DT 25977 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 25977

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25977

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Not too difficult, but not too easy either. A nice mixture of clues varying in complexity. A good crossword for polishing your skills and typical for a Friday.


8. Rod broken by fish? Admit defeat (4,3)
{DROP OUT} – Take an anagram of ROD, and then add a fish of the cod family (you work out the answer to this first and then check whether there is indeed a fish of this name to confirm the wordplay – because I had never heard of it), and you have a term usually used to describe the withdrawal, from an academic course.

10. Strange article used in performance (7)
{RECITAL} – An anagram of ARTICLE (strange) will give you a public performance of music.

11. Children unenthusiastic about Eastertime? (9)
{OFFSPRING} – Not too complicated, but a nice cryptic clue. The definition is another word for children, so if you are unenthusiastic about something, then you might go OFF it, and to this you then add the season normally associated with Easter.

12. Mean to get sozzled (5)
{TIGHT} – A double definition, miserly and a bit drunk.

13. Son given something to eat — a bit of broccoli? (5)
{SPEAR} – S(on), with a fruit PEAR, describes a stalk from a Broccoli plant.

14. Something on the boat works in the end (7)
{TOPSAIL} – Place works OPS (operations), indside TAIL (the end), and you have a type of sail placed across the topmast.

17. Officer could manifest flintiest nature (5,10)
{FIRST LIEUTENANT} – An anagram of FLINTIEST NATURE (could manifest) is the executive officer of a ship or naval establishment.

19. Kick and poke, creating a row (7)
{SHINDIG} – A kick on the SHIN’s (Chambers has this as a verb that literally means that) followed by a DIG (poke) is a lively party or a row.

21. Food in place for an ancient Scottish king (5)
{SCONE} – The crowning place of the Kings of Scotland, is also a plain cake often covered with jam and clotted cream.

24. The old man wants money, not a ruddy symbol! (5)
{POPPY} – A nice clue, take an old man POP, and add P(A)Y (not A) and you have a famous red (ruddy) symbol associated with the Royal British Legion.

26. Old wine goes into dish for powerful ruler (9)
{POTENTATE} – Dish is PATE, and then place O(ld) and TENT (An old kind of wine of a deep red color, chiefly from Galicia or Malaga in Spain) and you have another name for a powerful ruler or monarch.

27. Kid beginning to trust stranger gets left imprisoned (7)
{TODDLER} – Take T (beginning to trust) and then ODDER (stranger), then place L(eft) inside and you should end up with another name for a small child (kid) learning to walk.

28. Mad place in Essex (7)
{BARKING} – A simple double definition, another word for crazy, is also a suburban town in East London.


1. It’s abominable being overdrawn with documentation admitting debt (6)
{ODIOUS} – OD (overdrawn), and IOU’S (documentation admitting debt) is another word for something that is hateful or offensive.

2. Officer drunk outside university, man looking after the locks (8 )
{COIFFEUR} – An angaram of OFFICER, with U(niversity) inside it gives another word for hairdresser.

3. Being put on committee over period of time, wasn’t bolshy (10)
{COOPERATED} – Take COOPTED (being elected into a body) and then place ERA (period of time) inside and you get a word used to describe people working together.

4. Female legitimately claimed to be ghastly (9)
{FRIGHTFUL} – F(emale) and RIGHTFUL (legitimately claimed) is an adjective that can be used to describe something that is terrible, horrible or unpleasant.

5. ‘Go away, moggy!’ (after first hint of scratching) (4)
{SCAT} – The first hint of scratching is S, now add CAT (moggy), for a word usually used to scare animals away.

6. Contemptible types upset mum — a disgrace (6)
{STIGMA} – The contemptible types are GITS, reversed (upset), followed by MA (mum) for a mark of infamy or disgrace.

7. Cell with domesticated animal recently having lost tail inside (8 )
{PLATELET} – PET (domesticated animal) with LATELY (recently), then remove the Y (lost tail) and place inside PET. You should now have a blood particle (cell) used in clotting.

9. Not that bit of ancient history (4)
{THIS} – Not that, but “ancienT HIStory”. Hidden word.

15. What makes devious Satan reply with amusing remark (10)
{PLEASANTRY} – An anagram of SATAN REPLY (devious) is an agreeable remark usually made for the sake of politeness.

16. Entertain, having been given an opening in the big city (9)
{SINGAPORE} – Entertain in this case is SING, followed by A PORE (opening) and is an island city-state located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula.

17. Loud American notices old women (8 )
{FUSSPOTS} – F (loud) + US (American) + SPOTS (notices) is a word usually used to describe a person who is difficult to please and complains often, and not always old women.

18. A funny actor, I’m fragrant (8 )
{AROMATIC} – A, plus another anagram (funny) this time of ACTOR and IM for another word for sweet smelling.

20. Bar that is accommodating politician and journalist (6)
{IMPEDE} – Put MP (politician) and ED (Editor – journalist) inside IE, that is, and you have a verb, used when progress or action is difficult or blocked.

22. Zeal of green revolutionary ending in calamity (6)
{ENERGY} – An anagram of GREEN (revolutionary) plus the last letter (ending) of calamitY is a synonym for zeal.

23. The end of the cigarette? Objections may be raised (4)
{STUB} – Reverse (raised) BUTS (objections) is the short piece (of a cigarette or a pencil) left after the larger part has been used.

25. University? You must allow entrance to a learner (4)
{YALE} – A L(earner) is placed inside YE (you) for a famous American University.

9 comments on “DT 25977

  1. Thanks for the post. I enjoyed the excellent explanations and can see how you get the answers.

    Unfortunately I can’t get them on my own.

    Thanks again.

    1. Ravinder
      I know from experience that it’s hard to get started with cryptics. Can I suggest a possible method to get you going the next time you’re totally stuck?
      1. Use this site to fill in the answers to the across clues only and make sure that you understand all the wordplay for these, but do not look at the hints for the down clues.
      2. Now attempt the down clues on your own. You should make more progress, because a lot of the checking letters will now be filled in.
      3. If you still cannot complete it, use the site to understand the missing answers (and to check that you had understood the wordplay on those you did complete).
      Good luck!

      1. Thanks for that.. I’ll give that a go once I’ve finished, the ‘How to Master the Times Crossword”.

        Still I wanted just to leave a comment on how much I enjoyed this site.

  2. Tight = drunk? Shin = kick?
    New ones to me.

    And fusspots for old women is a little harsh!

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