DT 25972 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25972 – Hints

Selected hints by Big Dave

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

First I’d like to say a special thank you to Gazza for stepping in to help me out yesterday.  It all started when I switched the computer on yesterday morning, only to find that the graphics card had given up the ghost.  I did eventually manage to find a very old one, but that card didn’t know what a wide screen looked like.  Off to PC World where I had to buy a new motherboard, cpu, and memory to accommodate the new graphics card.  At this point the hard drive crashed for the third time in as many months, so it was back again for a new drive.  By the time that I had reloaded Windows and found out that the new graphics card was faulty it was nearly midnight.  Fortunately I was able to use the onboard graphics controller, so I’m able to do this morning’s blog.

A much better puzzle this week from our Saturday Supremo.  There is a village, but it has an indelible place in British history.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the better clues and provide hints for them. Peter Biddlecombe is on holiday this week, but a full review of this puzzle will still be published at 12.00 on Thursday, 9th July.


1a Second to be taken in by fortune-teller was David (8)
Put the abbreviation for a second into the kind of fortune-teller that reads your hand and you get a description of the biblical slayer of Goliath

10a Man on board called ‘sir’ (6)
It’s a chess man on a chess board!

14a He’s welcome to stop at sea (5,2) (online)
This one is going to cause a few problems online!  A charade of HE, a Roman greeting and TO gives a phrase that means to come, or bring a vessel, to a standstill.  So far, so good, but CluedUp doesn’t accept that as the correct answer and, wrongly, insists that the second word is HO.

14a He will welcome call to attract attention or to exertion at sea (5,2) (newspaper)
A different clue appeared in the newspaper, with the wordplay rather clumsily altered, so now the charade reads HE, that same Roman greeting and a call to attract attention giving exertion at sea.

Neither version is at all elegant.  The online version, which presumably was the original, has “he’s” which doesn’t look right and is probably why it was changed.  The newspaper version has “will” as confusing padding.  What further convinced me of a late change was that in both versions the answer is given as (5,2).  This would have been correct for the “original” answer, but the “new” answer should be (5-2).  When I returned from buying my copy of the newspaper, I found that Paul had beaten me to explaining the mystery surrounding the online clue – thanks for that, I could have stayed at home and saved £1.60 if I’d known!

20a Old Bob with no work will go about sneakingly (5)
In the days before decimalisation a bob was a shilling

28a Test alternative vehicle, more formal one (5,3)
The test is one that most vehicles have to pass annually


2d Small flighty creature, one making notes (8)
A bird which sings or a person who sings – take you pick in this one-and-a-half definition clue

6d Clare arranged to include Violet on keyboard (7)
An anagram of CLARE which includes VI and gives a a stringed keyboard instrument

7d Not in any manner at present is taking Ecstasy (6)
One of those words that no-one uses these days! – just follow the charade of at present, IS and E(cstasy)

13d Consider this tank! (5)
A double definition with a synonym for to consider on the one hand and the kind of tank, attended by intellectuals, that usually achieves nothing on the other hand

17d Enjoyment lasting a fair while (8)
A cryptic definition of a type of enjoyment that, as a noun, should have been given as (4,4), only as an adjective can it be (8)

19d Select circular hideaway on battlefield (8)
To selectively kill is followed by a letter shaped like a circle and a hideaway to give the site of the last battle to ever be fought on British soil

Better than the average Saturday prize puzzle, but slightly spoiled, for me, by one or two sloppy clues.


  1. Paul Williams
    Posted July 4, 2009 at 10:05 am | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve got a different clue for 14a in the paper version.

    He will welcome call to attract attention or to exertion at sea (5,2)

    • Libellule
      Posted July 4, 2009 at 10:24 am | Permalink | Reply

      Paul, that makes a lot of sense. The Online version points you to a slightly different answer. Wheras the wordplay in this fits the answer thats required when you enter the puzzle online.

  2. Little Dave
    Posted July 4, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This was a lot more challenging than the usual Saturday standard. Can someone explain 13d please! All done but not sure why I have the answer I have.

  3. Libellule
    Posted July 4, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Its either an allusion to a “Policy Institute”, or you need to get the letters together from outside the box.

  4. Barrie
    Posted July 4, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent puzzle today and not just because I finished it!!

    • terry
      Posted July 6, 2009 at 2:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

      what is the answer to 8 down

      • Posted July 6, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Permalink | Reply


        Welcome to the blog.

        8d is one of those where you will probably kick yourself when you see the answer!

        Volume that could be both ancient and modern! (4-4)

        It’s the volume used in church for the songs!

  5. Little Dave
    Posted July 4, 2009 at 8:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    13d – penny has dropped. DER! All done and a nice puzzle.

  6. terry
    Posted July 6, 2009 at 3:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    thank you

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