Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26546
A full review by Crypticsue
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BD Rating – Difficulty ***/**** – Enjoyment ***
Quite a few of us found this week’s prize puzzle from Cephas slightly more tricky than usual. The obvious ones went in straight away and some of the stragglers took a while for the penny to drop, but in the end the whole thing was solved in my usual time. Thanks to Cephas for the enjoyable challenge.
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7a Lack of consumer interest (8)
ANOREXIA – a cryptic definition of a condition characterised by lack of appetite for food.
8a Kind fellow put in appearance (6)
HUMANE – I tend to associate HUE with colour, but the first definition in Chambers is ‘appearance’. Insert MAN (fellow) into HUE to get an adjective meaning kind or tender.
9a Domestic manager does not have a way to cook (4)
STEW – a method of cooking food in water or stock is simply obtained by removing A RD (way here means road) from STEW[ARD] (a person who manages the domestic concerns of a family or institution).
10a Stranded lbw (3,2,1,4)
OUT ON A LIMB – Stranded, isolated or cut off – or a cryptic description of a cricketing term meaning being out leg-before-wicket.
11a Dog and bone specialist? (6)
SETTER – how many other people tried to find a solution relating to the Cockney rhyming slang for a telephone? However, splitting the clue up it was obvious that a SETTER could be either a type of dog or a medical specialist who might set a broken bone.
13a No option (7)
REFUSAL – A double definition – a REFUSAL can be the act of saying no to something or being given the option of taking or refusing something.
14a Fancy headgear Eric exchanged (7)
CAPRICE – Here another name for a fancy or whim is a charade of a CAP (headgear) followed by an anagram (exchanged) of ERIC.
16a Supple Penny exposed to risk (7)
PLIABLE – a synonym for supple – follow P (penny) with LIABLE (exposed to a possibility or risk).
19a One of royal entourage has no time for guide (7)
COURIER – It took me ages to realise that I just had to remove T (no time) from a COUR(T)IER (someone in attendance at a royal palace) to get an official guide and organiser.
20a The unending lust bothered private eye (6)
SLEUTH – another type of detective is an anagram (bothered) of LUST with TH(e) (the unending).
21a Baths with serum extracted from snake (10)
BUSHMASTER – a venomous South American snake is an anagram (extracted from) of BATHS and (with) SERUM.
22a Week with actor, a big noise (4)
WHAM – A resounding noise caused by a hard blow – W(eek) and HAM (an overacting actor).
23a Tense time to come (6)
FUTURE – Another double definition – An event to come in the future, or the tense used in grammar when expressing something which is to come.
24a Purchase from bar long time afterwards (8)
LEVERAGE – a simple charade to finish the acrosses – mechanical power or purchase obtained by using a LEVER or bar followed (afterwards) by AGE (long time).
1d Curse put on three different articles, graduate concluded (8)
ANATHEMA – A solemn curse or execration – take three articles, two indefinite: AN and A and one definite, THE, and follow them with MA (a graduate with a Master of Arts degree).
2d Bird from third line (4)
CROW – So obvious when you see it – a large black bird is also C + ROW (the third in a line of something, after Row A and Row B, eg in the theatre or cinema).
3d Rex travelling round low part of the West Country (6)
EXMOOR – Here low refers to the noise made a cow – a MOO. This should be inserted into an anagram (travelling) of REX to get the large national park which straddles the West Country counties of Somerset and Devon.
4d Plant agent on very end (7)
FACTORY – Not a flowering plant but a place for industrial activity. FACTOR (an agent who manages estates for another person) plus Y (the end of verY).
5d Underclothes Alec removed having restricted size and scope (5-5)
SMALL-SCALE – A euphemistic description of underwear – SMALLS (a term most commonly used by ladies of an older generation usually of a larger build!) followed by an anagram (removed) of ALEC which should be rearranged 5-5 to produce a term meaning of restricted size and scope.
6d Beast turned plate upside down (6)
ANIMAL – a fairly obvious reversal “turned … upside down” of LAMINA, a thin plate or layer.
8d Half one’s personal carrying capacity? (7)
HANDFUL – one’s personal carrying capacity would be what you could carry in both hands, ergo half that capacity would be only a HANDFUL.
12d Broadcast rejected from beginning to end (10)
THROUGHOUT – a preposition meaning during the whole time of something is a homophone (broadcast) of THREW OUT (rejected)
15d Deputy’s after 75% cut in conditions (7)
CLIMATE – The first three letters (75%) of CLI(P) or cut followed by MATE (a ship’s officer who might deputise for the captain) produces a noun meaning the condition of a country or place with regard to temperature, moisture etc.
17d Husband inside greatly troubled with apathy (8)
LETHARGY – A nice obvious anagram indicator here (troubled) indicates that a rearrangement of GREATLY with H inserted (husband inside) will produce a state of torpor which may be caused by apathy or indifference.
18d Teetotaller left cheese out that’s crumbly (7)
BRITTLE – An adjective meaning crumbly, frail, or apt to break is contained in what I think is one of Prolixic’s favourite ‘Playtex’ clues – lift BRIE (a white soft French cheese) and separate 2,2 in order to be able to insert TT (teetotaller) and L (left).
19d Small group, as lost in mountains (6)
CAUCUS – a meeting of a small group of members of a political party – Remove the letters AS(as lost) from the Cauc(as)us Mountains, which are in Eurasia between the Black and Caspian Seas.
20d Endeavour to bridge East River (6)
STRIVE – A verb meaning to endeavour earnestly bridges (ie is hidden within) Ea ST RIVE r.
22d Minor attraction mounted (4)
WARD – a minor here is a young person and a term for someone under the guardianship of an adult is a reversal (mounted) of DRAW (attraction).
This was a slightly odd reviewing experience – for some reason it seemed easier and proportionally quicker to work out the wordplay than it was to solve the crossword in the first place. My favourites included 10a, 11a, 2d, 8d, 18d and 19d. I will be back to see what the mystery setter has produced to challenge us all next Saturday.