DT Cryptic No 25907

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25907

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Greetings to everyone from my local hospital.  Unfortunately I was readmitted in the early hours of Saturday morning and am likely to be here for a few days yet.  Rather than overload Big Dave with more work, I thought I’d try a slightly different approach.

I am a bit of a night-owl at the best of times, so I thought I would sign in to the Telegraph website, Clued Up, just after midnight, solve the puzzle on line and make notes, as I have no access to a printer.  Three different browsers and 40 minutes later, I finally managed to get the crossword to load using Safari web browser.

A fairly enjoyable puzzle with a couple of superbly clever clues, but I also have one reservation in that I think you could technically make a case  for either spelling of the word required at 5ac.   As well as the usual smattering of clever cryptic definitions, I really liked 26 across as a nice neat clue, 10 across likewise. On the other hand I couldn’t see anything other than a single definition at 3 down and I’m not sure about 16 across, I have offered my interpretation below.

Thanks to our Monday Maestro for his usual challenge and I hope to see you all later in the week.  Thanks to Big Dave for his assistance with posting this.

Across

1a There should be a flight to get you here (8)
{UPSTAIRS} Cryptic definition.  A flight of stairs, of course.

6a Disagreement, we hear, in one form of birth (6)
{BREECH}  The answer required is the spelling of the second definition and almost relies on the positioning of the commas for it to be so.  If this clue had read “We hear disagreement in one form of birth”, it would have been clear.  I welcome your comments.

9a When one chooses, return thanks to Shakespeare (2,4)
{AT WILL}   The definition is “when one chooses”, and the clue is made up of  TA (reversed) + WILL (Shakespeare).

10a Taking drug, turns to crime in spectacular fashion (8)
{METEORIC}  A really nice surface reading to this;  you can almost imagine reading it in a crime report.  An anagram of TO CRIME with a drug (E) inside.

11a Face up perhaps, but not to a challenge (4,4)
{BACK DOWN}   If your face is up, then your back is down (hence the “perhaps”).

12a They are found at sports grounds and in the streets (6).
{STANDS}  Another great surface reading and misleading clue.  AND inside STS (short for Streets)

13a He hopes to find you well (5-7)
{WATER DIVINER}  Another to make you smile.  A water diviner’s aim might be to find you a well for water.

16a In addition, double top is required (4,3,5)
{OVER AND ABOVE}  As mentioned above, I’m a bit uneasy with this as well.  I assume this works out “In addition” is the definition and I guess it is saying that “two words for top” are required.  Bit too clever , I think.

19a Criminals taken in hand by bishops (6)
{CROOKS}  Double definition.  A crook is another name for the staff a bishop may carry in his hand.

21a Dicky disowned, fades away (4,4)
{DIES DOWN}  Ah!  Dear old Dicky!  Where else but Crossword Land do we see Dicky doing the same job week in, week out?  That of an anagram indicator, as in “that looks a bit dicky”

23a It drains off the water when Royal egg is scrambled (8)
{GARGOYLE}  Another laugh-out loud clue.  Sadly nothing to do with a device to empty the Royal saucepan, but those ugly squat things that sit on the ends of old houses and keep the rain off.

24a Nothing clear may come from this prophet (6)
{ORACLE}  O + an anagram of Clear.  The Oracle used to be the ancient site of prophecy or the teller of the same.  How many of you remember that Oracle also used to be the name of ITV’s Teletext Service?

25a Five have a good look round, but go hungry (6)
{STARVE}  Images of the Enid Blyton gang, perhaps?  V inside STARE

26a Anti-Mass movement? (8)
{SATANISM}  A really lovely clue, which provides both definition and  indications in three words. Utterly brilliant!

Down

2d Track followed by an Afghan tribesman (6)
{PATHAN}  Today’s new word on me.  PATH + AN = An indiginous tribe from Afghanistan.  These people, also know as the Pushtus, see themselves as one of the lost tribes of Israel.

3d Magician’s spell (5)
{TRICK}  Spent Ages looking for this to mean more than it did.  I presume that was the ” trick”.

4d Descriptive of gains from a false sickness benefit claim? (3-6)
{ILL-GOTTEN}  Cryptic Definition, though I did start to read into this too much.  I’m probably very tired.

5d From house, managed to set up class (7)
{SEMINAR}  Do people go on seminars now?  They probably have more trendy names like “clear blue sky thinking groups”.   It’s  SEMI + RAN (reversed)

6d We’re clean out of them (5)
{BATHS}  Another Cryptic definition.

7d Bringing out a note-case (9)
{EVOCATIVE}  Back to school for this one to the Latin class.  Nominative,……Accusative, Genitive, Dative, Ablative.     So it’s E   (for the Note) + VOCATIVE

8d The issue of marriage? (8)
[CHILDREN} CD Time again.  Great if you like ’em, not so grand if you don’t.

13d Scrap-merchant? (9)
{WARMONGER} And again.  Though with this, the sum of the parts also equals the definition.   WAR =  Scrap / Fight  MONGER = Merchant  / Purveyor.

14d Did some evening work on board, perhaps (6,3)
{IRONED OUT}  And again.  “Evening” here means smoothing out and “on board” means on one of those tables I have great trouble erecting!

15d Accomplished players, but not very bright (8)
{OVERCAST} Accomplished = OVER + Players = CAST

17d Speak to one’s home (7)
{ADDRESS}  Double definition clue.

18d Doesn’t go in for reducing, like posh people (6)
{SWELLS}  Today’s piece of music comes from the film Easter Parade.  When was the last time you heard of a rich person called a swell?  Anyway, watch and wallow!

20d Pen has the French way of writing (5)
{STYLE} Pen =  STY +  The French = LE

22d Depicted as showing signs of strain (5)
{DRAWN}  Double definition.

Assuming I survive the NHS food and coffee (reasonably priced at 40p per slice), I’ll see you on Thursday!

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10 Comments

  1. gazza
    Posted April 20, 2009 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    3d. One of the meanings of “trick” is “a sailor’s turn at the helm, usually lasting for two or four hours”, hence, I suppose, a spell of duty.

  2. nanaglugglug
    Posted April 20, 2009 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Oh No, Tilsit – hope you get better soon, but good to see you not wasting your time.
    Not often we need help on this cryptic, but we couldn’t believe we were right on 3d so had to check. Thanks gazza too, still not very impressed!!

  3. Posted April 20, 2009 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    If you can handle coffee that comes in slices, I’m sure you’ll be out of hospital soon!

    If the nautical “trick” is significant, the clue has a rather odd structure – can’t be 2 defs because though a magician does tricks, s/he is not a trick.

  4. Kram
    Posted April 20, 2009 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Hi Tilsit, get better soon, as far as 6a is concerned no matter how it is phrased it comes out with the same result!. Make sure that those 40p slices are what you think they are!.

  5. Posted April 20, 2009 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    I think 3 down is further evidence of what I am going to call “Big Dave’s Law” – that every good crossword can have at most one naff clue.

    Perhaps we should have a naff clue of the week competition.

    I too liked 26 across – a good all-in-one clue is always something special.

    As far as 16 across is concerned, I took it as a reference to the dart board, the double top being over and above everything else. But maybe that’s just a sign of a mis-spent youth.

  6. bigboab
    Posted April 20, 2009 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    For some reason I found this one a bit too easy, I didn’t mind 3d but didn’t particularly like 16a. Hope you are on the road to recovery soon Tilsit.

  7. Rollo
    Posted April 21, 2009 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    For 6a, I wrote this on the Anserbank site:

    “But I wish the compiler would not word such “sounds like” clues in such an ambiguous way.

    The “we hear” bit should be place at the beginning of the clue here, not in the middle where you could reasonably infer that the sounds like word is either of the two bits of the rest of the clue.”

    I think this is important in a case like this, where the alternative answers contain an unchecked letter in the crucial position.

  8. Posted April 21, 2009 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Rollo

    I saw the debate on AB – and guessed who was also involved by the number of replies!

  9. Julian
    Posted April 21, 2009 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Can anyone explain how “Children” are an “issue of marriage”. I’m convinced they can arrive perfectly well without marriage, and equally not at all with it.

    If I recall, it’s all a bit more biological than getting married.

    Am I missing something in the clue?

  10. Posted April 21, 2009 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Julian

    You are not missing anything – it doen’t say “the issue only of marriage” and “the issue of a partnership between two people” would be even less cryptic than it is already.

    As Tilsit says, you either love cryptic definitions or you don’t. Either way, they are with us to stay.