DT 26325 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26325

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26325

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Afternoon All!. There seemed to be an awful lot of heads and tails being cut off in this puzzle which may have made it easier for some. I personally thought that a couple of the Cryptic Definitions were a tad weak but as usual from Cephas there were a few charades that were not so easy. On the whole I found this as enjoyable as ever. I selected 3 stars for difficulty based on my head-scratching whilst mopping up the last few.

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           Ruddy duck that’s pink (8)
FLAMINGO – A charade of FLAMING for Ruddy with O (0, a duck in cricket)

9a           During March, say, removed oil from pillar (8)
MONOLITH – March is just one example of a MONTH. Place inside this an anagram (indicated by removed) of OIL to find the Pillar

10a         Dozen signs that are heavenly (6)
ZODIAC – a not too cryptic definition of the 12 zones of the sky (heavens) associated with astrology and other quackery

11a         Torch songs? (5,5)
LIGHT MUSIC – A much better cryptic definition for the particularly British form of shorter easy listening  classical pieces that appeal to a wider audience

12a         Periodic gathering of milk producers perhaps (5-2)
ROUND UP – Think of the milk producers as cows on a range. They will regularly need rounding up to be milked. Some people found this poor on the day but I don’t see too much wrong with it.

14a         Storm meandered to and fro lacking force initially (7)
TORNADO – An anagram (meandered) of TO AND FRO having first removed the F (lacking Force initially).

16a         Father starts noticing temptress (5)
SIREN – To sire means to father (as in produce progeny). Follow this with the start of Noticing to get a woman in classical mythology who tempted sailors onto the rocks with there singing.

17a         Try to play an ace (5)
SERVE – What one is doing in Tennis when one is trying to ‘Ace’ one’s opponent

18a         Fashionable vehicles returning (5)
SMART – A simple reversal of TRAMS reveals a word for fashionable or well turned out.

20a         Little contact (5)
TOUCH – A double definition, the first meaning a little bit, as in a ‘Touch of milk, please!’

22a         Not notice tradition moved by anthem (7)
INTROIT – In the Roman Catholic church, an Introit is the anthem sung at the beginning of the Mass. Remove AD (notice, advertisement) from TRADITION and then make an anagram of the rest (moved)

24a         Sole reinforcement (7)
HOBNAIL – A cryptic definition of one way of reinforcing one’s boots (along with Segs and Blakeys)

26a         Sailor wrapped up in very attractive boisterous performance (10)
KNOCKABOUT – Take AB – one of Crosswordland’s standard abbreviations for a sailor (Able Bodied) and wrap him up (i.e. put him in) KNOCKOUT for ‘very attractive’. The result is a word meaning ‘boisterous performance’ or ‘horseplay’

27a         Wearing only a scrap in Spanish place (6)
ARAGON – a cryptic definition for the Spanish place. Wearing just a scrap, it might be said that you had A RAG ON

28a         One gives a beating in the kitchen (3,5)
EGG WHISK – A cryptic definition of a kitchen utensil that beats eggs

29a         Tale one cadet spun (8)
ANECDOTE – An anagram (spun) of ONE CADET leads to the stories associated with Peter Ustinov around the dinner table. (If you are ever accused of name dropping at a dinner party the correct response is “I am terribly sorry, Sir Paul McCartney once asked me to stop doing that as well”)


2d           Means of escape from rising water covering unpleasant place (8)
LOOPHOLE – A means of escape from an onerous contract is a reversal of POOL (rising water) covering (on top of – this is a Down clue) HOLE (an unpleasant place)

3d           Cricketing term young lady took on (6,4)
MAIDEN OVER – A charade of an archaic word for a young lady or virgin plus OVER which is a synonym of ON

4d           Uncle’s destroyed uranium included in core (7)
NUCLEUS – That part of the atom in the middle containing only Protons and Neutrons. Make an anagram (destroyed) of UNCLES and add U for Uranium

5d           Last order, say, Australian concluded (5)
OMEGA – The First and the Last are Alpha and OMEGA in the Greek alphabet. Make a charade of Order of Merit, E.G for ‘say’ and A for Australian. Note that A can be an abbreviation for Australia and also Australian but is NOT the IVR Code (which is for Austria)

6d           Something soothing used at social gathering that started late (7)
UNCTION – Remove the first letter from FUNCTION (a social gathering that has started late). The definition is an oil used for anointing or an ointment

7d           Rest is disturbed before tea’s served (6)
SIESTA – An anagram, indicated by disturbed, of IS (I know, I know!, it’s tricky!) placed before an anagram (served) of TEAS will give you your Spanish afternoon/midday nap.

8d           Money from American wrong at pay-desk (8)
CHECKOUT – The UK cheque is a CHECK in America. OUT is a synonym for wrong (as in the measurement was out by 2 thou’ of an inch)

13d         Up to very important person to provide something upon which success depends (5)
PIVOT – Reverse TO and VIP (Very Important Person)to find the tipping point upon which success can often depend

14d         Fish stink when decapitated (5)
TENCH – Take STENCH and remove the first letter (stink when decapitated) to get a variety of freshwater fish. The surface reading requires you to think of ‘fish’ in the plural

15d         Mother country? (2-4-4)
NO-MANS-LAND – A cryptic definition of the neutral territory between two opposing armies, alluded to by Mother as in ‘Motherland’ or ‘Mother Russia’

17d         Fusspot left label on outside (8)
STICKLER – L(eft) inside STICKER (for label). I spent ages trying to get TAG on the outside of something but the clue shouldn’t have troubled quite so much

19d         Mac, artist covered with paint (8)
RAINCOAT – An artist (or Royal Academician) with paint on might be RA IN COAT, which also defines a Macintosh or Mac.

20d         Nothing removed from revised citation about liner (7)
TITANIC – remove O (nothing) from CITATION then revise (make an anagram of it) to get the famous doomed ship

21d         Army takes mature prisoner (7)
HOSTAGE – A straightforward charade once you remember HOST for a mass of people, particularly an army, followed by AGE, for mature.

23d         Nevertheless idea was incomplete (6)
THOUGH – Remove the last T from THOUGHT. ‘Though’ can mean ‘nevertheless’.

25d         It is still produced in Russia (5)
VODKA – Russia’s favourite tipple is distilled, i.e. it is still-produced. I like this one

Thanks to Cephas for continuing the good work on Saturdays. Crypticsue will be reviewing next Saturday’s Prize Puzzle. Let’s hope she gets one like this.

5 comments on “DT 26325

  1. Thank you for the, as ever, comprehensive review of an enjoyable puzzle. I was somewhat confused on the day by all the people who went off into realms of milkmen on 12a but as you say there wasn’t much wrong with it as a clue. I second the last sentence of your epilogue!!

  2. Well reviewed, Gnomethang, and, yes, you’re right that there were a number of clues with bits being chopped off but, nevertheless [or substitute the word though instead], it was still an enjoyable puzzle.

  3. Gnomethang – thanks for the excellent review. Have just read through to determine my thinking on the day. I still like 15d as my clue of the day – appeals to me.

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