DT 25920

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25920

Today’s hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

This is another decent puzzle from our normal Tuesday setter, whose trademark is to have only single-word answers. Some will decry the layout of the grid, with each of the corners pretty isolated – but look on the bright side, you get four puzzles for the price of one!

Across Clues

1a  English, cold and wet outside, take flight (6)
{DECAMP} – E(nglish) and C(old) are surrounded (outside) by DAMP (cold) to form a verb meaning to leave suddenly or take flight.

4a  Gone for scrap in action (8 )
{DEPARTED} – action is DEED – put PART (scrap, small amount) inside to get a word meaning gone.

9a  Govern people on decline (6)
{MANAGE} – people is MAN (in the sense of mankind) and this is followed by (on) AGE (to decline or wither) to produce an alternative for govern.

10a  Takes guts? (8 )
{STOMACHS} – double definition – takes or endures and a synonym for guts.

11a  Straight embraced by woman or male (6)
{NORMAL} – a hidden word (embraced) in “woman or male” gives us a term for straight.

12a  Superb chorus keeping beat (8 )
{SMASHING} – to chorus is to SING and this surrounds (keeping) MASH (crush or beat) to get a colloquial word for superb.

14a  So-called snob’s elite somehow (10)
{OSTENSIBLE} – an anagram (somehow) of “snob’s elite” produces a synonym for so-called.

18a  Ship’s one good worker in sea (10)
{BRIGANTINE} – a two-masted sailing ship is formed by putting I (one), G (good) and ANT (worker) inside BRINE (salt water, hence the sea).

22a  Clapping, quietly left during an interval (8 )
{APPLAUSE} – put P (quietly in musical notation) and L (left) inside (during) A PAUSE (an interval) to get the obvious synonym for clapping.

23a  Copy page getting annoyed (6)
{PIRATE} – a word mean to copy illegally without regard to ownership or copyright is formed from P (page) and IRATE (annoyed).

24a  Break rank around cooler (8 )
{TRENDIER} – “break” is REND and this has TIER (rank) around it to generate a term meaning more fashionable or “cooler”.

25a  The French exam’s now (6)
{LATEST} – a French definite article is followed by TEST (exam) to form a word meaning the most up-to-date, i.e. now.

26a  Reels out drunk from stout (8 )
{RESOLUTE} – an anagram (drunk) of “reels out” produces a word meaning dauntless, robust or stout.

27a  Intellectual fellows prattle endlessly (6)
{MENTAL} – put together MEN (fellows) and TALk (prattle) with the last letter dropped (endlessly) to get an adjective meaning pertaining to the mind or intellectual.

Down Clues

1d  Control’s complete over servant (8 )
{DOMINION} – “complete” is DO and this is followed (over) by MINION (servant) to get a noun meaning control.

2d  Common criminal before getting penitent (8 )
{CONTRITE} – “common” is TRITE and this is preceded (before) by CON (abbreviation for convict, hence criminal) to get a synonym for penitent.

3d  Headache? Me, I ring a doctor (8 )
{MIGRAINE} – a nice surface reading leads to an anagram (doctor) of “Me, I ring a” to get a word for a severe headache.

5d  Watching cricket, perhaps? (10)
{ENTOMOLOGY} – this is not, as the compiler would have us believe, sitting on the boundary with a cool drink in hand and enjoying the sight of our favourite batsman compiling  another century, but watching this little chap. What we want here is the scientific term for studying him and other insects.

6d  Approaching a left on second street (6)
{ALMOST} – a word meaning approaching or nearly is obtained from A, L(eft), MO(ment) i.e. “second”, and ST(reet).

7d  Tory head’s function? In charge of stratagem (6)
{TACTIC} – “Tory head’s” is the first letter of Tory, i.e. T – follow this with ACT (function) and IC (in charge) to get a synonym for stratagem.

8d  Consent including Scottish leader’s plot (6)
{DESIGN} – DEIGN (to consent in a condescending manner) includes an S (leading letter of Scottish) to form a synonym for plot.

13d  Characters from press cited for contempt (10)
{DISRESPECT} – an anagram (characters from) of “press cited” produces another word for contempt.

15d  One acted in terrible show (8 )
{INDICATE} – an anagram (terrible) of I (one) and “acted in” makes a verb meaning point out or show.

16d  Cable broadcast neat film (8 )
{FILAMENT} – we get our third anagram (broadcast) in a row from “neat film” which makes a word for a slender wire or cable.

17d  Impedes Taliban confining support (8 )
{PEDESTAL} – a hidden word (confining) from “Impedes Taliban” gives us a support.

19d  Female performer’s instrument (6)
{FACTOR} – put together F (female) and ACTOR (performer) to get a word meaning element or instrument.

20d  Races ship around ebbing sea (6)
{SPEEDS} – ship is SS (Steam ship) which goes around DEEP (literary term for the sea) which is reversed (ebbing, i.e. flowing back). The result is a verb meaning races.

21d  Hooligan boy back on vehicle (6)
{VANDAL} – “boy back” is LAD reversed which follows (on) VAN (vehicle) to get a synonym for hooligan.

I didn’t think that there were any really outstanding clues today, but those that I liked included 26a, 3d and 5d. What’s your opinion? – leave us a comment!


  1. Jane
    Posted May 5, 2009 at 11:05 am | Permalink | Reply

    Favourite clue was 5d. It is so easy to go down the wrong track, in this case, thinking of the game of ‘cricket’. However, when I had a fresh look I suddenly thought ‘grasshopper’ which led me to the solution!

  2. tilsit
    Posted May 5, 2009 at 11:53 am | Permalink | Reply

    Nice friendly puzzle, but whoever devised that grid should be taken out and made to watch back to back episodes of Jeremy Kyle until an apology is forthcoming.

    • gazza
      Posted May 5, 2009 at 12:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi tilsit
      I had a feeling that you and Peter would not like the grid! Get well soon!

    • Posted May 5, 2009 at 7:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

      To be fair, there are worse grids – at least with this one you get a lot of checking of the first and last letters of words. The really tricky ones are those where you don’t get the initial letters checked, and those letters that you do get are mainly vowels.

      Mind you, I do like the idea of the punishment – perhaps you should suggest that to the Americans!

  3. David
    Posted May 5, 2009 at 7:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Having filled in 5d with ‘overseeing’ I was in all sorts of bother. Eventually unravelled my mess with 4, 10 & 12. Good puzzle overall I thought.

    • gazza
      Posted May 5, 2009 at 7:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I’ve just twigged why you put ‘overseeing’ – that would have made it quite a good cryptic clue!

  4. Little Dave
    Posted May 5, 2009 at 8:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This was a tough one in my view – I only managed about half of it despite pondering over it on the in and out commute. Some obvious ones missed so thanks for the above hints. Not a great day but I have a whole day with 25,921 tomorrow as I enjoy “watching cricket” at Lord’s.

  5. Posted May 7, 2009 at 12:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This seemed harder than usual for Mr Tuesday. For me, connectivity matters more in grids than whether first letters are checked.

    Two anagram indicator quibbles: 3d = I’m fine with “doctor” (verb) acting as an anagram indicator, but I can’t see that “XXX doctor” could be understood as “doctor XXX” in any real-life sentence.

    Also not keen on “Characters from” in 13d. This is only a successful AI because “this is a cryptic xwd and anagrams are what we do”.

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