DT 26612 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26612

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26612

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Morning All! – My apologies if this is a bit short and sweet this week – New job has thrown up an enjoyable task but with a long drive in between!. The mystery setter has provided an entertaining puzzle that was of medium difficulty I think. I did notice the profusion of anagrams which might have suited some.

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           For punishment has priest confined regular communicant? (3,3)
PEN PAL – Place the abbreviation for P(riest) inside PENAL (for punishment) for a regular childhood letter writer.

4a           Threaten with fury following tip (8)
ENDANGER – Threaten or place in peril. ANGER (fury) after END (tip or point of a needle perhaps).

9a           Exotic fruit makes two servings of pud (6)
PAWPAW – I didn’t know that pud is an informal term for a fist, hand or PAW.  Take two of them for an exotic fruit. I don’t think that anybody failed to solve this regardless of the relatively unknown meaning – one lives and learns.

10a         Blade and what it could leave round one Cambridge college (8)
SCIMITAR – The college in Cambridge, Massachusetts is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, known to all as MIT. Add I for one and MIT into SCAR (what a blade might leave after a wound) to get a type of sword or blade.

11a         Treating again with laser almost complete lack of pain (9)
ANALGESIA – The definition is ‘lack of pain. Make an anagram (treating) of AGAIN and LASE(r), almost complete tells us to remove the last letter.

13a         Plane crashed in mountainous country (5)
NEPAL – A simple anagram (crashed) of PLANE gives a mountain country in the Himalayas. Nevertheless a good surface reading.

14a         Contemptible type clubs youngsters without least bit of remorse — one may be sent down here (8,6)
WORMWOOD SCRUBS – One gets sent down to prison and this is an example of one. A charade of WORM (contemptible person) with WOODS (golf clubs) and CUBS (youngsters) outside (without) the first letter (least bit) of Remorse.

17a         How chess players compete generally (6,3,5)
ACROSS THE BOARD – the way that chess players face each other also means ‘generally’.

21a         Detachment from Canada charges Russian retreat (5)
DACHA – Part of (a detachment from) the phrase ‘canDA CHArges’ is also a Russion summer house or retreat.

23a         Part of skeleton bloke damaged in grip of girl (5,4)
ANKLEBONE – Part of the skeleton at the bottom of your leg. An anagram (damaged) of BLOKE inside, in the grip of, ANNE – the girl.

24a         Fellow holding game back — change pitch (8)
MODULATE – place MATE (a fellow or friend) outside the reverse of LUDO (a board game) to get a word meaning to change the pitch of a note or key in music.

25a         American taken in by wet left-winger (6)
MAOIST – A for American inside MOIST (damp) is a left winger, a follower of Chairman Mao.

26a         Rear cute hybrid animal (8)
CREATURE – A hybrid anagram of REAR CUTE is a noun for animal or being.

27a         Singular cat with offensive air (6)
SMOGGY – S, an abbreviation for Singular, placed in front of a MOGGY (cat) gives a description of foul air conditions.


1d           Remove heart of trendy Docklands area (6)
POPLAR – POPULAR (trendy) without its hear or middle letter. This is a district in the East of London that has been eclipsed by the Isle of Dogs development.

2d           Brown ale flowing round university party (3,6)
NEW LABOUR – A very apposite surface reading (for me anyway, the Newcastle variety please!). An anagram (flowing) of BROWN ALE around U for University.

3d           Get up mother with Seventies style, a mixture of elements (7)
AMALGAM – Reverse, get up, MA (mother) GLAM (classic Seventies style Rock and dress) and A for a mixture of chemical elements such as those that fill your tooth.

5d           Kiss repeatedly, close together (4,3,4)
NECK AND NECK – to kiss and kiss once again, also close together in a race.

6d           Rushdie topped off account in regular publication (7)
ALAMANAC – Start with SALMAN Rushdie, remove the head (topped off) and add AC, the abbreviation for account. The result is a yearly publication of events to come.

7d           Leave to set climbing rose (3,2)
GOT UP – GO for ‘leave’ and PUT (set) reversed (climbing) means rose from a chair.

8d           Adopt country ways that could make one surreal (8)
RURALISE – to adopt the ways of the country, as opposed to the town, or rusticate. It is an anagram (it could make) of I (one) and SURREAL

12d         Irregular must escort a troop leader (11)
SCOUTMASTER – Another anagram (Irregular) of MUST ESCORT A is a leader of Lord Baden Powell’s boy’s group.

15d         Scramble into group rejecting old surroundings (9)
UPROOTING – One more anagram (scramble) of INTO GROUP also means ‘rejecting  old surroundings’ or simply moving from one’s regular area.

16d         Widespread disease has holiday region up in terror (8)
PANDEMIC – A widespread disease that affects a whole community. Reverse MED (a holiday area) inside PANIC for terror.

18d         Claret’s alternatively red (7)
SCARLET – A clue that has gone brown with the other chestnuts!. An alternative anagram of CLARETS is an alternative colour of red.

19d         Method of bowling to give surplus firepower? (7)
OVERARM – A definition and cryptic definition. A method of bowling in cricket (as opposed to under- or simply ‘chucking’ as some Sri Lankans have been accused of!). Also to give too many arms (weapons/firepower).

20d         Holy man in extremely small room in church (6)
VESTRY – ST, the one of the abbreviations for Saint inside VERY, or extremely, gives a small changing room (where one might invest in ones robes) in a church.

22d         Beg to get freed finally in prison (5)
CADGE – to beg, bum or purloin. Place the final letter of freeD inside CAGE (prison).

Thanks to the setter. I am back on Virgilius’ Sunday duty for the next couple of weeks so I will see you then.

4 comments on “DT 26612

  1. Nice one again Gnomey, it’s always good to read these reviews, by now I have forgotten most of them and going through them with the answers and explainations is just like revising :-)

  2. I am definitely one who likes anagrams to get me started.

    A minor typo – in 15d the final ‘G’ is missing.

    1. Sorted. The poor lad’s new job doesn’t leave a lot of time for crossword-related activities.

      1. Oops, sorry and Cheers’m’dears. You’re right! Just got a pint in front of me after a drive back from Slough.

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