DT 25981 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 25981

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25981

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

While the same setters appear to be used for the other days of the week, there is little doubt that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are being rotated.  This puzzle was very enjoyable, and far better than the one a week ago.  If I’m correct in guessing then this is one of my favourite setters, and an old friend may pay a visit later!


1a Feud at event developed around daughter (8)
{VENDETTA} – a feud that is an anagram (developed) of AT EVENT around D(aughter) – although the wordplay is as described, in reality this sort of clue is simply an anagram of AT EVENT D

5a Throw off track? (6)
{DERAIL} – a cryptic definition of what happens to a train that leaves the track

9a Owner backing company trophy by worker (8)
{OCCUPANT} – CO (company) reversed (backing) is followed by CUP (trophy) and ANT (worker) to give this owner

10a Dazed feeling increased when in shop mostly (6)
{STUPOR} – this dazed feeling comes from UP (increased) inside STOR(E) (shop, mostly

12a Some advice captain had for very chilly region (6)
{ICECAP} – some, once again, indicates that the answer is hidden – this time a very chilly place is hidden in advICE CAPtain

13a Item broadcast before family rejected anti-war activist (8)
{PEACENIK} – a word that sounds like (broadcast) piece (item) is followed by KIN (family) reversed (rejected) to get an anti-war activist

15a Corps’ first detail deployed in fortress (7)
{CITADEL} – C (Corps’ first) and an anagram (deployed) of DETAIL give this fortress

16a Time reportedly for trick (4)
{WILE} – a trick that sounds like (reportedly) while (time)

20a Harsh taxmen working (4)
{IRON} – a synonym for harsh that is a charade of IR (Inland Revenue / taxmen) and ON (working)

21a Cricketer, one famous for scoring? (7)
{STRAUSS} – a double definition of Andrew, the cricketer, and Johann, the scorer or composer

25a Avoid teams, note, facing pressure (8)
{SIDESTEP} – a word meaning to avoid comes from a nice charade of SIDES (teams) TE (note) and P(ressure)

26a Very small record (6)
{MINUTE} – a double definition

28a Extra clause about a marauding figure (6)
{RAIDER} – simply put RIDER (extra clause) around A to get this marauding figure

29a At college, team training around sides of rink is superior (8)
{UPMARKET} – UP (at college) is followed by an anagram (training) of TEAM around RK (sides of RinK) to get a synonym for superior

30a Courteous European retaining appeal (6)
{POLITE} – this word meaning courteous comes from POLE (European) around (retaining) IT (sex appeal) – when European is not represented by E then he is usually a Dane or, as here, a Pole

31a Perhaps, Asian football team joins a league (8)
{ORIENTAL} – this Easterner who is, perhaps, an Asian is a charade of Leyton ORIENT (football team) A and L(eague)


1d One usually gets into a scrape holding it? (6)
{VIOLIN} – a cryptic definition of this musical instrument

2d Subtle line about Barack’s latest small change in Washington? (6)
{NICKEL} – an anagram (subtle) of LINE goes around CK (BaraCK‘s latest) to get small change in Washington

3d Stress shown by European? Pass him nervously (8)
{EMPHASIS} – this stress comes from E(uropean) and an anagram (nervously) of PASS HIM – last time a Pole, this time simply E

4d Colour in Brighton expected (4)
{TONE} – this colour is hidden in BrighTON Expected

6d Lure English to French place? About time (6)
{ENTICE} – a synonym for to lure is built up from E(nglish) and then NICE (French place) around T(ime)

7d Last part of book? A couple of pages to complete before nine (8)
{APPENDIX} – the last part of a book is another nice charade of A PP (A couple of Pages) END (to complete) and finally IX (nine in Roman numerals)

8d Small parrot and kite? Role is confused (8)
{LORIKEET} – this small parrot is an anagram (confused) of KITE ROLE

11d Roads heading north around, say, African country (7)
{SENEGAL} – LANES (roads) reversed (heading north – another of those down-clue only constructs) around EG (for example / say) give this African country

14d Normal payment held up for associate (7)
{PARTNER} – PAR (normal) and then RENT (payment) reversed (held up – down clues only) give an associate

17d Iris and Pat at odds about right runway (8)
{AIRSTRIP} – a rather obvious anagram (at odds) of IRIS and PAT around R(ight) to get this runway

18d Positive attribute giving compliment to prince? (8)
{GOODWILL} – a positive attribute, as in  an intangible asset representing the difference between the acquisition price of a subsidiary and the fair value of its assets and liabilities (don’t you just love Chambers), comes from saying GOOD (compliment) to Prince WILL(iam)

19d Rate end of game after tie’s reviewed (8)
{ESTIMATE} – a word meaning to rate is derived by putting MATE (end of a game of chess) after an anagram (reviewed) of TIE’S

22d Broadcast sanction for rise (6)
{ASCENT} – a rise that sounds like (broadcast) ASSENT (to sanction)

23d Get rid of alien outing (6)
{JUNKET} – a charade of JUNK (get rid of) and ET (ExtraTerrestrial / alien) gives an outing enjoyed by officials using public funds

24d The Italian provided first part of vegetarian diet (6)
{LENTIL} – IL (the, Italian) has LENT (provided) in front (first) to get part of a vegetarian diet

This reminds me of an Indian restaurant in East Kilbride.  A colleague asked what kind of lentils were in the dal soup.  He was told, in a heavy Glasgow accent, “Heinz”!

27d Stimulation provided by special old city (4)
{SPUR} – this stimulation is our final charade of SP(ecial) and UP (old city)

My favourite, for its excellent surface reading, is 7 down.

17 comments on “DT 25981

  1. Hi Big Dave

    Greetings from Canberra, Australia.

    It’s great to get your early blog. I really enjoyed the puzzle.

    I understood all the wordplays in this puzzle except 2 down, so thanks for your explanation of this one.

    By the way, I think the word in curly brackets for 9 across should end in “ant” not “ier”.

    My choice for clue of the day is 21 across – a brilliant double definition with “scoring” meaning run-scoring as well as music-scoring. Great surface reading as well (slightly risque).

    Looking forward to watching the Test from Lords on the box tomorrow. I am seriously sleep-deprived at the moment!

    1. I think Big Dave’s misled you on 2d. I think it is: NICE (subtle) L(ine) around K (BarracK’s latest).

      1. Vince

        I wasn’t happy about subtle as an anagram indicator, and I’m not too sure about nice as a synonym for subtle.

        I’ll think about it when I get back from the morning engagement that caused me to do the blog when most sensible people (in the UK, that is) were asleep.

        1. Big Dave,

          Nice can be used in place of subtle in a nunmber of circumstances. To give just two examples: A “nice” distinction is a subtle one. Similarly, a “nice” point could be a subtle one.

          1. You are probably correct, but It’s certainly not a word that came to mind. I have just checked in Chambers Thesaurus and they agree with you.

      1. Fallingstarr

        Even my dislike of people’s names doesn’t extend to the current England captain. You must be the only person in Australia who is not following the cricket at the moment.

  2. I enjoyed this one except for 20a, I’ve never heard this as a synonym for harsh.

  3. For info, I just got this reply to my complaint about the general rubbishness of Clued Up:

    “I can confirm that there is currently maintenance taking place on our website servers and this is causing the site to at times run very slow/not allow login.
    We are doing our utmost to have this completed and back to normal as soon as possible so as to cause the least disruption.
    I do apologise for the inconvenience”

    1. Ali
      They make it sound as if it’s just a problem today. Someone sent me this response to Sunday’s problems:

      “Thank you for contacting the Telegraph Media Group

      I can confirm that there were issues on our Clued up site which at the time caused the site to run slow/not allow login.

      This has since been resolved and you should now have access.

      I do apologise for the inconvenience. I can assure you that all comments received are taken on board and that we strive to keep the Clued up site running as smooth as possible.”

      Sound familiar?

  4. I’d agree with Vince on NICKEL. The other interpretation takes two letters from BaraCK which is somewhat imprecise.

    Quite a tough puzzle by Tel standards.

    Favourites, VIOLIN and STRAUSS

  5. Thanks for the complimentary remarks in the blog and solvers’ comments. Hope my style is not becoming too obvious – but, seriously, the feedback is much appreciated!

  6. This was a very good puzzle: good range of clues, very good surface readings, and yes Strauss is topical enough. I felt I needed to be on my toes for some of the clues and think hard for others
    Keep them coming, Shamus.

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