DT Cryptic No 25880

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25880

Today’s hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Nothing too taxing or obscure and a few nicely-worded clues – what more could you want for a Thursday?

Across Clues

7a  Food taken from a car on impulse (8 )
{MACARONI} – a hidden word (taken) in “from a car on impulse” gives a type of pasta in the shape of narrow tubes.

9a  Mark’s about right, it’s stress! (6)
{STRAIN} – a synonym for a mark or smear around (about) R(ight) gets us another word for stress or tension.

10a  Take a firm stand at home and start to shave first (6)
{INSIST} – “at home” in cryptic clues is very often IN. This is followed by S (start of Shave) and IST (first) to generate a verb meaning to stick to one’s guns or take a firm stand.

11a  Dreadful bowling of seamer (8 )
{FEARSOME} – an anagram (bowling) of “of seamer” leads to an adjective meaning dreadful or frightening.

12a  Do they see lots of bank clerks chasing great wealth? (7,7)
{FORTUNE TELLERS} – a word meaning bank clerks or cashiers comes after (chasing) a large amount of money (great wealth) to give us a cryptic definition of people who use a variety of means, including crystal balls, tea leaves and chickens’ entrails, to predict what will happen to you in the future – once you’ve crossed their palm with silver, of course. Here’s one who, to my surprise, is still going!

15a  Provide something to eat, but charge daughter (4)
{FEED} – A verb meaning to provide sustenance or do the catering is made up of a synonym for charge or payment followed by D(aughter).

17a  Ruling on issue of noise (5)
{SONIC} – Ruling gives us a standard abbreviation for “in charge” and this follows (on) a word for issue (of the male kind in this case) to give a term describing a noise or boom caused by an aircraft travelling at the speed of mach 1 or greater.

19a  Prison unrest (4)
{STIR} – double meaning; a slang term for prison and a commotion or unrest.

20a  Arrangement of terrace isn’t bad, but makes you dizzy (14)
{SCATTERBRAINED} – an anagram of “terrace isn’t bad” produces an adjective to describe somebody who is dizzy or lacks concentration.

23a  Provides accommodation for lawyers with instruments of torture (8 )
{BARRACKS} – a collective noun for barristers is followed by (with) medieval torture instruments which could add a couple of inches to your height, to produce living accommodation for soldiers.

25a  Disappointments experienced by leading groups (6)
{UPSETS} – If you’re leading in a match you’re said to be UP – follow this with another word for groups to obtain an expression for disappointments.

27a  Gloomy and painful around the doctor (6)
{SOMBRE} – a word meaning painful includes (around) one of the standard abbreviations for a medical doctor to form a synonym for gloomy.

28a  Deal with single case of scrapie in critical analysis (8 )
{TREATISE} – a word meaning to deal with or take care of is followed by I (single) and the outside letters (case) of ScrapiE to produce a formal and systematic written work (critical analysis).

Down Clues

1d  Principal source of illness among crew (4)
{MAIN} – include I (source, i.e. first letter, of illness) in (among) a synonym for to crew to obtain an adjective meaning leading or principal.

2d  A trial resulting in the rope (6)
{LARIAT} – an anagram of “a trial” produces a word for lasso or rope.

3d  Meet up and force argument (4)
{TIFF} – an archaic meaning of meet is suitable or proper. Take a synonym of this and reverse (up) it, then add F (force) to get a word for a petty quarrel or argument.

4d  Attack a vessel having trouble (6)
{ASSAIL} – A SS (steam ship) is suffixed by a verb meaning to trouble to achieve a synonym for attack.

5d  Administrators are reportedly bound to look up (8 )
{TRUSTEES} – a word which sounds like (reportedly) bound or tied up is followed by a synonym for look reversed (up) to form a term for people who have been given legal powers of administration (of an estate or a charity, for example).

6d  Taking no notice of little girl’s message (10)
{DISMISSIVE} – a diminutive female name’s followed by a synonym for letter or message to form an adjective meaning taking no notice or regarding as unworthy of consideration.

8d  Revealing the point of excursions (7)
{OUTINGS} – a word for revealing (mainly used nowadays to reveal that somebody is gay) is followed by one of the points of the compass to produce a synonym for excursions.

13d  Start to add flavour to food at this time of year (4,6)
{OPEN SEASON} – a synonym for to start (in the sense of, say, starting a new chapter) is followed by a verb meaning to add flavour or spice up, and together these form a phrase meaning a time of year when all restrictions (on the killing of game birds, for example) are lifted.

14d  Catch up – nothing right, but get the drift (5)
{TENOR} – a verb meaning to catch (a fish, for example) is reversed (up) and followed by O (nothing) and R (right) to form a noun meaning the prevailing sense or mood of something (the drift).

16d  Thai bride furiously excluded hotel in angry harangue (8 )
{DIATRIBE} – an anagram of “Thai bride” without the letter H (excluded hotel) gives a noun meaning an angry harangue.

18d  Vehicle with zero purpose except to have great fun (7)
{CAROUSE} – a vehicle (which might be a saloon or a hatchback) is followed (with) O (zero) and a noun meaning purpose to produce a verb meaning to have fun in a noisy way, normally accompanied by the partaking of alcoholic refreshment.

21d  Changed course due to report of diplomacy (6)
{TACKED} – changed course when sailing (by turning a boat’s head into and through the wind) sounds like (report of) a noun meaning sensitivity or diplomacy.

22d  Units deployed to support one are correctly positioned (2,4)
{IN SITU} – an anagram (deployed) of “units” around (to support) I (one) produces a latin term meaning in the correct, or original, position.

24d  Location? Listen to sense (4)
{SITE} – a synonym for location also sounds like (listen to) one of the five senses.

26d  Ship’s movement makes you throw up! (4)
{TOSS} – a ship’s movement in rough seas is also a verb meaning to throw up (when the result may be heads or tails!).

There are a few enjoyable clues in this one, my favourites being 26d and 12a. What do you think? – leave us a comment!


  1. Ian
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I agree, not too taxing on a sunny Thursday……..
    12A made me smile and it’s always nice to have a 14 letter anagram to chew on!

  2. gazza
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Ian. Coincidentally I had written “sunny Thursday” in my introduction but I then thought that it might not be sunny where some of our readers live, so I took out the “sunny” – I was pretty sure that it would be Thursday everywhere!

  3. Pixie
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    I think I must have been scatterbrained as that was the last one I got, just couldn’t work out the anagram.

    Pretty easy today though and was sat in a sunny pub garden whilst doing it!

  4. Pixie
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Please mentally insert the missing word ‘been’ as the sixth word in my previous comment

    Too much sun+wine at lunch obviously. :-)

  5. gazza
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Pixie. I’m impressed that you can still produce grammatically correct sentences after a liquid lunch! Now would be a good time to move on to the Toughie, if you haven’t done so already!

  6. Posted March 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Permalink


    Did you realise I can change the comments!! Any nasty ones I just alter into compliments (just joking!).

  7. mike
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Re: 17a, why does issue = SON (male in this case)? Can you expand on this, thanks.

  8. Posted March 19, 2009 at 6:55 pm | Permalink


    One of the many meanings of issue is offspring or children – in crosswords this usually means son, as daughter doesn’t fit into many wordplays (except as the abbreviation D).