DT 25799 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 25799 ~ Posted on

Daily Telegraph Cryptic 25799 – 13 Dec 08

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Interesting looking crossword today with some pleasingly terse clues (some of which I’ve yet to crack.) But for now, here are some pointers…



1 Live among troops in town in South Wales (11)

Here is a question. At what point is it bad form to use wikipedia, or thumb through books for answers? If I hadn’t, I’d have never have got this since I’ve never heard of the town in question. I could see that it was a word meaning ‘live’ inside a word for ‘troops’. And so when I found the town ‘Abertillery’, I knew I had the right answer.

10 Moving inshore he left substance used in making varnish (5)

‘Moving’ indicates anagram. Inshore – without ‘he’ rearranged = Resin

11 Where to sit on board ship? . . . (9)

Where else but a deckchair?

12 . . . exploration of a famous ship (9)

I guess that’s the Discovery, then.

20 Jan and I do arrange to be in contact (6)

Another anagram indicated by ‘arrange’ of ‘Jan’ and ‘I do’ = adjoin.

28 German gateau? (5,6)

No prizes for guessing this 1970s classic pudding…

And some down clues…

2 Fundamental ingredient found by one in the deep (5)

One = i. The deep = bass. One in the deed is bas-i-s.

3 Ski-slope in poor condition (3-4)

Double meaning clue. Run-down

4 In fact in the act (6)

Another double meaning, kind of. Indeed.

5 Reportedly exercises after being fortunate in the novel (5,3)

Reportedly means ‘sounds like’. Exercises is gym. Sounds like Jim. So this’ll be the novel Lucky Jim.

6 Again use c-celery recipe (7)

Another anagram, a recipe of ‘c-celery’ – Recycle.

8 Lady, by Jove, mistakenly found in the Balkans (8)

Lady is often a woman’s name. In this case it’s Sara. So that’ll be Sarajevo.

17 Boracic’s transformation into another acid (8)

Fiddle around with the letter in Boracic’s and you’ll get another kind of acid…

PART 2 – 18.30

Slighly disappointed by some of the solutions/clues, but here we go with the rest of the solutions…

13 Across – Crank – Many is ‘C’ (a hundred), a foul is rank = crank.

14 Across – Typing. No idea why. To me it doesn’t mean ‘sorting’ in one sense, let alone two.

16 Across – Nineteen. And yet ‘Not quite score’ doesn’t feel like a proper clue.

19 Across – Quietist. Again, the double meaning here isn’t great. I know that a Quiestest is also a religious person, but I’m not sure that helps.

23 Across – Estro. Not a fan of this clue or solution at all. Estro? Really?

24 Across – Overspill = too many people. Maidens are overs in cricket, taking (ie inserting) the word ‘pill’ = medicine.

26 Across – Zoophobic. Again, not much of a clue.

27 Across – Arras – learnt a new word, there.

7 Down – Credit Squeeze – again, how does the clue work, exactly?

9 Down – Broken English.

15 Down – Paint box

19 Down – Trochal (learn another word, there. Do people really know that word? I don’t…)

21 Down – Despair. This feels like a proper crossword clue! Des = ‘of the’ in French. Duo=pair.

22 Down – Decaff. Last month = dec. A couple of fellows = CAF – er, not sure why. But the answer is plain decaff.

25 Down – Is a welsh name… (But I don’t see why RIS is schoolmaster…)

Thank you Mr Williams for correcting my 10 Across, which is indeed rosin, not resin.

Do leave a comment if you can furnish me with any explanations for this clues. They could well be lexicographical masterpieces, pearls to my swinehood….


  1. I got Rosin rather than resin for 10a as that is used in Varnish and the e as been taken out – he left
    by Paul Williams December 13, 2008 at 12:24 pm
  2. Quote: But I don’t see why RIS is schoolmaster. Clue says ‘brought up’ i.e RIS is SIR backwards – a down clue. Hope that helps.
    Thanks for your other answers, some have appeared to me to be somewhat obscure this week
    by Paul Williams December 13, 2008 at 8:00 pm
  3. thank you again, Mr Williams. I just realised I’D isn’t brought up, but SIR. Had you heard of Estro or Trochal?
    by crosswordendsinviolence December 13, 2008 at 8:26 pm
  4. TBH I hadn’t heard of estro, but the clue said included’ which I assumed meant the word was in the clue.
    So as I had the answer to 15 down, the ‘T’ was the middle letter, I just looked for words with a ‘T’ in the middle of the clue which gave me estro from bEST ROndeau and I just looked estro up in the dictionary (cheating probably).
    I got Trochal as well but not sure why, ROC is bird apparently but I can’t work out the rest of the clue
    by Paul Williams December 13, 2008 at 8:42 pm
  5. 7 down credit squeeze.
    a loan is “an advance” banks talk about advances in this sense. A “credit squeeze” is a term to indicate a tightening of credit available
    14 across “typing” sorting by type.
    by peter taylor December 13, 2008 at 9:00 pm
  6. Is 18 Across QUIETIST or QUIETEST? I don’t see the implication of the religious aspect, so have personally gone for the latter.
    Having said that, there were a few clues in that one that made very little sense to me. How does “and prince had” imply -RAS in the 27 Across clue?
    by Jarrel December 15, 2008 at 9:32 am


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


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