DT 25968

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25968

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Today we have a very pleasant, but not too exacting, exercise with some well-constructed clues – perfect for doing in the garden with a long, cold drink close at hand.
As usual, the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets – select the white space to reveal them.

Across Clues

7a  Medley of extras on a musical instrument (5,3)
{TENOR SAX} – this musical instrument is constructed from an anagram (medley) of EXTRAS ON.

9a  Cause of timeless crime? (6)
{REASON} – take the crime of betraying one’s country and remove the initial T (timeless) to leave a synonym for cause.

10a  Hot and humid in the South (side close to Sicily) (6)
{STEAMY} – a word meaning hot and humid (very appropriate at the current time) is made from a charade of S(outh), TEAM (side) and Y (last letter, i.e. close) of Sicily.

11a  Midget’s mouth treated by doctor after end of fight (3,5)
{TOM THUMB} – this very famous midget is assembled from an anagram (treated) of MOUTH followed by MB (one of the standard abbreviations for doctor), all coming after T (last letter, i.e. end, of fight).

12a  One altering certain features in a theatre? (7,7)
{PLASTIC SURGEON} – once you’ve grasped that the sort of theatre where this person operates is in a hospital, the answer is fairly obvious.

15a  Boast about column (4)
{CROW} – a charade of C (circa, about) and ROW (column) produces a verb meaning to boast or gloat. Those who use spreadsheets will no doubt protest that a row is totally different to a column!

17a  A cinch, right? Wrong! (5)
{GIRTH} – an anagram (wrong) of RIGHT gives us a word meaning a band used to keep a horse’s saddle in place (cinch). A simple but very effective clue.

19a  See opener in Solheim Cup (4)
{SPOT} – a synonym for to see is made from S (opening letter of Solheim) and POT (cup).

20a  How chess players sit at every level? (6,3,5)
{ACROSS THE BOARD} – double definition – the way chess players face each other over the pieces and a phrase meaning applying in all cases from top to bottom.

23a  Lard, once melted in kitchen utensil (8 )
{COLANDER} – an anagram (melted) of LARD ONCE produces a kitchen utensil.

25a  Bend almost all of small shield (6)
{BUCKLE} – a BUCKLEr is a small round shield – drop the last letter (almost all) to get a verb meaning to bend and give way under pressure.

27a  Picked for team doing time (6)
{INSIDE} – double definition – if you are picked for a team you are IN the SIDE, and this is also one of the many colloquial expressions for being in prison, doing time.

28a  Caught by a daring eccentric major-general at Balaclava (8 )
{CARDIGAN} – put C (caught, in cricket) in front of an anagram (eccentric) of A DARING to get the name of the commander of the Charge of the Light Brigade. “C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la guerre” as one of their French allies commented.

Down Clues

1d  County in northern half of US state (4)
{KENT} – the first half (northern, because this is a down clue) of the bluegrass state, famous for its horse racing and fried chicken, is a county in the South-East of England.

2d  Roams foolishly over southern marsh (6)
{MORASS} – an anagram (foolishly) of ROAMS is followed (over, in a down clue) by S(outhern) to get an area of muddy ground (marsh).

3d  Leave former partner with the thing (4)
{EXIT} – a charade of EX (former partner) and IT (the thing) produces a verb meaning to go out or leave.

4d  Textbook of the highest quality, latest from professor (6)
{PRIMER} – of the highest quality is PRIME – add the last letter (latest) from professoR to get a textbook.

5d  Dismisses those on register (8 )
{CASHIERS} – double definition, one cryptic – a verb meaning dismisses from the armed forces in disgrace is also a noun meaning the people who handle payments at a cash register.

6d  Fellow Mormon, I suspect, is here in Cornwall (6,4)
{BODMIN MOOR} – start with BOD (fellow, short for body) and add an anagram (suspect) of MORMON I to get an upland area of Cornwall which is famous for its mythical beast, and which thousands of tourists pass through every year as they speed down the A30.

8d  A network of agents from Yugoslavia initially planted in Spa? (3,4)
{SPY RING} – spa is SPRING which has the first letter (initially) of Yugoslavia inserted (planted) to get a network of agents.

13d  Orlando excited one heroine (5,5)
{LORNA DOONE} – an anagram (excited) of ORLANDO is followed by ONE to get the name of R D Blackmore’s heroine. I’m not sure whether this was intentional or not by the compiler, but the answer is also the name of a neighbourhood in Orlando, Florida.

14d  Petty quarrel about river fish (5)
{SPRAT} – a petty quarrel is a SPAT – insert R(iver) to get a small fish.

16d  Inform in advance about travelling fair and a drug (8 )
{WARFARIN} – to inform in advance is WARN – include in this an anagram (travelling) of FAIR to get the name of an anticoagulant drug which was originally developed as a rat poison.

18d  List on counter in repair shop (4,3)
{HEEL BAR} – put together HEEL (lean over, list) and BAR (counter) to get a small stall where you can get running repairs for your shoes.

21d  Saturated turf by animal’s lair (6)
{SODDEN} – put together SOD (turf) and DEN (animal’s lair) to get a synonym for saturated.

22d  Plant displayed in porch I designed (6)
{ORCHID} – this plant is hidden (displayed) in pORCH I Designed.

24d  Runs excellent sprint (4)
{RACE} – a charade of R (runs, in cricket) and ACE (excellent) gets a speed contest (sprint).

26d  Left lout in lounge (4)
{LOAF} – another charade, this time of L(eft) and OAF (lout) gives a verb meaning to lounge.

I liked 17a, 5d and 16d, but my clue of the day is 28a. Agree or disagree? – please leave a comment!


  1. Posted June 30, 2009 at 12:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A chance to show a YouTube video in a comment!


  2. bigboab
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I thought this should have been Mondays, it was far too easy!

    • bigboab
      Posted June 30, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Incidentally the toughie today by “busman” was also far too easy to be a toughie, if I found these two crosswords so easy then you lot must have completed them in about 5mins. each.

      • gazza
        Posted June 30, 2009 at 1:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Hi bigboab
        I agree – the Toughie today is easier than this one. It seems more and more as if the more challenging puzzles (both Cryptic and Toughies) are being saved up for Thursdays and Fridays.

  3. Barrie Mellars
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 4:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    My god, you guys must have warped minds! I found todays soooo difficult compared to recent ones. How on earth are you supposed to know that a fellow is a BOD 6d – its beyond me!

    • Libellule
      Posted June 30, 2009 at 4:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Barrie – in my case I had some checking letters and realised it was a place in Cornwall that I recognised. Working out BOD as part of the wordplay would have come afterwards :-)

    • gazza
      Posted June 30, 2009 at 4:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

      There was a similar clue in DT 25938:
      4d Fellow with minister in Cornish town (6)

  4. Kram
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Didn’t like 15a and 17a only because I had never come across cinch as being part of a horses tackle, about being represented by c, and a column being in its vaguest terminology a row. However did like 10a, and annoyed at not solving it sooner whilst breakfasting in the tropics!

    • Posted June 30, 2009 at 7:04 pm | Permalink | Reply


      You’ll have to get used to about = c(irca), it happens a lot.

      • Kram
        Posted June 30, 2009 at 9:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

        sorry, but I always used associate ‘c’ with the sport of cricket.

  5. nms
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    As well as those using spreadsheets, those who solve crosswords might have been a little surprised to see column = row…

    Did not delay solving tho which is the main thing, don’t want to be too literal.

  6. Little Dave
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 7:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Erm found this tricky today – I missed 6d and a few others I feel I should have got. I blame a few distractions during the day but I am looking forward to an uninterrupted day with it on Thursday enjoying Middlesex v Surrey. I could kick myself for missing 11a – DER!!! Perhaps i stayed up too late watching Mr Murray?

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