DT 26074 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26074 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26074 – Hints

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Anax’s excellent article, titled “From the Top”, on how he put together a whole puzzle will be posted at 12.00 today.  You will find this insight into the mind of an accomplished setter extremely interesting, all the more so if you solved the puzzle when it was posted last Saturday.

This puzzle gets three stars for enjoyment mainly because it is a lot better than last week’s Prize Crossword. A couple of iffy clues spoilt the overall effect, but it should please a lot of the Saturday regulars.

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, 5th November (remember, remember!).


3a Protection to put first (6)
Put this protection designed to prevent injury in front of first to get a well-known slogan

10a Drunk on about one and three-quarter pints (5)
A little-used word meaning drunk (which is usually followed by “up”) then crosswordland’s usual short word meaning on, or “on the subject of”, gives a quantity of about one and three-quarter pints – “about” appears at first to be doing double duty here, but the quantity gives the answer away

16a Fellow feller (6)
An attempt at an all-in-one clue which suggests that this person who cuts things down is cutting down a fellow – it just doesn’t work for me

20a Hinder unknown number during difficult times (6)
All you have to do here is to decide which unknown number to put into an anagram (difficult) of TIMES to get a word meaning to hinder – the choice is x, y or z

28a Frenchman repeatedly using the old expression of mild disagreement (2,3)
Put the French equivalent of Mr in front of two occurrences of an old word for “the” and the result is an expression of mild disagreement

30a Remove agent, not Georgia (6)
A word meaning to remove, these days by pressing the appropriate key on your keyboard, is created by taking a synonym for an agent and removing the code for the US State of Georgia


1d Laid up face down (4)
Quite clever – because this is a down clue, up tells you to reverse laid to get a synonym for face when reading down

4d A few snowflakes — blast! (6)
A word which describes a few snowflakes can also mean a sudden blast or gust

13d Not having been in a union for long (4,7)
… because newly wed

14d Flame red jacket? (6)
The question mark indicates that part of this double definition is dubious, and it’s the flame red bit – the genuine definition is a light jacket, often in the colours or with the badge of a school

26d Bird coming from city in Brittany, we hear (4)
This small British bird sounds like (we hear) a city in Brittany

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!

43 comments on “DT 26074 – Hints

  1. Very straightforward – You’ll like this Mary and Barrie! I thought there were some good clues 9a, 20a and some rather bland ones – are 11a and 17a really cryptic clues? The only one I was not sure of was 25a. I think I have it right but did not know that the answer meant “pay”.

    1. Yes thanks Toby, I really enjoyed this one, maybe we’re not so clueless after all :) as for 25a I agree, I thought it meant more to rob someone but it is given in my Chambers crossword dictionary…..have you got one – its brilliant – couldn’t do without it – come on ‘clueless club’ this is a day for us – thank you setter :)

      1. Really liked this puzzle but then I do with almost every Saturday crossword in the DT. Stuck on two though. Can’t get 23d or 29a. Any clues?

      2. Chambers Crossword Dictionary – hear, hear! It’s invaluable for setters too, although in that role it should be used with care as many of the “synonyms” listed are vague to say the least.
        I’m hoping that in a future edition Chambers might consider using bold text to show precise synonyms, normal text for the looser ones, and perhaps italics for what you might call “contextual synonyms” – where words can be interchangeable in certain contexts/sentences.

  2. A nice start to the day. My favourite clue? 2d as I am off to see the Artillery v the Cavalry!

        1. have fun, I am actually a firm Liverpool supporter but one of my sons and grandson supports Arsenal :)

          1. Thanks, Mary we are 4th generation Gooner ticket holders but my son in law supports Liverpool. No more footie talk, this is a crossword site after all. But it makes a change from cricket ………

            1. I agree, i wonder why there are so many cricket clues the football world is vast, setters must be able to come up with many interesting cryptic clues re soccer

              1. Because cricket is a louts games played by gentlemen and football is vice versa :-)
                Come on you SPURS!!!

              2. That would be even worse than cricket – can’t imagine anything more horrifying than being subjected to football for my crossword entertainment

  3. I agree that overall the puzzle is a lot better this week and I enjoyed solving it. Some of the cluing was still a little variable and not up to the best that the setter has usually given us for our Saturday treat.

  4. I was up early with the baby this morning, so thought I’d try the crossword, and finished it in about *** minutes. Thought 1D was a great clue. Also I noticed that all the letters of the alphabet were used. Is this something setters deliberately try to do?

    1. It’s called a pangram and setters do try to achieve it. Last week’s was also a pangram.

      Strictly speaking a pangram is a sentence containing all 26 letters, like the famous “quick brown fox” one.

  5. Good morning Dave, don’t be sad but I didn’t need you today :) but needless to say I will need you undoubtedly very soon

  6. A few old chestnuts but a good one for confidence building. 27a got todays vote.
    I like to throw the odd pseudo handgrenade into the mix now and again but contentious issues are either a bit thin on the ground these days or I am mellowing, The only foreign word I found today was 10a and that’s pushing it.
    Still to paraphrase Winston “The price of quality is eternal vigilance”
    Enjoyed reading the hints today, Thanks BD

  7. Flew through this one, but really enjoyed it. To get back to football momentarily, my boy has given up the Premiership and is going to watch Hampton & Richmond. Me – I’m having a bit of a Sport-free afternoon!

  8. I, too, flew through it but really enjoyed today’s. Have been occupied in the last 2 weeks with getting my daughter off to Canada for 6 months. This meant I had to abandon all crossword activity, including my attempts to go through one or two of the weekday ones with your help, learning all the way. So it was very reassuring to be able to finish AND enjoy today’s. Wey hey, I’m back!

  9. Much better than last week, as stated a couple of old chestnuts but a few clever clues.
    20a and 9a stood out.

  10. Have just returned from a week in glorious Bournemouth and have had no access to the site. Today’s was a gentle romp after a week of challenging examples. 2* at a push.

  11. Great crossword this week – did it all in record time, not bad for a ‘generally clueless’. I thought 16a was quite good! One half of the word for each word of the clue and the whole = the whole… if you see what I mean. (can’t explain better without giving it away!) What about Rugby!!

  12. OK I’m done, but a few issues with this one, some clues way too easy and barely cryptic in places

    1. 19a – for example, 17a (weak, I felt) 2d

      I feel patronised! And I’m not that good at crosswords!

  13. Another wonderful day for the clueless club! good xwrd with some new words thrown in. This is why we buy the paper.

  14. keeping on a footy theme I decided to print it out after we conceded our third goal of the afternoon and in between swearing at my computer as the game went on had almost finished it by the time we let in our fourth. So i am with Barrie tonight in drowning my sorrows . i very nearly made the long drive to the south coast today as well just decided to save my money as i want to visit spurs next month

  15. I finished today’s in record time,but I still enjoyed it especially 1d. It was a vast imporvement on last week’s puzzle

  16. Certainly an improvement on last week, although this week we have the dreaded double unches again (unchecked squares) again. This time, the words have less than 50% checking which was the selling point for last week’s, according to the setter.

    Better but still not as enjoyable as the other puzzles available today.

  17. Thanks for your help, as usual I am feeling a bit thiick because I couldn’t get 30a, yet it is a key I use often!

  18. We are on a roll this week! Found this much easier than usual. Not complacent though – no doubt will struggle next week…

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