DT 25938

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25938

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

This is a decent, solid puzzle which left me feeling just slightly disappointed because there are no really witty clues to make me laugh. Am I being over-critical and expecting too much? What do you think? – leave us a comment!

Across Clues

1a  Plan curtailed in racing establishment to get piece of furniture (4,5)
{SIDE TABLE} – remove the last letter (curtailed) of IDEa (plan) and put what’s left inside STABLE (horse racing establishment) to get a piece of furniture.

6a  See copper beginning to mismanage deputy (5)
{LOCUM} – start with LO (a favourite exclamation with crossword compilers, meaning behold or see), add CU (the chemical symbol for copper) and the first letter (beginning to) of Mismanage and you get a stand-in or deputy.

9a  In plane like a powerful business type? (2,5)
{ON BOARD} – double definition – in a plane (or even a ship), and the description of a businessman who is a director of a company and sits on its ruling committee.

10a  Very thin person in swamp in African city (9)
{MARRAKESH} – put the garden implement to which a very thin person may be compared inside MARSH (swamp) to get a city in Morocco.

11a  Greek in series of shops showing annoyance (7)
{CHAGRIN} – place GR (the International Vehicle Registration code for Greece) inside CHAIN (series of shops) to construct a noun meaning annoyance.

12a  Loan Amy squandered? Something irregular (7)
{ANOMALY} – an anagram (squandered) of “Loan Amy” gives us something abnormal or irregular.

13a  Give up a venture and surrender after trading blows? (5,2,3,5)
{THROW IN THE TOWEL} – a phrase meaning to give up derives from a boxing expression when a fighter’s seconds would literally throw a towel into the ring to signal that their man was unable to continue.

18a  Taxi rate unexpected for entertainment venue (7)
{CABARET} – follow CAB (taxi) with an anagram (unexpected) of “rate” to get the term for a nightclub or restaurant providing sophisticated entertainment.

20a  Make out record with English navy (7)
{DISCERN} – string together DISC (record), E(nglish) and RN (Royal Navy) to form a verb meaning to distinguish or make out.

22a  In which signs have to be studied? (9)
{ASTROLOGY} – this is a cryptic definition of a pseudo-science which claims to be able to tell the future by studying star signs.

23a  Stop some music (7)
{REFRAIN} – double definition – to stop doing something and repeated lines in a song.

24a  Colour retained by artist in general (5)
{TINGE} – a colour or tint is hidden (retained) in artisT IN GEneral.

25a  Denial that is beginning to take in right-winger has public exposure (9)
{NOTORIETY} – denial is NO, then we have to put IE (id. est, that is) and T (beginning of Take) inside TORY (right-winger) to construct a word meaning public exposure, normally for doing something bad.

Down Clues

1d  Quick route taken by lazy barber? (5,3)
{SHORT CUT} – a double definition – a faster route than normal, perhaps achieved by cutting corners, and what you may ask for at the barber’s.

2d  Elegant socialite broadcasting (8 )
{DEBONAIR} – the socialite is a debutante (an upper-class young lady making her first appearance in fashionable society), shortened to DEB, and broadcasting is ON AIR. Put together they form an adjective, normally applied to a man, meaning stylish and elegant.

3d  A steer solved puzzle (6)
{TEASER} – an anagram (solved) of “A steer” produces a tricky puzzle.

4d  Fellow with minister in Cornish town (6)
{BODMIN} – put together BOD (fellow, short for body) and MIN (minister) to get this Cornish town, most famous for the beast which is said to stalk its moors.

5d  Chaps heading off with trainer? Right to go inside and intrude (8 )
{ENCROACH} – a verb meaning to intrude is constructed from mEN (chaps) with its first letter (heading) removed, and COACH (trainer) with R (right) inside.

6d  Bet concerning idle figure (8 )
{LAYABOUT} – a charade of LAY (place a bet) and ABOUT (concerning) generates a lazy person.

7d  Where one goes for screening? (6)
{CINEMA} – a (not very) cryptic definition of where you go to see a film being screened. The compiler wants you to think of screening in either a medical or a security sense, but I suspect that most people will think of a film first.

8d  Strong fighter with hit I missed on unknown (6)
{MIGHTY} – an adjective meaning strong is formed from MIG (Soviet fighter aircraft), HiT (hit with the I missed out) and Y (the second unknown in algebraic expressions).

14d  Rower has changed familiar piece of music? (8 )
{WARHORSE} – an anagram (changed) of “Rower has” produces a word used to describe a familiar, overused, piece of music. This meaning was new to me – luckily it was not new to Chambers!

15d  Element represented in middle of lunch? (8 )
{NITROGEN} – what we want is the name of the element, the most common one in the Earth’s atmosphere, for which the chemical symbol is the middle letter of luNch.

16d  Keg a crew mislaid? Sign of misfortune at sea (8 )
{WRECKAGE} – an anagram (mislaid) of “Keg a crew” produces a word which can mean the remains of a vessel after an accident at sea.

17d  European in revolutionary country outwardly has soft attitude (8 )
{LENIENCY} – the revolutionary is Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (LENIN) – put E (European) inside his adopted name and add the outer letters (outwardly) of CountrY to produce a term meaning a soft attitude or mercy.

18d  Tea permitted in small house (6)
{CHALET} – a charade of CHA (an informal word for tea) and LET (allowed) produces a small house, normally for use by holidaymakers.

19d  Page almost revealing on-screen shape (6)
{BUTTON} – a nickname for a liveried pageboy (nowadays generally only used for a pantomime character) is BUTTONs – take off the final letter (almost) to leave the name of a small object on a web page that you select to make a choice (typical ones might be labelled ‘OK’ and ‘CANCEL’).

20d  Degeneration? Uninteresting nonsense (3,3)
{DRY ROT} – this is a condition caused by timber decay which can lead to cracking and powdering of the wood (degeneration), which can cost you a lot of money to put right (unless you are an MP of course!). The term is constructed from DRY (uninteresting) and a slang word for nonsense.

21d  One enjoying a virtual overview? (6)
{SURFER} – a cryptic definition of someone who surfs the net.

My favourite clue today is 2d. What about you? – leave us a comment!



  1. libellule
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Is it just me, or did anyone else think that 19d was Batman? I only realised my mistake when I entered my answers into the online version of the crossword on Clued-up.

  2. Dr Mark
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I’m still not sure of 19d. I thought it was BATMAN, purely because it fitted and a batman is a sort of servant. Am I wrong?

    • gazza
      Posted May 26, 2009 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Hi Dr Mark and welcome to the blog.
      You’re obviously on the same wavelength as libellule (see above). I must admit that Batman never occurred to me, and, although it satisfies the “page” and the “on screen” bits, I don’t think that it can account for the “almost” in the clue.

    • Posted May 26, 2009 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      Dr Mark

      If we seem confident of the answers, it’s because all of the reviewers complete the puzzles online. When you do this you are warned of any wrong answers and have the opportunity to correct them.

  3. libellule
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Dr Mark, unfortunately the answer isn’t BATMAN. Check the explanation to the answer above.

  4. Jonathan Richards
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Totally agree with Gazza. Not Batman for 19. 2d was the best clue but 25, as Big D would say, “teeth sucking”, at least for me.

    • gazza
      Posted May 26, 2009 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jonathan,
      Thanks for your support on 19d and 2d. Could you explain why you don’t like 25a? – if I had to select a least favourite clue from this puzzle it would be 7d.

  5. pianydd
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Breezed through this one all too quickly; although I did fall into the ‘batman’ trap. 25a I thought quite nice to be honest, as was 2d- the latter though crops up in various forms reasonably often. Enjoyed the review & comments.