DT 26516 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26516

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26516

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

We had a reasonably tricky puzzle this week from our mystery setter with a couple of very good clues, particularly 20 Down. Reviewing this I was struck by the number of charades (word sums) in the puzzle – does anyone else think it was excessive?

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           Phone card used by single girl (6)
SIMONE – A girls name being the definition (girl) and a charade of SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card and ONE for single.

4a           Confined in the past by National military office (8)
PENTAGON – Another charade of PENT (confined, pent up), AGO (a synonym for in the past) and N(ational) abbreviated.

9a           Some degenerate turned to rat (6)
RENEGE – To welsh, go back on a promise or rat. The word is reversed (turned) and hidden in SOME of dEGENERate.

10a         Slightest charge favoured (8)
FEEBLEST – Slightest or most frail. Another charade, this time of FEE (charge) and BLEST – a slightly archaic spelling of ‘blessed’ or favoured.

11a         Diner returned pie to spread around (9)
TRATTORIA – An Italian diner that is less formal than a restaurant. Reverse TART (returned pie) then add TO from the clue before reversing (around) AIR for spread.

13a         Nick is an attractive mate (5)
CATCH – A nick or small snag (think the ball just nicked/caught the bat) is also a word for an attractive mate or partner (He/She is a bit of a catch).

14a         Looking stunning wearing armour perhaps made from soldered kilts (7,2,4)
DRESSED TO KILL – Our setter has given us two definitions and one set of wordplay. The wordplay at the end is an anagram (made from) SOLDERED KILTS, which is appropriate potential for a metal suit of armour. Also a knight in armour is dressed up to kill people in battle. Finally, ‘dressed to kill’ is a phrase used to describe someone who is dressed up to the nines and probably ‘on the pull’.

17a         Part of London gives protection to former President (9,4)
SHEPHERDS BUSH – Another charade of SHEPHERDS (gives protection to) and BUSH (Ex President, George or his son Dubya – take your pick) gives an area of NW London.

21a         Criminal injury soldiers hate (5)
ABHOR – The abbreviations of Actual Bodily Harm (criminal injury) and Other Ranks (soldiers) leads to a verb meaning hate or loathe.

23a         A forward sure to mess up openings (9)
APERTURES – Openings such as one might find on a camera. Start with A then add PERT (forward or insouciant) followed by an anagram (to mess up) of SURE

24a         Stays mostly, that is ladies’ underwear (8)
LINGERIE – A hardy perennial sort of clue. Most of LINGER(s) with I.E. – Id Est, Latin for ‘that is’.

25a         Soft talk in club (6)
PUTTER – P for Piano in musical notation followed by UTTER (talk or say) gives the golf club used on and around the green.

26a         Australian batsman around start of innings making gesture (8)
POINTING – The gesture made with a finger (not THAT one!). Ricky PONTING is an Australian batsmen and until recently was captain of the cricket team. Place I, the start of Innings) inside.

27a         Church has spoken for singers (6)
CHORAL – Another charade, this time of CH(urch) and ORAL (spoken).


1d           Turbulent priest’s mischievous essence (6)
SPRITE – Nothing to do with Thomas Becket. A turbulent anagram of PRIEST is a mischievous essence like an imp.

2d           He takes in new worker to treat roughly (9)
MANHANDLE – MALE (He) takes in N(ew) + HAND (worker) for a verb meaning to treat roughly.

3d           Attire close to sleeper (7)
NIGHTIE – A diminutive word for nightdress is comprised of NIGH (near, close to or at hand – like the end of the world on sandwich boards) placed on TIE – the American word for a railway sleeper.

5d           Lush country remedies all disorders (7,4)
EMERALD ISLE – A poetic name for Ireland due to its greenery, hence the ‘lush country’ as the definition. It is also an anagram (disorders) of REMEDIES ALL.

6d           Explorer set up company for product discovered in America (7)
TOBACCO – I worked this out from the checking letters and the definition (product discovered in America). I then had to look up Giovanni Caboto – known more commonly in English as John CABOT – an Italian navigator and explorer. If you reverse his anglicized surname (set up) and then add CO for Company you get said product, brought to England from America.

7d           Such as Alfred, old king ruined tea (5)
GREAT – Excellent, such as the King of Wessex from 871 to 899. The old King is GR – George Rex – followed by a ruined anagram of TEA

8d           Crazy man will make concise container (8)
NUTSHELL – One more charade!. NUTS for crazy and HE’LL – a contraction (making it concise or shortened) of ‘Man (he) will’ for a nutty container.

12d         Assemble natives o’er heart of America in their territory (11)
RESERVATION – Not quite an All in one clue but an anagram of NATIVES OER (assembled) around the heart (middle letter) of AMERICA – R. This gives the small areas of land donated to the aborigines in the USA.

15d         One succeeds in getting sex appeal in great man right (9)
INHERITOR – The definition here is ‘One Succeeds’ when considered in a will. Start with IN (in the clue), this gets IT (sex appeal) inside HERO (a great man) followed by R for Right – IN HER(IT)O R if that explanation was not very clear.

16d         Sea food from El Salvador with endless fish served up (8)
ESCALLOP – A variant of SCALLOP (an edible bivalve mollusc). The IVR code for El Salvador is ES. Follow that with the CALLOP (The reverse of the fish POLLAC(k) with the end removed)

18d         Cheer up to secure fruits of labour (7)
HARVEST – The fruits of the summer labours, usually reaped in autumn. Reverse RAH (a cheer up – backwards in a down clue) then add VEST which is a legal term meaning ‘to secure or put in fixed right of possession’. I understood the VEST bit from ‘invest ‘ but was not aware of the verb itself.

19d         Lie with girl following relative’s tip-off (7)
UNTRUTH – A rather disturbing image! The lie or deceit is comprised of RUTH (the girl ) placed after (following) aUNT – the relative with the head (Tip) off.

20d         Representing a star with luminance (6)
ASTRAL – A lovely all in one clue (&Lit) where the whole sentence defines the answer and also the wordplay. The definition is an adjective for stars.  Make an anagram (representing) of A STAR then add L – an abbreviation for Luminance.

22d         Language from backward island (5)
HINDI – One last charade to finish!. The language from ***** is a charade of HIND (rear or backward) and I for Island (another usual abbreviation).

We are on the turnaround again with Crypticsue taking on the Saturday puzzle for the next two weeks whilst I have a go at the Sunday form Virgilius. See you all through the week and back here in Friday.

1 comment on “DT 26516

  1. Hi Gnomey, thanks for the review.
    I don’t remember noticing last Saturday but now you mention it I would agree there are rather a lot of charade clues in this. I remember finding it a little trickier than recent Saturdays but enjoyable nonetheless.
    Thanks to the setter.

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