DT Cryptic No 25904

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25904

Today’s hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

If yesterday’s puzzle required a frantic trawl through a medical ward, then today’s offers a period of convalescence with a gentle stroll through some fairly straightforward clues with no obscure words in sight.

Across Clues

1a  Journey time split (4)
{TRIP} – a charade of T (time) and RIP (split) gives us a journey.

3a  Transport offered by a drama teacher (10)
{STAGECOACH} – a drama teacher is a COACH for people on STAGE. Put the words in a different order to get the name of a mode of transport in the time of Dick Turpin, also that of a Scottish-based transport company whose vehicles are slightly more modern.

8a  The kind of animal home protected by odd worker (8 )
{RUMINANT} – “home” is the usual IN. This has around it (protected by) RUM (odd) and ANT (worker) to form a type of animal that chews the cud.

9a  Father can start to achieve added lustre (6)
{PATINA} – string together PA (father), TIN (can) and A (start letter of Achieve) and you get a gloss or sheen (lustre) on wooden furniture added by age or polishing.

10a  Top Gear is a bit passé (3,3)
{OLD HAT} – hats (top gear, what is worn on top) are no longer in fashion, which leads to this expression meaning out of date (a bit passé).

11a  Word that might describe Moon Street? (8 )
{CRESCENT} – a word used both for the curved shape of a waxing or waning moon and for a street which has a similar curve.

13a  Help that’s available for religious education studies (8 )
{RECOURSE} – a double definition – help that’s available in a difficult situation and a COURSE of RE (religious education) studies.

14a  Acquitted missing sailor, having found the answer (6)
{SOLVED} – acquitted is ABSOLVED – take off the AB (missing sailor, i.e. abbreviation for an able seaman) to leave a verb meaning “found the answer”.

16a  Father split his responsibility as a dad (6)
{PARENT} – a charade of PA (father) and RENT (split) forms a word for someone responsible for raising a child.

19a  Sword swallowing girl initially had such an accent (8 )
{CUTGLASS} – a type of sword is CUTLASS – include in this (swallowing) G (initial letter of girl) to get the type of accent once favoured by BBC announcers.

21a  To eject from an aircraft is not possible (8 )
{JETTISON} – an aircraft is a JET and this is followed by an anagram (possible) of “is not” to form a verb meaning to throw out or eject something from a ship or plane.

22a  In the northern Barents, for example, there’s gold sickness (6)
{NAUSEA} – Barents is an example of a SEA. This is preceded by N (northern) with AU (the chemical symbol for gold) inside to form a word meaning sickness.

23a  How to work out there’s fish in the river? (6)
{DECODE} – fish is COD and this is inside the river DEE to produce a verb meaning to decipher or work out.

24a  Island Iran said should be destroyed (8 )
{SARDINIA} – an anagram (should be destroyed) of “Iran said” gives us the name of a large island in the Mediterranean.

25a  Transport hit man uses with exuberance (10)
{ENTHUSIASM} – an anagram (transport) of “hit man uses” produces a word meaning eager enjoyment or exuberance.

26a  Macedonia suppressed returning growth (4)
{NODE} – hidden backwards (suppressed returning) inside “Macedonia” is a word meaning a knotty growth or protuberance.

Down Clues

1d  Sort of champagne served up on old rugby player’s aeroplane (9)
{TURBOPROP} – the sort of champagne required is BRUT. Reverse this (served up) and add (on) O(ld) and a front-row forward in rugby to get a type of aeroplane powered by jet engines which drive propellers.

2d  Solemnly promise to restore hitherto lost GNP (6,4,5)
{PLIGHT ONES TROTH} – an anagram (restore) of “hitherto lost GNP” produces this old-fashioned phrase meaning to make a solemn pledge of commitment, especially in marriage. I like this clue which has a pleasing surface reading and sounds relevant in the current economic woes.

3d  One begins to get more bitter after the end of class (7)
{STARTER} – the name of the official who fires the gun or waves the flag to start a race is made up of TARTER (more bitter) coming after the last letter of clasS.

4d  Diplomat who’s almost in a relationship (7)
{ATTACHE} – the diplomat is someone working in an embassy who specialises in an area such as military matters or trade. By adding a D we get a word meaning in a relationship.

5d  Former journalists get the train (7)
{EXPRESS} – a charade of EX (former) and PRESS (journalists) produces a high-speed train.

6d  Fancy supporting redevelopment of coal pit. It’s not what it seems! (7,8 )
{OPTICAL ILLUSION} – “fancy” is ILLUSION and this supports (comes after, in a down clue) an anagram (redevelopment) of “coal pit” to form something that deceives the eye.

7d  Courage and passion required around the end of Easter (5)
{HEART} – passion is HEAT – put this around the last letter (end) of Easter to get a metaphor for courage.

12d  Born in endless penury (3)
{NEE} – penury is NEED – take off the last letter (endless) to leave the French term used to define a woman’s maiden name, i.e. the name she was born with.

15d  Despair at match being unequal (9)
{DISPARATE} -an anagram (match, presumably used in the sense of “corresponding to”) of “despair at” gives us a word meaning unequal.

17d  Took in a note (3)
{ATE} – A and the seventh note in tonic sol-fa (between lah and doh) come together to mean ingested or took in.

18d  People taking exams try to look up (7)
{TESTEES} – a (horrible, in my opinion) word for people being examined is made up of TEST (to try or examine critically) and a synonym for “look” which is backwards (up).

19d  Can a good man have a game? (7)
{CANASTA} – Nearly all the answer is in the clue – just replace “good man” with the usual ST (saint) and you have a card game similar to rummy.

20d  Time short after worker has a fit (7)
{TANTRUM} – time is T and “short” is RUM (i.e. the alcoholic drink) which comes after ANT (worker) to form a word for a fit of temper.

21d  Book of the Bible cut short by magistrate (5)
{JUDGE} – the book of the Old Testament is JUDGES – take off the last letter (cut short) to leave a magistrate.

I liked a number of the clues, such as 3a, 21a and 6d, but my “clue of the day” is 2d. Agree or disagree? – leave us a comment!


  1. bigboab
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 12:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I still remember using the phrase when getting married 44years ago.(2d) Didn’t like 6d or 18d.

  2. gazza
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 12:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I agree with you on 18d, but I liked 6d, which I thought read quite well. Why don’t you like it?

  3. bigboab
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I suppose it was because it took me so long to work out, I was in thick mode this morning, just coming round now. ( the whisky has worn off)

  4. leona
    Posted April 18, 2009 at 7:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Is it plight nose troth? 2d that is…I’m lost! Thanks for the site, it’s been a revelation!

  5. Posted April 18, 2009 at 9:20 pm | Permalink | Reply


    If you select the space between the curly brackets it reveals the answer – I hope you were having a bit of finger trouble there as the answer is “plight one’s troth”.

    There is a lot of help in the FAQ, but I do appreciate that it’s not always possible to locate everything when you are new to a site.

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