DT Cryptic No 25857 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT Cryptic No 25857

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25857

A full analysis by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

This is a review of the puzzle as published in the newspaper and now available online – the one that was originally published online turned out to be the Saturday Prize crossword!.  Neither puzzle was anything special – nothing particularly good or annoyingly bad.  For a real puzzle, see today’s Toughie No 99.

It’s been very busy here today at Big Dave Towers, more like Fawlty Towers, so this review gives the answers and the wordplay.  You may not have realised just how time-consuming the preparation of the usual mixture of hints, tips and answers can be, but feedback shows that you seem to like it – feedback is always welcome, so don’t be shy!!


1a Tree with a resinous substance about to be given knock (8).
CALABASH (tree) – A LAC (a resinous substance) reversed (about) then (to be given) BASH (knock)

5a Scrapes bit of sleeve in middle of tussle (6)
SCUFFS (scrapes) – CUFF (bit of sleeve) inside (in) SS (middle of tuSSle)

9a Others will not need a prompt (8).
REMINDER (prompt) – REMaINDER (others will not need a / remainder without the “a”)

10a Dog and kitty outside university (6)
PURSUE (dog / follow) – PURSE (kitty) around (outside) U(niversity)

12a Look at article and be angry (6)
SEETHE (be angry) – SEE (look at) THE (article)

13a Spoil girl in Spanish resort (8).
MARBELLA (Spanish resort) – MAR (spoil) BELLA (girl)

15a More insane cricketer starting row (7)
BATTIER (more insane) – BAT (cricketer) before (starting) TIER (row)
BATTIER (more insane) – BATsman (cricketer starting) TIER (row) – thanks for the correction, Gazza

16a Some layman tinkering, not a pro (4)
ANTI (not a pro) – hidden (some) in laymAN TInkering

20a Nothing against half-formed notion from poet (4)
OVID (poet) – O (nothing) V (against) ID(ea) (half-formed notion)

21a Philosopher getting on with soldiers (7)
PLATOON (soldiers) – PLATO (philosopher) getting ON

25a Rescues brutal people left incarcerated (8).
SALVAGES (rescues) – SAVAGES (brutal people) around (incarcerated) L(eft)

26a Sort of pain making good person feel uncomfortable (6)
STITCH (sort of pain) – ST (Saint / good person) ITCH (feel uncomfortable)

28a Mother accompanying bachelor to one Indian city (6)
MUMBAI (Indian city) – MUM (mother) accompanying BA (Bachelor of Arts) to I (one)

29a I start to fall asleep in unimpressive poem (8).
PALINODE (poem) – I NOD (I start to fall asleep) in PALE (unimpressive)

30a Mad person could be knight, say (6)
NUTTER (mad person) – N (could be knight – in chess notation) UTTER (say)

31a The old man’s passionate – he falls off path (8).
PAVEMENT (path) – PA (the old man) VEheMENT (vehement without the “he” / passionate – he falls off)


1d Bob is abrupt, snappy first and last (6)
CURTSY (bob) – CURT (abrupt) SY (SnappY first and last)

2d Sanction to hug little trouble-maker, clingy type (6)
LIMPET (clingy type) – LET (sanction) around (to hug) IMP (little trouble-maker)

3d British leader, one held to be a stupid leader (8).
BONEHEAD (a stupid leader) – B(ritish) HEAD (leader) around (held) ONE

4d Revolutionary Welshman seen as a wise fellow (4)
SEER (a wise fellow) – REES (a Welsh name / Dai Rees was a well known Welsh golfer) reversed (revolutionary)

6d Little things offering minimal comfort? Gosh! (6)
CRUMBS (triple definition) – little things; minimal comfort; gosh!

7d Fan’s late, on the move – hurrying along this? (4,4)
FAST LANE (hurrying along this) – an anagram (on the move) of FAN’S LATE

8d A crone is destroyed in a sequence of events (8).
SCENARIO (a sequence of events) – an anagram (destroyed) of A CRONE IS

11d Peer starts to take this excellent newspaper (7)
GAZETTE (newspaper) – GAZE (peer) with Take This Excellent (starts / first letters)

14d Stopped being housed in a farm shed? (7)
STALLED (double definition) – stopped; being housed in a farm shed (in a stall)

17d He knows how to deal with a nag (8).
HORSEMAN – cryptic definition

18d Tactful person gives certificate to character in department coming last (8).
DIPLOMAT (tactful person) – DIPLOMA (certificate) T (departmenT coming last)

19d Rite’s too complex – one progresses very slowly (8).
TORTOISE (one progresses very slowly) – an anagram (complex) of RITE’S TOO

22d Dance in gym around a vehicle (6)
PAVANE (dance) – PE (gym) around A VAN (a vehicle)

23d Caress someone in a boat (6)
CARESS Whoops that should have been STROKE (double meaning) – caress; lead oarsman (someone in a boat)

24d Mad Hatter seen as menace (6)
THREAT (menace) – an anagram (mad) of HATTER

27d Strike joined by a spiritual leader (4)
LAMA (spiritual leader) – LAM(strike) with (joined by) A

Apologies in advance if there are any typos.  Feel free to leave any comments.

6 comments on “DT Cryptic No 25857

  1. BD – I just need help with one clue and then I am done on the paper version.

    It is 15a
    More insane cricketer starting row (7) and I have

    When you come out from your tower possibly you can help
    Many thanks


  2. Dave,
    23d) Answer is STROKE (you’ve mistyped it as caress)
    15a) I think better wordplay is BAT (starting BATsman) + TIER (row)

    It’s been a long day!!

  3. A slowish time for this, as there were some fairly novel words. Possible quibble with “stupid leader” in 3D, as a bonehead is just a stupid person, but in the “British leader” context maybe this is OK. 9, 25, 2 and 24 seem like wordplay structures that you may see more than once again, though with different clue wordings.

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