Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26660
A full review by gnomethang
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Morning All! My poor work and beer befuddled brain on Saturday morning made this a shade harder than it should have been – in fact I set it aside in favour of a glass of Alka-Seltzer before our second round of golf in Wales that weekend. Having come back to it Wednesday evening I found it much more straightforward and very enjoyable.
May I just take this opportunity to thank Pommers and Prolixic for covering me at short notice in the last two weeks – I have had a heavy work load as well as a Charity Golf Day to organize and do the graphics for as well as the aforementioned golf away weekend. Normal service is to be resumed.
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1a Fellow feeling ill initially on going beyond limit (10)
COMPASSION – A fellow feeling or empathy. I (the initial letter of Ill) and ON going after (beyond) COMPASS or limit/range.
6a Doctor gets a call to stop (4)
WHOA – Dr WHO turns up from time time to time as Doctor or The Doctor. Add A to get a call to stop a horse.
10a Potato put over counter (5)
REBUT – A reversal of TUBER (of which a potato is an example is reversed (is put over). The result is a counter to an argument or offensive sally.
11a Odd characters in book turning page practising religion (9)
OBSERVANT – The odd letters (characters) in BOOK are B_O_. Reverse these (turning) and add Servant for page for a word meaning ‘practising religion’.
12a Dismiss radioactive hazard (7)
FALLOUT – A double definition here. The command to dismiss squaddies from the parade ground and the hazardous residue from a nuclear bomb.
13a Beam, it being time to release from capture (7)
TRANSOM – A horizontal supporting beam in a loft, over a door or on the stern of a ship. It is created from (‘It Being’ in the clue tells us that the definition is the wordplay) T(ime) and RANSOM – to release from capture (through accession to demand).
14a Composer gets a haircut Hank fashioned (12)
KHACHATURIAN – There can’t be many anagrams to A HAIRCUT HANK!. I spotted the anagram but could only think of Dave Edmunds so eventually succumbed to the siren call of the Google to get the correct composer of the Sabre Dance.
18a Prima donnas perhaps from Grammar School restrained by child locks (12)
SONGSTRESSES – GS – and abbreviation for Grammar School) is inside (suppressed by SON (child) and TRESSES (locks of hair). Prima donnas might be singers or otherwise dancers or other ‘first ladies’ – hence the ‘perhaps’ to show a definition by example.
21a I will get together with citizen briefly arresting one breaking the law (7)
ILLICIT – Something that breaks the law is illicit. Place I for one inside (it is being arrested by) I’LL (I will) and CIT (CITizen shortly – an abbreviation)
23a Unpleasant gossip about famous person, hot stuff (7)
MUSTARD – That will be MUD, Malicious gossip that is slung, around (about) a STAR. Of course, only English Mustard is really hot, not that effete Dijon stuff!
24a Rate clans sorted out according to forbears (9)
ANCESTRAL – An adjective meaning ‘according to forbears’ is an anagram (sorted out) of RATE CLANS.
25a Debate with a rascal having nothing to lose (5)
ARGUE – Remove O (nothing to lose) from A ROGUE (a rascal) to leave a verb meaning to debate.
26a Return stake I’ve occasionally blown (4)
ETNA – Chestnut time! – If you are new to cryptic crosswords then this is a gentle starter, you will learn to spot this word in all its variants. Current Crossword Theory has it that this is a good word for those nasty checking letters that turn up when one is trying to fill the grid. In any case it is a reversal (return) of an ANTE (Stake) for a Volcano that blows occasionally.
27a Steps with weapon could produce coward’s end (5,5)
SWORD DANCE- The dance accompanied by a weapon is an anagram (could produce) of COWARDS END
1d It may contain Rioja with no body in eatery (6)
CARAFE – A slim glass jug into which wine is decanted. Place the outside letters of RiojA (with no body) inside the eatery that is the CAFÉ.
2d Second bad-tempered outpouring delivered by phone (6)
MOBILE – A charade of MO (second or short time) and BILE (venom or bad-tempered outpouring). The phone is now ubiquitous enough to be a direct synonym I feel.
3d Galaxy finally and stars his topic for working out (14)
ASTROPHYSICIST – A nice consistent surface reading for the theoretical star-man. Take Y (galaxy finally) and STARS HIS TOPIC and then work them out (make an anagram).
4d Wheels with speed, as one who’s fought duel might do (6,3)
A high performance motor (steady Pommers!), when split (5,4) might read SPORT SCAR – as a duelist might after the event.
5d Charge at location for filming (5)
ONSET – The charge here is an attack from an opposing force. Also when you are at the location for filming you are ON SET.
7d That man notices trendy teacher’s ambition? (8)
HEADSHIP – A pleasant charade of HE (that man), ADS (Short for advertisements or notices) and HIP (trendy, baby). The definition is an ambition of a teacher to lead the school.
8d Shakespeare’s Athenian gets in some element (8)
ANTIMONY – The Shakespearean Athenian is TIMON of Athens after the play. Put him inside ANY (a synonym for some) to get a chemical element.
9d Novel wherein violent salts are ruined (8,6)
TREASURE ISLAND – Not quite an &Lit but a lovely clue with great surface reading. I found it quite hard to solve on the day as the word ‘ruined’ is more common as an anagram indicator than ‘violent’, which is the actual indicator here. Make an anagram of SALTS ARE RUINED to find a novel by Robert Louis Stephenson.
15d Muck up in more competent computer program (9)
ASSEMBLER – One class of computer program (as opposed to a compiler). Reverse MESS (muck up in) inside ABLER (more competent).
16d Roughly assess one with a bit of money in property (8)
ESTIMATE – Another slightly chestnutty clue but treated differently from last time I saw it. Place the first letter (indicated by ‘a bit of’) Money inside ESTATE for property to find the verb meaning to guess or approximate.
17d Like heavenly being, though heartless, an adherent of church (8)
ANGLICAN – The definition is an adherent of the Church of England. Remove the heart from ANGeLIC (like a heavenly being) and then add AN in the clue.
19d Spoil drink for profit (6)
MARGIN – A straightforward charade of MAR (spoil) and GIN (drink) for the bottom line on the black side of the accounting ledger.
20d Stick a Democrat in this place (6)
ADHERE – Another charade for a word meaning to stick. A, D(emocrat) and HERE (in this place).
22d To lose deliberately leads to totally horrific squabble (5)
THROW – When one loses deliberately one THROWs the game. We need the Initial letters (leads to) Totally and Horrific then add ROW – a squabble.
A thank you to the setter is in order – I enjoyed this. I’ll see you next Friday for the Sunday (if you know what I mean) and Sue will be back for the Saturday slot.