DT 26792 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26792

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26792

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

I did enjoy this Mysteron Prize Puzzle – it didn’t take me long, hence the 1* difficulty – yes, I know lots of you found it harder but I have to rate as I solve!   A great mix of clues, including the wonderful 21a which could well be a contender for my  clue of the year so far.

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


1 Deputy being investigated (10)
UNDERSTUDY  – A person who studies the role of another person in order to deputise in an emergency, split 5,5 would then mean that something was UNDER STUDY or being investigated.

6 Turned crazy making attempt (4)
STAB  –   Reverse an informal term for being slightly mad and you get a verb meaning to make an attempt at something.

10 Redhead with animal skin upset you and me (5)
RUFUS –  Redheads like William II are often called RUFUS because of their red hair.   Reverse FUR (animal skin) and follow this with US (you and me).  

11 Factory worker producing cars on time collecting a high honour (9)
MACHINIST –  A person who builds operates or repairs machines –   insert into MINIS (cars) A (from the clue) CH (Companion of Honour, an award  bestowed by the Queen for outstanding achievements in arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry or religion) and follow the whole lot with T (on, or before, Time).

12 A gaffer’s last to fix bright light (3-4)
ARC-LAMP  – A very bright lamp is a charade of A (from the clue) R (the last letter of gaffer) and CLAMP (fix, grasp firmly) split 3-4.

13 Person in charge round street is thief (7)
RUSTLER –  Insert ST (street) into a RULER (person in charge) to get someone who steals cattle.

14 These criminals sound mad (4-8)
SAFE-CRACKERS – These criminals open safes illegally.   SAFE (sound as in safe and sound)and CRACKERS (mad, crazy or unbalanced).

18 A little snipe playing up causing trouble (12)
PESTILENTIAL –  An adjective meaning causing trouble, destructive or pestering (much favoured by my late father when we were being pestering as children) is an anagram (playing up) of A LITTLE SNIPE.

21 Eulogist for Caesar, J? The opposite (7)
ANTONYM –  Wonderful clue.   If you did Julius Caesar for O-Level like me, you will know that Mark Antony delivered the eulogy for Julius Caesar:  ‘Friends , Romans and Countrymen, we come to bury Caesar not to praise him…’      So just like the clue has Caesar, J, we need Antony, M.   Remove the comma and you get an ANTONYM or a word meaning an opposite to another.

23 Football team succeeded in stadium with skill finally (7)
ARSENAL –  The football team that seems to appear in cryptic crosswords more than any other  –  Insert S (succeeded) into ARENA (stadium) and finish with L (skill finally).

24 What IOC did after tournament’s opening to delight (9)
TRANSPORT –  The relevant Chambers definition is ‘to throw into an ecstasy’ which is, I suppose, a form of delight!   T (‘opening’ of tournament ) followed by RAN SPORT (which is of course what the International Olympic Committee did/do).

25 Drunk was working having missed start (5)
OILED –  Remove the first letter (missed start) from [T]OILED (was working) and you are left with OILED, a slang expression meaning tipsy, or ,in conjunction with ‘well-‘,  drunk.

26 Spots dare-devil (4)
RASH – A double definition – an outbreak of red spots on the skin or lacking in caution, reckless.

27 A tired peer resorted to second home (4-1-5)
PIED-A-TERRE  – A dwelling kept as a second home is an anagram (resorted) of A TIRED PEER split 4-1-5.


1 University expert on Arabia makes great fuss (6)
UPROAR –  A great fuss or loud outcry-  U (University) plus PRO (expert) and AR (the abbreviation for Arabia).

2 Rat’s fault (6)
DEFECT – Another double definition –  to rat or desert one’s country for a cause or a deficiency/ fault.

3 A friar involved with Satanism cult (14)
RASTAFARIANISM  – a West Indian religious movement is an anagram (involved with) of A FRIAR and SATANISM.

4 Watch Cable perhaps entertaining European politician that is Conservative (9)
TIMEPIECE –  An instrument for measuring time such as a watch – insert into TIE (perhaps indicates that a cable is an example of a type of tie or fixing) MEP (Member of the European Parliament) , IE (that is) and C (Conservative).

5 Last month’s indication of alternative scenery (5)
DÉCOR –  Scenery and stage effects –  DEC (the last month of the year) and OR (indication of alternative).

7 Made series of tweets about answer put to test (8)
TRIALLED –  Insert A (about Answer) into TRILLED (sang like a bird) to get part of a verb meaning put to test.

8 Provide with extra security except for lock (8)
BUTTTRESS – Something giving extra security to a wall –   BUT (except for) and TRESS (long lock of hair).

9 Items quickly delivered top job (5-5,4)
FIRST-CLASS POST  –  The Royal Mail ask us to pay more for FIRST-CLASS POST to ensure our items of mail are quickly delivered.   If you were doing a top job, you could be said to be  in a FIRST CLASS POST.

15 Withdrawn US leader once backing British one (9)
RETRACTED –  To get the past participle of a verb meaning to draw back or withdraw, simply reverse (backing) President Jimmy CARTER  (leader of the US  in the late 70s) and follow him with TED (Heath), British Prime Minister in the early 1970s.

16 Second old record making splash (8)
SPLATTER – a synonym for splash – S (second) and PLATTER (an informal, originally American, term for a gramophone record.

17 A lost animal’s outside hospital — dog ends in there (8)
ASHTRAYS –  Someone to put the dog ends or remains of cigarettes –   A (from the clue) STRAY[‘]S (lost animal’s) around (outside) H for hospital.

19 Sportsman to get cross holding line (6)
ANGLER –  A person who fishes with rod and line for sport –   ANGER (cross) with L inserted (holding Line)

20 Hurl abuse at son on shelf (6)
SLEDGE –  A cricketing expression meaning to make offensive remarks so as to upset the batsman’s concentration –  S (son) and LEDGE (shelf).

22 Antipodean to wander around over island (5)
MAORI –  Someone from that part of the Antipodes known as  New Zealand –  Reverse (around)  ROAM (wander)and then follow this (over) with I for island.

Let’s hope when Gnomey looks for the next two Saturday’s  puzzles in order to solve and review them, they are in their rightful place on the back of the newspaper.    I am back to Sunday reviewing –   I  might not know what tricks Virgilius will have up his sleeve, but  at least I know exactly where the crossword will be!

STOP PRESS:   Gnomey is back into ‘I owe you another microbrewery’ territory again – I’ll be back at midday with the Sunday review too!