DT Cryptic No 25877 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT Cryptic No 25877

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25877

An easy start to the week, hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Once again we start the week with a fairly easy but nonetheless very enjoyable puzzle.

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


1a The ghost of Shakespeare, some say (5)
{BACON} – some say that most of the works that are attributed to William Shakespeare were actually ghost-written by his famous contemporary

4a Great opportunity for a snooker player? (3,5)
{BIG BREAK} – a cryptic definition of a  great opportunity which could also be a large score in snooker

8a An example of how one golfer differs from another? (8)
{INSTANCE} – this word meaning an example sounds the difference IN their standing position when about to play the ball

9a If retired, live somewhere warm (8)
(FIRESIDE} – IF reversed (retired) then a word meaning to make one’s home (live)  gives somewhere warm  to sit in the winter

11a Confusion with name given to Yeti, perhaps (7)
{DUBIETY} – to DUB means to confer a name, or knighthood upon; follow this with an anagram of YETI to get a noun derived from dubious

13a Expenditure for expeditions (9)
{OUTGOINGS} – a double definition

15a Reveal what peak efforts might create (4,3,5,3)
{TAKE THE WRAPS OFF} – a clever anagram (to create) of WHAT PEAK EFFORTS gives a phrase that means to reveal

18a One has one of them, another three (9)
{SYLLABLES} – there is one of these in “one” and three in “an-o-ther”; Chambers describes them as segments of speech each uttered by a single effort of the voice, forming a spoken word or part of a word

21a Irritable if made to go inside to give evidence (7)
{TESTIFY} – TESTY (irritable) with IF inside (made to go inside) gives a synonym for to give evidence

22a Unwelcome visitors on a ship, but they pay for their keep (8)
{BOARDERS} – on a ship these are often pirates, but in a B & B they are long term guests

24a Not brave, showing sign of fear (8)
{PALEFACE} – not an Indian brave, but a white man immortalised in a famous film and its better known sequel

25a Upset public ash container (8)
{OVERTURN} – OVERT (public) and a container that could contain cremated remains give a word meaning upset – was I the only one that looked for an anagram when I saw “upset”?

26a Test the patience of a good man at a meeting (5)
{TRYST} – a simple charade winds up the across clues – TRY (test the patience of) is followed by the usual crossword abbreviation of Saint (a good man) to give a meeting between two lovers


1d Encounters with the unseen? (5,5)
{BLIND DATES} – or maybe the unseeing! – this is cryptic definition of social engagements, usually arranged by a third party, with someone one has not met previously

2d The doctor’s record collection (8)
{CASEBOOK} – another cryptic definition, this time of where a doctor records his patients’ histories

3d An Easter trip to see around Turkey? (4,4)
{NEAR EAST} – an anagram (trip) of AN EASTER gives a name given to the part of the world that includes Turkey and other nearby states

4d When the buzzer gets loud, complain (4)
{BEEF} – a buzzing insect precedes F (forte / loud) to give a moan or complaint

5d It’s worn by a woman for a dance (6)
{BOLERO} – a double definition – a short jacket worn by a woman; a dance, perhaps to a tune written by Ravel and made famous by Torvill and Dean

6d Officer standard (6)
{ENSIGN} – a double definition – a flag or standard distinguishing a regiment which may well have been carried by the said officer

7d Low joint where a cap is worn (4)
{KNEE} – a cryptic definition of a joint in the leg

10d Pursuit of profit (8)
{INTEREST} – another double definition – a leisure pursuit; profit received in return for an investment

12d Mountain air for him but the valley’s in his heart (8)
{YODELLER} – this singer who changes frequently from the ordinary voice to falsetto and back again has a DELL (valley) in the middle

14d Security zone for motorists (6,4)
{SAFETY BELT} – a cryptic definition of the strap that every motorist should wear

16d A possible customer survey (8)
{PROSPECT} – a double definition – on the one hand a possible customer, on the other a survey or general view

17d Commonplace name for a penny-farthing (8)
{ORDINARY} – another double definition – as an adjective commonplace or usual; as a noun another name for a penny-farthing bicycle

19d Clubs competing over three miles (6)
{LEAGUE} – the third double definition in a row – a competition in which each of the competing clubs plays each of the others; a distance of three nautical miles

20d Kidnap the sailor on the canal (6)
{ABDUCT} – AB (Able Seaman / sailor) then a pipe or tube (canal) five a word meaning to kidnap

22d Liveliness of Brazilian capital and port (4)
{BRIO} – B (Brazilian capital) and RIO (Brazilian port) give a neat charade for liveliness

23d Take a turn serving up drinks (4)
{SPIN) – a reversal (serving up) of NIPS (drinks) gives a synonym for to take a turn

Quite a nice puzzle for a Monday, this one sets you up for the rest of the week.  I found 12 down a little disappointing because of its incomplete wordplay, but what can you do with YOER? – an angram of YORE perhaps? – or why not leave the clue as simply “Mountain air for him?”.

If all you want is the answers then just click here.