DT 26026 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26026 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26026 – Hints

Weekend Whinge by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment: **

I have been thinking for some time now of having “Weekend Whinge”, and today has offered me a good opportunity to start.  This was very nearly a good puzzle, but a few issues completely spoiled it for me.  Afrit, one of the founding fathers of the cryptic crossword, wrote “I need not mean what I say, but I must say what I mean”.  In my opinion, the first three clues in today’s puzzle fail that simple test.  I would like to know your views on this subject, so please leave a comment.

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. A full review of this puzzle by Tilsit will be published at 12.00 on Thursday, 10th September.

1a New penny found above old one in pool (4)
Take the abbreviations for new and old pennies and then put one above the other – although “found” has been inserted into this clue in an attempt to rescue it, this construct just doesn’t work properly with an across clue; just imagine it is a down clue! [I did not expect my comment to provoke the reaction that it has, and on re-reading I agree that this clue works as a charade .]

9a Hot under the collar? On the contrary (2,1,4,5)
Some of you may not be familiar with this construct; “on the contrary” tells you to reverse the instruction given by the clue, so think of the state you would be in if you were the opposite of hot – not a good day today, because although this state involves the opposite of hot it is not the opposite of hot under the collar

10a If it’s good there isn’t any (4)
Fill in the blank – No ____ is good ____ – this is very nearly a clever cryptic definition, but it’s a bit like saying a horse is an animal therefore all animals are horses; “It’s good if there isn’t any” would be much better


6d Sturgeon roe Tess removed (7)
This type of sturgeon, of which I have been unable to find a picture, is an anagram of ROE TESS

Thanks to Peter Biddlecombe  (see comment #17 below), here is a picture, a bit like before and after!

In the article associated with this picture (click on the picture to go there) it says that there are alternative spellings [osetra, scietra, asetra, osietra, ossetra and other variations, after the Russian osiotr] but not one of those given is the one used here.

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!

42 comments on “DT 26026 – Hints

  1. Totally agree that this was nearly a good puzzle. At first I thought it was going to be too simple even for me (!) then came across a few clues that don’t really work even though the answers were fairly easy to work out from the cross letters. The puzzle left me a bit disappointed.

  2. Finished without too much hassle – the last one I got was actually 2d which I expected to be far easier. 22d was quite clever and overall not a bad Saturday challenge. 2*

  3. Still not sure about 9A not convinced i have the right answer, for a prize crossword i actually found todays quite easy less 9a of course

  4. Will take a look at today’s offering now I have finished in the garden but have spotted that you mean September 10 rather than September 3 for the full review.

  5. I found this far more enjoyable than in previous weeks, although I did struggle with 6 down for a while.

  6. I have finished todays (I think) but don’t quite understand 26d, whats it’s got to do with a vehicle unless it refers to transporting a quanity of Scotlands finest export from bottle to mouth. Can anyone enlighten me?
    Otherwise very enjoyable, a relaxing way to start the w/e.

    1. Barrie

      I think it is more likely to be for transporting Hook Norton’s finest export (or any other brewery!

      The last part of the charade is a poetic synonym for “at all times”.

      1. I am certain that I have the right answer to 26d, and it follows your hint, thank you, but I wonder if there is an error in the clue: ‘at all times’ has a three letter poetic synonym, which in turn has a three letter homonyn; it is this homonym that has the two letter alternative spelling that is needed to complete the answer. Either I can wear my anorak with pride or I need to replace my Concise Oxford English. Please advise.

        1. Welcome to the blog Rob

          I’ve seen better clues, but Chambers gives this:

          *** or ** (now Scottish and Northern English or archaic)

          * ever
          * always
          * for ever

  7. Isn’t 1a be a simple charade with above being on with found meaning met? Or am I missing something? Got stuck on 23a. Agree on 10a. But I liked the crossword with a number of of clues sending me legitimately in the wrong direction.

  8. Hi Dave
    Thanks again for clues – am almost sorted now.
    13d is provong a stickler, as is 9a, despite your hint!
    Can anyone provide any further clues…?!

    1. Chris

      9a is a phrase that is similar to “hot under the collar” and, to paraphrase the Chambers defintion, it would be to perspire from fear. If you have all the checking letters it shouldn’t be too difficult.

      13d is a musical term meaning sliding between two notes which you can find in The Mine.

  9. Found the prize crossword a little taxing in places. However, was even more perplexed by Puzzle 4331 published on the back of the reproduction of the issue announcing the uptake of hostilities in 1939. Any chance of some hints for this one?!

    1. Mark

      Welcome to the blog. I’m afraid the paper is still in its shrink wrap, but I may have a go tomorrow. Those old puzzles are not always easy as the style has changed a lot.

    2. Mark
      Your comment made me rescue the paper from the recycling bag and do this crossword.
      It’s very instructive to see how far the cryptic crossword has developed in 70 years. Half the clues in this one (e.g. 5a Make of motor-car, and 19a Town of India) would today be in the Quick Crossword, and others are just a bit of other answers, e.g. 15d Part of 24d. I reckon that only two or three of the clues would make it into a modern Cryptic.
      Anyway, I’ve done it – so if you are stuck on any of the clues, let me know!

  10. Must be harder than any toughie, still haven’t finished it today, just over 70 years later.

  11. BD,
    I have to agree that recently I have found a number of crosswords really do seem to be stretching credulity and the English language in some of the answers to cryptic clues.
    Another Dave

    1. Welcome to the blog David

      I ran 6d through a word search and found only these additional words matching the crossing letters:


      so you can see that once the setter has boxed himself into this corner, there is no easy way out.

      1. BD,
        That was a tough one. Neither of my dictionaries had ******* listed, but it seemed to be the only possible anagram that made sense.

  12. The answer to DT26,026, 6D is found in the excellent crossworder’s aid to getting 100%, namely Bradford’s Crossword Solvers Dictionary, 7th Edition. Like many others, I find some clues created by people clearly not of this planet, but my wife disagrees and says that it is I who is not of this planet…

    1. A new version of Bradford’s was issued last Thursday.

      More news later, but Tilsit is hoping to publish one of his own puzzles on this blog very soon, and to offer a copy as a prize.

    1. Hi Edward and welcome to the blog.

      20a She may be fortunate to lose £1,000 (4)
      You need a synonym for fortunate, from which you remove
      K (lose £1,000) to leave a girl’s name.
      7d. Unduly light (4)
      This is a double definition – an adverb meaning unduly or extremely, and a type of light which is a flare fired from a pistol.

        1. Hi Mike and welcome to the blog.
          One of the meanings is a synonym for extremely or really as in “…… good”,

          1. Wikipedia says: **** flares (named after E. W. ****, 1847–1907, US inventor) were signal flares, fired from a pistol, used during World War I and World War II (and still used today). They were produced in three color variants: green, red, and “white star.” The flares come in two sizes, 26.5 mm and 38 mm; both sizes have a “burn time” of approximately five seconds.

            When radio silence was important aircraft and ground forces used the flares in colour combinations as specific-action signals and recognition signals.

            What a terrible clue!!

  13. Hi Dave,

    Another first time visitor to your excellent site.

    I agree entirely with your whinges re the 3 dodgy clues and i really hope The Telegraph tries a little harder to stick to Afrit’s maxim. On a related point I started doing the Telegraph crossword a few years ago when the setters were identified; do you know why they stopped this practice?

    PS – I have looked at the Sunday Times today and got down to one – “female star putting us off in a turn” (4) Any ideas?


    1. Hi Ian and welcome to the blog.
      We don’t normally get involved with non-Telegraph puzzles, but I would look at Sirius being the star !!

        1. Ian

          Your help was provided by Gazza – I was out at the time!

          I think that there were more than 3 iffy clues, but they included the first three.

  14. I don’t normally comment on a fellow Telegraph setter’s puzzles, but your criticism of 1 A is unfair. It’s P ON D as a charade and this would hold for an across or a down clue. The ON here is a synonym for above (yes Will) , not a directional indication (Big Dave) for the construction of the clue. Seeing that this criticism is unfair, I haven’t looked any further! Anyway, do continue to keep us all on our toes!

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