DT 26876 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26876

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26876

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Morning All!. I found this a good test for a Saturday and this was reflected in my solving time which might have edged the **** difficulty.

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1a           Apostle unknown to give church offence (6)
SIMONY – The apostle SIMON-Peter followed by Y for unknown The result it an accountancy offence in the Church buying or selling of an ecclesiastical benefice

4a           It helps to pick fruit to cover each tart alternately (8)
PLECTRUM – The small piece of plastic used to pick and strum a guitar (usually called a pick in the US). Place PLUM (fruit) around the alternate latters of EaCh TaRt.

10a         Lady Gaga fronts new singer-songwriter (5)
DYLAN –Bob DYLAN, the famous musician is found by taking and anagram (Gaga) of LADY and then adding N for New.

11a         Improvement towards end of game from one side (9)
LATERALLY – When read as (4,5) we get a LATE RALLY (an improvement in the final stages of a game). Altogether it means ‘from one side’.

12a         Report is about resistance supporter (7)
TRELLIS – TELL (report) and IS surrounding R for Resistance. A trellis supports your plants against a wall.

13a         Title Beatles’ leading pair composed (3,2,2)
LET IT BE – An all in one here – make an anagram (composed) of TITLE and BE (Beatles leading pair). Then read the whole clue again to get

14a         It improves appearance saving chairmen in trouble (9,5)
VANISHING CREAM – The stuff that improves the appearance of wrinkles is an anagram (in trouble) of SAVING CHAIRMAN.

17a         Badly ruled country not covered outside nanny state (6,8)
BANANA REPUBLIC – The badly run country is the definition. Place BARE (not covered) around NANA (nanny) and add PUBLICE for State (as in State Funeral).

21a         Cross member of Parliament’s last to redeem (7)
TRANSOM – A transom is a cross member or support in a (usually) timber frame. We need to the last letter of parliamenT and then RANSOM for redeem/save.

23a         Cooking ling Una provides help for chippy (4,3)
NAIL GUN – A reasonably well telegraphed anagram (cooking) of LING UNA gives the automatic nail dispenser that carpenters use.

24a         Recount memories about old cars with Civil Engineer (9)
REMINISCE – A charade of RE (about) MINIS (old cars) and CE (an abbreviation of Civil Engineer) leads to nostalgic memories amongst friends.

25a         River dweller heading off wizard (5)
OTTER – Nice and simple. Take the head off Harry POTTER to get a river dwelling mammal.

26a         Old TV game show featuring proverbial name-caller and his insult (3,5)
POT BLACK – For all you armchair snooker enthusiast from the late 70s. In the proverb, the POT (name caller) is calling the kettle BLACK.

27a         Developing more by early stage (6)
EMBRYO – An anagram (developing) of MORE BY gives a stage in foetal development. The surface reading is nice and coherent for me.



1d           Medicine case after some contents removed (8)
SEDATIVE – One for all you Latinistas out there .The medicine is one that knocks you out. Start with SomE with the internal letters (contents) removed then add the DATIVE case. Latin has Nominative, Accusative, Genetive, Dative and Ablative forms (cases) of words to convey their use (i.e. who did what to whom from where)

2d           Intend keeping in King’s mistress around for ages (9)
MILLENNIA – I put this in early but was troubled by the wordplay until I remembered the King’s consorts- Place AIM (intend) around the IN from the clue and NELL Gwynne – one of the mistresses of King Charles II. Then reverse the lot (indicated by ‘around’).

3d           Puzzle negative apparently (7)
NONPLUS – If something is negative it is presumable a NON PLUS which is also a verb meaning to puzzle.

5d           Aliens landed — let out by environmentalists (6,5,3)
LITTLE GREEN MEN – The definition here is Aliens (although the general concensus is that they would be Grey!). Start with LIT (landed/did alight) then make an anagram (out) of LET and follow that with GREEN MEN (environmentalists).

6d           Person in charge, mean fellow, upset work schedule (7)
CURATOR – A CUR (mean fellow) and a reversal (upset) of ROTA (a work schedule) leads to the person in charge of a museum for example.

7d           Soften having sacked indefinite number and hire again (5)
RELET – Remove the N (an indefinite number in algebra) from relent (soften) to get a word meaning ‘hire again’.

8d           Home Secretary’s border chaos (6)
MAYHEM – The situation of chaos can be created by taking Theresa MAY (the current Home Secretary) and adding HEM – an edge or border.

9d           Output of Brahms etc — miss one to soothe us entertained by highest of the brass (9,5)
CLASSICAL MUSIC – Brahms or any other composer from around the time. Place LASS (girl, I for One from the clue, CALM (soothe) and US from the clue inside the abbreviation for Commander In Chief (CIC – the top brass in the army).

15d         Fearsome beast dismembered gorilla and ate two-thirds (9)
ALLIGATOR – A fearsome water dwelling beast. Make an anagram (dismembered) of GORILLA and two thirds of ATe.

16d         Plan with arsenic involved coming to naught (8)
SCENARIO – An involved anagram of ARSENIC on front of O (naught) leads to a plan or stratagem.

18d         White Hart Lane’s rarely welcoming them — the reverse (7)
ARSENAL – Big Dave’s (and Tottenham’s) least favourite team can be found reversed inside LANES RArely. White Hart Lane is, as we all know, the home of Tottenham Hotspur.

19d         Peacekeepers provided men — mark what they wear (7)
UNIFORM – A charade of UN (United Nations), IF (provided), OR (Other Ranks or men in the army) and finally M for Mark. The result is what the aforementioned soldiers wear.

20d         Provoke heartless rider’s support (4,2)
STIR UP – A STIRRUP (rider’s support for the foot) with the middle or heart removed. When split as (4,2) means provoke or incite.

22d         Provide access to Cambridge college after present era (5)
ADMIT – The Cambridge here is Cambridge, Massachusetts and the college is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT. Add this to A.D., Anno Domini or the present era to get a verb meaning provide access to’.

Thanks must go to the setter for providing a fair but hard Prize Puzzle. You will see me in two weeks for the Sunday Installment.


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