DT 26253 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26253

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26253

A full review by Crypticsue

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

Quite often if the Friday Cryptic and Toughie have been particularly testing, the Saturday Prize Puzzle can seem a bit easier in comparison. DT 26,252 and Toughie 362 were splendid examples of the compiler’s art so I started this Saturday’s puzzle expecting a less taxing challenge. How wrong I was, there was a complete range of interesting clues and more exciting for me, as I wasn’t aware of such a thing until I became a fan of Big Dave’s blog, was that the puzzle is a Pangram! Thanks too to Gnomethang for giving me the chance to practice my reviewing skills.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Confused mess left in a ship (7)
CLUTTER – I did have a (senior?) moment when I was trying to put L for left in a cruiser (too much time spent playing Battleships in my youth?) but soon realised that I needed that single-masted ship the CUTTER.

5a    Although shy, flush out graduate first (7)
BASHFUL – To get another word for shy, make an anagram (out) of the word FLUSH and place a two letter abbreviation for one type of graduate in front of it – in this case obviously BA.

9a    Porous quality of original sealskin protecting Oriental (9)
LEAKINESS – A less used sign for an anagram – original – indicates that the answer is an anagram of SEALSKIN with E for eastern contained within in it.

10a     Recluse, one splitting opposing sides (5)
LONER – The opposing sides in this case are L(eft) and R(ight) and as the clue says split them by ONE.

11a    Poem used with hesitation in old Greek theatre (5)
ODEUM – Poem is obviously going to be ODE and the hesitation in this clue is UM rather than ER, giving a theatre in Ancient Greece.

12a    Silent parent’s opportunity (9)
MUMCHANCE – This was the clue that took the most time to solve – I tried various combinations of indicators for silence, parents, opportunity etc. but eventually given the letters filled in by the down answers, arrived at mumchance – the dictionary says it means a silent fool or a game of cards or dice played silently.

13a    Badly torn in battle over relatively short period (9)
FORTNIGHT – “Badly” indicates that you make an anagram out of TORN, and the battle this case is a FIGHT, put the anagram inside fight and you get a two week (or relatively short) period.

16a    Secret quartet have snoop round (5)
PRIVY – Quartet in this case being IV the Roman numerals for four with PRY (snoop) round them.

17a    Man sticks quarter inside (5)
JAMES – I had a moment’s pause here initially thinking of joss sticks, but soon realised it wasn’t that sort of stick and put E (a quarter of the compass) inside JAMS.

18a    Game bird is all at sea (9)
BILLIARDS – A very straight forward clue – “all at sea” tells you to make an anagram out of BIRD IS ALL and the answer is a game.

20a    Part of orchestra absent without conditions (2,7)
NO STRINGS – Strings are one section of an orchestra and if they aren’t there, you have NO STRINGS.

23a    Do better as forty of the Romans do pronouncedly (5)
EXCEL – Again, a very good indicator in the clue, find the Roman numerals for 40 (XL) and say them out loud (pronouncedly), thus giving a word meaning doing better.

25a    Putting into service by ushering her out (5)
USING – An obvious deletion, taking HER out from USHERING.

26a    Modern health resort according to publication (9)
NEWSPAPER – A charade here – Modern – NEW, health resort – SPA and according to – PER : put them all together and you get a publication that, if you do a DT cryptic the “proper” (non web) way, is right in front of you!

27a    Fifty in Connecticut with American medicine (7)
LINCTUS – Fifty = L, the abbreviation for Connecticut is CT so L IN CT with US (American) gives you a soothing medicine.

28a    Meet ram (3,4)
RUN INTO – The two words in the clue are synonyms for RUN INTO, one with nicer connotations than the other!


1d    Cancel visit on holiday (4,3)
CALL OFF – Easy to spot this one, a synonym for visit with a word for what you are when you are on holiday, put them together and you get another expression for cancel.

2d    American having plenty of time for established procedure (5)
USAGE – Another reference to America : US with plenty of (or a long) time AGE.

3d    Tidy vase’s accessories (9)
TRIMMINGS – I didn’t get this one until quite late on as I didn’t immediately associate MING with vases and trimmings isn’t the first word that comes to my mind when thinking of accessories.

4d    Discharge ambassador in odd surroundings (5)
RHEUM – As all good solvers know, His Excellency the Ambassador in a crossword is always abbreviated to HE and odd is more often than not RUM, surrounding him (or her come to that) with RUM gives you a nasty discharge from an old fashioned cold.

5d    This element, not a precious one, lets a beam, refract (4,5)
BASE METAL – Time for another anagram “refract” LETS A BEAM and you get a non-precious element.

6d    Some youth left public house initially with spirit (5)
SYLPH – “initially” tells you to take the initial letters of the first five words, resulting in a type of (non alcoholic, despite the reference to pub) spirit.

7d    Capitalist at home in more whimsical environment (9)
FINANCIER – Again, FANCIER is probably not the first word that would come to mind for ‘whimsical’ but putting IN (at home) inside it gives you a capitalist.

8d    Allergy bothersome for the most part (7)
LARGELY – Anagram time again – bothersome is the indicator for this – and ALLERGY is the word to scramble.

14d    Diminution of charity work (9)
REMISSION – Here you want a word meaning diminution, arrived at by putting RE for of and MISSION for charity work.

15d    Become crazy having turn with fruit (2,7)
GO BANANAS – Another “easy” one, there is only one fruit associated with crazy and, of course, go means a turn.

16d    Force apart to get reward that’s available (5,4)
PRIZE APART – After I had completed the puzzle, I saw there were a number of posts on Big Dave’s Hints for this clue, with regard to Prize or Prise. I wasn’t sure until I got the Q in 17 down and realised that what I was completing was a Pangram so it had to be a Z – it’s in the clue really, you need to “get reward” and then add available

17d    Jonathan who in France left bloomer (7)
JONQUIL – You are looking for a bloomer/flower JON QUI (the French for who) and L for left.

19d    Port of New Orleans (7)
SALERNO – A fairly well signposted anagram (new) giving you a well-known port in Italy

21d    Correct side (5)
RIGHT – One word that means both a side and to correct.

22d    Pipe down? (5)
SEWER – I couldn’t decide whether it was a pipe that went down, or was a pipe that was “down” underground. Either way it works.

24d    Partly dressed bird (5)
CAPON     – A type of young chicken – if you only have your CAP ON, you are to my mind much less than “partly” dressed!!

2 comments on “DT 26253

  1. Hi Crypticsue, many thanks for your excellent review of this puzzle. I enjoyed 23a as well!

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