DT 26522 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26522

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26522

A full review by Crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I found this one quite hard to get into and wasn’t sure what I thought about it when I had finished, mainly because I spent so long trying to ‘get’ 12a. A closer examination for review purposes has made me realise that it contained an entertaining mix of different types of cryptic clue, so thanks are due once again to Cephas for a nice Saturday puzzle.

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    Limited outlet for courage and audacity (10)
BOTTLENECK – a narrow place in a road where traffic might be congested is made up of a charade of a slang term for courage: BOTTLE plus NECK (impudence or audacity).

6a & 10a    Develop arts to obtain spun swaddling lace (4,5)
BOOT STRAP – As indicated by the word swaddling meaning wrapping, a type of bootlace is to be found hidden and reversed (spun) in develoPARTS TO OBtain.

11a    Holding it should improve one’s prospects (9)
LORGNETTE – Here prospects means your field of view and you just need to know the name of a type of visual aid not much used these days. A LORGNETTE is a pair of spectacles with a handle or an opera glass.

12a    Lady stopped short in front of a new plant (8)
VALERIAN – This one held me up for a ridiculously long time. I even had a school friend called VALERIE so why I didn’t think to remove the E from her name (stopped short) and then add A and N (new) is a mystery to me! Valerian is flowering herb.

13a    Laziness of large number in shorthand (5)
SLOTH – In job adverts in my younger days, secretaries were required to be able to use Pitman’s Shorthand which was abbreviated to S/H. I think I may be one of the dying breed that still uses shorthand. Insert a LOT (large number) inside the abbreviation to get the slowest form of laziness.

15a    ‘My meal’s served… Wine!’ (7)
MALMSEY – An anagram (served) of MY MEALS produces a strong sweet wine. I always remember this wine because of learning, for quiz purposes, that it was the Duke of Clarence who drowned in a butt of malmsey.

17a    Urban development that’s novel in authentic setting (7)
RENEWAL – a lot of cities are being redeveloped and modernised in schemes of Urban Renewal. Insert (in setting) NEW (novel) into REAL, a synonym for authentic.

19a    Connection leaking terribly (7)
LINKAGE – One of the more obvious anagram indicators – terribly – rearranging LEAKING gives you another term for a connection.

21a    Not taken in by consumers (7)
UNEATEN – consumers devour or eat things. So if something was not taken in by a consumer, it would remain UNEATEN.

22a    Tired but cautious going round the point (5)
WEARY – A synonym for tired is produced by inserting an E, the abbreviation for the compass point of East, into WARY, an adjective meaning cautious or suspicious.

24a    Fighting opponent (8)
PACIFIST – I did like this clue. If, like me, you work your way down the acrosses first and so don’t have any checking letters, you try and work out whether there are any terms for fighters that might fit. The eureka moment came with a few checking letters when I realised that what was needed was that opponent of fighting, the PACIFIST.

27a    Equip mother taking part in rambling discourse (9)
RIGMAROLE – A nice charade – RIG (equip) MA (mother) and ROLE (part) – Chambers says this is a long rambling discourse.

28a & 29a    Opening for actor (5,4)
STAGE DOOR – a cryptic definition of the entrance an actor uses to get into a theatre.

30a    Agreed barn could be built — scene of uproar (4,6)
BEAR GARDEN – An anagram (could be built) of AGREED BARN – using BEAR GARDEN as a term for scenes of noise and riotous disorder has its origin in Tudor times when there were gardens where bears were kept and baited, resulting in uproar. A number of gentleman visitors to the blog had spent some time trying to make ‘beer garden’ fit the anagram fodder without success. I believe some of them then repaired to such a garden for a beer or two to recover from the effort!


1d    36″ statue? (4)
BUST – Another clue I liked. Took a lot of thinking about. A double definition in more ways than one! This might be the size of a lady’s chest area or a sculpture representing the head and breast of a person. The smile-worthiness of this clue was only eclipsed by Prolixic’s response to Mary’s query about the clue (see comment no 8 on the H&T page!)

2d    Sailor man covered by waterproof (9)
TARPAULIN – Another charade – a TAR (sailor) PAUL (a man’s name) and IN (if you are in something you are usually covered by it). This strong hempen fabric waterproofed by tar was apparently also used to make sailors hats.

3d    Heard northerners slip (5)
LAPSE – A homophone of LAPPS (people from the northern country of Lapland) sounds like a synonym for slip in the sense of slip, glide or fall away.

4d    Fully in order to cancel (7)
NULLIFY – another exceedingly obvious anagram indicator – order – an anagram of FULLY IN produces NULLIFY meaning to cancel, void, or make of no force.

5d    Investigator found nothing in awkward position (7)
CORONER – If you are in a CORNER you are said to be in a difficult or awkward position. Insert O (nothing, found in) to get the official who presides at an inquest and investigates the causes of accidental or suspicious deaths.

7d    Not in the same beat (5)
OUTDO – if you are not in, you are obviously OUT. DO is an abbreviation for ditto or the same thing. Run the two words together to get a verb meaning to beat, surpass or overcome.

8d    Do what is expected at start of race (3,3,4)
TOE THE LINE – ‘Do what is expected’ is the definition of a phrase meaning to submit to rules and regulations. The cryptic definition here is that, in foot races, runners are expected to line up with their toes on the start line.

9d    To some extent at home before a hearing perhaps (2,1,5)
IN A SENSE – A term meaning in a way, after a fashion or to some extent is made up of a charade of IN (at home) A and SENSE (hearing is one of our five senses).

14d    Ours is a minor planet it is sometimes said (5,5)
SMALL WORLD – When you frequently see the same people in different places, you often say “it’s a SMALL WORLD”. If Earth was a minor planet, it might also be described as this.

16d    Dog’s leash may be twisted (8)
SEALYHAM – The anagram indicator twisted indicates that rearranging LEASH MAY will give you the name of a dog – a Sealyham is a long-bodied, short-legged, wiry-coated terrier.

18d    Resist having support (9)
WITHSTAND – Another nice clue – something having [a] support could be said to come WITH STAND. Run the two words together to get a verb meaning to resist.

20d    Learn about old prince with new role (7)
EXPLORE – Explore means to search and travel for the purpose of discovery or to learn something. A part-charade/part-anagram clue. EX(old) P (Prince) followed by LORE (an anagram [new] of ROLE).

21d    Maybe Sam has a recipe that’s ambiguous (7)
UNCLEAR – A nickname for the collective citizens of the USA is UNCLE Sam. Follow UNCLE with A and R (abbreviation for recipe) – UNCLEAR – ambiguous in the sense of doubtful or indistinct.

23d    Partially gag growing hostility… (5)
AGGRO – the hidden word indicator partially points to a slang term for aggressive behaviour or troublemaking being hidden in gAG GROwing

25d    …as wife’s taking concealed holiday in Italy (5)
FESTA – the ellipses here indicate that there is a concealed word in this clue too. Hidden in wiFES TAking is an Italian holiday, festival or saint’s day.

26d    Ignoble purpose (4)
MEAN – A final double definition – Chambers has four different definitions for MEAN – here we want either despicable or to signify.

My favourite clues were 24a and 1d, although there were a number of ‘runners up’. Let’s hope it’s another sunny Saturday next week when I return to review the Mysteron.

[Sorry it’s a bit late – all my fault!  BD]

5 comments on “DT 26522

  1. Thanks for the review CS – regarding your comment at 30a – the sun was out and the male of the species is genetically programmed to stay out all afternoon in a beer garden whenever the Sun is out on a Saturday in April. We can’t help it!

  2. Hi Sue thanks for the review, may I just say I also thought of beer garden! don’t know what that says about me :-) , staying on that clue, bear garden is also a place where little children can go and have their own personalised teddy bears made

  3. Thanks for the review. As I mentioned on the day, I was making the most of a (temporary) bachelor weekend, and was indeed sitting in the garden drinking beer at the time of solving, and did not think twice about my answer to 30a.
    In retrospect, I don’t think I have ever witnessed a ‘scene of uproar’ in the beer gardens of my locals in Wimbledon Village! :)

  4. Good review Sue, very clear and concise. I was drinking a beer in my garden in the Languedoc at thje time of doing the Xword so I, too, got that clue easily

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