DT Cryptic No 25906 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT Cryptic No 25906 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25906 – Hints

Selected hints by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

Just as I thought things were getting better it’s back to the bad old ways.  This weeks proper name count is five – two places, two boys and one girl.  The usual few hints to get you started.

Peter Biddlecombe’s full review of this puzzle will be published at 12.00 on St George’s Day – Thursday, 23rd April.


1a Everybody leaves superficial exhibition (4)
Superficial is shallow – follow the instructions to get the answer

15a Man gains speed (7)
This famous wartime leader achieves 100 mph

21a Parodist performing in Palermo resort (9)
Be careful with this one – both performing and resort can be anagram triggers, but here performing is ON, which is to be inserted into the anagram of PALERMO

23a Slipper with a zigzag pattern? (5)
And a slippery clue as well: this is a poisonous snake

31a Painters’ skirt? (2-2)
… for two Royal Academicians


2d Temporary accommodation for those who are in the pink (7-5)
Those who stay in this place are more likely to be pursuing deer than foxes, but as a cryptic definition it works well

3d Firmly established after Pentecost in Kent (10)
Pentecost is so named as it is the fiftieth day of Easter – and in the good old days we used to get a Bank Holiday on the following day, before it was replaced by the rather boring Spring Bank Holiday – add a word meaning firmly established and you get a seaside town in northeast Kent famous for its oysters

7d Fascinating inclusion of some enlarged cells (4)
These enlarged cells are hidden in fascinating, but since you have never heard of them you will need the checking letters to find them!

13d From Nineveh do travel to Dutch city (9)
A British seaside town is one thing, but a Dutch city best known for it’s football club is another!

26d Hopeful lady (4)
I do hope she has a bright future as it sounds like Laurie Lee would like to sup cider with her!

28d Welshman with conditional alternative (4)
Our last proper noun can be derived from the wordplay, and I struggled to find a famous Welshman with this forename

Geography lesson over, good luck with the rest of the clues.

11 comments on “DT Cryptic No 25906 – Hints

  1. John

    To be honest, the 11 cryptics each week are quite enough at the moment. Also, since they are prize crosswords, it would give me the dilemma over how much help and when.

    Most, if not all, of the answers can be obtained from AnswerBank, and I couldn’t compete with them anyway. Furthermore, there is no wordplay to explain, which is where this site excels.

  2. BD

    I have the answer to 18a – Do not start to understate misconception of those putting in appearances but don’t understand the wordplay. If you don’t want to give the clue here could you email me to logic on it please. Thank you. I have certainly learned a lot from this site and really appreciate the explanations. (I have even managed a couple of the toughies!!!).


  3. Superb crossword, learnt one new word, and for the first Saturday for a while have left my Road Atlas of GB on the shelf.
    Lea if you followed Dave’s hints of the past on ‘Do not start’ the reasoning behind the clue is apparent.

  4. Peter

    It is a very good question, and I will try to explain my views.

    First, if we take the names of girls and boys. There is an almost limitless supply of answers for which the definition is being given as something like girl, boy, she, he, or, as today, man, lady and Welshman. This means that the clue can only be solved by resolving the wordplay to give a name, but that name cannot itself be confirmed. I am happy to accept a clue like this one from yesterday’s Toughie “England captain once had sentimentality over centre-half (5)” because when you resolve it as (Graham) Gooch you have the confirmation that he was a former England captain.

    With place names it is very similar. The two in today’s puzzle were defined by “in Kent” and “Dutch city”. So where do we draw the line? Would you be happy if the answer was a small village in China? Recent answers have included such well known places as Watchet and Sleaford. We expect that our puzzles will acquire a following all over the world and then make them so parochial that you need an atlas to solve them.

  5. Thanks Kram and Big Dave – I see it now – didn’t have the previous “do not start” information in my brain (but I do now).


  6. Point taken regards GK crosswords,as you say there are so many ways of tracking down the answers, thanks.

  7. My sister and I are hooked on this site! You have really helped us to up our game. Many thanks…

  8. Proper names: My view’s slightly different from Dave’s. I don’t mind the wordplay sometimes being needed to confirm which personal or geographical name is needed, but the range of possible answers seems bigger for some of these definitions than for typical ones for other words (“Welshman” was precise enough for me). So part of the question for each puzzle is how many times this kind of device is used.

    With the personal names, we’ve got lists like the one at the back of Chambers as a possible standard, but with place names, the full list at the back of your road atlas is surely too long. See the full report for a suggestion about deciding which place names are OK to use …

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