DT 25922

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25922

Today’s hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

This puzzle is one of the easiest we have had for some time, but it is full of cleverly-constructed clues with excellent surface readings. It would be a very good introduction for someone new to cryptics. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Across Clues

1a  Permit given to fine land yet to be cultivated (6)
{FALLOW} – “permit” is ALLOW and this follows (given to) F (fine) to make a word describing farmland that has been left uncultivated.

9a  Grown up with age, note, can be corrupt (10)
{ADULTERATE} – a verb meaning to corrupt or tamper with is constructed from ADULT (grown-up) with ERA (age) and TE (musical note).

10a  Union bastion holds scope for redevelopment (6,4)
{CLOSED SHOP} – an anagram (for redevelopment) of “holds scope” produces a term for a company where all employees have to be members of a trade union.

11a  The average minor perhaps has no one (4)
{NORM} – an anagram (perhaps) of “minor” without the I (has no one) makes a term meaning average or standard (or the name of Dame Edna Everage’s long-suffering husband).

12a  Ship’s steward has a way of attracting attention (4)
{PSST} – “Ship’s steward” contains (has) an exclamation used to attract someone’s attention.

14a  Political affiliation of a landlord chasing 50% of rent (10)
{REPUBLICAN} – “landlord” is PUBLICAN and this comes after (chasing) the first 50% of REnt to form a supporter of one of the main political parties in the U.S.

17a  Feel remorse, accepting regular income (7)
{REVENUE} – “Feel remorse” is RUE – include in this (accepting) EVEN (regular) to form a synonym for income.

18a  Plain gold affixed to denture (7)
{PLATEAU} – take PLATE (denture) and add (affixed) AU (the chemical symbol for gold) to end up with a noun meaning an area of level high ground (plain).

20a  Shrewd setter gets upset with one’s early start (10)
{STREETWISE} – make an anagram (gets upset) of “setter” and add W(ith), IS (one’s) and the first letter (start) of Early to construct an adjective meaning shrewd or capable of dealing with modern urban life.

21a  Boasts of going topless in the tabloids (4)
{RAGS} – “boasts” is bRAGS – remove the first letter (going topless) to leave a colloquial term for the tabloids.

22a  The strain of non-drinkers accepting ruin, oddly (4)
{ARIA} – non-drinkers are AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) – put inside the odd letters (oddly) of RuIn to produce a song or melody (strain).

23a  Personal assistant’s strange idea to abscond (4-2-4)
{AIDE-DE-CAMP} – start with an anagram (strange) of “idea” and add DECAMP (abscond) to form the personal assistant of a senior military officer.

25a  Rattle the workers and extend a greeting (5,5)
{SHAKE HANDS} – “rattle” is SHAKE and “workers” are HANDS – together they form a phrase meaning to greet someone in the traditional British way.

26a  Hospital boundaries? (6)
{HEDGES} – a neat all-in-one clue (where the clue forms the whole of the definition and all the wordplay) is a charade of H (hospital) and EDGES (boundaries).

Down Clues

2d  A state benefit reportedly dispatched to juvenile (10)
{ADOLESCENT} – a benefit from the state is A DOLE – add a word which sounds like (reportedly) SENT (dispatched) to get a synonym for juvenile.

3d  Delays experienced by convicts (4)
{LAGS} – we want a word which means both delays (when it is often prefixed by “time”) and convicts/prisoners (when it is usually prefixed by “old”).

4d  An urge to stray wasn’t ruled out (10)
{WANDERLUST} – an anagram (out) of “wasn’t ruled” produces this German word meaning desire to travel (urge to stray). A really good surface reading in a puzzle full of them.

5d  Increases support for campaign for exercises (4-3)
{PUSH-UPS} – “increases” is UPS and this comes after (supports, in a down clue) PUSH (campaign) to produce exercises in the gym.

6d  Measure taken to back favourites (4)
{STEP} – favourites are PETS – reverse this (back) to get a synonym for measure.

7d  Radio star is torn, in other words (10)
{TRANSISTOR} – an anagram (in other words) of “star is torn” produces this semiconductor device, which started appearing in radios in the 1950s to replace the old unreliable valves.

8d  Farmer longing to grab hold of old master (6)
{YEOMAN} – longing is YEN – include (grab hold of) O (old) and MA (someone with the degree of Master of Arts) to get a word meaning a small farmer.

13d  Subject leaves the car in areas offering amusements (5,5)
{THEME PARKS} – subject is THEME and “leaves the car” is PARKS. Together they offer a description of attractions like Disneyland and Alton Towers.

15d  Nonsense talked about having less hair and flair (10)
{BALDERDASH} – a charade of BALDER (having less hair) and DASH (flair) produces this term meaning nonsense or senseless talk.

16d  Combine fixing a game with Malta (10)
{AMALGAMATE} – an anagram (fixing) of “a game” and “Malta” comes up with a verb used when two or more companies combine.

19d  Objecting to China being full of noise (7)
{MINDING} – china is MING which contains (being full of) DIN (noise) to produce a present participle meaning taking exception to or objecting to.

20d  Meagre lines finally accepted by extra (6)
{SPARSE} – extra is SPARE – insert (accepted) the last letter (finally) of lineS to make a synonym of meagre.

23d  Long to be expelled by teachers (4)
{ACHE} – a hidden word (to be expelled by) inside teACHErs means to yearn or long.

24d  Reminded when recovered from illness, having lost heart (4)
{CUED} – “recovered from illness” is CUrED – take out the middle letter (having lost heart) to be left with a word meaning reminded (like an actor who has needed a prompt).

There are so many clues with good surface readings that it is difficult to pick out a favourite. I like 12a and 20d, but my clue of the day has to be 4d. Agree or disagree? – leave us a comment!


  1. bigboab
    Posted May 7, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m not that good at solving but even I found todays cryptic and todays toughie very easy. I quite liked 20a and 22a (the latter only because I didn’t see AA at first and was looking for TT) 8d in the toughie was good.

  2. Kram
    Posted May 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    As you say an excellent puzzle to renew ones old learning curve, and for those starting to do cryptic crosswords.After they have tried the crossword, and reading your explanations they later like thousands will find many hours of frustration and pleasure.

  3. Little Dave
    Posted May 7, 2009 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    This was far more straightforward than yesterday’s and I managed it between Stratford and Broxbourne railway stations. Some nice clues though (and enjoyable too).