Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26768
A full review by Crypticsue
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BD Rating – Difficulty ***– Enjoyment ***
A sneaky one from our Mysteron this week. There I was solving clues in a satisfactorily straightforward manner only to come to a grinding halt on my last one which took me several minutes before the penny dropped. A very enjoyable mix of clues and a nice one to revisit for this review too.
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1 Cut back tough fish (8)
PILCHARD – To get one of my least favourite fish, reverse CLIP ( a verb meaning to cut) and following this with HARD (an adjective meaning tough, which coincidentally was used by several commenters on Saturday when referring to this crossword!).
5 Charm bracelet finally after a cross (6)
AMULET – A charm used to ward off evil is found by taking A from the clue plus MULE ( the offspring of a male horse and a female donkey, cross here meaning hybrid) and T (bracelet finally).
10 Trite manifesto’s rewritten by member of government (8,2,5)
MINISTER OF STATE – Possibly the most obvious anagram indicator – rewritten – TRITE MANIFESTOS rearranges to produce a minister of a large government department.
11 Sweet of superior quality, cold inside (4-3)
CHOC-ICE – Bit cold for one of these on Saturday but I did like the clue. Insert C for Cold into CHOICE (of superior quality, select) and then split 4-3.
12 Tragic figure going round the beat (7)
LEATHER – An informal way of saying thrash or beat is obtained by inserting THE (round the) into Shakespeare’s tragic King LEAR.
13 Want to break hold being heavily involved (4-4)
KNEE-DEEP – An expression meaning deeply or heavily involved – insert NEED (want) into KEEP (hold)
15 Russian’s agreement to take tea in his house (5)
DACHA – A Russian country house – just follow DA (the Russian word for yes) with a good old cup of CHA (tea).
18 Sign of proofreader having attention to detail before time (5)
CARET – A proofreading mark like this ^ which is used to show an omission – following CARE, a noun meaning to pay attention to detail or be concerned about, with T for time.
20 The Third Man is this novelist (8)
FIELDING – The surname of the novelist Henry FIELDING (best known for Tom Jones) is also a description of what someone playing cricket in the position of third man is doing.
23 The void hit Iran badly (4,3)
THIN AIR – Nowhere to be found, in a great void, or the state of non-existence is an anagram (badly) of HIT IRAN.
25 Flirt unchecked at the airport (5,2)
CARRY ON – A double definition –to flirt with someone or to proceed unchecked onto a plane.
26 Be inflamed with passion after ruthless interrogation producing most serious injury (5-6,4)
THIRD-DEGREE BURN – THIRD-DEGREE (a method of extracting a confession by bullying and/or torture) and BURN (to consume with passion) combine to give the most serious type of burn.
27 One trimming sailing ship (6)
CUTTER – Another double definition – A person or thing that cuts to size or a small sailing vessel.
28 He has strict rule about rubbish in fashion house (8)
DICTATOR – A person invested with absolute authority. Insert into the fashion house of Christian DIOR, firstly C (circa, about) and then TAT (rubbish).
1 Cleaner turned over revolting vermin (6)
PUMICE – a piece of lava used for cleaning or smoothing skin – reverse (over in a down clue) UP (turned) and follow this with MICE(vermin)
2 He has estate car finally at end of road, blue inside (9)
LANDOWNER – Someone who owns an estate of land – LANE (road) followed by R (car finally) with DOWN (blue or miserable) inserted.
3 Care home — house to add interest (7)
HOSPICE – A home for the care of the terminally ill – HO (house) and SPICE (to add an interesting quality to).
4 He had a tale to tell about woman yielding to temptation (5)
REEVE – RE (about) and EVE (the first woman to yield to temptation) gives us one of the tellers of tales in Chaucer’s Canterbury tales.
6 Scandalous remarks about celebrity — hot stuff (7)
MUSTARD – Slanderous or abusive remarks – MUD with a STAR celebrity inserted gives us the hot condiment MUSTARD.
7 Restraint shown by English having whip round (5)
LEASH – A line for holding or controlling a dog or hawk – LASH (whip) round E for English.
8 Fix adjournment — it will settle issue in court (3-5)
TIE-BREAK – A number of points played at the end of a tied set of tennis to decide the winner: TIE (fix, join together) and BREAK (adjournment)
9 Drinks consumed by old king leading to breakdown (8)
COLLAPSE – A sudden or complete breakdown – LAPS (drinks by lapping up) inserted into Old King COLE.
14 He imposes on unfortunate confrere (8)
ENFORCER – Someone who imposes by force is an (unfortunate) anagram of CONFRERE.
16 Sweet expression of disapproval about fine flower (9)
CANDYTUFT – A type of flower – CANDY (sweet) and TUT (an expression of disapproval) with F (fine ) inserted or about.
17 Very pleased with European Community not making progress (8)
ECSTATIC – Quite a few people were this on Saturday when they finally solved the last clue. EC (the initials of European Community) and STATIC (still, stationary, not making progress).
19 Start of talk with rot and nonsense (7)
TWADDLE – This nonsense is described by Chambers as senseless or tedious uninteresting talk. T (start of talk) W (with) and ADDLE (to make or become rotten).
21 Experienced peacekeepers leaving for river (7)
DERWENT – There are a number of English rivers with this name. Remove UN (the peacekeeping United Nations) from the start of UNDERWENT or experienced.
22 Emptier area in privy (6)
INANER – This was the clue that turned the difficulty from 2* to 3* as it took me quite a time to work it out. It is quite simply really. Insert A (area) into INNER (privy here meaning private, secret) . INANER means emptier, more senseless or characterless.
24 Former African leader to upset fool (5)
IDIOT – To get a foolish or unwise person simply follow IDI (the first name of the African dictator IDI Amin) with a reversal (upset) of TO.
25 Dog caught soldiers — American one (5)
CORGI – Her Majesty’s favourite dog – C (caught) OR (ordinary ranks, those soldiers not officers) and GI (the American General Infantryman).
Gnomey will be back to sort out the next two Saturdays – we will compare notes on the Cephas Prize Puzzle at the Cruciverbalists’ Convention.