DT 26930 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26930

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26930

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Cephas returned with a nice Saturday prize pangram with an enjoyable mix of clues, including his favourite anagrams; the clue at 3d being, for me, the main reason why the puzzle was slightly trickier than usual.

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1a           Pastime in which jazz fans rock (4-6)
CATS-CRADLE –  A charade of CATS (a slang term for jazz fans) and CRADLE (to rock a baby) combine to make a children’s  game played with a loop of string.

6a           Virginia goes east of Jamaica to arrive at another island (4)
JAVA –   Following JA (Jamaica) with VA (the abbreviation for the State of Virginia) , we arrive at the Indonesian island of JAVA.

9a           Weak father’s trouble (5)
FRAIL –  Weak, feeble and infirm – FR (abbreviation for a religious father and AIL (trouble)

10a         Poor reception that comes after a roasting? (9)
CRACKLING –  A double definition –  the noises that might spoil a radio broadcast where one has poor reception of the signal or that treat which is part of a dish of roast pork – the best bit but not so easy to eat when living with a vegetarian!

12a         We say he spilled rubbish (7)
EYEWASH – An anagram (spilled) of WE SAY HE makes an informal term for rubbish or nonsense.

13a         Vehicle comes in silver, not reversing (5)
TONGA – A light two-wheeled Indian vehicle –   A reversal of NOT (from the clue) and AG (the chemical symbol for silver).

15a         Crazy, one may enter into ‘I do’ — that’s spontaneous reaction (7)
IDIOTIC –   Crazy or foolish.    Insert I into I DO and follow with TIC,  an involuntary habitual response.

16a         Tried again, it being harder, surprisingly, to accept a point (7)
REHEARD –  Insert E (the compass point East) into an anagram (surprisingly) of HARDER to get part of a verb meaning to have tried (a court case) again.

18a         Token loan arranged, covering very short time (7)
NOMINAL –   Token or hardly more than a matter of form – an anagram (arranged) of LOAN into which is inserted a MIN (a short [abbreviated] way of referring to that short period of time, the minute).

20a         Examine second tent first (7)
CANVASS – To scrutinise in order to establish validity.   CANVAS (tent) and S (second).

21a         Boys quibbled about firework (5)
SQUIB –  Hidden in boyS QUIBbled is a noisy firework.

23a         Ape fractured gas main (7)
SIAMANG –  Another anagram (fractured) this time of GAS MAIN makes a large black gibbon which obviously hasn’t appeared in many cryptics before as no-one appeared to know it.

25a         Offensive former pupil’s poisonous (9)
OBNOXIOUS –  Offensive and objectionable – OB (old boy, ex pupil of a school) and NOXIOUS (poisonous).

26a         Gorgeous food, then finish off jelly (5)
DISHY – An informal term for gorgeous or very attractive – DISH (food) and the end (finish) of jellY.

27a         Amusing adventure for early riser (4)
LARK –  A lovely double definition –  the name one of the first birds to sing in the morning also means the type of amusing adventure that children used to have in stories in my childhood.

28a         Profit from centre-page spread (10)
PERCENTAGE –  An anagram (spread) of CENTRE PAGE makes an informal term for a profit or commission on a sale.



1d           Slap on the wrist? (4)
CUFF –   A light blow with the open hand; a covering for the wrist, or a cryptic definition of  a handcuff??

2d           Figure of Zulu surrounded by rampaging emu and tapir (9)
TRAPEZIUM – A geometrical figure –  put a Z (Zulu represents Z in the NATO Alphabet,) into an anagram (rampaging) of EMU and TAPIR.

3d           Charity case? (10,3)
COLLECTING BOX –  Several of us thought the first word might be collection, until of course we found we couldn’t solve 18a.   A cryptic definition of a case for receiving donations of money for charity.

4d           Old-fashioned cunning tops rising US agency (7)
ARCHAIC –  Old-fashioned  but not quite obsolete – ARCH (cunning, shrewd) on top of a reversal (rising) of the CIA.

5d           Allow that woman to carry a strap (7)
LEATHER –  Inserting A (carry a) into an instruction to LET HER produces another way of saying punish with a strap.

7d           Foreigner having a right to property (5)
ALIEN –   Foreign or belonging elsewhere – A (from the clue) and LIEN (right to retain possession to property).

8d           Four-figure sum one’s in time to make greater (10)
AGGRANDISE  –  To make or seem to make greater.   Insert a GRAND (a slang term for a 1,000 pounds or dollars, a four figure sum) and IS (one’s) into AGE (time).

11d         Blooming Kate, drenching vegetable patch! (7,6)
KITCHEN GARDEN –  A patch for cultivating vegetables for the kitchen, especially in a larger house or stately home.   An anagram (blooming) of KATE DRENCHING.

14d         Soft seat? (5,5)
PIANO STOOL –   I don’t think I have ever sat on a soft piano stool… however, PIANO  is the musical instruction for soft and a STOOL is a type of seat.

17d         Fermented ales again causing no pain (9)
ANALGESIA –  The anagram indicator fermented tell us to rearrange ALES AGAIN to get the formal way of saying painlessness.

19d         Supple, furry plant turns up in fiction (7)
LISSOME –  Supple and flexible.    The simplest form of fiction, a LIE with a reversal (turns up in a down clue)  of MOSS inserted.

20d         College girl in charge of masterpiece (7)
CLASSIC –  A charade – C (college) plus LASS (girl) plus IC (in charge) – a masterpiece or something of established excellence.

22d         Delightful, narrow girdles of bone (5)
ULNAR –   Hidden in delightfUL NARrow is a word meaning relating to one of the bones in the arm

24d         Instrument for one inventing stories for audience (4)
LYRE –  a homophone to finish –  what sounds like someone who invents stories is actually an ancient Greek musical instrument similar to a harp.

Thanks to Cephas for another enjoyable Saturday puzzle.   See you next week with a review of the Saturday Mysteron’s prize puzzle.