DT 26247 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26247

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26247

A full review by Crypticsue

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

[Today I would like to welcome Crypticsue to the review panel.  She becomes our first lady blogger, and will be appearing from time to time, other commitments allowing.  Her next post will be Monday’s daily cryptic.]

This Saturday’s puzzle was just right – not too difficult, a couple of tricky ones if you didn’t spot such things as the placing of a comma or a capital I (20a and 26a) and even the chance to learn a historical word (20a)

I am torn between a 3 * or 2* for difficulty (after 40 years I may find some puzzles easier than those with less experience) but definitely a 3* for enjoyment.


1a    A defeat that is humiliating (8)
ABASHING – Quite a simple one to start with – just add another word for a defeat to the letter A to get a word meaning humiliating.

9a    One cannot hear it when it is dropped (8)
ASPIRATE – The “proper” term for a letter such as an “h” when it is silent.

11a    Hooligan’s a card, one with unpolished manners (5, 7).
ROUGH DIAMOND – Take a word meaning hooligan-like and add it to the name of a suit in a pack of cards and you get the person with poor manners.

13a    Logical to restrict endless beer (8)
RATIONAL – Take the last letter away from a three letter word for a type of beer, put the result at the end a word meaning to restrict and you get a common word for logical.

15a    Steal young animal having 40 winks (6)
KIDNAP – Another good if straightforward clue – add a word for 40 winks to a particular type of young animal and you get a word for steal (or even steal young!)

16a    Leading tribesman received embrace from ruffian (4).
THUG – “leading” tells you that you need the first letter from tribesman, add it to a three letter cuddle and you get a rather nasty type of ruffian.

17a    Right name (5)
TITLE – I liked this clue. Made me think for a few minutes and then it was obvious that another word for name also means that you have a right to something, usually property.

18a    Humorist about to leave Clare confused (4)
LEAR – Take C (an abbreviation for circa (about)) from Clare, and confuse (i.e. it’s an anagram) the remaining four letters and you get a wonderful humorist.

20a    Some grime inside, it’s a headache(6)
MEGRIM – I suffered from bit of less haste more speed here as initially I didn’t notice the comma and was trying to find an answer that went across the letters of “it’s a headache”. Once I spotted the comma it was relatively easy to find a very old fashioned word (14th century according to my dictionary) for a migraine. I seem to remember it from school Shakespeare.

21a    Blue or soft red in the past (8)
PRUSSIAN – This was my favourite clue. Very clever that you have two types of “red” both in the clue and the final answer – a type of blue much favoured by artists. Take the usual compiler’s letter for “soft” and add it to the name of someone who might be labelled a “red”. The whole answer is someone from Germany in the past, giving its name to a type of paint colour.

23a    Important decision split from end to end (12)
BREAKTHROUGH – I am not sure that I would have understand the answer to mean an important decision exactly but basically you take a word meaning split and add it to a word meaning from end to end.

26a    Drop in from Italy (4)
OMIT – This was my second struggle – I think that the fact that the I is a capital made it difficult to notice another word for drop hidden in the clue.

27a    Minor’s on edge (8)
MARGINAL – It’s quite simple to use the letters you get from completing the down clues to get a word meaning either minor, or less important, and on the edge.

28a    Showed the way after Lorne Turner was registered (8)
ENROLLED – Another good clue. You are looking for a word meaning registered which you get by putting another word for showed the way after a  reversal of Lorne (Turner tells you it’s a reversal but a clever ploy to give it a capital letter.)


2d    Robin might come clean here (8)
BIRDBATH – For some crazy reason I thought of who killed cock robin and wondered if the answer was a courtroom but I soon cottoned on that what was required was somewhere a robin (or indeed any bird) might have a wash.

3d    In the region of a pound (8, 4)
STERLING AREA – Another word for pound is S….. and follow this with another word for region which gives you with the whole answer being a region where the pound is the currency.

4d    Challenge one member removing gun (6)
IMPUGN – The answer you are looking for is “challenge” – one (I) plus an abbreviation for a member of a coalition and then mix up “gun”.

5d    Cut talk by quarter hour (4)
GASH – To get another word for a nasty cut, use a well known alternative for talk and add the first letter (ne quarter) of the word hour.

6d    Slightly wet (8)
SPRINKLE – Dare I say that this one could almost be a general knowledge or even quick crossword clue/answer.

7d    Drop round for pudding (4)
SAGO – To get an old fashioned pudding add an O (round) to a three letter word for drop (droop might be a better analogy)

8d    Mineral from meadows, I left, normal amount (4,4)
FELDSPAR – Another good clue – take a word for meadows, remove the I (I left) and add the result to a word used by golfers to denote how many strokes a hole should take to play. This gives you a mineral which I thought was one word not two.

12d    Centre of Education (6, 6)
MIDDLE SCHOOL – Put another word for centre with a place you go to learn the three Rs and you get the place you would go to between junior and senior education.

14d    Abatement when tenancy has finished (3-2)
LET UP – A fairly easy one here – finished as in “up” after a word seen on many estate agents boards after the word “to”.

16d    In due course this device will give a report (4, 4)
TIME BOMB – In this case report means bang, the solution being something that gives a very loud bang after time has gone by.

17d    Trying badly (8)
TEMPTING – Again a very straightforward clue/answer. Just find a word that means “leading one astray”.

19d    A carpet I ruined costing quite a bit (2, 1, 5)
AT A PRICE – Ruin “a carpet I” and you get an expensive way of acquiring something.

22d    One taking a lot of interest to be certain in old city (6)
USURER – How lovely to see a return of the best Biblical city for crossword purposes. Put a word for certain inside the two-letter Old Testament city and you are left with someone who takes excessive interest when lending you money.

24d    Weird drink with no head on before close of play (4)
EERY – Second appearance of beer in this puzzle, remove its first letter (head) and add it to the last letter of play to get an less than usual spelling of a word for weird.

25d    Annoy Romeo on Corsica say (4)
RILE – To answer this you need to know that Corsica is a French island, so add the French word for island to R for Romeo, giving you a word for annoy.

12 comments on “DT 26247

  1. Well done and Welcome, crypticsue – I hope your first review cheers up an otherwise horrible day!
    Thanks for the review. The two that troubled me in this one were TEMPTING as I couldn’t believe that this was so GK – hardly a cryptic definition. Also BREAKTHROUGH as you noted.

    I have just spotted one thing at 18a – I think there is a bit missing there: Take C(irca) from Clare and rearrange the remaining 4 letters.

    Looking forward to Monday!

    1. And Big Dave calls himself an editor! He was supposed to have checked my work for blindingly obvious errors!

      Thanks for the welcome.

        1. Well reviewed, crypticsue. I’ve noted your comments about 8d and I have always understood it to be an eight-letter word; however, there was a debate on Saturday which Big Dave resolved but subsequent research indicates that Chambers, Encarta and the Concise OED [I have copies of all three] show ‘feldspar’ to be one word.

  2. Another welcome, crypticsue.
    I enjoyed reading your first blog – have fun on Monday!

  3. May I also extend a warm welcome to crypticsue – excellent blog!
    I’m not totally convinced that the “ile” in 25d is meant to be the French word for island (which is pronounced like “eel” rather than “ile”). I think that it may be intended to be a homophone (say) of “isle”, and the fact that the example chosen is a French island is just a coincidence.

    1. See, there was I resurrecting my 1960s A level French and all I needed was a homophone!

    2. I didnt really stare that hard at it since I was aware of the French for Isle and that Corsica is French speaking.

      I suppose it works either way; a homophone of ‘Isle’ or an indication to write the French for ‘Isle’.
      On balance the fairer intention for non-francophones is probably the former.

    3. It is interesting that “say” can be used to indicate either a definition by example or a homophone. I took it that the setter chose a French island deliberately – perhaps he can enlighten us!

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