DT Cryptic No 25890 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT Cryptic No 25890

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25890

Today’s hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

I had a sense of déjà vu when doing this puzzle since many of the answers seemed to have cropped up recently! It’s a typical Tuesday puzzle – nothing too complicated or tricky.


1a   Hoarder, one hopping between branches? (8 )
{SQUIRREL} – double meaning (although the first meaning is derived from the second) – someone who stores away a supply of things (nuts, for example?) and a bushy-tailed tree-living rodent (one hopping between the branches).

5a   Composer from Australia in vehicle reversing (6)
{MOZART} – the vehicle is a form of public transport which runs on rails and is being reintroduced into many of our major cities. This is backwards (reversing) around OZ (a slang term for an Australian) to form the name of an Austrian composer.

9a   Put a diet under review indicating intelligence (8 )
{APTITUDE} – an anagram (under review) of “put a diet” produces a word meaning natural ability or readiness to learn (intelligence).

10a   Unimportant employee put back container for drink (6)
{COGNAC} – a word meaning a catch or tooth on a wheel has come to mean one menial employee amongst many in a large organisation. Follow this with a container (for soup or baked beans, for example) backwards (put back) to form the name of a high-quality brandy named after a medieval town in the Poitou-Charentes region of Western France.

12a   Foul discord erupted with no end of panic (6)
{SORDID} – remove the C from discord (with no end of paniC) and from the remaining letters form an anagram (erupted) meaning dirty, squalid or foul.

13a   Young woman bound, we hear, to produce doubt (8 )
{MISTRUST} – put together homophones of MISS (young woman) and TRUSSED (bound) to produce a word meaning doubt.

15a   One sitting in car in outskirts of Croydon gets warning (7)
{CAUTION} – One is I, which is inside (in) a synonym for car, which is, in turn, in the outside letters (outskirts) of CroydoN. The whole is a word meaning an official warning.

16a   Mark second estate, say (4)
{SCAR} – First is S (for second) and this is followed by something of which estate is an example (say) – (other examples might be saloon or hatchback!). The whole thing is a mark left on the skin.

20a   A grate partly open (4)
{AJAR} – A plus a synonym for the verb to grate produce an adjective meaning partly open.

21a   Traitor’s principal cause (7)
{TREASON} – T (the principal letter of traitor) is followed by a synonym for cause to form the crime which a traitor commits. This is a good example of an “all-in-one” clue where the whole clue is both the full definition and all the wordplay.

25a   Flower produced by a set-up in Welsh town (8 )
{MARIGOLD} – my initial thought was that “set-up” signaled an anagram or a reversal, but it’s simpler than that. It’s a noun meaning the way the masts and rigging of  a sailing boat are arranged, and it is inside (in) the Welsh town of MOLD to form the name of a flower.

26a   Race going downhill? Nothing in mall’s organised (6)
{SLALOM} – an anagram (organised) of  “mall’s” has an O (nothing) in it to produce a type of downhill ski race where the skier has to weave his way through a number of “gates”.

28a   Staid scribe discontented girlfriend? (6)
{SEDATE} – a synonym for staid is produced from the outside letters (discontented) of ScribE plus a word for girlfriend (or boyfriend, or, more usually, what they go out on).

29a   Lean cord getting threadbare? It’s full of holes (8 )
{COLANDER} – a nice anagram (getting threadbare) of “lean cord” produces a kitchen utensil which, intentionally, has a lot of holes.

30a   Adamant refusal to accept right in country (6)
{NORWAY}  – an emphatic expression of disagreement includes (to accept) R(ight) to form the name of a Scandinavian country which used to be famous for getting “nul points” in the Eurovision Song Contest – nowadays that disgrace is more likely to fall on our entry!

31a   What those on boards do hidden from view? (8 )
{REHEARSE} – a cryptic definition of what the actors in a play do to practise their roles without an audience being present.


1d   Article in press surprisingly thinly based (6)
{SPARSE} – the article is A – put this in an anagram (surprisingly) of press to form an adjective meaning scanty or thinly scattered.

2d   Improvement at college with shift (6)
{UPTURN} – a charade-type clue with UP (at college) followed by a synonym for shift to form a word meaning improvement (in the economy, for example).

3d   Artist beginning to transmit work of giant dramatist (8 )
{RATTIGAN} – it seems only a few days ago that this dramatist last featured [it was actually in Toughie 115 on 20th March when the clue was: “Playwright managed to drink a dry one with drop of ginger”]. This time the writer of  “The Winslow Boy” and many other notable plays is made up from the standard abbreviation for a member of the Royal Academy (artist), T (the beginning of Transmit) and an anagram (work) of giant.

4d   Whirlwind characterised dynamo in part (4)
{EDDY} – “in part” signals that the answer may be a hidden word, and indeed it is. Look in “characterised dynamo” to find a word meaning whirlwind.

6d   Troop wandering around old city (6)
{OPORTO} – an anagram (wandering) of “troop” includes O(ld) to produce the name of a city in northern Portugal, famous for the production of the fortified wine which can be found in its name.

7d   Make known part of speech in a new church (8 )
(ANNOUNCE} – “part” does not always signal a hidden word. Here it’s NOUN (part of speech) appearing inside A, N(ew) and a common abbreviation for the established church to generate a verb meaning to proclaim or make known.

8d   Train cut after changes? I’m disinclined to speak (8 )
{TACITURN} – a straightforward anagram (after changes) of “train cut” produces a description of someone who is reserved and says little.

11d   Four books kept by friend crucially important (7)
{PIVOTAL} – a synonym for friend includes (kept) the Roman numerals for 4 (IV) and OT (the abbreviation for the books of the Old Testament), to form a word meaning crucial.

14d   Unproductive part of  Leicester, I learnt (7)
{STERILE} – once again “part of” signals a hidden word. This time it’s inside “Leicester, I learnt” and it means barren or unproductive.

17d   Normal names manufactured cheese (8 )
{PARMESAN} – a word for normal (or standard, especially on a golf course) is followed by an anagram (manufactured) of “names” to form a hard, dry cheese which originated in the Italian city of Parma. We usually eat it in grated form (and delicious it is on a bowl of chilli con carne!).

18d   Support grabbed by young chap – or a dog (8 )
{LABRADOR} – an amusing clue with a female undergarment (which is very often  the answer to “support” in cryptic puzzles) inside (grabbed by) a young chap. This is followed by OR to form the most popular breed of dog in the country, which comes in three colours – black, golden and chocolate [mine’s black and, as I’m typing this, he’s reminding me that he has not yet had his breakfast!].

19d   Same lout disrupted partner? (4,4)
{SOUL MATE} – an anagram (disrupted) of  “same lout” to form a term for someone who is ideally suited to be one’s partner.

22d   Woman, a delightful person largely with funny hat (6)
{AGATHA} – A woman’s name is made up of A GAS (an informal term for a delightful or amusing person) with the final letter dropped (largely) followed by an anagram (funny) of hat. Nowadays this is not a common name, and it automatically brings to mind the prolific author who introduced us to Jane Marple,  Hercule Poirot  and the wonderful Chief Inspector Japp.

23d   A craft that relies on current power? (6)
{GLIDER} – the current power which this flying craft relies on is air currents, since it has no engines!

24d   Elevation for, say, army section to come out (6)
{EMERGE} – “say” is EG (for example) – follow this with the abbreviation for the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, then turn the whole thing upside down (elevation, in a down clue) to form a verb meaning to come out.

27d   Manage company drills (4)
{COPE} – a straightforward charade-type clue. Put together the standard abbreviations for company and drills (physical exercises) to form a word meaning to manage or deal effectively with something.

Let us know how you used this review – did you find the hints useful, or were you only interested in revealing the answers inside the curly brackets? Leave us a comment!

3 comments on “DT Cryptic No 25890

  1. Nice straightforward puzzle today but needed your explanation of 25A as I had never heard of a Welsh town called Mold! You also helped me to understand 22d as I would never have associated A GAS with ‘delightful’, amusing maybe but definitely not delightful. So in answer to your question, yes please keep going as it really helps if you are new to cryptic

  2. Roy,
    Thanks for your support. My Chambers says of gas “delightful, impressive, exciting” so I guess it’s a legitimate word to use in the clue.

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