DT 26189 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26189

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26189

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Ray T’s puzzles normally have one or two hidden answers but there are none at all in this one. Is this a new policy, or did he just forget? I thought that there were some cracking clues today and I really enjoyed the challenge.
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If you’re new to the blog you may not realise that the answers are present in the review but hidden between the curly brackets under the relevant clue (so that you can’t see them accidentally). Drag your cursor across from the left to the right bracket if you want to reveal one.

Across Clues

1a  Prescription issued with tablets? (11)
{COMMANDMENT} – a cryptic definition of something that was prescribed or ordered. Actually there were ten of them and they were supposedly written on tablets of stone.

9a  She’s a source of pride (7)
{LIONESS} – another cryptic definition, this time of one of the females who produce the next generation in a group of big cats.

10a  Accent embodies grand, posh language (6)
{TONGUE} – the definition is language. Put G(rand) and U (posh, upper-class) inside (embodies) an accent or modulation of the voice.

12a  Start to crash and rattle about (7)
{CLATTER} – an all-in-one clue. The first letter (start) of Crash is followed by an anagram (about) of RATTLE.

13a  Following a Labour leader’s side (7)
{LATERAL} – the definition is side. Start with an adjective or adverb meaning some time after (following) and add A and the first letter (leader) of Labour.

14a  Right lad getting lecherous (5)
{RANDY} – after R(ight) we want a shortened man’s name, that of the Queen’s second son for example (to pick someone totally at random!).

15a  Declaration from winner taking runs as ordered (9)
{ASSURANCE} – a positive declaration with the aim of building confidence is constructed from ACE (winner from a serve at tennis) which contains (taking) an anagram (ordered) of RUNS AS.

17a  Person of authority seizing account (9)
{CHARACTER} – start with a formal document granting certain powers and privileges (authority) and include in it (seizing) AC(count) to get a person (in a novel or play, for example).

20a  Crown in charge of subject (5)
{TOPIC} – string together a synonym for crown or apex and IC (in charge).

22a  Raised by salt I fancy, taking work (7)
{TOPSAIL} – another clever attempt at an all-in-one. What would have been raised at sea by sailors in the old days is an anagram (fancy) of SALT I with OP (opus, work) inside.

24a  Stick up job? (7)
{PROJECT} – this is the last clue I got. It’s a double definition, a verb meaning to protrude or extend upwards (stick up) and a defined piece of work (job).

25a  Socialist leader frequently showing temper (6)
{SOFTEN} – temper in the surface reading is a noun, but as the definition it’s a verb meaning to moderate. Put the first letter (leader) of Socialist in front of a synonym for frequently.

26a  Halt progress after amber changes (7)
{EMBARGO} – a verb meaning to prohibit or halt (used, for example, to prevent newspapers publishing details of the honours’ list before the appointed time) is made from GO (progress) after an anagram (changes) of AMBER.

27a  He shares drier, perhaps (11)
{HAIRDRESSER} – a semi-all-in-one is an anagram (perhaps) of SHARES DRIER.

Down Clues

2d  Unreasonably taking time, apparently (7)
{OVERTLY} – the definition is apparently, i.e. for all to see. Put an adverb meaning unreasonably or excessively around (taking) T(ime).

3d  Cameron, it’s put about, missing nothing criminal (9)
{MISCREANT} – an anagram (put about) of CAMER(o)N IT’S without the O (missing nothing) gives us a criminal.

4d  Brown, raised a leftie, beginning from birth (5)
{NATAL} – an adjective meaning related to or from birth is formed from TAN (brown) which has to be reversed (raised) followed by A and the first letter (beginning) of Leftie. Note the even-handedness here – Cameron in one clue, Brown in the next!

5d  Security camera put idiot in dock (7)
{MONITOR} – put a word for idiot inside a verb meaning to dock or make fast a boat to get a device used for observing or keeping a continuous record (security camera). Security camera is just an example of this, and I think that a “perhaps” or “say” would have been fairer here.

6d  Essentially, it’s free of charge! (7)
{NEUTRON} – cryptic definition of an uncharged particle present in the nucleus (essentially) of an atom.

7d  Shock vote for right? Opposition leader’s winning (11)
{ELECTROCUTE} – the definition is shock, as a verb. We have to string together a verb meaning to vote into office, R(ight), the first letter (leader) of O(pposition) and finally an adjective meaning winning or attractive.

8d  Kingdom’s premier lower than cheat (6)
{DOMAIN} – a word meaning kingdom or realm is made from an adjective meaning leading or principal (premier) which follows (lower than, in a down clue) an informal verb for to cheat or swindle.

11d  Conservative leader embroiled in reshuffle row (11)
{ALTERCATION} – the definition is row or argument. Put the initial letter (leader) of Conservative inside (embroiled in) a reshuffle or modification. The surface reading is excellent and misleading, because you’d expect “reshuffle” to signal an anagram.

16d  Sightseers on Sunday, they take off… (9)
{STRIPPERS} – put people who go on an excursion (sightseers) after (on) S(unday) to get devices for removing the insulation from a flex. Why, what did you think they were?

18d  Handled pot in the past (7)
{AMPHORA} – I love this one. It’s an old Greek or Roman jar with two handles, and in crosswordland that makes it a handled pot.

19d  Plug more suitable for electrical device (7)
{ADAPTER} – a charade of a short word for advertisement (plug) followed by a comparative meaning more suitable or more relevant produces the sort of electrical device that you may take abroad on holiday.

20d  Time and money problem (7)
{TROUBLE} – put together T(ime) and the Russian currency (money).

21d  Verse from writer on crack (6)
{POETRY} – the definition is verse and we get it by putting together the American author of “The Pit and the Pendulum” and an attempt (crack). Another excellent surface reading, especially since at one time this writer was thought to have been a drug-addict.

23d  Ascetic left atop a solitary pillar’s end (5)
{LONER} – string together L(eft) followed by (atop, in a down clue) ONE (a solitary) and the last letter (end) of pillaR. The surface reading alludes to Saint Simeon Stylites who lived on top of a pillar for 39 years. I’m not convinced that the answer is necessarily an ascetic – he or she could just be an unsociable individual.

The clues I liked today included 9a, 27a, 11d and 21d, but my clue of the day for its simplicity and elegance is 18d. What do you think? Let us know via a comment!

42 comments on “DT 26189

  1. Another great RayT puzzle – they are really making me think on Tuesday. Happy to say that I agree 100% with your favourites gazza, thanks for the review.
    I didn’t notice the lack of hidden words, although strangely I did notice that I had yet to find one while 75% through the Toughie – that allowed me to spot the little bugger!

  2. I thought I’d managed to crack it without assistance today, but unfortunately stumbled on 24a having entered protest (as in march).

    Never mind, If at first!!

    1. I desperately wanted to write ‘protest’ in as well but I’m glad I held back – It just wasn’t there as an answer.

  3. Can’t decide whether or not I liked this. Some good clues and some bad ones. I’m not a fan of all-in-one clues, and here we had three of them! I feel that, to be fair the the solver, the definition should be clear. With 27a, for example, I had to work out the anagram, before I could see the “definition”.

    18a just about qualified as a cryptic clue, I thought.

    But I did like 9a, 7d & 11d.

  4. I quite liked this one. I think Gazza gets the two best days, Tuesday and Friday. Last clue for me was 8d, 11d favourite, and 14a most annoying, because I should have got it earlier!

  5. I got 21d but was not sure if it was poet (writer) on ry (railway track) or Poe on try. Maybe both/either?

    I liked 1a best

  6. Took one look at todays, saw no phrases. no obvious anagrams and consequently no way in then realised its a Ray T.
    Looking forward to tomorrow !!

    1. Come on Bazz just cos Mary isn’t givin you a push,1a think of different tablets not just aspirin and codiene and all that medical stuff. Put that one in and the rest just falls into place

      1. Mary needed a bit of a push herself today Nubian, :) ‘interesting’ puzzle, as Barrie says, no real’ way in,’ 7d, 27a, were obvious, 1a, took a while as did 11d, favourite clue 20a, had to have help off blog to finish bottom r/h side, have done this in fits and starts today

    2. No way in for me either and, Mary, nothing was obvious! Surely ‘electrocute’ means more than to shock ??

      1. sorry Geoff, it wasn’t obvious to my brother either and he is a crossword genius unlike yours truly :)

  7. Thanks Rae T for a most enjoyable crossword and thanks Gazza for the usual great review. Favourite clue was 1a.

  8. A very nice crossword from Ray. Most enjoyable. Not quite a themed political crossword, but there were 6 “politically” oriented clues.
    BTW Gazza I am aware that you seem to have the the best two days in the week :-)

  9. Managed half then heavily relied on the hints. Even with lots of checking letters I couldn’t see some answers. Head not in gear today! Winning = cute is a new one on me today but it stands to reason.

  10. Enjoyed this one! Shall have a go at the toughie tonight – if I don’t fall asleep – drank too much Pommard last evening! No wine tonight.
    I liked 1a, 17a, 22a & 24a. 5d, 6d, 7d, 20d & 21d.
    Consider 8d rather weak as the solution is virtually in the clue.
    Re 16d, Gazza, I thought of the girls at the nude show joint rather than the tool! although I was involved in electronics in my working life.

    Re anagrams – either you are wired to do them quickly or you have to sweat on them!

  11. Fantastic site Big Dave, its made my poor attempts at the DT crossword doubly enjoyable.

  12. Guessed this was a Ray T as I got less than half out. Did not enjoy -far too hard and obscure.

  13. Found this one hard – feeling a bit more thick than usual today.

    Excellent hints again – many thanks

  14. Setter here…

    Thanks to Gazza for the dissection and to all for your feedback. Glad to see that the allusion to Simeon Stylites wasn’t lost. Well spotted, Gazza!

    Ray T

  15. That the worst for ages for me hopefully because I started late but only got about half on my own….:( (Ray T, I don’t love you anymore!)

  16. Did both Ray T and Cephas early on before a six hour meeting in sunny Leeds on the niceties of legal taxonomies. Having lost the will to live, a brief post to say thank you to Cephas and Ray T for the the highlights of the day! I thought Ray T was a little more lenient this week.

  17. Heavy reliance on the hints this time – I particularly liked 20d, 24a and 26a. So simple but mislead me completely. Got 9a first, then 1a before I found it impenetrable. Thanks again to Gazza.

  18. Great crossword with some fabulous clues. Very clever, challenging and enjoyable. 22a my favourite. 4* for me. Why can’t this standard be seen on Saturdays?

    It was a beaut.

  19. Big thanks to Gazza today! Started late as usual during the week and struggled through the top half but couldn’t seem to get going down the bottom. Having read the hints it all seems so obvious. Don’t think I’ve got the patience after a day at school! Still – a few favourites 1a, 9a, 7d, 26a

  20. well well well. Took 10 minutes to get one clue!
    Then started to tick……..
    And my last one still no idea is 18d. Its an anagram i know. Or is it?
    Anywho, am giving this 5* for pure enjoyment. Chelsea on but i gotta get this last one…….or maybe i crib?
    Top marks for todays fare!

  21. Wanted Chelski to in through but hey ho.
    In scheme of things it not in same league as state of my team. Bottom of league, in administration, close to winding up order…..oh blimey, I’m choking up :-(

    1. As a supporter of the first British side to win a European trophy (in 1963), I was glad to see the back of the prima donnas from the wrong side of London!

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