DT 25958

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25958

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

This is a workmanlike puzzle which should not cause too much aggravation. When starting out with a blank grid it’s always nice to find a few clues that offer you an easy “way in”, and we have several here such as 12a, 24a and 5d.
As usual the answers are inside the curly brackets – just select the white space inside the brackets to reveal them.

Across Clues

1a  Housing situation experienced by actors on film? (8,6)
{NEGATIVE EQUITY} – a topical problem where the value of your house has been reduced to less than what you owe on it (housing situation) is constructed by putting the name of the actors’ trade union after NEGATIVE (a photograph or film where the lights and shades are reversed).

9a  How one obtains funds from extra lottery? (8 )
{OVERDRAW} – a charade of OVER (extra) and DRAW (lottery) produces a way in which you might lay your hands on some cash.

10a  Evil individual seen crossing a peninsula (5)
{SINAI} – put together SIN (evil) and I (one, individual) and include (crossing) A to get the name of a peninsula in the Middle East. I do not understand the point of “seen” here – it seems to be just padding and the clue would read just as well without it.

12a  Closed circuit look at work (4)
{LOOP} – string together LO (look) and OP (work, short for opus) to get a closed circuit.

13a  They’re beaten if caught with shorts (5-5)
{SNARE-DRUMS} – put together SNARED (caught, trapped) and examples of the sort of shorts which you would buy in a pub rather than a clothes shop, to get types of percussion instruments.

15a  A source of light forces change outside (8 )
{ALFRESCO} – follow A with L (source, i.e. first letter, of Light) and an anagram (change) of FORCES to get a term, from Italian, meaning in the open air or outside.

16a  The chances of success for unusual issue (4-2)
{ODDS-ON} – a betting term meaning that the chances of success are better than fifty-fifty is made by putting together ODD (unusual) and SON (issue).

18a  Interference caused by a nervous reaction on the way (6)
{STATIC} – put A TIC (a nervous reaction) after ST (street, way) to get crackling or hissing noises on the telephone or radio.

20a  Fair offer for a round trip (3,5)
{BIG WHEEL} – a cryptic description of a ride at a fair which is also called a Ferris Wheel.

23a  Tourism rep’s new outfit for play (6,4)
{ROMPER SUIT} – an anagram (new) of TOURISM REP gets a one-piece outfit for infants to play in.

24a  Unrestricted circular enclosure (4)
{OPEN} – a charade of O (circular) and PEN (enclosure) leads to an adjective meaning unrestricted.

26a  Feeling surrounded by drunken nuisances (5)
{ENNUI} – a hidden word (signalled by surrounded by) inside drunkEN NUIsances means a feeling of listlessness or boredom.

27a  Revels at seeing one in duty lists (8 )
{ROISTERS} – duty lists are ROSTERS – insert I (seeing one in) to get a verb meaning celebrates boisterously (revels).

28a  Share deals? Errs badly in practice (5,9)
{DRESS REHEARSAL} – an anagram (badly) of SHARE DEALS ERRS produces a theatrical term for the last practice before the opening night.

Down Clues

2d  Not working after present discharge (4,3)
{GIVE OFF} – a term meaning to discharge is constructed from OFF (not working) after GIVE (present, donate).

3d  Name given to salt lake (4)
{TARN} – substitute one word for a sailor, “salt”, with another, TAR, and add N(ame) to get a small mountain lake.

4d  Plant cover in a mess (8 )
{VERONICA} – a plant with blue or purple flowers is formed from an anagram (mess) of COVER IN A.

5d  Journalist has to pull up King (6)
{EDWARD} – the name of a king (we’ve had eight of them so far) is constructed from ED(itor) and DRAW (pull) which is reversed (up, in a down clue).

6d  Winning team gets depressed in confusion (6,4)
{UPSIDE DOWN} – the winning team is the UP SIDE – add DOWN (depressed) to get a term meaning in confusion. An oldie but a goodie!

7d  Negative feedback on mostly divine languages (7)
{TONGUES} – this word, a synonym for languages, is formed by taking NOT (negative) and reversing it (feedback) and adding GUESs (most of a verb meaning to divine or estimate).

8d  Wanting to join part needed in series (7,4)
{MISSING LINK} – one sense of wanting is MISSING – add LINK (to join) to get a term for a creature not yet found in the evolutionary journey from ape to man.

11d  All steroids may be incompatible (3-8 )
{ILL-ASSORTED} – an anagram (may be) of ALL STEROIDS gives us a term meaning incompatible.

14d  Ways of speaking about spinner’s production (10)
{DELIVERIES} – double definition – ways of speaking in public, and projections of a cricket ball by a spinner (or any other type of bowler). How on earth would crossword compilers manage without the rich vocabulary of cricket?

17d  Make light of attractive girl taking in dress (8 )
{DIMINISH} – a verb meaning to reduce or make light of is formed by putting MINI (dress) inside DISH (attractive girl).

19d  A student right to accept endless cash from old social worker (7)
{ALMONER} – take A, L (learner, i.e. student) and R(ight) and put inside them MONEy (endless cash) to get a type of social worker who used to be attached to a hospital before the term Social Services had been invented.

21d  Former coastal towns generating contributions towards balance of trade (7)
{EXPORTS} – a charade of EX (former) and PORTS (coastal towns) produces what we send abroad to help the balance of trade.

22d  One’s interest is from certain investment in an old city (6)
{USURER} – the name for a money-lender (now used for someone who charges an excessive level of interest) is made by putting SURE (certain) inside UR (old biblical city).

25d  Sort of colonnade to put in South America (4)
{STOA} – put TO in S(outh) A(merica) to get a roofed colonnade.

I like 13a but my favourite clue of the day is 20a. What do you think? – leave us a comment!


  1. Kram
    Posted June 18, 2009 at 11:17 am | Permalink | Reply

    forgot about the cricket side to 14d, thus causing a bit of a delay in solving this nice crossword. Liked 13a as well, but prefered 15a.

    • gazza
      Posted June 18, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Kram
      14d delayed me as well, because I got it into my head that “spinner” was a spider and that I needed “web” in the answer!

  2. Dr Mark
    Posted June 18, 2009 at 11:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    Two in two days for me! – knew 13a was snare-drums, but couldn’t work out why, other than it fitted. Nice one……

    Great blog – has improved my finishing rate dramatically. Especially good for cross checking those that you’re not 100% about which you wouldn’t take the risk with – corrections look so mwssy!!

  3. bigboab
    Posted June 18, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Enjoyed it very much, especially liked 1a and 13a.

  4. Little Dave
    Posted June 18, 2009 at 7:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this tougher than yesterday’s. I don’t think I was tuned in today. A bit of a struggle.

  5. NathanJ
    Posted June 19, 2009 at 12:40 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Gazza

    I really enjoyed this puzzle and your blog. I think your 3-star rating was right. It was a good challenge. Solved all of it except 14d – I needed your blog to solve that one.

    I actually liked 14d once I realised how clever it was – my choice for clue of the day.

    Thanks for the blog.

  6. old bill
    Posted June 20, 2009 at 9:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Can someone explain how ‘lo’ is look? Or is it just another thing that happens to be in the Chambers dictionary?

    • Posted June 20, 2009 at 10:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I think you have answered your own question!

      It’s as used in the expression “Lo and behold”.

      • old bill
        Posted June 26, 2009 at 3:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

        ah! of course. i am really am too slow to be attempting crosswords! :-)

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