DT 26050 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26050

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26050

After the Lord Mayor’s Show…….

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BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment **

Last week we were treated to a hugely enjoyable puzzle which contained references to that well-known character Big Dave. This week we came back down to earth with a bump and while we don’t talk about solving times as part of the blog, let’s just say that cooking two hard-boiled eggs might have taken me longer.

Most of the Saturday papers tend to reserve their toughest or most elegant puzzles for a Saturday, but the Telegraph I think tends the other way, with a friendly none-too-taxing challenge, which generates lots of entries for the prize. In that respect, it ticks all the boxes. However, I prefer a puzzle that does offer a bit of a challenge. The grid was pretty awful as well, with lots of “double unches” (double unchecked letters) and a lot of four letter words which are clued rather uninspiringly. Compare with the Wednesday puzzle where the four-letter answers were clued with a bit of imagination and care.

The other slight issue was that the clue at 10 across was clued differently on line than in the paper. Luckily the answers were the same, otherwise there might have been a bigger problem.

Here are the clue explanations:-


1a    Issue period return (4)
EMIT – A straight-forward reversal to start with today. Period = TIME and reverse it to get a word meaning issue.

3a    Sculptures that over the Channel are possessing formal dignity (10)
STATUESQUE – A word sum. Sculptures = STATUES + that in French (over the Channel) = QUE. Put them together to make a word which means “having a dignity”. I dislike charade and word sum clues where the parts are basically synonyms of the answer. The definition of STATUESQUE is ultimately “like a statue”. A poor clue, in my book.

8a    Scamper heartlessly round side of ditch (6)
ESCARP – An anagram (indicated by round) of SCAMPER without its heart (M), gives a word meaning the side of a ditch.

9a    Start what I did in restaurant (8)
INITIATE – A double definition where one half is cryptic. Giovanni and Elgar both used this device successfully in their puzzles and this one is similarly clever, although I wonder if it should have had a question mark at the end to indicate a bit of lateral thinking was required.

It’s basically a riposte to the statement “what I did in restaurant”. Well IN IT, I ATE!

10a    Exhibitionist rose up angrily (6)
POSEUR – As mentioned the news paper clue is different and I don’t have it to hand, so can’t explain it (pauses here in the hope Big Dave retrieves his copy of the paper from the recycle box). However here an anagram (indicated by angrily) of ROSE UP produces a word meaning a show-off.

[Both were given in the hints post – the other one is “Exhibitionist model went round the bend (6)” – you paya your money and …… BD]

11a    Spirited game? (3,5)
GIN RUMMY – A cryptic definition for a card game I haven’t played in years. Bridge is more my line, and I’m celebrating as I have just got on the first rung of the bridge ladder with my Club Master’s award from the EBU.

12a    Too often changed comment at bottom of page (8)
FOOTNOTE – An anagram (indicated by changed) of TOO OFTEN gives a word meaning an attachment to the bottom of a page r document.

14a    Not able to hear fade away (4)
DEAF – I have a real issue with four-letter anagrams. Almost insulting , I am afraid. Here we have an anagram (indicated by away) of FADE. Even a cryptic definition would have been better.

16a    Witticism from Jack, Oriental holy man (4)
JEST – A word sum J (Jack) + E (oriental) + ST (holy man) = a word meaning something amusing. Here is something amusing.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

18a    Kelvin, American with Harry going back to endlessly dry desert (8)
KALAHARI – K (Kelvin) + A (American) + HAL (Harry – REVERSED ) + ARI(D) (endlessly dry) = the name of the large desert in Southern Africa. Horribly contrived clue.

19a    Springtime in 2012? (4,4)
LEAP YEAR – A cryptic definition of the Olympic Year.

20a    Drawing of fruit by Yorkshire runner (6)
FIGURE – a word sum FIG (fruit) + URE (Yorkshire river) = word for a drawing.

21a    Jump a line to reach limit (8)
BOUNDARY – Another word sum. BOUND (Jump) + A RY (abbreviation for “a railway” i.e. a (train)line)

22a    I call a doctor who’s not clerical (6)
LAICAL – Anagram (indicated by doctor) of I CALL A gives a word meaning someone not of the clergy.

23a    Lorry began transporting fruit (10)
LOGANBERRY – An anagram (indicated by transporting, which is a poor indicator) of LORRY BEGAN gives a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry.

24a    One can’t go straight to centre of this complicated network (4)
MAZE] Cryptic definition for a labyrinth.


1d    Previous European member Edward granted immunity (8)
EXEMPTED – A word sum to start the Downs. EX (Previous) + E MP (European Member, as opposed to MEP, which is the official title!) + TED (Edward) = a word meaning given immunity.

2d    Compromise when business has finished (5-3)
TRADE OFF – Another word sum. TRADE (Business) + OFF (has finished) = a word meaning compromised.

3d    Bright star that’s excellent, one appearing after 30 days (9)
SUPERNOVA – Guess what? A word sum. SUPER (excellent) + NOV A (one appearing after 30 days (i.e. a month)) = a word meaning a bright star in the sky. I was tempted to ask how a star could be excellent, but I suppose you could stretch the surface reading to mean an entertainment star.

4d    Two angelic things offering slight hope of success (1,4,3,1,6)
A WING AND A PRAYER – This really troubles me. I can appreciate that a wing is “an angelic thing” but is a prayer one too? It’s a religious thing, but not angelic? However I’ll rescue the setter by saying that I suppose you could also say that angelic relates to the angelus, a catholic devotional prayer. I am sure he meant that. Honestly.

5d    Muse of terrible repute, fifth-rate (7)
EUTERPE – The muse of Muse of music and lyric poetry is an anagram of REPUTE + E (fifth-rate)

6d    Said choir meeting in wet low-lying ground (8)
QUAGMIRE – QUIRE (a homophone, indicated by said, of choir) with AGM (meeting ) inside. In order for this to work it has to be read as Said choir / meeting in .

7d    See, say, inclusion of song of lamentation (5)
ELEGY – In Crosswordland the word SEE usually means a religious See, i.e. a district, and more often than not, a particular see of ELY in Cambridgeshire. It does here with “say” E.G. inside it, to give a poem.

13d    In an unhappy way complete a ripping job (9)
TEARFULLY – Double definition with one cryptic. If you complete a ripping job you word TEAR FULLY. Quite.

15d    One in the capacity of breather for diving apparatus (8)
AQUALUNG – A really poor cryptic definition for the invention of Jacques Cousteau. Surely there must be a reasonable way to provide a clue for this word.

16d    Go in with Jim’s sort of patriotism (8)
JINGOISM – An anagram (indicated by sort) of GO IN JIM’S will reveal a type of patriotism. I was going to find a really interesting link about this, but I am afraid I can’t be bothered. If the setter can’t be bothered writing even slightly challenging clues, the analysis doesn’t deserve to enhance it. .

17d    Genuine sportsman unswervingly faithful (4,4)
TRUE BLUE – Double definition . Genuine Sportsman (as in a Cambridge University sports rep) and unswervingly faithful both mean TRUE BLUE

18d    Essential electronic noise having entered data (5,2)
KEYED IN – Word sum. KEY (essential) + E (electronic) + DIN (NOISE) = a phrase for having typed something, or entered data.

19d    In journal I believed it was defamation (5)
LIBEL – Hidden answer to finish today “journaL I BELieved” contains a word meaning a written defamation of character.

Thank you to our Saturday Setter. I am sure many of you will have enjoyed this and found it a nice weekend warm-up. However I’m not in that group. See you next week.

2 comments on “DT 26050

  1. I donh’t understand the gripe with the grid. Every answer has at least 50% of the letters checked, and every word has its first and last letter checked. And two of th four 4-letter answers are 75% checked. Patterns like X?X??X are different to ones like X?X?X? and ?X?X?X but I don’t think they’re unfair. “No double unches” is a sound principle for advanced puzzles, but they have about 75% checking rather than 50%.

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