DT 25934 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 25934

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25934

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

This is a good, solid puzzle with some nice surface readings. I always think that if you are amused by the first clue across, which was the case for me here, then you are pre-disposed to like the whole puzzle.

Across Clues

7a  Money spinner? (3,5,6)
{ONE ARMED BANDIT} – we start with an amusing cryptic description of a fruit machine, utilising the fact that its reels spin. What we want is a colloquial term for such a machine which is based on the facts that a) it has a single handle, and b) it makes a lot of money for its owner at the player’s expense.

9a  Started job working in antiques, for example (6,4)
{OBJETS DART} – an anagram (working) of “started job” gives us a French term for works of art (antiques, for example).

11a  Break provided in case of riot (4)
{RIFT} – a synonym for break or split is constructed by putting IF (provided) inside the outer letters (case) of RioT.

12a  Water that’s got carbon in (3)
{ICE} – “that’s” is IE (that is) – put C (chemical symbol for carbon) inside it to get water in its frozen form.

13a  Half-decent speech award (10)
{DECORATION} – take the first half of DECent and add ORATION (speech) to get an award (for bravery, for example).

16a  Stage work with not a little weight (4)
{DRAM} – stage work is DRAMA – take off the final letter (with not a) to leave a small weight, once used by apothecaries, equal to 1/8 of an ounce or 60 grains (3.89 grams).

17a  Gentle girl, oddly, had a fight reported (7)
{GRADUAL} – the odd letters of GiRl  are followed (had) by what sounds like (reported) A DUEL (a fight) to form an adjective meaning slow and gentle.

18a  Understanding sailing course includes temporary accommodation (7)
{ENTENTE} – a word for understanding or agreement, derived from French, is formed from East-North-East (a direction set at sea, hence sailing course) including TENT (temporary accommodation). I’m not overly keen on this clue because I can’t see how anyone can be expected to establish from the wordplay which direction is required without getting the answer first.

20a  Drug addict finds employment beginning to rankle (4)
{USER} – employment is USE – follow this with the first letter (beginning) of Rankle to get a term for a drug addict.

21a  Speculator’s time away from home after parking summons (6,4)
{TICKET TOUT} – parking summons is TICKET – follow this with T (time) and OUT (away from home) to get the sort of speculator you might see trying to sell his wares outside the ground at a major sporting event or concert.

23a  One scoffs at one involved in film classification (3)
{PIG} – insert I (one) inside PG (parental guidance, a film classification) to get an animal which is supposed to eat a lot (one scoffs).

24a  Travel document obtained by way of covering letters at last (4)
{VISA} – “by way of” is VIA – include (covering) the final (at last) letter of letterS to get a travel document.

25a  Start soundly, saving some salary? (10)
{ALLITERATE} – a lovely clue (in which you’ll have noticed that all the words start with the same sound) to a verb meaning, you’ve guessed it, to start consecutive words with the same sound.

28a  Accepted discord and avarice in organising aid effort (6,2,6)
{AGREED TO DIFFER} – a phrase meaning “mutually recognised that no common ground was possible” (accepted discord) is constructed by putting GREED (avarice) inside an anagram (organising) of “aid effort”. Another nice surface reading.

Down Clues

1d  Cheating, getting twice the number going over (6-8 )
{DOUBLE-CROSSING} – a term meaning to cheat or betray is made from DOUBLE (twice the number) and CROSSING (going over).

2d  Give up, trapped by unforced errors (4)
{CEDE} – a verb, meaning to give up, is hidden (trapped) inside unforCED Errors.

3d  One to almost gamble on a bit of a looker (4)
{IRIS} – a part of the eye (a bit of a looker) is constructed from I (one) and RISk (almost gamble).

4d  First-class beer served up with all the trimmings (7)
{REGALIA} – a charade of first-class (AI) and beer (LAGER) has to be reversed (served up) to get a word for the distinctive clothing and ornaments carried, especially by royalty, on formal occasions (all the trimmings).

5d  Staying away from sailor since ten got lost (10)
{ABSTINENCE} – a word meaning to resist something, e.g. alcohol, on a voluntary basis (staying away from) is formed from AB (able seaman) followed by an anagram (got lost) of “since ten”.

6d  One tendering change for part of a meal (10)
{INGREDIENT} – one of the substances that go into the preparation of a meal is made from an anagram (change) of I (one) and “tendering”.

8d  Basic facilities that might stun RAF recruit being trained (14)
{INFRASTRUCTURE} – an anagram (being trained) of “stun RAF recruit” gives us the basic facilities needed for day-to-run operation of society.

10d  Pitch and run after tea outside (3)
{TAR} – a synonym for pitch (the sticky black stuff, that is) is constructed from R (run, at cricket) after the outside letters of TeA.

14d  Arranged schedule for brothers to decorate (5,5)
{ORDER PAPER} – the arranged schedule or written agenda of a legislative body is formed from ORDER (a society of monks, brothers) and PAPER (to decorate the walls of a room). Another nice surface reading which I like a lot.

15d  Runs into position of advantage, being innovative (5-5)
{AVANT-GARDE} – insert R (runs, in cricket) into an anagram (position) of “advantage” to get a term meaning innovative or ahead of one’s time, especially in an artistic sense.

19d  Seafood concession welcoming visit (7)
{SCALLOP} – concession is SOP – put inside it (welcoming) CALL (visit) to form a type of seafood.

22d  Link with Bangkok national, according to Listener (3)
{TIE} – Listener is given a capital letter to try to con you into thinking of the periodical, but it actually means the ear, and what we want is a sound-alike,  meaning “link”, of THAI (a native of Bangkok).

26d  Catch on a small branch (4)
{TWIG} – double definition – an informal verb meaning to catch on or realise also means a small shoot or branch.

27d  A lot of pilots have time! (4)
{RAFT} – “pilots” is RAF – follow this with T (time) to get a word which can mean a large amount (a lot).

The clues that I really liked included 7a, 20a, 28a and 14d, but the stand-out clue for me today was 25a. Do you agree or not? – leave us a comment!

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24 comments on “DT 25934

  1. I know that some French people dislike the incorporation of English words into common French parlance.

    This English person is becoming concerned about the number of French words being incorporated into English crosswords.

    Rant over!

    1. Hi Rollo

      Yes – we’ve had a lot of French this week.

      The words/phrases today (in 9a, 18a and 15d) are all in fairly common use in English and don’t really bother me, whereas “bas” (stockings) which cropped up in yesterday’s Toughie, is not, and is possibly of more concern – see the comments on Toughie 149.

      Again, I’d be interested in other views.

  2. Hi Gazza

    Thanks for that.

    I solved 26 out of the 28 clues. Of these, I fully understood 24 clues and the blog confirmed my understanding of these was correct. The two I solved correctly, but without understanding the word play were 11a and 25a. Thanks for your explanations.

    The two I failed to solve were 23a and 14d. Again, thanks for explaining these.

    My favourites today were 7a and 3d.

    A good puzzle today – challenging but enjoyable.

    1. Thanks for that NathanJ.
      It’s very useful to get a detailed feedback on which clues caused difficulty.

  3. what a cracker 25a was, without the completed squares I had, it would have taken me all day to solve!

  4. Am I the only one who doesn’t understand 25a? Is allite supposed to sound like alight? OK but does alight mean to start? I guess rate is connected to salary but where is the saving?

    1. Hi Michael and welcome to the blog.

      The last 3 words of the 25a clue are there purely because they start with S and have no other purpose (other than to confuse the solver). The compiler might have put “selling savoury snacks” without changing the meaning.

      The definition is “Start soundly” and the answer “alliterate” means, according to my Chambers:
      “to begin with the same sound; to practise alliteration”.

      Alliteration is defined as:
      “the recurrence of the same initial sound (not necessarily letter) in words in close succession, as ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence'”

  5. Ok thanks for the explanation, but I do not agree that it is a good clue as over half the clue words do not contribute to the aswer. What is wrong with “Start soundly?”

  6. Some classic poetic examples of alliteration:

    Windhover – Gerard Manley Hopkins
    “king-dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon”
    Anthem for Doomed Youth – Wilfred Owen
    “Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle”
    One of Ariel’s Songs – The Tempest
    “Full fathom five thy father lies”

    1. One of the places to hear regular alliterations is to view at the BBC1 television weather forecasts.

  7. Good today i thought, on the subject of french words, was it just me who didn’t like 9a though… shouldn’t the apostrophe of d’art be shown in the clue? Or is that accepted setting practise?

    1. When you are talking about French then anything goes!

      But to be a little more serious, in a crossword the accepted convention is that punctuation, and abbreviation conventions (as in d’art), can be ignored.

      1. thanks for clearing that up… hyphens only then. Got the clue but let out an audible sigh of frustration on doing so!

        1. mikeyboy
          I think that it’s necessary to distinguish between the wording of the clue, where any punctuation can appear (and can sometimes be very meaningful!) and the answers (i.e. what you write in the grid), where conventionally there is no punctuation, not even hyphens, at all.

          1. indeed gazza – my question though in this instance was specific to the letter counter in the question, which to me should have been (5,1’3) rather than (5,4) though i guess it would give away the answer. As i now understand it, you can have commas and hyphens but no apostrophes.

  8. V. enjoyable crossword. On initial reading appeared quite difficult but once I started things began to fall into place. 7a was my favourite today, a rueful smile when the answer came.

  9. This was tough!! I have not had a good week apart from Monday. I clearly need a Bank Holiday to re-charge the grey matter. Enjoy the above contributions.

  10. I am glad I was not alone in querying 25 across.Now it has been explained-what a relief- and how silly I feel! Loved 7 across
    and 1 down it is a great help to get those long ones right away.

    1. Hi Lysander
      I obviously did not explain 25a well enough in the Review, based on the number of comments we’ve had on it – sorry about that. I hope that I’ve rectified that in the comments above.

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