DT Cryptic No 25901

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25901

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

A reasonably straightforward start to the week from our regular Monday setter.  Lots of cryptic definitions and anagrams to give you a good start in completing it.  My only grumble is with the grid itself; 18 answers each contain a double unchecked letter and if the cluing hadn’t been so solver- friendly, I could imagine I would have had trouble.  14 had me looking for something less obvious than it actually was, but generally a nice friendly puzzle after a weekend of solving some really tough beasts.  Thanks to Big Dave for a nudge with 9 across.  And now back to writing almost 200 questions for our local quiz league Individual Mastermind Championship.


1        A point always cut (6)
{SEVER}             A simple word-sum.  S (Point of the compass) +  EVER (always) =  SEVER (cut)

4        Scratch game (4)
{SCRABBLE}   A double definition clue.  To scrabble is to scratch around looking for something, and of course it is also the game invented by Mr Alfred Butts.

8        Lived in when engaged (8)
{OCCUPIED}  Another double defintion, this time a little more obvious.

9        Leave no doubt it’s a period on strike (5,3)
{SPELL OUT}  A word sum..  To spell out something is to leave no doubt.  SPELL =  Period and OUT = on strike.,  Thanks to Big Dave, as I was barking slightly up the wrong tree.

11      Unsuccessful student making fresh start at Rugby  (4,3)
{DROP OUT}  Yet another double definition A Drop Out is an unsuccessful student, and also a way of restarting a Rugby match.

13      Being in the wrong scene, exit (9)
{EXISTENCE}  An anagram of SCENE, EXIT.  Nice clue made to sound like a Shakespearean stage direction.

15      How one may get down to make money dishonestly? (7,4,4)
{FEATHER ONE’S NEST}  Double definition, one of which reminds me of the old joke:

Q:      How do you get down from an elephant?
A:      You get down from a duck not an elephant!

18      The point of this device is not always apparent (6-3)
{SAFETY-PIN}   Cryptic definition.  When closed, a safety pin’s pin is hidden!

21      Got to the point — summed up without a word of hesitation (7)
{TAPERED}       ER (a word of hesitation)  inside TAPED.  Haven’t heard of TAPE meaning to sum up, Chambers has tape (verb) as “to get the range or measure of” – a bit weak for me.

22      You get all types in this trade (8)
{PRINTING}       Cryptic definition,  you’ll find old-fashioned printers use all sorts of types, as in type-setting.

24      A romantic tangle (4,4)
{LOVE KNOT}    Cryptic definition.

25      Produce vibrations and notes are created (8)
{RESONATE}    An anagram of NOTES ARE with “created” as the indicator.

26      Given such a start, where you should be! (5)
{AHEAD}   Think of a phrase:  “_ / _ _ _ _ / START”, and as the clue says, if you get one you’ll be …..


1        Deposits frozen in banks (10)
{SNOWDRIFTS}  Looks like a reference to the Credit Crunch, but as usual our setter is weaving his magic and a bit of outside the box thinking is needed.  Think Frozen deposits in terms of the weather.

.2       State carriage? (8)
{VICTORIA}  At first I entered VIRGINIA, thinking there might be one named after the US State.  A quick check with Mrs Bradford in her wonderful Crossword-Solvers Dictionary (one of the essentials in any solver’s armoury).  There are lots of words for and meaning carriage.  Not a US State but an Antipodean one!

3        To censure or preach dementedly (8)
{REPROACH}    An anagram of “OR PREACH”

4        They’re often found in a lather (4)
{SUDS}   Today’s sponsor is Fairy Liquid.  A cryptic definition  –  think of the qualities of a good washing-up liquid.

5        A charming thing to wear (6)
{AMULET}  Cryptic definition.  Not clothing, but a word meaning TALISMAN, that might produce or be involved with a Charm.

6        Outlaw about to shout down a primate (6)
{BABOON}  You are looking for a word meaning “to outlaw” with a word meaning  “to shout down” and as a whole it means, “a primate” (and not the religious kind!).

7        Time’s up! Come out! (4)
{EMIT}   I wonder if our setter took pity on us with the double unchecked letters and gave us a very simple clue to get us going.  It’s literally a reversal of the first word. Because it seems to be start of a standard phrase (as in hide and seek) , the clue still retains a little deceptive quality and is OK in my book.

10      Emotional about Paignton (8)
{POIGNANT}      On my visits to Paignton, I can’t say I ever got emotional about the place.   It was usually Thursday afternoon and everywhere was closed.  So perhaps we need to look at this clue carefully.  It’s obvious really!  An anagram of PAIGNTON meaning “emotional”.  It’s also unusual in that the answer doesn’t end ….ING.

12      Aquatic creature softly goes into ground (8)
{TERRAPIN}      The musical abbreviation meaning (play) quietly inside TERRAIN for a popular children’s pet of the 70’s and 80’s.

14.     Surrendered to another country (10)
{EXTRADITED}  A cryptic definition.  Think “given up to another country” as in a prisoner or spy.

16      It may be served when bean soup is off (8)
{SUBPOENA}      Nice clue.  It’s an anagram of “BEAN SOUP” but “served” doesn’t mean as in a  waiter.  Think of an official who might serve the answer.

17      Cast a spell with an appearance on stage (8)
{ENTRANCE}  A double definition meaning to cast a spell  and an arrival on stage during a play.

19      Switches the films (6)
{FLICKS)  Double definition, one meaning “turns a switch on” the other is a colloquialism for “films”.

20      It doubles up with an old master (6)
{TITIAN)   IT times 2 (“doubles”) and reversed (“up”) plus AN to give the red-haired artist.  Clever.

22      One entitled to look closely (4)
{PEER}   Double definition.  “One entitled”, i.e. someone with a title  and a word meaning to look closely at something.  Again nicely stitched together for good surface reading.

23      Bond, an agent with sticking power (4)
{GLUE}  Nothing to do with 007, so nicely deceptive.   There is a school of thought within the crossword world that Double Definitions should each be different.  Here the two definitions really mean the same thing.  You pays your money and takes your choice.  Think of something to attach.

A pleasant way to begin the week.  Here’s to another enjoyable seven days of challenges!

We had a few teething troubles behind the scenes, but it should all be OK now.  BD


  1. Kram
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 3:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Please explain how 4d is Cryptic Gazza!

  2. gazza
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 3:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Kram,

    I’m not sure whether you meant to address this to me or to Tilsit, but I’ll give you my view anyway!

    I think that 4d is cryptic in that the compiler wants you to think that the clue relates to people who often get worked up, i.e. are “in a lather”.

  3. tilsit
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 5:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I felt it was similar to 14 dn, a bit on the weak side. The setter is inviting you to think about “getting in a lather” meaning to get worked-up, rather than something which ia found in “a (soap-based) lather”.

  4. Posted April 14, 2009 at 8:35 am | Permalink | Reply

    Cryptic defs like 4 and 14 seem to be fairly common in some of the Telegraph puzzles – this Saturday’s puzzle had one or two.

    I prefer CDs where there’s enough in the surface meaning to make you pretty certain not to chance on the answer just by seeing the right meaning of a single word like “lather”, and it’s also clear when solved that you have the only right answer. Sample from the Times a while back (from memory):

    Stern person shouting at people having a row (8 ).

    Answer: COXSWAIN. You’re pretty certain to think of some kind of “domestic” scenario, but the answer is someone in the stern of the boat, shouting at the people rowing.

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