DT Cryptic No 25881 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT Cryptic No 25881

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25881

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Another enjoyable Friday crossword, a good mix of clue types, and complexity along with one new word for me.


1. Inferior product in stock held by company (6)
{CHEAPO} – The usual abbreviation of company is CO, so place within it HEAP (stock) and you have a “slang” term for an inferior product.

4. Against having what’s French and watery (Parisian soup?) (8 )
{CONSOMME} – The opposite of pro, to give a word for against, followed by a french river, made famous during WWI that is a name for a french type of clear soup. Unlike some clues that use french words, this is not one of them. What in french is “que”, e.g. qu’est que c’est – what is it?

10. The woman drinking booze by the road is a farm employee (9)
{SWINEHERD} – The woman is SHE, who needs to fit around (drinking) WINE (booze), before placing RD (road) at the end. You should now have a word for a farm worker that looks after pigs!

11. Architectural moulding American discovered by hill (5)
{TORUS} – An architectural moulding made up of a TOR (hill) next to (discovered by) an American (US).

12. Food from tin, meal that’s horrible (7)
{ALIMENT} – An anagram of TIN MEAL (that’s horrible) that is a Middle English word for nourishment.

13. Hurried back at speed to provide chronicle (7)
{NARRATE} – Hurried is RAN, which needs to be reversed, and is then followed by RATE (speed).

14. Numbers having minimal energy getting uptight (5)
{TENSE} – The numbers in this case are TENS, if we then add on minimal energy – E, we get a word that could mean uptight.

15. Coin as an item not close to hand (8 )
{FARTHING} – An item, THING, not close to hand, FAR that is a low denomination old coin used before decimalisation.

18. They cover up what has been done in operation (8 )
{STITCHES} – A cryptic definition of what is used to close wounds after an operation for example.

20. Gas coming from meeting of artist and academic (5)
{RADON} – RA (Royal Academy) plus DON (academic), to give the name of a colourless, odourless, tasteless naturally occurring gas.

23. Cool hit for star’s devotees (3,4)
{FAN CLUB} – To cool is to FAN, a hit is a CLUB. This is then a term for a group of people who are enthusiastically devoted to a movie star or other celebrity or to a sports team.

25. Man put in money for bet slowly (7)
{ANDANTE} – The man is DAN, which needs to be put inside a word used to indicate a stake for a bet, which will then give the musical term for slowly.

26. English girl, not a ‘bird’ (5)
{EGRET} – E(nglish) GRETa (girl without an a) to give the name of several types of heron.

27. What 15 isn’t in a narrow escape (4,5)
{NEAR THING} – 15a is FAR, so the opposite of FAR is? Then finish the word off with “an item” from 15 across to give another term for a narrow escape.

28. Diplomatic initiative somehow charmed English (8 )
{DEMARCHE} – An anagram of CHARMED and E(nglish) (somehow), that is another word for a formal diplomatic representation of the official position, views, or wishes on a given subject from one government to another government. I will confess, this was a new word for me. I knew there was an anagram, and I knew exactly what it was, and I knew roughly what the word had to be, but I still had to check the word, to see what it was…. Interestingly enough demarche in french just means “approaches”.

29. Fly in groups around the centre of Cheltenham (6)
{TSETSE} – Take groups, SETS, and the centre of ChelTEnham and you have the name of a large biting fly from Africa.


1. Indifferent – those people lacking heart for victim (8 )
{CASUALTY} – Indifferent is CASUAL, followed by those people, THEY from which we remove the heart (HE) to give a word for a victim of an accident.

2. I repeatedly noted new version of book (7)
{EDITION} – I is placed twice (repeatedly) inside NOTED to provide an anagram (new version) to give another term for a book.

3. What in the Bible OT must do, giving earlier example (9)
{PRECEDENT} – What PRECEDEs the N(ew) T(estament)? Correct, it must be the Old Testament.

5. Distressed oarsman, I’d yearn to become a sailor (8,6)
{ORDINARY SEAMAN} – An anagram of OARSMEN I’D YEARN (distressed) to give another term for a sailor who is not yet qualified as an Able Seaman.

6. He’s a tyrant? Within there lurks a lecher (5)
{SATYR} – Hidden within HE’S A TYRANT is a woodland creature depicted as having the pointed ears, legs, and short horns of a goat and a fondness for unrestrained revelry. This is also another word for a “lecher”.

7. Endless gloom and wet weather brings animal disease (7)
{MURRAIN} – Remove the K from MURK (endless) then add a word for wet weather, RAIN and you have the name of a highly infectious disease of cattle and sheep.

8. Festival of the Orient lacking name (6)
{EASTER} – A direction towards the east with N removed (lacking name) to give a religious festival due to take place shortly.

9. Top banana? (4,2,3,5)
{BEST OF THE BUNCH} – A cryptic definition that defines what might be the best banana within a collection of banana’s.

16. The odours upset a distinguished Greek (9)
{HERODOTUS} – An anagram of THE ODOURS (upset), that will give the name of a greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC.

17. Give line that’s false to entice (8 )
{INVEIGLE} – Another anagram this time, of GIVE LINE (that’s false) for another word that means “to entice”.

19. After end of shift worker gets drink for pet (7)
{TANTRUM} – The end of shift is T, a worker is commonly ANT and a drink is RUM. This gives a synonym for pet (temper).

21. Professional practioner is housed in dry shelter first (7)
{DENTIST} – Another word for shelter is DEN, then place IS (housed) inside TT (Teetotaller) a common abbreviation for dry used in crosswords, to give the name of a professional practitioner who works on peoples teeth.

22. Sin of female facing death (6)
{OFFEND} – OF F(emale) with (facing) END (death) is a sin.

24. Someone who endures? Son drops out subsequently (5)
{LATER} – Someone who endures would be someone who lasts, a LASTER, if you remove the S(on) you have another word for subsequently.

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