DT 25919

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25919

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment *

Unfortunately Tilsit is not well enough to review today’s puzzle.  After doing it, I know how he feels!  I looked through to see if I could say a few nice words about it.

Don’t forget the Clue of the Week competition – cast your vote now.  I don’t think I will be putting any of today’s forward for this week.

Tilsit hopes to be back later this week, and I’m sure you will join me in wishing him well again soon.

Across

1a They go off in the direction of the theatre (6)
{EXEUNT} – a cryptic definition of a theatrical direction to leave the stage

4a Business force established around 2000 (8)
{COMMERCE} – this business comes from a word meaning to force around MM (2000 in Roman numerals)

9a Power drive (6)
{ENERGY} – a two definition where each means more-or-less the same

10a Tricked into side issues (8)
{EDITIONS} – an anagram (tricked) of INTO SIDE gives a word meaning issues

12a Scored a point — could be winning (4)
{CUTE} – CUT (scored) and E(ast) give an adjective meaning winning or quaintly pleasing

13a Getting little credit in support is irritating (5)
{ACRID} – CR (little CRedit) inside AID (support) gives a word meaning irritating

14a Extra spacious (4)
{WIDE} – this cricket extra can also mean spacious

17a Wounded? This will buck you up (4,2,3,3)
{SHOT IN THE ARM} – a double definition, part cryptic, of receiving an injection

20a Go barmy in sort of store (12)
{DEPARTMENTAL} – a charade of DEPART (go) and MENTAL (barmy) gives a sort of store

23a Gemstone in ring presented to friend (4)
{OPAL} – this gemstone is derived from O (ring) and PAL (friend)

24a Person of mature age gets notice in the last month (5)
{ADULT} – a person of mature age is simply derived from AD (notice) and ULT (ultimo / in the last month)

25a This is the place a man starts again (4)
{HERE} – HE (man) and RE (a prefix denoting again) give this place

28a Wood always used as part of the rigging (8)
{FORESTAY} – FOREST (wood) and AY (always) give us part of the rigging – a bit unfortunate that this came up as recently as DT 25911

29a Free with money (6)
{RANSOM} – a cryptic (?) definition

30a Close to fighting, call on team (8)
{RINGSIDE} – a seat near a boxing match (close to fighting) comes from RING (call) and SIDE team)

31a Andrew may become a college head (6)
{WARDEN} – an anagram (may become) of ANDREW gives a college head

Two cups of strong coffee later, here are the down clues

1d Use a drill (8)
{EXERCISE} – a barely cryptic definition that shouldn’t EXERCISE your brain too much!

2d Emergency exit for a pilot (8)
{EJECTION} – if you were looking for something more subtle than this answer then you won’t find it – how a pilot makes an emergency exit from an aeroplane

3d The snag about horses (4)
{NAGS} – an anagram (about) of SNAG to give a word meaning horses just about sums up this puzzle

5d Not a relation of newly weds (3,5,4)
{OLD WIVES’ TALE} – this extraordinary story that makes demands on one’s credulity is  allegedly told by women who have been married for a long time!

6d Child power makes itself heard (4)
{MITE} – this word meaning a child sounds like (makes itself heard) might (power)

7d Man on board that is a raw recruit (6)
{ROOKIE} – the man on the chess board is a ROOK, follow him with IE (that is) and you get a raw recruit

8d Spring tide? (6)
{EASTER} – EASTERtide is the fifty days in Spring leading up to Whitsuntide

11d The Met Office? (8,4)
{SCOTLAND YARD} – Not the Meteorological Office, but the head office of the Metropolitan Police

15d Girl, say, tender after taking exercise (5)
{BIPED} – this word meaning any animal with two feet is derived from BID (tender after) around (taking) PE (Physical Exercise) – apart from deliberate misdirection, why “girl, say”?

16d Prime cheese fellow is after (5)
{BRIEF} – this word meaning to prime or inform comes from BRIE (cheese) and F(ellow) – if the cheese in a crossword clue is not brie, then usually it is edam

18d Under pressure to give up sweets (8)
{STRESSED} – this well-known semordnilap (palindromes reversed – follow the link for more examples) is DESSERTS (sweets) reversed (to give up)

19d Civic dignitary plants tree on isle (8)
{ALDERMAN} – this civic dignitary, elected by fellow councillors, comes from ALDER (tree) and (The Isle of) MAN

21d Collector’s opening bid for chest (6)
{COFFER} – C(ollector’s opening) and OFFER (bid) give a chest

22d Noble-sounding but without issue (6)
{BARREN} – a word that sounds like Baron (Noble-sounding) means childless (without issue)

26d As one’s written repeatedly, she was revered (4)
{ISIS} – IS (one’s) twice (written repeatedly) give this Egyptian Goddess Of Magic

27d Strike supported by a devout Buddhist (4)
{LAMA} – LAM and A (strike supported by a) give a devout Buddhist

Usually Mondays offer up a bright cheery start to the week.  This one was dreary and dull, with clues ranging from reasonably good down to dire.  Maybe you don’t agree.  Comments are, as ever, welcome.

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8 Comments

  1. Lea
    Posted May 4, 2009 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I have done it but didn’t enjoy it!!

    Have the answer to 15d) but am not sure why so will be interested in seeing the hint.

    Haven’t done enough this week to give a favourite clue – but thanks for all the hints and tips from all the providers.

    Lea

    • Posted May 4, 2009 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Lea

      I spent longer on 15 down than all the rest of the puzzle put together, and then groaned when I got it. Had it said “Man,say” then it would have made a lot more sense. Using girl instead suggests a deeper meaning that just isn’t there.

  2. Lea
    Posted May 4, 2009 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Thanks BD

    Just did Friday’s toughie and enjoyed that much more. I liked the 18a) referring to the grid – even though SEN is obsolete!!!

    Thanks for this site – it is excellent and has helped my learning curve so that I can actually understand what I am doing (well mainly anyhow).

    Lea

  3. libellule
    Posted May 4, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Dave, have to agree with your comments generally, and like you I spent more time trying to figure out 15d than anything else. I was looking initially for a girls name until I worked it out and wondered why the clue was constructed in such a way.

  4. Little Dave
    Posted May 4, 2009 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Some interesting comments folks, thank you. Would not have got 15d; a few more were a little tricky for me too. However, it’s now done thanks to the above helpful hints. I think I am suffering with Bank Holiday sluggishness compounded by too much wine last night.

  5. Kram
    Posted May 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Couldn’t agree more about 15a, and the rest of the crossword was certainly not up to last Mondays, but Bank Holidays are usualy damp squibs!

  6. tilsit
    Posted May 4, 2009 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Big Dave for covering for me at short notice. I think that the quantity of medication I am on caught up and reacted with me. I’m feeling much brighter now.

    I share Big Dave’s opinion that it wasn’t up to the standard of the usual Monday offering.

  7. NathanJ
    Posted May 5, 2009 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    Funnily enough, I had no problems with 15 down.

    The only clue I couldn’t solve was 1 across. Thanks to your excellent blog I now understand the clue and the answer.

    My favourite clue was 5 down. I thought it was quite clever.

    Many thanks for this blog. It’s really helped me to improve as a solver.