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DT 26095

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26095

Let’s all play Charades!

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

Tilsit would rather go back to see the lovely nurses in the Calderdale Royal Hospital than do today’s puzzle, and I don’t blame him. It was very easy and the newer solvers should enjoy finishing it. For the rest of us it offered very little.

You can add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a Manage command post (7)
{CONTROL} – a double definition where the whole clue also defines the answer

5a Baseball player in jug (7)
{PITCHER} – this one is also a double definition

9a What Macmillan eventually had, nasty ordeal ending in defeatism (7)
{EARLDOM} – Sir Harold McMillan, former Prime Minister, became 1st Earl of Stockton I 1984 – the title bestowed on him is an anagram (nasty) of ORDEAL followed by M (ending in defeatisM), and the surface reading is very appropriate!

10a Spanish girl to perform a variety of roles (7)
{DOLORES} – this Spanish girl is built up from DO (to perform) and an anagram (variety) of ROLES

This lady was a Mexican film actress

11a Shame sappers during argument (9)
{DISREPUTE} – a word meaning shame is derived by putting RE (Royal Engineers / Sappers) inside a type of, for example, industrial labour argument,

12a Creature in middle of foaming river at York (5)
{MOUSE} – this little creature is built up from M (middle of foaMing) and the river that flows through York – I was working in York back in 2000 during the floods and the river then really was foaming

The River Ouse at York

13a Genuine male domain (5)

{REALM} – another straightforward charade with REAL (genuine) and M(ale) combining to give a domain

15a I’m one being treated in hospital in a hurry (9)
{IMPATIENT} – the game of charades continues – I’M is followed by someone being treated in hospital to give a word meaning in a hurry

17a Account of soldiers in country close to defeat (9)
{STATEMENT} – a synonym for a formal account, or declaration of facts, is constructed by putting MEN (soldiers – this time it’s not GIS, OR or RE!) in between a generic word for a country and T (close to defeaT)

19a Poet certainly needs a little time inside (5)
{YEATS} – this poet is easy to guess when you have the initial letter checked! – take YES (certainly) and put A T (a little Time)

22a Runs into singer making money (5)
{BRASS} – just put R(uns) into a singer with a deep voice to get a slang term for money

23a Bird annoyed by account (9)
{CROSSBILL} – this bird is fairly easily derived from synonyms for annoyed and an account (maybe from the phone company)

25a English farm animals bring about witty remark (7)
{EPIGRAM} – start with E(English) and add two different farm animals to get this witty remark

26a There’s grease around any ship’s rope (7)
{LANYARD} – put animal fat (grease) around ANY and you get a short rope used as a fastening on a ship

27a Hot in leather, male (7)
{THERMAL} – hidden inside leather, male is a word meaning warm rather than hot

28a Put right about costume (7)
{REDRESS} – a synonym for to put right is a simple charade of RE (about) and DRESS (a costume)


1d Child having unusual dread of cheese (7)
{CHEDDAR} – follow CH(ild) with an anagram (unusual) of DREAD to get one of the most common varieties of cheese

2d Girl shown up as seductress (7)
{NERISSA} – try as I might, I still don’t like girls and boys names as answers – to get this one you take AS and SIREN (seductress) and reverse them (shown up – as it’s a down clue}

3d Mount carrying good saddle (5)
{RIDGE} – a word meaning a mount, in the sense of a horse, contains (carrying) G(ood) to get a mountain col between two peaks, often shaped like a saddle

4d French cow by rear of estate car (9)
{LIMOUSINE} – a double definition – how many of you knew that this word also meant a type of French cow? That’ll teach me to look things up (a little knowledge is a dangerous thing)! – follow a French cow with E (rear of estatE) and the result is a large motor car [thanks Lea et al]

5d Chaplain in flat on outskirts of Rome (5)
{PADRE} – this chaplain comes from PAD (flat) on (only really works to join the two parts of a down clue) RE (the outskirts of RomE)

6d Transmission of data from me in letter confused Yard? (9)
{TELEMETRY} – the transmission of data from, say, a Grand Prix racing car to the pits is built up from ME inside an anagram (confused) of LETTER followed by Y(ard)

7d Woman’s legal action, we hear, is hairy (7)
{HIRSUTE} – HER SUIT sounds like a posh synonym for hairy

8d Consideration shown by some Yorkshire spectators (7)
{RESPECT} – a word meaning consideration is our second hidden word of the day – it’s inside Yorkshire spectators

14d Turmoil caused by wizard holding Latin mass (9)
{MAELSTROM} – this turmoil, originally a powerful whirlpool, comes from MAESTRO (could it be our Monday Maestro!) around (holding) L(atin) and followed my M(ass)

16d Book penned by drudge after revolutionary op, book having little literary quality (9)
{POTBOILER} – put B(ook) inside TOILER (a drudge) and preceded it by OP reversed (revolutionary) gives a popular book of little literary quality

17d National theme (7)
{SUBJECT} – a double definition

18d Caviare possibly causes greed (7)
{AVARICE} – an anagram (possibly) of CAVIARE gives a synonym for greed

20d Disturb soldier in a gallery (7)
{AGITATE} – a word meaning to disturb is built up from GI (soldier) inside A TATE (a gallery)

21d 24-carat American gold coin (7)
{SOLIDUS} – a charade (what a surprise) of SOLID (24-carat) and US (American) gives a Roman gold coin that is the “s” in £sd

A solidus is also the name given to a forward slash.  Printers will argue about the esoteric differences between a slash and a solidus (something to do with the angle!) but these days there is only one on the keyboard.  The name arguably comes from its use to represent shillings, as in 3/6d (for those old enough to remember).

23d Beast of burden arrived, then left (5)
{CAMEL} – a beast of burden is built up from CAME (arrived) and L(eft)

24d Church council contributing to controversy, no doubt (5)
{SYNOD} – this church council is hidden (contributing to) inside controversy, no doubt – one hidden word is about par for a puzzle, two is pushing it, but three??

I’d love to know what you think, so please leave a comment.

37 comments on “DT 26095

  1. Yup,
    Not very meaty, same as the Toughie, but perfectly enjoyable.
    21d and 25a are worthy of a mention as far as I am concerned.
    Thanks for the review BD.

  2. Felt a bit let down by this. No real favourites but comments:regarding your review.

    Agree with 2d – didn’t like it at all – girls name is a real stretch.

    Also regarding 4d – I thought the french cow didn’t have an e on the end of it so assumed it was the french cow + the e from estate to come up with the car.

    Will try the toughie later.

    Thanks for the review Dave.

    1. Yes – the French cow is LIMOUSIN with E from “rear of estate” giving the answer – a type of car.

  3. Hi Dave – lost my way a bit in the bottom right hand corner as i had put cockatiel in for 23a!! admittedly not knowing where i got the i from :) which left me struggling with 24d and 16d eventually i saw the error of my ways, a nice one for us clueless club members but maybe not as easy as suggested for us, liked 1a and 4d though at first i thought vache for a french cow!!

  4. Pleasant but not a patch on the previous two day’s puzzles in terms of difficulty and all over far too quickly. I liked 9a, 17a and 24d for its surface reading and pin point accuracy!

  5. Overall very little to add to Dave’s excellent review – a pleasant but straightforward and untaxing offering.

    A small addition to Dave’s comment on 27a – I haven’t checked so am open to correction but I don’t think thermal strictly speaking is even warm, never mind hot – it means “related to heat” – too much “thermal loss” and you would end up cold!

    Didn’t like 2d, for reasons as stated by others – also I have a general aversion to the type of clue that is typified by 22a – the use of the initial letter of (it seems) any word to supplement an answer is in my opinion weak – I would only accept this practice in the case of words which are usually (even occasionally) abbreviated to their initial letter in general use. G from gravity, M from mass, F from french are all fine – but runs? I’d appreciate other’s thoughts on this. Or is it yet another cricket derived thing?

    1. The abbreviation of R for run or runs comes from cricket terminology, along with O(vers) M(aidens) and W(ickets) – and that’s just for bowling figures. Then you can add C or CT for caught ………

  6. Proof that you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

    Nice to bolt through one after a couple of days struggling but recognise that this would have offered little to our daily finishers.

  7. I struggled with this and had to resort some of your clues BD – Thanks

    Didn’t understand your clue about £sd in 21d – I had always assumed that the s stood for shillings- am i missing something?

    Liked 14d

    1. Toby

      According to the Chambers dictionary one of the definitions is “used to denote the former English shilling, representing the old lengthened s (£..s.d.- librae, solidi, denarii pounds, shillings, pence

    2. Toby – I believe it’s from the latin, and it is LSD not £sd, something like Libre, Solidus, Denaerie (I guarantee the spelling is incorrect apart from solidus!) – Roman coinage. One penny in old money was always 1d, not 1p as it is now.

  8. I wish I could say I found it as easy as most bloggers have reported. I am not in tune with this setter at all. 16d was just about the most wordy clue I can remember. My dictionary uses ‘curt’ as part of the definition of cryptic. Three lines of clue hardly seems curt. I agree with the M for Male, B for Book argument but R for Runs seems a bit too far.

    1. Terry

      At a conservative estimate there are over 5000 abbreviations listed in Chambers dictionary (and in the companion volume Chambers XWD: A Dictionary of Crossword Abbreviations) and setters feel free to use most of them when it suits them. R = Runs is one of the more common ones. Did you see my reply to comment 5 above?

  9. Thought you guys were a bit harsh today. Nice gentle xwrd agreed, but quite a bit more enjoyable than stated. Some new words for me so im happy :smile:

  10. Evening all … and thanks for the review Big Dave.
    Late on parade for me but managed to squeeze today’s puzzle in before rushing off again.
    Not as enjoyable as the past two days, but a few decent clues … favourites 9a and 14d.

  11. Have just found time to read your review in depth Big Dave. As usual very enjoyable, including an impressive number of visual aids!
    Were you going for a record? :smile:

    1. Ha Ha!

      No, I was exiled to the kitchen this afternoon (together with the dog) while Mrs BD hosted the Women’s Fellowship, and it was to relieve the boredom.

  12. 4d French cow by rear of estate car (9)

    How did you get L I M O U S I N here? Can understand ‘E’ is from rear of estate car.

    Thank you.

  13. It was starightforward, but the surface readings were very good. Perhaps after a while solvers stop engaging in the surface reading at all?

  14. Hi again, didn’t like 3d – a ridge is the opposite of a saddle in mountain terms. A saddle is what is created by two ridges meeting so i didn’t get it……. well, of course, I did but only because it’s the only thing that was vaguely connected and fitted.

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