DT Cryptic No 25912 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT Cryptic No 25912 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25912 – Hints

Selected hints by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment *

There’s not much I can say about this puzzle, other than this week there are no place names in it.  Girls’ names feature twice in the answers and once in the wordplay.  If it wasn’t for the self-imposed responsibility of producing some hints for this blog, I would be inclined to stop doing these Saturday puzzles altogether.

Peter Biddlecombe’s full review of this puzzle will be published at 12.00 on Thursday, 30th April.  I wish him well!


1a Pass without harm when windy storm has finished (4,4)
A phrase meaning to pass without harm which is a charade of a movement of air (usually a bit less than the said windy storm) and a word meaning finished

10a Bill enters cab. On the contrary suffering from inability to control movements (6)
On the contrary indicates that it’s TAXI (cab) enters AC (bill) to give a word you have probably never heard of meaning suffering from inability to control movements

14a Players’ lively passage (7)
According to Chamber’s: a lively busy movement in triple time, usually with a trio

17a Merriment with this French lady (5)
A lady whose name is a charade of a synonym for merriment and the French for this – and a missed opportunity to base a clue on the famous Irish author of Ulysses or even on Lord Haw-Haw

20a Take a back seat (5)
… on a horse

26a One accepted by many with quite remarkable evenness of temper (10)
Difficult to work out why you would want to put I (one) inside MANY, add QUITE and then find an anagram of all of it, but that’s what you have to do

29a Physicist from Sweden has anxiety with gypsy (8)
Apparently rom is a gypsy man, but it was new both to me and to the Microsoft Word spellchecker!


2d Disinclined to meet a South American city seducer (8)
This seducer is a reasonably straightforward charade of a word meaning disinclined, A and the best known city in Brazil

3d Talk effusively about songlike hits’ sound first (3,7)
Awkward construction, but it boils down to a phrase meaning talk effusively about coming from a homophone (sounds) of whacks (hits) first, followed by a synonym for songlike

4d Empty thinker (7)
If you got this cryptic definition of a person who thinks there are empty spaces in nature without the checking letters, then well done!

7d Show preference for Bible quartet included (6)
I know of no reason, other than the surface reading, that is an excuse for bad construction – if you worked out that the Authorised Version of the Bible was to be included in the number FOUR, rather than the other way round, then you must be on the same wavelength as this setter

13d Cross cat (5)
It’s a cross between a lion and a tiger, or is it the other way round!  You have two to choose from, make sure you pick the right one

19d Farewell to owing money, Leo has nothing (6-2)
A childish word that means farewell

20d Heard girl’s nickname (7)
A synonym for nickname that sounds like a girl’s name – and you know how much I hate clues like this

21d Reportedly too near cooler mug (4-3)
This homophone leaves a lot to be desired, and leads only to the spelling, not the pronunciation, of the answer – suffice it to say that this mug is shaped like a man wearing a three-cornered hat

23d Lady found ousel fluttering round island (6)
Fortunately this lady is a simple anagram of OUSEL around I(sland)

To find out what Peter Biddlecombe makes of this puzzle, then tune in next Thursday!

8 comments on “DT Cryptic No 25912 – Hints

  1. Hi Big Dave,

    Would you be kind enough to confirm that 18a – View station after early evening – is VISTA because, if it is, the construct is STA after VI and the compiler’s using VI to indicate six o’clock which could, of course, be early morning! I am not happy with this one…

    Kind regards,


  2. Caravaggio, I guess you have your afternoon tea at 1600 hours? Among the various oddities in this puzzle, “six” as an evening rather than morning time seems relatively harmless!

    I think I had less trouble with solving this puzzle than Dave, but that’s partly down to years of experience of dealing with weird and wonderful words in puzzles like Azed in the Observer. So I knew 10A and ‘rom’, and spotted 4D from the checking letters. Whether I should need to draw on this experience for the Saturday prize puzzle in the DT I’m not so sure.

  3. I’m afraid I’m with the majority on this one and found it fairly poor fare. Some very weak definitions. I always feel that the Saturday puzzle in a paper should be the real challenge and the one to look forward to. It was a let-down today.

  4. Thank you, Pete.

    Incidentally, the avatar which appears alongside my response [I am assured by Big Dave] is not a true representation of my facial expression…

    Kind regards,


  5. Caravaggio

    Just got back from my (belated) birthday celebration, or I would have replied earlier. I think your question has largely been answered, but I would add just one point.

    I mentioned the other day that the ability of crossword setters to use pl., st., clo. etc. comes from Chamber’s containing a whole raft of mapping abbreviations, well sta. for station is another of those.

    P.S. I think the avatar is a very good likeness!

  6. Hi Big Dave,

    Thank you for your response and I hope you enjoyed your birthday celebration, although, at your age, I am surprised that you actually celebrate your birthdays. Did you manage to blow out ALL the candles on your cake?

    Belated MHRotD,


  7. Health & Safety wouldn’t let them put that many candles on a cake in case the pub burnt down.

    You are right though, I don’t usually celebrate but this one means that now the State pays me more than I pay them (a new experience for me).

    I console myself with the fact that in hexadecimal I’m only 41!

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