DT Cryptic No 25891

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25891

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

This puzzle is relatively easy, as long as you can get 7 down.  If you can’t, then the answer is below!


7a Huge movie (7)
{TITANIC} – this easy double definition should get you started

8a Studying one planted in newly laid out garden (7)
{READING} – another word for studying where newly laid out signals an anagram of GARDEN and planted in signals that I (one) is inserted into the anagram – although the wordplay on clues like this one suggests solving the anagram and then placing the additional letter(s) inside, they are best solved by regarding all the letters as an anagram; but bear in mind that if more than one letter is to be inserted, they must be in the specified sequence within the result

10a Private individual lacking energy to keep going (7,2)
{SOLDIER ON} – private leads us to a person engaged in military service, and ON(E) is individual lacking E(nergy); together they give a phrase meaning to keep going

11a Animals turn back, having no right to fight (3-2)
{SET-TO} – these animals are OTTE(R)S and when you remove the R (having no Right) and reverse (turn back) the result you have a synonym for to fight – another of those clues where you guess the answer and work out the wordplay afterwards

12a One entering road bolted (5)
{RACED} – this one is the card with one spot; put it inside RD (RoaD) and you have a word meaning ran or bolted

13a Angry after golf club medal (4,5)
{IRON CROSS} – this nice easy charade leads you to a German war medal

15a Hormone treatment for Linus inside home (7)
{INSULIN} – an anagram (treatment) of LINUS inside IN (crosswordese for home)

17a One carried by old soldier, soldier back in former war zone (7)
{VIETNAM} – the old soldier is a VET, and he around (carrying) I (one) and followed by MAN (soldier) reversed (back) to give this Asian former war zone

18a Farming economy (9)
{HUSBANDRY} – a neat double definition of these two meanings of an old-fashioned word

20a Rule amended to include married primate (5)
{LEMUR} – this primate is an anagram (amended) of RULE around (included) M(arried)

21a Mouthpiece for musical instrument (5)
{ORGAN} – another nice double definition where mouthpiece refers to a newspaper, as a means of communicating information, and the musical instrument is one commonly found in churches, but with an allusion to a further musical instrument that is like a harmonica

23a Drunk, woolly – and well-organised (9)
{TIGHTKNIT} – a charade of TIGHT (drunk) and KNIT (woolly) give a word meaning well-organised

24a Cost of swans being introduced to river (7)
{EXPENSE} – the female swans are PENS and the river to which they are introduced is the EXE; the whole is a synonym for cost – I might add rivers frequently used in crosswords, like Dee, Po, Nile and this one to The Mine

25a Hold back female artist during check (7)
{REFRAIN} – the F(emale) RA (artist) is inside (during) REIN (check) to give a word meaning to hols back – the fiendish mind of the crossword setter is at work here; both hold and back are frequently used in their own right to signal wordplay, but here they define the answer!


1d A lanky Scot’s running, no matter what the consequences may be (2,3,5)
{AT ALL COSTS} – A TALL (a lanky) then running signals an anagram of SCOTS, and the whole is a phrase meaning no matter what the consequences may be

2d Cruel, a French child pinching note (6)
{UNKIND} – UN (a, French) with KID (child) around (pinching) N(ote) to give a synonym for cruel

3d Stinging creature in house on top of nightstand (8)
{SCORPION} – the eighth house of the Zodiac is followed by N (top of Nightstand) to give this stinging creature

4d Drunk on port? At once! (6)
{PRONTO} – drunk signals this simple but honest anagram of ON PORT to give a word meaning at once that seems to constitute about 90 % of all Spanish telephone conversations

5d Wholesale slaughter in field after religious ceremony (8)
{MASSACRE} – the field is an ACRE, and it follows a religious ceremony, often held at midnight, to give a wholesale slaughter

6d Pass on third of motions in legislative assembly (4)
{DIET} – once again, its all about ignoring the surface reading – DIE (pass on) and T (third letter of moTions) give this name for a legislative assembly, the best known example being, that old schoolboy favourite, the one held at Worms in 1521

7d Film, a new version of Oliver Twist? Oh! (2,3,4,4)
{TO SIR WITH LOVE} – new version signals that this film, starring Sidney Poitier and with a theme sung by Lulu,  is an anagram of OLIVER TWIST OH

9d Freight train crashed blocking a motorway – a helping hand is required (4,9)
{GOOD SAMARITAN} – read this as ” freight / TRAIN crashed / blocking / A Motorway A”  and then you get “GOODS RITAN around A M A” giving a helping hand

14d Fancy having to quote New Testament in test (10)
{ORNAMENTAL} – this synonym for fancy is built up from NAME (to quote) and NT (New Testament) all inside ORAL (test)

16d Liberal getting paid for knowledge (8)
{LEARNING} – L(iberal) and a synonym for getting paid give this word meaning knowledge – clues like these are always good to get you into the surrounding part of the puzzle

17d Travellers – egos vary at sea (8)
{VOYAGERS} – a fairly obvious anagram (at sea) of EGOS VARY give you these travellers

19d Tired out going round hospital? That could make one be indecisive (6)
{DITHER} – an anagram (out) of TIRED around H(ospital) makes one be indecisive

20d Pardon the Parisian, a good sort (3,3)
{LET OFF} – LE (the, Parisian / French) and TOFF (a good sort, a bit like Bertie Wooster) for a phrase meaning to pardon

22d Good mimic gets one to stare open-mouthed (4)
{GAPE} – G(ood) and APE (mimic) give to stare open-mouthed, and an easy end to the puzzle

A very enjoyable puzzle, but did you get 7 down without help, or understand the wordplay in 3 down?

Here are all the answers: