DT 26600 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26600

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26600

A full review by Crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

The Saturday Mysteron once again produced one of their crosswords where it seemed to take ages for the pennies to drop and the clues to be solved, but, in the end,  everything fell into place in my usual Saturday solving time.  Thanks once again to the Mysteron for a nice Prize Puzzle  – my favourite clues are marked in blue.

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1a           Showing surprise on the square perhaps, deny a lie that’s false (7,2,6)
BATTING AN EYELID –  I was more aware of the reverse of this expression for showing surprise:  BATTING (being on the cricket square and receiving the bowling) followed by an anagram (that’s false) of DENY A LIE.

9a           Having domain unsettled, getting about (7)
NOMADIC – a nice all-in-one clue here – an anagram (unsettled) of DOMAIN followed by (getting) C (the abbreviation for circa meaning about) – as BD said on Saturday, the definition’s in the clue!

10a         Foolish chap bagging a black jumper (7)
WALLABY – A jumping marsupial is found by inserting (bagging) A and B(lack) into a WALLY (a stupid, foolish or inept person).

11a         Vegetable garden containing kale initially put on large lorry (9)
ARTICHOKE – A thistle-like perennial vegetable –  take an ARTIC (a large lorry, the front end of which is flexibly attached to the rear to allow better manoeuvrability) follow it with HOE (to garden using a hoe) into which K (kale initially) has been inserted.

12a         Where you’ll see badgers getting over fight (3-2)
SET-TO –  Badgers live in a SETT; follow this with O (over in cricket) and then split 3-2 to get a term for a fight or argument.

13a         Suit husband going in cosy places (7)
HEARTHS –  If a fire is lit, then its HEARTH would be a very cosy place.   The playing card suit of HEARTS with H for husband going in or inserted.

15a         Author of Eyeless in Gaza (7)
LESSING –  Some people tried to find the author of Eyeless in Gaza but, had the answer been Aldous Huxley, then the clue wouldn’t have been cryptic but general knowledge.    The author we require is hidden in EyeLESS IN Gaza.

17a         Several connected things taking in King George to cause annoyance (7)
CHAGRIN –  Insert GR (George Rex) into a CHAIN (a number of things connected in series) to get CHAGRIN, a feeling of annoyance, vexation or embarrassment.

19a         Weapon guerrilla leader stuck in fellow (7)
MACHETE –  Don’t think CHE (Senor Guevara, the guerrilla leader) has appeared in a cryptic for a while,  but here he is again ready to be inserted (stuck) into MATE (an equal, a fellow worker) to get a heavy knife or cutlass used as a weapon.

21a         Soldier perhaps infiltrated by good English spy (5)
AGENT –  This spy is a secret AGENT –  G for Good and E (English) are simply inserted into the soldier ANT.

23a         A northern detective in bad mood’s restraining device (9)
HANDCUFFS –   These restraining devices are shackles locked onto the wrists –  A (from the clue) N (northern) and  DC (Detective Constable) are inserted into (in) HUFF’S – fits of anger or the sulks.

25a         Ascot may be gripped by this closest of races with fast pace (3,4)
TIE CLIP – An Ascot is a type of tie with broad ends which are tied to lie across each other, which would, of course be fastened with a tie clip.   The closest of races would be one where two or more competitors were in a TIE for first place.  CLIP is another way of saying at a fast pace or high speed.

26a         Powerful chap, one such as Hadrian pressing North (4,3)
IRON MAN –  A man of extraordinary strength –  Start with I (one in Roman numerals), follow this with ROMAN (Hadrian was of course a Roman Emperor) into which N (north) has been inserted (pressing north).  The resulting letters should then be split 4,3.  I hope my choice of picture meets with the approval of both Gazza and the ladies.

27a         Book unravelling ethnic treachery (7,2,3,3)
CATCHER IN THE RYE –  The 1951 novel by JD Salinger is an anagram (unravelling) of ETHNIC TREACHERY.


1d           What’s said to be famous dandy’s remains (4,3)
BONE ASH –  ‘What’s said to be’ is a clear indicator that it’s homophone time again.    The famous dandy BEAU NASH sounds like BONE ASH – the remains of bones burned in air.

2d           Try to persuade office worker to be on time (5)
TEMPT –  a verb meaning, as the clue says, try to persuade,  is a charade of the office worker the TEMP before (be on) T(the abbreviation for time).

3d           Litmus perhaps in acid turned to red at first (9)
INDICATOR – Litmus is an INDICATOR or substance showing chemical condition by change of colour;  an acid making litmus paper turn red.    IN (from the clue)  DICA (ACID turned or reversed) followed by TO (again from the clue) and R (the first letter of red).

4d           Encourages keeping company holding thousand exotic pets (7)
GECKOES –  These exotic lizards are found by inserting (holding) K (one thousand in the metric system of measurement) into CO(the abbreviation for company) and then putting the result [CKO] into GEES (encourages to move faster).

5d           Need law to be changed for US Government programme (3,4)
NEW DEAL – A series of economic programmes implemented by the US Government between 1933 and 196 is an anagram (to be changed) of NEED LAW.

6d           Shouts lines in agreement (5)
YELLS –  The plural of a noun meaning shouts   –  put L and L (lines) into YES (the most simple form of agreement).

7d           Most stupid of Americans anyhow (9)
LEASTWISE – The US adverb meaning anyhow or at least, if split 5,4 might imply that someone was the LEAST WISE or most stupid person around.

8d           Any gold changed for 24 hours (7)
DAYLONG – An adjective meaning for the whole day is an anagram (changed – how could you miss that anagram indicator?!) of ANY GOLD.

14d         Humiliation in a cellar? (9)
ABASEMENT – Another term for a cellar is A BASEMENT.   Running the two together will result in a noun meaning humiliation.

16d         Sign of penitence to fire clergymen generally (9)
SACKCLOTH – Coarse material worn as a sign of penitence – split 4, 5 would mean SACK (fire)[the] CLOTH(the clergy).

17d         Man that’s cut about the ear gets disorganised (7)
CHAOTIC –  An adverb meaning disorganised or confused  –  CHA(P) (a man that’s cut) and OTIC (an adverb meaning of or relating to the ear).

18d         Useless competitor — taking on rising pro he got smashed (2-5)
NO-HOPER – Someone who has absolutely no chance of success.    NO (ON rising or reversed) followed by an anagram (got smashed) of PRO HE.

19d         Person is standing up on seat (7)
MANSION – One of the many definitions of seat is in fact MANSION or large country house.   MAN  SI (IS standing up or reversed) and ON.

20d         Distillation made by member of religious community around Chartreuse primarily (7)
ESSENCE – The Essenes were a religious fraternity of ancient Jews.   Inserting the first letter of Chartreuse (primarily) turns the word into ESSENCE, a solution of a volatile or essential oil, obtained by distillation.

22d         Slope on hard cultivated land (5)
TILTH –  a nice straightforward clue   TILT (a slope) and H (hard) – reminds me of my Dad who used to refer to a nicely dug veg patch as having a fine tilth.

24d         Father holding Australian bird’s bone (5)
FEMUR – The thigh bone –Insert  EMU (the flightless, fast-running Australian bird) into FR (an abbreviation for a religious Father).

A very nice mix of clues in this one, even though working out the wordplay of several of them took longer than solving them in the first place.   All change on the rota again – see you with the Sunday review next week.

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