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.
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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.