DT Cryptic No 25892

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25892

Today’s hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

Another pretty straightforward Thursday puzzle.

Across Clues

1a  Tennis shorts? (5,7)
{MIXED DOUBLES} – double definition – a tennis match involving both sexes, and strong alcoholic drinks served in larger than standard measures.

9a  Trade name mainly for a cereal (4)
{BRAN} – trade name is BRAND. Shorten this (mainly) to get a cereal full of fibre.

10a  Home team dismissed in total reversal (6,3)
{INSIDE OUT} – a charade-type clue of three parts – firstly IN (“home” is very often “in”), then a synonym for team, and finally OUT (dismissed, as of a batting team in cricket). The whole is a description of something that has been totally reversed.

12a  Science that chooses to accept single constant (6)
{OPTICS} – the science is the scientific study of sight and the behavior of light, and the word is made up of a synonym for chooses with inside it (to accept) I (single) and C (a constant denoting the speed of light in a vacuum).

13a  Speaks authoritatively of French demands (8 )
{DECLAIMS} – the French word for “of” followed by CLAIMS (demands) gives us a verb meaning “speaks authoritatively”.

15a  Writer, inward-looking, from Iberia (10)
{PENINSULAR} – writer is not a person, but the implement used to write with, and this is followed by an adjective meaning self-centred, not a good mixer. The whole means “almost an island” and describes land that projects out into the sea (the Iberian one being a good example – Wellington was involved in a major campaign here during the Napoleonic Wars).

16a  Girl half in love with artist (4)
{VERA} – the answer is a girl’s name – take two letters (half) from “love” and add RA (Royal Academician, the standard abbreviation for artist in crosswords) to get the name (I suppose the most well-known person with this name is the Dame who was the forces’ sweetheart during the war).

18a  Band is quiet when inside (4)
{SASH} – an admonition to keep quiet or tone it down includes AS (when) to form a band of cloth which is often worn as part of a uniform.

20a  Crop specialist who finds margins too tight (10)
{AGRONOMIST} – an anagram (tight, presumably used in the sense of drunk!) of  “margins too” produces the name of a person who specialises in soil management and crop production.

23a  Wrapped up two points and finished (8 )
{ENCLOSED} – two of the cardinal points, in this case E and N, are followed by a synonym for finished (as in brought to an end) to form a word meaning surrounded (wrapped up).

24a  Last up orders some of it in a daze (6)
{STUPOR} – this word meaning a daze is hidden (signaled by “some of it”) in “last up orders”.

26a  Thinking of making contact? (9)
{TELEPATHY} – a cryptic definition of a word for a method of communication by thought processes alone.

27a  Talk about right to have something to wear (4)
{GARB} – talk is GAB and this is around (about) R(ight) to give a word for clothing.

28a  She’ll not drag out, there’s a tight grip! (12)
{STRANGLEHOLD} – an anagram (out) of “she’ll not grab” gives us the name of a choking hold in wrestling.

Down Clues

2d  Naive individual names old money in the States (8 )
{INNOCENT} – a charade of I (individual) then N (name) twice then O(ld) and finally a coin from the US (money in the States) leads us eventually to a word meaning unaffected or naïve.

3d  Rework article, ditching part of it (4)
{EDIT} – this is a nicely worded clue. The presence of  “ditching” is deliberately confusing since it makes you think that the answer is a word with some bits dropped – actually, hidden  (signaled by “part of it”) inside “article ditching” is a verb meaning to correct or rework written material.

4d  Men chased by posse dread being punished (10)
{DESPERADOS} – another neat clue – this time an anagram (being punished) of “posse dread” leads to an old Spanish term for desperate men or wild ruffians.

5d  A Parisian – appropriately and excessively! (6)
{UNDULY} – UN (French for A) is followed by DULY (appropriately) to form a word meaning excessively.

6d  Views rumoured to support cat worship (7)
{LIONISE} – “rumoured” is an indication that part of the answer sounds like part of the clue. In this case it sounds like “eyes” (a synonym for views). This comes after (supports, in a down clue) the largest African cat of all to form a verb meaning to treat as a celebrity (worship).

7d  Posed with one’s plant – that’s acceptable (12)
{SATISFACTORY} – posed is SAT (as for an artist) and this is followed by IS (one’s) and a manufacturing facility (plant) to produce a word meaning o.k. or acceptable. This word used to appear a lot on my school reports, and I always suspected it meant that the teacher could not quite remember who I was!

8d  Frenchman found in British school (6)
{BRETON} – a native of Brittany is formed from BR (British) and the name of the school, without which, it seems, no crossword would be complete.

11d  Capable of reasoning that source of money coming in stops income varying (6,6)
{COMPOS MENTIS} – an anagram (varying) of “stops income” includes M (source, i.e. first letter, of money) to form a latin phrase meaning of sound mind (capable of reasoning).

14d  Fault-finding referee rumoured to be mad! (10)
{JUDGMENTAL} – here we have “rumoured” again, so it’s another sound-alike, this time of JUDGE (referee). This is followed by a synonym of mad to form an adjective meaning nitpicking or fault-finding.

17d  Left centre court with fashionable girl from the country (8 )
{PORTUGAL} – left is PORT (left side of a ship) and this is followed by U (centre of court) and an alternative spelling of “girl” based on an affected pronunciation. The whole is a country which forms part of the area discussed in 15a and is Britain’s oldest ally.

19d  Lay out clues with endless care (7)
{SECULAR} – this is a cleverly-worded clue. The answer is a synonym for “lay” (in the sense of “not religious”), and it is formed from an anagram (out) of “clues” followed by (with) the middle two letters of cARe. “Endless” normally signals that a word is without its last letter – here, however, the compiler is using it to mean “without both ends”.

21d  Meaning one gets married to wine? (6)
{IMPORT} – one is I and married is M and these are followed by a fortified wine (from the country identified in 17d) to form a noun denoting implicit meaning or significance.

22d  Token putsch over working (6)
{COUPON} – putsch is a Swiss German word meaning a swiftly-mounted attempt to seize power. What we want is a French word for the same thing, followed by ON (as in switched on, i.e. working), to form a term for a voucher or token.

25d  The compiler’s time on heroin – it’s a lie! (4)
{MYTH} – “The compiler’s” is MY – follow this with T (time) and H (heroin) to get something which is not true.

There’s not too much competition for “clue of the day” but my favourite is 4 down. What do you think? Let us know via a comment.


  1. bigboab
    Posted April 2, 2009 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Not too bad today, liked 1a.

  2. gazza
    Posted April 2, 2009 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Thanks bigboab.
    I agree that 1a is quite good, but although the first word of the answer works quite well on the “tennis” part it doesn’t really add much to the “shorts” definition. I suppose what I’m saying is that the clue would have been even better with a single word answer.

  3. kdz
    Posted April 2, 2009 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    My fave was ‘desperados’ too. Didn’t quite like the phrasing for ‘telepathy’, could have been better.

  4. johnl
    Posted April 2, 2009 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    16a ” Girl half in love with artist (4)

    I had “NORA” on the rationale:

    “half in” = N
    “love” = O
    “artist” = RA

    Frankly I think its a tighter definition than the “correct” solution.

    Mind you it did make 6 Down even more obscure than it was to begin with!

    And whats with all these “rumoured” everywhere?
    Speaking as one of the “wavering multitude” I think I’m in agreement with the Bard :
    ” Rumour is a pipe
    Blown by surmises,jealousies,conjectures…”
    HenryIV, Part 2

  5. gazza
    Posted April 2, 2009 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Your reasoning is so good that Nora deserves to be right! I didn’t see that at all, but it often depends on the order in which you fill in the answers – from what I remember I’d already got 6d when I got to 16a, so “O” was not an option for the second character. I wish it had been Nora, then I could have linked to Nora Batty rather than Vera Lynn!
    As for “rumoured” I think that compilers are always scratching around for new indicators to signal anagrams, sound-alikes and so on.