DT 25964

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25964

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

This puzzle was a very pleasant Thursday surprise for me, with many clever and amusing clues. I enjoyed it a lot.

Across Clues

1a  Where recycling relies on courage? (6,5)
{BOTTLE BANKS} – a cryptic definition of the place where you go to recycle your glass containers is made up of BANKS (relies) after (on) BOTTLE (courage, nerve).

10a/11a   Mountain headquarters means of transmitting orders? (5,2,7)
{CHAIN OF COMMAND} – double definition, one of them cryptic – the means of transmitting orders down through the rank structure in a military organisation is constructed from CHAIN (mountain) and OF COMMAND (headquarters, where the orders are defined).

11a  See 10a

12a  Irritability at international cricket match? (9)
{TESTINESS} – another cryptic definition – a synonym for irritability takes advantage of the fact that international cricket contests are known as TEST matches.

13a  Material gain, say — all go in at last (5)
{NYLON} – a type of material is visible in the final letters (at last) of gaiN, saY – alL gO iN.

14a  Very happy to be associated with dropping introduction (6)
{ELATED} – to be associated with is rELATED – take off the initial letter (dropping introduction) to leave a word meaning very happy.

16a  The Spanish slump in hotel industry initially requires capital (8 )
{HELSINKI} – this capital city is assembled by putting EL (Spanish definite article) and SINK (slump) inside the first letters (initially) of Hotel Industry.

18a  Crustacean or, alternatively, lean crab (8 )
{BARNACLE} – an anagram (alternatively) of LEAN CRAB gives us a marine crustacean which is difficult to dislodge.

20a  High spirited female, fraught with danger (6)
{FRISKY} – put together F(emale) and RISKY (fraught with danger) to get a word meaning high-spirited.

23a  A source of uranium mostly rich in gold (5)
{AURIC} – a charade of A, U (first letter, i.e. source, of uranium) and RICh (mostly rich) produces an adjective meaning related to gold (and also the forename of one of James Bond’s deadliest opponents).

24a  Star given stewed prunes and eggs (9)
{SUPERNOVA} – not some wafer-thin celebrity on a fashionable showbiz diet, but an extremely bright heavenly body which is formed from an anagram (stewed) of PRUNES followed by OVA (eggs). Brilliant clue!

26a  Feelings at losing a match (9)
{NOSTALGIA} – feelings of sentimental longing for a period in the past are generated from an anagram (match, presumably in the sense of “corresponding to”) of AT LOSING A.

27a  Unable to see student wearing tie (5)
{BLIND} – a student is L(earner) – put around this (wearing) BIND (tie) to get an adjective meaning unable to see.

28a  When to buy a drink for bird by window? (7,4)
{OPENING TIME} – the earliest opportunity to slake your thirst is produced by substituting one colloquial word for prison (bird) with another, TIME and preceding it (by) with OPENING (window). This one made me laugh out loud!

Down Clues

2d  Tests of ethical behaviour when going topless (5)
{ORALS} – standards of ethical behaviour are mORALS – take off the first letter (going topless) to leave tests or examinations where the candidates have to speak.

3d  Switch into net savings scheme (7)
{TONTINE} – an anagram (switch) of INTO NET produces an investment scheme for a group of contributors in which the last survivor among them scoops the lot. This sort of arrangement is meat and drink to crime fiction writers and many of them have used it in their plots, ranging from Robert Louis Stevenson to Agatha Christie.

4d  Stick stuck in rising river wore away (6)
{ERODED} – take the popular name of a river (there’s one in N-E Scotland and another in North Wales) and reverse it (rising), then put ROD (stick) inside it (stuck in) to get a verb meaning wore away.

5d  Made an approach and holed in one, accepting price (8 )
{ACCOSTED} – someone who took only one stroke at a hole on a golf course is said to have ACED the hole. Include (accepting) COST (price) to produce a verb meaning approached somebody in a bold or aggressive fashion.

6d  I love to be found in distressed monks’ robes! (7)
{KIMONOS} – these robes are worn by Japanese ladies and they are manufactured from an anagram (distressed) of MONKS with I and O (I love) inside.

7d  People who forget to sprinkle one in cereals (13)
{SCATTERBRAINS} – a description of people who are disorganised and forget things is made from SCATTER (sprinkle) and BRANS (cereals) with I (one) inside.

8d  Calls about trouble with barriers (8 )
{RAILINGS} – calls is RINGS – insert AIL (trouble) to get types of barriers.

9d  Dad’s intercity transport credentials (8,5)
{IDENTITY CARDS} – an excellent anagram (transport) of DAD’S INTERCITY produces the sort of credentials which all of us may, or may not, have to carry in a few years’ time.

15d  Make snap adjustments (8 )
{AIRBRUSH} – a brilliant cryptic description of how you may use modern technology to remove the wrinkles and blemishes from your photographic likenesses.

17d  Supplier of light showy weapon (8 )
{FLASHGUN} – continuing the photography theme we have a double definition, one cryptic. A device for illuminating a dark scene to enable a photograph to be taken is a also a FLASH (showy) firearm.

19d  A reader’s first vice — one that provides illumination (3,4)
{ARC LAMP} – and another source of light is constructed from A, R (reader’s first letter) and CLAMP (vice, or as Americans would spell it, vise).

21d  Dish that’s undercooked and chewed (7)
{RAREBIT} – a charade of RARE (undercooked) and BIT (chewed) rustles up a tasty snack.

22d  Injury sustained by artist during revolution (6)
{SPRAIN} – put RA (artist, Royal Academician) inside SPIN (revolution) to get an injury.

25d  Hate investing new money for old drug (5)
{OPIUM} – start off with ODIUM (hate) and change the D (penny in old money, i.e. LSD) to P (pence in “new” money) to get a drug.

Among the clues which I really enjoyed were 24a, 28a, 9d and 25d, but my clue of the day is 15d. There are such a lot of good clues to choose from that I’m expecting loads of comments today – please don’t disappoint me!


  1. Kram
    Posted June 25, 2009 at 11:11 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Gazza, hated 24d and 28d, as they don’t exist!, However did like 24a and 7d,etc, too many excellent clues. 25d had to be ‘opium’ but I had never heard of ‘odium’ perhaps could edge ahead as my favourite clue.

    • gazza
      Posted June 25, 2009 at 11:59 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Kram
      Thanks for pointing out the typos, now corrected.

  2. Colin Gee
    Posted June 25, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    you are helping me a great deal to solve cryptics and changing my thinking process great site found it by accident thanks

    • gazza
      Posted June 25, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Colin and welcome to the site.
      You are just the sort of person we want to help. I hope that you’ll visit regularly and spread the word!

  3. bigboab
    Posted June 25, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great crossword, best for a Thursday for a while. Liked 7d. best.

    • tilsit
      Posted June 25, 2009 at 4:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Enjoyed it very much. In fact, a good day all round with the Times, Indy and Graun all on top form.

  4. Barrie Mellars
    Posted June 25, 2009 at 5:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Not my favourite crossword, too many deviant words – still I have learned today what Tontine is!!

  5. Harry Shipley
    Posted June 25, 2009 at 7:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    No, I didn’t like it. For example 12A. Early on I had worked out that the reference was TEST, but the clue gave no more wordplay, so the answer was on hold. And TESTINESS is not being at a Test Match, nor a specific reaction to it!


  6. Little Dave
    Posted June 25, 2009 at 8:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Eeerrm! Found this a tad challenging and I missed a few easy ones. Brain clearly out of synch compounded by problems getting home from Liverpool Street. 15d was a nice clue. Hopefully I’ll be more tuned in tomorrow.

  7. James
    Posted June 25, 2009 at 8:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I got 17 out of 28 today – not bad for me. Didn’t get 15d but loved the solution – my thinking was no where close!

    Thanks once again for the explanations – I am slowly improving and more importantly enjoying doing the crossword a lot more

  8. Kell
    Posted June 25, 2009 at 9:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Slightly bemused that no-one has commented on 1A, which to my mind is a blinder of a clue.

    • gazza
      Posted June 25, 2009 at 10:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Kell and welcome to the blog.
      I’ve sorry for the delay in your comment appearing but all “first posts” have to moderated.
      I agree that 1a is excellent, but there are so many good clues. Let’s hope this setter is a regular Thursday fixture from now on.

  9. Graybag
    Posted June 25, 2009 at 10:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Took me ages to get into it today but enjoyed it once I did – some cracking clues

  10. Trev
    Posted June 26, 2009 at 6:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    26 across. I’ve not seen match as an anagram indicator before. Match = correspond doesn’t suggest anagram to me.

    • gazza
      Posted June 26, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Trev
      It has been used before, for example in DT 25904:

      15d Despair at match being unequal (9)

      It’s only my suggestion that it is being used in the sense of “corresponds to” – any other thoughts welcome.

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