DT 26756 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26756

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26756

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Afternoon All!. This was a fairly fun puzzle that was not too hard for me (based on the solving time) but I did need some help to confirm 21d even though I kicked myself after checking the American Hero online.

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 pos


1a           Cause confusion to bird gripped by cattle disease (6)
BEMUSE – The EMU being gripped by BSE – Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis, or ‘Mad Cow Disease’. The definition is ‘cause confusion’.

4a           Intoxicant lands drunken actor in prison endlessly (8)
NARCOTIC – An anagram (drunken) of ACTOR in NIC(k), prison endlessly, is an intoxicant or drug.

9a           Fuddled state reading Proust novel (6)
STUPOR – If you make an anagram of PROUST (reading it in a novel/new fashion) you get a fuddled or drunken state – There’s an awful lot of drug abuse so far in this puzzle!

10a         Take cart moving forward (8)
ATTACKER – I enjoyed this as I found it well disguised. The forward or striker in e.g. football is an anagram (moving) of TAKE CART.

11a         Hunts etc exercising horse (8)
CHESTNUT – One of those horses named after their colours that are worth remembering            . An anagram (exercising) of HUNTS ETC gives this brown variety.

13a         It’s used to clean bad smell in London area (6)
SPONGE – PONG (bad smell) in SE – South East of London –gives a cleaning tool.

15a         Left star-studded programme favourable prospect (3,3,2,5)
RED SKY AT NIGHT – A favourable weather prospect (as opposed to in the morning). We need a charade of RED (Left/Labour in politics) and SKY AT NIGHT which, as we all know, is a science/astronomy program hosted by the excellent Sir Patrick Moore – hence ‘star-studded programme’. I’ll ignore the fact that the THE is missing from the front as I liked this one.

18a         Star wrecked a pirate launch (5,8)
ALPHA CENTAURI – The brightest star in the constellation of Centaurus (with a nod to the clue above!), is an anagram (wrecked) of A PIRATE LAUNCH.

22a         Exit covered by platoon’s sergeant in retreat (6)
EGRESS – The opposite of the ingress is found backwards (covered and in retreat) in platoonS SERGEant.

24a         Suspend meetings for reprobate (8)
PROROGUE – Collins dictionary gives ‘prorogue’ as “to discontinue the meetings of (a legislative body) without dissolving it” and is derived from the Latin n” to ask publicly, from prō-  in public + rogāre to ask”. The wordplay is a charade of PRO, for, and ROGUE, rascal or reprobate.

26a         Plain gold coin used by Arab countries, Yemen primarily (8)
ORDINARY – The definition is plain or usual. Make a charade of OR (Gold in Heraldry), DINAR (a coin used in Arab countries) and the primary letter of Yemen.

27a         Go through air in a production of ‘Evita’ (6)
AVIATE – A followed by an anagram (production) of EVITA. To fly through the air in a ‘plane.

28a         London Philharmonic Orchestra returned in move to take stock (8)
SHOPLIFT – The supermarket stores describe the stolen stock as ‘shrinkage’!. Reverse (return) the abbreviation for the London Philharmonic Orchestra inside SHIFT for move.

29a         Warm clothing to take for a ride (6)
FLEECE – A double meaning – A warm zipped up top and also to successfully scam/swindle or con someone for money.


1d           Cut part taking short amount of time (6)
BISECT – Place SEC (short time and short for second) in BIT (or part) for a verb meaning cut in two.

2d           After short time Pasteur processed cheap cheese (9)
MOUSETRAP – A processed anagram of PASTEUR after MO – a short time (as in moment) gives the slang for cheap cheddar cheese. I do like the surface reading here and it was my favourite clue on the day.

3d           Identified with measles perhaps (7)
SPOTTED – A simple double meaning; Identified by sight and covered in measles for example.

5d           A lilting opening to woman’s low voice (4)
ALTO – A plus the opening letter to Lilting followed by TO in the clue gives the lowest woman’s voice.

6d           Help for mountaineer with muscular pain above leg (7)
CRAMPON – A muscle spasm caused by the build up of lactic acid followed by ON for leg in cricket. The definition is a help for a mountaineer – it can be jammed into a rock face to secure a rope (hopefully!).

7d           How Barbie signs gift voucher (5)
TOKEN – I must say I didn’t like this clue. Barbie might write TO KEN (her plastic boyfriend) but she wouldn’t sign anything as ‘To Ken’. In any case this is a redeemable voucher for services.

8d           Naval ship with old soldier taking time in central part (8)
CORVETTE – Here is an online definition: “1. A fast, lightly armed warship, smaller than a destroyer, often armed for antisubmarine operations.2. An obsolete sailing warship, smaller than a frigate, usually armed with one tier of guns.
[French, a kind of warship, probably from Middle Dutch corf, basket, small ship; see corf.]”
Put a VET (Veteran, old soldier), and T for Time, inside CORE, the central part of something.

12d         Support at top of tower (6)
UPKEEP – Being UP, on top, and KEEP for Tower/fastness/stronghold. Financial support.

14d         Haggle with steward without end (6)
BARTER – Remove END from BARTendER (steward) to get a verb meaning haggle.

16d         Fire will do this — the usual damage? (5,4)
GOING RATE – Split this as GO IN GRATE, what a fire will do. The usual damage is the normal price for something.

17d         Voracious artist’s sex-symbol embracing love (8)
RAVENOUS – Descriptive of a large appetite. RA (Royal Academician or artist) with O for love insie VENUS – the goddess of love and hence a sex symbol.

19d         Football team first to score in stadium lost (7)
ARSENAL – The football team that dare not speak its name on the Big Dave’s ‘Blog. The first letter of Score inside ARENA (stadium) followed by L, the abbreviation for Lost in various scoring systems – Win, Lose or Draw.

20d         A French composer to pick out strings (7)
UNRAVEL – One of the usual French articles, UN, with RAVEL, a French composer (although the French is not doing double duty as RAVEL is simply ‘composer’). The definition is to pick out bits of string from a mess.

21d         Greatly admire American hero (6)
REVERE – Paul Revere, The American hero who was most famous for his midnight ride warning of approaching British forces. His surname also means ‘greatly admire’.

23d         Mounted bronco finally here? (5)
RODEO – Another excellent clue. A charade of RODE (mounted in the past tense) and the last letter of broncO for the place where one might finally manage to stay on a horse or bull.

25d         Tennis player has unfinished work (4)
GRAF – Steffi GRAF is an EX tennis player but if you remove the final T from GRAFT (work) you will get her name.

I’ll just say thanks to the setter and then I am off to email Crypticsue to find out if I am doing Saturday or Sunday next week. Unlike myself, she appears to be able to differentiate between her posterior and the junction between her long arm bones!.


4 comments on “DT 26756

  1. I agree with 2*rating although on Saturday there was a bit of headscratching involved. 2d was my favourite too but unlike Gnomethang I liked 7d although it was a bit misleading.

    1. I see ToKen regularly at Christmas & on my birthday although none of my family or friends is called Barbie & I am not plastic.

  2. Hi Gnomethang

    Just running through the clues I failed to solve on the day and notice that in 8d a ‘T’ for time is needed to follow ‘VET’

    Thank you for some very clear explanations.

    1. Thanks Tony, for the prompt and the endorsement. I have corrected the clue – you know how it is!. I saw it at the time but missed it in the explanation – well spotted!
      Thanks for the note on the explanations as well.

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