DT 26732 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26732

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26732

A full review by Crypticsue

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


I do hope Gnomethang negotiated a good rate of overtime pay as he certainly seems to be putting in some very long hours lately.   Luckily this week I was prepared for a last minute call for help and had kept my solved grid and made notes just in case, little thinking that I would need them.   Looking at his comments on the day, I think he might have given this a higher difficulty rating were he writing this blog, but I have based my assessment on my solving time.    I did enjoy this typical Cephas Saturday puzzle, with lots of his favourite anagram indicators and it has been nice to revisit 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           Not real American Irishman (6)
SHAMUS –  An Irish Christian name is derived from a charade of SHAM (not real, false) and US (the abbreviation commonly understood to mean American).

4a           Embarrassed animal is leader of herd! (8)
SHEEPISH  – Embarrassed through having done something wrong – SHEEP(animal) IS (from the clue) and H (the ‘leader’ or first letter of Herd).

8a           Drag through river in downpour (6)
DELUGE –  Insert LUG (drag or pull) into the River DEE to get a downpour or flood.

9a           Study the content of tanned skin (8)
LEATHERN – An animal skin is tanned to make it into leather.   LEATHERN is the adjective meaning of or like leather.   The word ‘content’ tells you that THE should be inserted into, or form the content, of LEARN (study).

10a         Ruin note about elementary particle (8)
NEUTRINO – The first of several anagrams, about being the anagram indicator for this one.   RUIN NOTE rearranges to make an uncharged particle with zero mass at rest. 

11a         I’d got in row, being more methodical (6)
TIDIER –  Another insertion – this time ID (I’d) is placed inside (got in) TIER (row or rank) to get TIDIER (more methodical or neat).

12a         North American crisis precipitating bloomers (8)
NARCISSI – The lovely spring flowers (bloomers) are formed by the initials of North and American and an anagram (precipitating) of CRISIS.

13a         Believe Ronald trapped Rebecca by leaving (6)
RECKON –  To believe, suppose or expect –   Remove the first and last letters from the diminutive form of Rebecca:   BECKY and insert or trap them within RON (the diminutive form of Ronald).

15a         We go in building and duck (6)
WIGEON –  I was not the only one wondering where the D was in this duck but apparently it is more usual to spell it this way.   An anagram (building) of WE GO IN.

18a         Keen to take cut around four (8)
INCISIVE – Keen or acute –  insert (round) IV (the Roman numeral for four) into INCISE (cut into).

20a         Fence losing colour (6)
PALING – a double definition – a type of fencing or losing colour and becoming pale.

21a         Greek character by yonder church finds songbird (8)
NUTHATCH – the 13th letter of the Greek alphabet NU followed by THAT (yonder) and CH (Church)  go together to make a NUTHATCH,  so called because of its habit of pecking at nuts.

23a         Swan song shows taste (8)
PENCHANT  –  Put together a PEN (female swan) and CHANT (song or melody, particularly in church music) to get PENCHANT, a decided taste for or bias towards.

24a         Radio host’s first person to go round pub for spirit (6)
DJINNI –  I wasn’t aware of this spelling for a Muslim spirit but it was obvious from the wordplay – DJ (radio host) INN (pub) and I (first person).

25a         Delayed fourth sailor during rush (8)
RETARDED –  Delayed or postponed –  Insert into REED (rush as in bulrush) TAR D (fourth sailor); presumably preceded by Tar A, Tar B and Tar C!!

26a         Bring down gold carriage (6)
LANDAU – a type of horse-drawn carriage with a folding top – LAND (bring down to earth) and AU (the chemical symbol for gold).


1d           Battle for top journalist in hospital (5)
SEDAN – An 1870 battle between the Prussians and the French is obtained by inserting ED (where would setters be without their boss, either in general or when stuck for an abbreviation in a clue?) into SAN (short for sanatorium, a hospital for convalescents and the chronically ill).

2d           Strange case: mouth that may be found under one’s nose! (9)
MOUSTACHE –  Not under my nose, it isn’t! An anagram (strange) of CASE MOUTH produces the type of facial hair normally sported by the male of the species.

3d           Group that is wearing glasses (7)
SPECIES – A group having common characteristics –   Insert IE (id est or that is) into SPECS (how most people refer to their glasses or spectacles).

4d           Polite and, if one’s mistaken, obstinately sticking to one’s own views (4-11)
SELF-OPINIONATED –  An anagram (mistaken) of POLITE AND IF ONES makes SELF-OPINIONATED or obstinately adhering to one’s own opinion.

5d           Old player becomes extortionist (7)
EXACTOR –   Remove the hyphen from an EXACTOR or old player and an entirely different meaning appears – an exactor is someone who extorts money.

6d           Go for diamonds first with this tool? (3,4)
ICE PICK – I am not sure whether a tool with a pointing end for splitting ice would work on diamonds, ICE of course being a slang term for diamonds, but you could certainly try if you had an ICE PICK about your person when in a diamond mine.

7d           Hold-up as deer hurried towards church (9)
HINDRANCE – A hold-up or obstacle – another charade – this time HIND (female red deer) plus RAN(hurried towards) and CE (Church of England).

12d         Modern resort salesman turns up daily (9)
NEWSPAPER –  This crossword did of course appear in our favourite daily NEWSPAPER.   NEW (modern) and SPA (resort) followed by PER (a reversal of a REP or salesman).

14d         Stopping canoeists capsizing (9)
CESSATION – Another anagram (capsizing) CANOEISTS rearranges to make CESSATION , a ceasing or stopping.

16d         Telling about fishing-tackle (4,3)
GILL NET – Another anagram (about) of TELLING makes a type of net which traps fish by their gills.

17d         Mean person gets wrong grading (7)
NIGGARD –   And another –  gets wrong indicates that we should rearrange GRADING to get a mean stingy person.

19d         Keep building for worship (7)
CITADEL – A double definition – a fortress in or near a city; the meeting hall where the Salvation Army meet for worship.

22d         In Shanghai, Kurt’s inscribed poem (5)
HAIKU – a hidden word to finish.   Hidden in ShangHAI KUrt’s is a Japanese poem in lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables.

I am on Saturday duty for the next two weeks and I sincerely hope that, given that it’s nearly Christmas, the Gnome will be given enough time off to be able to fulfil his Sunday blogging duties,not to mention his Christmas shopping!

1 comment on “DT 26732

  1. Er – Firstly I must give a massive thank you to Sue for covering in these circumstances, being as they are a large workload from the North of England who couldn’t find their arse with both hands.
    I am trying not to dodge but twice on the spin is a bit off given my previous record.
    I liked this puzzle!

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