DT 26996 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26996

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26996

A full review by gnomethang

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

Morning All!. I really enjoyed reviewing this puzzle. My solving time placed it in the ** category (but only just) but I found that I missed some of the pleasant neckwear along the way.

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           Cutter was turning jade first (7)
HACKSAW – A reversal of WAS preceded by (first) HACK, to jade , vex or hack off.

5a           Fool of a son taken in by knaves (7)
JACKASS – A and S(on) inside (taken in by) the KNAVES in a deck of cards.

9a           Being in charge one needs to be straight (5)
RULER – A simple double definition.

10a         Person investigating artist has cut round to enter uninvited (9)
GATECRASH – The TEC (short for detective) and RA (Royal Academician, artist) with GASH (cut) around the outside.

11a         Athlete has try to join club (4-6)
SHOT-PUTTER – A try is a SHOT and one golf club is a PUTTER. Join ‘em together!.

12a         Wild plant may be watered! (4)
WEED – The first definition is straight and the second is, ahem, the act of having micturated (watered).

14a         Common freedom enjoyed by Dusty (3-2-3-4)
RUN-OF-THE-MILL – Another definition plus cryptic def. The cryptic is he freedom enjoyed by Dusty, the flour-maker. No I don’t understand it either – Windy Miller I would get!

18a         The royal couple in grand flirtation (12)
PHILANDERING – The queen and her consort might be described as PHIL (Prince Philip) and E.R. (Elizabeth Regina). Add IN (from the clue) and G for Grand) to get the verb meaning playing the ‘field’.

21a         German song was deceptive (4)
LIED – Another double definition. The German for song is LIED (pronounced leet). The second definition is simply having told an untruth.

22a         Dressed like priest, one may get profit (10)
INVESTMENT – This time the cryptic definition comes first. A priest dressed in his robes is IN his VESTMENT. The second is what may turn a profit on the stock exchange for example.

25a         Who’s abandoned seat in bar? (9)
ABSTAINER – A very nice semi &Lit. An anagram (abandoned) of SEAT IN BAR perfectly describes one who has sworn of the booze.

26a         Italian with alluring air oddly rejected (5)
LUIGI – Remove the odd letters (oddly rejected) of aLlUrInG aIr to get the common Itaian name.

27a         Lugubrious donkey’s slightly rearranged hideous thing (7)
EYESORE – Start with EEYORE’S (the lugubrious donkey from Winnie the Pooh) and make a slight rearrangement.

28a         Trap for criminals set by volunteers, getting a nibble (7)
TASTING – A trap for criminals is a STING operation. Place this after (by) the abbreviation for Territorial Army (the volunteer fighting force).


1d           The woman’s promiscuous — not a minority view (6)
HERESY – HER (the woman’s) plus EaSY (promiscuous without the A).

2d           Herbivore eating everything that’s green (6)
CALLOW – A COW eating ALL (anything and everything). Callow is synonymous with green or ‘wet behind the ears’

3d           Rap cults mad about religious instruction according to the Bible (10)
SCRIPTURAL – A mad anagram of RAP CULTS surrounding RI – the abbreviation of Religious Instruction.

4d           Island where boat crew changes direction at the start (5)
WIGHT – A boat crew can be known as an EIGHT. Change the polar direction from E(ast) to W(est).

5d           One widely travelled black dog (3-6)
JET-SETTER – A pretty straightforward charade of JET (black) and SETTER (A dog)

6d           Company taking care of palm tree (4)
COCO – CO for the abbreviation of Company and C/O the abbreviation for Care Of on a letter.

7d           Directed a chartered accountant to make cutback in universities (8)
ACADEMIA – A very good surface reading. Reverse (make a cutback) of AIMED A CA (directed a C(hartered) A(ccountant)

8d           List including first of down clues he rehashed (8)
SCHEDULE – You need to read the clue the other way round here!. The first letter of Down is included on an anagram (rehashed) of CLUES HE.

13d         Kansas belt turned out abnormally tall plants (10)
BEANSTALKS – An anagram (turned out abnormally) of KANSAS BELT. Of course the definition might include ‘abnormally’ as well since ‘turned out’ is equally viable as an anagram indicator.

15d         Artillery keeping independent regulation (9)
ORDINANCE – ORDNANCE (artillery) with an I (an abbreviation of Independent) included. Two words that are often confused!

16d         What’s fallen out from small sack (8)
SPILLAGE – S for small and PILLAGE for sack or ransack.

17d         Landlord with infestation seen redeveloping (8)
LICENSEE – The infestation is of LICE. Add an anagram (redeveloping) of SEEN

19d         Something valuable in one’s house (6)
GEMINI – The apostrophe ‘s is there to confuse you – here it means IS. So the GEM (something valuable) goes before IN (from the clue) and I for one) with the understanding that it means (IS or ‘S) a major house in the zodiac.

20d         Police leader once detaining first of race horses (6)
STRING – A tricky little clue but helped by the checking letters. Firstly a number of racehorses in a stable is known as a STRING. Secondly the former singer/bass guitarist of the band The Police is known as STING. Add the first letter in R(ace) in the middle (detaining).

23d         Feel sorry for headless bird (5)
EGRET – Remove the first letter (headless) from (r)EGRET (feel sorry)

24d         Decline old pudding (4)
SAGO – A lovely clue – SAG (decline) and O for Old.

 I’m going to consult the Almanac to figure out when I am on next (1st November!) and then prepare to buy Crypticsue more lunch at the Times Crossword Championship on Saturday. Thanks to the setter (It felt like a Cephas) and I’ll see you all on the ‘blog.

7 comments on “DT 26996

  1. I enjoyed this one. Thanks to the setter (Mr RON?) and gnomey for the review.
    I think that the jade in 1a is meant to be a noun (a worn-out horse) rather than a verb.

    1. Thanks gazza ! An unfamiliar def for me but having looked it up you must, as ever, be correct.

  2. Yes me too, thanks for review gnomey, I always forget to thank you and sue and you both put a lot of effort into it :-)

  3. Hi gnomey

    Nice review of a nice puzzle.
    Jade was a new one for me as well but it’s now in the hard drive in case it comes up again :grin:

    Thanks also to Mr Ron.

    PS There’s a lot (lke thousands) of 23d’s around here!

    1. Hi xtw2 , welcome to the blog. YOu are right of course, I just wasn’t aware that Dusty was applied widely for a flour maker.

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