DT 26684

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26684

A full review by gnomethang

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating –Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Morning All! This was a very straightforward puzzle, a fact borne out by my solving time. Absolutely nothing wrong with it but I felt there was not too much to stir the chuckle-muscles..

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.


3a           Bad-tempered taxi driver carrying Queen (6)
CRABBY – R(egina) inside CABBY for an adjective meaning bad-tempered

6a           Thoroughly search company doctor (4)
COMB – A charade of the abbreviations CO (company) and MB (for doctor) means scan thoroughly

8a           Picture in post office is very exciting (5)
PHOTO – A camera image is created from placing HOT (very exciting) inside PO (Post Office)

9a           Foreign articles wore down resistance group (11)
UNDERGROUND – The resistance group that keeps out of sight. Start with two of  the French and German indefinite articles, UN and DER, then add GROUND (wore down)

10a         Last words on northern city (5)
RIPON – The last words are Rest In Peace. Add ON for a city in Derbyshire.

11a         Credit to English concealing strategic move in game (4-4-3)
TICK-TACK-TOE – An alternative spelling for what we call Noughts and Crosses. we need TICK (credit) then TO E(nglish) in which is hidden TACK (a strategic move or line in a game)

16a         Sharp reply regarding wrong (6)
RETORT – This is a riposte in conversation derived from RE (regarding) and TORT (a legal wrong or injustice)

17a         Bush gets everyone around Middle East detained by his secret service (8)
CAMELLIA – Bush serves as both the definition and also the fact the Ex US President hence his secret service are the CIA. Inside this place ALL (everyone) around ME (Middle East) i.e. A ME LL to get the aforementioned shrub. Phew!. There is a faint whiff of double-duty on the use of the word bush but I think that this is just about OK.

19a         Country ended test (8)
PASTORAL – An adjective meaning ‘country’ is a charade of PAST (ended) and ORAL (a verbal test).

20a         Goblin sets heart of fairies in bad feeling (6)
SPRITE – Place R – the middle letter of fairies – into SPITE (bad feeling) to get a form of goblin.

22a         One often found in church, leader of Catholics, tackled sin vigorously (11)
CANDLESTICK – A common church altar fixture. Start with the leading letter of C(atholics) and then make an anagram (vigorously) of TACKLED SIN.

25a         A recurring question for ancient storyteller (5)
AESOP – The classical fabler is formed from A and the reversal (recurring) of POSE.

27a         Leggy creature to remain with religious group (5,6)
STICK INSECT – This leggy insect is another charade of STICK (remain), IN (with) and SECT (religious group).

28a         Furniture’s finish with thin dark wood (5)
EBONY – A dark hardwood. Take the finishing letter of furniturE and add BONY for thin or skeletal.

29a         King George has the very thing — determination (4)
GRIT – The Latin abbreviation for King George is GR – George Rex. Add IT, the very thing, to get a synonym for determination.

30a         Facts and figures about university show prestige (6)
STATUS – An abbreviation of Statistics surrounding (about) the usual abbreviation for University. This leads


1d           Fight in yard (4)
SPAR – Yard here is the yardarm on a ship and also a synonym for fight, oarticularly training fights in a boxing ring.

2d           A patron’s inn damaged equally on both sides (3-8)
NON-PARTISAN – A damaged anagram of A PATRONS INN is a word meaning in favour of no particular side.

3d           Stub blunt weapon under bar (11)
COUNTERFOIL – A stub of a chequebook for example. Place FOIL, a blunt fencing weapon, underneath COUNTER, a shop bar.

4d           Druggie did act suspiciously (6)
ADDICT – An easy starter. The drug user is an anagram (suspiciously) of DID ACT.

5d           Top Gear to such as Father Ted, best art I broadcast (8)
BIRETTAS – The stiff cornered hats with little rills on them are worn by the Catholic Clergy. Black for a Priest, Purple for a Bishop and red for a Cardinal. Top Gear for Father Ted is the definition and then make an anagram of BEST ART I (broadcast). In the attached video you will see an example of the headgear drawn very crudely on a skirting board, just before Bishop Brennan is Booted up the Arse.

6d           Car’s beginning to shake — it’s clapped-out (5)
CROCK – The beginning of C(ar) then a verb meaning to shake (ROCK). The definition is a car that is clapped out (mainly in North America).

7d           Fruit gives person energy (5)
MANGO – This fruit is another charade of MAN (person) and GO (energy).

12d         Those wanting to save money caught fish put in piles (11)
CHEAPSKATES – Penny pinchers or coin-wary people; the definition being ‘Those wanting to save money’. Begin with C (the abbreviation for Caught in cricketing notation) then place SKATE (a fish) inside HEAPS (Piles).

13d         Discussing business — there’s pounds to be had in money received on short flight (7,4)
TALKING SHOP – Place L (Librum) pound) inside TAKINGS (money received from a shop’s trade) on top of (ON in a down clue)HOP – a short flight in an aeroplane. This will give a phrase for discussing business, often at inappropriate times.

14d         Call in the Spanish material that’s glossy (6)
ENAMEL – A hard white glossy substance. Put NAME (call) inside EL – ‘THE in Spanish’).

15d         Cancer perhaps — subject is about right (6)
TROPIC – The other band near the equator that is not Capricorn. TOPIC (subject) is found around (about) R for Right.

18d         Carrier for young fish I catch (8)
BASSINET – A charade of BASS (fish) I NET (I catch) is also a crib (carrier for young)

21d         Remove sleazy venue’s permit finally (6)
DIVEST – A sleazy venue is a DIVE. Add the ‘S in the clue and then the end (finally) of permiT to get a verb meaning remove, particularly clothing.

23d         A prison in commotion (5)
ASTIR – A simple charade of A and STIR (for prison). The definition is ‘in commotion’.

24d         Channel contains a gold coin (5)
DUCAT – This is an old coin associated with Spain amongst other places. The channel or pipe is a DUCT then add the A

26d         Settles French country (4)
PAYS – A double definition – settles up a debt and the French for a country.

I hope that Virgilius obliges crypticsue with a themed crossword soon – I am tracking his puzzles for the next two weeks.



  1. gazza
    Posted October 21, 2011 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Gnomethang for a super review (and a great Father Ted clip). Top marks for English, but not quite so many for Geography – Derbyshire?

    • crypticsue
      Posted October 21, 2011 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      You know geography isn’t the Gnome’s strong point – the Chinese Italian river being a case in point. Perhaps someone should buy him an atlas for Christmas :D

    • Posted October 21, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Ahem – mea Culpa – At the time I was gigging around Derbyshire and North Yorkshire and appear to have been a tad confused as to where I saw the sign. The old Rock’n’Roll lifestyle catching up with me, Eh? ;-)

  2. BigBoab
    Posted October 21, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Gnomethang for the amusing review of what can only be described as a very ordinary puzzle.