DT Cryptic No 25861 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT Cryptic No 25861

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25861

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Libellule thinks that going to watch France play Wales in Paris is more important than his Friday blog.  I’m sure you would all rather he missed the game, but as a penance he has agreed to do today’s instead.   BD


1. Following river, I left hole excitedly pursuing fun (3,3,4,2,2)
The river is the FORTH, followed by anagram of I LEFT HOLE (excitedly), to give a phrase that means pursuing fun.

9. Unenlightened soldier backed without noisy speech? (8 )
The solder is a GI (reversed – backed) without (NO) and a noisy speech (RANT) to give a word meaning unenlightened.

10. Island captivated by chic or fussiness? (5)
The name of an island that can be found (captivated) within the words chiC OR FUssiness.

12. Airport ranks largely empty (4)
OR (ranks) L (argel) Y empty. The name of an airport to the south of Paris.

13. The boards mistaken about English paper (10)
An anagram of THE BOARDS about E(nglish) to give another name for a paper.

15. Challenge for car mounted reportedly by river (4,4)
ROAD (reportedly sounds the same as RODE, which means mounted) by the river TEST to give a term that means a challenge for a car.

16. Cup I permitted for a bit of medicine (6)
Cup is POT, I ON (permitted) to give a word meaning a “bit of medicine”.

18. A queen in bright beads (6)
A queen R(egina) in ROSY (bright) to mean a set of prayer beads.

20. Old statesman surprisingly dull and eager to abandon King (2,6)
Bit of a french theme today. This is an anagram of DULL and EAGER minus the King (R), to give the name of a famous French president and old statesman.

23. Otter represented in colour by old painter (10)
An anagram of OTTER, TINT (represented in colour) and O(ld) to give the name of a Venetian painter.

24. Short smoke a boring experience (4)
Double definition of short smoke, to draw on a cigarette or cigar and a boring experience. In other words a DRAG.

26. Irritable chap taking in races (5)
The races are the Tourist Trophy or TT races held on the Isle of Man every year inside a man’s name (RAY) to give another word for irritable, or a character from Wind in the Willows.

27. A dry lot I manipulated with skill (8 )
An anagram of A DRY LOT I (manipulated) to give another word for skilfully.

28. Nun, game thinker at work, set the pace (4,3,7)
Another anagram, this time of NUN, GAME THINKER giving another phrase to mean set the pace.


2. English female in song held up ceremonial gear (7)
The song is an air which is then reversed to give RIA which then contains an E(nglish) female (GAL) which makes up another word for ceremonial gear.

3. Captain revealing stroke? (4)
Double definition, a famous captain from Peter Pan, plus a cricket stroke. Or a bad golf stroke.

4. After a spin, she rated feature in car? (8 )
Yes, we have another anagram, SHE RATED (a spin) to give something that is found on top of a car seat.

5. Section in leaflet halved bringing about the end? (6)
Hidden in the clue (section in) leafLET HALved to be capable of causing death, or bringing about the end.

6. Firm on the up organised a social round noon? Its infrequent (10)
Firm is CO(mpany) on the up OC followed by  an anagram of A SOCIAL and N(oon), to give a word that is infrequent and therefore OCCASIONAL OCCASIONALLY . [Thanks for the correction, Falcon]

7. ME citizen is supported by artist and priest (7)
A middle eastern citizen, IS supported by a someone from the Royal Acadamy (artist) and a priest (ELI)

8. State-of-the-art description of East End gardener with shears (7,4)
A gentle pun on CUTTING (h)EDGE.

11. Series of accidents in house with bishop or second right-winger (6,5)
House (HO) with a bishop (RR – Right Reverend) OR  S(econd) TORY (right-winger).

14. See pottery that’s ruined stock image (10)
Another anagram this time of SEE and POTTERY (that’s ruined) to give another word for a stock image.

17. Reprimand right for academic (8 )
A reprimand is a LECTURE, plus R gives the name for an academic.

19. Entertainer making mistake with a form of jazz mostly (7)
SIN (mistake) with A and a form of jazz TRA(d) mostly to give the name of a famous american singer and actor. Doobie Doobie Doo.

21. Fateful singer gets look about the French island (7)
Look is LO, about RE, the french LE, I(sland) to give the name of a fateful singer (siren) who used to lure sailors to their death in the Rhine.

22. Separate notes spoiled chat (6)
The notes are musical notes, in this case D and E, put them together with an anagram of CHAT will give a word for separate.

25. Leo, say, has token Al discarded (4)
A token is an indication for example a SIGN(al), discarding al, also gives us a SIGN of the zodiac (leo).

7 comments on “DT Cryptic No 25861

  1. A much better day today. Of the ones I didn’t get, I have never heard of Tinteretto -I think it is unfair to have something as obscure as this-others will no doubt disagree.
    There is no doubt a reason why ranks =or -please enlighten me.

  2. As a newcomer to the cryptic world, I found this an entertaining puzzle. 8 down made me giggle and I too stumbled on OR = ranks.

  3. Ok but the clue was “ranks”, not “other ranks”. So how do you make the leap of faith that ranks here other ranks here rather than rows or grades?

  4. Well, that’s the joy of crosswords, isn’t it? You see a possibility and test it out. In this case you’re probably looking for an airport and the final two letters are probably LY so you try OR for ranks and, bingo, you’ve got ORLY.

  5. Gazza’s point about getting help from the other letters is fair enough for getting the answer, but you should still want to be convinced that “ranks=OR” is justified. The best route I can offer is to remember that “(the) ranks” = soldiers who are not commissioned officers, and that OR = other ranks = the same thing. If this stuff isn’t yet in your memory, look up OR, other ranks and ranks in the dictionary. Another common trick is men=OR, from “officers and men”.

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