DT 25917

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25917

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BD Rating – Difficulty **** Enjoyment ***

I found this one to be a lot harder than the other crosswords this week. Either I was having a bad day, or this really was more difficult. Comments appreciated.


8. Ruler about to run into demonstration? (7)
{MONARCH} – ON (about to) is placed inside (run into) MARCH (demonstration) to give a word for the ruler of a state or a nation.

10. Sitting somehow in a street before journey (7)
{ASTRIDE} – Typically used to describe how you would sit on a horse, A ST (street) before RIDE (journey).

11. Port being wondrously divine (9)
{ARCHANGEL} – ARCH (wondrously) and a divine being ANGEL put together give the english name of a port (Arkhangelsk) found in the north of the Russian Federation. A port that was a major source of aid during both world wars. Equally the “wondrously divine” could be taken as a whole, and is a being found in the second choir of angels, since the port was named after the archangel Michael.

12. Horticulturalist’s original border? (5)
{HEDGE} – A H(orticulturalist’s) cutting EDGE (original) for a line of closely spaced shrubs and tree species planted as a barrier or a boundary.

13. Elders perhaps giving time to returning prophet (5)
{TREES} – A prophet is a SEER, which needs to be reversed (returning) then we need to place T(ime) in front (giving time to), for a collection of Sambucus’ (Elders)

14. The French certificate presented to a group of stars (7)
{LACERTA} – I worked out the answer from the clue before I knew that this was a group of stars. The french LA, certificate (CERT), presented to A.

17. Revised test sent out — groups hoping to gain advantage? (6,9)
{VESTED INTERESTS} – An anagram of REVISED TEST SENT (out) for a term used to describe a person or a group who isn’t neutral, and may gain from the outcome of something.

19. Well-respected film director’s outside place (7)
{REPUTED} – I believe the reference to film director here is to the film director, most famous for directing The Third Man and Oliver! Sir Carol REED which is outside PUT (place) for a word that is used to mean “well respected”. As in deed Sir Carol Reed was.

21. University learner bowled over by fashion in town (5)
{LUTON} – U(niversity) L(earner) reversed (bowled over) with TON a fashionable style or distinction.

24. Tree from which swan crosses a river (5)
{CAROB} – The name for a male swan, COB around A R(iver) gives the name of a type of an evergreen tree native to the middle east.

26. Written account, very bad article in French (9)
{CHRONICLE} – A history of events (perhaps the most famous being the Anglo-Saxon ones), is made up of CHRONIC (very bad) and LE (the – an article in french)

27. Stole the thing outside back of mill, set of implements (4,3)
{TOOL KIT} – TOOK (stole) IT (the thing), placed outside the back of the milL, for a set of tools.

28. Piece of furniture in entrance to the west before (7)
{ETAGERE} – The entrance is a GATE which then needs to be reversed (to the west) and then we need to add ERE (before). Put together we have a piece of furniture used as a stand with a series of open shelves for small objects. In french the word simply means shelf.


1. Force rascal to perform (6)
{IMPACT} – IMP (rascal) ACT (to perform).

2. Garment thieves getting reported? (8 )
{KNICKERS} – A garment that sounds like (getting reported) NICKERS (thieves).

3. Our newspaper? Couples may sleep under it! (10)
{BROADSHEET} – A double definition, a word used to describe a newspaper printed on large paper (like the Telegraph), and the type of large cover a couple would need to sleep under in a double bed.

4. Specially produced, this local fabric (9)
{SAILCLOTH} – An anagram of THIS LOCAL (specially produced) gives a type of fabric commonly used on ships.

5. State starts to undermine those admirable heroes (4)
{UTAH} – U(ndermine) T(hose) A(dmirable) H(eroes), the starting letters, produce an American state.

6. More primitive American dramatist (6)
{WILDER} – A reference to an American playwright and novelist whose best play is perhaps Our Town whose name is a synonym for “more primitive”.

7. Lean Muse disturbed mythological king (8 )
{MENELAUS} – An anagram of LEAN MUSE (disturbed) gives us an ancient King of Sparta, and husband of Helen.

9. Hospital? That’s awful, man! (4)
{HUGH} – H(ospital), and UGH (that’s awful) for a man’s name.

15. Woman at home with man in one American state or another (10)
{CAROLINIAN} – CAROL (woman) IN (at home) with IAN (man) is a word used to describe a native or inhabitant of North Carolina or of South Carolina.

16. Justify giving nit advice that’s wrong (9)
{VINDICATE} – An anagram of NIT ADVICE (that’s wrong) to give a synonym of justify.

17. Woman wanting business centre to present the truth (8 )
{VERACITY} – VERA (woman) plus CITY (business centre), for accuracy or truth. Big Dave will be delighted, three names nearly in a row.

18. Team fixes first mechanical device (8 )
{SETSCREW} – Team is CREW, fixes is SETS, which needs to be placed before (first) CREW, and we have a word used to describe a screw, often without a head, that is used to hold two parts together.

20. Time when there’s rising anger in school (6)
{PERIOD} – IRE is reversed upwards (rising) in a POD (school) for an interval of time.

22. Relations creating awful scene around one (6)
{NIECES} – Take an anagram of SCENE (awful) and place it around I (one) for the daughters of a person’s brother or sister.

23. Indian in narrow inlet not completely visible (4)
{CREE} – The narrow inlet in the case is a CREEK, remove the K (not completely visible) for a type of Red Indian.

25. US President following British vehicle (4)
{BIKE} – B(ritish), plus the nickname for Dwight D. Eisenhower (US President) and you have what is usually a two wheeled vehicle, very popular in Holland.


  1. sarah
    Posted May 1, 2009 at 10:56 am | Permalink | Reply

    I also found it more difficult and was heartened to find it wasn’t just me having a bad day. I found 14a and 18d particularly difficult. Mind you, it didn’t help that I transposed the second e and the a in Menaleus …. oops Menelaus.

  2. Kram
    Posted May 1, 2009 at 11:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    Couldn’t agree with you more regarding difficulty, especially bottom right corner, still, more new words for the old grey cells! However did like 27a, but perhaps not good enough for BD’s top 10.

  3. john middleton
    Posted May 1, 2009 at 12:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is what I love about crosswords, first effort I got about 3 clues, all over the place, 1/2 hour later after pottering in the garden,returned to it and whizzed through

  4. bigboab
    Posted May 1, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    very difficult and too many anagrams, I did like 27a however.

    Posted May 1, 2009 at 2:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Way to difficult for a beginner – thank goodness you are able to unravel the mind of a very twisted person! Much to ponder on.

  6. Ann
    Posted May 1, 2009 at 5:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I actually found this one much easier than the rest of the week. I haven’t been able to do much this week but today was better.

  7. Giovanni
    Posted May 1, 2009 at 5:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    There you are — can’t please all the people all the time! Never mind! Can anyone explain to me the smile and star system on Clued-Up, by the way?

    • Posted May 1, 2009 at 6:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Insofar as anyone can explain anything on CluedUp, I’ll have a go:

      When any puzzle comes online, both the star and the smile settings are set to 3.

      The star setting increases or decreases with the length of time that each person spends doing the puzzle – but this is distorted by the fact that you can do the puzzle in the newspaper and then key it in. Presumably 3 stars is 22.5 minutes, half of the allotted time for the puzzle.

      The smile setting must be set from the satisfaction rating that you can allocate after you have completed the puzzle, but this is optional. In view of the fact that the options you are given range from downright infuriating through average to extremely satisfying it would not be surprising if most people ignore them. This would mean most puzzles finish as 3 or 4 smiles.

      It’s only a guess, and if anyone knows better, feel free to say so.

      • Kram
        Posted May 1, 2009 at 6:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Think you are right BD, especially this week when the site crashed and answers could not be input only printouts obtained, next day it had turned from a 3 to a very difficult one of 5.

        • Posted May 1, 2009 at 7:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

          For the record, my times for Wednesdays’s puzzles:

          0d 15h 40m 37s
          1d 01h 10m 41s
          0d 20h 00m 43s

          I bet that distorted the figures!

  8. Little Dave
    Posted May 1, 2009 at 6:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This was a tricky one and I agree the most challenging this week. Bottom right hand corner had me stumped and it’s heartening to know I was not alone.

  9. Helen
    Posted May 1, 2009 at 8:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I agree it was difficult but it was the only one we finished this week.

  10. Little Dave
    Posted May 2, 2009 at 9:08 am | Permalink | Reply

    Have just finished Saturdays – 25,918. Ridiculously easy (and done whilst I was enjoying my wife’s lovely poached eggs on toast too). Does anyone know anyone who has won a prize entering the Saturday competition? I have been religiously entering for nearly 12 years and have never had a sniff!!

  11. Giovanni
    Posted May 2, 2009 at 1:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

    They get thousands of entries, that’s why. One of my friends has won five or so Concise Oxford dictionaries from the IOS Quixote puzzle, so why not have a go at that tomorrow — you’ve a better chance!

    • Posted May 2, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Permalink | Reply


      That wouldn’t be one of yours, by any chance?

  12. jace811
    Posted May 4, 2009 at 1:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Yep – was a tough one for the end of the week. Only just given up after puzzling at it all weekend (don’t get Saturdays) – only one I haven’t finished by myself this week:(

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