DT 25936 – Review

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25936 – Review

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

A very straightforward puzzle with only a couple of points to delay experienced solvers.  One new answer for me, and only a few puzzling clues.  Grid grumbles: none!  A bit of a geography exam, but I doubt these entries caused serious trouble.

Across
1 She might learn from her sister (7,5)
STUDENT NURSE – pretty good CD with puns on learn and sister.
9 Drink firm has the French backing (4)
COLA – CO.=firm,LA=the French. Straightforward charade once you realise that “backing” means “going behind” rather than “being reversed”.
10 Strength siphon has as pipe-cleaner (5-4)
FORCE PUMP – a rather tame charade of Strength=FORCE,siphon=PUMP. Both seem to mean exactly the same in the answer – a pump for clearing blockages in pipes. This was the new answer for me, but not much of a challenge.
12 Hesitantly check first canopy (6)
TESTER – a canopy above a four-poster bed. A poor clue here, where “hesitantly” is supposed to represent “ER”. I have no objection to “hesitation” for ER or UM, but “hesitantly” just doesn’t cut the mustard. If the setter doesn’t know better, the editor should. The preceding {TEST=check} is fine.
13 More like hot food cooler (8 )
CHILLIER – which is supposed to be a gag based on “chilly” sounding food being hot. This could do with a question mark to indicate that “more like hot food” is pretty cheesy – something like “Cooler, or more like hot food?”
15 On it quite a revolutionary way of riding (10)
EQUITATION=riding – anag. of “On it quite a” – a fancy term like natation for swimming, and possibly guessable from a resemblance to “equestrian” – both come from equus=horse.
16 Believe wide embankment encompasses it (4)
DEEM – hidden word
18 Oriental church dignitary still (4)
EVEN = E=East=oriental,VEN.=Venerable – title given to Archdeacons. The Dean used in a couple of recent Saturday puzzles must be on holiday!
20 Half of them fellows get story right about cheese (10)
EMMENTALER – (th)EM,MEN,TALE,R – one of the cheeses in a properly done fondue. Clue rather spoiled by the word “about”, which is padding for the sake of the surface and does nothing in the cryptic reading.
23 Fire group of people in which competitors are at a handicap (4-4)
SACK RACE – the handicap being the obvious difficulty of making progress in this event. SACK=fire,RACE=”group of people”. The cryptic reading works but the surface reading is weak.
24 Shake injured leg after run (6)
JOGGLE = shake – JOG = run,GLE = injured (i.e. jumbled) “leg”.
26 Pound Dawn waved throughout (2-3-4)
UP AND DOWN = “in various places throughout” – COED. Anag. of “Pound Dawn”. Another weakish surface – who’s Dawn and why should she be waving this pound? – Q’s that make the anag. fodder rather obvious.
27 Welshman, one pro (4)
IFOR – I=One,FOR=pro – it’s that man again! We had him in a Saturday puzzle a couple of months ago. Is there something wrong with ICON, IDOL and IRON as possible answers?
28 It doesn’t come as much of a blow (6,6)
GENTLE BREEZE – gentle CD! – a curious choice for this position in the grid as it forces final G,B and Z in other answers. The even-numbered letters in GENTLE BREEZE would be much friendlier to the setter!
Down
2 Disguise welcome during rescheduled tryst (8 )
TRAVESTY – AVE=hail (Lat.)=welcome, in anag. of TRYST. “disguise” as a def. appears only in Chambers, not COED or Collins.
3 Stupid spending day at back of ship (4)
DAFT – D=day,AFT=at back of ship. “spending” is more surface padding.
4 Another rook, leaving egg behind, fluttered over the country (5,5)
NORTH KOREA – anag. of “Another rook” after removing O=egg.
5 Old record-player (6)
NEEDLE – cryptic def., which now leads to STEREO too, if all your CDs are in the attic and replaced by an iPod with docking station.
6 Way out in daily round (7)
ROUTINE – ROUTE outside IN. Another poor clue – “A out B” does not mean “A outside B” except in cryptic crosswords.
7 Where to sell things out of the country (6,6)
EXPORT MARKET – another gentle CD
8 Nosh cooked in unfinished hut on island (6)
HONSHU – anag. of NOSH in HU(t). Honshu is the largest island of Japan. “island” is a vague def but that seems OK in the context of an easy puzzle.
11 City named after a rock? (2,10)
ST PETERSBURG – CD referring to the punny Bible quote “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church”, the Greek petros, from which the name Peter comes, being “rock”.
14 I combat mob rioting – with this? (6,4)
ATOMIC BOMB – anag. of “I combat mob”, with a surface meaning suggesting that CS gas or rubber bullets might not be so bad after all.
17 Violent storm, it comes before last character goes to tourist centre (2,6)
ST MORITZ – anag of “storm it”,Z=”last character”. Another weak def that’s not a problem in context – (2,6) is a considerable help for a start.
19 He can remove trendy shackle (7)
ENCHAIN = to shackle. Anag. of “He can”,IN=trendy. “Remove” seems a poor anagram indicator
21 Los Angeles hoodlum in lake (6)
LAGOON – L.A.+GOON=hoodlum
22 Said path of weddings (6)
BRIDAL = “bridle”. A bit naff – “bridle” is a type of path, but to mean the path itself, needs “way” adding.
25 Some significant earnings expected from stake (4)
ANTE=(poker) stake – hidden word. Maybe a better clue without “expected”.