DT 25937

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25937

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

The usual amiable start from the Monday Maestro with the usual smattering of cryptic definitions and clever wordplay.  Lots of double definition clues today.  I have to say that I feel that a couple of the cryptic definitions are not as strong as usual and seem a bit forced.

As usual, the “blank bits” between the curly brackets will give you the solution if you highlight it.

I would also welcome your comments, plaudits or brickbats below..


1a Some spin on local dispute will carry weight (11)
{WHEELBARROW}  A word sum to get things going.  Some spin +  local (as in pub) + dispute = something that will carry weight around.

9a Trial meant to determine will (9)
{TESTAMENT}  The  first clue I solved today.  A word for a trial with an anagram of MEANT.

10a Love to indulge in abuse and make speeches (5)
{ORATE}  Love in Crosswordland has many indications.  Here it’s as in the tennis score zero.  O  Add to it a word meaning to scold or chide (Is that the same as abuse?)  and yopu will have a word meaning to make speeches.

11a Having leaned over, he’d caught fish (6)
{HEELED}  The definition here is “having leaned over”.  A word for a type of fish is needed to go inside the word HE’D.

12a Move to break concentration (8)
{DISPERSE}  I presume this is a cryptic definition.  Chambers gives DISPERSE as “to break up” or to dissipate.  It seems a bit weak to me.

13a Powerful businessman Tony gets upset about company (6)
{TYCOON}  An anagram of TONY about an abbreviation for Company will give you a bigwig.

15a Two things a lodger may require with a computer (8)
{KEYBOARD}  Quite clever.  Think what a lodger basically needs for access, and think of another word for the lodger’s stay.  Put them together and you get something associated with a computer.

18a Extra work for being late? (8)
{OVERTIME}  Another cryptic definition, but I feel the second half is a bit weak.

19a Different points about very unusual beast (6)
{WYVERN}  “Points” in a puzzle usually tends to mean compass points.  Here you are looking for two compass points around an anagram of VERY.  This will reveal a mythical beast, which resembles a dragon.

21a Cloth worker, one in a mess (8)
{SERGEANT}  A word for a type of cloth (one likely to be worn by the answer to the clue!) plus a word for a worker (Think insects!).  This will give you someone who is found in a mess, in the military connotation.

23a Time taken by a secretary (6)
{MINUTE}  A double definition clue.  A unit of time is needed.  Think of something a secretary will take at a meeting.

26a Prompt about going on day-shift (5)
{READY}  Quite a clever little clue.  Prompt is the definition here.  An abbreviation used in correspondence for “about” is added to a jumble of “day”.

27a Circulatory system made one walk to work (9)
{TREADMILL}  “Circulatory system” is a cryptic definition for something found in a gym.  The indications for the clue are a simple word sum.  Words for WALK + MILL.

28a Drunk has nap in cup game (11)
{TIDDLYWINKS)  Oh dear!  Silly Me!  I  spent the best part of ten minutes trying to make an anagram of “HAS NAP IN CUP”, thinking “drunk” was being used as an anagram indicator.  It was simpler than that.  A word meaning drunk joined to a word for “has a nap”, think of the expression “FORTY ______”


1d What a twitch may turn into — be careful! (5,2)
{WATCH IT}   Made me smile.  A nice clue.  You need to take an anagram of “a twitch” to get something which means “be careful”.

2d Follow directions and prosecute (5)
{ENSUE}  As with “points”, when you see “directions” in a puzzle, it usually means you need some compass points.  Two are needed here before a word meaning prosecute to reveal a word meaning to follow.

3d Doesn’t include signs of spring (6,3)
{LEAVES OUT}  A double definition clue.   You need to find an expression meaning “doesn’t include”  together with something that indicates spring has appeared.

4d Earnings do not begin for a long time (4)
{AGES}  Take a word for earnings and remove the first letter.

5d He keeps a servant (8)
{RETAINER}  A double definition.   Someone who keeps something, and an old word for a butler, as in the expression “faithful old ______”

6d Joyful shout of TV doctor given work (5)
{WHOOP}  Think OF One of the most famous TV Doctors, and add a short word for work

7d Put on an act in front of nurse (7)
{PRETEND}  Here we have a word for “put on an act” and it’s made up of a prefix meaning “before” or  “in front of” and a word for “nurse”.

8d Gun-support bearing (8)
{CARRIAGE}  Double Definition.   What supports a big gun, such as a cannon.   The other definition is “bearing” as in personal bearing.

14d Obvious method of speeding traffic (8)
{CLEARWAY}  A definition of “obvious”, together with one meaning “method”.  This will lead you to a type of road where cars aren’t allowed to stop.

16d One having a sea-view? (3,6)
{BAY WINDOW}  Probably my favourite clue of the day.  A cryptic definition.  Think of something you could look through to see the sea, and where it would be.

17d Rose made arrangements to name date (8)
{EMANATED}  An anagram of “name date”.

18d Comply with notice (7)
{OBSERVE}  Double definition.  A word meaning to comply with and to notice.

20d Wants to be out of the French sewers (7)
{NEEDLES}  In Crosswordland most solvers know that “flower” means river, i.e. one that flows.  Here, “sewers” means things that sew. Geddit?

22d Type out a note in foreign country (5)
{EGYPT}  Saw this very same clue the other week in a Telegraph puzzle.  An anagram of  TYPE with a letter meaning a musical note inside.

24d A league match (5)
{UNION}  Double definition.    A word for a league, as in a team, together with a word meaning “match”

25d Issue forth abundantly (4)
{WELL} A final double definition for today.  A word meaning to issue forth, as well meaning abundantly when used as an adverb.

Thanks as usual for an entertaining challenge.


  1. nabob
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for your explanations- helps give my brain a kick start on dopey days!

  2. Gill
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    I liked 15a and 19a. I thought this one was a bit mundane. But I’ve only been trying to do the Telegraph cryptic since I was 10 in 1959.

  3. mikeyboy
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    mixed bag today i thought. Came unstuck on 8d and 12a. Not helped by guessing the wrong answer for 12a. Bit tenuous i thought, but then i would wouldn’t I!

  4. Posted May 25, 2009 at 7:10 pm | Permalink


    • Kram
      Posted May 25, 2009 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

      Sorry didn’t find anything fishy in this mediocre crossword!, but you should love 15a !

  5. Warren
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Just keep on helping me out or I may never get to understand these crosswords or is the that what I mutter when I try and solve them! W

  6. maagran
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    20d perhaps you should add
    NEEDS (wants) insert (to be out of) LE (the French)