DT 26822 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26822

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26822

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

Morning All! I raced through this puzzle from Cephas and whilst reviewing it thought that there were some attractive clues but a few clues that were telegraphed (ahem) to the point that they went in without thinking.

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           Taking part in film attack (5)
ONSET – If you are taking part in a film you are ON SET and an ONSET is also an attack in battle.

4a           Lady allowed to go round public house for something to read (8)
PAMPHLET – Start with PAM and then place LET (allowed) around the abbreviation for Public House to get a tract, leaflet or something to read.

8a           Ranting about embracing independent education (8)
TRAINING – An anagram (about) of RANTING) containing (embracing) I for Independent gives a word or education or schooling

9a           Lift across the Atlantic (8)
ELEVATOR – A simple cryptic definition for what our American cousins call a “Vertical Person Transporter.

11a         Without delay I’m going to arbitrate (7)
MEDIATE – (im)MEDIATE (without delay) with the I’M going away for arbitration

13a         Tchaikovsky’s sweetie? (9)
SUGARPLUM – A nauseous term of endearment and Tchaikosky’s dancing fairie to boot. A rather weak clue I thought

15a         Where a Victorian could stay dry? (10,5)
TEMPERANCE HOTEL – The complete opposite of a Gin Palace in Victorian times, to dry out also meaning to get sober. I was held up by misremembering as HOUSE not HOTEL.

18a         One sharing top billing starts to irritate customers around country (5,4)
COSTA RICA – It took a while for me to get this clue the right way round!. The Country (somewhere in the world, don’t ask me!) is found by taking the CO STAR (an actor sharing the top billing equally) and then adding the starting letters to I(rritate) C(ustomers) A(round)

21a         Falls back in with commander and artist (7)
NIAGARA – The treatment of these waterfalls was executed without the use of the word “again” – well done the setter!. Reverse (back) IN then add AGA (a military ruler such as Aga Khan) and then RA for Royal Academician, or artist.

22a         Do ration ingredients for cooking (8)
TANDOORI – Mix up (as in the ingredients of a recipe) DO RATION to get the clay oven beloved of the Indian cooks.

24a         Magical quality that’s captured by astronaut in vacuum? (8)
STARDUST – The rationale jarred with me on the day as I think the last two words are misleading (and scientifically inaccurate!). A notional substance that imbues a special charisma for a performer and is cryptically alluded to as something that an astronaut might attempt to pick up in space.

25a         March round island in state of bliss (8)
PARADISE – PARADE (march) around IS (a less well known abbreviation for Island)

26a         Local leader finds gold after 31 days (5)
MAYOR – The local dignitary is a charade of MAY (a month with 31 Days) with OR (the heraldic term for Gold/Yellow) afterwards.


1d           Expecting the best work, time being short is initially tough in charge (10)
OPTIMISTIC – A long charade but it was easy to be confused: OP for Opus then most of TIM(e), being short, followed by IS and the initial letters of Tough In Charge – OP TIM IS T I C.

2d           Music and reels creating metallic element (8)
SCANDIUM – A reeling (i.e. drunken) anagram of MUSIC AND gives a metallic chemical element.

3d           Number requiring equipment — King put out feeler (8)
TENTACLE – An Octopus’ feeler for example. Start with TEN (the number) then add TAC(k)LE for equipment missing the K.

4d           Servant partly makes up a geisha (4)
PAGE – Hidden in the last three words is your serving boy appointed to a Royal Court

5d           Pair hold strong affection for bird (6)
PLOVER – LOVE (string affection) in PR for pair (a usual abbreviation) gives the wading bird.

6d           Seed found in inlet, sprouting beside lake (6)
LENTIL – A slightly unusual anagram indicator here – sprouting – of INLET, when placed beside L for Lake gives a seed or pulse.

7d           Drop rent (4)
TEAR – A double definition – the tear that falls from someone crying and also a rip/rent in , for example, the Space/Time continuum

10d         Colin, a GI, corrected one with sound reasoning (8)
LOGICIAN – A straightforward, corrected, anagram of COLIN A GI gives a person who is trained to think clearly

12d         Latticework that is seen in restrung pearls (8)
ESPALIER – The only word that I had to drag from the back of my head. An ESPALIER is “A fruit tree or shrub whose branches are trained to grow flat against a wall, supported on a lattice or a framework of stakes”. It is also found by placing I>E> (Id Est, that is in Latin) inside an anagram (restrung – nice!) of PEARLS.

14d         Sex act thrown in for criminal (10)
MALEFACTOR – Not as racy an answer s the clue suggests but the surface reading raised a chuckle. One sex can be MALE then place (or throw) ACT into FOR to get the criminal whose name is also of Latin derivation.

16d         Spell above a weight is shown in figure (8)
HEXAGRAM – Know your curses!. A HEX is a spell/curse from a witch. Put it above A GRAM (a weight) to get the 6-sided figure.

17d         Government department rebuilt at Surrey (8)
TREASURY – A simple anagram (rebuilt) of AT SURREY for the moneymen at Whitehall.

19d         Superior and I may be taken in by Spanish man (6)
SENIOR – A superior position or older person. Put I inside Senor (a Spanish man).

20d         A spring swarm (6)
ABOUND – A plus BOUND for leap/spring. To swarm or be prevalent.

22d         Ride for a fall? (4)
TRIP – Another simple double definition – A ride in a car for example or a tumble to the ground.

23d         Man sounds promising (4)
ISLE – My main quibble for the day. I’ll let BD explain it:
“The required capitalisation of Man is disguised by placing it as the first word in the clue: its prefix sounds like a promise (1’2) – definitions by example are usually signalled by a “perhaps”, a question mark or similar, but not here”

Thanks to Cephas for the puzzle and I will see you all same time, same place next week.

7 comments on “DT 26822

  1. Hi Gromey

    I thought this to be rather like a stroll in the park on a nice sunny day, not taxing but a pleasant interlude! It’s not always that I want to get the pitons and oxygen mask out and scale the heights :grin: (although they are prepared in readiness for today’s Toughie!).

    Quite liked 11a but agree that 23d should have had a ? at least.

    Thanks to you for the review and to Cephas for the stroll.

    1. Thanks to Cephas and to Gnomey for a pleasant amble through the gentle groves of Cruciverbilia.
      Pommers re:today’s toughie – it’s the North Face of the Eiger in a howling gale…

      1. Notwithstanding your assessment, it’s actually a wonderful puzzle. Stick with it and enjoy, even if it takes a while. Toughies arent meant to be easy!

        1. Over the last few months I have gone from completing 1 or 2 Toughies per week to 3 and sometimes all 4 and it’s all due to this website and it’s merry bunch of bloggers pitching in with help and hints without being supercilious or condescending.
          Many thanks BD

  2. Temperance Hotel?
    How ridiculous…how utterly ridiculous…
    If Cephas set out to alienate as many folk as possible with his puzzle, I think he succeeded.
    To my mind, the back-pagers are supposed to be fun – slightly taxing, maybe, but always gettable with a bit of perseverance.
    IMHO, setter and editor completely lost the plot here.

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