DT 25982

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25982

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

We’ve been given a really excellent puzzle today, full of beautifully crafted clues with splendid surface readings. It has one obscure word (just to keep you on your toes!). As has been mentioned before, a puzzle like this gives the reviewer a double dose of pleasure – firstly when solving the puzzle, and later when writing the review. Of course you can get the reverse effect with a sub-standard puzzle!

Across Clues

1a  Point of view from Mail following comment (11,4)
{OBSERVATION POST} – a position from which the progress of a battle can be monitored (point of view) is constructed from a synonym for mail after OBSERVATION (comment). Mail is given a capital letter to try to misdirect you into thinking of the newspaper.

9a  Pocket found in short pants (7)
{TROUSER} – an amusing clue for a verb (a favourite of P G Wodehouse) meaning to pocket. Take what we call the Americans’ pants and remove the last letter (short).

10a  Picture that will fail in competition (5-2)
{CLOSE-UP} – a photograph or film image taken very near to the subject is constructed from LOSE (fail) inside CUP (competition).

11a  Times covers rumour of new memorials (9)
{MONUMENTS} – times are MOMENTS – insert a sound-alike (rumour) of NEW to get a synonym for memorials.

12a  Scrub for ages before finishing (5)
{ERASE} – a verb meaning to scrub or delete is constructed from a charade of ERAS (ages) and the last letter (finishing) of beforE.

13a  Pubs full of energy are places where things happen (7)
{LOCALES} – a word meaning places where events take place is assembled from LOCALS (pubs) with E(nergy) inside.

15a  Makes good case for reliable couples (7)
{REPAIRS} – take the outside letters (case) of ReliablE and add PAIRS (couples) to form a verb meaning makes good. A beautiful surface reading.

17a  Drink following worker’s surrender (5,2)
{HANDS UP} – worker is HAND – follow this with SUP (drink) to make an order to surrender.

19a  Source of infection in obvious hospital case (7)
{PATIENT} – obvious is PATENT – include I (source, i.e. first letter, of Infection) to make someone attending hospital.

21a  One quietly lying in the bottom of the sea? You! (5)
{BIPED} – this word meaning an animal with two legs appears regularly (the last time in DT 25973). It’s constructed by putting I (one) and P (quietly, piano in musical notation) inside the sea BED.

23a  Refund accepted on behalf of wastrel (9)
{REPROBATE} – refund is REBATE – put inside this (accepted) PRO (on behalf of) to get a synonym for wastrel.

25a  Inclined to have trouble starting and finishing (7)
{TENDING} – a word meaning “inclined to” or “apt to” is assembled from T (starting letter of Trouble) and ENDING (finishing).

26a  Bride worried about lines is lacking in refinement (3-4)
{ILL-BRED} – an anagram (worried) of BRIDE is placed around LL (lines) to form an expression meaning lacking in refinement.

27a  Event in which the winners tied for victory (5,6,4)
{THREE LEGGED RACE} – a cryptic definition of a comical event at many a sports day. If we’ve had the sack race and the egg-and-spoon race then the next event must be ……

Down Clues

1d  Choose one degree student — the best! (7)
{OPTIMAL} – a charade of OPT (choose), I (one), MA (degree) and L (learner, student) produces an adjective meaning best.

2d  Partners covering court pass out (5)
{SWOON} – partners are S(outh) and N(orth) at the bridge table – insert (covering) WOO (court) to form an archaic verb meaning to faint or pass out.

3d  Looks like Bessemer process swallowed last of capital (9)
{RESEMBLES} – a synonym for looks like is formed from an anagram (process) of Bessemer which includes (swallowed) the last letter of capitaL. Another excellent surface reading.

4d  A single call should start getting public broadcasts (7)
{AIRINGS} – a charade of A, I (single), RING (call) and the first letter (start) of Should produces a synonym for broadcasts.

5d  Popular island group oddly scours for something with bite (7)
{INCISOR} – put together IN (popular), CI (Channel Islands, island group) and the odd letters of ScOuRs to form a type of tooth (something with bite).

6d  Shortly returned bearing rope (5)
{NOOSE} – take SOON (shortly) and reverse it (returned), then add E (East, bearing) to get a rope with somewhat sinister connotations.

7d  Worker’s work time – time given without limits (9)
{OPERATIVE} – a synonym for worker is assembled from OP (work), ERA (time), T (time) and gIVEn (the inside letters of given, without limits).

8d  People giving money for supplying trucks (7)
{TIPPERS} – double definition – people who are generous with gratuities and lorries with a rear platform which can be inclined.

14d  Metal cutter is able to bat (3-6)
{CAN-OPENER} – a kitchen utensil (metal cutter) is constructed from CAN (is able to) and OPENER (leading bat in a cricket team).

16d  Deport all involved having done guard duty (9)
{PATROLLED} – an anagram (involved) of DEPORT ALL produces a description of what a night-watchman, say, did.

17d  Panama protects a part of the environment (7)
{HABITAT} – panama is a type of HAT – inside this put A BIT (a part) to get a word meaning the natural home of an animal or plant (environment).

18d  Craft shop’s last one — turn back in regret (7)
{PIROGUE} – this word for a small flat-bottomed boat (craft) is one that I’d never heard of – it’s constructed from the last letter of shoP, I (one), RUE (regret) with GO (turn) reversed (back) inside it.

19d  Very hot, absorbing pressure and beating (7)
{PIPPING} – an informal word for defeating someone by a small margin (beating) is made from PIPING (very hot) with P(ressure) inside (absorbing).

20d  Altered setting of foot pedal (7)
{TREADLE} – an anagram (setting) of ALTERED gives us a foot pedal for controlling a machine.

22d  Urge that’s mostly utter nonsense (5)
{DRIVE} – a synonym for urge is DRIVE(L) (utter nonsense) with the last letter dropped (mostly).

24d  The way to a person’s heart? Quite the reverse! (5)
{AORTA} – a cryptic definition of the main arterial vessel which carries blood not to a person’s heart but away from it (quite the reverse).

There are lots of clues to choose from for my clue of the day. I like both 15a and 3d a lot, but my selection has to be 9a. Which clues entertained you? – leave a comment!


  1. Vince
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 10:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    Was fooled for a while by 27a, as the clue shows it as three separate words, when THREE-LEGGED should be hyphenated. I was also amused by 9a.

    • Helen
      Posted July 16, 2009 at 7:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It is shown as hyphenated.

      • gazza
        Posted July 16, 2009 at 7:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for pointing that out. On the Clued Up site, from which I took the clues, it’s shown as (5,6,4), but, as you say, in the paper it’s (5-6,4).
        The paper version is obviously better, so it’s just another Clued Up screw-up (or even screw up).

  2. Fallingstarr
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 11:13 am | Permalink | Reply

    14d Another cricket question – eek – but I got it.

    • Fallingstarr
      Posted July 16, 2009 at 11:27 am | Permalink | Reply

      Should have mentioned my favourite clue of the day was 27A. Second clue that I got. Did that a while ago and I won!

    • gazza
      Posted July 16, 2009 at 11:28 am | Permalink | Reply

      Such is the rich vocabulary of cricket that anyone who is not a fan is at a disadvantage with cryptic crosswords.
      Cricket explained: You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that’s in the side that’s in goes out, and when he’s out he comes in and the next man goes in until he’s out. When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in and the side that’s been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.
      I must go and watch the Test Match now!

      • Fallingstarr
        Posted July 16, 2009 at 12:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, that explains it all. I shall watch it with a new understanding. I also know who Andrew Strauss is now. What an enrichment of knowledge this site opens up to me. The Captain of the Aust Team? Who knows since the greats retired and the current ones are taking their WAGS along, who seem to be competing with your football ones in the UK. Anyway Aus are winning? Don’t need to watch it then!

      • Rollo
        Posted July 16, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Gazza you did not mention that somebody who is out, and therefore in, often has to receive balls from a bowler who has a short leg and a long leg. And the fielders can be either onside or offside.

        • gazza
          Posted July 16, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Thanks for that. I tried to keep it simple in order not to confuse :D
          Anyway, England are 126 for none, or, for those down under, none for 126.

          • mary
            Posted July 16, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

            cricket already confuses me, now I am more confused, I mean how can you have a draw when one side is up on points????? !!

  3. bigboab
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great crossword, loved 18d.

  4. mary
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    mmmmmmmmm………… everybody seems to have liked it but me!! I liked some of the clues but others I just couldn’t see, my mind obviously doesn’t think the right way or the wrong way as the case may be, I have finished but with lots of help! no didn’t enjoy it!! Enjoy the cricket!

  5. Lysander
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    8d I put “tenders” on first read through but soon realised my mistake.Otherwise an exellent crossword.

  6. Paul
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That word in 18d, Gazza,

    Did you never hear the Carpenters ‘Jambalaya’? You must surely have sung or at least heard the line ‘go pole a pirogue down the bayou’.

    • gazza
      Posted July 16, 2009 at 3:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for that. I do, of course, remember Jambalaya, but the lyrics must have passed me by!

      Here’s the proof

      • Posted July 16, 2009 at 3:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Sadly. for me The Carpenters were latecomers. I remember the song by Hank Williams, Fats Domino and Brenda Lee!




  7. mary
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 5:11 pm | Permalink | Reply


    Any help with the toughie today? Is everyone watching the cricket!!

    • gazza
      Posted July 16, 2009 at 5:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I’m not sure what the hold-up is – as far as I know it’s on its way.
      In the meantime, if there are any particular clues you want help on, tell me and I’ll try to give a hint!

    • Posted July 16, 2009 at 5:31 pm | Permalink | Reply


      Tilsit has had a few problems today, and at the time I received his email I had not done the puzzle myself. The answers are up now, and the hints to follow.

      • mary
        Posted July 16, 2009 at 6:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

        thanks both but I’ve given up on this one!!!

  8. Mr B
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 8:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    5d and 18d too hard. 20d never heard of. 14d, cricket but it was kind of obvious, and finally my massive issue – 19a – does patent actually mean obvious or is that an assumption that everyone patently makes?

  9. Mr B
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 8:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Also – as I was sat on my train on the way home, a man sat down next to me and started to do this puzzle. I was doing mine, had about a third of it done, and he basically finished it before I’d got another clue. I reckon about 6 minutes, tops. Irritating. I’m 29, he looked about 59. Is it age do you think? The other part of this tale is that I politely leaned toward him and said, “Care to share notes?” to which he replied, “No.” I honestly thought crossword-lovers were genuinely pleasant people. Apparently I’ve got that completely wrong!

    • gazza
      Posted July 16, 2009 at 8:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Mr B
      Are you sure that he wasn’t just filling in random letters?
      Chambers gives patent (adjective) as meaning obvious,.

    • Kram
      Posted July 16, 2009 at 8:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It is patently obvious, the old man opposite was probably doing what I did when I started doing crosswords, just filling in the boxes with gobbledegook when it had me beaten, no wonder he didn’t want to share notes!

  10. newtocryptic
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 10:20 am | Permalink | Reply

    Agreed that it was a good crossword but didn’t like use of “Pirogue” as too obscure IMO. I would rate it as **** difficult especially for a comparative novice like myself

  11. Posted July 23, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    As an ex-medic I loved this one! Incisors, patient and aorta were right up my street.
    I particularly liked “AORTA” (24D) – saved the best until last!

  12. Posted July 23, 2009 at 12:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Forgot to mention that as an ex-pat (living in France) we get the weekly Telegraph and have to wait awhile for it to arrive.

    • gazza
      Posted July 23, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Dr Bernard
      Thanks for the comments. Have you thought about subscribing to Clued Up, where you can get the puzzles on the same day that they’re published here (when the site is working, of course!) ?

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