DT 26780 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26780

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26780

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Morning All! We had an enjoyable puzzle last Saturday which was made more difficult from a hangover caused by my Birthday the previous day!.My solving time put it in the 3 star category but might not be representative.

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


1a           Fool somehow atoning accepting one mission (11)
ASSIGNATION – An mission or meeting. Start with ASS (fool) then include I (accepting one) inside an anagram (somehow) of ATONING.

10a         Restful place, old, unaltered (5)
OASIS – A place of calm and shelter. A charade of O for Old and AS IS (unaltered).

11a         Left paper behind — minister’s responsible for it (9)
PORTFOLIO – The nautical term for left is PORT (I always remember LP, Long Player). Follow that with FOLIO (A size of paper) to get the brief for which a government minister is responsible (apart from Lord Mandelson who was appointed without one!)

12a         TV programme like this — a frivolously entertaining time (4,5)
SOAP OPERA – A charade of SO (like this) with A, POP (frivolous entertainment) and ERA for a (long) time. My thoughts entirely!

13a         Toast introducing one person in charge (5)
CHAIR – Add I for one inside CHAR (toast or burn/blacken) to get the CHAIR in a meeting – the person in charge.

14a         Having power in two-wheeler cleaned up (6)
MOPPED – I liked the surface reading but thought that a comma after ‘wheeler’ would have made an improvement – perhaps it was missed in printing. Place P (Power in SI  notation) inside MOPED (the small motorbike) to get the action of having cleaned a floor.

16a         Leaders of persistent offenders robbing bank — get this? (8)
PORRIDGE – Stir or Prison Time is alluded to in this semi all in one clue. Start with the leading letters of Persistent Offenders Robbing then follow with RIDGE for bank or escarpment.

18a         Mum strolls along in a muddle (8)
SHAMBLES – This caught me out but I don’t know why!. SH (be quiet for ‘keep mum’) than AMBLES for strolls along. The definition is (I guess) ‘muddle’ so perhaps there is a bit of padding here with IN A. Not a problem for the Telegraph though.

20a         Guide with turn of phrase (6)
SHERPA – A lovely clue which makes us think of a smooth talking holiday rep. An anagram (Turn of) PHRASE gives a name for a well known mountain guide.

23a         Even priest-like characters join again (5)
RETIE – The verb meaning to join again is hidden in the even characters of PRIESTLIKE (rem colour!)

24a         A coarse fellow held by soldier, revolutionary leader (9)
GARIBALDI – Guiseppe GARIBALDI, the Italian revolutionary leader (not CHE or RED this time). Place A RIBALD (A coarse fellow) inside GI, the American soldier whos’ abbreviation means General Issue, the same as his gun or Jeep!

26a         Whisper surreptitiously about end of Bismarck — as this? (9)
SHIPWRECK – Another semi all in one. An anagram (surreptitiously?) of WHISPERED around the outside of the last letter of (about the end of) bismarK.

27a         Teach several things in succession (5)
TRAIN – think of a train of camels (several things in succession) and you will find a verb meaning teach or coach.

28a         Pardoning unruly Generation X (11)
EXONERATING – A reasonably straight anagram (unruly) of GENERATION X also means pardoning or clearing from wrongdoing.I liked this clue as I am a firm admirer of Billy Idol who fronted Generation X, a  punk rock band who didn’t famously swear on TV. I don’t usually embellish my reviews but here is one (Sorry, BD, you know my tastes!). Steve Stephens the guitarist is a firm favourite.


2d           Belt a girl or boy (5)
SASHA – A charade of a loose belt around the waste and A could be either a Boy or a Girl’s name.

3d           Take cover according to report not going far out to sea (7)
INSHORE – A homophone (according to report) of ‘insure’ means the point at sea where you are still near the coast. Personally I didn’t like this as the homophone doesn’t really work unless you are one of the increasingly frequent annoying people who can’t pronounce ’consumer’ without an ‘SH’ in the middle (even on Radio 4!). This should have been a ‘drunk homophone/slurring clue!.

4d           Relative from Newcastle area that was close! (6)
NEPHEW – Newcastle is in the NE of England. Add (and I like this!)  PHEW for ‘that was close!’ to get a family relative.

5d           Fighter in ring moved fast put on deck endlessly (8)
TOREADOR – One of the bullfighters is a charade of TORE (moved fast/raced) and all but the last letter (endlessly) of ADORn (adorn/deck the halls)

6d           One caught in bid to be policeman perhaps (7)
OFFFICER – An insertion of I (one) and C (caught in cricket, sorry ladies, notation) inside OFFER (bid). The result is a policeman or agent of the law.

7d           One responsible for girls resolving mothers’ issues (13)
HOUSEMISTRESS – A lovely anagram (resolving) of MOTHERS ISSUES is the woman in charge of girls in a Girl’s School.

8d           Hero’s declaration to partner Bush (8)
OLEANDER – I’m giving you BD’s hint on the day as I am lazy and can’t explain it better:
As (1,7) this might have been what Hero said to her lover after he had swum across the Hellespont to be with her, but it’s actually an evergreen shrub with lance-shaped leathery leaves and beautiful red or white flowers – note that by placing Hero as the first word in the clue the necessary capitalisation is disguised

9d           Not getting on with inferior types (4,9)
POOR RELATIONS – A cryptic definition and definition. People not getting on have these and the inferior waged people that we know are known as these.

15d         Insect invades ordinary weed (8)
PLANTAIN – This weed can be found by placing the ANT inside PLAIN (for ordinary/Plain Jane). Invades is used as the insertion indicator.

17d         Colour used by Lear to write about match (3-5)
PEA GREEN – The Owl and the Pussycat’s boat colour no less. Place PEN (write) around AGREE (match)

19d         Polish get-togethers grow bigger (7)
BEESWAX – This held me up for a while. The definition is a type of polish. The get-togeters are e.g. Spelling BEES and to WAX is to grow bigger (as in the moon)

21d         Environment’s not much in Derby perhaps (7)
HABITAT – An insertion of A BIT (not much) inside HAT (of which Derby is an example) gives a (natural) environment.

22d         City trader more hard-up (6)
BROKER – A gentle definition and Cryptic def. A City BROKER and also being more broke.

25d         Pick up pound on merit (5)
LEARN – L for Pound (Librum in L S D) and then EARN for merit. The definition is pick up (information)

Crypticsue and I are doing the old switcheroo this week so I will be back next Friday for the Sunday review.


1 comment on “DT 26780

  1. Hopefully I shall be walking down The Shambles in York tomorrow en route to my favourte watering hole but first I have promised the London born girlfriend of Son No¨2 to take her on the Snickelways Walk. Fascinating & recommended to anyone visiting the Capital of the North.

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