DT 26636 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26636

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26636

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Morning All! This was a funny old puzzle – very straightforward to solve but it had a lot of very smooth and apposite surface readings and a few very good spots in terms of synonyms or cryptic definitions. I for one really enjoyed it.

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           Most knowing old comedian on street (6)
WISEST – Ernie WISE with ST (the abbreviation for Street) on the end for ‘most knowing/sagacious’. In general, in an across clue, A on B means A AFTER B so this didn’t really read correctly for me.

4a           Coasting in confused way with no clear view (8)
AGNOSTIC – Anagram (in confused way) of COASTING IN gives an adjective meaning ‘with no clear view’ with regards to systems of belief or preference.

10a         Supply joke over the internet? (5)
EQUIP – The definition is supply or kit out. Something on the internet is usually shortened to an E-Something so a joke online might be an E-QUIP. Very good!

11a         One certain knack to lose kilos in form of muscle exercise (9)
ISOMETRIC – These exercises “relate to, or denote muscular action in which tension is developed without contraction of the muscle”. Start with I for One, then SOME for certain (as in ‘certain amount’ or ‘some amount’ then finish with TRICk (knack/know-how) losing the Kilos from the end.

12a         Rather like diesel? One may give it a whirl (7)
DERVISH – Another amusing clue. Diesel engines are also known as Diesel-Engined Road Vehicles (DERV)

13a         Mediterranean port with more taste (7)
TANGIER – A port in northern Morocco is also an adjective for tastier or zestier.

14a         Banned from church, suffering Mecca odium next (14)
EXCOMMUNICATED – A suffering anagram of MECCA ODIUM NEXT means banned from church.

17a         Archers’ location guarding crossing after leaders of Saxons take battle in 1066 (8,6)
STAMFORD BRIDGE –  The Battle of Stamford Bridge took place at the village of Stamford Bridge, East Riding of Yorkshire in England on 25 September 1066, between an English army under King Harold Godwinson and an invading Norwegian force led by King Harald Hardrada of Norway.
The Radio 4 farmer based soap The Archers is set in AMBRIDGE. Place this around (guarding) FORD (a crossing) and place this after the leading letters (leaders) of Saxons Take. A complicated construction that maintains a coherent surface reading. Very good clue IMHO.

21a         Flyers at work somehow warier going round 3rd class (7)
AIRCREW – The people who work on commercial aircraft. Place an anagram (somehow) of WARIER around C – third class. Another clue that tells a story.

23a         Banger’s second taking long time touring America (7)
SAUSAGE – I have seen similar a few times in puzzles. The banger is S(econd) with AGE around USA , that is S A(USA)GE

24a         Two masters come in to change old school (4,5)
ALMA MATER – This is the institution or school from which one has graduated (the Latin literally means ‘nourishing mother’. Place two instances of MA (master) inside ALTER for change.

25a         More wintry with greater risk not starting (5)
ICIER – DICIER (with greater risk, having failed to start (remove the D) is a word for more wintry in conditions.

26a         Terrible scream as it produces many victims (8)
MASSACRE – It produces many victims in one fell swoop and is a ‘terrible’ anagram of SCREAM AS.

27a         Sporting competition gets the French fit (6)
LEAGUE – The sporting competition like the Premiership or Champions League. Start with LE (French for THE) and add AGUE – a Victorian catch-all word for a fit (like an attack of the vapours)


1d           One trying to persuade cyclist to go round end of road (8)
WHEEDLER – Put WHEELER (cyclist) around the last letter in road for someone who tries to insinuate their point of view by constant badgering.

2d           Batting stroke after cricket pitch mown (6,3)
SQUARE CUT – A cricket stroke played perpendicular to the bowler’s delivery. The cricket pitch is also known as a SQUARE and CUT means mown.

3d           Concession the Queen holds is a fallacy (7)
SOPHISM – A fallacy or lie. SOP (concession) with Her Majesty holding IS (from the clue).

5d           Downright rusty, regenerated as thriving business (6,8)
GROWTH INDUSTRY – Another anagram, indicated by regenerated, of DOWNRIGHT RUSTY, is a business or market that is expanding.

6d           Deploy a canoe round island here? (7)
OCEANIA – An anagram (deployed) of A CANOE around I for Island leads to OCEANIA in this semi-all-in-one. ‘Here?’ is added to point you back to the whole of the rest of the sentence as the definition.

7d           Sailor’s first to injure bones in foot (5)
TARSI – Sailors are TARS (as in Jolly Jack Tar). Add the first of (first to) I(njure) for the small bones in the foot.

8d           Company includes one assassinating Caesar’s rival (6)
CICERO – This Cicero is Marcus Tullius Cicero and not his brother Quintus Tullius  (who was actually depicted by Caesar as a brave and inspiring military leader). Include in CO an ICER (assassin or ICEMAN).

9d           Rescue from drowning someone ill at ease (4,3,2,5)
FISH OUT OF WATER – A nice spot. Read it as a command and you have a maritime rescue. Otherwise it is the well known phrase for someone in uncomfortable surroundings.

15d         Adorable grenadine cocktail (9)
ENDEARING – An anagram (cocktail, either shaken or stirred) of GRENADINE means adorable or personable.

16d         Practise on carriage whose passenger is late (8)
REHEARSE – Practise with an S is a verb. On here is a synonym for RE (reference/about) and the HEARSE is the carriage for a dead person (late passenger)

18d         Instrument that’s struck girl in song about doctor (7)
MARIMBA – A percussion instrument with keys struck by a mallet. Put MARIA (the girl in the song from West Side Story) around (about) MB – one of the abbreviations for doctor.

19d         Standard metal in rake (7)
ROUTINE – A rake or philanderer (think Terry Thomas) is also a ROUÉ. Add TIN inside to get an adjective meaning standard or humdrum.

20d         North American tree produces inflammable material (6)
NAPALM – A charade of North American and the PALM tree is an inflammable material developed by the Americans and used in Vietnam.

22d         Reporter’s first with a parliamentarian’s scams (5)
RAMPS – A charade to finish: R (Reporter’s first) with A MP’S leads to a slightly old fashioned word for scams.

That’s me for the Saturday slot for two weeks – Crypticsue will be taking these on whilst I jump back to Sunday puzzles at midday Friday.

6 comments on “DT 26636

  1. Thanks Gnomey :-) , don’t know why but in 9d I wanted to put ‘duck’ instead of ‘fish’ !

    1. Welcome to the blog Mick

      You are right, but this is a review of last Saturday’s Prize puzzle. It should, however, say DT 26636! [which I have now changed]

  2. Just back from sunny France – managed to get hold of a couple of crosswords to do on husband’s Iphone – this was one of them! Find it really difficult to do a crossword on an Iphone – letters are VERY small and can’t manage to see the whole puzzle all at the same time – still, better than nothing!! HAD to write a comment on this one as I loved 9d so much – I showed a non-cryptic crossword solving French niece and ALMOST managed to convert her! Thanks to Gnomey for the review and for reminding me of the rest of this puzzle.

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