DT 25992

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25992

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

This is an ideal puzzle for someone starting out on cryptics, but probably not enough of a challenge for the experienced solver. Our experiment in letting everyone define the enjoyment factor is still running – please take the time to set the number of stars at the bottom of the review. Remember that you are grading the puzzle for enjoyment, not difficulty, so set the number of stars from 1 (hated it!) to 5 (the most enjoyment I’ve had all month!) or somewhere in between.

Across Clues

8a  Ring artist exhibiting a monster (7)
{CHIMERA} – a charade of CHIME (ring) and RA (Royal Academician, artist) reveals a fire-breathing female monster from Greek mythology.

10a  Information from base (3-4)
{LOW-DOWN} – double definition – an informal term for information, especially of a confidential nature, about someone or something, and an adjective meaning base or dishonourable.

11a  Horse and cart ordered for a band (9)
{ORCHESTRA} – an anagram (ordered) of HORSE and CART produces a company of musicians (a band).

12a  Dance with beat and vitality (5)
{TANGO} – put together TAN (an informal verb to beat) and GO (energy or vitality) to get a South American ballroom dance.

13a  Son’s desire to become smart (5)
{SWISH} – combine S(on) and WISH (desire) to get an adjective meaning smart or fashionable.

14a  Oriental festival’s name (7)
{EASTERN} – a synonym for oriental is constructed from EASTER (a Spring festival) and N(ame).

17a  Broken foot? She’s to rearrange tap dance (4,4,7)
{SOFT SHOE SHUFFLE} – firstly find an anagram (broken) of FOOT SHE’S, then add SHUFFLE (rearrange) to produce a tap dance in soft-soled shoes.

19a  Bohemian to attend, with family backing (7)
{BEATNIK} – to attend is BE AT – follow this with KIN (family) which needs to be reversed (backing) to get someone who lives an unconventional lifestyle (Bohemian).

21a  Starts to ring up rap artist living in the countryside (5)
{RURAL} – an adjective meaning in the countryside is formed from the initial letters (starts) of Ring Up Rap Artist Living.

24a  Subject suggested by principal in charge (5)
{TOPIC} – a charade of TOP (principal) and IC (in charge) forms a subject.

26a  Frank moans about lodger? (9)
{FREEMASON} – the question mark indicates that we need a bit of lateral thinking – lodger is not someone paying for bed and board but a member of a semi-secret society which is divided into sections called lodges. The term is made from FREE (frank) followed by an anagram (about) of MOANS.

27a  Pawnbroker with a ring, initially doubtful (7)
{UNCLEAR} – an informal term for a pawnbroker is UNCLE – add A and the initial letter of Ring to get a synonym for doubtful.

28a  Female spies receiving praise (7)
{CLAUDIA} – a girl’s name (female) is constructed from CIA (spies) with LAUD (praise) inside (receiving).

Down Clues

1d  A bad-tempered over (6)
{ACROSS} – put together A and CROSS (bad-tempered) to get a synonym for over.

2d  I’m upset over Society leader’s bad behaviour (8 )
{MISCHIEF} – reverse (upset) I’M and follow it with S(ociety) and CHIEF (leader) to get bad behaviour.

3d  Holder seen playing in short trousers (10)
{LEDERHOSEN} – make an anagram (playing) of HOLDER SEEN to get short leather trousers, normally worn with H-shaped braces by the men of Bavaria.

4d  Everyone I set up and make fun of becomes uncomfortable (3,2,4)
{ILL AT EASE} – reverse (set up) ALL I and follow it with TEASE (make fun of) to make a phrase meaning uncomfortable or embarrassed.

5d  After short time humour a fool (4)
{TWIT} – put WIT (humour) after T (abbreviation for time) to get a fool.

6d  Charge round old room (6)
{LOUNGE} – a room is formed by putting  LUNGE (charge) round O(ld).

7d  Make known girl’s put on a little weight (8 )
{ANNOUNCE} – a charade of ANN (girl) and OUNCE (one-sixteenth of a pound, little weight) produces a verb meaning proclaim or make known.

9d  Singer in musical, touring (4)
{ALTO} – a type of singer is hidden in musicAL TOuring.

15d   It can still be served on a round plate! (6,4)
{SQUARE MEAL} – cryptic definition of a satisfying amount of food.

16d  Little Arthur’s masterpiece? (4,2,3)
{WORK OF ART} – a diminutive (little) of Arthur is ART – so, in a cryptic way, what might one of his artistic creations be labelled?

17d  Boat user at sea, a wrecker (8 )
{SABOTEUR} – an anagram (at sea) of BOAT USER produces someone who deliberately destroys or damages something. The word is derived from the French sabot (clog) for people in the early twentieth century who put machinery out of action by kicking it.

18d  Female, one having to live in the home (8 )
{FIRESIDE} – string together F (female), I (one) and RESIDE (to live) to get a metaphor for the home.

20d  Animal in mountain pasture, a cat with no tail (6)
{ALPACA} – a domesticated animal, related to the llama, which is bred for its long silky wool, is formed from ALP (mountain pasture) and A CAt (with no tail indicating that the last letter is to be dropped).

22d  Acquire gold carriage (6)
{LANDAU} – to acquire is LAND (e.g. to land a role in a film) – add AU (chemical symbol for gold) and you get a horse-drawn carriage.

23d  Car from former company (4)
{MERC} – hidden inside (from) forMER Company is a make of car.

25d  Person in charge getting rid of one cook (4)
{CHEF} – person in charge is CHIEF (who was a leader in 2d) – remove the I (getting rid of one) to leave a cook.

My favourite clue today is 26a – what about you? Do leave us a comment, and don’t forget to set the number of stars for enjoyment below.


  1. Yoshik
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Thought that 3d was the best clue. Quite bracing!!
    In general a good clue although not happy with the abbreviation of Mercedes to “Merc”. In my view this is slang.

  2. bigboab
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I had to check to see if I had the DT, for a moment I thought it was the Beano. I copied this and the “toughie” out and gave them to my 12yrs old grandson to have a go, he finished this one in half an hour and is three quarters way through the toughie already. These are not what one expects from the DT!

    • gazza
      Posted July 28, 2009 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      He doesn’t want a job writing reviews does he? :D

  3. Vince
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    I have to agree that this was far too easy. It’s a pity we can’t have a consistent standard. Re Yoshik’s comment on “Merc”, I think, in speech, most people use this term, as a BMW is usually referred to as a “Beamer”.

    My favourite clues were 3d and 17a, although, to be pedantic, “soft-shoe” should be hyphenated.

  4. cuppat
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I’m relatively new to this criptic crossword lark and even I found it a bit easy. Still, a nice confidence booster near the start of the week.

  5. Kram
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Thought it was Saturday whilst I was completing this suitable for increasing sales prize crossword!.I am not suprised Bigboab compared it to the Beano, but can’t remember a cryptic crossword therein!.20a seems to be an badly worded clue.

    • Kram
      Posted July 28, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Oop’s 20a should read 20d

      • gazza
        Posted July 28, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        Why do you think that 20d is badly worded?

  6. Libellule
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Possibly because the clue refers to “Mountain Pasture” and not “Mountain”. i.e. the common usage of Alp is “Mountain”, but a check on Chambers shows the following definitions:
    Alp –
    a high mountain
    a mountain pasture

    • Kram
      Posted July 28, 2009 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for that Libellule, you are correct,but if the compiler had refered to ‘mountain’ rather than mountain pasture-alpine, I thought it would have read all the better.

  7. Will
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Liked 16d most

  8. newtocryptic
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    My sort of standard, perfect to do during lunch. I’m taking out a subsciption to the Beano tomorrow, it’s obviously my intellectual level and I’m a wee bit older than 12 !!

  9. mary
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Agree with Cuppat, my sort of standard!
    so nice after last weeks crosswords which I found difficult, to be able to do this weeks since Saturday quite easily, a few months ago when I hadn’t even started doing Telegraph crosswords i wouldn’t have been able to do todays, so well done setter for giving us beginners a chance!

    • nanaglugglug
      Posted July 28, 2009 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      Totally agree – just what I needed after a hard day at work! Thanks to the setter and liked 8 down

  10. Greenhorn
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    I got this all out and found it a confidence booster -us lesser mortals deserve a bit of glory once in a while.

    • Libellule
      Posted July 28, 2009 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Just because some people thought the crossword was “easy” does not detract from the fact that it was also “enjoyable”. Both the normal Cryptic and the Toughie in relative terms seemed easy to some of us today, but both crosswords were well crafted and good examples of what a cryptic crossword should be.
      This time – its my 2c.

  11. Little Dave
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Picked up my paper at 6.20PM in the urban jungle that is Stratford railway station, East London and had it done by 6.50PM. A doddle.