DT 26858 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26858

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26858

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Cephas put on his slightly trickier hat last Saturday and gave us an entertaining  crossword with a nice mix of clues, including his usualbeautifully indicated anagrams.   The difficulty rating just sneaked into the 3* category because of problems I had with two clues.

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           Digital recording uploads, off and on, produced by actors (7)
PODCAST – A sound recording published on the internet so that they can be downloaded onto a digital audio player is found in the even letters (off and on) of uPlOaD followed by CAST (group of actors).

9a           Pudding with green veg — it’s nice in the garden (5,3)
SWEET PEA – a lovely scented garden flower  – simply follow a SWEET (pudding) with that little green veg, the PEA.

10a         Mistakenly call the malignant hag (7)
HELLCAT –  An anagram (mistakenly) of CALL THE produces a malignant hag or violent tempered woman.

11a         Time for a few words (8)
SENTENCE – a double definition – ‘time’ served as punishment by a  prisoner  or a number of words making a complete grammatical structure.

12a         Make up about gaining access instantly (2,4)
AT ONCE –  Instantly or without delay  –   Insert C (about) into ATONE (make amends).

13a         Significant life gunman destroyed (10)
MEANINGFUL – Another anagram (destroyed) this time of LIFE GUNMAN gives us an adjective meaning full of significance.

15a         Song from unmarried woman? (4)
ARIA –    Removing (or unmarrying)  M for married from a woman named  MARIA and you are left with the type of song often sung  in operas.

16a         Like the final reminder of a memorable day? (3-6)
RED-LETTER – A special day such as a Saints Day or a Bank Holiday was often marked in red on old calendars – hence RED-LETTER days    Red letters are the final reminder that you haven’t settled a bill yet and it is time you did!

21a         First light entering fiery den (4)
HOLT –  even with two of the four letters this one took a while for the penny to drop.   Insert L (the first letter of light) into HOT (fiery) to get the type of den inhabited by an otter.

22a         Someone who sees a fortune in one’s house? (10)
ASTROLOGER – A super cryptic definition – a house is one of the twelve divisions of the heavens used in astrology and an ASTROLOGER would use the position of the stars in your ‘house’ to determine what the future holds for you, which may or may not include a fortune.

24a         Have a drink in Spain, lying down (6)
SUPINE –  A charade of SUP (have a drink) IN (from the clue) and E (the IVR code for Spain) go together to make a adjective meaning lying down on one’s back.

25a         One raking in the money disputed our price (8)
CROUPIER  – Someone who rakes in the money at a casino is an anagram (disputed) of OUR PRICE.

27a         Little woman getting into brandy on a Mediterranean island (7)
MAJORCA –  The largest of the Balearic Islands – insert JO (one of the Little Women in the book of the same name by Louisa May Alcott) into MARC (brandy made from grape skins) and then follow with A (from the clue).

28a         Training horses to finish before time (8)
DRESSAGE –  Training horses in deportment and response to controls –  DRESS (finish or trim) plus AGE (time).

29a         Shrouded in secrecy, cleverly use again (7)
RECYCLE –  A lovely example of fine wordplay.   Hidden or shrouded in secRECY CLEverly is an instruction to use something  again rather than throwing it away.



2d           Capsize open vessel (8)
OVERTURN – to capsize or be turned upside down –  OVERT (adjective meaning open to view) and URN (vessel,)

3d           Year’s supply of dates (8)
CALENDAR –  A nice cryptic definition of a table of days and months in a year.

4d           Proportional representation (5,5)
SCALE MODEL –  A cryptic definition of a model of something made in reduced size but accurate proportion.

5d           In between being small and sweet (4)
TWEE –  Another perfect hiding place –  literally in beTWEEn is an informal adjective meaning small and sweet.

6d           Apple user and scientist? (6)
NEWTON –  Isaac NEWTON, the famous scientist is said to have formulated his universal theory of gravitation when an apple fell on his head.

7d           Turn on one side of the wicket as an incidental result (4-3)
SPIN-OFF –  SPIN (turn) and OFF (one side of a cricketing wicket) if written 4-3 then alter their meanings to become a by-product that proves profitable on its own account.

8d           Ladies get together for a bender (7)
PATELLA – This one took a long time for the penny to drop, mainly I think because, as someone pointed out, a PATELLA doesn’t actually bend, it covers the bit that bends, the knee.   Anyway, two ladies,  PAT and ELLA combine to form the kneecap.

11d         Street cleaner’s grievances analysed, I was not involved (9)
SCAVENGER –  a rarely used name for someone who cleans the streets is an anagram (analysed) of GR[I]EVANCES – I was not involved tells you to remove the I before rearranging the remaining letters.

14d         Not willing to cross river route in USA (10)
INTERSTATE –  A highway that crosses two states in the USA.   Insert R (crossing river) into INTESTATE (not having a will).

17d         Composition in which harp’s played so extremely daintily (8)
RHAPSODY –  An irregular emotional musical composition – an anagram(played) of HARP followed by SO (from the clue) and the outside (extreme) letters of DaintilY.

18d         Businesslike, supplying one in 150 in California (8)
CLINICAL  – Business, strictly objective or functional –   CL (150 in Roman numerals)  IN (from the clue) I (one) and CAL (California).

19d         Fall of rotter involved in lawsuit (7)
CASCADE –  A water fall is obtained by inserting a CAD (rotter, scoundrel) into a legal CASE.

20d         Arrested smuggling ring pirate initially deserted, being bent (7)
STOOPED –  Being bent forward –  STOPPED means arrested and the clue asks that you remove the first P (pirate initially deserted) and replace it (smuggling [in]) with O (ring).

23d         Disapprove of mates taking drug (6)
OPPOSE –  An informal plural for mates as in opposite numbers.  Add an E (Ecstasy tablet) on the end and you get a verb meaning to disapprove or make an objection.

26d         After word of hesitation, proceed like this (4)
ERGO   –  An adverb meaning therefore, or like this –  ER (a word of hesitation) and GO (proceed).

My turn for the Saturday Mysteron puzzle so I will see you again this time next week.



7 comments on “DT 26858

  1. Nice one sue, you are being kept busy lately :-) well done, I’ve just had a quick look at todays and it looks quite frightening!

    1. It isn’t for the faint hearted – quite a few words I hadn’t heard of much.

  2. I enjoyed this one very much and even gave a copy to a friend. So thanks to Cephas and Sue. Today’s does rather push the limits of my vocabulary but is worth persevation. :-)

  3. You’re all very diplomatic. I know it’s churlish, but it annoys me when clues are not quite right. Patella is not a bender, to dress is not to finish, a scavenger is not a street cleaner, clinical is not business-like and oppos are not mates. Apart from that OK.
    Perhaps it the end of a taut week – sorry

    1. While I agree with you on patella – I suggested “… go on a bender” might be better on last Saturday’s blog – the others are perfectly OK

      Definitions from Chanbers:

      Dress – to finish or trim

      Scavenger – a person who cleans the streets

      Clinical – (from the Thesaurus) impersonal, analytic, businesslike, cold, emotionless, unemotional, unfeeling, detached, disinterested, dispassionate, uninvolved, impassive, objective, scientific

      Oppo/opposite number – one’s mate

      Be careful when criticising – some words have many different meanings which is why we use dictionaries.

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