DT 25946

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25946

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

This is an agreeable puzzle with a number of entertaining clues. It contains one word which was new to me, but it’s not too difficult to get it from the wordplay and the checking letters.

Across Clues

7a  Crime trends are halved when working (7)
{TREASON} – a serious crime is assembled from half of TREnds plus AS (when) and ON (working, i.e. switched on).

8a  RADA, for example, is a friend to millions (7)
{ACRONYM} – string together A, CRONY (friend) and M (millions) to get a word formed from the initial letters or syllables of other words. Other examples might be QUANGO and SCUBA.

10a  A part of Hampton Court reportedly intended to create awe (9)
{AMAZEMENT} – It was only yesterday that we were discussing indirect homophones and here we have another. After A MAZE (part of Hampton Court) we need firstly to find a synonym for “intended” and then to produce a sound-alike or homophone (reportedly) of that. The resulting noun means wonder or awe.

11a  People keeping the peace fight to remove packaging (5)
{UNBOX} – we start with UN (United Nations, people keeping the peace) and add BOX (fight) to form a verb meaning to remove the packaging.

12a  There’s nothing in the orders for instruments (5)
{OBOES} – the orders are those of the British Empire, OBES – insert O (nothing) to get woodwind instruments.

13a  Shoot people running company to achieve target (9)
{DARTBOARD} – a charade of DART (to scurry or shoot) and BOARD (the people running a company) gives you something to aim at when you’re standing on the oche.

15a  One seeking food on behalf of a good queen (7)
{FORAGER} – someone who searches for food is constructed from FOR (on behalf of), A, G(ood) and ER (Elizabeth Regina).

17a  Top do (7)
{EXECUTE} – a witty double definition – we want a verb which means both to kill (top) a legally condemned person and to put a course of action into effect (do).

18a  Depressing design and function (9)
{SADDENING} – an anagram (function) of “design and” produces a word meaning depressing or disheartening.

20a  Volunteers sent to bed, given bread (5)
{PITTA} – take TA (Territorial Army, hence volunteers) and add it (sent) to PIT (informal term for bed) to get the type of slightly leavened bread that your Saturday night kebab is served in.

21a  One graduated by short steps (5)
{RUMBA} – one who has graduated is BA (Bachelor of Arts) – put this after (by) the sort of short which you might order in a pub to get a dance (steps) originating in Cuba.

23a  Flooded coastal area halts arms trade (4,5)
{SALT MARSH} – an anagram (trade) of “halts arms” produces an area of grassland that is regularly flooded by seawater.

24a  Call the compiler from the sound unit (7)
{PHONEME} – call is PHONE – add what the compiler calls him- or herself and you get a word (which was new to me) meaning the smallest distinctive unit of sound in a specified language.

25a  Employer chasing objective consumer (3,4)
{END USER} – employer is USER which comes after (chasing) END (objective) to form a term for the ultimate consumer.

Down Clues

1d  Verbally assaulted a bored blue in trouble (10)
{BELABOURED} – an anagram (in trouble) of “a bored blue” produces a verb meaning attacked verbally.

2d  Guides for topless dealers (6)
{USHERS} – dealers here are drug PUSHERS – take off the first letter (topless) to leave the sort of guides who direct you to the correct seat at a wedding service.

3d  Produce objective to be held by new genre (8 )
{ENGENDER} – a synonym for the verb to produce is constructed by placing END (objective) inside (to be held by) an anagram (new) of genre.

4d  A bit of caution at terms for talk (6)
{NATTER} – a colloquial word for talk is to be found inside (a bit of) “cautioN AT TERms”.

5d  Plausible sort of farmland surrounding good university (8 )
{ARGUABLE} – a word for the sort of farmland that is used for growing crops is placed round G(ood) and U(university) to form an adjective meaning credible or plausible.

6d  Cut the flipping bread rolls! (4)
{SNUB} – take some BUNS (bread rolls) and reverse them (flipping) to get a verb meaning to shun or ostracize (cut).

7d  Dress down and remove a ribbon (4,3,1,5)
{TEAR OFF A STRIP} – a phrase meaning to reprimand or dress down can also mean to remove forcefully a long narrow piece of material such as a ribbon.

9d  Combined team played for vocal expression (5,8 )
{MIXED METAPHOR} – “combined” is MIXED, then you need an anagram (played) of “team” followed by a sound-alike (vocal) of “for”. You end up with an expression for a muddled figure of speech such as “He stepped up to the plate and grabbed the bull by the horns” or Unless we tighten our belts, we’ll sink like a stone”.

14d  Woman whose tears led us astray? (10)
{ADULTERESS} – this is half-way towards an all-in-one clue, in that the definition is meant to be the whole clue. An anagram (astray) of “tears led us” produces a word for an unfaithful woman.

16d  Lady Jane’s responsibility ill-defined? (4,4)
{GREY AREA} – a lovely cryptic clue referring to Lady Jane GREY who was Queen of England for nine days in 1553 after the death of Edward VI, but who later lost her head, literally. Add AREA (responsibility) to get an expression for a situation that is not fully covered by the rules (ill-defined).

17d  Overwhelmed by the chasm in dire need (8 )
{ENGULFED} – a word meaning overwhelmed is formed by putting GULF (chasm) inside an anagram (dire) of need.

19d  Producer to take legal action within one’s right (6)
{ISSUER} – a word for a supplier or producer is formed by putting SUE (take legal action) between I’S (one’s) and R(ight).

20d  Hair preparation produced by Post Office? (6)
{POMADE} – this conjures up an amusing picture of your having to queue at the local Post Office to buy their own-brand scented hair preparation! (“Will that be first-class or second-class?..”). Put MADE (produced) after (by) Post Office.

22d  Low temperature is subject to debate (4)
{MOOT} – a word meaning debatable is formed from the sound made by a cow (low) and T(emperature).

My favourite clues included 10a, 17a and 22d, but my clue of the day is 16d. Any comments, favourable or otherwise, on the puzzle or the review are welcome.


  1. bigboab
    Posted June 4, 2009 at 10:42 am | Permalink | Reply

    I found it very difficult today but enjoyable. i loved 5d,22d and 16d (clue of the week so far )

  2. Lizwhiz
    Posted June 4, 2009 at 11:42 am | Permalink | Reply

    Found this one quite easy. Loved 22d!

    • gazza
      Posted June 4, 2009 at 12:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Lizwhiz and welcome to the blog. At the moment it seems to be a fight between 16d and 22d to be favourite clue!

      • Lizwhiz
        Posted June 4, 2009 at 12:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

        16d seems too obvious! 16d was wonderfully misleading.. taking my ind into the weather etc!

        • Lizwhiz
          Posted June 4, 2009 at 12:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

          oops! meant 22d was wondefully misleading!!!

  3. pianydd
    Posted June 4, 2009 at 2:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Loved this one too – am going for 16d as my favourite. Thought the answer to 11a as a word was a bit ‘iffy’.

    • gazza
      Posted June 4, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I thought the same as you about 11a, but I looked it up in Chambers and it is there as “to remove from a box or crate”, so it seems to mean “remove the contents” rather than “remove the packaging”.

  4. Ann
    Posted June 4, 2009 at 3:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I thoroughly enjoyed this crossword. Is it me or do they seem much easier this week?

    • gazza
      Posted June 4, 2009 at 3:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Ann
      I think that you’re just getting better at doing them !!

  5. Posted June 4, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Permalink | Reply


    The indirect homophone yesterday was between deer and dear, neither of which were in the clue or the answer. I am happier with the one in 10 across.

    Thursday does seem to get exceedingly good puzzles (perhaps the setter is Mr Kipling!).

  6. Little Dave
    Posted June 4, 2009 at 7:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I liked today’s challenge very much – 8a was a nice clue but I recall it from a previous time. I also liked 17a. Overall I quickly completed it without too much hassle. What was also nice today was the fact that I had my second letter printed in the “Letters to the Editor” page. A good day.

    • gazza
      Posted June 4, 2009 at 8:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Little Dave
      Congratulations on getting your letter published. You’ve made me break the habit of a lifetime and read the letters page, but I couldn’t identify yours (none of them were signed Little Dave!).

  7. NathanJ
    Posted June 5, 2009 at 12:04 am | Permalink | Reply

    A good puzzle which was great fun and very enjoyable to solve.

    I agree with Lizwhiz that 22d was a good clue – it actually had me foxed for a couple of minutes before it occurred to me that “low” was “moo” rather than a low temperature.

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