DT 26361 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26361

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26361

A Full Review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

It was very nice to catch up with Cephas, amongst others, last weekend at the Bree Louise. Saturday’s puzzle contained the usual Cephas clues with some very gentle cryptic definitions and also some very excellent wordplay and surface readings.

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           Skip almost drunk by edge of river (6,4)
BOTTLE BANK – A charade of most of the word BOTTLED (drunk) by the river BANK

6a           Stunning card? (4)
CLUB – Definition and Cryptic definition; a mace and a playing card

9a           Shade partly across hatchway (5-5)
CROSS-HATCH – Very nice to see a 10 letter hidden word in a 25 letter clue, and it was still not so easy to spot!. Cross Hatching is a method of shading (filling in) using intersecting sets of parallel lines

10a         Young lover missing one bird (4)
SWAN – The young lover is a SWAIN from which I (one) is removed

12a         Cancel peacekeepers’ party (4)
UNDO – Another charade meaning cancel or negate. Add the United Nations to the regular synonym for party, DO

13a         Irritable father, a lightweight, promises to pay (9)
FRACTIOUS –This caught a few people out as the lightweight alludes cryptically to CT – the abbreviation for CARAT, the unit for measuring gemstones. Start off with FR (abbreviation for father) then A CT followed by the ubiquitous I.O.U.(S) or promises to pay

15a         Always nevertheless losing article, perhaps (8)
EVERMORE – quite tricky to spot. Remove THE (article) from nevertheless to get NEVERLESS. Then consider this cryptically (as denoted by ‘perhaps’) to find an antonym for both NEVER and LESS to get EVER and MORE.

16a         Gent is exchanging ring (6)
SIGNET – A straightforward anagram, indicated by ‘exchanging’ of GENT IS gives a type of ring used to seal old missives and guarantee their provenance.

18a         Award more revolutionary yellow pigment (6)
CHROME – As BD pointed out on the day, the award is the Companion of Honour which is abbreviated to CH. Add to this an anagram (revolutionary) of MORE to get a yellow pigment usually derived from some salt of Chromium.

20a         Little Vincent traps struggling Liberal, ripe for a beating (8)
VINCIBLE – Lovely clue which paints a nice picture of a young Mr Cable bullying a fellow party member. Take VINCE (the diminutive of Vincent) and place it around the putside (i.e. it TRAPS) an anagram, struggling, of LIB(eral). This leads to a word meaning ‘beatable’ or ‘ripe for a beating’. We don’t often come across this word but the antonym, INVINCIBLE, is well known

23a         Spanish cry in ecstasy for freedom from bigotry (9)
TOLERANCE – Another insertion clue. The ecstacy is a TRANCE into which we must add OLE!, the stereotypical cry of a Spanish bullfighter. The result is a word meaning latitude or freedom from bigotry. (N.B. OLE does NOT mean ‘with milk’!)

24a         It’s a wrench when cunning plan fails to start (4)
RICK – The cunning plan is a TRICK. Remove the first letter (fails to start and you get the sort of wrench that can happen to your back.

26a         Feeling contrite, no end of destruction (4)
RUIN – If you feel contrite you rue, the present participle being RUING. Take the end off to find a synonym of ‘destruction’, of a building or even financially.

27a         Contract he arranged for IT boss, maybe (10)
TECHNOCRAT – A very nice surface reading for the anagram of CONTRACT HE leads to a leading figure of a technical group or society

28a         Fusses about what may weaken the spirit (4)
SODA – Fusses are ADOS (as in Much ADO about Nothing). Reversing this (about) gives the mixer that may weaken an alcoholic spirit (Perish the thought, a whisky)

29a         Damaging ocean winds during very cold weather (4,3,3)
SNOW AND ICE –A damaged anagram of OCEAN WINDS leads to treacherous wintry conditions


1d           Male animal that stops at the top? (4)
BUCK – A male deer is alluded to cryptically from the phrase “The buck stops here” meaning ‘responsibility is taken right to the top’

2d           Turkey’s weight to beat (7)
TROUNCE – A synonym for beat (or worst!) in competition is a charade of TR (the IVR code for Turkey which is to be found in the ‘Countries’ section of BD’s MINE) and OUNCE, a light weight

3d           One cannot recall having it (4,2,6)
LOSS OF MEMORY – A gentle cryptic definition of amnesia

4d           Nail neighbouring car in northern city (8)
BRADFORD – A charade of BRAD (a small nail with a lateral projection instead of a head) and a popular automobile to give a northern city

5d           Disconnect a receptacle holding drink (6)
NECTAR – Nicely confusing this one, seeming to suggest an insertion of a drink into a cup. In fact the answer, the drink of the Gods, is hidden in ‘DisconNECT A Receptacle’ (indicated by ‘holding’)

7d           Doubly depressed with relevant information (3-4)
LOW-DOWN – Two synonyms of depressed, LOW and DOWN, when strung together, leads to a phrase for information or dope

8d           Could he make broken nose better? (10)
BONESETTER – A very nice Semi All In One. A broken anagram of NOSE BETTER. The definition is derived from reading the clue again

11d         Amusing take-off? (5,7)
STRIP CARTOON – A good cryptic definition of a comic strip with TAKE-OFF alluding to the STRIP element

14d         Post-war conditions (5,5)
PEACE TERMS – Another less cryptic definition of the agreements under which hostilities will cease

17d         Attraction of teams who moved (8)
SIDESHOW – This smaller fairground attraction is formed from SIDES (teams) and an anagram, moved, of WHO

19d         Revived on court? (7)
RALLIED – Another cryptic definition, an period of extended continuous play on a tennis court and also what happens when one improves either medically or in a sporting competition

21d         Rum, not good one, going round saloon (7)
BACARDI – This white rum is found by placing BAD I (not good and one) around CAR (saloon)

22d         Reported how patients wait for doctor (6)
INTERN – A homophone (reported) of IN TURN – how patients (or anyone else) waits is also the word for a resident assistant doctor or a trainee gaining practical experience in any other profession

25d         Swelling that’s irritating for viewer (4)
STYE – Another gentle cryptic definition for an eye complaint

Thanks to Cephas for the entertainment again this Saturday and next week you have the benefit of Crypticsue’s wisdom

8 comments on “DT 26361

  1. I too enjoyed this puzzle very much. Just hope my ‘wisdom’ is better on Saturday than it is today! Thanks again to Cephas and the Gnome

  2. Thanks for the review Gnomethang.
    I commented on this puzzle on Saturday but repeat my thanks to Cephas for a very enjoyable solve.
    You’ve answered one thing for me in 13a. I got the answer from the FR, A and IOUS but couldn’t see where the CT was coming from! Never thought of carat! Doh!

      1. Gnomethang, thanks for the review which explained some word play that I did not fully understand. Must be a bit of a thankless task reviewing the Saturday Prize puzzle – by the time the full review is published most of us have forgotten all about it. So thanks once again!

        1. Thanks, Franco. Checking the blog statistics (as I can) there are many more hits on the page than comments. A lot of people come here to either check an answer or wordplay element without necessarily leaving a comment.
          It certainly isn’t thankless but it is always nice when new people announce themselves.

  3. Thought 20A was something to do with Vince Cable and could not get the cable bit out of my mind for a while especially having convinced myself that 17D was an anagram of “teams who” which gave some- what! Why? Once I get fixed on these things it is difficult to get out. Paper down and walk away time and come back refreshed!
    Good puzzle though, so thanks to setter and Gnomethang for the review.

    1. I often have these situations, Pete, where I have an idea in my head that will not go away. As you say, the best thing is to walk away for a time.

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