DT Cryptic No 25886 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT Cryptic No 25886

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25886

Today’s hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

A typical Thursday puzzle with some interesting clues but not too taxing.

Across Clues

1a  Nonsense surrounding public transport being in a healthy state (6)
{ROBUST} – a slang term for nonsense surrounds a type of public road transport to form an adjective meaning healthy, strong and vigorous.

4a  Accepts there’s trouble with the points (6)
{ADOPTS} – trouble in cryptic crosswords is very often ADO – add to this an abbreviation for points to get a verb meaning accepts or formally approves.

8a  The physical consequence of a passion that’s reckless? (4,4)
{HEAT RASH} – an amusing cryptic definition of an inflammatory skin condition caused by obstruction of the ducts of the sweat glands, resulting from exposure to high temperature and humidity. It’s made up of a synonym for passion followed by another word for reckless.

10a  Horse crossing river gets ruffled (6)
{FRILLY} – a young female horse has inside it (crossing) R for river to produce a word meaning gathered into a frill (ruffled).

11a  Answer in pen, but check (4)
{STAY} – the type of pen where pigs are housed contains A(nswer) to make a verb meaning check or suspend.

12a  One gets paid to provide fair handed treatment (10)
{MANICURIST} – a nice cryptic definition of someone who specialises in providing a make-over for hands.

13a  Share in famous people’s festivities (12)
{CELEBRATIONS} – a word for an allotted fixed share of something (especially in times of shortage) is placed inside (in) a slang term for famous people (who can be A-list, B-list and all the way down to Z-list these days!) to form a word for festivities or revels.

16a  Achieved success, being highly skilled (12)
{ACCOMPLISHED} – double meaning – a verb meaning achieved success or completed successfully, and an adjective meaning highly skilled in a particular activity.

20a  Representation from a recruit worried by external criteria (10)
{CARICATURE} – an anagram (worried) of “a recruit” plus the outside (external) two letters of CriteriA produces a word meaning a representation or drawing of someone with certain characteristics exaggerated for comic effect (the work of a cartoonist, for example).

21a  Post traumatic situation (4)
{SPOT} – an anagram (traumatic) of “post” gets a word meaning situation [this could be tricky – there are at least five anagrams of post!].

22a  Label attached to tabloid for the rabble (6)
{RAGTAG} – the standard derogatory term for a tabloid newspaper is followed by (attached to) a synonym for label to form a word (often twinned with bobtail) describing the masses or the rabble.

23a  Gangster confronting flash fool (8 )
{HOODWINK} – an American slang term for a gangster or violent criminal is followed by (confronting) the flashing of a single eyelid (as overused by Anne Robinson) to produce a verb meaning to deceive, trick or fool.

24a  Last to finish university? Engineers! (6)
{ENDURE} – a verb meaning to last or survive is formed from a three-stage charade; firstly a synonym for finish, then U for university, and finally the standard abbreviation for the Royal Engineers.

25a  A French right to be wrong (6)
{UNTRUE} – putting the French indefinite article in front of a word meaning right or correct turns it into the exact opposite, i.e. false or incorrect.

Down Clues

1d  Right tone perhaps, to suppress information on scale of radiation (8 )
{ROENTGEN} – an anagram (perhaps) of R(ight) and “tone” suppresses (i.e. sits on top of, in a down clue) an informal word for information to form the surname of the German physicist who discovered X-rays, and after whom a unit of radiation intensity is named.

2d  Races in to purchase something to eat (5)
{BUTTY} – races are the TT (Tourist Trophy) motorcycle races held annually on the Isle of Man and these letters come inside (in) a synonym for purchase to form an informal term for a sandwich (something to eat). [I always thought this was a modern word, but in fact it originated in the mid-19th century].

3d  Earl’s reformed around two thousand in prison (7)
{SLAMMER} – an anagram (reformed) of “earl’s” around MM (Roman numerals for 2,000) gives us a slang word for prison, presumably so called because of the noise made by cell doors when they are banged shut.

5d  In reality, fed up with scenes on love (2,5)
{DE FACTO} – a latin phrase meaning the actual, though not necessarily correct or legal, state of affairs (often contrasted with “de jure” – what the situation should be by law) is made up of  “fed” backwards (up) followed by a division of a play containing one or more scenes, and finally “O” (love, as in tennis).

6d  Flowers can make proper wines (9)
{PRIMROSES} – pale yellow flowers which appear in our hedgerows at this time of year are made up of a word for proper or stiffly correct followed by types of wine (which are neither red nor white), although you have to ignore the acute accent to make the clue work! [only this week we’ve learnt that this type of wine, accompanied by free-range eggs and rotisserie chickens, has made it into the official basket of 650 goods and services used by the Office for National Statistics to calculate UK inflation rates].

7d  The odds on whip getting wet (6)
{SPLASH} – the odds are SP (starting price in a horse or greyhound race) and this is followed by (on) a synonym for whip to form a verb meaning to make wet.

9d  The sort of existence crew have to speak of silently? (4,2,5)
{HAND TO MOUTH} -the sort of existence that implies living or surviving on a minute to minute basis (no sooner have you acquired some food than it’s eaten!) is made up of a synonym for crew followed by (on) a verb meaning to speak without any sound coming out. (The late Les Dawson (in the “Cissy and Ada” sketches) would move his lips to produce unmentionable words without sound – this was in fact an acute observation of a real tradition which began in the cotton mills, where the sound of the machinery was so loud that mill workers developed their own way of communicating over the noise).

14d  Came off a diet – perhaps too thin? (9)
{EMACIATED} – a nicely worded clue based on an anagram (off) of “came” and (perhaps) “a diet” which lead to an adjective meaning abnormally thin.

15d  Condemn the little weight given to study (8 )
{DENOUNCE} – an imperial measurement of weight (equivalent to one-sixteenth of a pound avoirdupois or about 28 grams) follows (given to) a word meaning a study or a small room where someone can work or relax in privacy, to form a verb meaning to condemn or criticise openly.

17d  Horse power thus restored? (7)
{CHARGER} – a word meaning both a horse ridden in battle and a device used to re-energize  equipment such as a mobile phone.

18d  Old wine is different – it has to rest (3,4)
{LIE DOWN} – an anagram (is different) of “old wine” gives us a term meaning to have a rest in a horizontal position.

19d  Friend with service in royal house (6)
{PALACE} – a synonym for friend is followed by (with) a word for an unplayable service (as sent down by Roger Federer or Serena Williams, say) to form an ostentatious house where royalty live.

21d  Prophet offering protection for women’s outlet (5)
{SEWER} – a word meaning prophet includes (offering protection for) W(omen) to produce an underground conduit for drainage water and waste matter.

There were several clues that I really liked, including 8a, 12a and 9d, but my “clue of the day” is 14d. Let me know whether you agree or disagree via a comment.

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