DT Cryptic No 25855

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25855

Do this one first, then move on to the Toughie!

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

After a late start due to the increasingly frequent problems on the CluedUp website, here are the hints and tips (mainly actual answers today as I was somewhat lacking in inspiration!).  Today I have changed the format a little so that the components of the answer, and the answer itself, are in capitals.

Someone at the Telegraph must have been listening, as the Wednesday puzzle used to be the source of a lot of grief, mainly because of the dubious nature of some of the clues.  That seems to have changed, as this is a neat, straightforward puzzle.


1a Soldier planned a proper rota (11)
An anagram (planned) of A PROPER ROTA

7a Reaching an equal, we hear (7)
Sounds like (we hear) a rival (an equal)

8a Strong denunciation from youth understood (7)
Hidden (from) in the clue

10a Drive to find parking within mile roughly (5)
P(arking) inside (within) an anagram (roughly) of MILE

11a Student finally studied philosopher? Routine activity (9)
TREADMILL (routine activity) – T (student finally) READ (studied) MILL (John Stuart Mill / philosopher)

12a Channel broadcast, say, true (7)
An anagram (broadcast) of SAY TRUE

14a Offence nearly scrapped around college (7)
An anagram (scrapped) of NEARLY around C(ollege)

15a Right for Frenchman to admit unusual visitor in US city (7)
DETROIT (US city) – DROIT (right for Frenchman) around (to admit) ET (extra terrestrial / unusual visitor)

18a Young man harbouring impulse gets doctor (7)
SURGEON (doctor) – SON (young man) around (harbouring) URGE (impulse)

20a One who might take pride in his confined charges? (9)
Someone who looks after lions (pride), and other animals, in a zoo

21a Subject recalled books and photo (5)
TOPIC (subject) – TO (OT / Old Testament / books) reversed (recalled) and PIC (photo)

22a Excellent doctor in Tyneside showing innocence (7)
NAIVETE (innocence) – A1 (excellent) and VET (doctor) inside (in) NE (North East / Tyneside)

23a A game guy pouring out heart in expression of regret (7)
APOLOGY (expression of regret) – A POLO (game) GY (guy, pouring out heart)

24a New bird detained by copper, say? That’s right (11)
ENTITLEMENT (that’s right) –  N(ew) TIT (bird) inside (detained by) ELEMENT (copper, say)


1d Low wall having a drill in side (7)
PARAPET (low wall) – A PE (a drill) inside (in) PART (side)

2d Prize promoted in feast (5)
REVEL (feast) LEVER (prize – usually spelt prise) reversed (promoted – that down-clue only construct again)

3d Writer represented lots in play (7)
TOLSTOY (Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy / writer) – an anagram (represented – read this as re presented) of LOTS inside (in) TOY (play)

4d A duck around end of stream trails another? It’s pale brown (7)
OATMEAL (it’s pale brown) – A TEAL (a duck) around M (end of stream) after  (trails) O (a score of zero in cricket / another duck)

5d One who benefits from a sacking? (9)
PLUNDERER – cryptic definition

6d Cancel wine before row (3-4)
RED LINE (cancel) – RED (wine) before LINE (row)

7d Cheap day in a zone media ruined (1,4,1,5)
A DIME A DOZEN (cheap) – an anagram (ruined) of D (day) A ZONE MEDIA

9d Sport beginning to revive in Cyprus? It attracts support (8-3)
RALLYING CRY (it attracts support) – RALLYING (sport) R (beginning to revive) in CY (Cyprus – you could have found this in the Countries entry in The Mine, the new section of this blog)

13d United followers beginning to take satisfaction (9)
ATONEMENT (satisfaction) – AT ONE (united) MEN (followers) T (beginning to take)

16d Deceive pair on US magazine (3-4)
TWO TIME (deceive) TWO (pair) above (on – again, only for down clues) TIME (US magazine)

17d Hint given by largely unimportant composer (7)
TIPPETT (Sir Michael Tippett / composer) – TIP (hint) then (given by) PETT (petty without the final letter / largely unimportant)

18d Hawaiian sports star, perhaps, to get out of bed (7)
SURFACE (to get out of bed) – SURF ACE (Hawaiian sports star, perhaps)

19d Benefit from old conspiracy enveloping island (7)
EXPLOIT (benefit from) – EX (old) PLOT (conspiracy) around (enveloping) I (island)

21d Introvert hiding valuable collection (5)
Hidden (hiding) in the first word

Problems on the CluedUp site are a constant source of annoyance to its users.  Today, at 00.50, I got “Get Puzzle Error / Responder fault – error connecting to server”.  If this happens because of maintenance, then it would be nice if we were told which times to avoid.  Would any of you like a fault report section on the blog so that you can share your experiences?


  1. Posted February 18, 2009 at 4:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A fairly routine and easy puzzle, though I got caught out once. At 20 I went for LIONTAMER, which matches two of the five checking letters and seems arguably a more precise answer than ZOOKEEPER. An occupational hazard with cryptic defs I suppose. Fixed by 17D I think.

    14’s college=C confirms an oddity about the DT puzzle. Although it generally uses less obscure vocabulary than puzzles like the Times, DT setters can apparently use any abbreviation justified by Chambers. This means that you have to know (or more realistically, intuit) a much bigger set of abbreviations than with the Times puzzle, where the one-letter abbreviations in particular are restricted to a quite short list – mainly of abbrev’s sanctioned by both Collins and the Concise Oxford.

    13D’s followers=MEN felt a bit iffy – turns out to be another in Chambers, where man has the def. “follower”, but not as far as I can see in Collins or Concise Oxford. Also felt something more precise than “unusual visitor” could have been found for ET in 15.

  2. Posted February 18, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Peter tries very hard to provoke others into sharing their experiences, with little response. This blog is designed to enable you to respond – so don’t be shy. Unless you choose otherwise, your contribution is anonymous!!

  3. Posted February 18, 2009 at 9:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    As a bit of encouragement … I got in touch with the Telegraph’s new “puzzle editor”, who’s responsible for the crosswords among others. He said he would be watching the blog. If he is, some comments from his punters will give him much more reason to keep on looking. Just some views on whether you enjoyed the puzzle or found it hard or easy, maybe with some reasons why. There’s no need at all for these to come only from “experts” – the whole community of solvers must have some views about each puzzle.

  4. Archie Westwood
    Posted February 18, 2009 at 10:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Have just come across this website – what a wonderful resource! Long may you continue your good work. My wife and I now have somewhere to turn to for help without having to wait for the next day’s newspaper. We have been finding many of the solutions to recent ‘Telegraph’ cryptic crossword puzzles totally obscure. If we can hardly understand how the solution was arrived at when we’re told it, what hope is there of working it out for oneself? This greatly decreases one’s satisfaction – in fact, it causes frustation and annoyance when much time is spent on a clue which, once we hear the solution, we know we could never have been able to work out.

  5. libellule
    Posted February 19, 2009 at 9:42 am | Permalink | Reply

    Peter, re 20a I made a similar mistake, and started out with Zoologist, which I also thought was a much better answer.

  6. Posted February 19, 2009 at 11:22 am | Permalink | Reply


    If you can be brave enough to say which words cause the trouble each day, I’m sure this useful information for the editor and setters. I don’t promise that they will make all the puzzles easier, but they may start to understand better what causes trouble for at least some of their solvers.

  7. Ivor
    Posted February 23, 2009 at 2:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Don’t get 17 down’s answer. ‘Tippet’ is apparently spelt with one ‘t’ so what is a Tippett (with two t’s? I can only find a tippet as a cape or muffler in the dictionary.

  8. Posted February 23, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    There’s a simple explanation – some idiot misspelt Sir Michael Tippett’s name. It’s now been corrected.

  9. Ivor
    Posted February 23, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks Big Dave. I had not heard of the gentleman before. Anyway thanks for providing a very useful site. I have just discovered it!

  10. Posted February 23, 2009 at 3:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Many years ago I went to listen to a friend of a friend playing one of his violin concertos. I have avoided anything of his since, so you haven’t missed anything.

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