DT 25995 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 25995

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25995

Hints and tips by Libellule

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

A tougher crossword I think today than we have had for a number of weeks. But still very enjoyable. I do however have a small whinge about the definition for 8 down and 11 across. The answers are as usual are hidden between the curly brackets, just highlight the blank space. Comments as always appreciated.

Across Clues

1. Old Bob drinks a lot, Marie too (6)
{STOPES} – An old Bob is a S(hilling), add this to drink a lot, TOPES, and you have a Marie that was a Scottish author, palaeobotanist, campaigner for women’s rights and a pioneer in the field of family planning.

5. A grim son, weird life form! (8)
{ORGANISM} – An anagram (weird) of A GRIM SON is an individual life form.

9. Calm water can make philosopher think without hesitation (8 )
{MILLPOND} – Take the name of a philosopher (John Stuart) MILL and then add PONDER, before removing ER (without hesitation) for a body of water used to help drive a mill wheel, and also used in a saying to describe something that is completely still.

10. Technical expert with black box heading off (6)
{BOFFIN} – The definition in this clue is a technical expert, take a box – COFFIN, remove the C (heading off) and add B(lack).

11. Appear ‘lacking’, as one might say, without a stitch on (8 )
{SEAMLESS} – Sounds like SEEM LESS, lacking as one might say, for another word that could mean without having any seams (no stitches). Hmmm, not sure if this works….

12. What evensong may be in church — ‘said’ (6)
{CHORAL} – A psalm or hymn tune is for example what evensong (an evening church service) may be, and is also CH (church) and ORAL (said).

13. Line of verse is more banal, this writer admitted (8 )
{TRIMETER} – A line of verse consisting of three measures (feet) is made up from TRITER (more banal) with ME (this writer, the setter) inside (admitted).

15. Endless trouble with husband resulting from engagement (4)
{MESH} – MESS (trouble) with S removed (endless) and H(usband) added is a word used to describe what happens when gears engage.

17. Knowing only half the records (4)
{ARCH} – A word that can mean cunning or sly, is made up of half of ARCH IVES (the records).

19. A new job daughter secured (8 )
{ANCHORED} – A N(ew) CHORE (job) D(aughter) is held fast.

20. Pink car being abandoned in the country (6)
{NATION} – My favourite clue of the day, although I worked out what the answer was quickly it took a little more time to get the word play, and once you have the word play, you then have to admire the surface reading. Another word for pink is CARNATION, now drop CAR (abandon) and you have another word for a country.

21. Indicate what executive must do before letters can go out? (8 )
{SIGNPOST} – A cryptic definition, that states what a manager (for example) would do to all the letters written in his or her name, before he or she is puts them in the post is also an indicator that displays information.

22. King giving gong to little man (6)
{OBERON} – Gong in this case is OBE (Order of the British Empire) and the little man is a diminutive version of RONALD. This gives us the name of the “King of Shadows and Fairies” from Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

23. Honours bestowed with unseemly oiliness (8 )
{LIONISES} –An anagram (unseemly) of OILINESS, for another word sometimes used to describe being treated as a hero or celebrity.

24. Conceited-looking fellow embraced by good-looking girl (8 )
{DANDYISH} – Take ANDY (fellow) and place him inside (embraced) DISH (good looking girl) for an adjective used to describe a fop.

25. In Oz, an extra source of heat — what it will do! (6)
{SUNDRY} – A cricket clue, and suitably topical. In Australia (Oz), another word for an extra in cricket is defined as SUN (a source of heat) and DRY (what the sun does).


2. Work with female ending, early morning act (8 )
{TOILETTE} – TOIL (work) and ETTE (female suffix) is another word used to describe the act of washing and dressing oneself.

3. Learned person in old college taking single subject (American) (8 )
{POLYMATH} – You need the abbreviated form of an old place of higher education, before they all became universities, and then onto that add the American informal name for mathematics (no meter problem here!). You should now have a word that describes a person of great or varied learning. (Gazza used this word to describe Toughie 189).

4. European scruff, a man from Scotland? (9)
{SLOVENIAN} – SLOVEN (someone who is scruffily dressed) and IAN, a word commonly used in crosswords to describe a Scotsman, gives us another European.

5. Crazy characters in the madhouses, all very ancient (3,2,10)
{OLD AS METHUSELAH} – An anagram (crazy characters) of THE MADHOUSES ALL gives a phrase used to describe something or someone which might have been around for at least 969 years.

6. Veronica not here? Look for someone else (7)
{ANOTHER} – Hidden in the clue is another word for someone different.

7. Menial? Come to the conclusion one will want gold (8 )
{INFERIOR} – INFER (to arrive at a logical conclusion), I (one) and OR (gold) for a person who might be lower in rank or station.

8. Tall building I look to go up in August? (8 )
{MONOLITH} – Take MONTH and place I LO (look) reversed (go up) inside and you have another word for a large block of stone. How you can equate a large block of stone with a “tall building” is I think pushing it a bit.

14. Monstrous guise ogre conjured up (9)
{EGREGIOUS} – An anagram of GUISE OGRE (conjured up) for a word used to describe something that is conspicuously bad or offensive.

15. Highway east from Manchester City’s old ground (4,4)
{MAIN ROAD} – This raised a small smile. MAINE ROAD, was Manchester City’s old football ground until they moved in 2003. Now remove the E(ast) from the name, and you should have another term for a major route or highway.

16. Ten hours, roughly, coming from (say) Hampshire (8 )
{SOUTHERN} – An anagram (roughly) of TEN HOURS could describe the location of the county of Hampshire in England.

17. Choosing commercial alternative (8 )
{ADOPTION} – AD (commercial) OPTION (alternative) is word that can mean to formally choose.

18. Attendant sure to run around after Charles (8 )
{CHASSEUR} – Interesting, I was sure I knew the meanings of this word, a huntsman, or a light cavalryman for example, but attendant? Well yes, it can also mean a “liveried attendant, especially in hotels” according to Chambers. Take CHAS (a nickname for Charles) and then an anagram (run around) of SURE placed after, to give you that “liveried attendant”.

19. Defence in a game good, leading to victory finally (7)
{APOLOGY} – A written defence or vindication comes from A POLO (game), G(ood) and Y, the final letter of victory.

14 comments on “DT 25995

  1. My brain is on a different wavelength to this setter! Even with the answers I couldn’t have worked out the logic if it wasn’t for this site!

    1. Liz

      Giovanni is one of the best known setters, but he has been setting more difficult puzzles recently (see Toughie 182). You did get easy ones earlier in the week!

  2. Thank you Chambers, some lovely clues that tested the old grey cells, favourite by a whisker 21a.

  3. I think 11a is OK. If you “stitch on” a piece of cloth to another you form a seam. A piece of cloth with no seams has no “stitch on”.

    I didn’t like 23a. The use of “bestowed” means that “honours” is a plural noun, but the answer is a verb. It works if “bestowed” is removed.

  4. The lunchtime team managed 5a 9a 10a (but couldn’t see why) 22a &23a, 5d, 8d (couldn’t see why at the time and still don’t understood how ” I lo”=”I look”, 14d,15d,16d and that was it. Should have got the hidden word at 6d but it was mainly anagrams only. Hopefully those that found the ones earlier in the week trivial will have had more of a run out.

    1. Greenhorn

      If you are trying to solve Telegraph crosswords without a copy of Chambers close by, then you are doing so at a great handicap!

      * look
      * behold

      1. Greenhorn,
        The Friday crossword by Giovanni, is “traditionally” the most difficult of the week. This week, there have been some comparitively easy crosswords. Secondly, over the last few weeks, the Friday crossword has been easier than I would have thought normal (to a point a couple of times when I wondered if the crosswords were by Giovanni himself, although the style tends to give him away). Lets just say Giovanni returned with a vengeance today, and woke all of us up :-)

        1. He certainly woke me up today- my still throbbing head bears witness to that! Not having the benefit of Chambers, and still uneasily completing ‘chasseur’, I was pleased to verify it through this site. The great clues in this are too numerous to mention.

          1. pianydd,
            I stand by my comment on the Toughie, two excellent crosswords today. I posted my reviiew for this an hour later than normal today – I leave you all to work out why :-)

  5. After an hour have only answered a dozen, far too hard for this bear with little brain. If this is **** difficult I hate to think what five stars would be like! Have you ever rated anything with five?

  6. Having admitted defeat and looked up three of the cornerstone hints from above I finally finished but that was only possible because it’s Saturday morning and I had a bit more time. I must admit that I still find one or two of the clues a bit obscure for my taste (Chasseur – attendant?)

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