DT 25972 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 25972 – Review

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25972 – Review

A full analysis by Big Dave

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

Peter Biddlecombe is taking a well-deserved break this week, but will be back next week.

Saturday puzzles recently have not deserved the accolade of prize puzzles, but this one was a lot better.  I had a few minor grumbles,which are outlined in the review.


1a Second to be taken in by fortune-teller was David (8)
PSALMIST – S(econd) inside PALMIST (fortune-teller) gives a description of David, who wrote the Psalms in the Bible

9a Sweet podgy person (4-4)
ROLY-POLY – a double definition

10a Man on board called ‘sir’ (6)
KNIGHT – a chessman and a Knight of the Realm

11a Virginia in old action organised on site (10)
EXCAVATION – VA (Virginia) inside EX (old) and an anagram (organised) of ACTION gives an archaeological site

12a One article on painting in real character (2,5)
AT HEART – A (one) THE (definite article) and ART (painting) give the real character

14a He will welcome call to attract attention or to exertion at sea (5,2)
HEAVE HO – now amended on CluedUp, this is HE with AVE (Roman welcome) and HO (call to attract attention) giving an exertion at sea – even in its amended form it is still poor, and the answer should be hyphenated

16a Completely cut, so to speak (5)
SHEER – a synonym for completely that sounds like (so to speak) shear (cut)

17a Not a mirage perhaps but ingrained dirt (5)
GRIME – an anagram (perhaps) of MIR(A)GE without the A (not a) that gives ingrained dirt

18a Crew recklessly capture ship that has been destroyed (5)
WRECK – hidden inside (capture) creW RECKlessly is a ship that has been destroyed

20a Old Bob with no work will (5)
SNOOP – a charade of S (shilling / old bob) with NO and OP (work) gives a word meaning to go about sneakingly

22a Devil getting on with prison (3,4)
OLD NICK – the devil is a straightforward charade of OLD (getting on) and NICK (prison)

24a Molasses plant a class included (7)
TREACLE – another word for molasses is derived by inserting A CL(ass) inside TREE (plant)

26a Draw destructive one used to choose winner (10)
TIE BREAKER – TIE (draw) and BREAKER (destructive one) gives a means of choosing a winner – TIE has the same meaning for each part of this double definition

27a Quarrelling with sad Dot rambling (2,4)
AT ODDS – a phrase meaning quarrelling that is an anagram (rambling) of SAD DOT – contrived names make spotting anagrams like this an easy task

28a Test alternative vehicle, more formal one (5,3)
MOTOR CAR – MOT (test) OR (alternative) and CAR (vehicle) make a more formal one – a lazy clue

29a Lecturer making money having knowledge (8)

LEARNING – L(ecturer) and EARNING (making money) gives a word meaning having knowledge – I suppose it’s quite a good clue if you are seeing it for the first time


2d Small flighty creature, one making notes (8)
SONGSTER – a small bird that sings or someone who sings

3d One at the docks who has lost weight? (10)
LIGHTERMAN – a pretty obvious double definition

4d Retains composure although upset (2,5)
IN TEARS – good surface reading for this anagram (composure) of RETAINS

5d Note constabulary going inside during ceasefire (5)
TRUCE – TE (note) around RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) gives a ceasefire

6d Clare arranged to include Violet on keyboard (7)
CLAVIER – an anagram (arranged) of CLARE which then includes VI (Violet) to get a name for a keyboard

7d Not in any manner at present is taking Ecstasy (6)
NOWISE– a word meaning no way (not in any manner) is a charade of NOW (at present) IS and E(cstasy) – does anyone still use words like this?

8d Volume that could be both ancient and modern! (4-4)
HYMN BOOK – a cryptic definition that fooled a lot of people – Hymns Ancient & Modern

13d Consider this tank! (5)
THINK – a double definition with a synonym for to consider and Think Tank

14d Man having many a slave (5)
HELOT – HE (man) and LOT (many) giving an old name for a slave

15d Part of speech from quirky urban novel (6,4)
VERBAL NOUN – a part of speech that is an anagram (quirky) of  URBAN NOVEL

17d Enjoyment lasting a fair while (8)
GOODTIME – a double definition of a synonym for enjoyment and a charade of GOOD (fair) and TIME (while) – as a single word, this should only be used as an adjective, as in goodtime girl

19d Select circular hideaway on battlefield (8)
CULLODEN – CULL (select, or more usually selectively kill) O (circular) and DEN (hideaway) lead us to a famous battle – I personally don’t like circular being represented by O

20d Fictional school subject? (7)
SCIENCE – presumably a pun on science fiction

21d Expert split first appearance proportionately (3,4)
PRO RATA – a charade of PRO (expert) RAT (split, as in to rat on someone) and A (first Appearance) gives a synonym for proportionately

23d Two singers in Italy touted freely (6)
DUETTO – this pair of Italian singers are an anagram (freely) of TOUTED

25d Sound of bagpipes coming from runner on both sides (5)
SKIRL – the sound of bagpipes comes from SKI (runner) R and L (both sides)

3 comments on “DT 25972 – Review

  1. I think that they’ve got a damn cheek changing the clue for 14a after they had published it on Telegraph Clued Up (and in the newspaper?) – a waste of my time and postage sending the solution in. The original clue was “He’s welcome to stop at sea (5,2)”, to which the only answer was “Heave To”, ignoring the spurious apostrophe s .

    1. Welcome to the blog Rai

      It was “correct” in the newspaper, but I agree with you. It would be best if you wrote to them yourself, as they all seem to live in a world in which CluedUp never fails! (see my comment to ST 2492 – Hints for the address.)

      1. Thank you. I’ve contacted them and their reply included:
        “We realised we had published two slightly different clues, leading to different answers.
        Both answers were equally legitimate, so both answers were counted as valid.”

        I’m happy with that.

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