DT 26175

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26175

A full analysis by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

Just when you thought it was safe to sit down and enjoy a Saturday Prize puzzle, along comes another one that you can finish while your egg is still boiling.  Although I have issues with a few of the clues, this is not a bad puzzle – it’s just that I was disappointed after the improvements we have seen in recent Saturdays.


Across

5a    Initially walk over stream at abbey (6)
WOBURN – the initial letters of Walk and Over are followed by a BURN (small stream) to get an Abbey in Bedfordshire

8a    Female who is the centre of attention when there is a lot of buzzing about (5,3)
QUEEN BEE – a (barely) cryptic definition

9a    Making amends for a fashion in first gear (7)
ATONING – to get this synonym for making amends you need a charade of A TON (fashion) IN and G (first gear) – first gear does not mean the first letter of gear to me; what do you think?

10a    Shining precious metal of little value (5)
AGLOW – a word meaning shining is a combination of AG (the chemical symbol for silver) and LOW (of little value)

11a    Sandy old-timer? (9)
HOURGLASS – another faintly cryptic definition

13a    Shakespearean family with regal disposition (4,4)
KING LEAR – this Shakespearean character is built up from KIN (family) and an anagram (disposition) of REGAL

14a    Exaggerate about party (6)
OVERDO – a synonym for to exaggerate is a charade of OVER (about) and DO (party)

17a    Modern number you and I backed (3)
NEW – this word meaning modern comes from N(umber) and WE (you and I) reversed (backed)

19a    Move quickly, being cut off in animal park (3)
ZOO – ZOO(M)

20a    Sort of job provided by firm (6)
STEADY – a double definition

23a    Doing some revision at university before having romantic appointment (8)
UPDATING – this synonym for doing some revision is a charade of UP (at university) before DATING (having romantic appointment)

26a    Warm wear for someone taking a leap in the cold (3,6)
SKI JUMPER – a sort of part-cryptic double definition

28a    Made choice — put wrong mark (5)
VOTED – made choice by putting an X ( a mark that often indicates a wrong answer)

29a    Jealous cardinals, five with evidence of debts (7)
ENVIOUS – this word meaning jealous is built up from E and N (cardinal points of the compass) V (Roman numeral for five) and IOUS (evidence of debts)

30a    Plan to remove car noise (8)
SCENARIO – this plan is an anagram (remove) of CAR NOISE

31a    Restless desire by the way when there’s sudden pain (6)
STITCH – put ITCH (a restless desire or yearning) after ST (street / way) to get that sudden pain that often afflicts athletes

Down

1d    Outcry — group loses 500 before week following (6)
SQUAWK – this outcry comes from SQUA(D) (group of soldiers) without (loses) D ( 500 in Roman numerals) followed by WK (week)

2d    The man with a fish for curing (7)
HEALING – HE (man) with A LING (a fish) creates a word meaning curing

3d    Unable to see blanket coverage (4-5)
SNOW-BLIND – can’t see the snow!

4d    Hostess on stage I shan’t include (6)
GEISHA – this hostess is hidden inside (include) stage I shan’t – the word “on” appears to be there only for the benefit of the surface reading

5d    Battle to reach toilet after a drink? (8)
WATERLOO – a famous battle comes from LOO (toilet) after WATER (drink) – full-circle here, because the word loo for a toilet came from Waterloo in the first place!

6d    Prohibition on nearly everything that’s commonplace (5)
BANAL – combine BAN (prohibition) and AL(L) (nearly everything) to give a word meaning commonplace

7d    Desiring removal of area with best seats (8)
RINGSIDE – an anagram (removal) of desiring gives an area with the best seats

12d    Gold and black ball (3)
ORB – OR (gold in heraldry) and B(lack) make a ball

15d    Oven vault cooking pastry-case (3-2-4)
VOL-AU-VENT – an anagram (cooking) of OVEN VAULT gives a pastry-case

16d    It catches fish from east Kent (5,3)
STAKE NET – you can work out that this fishing net is an anagram of EAST KENT, but are you happy with “from” to indicate it?

18d    Two features on the coast in Scotland (8)
EYEMOUTH – a charade of EYE and MOUTH (two features) gives this place on the coast in Scotland

21d    Would one regret planting it? (3)
RUE – this word is also the name of a strong-smelling shrubby Mediterranean plant

22d    Unchangeable sports match? (7)
FIXTURE – a self-explanatory double definition

24d    Proclaim — to the converted perhaps (6)
PREACH – as in to preach to the converted

25d    Judge doing badly having little inner energy (6)
GIDEON – the society responsible for putting Bibles in hotel rooms is named after this judge – you find his name by resolving the anagram, indicated by badly, of DOING and then inserting the abbreviation for E(nergy)

27d    Shared part of Sunday lunch (5)
JOINT – double definition


5 Comments

  1. Posted March 4, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I was also sorry to see a recent improvement in quality and increased difficulty on Saturdays regress with this one. Maybe a one-off. Thanks for the de-brief, BD.

  2. Jezza
    Posted March 4, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Dave
    I think it’s just a typo but in 17a, isn’t the N from n(umber)?

  3. Geoff
    Posted March 4, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for the explanations BD. It’s always good to know why some of my guesses (eg 13a) are correct!

  4. tonyp17
    Posted March 4, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Dave

    You may have finished whilst cooking your breakfast but to some of us it was still a considerable challenge. I enjoyed it.

    It seems that spending time on just the Saturday crossword each week for more years than I care to recall means I will never graduate to greater things.

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