DT 25975

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25975

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

I found this to be a disapppointing puzzle.  There was little of merit, and the overuse of initial and final letter constructs that failed to contribute to the surface reading was irritating.


1a Where you find countries manufacturing sea salt (7)
{ATLASES} – the book in which you will find countries is an anagram (manufacturing) of SEA SALT

5a Be disinclined to cut tail off animals (7)
{BEAVERS} – combine BE and AVERS(E) (disinclined) without the last letter (to cut tail off) to get these animals

9a Catches sprat at sea (5)
{TRAPS} – a word meaning catches is an anagram (at sea) of SPRAT

10a Last bits of pie all put into portions for son and daughter perhaps (9)
{RELATIONS} – put E L (last bits of piE alL) into RATIONS (portions) for son and daughter perhaps, along with brother, sister, …..

11a Visual type of presentation from more than one newspaper? (10)
{MULTIMEDIA} – a part-cryptic double definition

12a Comic actor’s desire (4)
{HOPE} – you have two hopes of getting this answer – Bob Hope and no hope and Bob Hope is dead

14a Books for every term (12)
{DICTIONARIES} – not school terms, but words for this cryptic definition

18a Victoria and Albert’s old-fashioned things? (6,6)
{MUSEUM PIECES} – not Queen and Consort, but things in the MUSEUM named after them

21a Feeling almost perfect (4)

22a Dial out with foreign accent — that’s unexpected (10)
{ACCIDENTAL} – anagrams of DIAL (out) and ACCENT (foreign) are intermingled to get a synonym for unexpected – I was not too happy about this being effectively one anagram with two separate indicators as this usually means that the two anagrams are joined to get the answer

25a Tangled, fowl lost her head and growled (9)
{ENSNARLED} – a word meaning tangled from (H)EN (fowl) without the H (lost her head) and SNARLED (growled)

26a Port and last bit of absinthe drunk — by him? (5)
{TOPER} – an anagram (drunk) of PORT and E (last bit of absinthE) gives someone who drinks

27a Shortly rest, wandering around cathedral city (7)
{TERSELY} – a word meaning shortly that comes from an anagram (wandering around) of REST and ELY (cathedral city)

28a Sailers adrift with no wind (7)
{AIRLESS} – what else could it be than an anagram (adrift) of SAILERS to get a synonym for with no wind


1d Complicated maths answer — it might make you gasp (6)
{ASTHMA} – an anagram (complicated) of MATHS and A(nswer) gives an affliction that might make you gasp

2d Responsible for one in laboratory initially losing Ecstasy (6)
{LIABLE} – a word meaning responsible for is constructed from I (one) inside LAB (laboratory) and then L E (initially Losing Ecstasy)

3d Mistrustful, investigate pictures containing indication of debt (10)
{SUSPICIOUS} – a synonym for mistrustful is built up from SUS (investigate) and PICS (pictures) around (containing) IOU (indication of debt)

4d Golfer carries river to put the ball in play (5)
{SERVE} – Severiano “SEVE” Ballesteros Sota is the golfer – put him around R(iver) to get how to put the ball in play in tennis

5d Aggressive stomachs not quite accepting lettuce (9)
{BELLICOSE} – a synonym for aggressive that comes from BELLIE(S) (stomachs) without the final letter (not quite) around (accepting) COS (lettuce)

6d Book performances (4)
{ACTS} – a double definition of a book in the New Testament and stage performances

7d Cheap joke ultimately worries no comic (8)
{ECONOMIC} – a synonym for cheap which is built up be taking E (jokE ultimately) and following it with an anagram (worries) of NO COMIC

8d Sun to employ gripping writers, to create tension (8)
{SUSPENSE} – start with S(un) and add USE (to employ) around (gripping) PENS (writers) to get a word meaning tension – S as an abbreviation for Sun is in Chambers

13d One goes to the front in a race to walk dog (10)
{PACESETTER} – a double definition where the cryptic part is PACE (walk) and SETTER (dog)

15d Usually starts in taking your photo with friend (9)
{TYPICALLY} – a synonym for usually comes from T Y (starts in Taking Your) PIC (photo) with ALLY (friend)

16d Ten minim runs coming up (8)
{IMMINENT} – an anagram (runs) of TEN MINIM gives a word meaning coming up

17d One who criticises girl, heading off to uproot roses (8)
{ASSESSOR} – this person who criticises is (L)ASS (girl) without the L (heading off) followed by an anagram (to uproot) of ROSES

19d Fastener in sink’s tap leaks (6)
{STAPLE} – this fastener is hidden in sink’S TAP LEaks

20d Frightens little man with weapons (6)
{ALARMS} – a word meaning frightens is a charade of AL (little man) with ARMS (weapons)

23d From Spain, dial another country (5)
{INDIA} – hidden inside SpaIN, DIAl is another country

24d Sounds like girl has violent wind (4)
{GALE} – a homophone (sounds like) of Gail (girl) is a violent wind

I can think of nothing nice to say, so I will say nothing.


  1. Kram
    Posted July 8, 2009 at 10:48 am | Permalink


  2. Michael
    Posted July 8, 2009 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Mostly very easy but I have not done 13d (breed of dog?) nor 17d unless this is asperser – is this a word?

  3. Michael
    Posted July 8, 2009 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    4d was neat, if easy to a sports fan.

  4. nanaglugglug
    Posted July 8, 2009 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    We thought a lot of the clues were very familiar – 6d, 12a 14a 18a……..could go on but got to pack up now to go to the airport! See you all back in England

  5. bigboab
    Posted July 8, 2009 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    liked 4 & 5d, otherwise disappointing.

  6. Lizwhiz
    Posted July 8, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    what a waste of time! almost felt like not finishing it!

  7. mary
    Posted July 8, 2009 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    loved it ……….first one I as a beginner (six weeks or so) have finished without any help at all….yeeees!! I know to all you crossword geniuses out there this must have been too easy but ………thank you setter!!!

    • gazza
      Posted July 8, 2009 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Well done! You’ll be finishing them regularly before you know it!

      • mary
        Posted July 9, 2009 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        not sure about that but thanks

  8. Little Dave
    Posted July 8, 2009 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Easiest of the week by a margin and rattled it off in half hour. A poor week for me so far so was pleased with today’s performance. I liked 5d best off all. Welsh air tomorrow may prompt another good day for me – Cardiff here I come!

  9. Harry Shipley
    Posted July 8, 2009 at 9:22 pm | Permalink


    Does not “multimedia” imply in more than one medium, rather than in “more than one newspaper”?

    Harry Shipley

    • Posted July 8, 2009 at 9:31 pm | Permalink


      That was my initial reading, but why I said it was part-cryptic is as follows:

      Visual type of presentation = MULTIMEDIA
      more than one = MULTI. newspaper = MEDIA

  10. old bill
    Posted July 9, 2009 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Mary – these easier ones give us slow uns something to be pleased about!