DT 26462

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26462

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Morning All!. We had a pretty standard difficutly puzzle from Cephas this week but my enjoyment was spoilt by the Charade count – the whole puzzle felt a bit samey and a few very good clues didn’t really help improve my opinion.

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           Arab chief, he left one from the subcontinent (4)
SIKH – Start with a SHEIKH, an Arab chief, and remove HE (left) to reveal one from the subcontinent.

3a           Union supporter given nourishment before time left first (10)
FEDERALIST – The definition is Union Supporter. We have a charade of FED (given nourishment) before ERA (for time) then Left and finally IST (the printed abbreviation for first).

8a           Be round first with flammable liquid for use in cooking (5,3)
OLIVE OIL – Take O for round but add LIVE (Be, exist) first before adding OIL (flammable liquid) to get a Culinary cooking oil.

9a           Father has a twopenny espresso initially chilled (6)
FRAPPE – The war is still raging over foreign accents on capital letters. My French lessons excluded them from capitals and crosswords certainly do. The iced drink (usually coffee based) is a charade of FR (for father in the priesthood) then A, PP (twopenny) followed by the initial letter of Espresso.

10a         Tools, five pairs found amongst litter (6)
KITTEN – Another charade here. Your tools are your KIT and five pairs is 2 x 5 = TEN. The result is one of a group of fluffy baby cats.

11a         Front vehicle to keep watch over (8)
VANGUARD – the fifth charade on the spin!. VAN (vehicle)+ GUARD (to keep watch over) leads to a military front line attack. Watch out for ‘IN THE VAN’ for ‘AT THE FRONT’ or even just VAN for FRONT used as wordplay in other puzzles.

13a         External feature we initially removed from coats and jackets (5,3)
OUTER EAR – A subtraction clue for a change. Take the W (We initially) from OUTERWEAR, defined by example as ‘coats and jackets’. The result is an external feature of the head, as opposed to the inner ear.

14a         Rex rings judge backing up one working overhead (6)
ROOFER – A synonym for e.g. a slater or tiler (one working overhead) is built up from R(Rex/King) + OO (rings) + REFeree reversed (backing up)

16a         Pattern of Jewish law? (6)
MOSAIC – A tiled pattern of tesserae (another good crossword stalwart) and also an adjective describing the Ten Commandments (Moses adjectivally is Mosaic)

19a         Save individual on ship, one of the nobility (8)
BARONESS – Back to the charades!. BAR (for save/except – all over bar the shouting) + ONE (Individual) + SS (a standard abbreviation for ship, steamer or steamship) leads to a noblewoman

21a         Rissole lamentably cooked away from New York (8)
MEATBALL – Not the best surface reading or direction in my opinion. The delicious pork product (rissole) is derived from an anagram (cooked) of LAMENTABLY having FIRST removed NY (for New York). I don’t really think that ‘away from New York’ provides a clear enough instruction.

22a         After club, he’d had a swim (6)
BATHED – The action of having swam/attended a spa is another charade of BAT (sports club) with H’ED which is in the clue.

23a         Handy way to demonstrate pet affection (6)
STROKE – A gentle cryptic definition of the act of manually grooming a cat or a dog.

24a         A game with US soldier having a justification for his belief (8)
APOLOGIA – Back to Charadesville, Nebraska. Start with A + POLO + GI (An American soldier, the abbreviation for Government Issue, not General Infantry as you may think!) followed by A (in the clue). An apologia is a written treatise, defence or justification for one’s (usually) religious beliefs.

25a         Addict’s reaction to winter in the Middle East? (4,6)
COLD TURKEY – Cryptically this could describe a trip to a specific middle east country (turkey – indicated by example with a question mark) in the winter. It could also be descriptive of a drug addict’s reaction upon finding out that he couldn’t score over there!.

26a         Divert from southern route (4)
SWAY – A transitive verb meaning to divert. After S add WAY – a route, the ‘Boulevard des Charades’, in Lyons, for example….


1d           Soup kitchen? (9)
STOCKROOM – The storage area in e.g. a Hotel kitchen may cryptically be described as a place for soup (chicken stock and the like). My problem here is that there is no specific definition for the storage facility in the clue. I didn’t like this one at all.

2d           Finish argument and say ‘Amen’ (4,3,4,4)
HAVE THE LAST WORD – A cryptic definition of ending an argument (i.e. winning it). Amen being the final word in a prayer (Literally meaning ‘so let it be).

3d           Fun Cleo arranged with ornamental ruffle (7)
FLOUNCE – An anagram (arranged) of FUN CLEO gives a frill or ruffle  sewn into a dress.

4d           Free to make a speech (7)
DELIVER – A double definition here. To deliver from slavery and to deliver a speech.

5d           Purifier produced some more fine results (7)
REFINER – A device that purifies is hidden (is produced by some) moRE FINE Results.

6d           A felonious agent destroyed the old alliance (6,2,7)
LEAGUE OF NATIONS – This old political alliance, a precursor to the United Nations, is an anagram (destroyed) of A FELONIOUS AGENT. My favourite clue this week with a good surface reading.

7d           River Wear? (5)
TWEED – A definition and cryptic definition. The river Tweed, and also something that is possibly worn – indicated by the question mark e.g. “Is this something that one wears?.

12d         Regret not starting to be in tune (3)
RUE – If something (my Ukulele for example, is in tune it may be described as being TRUE. Remove the first letter (not starting) to get a verb meaning regret.

15d         Diary-user in mix-up of what’s left (9)
RESIDUARY – An adjective meaning ‘of the residue or residual’ (what’s left). Make an anagram (in mix up) of DIARY USER

17d         Gold, English mineral (3)
ORE – A very easy charade of OR (Heraldic term for gold) and English. Mineral is the definition.

18d         Fellow on French water — boater, maybe? (7)
CHAPEAU – Our penultimate charade of the puzzle, Start with CHAP for fellow then add the French word for water. This gives an originally French word (which exists in the English Language) for a hat, of which a boater is an example. The nice thing about this clue is tying boater the hat to boater the oarsman.

19d         Conflict in greater part of fortification (7)
BULWARK – A structural fortification/strengthening can be found by placing WAR (conflict) in BULK (the greater part of something). Again the surface reading works well to tell us about a fight in a castle.

20d         Long and thin skeletal joint on top (7)
RIBBONY – The definition is ‘Long and thin’. Placec RIB for ‘joint’ on top of BONY for skeletal. A few quibbles on the day about RIB = JOINT but I think that a rib joint of meat is sufficiently well known to disallow any quibbles.

21d         Greek character thus produced pleasing sounds (5)
MUSIC – A charade to finish!. The Greek letter MU followed by SIC, a written aside meaning ‘this was written or pronounced in this way and is not a copying error’ (from the Latin for THUS). The definition is ‘pleasing sounds’ such as may be made on my ukulele!.

That’s all folks!. I will be back next week for the mystery setter whilst Crypticsue tackles Virgilius on Sunday. We will be alternating on a two week pattern between Saturday and Sunday reviews so that we both can have the variety of reviewing three different setters.


  1. mary
    Posted February 4, 2011 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Morning Gnomey, good review, I agree with you about 1d, I tried something similar on COW this week and had several messages asking me where the definition was, think one was from you? so deleted the clue. I stil don’t like rib for joint, but see where it’s coming from, so no more beefs from me about it :-D off to try todays cryptic now – laters!

  2. pommers
    Posted February 4, 2011 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Hi Gnomey, thanks for the review.
    Agree about 1d but I suppose the ? might just give it a chance of working. Didn’t get it until I had all the checking letters and I think it may have been last in!
    Favourite also 6d.
    Didn’t really notice the number of charades until you pointed it out. That may be to do with the order in which clues are solved. You’ll notice more if you happen to solve 5 or 6 charades in a row.

    • Posted February 4, 2011 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      You might be right pommers – I didnt notice at the time as it was quite a quick solve from memory. The thing is one writes the review in order.

      • pommers
        Posted February 4, 2011 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        I suppose when doing the review you sometimes get fed up with typing ‘charade of” or ‘anagram of’ when there are a lot of the same type of clue. Not so noticeable when solving.