Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26367
A full review by Crypticsue
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
I really enjoyed this nice Saturday puzzle – it didn’t take me too long to solve and had a nice mix of clues. I always imagine that someone new to the DT Cryptic might start with a Saturday puzzle as they would have more time to work out how the clues work. This particular puzzle would be an ideal one for a novice, but didn’t disappoint this experienced solver either.
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1a Fascinating crimes solved going round Middle East (8)
MESMERIC – an anagram (solved) of CRIMES with M(Middle) and E (East) inserted (going round) – mesmeric here meaning fascinating, hypnotising rather than dominating the will of someone.
9a Start with hesitation from platform (8)
LAUNCHER – To send out or set going (LAUNCH) with crosswordland’s favourite hesitation (ER) produces a platform for launching, for example, a rocket.
10a Glittering particle stopped short of box (4)
SPAR – Take the last letter away (stopped short) from that glittering particle , the SPARK, to leave a word meaning to box or make the actions of boxing.
11a It’s the pick of the vineyards (5,7)
GRAPE HARVEST – a very nice cryptic definition here – grapes are picked in a vineyard at the time of harvest.
13a Second in mountain race? (6-2)
RUNNER-UP – another double definition – someone who is second could also be the description of a person racing to the top of a mountain, rather than back down again!
15a Bird is found in hide (6)
SISKIN – A yellowish-green finch – hide = SKIN, and the clue tells you to insert IS (found in)
16a Low water (4)
WELL – water that is low or deep would be found in a well.
17a Not one Greek department making room (5)
ATTIC – The historical region around Athens was known as Attica – take away A (not one) to leave a room found in the roof of a house.
18a Leading energy drink (4)
TOPE – a charade of TOP (leading) with E (energy) – TOPE meaning to drink hard regularly.
20a Feel indignation being partly misrepresented (6)
RESENT – another way of saying to feel anger towards is hidden inside (partly) misrepresented.
21a Look-alike being overdrawn, I intervened (8)
HUMANOID – Anything with the appearance of a human – a HUMAN being, OD (found on your bank statement when you are overdrawn) with I inserted (intervened).
23a Not fanciful in reality (6-2-4)
MATTER-OF-FACT – another nice double definition which probably needs no explanation from me! Chambers says ‘adhering to fact, not fanciful’.
26a Inland Revenue taking on golf club (4)
IRON – People usually moan about four letter words but you couldn’t have a simpler or more obvious one than this – a type of golf club is easily obtained by doing as the clue instructs and putting IR (abbreviation for Inland Revenue) with ON.
27a Removed the ticks growing closely together (8)
THICKSET – another anagram (removed) of THE TICKS – in this instance you need the Chambers definition of the adjective meaning to plant closely together, rather than having a short, thick body.
28a Does one see what one’s eating with these? (3,5)
EYE TEETH – to quote BD – a cryptic definition of a pair of canine teeth used for eating , apparently called eye teeth because they are in the upper jaw directly in line with the eyes.
2d Uncovering of ancient city during display (8)
EXPOSURE – A synonym for uncovering or laying open to view – display or EXPOSE to view with the compiler’s favourite Biblical city UR inserted inside. Many solvers groan at the sight of UR appearing so often in crosswords, but I am quite fond of the old place and like to see it turn up on a regular basis.
3d Border constituency? (8,4)
MARGINAL SEAT – MPs’ constituencies are known as SEATS. Something on a border could be said to be marginal. A marginal seat is one where the election result could go either way and so the result could be borderline.
4d Two soldiers make good (6)
REPAIR – a couple of Royal Engineers or an RE PAIR – another way of saying to fix or make good.
5d No right in having misplaced cruel piece of evidence (4)
CLUE – An anagram (misplaced) of CRUEL but without the R (no right) gives a piece of evidence sought after by detectives.
6d Julius Caesar briefly seizing broken-down Russia of a time long ago (8)
JURASSIC – Julius Caesar’s initials J and C (briefly) with an anagram of RUSSIA (broken down) inserted (seizing) produces an adjective relating to a period between 200 and 145 million years ago.
7d Lady conceals nothing for loafer, maybe (4)
SHOE – the female pronoun SHE with O (nothing) concealed within results in the name of a comfortable shoe.
8d Sham about Troy being in the money (8)
PRETENCE – a synonym for sham – the money is PENCE with RE (about) and T (abbreviation for Troy) inserted.
12d When healthy people may be admitted to hospital (8,4)
VISITING TIME – an obvious cryptic definition here, in my opinion.
14d Set up camp on cricket-field (5)
PITCH – a cricket field is also known as a PITCH and that is what you do to a tent when you set up camp.
16d Labour comrade? (8)
WORKMATE – another nice clue WORK is another way of saying labour and a MATE can be a friend as well as a fellow worker or WORKMATE.
17d Star skater is performing (8)
ASTERISK – Performing is the anagram indicator here. SKATER IS reordered produces a small star used as a reference or in this blog to hide the solution word when the hints are for a prize puzzle.
19d Dot’s wrong to indicate (5,3)
POINTS OUT – a dot is a very small speck, mark or full stop or POINT. OUT is another way of saying wrong. If the point’s out, and you take away the apostrophe, you point out or indicate.
22d In time a Greek may be thin (6)
MEAGRE – a nice hidden word – a synonym for thin is found in tiME A GREek.
24d Shoot suspect (4)
TWIG – This caused the most confusion on Saturday. A shoot on a tree branch is a TWIG. The same word also means to observe, perceive or understand.
25d That’s your lot (4)
FATE – One of the entries in Chambers for lot says ‘that which falls to anyone through his or her fortune’ ie their fate or inevitable destiny. A very nice cryptic definition, as when you die, that is literally ‘your lot’! It is also an ideal final clue, much along the lines of “That’s all folks” at the end of a cartoon and so is my clue of the day.
Quite a few comments this week about old chestnuts. Brewers just refers to them as Chestnuts – stale jokes the origin of which is said to be from a 1816 melodrama where the character having referred to a tree 26 times as a chestnut, changed it to a cork tree. I don’t mind seeing old favourites in a Saturday puzzle – they will be new to some people who haven’t been turning to the back of the paper for more years than is probably sensible, and most of them make me smile. It’s Gnomethang’s turn next week to sort out the Sweet Chestnuts from the Conkers and I hope he has as much fun as I have had this week.