DT 26157 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26157

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26157

A full analysis by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

My first thought was that this was one of the better Saturday puzzles, but on closer analysis I found it a bit dull. Perhaps solving it on the journey home from the White Horse jolly had something to do with it!


1a    Stick tiny quantity of water on sweet (7)
GUMDROP – straightforward charade of GUM (stick) and DROP (tiny quantity of water gives a type of sweet

5a    Right away hit song was remixed (2,5)
ON SIGHT – a phrase meaning right away is an anagram (remixed) of HIT SONG

9a    Liberal about to include gentleman retiring as workers’ champion (9)
LABOURIST – after L(iberal) put ABOUT around SIR reversed to get someone who supports or works for the rights of workers

10a    Full of subject-matter or beef perhaps (5)
MEATY – a double definition

11a    Many grew old behind bars (5)
CAGED – C (Roman numeral for 100 / many) combined with AGED (grew old) gives a word meaning behind bars

12a    About fifteen in charge included are competent (9)
EFFICIENT – an anagram (about) of FIFTEEN is placed around (included) IC (in charge) to give a word meaning competent

13a    From one brief look there’s a label on the spear (2,1,6)
AT A GLANCE – a phrase meaning from a brief look is built up from A TAG (a label) and LANCE (spear)

16a    Had done some sketching although looking tired (5)
DRAWN – a double definition

17a    Beds Scotsman (5)
SANDY – and another double definition – a place in Bedfordshire and the affectionate form of the Scottish forename Alexander

18a    Swindler put hands on instrument (4-5)
CARD SHARP – a card-playing swindler is built up from hands of CARDS followed by HARP (instrument)

20a    Convenience call? (3,1,5)
PAY A VISIT – a call to the convenience!

23a    Sweetheart’s more frenzied love (5)
ROMEO – Juliet’s sweetheart is an anagram (frenzied) of MORE followed by O (zero / love)

25a    Lady has fewer than a dozen to take permanent possession of (5)
ANNEX – ANNE (lady) is followed by X (ten / fewer than a dozen) gives a word meaning to take permanent possession of

26a    Work at prison’s a crime (6,3)
INSIDE JOB – a part-cryptic double definition

27a    Any dope prepared for occasion when public may visit (4,3)
OPEN DAY – an anagram (prepared} of ANY DOPE gives an occasion when public may visit

28a    Worker on short time gets a wrong mark — it’s a disease (7)
ANTHRAX – ANT (Crosswordland’s ubiquitous worker) with HR (abbreviation for hour / short time) and A X (a wrong mark) gives a disease


1d    Good girl in northwest Spain (7)
GALICIA – G(ood) and ALICIA (girl) combine to give a historical autonomous community in northwest Spain

2d    Large amount of motivational research first for head of criminal organisation (2,3)
MR BIG – BIG (large amount) with MR (Motivational Research) first gives the head of a criminal organisation – I’m not at all sure that big, which is an adjective (or adverb), is a large amount, which is a noun

3d    Song or two about the Orient (9)
ROUNDELAY – a song with a refrain is built up by putting ROUND and LAY (two other types of song) around E (the Orient)

4d    Group of animals coming before the fall? (5)
PRIDE – a group of lions and an allusion to the saying that pride comes before a fall

5d    Undressed? (3,2,4)
OUT OF GEAR – a sort of cryptic definition

6d    Tree French novelist climbed (5)
SUMAC – this tree or shrub of the genus Rhus is derived by reversing (climbed – yet another down-clue construct) French novelist Albert CAMUS

7d    You reportedly found in entrance Alma reconstructed in the country (9)
GUATEMALA – put U (you reportedly) inside (found in) GATE (entrance) and follow it with an anagram (reconstructed) of ALMA to get a Central American country

8d    Take a risk for fashion? (3,2,2)
TRY IT ON – a phrase meaning to take a risk could describe what you do with an item of fashionable clothing

14d    Anyone can remove chagrin (9)
ANNOYANCE – an anagram (remove) of ANYONE CAN gives a word meaning chagrin

15d    Need no luxury (9)
NECESSITY – a sort of double definition – a need that is not a luxury

16d    Record radical item that’s a disgrace (9)
DISCREDIT – a charade of DISC (record) RED (radical) and IT (item / thing) gives a word meaning a disgrace2

17d    Upscale performer (7)
SOPRANO – a cryptic (?) definition

19d    Sorry case needs money put into it (4-3)
POOR BOX – a charade of POOR (sorry) and BOX (case) gives something to put money into

21d    Cross river in outer limits of Valladolid (5)
VEXED – a word meaning cross, as in annoyed, comes from the River EXE inside VD (outer limits of ValladoliD)

22d    Contraltos can embrace opera (5)
TOSCA – this opera is hidden inside (embrace) contraltos can

24d    Chief officer, accountant to leave island (5)
MAJOR – to get this Chief officer take CA (Chartered Accountant) away from (to leave) the island of MAJOR(CA)