DT Cryptic No 25905

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25905

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Another generally enjoyable Friday puzzle, but a bit more complicated today, than it has been for a while.


7. Lifejacket could make me sweat (3,4)
{MAE WEST} – An anagram of ME SWEAT (could make) gives us an alternative name for a lifejacket which also happens to be the name of a famous American actress.

8. A smiler could demonstrate a philosophical outlook (7)
{REALISM} – Another anagram this time of A SMILER (could demonstrate) that is a philosophical outlook typically associated with the awareness and acceptance of things as they are, as opposed to the abstract or ideal.

10. I’d had back injury before start of the seizure (9)
{DISTRAINT} – Reverse ID (back) and place it before a word for injury (STRAIN) then add the start of T(he) and you have a word used to describe the seizure and holding of property as security for payment of a debt or satisfaction of a claim.

11. Very helpful person in a new set (5)
{ANGEL} – A N(ew) and a jellylike substance used in styling hair gives another word for a person who could be a financial backer of a dramatic production.

12. Foreign money given to Home Counties faculty (5)
{SENSE} – Take one hundredth of a yen and add S(outh) E(ast) (Home Counties) and you have a word used to describe any of the human faculties such as hearing, sight, smell, touch or taste.

13. Without blemish, as a leopard isn’t? (9)
{UNSPOTTED} – What’s a leopard got that it can’t change? What happens if you remove them?

15. The old man, character not right for the board (7)
{PALETTE} – Old man is PA, a character is a LETTER, now remove R (not right) and you have a board used by an artist whilst painting.

17. Storm has ripped apart a celebration (7)
{TORNADO} – Ripped is TORN and the common crossword phrase for party or celebration is A DO. This gives another word for a violent windstorm.

18. Society’s taken in by the merry, dissolute versifier (9)
{RHYMESTER} – An anagram of THE MERRY (dissolute) which takes in S(ociety) to give a word used to describe someone who composes light verse, or a minor or inferior poet (E.J. Thribb perhaps).

20. A hundred remaining in the chasm (5)
{CLEFT} – The roman numeral for one hundred, C, plus LEFT (remaining) is a narrow opening in a rock or in this case a “chasm”.

21. Distinguished editor not coming to the fore (5)
{NOTED} – ED(itor), with NOT in front (coming to the fore) is another word for distinguished.

23. Hate punt going wrong? Finally decide to bet even more (2,3,4)
{UP THE ANTE} – An anagram of HATE PUNT (going wrong) plus the E from decidE (finally) gives a phrase normally used when you increase the amount you have on a gamble for example.

24. One after the other reported junior American doctor (7)
{INTERNE} – Sounds like (reported) IN TURN (one after the other) for a variant spelling on a word used to describe an American “houseman”.

25. Liquid preparations from old books fed to animals (7)
{LOTIONS} – Old books is O(ld) T(estament) place this inside (fed to) (like Daniel’s animals) and you have an externally applied liquid preparation.


1. For myself and for each member of the family, a friend (10)
{PERSONALLY} – PER (for), SON (a member of the family) and ALLY (a friend), for a word meaning for myself.

2. Sixty minutes needed to get university award (6)
{DEGREE} – A simple double definition. Where sixty minutes of an arc, is the same as what you would receive should you successfully complete a university course.

3. Bird in a duet struck a pose (8 )
{ATTITUDE} – The bird is either great, blue, long-tailed or coal for example and this is placed within a variation of A DUET for another word for posture.

4. The speed in G&S irritates (6)
{GRATES} – Last weeks 7 down was a G&S opera, but not today. Put RATE (speed) inside G and S, and you have a word used to describe something that irritates or annoys persistently.

5. Soft covering for body wrapped round a lover (8 )
{PARAMOUR} – P (soft), ARMOUR (covering for a body) with an A inside (wrapped round) is word used to describe a lover.

6. Sound performance, nothing missing (4)
{DING} – When you perform something you are DOING something, now remove the O (nothing missing) for a sound.

7. Ponderous maid’s unusual way of doing things (5,8)
{MODUS OPERANDI} – An anagram of PONDEROUS MAID (unusual way) to give the latin term meaning a method of operating.

9. Lad is a monster – exceptional insensitivity (13)
{MALADROITNESS} – Another anagram of LAD IS A MONSTER (exceptional) for a word that can mean lacking in tact and being insensitive in speech or behaviour.

14. Group of workers embraced by student briefly (5,5)
{TRADE UNION} – This is the one clue, where although I got the answer very quickly, I have struggled with the “wordplay”. The best we can come up with, is that the answer is inside (embraced) sTUdent (briefly) which is the shortened version of the answer. If anybody else has anything to add I would appreciate it.

16. You may catch the smell of an American in a Roosevelt (8 )
{THEODORE} – For this answer you need a word for you THEE including (catch) ODOR (the American spelling of odour, i.e. the smell of an American) to give the first name of the 26th President of the United States of America.

17. Valve gets most of the rubbish let out (8 )
{THROTTLE} – The valve in this case regulates the flow of fuel to an engine. Take most of TH(e), ROT (rubbish) and place a variation of LET at the end,

19. Car takes wrong route crossing river (6)
{TOURER} – An anagram of ROUTE with R(iver) is a name for a type of car. Typified by the T in GT.

20. Make box for putting drug into (6)
{CREATE} – Put E(cstasy) into a CRATE (box) and you have a word used to describe making something.

22. Former leader of country, past it, obviously hides (4)
{TITO} – The former leader here, was the former leader of Yugoslavia, and his name is hidden in the clue (pasT IT Obviously).

Libellule (17 and a half)


  1. JP
    Posted April 17, 2009 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    re 23 accross you need to add something to the anagram (finally decidE) to make it fit.

    Or am I being stupid?

  2. libellule
    Posted April 17, 2009 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    JP, Good spot. There is an E missing and it does indeed come from decidE (finally). I will correct the blog accordingly.

  3. Harry Shipley
    Posted April 17, 2009 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad others were struggling with the wordplay for 14d. I think your answer is probably right, but it seems a bit of a weak clue to me.

    Harry Shipley

  4. libellule
    Posted April 17, 2009 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Harry, the general consensus is, assuming we have the correct explanation of the wordplay, that this is indeed a weak clue. But I wait in anticpation for a better explanation :-)