DT 26864 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26864

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26864

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment **

I took what seemed like an age….but wasn’t really… to solve this one, mainly because of the SW corner, hence the 4* difficulty rating (which I wouldn’t normally expect for a Saturday prize puzzle).   I didn’t enjoy myself particularly at the time of solving, but revisiting for the review has altered my view a 10a, and that clue and the other clues that grew on me are marked in blue.


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1a           Part of goal to annoy lawyers (8)
CROSSBAR –  If you split the horizontal bar between two football goal posts, 5, 3, you might well end up annoying  lawyers, as, with a capital B, the Bar is used when referring to members of the legal profession.

6a           Make cuts to hospital detaining a potentate (6)
CALIPH  – An Islamic leader is obtained by inserting A (detaining A from the clue) into CLIP (make cuts) followed by H for hospital.

9a           Train takes gents back round Switzerland (6)
SCHOOL –  To train or instruct –   reverse LOOS ([not specifically] gents  toilets) around CH (the IVR code for Switzerland).

10a         Boy keeps creature that bites a bit (8)
SMIDGEON – A word I use quite a lot –  a small or tiny amount of something.   Insert a MIDGE (small biting gnat-like fly) into a SON (boy keeps creature).

11a         Song featuring a key is what one can’t stand (8)
ANATHEMA –  An object of abhorrence –   insert into an ANTHEM (song) A (from the clue) and then follow the result with A (the musical key).

12a         Reserve that is one dependent on his betters (6)
BOOKIE –   A penny-dropping moment if ever there was one –  BOOK (reserve) plus IE (that is, id est) together make someone whose income depends on people making bets.

13a         Satiric actor playing noble (12)
ARISTOCRATIC – The first anagram (playing)   SATIRIC ACTOR rearranges to make an adjective meaning belonging to the nobility or aristocracy.

16a         Professor has a hand in this couple having abusive relationship (5,3,4)
PUNCH AND JUDY –  This clue was the start of the major problems I had with the SW Corner, as I had forgotten that Professor is the name given to the puppeteer in a Punch & Judy show, who would definitely have had one hand in each of the warring puppets.  

Apparently  the 350th Birthday of Punch & Judy was celebrated on the day on which the crossword was published.   See  http://www.jollygoodfun.co.uk/blog/2012/02/26/punch-and-judy/punch-and-judy-350th-anniversary-celebrations/#axzz1umMvghR2.    I know the Saturday Mysteron never comes out of hiding but I love to know whether or not it was  pure coincidence that this clue appeared on the ‘birthday’ of Mr Punch.

19a         22 delivered encouragement (6)
CARROT –  As someone who works through the across clues first, I am not a fan of the ‘you need to look at the Downs to get this’ type clue.  The homophone indicator delivered tells  you to say the solution to 22d out loud to get an incentive or encouragement .

21a         Underground place serving Mexican food in university city briefly (8)
CATACOMB  – A subterranean excavation used as a burial place –   Take the first four letters of the University city of CAMBridge and insert into them  TACO (the Mexican speciality, a very thin rolled pancake with a meat filling, usually fried crisp).

23a         Bring up without favour for the major part (8)
DISINTER –  To remove from the grave or dig up.   The majority of letters in the word DISINTER[EST] which of course means without favour or impartial.

24a         Team engaging trainer first and last to provide pace (6)
STRIDE – A pace or long step.   Simply insert the first and last letters of TraineR into a SIDE or team.

25a         Attitude in which is example (6)
STANCE –  Usually you add something to a word to get a solution.   Here we have a solution, where,   if we added the word IN from the clue, we would get an example or occurrence.

26a         Singer otherwise ‘Mr Silent’ (8)
MINSTREL –  Another anagram (otherwise)  MR  SILENT rearranges to form a medieval musician.



2d           Take back regular payment retaining accountant (6)
RECANT –   Insert CA (Chartered Accountant) into a regular payment of RENT – RECANT means to unsay what has been said.

3d           Left after second game (5)
SPORT –   A very simple charade S (second) followed by (after in a down clue) PORT (the left side of a ship).

4d           Dance a long time holding popular dancer (9)
BALLERINA –   A type of dancer – BALL plus ERA (long time) into which is inserted (holding) IN (popular).

5d           Again take up craft after break (7)
RESTART   To take up or begin again – REST (break) plus ART(craft).

6d           Conservative member to be upwardly mobile (5)
CLIMB –  To ascend, to be literally ‘upwardly mobile’ – C (Conservative) plus LIMB (a animal’s arm or wing,  known as a member).

7d           He was employed in a gory line (9)
LEGIONARY –  I liked this clue as it seemed to me to be a good description of a soldier who would have been employed to wound or kill the enemy, a very gory line of work!   It’s an anagram (employed) of A GORY LINE.

8d           Life cut short in crop I treated producing high output (8)
PROLIFIC – Insert the first three letters of LIF[E] into an anagram (treated) of CROP I.   I always think of Prolixic when I see this word, as his crossword puzzle production rate is very PROLIFIC.

13d         Instrument producing a combination of notes Scotsman heard (9)
ACCORDION – The second crossword appearance of this musical instrument in five days.  A homophone (heard) of both A CHORD (a combination of notes) and IAN (Scotsman).

14d         Woman kept fake tan source (9)
COURTESAN –  A kept woman is derived from an anagram (fake) of TAN SOURCE.   I won’t tell you how long I looked at this one before the penny dropped.

15d         One produces great paintings — ‘Mountain range endlessly shrouded in cloud’ … (8)
MURALIST –   Someone who produces very large paintings either on or to be attached to a wall.   Insert most of the Russian mountain range the URAL[S] into a MIST or cloud close to the ground.  I liked the way the wordplay looked like the title of a mural.

17d         … which is becoming odd after 1920s art style (7)
DECORUM – That which is decent or becoming –  DECO (the 1920s art style) plus RUM (odd, peculiar).

18d         Going in obnoxious mud get dirty mark (6)
SMUDGE –   A dirty blurred mark is hidden (going in) obnoxiouS MUD GEt .

20d         Note the church’s share (5)
TITHE –  The musical note TI followed by THE from the clue gives us a tenth part of the produce of land and stock taken as a tax by the church.

22d         Vehicle carrying a weight of gems (5)
CARAT – A unit of weight for gems Insert A (carrying A from the clue) into a CART (vehicle).

Thanks to the Mysteron for the crossword.   Changeover week next week so Gnomey will be back to review the Cephas puzzle.

4 comments on “DT 26864

  1. I don’t often still have this puzzle by the time the explanations are published, but think I enjoyed it and thank the compiler. And you too, Crypticsue, for the explanations. A propos of 10a, some time ago in a kitchen shop I came across a set of tiny measuring spoons labelled ‘a pinch’, ‘a smidgeon’ and ‘a dash’. Wish I could find it again! :-)

    1. I have one of those – very useful for a pinch of mustard in a cheese sauce. I think it was a Sainsbury’s ‘stocking filler’ item several Christmasses ago.

  2. A tiny point

    For 2d I think you mean Chartered Accountant rather than Chartered Account.

    Thanks for the review which I hardly found time to look at.

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