DT 26319 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26319

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26319

A full review by Crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Like quite a few fellow solvers, it took me a while to get into the swing of this Cephas puzzle – I do believe he is making us work harder these days. I wasn’t entirely convinced I had enjoyed the process when I finished but there is something about writing the review that makes you appreciate the clues more than at first read through, and the realisation that I have actually noticed the pangram always makes me feel good.

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 drops alternative claim (7)
PROFESS – I tried to be too clever here initially with T for teacher and RAIN for drops. Silly me, if you knew how many professors I know, you would have thought it would have been easy for me to take a university teacher PROFESSOR and drop OR (alternative) to get a synonym for claim.

9a    Businessman was hotel employee (8)
EXPORTER – The businessman who sells to people outside the country is easily obtained with the charade of EX (was) and PORTER (hotel employee)

10a    One with stuff in Middle East had fringe work (7)
MACRAME – Put A (one) CRAM (to stuff or overfill) into the initial letters of Middle and East and you get a noun meaning a fringe or trimming of knotted thread.

11a    Got down when one fired up (8)
ALIGHTED – The past participle of a noun meaning to get down (from a train or a bus, for example) is made up from A (one) and LIGHTED (fired up)

12a    Qualmier, unfortunately, I’m leaving the lady (6)
RAQUEL – ‘Unfortunately’ tells you that it’s the first anagram of the puzzle. Take I and M (I’m leaving) away from QUALMIER and rearrange the resulting letters to form a girl’s name. (I can just imagine the picture of a famous actress that Gazza would insert here, were this a weekday puzzle!)

13a    Worker still accepting one that’s dust-resistant (10)
ANTISTATIC – Setters have two well-used ‘workers’, in this clue it’s not BEE you require but its friend the ANT to start off a charade of ANT, I (one) and STATIC (still) giving you what Chambers calls “the property of not attracting positively charged ions, eg dust”.

15a    Greek character held by Catherine Jones (4)
ZETA – The Greek letter Z is also the middle name of the famous Welsh-born actress, Catherine Zeta Jones.

16a    Wipe out bird in select group (9)
ELIMINATE – Another verb meaning to wipe out is obtained by placing that talkative bird the MINA inside ELITE (select group)

21a    Behold a new advance (4)
LOAN – A nice four letter word here LO (behold) A and N (for new) gives you another word for advance in the way of “lending money”

22a    Bad behaviour when foremost mischief-maker is taking lead (10)
MISCONDUCT – One of the clues I struggled with as I had the M (foremost of Mischief) and the IS but couldn’t get the taking lead bit. Of course, if you CONDUCT, you lead or direct ..an orchestra, business affairs etc.

24a    Reported second person who, say, made call to attract attention (3-3)
YOO-HOO – Two homophones here, ‘say’ being the indicator for this, the second person YOU and WHO when said out loud give you a call to attract someone’s attention.

25a    Checked in development conjuring with a bit over (8)
ABORTIVE – One of the last to go in for me as I didn’t initially notice the anagram indicator ‘conjuring’. A BIT OVER rearranged gives you an adjective with several meanings including that given in the clue.

27a    Ruler performing in a month (7)
MONARCH – The month of March with ON (as in on stage) inside gives you the noun for a sole hereditary head of state.

28a    Kind of account for uncertainty (8)
SUSPENSE – Double meaning here – a type of bank account is also another word for a state of nervous uncertainty.

29a    Writing about departure in progress (7)
ONGOING – Like many others on Saturday, I had the answer but wasn’t sure why. Writing about something or ON something (as in Milton’s On his blindness – A level English strikes again!) and a synonym for departure, GOING, gives you another way of saying ‘in progress’


2d    Rouse again when a new rake is broken (8)
REAWAKEN – Not so many anagrams today but this is one – A NEW RAKE – broken gives you another way of saying rouse again.

3d    Make urgent list as explained initially of sets of chemical symbols (8)
FORMULAE – Another clue where I had the answer but took a moment or two to work out why. FORM (make) followed by the initial letters of Urgent, List, As and Explained, gives you a synonym for sets of chemical symbols expressing the composition of a substance.

4d    Incitement with no time for pretence (10)
SIMULATION – very straightforward – take T for time (no time) away from STIMULATION (incitement) leaving you with another way of saying pretence.

5d    Jump cut longways first (4)
AXEL – An ice skating jump, named after Axel Paulsen, a Norwegian skater, who presumably was the first person to jump from one skate to the other, incorporating one and a half turns in the air, is a simple charade of AXE (cut) and L (the first letter of longways).

6d    A gun to remove chewy stuff (6)
NOUGAT – ‘remove’ is the anagram indicator here – the letters of A GUN TOO can be rearranged to reveal that hard chewy paste best suited to younger, stronger teeth than mine.

7d    Way with pointlessly shrewd law (7)
STATUTE – A law enacted by the legislature as opposed to common law, is made up by a charade of ST (abbreviation for street or way) and ASTUTE (shrewd) with S (the compass point South) taken away (pointlessly).

8d    Uninteresting area of court or shipyard (3,4)
DRY DOCK – One of the quickest answers to go in for me. The area of a shipyard where ships are built or repaired – DRY (uninteresting) and DOCK (area of court).

11d    Accolade following a tenor’s virtue (9)
ATTRIBUTE – A synonym for quality or virtue is yet another charade – A T (for tenor) and TRIBUTE (accolade).

14d    Sea song won’t be performed in ramshackle area (10)
SHANTY TOWN – Part synonym, a song sung by sailors (SHANTY) and an anagram (be performed) of WONT, the whole being an area of a town where the housing is makeshift and ramshackle.

17d    The Spanish fish coming from fictitious place (8)
ELDORADO – A large golden coloured marine fish DORADO put after EL (the Spanish word for ‘the’) leads you to Eldorado, the golden land imagined by the Spanish conquerors of America.

18d    Mitchell may be an islander (8)
MAJORCAN – One of those clues where you have the answer but have no idea why. Other posters on Saturday kindly told us that Mitchell was a type of cockatoo named after a Major Mitchell. An online search at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_Mitchell’s_Cockatoo gives information on this lovely pink bird. However, I digress. If you add CAN (as in may be) to MAJOR you get the name of one who lives on Majorca.

19d    I am no longer trendy as a result of deadlock (7)
IMPASSE – IM (I am) and an adjective for being past one’s best (passé) but without the accent PASSE creates a synonym for deadlock or stalemate.

20d    Adopt little telepathy on the river (7)
ESPOUSE – A noun meaning to embrace a cause – ESP (Extra Sensory Perception – a form of telepath) and the River OUSE.

23d    Unfashionable crowd at the start (6)
OUTSET – Another nice straightforward clue – unfashionable or OUT and SET (a group of associated persons) gives you a synonym for start.

26d    Not having a match in clothing (4)
VEST – I had the answer but took a while to work out that the undergarment is easily obtained by taking A (not having a) away from a vesta, a type of wax-stemmed match.

I hope I have made everything clear for Geoff (who posted that he would look forward to the ‘revelations’ later in the week). In this “difficult but enjoyable puzzle”, my clue of the day was 24a, closely followed by 6d (although that might be my (rickety) sweet tooth speaking!).

6 comments on “DT 26319

  1. Not sure I should comment on my own post, but I must say thank you for inserting the picture BD. She’s not my cup of tea but I am sure others will appreciate it!!

  2. Well reviewed again, Sue, and thank you for the photograph, Big Dave. I was curious to see your comments regarding the construct of 18d because, as you correctly predicted, I arrived at the answer without understanding why. However, I’m sure that I wasn’t in the minority and that will teach me not to post my comments so early on a Saturday morning.

  3. ditto, answer to 18d no problem but understanding……. Great picture of the lovely Raquel. Thanks Cephas and CrypticSue.

  4. A fine review for an enjoyable puzzle.
    Glad to see that picture suspicions on the day were confirmed!

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