DT 26277 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26277

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26277

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Afternoon All!  We had a puzzle that, judging from many of the comments, was reasonably straightforward but nonetheless enjoyable and had some very good clues. I have tried to address some of the discussions in last Saturday’s blog where some words could not be mentioned!

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 Fancy a ringer took the lead (7)
CHIMERA – To kick off we have a charade of CHIMER, cryptically defined as ‘a ringer’ taking the lead (going in front) of the letter A. A few of you were not aware of the primary definition of ‘any wild fancy or act of imagination’. Look out next week when BASILISK will be defined as a cannon that fires 200lb shots!.

5a Tremulous gleam covers him, mercifully only partly (7)
SHIMMER – A trembling gleam of light or reflection is hidden in (only partly) covers him mercifully.

9a Little scenery and it’s fairly unattractive (3,4,2,4,2)
NOT MUCH TO LOOK AT – Two definitions, the first one cryptically referring to a small view or panorama (if indeed you can actually have a small panorama).

10a Steers round ten on inside bend (4)
OXEN – Steers in this case being cattle as a plural noun not the verb. A charade of O (round) X (ten in Roman Numerals) and the inside of bENd. For a shortish clue there is a good degree of misdirection with both ON and INSIDE confusing each other.

11a Cooked bream’s colour (5)
AMBER – A simple anagram (cooked) of BREAM gives a colour (with the apostrophe ‘s indicating IS).

12a Wonderful not having short visit by wise men (4)
MAGI – This word for the Three Wise Men is created from MAGICAL (wonderful) and the subtraction of most of CALl (a short visit). Some were questioning Big Dave’s parsing of the clue, suggesting MAGIC minus C but the wordplay is quite clear; even accepting magic as an adjective one could not reasonably accept C to mean a short CALL.

15a Made divine whichever way you look at it (7)
DEIFIED – ‘Whichever way you look at it’ is pretty much a guarantee of a palindrome. In this case the word is a synonym of ‘Made divine’ and with a few checking letters all is clear. Note that you are pretty safe in a clue like this to be looking for DE???ED as the tense of the definition gives the first two letters as well.

16a Well-liked turn in part of East London (7)
POPULAR – Place U (as in U Turn) into POPLAR (an east end area in London around East India Dock Road and the Isle of Dogs) to get a word meaning ‘Well liked’

17a Slur the corrupted conman (7)
HUSTLER – Another straightforward anagram (corrupted) of SLUR THE gives another word for a confidence trickster.

19a Way one is using some milk outside to produce sauce (7)
CUSTARD – The definition is ‘sauce’. We need to insert ST and A (Way, road and One ) into CURD which is some milk which has been thickened – usually by an agent or acid reaction.

21a Delayed having most of the milky sap (4)
LATE – More milky substances, this time from a gum tree. Take the last letter from LATEX (i.e. most of it) to get a synonym for delayed.

22a Leave old capital (5)
QUITO – A simple charade but a little known capital. QUIT (leave) + Old gives the capital of Ecuador. Don’t worry about looking these things up if you are pretty sure on the wordplay, its just confirmation you know!

23a Australian’s startling exclamation at court order (4)
ASBO – Another charade of A (an abbreviation of Australian as in ANZAC and RAAF) with the apostrophe-S then BO which is an alternative spelling of BOO!. The court order is worn as a badge of pride in some areas!

26a Forever said to have gone round and round with nurse about where in France? (5,7,3)
WORLD WITHOUT END – This phrase meaning ‘Forever’ is created by taking a homophone for ‘spun round’ (WHIRLED), then WITH (straight in the clue),followed by TEND (nurse) with OU (French for ‘where’) inserted in it.

27a In part, restless support given to board (7)
TRESTLE – a supporting board or plank is hidden inside ‘part restless’.

28a Tyre oddly having sufficient tread (7)
TRAMPLE – Here we need the ODD letters of ‘tyre’, TR, followed by AMPLE for sufficient (a word that I have only ever seen immediately in front of bosom!) to get a word for tread (on).


1d Agreement on tailless aircraft (7)
CONCORD – A word for agreement is all but the last letter of the Franco-British built airplane.

2d Medal-winners like ABC? (2,3,5,5)
IN THE FIRST THREE – A definition of the medal winners in a track event and also the position of A, B & C in the alphabet.

3d Case quite confusing, not initially (4)
ETUI – Our regular Crosswordland sewing case is an anagram (confusing) of QUITE after losing the first letter (not initially). This is another one of these 4 letter clues, along with ARGO, that can be guessed from 2 checking letters and a word like case or ship in the clue.

4d Has made trouble when embarrassed (7)
ASHAMED – Another word that some of you will have seen similarly clued previously. An anagram (trouble) of HAS MADE gives embarrassed or red-faced.

5d Prop certain to sound more costly (5,2)
SHORE UP – A verb meaning to prop or uphold  is a homophone (to sound) of SURE (certain) and UP meaning more costly.

6d Metal press (4)
IRON – A double definition. The first is the metallic element and the other is a verb meaning to press clothes after washing.

7d Have a brush with success? (4,1,5,5)
MAKE A CLEAN SWEEP – A cryptic definition of winning everything in competition and successfully clearing everything up with a broom.

8d Hotel that is right to be more luxuriously elegant (7)
RITZIER – A charade of RITZ (the famous hotel) + IE (Id Est – ‘that is’ in Latin) and R for right leads a superlative for luxurious. I thought that this wasn’t a great clue as any word like Ritzy or Ritzier is based on the chain of hotels, the adjective being coined after it.

13d Private lines from naughty mag of this kind (5)
GIRLY – OK so a few people denied any knowledge of these sort of publications!. An adjective describing a top shelf magazine is derived from GI (an abbreviation for Government or General Issue i.e. an American conscripted soldier) and RLY which is one abbreviation for railway lines of which I am unfarmiliar. I initially thought that we required L for lines and RY for (railway) lines and there was no indication to put one inside the other. Since looking in Chambers I now know or RY, RLY and RWY and BD pointed out the American EL for ELevated railroad.

14d Leading surgeon maps out muscular contraction (5)
SPASM – Take S, the leading letter in surgeon and add an anagram (out) of maps to get a spasm or tic in a muscle.

17d Idiot partly a wag (7)
HALFWIT – A ‘wit’ is a card, joker or WAG. So a partial wag might be a halfwit, a synonym for an idiot. Nothing to do with footballer ‘s Wives And Girlfriends then – Phew!

18d Regular course of action in being way out (7)
ROUTINE – Start with IN and ROUTE for ‘way’ out(side ) of it to get a word for drudge or a usual course of action.

19d Fielder may do this if he fails to do this! (5,2)
CATCH IT – One of my favourite clues here. If you are reprimanded you are said to have ‘caught it’. So if a fielder doesn’t catch it (the ball) he will ‘catch it’ from his teammates.

20d Desperately determined to perform with gold cube (2,2,3)
DO OR DIE – If you are desperately determined then you have this attitude. It is a charade of DO (perform) with OR (for gold) and DIE (a cube, the singular of dice)

24d Notice something opening (4)
ADIT – An opening or passage, particularly in a mine, is a charade of AD, for advertisement or notice, and IT (something).

25d Most of panel on a Scottish island (4)
JURA  – This island is a creation of JURy (most of a panel in a courtroom) and A (given in the clue)

Many thanks to our Saturday Setter for an enjoyable puzzle an don’t forget to let us know what you thought.

5 comments on “DT 26277

  1. Thank you for the review of what was a lovely puzzle for a busy Saturday – the majority quick to solve, with a couple to make you think so it wasn’t too easy. And as can be seen by the Hints page, very comment-provoking.

  2. Thanks Sue. Aah! Blighty! – I could kiss it all (maybe not Brighton!).
    Nice to see a bit of greenery – I have just got home and will pop out later for a pint and the crosswords.

    1. welcome home gnomey, that was a long ‘break’ today in the cryptic crossword, we are all playing in the ‘sandpit’ but maybe you’ve had enough sand for a while :)

      1. I’ve had enough of “sandpit” to last a lifetime – as perhaps has Gnomethang (can I call you Gnomey or do we need to be introduced?).!
        Thought this was a fairly easy Saturday puzzle but did take an inordinate amount of time to click “ritz” for the hotel in 8d – must be getting brain fade as I age!
        Favourite was 19d – just loved the word play. Also I was a very bad cricketer in my youth and suffered this on many occasions!

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