DT Cryptic No 25878 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT Cryptic No 25878

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25878

Today’s hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

This one is a fairly typical Daily Telegraph cryptic crossword – workmanlike with nothing too complicated. As usual, the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets – select the white space inside if you’re totally stumped.

Across Clues

7a  Athenian statesman replies unexpectedly about leader of country (8 )
{PERICLES} – an anagram (unexpectedly) of replies around (about) the first letter (leader) of country gives the name of a Greek general and statesman.

9a  Cannon right next to second sailor (6)
{MORTAR} – r(ight) comes after (next to) an abbreviation for a moment or second, and these are followed by a dated colloquial term for a sailor to form a type of artillery (cannon).

10a  Phoney English dandy (4)
{DUDE} – a word for counterfeit or phoney is followed by E(nglish) to form a term for a fop or dandy.

11a  What a waiter may use in shower works (6,4)
{PEPPER MILL} – a word meaning to shower or bombard is followed by a term for works or factory (often of the “dark, satanic” kind according to William Blake!) to form an implement which a waiter may use to spice up your food at the table.

12a  Plagiarist could make head of publishing very angry (6)
{PIRATE} – a cleverly worded clue to arrive at someone who ignores copyright and patent rules and attempts to profit from the work of others; it’s made up of P (head of publishing) followed by a word meaning very angry.

14a  Leave the country, Arabian state, around middle of night (8 )
{EMIGRATE} – one of many, often oil-rich, states on what we call the Persian Gulf (but which Arabs call the Arabian Gulf) around the middle letter of “night” forms a verb meaning to leave one’s own country and settle in another,

15a  Drink with beer in, readily available after end of matches (6)
{SHANDY} – a word meaning convenient (readily available) comes after the last letter (end) of “matches” to form a drink made up of beer and a non-alcoholic drink, often lemonade.

17a  Large body of soldiers, say, outflanked by hero (6)
{LEGION} – “say” is EG and this is surrounded (outflanked) by a large African cat whose name is synonymous with bravery and often used as a metaphor for a hero, to form a word meaning a division of about 4,000 – 5,000 men in the Roman army.

20a  Prostitute in street, peculiar blue-eyed girl? (8 )
{STRUMPET} – a word for a prostitute or promiscuous woman is made up of three parts; firstly ST (street), then RUM (peculiar) and finally someone who is indulged and treated as a favourite (blue-eyed girl).

22a  Piece of cake catching large seal (6)
{CLINCH} – an informal word for an extremely easy task (piece of cake) around (catching) L(arge) to form a verb meaning to settle or finalise (seal) a deal.

23a  Cricketer LBW, person I bamboozled (4,6)
{SPIN BOWLER} – an anagram (bamboozled) of LBW, PERSON I to form a type of cricketer who tries to get the opposing batsmen out with guile rather than pace.

24a  Ambush a two-wheeled carriage (4)
{TRAP} – double-meaning; an ambush and a light two-wheeled carriage pulled by a horse or pony.

25a  Italian embraced by girl in film (6)
{LOLITA} – Italian is IT and this is surrounded (embraced) by a girl’s name to produce another girl and also the title of a controversial novel by Vladimir Nabokov, which Stanley Kubrick made into a 1962 film starring James Mason with Sue Lyon as the eponymous heroine.

26a  A bishop’s pamphlet, hard to understand (8 )
{ABSTRACT} – put together A, B(ishop’)S and another word for pamphlet to form an adjective meaning existing in thought or as an idea but having no physical existence and, hence, hard to understand.

Down Clues

1d  Four employ five climbing US volcano (8 )
{VESUVIUS} – take the Roman numerals for four, then a word meaning employ, then the Roman numeral for five and then reverse (climbing) the whole lot. Now pause for a breather before adding US to get the name of an active volcano near Naples.

2d  Cash in one’s chips having secured 100 in gamble (4)
{DICE} – to cash in one’s chips is a euphemism (like, for example, to pop one’s clogs) for a word which becomes a verb meaning to gamble when you include (having secured) the Roman numeral for 100.

3d  Trainee ultimately failing to pass (6)
{ELAPSE} – the last letter (ultimately) of traineE and a word for a failing, often temporary,  come together to form a verb to pass or go by (of time).

4d  A fool may show bitterness about the City after one month (8 )
{IMBECILE} – a word for a bitter greenish-brown alkaline fluid which is secreted by the liver and stored in the gall bladder, and which, by derivation, means bitterness, surrounds (about) the postal district for the financial centre (City) of London. This follows (after) IM (1 M / one month) to produce a word meaning fool.

5d  Thirsty, swallow one drink (3,7)
{DRY MARTINI} – put together a word meaning thirsty, a swallow-like bird and I (one) to form James Bond’s favourite tipple (though he preferred vodka to gin in his, apparently).

6d  Poll everyone in base, except Tom? (6)
{BALLOT} – a word meaning everyone inside a term for base or lowest point with the final TOM omitted (except Tom) produce a synonym for poll or election.

8d  One who drinks with a meal? (6)
{SUPPER} – double meaning; someone who drinks (especially in the North of England) and the last meal of the day.

13d  PA a fellow uses in resort (10)
{AMANUENSIS} – A and a synonym for fellow are followed by an anagram (resort) of USES IN to form an old word for a secretary.

16d  Envoy bringing certificate on time (8 )
{DIPLOMAT} – a certificate (typically one awarded by a school or college) is followed by (on) T (time) to produce a word for someone who was once said to be “an honest man sent abroad to lie for his country”.

18d  Leap in the dark after small number? Not likely! (2,6)
{NO CHANCE} – a word meaning a risk or a leap in the dark follows NO (a small number) to form a colloquial phrase meaning “not likely!”.

19d  Girl to instruct in Salvation Army (6)
{STELLA} – a girl’s name (and the commonly-used abbreviation for a popular brand of lager) is made from a synonym for instruct inside the abbreviation of Salvation Army.

21d  Capo to kill boxer, perhaps (3,3)
{TOP DOG} – a slang term for a capo or godfather is made up of a criminal euphemism of to kill followed by a type of animal of which a boxer is an example (perhaps).

22d  Is concerned about son getting pet (6)
{CARESS} – a verb meaning attaches importance to (is concerned) around (about) S for son gives a term for a gentle touch (pet).

24d  Rent in Le Touquet, or Nice? (4)
{TORN} – we end up with a hidden word, meaning rent, in Le TouqueT OR Nice.

Nothing too exciting or controversial in this one, but one or two nice clues of which my favourites were 12a and 5d. Any comments are welcome.