DT Cryptic No 25858 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT Cryptic No 25858 – Review

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25858 – Review

A full analysis by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

As many of you are aware, this crossword was accidentally released on the CluedUp website last Friday.  Although it was subsequently replaced by the correct Friday puzzle, this was not before Libellule had reviewed it for us.  Here is that review, revised to give all of the answers.  BD


1.  Ill-disposed collie had some ringed spots of colour (6)
OCELLI – an anagram of COLLIE to give a word that describes a marking that resembles an eye, as can be found on the wings of some butterflies, or the tail feathers of a male peacock

9.  Fool to start digging beneath cape. (10)
DUNDERHEAD (fool) – start D(igging) UNDER (beneath) HEAD (cape)

10.  Linking track being relaid (10)
BRACKETING (linking) – another anagram of TRACK and BEING (relaid) to give a word that means placing within a pair of parentheses

11.  Young toad initially found in pond! (4)
NEWT (found in pond) – NEW (young) T(oad) initially, to give the name of a small amphibious creature that you might find in your garden pond

12.  Brown eggs included by lout (4)
BOOR (lout) – BR(own) with OO (eggs)  included, to describe a person who is ill mannered and insensitive

14.  Drier that makes things disappear? (10)
EVAPORATOR (double definition) – a machine that draws moisture from something; a person or object who makes things vanish

17.  Rare Steak? (3,4)
RED MEAT – RED (rare, uncooked ) MEAT (steak)

18.  Allowed to return during visit at this home (7)
STATELY (this home) – LET (allowed), reversed inside STAY (visit) to describe a type of big house

20.  A beef drink prepared and used in the kitchen (5-5)
BREAD KNIFE (used in the kitchen) – another anagram, this time of A BEEF DRINK to describe a utensil used to slice your loaf

21.  Lady saw rugby before Thursday (4)
RUTH (lady) – RU(Rugby Union) and TH(ursday) to give a female name

22.  Hurried back with Dutch ointment (4)
NARD (an old aromatic ointment) – RAN (hurried)  reversed (back) with D(utch)

23.  Undersized harbour in Cambridgeshire (10)
LITTLEPORT (in Cambridgeshire) – LITTLE (undersized) PORT (harbour) to give the name of a town in Cambridgeshire, that was the scene of several riots in 1816

25.  Finished also below in rugby (2-3-5)
UP-AND-UNDER (in rugby) – UP (finished) AND (also) UNDER (below):
a high kick used in rugby also called a garryowen [as immortalised by the commentary of the late Eddie Waring BD]

26.  Moderate bad mood (6)
TEMPER (double definition) – moderate; bad mood


2.  Old carriage driver, teacher travelling round South American city (10)
CHARIOTEER(old carriage driver) – an anagram (travelling) of  TEACHER around RIO (South American city) to remind us of a famous race from the film Ben Hur

3.  The french female in command is secular (4)
LAIC (secular) – LA (the feminine form of the in French)  I(n) C(ommand) to give a characteristic of those who are not members of the clergy

4.  Futile comment about unemployment? (4-6)
IDLE-REMARK – a pun on comment, REMARK, and unemployment, IDLE

5.  Conflicting with conflict (7)
ANTIWAR – ANTI (conflicting with / against) WAR (conflict)

6.  Composer mainly hidden (4)
BERG (a composer) – short for iceBERG, where the main part is mainly underwater and therefore hidden [and main is another word for sea making it quite a clever construct for such a short clue  BD]

7.  Porcelain flower (5,5)
CHINA ASTER (A genus of flowering plants) – the first word is a synonym for porcelain

8.  One who revises stories removing first and last bits democratically initially within (6)
EDITOR (one who revises) – a somewhat tortuous clue where you take an anagram (revises) of sTORIEs, and remove the s’s at the beginning and the end (removing first and last bits), then add the first letter of D(emocratically) (initially), to create a word for someone who revises books, papers etc.

13.  Criminal action, sheep rustling (3-7)
RAM RAIDING (criminal action) – a pun on sheep rustling to describe a variation on burglary where a vehicle is driven through the windows or doors of a closed shop

15.  He learnt to become vigilant (2,3,5)
ON THE ALERT (vigilant) – an anagram (become) of HE LEARNT TO, to mean vigilant, or to keep a look out

16.  Blot out well read former pupil taking the lead (10)
OBLITERATE (blot out) – OB (Old Boy / former pupil) before (taking the lead) LITERATE (well read) giving a word that means to remove completely

19.  Right to be leaving unfortunate dire trip in turbulent water (7)
RIPTIDE (turbulent wate) – remove R(ight) from DIrETRIP, to give an anagram(unfortunate) that describes a stretch of  water where one current is flowing into or across another current

20.  Claptrap from Greek character getting up from bed on board first (6)
BUNKUM (claptrap) – the 12th letter of the Greek alphabet, MU reversed (getting up), with a BUNK (bed on board a ship) first

23.  This speaker is strongly audible (4)
LOUD (strongly audible) – a pun on LOUDspeaker

24.  Prudish priest reaching edge (4)
PRIM (prudish) – P(riest) and a RIM(edge)

This is a revision of Libellule’s original post, so you can blame me for any typos (that’s a euphemism for mistakes). I have left the original comments as they make interesting reading.  BD

As ever, please leave a comment to let us know what you think.

17 comments on “DT Cryptic No 25858 – Review

  1. I thought it was entertaining, in spite of having two words I’d never heard of. I was totally fooled by the setter’s double bluff at 7d and immediately wrote in “china river”, only to have to amend it when the across answers didn’t fit!

  2. Did you do this online, because it’s not what’s in my paper ! The number’s the same.

    (not for publication if I’m doing something really dumb)

  3. Yes, this was done online. I live in France, so access to the printed version is somewhat difficult. Don’t tell me that ScrewedUp have a different version of 25,857 online than the version that appears in the printed paper.

  4. Sorry if I sounded cross, I just thought I might have gone mad.
    Rest assured you chaps would be my heroes if I didn’t hate you for being so smart.

  5. Once again I agree with CJ – no criticism intended – just an observation. Thanks for any and all help.

  6. Did the online version and quite liked it – done in slightly less than an average Times time. A few picky points: In 21A, RU = Rugby comes from “Rugby Union”, rather than the first two letters of rugby. In 6D, I think the composer is Alban BERG, one of Schoenberg’s buddies in the New Vienna school.

  7. I see they have now changed the puzzle on the “Cluedup” site to the one printed in the paper.

  8. Rollo, so they have. Its as if the crossword that appeared this morning, that got written up above, has just disappeared. I can now do 25,857 all over again.

  9. It currently say just 7 people have submitted it.

    So we get two cryptic puzzles for our money today.

    What a bargain!

  10. What’s the betting that the one we’ve done will be tomorrow’s cryptic, so we’ll have none to do tomorrow?

  11. I’ve spent 4 hours doing Toughie No 99 only to find when I enter it online its actually Cryptic 25857!! I really do need a drink now!!
    PS Couildn’t have done it at all without your hints!!

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