DT 25929 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 25929

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25929

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty **** Enjoyment ****

A tricky crossword today, but with some very good clues.

1. No amateur cricketer, I! One getting runs as young professional? (11)
{PROBATIONER} – The answer to this is a word that can be used to describe a young professional, or a person having a trial period in a job. It is put together as follows PRO (professional), BAT (cricketer), I, ONE, and finally R (runs).

7. Dispute about prosperous region being less moral? (5)
{WORSE} – A dispute is a ROW, which needs to be reversed (about), plus a prosperous region S(outh) E(ast) for an antonym of better.

8. Animal with fleshy fruit seen in courtyard (9)
{QUADRUPED} – Courtyard in this case is a QUAD, and we need to place a DRUPE (fleshy fruit) inside for a four legged animal.

10. Tragic woman and husband appearing in work by essayist (7)
{OPHELIA} – OP (work), H(usband) and ELIA (the pseudonym of Charles Lamb) gives the name of a female character who drowns in a play by Shakepeare. A bit of a literary clue this one!

11. Queen surrounded by old horses and asses (7)
{ONAGERS} – Queen as is usual is ER (Elizabeth Regina), surrounded by O(ld) NAGS, gives a word for an asian wild ass or a siege engine named after the kicking motion of an ass.

12. Land held by single benefice? (5)
{GLEBE} – Interesting, the whole of the clue defines the answer, but if you also look carefully the answer is also hidden in the clue. The answer is in fact a plot of land belonging or yielding profit to an English parish church or an ecclesiastical office.

13. Nobody should eat earthy matter — that’s most important (6,3)
{NUMBER ONE} – Take UMBER (a natural brown earth containing ferric oxide and manganese oxides often used as pigment) and place this inside (eat) NONE (nobody) for a phrase that means the “most important”

16. Aristotle worked out a betting system (9)
{TOTALISER} – An anagram of Aristotle gives us a machine that registers bets and divides the total amount bet among those who won or a calculator.

18. This person holds holy books before start of the anthem (5)
{MOTET} – As is usual holy books is OT (Old Testament) in this case, which is inside (holds) ME (this person), this is then placed before the start of T(he) which will give another word used for a religious song meant to be sung as part of a church service.

19. Our Ted’s terribly disturbed (7)
{ROUSTED} – An anagram of OUR TEDS (terribly) for disturbed, usually out of bed.

22. Order an assortment over the phone (7)
{ARRANGE} –A sounds like  clue (over the phone)  of A RANGE (assortment), that can also be used to describe how you would order something or things.

23. After a makeover, I enter fit for a queen (9)
{NEFERTITI} – An anagram of I ENTER FIT (makeover) is the name of the chief consort of the pharaoh Akhenaten.

24. Small farm vehicle that’s emptied out frequently (5)
{CROFT} – Vehicle is CAR, that needs to be emptied, CR, which is then followed by OFT (frequently) for a small Scottish farm.

25. Routinely alternating times at home and times travelling? (3,2,3,3)
{DAY IN DAY OUT} – A nice, but not too difficult cryptic definition of what happens if we stay at home one day, and then go out the next, for a phrase that is often used to describe a humdrum routine.


1. Paper makes point about cunning fellows (9)
{PARCHMENT} – I like this one, cunning fellows are ARCH MEN, now place this inside PT (point) and you have an old word for paper.

2. Be on top of appalling evil or expire finally (7)
{OVERLIE} – An anagram of EVIL OR and expirE (finally) gives a word for being on top of.

3. Bill, charming little son, keeps up to date (9)
{ACQUAINTS} – Another nice clue, that reads well. Bill is AC, charming is QUAINT, plus S (a little son) means we can keep up to date or remain familiar with something.

4. I love to absorb short publication : ‘The Mature Insect’ (5)
{IMAGO} – I and O (love) around (absorb) MAG(azine) is in fact an insect in its sexually mature adult stage after metamorphosis.

5. Chronicle English sailor managed to set up (7)
{NARRATE} – All in reverse (up) E(nglish) TAR (sailor) RAN (managed) gives us a word that is used normally to describe the telling of a story. Just like Jackanory really – “’ll tell you a story, About Jack a Nory”

6. Game lord has no right to make money (5)
{RUPEE} – Simple but tricky, game is R(ugby) U(nion) and lord is PEER, from which we have to remove the R (no right) for Indian currency.

7. Metallic material that could be seen in inro (7,4)
{WROUGHT IRON} – The Eiffel tower is constructed from a form of this. The answer is what you would do if you put together and created (WROUGHT) an anagram of INRO. Just for the record an inro is a small, usually ornamented box that is hung from the waist sash of a Japanese kimono and has compartments for holding small objects such as cosmetics, perfumes, or medicines.

9. Detest sin in awkward believer with different views (11)
{DISSENTIENT} – An anagram of DETEST SIN IN (awkward) gives us another word for a dissenter, used at one time to describe Catholics who would not attend Church of England services.

14. Oily stuff a female in need of education put into cocktail (9)
{MARGARITA} – MARG (oily stuff), A and RITA (a female in need of eduation) is a cocktail, made with tequila and lemon juice.

15. Specially got up? Not I, not joining in (6,3)
{OPTING OUT} –An anagram of GOT UP NOT I (specially) is a term used for not joining in.

17. Religious rite — the thing needed when there’s disease around (7)
{LITURGY} – IT inside LURGY (disease) is a form of religious worship.

18. Italian PM about to take care of country (7)
{MOROCCO} – Another clue, that you have to think about. I got the answer then had to work out why. The Italian prime minister is Aldo MORO, who was killed and kidnapped by the Red Brigade in 1978. This then has C (about) and to take CO (care of). The country is in North Africa.

20. University lad hugging female may be hungry? (5)
{UNFED} – U(niversity), NED (lad) about (hugging) F(emale) gives a word that means we haven’t eaten yet.

21. See fit European being given a hearing (5)
{DEIGN} – A sounds like clue (given a hearing), and once you have seen this before, it’s not too difficult. However it’s still a good clue whenever you see it. The European is Dane, and this sounds like another word that is used when you think something is appropriate.

11 comments on “DT 25929

  1. I really struggled with this one. Two and a half hours and I solved less than half of it. I understood it after going through your excellent review but there is no way I could have solved this without it. I could have spent all week on this and not got halfway. I think should have been a Toughie! I have seen some Toughies easier than this. Anyway, thanks for your review which was, as usual, very good indeed. I just hope I can get the hang of these tougher ones.

  2. An excellent puzzle.

    17d. Did you know that the word lurgy (or lurgi) is a made-up word which was invented by the Goons in the 1950s (“the dreaded lurgi”)? Not a lot of people know that!

  3. This cryptic crossword is a superb example of the worth of this site to solvers of every level. Without the explanations of how 8a,10a and 13a were formed I for one would be pondering upon why I had written down the correct answer, not having had a dictionary with me at the time!

  4. I only got six clues out and seeing the answers I feel this was too tough for the ordinary crossword. In fact I still haven’t got the ones in the SW corner as I don’t have enough checking letters -if anyone can put me out of my misery before tomorrows paper, thanks!
    8a Drupe -never heard of it. Who has?
    10a I still don’t see how you would get Elia comes from. Am I somehow supposed to know that Charles Lamb (who he?) is an essayist who was also called Elia.
    11a Still haven’t worked this out.
    23a Still haven’t got it
    25a Still haven’t got it
    18d I’ve never heard of this person -again I feel an unfair clue -you either know him or you don’t.
    21d Still can’t get it

    1. Greenhorn

      The answers are there on the blog, all you have to do is to select the space between the brackets. There’s more about it in these two questions in the FAQ.

      Why are there curly brackets beside each clue?


      How do I find the answers?

  5. Good grief-I’ve been using this site since it first came online (only registered recently) and never knew this! Quite a few times I still haven’t managed to get a clue out even with the hints and never found out the answer as I didn’t buy the next days paper. They always say that companies should hide their secrets in instruction manuals as noone ever reads them!

    1. It has been mentioned on a number of occasions, like this one:

      DT 25908

      Originally we gave the answers in normal font but several people said that when they looked for a hint they couldn’t help seeing the other answers.

  6. I took much longer to do this one, but enjoyed it hugely – many fine clues; liked ‘quadruped’. Could be a nominee for clue of the week?

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