DT 26840 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26840

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26840

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

A typical Prize Puzzle from the Saturday Mysteron – a straightforward solve with a nice mix of clues including one particularly straightforward clue which caused a great deal of discussion as to the accuracy of the definition therein.   My favourites are highlighted in blue.

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1a           Chap getting on got by (7)
MANAGED –  A charade to begin with – MAN (chap) plus AGED (getting on) makes MANAGED (got by or coped).

5a           University department not OK, catching cold (7)
FACULTY –  Insert C for cold into FAULTY (definitely not OK) to get a department of learning at a university.

9a           Women getting in quantity of medicine look for water (5)
DOWSE –  To look for water using a divining rod, simply insert W (women) into a DOSE or quantity of medicine. 

10a         Millions entertained by relation performing circus act (4-5)
LION-TAMER –  Someone controlling a  circus act that is frowned upon these days.   Insert M (Millions entertained) into an anagram (performing) of RELATION.

11a         Dawn French initially confused this girl with bit of teasing (5,5)
FIRST LIGHT – This ‘girl’ was initially confused too!!    Dawn here refers to the FIRST LIGHT of day.  F (French  initially) followed by a confused anagram of THIS GIRL and T (a bit of Teasing).

12a         Callas fails to start song (4)
ARIA –  Fails to start indicates that we should remove the first letter from the Christian name of the famous opera singer [M]ARIA Callas to get the sort of song she sang.

14a         It preserves official of Parisian park (12)
FORMALDEHYDE – A substance used to preserve biological specimens is a charade of FORMAL (official) DE (the Parisian, and therefore French,  word for of) and HYDE (the famous London Park).

18a         Crew following victims of con’s precision targeting (12)
MARKSMANSHIP –MARKS are how conmen might describe suitable victims for trickery or theft.  Follow them with a verb meaning to crew a vessel – MAN SHIP – and you get the noun describing skill in shooting a gun. 

21a         Found players (4)
CAST – A double definition – to mould or shape metal; a group of actors chosen to perform in a play.

22a         Newspaper contributor whose features are always late (10)
OBITUARIST –  A cryptic definition of the person who writes an account of a deceased (late) person’s life. 

25a         Shout about energy company’s associate (9)
BEDFELLOW –  A colloquial term for someone who associates with another – Insert  the energy company EDF into BELLOW (shout).

26a         Head of enterprise opening special activity (5)
EVENT – A special activity or memorable occurrence is obtained by following E (the ‘head’ of Enterprise) with a VENT or opening.

27a         Overhears wager is lost (7)
EARWIGS – A slang term for eavesdropping is an anagram (lost) of WAGER IS.

28a         Train English cohort with the Queen’s backing (7)
RETINUE – A train or body of people following an important person.   Reverse (backing) E (English) UNIT (cohort) and ER (the cipher of the current Queen).


1d           Numberless spies remove person in field (3-3)
MID-OFF –  The secret services (spies) are usually known as MI5 or MI6.   Take away  the number (numberless)  and follow MI with DOFF (a verb meaning to remove a piece of clothing, especially a hat) and split the result 3-3 to get a cricket fielder behind the bowler on the offside.

2d           Modern craft for NY airport (6)
NEWARK –  A charade of NEW (modern) plus ARK (a large floating vessel) makes the first major airport in the USA, one of three serving New York.

3d           Small hotel endlessly speculated about you formerly (5,5)
GUEST HOUSE – A type of small boarding house or hotel –   GUESSE[D]  (speculated or guessed, endlessly or with its last letter removed) into which is inserted (about)  THOU (a former  or historical way of saying you), the result then split 5, 5.

4d           Asian city food counter stocking hearts (5)
DELHI –    A city in India is obtained by inserting H (the abbreviation for hearts in a pack of cards) into a DELI (delicatessen, food counter).

5d           With hardening of heart, settle accounts — they’re at end of range (9)
FOOTHILLS  –  D’oh of the day.   I could see that FOOTHILLS are the minor elevations at the ends  of a mountain range but …  then the penny dropped – hardening of heart! –  FOOT BILLS (settle accounts) changes to FOOTHILLS when the middle (heart)  B (soft pencil lead) is changed to an H (hard pencil lead).

6d           Stop using drug — that’s smart (4)
CUTE – As well as meaning quaintly pleasing, CUTE can also mean smart or clever.   CUT (stop, interrupt or break) and E (the drug Ecstasy is known informally as an E).

7d           Fishes will make attacks swallowing creature as food (8)
LAMPREYS –   Primitive fishes are derived by inserting PREY (creature hunted for food) into LAMS (attacks).

8d           Measures revising grade, say (8)
YARDAGES  – An anagram (revising) of GRADE SAY makes measures of a yard.

13d         Chewed minced meat — it should do you good (10)
MEDICAMENT –  Another anagram (chewed) this time of MINCED MEAT produces a substance used in curative treatment.

15d         Minced stale lamb in these? (9)
MEATBALLS –  And another anagram (minced) in this &Lit clue –  STALE LAMB might well be minced to make MEATBALLS.

16d         Friendly Business Secretary queries his identity? (8)
AMICABLE –   What will setters  do when Vince Cable is no longer in the government? –  an adjective meaning friendly if split 2, 1, 5 might be how Vince would query his identity.

17d         Campaigner badly scarred around Ulm initially (8)
CRUSADER – Someone campaigning for a cause –   An anagram (badly) of SCARRED with U (Ulm initially) inserted.

19d         Wildfowl to tick off before long time (6)
WIGEON –  A type of duck – WIG (scold or tick off) and EON (an eternity).

20d         Monument maybe honouring leader of uprising in country (6)
STATUE – A monumental sculpture, quite often honouring a leader of something though not necessarily an uprising, is obtained by inserting U (leader of Uprising) into a STATE or country.

23d         Keep car pulling caravan perhaps (5)
TOWER – A double definition – a keep is the innermost TOWER  of a castle;   a car pulling a caravan might also be described as a TOWER, something which tows.

24d         Fairy for every one (4)
PERI – We finish with crosswordland’s favourite beautiful, if malevolent, fairy.  PER (preposition meaning for each or every) plus I (one).

I have passed the Saturday ‘baton’ back to Gnomey and will see you next week with a review of Sunday’s crossword.