DT 26379 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26379

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26379

A full review by Crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Many thanks are due to Cephas for another very enjoyable Saturday puzzle. I have given it 3* for difficulty as my solving time was fairly quick – the only real problem I had was with my senior moment at 15d – my handwriting for all the other clues is extremely neat so I obviously didn’t have to struggle much with anything else. Other solvers didn’t agree but luckily the blog lived up to Big Dave’s introduction – “the wordplay will be explained by fellow solvers in simple, easy to understand, terms”. Today Mary was the fellow solver who did more than any of us to give explanations, although she has declined BD’s offer to produce next week’s hints!

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.


4a    Might Peter return after short sleep? (5,3)
POWER NAP – A synonym for might POWER followed by the second name of the boy who never grew up PAN, produces a short restorative sleep in the middle of the day taken by someone involved in a demanding activity.

8a    Car crashed during endlessly speedy disturbance (6)
FRACAS – take an alternative adjective for speedy FAST with the T removed (endlessly) and insert an anagram (crashed) of CAR = RAC to produce another word for an uproar or noisy quarrel.

9a    Note new verses in piece of narrative music (4,4)
TONE POEM – This piece of music conveying a poetic or literary theme caused some solvers a few problems. The first word is an anagram of NOTE (new) and verses are, of course, a POEM.

10a    Meeting of hands after the performance? (8)
APPLAUSE – A nice clue – if a performance goes well, everyone puts their hands together for a round of applause.

11a    Having nothing to declare (6)
SILENT – The verb declare means to announce, assert or make a statement. If you have nothing to declare, you would remain silent.

12a    In Channel Islands, get impression of event (8)
INCIDENT – Mary said it best : “Take the first letters of the clue IN, follow this with the standard abbreviation for the Channel Islands CI, then add a four letter word for an impression or something you might get on your car if you bumped it DENT, together giving you a synonym for event”.

13a    Most restless but not starting to be most catty (8)
ITCHIEST – If you were the person most indulging in malicious talk, you would be the BITCHIEST. Take away the B (not starting) and you would be suffering most with a constant, teasing desire.

16a    Satanic lady dropped wrongdoing (3-5)
SHE-DEVIL – a synonym for dropped SHED and another for wrong doing EVIL – put a hyphen between the SHE and the D, move up the EVIL to produce a female evil spirit.

19a    Impinge on fish behind enclosure (8)
ENCROACH – A synonym for impinge (extend into the territory of others) is formed by a charade of the abbreviation for enclosure ENC – usually seen at the bottom of a letter to indicate that something else is in the envelope – and a silvery fish of the carp family the ROACH.

21a    Carrier of young (6)
LITTER – A nice double definition here – a bed supported on poles or a brood of young born to an animal.

23a    Demanding much formerly serving as substitute (8)
EXACTING – Challenging or difficult – if you serve as a substitute you are said to be ACTING; if you were this formerly you would be EX ACTING.

24a    Conclude independent has alternative subordinate (8)
INFERIOR – a synonym for subordinate – conclude in the sense of deduce INFER plus I (independent) and the shortest alternative OR.

25a    Landowners attempt to get primary info (6)
GENTRY – Put a three letter slang word for information GEN before (primary) a three letter word meaning attempt TRY – these landowners are the class of people next below the rank of nobility.

26a    Arty gets revised plan of action (8)
STRATEGY – An anagram (revised) of ARTY GETS produces this plan of action.


1d    Old man lying about gas (7)
PROPANE – The old man PA inserted into a word meaning lying with the face downwards PRONE – a flammable hydrocarbon gas used as fuel.

2d    Welcomed Bill and Edwin who had accepted demand (9)
ACCLAIMED – The past participle of the verb meaning to welcome with enthusiasm – the abbreviation for bill or account – AC plus CLAIM (demand, eg for compensation) and the abbreviation for Edwin ED.

3d    So certain to convince (6)
ASSURE – If you were so certain you could be AS SURE. Run them together to get an alternative verb meaning to give confidence to or to tell positively.

4d    Power of doing work composing inelegant poetry (9,6)
POTENTIAL ENERGY – another anagram (composing) INELEGANT POETRY. This is a term in physics meaning the power of doing work, possessed by a body by virtue of its position. So now you know!

5d    Blow hit cone (8)
WINDSOCK – This type of cone is used to show pilots the direction in which the wind is travelling – Blow or produce a current of air or WIND and a violent blow or hard hit SOCK.

6d    Drive back through more pelican crossings (5)
REPEL – the letters of a verb meaning to drive back are hidden in (through) moRE PELican.

7d    State sun’s over abyss (7)
AVERNUS – Nobody seemed to have heard of the abyss named after Lake Avernus in Campania. Luckily the wordplay was really obvious – to AVER or state to be true and NUS (sun reversed – over)

14d    Bring in a book of great significance (9)
IMPORTANT – if you bring goods into the country you IMPORT them; more often than not in a crossword book turns out to be either the abbreviation for Old Testament OT, or as in this case the New Testament NT. So IMPORT A NT – momentous or of great significance.

15d    Too particular about Italian city, not very English (8)
OVERNICE – If I had a £1 for everyone who didn’t like this clue……! It was the only one I struggled with mainly because I got the synonym for about OVER and then my mind could only think of VERona. The city is of course VENICE and Cephas tell us to remove (not) the V (very) and E (English). Placing NICE after OVER produces an adjective meaning too fastidious.

17d    Lock-keeper out of the rain (7)
HAIRNET – an anagram (out of) to make you smile – THE RAIN rearranged gives you something my mum used to keep her locks (hair) in place and make her perm last longer.

18d    Background on stage, it varies across the country (7)
SCENERY – Another nice double definition – scenery is used as the background in theatre productions and if you travel around the country you will see a variety of beautiful views.

20d    Conversion of small amount of money (6)
CHANGE – A double definition or is it an &Lit? – conversion equals change, small amounts of money are known as change. You can also change or convert small sums of money into one large coin or note.

22d    Greek character revolutionary atheist is excluding (5)
THETA – the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet is obtained from an anagram (revolutionary) of ATHEIST but without (excluding) IS.

Lots of very nice clues today – I liked them when solving and even more so when analysing them for the review. 1a, 17d and 18d stand out as particular favourites, but I am still not over-fond of 15a – although it does go to prove what I am always saying – I am not a so-called expert, just someone who enjoys the daily tussle with the mind of a crossword setter. Gnomethang will be in charge of next week’s review – hopefully recovered from his nasty dose of Man Flu. I am sure a couple of medicinal tinctures at the White Horse will assist his full recovery.

7 comments on “DT 26379

  1. Thanks for the review crypticsue. The manflu is on its way out but am still pretty snotty!.
    A few libations on Saturday will help – certainly worth a try anyway!
    I also took the liberty of fixing a small typo – PA for PR in 1d.

  2. One more typo to fix Crypticsue. one to many C’s in AC at 2d.
    I had to wait patiently until today to find out the answer to 14d. Just couldn’t figure it out and it is SO obvious now! Silly me.
    Thanks for the review Crypticsue and thanks to Cephas too.

  3. Does this mean that of the 212 people who have looked at this today so far, only two of them have actually looked at the review closely enough to spot my ‘deliberate’ errors :) Thanks for sorting it out BD.

    1. Unfortunately, I think that reviewing the weekend puzzles is a thankless task! For most of us, our memories don’t go back that far. However, thanks for the memory!

      1. Luckily Gnomey and I don’t think so. Although very few people comment on the full review of a Saturday puzzle, it is interesting to note that yesterday over 250 people looked at the review, and so far (and its only 8.30) 23 people have looked today. I think people like to check that their thoughts on the wordplay were correct, but having commented on Saturday, don’t need to comment again. Personally, I find the whole process very useful from the point of view of learning all the technical terminology and working out why the answer is what it is, as before joining the blog all I did was solve the puzzles, not necessarily thinking about the whys and wherefores!

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