DT 25931 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 25931

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25931

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

One weak one this time round, with a couple of surplus articles, but nothing major to write home about.


1a  Friendly note in a message (8)
{AMICABLE}    A note from the tonic sol-fa inside an American word for a message or telegram.

6a  Blue flower? (6)
{DANUBE}  A clue I have seen many times before.  As frequently happens in crossword-land, “flower” does not refer to a plant but to a river, i.e. one that flows.  The question mark is also an indicator that all is not straight-forward here.  Think of a famous blue river as made famous by Strauss.

9a  Demanding it needs a return telephone call (6)
{TIRING}  Nice surface reading to this clue.  Reverse IT and add it to a word meaning to make a telephone call.

10a  It’s poisonous, move us on out of the way (8)
{VENOMOUS}  The first anagram of the day.  MOVE US ON needs to turn into a word meaning poisonous.

11a  A supporter of the arts (8)
{PEDESTAL}  Cryptic definition time.  My first thought when I saw the clue was “easel” but obviously we need eight letters here.  So another word for a type of artistic support here.  Think sculpture, rather than art.

12a  Group in second year displaying risqué behaviour? (6)
{STEAMY}  The on-line solving version of this didn’t have the last letter of risqué shown, and I wondered whether this was intended in the clue.  However, seeing the print version makes me think it was just a typo.

13a  North or South, it’s the best place to start from (4,8)
{POLE POSITION} A double definition clue, with one of the definitions of a cryptic nature.  If you divide the clue into two with “North and South” as one definition, and the remainder as the other, it should give you a start.  Think of motor racing for the second part.

16a  A copper ring? (6,6)
{POLICE CORDON}  Cryptic definition.  Think of a circle often used by members of the law.

19a  A break in the depression (6)
{RECESS}  Double definition clue.  Think of a word for a break in school, which could mean the same as a depression in a wall.

21a  Unexpected but fruitful result of a sharp blow (8)
{WINDFALL)  Similar to 13a, this has two definitions, one of which is cryptic, but the clue is stitched together nicely so the surface reading is fine.  Think of the sort of apples you get in an orchard that you don’t have to pick.

23a  The saint not usually regarded as being in doubt (8)

24a  Bill is on the line expressing agreement (6)
{ACCORD}  Like Big Dave, I am not too fond of surplus articles being used in clues to justify the surface reading, and here “the” seems to perform that role.  Think of an abbreviation for Bill, or account, added to a word meaning  line or string.

25a  Fine for a non-drinker found in quarry (6)
{PRETTY}   Fine is your definition here.  “A non drinker” (again, the article is not needed) is someone who is teetotal, inside something hunted.

26a  Pile of food the farmer may plunge his fork into (8)
(HAYSTACK}  Cryptic definition.  Here the farmer’s not eating but using his (pitch)fork.



2d  A girl to help people out (6)
{MAIDEN}  Here you need to view the clue as “a girl” as definition.  Then you need a word for people wrapped around a word meaning to help.

3d  An act that violates an act (5)
{CRIME}  After spending a bit of time thinking of an anagram of “an act”, I realised it is a clever cryptic definition with two different meanings of the word act here.  Think of “deed” first, with a legal document second.

4d  An arm put round pretty girl in game (9)
{BAGATELLE}  I was a bit unhappy seeing “pretty” in a clue, when it’s an answer.  Obviously the Telegraph is unlike the Guardian where the clue would probably have read “25 girl” with some setters.  So perhaps a synonym would have been better.  A small point. Here you are looking for a word for a gun (the article here is essential) (GAT) inside  a word for an attractive young lady.

5d  Pen love-letters perhaps, and enclose (7)
{ENVELOP} An anagram of PEN LOVE.  Nice surface reading, but I wonder whether the use of letters is OK for the purists.  To me, I guess the setter is qualifying perhaps, so it’s OK, but some may not see it that way.

6d  He is one immersed in studies (5)
{DENIS}   “He” is the definition here, and you need a man’s name.  Look for “one” (I) inside a word for studies, as in a place.

7d  X marks the spot in a political address (6,3)
{NUMBER TEN} Quite nice clue, probably my favourite of the day. Another double definition with both bits cryptic.  Think of what X means.  And a famous political address in London.

8d  Once in a lifetime phenomenon? (4,4)
{BLUE MOON}  Again double definition time.

13d  Charge sheet? (5,4)
{PRICE LIST}  The clue implies something used by a policeman, but you are looking for something more mundane and obvious.  I think this is rather weak.

14d  Such work gives you little standing (9)
{SEDENTARY}  Think of a type of work where you are sat down.

15d  He succeeds where all others fail (4,4)
{SOLE HEIR}  Cryptic definition.  Think of heirlooms and succession.

17d  Looking out for a situation for the hands? (2,5)
{ON WATCH}  Another double definition with cryptic leanings for one of them.  Think of where you will find hands on your wrist!

18d  One who takes orders to break the circle (6)
{CLERIC}  Another surplus article?  An anagram of CIRCLE.

20d  Dishonest, and wary about publicity (5)
{SHADY}  Think of a word for wary, or bashful around a  very short word meaning publicity.

22d  It is in fact a point of view (5)
{FACET}  A point usually refers to a compass point and it does here.  Put it inside FACT and you will get a word that means the whole clue.

Thanks to our Monday Maestro for the challenge.  I am off to pack some more boxes as I am moving to a new, more specialised flat tomorrow.

3 comments on “DT 25931

  1. No problem with NE or SE except that I guessed 6d as denis but couldn’t see why.
    The NW and SW were another stroy with only 13d & 16a going in.
    I did guess 1a but couldn’t see why so didn’t put it in.
    4d & 15d were “not in a month of Sundays would I have got that”

  2. Hi Tilsit

    Best of luck with the move.

    I enjoyed this puzzle. Solved it all except 15d. Got the “heir” part of it but not “sole”. Having seen the answer I can’t believe that I couldn’t solve that one!

    I liked 3d and 7d.

    Thanks for your review of this puzzle.

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