DT 26289 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26289

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26289

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Afternoon All!. After last weeks shenanigans we have a pretty non-controversial puzzle that still manages to entertain whilst making one think.

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           Teacher to exchange mains device (6-6)
MASTER SWITCH – To kick off we have a charade of a (school) MASTER with SWITCH (exchange) for a main electrical isolation device (useful to find when you need the ‘OFF’ switch in Dr Evil’s lair, for example)

9a           Tax one leaving coral island (4)
TOLL – A coral island is an ATOLL (as in Bikini Atoll). Remove A (for one, remember I = A = ONE?) to get a tax associated with, for example, a river crossing.

10a         Mother takes in older sort of play (9)
MELODRAMA – Take a ‘baby word’ or Italian word for ‘mother’ and place inside an it anagram of OLDER. The result is a play, film, or television program, characterized by exaggerated emotions, stereotypical characters, and interpersonal conflicts.

12a         Empty vat can be overturned (6)
VACANT – A word for ‘empty’ is an anagram (overturned) of VAT CAN

13a         Return from the market (8)
INTEREST – A cryptic definition for the money made (return) from the investment in the financial market. I think the clue is intended to mislead on a “Jack and the Beanstalk” type of theme – I’ll leave it to you all to see if it succeeds.

15a         Secretion regenerated jolly early! (5,5)
ROYAL JELLY – The nutritional secretion in a beehive is an anagram of JOLLY EARLY.

16a         Novice from Austrian province not an inexperienced driver (4)
TYRO – I would consider this a regularly forgotten Crosswordland word. It means a ‘learner’ or anyone who has only mastered the rudiments of a trade or field of study. Remove the L (inexperienced driver) from TYROL – the Austrian province.

18a         Record circular design (4)
LOGO – An eventually straightforward but nevertheless quite devious charade of LOG (record) and O (circular) yielding a corporate image or design.

20a         In seconds a dreadful lack of harmony (10)
DISSONANCE – Lack of Harmony is the definition here and is also an anagram (dreadful) of IN SECONDS A.

23a         Still said to be bound together at end of day (8)
EVENTIDE – A slightly easier compound of EVEN (still) and a homophone, indicated by said, of TIED (bound together) to give us a usually ecclesiastical word for the evening.

24a         Recorder making twenty? (6)
SCORER – Not my favourite double definition! A recorder of the score is a ‘scorer’ and I guess that someone making the twenty is someone who made the ‘score’ (being slang for the number)

26a         Irrational when unwell, go back in charge with the Parisian female returning (9)
ILLOGICAL – A long charade of ILL (unwell),  OG (go reversed, back), IC (an abbreviation of In Charge) and finally a reversal of LA (the female French pronoun). Strung together the whole thing means ‘irrational’.

27a         Ring little Katharine who is satisfactory (4)
OKAY – The diminutive of Katherine can give us, amongst other things, KIT, KAT and KAY. We want the latter here and when added to O (for Ring, circle) will lead to a word for satisfactory or ‘alright’.

28a         Military advisers in fees rant — flag desecrated (7,5)
GENERAL STAFF – An anagram (desecrated) of FEES RANT FLAG. The General Staff are military behind-the-scenes policy and administration advisors (who usually have a good supply of chocolate, cigarettes and nylons!)


2d           By and large a couple of lines repeated about having arrived (3,2,3)
ALL IN ALL – We need two sets of A + LL (A couple of L for lines repeated) about IN (meaning having arrived or being at home). The phrase means ‘By and large’ or ‘All things considered’

3d           Book coming my way (4)
TOME – This large book is a charade of another way of saying ‘coming my way’ when split as (2,2)

4d           Engineers’ fast time on the continental ship becomes inexorable (10)
RELENTLESS – Hyper-charade time and one of my favourites. Royal Engineers + LENT (The time of fasting for Christians prior to Easter) + LE (‘The’ in French or on the continent) and finally SS for ship.

5d           Wife and I would obtain gizmo (6)
WIDGET – Cephas does like a charade, but then again he is very good at them. This one is my favourite!. The abbreviation W for wife, followed by I’D GET, a contraction of saying ‘I would obtain’, gives a gizmo, gadget, geegaw or wossname (i.e. a small useful thing)

6d           Attempt to embody outstanding Queen in decorative pattern (7)
TRACERY – this fooled me for a bit since the ‘queen’ in question is R for Regina and not ER for Elizabeth Regina. Put the ACE (outstanding) and the R into TRY (for attempt or go). This gives a delicate or ornamental decorative pattern, particularly found in Gothic windows (behind Bela Lugosi!).

7d           Frank’s stirring rather hot tea (5-2-5)
HEART-TO-HEART – If you stir (i.e. make an anagram of) ‘RATHER HOT TEA’ you will find an adjectival phrase for frank or open in terms of discussion.

8d           Despite being oversensitive reach journey’s end (6)
TOUCHY – There is a little padding here as the definition is ‘oversensitive’ and is derived from TOUCH for ‘reach’ and the end of the word journey. Adding ‘despite being’ at the front helps the surface reading but some purists (from the Ximenean school) may quibble.

11d         Having 41 winks? (12)
OVERSLEEPING – A nice cryptic definition that some of you may have seen before. If you are sleeping then you are ‘having 40 winks’. If you have one more wink then……..

14d         Something to read from time to time (10)
PERIODICAL – A cryptically defined magazine that comes out at regular (but not daily) intervals. Also a synonym for ‘from time to time’. I liked this although some of you again may have seen it before in one guise or another.

17d         Finish in haste and stop work (5,3)
KNOCK OFF – A double definition. To complete something quickly (possibly without too much care) and also to stop work for the day – Note, any comments about the application of the phrase with regard to this review will be extremely hurtful!

19d         Demon girl — men excited! (7)
GREMLIN – An imp, demon or other pesky supernatural character is an anagram of GIRL MEN. Nice fruitification of the wordplay here! Was I alone in going back to the old Hammer Horror Incubi?

21d         Roam about in Holland as usual (6)
NORMAL – put an anagram of ROAM (about is the indicator) inside the IVR code for Holland – NL, Netherlands.

22d         Old hand boards with little resistance (6)
STAGER – Any experienced person, but particularly with acting, can be described as this. Start with STAGE (the boards) and add R (the symbol for electrical Resistance)

25d         Bellyful causes greedy person to lose weight (4)
GLUT – A bellyful means an excessive amount or surfeit. A synonym for this is found by taking TON (the weight) from a GLUTTON.

That’s all from me this week – crypticsue will be your guide for next week’s review and it only remains to say thank you to Cephas for this week’s puzzle and also ‘Very nice to meet you!’

2 comments on “DT 26289

  1. 6d fooled me for a while too. I was desperately trying to justify ‘ac’ for ‘outstanding’ until I read gazza’s explanation on Saturday. Thanks to Cephas, and to gnomethang for the review.

  2. I did enjoy this puzzle too. Let’s hope Cephas is kind to me this week and that everyone will be able to achieve 8d without being touchy! Thanks to him for the puzzle and Gnomethang for the review.

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