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DT 26738

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26738

A Full Review by Crypticsue

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

The Mysteron puzzle  on  Saturday the 17th  certainly divided opinions on the day.    We seemed to be evenly split between the ‘that was easy’ brigade and those like me who seriously felt that their cryptic brain cells had gone into pre-Christmas meltdown.   The difficulty rating above reflects the views of both ‘camps’.  One thing we did all seem to agree on was that it was very enjoyable.

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.


 1 Supports a lot of practical details (5,5)
BRASS TACKS –  If you see the word supports in a clue, you will usually  either need  (golfing) tees or,  as in this case,  BRAS.   Follow this with STACKS (a lot, piles of) and split 5, 5 to get an informal plural noun meaning details of practical business.

6 Expression of incredulity disgraced cricketer (2,2)
AS IF – To be a proper expression of incredulity, this solution needs an exclamation mark after it! The name of one of the three recently jailed match fixing Pakistani cricketers, split 2,2.

9 Very old times seeing unfortunate Troy perish (10)
PREHISTORY –  An adverb meaning belonging to a time before historical records were kept  is derived from  an anagram (unfortunate) of TROY PERISH,

10 Unproductive old film director (4)
LEAN – A double definition  – an adjective meaning unproductive, thin; or the surname of David the director of such films as Bridge on the River Kwai, Dr Zhivago and A Passage to India.

12 Strongly built den about right (6)
STURDY – This den doesn’t belong to an animal but is a private domestic room or office for work or pleasure,  a STUDY.   Insert R (about right) to get an adjective meaning strongly built or robust.

13 Most severe saint with ‘important’ name (8)
STERNEST – My d’oh of the day.   An adjective meaning most severe is derived from ST (saint) with ERNEST (Oscar Wilde’s play ‘The Importance of Being Ernest’ refers.)

15 Consequence concerned with striking (12)
REPERCUSSION –     RE (about, concerned) merged (with) PERCUSSION (striking being just one of the Chambers’ definitions of this word) merged together to make a noun meaning consequence or reaction.

18 Man getting expression of disapproval after golfer’s last shot can resort to violence (3,3,4,2)
PUT  THE BOOT IN – A ‘sort out the charade and then split it’ clue –  an expression meaning to resort to physical or verbal bullying is derived from PUTT (the last shot a golfer makes to get the ball into the hole) plus HE (man),  BOO (expression of disapproval) and TIN (can) arranged 3, 3, 4, 2.

21 Head of board taking pill before work (5,3)
TABLE TOP –  The head of the board is not a chairman this time but the head or TOP of a TABLE.  Split TABLET (pill) and OP (work)  5, 3.

22 Lizard found in Antigua, naturally (6)
IGUANA –  Found  is the hidden word indicator  in this clue.   Sadly  an IGUANA can apparently no longer be found  naturally in Antigua  but in this clue  it is to be found  hidden in AntIGUA NAturally.  

24 Very long European film (4)
EPIC –  Very long, large scale or EPIC – E (European) plus PIC (informal term for a film).

25 I upset goodliest visionary (10)
IDEOLOGIST – A visionary or theorist is obtained by following I (from the start of the clue) with an anagram (upset) of GOODLIEST.

26 Enjoys accommodation (4)
DIGS –  A double definition –  an old slang for ‘enjoys or approves of’ ; an informal term for lodgings.

27 Nevada made corrupt couple first to sin (4,3,3)
ADAM AND EVE – The original sinners are found in an anagram (corrupt) of NEVADA MADE.


1 Evade how one’s admitted to restricted event? (6)
BYPASS – A  way of going round rather than through, for example, a big city, thus evading congestion, if split 2, 4 would indicate the means of identification one might need to gain entry into a restricted event.

2 A place for contest — one of many explored by negotiators? (6)
AVENUE –  A VENUE – somewhere a sporting contest or event might be held – remove the space between the words  to get AVENUE: negotiators are said to explore all avenues or ways round a problem in order to effect an agreement.

3 Employee’s claim with needless fiddling? (7-5)
SWINDLE-SHEET  – I hadn’t heard of this informal term for an expense account ; however, the checking letters and the obvious anagram fodder (fiddling being the indicator here) soon had WITH NEEDLESS rearranged and placed correctly into the grid.

4 TV presenter has one opponent (4)
ANTI – As I said to Collywobbles on publication day  ‘One half of a TV duo, followed by I (one) gives you  a term for an opponent’.

5 A top hacker arranged a sharp blow (6,4)
KARATE CHOP –  Another anagram (arranged) – this time A TOP HACKER rearranges to give a sharp downward blow with the side of the hand in a traditional form of Japanese self-defence.

7 Cast off wicked diabolical female (3-5)
SHE-DEVIL –  SHED (cast off) and EVIL (wicked) rearranged 3-5 make a particularly wicked female.

8 Make slight adjustment to excellent piece of music (4-4)
FINE-TUNE – Insert a hyphen into a FINE (excellent) TUNE (piece of music) to get a verb meaning to make delicate adjustments to something.

11 Tongue-lashing sending words cruelly (8-4)
DRESSING-DOWN –  Another anagram (cruelly)  SENDING WORDS makes a DRESSING-DOWN or severe reprimand.

14 Sobriquet of Labour leader embracing relationship with gusto (3-7)
RED-BLOODED –  Insert BLOOD (relationship, kinship) into a possible nickname for the leader of the Labour Party:  RED  ED,  to get an adjective meaning with gusto or abounding with vitality.

16 Scene of mutiny using special facilities of mine (8)
SPITHEAD –  SPITHEAD, an anchorage near Portsmouth, was the scene of a famous mutiny by Royal Naval sailors in 1797.    S (special) plus PITHEAD (the ground at the mouth of a mine and the machinery, etc, on it).

17 Bill Black got to confess about knife crime (8)
STABBING – Knife crime where someone is wounded by a knife –  Insert into SING (confess) TAB (bill, eg in a bar) and B (black).

19 River in New England state on the sea (6)
MARINE  –  Insert R for River into the New England state of MAINE – MARINE does of course mean on, near, or concerned with the sea.

20 Fortification left surrounded by group of Indians (6)
CASTLE – Indian Hindus are divided into CASTES or social classes.   Insert L for left to get the most common form of fortification, the CASTLE.

23 Catastrophe — atmosphere needs lifting (4)
DOOM –  A catastrophe or DOOM  is obtained by reversing (lifting in a down clue) a MOOD or atmosphere.

Thanks to the Mysteron for, what was for me,  a proper Saturday brain-stretching.

1 comment on “DT 26738

  1. Good review Sue of a good puzzle.

    The only iffy one for me was 6a. I know it was very topical during December but to expect the actual name of one of the cricketers who were done I thought was a step too far for non-cricket fans. I am a fan and I seem to remember this being my first in! I was in the 2* camp apart from 1a where it took ages for the penny to drop with a huge Arrrrrgghh! (not sure of the spelling there!)..

    Thanks to the setter and again for the review.

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