DT Cryptic No 25899 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT Cryptic No 25899

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25899 (8155 on CluedUp)

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

An enjoyable amble through this crossword this morning. It didn’t present too many problems, and I particularly enjoyed some clever cryptic double definitions.


1. Stumbling below, wearing tacky jewellery (10)
{BLUNDERING} – Below is UNDER, and we need to place around it (wearing) Sarkozy’s favourite term for tacky jewellery – BLING, to give another term for stumbling.

6. Old piano introducing American piece of music (4)
{OPUS} – O(ld) P(iano) in front of (introducing) U(nited) S(tates) (American) is a creative work, typically a piece of music

10. Rex employs cunning tricks (5)
{RUSES} – R(ex) USES (employs) are cunning tricks or stratagems.

11. Votes in a tight election may be talked about (9)
{RECOUNTED} – A nice double definition, this noun usually takes place when the result of an election is very close between at least two candidates, whilst the verb can also mean to narrate or give a detailed account of what has happened.

12. Once more holy person is fighting (7)
{AGAINST} – AGAIN (once more), plus the usual shortened definition of a holy person (ST – Saint) to mean anti, or in opposition to (is fighting).

13. Humpty Dumpty as an intellectual? (7)
{EGGHEAD} – Another term for a studious and academic person (intellectual) that also is literally what Humpty Dumpty was assumed to be in the original riddle.

14. Approves of facial expressions (12)
{COUNTENANCES} – Another good double definition, one meaning (noun) being the appearance of the face or facial features, whilst another meaning (verb) is to support or tolerate (approves) something.

18. A problem I can work out like no one else? (12)
{INCOMPARABLE} – Our first anagram of the day, A PROBLEM I CAN can be worked out to give a word meaning like no one else.

21. Short communication about a daughter being horrible girl (7)
{LADETTE} – Communication in this case is LETTEr which needs to be shortened by removing the final R, and this is then placed about D(aughter) to give a word that is now commonly used for the female version of a male stereotype.

23. Love helping to put together a speech (7)
{ORATION} – O (love) plus RATION (helping) put together give another word for a speech.

24. Cameron out to gain honour in our time (6,3)
{COMMON ERA} – Cameron around (out) plus the shortened version of the O(rder of) M(erit) (to gain) to give a term used for the year numbering system currently now in general use.

25. Avoid temptress conveying commercial message (5)
{EVADE} – A biblical temptress (EVE) around a commercial message (AD) gives us a word used to mean to escape or avoid.

26. Elegant old cow maybe (4)
{NEAT} – A double definition of a word used to mean orderly, clean and tidy, but has an archaic form from Middle English that can also mean a domestic bovine animal. Now how many of you knew that?

27. Is setter, we fancy, wily? (10)
{STREETWISE} – An anagram (fancy) of IS SETTER WE produces a term commonly used to describe what you have to be to survive or succeed in poor and often criminal sections of big cities


1. Prepare in Prohibition to be a supplier of booze (6)
{BARMAN} – ARM (prepare) inside BAN (prohibition), is someone you would normally see serving drinks in a pub.

2. Get out of office as tune is being played (6)
{UNSEAT} – An anagram (is being played) of AS TUNE to give a word normally used when someone is removed from office or a position.

3. Girl’s part of a dancing set-up? That’s a lie (14)

{DISINFORMATION} – DIS (one of the crossword setters favourite girls), plus IN (part of) FORMATION (a dancing set up). This produces a word meaning the deliberate announcement of false information that is intended to mislead. Perhaps most famously used in the book and film entitled “The Man Who Never Was”. [Thanks again, Falcon ~ BD]

4. Tara ruin, I fancy, could be a romantic place (9)
{RURITANIA} – Take TARA RUIN I as an anagram, indicated by the word fancy and you have a fictional country (a romantic place) made famous by Anthony Hope,

5. In a crevice – look there to find valuable material (5)
{NACRE} – A hidden word in “iN A CREvice gives a valuable material more commonly known as mother of pearl.

7. Forbearance of a G&S character (8 )
{PATIENCE} – The sixth operatic collaboration between Gilbert and Sullivan is another term for forbearance.

8. Bit of a course to the left? (4,4)
{SIDE DISH} – An amusing conceit that refers to a food item that typically accompanies the entrée or main course at a meal usually placed on the left.

9. A plan hurting me terribly in a tricky political situation (4,10)
{HUNG PARLIAMENT} – An anagram of A PLAN HURTING ME (terribly) to describe a political situation typical of Italy usually caused by proportional representation.

15. To add detail is complicated (9)
{ELABORATE} – A double definition, of adding more detail to something, and being intricate and rich in detail.

16. Expression of faith in William’s ability to provide camping item (5-3)
{BILLY CAN} – A common shortened version of William is BILLY (e.g. King Billy was often used to describe William III), then add the present tense used to describe the capacity to do something (expression of faith in somebody’s ability) and you have a lightweight cooking pot often used while camping.

17. Bill with top grade intended going up in scholarly world (8 )
{ACADEMIA} – AC (bill), A (top grade) plus AIMED (intended) reversed (going up) and you have another term for the academic community or scholarly world.

19. I’d wail horribly in religious festival (6)
{DIWALI} – An anagram of ID WAIL (horribly) is a religious festival also called the “Festival of Lights”.

20. Woman has old lover stuck in a separate building maybe (6)
{ANNEXE} – The woman in this case is a woman’s name ANNE into which you need to place (stuck in) an old lover EX, for a nearby building used as an addition to a main one.

22. Uniform delivered on time for special occasion (5)
{EVENT} – EVEN (uniform) in front of (deliverd on) T(ime) for a significant occurrence or happening.

I have no idea if this is the crossword that’s in the paper today, all I can say is that I reviewed today’s cryptic crossword, as supplied by CluedUp, which at the time of writing was numbered as 8,155.
This morning I went out unusually early , and can confirm that this is the puzzle printed in today’s paper.  BD

7 comments on “DT Cryptic No 25899

  1. As a newcomer Im giving my thoughts on the next few crosswords.
    Failed on one clue today. 26a “Neat” is definitely not elegant even in croswordspeak. Forget the cow, thats just a distraction and perhaps could have been put more elegantly!
    Although I got this, it seems unsatisfactorily weak
    12a Against/fighting ?

    Comment on Libellule’s comment. 8d An amusing conceit eh! I found this clue neither amusing or conceited

    Just one more; Libellule’s hints on 14 across don’t actually add anything to the clue, sorry.

  2. Bob

    I think we all groan from time to time when getting answers like against for fighting.

    The neat cows have been around for quite a while and seem to be much favoured by setters.

    What Libellule is pointing out on 14 across is that one part of the double defintion is a noun and the other a verb. This type of clue is notoriously difficult to explain, and I often just say what it is and no more.

    That said, we always welcome comment as none of us are perfect and it helps to know the areas in which we can improve.

  3. 21 across would not work out as you have two e’s and no a
    I think short communication is” latest” and shortened without the “s” plus the “d” for daughter gives ladette

  4. Mark

    Libellule’s explanation should have pointed out that it’s A D(aughter) inside LETTE(R).

    Fortunately for us solvers, shortened usually means taking letters from the end. If setters were allowed to take them from anywhere they would cause us more trouble than they already do!

  5. This is my first visit to your site. As a relative newcomer to cryptic crosswords I found your hints and clues really helpful. A great site!

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