DT 26774 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26774

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26774

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Morning All!. I’m being short and sweet this week with the review as I have to prepare for my upcoming birthday (today!). A funny old puzzle today – there were about 5 clues that have been kicking around for years and a few more that really made people think. All in all I found it a good enough test for a Saturday puzzle.

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.


5a           Bloomer made by insurgent captured by Harry (8)
HAREBELL – HAL (the diminutive form of HARRY) with REBEL inside for a flower (bloomer).

8a           A second bird behind (6)
ASTERN – A nice starter and a chestnutty clue. A + S + TERN for anything to the rear of a ship.

10a         Vehicle parked in Queensland, Australia (6)
LANDAU – A Swiss/German horse-drawn carriage is found in the last two words.

11a         Make shorter agreement (8)
CONTRACT – Another nice starter clue. Two meanings, to shorten and also a written legal agreement.

12a         Clean-cut boys jumping on play equipment (6,6)
BOUNCY CASTLE – A lovely anagram (jumping) of CLEAN-CUT BOYS is a piece of inflatable play equipment popular with the kids and drunken adults at barbecues.

15a         Cheese may be created in retort (4)
EDAM – I’ve seen this before, how about you?. A reversal of MADE (created) for the Dutch Cheese.

17a         Clear island included in outline (5)
PLAIN – The outline is the PLAN – Place I for Island inside to get an adjective meaning clear or obvious.

18a         Not much music from piano teacher (4)
NOTE – Only one note is not much music and it is hidden in piaNO Teacher.

19a         Power of attracting, it’s perverted group pleasure (12)
SATISFACTION – This caused a few problems on the say. Start with SA (Sex Appeal, IT or ‘The Old Wahey’ for the ‘power of attracting’, then make an anagram (perverted) of ITS and follow with FACTION (group) the definition is ‘pleasure’.

22a         Heavenly chips are chopped up (8)
SERAPHIC – Descriptive of the Seraphim in heaven. Chop up the letters of CHIPS ARE.

24a         Old mountains producing fruit (6)
ORANGES – An easy charade of O (old) and RANGES for mountains gets the citrus fruit.

25a         Coming first or second (6)
ADVENT – Another sticker on the day for some. ADVENT means coming from Latin and there is to be two advents of Jesus depending upon which books you read.

26a         Man to come ashore first during outstanding event (8)
LANDMARK – The man is MARK and to LAND (come ashore) goes in front (first). The result is an outstanding or pivotal event.


1d           The man encounters a fellow face-to-face (4-2)
HEAD-ON – A charade of HE and A DON (A fellow of a university). Face to Face could describe a collision between two cars, for example.

2d           Mole seen in Box Hill maybe (6,4)
BEAUTY SPOT – I got this from the checking letters as I wasn’t aware that Box Hill was a place of outstanding beauty.

3d           Handle new piece (4)
PAWN – Short but deceptive. PAW (for handle or grope) and N for New is a foot soldier in Chess.

4d           Good man to encourage fish (8)
STURGEON – Another Chestnut. ST (the abbreviation for Saint or ‘good man’) followed by URGE ON for encourage.

6d           Snake from Canada on loose (8)
ANACONDA – A loose anagram of CANADA ON is a large snake from South America (not Canada!).

7d           Apathetic want a platform, I state (13)
LACKADAISICAL – I always thought that this had an extra S after the K. A word for apathetic is a charade of LACK (need), A DAIS (a platform) then I then CAL(ifornia)

9d           Stone makes music (4)
ROCK – A simple double definition.

13d         Equivalent of volunteers and conservationists getting a rise (10)
TANTAMOUNT – Equivalent as in the phrase ‘Tantamount to Murder’. A charade of TA (the Territorial Army/Volunteers), NT (the National Trust/Conservationists) and A MOUNT (A rise).

14d         Tougher outsider drops a round coming in (8)
STRONGER – A word meaning tougher or harder. Start with STRANGER and drop the A then put O (a round) in.

16d         Maiden one’s captivated may be untrue (8)
MISTAKEN – More charadiness. M (maiden  in cricketing notation) with IS (one’s) and TAKEN (captivated). The definition is (or may be) untrue.

20d         Shock of a tram crashing with unionist inside (6)
TRAUMA – This physical or clinical shock is an anagram of A TRAM (crashing) with U for Unionist inside.

21d         Ad-lib ending, taking in bow (4)
BEND – The bow or arch is taken inside ‘Ad-liB ENDing’.

23d         Odd characters involved in heartier dislike (4)
HATE – The odd characters (every other letter starting at one!) in HEARTIER means dislike intensely.

Thanks to the setter for this week’s entertainment. I am back next Saturday, see you then.

9 comments on “DT 26774

  1. Happy birthday Gnomethang! 12a reminds me of the old news story that Beyoncé has discovered she is the daughter of the late Roy Castle…

  2. Happy Birthday Gnomey. For some reason, I don’t remember much about last Saturday’s puzzle but your review brought it all back :)

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