DT 26618 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26618

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26618

A full review by Crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

This Saturday’s puzzle from Cephas was one of those where everything fell into place so quickly (hence the 1* difficulty from me, although I do appreciate that others would rate it ** or even ***) that I didn’t have a chance to properly enjoy the wordplay at the time, so it was lucky for me that it was my turn to unravel the clues for the review. 

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           Sailor not taking extreme position? (10)
MIDSHIPMAN – a cryptic definition of a junior officer in the navy.

6a           Female rule could make you defect! (4)
FLAW – F (female) and LAW (rule) –  FLAW here is used as a verb meaning to make defective, rather than the noun meaning a defect.

8a           Unnamed VIP (8)
SOMEBODY – a double definition: a nameless person or a person of importance.

9a           Deserving a big cheese? (6)
WORTHY –  another double definition – someone deserving of something or a dignitary.

10a         Nobleman gripped by inclination to find light for car (4,4)
REAR LAMP –  Insert EARL (nobleman) into RAMP (a slope or inclined plane) to get a lamp found at the back of a car.

11a         Observing absence of sound (6)
NOTING –  Noting or taking notice of something if split 2,4 would mean that there was NO TING (no sound of a small bell).   

12a         It helps to be in it if you want to sing it (4)
TUNE – I am sure that I don’t need to explain the obvious in this very nice clue.

14a         Permit silence to be broken (7)
LICENSE – A permit to do something is an anagram (to be broken) of SILENCE.

18a         Eating from the land (7)
ERODING – A verb meaning to eat away is usually applied to the action of weathering on the land.

20a         Sailors boasted (4)
CREW – And another double definition –  a ship’s company of sailors or the past participle of the verb crow meaning to boast.

23a         Georgia, socially acceptable revolutionary, left on the continent (6)
GAUCHE – The French (ie on thecontinent) word for left is a charade of GA (the abbreviation for the US State of Georgia), U (socially acceptable in the Upper classes) and CHE (where would we be without the revolutionary Senor Guevara?)

24a         Poet’s game that’s spoken about (8)
TENNYSON – Alfred, Lord Tennyson sounds like (spoken)  TENNIS (the game) and ON (about)

25a         US soldier squeezes instrument to show muscles (6)
GLUTEI – The muscles of the buttock and hip: Insert a  LUTE into GI (American Soldier).  At this point Gazza would surely have provided a picture for us ladies, so who am I to disappoint.

 26a         Reckon I am entering property (8)
ESTIMATE – Insert IM (I[a]M) into ESTATE (property) to get a verb meaning to calculate or judge the worth of something.

27a         Fifth part of the score (4)
FOUR –  I wonder how long it will be before people forget that a set of 20 is a score.   Basic sums will soon confirm that a fifth of twenty is four. 

28a         Intelligence? Dull subject! (4,6)
GREY MATTER – intelligence that’s useful to the crossword solver or something that is dull and grey.   Dare I point out that this is yet another double definition?







1d           Get wind about one in case rendered invalid (8)
MISTRIAL – A trial rendered invalid because of error: insert I (about one) into the MISTRAL, the violent, cold dry north-west wind in the South of France.

2d           Humble churchman embraced yours truly (6)
DEMEAN –  To lower in status or humble:   Insert ME (yours truly) into DEAN (a church dignitary).

3d           Hamper two bachelors in difficult situation (6)
HOBBLE – a verb meaning to hamper or perplex – Insert B and B (two Bachelors) into a HOLE or difficult situation.

4d           One needs to take steps to make it count (9)
PEDOMETER – A cryptic definition of the device that counts the number of steps one walks in a set period. 


5d           As you’d expect at present — drone flies (2,6)
NO WONDER – An expression meaning it isn’t surprising:   NOW (at present) and an anagram of DRONE (flies) split 2, 6).

6d           Emergency attention needed if dart is misdirected (5,3)
FIRST AID – Misdirected indicates that an anagram of IF DART IS will make a term for immediate treatment of a wounded or sick person.

7d           Hat Annie removed from one from the capital (8)
ATHENIAN – Someone from the capital city of Greece is an anagram (removed) of HAT ANNIE.

13d         Latest clothing is in a state (3,6)
NEW JERSEY –  A newly purchased pullover or a State in the North East of the USA.  (Yes, I know it’s another you-know-what!)

15d         Toiling vigorously to overlay a design that has been engraved (8)
INTAGLIO – An anagram (vigorously) of TOILING  overlaying (or inserting) A – a figure engraved into a stone or gem.

16d         Late estate agent (8)
EXECUTOR – The cryptic definition of someone who deals with the estate of a deceased person.

17d         Crafty plotting (8)
SCHEMING –  Another one of those double definitions  that needs no explanation from me.

19d         Majesty maybe the subject of delusions? (8)
GRANDEUR – Grandeur is one of the definitions of majesty and I know a number of people with such delusions in relation to their own importance (none of whom, I hasten to point out, have any connection to this blog!)

21d         Some sang in agony and pain (6)
ANGINA – Hidden in sANG IN Agony is a sudden intense pain.

22d         A point of view obliquely across (6)
ASLANT – A from the clue followed by SLANT (a way of looking at things) makes an adverb or adjective meaning obliquely or slantwise across.

Although a little heavy on the double definitions, Cephas has once again provided us with a very enjoyable Saturday morning diversion.   My favourite has to be 11a, as it did make me smile.

3 comments on “DT 26618

  1. This was one of the most enjoyable Xword for me for some time. Tks to Cephas and CS

  2. I agree with CS on this one. I think I completed c.25% of the puzzle in my head while waiting for the kettle to boil.
    Enjoyable nevertheless as always. Thanks to Cephas & to Cryptic Sue.

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