DT 26015

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26015

Hints and Tips by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Time for another battle with the Monday Maestro.  I have a feeling that those who find him to be extremely easy might have had a surprise today.  There were one or two clues that caused me to scratch the old noggin and raise a few sparks.  Overall quite a nice balance of clues, where some weeks we seem to have a preponderance of one type or another.

As usual, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts and welcome your contributions.  A couple of things to remember, first time posters take a little longer to appear purely as they are vetted just to make sure they are not spammers being a pain in the rectum.  There’s also a star rating facilitiy at the end of the blog and you can click on that to show your rating the puzzle.  It’s purely for fun.

Oh,  and for those who haven’t seen this in today’s papers!

Ashes Obit

1a         Mass of people moving about in the road in the morning (6)
{STREAM}  Quite a complicated one to start with today.  “Mass of people moving”  is the definition.  About = RE goes inside  “the road in the morning” which is ST AM.

4a         Can keep going (8)
{PRESERVE}    A double definition clue.  Can = Preserve as in tinned foods.  Preserve = Keep going as in “preserve a lead, etc”

9a         Suit the deed (6)
{ACTION}     Quite a popular word in Telegraph Crosswords.  Another double definition.  Suit, as in lawsuit, deed as in something done.

10a       Greek hero is sick, gripped by pains (8)
{ACHILLES}  Sick = ILL inside (indicated with “gripped by”) ACHES = pains.

12a       Unusual combination of destructive and constructive forces (4)
{RARE}  Thanks to Libellule and Gazza for rescuing me on this one.  Destructive forces = RA (Royal Artillery) and Constructive forces = RE  Royal Engineers.  A very clever clue.  Bravo!

13a       Tempting fruit (5)
{APPLE}   Cryptic definition for that which caused trouble for Adam and Eve.

14a       Awkward situation a golfer may get into (4)
{HOLE}  My first thought here was TRAP, but I soon changed my mind.  One of those double-definition-where-one-half-is-cryptic clues.

17a       Signs of relief that may extend over a large area (7,5)
{CONTOUR LINES}  Think maps here.  Relief maps in fact.  How do they indicate height?

20a       Pop star, for example, has authority (6-6)

{FATHER FIGURE}   Considering it’s the title of a reasonably famous pop song, this clue quite amused me.  Pop =  Father  Star, for example = Figure.  “Has Authority” is your definition.

Today’s Tune.  Not one of my favourites either musically or as a person, but hey-ho!

23a       Help’s about run dry (4)
{ARID}  Aid  =  Help  which surrounds R for run to give the definition “dry”.

24a       It’s silly but favoured before an Oriental (5)
{INANE}  “It’s silly” defines the answer,  IN = favoured and AN E = an Oriental

25a       Count and recount (4)
{TELL}  A clever double definition.  The definition of count refers to a bank employee’s action and to recount is to tell tales.

28a       Variable income restricts business that could make a profit (8)
{ECONOMIC}  An anagram of income around a short word for a business (CO).

29a       Not one on view (6)
{NOTION}  The answer is literally in front of you!  NOT + I + ON.

30a       Sought information why the whistle went too soon? (8)
{REFERRED}  I could put my referee’s assessor hat on and get all haughty about this clue, but I won’t.  My other hobby is to watch soccer referees and assess them for promotion.   Why did the whistle go too soon?  REF – ERRED!  I’m glad we had a question mark at the end of the clue because sometimes when a ref blows too soon, it isn’t always a mistake.

31a       Stays to give personal support (6)
{CORSET}  A cryptic definition for something made of whalebone stays…..

1d        Put on heavy music symbolic of Ireland (8)
{SHAMROCK}  The temptation is to go off thinking of harps, etc.  But here Put on = SHAM + ROCK = heavy music.  “Symbolic of Ireland” is the definition.

2d        Withdrawing, again losing interest (8)
{RETIRING}  Double definition, with a cryptic half.  To retire can be to withdraw, again losing interest =  RE-TIRING

3d        Unidentified girl accepts ring (4)
{ANON}  ANN =  girl with a O (ring) inside.  ANON on a poem or essay can mean unidentified.

5d        Clatter in car turns out hard to handle (12)

6d        Row of drunks? (4)
{SKID}  Chambers defined SKID ROW as being “a place where drunks, etc. live”.

7d        Sort of deodorant put on by women (4-2)
{ROLL-ON}  Mum deodorant is still going strong and is a roll-on type (with a ball at the end).  I am also told it is another name for some sort of panty-hose favoured by ladies.

8d        A tree’s transformed in March or April (6)
{EASTER}  An anagram (transformed) of A TREE’S gives the festival that occurs either in March or April.

11d       Even I, perhaps, could be afraid (12)
{APPREHENSIVE}  EVEN I PERHAPS is anagrammatised (indicated by “could be”) to form a word meaning nervous or afraid.

15d       To date redhead, get a couch first (2,3)
{SO FAR} “To date” is your definition.  SOFA = couch, followed by R for Redhead (see other blogs re use of this device).   Any redheads reading this blog are invited to confirm whether this strategy works for dating you!

16d       Officially allowed to escape (5)
{LEGIT}   I think this should have had a question mark after it, as LEG IT (meaning to escape) is slang..

18d       Guarantees certain bonds (8)
{SURETIES}  A word sum  SURE (certain) + TIES (bonds) =  A word for guarantees.

19d       We shall shortly join firm (4-4)
{WELL- KNIT}  WE’LL (We shall, shortly) + KNIT (join) =  a phrase meaning firm, set.

21d       Rush job? (6)
{CAREER}  Double definition.  To rush headling into something and a job for life.

22d       Quickly remove label showing exorbitant price (3,3)
{RIP OFF}  Double definition.  If you remove a label quickly and if you are confronted with a very high price, you may think it this.

26d       Rise with discomfort, say (4)
{SOAR}  Rise is the definition and a homophone of it means painful.

27d       But this game is not played by one alone (4)
{SOLO}  Solo whist is a game played by four people, where unlike bridge, you are playing for yourself and state your own contracts.

Thanks to the Monday Maestro and I’ll see you on Thursday.


  1. Lea
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I await with anticipation as I have all but two and my brain has gone dead on
    6d – Row of drunks (4) s-i-
    15d – To date redhead, get a couch first (2,3) -o -a-
    Can anyone help?

    • Posted August 24, 2009 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Will be along in a little while. Just finishing last few!

    • emandan
      Posted August 24, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      15d the answer means to date and it is a word for a couch followed by r for redhead
      that one i can do
      like you eagerly waiting for a hint for 6d

      • Lea
        Posted August 24, 2009 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        Soon as you gave that hint I got it – thanks. I see further down we have the answer to 6d and it’s a case of duh….. should have got it.

        Thanks everyone will rate it – some obscure ones today but got there with your help.

    • new2x
      Posted August 24, 2009 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      New to this but “so far “seems to fit in

    • ajp
      Posted August 24, 2009 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      So far (sofa r)

      • gazza
        Posted August 24, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        Hi ajp and welcome to the blog.

    • nanaglugglug
      Posted August 24, 2009 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Lea & emandan – think of the slippery slope to this place!

    • sheila
      Posted August 24, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      15 down is ‘so far’. I’m stuck on 6 down.

      • gazza
        Posted August 24, 2009 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        Hi sheila and welcome to the blog.

  2. Jezza
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    15d – (SO FA)R
    You’re doing better than me… A few tenuous ones today..

    • gazza
      Posted August 24, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jezza and welcome to the blog.

  3. blacksmith
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    15d sofa ( couch) with redhead(r)

  4. mary
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    have completed but like a few got stuck on 6d for a while and only completed by elimination, 17 a took me ages to get :) nice enjoyable one for me today

    • mary
      Posted August 24, 2009 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      but doesn’t 1a suggest that the s hould be the start of the word and the at the end..unless i’ve got it wrong??

      • mary
        Posted August 24, 2009 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        we actually have some sunshine today :)

        • mary
          Posted August 24, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

          sorry above should read s at start and t at end

          • gazza
            Posted August 24, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

            “about” comes between (in) the “road” and “in the morning”.

            • mary
              Posted August 24, 2009 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

              thanks gazza

  5. Libellule
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Wow, Tilsit hasn’t even posted the review and we have loads of comments already. Like others, I found this an enjoyable puzzle and spent more time working out 6d than I did the rest of it. 12a is a particularly well worked clue.

    • mary
      Posted August 24, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      must admit to not really understanding that answer Libellule… duh

      • Libellule
        Posted August 24, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        My keyboard is sealed.
        You will have to wait for the review :-)

        • mary
          Posted August 24, 2009 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

          i have the answer libellule….just don’t understand it lol :)

          • Libellule
            Posted August 24, 2009 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

            Mary, I know you have the answer, otherwise I would have given you a clue. What I meant was – I will let Tilsit explain it, once you have the explanation all should become clear :-)

            • mary
              Posted August 24, 2009 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

              thanks Libellule – is the sun shining in France today??? we will be in Brittany next week, in Callac, just hoping the weather there will be better than here :)

              • Libellule
                Posted August 24, 2009 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

                Today is a little overcast, but according to the meteo, the weather will improve for the rest of the week. As far as next week is concerned, well, I wouldn’t trust the meteo to forecast that accurately in advance.

      • CastorFool
        Posted August 24, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        RARE ~~~ made by
        destructive = Royal Artillery RA
        constructive = Royal engineers RE
        Both being forces, as in Army!

        Nice neat clue


        • mary
          Posted August 24, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

          cheers CastorFool :)

  6. Posted August 24, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    While I was on the phone to the Telegraph complaining that the puzzle that I did at 12.15 am was not this one, I moderated comments for amandan, new2x and blacksmith and would like to belatedly welcome them to the blog.

  7. Pixie
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I too am awaiting 6 down in eager anticipation.

    i’ve got s?i? but not 100% convinced about the ‘s’.

  8. Posted August 24, 2009 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    *************** All previous comments were posted before the review was published ***************

  9. Lizwhiz
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Did this quite quickly and did not really enjoy it ;( 6d was the only one to slow me down!

  10. Ali P
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    I got completely stuck on 4 across (and still dislike it as a synonym for “keep going”). But as soon as I saw the S then 6 down became blindingly obvious – must be a sad indicment of the company I keep!

    • Ali P
      Posted August 24, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Obviously I meant indicTment, no wonder I am so rubbish at crosswords :-)

  11. Barrie
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Some neat clues but overall mediocre

  12. Ranger
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed it today. 16d although I’m sure Tilsit has the intended answer, Demit (be allowed to resign from office) would also fit and not require the ?

  13. Little Dave
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Like this a lot – a few challenges but overall was okay with it. I particularly liked 30a which i thought was clever and is my “clue of the day”.

  14. bigboab
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Pretty standard Monday crossword, easy but enjoyable, liked 12a., loved 6d.

  15. andy
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    i looked at 6d for 20 mins and then questioned preserve..then got it

    • gazza
      Posted August 24, 2009 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      Hi andy and welcome to the blog.

  16. Jane
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Liked 12a – my favourite for today.

  17. old bill
    Posted August 25, 2009 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    12a was brilliant! But ‘r’ for redhead? Why?

    Also, there seems to be a few answers given away in the hints above, rather than just hidden in the brackets – is that intentional?

    Thanks for the tips all the same tho!

    • Rollo
      Posted August 25, 2009 at 9:00 am | Permalink


      I think you mean 15d.

      It is because R is the first letter (at the head of) Red(head).

    • Posted August 25, 2009 at 9:40 am | Permalink


      If you look at the hints given for the weekend puzzles you will see how difficult it is to provide a hint without stating the answer. The main reason for hiding the answers is so that if you look for one answer you don’t unavoidably see all the others.

      BTW – constructs like Redhead, Maidenhead and Birkenhead, along with heartbreak as an anagram of heart, are not favoured by all setters.

      • old bill
        Posted August 25, 2009 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        Oops – i meant 12a ‘rare’ for a good clue.

        But thanks for the redhead pointer. I see it now!

        Ta all.