DT 26301 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26301

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26301

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Afternoon All!. We have an archetypal Cephas puzzle with no really difficulties but one possible bone of contention at 24d. Personally I enjoyed it, hence the 3 stars.

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           Failure encountered in possession of pound, depressed (8)
MELTDOWN – Add L(pound) in MET (encountered) then add the usual synonym for depressed to get a catastrophic failure.

5a           Plain way to put records back to back (6)
STEPPE – The definition of ‘plain’ here is not the more common meaning of ‘unadorned’ but rather the dry grassy treeless plains of Central Europe and Asia. Start with ST(reet) and add EP then PE (Two Extended Player records back to back).

9a           Rascal closed urn violently (9)
SCOUNDREL – A violent anagram of CLOSED URN for a scamp or rascal.

11a         Ridge found in bare terrain (5)
ARETE – an originally French word for a sharp ridge or rocky edge on a mountain. It can be found in the phrase ‘bARE TErrain’.

12a         Bright and pleasant cry of approval unknown (6)
CHEERY – Bright, pleasant or sunny, as in a cheerful countenance. A charade of CHEER (cry of approval) followed by Y. X, Y or Z are the usual crossword abbreviations for ‘unknown’ from algebraic equations.

13a         Peers rage and go up in revolt (3,5)
AGE GROUP – One’s peers or contemporaries is an anagram of RAGE and GO UP (in revolt)

15a         Annexed unsettled state with desire born of experience (8,5)
ACQUIRED TASTE – The definition here is ‘desire born of experience’ i.e. something that one has  to get used to before one can appreciate. Take a synonym of annexed or stolen and add an anagram (unsettled) of STATE

18a         Profits repeatedly (5,3,5)
AGAIN AND AGAIN – A cryptic definition and definition using two lots of A GAIN (profit) to mean ‘repeatedly’.

22a         Despite the fact that lout and hag were aggravated, head of house followed (8)
ALTHOUGH – A synonym for ‘despite the fact that’ can be created from an aggravated anagram of LOUT and HAG followed be H – the head letter of house.

23a         Provided backing as firm was humiliating failure (6)
FIASCO – Reverse IF (provided used as a conditional) then AS followed by CO (and abbreviation for COMPANY, firm) to get a humiliating failure/catastrophe

26a         Exploded right inside statue (5)
BURST – Place R inside BUST (statue) to get exploded, as in a pricked balloon.

27a         Barrier to progress en route (9)
ROADBLOCK – A cryptic definition or what might stop your progress while travelling on the road.

28a         Director less polite about old copper (6)
RUDDER – The director, or one that steers in a boat. Place D (Denarius– an old penny pre 1971) inside ‘ruder’ (less polite)

29a         Work in the pool shed’s pigeonhole (8)
TYPECAST – A charade of TYPE (work in the Typing Pool) and CAST, as in shed or slough, gives a word for pigeonhole or stereotype, e.g. in an acting sense.


1d           Person of note (8)
MUSICIAN – A not too cryptic definition for one who plays music, notes.

2d           Break this to escape (5)
LOOSE – If you ‘break loose’ you escape.

3d           Old coins coming from drain, ie rubbish (7)
DENARII – the ‘D’s from 28a is also an anagram (rubbish) of DRAIN I.E.

4d           Caution about hostilities to the north (4)
WARN – What seemed like a slightly ‘about face’ clue with WAR going before N(orth) and not about.   BD in the hints gave the good advice that the definition is ‘caution about’ and WAR simply goes to (i.e. next to) the N.

6d           Potentially great having arsenic, it’s enough to make one’s eyes water (4,3)
TEAR GAS – An eye watering military agent. It is an anagram (potential) of GREAT having received AS – the chemical signal for arsenic – at the end.

7d           Wonder at flower growing up under public house initially (9)
PHENOMENA – The definition is wonder, as in Seven Wonders of the World. Take an ANEMONE (flower) going backwards (growing up) underneath – this is a Down clue – the abbreviation PH for a pub. As Mary pointed out the singular is actually ‘phenomenon’ but Chambers indicates that ‘phenomena’ is sometimes used in “Non-specific” (i.e. “Incorrect!”) English as a singular noun. Gets my goat every time!

8d           Grant immunity to old Euro member on time (6)
EXEMPT – A verb meaning ‘grant immunity to’ is a charade of EX (old), E(uro), MP (Member of Parliament) and T(ime)

10d         Getting off in a flash, seeing number leaving (8)
LIGHTING – Remove N (number leaving) from LIGHTNING (in a flash) to get a slightly old-fashioned word for getting off a bus, for example.

14d         Youth enter different era inhibited (8)
TEENAGER – an synonym of ‘era’ is inside (inhibited by) an anagram of ENTER, indicated by ‘different’.

16d         Cut up, having provided lodgings (9)
QUARTERED – A double definition here – Cut Up, e.g. into quarters, and also ‘provided lodgings’

17d         With money. Where? (2,6)
IN POCKET – If you have money you are ‘in pocket’ and you will more than likely keep it in your pocket

19d         American behind the Parisian preacher (7)
APOSTLE – A straight charade of American then POST (behind in Latin) then LE (French for ‘the’) gives one of the first preachers.

20d         Cordial enquiry about my competence (7)
AMIABLE – I have seen similar clues to this. If you make an enquiry as to my competence you might ask “AM I ABLE”. This is often used when the setter needs to use either ‘AM I’ or ’ABLE’. The definition is ‘cordial’ as in good-natured.

21d         One might give you a clip round the ears (6)
BARBER – Not the copper that you have just cheeked!, but your hairdresser. Nice cryptic definition.

24d         Decisive blow in South Dakota for saloon (5)
SKODA – Now then! There were a few raised eyebrows regarding the definition of ‘Saloon’ for Skoda – a particular make of car that is not necessarily a saloon car. I suspect that many purists would require the use of a question mark or a ‘perhaps’ in order to indicate a definition by example, here on both counts!. In any case take the abbreviation S for South and DA for Dakota and add KO – Knock Out or decisive blow. It is worth pointing out that Chambers gives ‘S.Dak’. for South Dakota and DA is not listed as an abbreviation for Dakota anywhere on T’Internet as far as I can see – does anyone else have a different abbreviation? The final ‘A’ is causing me problems and Gazza is suggesting that an ‘A’ might have been lost somewhere. In any case it is not a great clue.

25d         Fast-moving Charlie getting in the money (4)
PACY – ‘C for Charlie’ is used in a number of phonetic alphabets. Put this inside PAY (for money) to get a word meaning fast moving.

All that remains is to thank Cephas for the puzzle and to hand you over to the more than capable hands of the mad Epic Crusty for next week’s Saturday puzzle review  ;-P

13 comments on “DT 26301

  1. I was going to make a nice comment about your review but have just read the Epilogue. My husband couldn’t stop laughing at Jezza’s ‘circus type’ yesterday so I am definitely not telling him this one! I tried valiantly earlier to make an anagram out of Gnomethang but am still working on it. Suggestions gratefully received. I too enjoyed the puzzle which was an enjoyable Saturday diversion. Re 7d, Mary and I agreed that “non specific English” meant that ‘crossword compilers could get away with it’!

  2. Agree with An Egg Month on 24d – not a good clue, but otherwise pretty good fayre for a Saturday.

  3. Well done everyone!. I scribbled on the back of a puzzle yesterday but came up with nothing better than these examples!.

  4. After all the debate about 24d the solution in today’s paper (August 2) carries an apology to the effect that the clue should have read ‘Decisive blow in South Dakota by a saloon’

    The missing ‘a’ is explained!

    Pity perhaps that it was not made clear a little earlier.

    1. Many Thanks for that, tonyp17 (can we call you Tony?).
      Looks like gazza was correct in his thoughts of the wordplay, and possibly of the clue in its entirety!

      1. Of course. Do we know your real name?

        By the way the best anagram I can find is Got Hangmen!

        1. Its no secret! – Prolixic found an anagram of my name as “A wry boner!” and of you add my middle name you get “Re: wavy nob terror”.
          Trust me, ‘Barry’ will suffice!

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