DT 25941 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 25941

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25941

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

A nice easy start with simple anagrams at 1a and 2d and then it got a bit more complicated… it also helps if you get 13a early on, as the “four cornery” feel to the crossword, needs the checking letters from this one to make life a bit easier. Otherwise, some excellent clues, and a well thought out and crafted crossword.


1. Fed tripe, I could become terror-stricken (9)
{PETRIFIED} – An anagram (could become) of FED TRIPE I gives a word meaning to stun or paralyse with terror.

6. Evident in room — Phyllis’s sex-appeal (5)
{OOMPH} – The answer you are looking for here is another word for sex-appeal, and if you look carefully you can find it hidden in the clue.

9. Contract made in a card game (7)
{ABRIDGE} – A card game is a game of BRIDGE, which as a word also means to shorten (contract) a written work by taking out parts.

10. Armies start to chat, it being arranged? (9)
{ARMISTICE} – My favourite clue of the day, an “all in” clue with a wonderful surface reading, and the answer is put together using ARMIES, start to C(hat) and IT which when arranged properly, is a word used to define what happens when there is a temporary cessation of fighting by mutual consent. The 11th November 1918, being the best known example.

11. The most important person not everyone found to be unpleasant (7)
{NOISOME} – Another good clue, that reads very well. The most important person is NO 1., and not everyone is SOME. Put together they create a word that is offensive or unpleasant.

12. Two sailors having year in historical region long ago (7)
{TARTARY} – A nice straightforward clue, if you have heard of the name used by Europeans from the Middle Ages until the twentieth century to describe northern and central Asia inhabited by the Tartars. Two sailors TAR, and TAR, and Y(ear).

13. More than ‘no bread’, but much less than ‘half a loaf’? (6,2,7)
{CRUMBS OF COMFORT} – A “cryptic” (?) definition that describes small bits of hope, that can be created from little bits of bread.

18. Pet going round English writer knocked over item of furniture (7)
{CABINET} – CAT (pet) around E(nglish) NIB (writer) reversed (knocked over) is an item of furniture containing shelves, cupboards, or drawers that is used for storage or display,

20. B-Bill having ailment, one on account of these? (7)
{BACILLI} – Another nicely crafted clue. B, plus AC (bill), plus ILL (ailment), plus I (one) describes how you might get ill by bumping into one of these rod shaped bacteria. An example would be Shigella.

22. Headline about old rockers holding together (9)
{BANDAGING} – I am sure there is a deliberate pun within this clue. BAND (headline) and AGING (old), but old rockers (rock dinosaurs perhaps?), is also a BAND that is AGING. Both give us a word that is used to describe the application of a dressing used to hold a wound together for example.

23. Dull outside must be transformed (7)
{TEDIOUS} – An anagram of OUTSIDE (transformed) is another word for tiresome or dull.

24. One of the good guys, Green politician (5)
{STRAW} – I am not sure if this politician is green, or one of the good guys, but let’s not spoil a good clue. One of the good guys is a ST (saint) and if you are green, then you are RAW.

25. Sorry writer volunteers to appear in break (9)
{REPENTANT} – PEN (writer) and TA (Territorial Army, volunteers) are placed within (appear in) RENT (break). Gives us a word that means to feel or express regret or sorrow. A bit like certain politicians currently – allegedly.


1. Place needing a boost (not showing any passion) (8 )
{PLATONIC} – PL (place) needed A, and TONIC (a boost) is a word for being friendly or affectionate but without physical desire. Or for the pedantic, it is also a word that describes Plato’s philosophy.

2. Dessert soaked in alcohol — is it a rum possibly? (8 )
{TIRAMISU} – Another well constructed clue. This is an anagram (possibly) of IS IT A RUM describing an Italian dessert of cake infused with a liquid such as coffee or rum, then layered with a rich cheese filling, and topped with grated chocolate. Yum Yum. Even Big Dave has a recipe for this.

3. At home, woman needs to match a colour (6)
{INDIGO} – IN (at home) DI (woman) GO (match) gives a deep violet-blue colour.

4. One mouse finally put in enclosure when it gets very cold (3,3)
{ICE AGE} – I (one), then take E (mouse finally) and put this inside CAGE (enclosure) and you have a term that describes several cold periods during which glaciers covered much of the Earth.

5. Opinionated scoundrel has mum twitching (8 )
{DOGMATIC} – DOG (scoundrel), MA (mum), TIC (twitching) is another word for stating one’s opinions in a forceful or arrogant manner.

6. What’s troubled lad so? Weird heritage site (3,5)
{OLD SARUM} – An anagram of LAD SO (troubled) and RUM (weird) is the site of the earliest settlement of Salisbury, a hill fort that is now an English heritage property.

7. Large expanse of water in a holy city (6)
{MEDINA} – MEDiterranean Sea (large expanse of water), and IN A is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the prophet Muhammad.

8. Where synod squashes unorthodox belief (6)
{HERESY} – A hidden word in the clue describes an unorthodox belief, or dissenting opinion or doctrine that would be of interest to a church council (synod).

14. Cork has a humble dwelling (8 )
{BUNGALOW} – Another nicely crafted clue. BUNG (cork) A LOW (humble) is a single storied house (dwelling).

15. Escort who could make tour dire (8 )
{OUTRIDER} – An anagram (could make) of TOUR DIRE describes a guide or an escort usually used to describe the motorcycles that accompany the American President’s car.

16. Musical state (8 )
{OKLAHOMA} – If you have seen this before, you don’t tend to forget it. The clue refers to an american state, that was also the title for a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.

17. Brawny group not very bright up top (8 )
{THICKSET} – I stand corrected (see Giovanni’s comment below). THICK (not very bright) is placed on top of SET (group) for a synonym for brawny.

18. Copper places an embargo on islanders (6)
{CUBANS} – CU (copper) and BANS (places an embargo).

19. Cake time at school unending for him! (6)
{BUNTER} – BUN (cake), TER(m) for the “Fat Owl of the Remove“.

20. Work under small section to secure good tent (3,3)
{BIG TOP} – OP (work) under BIT (small section) with G (good) inside (to secure), gives the name for the main tent of a circus. Or another name for the Houses of Parliament.

21. Firm operating, having circumvented road barrier (6)
{CORDON} – And finally another carefully constructed clue. CO (firm), ON (operating) around RD (road) describes a chain of police, soldiers, or vehicles guarding an area.

10 comments on “DT 25941

  1. Thanks for that .THICKSET works as brawny=thickset with set (group) having thick (not very bright) on top

    1. Giovanni, thanks for the correction. I have updated the blog accordingly. BTW re. the CCCWC April competition results “Tripe? Cook me with onions”. Excellent.

  2. A much better effort by me than yesterday. I too couldn’t see why go =match and I spelled tiramisu as tirimasu which didn’t help.
    14d I guessed cork =bung but bungalow never came to me.
    On 22a once I had b-n and holding together I couldn’t get binding out of my head.
    24a Got st but was looking for another word for the colour green.
    The SE was my worst -I only got 16d. 20d I was looking for guy (ropes) and (tent) peg.
    23a was obviously something to do with matt -that’s what happens when you don’t have checking letters!

  3. Greenhorn, we never said cryptic crosswords were easy. Keep at it, and keep checking in here for explanations of clues you have trouble with. In time things become much more obvious.

  4. I do get 24 across now, as you said not one of the good guys(are there any?)

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