DT 26894 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26894

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26894

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Morning All! We had a reasonable stiff test for a Saturday puzzle and a standout clue for me at 11d.

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1a           Gardener’s skill? (10)
CAPABILITY – The nickname of Lancelot Brown, the famous 18th Century landscape gardner which also means skill. Unlike Berthold Stuttley (Bloody Stupid) Johnson from Discworld fame.

6a           Injure limb after start of holiday (4)
HARM – Ones ARM after the starting letter of Holiday for ‘Injusre’.

9a           Noble descent takes precedence in medical analysis (5,5)
BLOOD COUNT – The noble is the COUNT and the descent is BLOOD (as in blood line). The medical analysis is the definition.

10a         One way to make the food go round (4)
STIR – A mildly cryptic definition to make us think of rationing rather than cooking.

12a         This person gets seconds in dining room (4)
MESS – A dining room for army personal. This person is ME and then add SS for Seconds in the plural.

13a         Sporting contest cut short means 50-50 (4,5)
EVEN MONEY – 50-50 is an EVEN MONEY bet. Remove the last letter from EVEN(T) and then follow with MONEY for means/wherewithal.

15a         Write name above building in America (8)
PENTAGON – The Headquarters of the US Defence Department. A charade of PEN (write), TAG (slang for name) and ON (above).

16a         Manual rewritten by former female student (6)
ALUMNA – The male former University student is an ALMUNUS and the female is ALUMNA. Make a rewritten anagram of MANUAL.

18a         Beginner needs to get a grip? (6)
NOVICE – A beginner or learner. The cryptic definition suggests that someone who need lacks a grip and needs one must have NO VICE.

20a         Sappers apt to be trustworthy (8)
RELIABLE – Start with the abbreviation for the Royal Engineers (Sappers) and add LIABLE (apt or likely) to get a word meaning trustworthy.

23a         Going at a moderate pace one after another (2,3,4)
ON THE TROT – Another cryptic definition plus definition. The first, going at a moderate pace refers to trotting on a horse (as opposed to a slower walk or a faster canter). The second means ‘one after another’ or ‘on the spin/bounce’.

24a         Go round wizard home in Mediterranean island (4)
GOZO – Place GO around OZ (the wonderful wizard’s home) to get the name of the Island just, er, North of Malta.

26a         The Parisian female at home, stretched out (4)
LAIN – Prone or stretched out (in the past tense) is the definition. A charade of LA (The female definite article in Paris (France) and IN (at home, not out).

27a         Uncommon part of speech following a capital start (6,4)
PROPER NOUN – This part of speech is always capitalised at the start and is not common (as are all the others!).

28a         Not wholly courageous during storm (4)
RAGE – A word for storm (in anger) is hidden in part of (not wholly) couRAGEous.

29a         Light malt Peter’s brewed (10)
STREETLAMP – Your roadside light in an anagram (appositely indicated for the surface reading by brewed) of MALT PETERS


1d           Island reporter covers America (4)
CUBA – A junior reporter is a CUB. Put him over A for America to get an Island that is a bit too close to America given its political persuasion!

2d           Peg about to make sharper radio show (5-2)
PHONE-IN – A radio show where people call in to make comments. Place HONE (to make sharper) inside PIN (A Leg or peg in the vernacular).

3d           One who has committed a grave offence (4,8)
BODY SNATCHER – A nice cryptic definition of a grave robber.

4d           Stable — but it could fall off the back of a lorry (5,3)
LOOSE BOX – A loose box is a stable where the horses are kept untied. A loose (badly strapped down) box on a lorry might easily fall off the back!.

5d           Pedlar or potter? (6)
TINKER – Two definitions here: A pedlar of goods is a tinker and so is someone who tinkers or potters around in a garden shed or workshop.

7d           Not many reformed — plenty will make an example here (7)
ANTONYM – I’ll borrow Big Dave’s clue from the day: “An anagram (re-formed) of NOT MANY gives a word opposite in meaning, like plenty is to not many”

8d           One revels in tight score, getting runs (10)
MERRYMAKER – A reveller or wassailer or carouser. A charade of MERRY (tight/drunk) then MAKE (score) followed by R for Runs from the cricket abbreviation.

11d         Becoming suspicious of ratings all mutinying around me (8,1,3)
SMELLING A RAT – An anagram (mutinying) of RATINGS ALL around the outside of ME gives a phrase meaning ‘becoming suspicious’. A top clue with the surface reading describing the rat that is watching all the sailors (ratings) preparing to leave.

14d         One having a turn on the pitch (4,6)
SPIN BOWLER – A gentle cryptic definition of a bowler who turns his arm over and spins his wrist on the cricket pitch.

17d         The continental coin having risen first 100-fold (8)
CENTUPLE – First take a CENT (foreign coin) and UP (having risen) then add LE – French (continental) for ‘THE’. The result is a word meaning 100-fold or ‘multiplied by 100’.

19d         Issuing a refusal to not give freely (7)
VETOING – The definition is ‘issuing a refusal’ or overriding a judgement with the power of veto (refusal). Make an anagram (freely) of NOT GIVE.

21d         Graduate’s last letter: ‘Nothing’s fine’ — found with a deadly weapon (7)
BAZOOKA – A long charade comprised of a number of abbreviations: BA (graduate), Z (The last letter of the alphabet), O (Nothing), OK (fine) and finally A from the clue.  The result is a deadly weapon fired from the shoulder.

22d         Boring nonsense that may bring the house down? (3,3)
DRY ROT – A charade of DRY (boring) and ROT (nonsense) gives the structural condition that might cause your timber beams to fail and cause your house to collapse.

25d         Picture cards (4)
SNAP  – A nice double definition to finish with: A picture taken on a camera and a game of cards for children

Thanks to Cephas for a fun puzzle with some cracking clues. I’ll see you all next Friday.



2 comments on “DT 26894

  1. Thanks, really enjoyed this one. Re 27a does Proper also refer to ‘not common’??

    1. Hi Kevin, you are right. I was trying to convey everything all at once and failed!

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