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DT 25979

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25979

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Greetings from the Calder Valley.  Quite a challenging and enjoyable puzzle from our Monday Maestro today.  Not as easy as the past few weeks with a few clues to cause more than a little head scratching.  Lots of good surface reading and a preponderance of double definition clues today.

The topic for debate today concerns the clue at 28 across.  I often feel that crosswords are stuck in a sort of time warp of the late fifties/early sixties.  Some setters try to write clues that reflect modern usage (and abusage) of phrases, but a few, and this runs from today’s setter through to the  Araucarias of this world) sometimes use words or devices that are strictly of a period.

If you asked a younger person what a “cosh” was, would they know? To me, it’s a word that belongs with The Great Train Robbers and 1950’s Teddy Boys.  I also accept that I may be wrong, and I’d like your thoughts.  I don’t think the day is far off where the newer abbreviations, such as LOL and IMHO will start appearing as indicators as part of clues.  What do you think?  Let me know at the end.  Newer posters please remember that your first posts has to be approved, to prevent spamming, but you’ll be on the board fairly quickly.


1a Kind enough to study team and make an assessment (11)
{CONSIDERATE}  Let’s start off with a word-sum today,  CON = study + SIDE = team + RATE = make an assessment.  Kind enough is the clue definition.

9a A symptom of fever like a hot head (4)
{RASH}  Sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees!  I spent a while thinking that “hot head” was H and I was looking for a three letter word to precede it.  Then the penny dropped.  The clue is a double definition one, with RASH as symptom of fever and if you behave like a hot head, you are RASH.  Good surface reading.

10a Precipitate action for itinerant (11)
{PERIPATETIC}  An anagram of PRECIPITATE, with action as the indicator.  Peripatetic teachers are now generally known as Supply Teachers.

11a A cleaner cup is needed to hold it (4)
{CHAR}  Double definition.  A  char is a name for a cleaner and also a slang name for tea.

14a Country music composer (7)
{IRELAND}  John Ireland is a moderately famous composer of sacred music and song.

One of my favourite pieces is the haunting Elegy from his piece “A Downland Suite”.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

16a Stay true (7)
{STAUNCH}  Double definition.  To stay, or stem a flow is to STAUNCH, as is to be true to someone or a cause is to be STAUNCH.

17a A green and mountainous part of France (5)
{SAVOY}  Another double definition.  A savoy is a type of cabbage (not my favourite vegetable!), as well as a region of France.

18a Standard feature of Saturn or Mars (4)
{NORM}  A hidden answer here;  “feature” is the instruction to look for a hidden answer.  SaturN OR Mars.

19a Consequently return to see the capital (4)
{OSLO}  Consequently = SO, reversed + LO =  see (as in Lo and behold!) gives the capital of Norway.

20a Director gets me in tune (5)
{AIMER}  Oddly enough, not a word I have seen or used before.  The clue breaks down as ME inside AIR (tune).  The word defines as “one who directs or aims”.

22a He’s right to take Monday off (7)
{RAYMOND}  A word-sum.  R = Right + an anagram (“off”) of MONDAY.

23a Din subsides once these are ejected (7)
{ROWDIES}  Another word-sum.   ROW = din +  DIES = subsides.

24a State university bowler suffers reverse (4)
{UTAH}  U= University +  HAT (bowler) reversed =  The Beehive State in the US, home to Salt Lake City.

28a Coshed quite badly in the dance hall (11)
{DISCOTHEQUE} An anagram, indicated by the word “badly” of COSHED QUITE. This leads me to a subject for today’s  debate.  See upthread!

29a English flower seen on the golf course (4)
{TEES}  Always remember that in Crosswordland “flower” usually means river, i.e. one that flows (see also Banker, one that has banks).  TEES are obviously seen on the courses as starting points for shots.

30a Clippers of the line? (7-4)
{CLOTHES PEGS} Clever cryptic definition or one that doesn’t quite work?  The jury is out for me.  Nothing to do with maritime issues, but a cryptic definition for those things you use to hang out your washing.


2d Finished in a superior position (4)
{OVER}  Double definition.  If you finished something, it’s OVER, as is something in a higher position.

3d Vessel for the Sunday joint (4)
{SHIP}  A word-sum  S =  Sunday + HIP (a joint)

4d A second order of clergy (7)
{DEACONS}  An anagram of A SECOND, with “order” as the indicator.  DEACONS are members of the clergy, of course.  Nice surface reading.

5d It’s used in casting part of a film (4)
{REEL}  Another double definition.  “It’s used in casting” (angling) being the first part and the remainder being literally part of a film shown in a cinema.  When I was younger I used to love watching for when the projectionist changed reels during a main feature.

6d College threesome (7)
{TRINITY}  Double definition.   TRINITY is a colleague at a variety of British and Irish universities and a TRINITY is a group of three, as in the Holy Trinity.

7d Minimum investment for patrons of the pools (7,4)
{BATHING SUIT}  I highlighted the use of “investment” in my blog of Monday 29th June.  It is shown in Chambers as an archaic definition of clothes.  So here we have a cryptic definition for clothes worn in a swimming pool.  I wasn’t keen on it then, and I haven’t changed my opinion.

8d Poor little creature (6,5)
{CHURCH MOUSE}  Cryptic definition for the proverbial creature.  “As poor as a …..”

12d Eating habits (6,5)
{DINNER SUITS}  A cryptic definition for “investments in food”.

13d They will be opened for those that are late (6,5)
{PEARLY GATES}  Cryptic definition.  Assuming you are going upwards, then these are what you will be greeted with.

15d One sings his praises (5)
{DAVID}  And another cryptic definition,  In the Old Testament, many of the Psalms were supposedly written by King David.

16d Like a judge with robes in disarray (5)
{SOBER}  An anagram of ROBES, with “in disarray” as the indicator.  Another analogy:  “As sober as a judge”.

20d The pile some workers make (3-4)
{ANT HILL}  Cryptic definition.  “Workers” here refer to worker ants who are generally responsible for building ANT HILLs.  Today’s fascinating fact:  Queen ants can live for up to 21 years.

21d A political favour? (7)
{ROSETTE} The acrosses seemed to contain more double definition clues, but the downs seem to be heavy with cryptic definitions, as in here.  The clue is asking you to think of how you would “favour” your political party.   A ROSETTE is one way of doing that.

25d Caledonian company in a small way (4)
{SCOT}  CO = company inside ST ( a small way, i.e. an abbreviation of street) leads you to a name for those from North of the Border.

26d Assistance for the man with a record (4)
{HELP}  “The man” = HE +  LP (record)

27d Cork tip (4)
{BUNG}  Double definition.  A BUNG can be a cork, and a tip as in a bribe.  Another one of those phrases that those of us can appreciate.  As a life-long non-smoker, I have never had to resort to cork tips or other ends attached to cigarettes.   Would a younger solver appreciate the surface reading of this?

Overall, a decent challenge and one of the better Monday puzzles of the recent batch.  Thanks as usual to our setter for the challenge.

[While I appreciate that officially there is nothing wrong with the CluedUp site, here is today’s puzzle for those who know otherwise! BD]

Cryptic Crossword No 25979

21 comments on “DT 25979

  1. Like you Tilsit, to me a cosh is something you would use to hit somebody with – like a billiard ball in a sock.

    I remember, from my Maths A Level days, that it is also a Hyperbolic Cosine. Not that I use mathematical coshes now.

    Dose it mean something as an acronym? If it does I have yet to encounter it.

    Sorry to waffle on, but I can’t do the crossword because CluedUP won’t let me get at it, or anything else for that matter.

  2. 17a Really threw me, until I had all the checking letters and realised what it was… I am so used to seeing this spelt differently – Savoie

  3. Hi Tilsit, where’s The Calder Valley? We found todays puzzle very pleasurable until we got to 10a as,I’m ashamed to say, I didn’t even know the word.
    Hotlips just wanted you to know that he’s ‘under the cosh’ – I don’t think so!!

  4. I think there should be two difficulty ratings for this puzzle. Two stars for those who remember Teddy Boys and three for those who don’t! For me, this barely rated one and a half.

    1. Have to side with your two star rating Dave, as I misspelt ‘discotheque’ when writing in the letters of the anagram (OAP)!.Had to look it up in Chambers for its origin,….. French for a record-library, and takes place in a club or a party, doesn’t this throw the usage of the word ‘dance hall’ into doubt?

    2. I thought that this was the easiest for a long time. It’s interesting that today’s Guardian Cryptic is by Rufus (same setter?) and it is very similar but with slightly fewer cryptic definitions.

      1. Gazza – Rufus is indeed another name for the Monday setter in the Telegraph.

        1. “Public Domain” information about a setter is available by selecting the appropriate category in the sidebar – in this case “Monday”.

          Note that selecting the same category from the link at the bottom of the blog takes you to the WordPress tag list instead.

  5. Loved 13 down, very clever! 15 down I thought was poor and 7 down just plain awful.
    On the whole a very enjoyable puzzle.

  6. I thought the whole thing was far too simple,but then again I don’t tend to get so deeply involved in the word play etc., if it is an anagram – solve it, don’t worry overmuch about the meaning, life is too short. Thanks Tilsit for all the work you and the other put in!

  7. I found it a mixture of the straightforward and obscure. But then one person’s obscure is another person’s blindingly obvious.
    Managed to think of the different lines to get to washing line then fell asleep before I could think of what clippers might be used.
    Coshed looks okay to me. It comes up in a lot of books that are still widely in print, eg PG Wodehouse, and in period detective series. In any case, it was a clear anagram.
    Investment for clothes comes up often enough and is surely just one of those things you know if you do crosswords. Is it any different, if less frequent, to flower=river?
    I liked 23a because it works as a whole as well as in its contituent parts.

  8. I do the DT crossword. Where does it rank in terms of difficulty amongst the other broadsheets?

  9. I think young ‘uns will be much more familiar to getting ‘coshed’ than they would be with ‘peripatetic’ teachers or ‘David’ writer of Psalms.

    Thanks for the ‘banker’ tip. That had never occurred to me before…

  10. I’m 35 (youngish?) and I have no problem with cosh at all (is it the same as saying “under the cosh”?). However I do have real problems with some of the answers, or part of answers that I think anyone under 45 would really struggle with. I had no idea at all on the two examples that Old Bill gives above. Another recent example is Char meaning (i think) paid by the day or something similar. Wikipedia explains charlady as an expression being popular in the mid nineteenth century! I think there is a difference between discovering new words and discovering old words :)

    1. James

      I hope yoiu are not suggesting that some of us remember charladies from the mid nineteenth century! I think the term you are referring to is “daily” which is often used as a synonym for char(lady). I did, however, find CHAR as tea, instead of CHA, surprising. I looked it up in Chambers and it is apparently a Cockney spelling of the word. I await the addition to the dictionary of other Cockney spellings such as ‘alf for half.

  11. The English language is evolving every day. There are “new” words and “new” meanings for existing words.

    I don’t want to be too controversial here, but if somebody’s volcabulary is not extensive enough to include a particular word, or it’s meaning in the context of a crossword puzzle, then they should do some research by using a dictionary.

    So long as the word, and its assigned meaning, is to be found in the dictionary then I think it is OK to include it in a puzzle.

    1. I wanted to stimulate a debate and it seems we have one. Thank you all for your contributions.

      If I have my setter’s hat on, I am obviously grateful to have archaic and “out of fashion” words as strings to my bow. That said, I don’t recall using them in any cryptic puzzle I have set.

      Sometimes when I am solving puzzles, the use of these words definitely makes me feel as though I am in the fifties or sixties (although in truth I am a child of the sixties).

      I think our Monday Maestro always produces good surface readings in his clues, compared to some setters I could mention both from the Telegraph and elsewhere.

      1. After your comment regarding LOL being used in a crossword soon I almost LOL at 28 Down in Today’s Guardian crossword.

        1. Hi Darren and welcome to the blog.
          For those who haven’t seen the clue it is:
          Laughing out loud with a girl from Copacanana (4)

  12. Lots of my wife’s friends use LOL to mean lots of love in emails. This made me, er, LOL when one wrote about a series of mishaps culminating in her daughter hurting her leg and her husband leaving her… LOL, she finished.

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