DT 25945

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25945

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

An easy but pleasant puzzle, with a strong feeling of déjà vu about some of the clues.


1a Good boy, study please (7)
{GLADDEN} – a straightforward charade of G(ood) LAD (boy( and DEN (study0 gives a word meaning to please

9a Press perhaps for downturn (8)
{DECREASE} – part of this double definition is slightly cryptic

10a Decisive break from the other half (7)
{DIVORCE} – an attempted misdirection on to the football pitch, but this cryptic definition didn’t fool me

11a Feeling so much better! (8)
{ARROGANT} – another cryptic definition – to feel so much superior rather than fitter

12a Spring bloke, it’s reported (6)
{GEYSER} – this hot spring sounds like (it’s reported) geezer (bloke)

13a Earliest Victorian gold ring (10)
{PRIMORDIAL} – this word meaning existing from the beginning of the world (earliest) is a charade of PRIM (Victorian) OR (gold) and DIAL (ring)

15a Party’s destiny in speech (4)
{FETE} – this party sounds like (in speech) fate (destiny)

16a Rival with deep novel won (9)
{PREVAILED} – here novel indicates that an anagram of RIVAL and DEEP will give a word meaning won

21a Love hearing violinist’s accessory instrument (4)
{OBOE} – combine O (love, as in tennis) with a word that sounds like (hearing) bow (violinist’s accessory) to get a wind  instrument

22a All the gin? Very drunk! (10)
{EVERYTHING} – a synonym for all is an anagram (drunk) of THE GIN VERY

24a In the middle of dream, I’d start (6)
{AMIDST} – a word meaning in the middle of is hidden ( in the middle of) dreAM I’D STart

25a Petty Tory leader’s sacking (8)
{TRIFLING} – a synonym for petty is constructed from T (Tory leader) and RIFLING (sacking)

27a Opera star with sob creating impression (7)
{MIMICRY} – another charade – MIMI (the star of the opera La Bohème) and CRY (sob) giving a word meaning creating an impression of something else

28a Careful, however, holding gold (8)
{THOROUGH} – a synonym of careful comes from a straightforward insertion (holding) of OR (gold) inside THOUGH (however)

29a Number Ten, say for example, in between (7)
{INTEGER} – a bit cleverer than it looks – this number, of which ten is an example (say) is derived by putting EG (for example) inside INTER (between)


2d Tore idle off and wasted one’s time (8)
{LOITERED} – find an anagram (off) of TORE IDLE that means wasted one’s time

3d Darling’s cross turning up on threshold (8)
{DOORSTEP} – take PET’S (darling’s) and ROOD (cross) all reversed (turning up – another down-clue only construct) and you have a threshold

4d Cliff? Treat man with respect (10)
{ESCARPMENT} – this steep slope (cliff? – the “?” indicates that a cliff is one example of this) is an anagram (treat) of MAN and RESPECT

5d Stagger up getting dirty look (4)
{LEER} – this may be the first time that you have seen REEL (stagger) reversed (up – down-clue only!) to get LEER (dirty look), but it won’t be the last! – sometimes it’s the other way around

6d Passion sounds more difficult (6)
{ARDOUR} – by now you should be expecting another homophone! – this passion sounds like (sounds) harder (more difficult)

7d Brown in charge after stigma ends? Diabolical (7)
{SATANIC} – a topical clue! – put TAN (brown) and IC (In Charge) after SA (StigmA ends) to get a word meaning diabolical

8d Fruitful time following Queen in procession (7)
{FERTILE} – this word meaning fruitful is obtained by putting T after (following) ER (Elizabeth Regina / Queen) and then inserting it all inside FILE (procession)

11d Upsetting gag, it ain’t funny (9)
{AGITATING} – which is the anagram indicator and which the definition? – a word meaning upsetting, by stirring violently, is an anagram (funny) of GAG IT AIN’T

14d Bond’s got no alibi, unfortunately (10)
{OBLIGATION} – not James Bond, but a moral or legal bond, tie, or binding power which is an anagram (unfortunately) of GOT NO ALIBI

17d Obedient setter’s back inside house (8)
{DOMICILE} – take DOCILE (obedient) and put I’M (I am /  setter’s / setter is) reversed (back) inside it and you get a house

18d Deduce jailbird’s honest (8)
{CONSTRUE} – a synonym for deduce that is anothe charade, this time of CON’S (convict’s / jailbird’s) and TRUE (honest)

19d Having a will of one’s own? (7)
{TESTATE} – a gently cryptic definition of someone who has made a will

20d Expensive sounding source of this meat (7)
{VENISON} – the source of this meat is a deer, which sounds like (sounding) dear (expensive) – this type of clue, an indirect homophone, must rank with the indirect anagram in the list of debatable constructs; what do you think?

23d Chicken or canary (6)
{YELLOW} – a part cryptic double definition of which the less said the better

26d Endless darkness approaching (4)
{NIGH} – take NIGH(T) (darkness) and lose the “T” (endless) and you have a synonym for approaching – this cropped up in ST 2479 as “Almost dark, but not quite (4) – I have only had one link so far today, so I dedicate this “off topic” recording of Endless Sleep by Jody Reynolds, one of the all-time great songs of the Rock’n’Roll era, to regular contributor Kram:

How easy did you find it?   Sometimes when I say it’s easy I get a chorus of people saying “It wasn’t easy for me”.  A lot depends on how many times you have seen several of these clues, in one form or another, before.


  1. bigboab
    Posted June 3, 2009 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Liked 13a but the crossword was too easy.

  2. pianydd
    Posted June 3, 2009 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Yes, this was rather too easy – 20d I rather liked, and it didn’t occur to me that it might be dubious.

    • Posted June 3, 2009 at 4:18 pm | Permalink


      Knowing that there is opposition to indirect anagrams I wondered, as a talking point, what readers thought of the indirect homophone.

  3. libellule
    Posted June 3, 2009 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    7d is interesting. The following appeared in the latest edition of Private Eye (1237): “Follower of Nick Brown’s inside as it’s gone pear shaped”. Not quite the same, but similar. I thought this was an excellent clue. Wonder what Gazza thought?

    • gazza
      Posted June 3, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      libellule, I thought that it was an excellent clue, too, but there’s no homophone involved.

  4. libellule
    Posted June 3, 2009 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Is there such a word as Homophonic?

  5. Greenhorn
    Posted June 3, 2009 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Defeated by 1a & 15a -so near yet so far. Guessed correctly 3d & 17d -didn’t spot cross=rood and I’m =setter

    • Posted June 3, 2009 at 6:19 pm | Permalink


      We all guess answers – the trick is in resolving the wordplay afterwards. The more you do it, the better you get.

  6. Little Dave
    Posted June 3, 2009 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Relatively easy today. Flew through all of it apart from 8d and 9a. 13a was the best of the clues today in my view.

  7. Whaleydad
    Posted June 3, 2009 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Did much better today than yesterday. Left half much easier than the right. I thought 20d was very good. But, 23d – oh dear!