DT Cryptic No 25866

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25866

Today’s hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

There’s nothing too difficult in today’s Cryptic crossword and the clues range from pretty neat to not so good. I’ve followed Big Dave’s convention in providing the answers hidden inside curly brackets (thanks to him for telling me how to achieve this effect). If you can’t work out the answer from my hint you can reveal it by highlighting the white space inside the curly brackets.

Across Clues

1a  Commanding US soldiers in drill, perhaps (11)
{MAGISTERIAL} – US soldiers are GIS (General Infantrymen) and this is within (in) a type of fabric (drill). The “perhaps” indicates that drill is just an example of cloth or fabric. The whole gives a word meaning having great authority (commanding), especially of one presiding in a court.

9a  Huge cocaine bust (7)
{OCEANIC} – an anagram (bust) of COCAINE produces a word meaning huge.

10a  Set free, getting off (6)
{PUTRID} – another 3-letter word for “set” followed by a word meaning “free” to arrive at (getting) a term meaning “off” or rotting.

12a  Party leader’s resolution uncertain (7)
{PENDING} – Party leader is the letter P and this is followed by a word meaning settlement or conclusion (resolution) to produce an adjective meaning undecided or up in the air (uncertain).

13a  Hold criminal – one in brown (7)
{CONTAIN} – criminal is CON and brown is TAN which includes I (one in) to form a verb meaning hold.

14a  Turns over flash car (5)
{ROLLS} – a double meaning – turns over and the name of an upmarket (flash) car originally developed by Mr Royce and partner.

15a  Rock hard with Jagger? (9)
{IRONSTONE} – a type of sedimentary rock, made up of a synonym for hard (as hard as ….) followed by (with) a member of a long-lasting rock group (Jagger).

17a  Vehicle entrance (9)
{TRANSPORT} – double meaning – a means of moving people or goods around (vehicle) and to fill someone with wonder and delight (entrance).

20a  Check car’s temperature (5)
{AUDIT} car is a German make with a logo having four rings followed by T(emperature). Together they make a systematic (often financial) review or inspection (check).

22a  Sharp instrument on hospital department (7)
{VIOLENT} – an old six-stringed musical instrument followed by the abbreviation of a hospital department (a hospital department in cryptic crosswords is nearly always Ear, Nose & Throat) to form a word meaning strong or powerful (sharp).

24a  Proceeding one’s taking to court (7)
{ISSUING} – one’s is IS and this is followed by instituting legal action against someone (taking to court) to form a word meaning coming through (proceeding).

25a  Telegraph ends, right, with setter’s flourish (6)
{THRIVE} – Telegraph ends are the two outside letters of TelegrapH. These are followed by R (right) and (with) I’VE (setter has or setter’s) to form a verb meaning flourish.

26a  Character in Greek test most stressed (7)
{TAUTEST} – the character in Greek is TAU and this is followed by TEST (which the setter actually gives you!  – I don’t like this unless it’s part of a hidden word or phrase). Put together these form a term for most stressed – my least favourite clue!

27a  Create short arrangement for score (11)
{ORCHESTRATE} – a nice anagram (arrangement) of CREATE SHORT to produce a verb meaning to arrange or score music.

Down Clues

2d  Unite as eccentric family members (7)
{AUNTIES} – an anagram (eccentric) of “unite as” to produce some family members (also an affectionate nickname for the BBC much used by the late Kenny Everett).

3d  Mix gin and tonic love, secretly (9)
{INCOGNITO} – another anagram (mix) of GIN, TONIC and O (love, as in tennis) which means having one’s identity concealed (secretly).

4d  Head in charge of subject (5)
{TOPIC} – today’s easiest clue. Another word for head or apex followed by IC (in charge) to get a subject for discussion.

5d  Crew’s taking a tot initially for sailors (7)
{RATINGS} Another word for crew, normally used of a group of people engaged in a shady enterprise such as drug dealing, has inside it (taking) A and T (initial letter of Tot) and ends with an S (signalled by the apostrophe S being short for “crew has”) to form a word meaning ordinary (non-commissioned) sailors.

6d  I got at a cocktail getting restless (7)
{AGITATO} – this is an anagram (cocktail) of I GOT AT A to produce a musical direction meaning that a piece is to be played in an agitated way (restless).

7d  It could be better or worse (11)
{COMPARATIVE}  The setter might equally have said “richer or poorer”. This is a term in grammar meaning a higher degree (but not the highest degree which would be superlative, e.g. best or worst).

8d  Protection for boxer? (6)
{KENNEL} –  Boxer here is not a pugilist but an example of man’s best friend, and the answer is what protects him from the elements.

11d  Study and given a test, I fancy (11)
{INVESTIGATE} – an anagram (indicated by fancy) of GIVEN A TEST I to form a verb meaning to carry out research or study.

16d  More suited by unfashionable tailor (9)
{OUTFITTER} – a word meaning more acceptable (more suited) follows (by) a word for not in fashion (unfashionable) to produce a synonym for a tailor.

18d  Not the same in America – not here (7)
{ANOTHER} – the more difficult it is to spot a hidden word clue, the more successful it is, and this one is pretty good. The hidden word means not the same and is hidden (in) “America – not here”).

19d  Language of journalist in exclusive (7)
{SWEDISH} – A journalist in cryptic crosswords is more often than not ED(itor) and this is placed inside (in) a word meaning smart and fashionable (exclusive) to form a Northern European language.

20d  Lash a sailor, reportedly (7)
{ASSAULT} – Lash is just an example of this; the setter might have used thump, punch, kick or any word meaning a physical attack. “Reportedly” means that the word sounds like, when spoken, but is not spelt the same as, an old-fashioned term for a sailor, derived from the salinity of the sea.

21d  Motorist’s club? (6)
{DRIVER} – another neat clue. The answer means both a motorist and a type of golf club.

23d  End of locks on very French braid (5)
{TRESS} – End of locks is the letter S and this comes after (on) the French word for “very” to form an old word meaning to arrange hair into long locks (braid).

Any comments, whether on the clues themselves or on the success or otherwise of my hints, are very welcome.


One Comment

  1. Posted March 3, 2009 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Yes, a pretty straightforward one. 15A was probably the clue I liked best, with the nice rock/Stone link. 10, 12 and 4 seemed “easy but neat”. I didn’t like “huge” as a def. for “oceanic”, though Chambers does give “wide, like the ocean” as a def. I also wonder a bit about “setter’s” as an indicator for “I’ve”. In theory, setter = “one who sets” and therefore could mean one who sets a problem, but realistically you have to know that “setter” = a writer of crosswords – and that’s xwd jargon, not yet in any dictionary. The other clue I didn’t like much was 11D where the lurch of tense robs the surface of much in the way of disguise. And linking the two marriage service lines could have made 7D into a really good clue – well spotted.