DT Cryptic No 25914

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25914

Today’s hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Today’s compiler obviously thought that we were in need of a bit of a rest after yesterday’s tricky effort, and has produced a very straightforward puzzle, which, nevertheless, has a number of entertaining clues.

Across Clues

1a  Hack holds page displaying a prominent headline (6)
{SPLASH} – hack does not, as the compiler would like you to think, refer to a journalist but is a verb meaning to cut or SLASH which contains (holds) P(age) to form a prominent headline.

5a  Film celebrities eating with a king (4,4)
{STAR WARS} – a neat surface reading leads us to a film (so famous that even I, who have never seen it, have heard of it!) which spawned a number of sequels and prequels. Its title is formed from STARS (celebrities) holding (eating) W(ith) A R(ex).

9a  Financial security obtained by a setter? Yes, surprisingly! (4,6)
{EASY STREET} – an anagram (surprisingly) of “a setter Yes” gives us an informal term for a state of financial comfort.

10a  Regret bringing in Liberal government (4)
{RULE} – regret is RUE – include (bringing in) L(iberal) to make a word meaning government.

11a  Reportedly outstanding on distinct musical instrument (4,4)
{JEWS HARP} – “reportedly” signals a sound-alike (supposedly – I don’t think the two words sound very similar!) of “due” (outstanding) which is followed (on) by SHARP (distinct) to form a small musical instrument.

12a  Salad vegetable in a meal linked to recipe (6)
{RADISH} – a salad vegetable is grown from A DISH (a meal) after (linked to) R(ecipe).

13a  Sign in some newcomers (4)
{OMEN} – there’s a bit of misdirection here – “some” often signals a hidden word, and there is indeed one here meaning “sign”, but it’s signalled by “in” and can be found in “some newcomers”.

15a  A sudden drop, so I need changes involving volts (4,4)
{NOSE DIVE} – an anagram (changes) of “so I need” includes (involving) V(olts) to form a term for a sudden drop.

18a  Made a minister end radio broadcast (8 )
{ORDAINED} – the presence of “radio” and/or “broadcast” often signal a sound-alike, but not in this case, because we have an anagram (broadcast) of “end radio” to create a verb meaning “made a minister”.

19a  Pull back, making room (4)
{WARD} – pull is “draw” – reverse this (back) to make a room in a hospital.

21a  Be suspended at college, causing an emotional problem (4-2)
{HANG-UP} – “be suspended” is HANG and “at college” is UP. Together they form a term for an emotional problem.

23a  Fizzy cola – a cup drunk inside a bay on the Pacific (8 )
{ACAPULCO} – an anagram (fizzy) of “cola” has inside it another anagram (drunk) of “a cup” to form the name of a bay and resort in Mexico (which is presumably going to suffer a downturn in tourism during the swine flu epidemic).

25a  Head of faculty coming in to pose riddle (4)
{SIFT} – “to pose” is SIT – insert the first character (head) of Faculty to get a verb meaning to riddle.

26a  Stranded dinghy had broken down crossing river (4,3,3)
{HIGH AND DRY} – a nice surface reading gives us a phrase meaning stranded, which is made from an anagram (broken down) of “dinghy had” including (crossing) R(iver).

27a  Very busy in that arid resort (4,2,2)
{HARD AT IT} – another anagram (signalled by “resort”, i.e. re-sort) of “that arid” to produce a phrase meaning very busy.

28a  Black chest in study (6)
{DARKEN} – “black” here is a verb which is formed from ARK (chest) inside DEN (study).

Down Clues

2d  Quietly departed with item of crockery (5)
{PLATE} – P (short for piano, softly, in musical notation) is followed by LATE (departed) to form an item of crockery.

3d  Former name of country with bottomless pit in one area (9)
{ABYSSINIA} – the former name of Ethiopia is constructed from ABYSS (bottomless pit) IN I (one) A (area).

4d  Hired assassin in bestseller by soldier (3,3)
{HIT MAN} – a bestseller is a HIT and a non-commissioned soldier is a MAN. Put together they form a term for a professional hired assassin.

5d  Soporific drug helps eating disorder (8,7)
{SLEEPING DRAUGHT} – an anagram (disorder) of “drug helps eating” produces a drink that helps you sleep (soporific).

6d  Star taking chance after collapse of seat (8 )
{ASTERISK} – a synonym for chance follows an anagram (collapse) of “seat” *

7d  Talk about learner driver a good deal (5)
{WORLD} – “talk” is WORD – include L (learner driver) to get a term for a good deal (as in “it means the ….. to me”).

8d  High-quality car on left turns on its side? (5,4)
{ROLLS OVER} – the epitome of luxurious cars is followed (on) by OVER (left) to produce a phrase meaning turns on its side.

14d  Cocktail – a small measure knocked over by girl (9)
{MARGARITA} – “a small measure” is A GRAM – reverse it (knocked over) and add (by) a girl’s name (think of Ms. Hayworth, the favourite pin-up of GIs during WWII) to get the name of a cocktail made from tequila and lemon juice.

16d  Depressed? Less than in Perth, possibly (4,5)
{DOWN UNDER} – “depressed” is DOWN and “less than” is UNDER. Together they form an informal way of referring to Perth, or any other part of Australasia.

17d  Photograph fracture and crack (8 )
{SNAPSHOT} – “fracture” is SNAP and “crack” is SHOT (as in “I fancy a crack at the title”). Put them together to get an informal photograph.

20d  False rumour an eccentric put about (6)
{CANARD} – an unfounded rumour is constructed from AN with CARD (eccentric) round (about) it.

22d  Confined to school, some cheating at Edinburgh (5)
{GATED} – a hidden word (some) in “cheating at Edinburgh” means confined to the precincts of a school, as a punishment.

24d  Swear remedy involves sun (5)
{CURSE} – “remedy” is CURE – include S (sun) to get a verb meaning to swear.

* to form a symbol that looks like a star and is often used in text as a pointer to an annotation or footnote.

I particularly liked 1a, 5a and 5d, but my “clue of the day” is 26a. Agree or disagree? – leave us a comment!


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One Comment

  1. tilsit
    Posted April 28, 2009 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Aother enjoyable puzzle. I slept my way through Star Wars, so am in the same boat as Gazza.

    I too liked 26a and thought today’s compiler had taken a lot of trouble over the surface readings.