DT 26337 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26337

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26337

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Afternoon All!. This week we had what I considered a great puzzle from Cephas. It contained all his usual hallmarks, including some great cryptic definitions, some well constructed charades and one barely cryptic definition as well!. The enjoyment for me came from this,the range of definitions and also the fact that the less well known words were well constructed so there was no doubt that the answer arrived at was, in fact, the correct one.

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           Protester more unprepared about South America (8)
CRUSADER- Cruder, meaning ‘less ready’ or ‘less prepared’, around SA for South America. A protester is also someone who is ‘on a crusade’

6a           Adorn wealthy men who did not start first (6)
ENRICH – Take a synonym of wealthy and add first the word MEN without the initial letter for a word meaning adorn or add detail

9a           One who has designs on eating out? (6)
ETCHER – A very nice cryptic definition of an artist who creates works by eating out glass with acid, for example. Excellent deceptive surface reading I thought

10a         Remove sandals from a Parisian dandy of old with left foot out (8)
UNBUCKLE – Start with the French indefinite article (UN –a Parisian), then add BUCK (an old word for a dandy, blood or swain) followed by LE(ft) – left with FT out.

11a         Acid a mob abandoned in the country (8)
CAMBODIA – An anagram (abandoned) of ACID A MOB gives the name of the South East Asian country

12a         Blue flower of Vienna? (6)
DANUBE – A cryptic definition of the river (the thing that flows not the plant) that runs through Vienna. “The Blue Danube”, or “An der schönen blauen Donau”, was a waltz composed by Johann Strauss II that our headmistress always used to play at assemblies in my Primary School

13a         Picnic at Easter? (7,5)
MOVABLE FEAST – A Definition and Cryptic Definition clue. Easter is a movable feast in that its date in the year is not fixed. A picnic could be described cryptically as a movable feast as well. Another clue which I thought worked well

16a         Paid informer (12)
SCHOOLMASTER – Not a grass. This person is paid to teach in school

19a         Marksman found wading bird with rook (6)
SNIPER – The snipe is an excellent crossword bird since it is described as having ‘Cryptic Plumage’ (Choice time?). Add to this R for Rook and you have a soldier who is a single shot specialist

21a         Expose twisted lead initially exasperating dog (8)
AIREDALE – A charade of AIR (expose), a twisted anagram of LEAD, then the initial E of Exasperating. This leads to a breed of terrier

23a         Right quartet in article doing well (8)
THRIVING – Add Right and IV (4 – a quartet) into THING (for article) to get a synonym of doing well or flourishing

24a         Doubly dark plaid (6)
TARTAN – Two words for dark, TAR and TAN lead to that Scottish fabric

25a         I took a seat inside compound (6)
ISATIN – Not a very well known word but the only word that Chambers gives for the checking letters. It is a chemical compound, an Indole derivative, common in plants and has been investigated for its pharmaceutical properties. It is also a charade of I SAT (I took a seat) and IN(side)

26a         One of a noted band? (8)
MUSICIAN – A not very cryptic definition of a musical (noted) player in a group (band)


2d           Lady, about mid-January, taking money during ceremony (6)
RITUAL – Our lady is RITA, which is suggested by the checking letters, into which we need to add U (Middle of the word January), then add L (Librum) for money/pound. The result is a ceremony. I am not sure that ‘during’ here is doing anything more than padding

3d           Gentleman has removed one, bowled (5)
SAHIB – A word for a man of rank in India and, informally, a man of refinement or honour (a gentleman). Make an anagram (removed) of HAS then add I for one and B for Bowled (a standard abbreviation when scoring cricket matches)

4d           Risk-taker’s ladder I’ve knocked over (4-5)
DARE-DEVIL – This risk taker is also an anagram (knocked over) of LADDER I’VE

5d           Its leaves are poisonous. Nonsense! (7)
RHUBARB – A double definition here. The oxalic acid in the plant’s leaves make them poisonous and Rhubarb is also a word for nonsense, tommyrot, eyewash, tripe, moonshine and other crossword stalwarts. It is a bit of a chestnut but only if you have seen it before!

6d           Surround doctor in rising river (5)
EMBED – One of the usual abbreviations for doctor, when placed inside a reversal of one of crosswordland’s favourite rivers, gives a word for surround or enclose

7d           Curate Ron confused one telling stories (9)
RACONTEUR – Another outing for this word, adding to the tally in the last week or so. A confused anagram of CURATE RON gives a dinner table story teller.

8d           A party shortly getting in money for tree (8)
CALABASH – An unknown tree to me, my floral knowledge is weak, but the wordplay is straightforward. Place A LAB (a short party) into CASH for money. Nothing wrong with checking your result in a Dictionary as far as I am concerned!

13d         Option Tom exercised, it’s subject open to debate (4,5)
MOOT POINT – A moot point is undecided or disputed. Make an anagram (exercised) of OPTION TOM

14d         Go in before it’s a cause of ill-feeling (9)
ENTERITIS – This gastric complaint is a charade of ENTER (go in) and IT IS (one of the ways of interpreting IT’S). Remember the many options for apostrophe-s in crossword puzzles, particularly when used with IT

15d         A container like this for the plant (8)
ACANTHUS – This spiky herbaceous plant is another charade of A CAN (a container) and THUS – a word meaning ‘so’ or ‘like this’

17d         Mixture of seaweed seen within a couple of miles (7)
AMALGAM – A non-reactive mixture of mercury and another metal. Put ALGA (seaweed) in A and two Miles.

18d         Under mountain one caught a wool producer (6)
ALPACA – The mountain we want is an Alp. Underneath this we need to add A (for one) then C (caught, again from cricket scoring notation) then A. The alpaca is a South American domesticated woolly animal resembling the llama

20d         Some more ignore rule (5)
REIGN – A word for rule is hidden ‘indicated by ‘some’, in ‘more ignore’

22d         The same one in church had style (5)
DORIC – A greek architectural style. Take DO which is an abbreviation for DITTO, the same, then follow with I (one) in RC for Roman Catholic (church)

All that remains is to thank Cephas for a great puzzle this week and hand you over to Crypticsue for next week’s full review.

8 comments on “DT 26337

  1. Quite agree Gnomethang, one of the best Cphas crosswords, very enjoyable. Thanks for the super review.

  2. Hmm. Not sure I like “dare-devil” and “movable feast”. They’re usually “daredevil” and “moveable feast”.

  3. 1a, SA = South America as per clue, not South Africa; presumably the thought of anti-apartheid protests has created a Freudian slip.

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