DT 26966

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26966

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I seem to have spent a lot of time on this puzzle, first solving it, then giving the Hints and Tips on Saturday and finally (and unexpectedly) having to sit down and prepare the review.   Thank you to Cephas for a  trickier  puzzle than we are used to with a much lower anagram count than usual.   I seem to have had a lot more fun with it third time round!

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.  You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a Attractive romantic heroine about to be possessed (6)
CATCHY  – the Latin abbreviation for about C (circa) should be inserted into CATHY, the heroine of Wuthering Heights to produce an adjective meaning attractive.

4a Platform for small restaurant, some say, to get touted around (8)
SCAFFOLD –  A colloquial term for a greasy spoon establishment – CAFF – is inserted into SOLD (touted around) to get, as Chambers says,  a raised platform, eg for performers, spectators or executions.

9a Dig out food on table? (4,2)
GRUB UP –  Double definition – to dig or search in the dirt or a slang expression meaning that your dinner is ready.

10a Eagerly waiting for rum to pine to (2,6)
ON TIPTOE – Literally or figuratively ON TIPTOE through excitement.   An anagram (rum) of TO PINE TO.

11a Unwell between the sheets yet supposed to be taking part (6)
BILLED – On the line up for, eg, a variety show.   Insert ILL into BED (literally between the sheets ).

12a Joy‘s plant, left by bishop (8)
EUPHORIA –   Simply remove the B for bishop from EUPHOR[B]IA to get a garden plant.

14a Party politician may pen article spilling secrets (10)
REVELATORY – Spilling secrets, revealing or enlightening.   REVEL (party) + A (article penned or inserted) + TORY (politician).

18a High-flier’s song which holds the opening to top places to see stars (10)
PLANETARIA –  PLANE (high flier) T (the ‘opening’ of Top) and ARIA (song).

22a Clubman sounds revolutionary! (8)
ROTARIAN –  A member of a Rotary Club sounds like someone who might rotate or turn round like a wheel.

23a Pretty self-contained — nice conversion (6)
SCENIC –  SC (the abbreviation for self-contained, although Chambers has this as S/C) followed by an anagram (conversion) of NICE.

24a Clock off and take care! (5,3)
WATCH OUT –  A cryptic/double definition.

25a Treacle endlessly refined to make booze (6)
CLARET –  Remove the last letter (endlessly) from TREACL[E] and then rearrange the remaining letters (refined) to get a type of wine, the drinkers of which would probably never refer to it as “booze”.

26a Allowed to break silence before start of day (8)
LICENSED –  Allowed or officially permitted – an anagram (to break) of SILENCE followed by the first letter (start) of Day.

27a Sneering single man’s in charge (6)
IRONIC –  I (one) RON (man) and IC (In Charge).



1d Songster that has been barred (4-4)
CAGE BIRD – A cryptic definition of a bird such as a canary or budgie that has been put into a cage.

2d Right-o, sweetheart! (8)
TRUELOVE – TRUE (right) plus LOVE (O in a tennis score, nothing)

3d Hearts up front — ordinary, needing to exploit crafty winger (8)
HOUSEFLY –   So crafty you can never quite hit it with a rolled up Daily Telegraph!   H (hearts) O (ordinary) USE (exploit) and FLY (sly, surreptitious or knowing).

5d Agree periodic payment is coming together (10)
CONCURRENT –  Coming together simultaneously –  CONCUR (agree) plus RENT (periodic payment for something).

6d It comes between one landing and the next (6)
FLIGHT – the landings here being those of an aeroplane.

7d Yogurts carry evenly separated elements, causing complaint (6)
OUTCRY – A loud cry of complaint or protest is found in the alternate letters (evenly separated elements) of yOgUrTs CaR Y.

8d Bird following river in twittering host on air (6)
DEEJAY –  Lovely definition!    Follow the River DEE with a JAY (bird).

13d A time and place — rest will go round old city when one likes (2,8)
AT PLEASURE – When or if one pleases.   A (from the clue) T (time) PL (place) followed by EASE (rest) into which has been inserted the old Biblical city of UR, the result split 2, 8.

15 Fusspot left label outside (8)
STICKLER – A pernicious insister – simply insert L (left) inside a STICKER or label.

16d Number of copies made from photograph on course (5,3)
PRINT RUN – A simple charade – PRINT (photograph) plus RUN (course).

17d Drug needed on Arctic manoeuvres (8)
NARCOTIC –  An anagram (manoeuvres) of ON ARCTIC.

19d Scoop: Rex to appear in something absorbing (6)
TROWEL –  A scoop-shaped garden tool –   Insert R (Rex) into a TOWEL (an absorbent cloth).

20d Stationary in street, meeting a jerk (6)
STATIC –  ST (street) A (from the clue) and TIC (jerk)

21d Waif‘s staggering, topless … and bottomless (6)
URCHIN –   Remove the first and last letters (topless and bottomless) from [L]URCHIN[G] to get a waif-like mischievous child.

Luckily for Gnomey I take careful note of the weekend blogging rota, so when I read the epilogue of his review of the Sunday puzzle where he fondly imagined he didn’t have to blog a Saturday puzzle until next week, I emailed him .  His response was ‘Eeek!’  and as he still had an awful lot of work to finish  on Thursday evening, here I am again!