DT 25951 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 25951

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25951

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Rather like last Wednesday’s puzzle, this one is not too difficult but has some well-constructed clues.  This could be a good one for all you newbies out there (and you too BigBoab!).


1a Cleaner starts to expect daily transport (5)
{MOPED} – take a MOP (cleaner) and add the first letters (starts to) of Expect and Daily to get a cheap form of transport

4a Repeated phrase about very loud artist and undesirables (4-4)
{RIFF-RAFF} – put a RIFF (repeated phrase) around FF (very loud) and RA (artist) to get these undesirables

8a Unerring marksman with odd haste repositioned (4,4)
{DEAD SHOT} – this unerring marksman  is an anagram (repositioned) of ODD HASTE – misdirection in that odd often indicates that you need to take the odd letters of a word

9a Groan sadly among paintings showing conceit (8)
{ARROGANT} – an anagram of GROAN, which is indicated by sadly, must be put inside (among) ART (paintings) to get a word meaning showing conceit

11a Actress’ florid display? (7)
{GARLAND} – a nice double definition with actress Judy on the one hand and a florid or floral display on the other

13a Kitchen item, say, good with British consumer (3,6)
{EGG BEATER} – a kitchen item that is a charade of EG (for example, say) G(ood) B(ritish) and EATER (consumer)

15a Possibly kind of eccentric swindle? (10,5)
{CONFIDENCE TRICK} – a well constructed anagram (possibly) of KIND OF ECCENTRIC gives a swindle

18a Rap minder when being slipshod? Yes, rap (9)
{REPRIMAND} – an anagram (when being slipshod) of RAP MINDER leads to a rap

21a A form of words in a grave setting? (7)
{EPITAPH} – a cryptic definition of an inscription on a gravestone

I told you I was ill ~ in Gaelic: Duirt me leat go raibh me breoite.
"Duirt me leat go raibh me breoite" ~ "I told you I was ill"

22a Decline gripping new President, a fantasist? (8)
{WANNABEE} – decline is WANE, put this around (gripping) N(ew) and ABE (President Abraham Lincoln) to get a fantasist (and a tacky video!)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

24a Conflict largely increased in ferment of ideas (8)
{DISAGREE} – to conflict is constructed from GRE(W) (largely increased) inside an anagram (ferment of) IDEAS

25a Man comprehending defeat in list of terms (8)
{GLOSSARY} – this man GARY is around (comprehending) LOSS (defeat) to get a list of terms

26a River one day fringed by students (5)
{INDUS} – this Asian river is built up from I (one) followed by D(ay) inside NUS (National Union of Students)


1d Bananas hanging over Turkish leader’s vehicle in island (10)
{MADAGASCAR} – a humorous charade of MAD (bananas) AGA’S (Turkish leader’s) and CAR (vehicle) gives the world’s fourth largest island – did you know that three of the top ten are in Canada and that Great Britain is only ninth?

2d Exercises in a bar confused dimwit (3-5)
{PEA-BRAIN} – take PE (Physical Exercises) and add an anagram (confused) of IN A BAR to get a dimwit

3d Ex PM and daughter with ME citizen (8)
{DISRAELI} – this nineteenth century Prime Minister is found by combining D(aughter) and ISRAELI (Middle Eastern citizen)

4d Some hero taking list of duties (4)
{ROTA} – some tells you this list of duties is hidden in heRO TAking

5d A lot of rage or bit of excitement producing public indignation (6)
{FURORE} – take FUR(Y) (a lot of rage) and add OR and E (bit of Excitement) to get public indignation

6d Tag has unravelled – I’m horrified (6)
{AGHAST} – here unravelled signals that an anagram of TAG HAS is needed to get a word meaning I’m horrified

7d Base bit of poetry? (4)
{FOOT} – a double definition – strange that in poetry this should be part of a meter!

10d King’s murderer here in France beset by terrible greed (8)
{REGICIDE} – this word meaning both the murderer of a king and the act of murdering a king is created by putting ICI (here in France) inside (beset by) an anagram (terrible) of GREED – my first reaction was that this was a misprint as I had never seen this word used as the perpetrator rather than the crime

12d Representative gets time to pen largely mournful poem (8)
{DELEGATE} – this representative at a conference comes from DATE (time) around (gets … to pen) ELEG(Y) (largely mournful poem / most of elegy)

14d King, one taken in by lack of caution, has dissolute quality (10)
{RAKISHNESS} – put K(ing) and I (one) inside (taken in by) RASHNESS (lack of caution) and you get this dissolute quality

16d I like tray left out and fashioned for Japanese dish (8)
{TERIYAKI} – this Japanese dish is an anagram (fashioned) of I (L)IKE TRAY without the L (Left out)

17d I’m in a couple, and spoilt (8)
{IMPAIRED} – this charade of I’M and PAIRED (in a couple) gives you a word meaning spoilt

19d Pressure on companion with round cloak (6)
{PONCHO} – another charade – this one is P(ower) ON CH (Companion of Honour) and O (round) and gives you a cloak

20d One who dropped off after too much sun? (6)
{ICARUS} – a wonderful cryptic definition of the son of Daedalus whose wings melted when he ignored his instructions and flew too close to the sun

22d Party element in side of building (4)
{WING} – a double definition – a section of a political party with its own distinct views and character and side of a large building

23d Foremost among energetic directors, dynamic young whirlwind (4)
{EDDY} – the first letters (foremost) of Energetic Directors Dynamic Young together give a whirlwind

My clue-of-the-day has to be 15 across – what’s yours?

22 comments on “DT 25951

  1. I don’t agree with the two-star difficulty rating. I found this harder than the Monday and Tuesday puzzles, both of which I finished without help in about half an hour.

    This one I completed, but I needed your excellent hints for 1a, 4a, 11a, 22a, 24a and 26a.
    I managed to complete all the down clues unassisted – they were much easier than the across clues.

    I found 26a unfair. I live in Australia and am therefore unfamiliar with the NUS term.

    There were some excellent clues in this puzzle – 11a, 21a, 1d, 7d and 20d (my favourite).

    Well done to the Wednesday setter. With the exception of 26a, I really enjoyed this puzzle (despite the struggle) and I really enjoyed the clever clues.

    1. Hi Nathan.

      Regarding 26a. I think it is you who is being a little unfair here. After all, this is a UK crossword.

    2. Nathan

      And I thought you were a UK night owl because of the timestamp on you comments!

      As far as the ratings go, I can’t win. The other day I uprated a puzzle because I thought it might cause a few problems only to be told it was easy!

      The ratings are only a guideline and nearly all puzzles (except Elgar’s Toughies) rate 2,3 or 4 stars (3 stars being average difficulty).

  2. Good Crossword, easily solved. I got PONCHO but can someone tell me if CH is a common abbreviation for a companion or am I missing some wordplay? Thanks.

  3. A nice crossword, however don’t agree with the reading of 17d, the best clue has to be 22a, with or without the super site help!

  4. I agree with Gazza that it takes a lot to beat long anagrams. I also liked ‘pea-brain’, coz I can relate to that. I guess most of us see some answers immediately, but if I can’t see one, I clench teeth in a crazy grin and inhale through my teeth. That’s what I thought Big D meant by “teeth-sucking”..or is my behaviour unusual?

    1. Jonathan

      Let me say first that I “borrowed” the expression from Tilsit.

      Your description is not quite the impression I intended. It’s when that feeling of pleasure that you should get from solving a really good clue is replaced by one of extreme annoyance. The old Sunday puzzles used to be like that every week.

      Having said that, your behaviour is probably better than kicking the dog.

  5. What a wonderful site – found it a a couple of days ago and been a great help

    I’ve been doing the DT crossword for years but never have I completed one without help of some sort – no doubt that the reason for this is I don’t understand the clues even when I have the answers so finally it’s time to learn

    1. Welcome to the site Graybag.

      What we all try to do here is to provide the sort of help that was never available to us, while still maintaining the interest of the more experienced solvers. So far we seem to have got the balance right, but we need the reassurance of comments like yours to ensure that we keep it that way.

  6. I am a learner but getting there, i think your site is brilliant but try not to look at it until i am giving up, 3 weeks ago I could only do a quarter of the crossword but now most days i can usually do 3/4 today I did all but 3, i agree it is knowing how to understand the clue that is the difficult bit

  7. Another enjoyable puzzle. Enjoyed all the clues, especially 20d. However , cock up on22d, my original answer was door, so until I retrived the situation stuck on 22a and 25a.

  8. I think this deserved a 3* rating – flew through it bar 4 of them which remained until the commute home. Harder than yesterday’s I think. No obscure “smallsat” example however.

  9. While london ground to a halt I spent an hour waiting at a bus stop and got about a third done. Found it tricky, but i think that was partly because i was in such a foul mood. Can’t beleive i didn’t spot that bananas = mad!

  10. I think you are very charitable to the compiler in your solution to 22d.
    I think he/she really meant party (WIG), element (N-itrogen) in, The whole being a side of a building (WING). Sadly the party requires an H so I thought this was a bad clue.

    1. Welcome to the blog BeeJay.

      It’s an interesting theory, but I think I’ll stick with my original interpretation. The definition I gave was taken from Chambers.

      1. I originally thought that party was WI (Womens Institute) and NG was an element, until i looked at the periodic table when I got home and realised I had invented a new element

  11. Thanks for the blog and comments about my puzzle. Hope it was an enjoyable challenge. Your reading of 22d as a double definition is correct – I had not for a moment thought of Bee Jay’s alternative and rather creative interpretation!

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