DT 26810 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26810

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26810

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Many thanks as usual to Cephas for another straightforward enjoyable Saturday puzzle.  After all the varying levels of difficulty in the weekday puzzles (Toughies included), I quite like a gentle Saturday puzzle.   It gives me my daily crossword ‘fix’ and still leaves time for all the other things that have to be crammed into an all-too-short weekend.

I appreciate that it means that lots more people are in competition to win the DT pen (I have never bothered to enter myself as the chances of winning are, to say the least, remote!). A straightforward Saturday crossword does, however, give all the newcomers to cryptic-solving a great deal of satisfaction from solving a nice relatively easy  puzzle and which in turn  gives them the  confidence to try other crosswords during the week.

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 Duty for this French military group (4,5)
TASK FORCE –  A group  of soldiers selected to carry out a particular job.   TASK (a duty or burdensome piece of work) , FOR (from the clue) and CE (the French word for this).

6a Crowd round live group (5)
BESET – To crowd round with hostile intentions – BE (live) and SET (group).

9a Take away motor parked by aristo (4,3)
CART OFF – the third charade in a row – CAR (motor) and TOFF (a slang term for a member of the upper classes, an aristo),which should be split 4,3 to get   another way of saying to take away

10a In favour of being generous and granting a pardon (9)
FORGIVING –  Granting a pardon – FOR (in favour of) plus GIVING (being generous).

11a Davy with Ken growing straggly pointy beard (7)
VANDYKE – After all those word sums comes one of Cephas’s trademark anagrams.   Growing straggly indicates that DAVY and KEN should be rearranged to  make a short pointed beard so called because Sir Anthony Van Dyke included many men with this type of beard in his paintings.

12a I had ten before time in charge — that’s foolish (7)
IDIOTIC –  An adjective meaning foolish.   ID (I had) IO (if you look at the letters I and O  long enough they look like a 10) T (time) and IC (in charge).

13a Second thoughts about respect (15)
RECONSIDERATION – RE (about) and CONSIDERATION (respect) – remove the space to get another word meaning second thoughts

18a Eastern cape captured by Scottish poet is where in France? (7)
BURNOUS – A hooded cape worn by Arabs (in the Middle East) –   Insert OU (the French word meaning where) into the only Scottish poet who ever seems to be in cryptic crosswords – Robert BURNS.

20a The girl being tossed about in boat (7)
LIGHTER –  An anagram (being tossed about) of THE GIRL produces a large open boat used in unloading and loading ships.

22a Many a film upset chap with wife and kids (6,3)
FAMILY MAN – And another anagram –  upset  indicates that a rearrangement of MANY A FILM will give us a man dedicated to, and who enjoys activities with, his wife and children.

23a Director on board? (7)
CAPTAIN  –  a cryptic definition of someone who directs proceedings on board a ship.

24a Fool wept tears about Romeo (5)
TWERP –  a silly person – an anagram (tears) of WEPT about R for Romeo.

25a Weapons in Welsh town, be gone! (9)
ARTILLERY –  Follow the instructions in the clue and remove the BE (be gone)  from ABERTILLERY, a town in South Wales,  and you are left with ARTILLERY or offensive weapons of war.


1d Function well enough when there’s no more credit? (4,4)
TICK OVER – To operate at a low level of activity, quite often referring to a car engine, sounds like the credit has run out, TICK being a slang term for credit.

2d Doris can hurt, being scornful (8)
SARDONIC –  An anagram (hurt) of DORIS CAN makes an adjective meaning mockingly scornful.

3d Disc that’s disaster, Penny points out (6)
FLOPPY –  I don’t think many people use these computer disks any more – memory sticks seem to have taken over.   Anyway, FLOPPY is derived from FLOP or disaster, followed by P[ENN}Y, the compass points E, N and N being out or removed.

4d Draw two fellows, real characters going around (6)
RAFFLE – A draw or lottery insert two Fs (F being the abbreviation for Fellow) into an anagram of REAL.

5d Use drill (8)
EXERCISE –  A double definition –  a verb meaning to use or a noun meaning exertion of the body for health or amusement.

6d Herb’s independent about church (8)
BASILICA –   A magnificent church, quite often Roman Catholic –  another word sum: BASIL (herb) I (independent) and CA (the abbreviation for circa, the Latin word meaning about).

7d Cast lines (6)
SCRIPT –  A cryptic definition of the text containing the lines of a play or film.

8d Sad jerk admits scrap (6)
TRAGIC  insert a RAG (admits scrap) into TIC (a jerk or nervous twitch of the muscles) to get TRAGIC (extremely sad).

14d MP on lane, disguised by gaslight (4,4)
NEON LAMP –  Another anagram (disguised) – MP ON LANE rearranges to form an electric discharge lamp containing the gas neon.

15d One is not able to sleep through it (8)
INSOMNIA –  A cryptic definition of a disorder characterized by a prolonged inability to sleep.

16d Tell close friend (8)
INTIMATE –  Another double definition: a verb meaning to tell/announce or a noun meaning a close friend.

17d Place on the other side of the Channel two diminutive boys (8)
NORMANDY  –  Put together the short forms of two boys’ names – NORM and ANDY to get a region in Northern France,  just over the Channel.

18d Counter blow (6)
BUFFET –  Double definition again –   as a noun, a refreshment counter or bar; as a verb, a blow with the fist.

19d Thunderous noise coming from bellyache — not good! (6)
RUMBLE –  Removing the first letter, a G (not good) from [G]RUMBLE (bellyache meaning to complain whiningly) leaves RUMBLE which Chambers defines as a low heavy grumbling or rolling noise.

20d Glance towards part that’s pointed (6)
LANCET – Hidden in gLANCE Towards is a narrow pointed arch.

21d One turn then another stopping short of the truth (6)
GOSPEL – An informal term for the absolute truth –   GO (one turn) and SPEL[L} (another turn, stopping short, or without its final letter.

A nice mix of clues from Cephas this week;  I wonder what the Mysteron has in store for us on Saturday.  My review will reveal all in due course.