DT 26331 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26331

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26331

A full review by Crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

I know that giving this puzzle two stars for difficulty will not please many, but I have based this on my solving time and the fact that, apart from two clues which caused me an extra moment’s thought, I had no trouble at all with this excellent offering from Cephas. Just the right mix of clue types to produce an entertaining Saturday puzzle.

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    Factory dance class (8)
WORKSHOP – A building or room where (class)- work is done is produced by a charade of WORKS (factory) and HOP (dancing party).

5a    Glass plants are forced under (6)
CLOCHE – Not entirely convinced this is ‘cryptic’, you just need to know the name for the glass cover under which plants are forced or protected from frost.

10a    Central part of two presents where one might be isolated (6,2,7)
MIDDLE OF NOWHERE – Central part is, of course, MIDDLE, follow this with OF then merge NOW (present time) and HERE (present place), the whole being a three word term for an isolated place.

11a    Not all reverential fear first is daunting (7)
AWESOME – SOME (not all) preceded by AWE (reverential fear first) makes another way of saying daunting, dreadful or impressive.

12a    A Greek character, first lady to perform successfully (7)
ACHIEVE – A charade of A + CHI (Greek letter X) + EVE (first letter) makes a verb meaning to bring to a successful outcome.

13a    Entered office uninvited (7)
USURPED – A sort of cryptic definition here – a verb meaning to take over someone’s job without their agreement and, more often than not, by force!

15a    In favour of appropriate benefit (6)
PROFIT – A synonym for benefit – PRO (in favour) and FIT (appropriate)

19a    A way to be taking our enthusiasm (6)
ARDOUR – Charade of A RD (abbreviation for road [way]) and OUR making another way of saying with enthusiasm or passion.

20a    Hold spellbound with new halter twisted round (7)
ENTHRAL –N for new put inside (round) an anagram of HALTER (twisted)

23a    Contract could put ferryman out of business (7)
ABRIDGE – If someone put A BRIDGE over a river, the ferryman would not be needed. Run the two words together and you get a synonym for contract in the sense of shorten.

25a    Film Caledonian banker (7)
PICTURE – Films aren’t called this much these days – one of an ancient Scottish people – PICT- plus the North Yorkshire river (banker) the URE.

27a    Journalists’ ability to straighten things out? (5,2,3,5)
POWER OF THE PRESS – A nice double definition here. The gentlemen of the press are said to hold great influence over politics etc. However, powerful pressing or ironing will also straighten or smooth things out.

28a    Partner endlessly confused but intensely delighted (6)
ENRAPT – Take the R (endlessly) away from PARTNER, make an anagram of the remaining letters (confused) and you should get an adjective meaning in ecstasy.

29a    Surreptitious coming from stately home initially (8)
STEALTHY – Acting furtively or suspiciously – an anagram (coming from) STATELY and H (home initially).


1d    Animal found warm sheltering environment at last (6)
WOMBAT – This Australian animal is a charade of the first warm sheltering environment we experience WOMB, followed by AT (at , last)

2d    Put right having put other clothes on (9)
REDRESSED – Another double definition – to set right or make amends, or to put new clothes on, the latter in Chambers has a hyphen (re-dressed).

3d    Less than half the smelling-salts burst (5)
SALVO – a burst of artillery fire is taken from part (less than half ) of SAL VOlatile: smelling salts made from ammonium carbonate and alcohol or water.

4d    Instrument to do remote wrong (8)
ODOMETER – An instrument for measuring the distance travelled by a vehicle is an anagram (wrong) of DO REMOTE.

6d    Type of service building without a tower or spire? (3,6)
LOW CHURCH – Double definition – A church without a tower or spire wouldn’t be very high so would be LOW. Low Church services place little value on ecclesiastical conventions.

7d    Gang on East Station (5)
CREWE – One of the most famous historic stations in the world – CREW (gang) on E (east)

8d    In chapel even this late hour (8)
ELEVENTH – the very last moment or hour of the day is hidden (in) chapel even this.

9d    Insert fashionable song (5)
INLAY – a verb meaning to insert or ornament – IN (fashionable) and LAY (an archaic song)

14d    Cycle tour? (5,4)
ROUND TRIP – A cycle can be defined both as a recurring series or ROUND, A synonym for tour is TRIP. Bicycles can be used for tours from which you return, hence the ‘cycle tour?’.

16d    Removed fault fast when windy (9)
FLATULENT – A lovely clue here – an anagram (removed) of FAULT added to LENT (the period of fasting before Easter).

17d    Two trees producing excrescence (3,5)
OAK APPLE – Take the names of two trees OAK and APPLE to give an abnormal outgrowth caused on an oak tree by an insect.

18d    Picture biscuits burning (8)
SNAPSHOT – This time the picture is a hasty photograph – a charade of SNAPS (biscuits) and HOT (burning).

21d    First signs of laurel, elm, ash, fir and yew covered in foliage (5)
LEAFY – Take the first letters of Laurel, Elm, Ash, Fir and Yew and you get an adjective meaning covered in leaves or foliage.

22d    Language found in my side of Liverpool? (6)
MERSEY – Liverpool’s river often lends its name to Merseyside as a description of the area in which the city resides. The language here is ERSE, the former name given to the language of people of the West Highlands, sometimes used for Irish Gaelic. Put ERSE inside MY (found in) to get the name of the River (or side)

24d    One of eight who is argumentative? (5)
ROWER – Rowing boat crews often have eight oarsmen – a rower could also be someone having an argument or row. I once had a postcard from some friends holidaying on the Norfolk Broads which said that they had had a row or two – confused me no end!!

26d    Developing a crop of dried fruit (5)
COPRA – an anagram (developing) of A CROP produces the dried kernel of a coconut.

I really enjoyed solving this puzzle and having revisited the clues to write the review, I am even more of a fan. Clues I liked were 23a, 1d, 7d, and 17d, but clue of the day has to be the clever 10a.

5 comments on “DT 26331

  1. I see that there is a picture there to appeal to most demographics – No need for Naughty Monkeys for the kids, I suspect.
    Thanks for the review, crypticsue – A good puzzle indeed.

  2. I had trouble finding pics of men that weren’t either boring or too rude! Thanks BD, you obviously have better sources than me or more practice at tracking suitable material, although obviously not as much as Gazza. Let’s hope he approves.

  3. Nice review, thank you.

    (It was a good puzzle. I have not managed to do more than 3 clues in any of the subsequent ones)

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