DT 26912 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26912

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26912

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **/***Enjoyment **

Not quite as straightforward as some Saturday solves and I didn’t seem to have quite as much fun this week either, which, having written this review, I put down to the preponderance of charade clues.   

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1a           Guide’s turn of phrase (6)
SHERPA –   An anagram (turn) of PHRASE gives, not a seraph as many of us first thought, but a SHERPA, a Himalayan mountain guide.

4a           Having sign of damage to bodywork outside, watch sound racing vehicle (5,3)
STOCK CAR – A specially adapted and strengthened car used in races where collisions and damage are encouraged –   Insert  TOCK (the sound a watch makes when it isn’t ticking) into a SCAR (sign of damage).

10a         Bring on popular dog (5)
INCUR –  A simple charade of IN (popular) and CUR (a worthless dog) produce a verb meaning to bring on oneself.

11a         Person going to court having simple falling-out (9)
PLAINTIFF –  Another straightforward charade –  PLAIN (simple) and TIFF (a slight quarrel) go together to form a person who commences a law suit against another.

12a         Film director collapsed near island (7)
FELLINI –   And a third charade –    FELL IN (collapsed, gave way) and I (Island) make a famous Italian film director.

13a         Less interesting flannel (7)
FLATTER – A double definition (a) more flat, less interesting (b) treat with insincere praise and servile attention.

14a         Criminal began cruel hoax — it took in job-seekers (6,8)
LABOUR EXCHANGE –   An anagram (criminal) of BEGAN CRUEL HOAX gives us the former name of what we now call a Job Centre.

17a         Lor! boats finish in poor repair — not like this (7,7)
BRISTOL FASHION –   In poor repair indicates another anagram, this time of LOR BOATS FINISH.    This expression apparently comes from the port of Bristol’s reputation for efficiency in the days of sailing ships.

21a         Polish religious symbol represents point of no return (7)
RUBICON –   RUB (polish) plus ICON (religious symbol) represented or joined together make a point of no return, so called after the stream in Italy which, when crossed by Caesar, was said to be a virtual declaration of war from which there was no return.

23a Famous modern artist on hospital ward (7)
EMINENT –   The surname of the famous modern artist Tracy EMIN  goes together with ENT (the Ear, Nose and Throat Ward, where we all went to have our tonsils out) to produce an adjective meaning famous.

24a         Frightful chap with airs — I could be hypocritical (9)
PHARISAIC  –   Hypocritical like the Pharisees who were more concerned about the outward forms than the spirit of religion –  an anagram (frightful) of CHAP  AIRS and I.

25a         Surrey town produces, among others, exuberant actor (5)
EGHAM –  I bet I wasn’t the only one to wonder about Epsom, write in Esher, and then have to Tippex it out to put the correct Surrey town.   EG (among others, for example) and HAM (an actor who rants and overacts).

26a         Gave up job and agreed a new contract (8)
RESIGNED  –  Left one’s job or, if split 2-6, signed another contract.

27 This person’s subject fails to start, having defective vision (6)
MYOPIC – Being like me, and needing glasses to find my contact lenses!   MY (the first person  possessive pronoun) and [T]OPIC (a synonym for subject with its first letter missing [fails to start]).



1d           Funny lines fed TV comedian (8)
SEINFELD –  I am not going to join or continue  the debate about the funniness or otherwise of American TV programmes, just point out that an anagram (funny) of LINES FED gives the name of one of them.

2d           Former quality spoken of mythical brand (9)
EXCALIBUR –  The name of the sword (brand) used by King Arthur – EX (former) followed by a homophone (spoken of) of CALIBRE (quality or capacity).

3d           Site frequently visited — internet address that is in bar mostly (7)
PURLIEU –  Somewhere frequently visited, usually referring to places or land, but we would definitely link it to this Blog.   Insert into PU (most of a PU[B] or bar) URL (the abbreviation for the Uniform Resource Locator, the system of addresses for the World Wide Web) and IE (that is).

5d           ‘Hot’ trader’s dealings — one might get a ticket for it (7,7)
TRAFFIC OFFENCE –   Something for which a motorist might get a ticket if split 7, 2, 5 might describe the dealings (traffic) of [a] fence (someone who deals in stolen goods).

6d           Preserve farewell vocal work (7)
CANTATA –  CAN (preserve in a tin)  and TATA (an informal way of saying goodbye) go together to form a musical narrative performed by one person accompanied by a single instrument.

7d           Film star’s first name ex-president won’t take on (5)
CLINT – Removing the ON from the surname of President Bill CLINTon leaves us with the Christian name of the film star CLINT Eastwood.

8d           In favour of broaching old rock band to get together again (6)
REFORM –   Inserting FOR (in favour of) into a former rock band REM gives us a verb meaning to get together again.   This band has appeared in a lot of clues in  national  cryptics lately- are our setters all fans trying to get the band to reform?

9d           Something to go with tea caddies, woken up rudely (6-4,4)
UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE –  I usually have this as pudding with custard  but I am sure it would go equally nicely with tea.   An anagram (rudely) of CADDIES WOKEN UP.

15d         Take tiller for craft of girls’ organisation (9)
GUIDESHIP –   GUIDE (take the tiller) and SHIP (craft) merge to form the activities of a Girl Guide.

16d         A new sort of energy of the body (8)
ANATOMIC – Relating to the physical structure of a body – A (from the clue) N (new) and ATOMIC (a sort of energy).

18d         Plundering coarse material (7)
SACKING –  A double definition (a) plundering or devastating a city (b) coarse thick material used to make sacks.

19d         One German article penned by agent in untidy hand (7)
SPIDERY – Thin straggly writing –  Insert (penned by) into a SPY (agent)  I (one) and DER (the German word for the definite article).

20d         Fit rugby player has little hesitation (6)
PROPER – Fit, becoming or right –   PROP (one of the two forwards at the front end of a rugby scrum) and ER (a little word denoting hesitation).

22d         Horns coming from zebra’s skull (5)
BRASS –  A hidden word to finish – Horns are one of the instruments that form the BRASS section in an orchestra.   BRASS is hidden in (coming from ) zeBRAS Skull

All change again – I will be back in due course with Sunday reviews, leaving Gnomey to sort out the Saturday solutions.