DT Cryptic No 25885

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25885

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

A very enjoyable crossword today with a good variety of clues. By that I found that both the variety of types of clues and the complexity of clues was very well balanced.


1. Rock singer (7)
{DIAMOND} – A treble (?) definition to start with, of a jewel, commonly a girl’s best friend, and a singer, songwriter who wrote songs such as “Sweet Caroline”, “I’m a Believer” and “Red Red Wine”. I am not sure that you could classify him as a “Rock Singer” though…

5. Aids movement of sheep left and right (7)
{HELPERS} – An anagram of SHEEP (movement of) with L(eft) and R(ight) to give a word commonly associated with those people who assist other people.

9. Telephone message is unmanned, we hear (5)
{VOICE} – A telephone message is usually called VOICEMAIL, if we unman it and remove MAIL sounds like male (we hear) we are left with the answer.

10. Fashion is about – and I’m eager (9)
{AMBITIOUS} – Don’t let the anagram indicators confuse you. This looks like an anagram of Fashion is (about), but it isn’t. In fact its an anagram of IS ABOUT and IM (fashion) to create a word for someone who wants to achieve success (eager).

11. They hold can or stein when drunk (10)
{CONTAINERS} – Another anagram this time of CAN OR STEIN (when drunk) that is typically used to hold things.

12. Girl grabbing new belt (4)
{ZONE} – A girl, ZOE with N(ew) (grabbing) to create an area that is usually distinguished from other areas (belt).

14. Parallels with IRA missile, it is broadcast (12)
{SIMILARITIES} – An anagram of IRA MISSILE IT (is broadcast) that is used to create anothe word for something that has parralels or resembles something.

18. Stock in branch sent off for orders (12)
{ARRANGEMENTS} – Stock in this case is a collection of goods, that for example a shop sells, RANGE, this is then placed within a branch (ARM) and is followed by an arrangement of SENT (off) to create a word sometimes used to describe how a complicated trip is ordered.

21. Doctor does give one a quantity of medicine (4)
{DOSE} – Another clue, created to confuse the unwary. Immediately you start thinking about words that begin with DR or MO (common words often used for Doctor) e.g. DRIP, but once again if you read more carefully, you realise that Doctor is the anagram indicator of DOES, which can then be arranged to create a quantity of medicine.

22. Fit for serving (10)
{PROPORTION} – A nicely constructed clue, where the whole is a sum of the parts, and more. Fit for could be used to indicate that something is in favour of something, PRO, and a serving is a PORTION, put together you have a word that can mean that when you take a relevant number of ingredients and put them together properly, you have something that is correctly related. Equally you could take “fit”, and “for serving” separately and associate the answer to either.

25. Hot and terribly sore rear after sitting here? (9)
{HORSEBACK} – Phew, after that back to something less existential. H(ot), plus SORE rearranged (terribly), and rear (BACK), to give a word that might give you a hot and sore rear if you sat there long enough.

26. Crossword remuneration isn’t massive earner initially – they say it doesn’t pay (5)
{CRIME} – The key word here is initially, take the first letters of C(rossword), R(emuneration). I(sn’t), M(assive), E(arner). To give a word commonly associated with an occupation that “doesn’t pay”.

27. Quietly lets out cheers (7)
{PLEASES} – P is quietly, lets out is LEASES, for a word that gives enjoyment and cheer.

28. One supposedly intelligent working on DPhil (7)
{DOLPHIN} – An anagram of ON D PHIL (working), that is the name of a sea creature that is “supposedly” intelligent.


1. Scheme woman has to snare man (6)
{DEVICE} – The woman’s name in this case is DEE, and inside (snare) you have to put a man’s name (VIC). This gives you another word for scheme.

2. Immigrants stay in one leisure centre (6)
{ALIENS} – Stay is to LIE inside AN (one) plus the central letter of leiSure gives us another term for illegal immigrants.

3. Functions carried out by bones? (10)
{OPERATIONS} – Another word for bones might be Doctor or even a Surgeon (just like Star Trek). Now all you have to do is think of the normal functions that they then carry out on patients.

4. Sketched river during daybreak (5)
{DRAWN} – Daybreak is DAWN, and inside (during) you need to place R(iver) for a word meaning sketched.

5. Shot the bear in winter (9)
{HIBERNATE} – This is a nice clue too, where the answer is an anagram of THE BEAR IN (shot), but the answer also means what a bear in winter would typically do.

6. Allows man to grab end of waist (4)
{LETS} – The end of (wais)T with the name of a man LES around it (grabs), create another word for allows.

7. Comic — one that’s funny and profitable (8 )
{ECONOMIC} – An anagram of COMIC and ONE (that’s funny) for something that us usually break even or profitable.

8. Old poet almost held us in excitement (8 )
{SUSPENSE} – Another well constructed clue. The old poet was the author of the “Faerie Queene”, almost, so remove the final R (almost), and then place a changed US in front (in excitement) to also give a word that means to be held in a state of excitement. [As pointed out in the National Post Cryptic Crossword Forum, this should be SPENSE(R) around (held) US not SU + SPENSE(R).  Thank you Falcon]

13. Authentic playing – is it choral? (10)
{HISTORICAL} – An anagram of IS IT CHORAL (playing) for a word that means based on or concerned with events in history and is therefore authentic.

15. They may be found on the beach solving crime case (3,6)
{ICE CREAMS} – Another anagram of CRIME CASE (solving) for a treat usually bought when you are at the sea side.

16. Want solid boat (8 )
{HARDSHIP} – Solid is HARD, a boat is SHIP, put together is another word for needy, or want.

17. Retain soft, restrained manner (8 )
{PRESERVE} – As usual when you see the word soft, think of the musical expression used for soft, in this case P(iano), then find a word for a restrained manner, which could also mean retain. (a nice play on words here).

19. Sole perhaps caught in drain (6)
{FINISH} – Sole in this case is a FISH, with IN inside (caught) for a word that is used, when something is all used up. Or the taste left in the mouth after wine has been swallowed.

20. Nun moves around bishop’s office, not spotted (6)
{UNSEEN} – You need the three-letter word, that defines the official seat or office of a bishop, and then take NUN and then move it around. This will give a word for not spotted or not seen.

23. Stirred up card game right away with diamonds (5)
{POKED} – A common card game sometimes played for very high stakes, with the end letter R (right away) removed, which is then replaced with a D(iamonds) for a word that is a synonym of prodded (stirred up).

24. Little girl upset by small cots (4)
{BEDS} – Little girl is DEB(ra), reversed in this case (upset) with S(mall), for another word for cots.


  1. john w
    Posted March 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    1ac had me fixated on LORELEI and then (when I checked the final D) MERMAID.
    There was no way I’d find the right answer, so 1dn, 2dn and 3dn were lost to me.
    I even thought 2dn might be RECENT (hidden word) which would have been a poor clue!

    My worst result for a very long time.

  2. Posted March 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm | Permalink


    If it’s any consolation, I had Lorelei at first, but I did get to Mr Diamond without falling for a mermaid along the way.

    As a died-in-the-wool rock’n’roll fan (listening at the moment to Billy Fury) I would never categorize him as Rock (more like 8 across in today’s Toughie) and am the proud owner of absolutely none of his recordings.