DT 26498 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26498

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26498

A full review by Crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Although there was some muttering from the grumpy corner about this crossword, I quite like a gentler Saturday puzzle – why shouldn’t the old cryptic grey matter have a day off after a week of tussling with Toughies and the like, so thank you to Cephas. This crossword came with the added bonus of being a Pangram.

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    Garment that is worn out (8)
OVERCOAT – an outdoor coat worn over one’s indoor clothes.

9a    Refuse to give hard time (8)
ROUGHAGE – The refuse of grain or crops, bran or fibre etc which we are encouraged to eat for health reasons – a charade of ROUGH (hard) and AGE (time).

10a    Ten entering to attack church officer (6)
SEXTON – To attack or SET ON with the Roman number X (ten) inserted – a church officer who rings the bell, digs the graves etc.

11a    See closure get complicated (10)
GLOUCESTER – See in crosswords quite often refers to a diocese – an anagram (complicated) of CLOSURE GET produces the cathedral city just twenty miles south of Big Dave’s house. So if you are ever in Gloucester….. !!

12a    Black stuff out of the blue? (3,4)
SEA COAL – The blue is, of course, the SEA and the black stuff is COAL. Sea coal is coal that has been washed up on the beach, coming from coal seams in sea cliffs or underwater deposits.

14a    Way photographer was successful? (7)
CLICKED – A photographer might produce a successful photograph if he clicked his shutter at the right time – he could also be said to have clicked if he had found himself to be compatible with another person.

16a    Look right by railway truck (5)
LORRY – A heavy type of motor vehicle or truck – LO (look) R and RY (abbreviation for railway).

17a    Manipulate engineer going to dance (5)
REJIG – To move, edit or alter in a new or unexpected way. RE (Royal Engineers) and JIG (a lively dance).

18a    Wide beam revealed by clumsy Melissa — no sex appeal (5)
SMILE – Remove the SA (no Sex Appeal) from MELISSA and make an anagram (clumsy) of the remaining letters to get a wide “beam” found on a happy face.

20a    Reportedly eyes sudden grab (5)
SEIZE – A homophone of ‘sees’ or eyes – grasp suddenly or eagerly.

22a    Bridging tool? (7)
SPANNER – a wrench for nuts and screws or a bridge which spans a river?

24a    BEMs, say, distributed in diplomat’s office (7)
EMBASSY – an ambassador’s office – an anagram (distributed) of BEMS SAY.

26a    A frontier’s been moved in wooded area (10)
RAINFOREST – Another anagram (been moved) of A FRONTIERS gives a broad-leaved evergreen forest.

27a    Arguing whilst forming line (2,1,3)
IN A ROW – Another either/or clue – depending on how you pronounce ROW, you are either involved in an argument or in a line of people or things.

28a    Tenant that may come after owner where rent’s not paid (8)
OCCUPIER – a tenant or OCCUPIER is someone who occupies property owned by another in return for rent. An owner-occupier owns the house where they live and so would not need to pay themselves rent.

29a    Not a neat development to comment on (8)
ANNOTATE – An anagram (development) of NOT A NEAT produces a verb meaning to supply or append with notes. My newspaper copy of the crossword has been treated in this way to enable me to sort out the wordplay for this review.


2d    Some Central European capitalists (8)
VIENNESE – People from the capital of the Central European country of Austria.

3d    Withdrawal of old type of engine (10)
RETRACTION – this type of withdrawal is usually of a statement or document – RE (of, with reference to) and TRACTION (an old type of locomotive, quite often steam driven, for pulling heavy loads).

4d    Personal aspiration that is a mistake (3,4)
OWN GOAL – Your OWN (personal) GOAL (aspiration or ambition) or a move that turns out to be to the disadvantage of the person making it, particularly in football!

5d    Soldiers coming from Oporto heading off (5)
TROOP – A body of soldiers is obtained by removing the capital O from Oporto (heading off) and then rearranging (coming from) the remaining letters.

6d    Question leads to one lucky break, pronto (7)
QUICKLY – pronto is an adverb meaning promptly or quickly. Q (question), followed by an anagram (break) of LUCKY with I (one) inserted.

7d    Small ship’s restricting to composer (6)
BARTOK – the lesser known spelling of this small ship, usually known as a barque. If you ‘restrict’ the word TO by inserting it into BARK, you get a Hungarian composer.

8d    Resent having to ask Barnaby (8)
BEGRUDGE – Here you have to know your Dickens to know the surname of Barnaby Rudge. To envy the possession of: BEG (ask) and RUDGE.

13d    Cow being not as fast, doesn’t start (5)
LOWER – If you are not so fast you are SLOWER. Remove the S (doesn’t start) and you are left with LOWER. One meaning of LOW is the sound made by cattle, so a cow could be said to be a LOW-ER.

14d    Large number ruin fashion (5)
CRAZE – A fashion or fad – C ( the large Roman number 100) and RAZE (demolish or erase).

15d    Order a set of books for officer (10)
COMMANDANT – to order or demand (especially in the military) COMMAND plus A and NT (the second set of books of the Bible) produces the officer in charge of a body of troops who might well give the orders!

17d    Others find space where there are washing facilities (4,4)
REST ROOM – REST (the others) and ROOM (space). A room in a public building with adjoining lavatories and somewhere to wash your hands – I usually think of these as being American!

19d    Most recent appointment gets the call (4,4)
LAST POST – The sound of two bugle calls denoting the time for retiring or the farewell call at a military funeral – LAST (coming after the others, final) and POST (appointment, office or job).

20d    Goes round by way of Spanish city (7)
SEGOVIA – An anagram (round) of GOES is followed by VIA (by way of). Pommette said that this Spanish city is North West of Madrid and is an ancient city with a beautiful cathedral and royal palace. Must add it to my list of places to visit when I eventually get round to going to Spain.

21d    Strong feeling when first volume turns up (7)
EMOTION – Up in a down clue indicates a reversal. So NO I (number 1 / first) and TOME (a large scholarly book or volume) should be reversed to get a moving of the feelings such as anger or joy.

23d    A bit each (6)
APIECE – Needs no explanation really, it’s just A and PIECE (bit) put together to get an adverb meaning per person.

25d    Last character had performing bear or another animal (5)
ZEBRA – the last letter of the alphabet Z with an anagram (performing) of BEAR to get a striped animal of the horse family, usually found on the African continent.

No particular favourites today – just an easy to solve, fairly straightforward to review, Prize Puzzle to suit all levels of solver – easy for the old hand, trickier for those newer solvers and tempting for someone who has never attempted a cryptic before, particularly with the number of anagrams with very clear indicators . Wonder what next Saturday will bring?!

3 comments on “DT 26498

    1. Thank you Mary for your kind words. We haven’t got the sun either, although it is promised for the weekend.

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