DT Cryptic No 25879 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT Cryptic No 25879

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25879

A little bit harder but nothing you can’t do

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

I found this one to be a little harder than usual, but on looking back at it I’m not sure why.  As has been said before, some days you are on the same wavelength as the setter, other days it just doesn’t happen.  Today for me was one of the latter.


8a A scholar after a scientific site in state (7)
{ALABAMA} – A MA (a scholar) follows (after) A LAB (a scientific site) to give a US state – a straightforward charade to get you started

10a Charm embodied by tenth rally (7)
{ENTHRAL} – a synonym for charm is hidden (embodied) in tENTH RALly

11a Stew at front of office, controversial issue (3,6)
{HOT POTATO} – a famous stew from Lancashire, that used to be made by Betty Turpin in the Rovers Return, then AT O (AT front of Office) gives a controversial issue – it’s always clever when the setter uses typical anagram indicators like “stew” in their genuine context!

12a Question mark placed around university book (5)
{DOUBT} – a small mark is placed around U(niversity) and B(ook) to give a word meaning a question – once again clever as the words “question” and “mark” usually get read together

13a Invigorate Frenchman with touch of wine (5)
{RENEW} – this stereotypical Frenchman, from AlloAllo,is followed by W (touch of Wine) to give a synonym for invigorate

14a Gather set of drinks getting promoted? (5,2)
{ROUND UP} – a set of drinks bought at one time for all the members of a group is followed by UP (promoted) to give a driving together (gather), as of cattle on a ranch

17a A recurrent problem in arteries? (8,7)
{MOTORWAY MADNESS} – a cryptic definition of reckless driving in bad conditions

19a Colour shown by offender, young man (7)
{CRIMSON} – CRIM (short for criminal / offender) then a young man give a deep red colour

21a Brass from Delhi? (5)
{RUPEE} – a cryptic definition of the currency (brass) of India (from Delhi)

24a Victor not initially finding part of target? (5)
{INNER} – take a synonym for victor, remove the first letter (not initially) to get the part of a target that surrounds the bull

26a Purchaser might receive this short piece of music (9)
{QUOTATION} – an estimate (purchaser might receive this); a short passage of music extracted from a longer piece – last weekend I published an entry for Musical Terms in The Mine and the first one that turns up is not in there, but it will be soon!

27a Drink with skill placed in car (7)
{MARTINI} — a synonym for skill inside a famous British car gives a drink that was in yesterday’s puzzle!

28a This pet is abused in worst possible conditions (3,4)
{THE PITS} – an anagram of THIS PET gives an expression famously used by John McEnroe


1d Agitation more recently around hospital (6)
{LATHER} – LATER (more recently) around H(ospital) giving agitation – and an easy start to the down clues

2d Players with a clear piece of wood (8)

{CASTANET} – A name for the group of actors in a play (players) then A and NET (clear of all charges or deductions / opposite of gross) give a wooden instrument that produces a clicking sound – a bit harsh calling this item a piece of wood!

3d Complicated problem caught as from now possibly (3,2,5)
{CAN OF WORMS} – an anagram (possibly) of C(aught) AS FROM NOW gives a complicated problem

4d A mad role played around end of film? Highly sensational affair (9)
{MELODRAMA} – an anagram (played) of A MAD ROLE around M(end of filM) gives this highly sensational affair

5d Examine to a large extent equine establishment (4)
{STUD} – a word meaning to apply the mind to in order to acquire knowledge, truncated (examine, to a large extent) gives a a horse-breeding establishment

6d Foundation worn down (6)
{GROUND) – a straightforward double definition

7d Aquatic creature, a sort endlessly consumed in addition (8)
{PLATYPUS} – A TYP(e) (a sort endlessly) inside (consumed in) a sign indicating addition gives an aquatic creature with a duck-like bill

9d Assumed style I dropped sadly (4)
{ALAS} – just drop the “I” from an assumed name (style) to get a word that means expressing grief or misfortune (sadly)

15d One managing stiff ceremonies? (10)
{UNDERTAKER} – a cryptic definition of a funeral director

16d Dummy, male with woman, one of five (9)
{MANNEQUIN} – M(ale) and ANNE (woman) followed by one of five children born at the same time and you have a dummy (which is perhaps an appropriate description of some models!)

17d Chinese leader suppressing church is beginning to manifest virility (8)
{MACHISMO} – The former Chinese leader, and author of “The Little Red Book, around (suppressing) CH(urch) IS and M(anifest, beginning to) gives a synonym for virility

18d Clear lecturer put in photo in way out (8)
{EXPLICIT} – nested like the Russian dolls – L(ecturer) inside (put in) PIC(ture) all inside (in) a way out gives a woed meaning clear, unambiguous

20d Pass over some sign or expression (6)
{IGNORE} – a word meaning to pass over is hidden (some) inside sIGN OR Expression

22d By the sound of it, impassioned chap (6)
{ERNEST} – this pun (by the sound of it) on a synonym for impassioned was the subject of a play by Oscar Wilde

23d Ulster, perhaps, has seashore lacking sun (4)
{COAT} – not the country, but a garment (Ulster) is derived by removing S(un) from the border of land next to the sea (seashore)

25d Attack from right with support (4)
{RAID} – R(ight) and AID (support) give an attack – an easy charade to finish

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

Cryptic Crossword No 25879 - Answers
DT No 25879

4 comments on “DT Cryptic No 25879

  1. I found it easy to get the words but some I do not fully understand! 11a what has it got to do with office?
    2d clear ?

  2. Liz, the stew is HOTPOT, then you need to add AT and the front letter of O(ffice)
    Re 2d. I would envisage that is refers to CAST (Players) with A NET(clear profit)

  3. Liz

    I hope that Libellule and I have now explained your queries. With 2 down, you must never allow yourself to be fooled by the surface reading.

  4. Just found this site and I am really impressed (and relieved!) Today’s got me so bloody mad I was close to giving up. Funny how a couple of cans of Guiness and a quiet room spurs you on!
    I still think 17A is random but I got it so perhaps not……
    If I told you that I entered 3D as WAR OF WORDS I guess you will understand my frustration!!!!
    Watch this space……..I’ll be back**

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