DT 25932

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25932

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

Once more we have an excellent Tuesday puzzle with some very entertaining surface readings. The layout of the grid encourages you to solve one corner at a time, and I was proceeding quite well until I reached the South-East corner which held me up for a while.
Can I point out to new readers (and to regular readers who have not yet read Big Dave’s FAQ!) that the curly brackets associated with each clue are not just there for artistic embellishment – the answer is hidden inside them, and if my hints are insufficient to give you the answer you can reveal it by selecting the space inside the brackets.

Across Clues

1a  Upstart is trying, revealing genius (8 )
{ARTISTRY} – we start off with a hidden word (signalled by revealing) meaning genius inside upstART IS TRYing.

5a  Pointer dog hurt, losing tail (6)
{CURSOR} – string together CUR (dog) and SORe (hurt without its last letter, i.e. losing tail) to get the pointer on your computer monitor which shows you where the next character you type will appear. libellule has contributed this joke about dogs and tails from the Aubrey-Maturin series of historical novels by Patrick O’Brian:”the shortest watches of duty on board the ship, the dogwatches, take their name because they are curtailed”.

9a  Plump frog’s insides, a French recipe (8 )
{ROUNDISH} – an amusing clue leads us to a synonym for plump which is constructed from the inside letters of fROg, “a” in French and DISH (recipe).

10a  Casual security ends around left (6)
{SPORTY} – a word meaning casual (when describing clothes, for example) is formed from the first and last letters (ends) of SecuritY around PORT (left, at sea).

12a  Key alien’s set free (9)
{ESSENTIAL} – an anagram (free) of “alien’s set” gives us an adjective meaning crucial or key.

13a  Grand tipping back beer (5)
{REGAL} – take the kind of beer which has taken over from traditional ale and reverse it (tipping back) to get a word meaning majestic or grand.

14a  Turn over – it’s not working (4)
{IDLE} – double definition – what your car engine does when it’s sitting at traffic lights (turn over) and not gainfully employed.

16a  Say who can see the future bonuses (7)
{PROFITS} – a word meaning financial gains or bonuses is also a sound-alike (say) for those who can see or foretell the future (of whom there are many in the Old Testament).

19a  Quietly stepped up and applauded (7)
{PRAISED} – put together P (quietly, in musical notation) and RAISED (stepped up, increased) to get a word meaning lauded or applauded.

21a  Fag-end for bum… (4)
{BUTT} – double definition – the American slang term for a bum or rear-end is also the remains of a fag (definitely not in the American sense).

24a  …bum died in pen (5)
{CADGE} – to bum (scrounge, borrow) is made by putting D (died) inside CAGE (pen).

25a  Stop government’s return (9)
{REINSTATE} – a verb meaning to return someone to his previous position is formed from a charade of REIN (stop) and STATE (government).

27a  Established in Magaluf or Malaga (6)
{FORMAL} – a word meaning established or conventional is hidden in MagaluF OR MALaga.

28a  More strident right, in quiet, weaker (8 )
{SHRILLER} – put R (right) between (in) SH (quiet!) and ILLER (weaker) to get an adjective meaning more strident.

29a  Bird for felon with diamonds and gold (6)
{CONDOR} – form the name of this very large bird by stringing together CON (convict, felon), D (diamonds, in bridge notation) and OR (gold).

30a  Sweet female artist getting award (8 )
{FRAGRANT} – this epithet, meaning sweet-smelling, once applied by a judge to Jeffrey Archer’s wife, is made by stringing together F (female), RA (artist, Royal Academician) and GRANT (award).

Down Clues

1d  Allowed Adam’s original sin (6)
{AGREED} – the first letter (original) of Adam is followed by one of the seven deadly sins to produce a verb meaning admitted or allowed.

2d  Firmest conviction taking a drug (6)
{TRUEST} – conviction, in the sense of strong belief, is TRUST – insert (taking) an E (drug) to get a term meaning most sincere or firmest.

3d  America returned desperate man to country (5)
{SUDAN} – reverse (returned) US (America) and add the name of the desperate comic-book character who was famous for eating cow pies, to form the name of the largest country, by area, in Africa. A delightful clue which made me laugh out loud.

4d  Stop ritual admitting clairvoyance (7)
{RESPITE} – a brief pause or stop is made from RITE (ritual) containing (admitting) ESP (extra-sensory perception, clairvoyance).

6d  Support me, perhaps, to get to top (9)
{UPPERMOST} – an anagram (perhaps) of “support me” produces an adjective meaning highest or topmost.

7d  Oglers, I fancy, surrounding a harem (8 )
{SERAGLIO} – an anagram (fancy) of “oglers I” with A included (surrounding a) is the name for the women’s quarters (harem) in a Muslim house or palace.

8d  Strangely solitary Queen fan (8 )
{ROYALIST} – this fan is an admirer of Elizabeth Windsor and her family rather than Freddie Mercury and his band, and what he’s called is formed from a lovely anagram (strangely) of “solitary”.

11d  Cold drink giving cheer (4)
{CLAP} – take C (cold) and add a verb to drink (in the way a dog does) to produce a word meaning to applaud or cheer.

15d  Criminal twisting rope’s dead (9)
{DESPERADO} – the term for a reckless criminal is formed from an anagram (twisting) of “rope’s dead”.

17d  Dead on drug (8 )
{SPECIFIC} – double definition – the answer is both an adjective meaning precise (“dead on”) and a noun meaning a medicine or drug.

18d  Official chap not completely reckless (8 )
{MANDARIN} – chap is MAN – add DARINg (reckless, with the last letter missing, i.e. not completely) to generate the name given to a powerful official of the Sir Humphrey type.

20d  Do anything rashly, especially initially (4)
{DARE} – this is an all-in-one clue, where the whole clue is the both the definition and the wordplay. “initially” is a signal that you need to use the initial letters of the other four words.

21d  More thoughtless gossip (7)
{BLITHER} – an adjective meaning having a casual attitude or being thoughtless is BLITHE. The comparative form of this (more thoughtless) is also a verb meaning to talk at length (gossip) without making much sense. These days the word is most often used in the term “blithering idiot”.

22d  With trouble taken, raised plant (6)
{DAHLIA} – put together AIL (trouble) and HAD (taken) and then reverse the result (raised) to reveal the name of a brightly coloured flower (also the name of one of Bertie Wooster’s aunts!).

23d  Former publisher listens to Tory leader (6)
{HEARST} – “listens to” is HEARS – add T (Tory leader) to get the name of the legendary American newspaper publisher who was the inspiration for the film Citizen Kane.

26d  Cast for small fish (5)
{SLING} – put together S (small) and LING (a fish of the cod family) to get a synonym for to throw or cast.

I particularly liked 9a, 7d and 8d, but my clue of the day is 3d. What do you think? – leave us a comment!


  1. NathanJ
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Hi Gazza

    Thanks for your review.

    I found this puzzle much harder than last Tuesday’s but I managed to finish it after a bit of effort. I thought it was a very good puzzle. Congratulations to the Tuesday compiler.

    I learned a new meaning for a word (“specific” as a word for “medicine” was a new one for me).

    My favourite clue was 8 down and I also liked 18 down.

    Once again, thanks. This blog is really teaching me a lot and I am very appreciative on the contributions from you and the other bloggers on this site. Keep up the good work.

    • gazza
      Posted May 19, 2009 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Thanks for that. “Specific” in that sense was new to me too.

  2. libellule
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    A thoroughly enjoyable crossword. 5a was my favourite clue for obvious reasons….

  3. bigboab
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Nice crossword, it was much tougher than the toughie. Tuesdays are worth looking forward to!

    • gazza
      Posted May 19, 2009 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Hi bigboab
      You must be on top form if you thought today’s Toughie was easy! – I’d never even heard of the composer at 15d.

      • bigboab
        Posted May 19, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        To be honest neither had I but the anagram was reasonable and besides I found him in my Crossworld Solver. (odbo was weird however)

        • gazza
          Posted May 19, 2009 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

          I think it’s “odso” (hidden word) rather than odbo – still weird, but it is in Chambers!

          • bigboab
            Posted May 19, 2009 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

            Sorry Gazza I did have odso it’s my brain that’s barmy.

  4. Kram
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Another good Tuesday crossword, liked 9a and 30a, but joint favourites had to be 21a and 24a for their bum per meaning!

    • gazza
      Posted May 19, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kram
      Very punny!! Yes, I liked those you mentioned – not as much as 3d though!

    • Kram
      Posted May 19, 2009 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      oops should have read ‘for their bum per clue!’

  5. Greenhorn
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Found this very difficult and only got 1/3 of the clues out.
    I’d never heard of seraglio , though I knew the clue was an anagram nor specific =medicine.
    I’m kicking myself for not getting 1a.
    I guessed 14a but didn’t put it in as I couldn’t see the turn over.
    28a I’m not convinced weaker=iller. Surely weaker =less strong?
    21,22&23d were all “I would never had got that”

    • gazza
      Posted May 19, 2009 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Hi Greenhorn
      Like you I had most problems in the bottom right-hand corner.
      On 28a I agree that weaker = iller is not brilliant, but weak can mean sickly as in the phrase “he was too weak to move”.

  6. James
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    I love this site! It really helps me as I still struggle (but thoroughly enjoy) the DT cryptic

    Can I ask why gold is OR? The only thing I can think of is gold is an ore, but I suspect I am missing something.

    Many thanks


    • gazza
      Posted May 19, 2009 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Hi James

      I’m glad you like the site.
      “Gold” in cryptic clues is almost invariably either AU (the chemical symbol) or OR. In 29a it’s OR, which is defined in my Chambers as “the tincture gold or yellow”; it’s based on the French word “or” meaning gold.

  7. Luke
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Great fun this week.
    The bottom section really ground my gears!

  8. Marian
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Really difficult today! But thanks for all your explanations – at least I understand the answers now…

  9. Mike Kent
    Posted May 20, 2009 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    A mix of VG questions & answers but some so obscure (for me) to give any pleasure. I’m so grateful for your expanations – excellent