Daily Telegraph Christmas Day Cryptic No 100013
A full review by Tilsit
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Merry Christmas to everyone!
We have a special puzzle for today and it’s a nice straightforward one from our Editor himself. It’s available online only for Telegraph subscribers, as is the annual Christmas Double Toughie by Elgar. The lovely Crypticsue will be along with the blog for that one, once you have had a little time to wrestle with the challenge.
Today’s cryptic is not a prize puzzle, so you have a full blog. Prize puzzles are back tomorrow and next Saturday, we’ll return to normal.
1 Crossing river, crash merits my angry greeting (5,9)
MERRY CHRISTMAS A seasonal greeting is revealed from an anagram (angry) of CRASH, MERITS MY containing (crossing) R for river.
9 Engineers with demand for salvage (7)
RECLAIM The standard abbreviation for the (Royal) Engineers from the army and something meaning demand.
10 Piece of music for beginner? (7)
PRELUDE A cryptic definition for a piece of music that starts a larger piece.
11 Demand work for the audience (4)
NEED Something meaning demand sounds like a word meaning to work (bread, etc).
12 Branch getting nothing for a carriage (10)
DEPORTMENT Take a ten-letter word meaning a branch of a company or a type of store and swap the A for an O to give you the answer.
14 Adult upset squire (6)
RISQUE An anagram (upset) of SQUIRE gives something meaning for adults only.
15 Government initially trusted soldiers (8)
REGIMENT You need a word for a type of government and add the first letter (initially) of TRUSTED to give you a name for a large group of soldiers.
17 Retsina I served up is most watery (8)
RAINIEST An anagram (served up) of RETSINA plus I gives you a very wet word.
18 Newspaper with name for rabble (6)
RAGTAG The name for a low-market newspaper, plus something meaning name gives you a word for a group of assorted people.
21 Dazed from jab, perhaps body needs day for rest, ultimately (5-5)
PUNCH-DRUNK A clue that appears almost topical, however here the jab is something associated with sport. A word for what a jab is in sport, plus a word meaning body wither you replace the last letter of REST with the abbreviation for day.
22 Determination that might make roads safer? (4)
GRIT Two definitions, one meaning determination, and this word can also be something you use to make a road safer in the winter.
24 They attack Republican helpers (7)
RAIDERS Take an abbreviation for Republicans and something that is a word for some helpers.
25 Transport a posh prisoner arrested by that man (7)
HAULAGE A word for a type of (road) transport is revealed by taking A plus an abbreviation meaning posh that was popularised but not invented by Nancy Mitford; add to this a word for a prisoner and wrap it around a male pronoun. For more info on the posh abbreviation, try this:
26 Those in charge at Waterloo, etc? (14)
STATIONMASTERS Forget battles, if you know what I do for a living, you’ll know I speak to these people almost every day at Waterloo, Clapham Junction and at the marvellously named Bat and Ball Station in Sevenoaks. So, you are looking for a cryptic definition for people who run these places.
1 Craftsman, perhaps one employed by Silas? (7)
MARINER A cryptic definition, someone who looks after a type of craft, is revealed by taking the abbreviation for one in Roman numerals, and putting it inside a fictional person named Silas, created by George Eliot.
2 Boffin‘s rum — escort necks it (twice) (6,9)
ROCKET SCIENTIST A slang term for a boffin is an anagram (rum) of ESCORT, NECKS and two IT’s
3 Some time with unknown listener (4)
YEAR Take one of the two letters often used to represent unknown quantities (that are next to each other in the alphabet) and add a word for a listener.
4 Check basket (6)
HAMPER A word that can mean to check or restrain, and a type of basket often used at this time of year.
5 The setter’s right and wrong (8)
IMPROPER A way of describing how a setter would describe themselves as doing something appropriately when put together into one word means the opposite.
6 Dramatic recital that nearly goes badly (10)
THEATRICAL An anagram (goes badly) of RECITAL and THA (that, nearly i.e., incomplete) gives an adjective meaning dramatic.
7 Bandits here menaced amateurs playing (9,6)
AMUSEMENT ARCADE A place where you will find bandits associated with gaming is an anagram of MENACED AMATEURS.
8 Go away and triumph over Italian (4,2)
BEAT IT An expression to ask someone to scarper is a word meaning triumph and a short abbreviation for Italian.
13 Penalty kick — accepting one’s hard on team (10)
PUNISHMENT A type of kick used in rugby and American football has inside it one’s in abbreviation form, and a word for a (male) team.
16 Dave’s press officer screens something hot and steamy (8)
ESPRESSO One of two hidden answers today (the other will be here soon). Hidden inside ‘DAVE’S PRESS OFFICER’ is a type of hot drink.
17 Rugby forward is comic character (6)
RUPERT The abbreviation for one of the two types of rugby and a word meaning forward is the name of a fictional creation from 1920 invented by Mary Tourtel and subsequently by Alfred Bestall and others. I used to find the creation dull as ditch water, but an aunt bought me the annual each year and the only thing I’d do with it was the magic painting pictures where you took a brush and water and painted it over the page to reveal coloured pictures.
19 Unhappy guests — about 50 without bottle (7)
GUTLESS An anagram (unhappy) of GUESTS going around the roman numeral for 50 gives toy a word meaning cowardly or without pluck.
20 Some began The Mikado song (6)
ANTHEM As promised, the second hidden answer. Hidden in ‘BEGAN THE MIKADO’ is a word for a ceremonial song.
23 Swear copper’s unscrupulous in the end (4)
CUSS The abbreviation for copper’s, plus the last letter of UNSCRUPULOUS, gives a word meaning to swear.
All in all, a fairly straightforward puzzle with only the clue at 21a that held me up briefly. Do have a go at the Elgar Double Toughie if you can, it’s not all that beastly today. Let us know your thoughts.
There is a quick puzzle today and your seasonal pun is SAN + TACK + LAWS = SANTA CLAUS.
Some music and this is one of my favourites, just wallow in this lovely version of an old favourite. I’ll see you next year or next Saturday, whichever comes first.