DT 26990 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26990

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26990

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Morning All! A bit like the Sunday puzzle I reviewed yesterday, this one was a pretty fast solve but I very much enjoyed going over it again. There were some very nice, concise clues that made me smile.

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           Cavalryman drops round, smart — one’s all aflutter (9)
DRAGONFLY – DRAGO(o)N is a cavalryman. Lose an O and add FLY for smart or arch.

9a           Movement provides topic for debate (6)
MOTION – Two definitions.

10a         Master of strategy showing diplomacy in charge of Scotsman (9)
TACTICIAN – A charade of TACT (diplomacy), IC (an abbreviation of In Charge) and IAN – a common Scottish name.

11a         Drawing second boat (6)
SKETCH – S for second plus KETCH (a small boat)

12a         Some hated building this house (9)
HOMESTEAD – An anagram (building) of SOME HATED

13a         Was successful with left-wing backing, it’s a miracle (6)
WONDER – WON (was successful) plus a reversal of RED (left-wing when backed up)

17a         Form of worship (3)
PEW – A lovely elegant cryptic definition. One needs to remember that a form is also a couch or seat.

19a         Jester’s desire — amusement sparked by a sentence? (8,2,5)
LAUGHTER IN COURT – What a jester hopes to do and also a possible reaction after a verdict and sentence.

20a         Skill seen in party piece (3)
ART – The answer is hidden in a piece of the word pARTy.

21a         Ring the woman in strife (6)
WASHER – SHE (the woman) in WAR (strife)

25a         Risk these days putting outlet by river (9)
ADVENTURE – Another charade, this time of AD (Anno Domini – these days), VENT (an outlet or opening) and the common Crosswordland river URE.

26a         Creatively, I tarry — that’s not common (6)
RARITY – A creative anagram of I TARRY.

27a         One’s in one country or another (9)
INDONESIA – Does what it says n the tin!. Place ONES (fully though not as I’s!) inside INDIA

28a         Cricket side getting part of the wicket out temporarily? (2,4)
ON BAIL – Cricketing knowledge required (although not loads). Add the BAIL (one of two on a wicket) to the ON side (not the OFF side).

29a         Gambler tours Bath perhaps to dish the dirt? (9)
BESPATTER – Bath is an example (indicated by perhaps) of a SPA town. Place that inside a BETTER (gambler)


2d           Sanity found in ‘About a Boy’? (6)
REASON – Split as (2,1,3) and remember that RE: is one of those abbreviations for about (along with CA and C).

3d           Collect two articles in Greece (6)
GATHER – A and THE (two articles) in GR, the IVR code for Greece.

4d           Tiny reforms accommodating this Parisian’s subtle point (6)
NICETY – An anagram (reforms) of TINY with CE (meaning this in France)

5d           Conduct the conga and cause mischief? (4,1,5,5)
LEAD A MERRY DANCE – The first the cryptic definition, the second the straight one.

6d           Male fish or insect (9)
COCKROACH – COCK for male (as opposed to hen for female) and the ROACH.

7d           Active Fifties teenager’s gone to get equipped (6,3)
FITTED OUT – A charade of FIT (active/able), TED (Teddy Boy, a 1950s teenager) and OUT (Gone, not at home).

8d           Hermit as a result of her action, sadly (9)
ANCHORITE – A sad anagram of HER ACTION gives an eremite or hermit.

14d         Fellow’s let down over drug in plant container (9)
FLOWERPOT – F(ellow) followed by LOWER (let down) and POT (grass/weed)

15d         Sign up to be an underwriter? (9)
SUBSCRIBE – any character below the normal line is a SUBSCRIPT so we have SUB- as a prefix meaning under then SCRIBE for a writer.

16d         Head of clan requires cook to admit one before volunteers get in (9)
CHIEFTAIN – I for One inside CHEF (cook) followed by TA (the abbreviation for Territorial Army – the volunteer regiment) and finally IN from the clue.

17d         Most of the fruit or vegetable (3)
PEA – All but the last letter of PEA(r).

18d         Possessing endless ingenuity (3)
WITH – All but the last letter of WIT(h) meaning possessing or having.

22d         Get back from playing area with love in the air (6)
RECOUP – We need to remember the old scrap of ground that we used to play football on – the REC(reation ground). Then add O for love and UP for ‘in the air’.

23d         Frisky setter’s way (6)
STREET – Nice an succinct. A frisky anagram of SETTER for a byway.

24d         Boating teams discussed pleasure trip (6)
CRUISE – A homophone (indicated by discussed) of CREWS.


I’ll see you all next Friday for the next Saturday Prize Puzzle review.