DT 25930 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 25930 – Review

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25930 – Review

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Another mixed bag of a Saturday puzzle for me. The grid is rather perverse. Combining 14-letter answers with the two 15-letter acrosses is a nice idea, but done a bit hamfistedly, making double unches (start of 7D, end of 17D), and although the 3 of 7 checking letters in these answers were uncommon enough to make these answers pretty clear, the double unches are not impressive. We also get four 5-letter answers with 2 letters checked, though again the checking letters for them are relatively helpful. The clues are generally good – I seem to be grumbling less than usual below – though the last one was disappointing.

1,5A Royal flier? (7,4)
EMPEROR MOTH – a gentle CD making it fairly clear that we need a bird or insect whose name includes one royal word. Easy for me as the same insect was used in the Times puzzle recently.
9 Explosive beauty? (6,9)
BLONDE BOMBSHELL – another gentle CD following much the same pattern.
10 Fighting military first who are ardent (4)
WAR=fighting,M=military first. Not mad keen on “military first” for “first part of military”.
11 Alec’s prepared to climb (5)
SCALE – anag. of “Alec’s”
12 FBI agent is a good bloke (1-3)
15 He leaves here with Sidney bringing gold back, the parts left over (7)
RESIDUA – “he leaves HEre” leaves RE,Sidney=SID,gold back = Au reversed. Careless types like me might have rushed into “residue”, but without justification.
16 It’s to do with cathedral dignitary coming from French waterway (7)
DECANAL – “coming from French” = DE,waterway=CANAL. Decanal = relating to a Dean (and most Deans belong to cathedrals).
17 Ship, a cutter? (7)
CLIPPER – 2 defs.
19 Be careful, hunter has sex appeal (5,2)
WATCH IT – two crosssword clichés here – hunter=WATCH and sex appeal=IT as in “it girl” – slang dating back to Clara Bow.
21 Converted lira into Middle Eastern money (4)
RIAL – anag. of rail.
22 Go round edge of garment (5)
SKIRT – 2 defs
23 Raspy, not one becoming agile (4)
SPRY – anag. of r(a)spy
26 Without revealing one’s intentions not far from Treasury (5,2,3,5)
CLOSE TO THE CHEST – 2 def’s, one cryptic
27 A fellow in Newfoundland who is vulgar (4)
NAFF – (a=A, fellow=F) in NF=Newfoundland. I guess the DT lacks the political nerve to place the vulgarian in the National Front.
28 Knightly companion friend, a big noise (7)
PALADIN – PAL=friend,A=a,DIN=big noise. A Paladin is a knight errant or a paragon of knighthood.
1 Violent mob were to take shelter (7)
EMBOWER = anag. of “mob were”. Tricky vocabulary – the meaning used here is in Chambers but not Concise Oxford.
2 Off-putting person whose theft is timely, so to speak (14)
PROCRASTINATOR – CD referring to the old saying “Procrastination is the thief of time”
3 Ride past (4)
RODE – one of those clues where you may think “Is that all there is to it?” – simply a test of your ability to supply the past form of a verb, once you see past the surface.
4 Spy coming from cyberspace upset the lady (7)
REBECCA – anag. of (cyberspace – spy)
5 Spoke indistinctly stopping short on Welsh headland with Penny once (7)
MUMBLED – Mumble(s) Head,D=”penny once” (as in LSD). Mumbles Head is near Swansea. (Zoom out a couple of notches if you follow the link.)
6 It’s nonsense to ask for silence (4)
TOSH = to,sh
7 Bogeyman (7)
COLONEL – CD referring to Colonel Bogey – title of the march used in Bridge over the River Kwai
8 Dog European agricultural worker (6,8)
GERMAN=European, SHEPHERD=agric. worker
13 Adjust fitting notice first (5)
14 Quick-witted but having no afterthought about teacups (5)
ACUTE – anag. of (teacups – P.S.)
17 Hundred words of wisdom from the boat (7)
C=hundred,ORACLE=words of wisdom. (Chambers def for oracle includes the words as a meaning, as well as their source).
18 Roué has disappointing share (4-3)
19 Line up vessel for idolisation (7)
WORSHIP – “line up” = row reversed, vessel = SHIP.
20 Attempt to do something risky – with a dress in a shop? (3,2,2)
TRY IT ON – 2 defs, with the text “to do … risky” effectively shared, and the second def cryptic
24 Overalls more than covered her (4)
VERA – hidden in “overalls”
25 A pass at bridge (4)
ACOL – A=a=,COL=(mountain) pass. A very poor definition here – Acol is a bidding system. “At bridge” could mean any word connected with bridge – and there are quite a few. One possible route to a better def: as passing is a part of bridge bidding, it should be possible to find some way of contrasting this kind of pass with the col kind. “A pass? This could tell you when to pass” or similar.