DT 26576 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26576

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26576

A full review by Crypticsue

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 BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

This week our Mystery Setter gave us a very enjoyable, albeit not very time-consuming, Saturday prize puzzle.   Thank you to him (?) once again from us all for an entertaining Saturday diversion, particularly me as the quick solve left more time to deal with our strawberry ‘mountain’ –  more jam anyone??

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1a           Government soldier in Engineers (6)
REGIME  – My dad was in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, usually abbreviated to REME,  both in everyday life and in this solution.   Insert GI (American soldier) into REME to get a term for a system of government or administration.

4a           Snake enraged, it starts hissing (8)
ASPIRATE –  Add ASP (snake) to IRATE (enraged or very cross) to get ASPIRATE, the sound represented by the letter h which is the first letter (starts) of hissing.

9a           Buffalo Bill engages first person in entertainment (6)
 COMEDY – an entertainment of a humorous nature –   Insert ME, the first person objective pronoun, into CODY,  the surname of Buffalo Bill.

10a         Public school’s disadvantage (8)
DOWNSIDE –  Luckily Mr CS knew of the Somerset public school and was able to confirm my understanding of the wordplay.   DOWNSIDE is also a noun meaning the disadvantageous aspect of a situation.

11a         Coaches affected airs and graces endlessly (9)
CARRIAGES  –  Four-wheeled horse drawn coaches can be found in an anagram (affected) of AIRS and GRACE(S) – endlessly tells you that you don’t need the final S.

13a         Lean back keeping good and evil figuratively (5)
NIGHT –  Reverse an adjective meaning lean or skinny THIN → NIHT and insert  G (keeping  good) to get a term for evil in the figurative sense.

14a         Have nothing to do, so date one able to divert (2,2,1,5,3)
BE AT A LOOSE END –  A description of what you might be with nothing to do is an anagram (to divert) of SO DATE ONE ABLE.

17a         Permit coupons to be exchanged for benefit (6,7)
INCOME SUPPORT – another anagram (to be exchanged) of PERMIT COUPONS produces what people used to refer to as ‘the dole’.

21a         Priest spread out cloth (5)
PLAID – a long piece of cloth, usually tartan, is a charade of P (abbreviation for priest) plus LAID (spread out).

23a         Female in crew, so man-o’-war goes crazy (9)
OARSWOMAN – lovely anagram indicator (goes crazy): a lady in the crew of a rowing boat is an anagram of SO MAN O WAR.

24a         Sons avoid taking in a main form of art (8)
SEASCAPE –   A painting of the sea (main here means the high sea) is a charade of S (son) and ESCAPE (avoid) with A (taking in A) inserted.

25a         Choirboy perhaps to shake leaving mass (6)
TREBLE  – Remove M (mass leaving) from TREMBLE or shake gives the term applied to the voice of a choirboy.

26a         Flipping amusing packaging and letter (8)
LANDLORD –  The person who lets out properties is a reversal of DROLL (amusing) around (packaging) AND.

27a         A nose for advancement (6)
ASCENT –  Advancement is the Chambers definition of ASCENT  –  A plus SCENT (nose or smell).


1d           Ornate legendary bird circles round about (6)
ROCOCO  –   a style of ornate architecture and decoration in Louis XV’s time, is a charade of ROC,  (the legendary bird strong enough to carry an elephant) followed by O and O (circles) placed round C (circa, about).

2d           Craftily rub a magic stick with it (3,6)
GUM ARABIC  –  An anagram (craftily) of RUB A MAGIC  produces a type of glue.

3d           Island cleared paramilitary organisation (7)
MADEIRA –  the island of Madeira is a charade of MADE (cleared, made as profit) and IRA (the Irish paramilitary organisation).

5d           Exhibits hat — it’s every audience’s favourite (4-7)
SHOW-STOPPER – the item in a show that produces the most applause and so holds up the show.   Moving the second  S and inserting a hyphen into SHOW[-]S  TOPPER (shows [a] top hat) produces the entirely different expression required here.

6d           Cricketer’s turn profits with loss of wicket (7)
INNINGS –  Remove W for Wicket (loss of wicket) from WINNINGS (profits) – a cricketer’s turn at batting is known as an innings.

7d           First block in prison perhaps is intimidating (5)
AWING –     Blocks in prisons are quite often known as A Wing, B Wing etc.   The first block would be A WING; remove the space to get a word meaning causing dread, ie intimidating.

8d           Incident that is enthralling daughter late in the day (8)
EVENTIDE –  A poetic term for evening –  EVENT plus IE (that is) with D inserted (enthralling Daughter).

12d         Mean person has in store what’s not exactly cricket (11)
GRASSHOPPER –  A herbivorous jumping insect, a relation of the cricket: insert ) SHOP (has in store) into GRASPER (mean person).

15d         Admirable composition of best email (9)
ESTIMABLE – Something admirable or worthy of esteem is an anagram (composition) of BEST EMAIL.

16d         Face including concessions raised in settlement (8)
DISPOSAL –  the act of settlement –  reverse (raised) SOPS (concessions) into DIAL (face of a clock or watch).

18d         Claimed to be injured? Take this (7)
MEDICAL –  Gnomey described this as a lovely all-in-one and he wasn’t wrongI am just impressed that I am now actually recognising them having to have them pointed out.   If you are claiming to be injured, an insurance company might well make you take a MEDICAL, which is, of course, an anagram (to be injured) of CLAIMED.

19d         Where nurses work making progress (7)
ONWARDS –  Another of those ‘move the gap’ answers.   Nurses work ON WARDS.   Delete the space to get an adjective meaning advancing or making progress.

20d         Camping set (6)
INTENT –     Double definition –   camping or being IN [a] TENT;  set, fixed or intent on doing something.

22d         Turkish officer at home once more (5)
AGAIN – An adjective meaning once more –  a Turkish commander  AGA plus IN  (at home).

Lucky me, having twice the fun being able to solve and review this crossword.   Lots of good clues, the standout favourite being 18d; some wonderful anagram indicators and quite of few of those ‘mind the gap’ answers!   The weekend reviewing rota means that Gnomey will be back on Saturday duty next week, while I take on the Sunday explanations.