DT 25949 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 25949

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25949

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Another Monday, another outing for our regular setter.  As usual, it’s the sort of puzzle designed to be kind to the newer solvers.  Sadly, another outing for one of my least favourite grids, with a lot of the answers containing two consecutive unchecked letters, which I personally consider unfair to solvers.  However the benign clues help here.

There’s the usual stock of cryptic definitions which either make you smile or wince.  Overall, the smile factor is very much in evidence, although a couple don’t quite hit the mark for me.

Black marks to the Telegraph website, I only managed to get in about an hour ago, and the interactive filling is not as smooth as normal.  Another black mark to 15 across which should have the number indication 3-3-5,4 rather than 13,4!  [This has now been changed to (3,3,5,4) although (3-3-5,4) would have been more accurate.  BD]

Anyway, on with the motley and let’s go…..  As usual, the solutions are hidden for you to highlight to reveal the answer.  Please feel free to leave any comments, but if it’s your first time, it can take a little while for your first post to appear.  It just prevents those naughty spammers from invading the board.


1a A party with sailors on deck (5)
{ADORN}  A word sum to start with.  A party (A DO) +  sailors (RN – the Royal Navy) =  Deck, as in “the halls with boughs of holly”.

4a It can be a costly move in soccer (8)
{TRANSFER}  A cryptic definition.  It’s not so much concerned with on-the-field activities.
It’s a move between clubs that you need.

8a Crimes of receivers of stolen goods (8)
{OFFENCES} “Crimes” here is the definition.  The subsidiary indications form a word sum OF + FENCES (receivers of stolen goods).

9a Church enveloped in rather fragile glass (8)
{SCHOONER}  CH (church) is tucked inside a word meaning rather (SOONER).

11a Capricious boy about to betray one’s trust (7)
{ERRATIC}  You need a boy’s name, think Morecambe or Sykes.  Inside this goes a word meaning to betray trust (RAT)

13a Detain suspect (9)
{APPREHEND}I spent a lot of time trying to see if this could be a cryptic or double definition-type clue.  But I can’t see this as any more than a straight definition. Hence, to catch a criminal, or detain a suspect is to APPREHEND.

15a Event in which competitors run until they drop (13,4) [now changed to (3,3,5,4)   BD]
{EGG-AND-SPOON RACE}  Firstly the letter count should read (3-3-5-4).  This is obviously a cryptic definition, so think of an event where dropping could be a problem.  A relay race?  No, think back to school days.  However, the clue implies that when you drop, you stop running; technically you do while you pick it up, but then carry on.  I just felt this a bit weak.

18a Upper class rejecting two prizes (3,6)
(TOP DRAWER)  Probably the Clue of the Day.  Here the definition is “upper class”, and you need to find two words that mean “Prize” and reverse them.  Hence  POT and REWARD.

21a A ship, possibly a tramp (7)
{DRIFTER}  Two definitions here.  A word that means a type of ship and one too for a tramp, more an American one than a British one.

22a Does better than other musicians? (8)
{OUTPLAYS}  A cryptic definition.  What would you have to do to be seen as better than another musician?  Perform better!  Thus, you’d need to ___ them.

24a Italian man of affairs (8)
{CASANOVA}  Another cryptic definition.  Think of a famous Italian romantic.  Did you know he was a librarian?

25a Dwelling is rented out (8)
{RESIDENT}  First anagram of the day.  Out tells you to switch the letters of  IS RENTED around to get a word meaning “dwelling”.

26a Hide a broken heart (5)
{EARTH}  Another anagram (broken) and this one is of HEART –  It should make a word meaning “hide” as in where an animal lives.


1d Rise includes unemployment benefit for a youngster (10)
{ADOLESCENT}  A clue I have seen countless times before.  A word for Unemployment Benefit (DOLE) inside a word for Rise (ASCENT)

2d Present French leader in foreign parts (8)
{OFFERING}  Present is the definition here –  French leader = F inside an anagram of FOREIGN.  Not keen on “parts” as an anagram indicator, it doesn’t suggest jumble to me.

3d What one requires to complete the score (8)
{NINETEEN}  A cryptic definition.  Here the clue really says  “What you have to add to one to make twenty (a score)?”

4d One may win it by a head (4)
{TOSS}  Another cryptic definition.  Tossing a coin means you can win with a head 50% of the time.

5d Exhausted — never again! (2,4)
{NO MORE}  Double definition.  One meaning “tired, exhausted at the limit”, the other meaning “never again”.

6d Intended taking note out of funds (6)
{FIANCÉ}  This time a different type of word-sum.  “Intended” is the definition.  Here it’s a word for funds (FINANCE) less an abbreviation for note (N).

7d I would be the last to bring this up (4)
{REAR}  Cryptic definition – To bring up the rear means to come last.

10d Sort of love one may hunger for? (8)
{CUPBOARD}   A double definition again, and one I’m not sure fully works.  Cupboard love, fine.  Would you hunger (go hungry) for a cupboard?  Hmmmm……

12d Reason and method provided for walking across the water (8)
{CAUSEWAY}  Another word-sum.   A reason (CAUSE) + Method (WAY) =  a path out to sea

14d Large air intake (4,6)
{DEEP BREATH}  A cryptic definition for taking a large volume of air.  Seems a bit weak to me.

16d Propose names — Annie and Tom for a change (8)
{NOMINATE}  An anagram (for a change) of ANNIE and TOM.

17d It’s equipped for dispatching stock (8)
{ABATTOIR}  Think of how (live)stock are dispatched permanently.

19d It induces pity, in a way, so upsetting (6)
{PATHOS}  Here you a looking for a word for “way”  (PATH ) + an anagram of SO.

20d Make a second charge for killing? (6)
{RELOAD} – a cryptic definition of what you need to do to put more bullets in a gun

22d About finished (4)
{OVER} – a double definition

23d Company way out with tax (4)
{SCOT} – CO(mpany) with ST (street / way) outside gives an old tax – see Libellule’s comment below for a fuller explanation of scot as a tax

Thanks as usual to our Monday maestro.

12 comments on “DT 25949

    1. There now Jim

      Quite often we put the across clues up first so that you don’t have to wait until the whole puzzle has been reviewed.

      These reviews take longer to write than those on similar sites because of our commitment, as expressed in the tagline at the top of the blog, to explain the clues in plain English.

      Our feedback indicates that this is what a lot of viewers like about the site.

  1. Tilsit, 13a is a double definition. Detain and Suspect both appear as two different meanings of the answer. Suspect = divine, forsee etc, and detain is a more obvious definition (arrest etc)

    1. Thanks – I thought there must be something. However, it’s a bit like the offences clue. I don’t feel the sum of the parts is different to the whole.

      I’m probably not explaining myself clearly, and I’ll find a way to do so soon.

  2. Took me nearly as long inputing my solution into Cluedup as it took me solving this average puzzle. If the correct number indicator had been used for 15a, perhaps it would have been one of the better clues.

  3. Have you forgotten 20d, 22d & 23d. No problem with the first two, but I’d never heard of “scot” as a tax.

    1. Tilsit is out this evening, but has emailed me (via his Blackberry) to say that he can’t understand what happened to the last three clues. I have added them for him.

  4. Re. Scot and Tax
    “A scot is a Scandinavian word for tax or payment. It came to the UK as a form of redistributive taxation which was levied as early the 13th century as a form of municipal poor relief. The term is a contraction of ‘scot and lot’. Scot was the tax and lot, or allotment, was the share given to the poor.”
    So it says so:

  5. A fairly straightforward crossword and finished quickly save 5d which I thought rather vague. I like 17d which is my clue of the day.

  6. Blimey. i do worry when everyone is saying how easy it is! Scot?? N for note?? About = over? Cupboard love?!?

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