DT Cryptic No 25916 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT Cryptic No 25916

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25916

Today’s hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

I thought that this was an enjoyable puzzle which had some entertaining and amusing clues without being overly difficult or containing any really obscure words – just what we need for a daily crossword.

Across Clues

1a  Used to endorse promise of marriage (6-4)
{SECOND HAND} – we start with a good surface reading – “endorse” is SECOND and “promise of marriage” is HAND (as in “he sought her hand”). Put together they form a phrase meaning used.

6a  Lunatic shot back (4)
{BATS} – a slang term for lunatic is revealed if you reverse (back) STAB (shot, attempt).

8a  Tree worker needing trees (8 )
{MANGROVE} – worker is MAN and this is followed by (needing) GROVE (a small cluster of trees) to form a tree that grows mainly in tropical swamps.

9a  Singular origin of neglect in French house fire (6)
{IGNITE} – singular is I and the French house is GITE with N (origin, i.e. first letter of “neglect”) inside it. Put together, they make a verb meaning to set fire to.

10a  Left king to grab a table for port (8 )
{LARBOARD} – either the first or last word could form the definition here. In fact the answer is an archaic term for the port side of a ship, and it is made up of L (left) and R (rex, king) with (to grab) A between them, followed by BOARD (table).

11a  How often do you see a lord embraced by two unknowns? (6)
{YEARLY} – lord is EARL – put a Y (the second unknown quantity in an algebraic expression) at each end (embracing) to get the answer: once every 12 months.

12a  What might be left when the wheels come off? (4)
{AXLE} – the compiler is trying to deceive us into thinking that this is to do with the phrase “when the wheels come off” which is used to describe the situation when an organisation, such as one of the emergency services, is stretched to the limit and is no longer able to cope. The answer is much more prosaic, however, and is quite literally the rod or spindle on which the wheels turn.

14a  Concierge about to drop the first two of a kind (7)
{GENERIC} – an anagram (about) of “coNCIERGE” without the first two letters (drop the first two) to get a word meaning relating to a group of things or “of a kind”.

18a  Batting partners make reluctant guests! (7)
{INMATES} – an amusing definition of reluctant guests (of Her Majesty) is made from a charade of IN (batting) and MATES (partners).

20a  Bound to miss out (4)
{SKIP} – double definition – to bound by hopping on each foot alternately and to omit or miss out.

23a  Country gaol in uproar after article (6)
{ANGOLA} – an anagram (in uproar) of “gaol” after AN (article) gives us the name of this country in south-west Africa.

24a  Proposal by vacant debutante brings loss of status (8 )
{DEMOTION} – “proposal” is MOTION which follows the outside letters (vacant) of DebutantE to form a word meaning loss of rank or status.

25a  Fantastic cash advance for each one inside (6)
{SUPERB} – cash advance is SUB and if you put PER (for each one) inside you get an adjective meaning fantastic.

26a  Doctrine meaning I hand out one’s millions (8 )
{IDEALISM} – “I hand out” is I DEAL – follow this with ISM (one’s Millions) to get the philosophical doctrine in which the objects of knowledge are held to be dependent on the activity of the mind.

27a  Accommodation lacking in taste (4)
{FLAT} – double definition – an apartment and the description of a sparkling drink that has lost its effervescence.

28a  The sort of being that might help cure an eccentric (10)
{LEPRECHAUN} – an anagram (eccentric) of “help cure an” produces a small mischievous sprite in Irish folklore – and they can be very difficult to catch!.

Down Clues

1d  Statistical technique for calculating mass absorbed by a young tree (8 )
{SAMPLING} – “mass” is M which is included in (absorbed by) SAPLING (a young tree) to get a technique used in statistical analysis.

2d  Prisoner putting up pictures on the other side (6)
{CONTRA} – prisoner is CON and pictures are ART which is reversed (putting up) to obtain a preposition meaning on the other side.

3d  Restricted by new pointer (6)
{NARROW} – put together N (new) and ARROW (pointer) to get a word for limited or restricted.

4d  Bag needed by journalist covering raves, perhaps? (9)
{HAVERSACK} – a colloquial term for journalist is HACK which includes (covering) an anagram (perhaps) of “raves” to form the type of bag which you might take on a hike.

5d  Many ride out with such farmworkers (8 )
{DAIRYMEN} – an anagram (out) of “many ride” produces the name for those who work in the milking parlour on a farm.

6d  Decorative wear for girl supporting group (8 )
{BANDANNA} – you have to get the answer first before you can work out that “the girl” is ANNA who supports (follows, in a down clue) BAND (group) to construct a term for a large coloured neckerchief (decorative wear).

7d  To sum up, deal to seal it (8 )
{TOTALISE} – an anagram (deal, presumably used in the sense of distributing cards) of “to seal it” produces a verb meaning to find the total from a set of numbers.

13d  One who looks for understanding (3,6)
{LIP READER} – an excellent cryptic definition of a, normally deaf, person who understands what is being said from lip movements.

15d  Final thing that happens – you’ll be reported (8 )
{EVENTUAL} – “thing that happens” is EVENT – add some letters which sound like (be reported) “you’ll” to get a synonym for final.

16d  Skilled performer in open next to fail (8 )
{EXPONENT} – an anagram (to fail) of “open next” produces a skilled performer.

17d  First article on origins of baths under large former capital (8 )
{ISTANBUL} – string together IST (first), AN (article) and the first letters (origins) of Baths Under Large to get the name of the city which was the capital of Turkey from 1453 to 1923 (under the name Constantinople) and got its current name in 1930.

19d  Stand-in performer to check growth on crew (8 )
{STUNTMAN} – “to check growth” is STUNT and to crew is MAN – put these together to get the name of a performer who does the dangerous stuff in a film in place of a star actor.

21d  The pattern of doctor’s first-class cold (6)
{MOSAIC} – “doctor’s” is MOS, “first-class” is AI and “cold” is C – together they produce a pattern made from small pieces of stone, tile or glass.

22d  Still, did coal oddly produce quartz? (6)
{SILICA} – “oddly” indicates that we need to use the odd (as opposed to even) letters of “StIlL dId CoAl” to reveal the common name for silicon dioxide which is found in nature as quartz.

There were several clues which I liked and it’s a toss-up between 18a and 13d for my clue of the day, but if forced to choose one I’d go for 13d. Which clue did you like best? – leave us a comment!


6 comments on “DT Cryptic No 25916

  1. Too many reasonable and enjoyable clues today Gazza, but if I had to plump for one it would be 14a, sadly Axle was a give away once the starter letter was in place.

  2. Just found this site after hunting for clues for today’s crossword. Its fantastic so thank you! I am really just a beginner and found this difficult. I have never seen the use of “oddly” to mean odd letters (as opposed to an anagram) and this made me smile.

    Can I just check, Doctor – MO = medical officer? medical orderly?

    Thanks again :)

    1. Hi James
      Thanks for your comment and welcome to the site.
      MO stands for Medical Officer. It’s one of the standard abbreviations for doctor which you get, others being DR, MB and MD, for example.
      Other trigger words which may signal that you need to extract individual letters are “evenly” and “regularly”.
      It’s extremely useful getting feedback like yours – please do ask about anything you don’t understand in the reviews. You may find the FAQs useful.

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