DT 26068 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26068 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26068 – Hints

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment *

Stop Press – 16.00 – the view count on the blog has just hit 500.000 (in just under 9 months!)

Today I have a special treat for you.  Anax has written an excellent article on how he put together a whole puzzle and at 12.00 today you will have the opportunity to solve the puzzle.  I will open up a blog post for discussion of the puzzle and then next Saturday you can read the whole article, titled “From the Top”.  I’m sure that even if you don’t actually solve the puzzle you will find this insight into the mind of an accomplished setter extremely interesting.

I can think of nothing polite to say about today’s Prize puzzle, so I won’t bother.

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, 29th October.


1a Word of hesitation in record large sum (4)
Put a word of hesitation (not er, the other one) inside one of those old vinyl albums and you will get a large sum

8a All the food remains as announced in Warwickshire (8)
All the food remains because nothing has been consumed – put that differently and it sounds like this town in Warwickshire which is famous for its associations with the 19th century author George Eliot and little else

22a Bird coming from that French 17 down (6)
This small passerine bird of the weaver family is created from a charade of the French for “that” (or at least one of them) and the answer to 17 down (which is an easy-to-spot hidden word)

26a Clearly it cannot be seen through in the heat (4)
You can’t see clearly through this vapour, mist or shimmer caused by heat


1d Yearns to see fellow in underwear (4,5)
Inside a word meaning yearns put the name of the author of the fourth gospel and you get an item of underwear

5d Make a pig of oneself on the other side each time (7)
A word meaning to make a pig of oneself is a charade of “on the other side”, an abbreviation of each and T(ime)

21d Smoke 101 fish (5)
Something to smoke is a charade of the Roman numerals for 101 and a fish of the family Lepisosteidae

The Saturday Crossword Club will open at 10.00 am (after Sounds of the Sixties on BBC Radio 2). Membership is free and open to all. Feel free to leave comments or ask questions before that time.

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

52 comments on “DT 26068 – Hints

  1. Couldn’t agree more with you BD and Tilsit. I thought there were some really “contrived” clues (25a, 26a, 3d, 19d). I thought there were some untidy/inaccurate clues (23a – “dancing partner” is hardly the better known definition of the word – escort/young companion etc would have been better.) (14a – looks like the compiler was struggling to find a word/words that would fit in with the alotted letters)
    (13a – could not see the need for the word “retreat”)
    Some clues I liked were 8a, 21a.
    I don’t wish to be critical as I could not even begin to compose a crossword, but I did not enjoy this one particularly – it did not seem to be as well crafted as most of the ones that we see – almost as though it was done in a hurry!

  2. The saving grace for me was that the answer to 18d brought back happy childhood memories!

    I think 6d might have been bettered by saying ‘Photograph moorland including lake showing ******* ** ******’.

  3. Big Dave and Tilsit must really stop doing their reviews in the early hours of the morning. It makes them far too grumpy. This was a wonderful puzzle with highly inventive and witty clues, well balanced and nothing misleading, worthy of Ximenes at his best. The moon is also made of green cheese, Gordon Brown is a dead cert to win the next general election and I am making this post from the summit of Everest.

    Sorry – back to reality.

    If last week’s puzzle was a Morris Minor this week’s was definitely a Trabant.

    Is there a regular setter for the Saturday crossword? If there is, they must be on holiday this week. This puzzle is completely unlike anything that we have been offered in previous weeks. If there is a new Saturday setter and this is what we have to look forward to every week – no that is too horrible to contemplate.

    Looking forward to midday and what Anax has cooked up for us.

  4. I didn’t think it was that bad… ok not exactly difficult, but the Saturday’s usually aren’t.
    I expect a lot of happy people to complete this without having the need to check the hints.

    1. Totally agree with you, Libellule – good puzzle to do on a rainy Saturday breakfast time. Smiled at 8a and 6d which has got to have some merit. Never heard of 22a – can you cook it?

      Incidentally – was going to put “Hear, Hear” at the beginning to show my agreement but am in the middle of a debate with my Osteopath as to whether or not it should be “Here, Here”!!

  5. Didn’t enjoy this at all.
    have my doubts about the construction and use of French in 22a, I think the plot was lost there. Overall it was quite a trial

  6. 22 across has me stumped don’t know enough french and my ornithology lets me down as well
    any clues?

    1. I’ve added a hint for this bird – if you thought it was obscure, the estimated adult breeding population of the red-billed variety is 1.5 billion.

  7. I normally really look forward to the Saturday puzzle but have to agree this was not one of the better ones. Can’t put my finger on why not either.

    Oh well – got the answer to 7d but don’t understand the wordplay on it – can anyone help please.

      1. Libellule and Prolixic = thank you to both of you.

        I got the keep part but this is the second time just lately where I have missed the subtlety of words – this one and the butter one. Need to think out of the box for those.

    1. Keep implies a castle or a high part of it. A tractor is something that pulls something and is therefore also the answer.

    2. I quite enjoyed today’s actually. Hated last week’s. Why did you hate it, folks? (Mind you, I can’t say why I hated lst week’s either – I just did.)

      Anyway, 7d – A tractor is something that tows something behind it., and the answer is another name for a structure you might find in a castle.

      1. Personally speaking, I thought the style of the crossword was not up to the usual standards for the cryptic crossword. It was not a question of difficulty / ease of solving but rather that some of the clues were contrived to point to the answer without having any polish to the surface reading – it seemed pooly built; hence the earlier reference to a Trabant. Examples are 3d or 21a.

        1. I agree. It seems perverse of me to complain about a puzzle that I completed fairly quickly — having complained bitterly about earlier ones this week — but with this I sometimes found words with no idea of how they fitted the clue. 20d is a case in point, as were the two you mention. And as for 22a !!

          1. Franny,
            Re 20d, you need a word for “to ask” then drop an R (not right) and then add an M (maiden over – cricket). The definition being mass.
            22a, the bird is actually quite well known – mainly because of the havoc it wreaks on crops in Africa.

  8. Hi there,

    Could someone do me a favour and post the clues for 21 across to 26 across.
    The dog had a bit of a chew at my newspaper, and managed to tear off the piece with those clues printed on.

    Many thanks.


    1. Welcome to the blog Buster

      At least you have had something to smile about today. :roll:

      21a Short distance behind river has included broken part of engine (8)

      22a Bird coming from that French 17 down (6)

      23a Listen to dance round and see dancing partner (6)

      24a Principal route used by Lynne it is reported in US state (4,4)

      25a Lowest possible boulder wild tot in mob removed (4,6)

      26a Clearly it cannot be seen through in the heat (4)

  9. I finished today’s crossword in relatively quick time (for me). I dabble occasionally with crosswords, and the Saturday Telegraph’s is the only one I attempt on a regular basis, however I agree with other comments that some of the clues today were rather clumsy at best, and occasionally misleading.

    Hopefully it’s a one off

  10. I am done but can you shed any light on the relevance of the word “annoyance” in 13a clue ? Thanks.

      1. Thanks – mmm the word was more of a hinderance than a help – but it is something old ladies say as an alternative to “Blimey”

  11. because I have been having difficulty getting my newspaper lately I have just taken out a 7 day free trial with Clued Up and will probably carry on with the annual subscription, thus making HUGE savings and being able to start the crossword without leaving the house:) just printed off todays … so here I go :)

    1. I’ve just done the same thing myself, and as I live in Switzerland my savings will also be huge. I’m sure you’ll enjoy Clued Up, and it’s fun trying to do the puzzles on-screen :-)

  12. Appalling is my verdict. In increasing order of preposterousness:

    13a – “interjection of annoyance” is a complete red herring.
    12d – answer is laughable
    23a – should have a prize for a special level of misleading dishonesty

  13. Despite the exchange between Libellule and Franny I am still at a loss to understand this clue . Perhaps I have got the wrong answer??

    1. 20d Not right to ask maiden at mass (7)

      Chambers lists the definition of “to ask” for this verb as obsolete (not even archaic)! Is that fair?

      Other definitions: to demand, to exact, to direct (a person to do something), to call for, to necessitate

      The answer is a mass for the rest of the soul of the dead

  14. Just a word on 8a – I always think of the answer as the home of Larry Grayson before he passed away!

  15. Congratulations to all on Big Dave’s site on reaching the half million hits. You are a great team and I for one would be at a loss without your help at times. Back to the usual terrible Saturday PRIZE crossword, did like 25a as it described it perfectly, thank heavens for Anax’s extra, this at least made me use the old grey cells.

  16. Thanks Big Dave, re 20d – I got the right answer but I was concentrating on the wrong ‘r’

  17. I struggled with this as the first answer I wrote in turned out to be wrong. I still think that for 3a “Reflection” is a good answer, as your reflection when you look at it is backwards, and it also means to think about past events. Arrrgghhhh

    PS – congrats on the 1/2m visits, which is a clear ‘reflection’ of the quality of this site ;)

  18. I’ve just started doing cryptic crosswords but over the last few weeks of doing Saturday’s Telegraph I thought I was getting the hang of it. This one however sent me back to the drawing board and I found it impossible (even with the clues in this post I can’t do it!).

    This is the first time on the internet searching for answers. Since I’ve given up on the crossword I’m just after the answers so I can work backwards.

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