DT 26008 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26008 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26008 – Hints

Selected hints by Big Dave

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

You still need to keep your atlas handy for the Saturday puzzle, but at least there are none of those girls’ names to contend with.

If you are using CluedUp today, the quick crossword is a little tricky to find.  The one offered up is actually last Sunday’s Quick GK 108, but if you go to the main puzzles screen and click the right arrow, you will find Q 26008.

Don’t forget that you can give  your assessment of the puzzle.  Five stars if you thought it was great, one if you hated it, four, three or two if it was somewhere in between.

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, 20th August.


1a See odd perennials sprouting (5,3,5)
To get this you need to see that a see is a diocese ~ this one is an anagram (sprouting) of ODD PERENNIALS and it’s in Yorkshire

9a Merchant, stop expressing reluctance (9)
This merchant who sells paper and envelopes, among other things, is a charade of a stop on a railway line together with a word that indicates reluctance or hesitation

15a Dance in Hungary as cards collapse (7)
This little-known, in the UK, Hungarian dance is an anagram (collapse) of AS CARDS

20a Sin and latitude in south-eastern city (7)
You get this Spanish city by combining a synonym for sin with an abbreviation for Latitude, and putting them both inside South-Eastern

23a Arabs transporting port (5)
An easy anagram (transporting) of ARABS gives this Iraqi port


1d One has a job to discover the facts (8,6)
The job for which an MP used to be able to employ his mistress!

6d Semi-continental kangaroo (4)
If you know that this kangaroo is half of the name for someone from the home continent, then it’s easy

16d It is mainly between Greece and Turkey (6,3)
Which is the same as saying that it is the name of the sea between those countries

24d Promises to pay maiden inside coming up from Scandinavian country (5)
What you need here is the Finnish name for Finland!

If that’s not enough to help you finish, just ask and I will see what I can do. 

Please don’t put whole or partial answers in your comment, else they may be censored!

49 comments on “DT 26008 – Hints

  1. I particularly liked 10 across and 8 down. Struggled with 1 aross even though I knew it was an anagram but got there in the end.

    1. Lea,
      I had exactly the same problem myself. I knew it was an anagram, but still spent longer on 1a than on any other part of the puzzle. Then blinding white flash and a eureka moment – Oh now I SEE it.

      1. Me too, it didn’t help that I didn’t know there was another meaning for ‘see’ but once my wife told me I was away! I obviously haven’t learnt my lesson from my problem with CON yesterday (that you put me right about). From now on I will check out ALL words in the clue for different meanings.

  2. usually a big fan of the saturday xword. today had me flummoxed. got 1a and 9a only with bigdaves help. enjoyed 6d and 28a. still confused about 3d and the university reference. can anyone enlighten a dull young man?

    1. Edi, I have always understood the explanation to be …you go ‘up’ to university
      or if you fail you are ‘sent ****’ from university. It works for me unless someone has a better explanation

  3. Can someone help me with 21A? There’s an obvious “way” that can be made to fit but I don’t understand the word play.

        1. Sorry Big Dave, as soon as I pressed send I remembered it was a prize puzzle.
          Please forgive me

          1. No problem.

            It is generally accepted on the solving blogs that actual answers are not given until after the closing date.

            You want to see what happens on The Crossword Centre if you so much as mention the name of the puzzle before the appropriate date! You can’t even say “it was easy”, or even that you have finished it.

          2. And yet! It took a long time before the penny dropped, I was so stuck on a “pole” being N or S.

  4. Thoroughly enjoyed it! Got a bit held back by 1a, as we had it down as plant related

  5. Meant to say we liked 24d as it we were there last new year and the food was excellent – especially the reindeer.

  6. Enjoyed today. Needed your help on 1a and 1d, but I am stuck on 19d, have you any hints?

    1. Hawkeye Pearce of MASH was for ever rattling off this as a major crossing point in his life.

    2. We are used to rivers being known in crosswords as flowers, but flowing is a bit iffy in my book.

      The rest is a charade. Libellule’s advice to newtocryptic in the DT 26007 comments will help a lot.

  7. Thanks for the hints, was really stuck on 6d, in the end I took a wild guess re the continental, split it in half, Googled it and presto a kangaroo! I’m still stuck on 25d, you have not provided a hint, so maybe it just too easy but not for me!

  8. Ok I have got the darn bird, its a colour too right? No idea why it took so much effort, its a pretty straightforward cryptic clue really.

  9. One of the best Saturday ones for a while. I completely missread 1A being convinced it was to do with gardening!! DER!
    Have got it done but found it more taxing than usual which is great.

  10. Hi, Hope some of you are still on here as I need a wee bit of help! 12 across, this ‘lake’ which I was convinced was ‘Ryde’ as its hidden in the clue what on earth is it! someone please nudge me in the right direction..

    1. Welcome to the blog Harry

      Lake is usually, but not always, represented by the abbreviation L. Chambers lists a whole raft of abbreviations that are used on maps, like PO for Post Office, and lake is one of them.

      12a Lake in front of dry den (4)

      Here you need to follow the above abbreviation with a word that means to dry, as you would do with clothing after it had been washed. This then leads you to the definition, which is an animal’s den.

      1. How simple. I figured ‘in’ may have indicated a hidden word but I guess thats far to general..done it now though so thanks for your help.

        Great site by the way

        1. A hidden word could indeed be indicated by “in”, but the addition of “front of” would be considered unfair by most, if not all, crossword editors.

          A frequently quoted rule is as follows:

          You may not mean what you say, but you must say what you mean.

          Think about it!

  11. I find your comments infuriating – I get as far as you but I need help further than that – your answers as as flipping cryptic as the clues!

    1. Welcome Linda

      First-time comments need to be moderated in order to avoid spam!

      If you only want the answer, then there are other sites on which you can post. What I am trying to do is to help with the resolution of the wordplay. If you could be more specific, then I can try to help.

  12. Big Dave, you are doing a good job here. I have the advantage of having done this crossword for many years and it is good to see others being encouraged to attempt it. I am sure others will become addicted to it like me.

  13. I’m addicted to your site. When I’m in a fix, you put me out of my misery and get me going again!

    Would never have got 1a without your help.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  14. I am really enjoying the crossword each saturday now, having discovered your blog Dave – but am having trouble this week with 14d – am sure the answer is staring me in the face…

    1. 14d Honest as a grandmaster? (5-5)

      It’s alluding to chess, but I’m sure you got that. Think of where the player is when looking down at the pieces.

      I didn’t think much of this cryptic definition as it applies to any player, not just a grandmaster.

      1. got it in a trice – it was the grand master fixation which got me – mention of “any player” and I am there! Thanks!

  15. Re I across. I knew it was an anagram but just wasn’t picking up on the other meaning of see. Thanks.

  16. The ‘Hungarian dance’ clue was really infuriating. How on earth can we be expected to know such obscurities? In the Times2 it’s fair enough, but not a prize cryptic. I hate to ‘cheat’ but as the only clue left to do I had to Google to help retain even a little hair! Other than that Saturday’s was fairly easy. Grr!

    1. Welcome to the blog Dom

      I couldn’t agree more – I think you must be prepared to learn some new words, but this was totally obscure. See what Peter Biddlecombe says in his review next Thursday.

  17. A challenging puzzle but overall fun. However, I am stuck on 6d as the last answer remaining. Can anyone help?
    Sorry Dave I don’t understand your hint!

  18. Thanks Dave, you are a star! You have no idea how long thats been bothering me this weekend!! I never knew there was a roo called a ****, well you live and learn. Thanks again.

  19. 4d in this crossword floored me: I had no corresponding letters and banged in “Baffle no more” as “EXHAUST” (“Baffle” being another word for exhaust). Hmmm

    1. Welcome to the blog Phil

      Don’t forget that there is a full review of this puzzle – just enter 26008 into the search widget in the sidebar.

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