DT Cryptic No 25871 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT Cryptic No 25871

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25871

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

If you have been lulled into a false sense of security by recent Monday puzzles, you may find this one  little harder.

Don’t forget – just highlight the space between the curly brackets to reveal the answer.


1a Clothing articles dropped by Boadicea (6)
{BODICE} – don’t try and make it too complicated, just drop the indefinite articles from Boadicea and you have an item of women’s clothing

4a It suffers periodic reversals in the kitchen (3,5)
{EGG TIMER} – each time you use this timer you turn it upside down

9a Tax cut (6)
{EXCISE} – a double definition – a duty or tax; cut out, purge

10a Whisk car off in transporter (8)
{RICKSHAW} – an anagram (off) of WHISK CAR to give a small two-wheeled, hooded carriage

12a Observe, reserve or preserve (4)
{KEEP} – a triple definition

13a Imagine being decorated (5)
{FANCY} – a double definition – that faculty of the mind by which it recalls, represents, or conjures up past images or impressions (Chambers); ornate, elaborate

14a Vessel we’re moving stern to bow (4)
{EWER} – move the last letter of WE’RE to the front (moving stern to bow – at last, an across-only construct) to get a large water jug (vessel)

17a A friend at the gathering appears timorous (5-7)
{FAINT-HEARTED} – an anagram (gathering) of A FRIEND AT THE giving a synonym for timorous

20a Wide entrance designed for the port, perhaps (4,8)
{WINE DECANTER} – another anagram (designed) of WIDE ENTRANCE t o give a vessel that could (perhaps) contain port

23a Hail a boat (4)
{AHOY} – a nice little clue with an &lit flavour – A HOY is a large one-decked boat, commonly rigged as a sloop; put the two words together and it gives a call to hail another vessel

24a Gather courage (5)
{PLUCK} – a reasonably straightforward double definition

25a Not an all-American name (4)
{ERIC} – a man’s name is hidden (not an all) in the clue (if you are following the link, it is the name of one of the actors)

28a Risk including a sort of measure (8)
{IMPERIAL} – a synonym for risk around (including) A gives a non-metric standard of measure

29a Ten-foot midget! (6)
{SHRIMP} – a deliberately confusing cryptic definition of a small edible decapod

30a Show how to repeat changes (8)
{OPERETTA} – our fourth anagram (changes) of TO REPEAT gives a show that could have been written by Gilbert and Sullivan or Sigmund Romberg

31a Wrongly push to a conclusion (6)
{UPSHOT} – the final across anagram (wrongly) of PUSH TO gives a conclusion


1d Stop or start playing billiards (5,3)
{BREAK OFF} – a double definition

2d Pet cried out, on its last legs (8)
{DECREPIT} – an anagram (out) of PET CRIED giving a word meaning on its last legs, or worn out by the infirmities of old age [Chambers!]

3d Players — or the pitch (4)
{CAST} – another double definition – actors in a play; a throw

5d Acquire money to become socially acceptable (4,8)
{GAIN CURRENCY} – GAIN (acquire) then a word meaning money gives the act of becoming socially acceptable

6d Remove a film sequence (4)
{TAKE} – another double definition – seize, catch or  capture; the amount of a film  photographed at any one time

7d North American Indian medicine man gets the bird (6)
{MOHAWK} – a neat charade – MO (Medical Officer – medicine man) then a bird of prey gives a Native American

8d Payment for a rising artist (6)
{REWARD} – an artist who uses pencils is reversed (rising – down-clue only construct) to give a payment usually given in recognition of merit

11d Pudding that comes with instruction on cooking? (8,4)
{BAKEWELL TART} – a cryptic definition of a pudding from a town in Derbyshire

15d Kind of lighting every football club needs (5)
{STRIP} – another double definition – a type of overhead lighting, usually neon; a lightweight outfit displaying the club colours

16d Decoration keeping writer on pulse (5)
{MEDAL} – ME (the setter) with a vegetable of the pulse family (used a lot in soups and curries) giving a military decoration

18d As seen in the constellation Pisces? (8)
{STARFISH} – a nifty cryptic definition of a marine invertebrate with five arms

19d Crazy — taking two banned substances (8)
{CRACKPOT} – a cryptic definition formed by combining a type of cocaine with a colloquial word for cannabis (two banned substances)

21d Where gambling may be seen as an offence in company (6)
{CASINO} – A SIN (an offence) inside CO(mpany) gives a place dedicated to gambling

22d Pair up to hearten a merry old soul (6)
{COUPLE} – my favourite clue today – UP inside the Old King who was a merry old soul giving a twosome (pair)

26d Possibly the language of Alexander Selkirk? (4)
{ERSE} – my favourite clue is followed by probably the weakest – an old language is hidden (possible) in the clue

27d Murphy sliced a golf shot (4)
{CHIP} – a double definition – a potato (Murphy) that has been sliced; a golf shot, usually from close to the green, giving the ball a low trajectory so that it runs forward on pitching [Chambers, again]

A little bit late, but  my vision is still a bit blurred at the moment due to having had retinopathy screening this morning (the preliminary diagnosis is quite good).  Right now I am off to cook my signature dish, the Chicken Tikka Masala that can be found in Big Dave’s Kitchen.

What did you think of today’s puzzle?  Was I right to say it was more difficult than the previous few Mondays?  Your comments are always welcome.

4 comments on “DT Cryptic No 25871

  1. Not sure I agree that it was more difficult, in fact apart from one or two clues the easiest I have completed since starting cryptic a month or so ago. Always good to check out your site to see if I have worked out the correct construction of the answer. Thanks

  2. Roy

    It took me about 25% longer than usual, but, as I have said before, it’s got a lot to do with being on the same wavelength as the setter. I got stuck for about 15 minutes yesterday on just one clue, yet when I look back I can’t think why.

  3. I’m glad you like it – I was nervous about it at first because I had read that the google spiders that crawl around websites don’t like white text – apparently it’s a known technique for attracting traffic unfairly to a particular site. But so far so good – google hasn’t banned me yet!!

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