DT 26690 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26690

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26690

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating –Difficulty **Enjoyment */**

I thought I was going to be reviewing a Cephas puzzle as usual but this one was from a ‘new’ Saturday Mysteron, ie not the one I am expecting to review next week. I  turned to the back page of the paper, keen to see what was in store, only to find … 

…. a full page advertisement for a well-known telephone network.    Having tracked down  and solved the crossword, I found that the future definitely wasn’t Orange™, more dull and lacklustre.  The Saturday Prize Puzzle ought to be, and usually is, a fairly  straightforward solve – not too difficult to encourage those new to the art of the DT crossword,  but with fun elements to keep the interest of those of us who have done hundreds and hundreds of them. For me, this week’s puzzle had too much ‘cryptic for beginners’ but with some odd clues with confusing wordplay thrown into the mix.    I normally enjoy the Saturday puzzles for the nice mix of entertaining clues, fun anagram indicators etc, but for me this one didn’t live up to the usual standard at all.  Judging by the lack of comments from the ‘usual suspects’, I don’t think I was the only one.

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           Mark isn’t included (10)
APOSTROPHE  –  An often misused punctuation mark (not in this case!) is hidden or included in ISNT.

6a           Nick Nolte’s first to get in drink (4))
SNIP  –   A type of small cut or nick is obtained by inserting the first letter of Nolte into SIP (drink in small quantities).

9a           Wild glee after securing a great score in golf (5)
EAGLE  – Our Gnomethang has probably made many attempts to score two less strokes than par at a golf hole so that he could say that he had scored an EAGLE  (a great score  in golf) –  an anagram (wild) of GLEE with A (securing A) inserted.

10a         Books are full of these judgements (9)
SENTENCES  – A double definition  –  Lines of writing beginning with a capital letter and ending with a full stop; or determinations of punishment pronounced by a judge or court.

12a         Turn somersaults around a boy?  That’s normal (7)
NATURAL  –  A synonym for normal is an anagram (somersaults) of TURN with A inserted (around A), followed by AL (abbreviated boy’s name).

13a         Own part of a golf course with no name (5)
AGREE –  Own here means admit,  recognise, allow, acknowledge or AGREE –  part of a golf course is A GREEN.   For the purposes of solving the clue, we need to remove the N (with no Name).

15a         Offensive person’s smell returned  – an uncomfortable situation (7)
OBSCENE –  An adjective meaning offensive, disgusting or repellent.   Reverse BO (body odour) and follow it with SCENE (an uncomfortable display of feelings).

17a         Compelling daughter to call around six  (7)
DRIVING –  Another way of saying compelling is a charade of D (daughter) and RING (call on the telephone) with VI (Roman numerals for 6) inserted.

19a         Caressing skin is surprisingly good (7)
KISSING  – Touching or caressing with the lips – an anagram (surprisingly)  of SKIN IS followed by G for Good.

21a         Larger kitchen equipment by the sound of it (7)
GREATER   –   Homophone time :  The comparative form of an adjective meaning large sounds like a kitchen utensil used to grate cheese etc.

22a         Fragrance obtained from a gypsy (5)
AROMA  – Another type of smell –   A (from the clue) and ROMA (gypsy men).

24a         List includes old bird  (7)
ROOSTER  –   Not just an old bird but one of crosswordland’s old chestnuts too –  Insert O for old into a ROSTER (list of people with duties assigned to them) to get a male domestic fowl.

27a         Where farmer can keep things from wife – right inside bar (5, 4)
DUTCH BARN  – An open barn consisting of a roof on a steel frame –   The cockney slang for a wife DUTCH,  followed by BAN (bar here meaning a stoppage or impediment to something) with R inserted (Right inside)

 28a        Problem children (6)
ISSUE –  A double definition – (a) a point in a dispute (b) offspring .

29a         Average achievement from women or men (4)
NORM   –  A term for an average standard of achievement is hidden in womeN OR Men.

30a         In a vulnerable manner, ill sheep slaughtered without one knowing  (10)
HELPLESSLY   – Without the ability to do something for oneself, which would make one vulnerable.   An anagram (slaughtered) of [I]LL SHEEP (the instruction without one tells you to lose the I) which is  followed by SLY (doing something unobserved, without anyone knowing).


1d           Losing head, is angry for a long time (4)
AGES –   Removing the first letter (losing head) of RAGES (is angry) leaves another way of saying a long time.

2d           Living things in grass?  Mom almost in a frenzy (9)
ORGANISMS –   Moles, worms – that was my first though given ‘living things in grass’ but … ORGANISMS are living things generally – IN GRASS is part of the anagram (in a frenzy), the other part being the first two letters of MO(M) (almost tells you that you don’t need the last letter).

3d           Mad Hatter not hard to deal with (5)
TREAT –  Another anagram  – remove the H (not hard) from (H)ATTER and rearrange the remaining letters to get a verb meaning to deal with or handle.

4d           Bachelor going after love ?  Wait and see (7)
OBSERVE –  A verb meaning to see or watch is a charade of  O (love) B (Bachelor) and SERVE (wait upon).

5d           Worker was first to be manipulated (7)
HANDLED –  Manipulated or moved about with the hand – HAND (worker, especially in a factory) and LED (was first).

7d           French city north of Rouen’s beginning to be more pleasant (5)
NICER – The French city of NICE and the first (north) letter of Rouen produce another way of saying more pleasant .

8d           Step outside steamship with awfully green travellers (10)
PASSENGERS  – People who travel in a conveyance –  take a PAS (a step, especially in a ballet) and separate it 2, 1 so that you can insert into the space between  SS (the abbreviation for steamship) and an anagram (awfully) of GREEN .

11d         Consider a short period in river  (7))
EXAMINE  –  To consider or look at closely – insert A MIN (a minute or short period) into the River EXE.

14d         Where you might see flowers swing to and fro close to Epping Forest (4, 6)
ROCK GARDEN –  As Tilsit said on Saturday, a rare occasion when ‘flower’ in a clue actually refers to a plant and not a river.    Somewhere alpine and similar plants might be found is a charade of ROCK (swing to and fro) and  G (the close, or last letter of EppinG) plus  ARDEN (a Warwickshire forest made famous by William Shakespeare in As You Like It).

16d         Grave words (7)
EPITAPH  – A cryptic definition of a tombstone inscription.

18d         Hobbies in street worried last of sparrows (9)
INTERESTS –   Another word for hobbies or activities to which one willingly pays attention – in my case an increasingly overwhelming addiction to the cryptic crossword.   IN from the clue is followed by another anagram (worried) this time of STREET, after which you add an S (the last letter of sparrowS).

20d         Rubbish container in French station  (7)
GARBAGE –  Put a BAG (a container for many things including rubbish) into GARE (the French word for railway station) to get a synonym for rubbish or refuse.

21d         Adult woman, new in class (5-2)
GROWN-UP  –  Insert  W (woman) and N (new) into GROUP (class) and then split 5-2)  to get a term for adult.

23d         Scoundrel beheaded animal  (5)
OTTER –  Remove the first letter (beheaded) of (R)OTTER to get the fish eating animal, once thought to be in decline due to pollution etc but now, apparently, found once again in every river in Britain .

25d         Race goes almost round Britain (5)
TRIBE  –  a race or set of people.   Here ‘goes’ means attempts or TRIES.   ‘Almost’ in the clue means that you should remove the last letter leaving you with TRIE into which B for Britain should inserted.

26d         Refuse collection from garden, yesterday  (4)
DENY –  A verb meaning to reject or refuse is hidden in garDEN Yesterday.

I shall be solving next week’s Mysteron Saturday Prize Puzzle on the High Speed Train up to London for the Cruciverbalist’s Convention.   Hopefully, the puzzle will be fun and easy to solve, but if I have any problems, I certainly won’t have any trouble finding an expert to help me once I get to Liverpool Street!

3 comments on “DT 26690

  1. My sentiments exactly.
    Let the record state that to date I have scored one Eagle and missed about 7 attempts on other occasions. Thanks for the review!

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