DT 25994

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25994

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

There are a couple of strange anagram indicators in this puzzle. What’s your view on anagram indicators – do you think that virtually anything is acceptable, or should the indicator be a clear instruction to rearrange the letters of the adjacent word(s)? Let’s have a mass debate as Mrs Merton so graphically put it!
Please take the time to grade the enjoyment factor of the puzzle by selecting and clicking on one of the stars at the bottom of the review. As always your comments are most welcome.

Across Clues

1a  Fruit pulp oddly eaten by primates (6)
{APPLES} – fruit is produced by putting the odd letters (oddly) of PuLp inside (eaten by) APES (primates).

4a  A supporter vies for control – that’s harsh (8 )
{ABRASIVE} – start with A BRA (a supporter) and add an anagram (for control) of VIES to get an adjective meaning rough or harsh. ”For control” seems to be a pretty odd anagram indicator.

9a  Score century finally, after time passed (6)
{TWENTY} – a word meaning a score is produced from the last letter (finally) of centurY after T(ime) and WENT (passed).

10a  Passing out, reportedly, is deceptively moving (8 )
{FEINTING} – a homophone or sound-alike (reportedly) of FAINTING (passing out) means making a movement designed to deceive.

11a  Fell apart when pass ran out (9)
{COLLAPSED} – a charade of COL (mountain pass) and LAPSED (ran out) means fell apart.

13a  Show indifference to quiet carpeting (5)
{SHRUG} – a charade of SH (injunction to keep quiet) and RUG (carpeting) produces a verb meaning make a gesture of indifference.

14a  Put off by people on motorway showing single-mindedness (13)
{DETERMINATION} – a synonym for single-mindedness is produced by putting together DETER (put off) and NATION (people) around MI (M1, motorway).

17a  Lower social status generates sympathy (13)
{UNDERSTANDING} – a charade of UNDER (lower) and STANDING (social status) generates a synonym for sympathy.

21a  Symbol of bear market beginning (5)
{TOTEM} – string together TOTE (bear or carry) and the first letter (beginning) of Market to get a symbol or emblem.

23a  Material obtained by fuzz chasing heroin (9)
{HORSEHAIR} – the sort of material that is used for padding is obtained by putting HAIR (fuzz) after HORSE (a slang term for heroin).

24a  Pollution caused by cats and dogs? (4,4)
{ACID RAIN} – a weak cryptic description of the precipitation made so acidic, mainly by the industrial burning of fossil fuels, that it causes environmental harm to forests and lakes. The animal reference relates to the phrase “it’s raining cats and dogs”. I looked, in vain, for something more in this clue – is there something that I’ve missed?

25a  Intuitive feeling about a rear section (6)
{HAUNCH} – put HUNCH (intuitive feeling) around A to get the rear section of a human or animal.

26a  Key frame? (8 )
{SKELETON} – double definition – a key that can supposedly open any lock, and a body (frame) stripped to its bare bones. The surface reading makes you think of a snooker match.

27a  Provided care but closed on time (6)
{TENDED} – put ENDED (closed) after T(ime) to get a verb meaning provided care.

Down Clues

1d  Assault course at sea supporting returning volunteers (6)
{ATTACK} – a boat’s course relative to the direction of the wind is TACK – precede this (supporting, in a down clue) with TA (Territorial Army, volunteers) which needs to be reversed (returning), to get a synonym for assault.

2d  Ruled out note in introduction to Debussy’s first (9)
{PRECLUDED} – a synonym for ruled out is produced by putting C (musical note) inside PRELUDE (introduction) and adding D (first letter of Debussy).

3d  Run over court case and concentrate (7)
{EXTRACT} – a run, in cricket, can be an EXTRA – add the outer letters (case) of CourT to get a noun meaning the concentrated form of a substance.

5d  Newly banned writer has no time to be a wage slave (11)
{BREADWINNER} – an anagram (newly) of BANNED WRItER (without the T, has no time) produces a term for someone who has to work to support his/her family.

6d  Continent welcoming men sick with such a condition (7)
{AMNESIA} – put an anagram (sick) of MEN inside ASIA (continent) to get this medical condition.

7d  Colder and riskier, apart from the start (5)
{ICIER} – remove the first letter (apart from the start) of dICIER (riskier) to leave a comparative meaning colder.

8d  Fighting and winning (8 )
{ENGAGING} – double definition – entering into combat with the enemy (fighting), and charming and attractive (winning).

12d  Transport for mad oilman without a name after prison sentence (7,4)
{STRETCH LIMO} – the sort of transport used by Hollywood stars when they attend film premieres is constructed from an anagram (mad) of OILMan (without A and N(ame)) after a colloquial term for a prison sentence.

15d  Popular reading material is built in (9)
{INGRAINED} – start with IN (popular) and add an anagram (material) of READING to get a word meaning deeply embedded (built in).

16d  Ceremony for being up in last match (8 )
{NUPTIALS} – a posh term for a wedding ceremony is produced by an anagram (match) of UP IN LAST. I’ve tried to justify the use of “match” as an anagram indicator in previous reviews and been taken to task for it in comments, so this time I’ll leave it up to you – how would you explain it?

18d  Refuse to be disheartened by inspector’s sorrow (7)
{REMORSE} – start with the outside letters (disheartened) of RefusE and add the name of the fictional Detective Chief Inspector from Oxford to get a feeling of regret and guilt (sorrow).

19d  Restate single charge applied to those outside (7)
{ITERATE} – a single charge is I RATE (one rate) – insert (applied) the outside letters of ThosE to get a verb meaning say again (restate).

20d  Attractive growth offered by gold coins initially concealed (6)
{ORCHID} – concealed normally makes you look for a hidden word but this time is different – put together OR (the tincture gold or yellow), C (initial letter of Coins) and HID (concealed) to get a showy flower (attractive growth).

22d  String trio start on Rioja, for example (5)
{TWINE} – a synonym for string is produced from T (first letter of Trio) and WINE (Rioja, for example).

My favourite clue today is 18d. What about you? – leave us a comment! And don’t forget to tell us how much you enjoyed this puzzle by clicking on one of the stars below.



  1. Lizwhiz
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Far too easy today. I agree with you in terms of the anagram indicators… missed ‘control’ and ‘match’ but somehow got the answer anyway! Leaves me plenty of time today to do the gardening and sit in the sun :)

    • Posted July 30, 2009 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      As well as the two already mentioned, I wasn’t too keen on “material” in 15 down.

      • gazza
        Posted July 30, 2009 at 11:37 am | Permalink

        Yes – I meant to highlight that one as well, but forgot.

        • old bill
          Posted July 31, 2009 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

          I didn’t mind ‘material’ – that makes sense as an indicator to me. Or ‘control’ – read as *for* control, as in for manipulation. But ‘match’ would be better as ‘rematch’ perhaps…?

          OR and COL beat me.

          Incidentally, to those in the TV game ‘key frame’ is not just in a snooker match:


  2. Vince
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Gazza, I don’t think you’ve missed anything in 24a. I also found this clue frustrating.

    I agree that anagran indicators are often vague. In both 4a and 16d, I realised that anagrams were required only after I’d arrived at the answers. Perhaps in 16d, the setter was trying to be too clever in making the indicator a further clue to the answer: nuptials resulting in a match?

    My favourite was 12d, because it made me smile when the penny dropped.

    • gazza
      Posted July 30, 2009 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      In 16d I suspect that it’s the other way round – the setter wanted to use “match” because it enhanced the surface reading (marginally) at the expense of a good anagram indicator.

      • Vince
        Posted July 30, 2009 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        I think that’s what I was trying to say, but you put it so much better.

  3. bigboab
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I quite enjoyed this one despite the anagram indicators, easy but fun. 12d was quite good.

  4. mary
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    As far as anagrams go I love them, but do not always recognise the more difficult indicators, for myself I would like anagram indicators to be clear & precise but for all you experts out there I realise the more difficult the better??

    • Libellule
      Posted July 30, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Mary, I actually prefer an anagram indicator to be an anagram indicator, i.e. a word that shows you need to mess the letters around, no matter how tenuous. However I do draw the line at words that seem to be put in for surface reading, and have no “anagram indication” factor whatsover :-) So my vote (for what its worh) is with Gazza and Big Dave on this one.

  5. mary
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    The only connection I can see for ‘cats & dogs’ and acid and rain is a very loose one, where acid can mean ‘catty’ and you can get a ‘water’ dog very obscure I know but maybe the setter can enlighten us? :)

  6. mary
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    or maybe acid has something to do with LSD and the music scene back in the 60’s & 70’s when cool ‘cats’ attended music festivals but don’t know where the dogs come in????? anyone????

    • gazza
      Posted July 30, 2009 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Full marks for lateral thinking, but I suspect that both those ideas are a bit too obscure for the daily cryptic puzzle.

      • Libellule
        Posted July 30, 2009 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Gazza, I think you are right – this is just a very weak attempt at a cryptic clue.

        • old bill
          Posted July 31, 2009 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

          I think it just means ‘pollution’ from ‘rain’…

  7. Lysander
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Agree about the anagram indicators.
    Also have no idea where the “acid “comes from.
    Apart from those quibbles I managed to finish without looking at my many reference books [except for 26a] which was obvious after a great deal of thought

  8. Greenhorn
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Failed on 16d -thought it might be some weird Church ceremony ending in mass . Otherwise the team found it a stiff challenge “Far too easy” -err not .

  9. Jay
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    The setter writes:
    Regarding the anagram discussion, it is always a challenge to indicate an anagram without actually appearing to do so! Some attempts don’t quite achieve the intended result… Thanks for your comments which, as always, I shall bear in mind for future efforts

    • gazza
      Posted July 30, 2009 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jay
      Thanks for dropping in – it’s appreciated. I don’t suppose you could let us know whether there’s some subtlety in 24a that we’ve missed?

      • Libellule
        Posted July 30, 2009 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        Normally I think you would be forgiven, but three in the same crossword, well – thats just asking for trouble :-)

  10. tilsit
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    An anagram indicator has to demonstrate some kind of motion. “Control” and “match” just don’t hit the mark. There could be an argument for “controlled”, suggesting switching on a control, but it is terribly terribly weak.

    I can’t think of any way that “match” could be justified. The Acid Rain clue is a poor cryptic definition too. I wasn’t much keen on the “ingrained” clue using in as part of the definition in the way it did.

  11. Jay
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    No subtelty to 24a – I’d already used things like “A damaging fall”, and it did cause our editor some doubt. Control I think is possibly justifiable as in steer. The more I think about match, the less I like it myself!

    • Kram
      Posted July 30, 2009 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      I can’t see any problem with 24a Jay, maybe ‘brought down by’ instead of ’caused by’ might have caused less of a furore, still it is an up to date type of clue!

  12. Little Dave
    Posted July 31, 2009 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Found this easy but I must confess I jointly did it with another solver as we sheltered from the rain at the test match!

  13. Partviking
    Posted July 31, 2009 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Thank’s so much for the website which Juliet and I have just found, a ray of light for those who often struggle and rarely finish the D.T. Cryptic (except Sat which always appears easier).
    Favourite clue of all time “Two girls, one on each knee” ……..I won’t offend you by putting the answer.!

    • Posted July 31, 2009 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog.

      I won’t offend you by telling you the answer!

      Glad you like the style of the blog – we just felt that the typical Telegraph solver would prefer this approach and we seem to have got it right. Call it serendipity!

  14. Andy
    Posted August 6, 2009 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Do you think it might perhaps be more base? Do cats and dogs have acidic urine?

    23a amused me most. Brought back memories of Len Deighton.


    • gazza
      Posted August 6, 2009 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      An interesting idea (and my lawn bears witness to the fact that they do), but I don’t think it’s what the setter intended – you can see comments from him (Jay) above.

    • Posted August 6, 2009 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Andy

      Your IP address indicates that you are in NSW – are you doing a syndicated copy of this puzzle or is this from the Weekly Telegraph?

      • Andy
        Posted August 7, 2009 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the welcome Big Dave. I am in NSW. I do the puzzles from the Weekly Telegraph. By the way thanks for this blog. I like the idea of the favourite clue-my wife thinks I need another hobby!

        • Posted August 7, 2009 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

          This is probably you!

          Taken from SiteMeter, which you can select from the sidebar:

  15. Posted August 6, 2009 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    I prefer my anagram indicators not to be so obtuse and hate clues so convoluted that you only get several individual letters to make up the answer. That’s why R-E Morse and SKELETON were better.