DT 26450 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26450

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26450

A full review by Crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***/****

A lovely treat of a crossword from Cephas today so a big thank you to him. Didn’t mind that I solved it quickly because I knew I was going to enjoy it all over again doing this review. I had lots of favourite clues so have marked them in blue.

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    Frost deposit — degrees start falling (4)
HOAR – A white frost formed by freezing dew – remove the D (degrees falling) from HOARD – a stock, deposit or hidden store.

3a    Great anger finding vermin in outskirts of Wisbech (5)
WRATH – Violent anger – place RAT (vermin) inside W and H (the outside letters or skirts of WisbecH.

6a    Account held in part agreement (4)
PACT – Insert AC, the abbreviation for account, into PT, the abbreviation for part– a PACT is apparently an informal or not legally enforceable agreement.

8a    Explaining wrongly cover during exceptional springtime (15)
MISINTERPRETING – An anagram (exceptional) of SPRINGTIME with a synonym for cover INTER inserted into the result gives you an alternative way of explaining wrongly. I just hope this doesn’t refer to some of my hints!!

9a    I name dishonest person said to be at outcrop (6)
INLIER – Start with I and N(ame); a dishonest person is a LIAR but here you need a homophone (said) LIER. An inlier is an isolated remnant of older rock exposed amongst other younger rocks.

10a    Experienced hand getting on with little Timothy expressing hesitation (3-5)
OLD-TIMER This describes me both in crossword-solving and day-job terms (though, quite clearly, not age-wise!) OLD (getting on), TIM (little Timothy) and ER (expressing hesitation)

11a    James reportedly, before break, had cheap gadget (8)
GIMCRACK – A worthless knickknack or poorly made article – according to Chambers you can spell this with a G or a J but here you need GIM, a homophone of Jim as indicated by ‘reportedly’, followed by another word for a break in the sense of a narrow opening CRACK.

13a    Choke regulates itself (6)
STIFLE – an anagram (regulates) of ITSELF – choke in the sense of suffocate or smother.

15a    Right to have a face on this tyre? (6)
RADIAL – Most cars have, I think, radial tyres these days – R (right) A and DIAL (a clock face).

17a    Unperturbed about commercial song (8)
SERENADE – A word meaning calm or unruffled with AD (abbreviation for commercial advertisement) – these songs are usually sung in the evening by a lady’s suitor.

19a    Hick cuddling hot bird (8)
PHEASANT – Hick is a derogatory term for someone from the country – so PEASANT but ‘cuddling’ instructs you to insert H for hot – there is a gentleman pheasant teasing our cat in the garden as I type this.

21a    Made fun of nurse put out (4,2)
SENT UP – A State Enrolled Nurse or SEN and an anagram (out) of PUT, the result then split 4,2 – here meaning made fun of rather than sent to prison!

22a    New place in green for bird (9,6)
PEREGRINE FALCON – A lovely fifteen letter anagram (new) PLACE IN GREEN FOR gives us this bird of prey.

23a    Quails be on both sides of valley (4)
BEVY – I am a great fan of collective nouns (parliament of owls being my favourite of all) so had no trouble joining BE and the sides of ValleY
to find the collection noun for quail.

24a    Buffalo calf penned nearby (5)
LOCAL – I read the first two words of this clue and for a couple of seconds wondered if there was some obscure word for the offspring of a buffalo unknown to me. Luckily I then saw the word ‘penned’ and realised that hidden inside buffaLO CALf is a synonym for nearby.

25a    Overpriced honey? (4)
DEAR – A very nice double definition – expensive or a term of endearment


1d    Blockbuster rehung ‘mid confusion (9)
HUMDINGER – a slang expression for an exceptionally excellent person or thing – an obvious anagram (confusion) of REHUNG MID.

2d    Salts, a large order from David’s son (7)
ABSALOM – A charade of AB (salty sailors) A L (abbreviation for large) and O M (Order of Merit) – Absalom was the King of Israel’s third son.

3d    Ebb-tide (9)
WATERFALL – The ebb tide is literally a FALL of WATER so can be described as a WATER FALL.

4d    Expose piece of hair causing stoppage of flow in pipe (7)
AIRLOCK – AIR (expose to ventilation) and a LOCK or ringlet of hair – a bubble of air in a pipe stopping the flow of liquid.

5d    He had the measure of the old king (5)
HEROD – One of the nastier biblical kings – HE followed by ROD (a rod, pole or perch equals five and a half yards).

6d    Lady has name of aristocrat (9)
PATRICIAN – These aristocrats were originally a member of one of the original families of Rome – PATRICIA followed by N.

7d    Study manufacture of lace or hide (7)
CONCEAL – One of the setter’s handy words for study CON followed by an anagram (manufacture) of LACE produces a synonym for hide in the sense of keeping secret.

12d    Sharp practice seen in series of tight turns on track (9)
CHICANERY – A series of sharp bends on a motor racing circuit a CHICANE plus RY (abbreviation for railway [track]). Chicanery is defined as trickery, sharp practice or deception.

13d    Demanding headmistress fully content (9)
STRESSFUL – the word ‘content’ is an indicator that hidden inside headmiSTRESS FULly is an adjective meaning causing a strain on someone or something. Cephas obviously met my grammar school headmistress who was both demanding and stressful!

14d    Startling enlightenment as a result of raising the lid (3-6)
EYE-OPENER – One of my favourite clues this week – your eyelid is of course what opens your eye, so for crossword setting purposes could be described in the same way as a startling enlightenment.

16d    Runner’s two 18s allowed to be included (7)
ATHLETE – It was obvious from the checking letters what the runner had to be. The reference to 18d explains the word play – the articles A and THE are placed round LET (allowed to be).

17d    Did not stand heartless antic that was wicked (7)
SATANIC – If you did not stand, you SAT; follow this with AN(T)IC – the clue tells you to remove the T (heartless antic) – this is possibly the most wicked you can be.

18d    An editorial? Either (7)
ARTICLE – an editorial is of course an article written by the top reporter at a newspaper. Think back to 16d and realise that an article can also be either A or THE.

20d    Of the ear or of the mouth, we hear (5)
AURAL – This is a double definition making use of homophones – here you require AURAL relating to or received by the ear, rather than ORAL relating to or uttered by the mouth.

A very nice crossword which seemed to please all and set the mood of the day on the blog. As there appears to be a system of one week Cephas/one week Mysteron, I will be back next week to review the Mysteron, giving the Gnome time to practice on his ukulele while his Captain Scarlet suit is in the wash.

19 comments on “DT 26450

  1. Hi Sue, haven’t looked at blog yet but think you must be in the higher ranks of the ACC to give this a one star for difficulty, I have been looking at it for almost half an hour and still only done8!! Not going to look at blog though til I am desperate :)

    1. I trust when you have finished today’s puzzle, you and Mary will both read my words of wisdom about Saturday’s!!

        1. No worries – it brought a big smile to my face in what is a very boring morning here at the day job! Don’t forget that I have nearly 40 years start on you – and this time BD had to edit one of my answers where I had gone off on a very strange tangent, so I am not quite as good as you think! Keep perservating :D

  2. Going away for a couple of days next week where I won’t have access to CluedUp so I’ve printed a few (including this one and Sundays) to take with me. I’ll read your review when I return with, hopefully, a completed puzzle. Looking forward to it as I always like Cephas puzzles.
    Have you tried today’s Toughie? Must be easy for a Friday (ie not Elgar) as I’ve finished it unaided!!!!!

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