DT 25797

Daily Telegraph Cryptic 25797 – 11 Dec 08

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

(I got muddled on crossword numbers  earlier. Missed Saturday. sorry. All better.)

Another tricky crossword (or perhaps I’m just getting worse at them. Or got lucky early on). Lots of word-building and inserting words and letters into other words, as we shall see.

Here we go with a few solutions and how I went about getting them:


1. Poor painters and men are animals (4,7)

Rather extraordinary to kick off a crossword with a clue giving the word ‘Pine Martens’, but there you go. ‘Poor’ indicated anagram (don’t like weak indicators like that) of ‘painters’ and ‘men’ = pine martens.

7. City hospital finds early food is sent back (7)

This one felt like the name of a city. Hospital is H. Early is AM. The food that is sent back(wards) is ‘grub’. Burg. H-AM-Burg.

13. Female accepting love for footwear! (4)

Love often means ‘o’. (As in tennis ‘love). The female is just ‘she’. But the female is ‘accepting’ love, meaning taking love in. Sh-o-e.

16 Special detail (10)

Double meaning. The answer is Particular.

21. Cover for eleven nations, united as a group (2,4)

Cover for eleven is referring to the letters covering the word. (I know. Lousy). So that’s EN. nations is bloc. En Bloc. (I didn’t know that expression ’til I looked it up).

24. People who care for kids are easy catches (7)

Another double meaning. The people who look after care for kids are ‘sitters’, as are easy catches.

26. A raider came to break up the convivial atmosphere (11)

This also feels like an anagram. Indicated by ‘break up’. A raider came = camaraderie.

Some down clues below.

1. Plant providing half of meal eaten by horse (7)

The answer will mean either Plant or Horse. A plant could be anything so let’s try building the word. Half of a meal is ‘me’. It’s eaten (or inside) a five letter word for horse. Pinto. Pi-me-nto. That’s a plant. (I have to say that plant is a very vague way to describe ‘pimento’)

2. Not taking sides, lacking heart, but dealing with the nerves (6)

‘Lacking heart’ implies a letter has to be removed from ‘not taking sides’, or a word meaning the same. Neutral? Take out the middle letter = neural. Dealing with nerves.

5. Tells why lover once had one involved in schemes (8)

Lover once is ‘ex’. One involved in means ‘I’ goes into a word for ‘schemes’. Plans? Ex-pla-i-ns. Tells why. Explains.

7. Man who confuses passion with home (4,7)

Confusing should be screaming ‘anagram’ at us. The word ‘passion’ needs to be added to ‘home’. After a fair while, I finally got Homo Sapiens – Man.

15 is Linoleum (An anagram of Oilmen and ‘LU’ (labour union leaders)

17 is Robotic. (Steal=rob. Love = o. Nervous reaction = tic.)

23 is Tsar. (Sailor = tar (not AB, or PO this time!) Head of state = S. T-s-AR)

So that’s the left hand side mostly done and might launch us into the right hand side this afternoon over a nice cup of tea. Happy solving.

One comment

  1. Not as rock hard as yesterday’s, thankfully! Some really irritating wordplay clues though. 18 across and 22 across were real groaners…
    by Jarrel December 11, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Reproduced from the Crossword Ends in Violence site by kind permission of James Cary


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