DT 25984 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 25984 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25984 – Hints

Selected hints by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

This has been a particularly good week, and it does seem that many of the setters are raising their game.  I hope that is in part due to the feedback that they have received from this blog.  While I would expect that some notice is taken of the opinions of the person writing the individual review, it is your comments that have the biggest impact, so keep them rolling in.  Everyone concerned, whether thay be bloggers or setters, is interested in what you have to say.

Now to today’s puzzle.  A improvement on last Saturday, but while the inclusion of two well-known places, and names from art and literature were absolutely fine, I was disappointed by the girl’s name at 26 across.  I do wish that these prize puzzles were a bit harder, but I’ve gone over that ground before.  I was sent a copy of last Saturday’s prize puzzle from The Independent, and it was a breath of fresh air!

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the better clues and provide hints for them.  Peter Biddlecombe’s full review of this puzzle will be published at 12.00 on Thursday, 23rd July.


1a Ostentatious in a smock? (11)
… by wearing too many clothes!

11a Be at home after short break for painter (7)
This famous painter starts with a short word for a time away from work

26a Lady accountant, about 50, soldiers on (5)
This lady comes from a Chartered Accountant who is around 50 (in Roman numerals) and is being followed by the soldiers of the Royal Artillery

27a Usherette is a headliner (7,4)
A double definition where the first part is a cryptic description of an usherette and the second part is the female lead in a film or play


2d Reluctant to lose a few lines (5)
Drop the leading A from a synonym for reluctant, to get a few lines of a poem

12d Fine shot? (7,4)
This all-in-one clue is a charade of a fine and a shot at goal

13d Shakespearean, despite real trouble, set out (7)
A character from Hamlet is created by combining an anagram of REAL with one of SET

17d Soothing oil said to come from castle (8)
Read this as “soothing oil” followed by “said, or spoken” to give a Scottish castle, with the rest as padding

19d ‘Felix!’ (7)
Someone once asked me if it was possible to have a one word cryptic clue – well here it is!

24d Lamb, priest starting academy (4)
Here Lamb is cleverly positioned as the first word in the clue to disguise the fact that it should be capitalised anyway – if you’ve seen clues like this before then fine, otherwise look up a pen name used by Charles Lamb

This one really wasn’t too hard, but if you need help then ask – you never know!

8 comments on “DT 25984 – Hints

  1. Big Dave

    It says above “This entry was written by Big Dave, posted on July 18, 2009 at 12.01am……” How on earth did you manage to do the crossword AND write the hints AND select appropriate pictures all in the space of one minute?

    1. It may have something to do with the fact that Big Dave’s real name is Clark Kent :)

    2. If you check back, I set the time for all crosswords to 12.01, except Toughies which are 12.02! (If I use 12.00 the RSS feed thinks it’s still yesterday.)

      It’s done to ensure that they always appear in the same order, regardless of posting time, but as a matter of interest this one was finished before 12.20 and blogged by 01.25.

      Now that’s what I call easy.

      1. I did check back and of course you’re right seeing as it’s your blog. Just that your comments about the day’s crossword don’t usually appear until much later in the day. My goodness you stay up late. I can recommend some things for insomnia.

        1. There are two factors for when the blog is that early:

          1. CluedUp must be passably functional

          2. I have other things to do during the day

          Both applied today!

  2. Not up to the standard of a ‘prize crossword’ but as you said Dave they must look after the papers sales. The use of a girls name in 26a is sadly par for the course, even though there are 2 words that could have been used instead without changing the checked letters!, mind you they would have involved the possible use of Chambers.I follow the majority in selecting 19d as my favourite clue.

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