DT 26468 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26468

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26468

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Morning All!. It’s my turn to review the mystery setter this week under the new rotation regime for myself and Crypticsue and I must admit to rather enjoying this one without finding it too hard. I’m giving it two stars based on my solving time but a few of the clues may push it to a three star for some.

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           The French FBI agent is one doing the donkey work (3-3)
LEG-MAN – The runner or ‘donkey’ is a charade of LE (The in French) and GMAN – A word for FED or FBI agent first coined (allegedly) during the arrest of gangster George “Machine Gun” Kelly in 1933

4a           Blade runner mixed up in Ikea sect (3,5)
ICE SKATE – The sporting footwear choice of Torvill and Dean is an anagram of IKEA SECT. The blades run across the ice.

10a         A hunger it dealt with having more sauce (9)
NAUGHTIER – An anagram of A HUNGER IT. If you are saucier you are a bit more naughty…but I like you!

11a         Cardinal was prime minister once (5)
NORTH – Sir Frederick North , 2nd Earl of Guildford was Prime Minister from 1770 to 1782 (Once is trying to indicate that this was a long time ago!). His surname is also a cardinal point of the compass. Whilst one may not have heard of him (I hadn’t) it is only a matter of checking letters to choose between North or South once the clue structure is understood.

12a         Stick on gallows, up there is a difficult situation (3,4)
GUM TREE – A charade here: Gum for Stick and tree for gallows (think ‘Hanging Tree’). If you are ‘Up a Gum Tree’ then you in a predicament (particularly in Australia)

13a         One giving up playing reedily (7)
YIELDER – An anagram (playing) of REEDILY gives someone who gives up, cedes or possibly yields.

14a         Finish work losing right to make another attachment (5)
RETIE – Lose the R from ‘retiRe’ (finish work) in order to attach something once more.

15a         Stir men playing lute primarily? He might (8)
MINSTREL – My favourite clue on balance. This is a semi &Lit (all-in-one) clue where one needs to read the whole clue for the definition. Apart from the ‘he might’ at the end, make an anagram (playing) of STIR MEN then follow with L(ute) primarily. This gives you the troubadour that is described in the sentence.

18a         Song about one Australian that is strongly disliked (8)
ANATHEMA – Stand up for the Queen and put an ANTHEM around A (one). Adding A(ustralian) gives a word for a detested or cursed person.

20a         ‘Mother and Child’ one worked in stone (5)
MASON – A charade of MA (mother) and SON (her child) gives a shaky-handy stoneworker.

23a         Construction set holy place’s working back (7)
MECCANO – A beloved (of me anyway) toy that allowed one to create structures with an eye to the engineering. Start with MECCA (The holiest meeting place for the Islamic Faith) then add a reversal of ON (working).

25a         Old man against keeping recipe for light snack (7)
POPCORN – A cinema snack. Take POP (old man, father, pa) and then add R(ecipe) into CON (against, keeping being the insertion instruction). As we all know by now, Recipe is Latin for ‘Take’ and is abbreviated on doctors prescriptions and cooking instructions as R. Don’t forget this kids!

26a         Belgian city lord (5)
LIEGE – A double definition. The lovely Belgian city and also a lord in the king’s court.

27a         Host’s pretty good shot besieging stronghold (9)
INNKEEPER – A pretty good shot in archery is an INNER (just outside of the bullseye). Place this outside of KEEP (a fortress or stronghold) to find the landlord of a pub- ‘Mein Host’ if you will.

28a         Tellurium’s not radioactive as can be proved experimentally (8)
TESTABLE – A charade of TE (the chemical symbol for Tellurium) and STABLE (not radioactive or likely to decay). These things can be tested.

29a         Past history revolutionary holds that’s surprising! (6)
RECORD – We have seen an influx of words expressing astonishment/surprise – COR, MY, BLIMEY, STAP ME VITALS etc!). Actually, we have seen MY and COR a lot. Take the latter and put it inside RED (the communist revolutionary is RED and it holds COR. The definition is a ‘Past History’ – written down of course.


1d           Hero of romantic comedy does so miss working outside (4,4)
LAND GIRL – This one held me up for ages but turned out to be among my favourites. It is a double definition and you need to insert your crowbar between SO and MISS to get the two meanings. The LAND GIRL worked outside in a farm as part of the war effort and before the end of a romantic comedy the leading man should also LAND (get) the GIRL

2d           Get M Roux endlessly cooking for him? (7)
GOURMET – Another well worked clue which is a semi all-in-one. Take the end letter from GET M ROU(x) and make an anagram (cooking) to get the foodie for whom Michel Roux may cook.

3d           Bad breath or containing a bit of niff is noisome (9)
ABHORRENT – The synonym of noisome or hated is an anagram (bad) of BREATH OR including the fist letter (a bit of) Niff.

5d           Old comedy film, a right corny production acting foppishly outside (5,2,7)
CARRY ON CAMPING – Another of my favourites this week. The definition is clear but we need to make an anagram, a production of, A R(ight) CORNY and then place CAMPING (acting foppishly) around the outside.  I think the clue would work as an &Lit (all in one) without the ‘Old Comedy Film’ part since the remainder does define the work. Maybe the setter was attempting an &Lit but was asked to make the definition easier…

6d & 9d                 Nice items I’m arranging on monument longer than anyone knows (5)
SINCE TIME IMMEMORIAL – An anagram (arranging) of NICE TIMES IM, when placed before the MEMORIAL (monument) leads to a well known phrase meaning for as long as anyone can remember.

7d           Cut a part of the nose (7)
ABRIDGE – A slightly chestnutty clue for some – A + Part of one’s nose gets cut, shorten or expurgate.

8d           Urge old flame excited about start of relationship (6)
EXHORT – Take the usual EX for old flame and then add HOT (excited) placed around the start of Relationship. The definition is ‘Urge’ as a verb

9d           See 6 (4,10)

16d         Perhaps watch to see how long performance takes (9)
TIMEPIECE – An artistic performance can be known as a piece. To check how long it lasts means one would time it. Hence TIMEPIECE, of which a watch is one example (note that the perhaps is required to show that the definition is but one example )

17d         Nears end painfully caught in trap (8)
ENSNARED – A painful anagram of NEARS END gives ‘caught in a trap’

19d         Faldo and S. African golfer change in America (7)
NICKELS – A few people who don’t watch golf don’t like to see these sort of clues. Personally I think you could take a number of popular sports and reasonably expect people to know a couple of the top names. NICK Faldo was the most successful English golfer (I think still is in terms of Major Championship Victories) and Ernie ELS is one of the most successful golfers of the last 20 years and is now making fairly regular appearances in crosswordland. Adding those two together gives the 5 cent bit (change) in the US

21d         Sign exclusive story mostly about amount of inflation (7)
SCORPIO – ‘Sign ‘ on its own as a definition can often mean a sign of the Zodiac. This one is made from most of SCOO(p) (exclusive story mostly) around (about) the abbreviation for Retail Price Index, or amount of inflation.

22d         Charm a cross teacher to begin with (6)
AMULET – A charm or talisman is a charade of A + MULE (a cross between a male donkey and a female horse) + the beginning of Teacher – A MULE T

24d         One leading pack from Lakeland (5)
AKELA – It occurred to me as I solved this that I had probably never seen the word written down (I was never in the cubs or scouts). Hidden in lAKELAnd is the name of the Scout Pack’s leader.

For the next two weeks I shall be reviewing the Sunday puzzles (usually from Virgilius). These tend to be among my favourites!. Crypticsue will be on Saturday detail.

4 comments on “DT 26468

  1. Not a very difficult crossword but quite good fun. Thanks to Gnomethang for the review and to the setter.

  2. Thanks to the Gnome for the excellent review and to the mystery setter. Now that we have two distinct setters on alternative weeks, I wonder whether there has been any significant change in the number of entries received at Telegraph Towers?

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