Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26265
A full review by Gnomethang
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Afternoon, All!. In my opinion this week’s Saturday Prize Puzzle from Cephas was an improvement on the last couple of weeks (particularly the Cryptic Definitions). There were, however, a couple of clues that caused great rumblings from ‘bloggers on the day; some justified and some, perhaps not. Whilst I was expecting the usual pangram puzzle (Cephas’ trademark) we were left lacking a ‘K’. Whether this was due to a last minute editorial change or simply to fox us will, I fear, remain a mystery.
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 Fish for each companion (5)
PERCH – We start with a charade of PER (for each) followed by Companion of Honour
4a Persuade that underwear is being laundered (9)
BRAINWASH – As BD pointed out on Saturday, a well worn novelty clue with ‘Persuade’ being the definition. When enumerated as (3,2,4) you get a BRA IN WASH (underwear is being laundered)
9a Round area complete, say, but there’s an airy gap! (5,4)
OZONE HOLE – This caused a couple of problems, possibly as we are more used to the phrase ‘Hole in the Ozone Layer’. Start with a charade of O (round) and ZONE (area) and add HOLE, a homophone, indicated by ‘say’ of ‘complete’
10a Bowl a girl redesigned (5)
GRAIL – An anagram (redesigned) of AGIRL leads to a legendary cup or bowl.
11a Bird to be cooked, willow-warbler perhaps (4-3)
OVEN-TIT – This bird caused a lot of people to grouse!. The wordplay indicates a ‘bird to be cooked’, and gives’willow-warbler’ as a definition by example. With a couple of checking letters the only real answer can be ‘Oven-tit’ and if you have a copy of Chambers you can easily check it up. Unfortunately Google and other search engines do not help a great deal (Nor apparently, does the RSPB Website so I can only infer that it isn’t native to these shores).
12a Way to exhaust the economy? (7)
OVERTAX – This cryptic definition of a synonym of ‘exhaust’ is hinted at via a way to drain the economy by increasing taxation.
13a Very wet member in authority (6)
SWAMPY – An insertion of MP (a member) in SWAY (authority). I don’t know what you all feel but I found ‘sway’ quite a tricky synonym to spot here.
15a In a kind of way one was found in fancy sweater (2,2,4)
AS IT WERE – A phrase meaning ‘In a kind of way’ is an anagram (fancy) of SWEATER with I (One) inside. I’m pretty sure that this clue has been round the track a few times as well!
18a Slaughterman contained his amusement (8)
LAUGHTER – a very straightforward hidden word – in fact it is most of the word!
20a Shakespearean does not quite go back in vehicle (6)
BRUTUS – Take most of TURn (a go e.g. in a board game) and reverse it (back) in BUS for vehicle. This leads to the bad-boy in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.
23a Manager’s one of the band, one played quietly inside (7)
CAPELLO -A few grumbles here, not for the clue but for the football reference. Take CELLO (one of the band) and place A (one) and P (played quietly) inside to get the current England Football Coach. ‘A’ for ‘One’ is an approved crossword synonym although it raises the occasional frown with solvers when they forget it!
24a Thankless person favoured fireplace (7)
INGRATE – Another charade. An ingrate is an ungrateful person. Take IN (favoured/popular) and follow it with GRATE for ‘fireplace’
26a I am putting silver ball behind insect (5)
IMAGO – Putting AG O (chemical symbol for silver and the shape of a ball) behind I’M gives the final stage of, for example, a moth’s development.
27a Made the most of general principle on other side (9)
MAXIMISED – A general principle is a MAXIM (sometimes a tenet in Crosswordland). Add an anagram (other) of SIDE to get a word meaning ‘made the most of’.
28a Golf event finished allowing for future changes (4-5)
OPEN-ENDED – A charade of OPEN (a golf or other event open to all entrants) and ENDED (finished) leads to a word meaning ‘not closed’ in the sense that future changes can be made.
29a Simpleton I name in northern New York (5)
NINNY – Start with N(orthern), then place I N(ame)inside the abbreviation for New York to get a simpleton or fool.
1d Official in favour of jailbird smugly offering the odds (9)
PROCONSUL – A Roman magistrate, or sometimes a governor of a colony or dominion. Add PRO (in favour of) CON (jailbird) and the odd letters of SmUgLy.
2d Almost an island this island state (5)
RHODE – The State of Rhode Island in America is one letter short of (almost) the island of Rhodes in Greece.
3d The pale shimmering last drop (7)
HEELTAP – The second clue that caused some gripes due to its obscurity. The definition is the ‘last drop; from the bottom of a glass (and also a wooden or metal wedge to raise the heel in a shoe). Make an anagram (indicated by ‘shimmering’) of THEPALE. Big Dave has suggested that the Crossword Editor may have called a moratorium on this word as it only appears in Crossword Puzzles
4d Bachelor had game although very drunk (6)
BLOTTO – Very Drunk or ‘gattered’. The abbreviation of Bachelor (B) with LOTTO – a game of chance.
5d Porter’s home from pub (8)
ALEHOUSE – Another charade of ALE (porter)and HOUSE (home) gives a name for a pub, bar or watering hole. I thought that the wordplay was a bit too close to the definition here.
6d One would not care to be guilty of it (7)
NEGLECT – A cryptic definition. If you were guilty of neglect you would have failed to care for someone/something.
7d A bit intended, as mentioned, to make room (9)
APARTMENT – The same wordplay pattern as 9a. Take A PART (bit) and MENT (a homophone – as mentioned – of intended) to find your room or flat.
8d 51 in wizard spiral (5)
HELIX – 51 is usually a dead giveaway for LI (51 in Roman Numerals) and there is no exception here. Place it inside HEX – a word for either a wizard, witch or the spell that they cast to get a synonym for spiral.
14d Does it fly under water or skid on the road? (9)
AQUAPLANE – A double definition. The first is a board that one stands on and is towed behind a boat (its wing shaped property allows it to ‘fly’ through the water). The second is a car skid on a road caused by a thin film of water between the tyres and the road.
Gazza has come up with a better, and probably the setter’s intended, interpretation of the clue: another charade(!) of PLANE (does it fly?) under AQUA (water) defining the skid on the road. Thanks gazza!
16d Teased Ray about time in April this year (6,3)
EASTER DAY – A straightforward anagram (about ) of TEASED RAY leads to the Christian feast that happened to fall in April this year as opposed to late March.
17d Left-winger going round on my behalf is in better shape (8)
REFORMED – The usual left winger (RED) is placed around FOR ME (on my behalf) to get a synonym of ‘in better shape’, as in improved or made better.
19d 50% of the time (4-3)
HALF-ONE – A Time (of the Day) is cryptically decribed as 50% i.e. HALF of ‘the’ (ONE singular).
21d Nearly all the soldiers diet (7)
REGIMEN- A word for diet is all but the last letter in REGIMENt – a group of soldiers.
22d Jay at home before ten with Edwin had been beset with bad luck (6)
JINXED -Another charade, this time of J before IN (home) then X (10 in Roman Numerals) and finally ED(win), giving a word for beset with bad luck or constant misfortune.
23d One getting into vehicle with nothing on in the capital (5)
CAIRO – A fruity charade of I in CAR with O on the end for this capital city.
25d Priest losing his head, it’s a crime (5)
ARSON – A straightforward removal of the first letter of pARSON to finish
Having gone through this now I thought there were an awful lot of charades although I didn’t notice at first. Please let us know what you thought!.