DT 25988

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25988

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

We come down to earth after yesterday’s classic, but this is still a good puzzle with some very entertaining clues.
As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets – select the white space to reveal them. And, as always, we’d love to hear your views on the puzzle – just leave a comment.

Across Clues

1a  To form a relationship on holiday is to succeed (4,3)
{PULL OFF} – a phrase meaning to succeed is formed from PULL (informal term meaning to establish a, normally temporary, relationship) followed by OFF (on holiday).

5a  Support Labour — it’s a hard slog (7)
{LEGWORK} – a charade of LEG (support) and WORK (labour) leads to a word meaning a lot of strenuous travelling around to collect information.

9a/10a  Have little money but taste the bitter, for example (4,3,7)
{FEEL THE DRAUGHT} – a phrase which literally means to be subject to a current of cold air (and, informally, experience a change for the worse in one’s financial circumstances) could also mean be aware of (taste) the beer from a cask.

11a  Standard charge initially preceding interior design (9)
{CRITERION} – a synonym for a standard is constructed from C (initial letter of Charge) followed by an anagram (design) of INTERIOR.

12a  Depend on constant moaner getting undressed (5)
{HINGE} – a constant moaner is a WHINGER – undress this by removing its outer letters to leave a verb meaning depend on.

13a  Magistrates follow rest inside (5)
{DOGES} – the historical name for the chief magistrates of Venice and Genoa is constructed from DOG (follow) and the inside letters of rESt.

15a  Travel isn’t bad, with time off for breaks (9)
{INTERVALS} – an anagram (bad) of TRAVEL ISN’T minus one T (with time off) produces a word for pauses or breaks.

17a  Pretty girls seeing bees on blossom (3,6)
{MAY QUEENS} – pretty girls who are crowned on the day when workers are honoured all over the world are formed from QUEENS (bees) after (on) MAY (blossom).

19a  Rumoured to be full of promise initially, and tasty (5)
{SAPID} – rumoured is SAID – insert the initial letter of Promise to make an adjective meaning having a strong pleasant taste.

22a  Where spectators sit and suffer (5)
{STAND} – double definition – where spectators at a sporting event sit, and a synonym for endure or suffer.

23a  Traffic congestion around street repairs due to high winds (9)
{JETSTREAM} – a term for very strong westerly winds (which would more usually be 3,6) is constructed by placing JAM (traffic congestion) around an anagram (repairs) of STREET.

25a  Answer frees relations (7)
{AUNTIES} – put together A(nswer) and UNTIES (frees) to get female relations.

26a  Money invested in bribe gets material for flags (7)
{BUNTING} – a word for flags and other festive decorations is made from BUNG (bribe) with TIN (slang term for money) inside.

27a  Non-stop, but lacking a goal! (7)
{ENDLESS} – double definition, one cryptic – going on for ever (non-stop) and without an END (aim or goal).

28a  Defer pay out after America flipped (7)
{SUSPEND} – start with US (America) which needs to be reversed (flipped) and followed by SPEND (pay out) to get a synonym for defer.

Down Clues

1d  Fellow expert in whales looking serious (2-5)
{PO-FACED} – a term for wearing a disapproving, stern expression (looking serious) is made by putting F(ellow) and ACE (expert) inside POD (school of whales).

2d  Pole abandoned drunk girl seen looking with lust (7)
{LEERING} – a word meaning looking lustfully is made from an anagram (drunk) of GIRL SEEN with one of the poles (i.e. either N or S) removed (abandoned) – you have to work out which of N or S is to be removed by trial and error!

3d  Bizarre without reason — and within it! (5)
{OUTRE} – a word meaning bizarre is hidden inside (within) withOUT REason.

4d  Contract on single enemy – hours to suit! (9)
{FLEXITIME} – a charade of FLEX (contract or tense), I (single) and TIME (the enemy, proverbially) produces a system of working where the employee can choose his/her own hours within certain limits.

5d  Left port with a full cargo (5)
{LADEN} – put together L (left) and ADEN (port in the Middle East) to get a description of a ship with a full cargo.

6d  They work in the fields while others gad about (9)
{GOATHERDS} – an anagram (about) of OTHERS GAD produces these, traditionally lonely, livestock handlers.

7d  Material for publication, for example, on South Africa (7)
{ORGANZA} – this thin, transparent dress fabric (material) is manufactured from ORGAN (a publication which promotes the views of a particular political party or movement) and ZA (international vehicle registration code for South Africa).

8d  Excited people have them young (7)
{KITTENS} – young cats are, informally, what people have when they are very excited or nervous.

14d  No subedit alters such words (5,4)
{SOUND BITE} – an attempt at an all-in-one clue – an anagram (alters) of NO SUBEDIT produces a short extract from a speech, selected for its suitability for inclusion in a news bulletin.

16d  Underground in trials with experimental equipment (4,5)
{TEST TUBES} – the London Underground is the TUBE – put this inside TESTS (trials) to get items of laboratory equipment.

17d  Motorway gamble is an error (7)
{MISTAKE} – a charade of MI (M1, motorway) and STAKE (to gamble) produces an error.

18d  Longed to have made some money by the end of May (7)
{YEARNED} – made some money is EARNED – precede this with the last letter (end) of MaY to get a synonym for longed.

20d  Assumption that a place of business is unfinished (7)
{PREMISE} – a place of business is PREMISEs – remove the last letter (unfinished) to get a proposition or assumption.

21d  Played a game inside two days, and got injured (7)
{DAMAGED} – put a D (day) at each end of an anagram (played) of A GAME to get a verb meaning impaired or injured.

23d  Jokes about planes flying across western Sahara (5)
{JESTS} – a verb meaning jokes about is made from JETS (planes) which contain (flying across) the leftmost (western) letter of Sahara.

24d  Negative feedback points to colours (5)
{TONES} – a reversal (feedback) of NOT (negative) is followed by two cardinal points to get a word meaning shades or colours.

My favourite clues include 22a, 6d and 8d, but my clue of the day has to be 1a – agree or disagree? – tell us via a comment!


  1. Vince
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 11:03 am | Permalink | Reply

    Compared to yesterday, this was too easy! I agree with you re favourite clues, but i also liked 14d. My Chambers gives both JETSTREAM and JET-STREAM (23 a)

    • Posted July 23, 2009 at 11:06 am | Permalink | Reply

      Now you have time to go and tackle today’s Toughie!

      • Vince
        Posted July 23, 2009 at 11:29 am | Permalink | Reply

        Unfortunately, I have to work for a living!

  2. bigboab
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 11:38 am | Permalink | Reply

    Nice and simple but enjoyable, I liked 1d.
    The toughie is a bit of a sod today.

  3. Boxy
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Shouldn’t 22a be ‘Where spectators don’t sit…’
    Or would that make it too easy? I liked it though.

    • Posted July 23, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog Boxy

      It’s one of those strange things that the stands at sporting events are where people sit. Many years ago at White Hart Lane you could stand on “The Shelf” in the East Stand, but that gave way, despite protests, to hospitality boxes.

    • gazza
      Posted July 23, 2009 at 2:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Boxy and welcome to the blog.
      I think the meaning is (grand)stand where spectators sit.

      • Boxy
        Posted July 23, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks guys, I never thought of it being short for grandstand, even though it’s bleedin’ obvious.

        By the way, do the setters ever comment on here? If they did, would you know?

        • gazza
          Posted July 23, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Yes, quite a few of them comment, and some have been known to own up to mistakes!

          • Libellule
            Posted July 23, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

            If you check yesterday’s crossword, John H. was the setter, and on the previous day comments made by Ray T, were also from the setter. So some of them do drop by to see whats going on from time to time.

            • Trev
              Posted July 24, 2009 at 8:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

              How do we find out who the setter is…and why don’t they display their name?

              • Libellule
                Posted July 24, 2009 at 9:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

                For the normal cryptic (not Toughie) they don’t say who is responsible for the crossword. However we do tend to have a very good idea. Even if they do change the normal daily set up :-) For more details as to how this works, I think I will let Big Dave explain.

              • Posted July 24, 2009 at 11:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

                What we know about the setters is as follows:

                With a handful of exceptions, the same setter is used every week for Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Each of these setters has a particular style which is such that if it changed one week we would notice. The regular Thursday setter has posted on this blog as Jay and the Friday setter as Giovanni.

                The other two days have recently been rotated between several different setters. Three of these, namely RayT, Shamus and John H, have left comments. I am sure that there are others, but they have yet to identify themselves.

                Their names are not displayed as this has been the policy of the Telegraph for as long as I can remember.

                • Trev
                  Posted July 27, 2009 at 7:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  Thanks for the reply.

                  I cannot imagine the Guardian without the setter’s name. The first thing I do is look who the setter is and then I adjust my plan of attack accordingly.

                  Perhaps the Telegraph may one day follow suit.

        • Posted July 23, 2009 at 2:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Six Toughie setters have left comments, and five daily setters, making eight in total. No, my maths isn’t wrong, Elgar (John H), Giovanni and Shamus are in both lists!

          One further setter, who has left comments anonymously, is welcome to “come out” as a daily setter.

  4. nanaglugglug
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 7:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Phew!! A puzzle we could actually do without any help (nice to read your explanations, tho’ Gazza!) Liked 25a best.

    • gazza
      Posted July 23, 2009 at 8:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks. I hope that you had a go at the Toughie today – it is excellent!

      • nanaglugglug
        Posted July 23, 2009 at 8:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Just finished it!! Utterly demoralised as we needed so much help. Still, practice makes perfect.

  5. iggy
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 6:01 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hi,Just started using your website in last few days whilst on hols and able to spend some more time every day on the dt . Been doing quite regularly for about 30 years but only ever complete about 1 a week without help so your site provides VERY welcome end to some frustrating days. Iggy

    • Libellule
      Posted July 24, 2009 at 9:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

      30+ years wow, I think some of the other bloggers have even more years. Your comments are much and always appreciated. That’s what we are here for. The whole idea of this blog is to improve your completion rate (am I allowed to say that?) by attempting to explain how you can work out the answers.

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