DT 26978 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26978

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26978

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

I didn’t think I could possibly solve a crossword quicker than a time I am not allowed to mention here, but Saturday morning proved that apparently I can.  The perfect puzzle for what was supposedly the last nice day of the summer, a quick solve and then out to enjoy some lovely sunshine.

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  Foremost of ladies always will take time to make purchase (8)
LEVERAGE – L (foremost letter) of Ladies plus EVER (always) and AGE (time).

5a Hangover from the freeze (6)
ICICLE –  A cryptic description of a tapering piece of ice formed by the freezing of dropping water.

9a Thin mist obscured metalworker (8)
TINSMITH – An anagram (obscured) of THIN MIST.

10a New Testament taken from monastic rambling of Biblical character? (6)
MOSAIC –  Relating to Moses in the Old Testament.   Remove NT (New Testament) from MONASTIC and make an anagram (rambling) of the remaining letters.

11a Try to include the whole vegetable (7)
SHALLOT –  SHOT (try) with ALL (whole) included or inserted.

12a Basil with group outside, getting fizzy drink (7)
SHERBET –  Insert HERB (basil being an example of a herb) into SET (group).

13a One’s not conscious of his progress (11)
SLEEPWALKER –   A cryptic definition of a somnambulist.

16a Vehicle taking wife and cad to Cumbrian town (11)
WHEELBARROW –  W (wife) HEEL (cad) and BARROW (Cumbrian town).

21a Bird enthusiast wants dog (7)
FANTAIL –  FAN (enthusiast) needing (wants) TAIL (dog, follow) to be added to get a type of domestic pigeon.

22a Double misfortune, receiving Western hostility (3-4)
ILL-WILL –  Two lots of ILL (double misfortune) with W (western) inserted.

23a Collapse caused by calcium meeting artery? (4,2)
23a Collapse caused by calcium meeting blood vessel? (4,2) [revised clue]
CAVE IN –   CA (the chemical symbol for calcium) plus VEIN (yes we know it isn’t an artery, but Chambers does say that, loosely, it can refer to any blood vessel).  Following the posts on the blog about this clue, Phil McNeil, the DT Crossword Editor, has said that it will be tweaked for the online archive version of this crossword.   As and when it is changed, I will add the revised clue.  [Revised clue has been added.  BD]

24a Emergency measures to make tree steady (5,3)
FIRST AID  –  FIR (tree) plus STAID (steady or sedate) rearranged 5,3.

25a Signed revised plan (6)
DESIGN – An obvious anagram (revised) of SIGNED.

26a Shopkeeper disinclined to get in ground rice (8)
CLOTHIER – A person who makes or sells cloth or clothes.   Insert LOTH (disinclined) into an anagram (ground) of RICE.


1d News of the French sports fixture (6)
LATEST –   The LATEST news –  LA (the in French) and TEST (sports fixture).

2d Val literally a hooligan! (6)
VANDAL –   A hooligan who wantonly damages property is literally made from  V AND A L, the letters of V A L.

3d Capital’s co-founder rebuilt our slum (7)
ROMULUS –  One of the twins said to have founded Rome – an anagram (rebuilt) of OUR SLUM.

4d Fail to visit one of the fortifications (2,2,3,4)
GO TO THE WALL – A visit to Hadrian’s wall, perhaps, also means to fail or go under.

6d Disease is caught — cut short holiday time (7)
CHOLERA – C (caught in a cricket score) HOL (short holiday) and ERA (time).

7d Make a hash of meal back in US picnic (8)
CLAMBAKE –  The second appearance of this picnic/party in recent weeks.   An anagram (make a hash) of MEAL BACK.

8d Alien comes to create upset and so on (8)
ETCETERA –   ET (alien, extra terrestrial) followed by an anagram (upset) of CREATE.

12d Splendid to be seen with Parisian here in Cornish river, on the surface (11)
SUPERFICIAL –   SUPER (splendid) plus the Cornish river FAL into which is inserted ICI (here in Paris, and the rest of France too).

14d Insincere pair confronted (3-5)
TWO-FACED –    Double dealing without the hyphen  might describe two people looking directly at each other.

15d Man on top of island’s mountain (3,5)
BEN NEVIS –  The highest mountain in the British Isle s-  BEN (man) followed by (on top of) the Caribbean Island of NEVIS, one of the Lesser Antilles.

17d Letting outspoken general make notes (7)
LEASING –  LEA, a homophone (outspoken) of General LEE followed by SING (make notes).

18d Firmly established source on film location (4-3)
WELL-SET – Firmly fixed or strongly built – WELL (source [of water, oil] and SET (film location).

19d Kay and I with Gail travelling from African city (6)
KIGAL I –   K (Kay) I (from the clue) and an anagram (travelling) of GAIL make the capital of Rwanda in Africa.

20d Grand being on top, and on Queen’s aircraft (6)
GLIDER – G (grand) LID (top) and ER (the cipher of our current Queen).

Thanks to Cephas for a nice Saturday puzzle, with the usual inventive anagram indicators – one for the old hands with too much other stuff to fit in to a weekend, and a straightforward enough puzzle for introducing newcomers to the art of cryptic solving.