DT 25927

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25927

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

This is the sort of puzzle that you come to expect in the Telegraph.  Nothing too difficult, no awkward constructs, no obsolete or obscure words, no silly phrases, no proper nouns, no isolated corners, and certainly no sign of those love ’em or hate ’em unches!  Just a good, honest puzzle.  Well done our Wednesday setter.


1a Very small item with no power written by journalist? (7)
{ARTICLE} – the very small item is a (P)ARTICLE; remove the P (with no Power) and you get something written by a journalist

5a Dwellings head of aristocracy might be seen in? (7)
{PALACES} – an all-in-one takes PLACES (dwellings) and inserts A (head of / first letter of Aristocracy) to give dwellings that the head of the aristocracy might be seen in

9a Grin with glee finally breaking rule (5)
{REIGN} – an anagram (breaking) of GRIN with E (gleE finally) gives a word meaning to rule

10a M&M hordes? (9)
{THOUSANDS} – not the sweets, but the Roman numeral for 1000 – two of them and you get a synonym for hordes

11a Firm’s papers read out (10)
{STATIONARY} – a word that means firm sounds like (read out) stationery (papers)

12a Regular supporter of Boris Johnson? (4)
{BIKE} – the last one that I got, a UK-centric clue leads you to the method of transport favoured by Boris Johnson, among others

14a Shops’ excellent brand set to be changed (12)
{SUPERMARKETS} – these shops are derived by putting together a word meaning excellent, MARK (brand) and an anagram (to be changed) of SET

18a Plans to develop great manners (12)
{ARRANGEMENTS} – these plans are an anagram (to develop) of GREAT MANNERS – if you’re struggling to get started on a puzzle, where better than an obvious anagram like this

21a Female to produce eggs around bottom of shed (4)
(LADY} – to get this female put a word meaning to produce eggs around D (bottom of sheD)

22a Cost of zero fare? (10)
{STARVATION} – a nice cryptic definition of the price that one pays for not eating any food

25a Produces events (9)
{OCCASIONS} – a double definition

26a He met extraordinary argument (5)
{THEME} – here extraordinary indicates that you need an anagram of HE MET to get an argument or subject proposed for discussion

27a Yells and flees, holding end of purse (7)
{SCREAMS} – these yells are constructed by putting SCRAMS (flees) around (holding) E (end of / last letter of pursE)

28a Family label certain to get man drunk inside (7)
{SURNAME} – this family label is the last name of members of the same family, obtained from SURE (certain) around an anagram (drunk ) of MAN


1d Check Sartre translation (6)
{ARREST} – a word meaning to check is an anagram (translation) SARTRE

2d Boy initially stuck in test to do with ethnic groups (6)
{TRIBAL} – put B (Boy initially) inside (stuck in) TRIAL (test) and you get a word meaning to do with ethnic groups

3d Not stopping study can lead to unionists in government (10)
{CONTINUING} – this synonym for not stopping is built up, bit by bit, from CON (study} TIN (can) U(nionists) IN G(overnment)

4d Consumed neat absinthe finally with a twist (5)
{EATEN} – this word meaning consumed uses with a twist to signal an anagram of NEAT and E (absinthE finally)

5d One might be seen on the tube (9)
{PROGRAMME} – a cryptic definition of something you might see on the television (tube)

6d Twisted lips to speak imperfectly (4)
{LISP} – here twisted is used again to signal an anagram, this time of LIPS, to give a word meaning to speak imperfectly

7d Think carefully about prisoners before dire reforms (8)
{CONSIDER} – a synonym of to think carefully about comes from CONS (those prisoners again!) before an anagram (reforms) of DIRE

8d American writers in south-east creating tension (8)
{SUSPENSE} – put US (American) and PENS (writers) inside SE (south-east) and you have a word meaning creating tension

13d One lengthens rope endlessly twisted on farm vehicle (10)
{PROTRACTOR} – this person who lengthens is an anagram (twisted) of ROP(E) (rope endlessly) on TRACTOR (farm vehicle) – by now you must have realised that in this puzzle twist indicates an anagram!

15d They fix parties in office (9)
{ELECTIONS} – I’ll say no more than this is a cryptic definition, you make up your own mind what you think about it

16d Party decorations and dance soon arranged (8)
{BALLOONS} – these party decorations come from BALL (dance) and an anagram (arranged) of SOON

17d Excitedly procure ultimate in bread maker (8)
{PRODUCER} – nothing to do with bakers, this is an anagram (excitedly) of PROCURE and D (ultimate in / last letter in breaD) to give someone who makes, for example, films

19d Flicks mince around middle of plate (6)
{CINEMA} – staying with the theme, these flicks, or generic name for films, are an anagram (around) of MINCE then A (middle letter of plAte)

20d Cold blast? (6)
{SNEEZE} – a nice cryptic definition of what someone who has a cold might do

23d Where musicians relax in bars (5)
{RESTS} – another cryptic definition, this time with a musical flavour

24d Some pandas, I assume, can be found here? (4)
{ASIA} – this continent where you might find pandas is hidden (some) in pandAS, I Assume

A bit earlier than yesterday’s Toughie review!  I will be out this afternoon, but don’t let that stop you from leaving comments – I’ll look at them when I get back this evening.



  1. Kram
    Posted May 13, 2009 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Oop’s 1d should read ‘ Check Sartre translation’

    • Posted May 13, 2009 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Thanks for that, Kram

      That’s what happens when you use drag and drop and forget to hold the Ctrl key down!

  2. gazza
    Posted May 13, 2009 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    12a Never mind being uk-centric, it’s London-centric! How are we inhabitants of the far-flung reaches of the country meant to know that London’s mayor rides a motorbike? Faced with ?I?E my initial thoughts were either that he exists on a staple diet of oriental food and is thus supported by RICE, or that he is in heavy training for the 2012 Olympics and is never to be seen without his NIKE trainers. I did briefly wonder whether he receives financial support from his WIFE, but thought that unlikely.

    • son of BD
      Posted May 13, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Permalink


      If you had followed the link you would know that it was a push bike!

      BD (via son of BD)

  3. Greenhorn
    Posted May 13, 2009 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    This was the first DT crossword I had fully completed for sometime but I had 12a as aide = supporter. I’ll live with bike but I’ve seen better clues.