DT 25926

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25926

Today’s hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

In his review yesterday tilsit introduced a phrase “double unch” (double unchecked square) which I hadn’t heard before and which I determined to remember for future use – well, I did not have to wait long, because today’s puzzle is full of them! It’s a bit of a curate’s egg really, with a few nice cryptic definitions and some attempts at misdirection, but some of the surface readings are pretty poor, notably 16d.

Across Clues

1a  Part of engine from turbo racer broke down around start of track (11)
{CARBURETTOR}  – an anagram (broke down) of “turbo racer” around T (start of Track) produces this part of an internal combustion engine where air and fuel are mixed. We get a smooth surface reading to start.

9a  Entertain group in team usefully (5)
{AMUSE} – a hidden word (group) in “teAM USEfully” means to entertain.

10a  Rule about changing ends for flag (3,6)
{RED ENSIGN} – rule is REIGN – include an anagram (changing) of “ends” to get a flag which is flown by British-registered merchant ships.

11a  Rookie bothered retainer endlessly (7)
{TRAINEE} – an anagram (bothered) of “retainer” without its final letter (endlessly) produces a synonym for rookie.

12a  Where fine Arabs might originate? (8 )
{STUDFARM} – a cryptic definition of a breeding establishment which produces  thoroughbred horses.

14a  Upset first person held back by drink (8 )
{EMBITTER} – “upset” is very often the signal for an anagram or a reversal and with “first person” the compiler is trying to make us think of Adam. But neither is the case this time – “first person held back” is ME reversed – add BITTER (drink) to form a word meaning to make someone hostile or upset.

15a  Support titled figure in audience (4)
{PIER} – “in audience” means that we are looking for a homophone or sound-alike (which people listening cannot distinguish from another word which sounds the same but means something different) – in this case we want a word meaning “support” which sounds like “peer” (titled figure).

17a  Dishevelled hag left in filthy place – hideous (7)
{GHASTLY} – a word meaning hideous is constructed from an anagram (dishevelled) of “hag” followed by STY (filthy place) with L(eft) inside it. This has a nice surface reading.

19a  Italian novelist found in simple village (4)
{LEVI} – a hidden word (found) in “simpLE VIllage” leads us to this Italian novelist.

20a  It’s making possible ban Nigel overturned (8 )
{ENABLING} – an anagram (overturned) of “ban Nigel” produces a present participle meaning “making possible”.

21a  Two rivers? One’s in fashion for strenuous activity (8 )
{EXERTION} – the first river is that stalwart of crossword compilers the EXE, the second is just R – add TON (fashion) containing I (one) to get a synonym for strenuous activity.

23a  Plan ruse badly without energy? It’s a tangle (5-2)
{SNARL-UP} – an anagram (badly) of “Plan ruse” without E (energy) produces a term for a traffic-jam or a muddle (tangle). We had exactly the same answer in last Thursday’s Toughie (142) when the clue was “Plans run possibly avoiding the latest evidence of congestion?” – which clue do you prefer? – leave us a comment!

25a  Fool with a tie wrongly detaining retired company partner (9)
{ASSOCIATE} – fool is ASS which is followed by an anagram (wrongly) of “a tie” around (detaining) CO (company) which is reversed (retired), with the whole word meaning a business partner.

26a  Instrument old Latin found in Roman street (5)
{VIOLA} – take the latin word for street VIA and insert O(ld) and L(atin) to get a musical instrument.

27a  Plant teen got from ground (6-2-3)
{FORGET-ME-NOT} – an anagram (ground) of “teen got from” reveals the name of a plant with blue flowers.

Down Clues

2d  A storehouse lacking nothing is proficient (5)
{ADEPT} – a storehouse is A DEPOT – take out the O (lacking nothing) to leave an adjective meaning proficient.

3d  Kitchen item lost initially in drunken bout (7)
{BLENDER} –  “drunken bout” is not, as I originally thought, an anagram of bout, but has to be taken literally and is a BENDER. Insert an L (lost initially, i.e. first letter of lost) to obtain a kitchen item.

4d  Investigation about hearing in school (8 )
{RESEARCH} – “about” is RE and “school” is SCH with a metaphor for hearing, EAR (as in “she offered a sympathetic ear”), inside it to form a synonym for investigation.

5d  Day’s work avoiding sun in shade (4)
{TINT} – a fixed day’s work is a STINT – take off the S (avoiding sun) to leave a synonym for colour or shade.

6d  Criticise an appeal held in Cyprus for greed (8 )
{RAPACITY} – it’s just a question of slogging through the bits of this one to reach the answer – criticise is RAP, an is A, (sex) appeal is IT which is inside (held) in CY (the International Vehicle Registration Code for Cyprus). The whole thing is a synonym for greed.

7d  Holding vase, adjust flower and items in lounge? (9)
{FURNITURE} – adjust is FIT which contains (holding) URN (vase) and is followed by URE (flower, i.e. river, famous for its fly fishing) to form a generic term for the tables, chairs etc. which you have in your lounge and other rooms.

8d  Famous person to make allowance for festivity (11)
{CELEBRATION} – a colloquial term for a famous person is CELEB and to allow everyone to have a fixed allowance is to RATION – put the two together to get a synonym for festivity.

12d  Tending to stop drink with reporters I have cut short (11)
{SUPPRESSIVE} – drink is SUP, reporters are PRESS and “I have” cut short is I’VE. String all the bits together to form an adjective meaning preventing or inhibiting, i.e. tending to stop.

13d  Dining area gets time for communication (7)
{MESSAGE} – the name for a dining area, especially for the armed forces, is a MESS – add AGE (time) to get a communication.

16d  Tea Carol’s brewed – feature in big department store? (9)
{ESCALATOR} – an anagram (brewed) of “tea Carol’s” produces a feature which eases your ascent or descent in a big department store, or tube station. The surface reading here makes no sense at all!

17d  Deal arranged in game for something finely decorative (4,4)
{GOLD LEAF} – an anagram (arranged) of “deal” inside GOLF (game) produces something which is used for fine decoration.

18d  A source of delivery in the main? (8 )
{LIFEBOAT} – an amusing cryptic definition of the vessel which may deliver you from danger if you get into difficulty at sea.

19d  Window in high room surrounded by the French (7)
{LATTICE} – “high room” is ATTIC with the French definite article around it to form a window with lozenge-shaped panes set in lead.

22d  Overcome stout docker? Not entirely (5)
{OUTDO} – a hidden word (not entirely) in “stOUT DOcker” means to surpass or overcome.

24d  By the sound of it, trim couple (4)
{PAIR} – we finish with another homophone (signalled “by the sound of it”) – we want a word for couple which sounds like “pare” (trim).

My clue of the day is 17a, but I also liked 1a and 18d. What do you think? – leave us a comment!


  1. Harry Shipley
    Posted May 12, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    A very minor point. 12A is given as length 8, yet your answer is written as 4,4. When I was solving I did have a moment’s hesitation, as I too would have expected STUD FARM to be two words. Although Chambers gives it as one word.

    • gazza
      Posted May 12, 2009 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for that – I’ll amend my answer. I prefer 4,4 and I suppose I didn’t check the clue properly when I was writing the review.

  2. Greenhorn
    Posted May 12, 2009 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    While I got totally stuck in the NW , I enjoyed this much more than yesterdays. I couldn’t think of any engine part so not getting 1a made life difficult.
    21a How does fashion = ton, please?

    • gazza
      Posted May 12, 2009 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      Hi Greenhorn

      Ton means, according to my Chambers, “fashion, people of fashion”. The word comes from French where “donner le ton” means to set the style or be a trend-setter.

  3. Little Dave
    Posted May 12, 2009 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    14a left me stumped as I fell into the trap of “adam” and was also looking for the anagram which was not there. I liked 10a.