Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26816
A full review by crypticsue
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Every other Saturday we get a slightly trickier challenge from the Saturday Mysteron and this week’s puzzle was no exception. When I had finished, I wasn’t sure I had found it as much fun as usual but doing the review it has certainly grown on me, not least because of my two favourite clues, highlighted in blue .
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1a Sewer makes water kind of miss lock (10)
SEAMSTRESS - A lady who sews – a charade of SEA (water) MS (a title used by the kind of ‘miss’ who doesn’t want people to know whether she is a Miss or a Mrs) and TRESS (lock of hair).
6a Ask to engage Queen’s composer (4)
BERG – To get the Austrian composer , Alban BERG, simply insert , or engage, R ( R egina, Queen) into BEG (ask)
9a Lady in charge joining church to miss flying (10)
CHAIRWOMAN – A lady who presides at an assembly or meeting - CH (church) and AIRWOMAN (a ‘miss’ or woman who flies an aeroplane).
10a Bridge bidding system using a pass (4)
ACOL – I might not ever have played bridge but have done enough cryptic crosswords to know the name of a system of bidding in a game of bridge. A (from the clue) and COL (a pass in a mountain range).
12a Play cricket getting ton having support on all sides of Stamford Bridge perhaps (12)
BATTLEGROUND - This clue refers to the famous English Civil War BATTLEGROUND rather than the home of Chelsea Football Club - BAT (play cricket) T (ton), LEG (support) and ROUND (on all sides).
15a Senior lecturer back having received low grades (6)
READER – A higher grade of university lecturer - Insert D E (lower grades than A, B, or C) into REAR (back).
16a May be still life in dog’s breathing, I’ll be bound (8)
PAINTING - A still life is a type of painting. Insert I ( I ’ll be bound) into PANTING (breathing in a gasping way as a dog might following strenuous exercise or when it is warm).
18a Chinese city’s press having got drunk (8)
SHANGHAI - The Chinese city of SHANGHAI lends its name to a way of pressing or forcing sailors into naval service, usually by making them very drunk.
19a Intended to provide money, lacking one note (6)
FIANCE - Intended is an informal term for a fiancé. Just remove the first N (one note) from FI N ANCE , or provide money.
21a Ideal place for Strauss, a special musical talent (7,5)
PERFECT PITCH - My second favourite clue of the day - A lovely cryptic double definition – Andrew Strauss, the England cricketer would always hope that a cricket pitch would be perfect; Johann Strauss, the composer, would hope that he and any musicians playing his works would have the ability to identify and remember a note accurately
24a Book’s self-dedication (4)
TOME - A large scholarly book or volume if split 2, 2 would meaning that a writer, for example, might be dedicating their work to themselves or TO ME.
25a Production of Pinter seen with many twists (10)
SERPENTINE – an anagram, or production of PINTER SEEN makes an adjective meaning twisting, winding, snakelike or tortuous.
26a Ancient tribe’s king, a good-looking man (4)
HUNK – An informal term for a strong or sexually-active man is easily obtained by following a member of a savage nomadic race of Asia, a HUN with K ( k ing).
27a Cross about old soldier in north-east being stubborn (10)
INVETERATE – Stubborn, or deep-rootedly hostile - Insert VET (an abbreviation commonly used for an American ex-serviceman) into NE (north east) and then insert the result into IRATE (cross).
1d Wine container (4)
SACK – A double definition to start the downs – an old name for various dry white wines from Spain or the Canary Islands means the same as a large bag made of coarse fabric or thick paper.
2d Man with a mother? Yes and no (4)
ADAM - The first man on earth didn’t have a mother (so that’s the no in the wordplay taken care of). However, split his name 1, 3 and you get A DAM or a mother (usually of cattle or horses) hence the yes ’ in the wordplay.
3d Lies with limbs outstretched, dressage leap having gone wrong (6-6)
SPREAD-EAGLES - Puts in a position with the limbs stretched out. An anagram (having gone wrong) of DRESSAGE LEAP.
4d Original causes getting starlings primarily in flocks of nesting birds (6)
ROOSTS – Flocks of birds sleeping together – simply insert S ( primarily is a clear indicator that you need the first letter of s tarlings) into ROOTS (the origin, basis or start of anything).
5d He’s had to travel far and handle bangers overturning (8)
SPACEMAN - A person who travels far away from earth is a reversal of two words CAPS (bangers used in a toy gun) and NAME (handle being a slang term for one’s name).
7d Bars on six clues (cryptic) (10)
EXCLUSIONS - Bars here means bans or excludes from entry. An obvious anagram (cryptic) of ON SIX CLUES.
8d Scheming dogged girl, one seeking a fortune (4-6)
GOLD-DIGGER - My top favourite clue. An anagram (scheming) of DOGGED GIRL is of course a GOLD-DIGGER, literally someone digging for gold in order to make their fortune. However, a GOLD-DIGGER is also a term applied to a scheming dogged girl, ie a young lady seeking a fortune by using an intimate relationship for personal gain.
11d Christmas present’s open — get angry (12)
FRANKINCENSE - One of the presents given at the first Christmas. FRANK (open , free) plus INCENSE (get angry).
13d Grumpy chap to pass through local area (10)
CROSSPATCH - A term for an ill-natured person – CROSS (pass through) and PATCH (a local area regularly visited, patrolled or traded in).
14d Am cravenly yielding to soldiers (10)
CAVALRYMEN – Soldiers on horseback can be obtained from an anagram (yielding) of AM CRAVENLY.
17d Start to place two articles over temple (8)
PANTHEON – The temple of all the gods - P (start or first letter of place) AN , THE (two articles) and ON (over).
20d Spot politician in big building (6)
PIMPLE - A small raised spot on the skin – simply insert MP ( M ember of P arliament, politician) into PILE (a tall building).
22d Singer keen to rise (4)
DIVA – A familiar ‘friend’ makes another appearance – reverse AVID (keen to rise ) and you get a great female singer, usually an operatic prima donna.
23d Lake — nothing more than that (4)
MERE - A double definition – as a noun MERE means a pool or lake; as an adjective it means only what is said and nothing more.
Thanks to the Mysteron once again for his fortnightly Saturday challenge. All change again, so I will see you next Friday with my review of the Sunday cryptic.