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 (bracele t 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 ( c irca, 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 (ca r 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 E nglish.
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 E uropean C ommunity) 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 t alk) 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 UN DERWENT 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.