomes a headache (8)
{MIGRAINE} – Insert I (one) and GR (George Rex) inside a state in the NE of the USA to get a nasty headache that usually requires lying down in a darkened room to get rid of it.

14 d.    Fox exposes rise of public transport vehicle (8)
{OUTSMART} – A word meaning fox or hoodwink is a word for exposes or makes public followed by a public transport vehicle reversed (rise of in a down clue).

16 d.    Key service elevators getting cosmetic alterations (9)
{FACELIFTS} – A musical key followed by a service in tennis that isn’t returned and the English word for what the Americans call elevators gives some cosmetic surgery.

17 d.   Food for fish board has not raised (8)
{PLANKTON} – These microscopic creatures eaten by whales as well as fish are a word for a board or length of wood and TON (NOT reversed – raised in a down clue).

18 d.    A way to support bankrupt flyer (7)
{BUSTARD} – Place A (from the clue) and an abbreviation for way or road after (support in a down clue) a slang term for bankrupt and you’ll get a large bird, sadly now extinct in the UK but still surviving in Europe and Asia.

20 d.    Unusually tense, going outside for money put aside (4,3)
{NEST EGG} – An anagram (unusually) of TENSE followed by GG (GoinG outside) give a bit of money put aside for a rainy day.

22 d.    A bit of awfully rich poetry (5)
{LYRIC} – Some poetry is hidden in (a bit of) awfulLY RICh.

24 d.    People for whom a long way is up (5)
{FARSI} – These people from Iran are a word for a long way followed by SI (IS up, in a down clue)

25 d.    Beats a retreat, protecting ruler (4)
{TSAR} – This ruler of Russia is hidden in (protecting) beaTS A Retreat.  Another one for the retirement home?

I like all the ones in blue but favourite is 18a.

The Quick crossword pun: {calf} + {hoarse} + {ale} = {car for sale}

58 comments on “DT 26675

  1. Thanks to Jay and Pommers for the excellent review and for clarifying 28a. The word “entrapment” is missing from the online puzzle, which led me to think that it was a poorly-defined reference to Gordon Sumner!

    1. I wouldn’t know about that Gazza – still can’t get into the site! I did get in last night but when I refreshed it just after midnight to get today’s puzzle it threw me out but fortunately the pdf had arrived by then.

      Update – I just got into the site’s home page but the puzzle won’t open!

      1. It doesn’t help you I know but thought you might like to know that that happens to me nearly all the time!! Foxylady

  2. The image for 21a took me back 40 years to the worst school dinners in all of Yorkshire. They were so bad we used to sell our dinner tickets to those kids whose parents couldn’t afford them then go down to the pie shop for a bread cake which we scooped out & filled with crisps! Ah…happy days!

    1. You did make
      me laugh. Semolina was truly disgusting at my school over 60 years ago and I haven’t touched it since! Never will now either!

  3. Didn’t on the website at all yesterday and it looks like the same experience today!.. anyone got a pdf version?????? whoa!!!! the threat of this post, has got me in!!!! Its a nightmare!!

    1. Hi lizwhiz
      See Gazza at #1. I just managed to get at the puzzle to check I’ve got the answers right and the word is still missing from 28a. Really makes the clue impossible!
      I’ve mailed you the pdf.

  4. This was over all too quickly today; the only confusion was the missing word in the clue of 28a.
    Thanks to Jay, and to Pommers for the review.

  5. Been trying to get onto puzzle website since midnight – no luck. Can someone mail the Cryptic and Quick crosswords, please? Thanks.

  6. well, been trying for 2 hours now and get nothing but a blank screen, has anyone managed to get on at all today?

    I think i’ve finally found a flaw to living in the south of france, the nearest place to get the 3 page edition of the international telegraph is a 30 minute drive away!!

    1. I got onjust after I was sent the pdf copy…. and I was able to submit it also!! Failed yesterday no matter when I tried!

      1. Not sure who it is – the Great Bustard Society or somesuch – but I will endeavour to find out. Fertilised Great Bustard eggs from Russia were implanted in Salisbury Plain, hatched and reared there, and the young then released. I know that last year they actually had some eggs laid, but they were unfertilized, due, it is believed, to the immaturity of the male Bustards. One hopes for fertilised clutches in the near future.

      2. Must admit, I nearly put a different word in there – more along the lines of what one would say if a Great Bustard popped on your car

          1. Some friends of ours had a duck – she was called Astrid. They then got another which (or who) they called Mildred. When a third arrived the only name which sprang to mind was Putrid!

  7. Don’t worry about accessing the DT site as it’s nearly the 7th so it will be all sorted by then I’m sure. Yeah right….

  8. Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle today (glad I use good old fashioned pen and paper). Started off like a horse on steroids, then suddenly stopped and had to start using the grey stuff, all fell into place after getting 15A.

  9. Quickly done puzzle today.
    Faves : 10a, 15a, 18a, 21a, 27a, 7d, 14d & 24d although I usually associate the last with language!
    Now off to the dentist for biannual check.

    1. I looked up 24d and could only find references to it as a language, even trawled the Internet and no reference to it being people.

      1. .. and me, but I decided not to say anything as I questioned something that Gazza put in one of his hints yesterday and I was wrong. :sad:

      2. I’ve had a trawl around too and can’t find anything. When solving it never occured to me that the Farsi aren’t the people who speak Farsi – maybe someone else knows better! We need to ask a Persian!

      3. Chambers gives it thus:
        “Modern Persian, an Indo-European language and the official language of Iran.”

        If that is 3 things then the forst one is an adjective of the people of the region.

        Having said that I am sure that I have heard the term used as a national people.

        1. Yeah, but as far as I can find out the ‘modern Persian’ bit means it’s the modern version of the ancient Persian language. I just thiought that the Farsi were the people who spoke the language, irrespective of whether they are Iraqi, Iranian, Afghan or other nationalitiy.

          Really must get a Chambers – I keep dropping hints to pommette that Xmas is round the corner. I’m taking her to Benidorm for a few days so the least she could do is buy me a pressy!

        2. From the OED . . .

          Farsi, n. and adj.
          The Arabic name for the region of Pars in Iran: see Parsee n. and adj.and Persian n. and adj.

          If you look up Parsee you get:-

          Persian (Pārsī) person from Pars

          Guess that nails it!

  10. I thought this was quite difficult – failed completely on 4d and had to use the hint. Although I couldn’t justify it so didn’t write it in, I wanted for ages to make 10a “sting” – what a good thing I didn’t – that really would have made life tricky! I liked 11, 15, 18 and 23a and 14, 16 and 24d. Thanks to Jay and Pommers.
    SO glad that I get the paper ….

  11. An enjoyable start to Wednesday thank you Jay and Pommers too. No special favourites. Lucky for me I had my trusty paper as the site, when I can get on to it, still thinks I have cancelled my subscription.

    The Toughie is doable today too so give it a go.

  12. Merci Pommers, and thanks to the setter. Rock solid 3* for both enjoyment & difficulty, methinks. Does anyone agree that my solution for 18d (HANDOUT) works just as well? Though it wouldn’t have allowed Pommers to include his heavy-bomber picture.

    1. I think your answer for 18d was great and would have worked with the clue – the only thing against it is that it totally screws up the whole of the bottom left hand corner!!

      1. As I duly discovered, Kath !! It wasn’t till I’d had a few beers and solved 18a that I realised that I had erred ! Bitter? Me? No !!

    1. No, but I like it, and it’s just the sort of thing I often do, and then once it’s in my brain, it just won’t go away.

  13. Well, that was fun, and now it’s today’s Toughie, and all being well, yesterday’s as well.

    1. Apart from a couple of obscurities the Toughie’s not much harder than the tricky end of a Giovanni back pager!

  14. What an enjoyable crossword, but what a horrible picture of semolina, though I suppose it’s not very photogenic stuff.

    Isn’t it exciting that Clued Up is due back in 2 days time. Hands up how many people believe it will be? I’m generally an optimist, but on this occasion my hand is firmly down. I hope to be proved wrong.

  15. This seemed tricky to start with, but then I managed to get a handle on it and finished without too much difficulty. My favourite was definitly 18a (hate the stuff, myself, but my hubbie’s a big fan). Thanks to Jay and Pommers, especially for the photo of the bulldog – sooo cute!

  16. Sorry about the picture for 21a! It only occured to this morning that I’ve put up a picture of that disgusting looking stuff and many of you might be looking at the blog over lunch! It would have quite spoiled my appetite!

  17. Once again the consummate Jay flair. Many thanks to him for the crossword and to Pommers for the review.

  18. Live and learn! Have NEVER, EVER seen the second bit of 1a! But put it in anyway cos nothing else made sense. Glad I followed my instinct and thanks Pommers for explaining and also being a tad suspicious. Could you please explain he “ion” in 11a? How does that mean concerned or about? But did finish – without the hints!! – was about to give up on 4d when the penny dropped and I laughed out loud.

    1. Hi Addicted
      Re 11a. I said in the blog that I wasn’t sure the clue is 100% fair, especially for a back pager. The part of the play isn’t ACT but ACT1. Follow with ON (concerned with) and you get the court case. It would have been fairer but a lot easier to clue it ‘First part of play’ perhaps.

      1. I know you said that you were not 100% sure about 11a – I thought it was a really clever clue and one of my favourites. Just about to have supper, watch dancing from last week (if husband will put up with it) and then, if any energy, or brain power, left might just have a look at the toughie – everyone seems to think that it is “doable”, even for the likes of me!

        1. Hi Kath
          You’ll notice that 11a is in blue – I like it too but wasn’t sure that the inclusion of the 1 with the act was striclty fair. You’ll like 95% of the Toughie and if your knowledge of French writers and Irish traitors is better than mine you might like it all!

          1. …. this is really not sounding too hopeful … but will probably give it a go in a minute or two, especially as the alternative is drying a VERY wet collie- it’s absolutely piddling down here.

            1. Not raining here but gone a little chillier than of late. Had to put long trousers on tonight, for the first time since early May, but still sitting outside at 23.10 local time!

  19. Very enjoyable stroll through today and as a bit of a twitcher, I enjoyed the ornithological clues and the discussion of the bustard reintroduction. A couple of sailing clues would have been nice as well but you can’t have everything Pommers. At the other end of the spectrum, I flinch whenever I see a horticultural reference as I haven’t got a clue. Thanks to Jay and Pommers for the quality fare.

    1. The word ‘bloomer’ in a clue always fills me with dread as well!
      I love the photo of the bustard – really gives a feeling of how big the thing is (heavy bomber according to Digby at #14!), Might be over 20kg or so and flying!
      Indeed, no nautical clues but I did sneak in a piccy of a submarine!

  20. Thanks to the setter & Pommers for the hints and review. I enjoyed this one, needed a couple of hints to complete. Had “imbitter ” for 18a, which didn’t help, and had “redcoat in” as the anagram letters to 3d. Favourites were 1a & 28.

  21. As always, thanks for the kind comments and once again apologies for the semolina photo. Yuk!

    Going to bed now as it’s been a long day, or rather a short night!

    Back next week when hopefully the website will be working properly but I’m not holding my breath!

    G’night all.

  22. Didn’t find this too difficult although I got hooked on DESTINY for “doom” for a while because I had never seen it spelt that way (unlike D quoted) but 6D had to be “extra” so I went with it. Still liked it the best though.

    1A is easy if you say ACT 1 then ON for “concerned with”.

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