DT 26169 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26169

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26169

Much Ado About Something

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BD Rating – Difficulty **** Enjoyment ****

After what was a turbulent week for the site in one way or another, I was somewhat apprehensive when tackling this puzzle. Although I had resolved to simply review the clues and analyse them without overall comments, I feel I cannot let pass what for me was a really enjoyable puzzle and the sort that I look for in a Saturday puzzle, so thank you to Cephas.

Feel free to have your say as usual and don’t forget the star rating system; simply click in the box with your award.


1a    Speed leafstalk absorbs it (8)
CELERITY – Not sure about the clue wording. Speed is the definition. Celery is a plant with a leafstalk and IT goes inside to make the definition.

5a    Crustacean, one’s round shell (6)
ISOPOD – A word sum. I’S (One’s) + O (round) + POD (shell) = another word for a crustacean.

10a    Sign here, dunce (6,2,3,4)
BOTTOM OF THE FORM – A double definition. Where you might sign on the dotted line, and where you would probably find a school dunce, intellectually.

11a    Cases crack in toboggan (7)
LUGGAGE – A crack (as in a wisecrack) = GAG inside a word for one of those tea-trays that people are currently using to slide down hills in Vancouver. That gives you a word for a set of cases.

12a    Nearly everything in Czech Republic one put on pizza (7)
CALZONE – Nearly everything = AL(L) inside CZ (IVR for the Czech Republic ). Add to this ONE and you get a kind of folded pizza, a bit like a Cornish pasty.

13a    Payment for the cloth (7)
STIPEND – Cryptic definition for payments to the clergy.

15a    Lorraine’s pastry flan? (6)
QUICHE – Likewise, a cryptic definition for the pastry and egg flan.

19a    Furious when the rod melted (3-3)
RED HOT – An anagram of THE ROD give s a phrase meaning cross, irate.

20a    Monk runs into trouble (7)
BROTHER – R (for runs) inside BOTHER leads you to the name for a member of the ecclesiastical order.

23a    Loud noise made by our gripping instrument first (7)
CLAMOUR – I was surprised to see CLAM can be used as a substitute for CLAMP and add OUR to this to give a racket or din.

25a    Southern part of Europe, notoriously cold area! (7)
SIBERIA – A word sum. S (Southern) + IBERIA (the European province) = the very chilly part of Russia.

27a    Slightly crazy idea, it could get the head buzzing (3,2,4,6)
BEE IN ONE’S BONNET – Double definition, with one part cryptic. My only slight grumble with this type of clue is that the answer could lead to “…. ONE’S BONNET” or ” …YOUR BONNET” and you have to rely upon the intersecting letters to work out which is correct. I’m not sure that’s terribly fair as you should be able to work out an answer from the clue given, unless there are guidelines to the contrary (in a themed puzzle, for example). A small point.

28a    See old tree doctor (6)
EXETER – “See” in Crosswordland often refers to the area governed by a Bishop, as much as it refers to “look”. That is the case here today. EX = once, plus an anagram (indicated by doctor) of TREE. This will lead you to a see based in the South West of England.

29a    Episcopal dignity does not reach end of large church (8)
CATHEDRA – A large church is a CATHEDRAL and as “it doesn’t reach the end” if means lose the last letter. That gives you a word meaning a Bishop’s office or throne. Not sure these are distinct enough for the clue to be a double definition.


1d    Mend ways at last? (6)
COBBLE – A cryptic double definition which alludes to mending a cobbled road and a shoemaker working at a last.

2d    Fired up, I had crossed entrance and disputed (9)
LITIGATED – A word sum. LIT (Fired up) + I’D (I had) with GATE )entrance) inside. This will lead to a word meaning disputed.

3d    Drink I love in fancy jar (5)
RIOJA – I O (I love) inside an anagram of JAR gives the popular wine.

4d    Worthless pony went wild (8)
TWOPENNY – An anagram (indicated by wild) of PONY WENT leads you to a word meaning cheap, worthless.

6d    The lady will look right in casual wear (5-4)
SHELL SUIT – A double definition with a cryptic half. SHE’LL SUIT = The lady will look right.

7d    Exposure when very warm in river (5)
PHOTO – HOT inside PO gives a word meaning an exposure or picture.

8d    Dispiriting moisturising agent? (8)
DAMPENER – Another double definition with a cryptic half, if you are dispirited you have put one of these on the situation, and one of these could describe one of those little sponge pads that moisten postage stamps.

9d    Unable to move second pleat (5)
STUCK – Word sum. S (second) + TUCK (pleat) = a word meaning unable to move, budge.

14d    Articulate part of speech on engineer (9)
PRONOUNCE – Another word sum. PRONOUN (Part of speech) + CE (Civil Engineer) = a word meaning articulate, speak.

16d    Made a v-sign! (9)
CHEVRONED – A cryptic definition for having made a sign like a chevron.

17d    Crib clue about melting-pot (8)
CRUCIBLE – An anagram (indicated by about) of CRIB CLUE gives the word for a melting-pot.

18d    Man naturally rises above it (5,3)
IRISH SEA – Favourite clue. The Isle of Man stands proud above this body of water. A nice cryptic definition.

21d    Frolic from Penny and Kay who had hurried inside (5)
PRANK – P (penny) + K (Kay) have RAN (hurried) inside to form a word meaning a jape or frolic.

22d    Fellow drawing up sacred text (6)
MANTRA – MAN (Fellow) + a reversal of ART gives the sort of religious text chanted by a monk or other religious person.

24d    Part of a beleaguered tree (5)
ABELE – Hidden answer. “….. a beleaguered”

26d    General stall (5)
BOOTH – Double definition. The founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth, was a famous general. A booth is a stall as well.

Thanks to Cephas for the challenge and I’ll see you next week.