DT 26409 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26409

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26409

A Full Review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Morning All!. I failed to realise last week, due to lack of thought, that Cephas had taken a break and a new setter was in place so I was comforted to see that this week’s was one of his – the usual good charades and cryptic definitions, some gentle, some not so, confirmed this.

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1a           Obtained directly from leading worker (5-4)
FIRST-HAND – A charade of leading (first) and worker (hand leads to a phrase for ‘obtained directly from’).

6a           Bill about land (4)
ACRE – another charade of AC (bill) and RE (about or on) for an area of land.

10a         Release a Parisian woman (5)
UNPEG – This caused a bit of trouble on the day until the checking letters came along. UN is A in French (Parisian) and the diminuitive PEG for Margaret which gives a verb to release (presumably from a washing line).

11a         Work quietly on alternative melody conveniently presented (9)
OPPORTUNE – Another charade of OP(work) + P (Piano – quietly) + OR (Alternative) and finally TUNE (melody) giving a word meaning conveniently presented or timely.

12a         Disagreeing about one point whilst trying to be amusing (9)
FACETIOUS –The wordplay is FACTIOUS about East (one point of the compass). Chambers gives FACTIOUS as turbulent and is derived from FACTION – a rebellious group and also dissension (i.e. disagreeing). I nearly thought that this was an error since FRACTIOUS also means quarrelsome.
Can anyone else help me out here? – FACETIOUS is one of (I think) 4 words in the English language that contain all the vowels in order but only once each; Abstemious also counts. Does anyone know any more?

14a         Danish essayist? (5)
BACON – A bit of a naughty clue indicated by the question mark – The popular BACON brand is DANISH and BACON is also the name of Francis Bacon – 16th Century philosopher and essayist.

15a         Sportsman on half-pay? (4-3)
SEMI-PRO – A cryptic definition of a sportsman who only gets paid half the time.

16a         Current uprising (7)
THERMAL – A gentle cryptic definition of a warm stream of air rising. It reads like a recent revolt (like them pesky students in London).

18a         New driver in Connecticut used half the medicine (7)
LINCTUS – Another charade of L (Learner driver) then IN followed by CT (for Connecticut) and half of USed. Linctus being a cough medicine.

20a         False swearing according to panel (7)
PERJURY – A charade of PER (according to) and JURY (A voting panel) leads to the act of lying under oath.

21a         Northern Ireland certainly a third more pleasant (5)
NICER – Start with the abbreviation NI for Northern Ireland, then add the first third of the word CERtainly. The definition is ‘More pleasant’

23a         Need month off recovering (2,3,4)
ON THE MEND – An anagram, indicated by OFF, of NEED MONTH gives a phrase meaning recovering or getting better.

25a         Voting her out during a dark period (9)
OVERNIGHT – Another anagram (out), this time of VOTING HER, for the time of the day when it is dark.

26a         Whole drink taken to health centre (5)
TOTAL – The definition here is ‘whole’. Take TOT (a small drink of spirits) and then AL, the centre of heALth.

28a         Class row (4)
RANK – A double definition. The first being a class or position in an ordered list, the second being a row (for example in ‘Rank and File’)

29a         Rubbish, it produces opium, mate (9)
POPPYCOCK – A good charade of POPPY (it produces opium) and COCK – an informal term for a (usually) male friend as in mate, china or ‘me old mucker’. This is a reasonably old word for rubbish or drivel.


1d           Viral infection following repeatedly will get you down (5)
FLUFF – A nice lift and separate to be found here. Down is the definition for ‘soft hair’ and ‘will get you’ tells you that everything in front of this is the wordplay. Start with FLU then the abbreviation for following – F – twice (repeatedly)

2d           Agent involved in the preparations (3)
REP – The shortened form of representative is hidden (involved) in pREParations.

3d           Not an easy situation for a drunk to be in (5,4)
TIGHT SPOT – A difficult situation, like ‘in hot water’ may also describe a drunk (TIGHT) man’s position.

4d           Sherry lover (7)
AMOROSO – A double definition. A sweetened form of oloroso sherry and also a lover or ‘ladies man’

5d           I posted another payment after this (7)
DEPOSIT – An anagram (another) of I POSTED gives the answer, which is also defined by the whole sentence making this an &Lit or ‘All in one’ clue.

7d           Poor creature among the pews (6,5)
CHURCH MOUSE – This proverbially poor animal reminds me of the great Blackadder quotation: “I’m as poor as a church mouse, who’s wife has run away with another mouse, taking all the cheese”

8d           Always ten really confused (9)
ETERNALLY – A confused anagram of TEN REALLY for a word meaning always or forever.

9d           Gloomy linesman on the way up (4)
DRAB – The linesman is an author/poet as in Shakespeare. Reverse him to find a word for gloomy or dull.

13d         What bather is doing admitting it (6,5)
COMING CLEAN – A definition and cryptic definition. The first is cryptic (The primary purpose of having a bath) and the second – admitting it – is the straight synonym.

15d         Odds on Leonard with sullen brilliance (9)
SPLENDOUR – An abbreviation of Starting Price (odds) followed by LEN (the diminuitive for Leonard) then DOUR for sullen gives us a word meaning brilliance or richesse

17d         Wrongly sent in before due time in a serious way (9)
EARNESTLY – This word meaning ‘in a serious way’ requires you to place a ‘wrong’ anagram of SENT into EARLY (before due time).

19d         Close space made by temporary substitute (7)
STOPGAP – One more charade of STOP (close as a verb) and GAP for space. The definition is a substitute or locum required for a short time.

20d         Worst place to park during break for repairs (3,4)
PIT STOP – The worst place is the PITS. Follow that with TO (in the clue) and then P for parking. The definition is ‘break for repairs’. Reading the whole clue also defines the answer but the word ‘during’ forms no part of the wordplay. I guess this is a Semi-&Lit but am prepared to be corrected!. Nice clue though.

22d         Man who’s born-again? (4)
RENE – Initially I couldn’t see this one for the life of me. In French, Né (or Née for a female) is an adjective meaning ‘born of’ and is common on family trees in the UK. The prefix Re- means again so René is literally ‘born again’. I wondered if the clue should have been “Frenchman who’s born again (4)”

24d         Alien had many a coin from Albania (5)
DALEK – The famous alien fron Dr Who is a final charade of D (many – 500 in Roman Numerals according to Big Dave’s MINE on the right there) plus A then LEK the coinage in Albania.

27d         Modest woman’s figure? (3)
TWO – This numerical figure is the property of (i.e. contained in indicated by the apostrophe-S), ‘modesT WOman’.

Thanks to Cephas for a fun Saturday Prize Puzzle. It remains to be seen if he will be back next week or if last week’s new setter will return. In any case Crypticsue will be in the chair next week.

7 comments on “DT 26409

  1. Hi Gnomey
    Agree that 22d should really have had an allusion to nationality. Otherwise slightly misleading IMHO.
    In the Ask.com dictionary Factious actually has Dissentious as one of its definitions so I guess that’s OK for disagreeing.
    On the words with vowels in order, sorry can’t help. I always thought there were only the 2 you mention.
    Anyway, thanks for the review, crystal clear as always.

  2. Gnomey
    With a little electronic help I’ve found :-

    Avenious A*ve”ni*ous, a. [Pref. a- + L. vena a vein.] (Bot.)
    Being without veins or nerves, as the leaves of certain
    [1913 Webster]

    Can’t find another yet but I’ll keep looking for now.

    1. Thanks Pommers – earlier in the week BD sent me a nice long list of other qualifying words (including yours above). Tragedious and Affectious were two that I know but the rest were beyond my ken. I wont post them for now but will do so later if anyone is still bothered!!

  3. OK, so I’m a bit of a nerd but here’s another: (Definition from Wiktionary)

    fracedinous (comparative more fracedinous, superlative most fracedinous)

    1. (rare) Producing heat through putrefaction

    Think I’ll go for a lie down now!

    1. Ah, apparantly it happens automatically. Technology is always a step ahead of me!

      Bet you wish you hadn’t asked!

  4. This is getting sillier!
    Tragedious and affectious aren’t in the Wikipedia list in the link above, so that now makes 10 words (12 if you count facetiously and abstemiously which are just LY on the end of another qualifying word so really shouldn’t count)!

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