DT 26534 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26534

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26534

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Morning All!. Cephas gave us a very enjoyable puzzle. At first glance I wasn’t sure that it was his but having gone through the clues it was clearly one of his!

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           Brush off Arctic bear (4-8)
COLD–SHOULDER – The brush off is the short shrift that one may receive. A charade of COLD (Arctic) and SHOULDER (bear as in a weight).

9a           Coat one lost — it’s found on the sea (4)
SURF – The spume or white horses found on the sea is a substraction of ACE (one) from SURFACE for coat.

10a         One believing in conversion of rich saint (9)
CHRISTIAN – A theist of a popular western religion is an anagram (a conversion of) RICH SAINT

12a         Old Testament priest has converted prophet (6)
ELISHA – Elisha was a prophet of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and a disciple of Elijah. Start with ELI, a common Old Testament priest and follow with an anagram (converted) of HAS.

13a         Discountenanced, anon? (8)
FACELESS – A cryptic definition and definition. Your countenance is your face so if you are DIS-countenanced then you would be ‘without a face’. In addition an anonymous writer is without a name and also a face since we don’t know who they are.

15a         To do with a couple of intellectuals being undecided (2,3,5)
OF TWO MINDS – A big trip up at the start of this clue since most people are more familiar with IN two minds. Nevertheless the wordplay is clear: OF means ‘To do with’ and TWO MINDS are a couple of intellectuals. The whole phrase means undecided.

16a         Aim to include independent lady (4)
ENID – An easy but good starter clue. The woman’s name is comprised of I (an abbreviation for Independent) inside (included by) END – an aim or intent.

18a         Blow for companions on the way back (4)
SLAP – A blow across the cheek is a reversal (on the way back) of PALS – companions.

20a         Colourful plot for ‘The Good Life’ (3,2,5)
BED OF ROSES – A gentle cryptic definition  (colourful plot) leads to the definition of ‘The Good Life’, bed of roses.  A clue that reads very well in my opinion.

23a         Sensible allowance, nearly everything! (8)
RATIONAL – A word for sensible or logical is formed from RATION (allowance) followed by AL(L), nearly the whole of a word for everything.

24a         Crossing the Tiber, I abandon peninsula (6)
IBERIA – The common Crosswordland peninsula is hidden in (crossing) the phrase ‘tIBER I Abandon’

26a         Signalling when bishop ousts rook in calculation (9)
BECKONING – A word for motioning by hand or visual signal. Replace (Oust) the R for Rook with B for Bishop in RECKONING – a calculation.

27a         Join interminable course (4)
LINK – This caught a few people unawares as to the wordplay. A Seaside LINKS is a type of Golf Course, typified by grass bunkers, high winds, fast, massive greens and fairways that you struggle to see the edges of (This, believe it or not, is my favourite form of Golf!). If you remove the last letter (make it interminable) then you get a word meaning join. A Links is any rough grassy area between the sea and the land and the word itself is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘hlinc’, of about 931 AD, meaning a ridge. Now you know!

28a         Motorist’s point of no return? (3,2,3,4)
END OF THE ROAD – A gentle cryptic definition of the point in a motorist’s journey where he/she must turn around.


2d           Branch not on fire (8)
OFFSHOOT – A small nascent sprig is a charade of OFF (the opposite of ON) and SHOOT (fire).

3d           Detail! (4)
DOCK – This had me going for a while!. Split the word as DE-TAIL and you get a verb meaning to clip the tail from a dog.

4d           Two presents immediately (4,3,3)
HERE AND NOW – A phrase meaning ‘immediately’ is combined from HERE & NOW, two words for present, one meaning attending and the other meaning the present time.

5d           Coat of rare lustre (6)
ULSTER – A rare anagram of LUSTRE is also a Victorian daytime overcoat with cape and sleeves

6d           Split inside row at this cinema? (5-2)
DRIVE-IN – A cinema where you par up and watch. Place RIVE (split) inside DIN (A noisy row).

7d           Rear supporter on the brink of a fight? (8,4)
RINGSIDE SEAT – A good cryptic definition of a SEAT (rear supporter – like it!) which is on the edge (brink) of a boxing match.

8d           Stickler for correctness not quite innocent first (6)
PURIST – A pedant (stickler for correctness). Lose the end of PUR(E) – not quite innocent – and then add IST for ‘first’.

11d         Evil spirits on board right to be included as can be proved (12)
DEMONSTRABLE – A reasonably complicated word sum with an insertion. The definition is ‘as can be proved/demonstrated’. The evil spirits are DEMONS, place them above (ON in a Down clue) TABLE (board) with R for Right inside (included).

14d         Enravish GI turning rather sour (10)
VINEGARISH – An anagram, indicated by turning, of ENRAVISH GI leads to an adjective that means comparatively sour.

17d         Artist removing label for lady (8)
ARABELLA – A none too common woman’s name. Start with ARA (the abbreviation for an Associate of the Royal Academy – an artist) then add an anagram (removing) of LABEL. Does my bum look big in this?

19d         Worker takes bitter drug (7)
ANTACID – A drug that helps dyspepsia is a charade of ANT (one of the Crosswordland workers) and ACID (bitter).

21d         Shoot coverage for new season (6)
SPRING – The season that we are currently “enjoying”. Place N for New inside SPRIG – a new green shoot on a plant.

22d         Snooze? No — party’s very loud! (3,3)
NOD OFF – Another charade. NO + DO (party) then FF (Fortissimo in musical notation) for ‘falling asleep’

25d         Vertigo returns to show up prince of opera (4)
IGOR – This is not a work that I am familiar with. Borodin’s eponymous prince is hidden (shows up) in ‘vertIGO Returns’

Thanks again to Cephas for the puzzle and I will see you all in the same slot next week.

2 comments on “DT 26534

  1. Hi Gnomey, thanks for great review once again, thought you had done it early so you could watch ‘the big event’ but I see you are a wise gnome, playing golf, enjoy :-)

  2. Good puzzle this one by Cephas favourites being 7d and 8d thanks to Cephas and to Gnomethang for the review.

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