DT 29826 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29826

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29826

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 6th Nov 2021

BD Rating –Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. A pretty straightforward and enjoyable Saturday puzzle from Chalicea that I liked solving. I now present to you a review of the same for your kind perusal and valuable feedback.

The word mahatma, the answer to the clue of 23a and having its etymology in the Sanskrit maha meaning great and atma meaning soul, is celebrated today because of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the political ethicist who employed non-violent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India’s independence from British rule and inspire movements across the world for civil rights and freedom. He became the ‘great-souled’ or ‘venerable’ when the honorific ‘Mahatma’ was first bestowed upon him in 1914 in South Africa, where he first employed non-violent resistance in a campaign for civil rights. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi not only became Mahatma Gandhi forever, the word ‘mahatma’ itself became a household word throughout the world.

I wanted to know more about corgi, the answer to the clue of 26a, and so obtained a lot of information from the net. Corgi is a small type of herding dog that originated in Wales. The name is derived from the Welsh words ‘cor’ meaning ‘dwarf’ and ‘ci’ meaning ‘dog; the latter being mutated to ‘gi’. There are two separate breeds – the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, each named for the county in Wales where it originated. The Cardigan is larger, both in weight and in height, and has a larger nose. However, the Pembroke became more popular because the Queen has personally owned more than 30 of the dogs which were either pure-bred Pembroke Welsh Corgis or crossbred Corgi-Dachshund known as ‘Dorgis’. Corgis are friendly, outgoing and intelligent dogs suitable for owners with different lifestyles. They need a moderate amount of exercise but will not mind even if the owners appear to be more active.

The numbers and genders of the Italian grammar have always fascinated me and I came across some Italian words while solving this puzzle. Learning needs no boundaries. I fondly took a trip down memory lane of not very long ago when Signora Tandrima Nandy, who was then even less than half my age, was teaching me the grammar of that language in the institute where I had enrolled myself for a course of a duration of a year and a half. She was very dedicated as a teacher, me too as a student. The other students having left seriatim, I was the only one to complete the course. While solving this puzzle, I found myself cultivating ‘signora’ for part of the wordplay of the clue of 7d, viz., Italian lady to arrive at the answer and the other names – il signore (the gentleman), la signora (the lady), i signori (the gentlemen) and le signore (the ladies) – immediately flashed into my mind. I was also aware of timpano as the singular of timpani, the answer to the clue of 19d. But now I got to know that torsi, the answer to the clue of 24d, is the plural of torso; the singular form being already known to me long back.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Reformed bachelor’s wife or, some say, what life could be (1,4,2,8)
A BOWL OF CHERRIES: An anagram (reformed) of BACHELOR’S WIFE OR leads to the definition of a life that is full of pleasure and enjoyment, according to some people (some say), since some people uses this expression with a negative connotation when commenting on an unpleasant or difficult situation that life in not such

8a Arrange a band for the audience (5)
ALIGN: A from the clue followed by a long, narrow mark or LINE (band) as a homophone heard by the listeners (for the audience) take to the definition of a verb meaning to place or arrange things in a straight line

9a Comprehensive to visit informally when head departs (3-5)
ALL-ROUND: To pay a short informal visit or [C]ALL ROUND (visit informally) with the removal of the head or first letter (when head departs) leads to the definition of an adjective meaning all-inclusive or dealing with or including everything

11a Haunt Chinese ethnic group with painful disease (7)
HANGOUT: A charade of HAN (Chinese ethnic group) as the native Chinese people and (with) GOUT (painful disease) as a complex form of arthritis causing severe attacks of pain, with swelling, especially of the big toe, takes to the colloquial definition of a place one lives in or frequently visits

12a Food supplier of three queens? (7)
CATERER: The definition of a person or company providing food and drink at a social event or other gathering is arrived at from a charade of CAT, ER and ER (three queens), where the first queen is an adult female CAT, the second queen is the abbreviation ER standing for Elizabeth Regina, the name taken on by Queen Elizabeth upon ascending the throne; the word ‘regina’ being the Latin term for queen and the third is the repetition of the second, that is, ER

13a Characters enthralled by gold English antique (5)
OLDEN: Part of or hidden inside (characters enthralled by) gOLD ENglish takes to the definition of an adjective meaning belonging to ancient times

15a Jazz fans holding a thorough search for dark passages (9)
CATACOMBS: CATS (jazz fans) as a slang term for jazz enthusiasts having inside (holding) a combo of A from the clue and COMB (thorough search) as careful and methodical search, arriving at the definition of a series of ancient underground passages and rooms where bodies, particularly those of Christian victims of persecution, were buried

17a Understand concern, not small, about public relations (9)
INTERPRET: INTERE[S]T (concern) as the advantage, benefit, business or importance of a person or group without the letter S (not small) that serves as the abbreviation for small, around (about) PR (public relations) as the relations between an organisation and the public, taking to the definition of a verb denoting to take to mean any information or action

20a Criminal act of clergyman (not foremost of priests) (5)
ARSON: A beneficed member of the clergy or [P]ARSON (clergyman) without the letter P (not foremost of priests) that serves as the foremost or initial letter of priests, leading to the definition of a criminal act of maliciously and feloniously setting fire to property

21a Type of cocktail losing crushed ice in shaky locomotive (7)
MOLOTOV: An anagram (shaky) of LO[C]OMOT[I]V[E] wherefrom the letters CIE, being an anagram (crushed) of ICE, is being taken away (losing), arriving at the definition of a type of cocktail that is not an alcoholic drink but rather a crude form of hand grenade consisting of a bottle filled with flammable liquid and with a means of ignition just before the missile is thrown

23a Mother crossing heart now and then for revered leader (7)
MAHATMA: MAMA (mother) as a childish contraction for mother blocking (crossing) the alternate letters (now and then) of H[E]A[R]T, taking to the definition of the name of a religious sage or a wise and holy leader

25a Partly ban a thematic thing one loathes (8)
ANATHEMA: Part of or hidden inside (partly) bAN A THEMAtic leads to the definition of a noun meaning something or someone that one abhors or vehemently dislikes

26a Surprised comment on US soldier’s pet (5)
CORGI: COR (surprised comment) as an exclamation expressing excitement or surprise followed by (on) GI (US soldier) as a regular soldier in the US army in a charade, arriving at the definition of a Welsh breed of pet dog, having a foxlike head and short legs

27a Making an arrangement, states animosity must change (15)
SYSTEMATISATION: An anagram (must change) of STATES ANIMOSITY directs to the definition of an act of organising something according to a system or a rationale


1d Chaotically cash in on arms. Colts given to Normans, say (12)
ANACHRONISMS: An anagram (chaotically) of CASH IN ON ARMS takes to the definition of things out of keeping with chronology or errors assigning things to an earlier or to a later age that they belong to, for example, the revolvers or colts, one of the 18th-century inventions, being handed over to the Normans of the 11th-century, who would not be able to use them then in place of spears and swords, inter alia, at the battle at Hastings

2d Couple of negatives raised about one tear-jerker (5)
ONION: NO and NO (couple of negatives) as each used to give a negative response going upwards (raised) as reversal in the down clue around (about) I (one) as the Roman numeral for one, arriving at the definition of a bulbous vegetable that can be a source of tears when chopped

3d Essentially concluded a new depressing experience for man of property (9)
LANDOWNER: The central or essential letter (essentially) of concLuded is followed by A from the clue, the abbreviation N (new) and DOWNER (depressing experience) as a depressing or dispiriting experience or factor, arriving at the definition of a person who owns land

4d Wild French caper (7)
FRANTIC: A charade of the abbreviation FR (French) and ANTIC (caper) as a fantastic or grotesque action or trick leads to the definition of an adjective meaning furious or wild, especially with anxiety

5d Mistakenly call the spiteful person? (7)
HELLCAT: An anagram (mistakenly) of CALL THE takes to the definition of a malignant hag or a malicious and violent-tempered woman

6d Marsupials must finally settle to sleep (5)
ROOST: ROOS (marsupials) as the abridged version for kangaroos or mammals of large Australian herbivorous marsupials with short forelimbs, very long hindlegs and great leaping power is followed by the final or last letter (finally) of musT, leading to the definition of a verb meaning to settle or congregate for rest or sleep

7d Italian lady missing son married American dullard (9)
IGNORAMUS: [S]IGNORA (Italian lady) as the Italian term for a lady ignoring (missing) the letter S (son) as the genealogical abbreviation for son is followed by M (married) as the genealogical abbreviation for married and US (American) as the adjectival abbreviation for the United States or belonging to the United States, leading to the definition of a an ignorant or stupid person

10d In courtyard feel bitter about knight’s performance (12)
PRESENTATION: Placed inside (in) PATIO (courtyard) as a paved outdoor area, usually adjoining a house, where outdoor meals can be served, is RESENT (feel bitter about) as feel indignation or bitterness at a circumstance, action or person and followed by N (knight) as the abbreviation of knight in chess notation, leading to an exhibition or demonstration meant to build goodwill or to inspire or motivate the audience

14d Fruit products — leading items (9)
DATELINES: A charade of DATE (fruit) as a sweet, dark brown oval fruit containing a hard stone, usually eaten dried and LINES (products) as ranges of commercial goods take to the definition of the lines at the head of newspaper articles, each of which showing the date and place of writing

16d Dance and tea for three (3-3-3)
CHA-CHA-CHA: CHA (tea) as a slang term for tea is uttered three times (for three) as meant for drinking by three persons leads to the definition of a dance of Latin American origin, consisting of a series of short steps followed by a rhythmic hip-swaying shuffling movement

18d Nice region I found in such as Mississippi area (7)
RIVIERA: I from the clue is noticed (found) in RIVER (such as Mississippi) like Mississippi as an example and followed by A (area) as the abbreviation for area, leading to the definition of the shortened version for the French Riviera or Côté d’Azur and regarded as the nickname of the County of Nice that is in the south of France

19d Panic mostly after time cut short for instruments (7)
TIMPANI: Most of the letters (mostly) of PANI[C] following or preceded by (after) most of the letters (cut short) of TIM[E] take to the definition of kettledrums, especially when played by one musician in an orchestra

22d Trade union support for one being instructed (5)
TUTEE: A charade of TU (trade union) as the abbreviation of Trade Union and TEE (support) as a small plastic or wooden peg with a concave head that acts as a support for a ball on a golf course leads to the definition of a student or pupil of a tutor

24d Is rubbish turning up in trunks? (5)
TORSI: IS from the clue and ROT (rubbish) as nonsense or gibberish both moving upwards (turning up) as a reversal in the down clue, taking to the definition of the trunks of the human bodies or of statues without the heads and limbs

There were many clues that I liked in this Saturday puzzle such as 1a, 9a, 11a, 12a, 15a, 17a, 21a, 23a, 1d, 2d, 7d, 16d, 18d, 19d and 24d, among which the clear winner to me was 12a. Thanks to Chalicea for the wonderful entertainment and to BD for the encouragement. Would love to be here again. Have a wonderful day.

10 comments on “DT 29826
Leave your own comment 

  1. Many thanks for review Rahmat Ali – I didn’t even get chance to tackle this puzzle but very much enjoyed your wonderful (and educational!) commentary

  2. As ever a great review. I didn’t know the plural for 24D so as they say every day is a school day. Thanks very much to you and the setter

    1. Once again, thank you so much, Grahame+Welch, for liking my review. To all of us, every day is really a school day. Some learn more; some less. We learn from each other and one another. Learning is, indeed, a lifelong process.

  3. A slight correction to the comments on 19D, timpani refers to a complete section of an orchestra where the instruments are hit rather than blown (brass and wind) or bowed (strings)

    1. Welcome to the blog, Big D. There is no mention of words like ‘blown’ or ‘bowed’ in my comment on 19d. However, to be more specific, one can elaborate the concluding part of the comment thus: “especially when played by one musician in an orchestra by striking the head with a specialised drum stick called a timpani stick or timpani mallet”

  4. 4*/5* …
    liked 2D ” Couple of negatives raised about one tear-jerker (5) ” amongst others….
    also liked RA’s interesting review.

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