DT Cryptic No 25915

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25915

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

This morning the CluedUp website is not working very well!  You can print out puzzles, but you can’t play them online.  Today’s is a typical Wednesday puzzle – not too difficult, and a good mix of clues.


1a Floats in the air after mistake made by propellers (11)
{SLIPSTREAMS} – I certainly didn’t think of STREAMS at first as meaning floats in the air but put it after SLIP (mistake) and you have the air driven back by aircraft propellers

9a Travel twice to the desert (4)
{GOBI} – straightforward charade of GO (travel) and BI (twice, as a prefix) to get this Asian desert

10a Small bonnet made of wild-pansy (4-2-5)
{KISS-ME-QUICK) – a double definition comprising a small old-fashioned bonnet and a wild-pansyit could also be one of those silly hats worn by holidaymakers!

11a Small case for the regularly best pupil (4)
{ETUI} – this small case for holding sewing articles is a crossword favourite, because it is one of the only words which fits ?T?I, E?U? or E??I, and this time it comes from the even numbered letters of bEsT pUpIl

14a Drop in to teach (7)
{INSTILL} – another double definition

16a Boy’s brother associated with the Spanish tambourine (7)
{TIMBREL} – this charade of TIM (boy) BR(other) and EL (the, Spanish) gives a tambourine

17a A German one accepts special order in return for dye (5)
{EOSIN} – put EIN (a German one) around (accepts) S(pecial) O(rder) reversed (in return) to get the potassium salt of tetrabromo-fluorescein, a red dye

18a Test for the executive American (4)
{EXAM} – this test is easily constructed from EX(ecutive) and AM(erican)

19a Acts like some antelopes or deer, perhaps (4)
{DOES} – some does not indicate a hidden word but means female antelopes or deer as opposed to male

20a Righteous esprit de corps lacks point (5)
{MORAL} – this word meaning righteous comes from dropping the E (lacks point / East) in MORAL(E) (esprit de corps)

22a Trainer redirected to the ground (7)
{TERRAIN} – an anagram (redirected) of TRAINER gives a word meaning ground

23a Sideways pass, in due course, by man (7)
{LATERAL} – another charade – LATER (in due course) and AL (man) giving a word meaning a sideways pass in American football

24a Lazy but I would still meet the French (4)
{IDLE} – staying with the charades – I’D (I would) and LE (the, French) give a synonym for lazy

28a Mounted illumination on anchored vessel at night (6,5)
{RIDING LIGHT} – this excellent clue combines RIDING (mounted) and LIGHT (illumination) to give a light hung out in the rigging at night when a vessel is riding at anchor

29a Shortly, he will, we hear, become a horrible person (4)
{HEEL} – this horrible person sounds like (we hear) he’ll (he will, shortly)

30a Pledges to have dates (11)
{ENGAGEMENTS} – good surface reading on this double definition – promises or pledges on the one hand and appointments or dates on the other


2d Deposited dial face up (4)
{LAID} – a word meaning deposited comes from DIAL reversed (face up)

3d To proceed father wears hollow shoes (4)
{PASS} – a synonym for to proceed is derived from PA (father) and SS (hollow S(hoe)S)

4d Robin’s quiver might cause his enemies to do this (7)
{TREMBLE} – I didn’t think this cryptic definition worked very well – Robin’s quiver is not the case in which he keeps his arrows but how he might cause his enemies to TREMBLE

5d Upset a number of European birds (4)
{EMUS} – these birds are not European but Australian – and you get them from SUM (a number) and E(uropean) reversed (upset)

6d Material comprising male lichen only (7)
{MECHLIN} – this kind of bobbin lace produced at MECHLIN in Belgium, in which the motifs are outlined with thick, glossy thread is an anagram (comprising) of M(ale) LICHEN

7d Cap a pestle’s vessel on the table (11)
{MORTARBOARD} – this was very easy for me – I received a pestle and MORTAR as a fun birthday present (to help in the making of Big Dave’s curries!) add BOARD (table) and you have a square-topped college cap worn, usually, by schoolmasters

8d Infinitely — miles still to go by — why? we ask (11)
{LIMITLESSLY} – a synonym for Infinitely is an anagram (to go by) of MILES STILL and then Y (we ask / sounds like why)

12d Not a noisy, light carol (6,5)
{SILENT NIGHT} – this famous carol is derived from SILENT (not noisy) and NIGHT (not light)

13d Paid sellers to distribute footwear (11)
{ESPADRILLES} – an anagram (to distribute) of PAID SELLERS gives us a pair of rope-soled shoes (footwear)

15d Gain computer access to register an old name (3,2)
{LOG ON} – to gain access to the computer you LOG (register) O(ld) N(ame)

16d Topsy-turvy lad it seems gives a wave (5)
{TIDAL} – this type of wave is an anagram (topsy-turvy) of LAD IT

20d Fail to catch a particle on this specific flight (7)
{MISSION} – it’s time for another charade – MISS (fail to catch) and ION (a particle) give this specific flight

21d Sane gal produces food (7)
{LASAGNE} – an anagram (produces) of SANE GAL produces this Italian food

25d Paid a soupcon to see the opera (4)
{AIDA} – this opera is part (soupcon) of pAID A

26d Wait for a fish to be born first (4)
{BIDE} – to wait for is IDE (a fish, sometimes spelt id, that is well-know to crossword setters and solvers alike) with B(orn) in front (first)

27d Rabbit on about the bird (4)
{CHAT} – a double definition to finish – rabbit on as in talk a lot and a small songbird

Not too difficult, especially as regular solvers will have come across the needle case, the rope-soled shoes and the fish before, not to mention the songbird.


  1. Kram
    Posted April 29, 2009 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Not one of Wednesdays best, but with two new words to my minds dictionary, after using the OED, and detesting 4d, bring on Thursdays!

  2. Helen
    Posted April 29, 2009 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    I thought today’s was quite tricky. Bit of Googling turned up a Rockin’ Robin song “Tremble for my beloved” so maybe it is a double-double meaning!

    • Posted April 29, 2009 at 10:56 pm | Permalink


      I think that would be too obscure for a Toughie, and far too obscure for the
      Daily cryptic.

      I remember Rockin’ Robin by Bobby Day – back in 1958!