DT 26145 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26145

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26145

Take a Bow, Gilbert Burrows –

a full analysis by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

This was more the sort of puzzle that I like to tackle on a Saturday with some good cluing and unusual words and Cephas certainly seems to have upped the ante on recent weeks. That said, the only clue I would have an issue with as unfair is probably the one that some will enjoy the most – 15 down. To me the answer is what I would describe as one step away from the definition, and that makes it too clever for its own good. Had the answer been “Sleep Music”, if such a thing existed, I would be raving about it, but the real answer “sheet music” is one step from that and in my book unfair.

However, I really liked 21 down, 6 down and 11 across. My Latin master at school, Gilbert Burrows used to expound upon unusual words and their origins and meanings and one of them was “peculator” meaning a sinner, derived from the Latin verb ‘pecco’, meaning to sin. It’s taken almost 40 years for the word to be needed, but there it was last Saturday. I am sure if GSB was doing the Telegraph puzzle on his cloud up above, he’d have had a wry smile.

Feel free to have your say on the puzzle below, and don’t forget to rate it with the star system.

1a    In favour of disco becoming rhythmical (8)
PROSODIC – The Latin word for “for”, or “in favour of” is PRO and add to this an anagram (indicated by becoming) of disco, to get a word meaning rhythmical as in poetry.

9a    Puritan’s becoming a monk (8)
RASPUTIN – There are a batch of famous anagrams [BRITNEY SPEARS is an anagram of PRESBYTERIANS is one of the newer ones, by our very own Rufus] and this is one of them, Clever and witty if you haven’t seen it, a bit hackneyed if you have. An anagram (indicated by becoming again) of PURITANS gives the name of the Russian lunatic man of the cloth.

Let’s have a tune.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

10a    Transfix victim, pal entrenched inside (6)
IMPALE – a HIDDEN ANSWER “victim, pal entrenched”

11a    Second embezzler is better (10)
SPECULATOR – The definition here refers to “one who bets”. It’s a simple word sum but with a word that is not very common. As mentioned above, a peculator is someone who commits a sin, and place an S for second in front of it.

12a    Tanks of water reaching valley (7)
AQUARIA – More Latin. The Latin word for water needs to be added to a geographical term for a valley.

14a    How iron was put into service? (7)
PRESSED – A cryptic double definition referring to what irons do and to force someone into service, as the gangs used to do to unsuspecting people in the eighteenth and nineteenth century.

16a    Without success when lady’s not there (2,3)
NO JOY – Because the puzzle was pangrammatic (contained every letter of the alphabet), one of our setters usual traits, I managed to work the answer out. If one of the three Beverley Sisters wasn’t present there would be “no _ _ _” . It’ s a phrase comprising the negative and a girl’s name.

17a    Before nine, umpire put things right again (5)
REFIX – An umpire is a ref(eree) and add nine in Roman numerals to it to get a word meaning rectify things.

18a    He had a right inside to be listened to (5)
HEARD – he had = HE’D with AR (a right) inside it.

20a    Mainly bewildered? (2,3)
AT SEA – A cryptic definition – mainly in this sense refers to the sea (think Spanish Main)

22a    Tube may damage ulna (7)
CANNULA – A word-sum. A word for may (CAN) is added to an anagram (shown by damage) of ULNA. This gives one of those medical devices that I am sick to my back teeth of seeing.

24a    Acquiring a reddish-brown coat (7)
RUSTING – Weak cryptic definition.

26a    11-11 abreast? (4,2,4)
SIDE BY SIDE – Although Rugby and other sportsmen would disagree, eleven is the normal number for teams in soccer and cricket and therefore eleven means a side.

27a    Oriental sailor changed sides, the rogue (6)
RASCAL – Another word you may not be familiar with. A sailor from the Far East is a LASCAR and if you swap sides, i.e. left for right and vice versa, you get a word meaning a tearaway or scamp. Clever clue.

28a    Belief about colour in French church (8)
CREDENCE – A word=sum. C (about) + RED (colour) + EN (in French – hmm) + CE (church), gives a word meaning belief.

Speaking of homophones, which we weren’t.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

29a    At mealtimes this man will dig in (8)
TRENCHER – Another word you may or may not know. As well as being someone who digs ditches, a trencher(man) is someone who is a hearty heater


2d    Sound comment distinguishing mark on etching (8)
REMARQUE – A homophone of a word for comment is something that distinguishes an etching.

3d    No growth in all-male country (10)
STAGNATION – An economic term for zero percentage growth comprises all-male (STAG) = country (NATION),

4d    Hide one’s kid playing (7)
DOESKIN – An anagram (indicated by playing) of ONE’S KID leads to a type of hide used in making gloves, etc.

5d    Many a nobleman getting up will advance slowly (5)
CREEP – C = many, and add to it a reversal (indicated by getting up) of a word for a nobleman (PEER) and you have a word meaning to advance inch by inch.

6d    Sure Tay meanders into it (7)
ESTUARY – Nice “& Lit clue”, that is one that is defined by the whole clue. So here we have an anagram (indicated by MEANDERS – another appropriate word with rivers) of SURE TAY. This takes you to an answer for where the River Tay could perhaps run into.

7d    Brief details about upper-class standing (6)
STATUS – Brief details are STATS (statistics) and inside it place U for upper class. That gives you a word for a person’s standing.

8d    Turned out I had gone round having entered uninvited (8)
INTRUDED – , I’D ( I HAD) with an anagram (indicated by OUT) of TURNED

13d    One fragment, one artery (5)
AORTA – Word sum. A + ORT (fragment) + A = the main artery

14d    Attorney’s force? (5)
POWER – A word meaning force, and something issued by an attorney provide you with the two definitions here.

15d    Lullabies? (5,5)
SHEET MUSIC – Very weak cryptic definition for written tunes. Some will like it, some won’t. Too removed for my liking. – see above.

17d    Crowd taking wine from hiker’s bag (8)
RUCKSACK – Word sum. Ruck (crowd) + sack (old wine) = that item carried by hitchhikers.

19d    Restore said bird with egg-shaped behind! (8)
RENOVATE – A homophone of WREN (REN) + a word meaning egg-shaped (OVATE) leads you to a word meaning fix or make good.

20d    Joining confederate at home before midnight (7)
ALLYING – A confederate (ALLY) + at home (IN) + G mid of night)

21d    Eggplant not in the inn (7)
AUBERGE – Eggplant is the American name for this vegetable, used in moussaka. Take away IN from AUBERGINE and you have a word for a hostel or inn.

23d    How one had given a pointed reminder (6)
NUDGED – A cryptic definition for being given a hint. Another weak one.

25d    Piece about last character on point of becoming composer (5)
BIZET – A word for a piece (BIT) with Z (last character) and E (point) inside.

Thanks to Cephas for a fair challenge. Here’s to another one this Saturday!

5 comments on “DT 26145

  1. I’m enjoying the Saturday a lot more than I used to – thanks for the review but there is a tiny criticism: I would have preferred “Up Around the Bend”!

    Re:9a I assume that Bruce indulging in stange Roman religious rites is also considered Old Hat?

      1. I put SWEET MUSIC in at first; is this not a case of a cryptic definition falling into the elephant trap awaiting them all? Wordplay is removed in favour of a comic/funny connection and it becomes so much harder to make sure there are no alternative answers that fit. Music that you hear when you’re between the sheets, or pleasant soothing music; no way of telling them apart.

        Harry Shipley

  2. pecco crops up in one of the best puns ever. General Napier, having captured the province of Sindh, is said to have sent a single-word message to headquarters, saying peccavi (I have sinned).

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