DT 26492 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26492

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26492

A full review by Gnomethang

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

Morning All!. This Saturday was the turn of our mystery setter and once again we have been given a good, honest puzzle with some excellent clues.

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1a           Tore stamps out? He often did (10)
POSTMASTER – The old guy who used to rip out stamps from their books in the Post Office is an anagram of TORE STAMPS

6a           Send message electronically mostly rather quaint (4)
TWEE –A word for Quaint or Sugary is nearly all of TWEE(T), a new fangled way of telling the world about the breakfast you have just eaten. (@gnomethang – you should get out more!)

10a         Fruit makes money in region of Spain (5)
LEMON – The fruit in question can be found by inserting M for Money inside LEON – a province in the Northwest of Spain

11a         Definite caught-and-bowled (3-3-3)
OUT-AND-OUT – Two ways of getting out in cricket. The definition is ‘definite’ or ‘absolute’.

12a         Russian rebel perhaps, doubly revolutionary and Nationalist (7)
CHECHEN – The definition indicates that this person from Chechnya MIGHT be a rebel in the eyes of Russia due to the uprising in the North Caucasus regions in 1999. Take two instances of CHE (Guevara the revolutionary) and add N(ationalist) on the end.

13a         One is engaged by hero in illicit affair (7)
LIAISON – An illicit and dangerous affair or tryst. Place A (for one) + IS inside LION (a hero or champion).

14a         Mars location turns out to be … (12)
ASTRONOMICAL – This clue and the next are my two favourites. The ellipsis (the dot at the end of this clue and the beginning of the next) have many different meanings (see the excellent article at  Crossword Unclued ) for examples. In this case the two clues are linked by a theme and the two clues run together make sense in the surface reading for both answers. The first, an anagram (turns out) of MARS LOCATION gives an adjective meaning huge or on ‘a planetary scale’ – of which Mars is a good example…..

18a         … such an attractive figure (8,4)
HEAVENLY BODY – The second is a description of MARS (MARS turns out to be a) in the sky. The second cryptic definition of ‘an attractive figure’ may describe the dangerous curves of e.g. Jane Russell RIP

21a         Original sort of tyre round about (7)
RADICAL – A synonym of ‘original’ in terms of thinking. Place a RADIAL (a sort of tyre) round C (an abbreviation for Circa – about)

23a         Sailor has sole as seafood (7)
ABALONE – A fishy chestnut for me but not everyone has seen this. Take AB (Able Seaman – a sailor) and add ALONE (it has ‘sole’) to give a largish edible sea-snail. Yummy!

24a         Part of Ulster rejects unknown game show (9)
COUNTDOWN – A province of Ulster is COUNTY DOWN. Remove the Y (an unknown or variable, X Y or Z in algebra) do get the first show ever shown on Channel 4.

25a         Follow master code of belief (5)
DOGMA – A charade of DOG (follow) and MA (Master of Arts) leading to an established religious belief or doctrine.

26a         Art Nouveau designer without any argument (4)
TIFF – Tiffany is a well known Art Nouveau designer. Removing ANY from the end gives a word for argument or altercation e.g. amongst lovers.

27a         Clooney or Pitt perhaps, both rather dashing (5-5)
HEART-THROB – An excellent clue for a good looking fellow that makes ladies swoon (George CLOONEY and Brad PITT being examples, apparently). It is a ‘dashing ‘anagram of BOTH RATHER. Lovely surface reading and a top clue.


1d           Step outside Hollywood location, splendid building (6)
PALACE – Put a PACE (step) outside Los Angeles ( the location of Hollywood) for the large splendid mansion.

2d           French lady grabbed by gentleman to feel rising anger (6)
SIMMER – The French abbreviation of a Mademoiselle (a French Lady)is ‘Mme’. Putting her inside (grabbed by) SIR for ‘gentleman’ gives a verb meaning to feel resentment or anger.

3d           Messing up sitter chance, my football team (10,4)
MANCHESTER CITY – An anagram (messing up) of SITTER CHANCE MY. We currently don’t know the setter but this might be his/her football team of choice.

4d           Naughty Uncle Rod’s a rogue (9)
SCOUNDREL – A naughty anagram of UNCLE ROD’S – He is a scamp, no?

5d           Praise in text oleaginously (5)
EXTOL – A simple hidden indicator (IN!) tells us that a word for praise (e.g. the virtues of) is found in tEXT OLeaginously. Top use of the adverb for ‘In an oily fashion’!.

7d           Lord Chancellor’s office cooks law up (8)
WOOLSACK – Wikipedia can do it so much better than me (this time!):
The Woolsack is the seat of the Lord Speaker in the House of Lords, the Upper House of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. From the Middle Ages until 2006, the presiding officer in the House of Lords was the Lord Chancellor and the Woolsack was usually mentioned in association with the office of Lord Chancellor. In July 2006, the function of Lord Speaker was split from that of Lord Chancellor.
It is also an anagram (up) of COOK’S LAW.

8d           Ravel composed a gentle number (8)
ENTANGLE – Nice misdirection here as Ravel is a composer. In fact the definition is ‘ravel’ as in ‘gather up’ thread. We need to make an anagram (composed – great indicator) of A GENTLE N (number).

9d           It’s gambled with lone gunman (3,5,6)
ONE ARMED BANDIT – The definition is of a slot-machine in an arcade. The cryptic definition is of a highwayman alone with one gun – that is ‘one-armed’.

15d         Toff with German name is easy to work out (2-7)
NO-BRAINER – A choice that requires no thought to consider. Start with NOB (toff) and follow with RAINER which is an example of a German male forename (e.g. Herr Brüderle the current German Federal Minister for Economics and Technology)

16d         Brie could be produced by this easier route (5,3)
SHORT CUT – I put the answer in and kicked myself later on the wordplay. Nothing to do with cheese. The easy route is the SHORT CUT and if you take BRIE(f), i.e. a synontm for ‘short’ cut/chopped, you get BRIE.

17d         One detective constable in bad mood shows restraint (8)
HANDCUFF – A rather deceptive clue for me. The definition is ‘restraint’ such as might be used by a policeman. One detective in the wordplay actually translates to AN DC (Detective Constable). If you place this inside a HUFF (bad mood) you find your restraints.

19d         Lumberjack’s recording device (6)
LOGGER – A simple double definition. One word for a tree feller and another for a data recorder that creates a log.

20d         Smear university — have expertise about it (6)
BEDAUB – My last in on the day. I had a feel for the construction needing the BE- prefix (as in dazzle/bedazzle) but didn’t see the BE DAB (a dab hand) as meaning ‘have expertise’. After getting that you just need to place it around (be about) U for University inside for a word meaning ‘smear’.

22d         Relaxed getting sun in Cornish resort (5)
LOOSE – I wasn’t aware of LOOE in Cornwall but the wordplay was screaming to put S for Sun inside something to get a word for ‘relaxed’and the checking letters fitted. Having googled the place I wrote it in.

Well that’s me for the Saturday slot for two weeks – I will be on Sunday’s puzzles for the next two weeks and Sue will be over here. Thanks to our mystery setter.