DT 26834 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26834

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26834

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment ***/****

For me this was one of the best Saturday Prize Puzzles for some time.   An enjoyable solve with a very nice mix of clues and, for me,  double the fun as it was my turn for the review.   Thanks very much to Cephas for a great start to Easter Saturday.

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3a           Like a horse, one of five appearing during mid-week (6)
EQUINE –  An adjective meaning like a horse –  insert a QUIN (one of five quintuplets) into the middle (mid) of wEEk.

6a           Try to avoid getting the bird (4)
DUCK –  A lovely double definition –  to avoid one’s responsibilities or  a quacking water bird.

8a           A posh church safeguarding one of gold (5)
AURIC – An adjective meaning of or  containing gold – A (from the clue) U (posh, Upper Class) followed by RC (Roman Catholic church) into which has been inserted (safeguarding) I (one). 

9a           Remarkable name for ship! (1,1,1,8)
HMS PINAFORE –   A very nice &Lit or all-in-one clue.   An anagram (remarkable) of NAME FOR A SHIP produces the remarkable eponymous ship in the Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera.

10a         No information on gas in spa (5)
HYDRO – An informal name for a spa where people can receive hydropathy or treatment of a disease by water internally and externally is obtained by removing GEN (information) from the gas HYDRO[GEN].

11a         Kind of reed that’s unusual (4-7)
SOFT-HEARTED –  To get an adjective meaning kind or tender hearted simply rearrange OF READ THAT’S (unusual  is the anagram indicator).

16a         Stand for what’s laid on the table (6)
EGG CUP – Another of the very nice, make you smile clues.   Topical too given that it was Easter Saturday.   A cryptic definition of the tableware  used to hold a boiled egg (what’s laid by a hen, duck or goose).

17a         Bad medicine in sale — OK to scrap (5-3)
SNAKE-OIL –  Chambers describes this as ‘any substance or mixture without medicinal value but sold as medicine’.  It is an anagram (to scrap) of IN SALE OK.

19a         Money that’s bound to be owing (4-4)
BOOK-DEBT –  A sum owing to a seller, as shown in their business books – BOOK (that’s  bound in a binding) and DEBT (amount owing).

20a         Garment protecting doctor in fight (6)
COMBAT – A fight or military action – simply insert MB (Bachelor of Medicine) into  that useful protective garment, the COAT.

22a         Jet-propelled weapon? (5,6)
WATER PISTOL – Now that we have a hosepipe ban, should these weapons that shoot a jet of water be banned too??

25a         Downs the salts? (5)
EPSOM –  Another double definition – the Surrey town where the famous races are held or a preparation of Epsomite (which  apparently originally came from Epsom) used as a purgative medicine and in dyeing.

27a         Kind of rum outraged Don (4-7)
GOOD-NATURED –  The second ‘kind’ clue – an anagram (rum) of OUTRAGED DON gives us an adjective meaning having natural goodness and mildness of disposition.

28a         Get angry and turn barrier over (2,3)
GO MAD –  GO (turn) followed by a reversal of DAM ( turn barrier over) together make another way of saying ‘get angry’.

29a         Plodding south followed by beastly noise (4)
SLOW – Plodding means making one’s way slowly.   Do enough cryptic crosswords and you will know that one of the meanings of LOW is the sound of cattle (beastly noise).   Simply precede this with S for South.

30a         Capital spot for place of worship? (6)
TEMPLE – For me, this clue was one where the solution jumped straight out, not least because my father worked  close to the Temple, the main legal district of Central London, apparently so called because it is in the vicinity of  Temple Church,  so definitely a capital spot for a place of worship.  Big Dave’s hint explained  this clue differently as a double definition –  the flat part of your head above the cheekbone is called the TEMPLE,  one alternative meaning of which is a place of worship.     I wonder which explanation Cephas had in mind when he set the clue?


1d           Mum twice produced potatoes (4)
MASH –  An informal term for crushed potatoes –  two synonyms for Mum – MA (a childish contraction for mamma or mum) and SH (be quiet, keep mum).

2d           Exchanging letters in Wild West establishment? (7,4)
TRADING POST – A store established in a remote, possibly hostile area such as the Wild West,  sounds like one might be exchanging letters or TRADING POST.

3d           Nymph’s very down — that shows depth (4-7)
ECHO-SOUNDER – A device used to measure the depth of water by noting the time for an echo to return from the bottom of the bottom –   the nymph ECHO plus SO (very) and UNDER (down).

4d           A French vault that’s dangerous (6)
UNSAFE –  A synonym for dangerous is easily obtained from UN (the French word for A) and SAFE (a vault is a fortified room for storing valuables).

5d           Noisily denying what horse may be doing? (8)
NEIGHING –  The lovely homophone indicator noisily indicates that denying or NAYING sounds like making a noise like a horse or NEIGHING.

6d           Postpone coming from inside ferry-port (5)
DEFER –  Hidden (coming from) insiDE FERry is a verb meaning to postpone.

7d           French physicist and I will be engaged by French priest (5)
CURIE –  The surname of either of the French physicists who discovered radioactivity  is derived by inserting I from the clue  into CURE (a French word meaning priest).

12d         Recognise current learning (11)
ACKNOWLEDGE –  A verb meaning to admit awareness of something – AC (alternating current) and KNOWLEDGE (learning).

13d         Trying to locate Russian notes in book (11)
TROUBLESOME –  Trying here means causing stress, inconvenience or vexation –  Insert ROUBLES (Russian monetary notes) into TOME (a scholarly book or volume).

14d         I had turned up after time — that’s swell (6)
DILATE – To swell, expand or enlarge – a reversal of ID (I’d or I had, turned up or reversed) followed by LATE (after time).

15d         Admiral goes from Scottish peak to East End neighbourhood (6)
BENBOW –    BEN (Scottish mountain peak) plus BOW (an area in the East End of London).   Apparently the  Admiral Benbow Inn in Treasure Island was named after this admiral about whom I knew nothing until I looked at Wikipedia while writing this blog!!

18d         This bean crushed in liqueur (8)
ABSINTHE – An aniseed liqueur which originally contained extract of wormwood.   Another anagram (crushed) this time of THIS BEAN.  Cue lots of puns about the heart growing fonder!!

21d         Cause excitement in prison and at university (4,2)
STIR UP –   To cause excitement or arouse –  STIR (a slang word for prison) plus UP (at university).

23d         A ring, one of coral (5)
ATOLL –  A (from the clue) and TOLL (ring or sound like a large bell) merged together make a coral island consisting of a circular belt of coral enclosing a central lagoon.

24d         Present some women do want (5)
ENDOW – A verb meaning to present (originally a dowry) is hidden inside womEN DO Want.

26d         Sixties teenager at start of eccentric fashion (4)
MODE – One of the many definitions of MODE in Chambers is indeed fashion.   MOD (I remember these 60’s teenagers with their Vespa scooters very well) plus E (the start of Eccentric).

See you this time next week for more Saturday explanations.