DT Cryptic No 25865 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT Cryptic No 25865

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25865

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

A nice easy, straightforward puzzle for a Monday morning.  This one should tax you a lot less than the Chancellor does!!  Just highlight the space between the curly brackets to reveal the answer.


1a Double gin sent back to the bar (11)
{COUNTERPART}  – TRAP (gin) reversed (sent back) after COUNTER (bar) giving a word meaning a duplicate (double)

9a Motivation to share drink (9)
{RATIONALE} – RATION (share) ALE (drink) giving an underlying principle (motivation)

10a Rep may get an order (5)
{AGENT} – a not very original anagram (order) of GET AN to give a rep(resentative)

11a Jack training for the fifteen? That’s sudden! (6)
{ABRUPT) – AB (Able Seaman / sailor / jack) RU (Rugby Union team of 15) PT (Physical Training) giving a synonym for sudden

12a His second mate gets him into trouble (8)
{BIGAMIST} – a cryptic definition of a man who marries a second wife (mate)

13a Ladies’ champion in quest for a mate (6)
{KNIGHT} – double definition – one in shining armour; the other on the chess board

15a I’d filmed transferred footballers in the centre of the pitch (8)
{MIDFIELD} – a nice anagram (transferred) of I’D FILMED giving an area of the football pitch

18a Blow whistle for a breathing space (8)
{WINDPIPE} – WIND (blow) PIPE (whistle)

19a Examined in depth a cause of complaint (1-5)
{X-RAYED} – a cryptic definition of an action often carried out in a hospital prior to any treatment

21a Precise remedy (8)
{SPECIFIC} – double definition – definite (precise); an old-fashioned word for a medicine for a particular disease or part of the body

23a Trim the latest odds, being uncertain (6)
{SPIFFY} – SP (Starting Price / latest odds) IFFY (uncertain) giving a rather colloquial word for being trim

26a Took a ride round the Wild West show (5)
{RODEO} – a rather obvious RODE (took a ride) O (round) giving a Wild West show

27a Music said to get in the dough (9)
{PASTORALE} – ORAL (said) inside PASTE (dough) giving a piece of music

28a Absolutely no disposition to suffer at all (4,7)
{FLAT REFUSAL} – a very clever anagram (disposition) of SUFFER AT ALL for a clue with a distinct &lit flavour


1d It may have a standing charge for motorists (3,4)
{CAR PARK) – how considerate to provide such an easy cryptic definition to get this corner started

2d Boat without bow, say? (5)
{UTTER} – A type of boat, without the first letter (without bow) giving a word meaning to say

3d Nothing unusually posh in a voyage in this (9)
{TROOPSHIP} – O (nothing) with an anagram (unusually) of POSH inside a TRIP (voyage)  giving a vessel that makes this into another &lit clue

4d Genuine old Spanish coin (4)
{REAL} – this double definition is an old chestnut for many crossword solvers

5d Copyright it, provided it’s served before dinner (8)
{APERITIF) – this answer builds step by step – APE (copy) R(ight) IT IF (provided) giving a drink that’s served before dinner

6d Crown jewels (5)
{TIARA} – the quality of the clues fluctuates wildly – this is allegedly a cryptic definition of jewellery worn on the head

7d Went round to add a name to the list (7)
{ROTATED} – add TED (name) to ROTA (list) to get a synonym for went round

8d Release a shipment (8)
{DELIVERY} – a neat double definition

14d Suggestion to end union trouble (8)
{INNUENDO} – an anagram (trouble) of END UNION to give an insinuation (suggestion)

16d Not to be made light of (9)
{FIREPROOF} – a good cryptic definition of rendered completely immune to the effects of fire

17d Vegetable only half-cooked? (5,3)
{SPLIT PEA} – another cryptic definition of a vegetable that has been stripped of its membranous covering, dried and halved

18d Spendthrift Walter’s reformed (7)
{WASTREL} – an anagram (reformed) of WALTERS giving a spendthrift

20d Healthy accommodation for a prisoner charged with battery (3-4)
{DRY CELL} – an unsatisfactory cryptic double definition – a suggestion that this type of CELL is healthy for a prisoner; a type of battery

22d Sort of scoring shot in billiards or by batting cricket side (2-3)
{IN OFF} – IN (batting in cricket) OFF (Chambers: that half of a cricket field on the opposite side to that on which the batsman stands when waiting to receive the ball) giving a type of scoring shot in billiards

24d Declines in standards (5)
{FLAGS} – a double definition – droops (declines); banners (standards)

25d A holy man elevated to king and emperor (4)
{TSAR} – A ST (a Saint / holy man) reversed (elevated – yet another down-clue only construct) then R(ex) giving a former Russian emperor

I hope that you all found today’s mix of very good to indifferent clues easy enough.

And so, just what is an &lit clue?

&lit stands for “and literally so” and is used for a clue which describes the answer, but has the wordplay hidden inside.

A simple example: A problem in arctic exploration (3)
The answer ICE  is both hidden in the clue, and is defined by the clue.

Some other examples:

Slow-moving mice may get snapped up by them (4)
OWLS is an anagram of SLOW

One’s cold to walk over (6)
I (one) C(old) then PACE (walk) reversed (over) giving ICECAP

And so how do you identify them?

  • they are typically “short and snappy”
  • sometimes, but not always, they have an exclamation mark or question mark at the end
  • the clue reads sensibly as a phrase or sentence

Any comments are welcome.