DT 26080 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26080 – Hints

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Yesterday’s popular puzzle from Giovanni is followed today by one from Cephas that should prove to be just as enjoyable. A good cross-section of clues and only the one, well-known, place name. I await, with some interest, your comments.

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, 12th November.


1a Betting before and afterwards (4-4)
Betting before the runners’ numbers are given is made up of two words, one meaning before and the other afterwards

9a Plant hairs as you might say (5)
This plant sounds like (as you might say) the plural of the thick, soft, fine hair of certain animals

15a Fly, one of ten suspended (11)
A type of fly, or one of ten hanging on the wall in the children’s’ song

27a Score five boundaries (6)
… none of them sixes!

28a It beats pal’s tour round (8)
This machine that throbs is an anagram of PAL’S TOUR


1d Pretend to touch another’s feelings (6)
A double definition – to make a show or pretence of on the one hand and to touch another’s feelings on the other

3d Frenchman’s engagement in secondary lodging (4-1-5)
Put an engagement or assignation inside a common forename for a Frenchman to get this secondary lodging

7d Lone whale swimming at the end of last month (9)
… the end of last month was 31st October, time for trick or treat

15d Present stallion shouldn’t be taken to dentist (4,5)
… because you shouldn’t look one of these in the mouth!

25d Stare endlessly into space (3)
Drop the last letter (endlessly) from a word meaning to stare to get an unfilled space

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!



  1. gnomethang
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Just completed at heathrow prior to a weeks golf in Spain.
    See Y’all next week.
    I liked 18a and 24a. Best Saturday for a while.

    • mary
      Posted November 7, 2009 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      lucky you – have a great time

  2. Prolixic
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Great crossword – Cephas in top notch mode. This was a pleasure to solve with lots of good clues and smiles. It was a Mercedes that purred along whilst solving it. My favourites were 15a and 7d.

  3. Barrie
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Really enjoyable, some nice clues but I am really stuck on the last 4. Any hints for 21a? Is the barker a dog?

    • mary
      Posted November 7, 2009 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      no Barrie, I thought that at first too, Barker travelling, means move the letters around another word for bay, which will give you a word for to come into the open, hope that helps??

      • Barrie
        Posted November 7, 2009 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        Thank you Mary, all finished now. Had got my mind hung up on a perishing dog like a Great Dane, should have read the clue better and realised that travelling was the anagram indicator, DOH! Excellent puzzle today, more like this please.

    • Bridget
      Posted November 7, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      No, it’s an anagram of barker, which is split to include an alternative word for bay . The answer is an different way of saying emerge into the open. Hope this helps!

      • Posted November 7, 2009 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        Welcome to the blog Bridget

  4. mary
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Morning Dave, yet another one finished without the blog, it surely can’t continue :) , thank you Cephas, my favourites were 15a, 15d and 8d, I really don’t understand the second half of 10d, though I have the answer? this should be another good day for us ‘clueless cluc’ :)

    • Libellule
      Posted November 7, 2009 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Another word for “character” plus the first letter (head) of department….

      • mary
        Posted November 7, 2009 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        morning Libellule and thanks once again :)

  5. mary
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I mean club though cluc sounds quite nice!

  6. Posted November 7, 2009 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Very enjoyable – much better than recent efforts. Plenty of thought went into the cluing.

  7. nubian
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    A good puzzle today apart from the fact I am getting fed up with 3d, I wonder how many times I have filled that clue in in the last six months.
    23d, got the answer but have not got a clue how or why.The clue confuses me, please enlighten me Master (BD)

    • Posted November 7, 2009 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      23d Regularly fervent with worry (4)

      Regularly means to take the even or odd letters from the fodder – today it’s the odd ones.

      • nubian
        Posted November 7, 2009 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        Thanks Big Dave, what a guy

    • Posted November 7, 2009 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      I thought he clue for 3d was quite good, even though it used the dreaded A B in C to mean B in A = C.

      • nubian
        Posted November 7, 2009 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        The clue was very clever, it was the answer I am sick of filing in. It is fast becoming a ‘vielle rengaine’ or should I say old chestnut.

        • Libellule
          Posted November 7, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

          Ah yes I know the phrase “c’est toujours la meme rengaine” thank you for reminding me.
          or would you prefer from a stricter translation a vieux marron or vieux chataigne?
          However figuratively it could also be “une plaisanterie eculee”….

          • nubian
            Posted November 7, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

            chataigne was my word of the day a couple of weeks ago, I saw this brown gooey stuff in the dessert area at the local restaurant and asked what it was, there was also ‘palmiere’ in the salad area which I asked about and was told the French like to eat trees !. It tasted like cold potato slices, do you know it ?

            • Libellule
              Posted November 7, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

              Palmiere or is it Palmier? As in “Coeurs De Palmier”? Because that would be “Hearts of Palm”, and I do believe you can buy them in cans. Not that I am in a hurry to taste it :-)

              • nubian
                Posted November 7, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

                Youre right Libellule, the taste was ok, nothing out of the ordinary. bit like water chestnuts used in chinese cooking

  8. Big Boab
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Nice weekender, enjoyed it very much.

  9. Toby
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Good crossword some good clues. Not quite sure how 3d comes about , but like Nubian have seen it so often got it from “lodging” and “Frenchman’s”. I am further confused by Big Dave’s clarification! Can’t work out what A,B + C are. Liked 15d – straightforward but a bit obscure – also a big part of my job!

    • Posted November 7, 2009 at 12:35 pm | Permalink


      This clue actually says “Frenchman with engagement in gives a secondary lodging ” but most people would say “engagement in French man gives a secondary lodging”. In this case A = Frenchman, B = engagement and C = secondary lodging.

      • Toby
        Posted November 7, 2009 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        Dohhhhh! Penny has dropped! many thanks BD- couldn’t see who the french man was but can now.

  10. Kram
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Mary, no comment about the cricket usage in 27a, you must be converted!.Like all loved this Saturday prize puzzle, best clue, too many good ones to adjudicate upon.

    • mary
      Posted November 7, 2009 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Ah no, it was one of the very few cricket facts that I knew but I’m definitely not converted :)

  11. Lea
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Lovely crossword – no sticking points – some very nice clues. My favourite were 12a for the wordplay and 24a for the definitions.

  12. NathanJ
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I liked this as well.

    Actually all of the puzzles this week have been good, particularly Giovanni’s brilliant Friday puzzle.

    I have to concede that having re-worked Elgar’s Wednesday puzzle with the help of the hints I can now see what a great puzzle it was. I was simply a bit sour on Wednesday because I couldn’t solve it! With the help of this blog I know I will eventually be able to solve an Elgar puzzle – I appreciate the help of you all.

    Bring on Sunday! I know Jed will have a good puzzle to challenge us all.

    • Barrie
      Posted November 7, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely agree esp about Fridays BUT I do not like Elgars puzzles, even with the answers I found them pretty nigh incomprehensible. Def not for me.

      • Lizwhiz
        Posted November 7, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        So agree with you. I would need a brain transplant! Loved todays however. Relatively easy, but a pleasure to do. Back to the cleaning :(

  13. Narbadingi
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed today’s too, but confess to remaining stumped in the top left – 1ac and 1dn (and 9 ac but I’m not good on plants…) Loved the rest, though.

    I’m assuming the last half of 1ac is what we didn’t get with recent strikes, but haven’t got first idea what the frist part is. Can’t think of any words that mean ‘before’ to make a gambling term, but them as I’m not a better perhaps it’s simply ignorance. Could it be an extended hill-dweller?

    As for 1dn… um… nope. Ah, hang on…. if 1ac is an extended hill-dweller, then could that perhaps kick off a bad ‘******’?

    • Libellule
      Posted November 7, 2009 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Chambers defines the first word for 1a as
      “a fixed stake put down by a poker player, usu before the deal or an advance payment” and an extended hill dweller would be right, or even an eastern hill dweller. You usually hear the word in the betting phrase “to up the ****”.

      • Narbadingi
        Posted November 7, 2009 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        Many thanks, Libellule. Never heard of it, but thanks!

        Time for a nice cup of tea….

    • Posted November 7, 2009 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      It was difficult to provide a hint for 1d but you seem to be there. I’ve censored your comment as it contained 5 of the 6 letters in the answer, you can see how hard it is to provide a hint without using the word itself or one close to it!

      • Narbadingi
        Posted November 7, 2009 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, BD. New to this, so didn’t realise I shouldn’t use a similar word with a different meaning if the letters are close. Certainly don’t want to spoil anyone else’s fun, so will remember for next time! Sorry!

        • Posted November 7, 2009 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

          Usually it would be ok, but that one was a bit too close. The problem I am trying to avoid is having comments like “Can’t get 2d, have A?B?C?” – the difficulty is where to draw the line.

  14. Peter
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Not as keen as some of you on this.

    Stuck on a lot.




    • Libellule
      Posted November 7, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      19d Del-Boy?
      22d Double definition – a jump for example perhaps using a pole, and and the cellar would have “arched walls and ceiling”.

    • Posted November 7, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      19d Scurry back to Queen’s merchant (6)

      Libellule’s hint is harder than the clue!!

      Reverse a 4-letter word meaning to scurry and add the usual crosswordese for Her Majesty – result, a merchant

      • Libellule
        Posted November 7, 2009 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        You think so :-)

  15. trotters
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Stuck on 8d – think I have the answer but no idea how. Any assistance?

    • Posted November 7, 2009 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      8d Animal that’s strange at home with hill-dweller (8)

      It’s a charade – strange (3) + at home (2) + hill-dweller (3)

    • Libellule
      Posted November 7, 2009 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      If I said the definition was animals that chewed the cud and the hill dweller was “Any of the various social insects of the family Formicidae” would that help?

      • trotters
        Posted November 7, 2009 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        Excuse my ignorance but I wasn’t aware of that definition for the first part of the charade. Got the answer – just wasn’t sure how!

        • Posted November 7, 2009 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

          It’s worth remembering as it comes up quite often in one form or another.

  16. mary
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    This blog is great…….as well as being very helpful it is also very entertaining :)

    • Lea
      Posted November 7, 2009 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you Mary – learn something new every day don’t we? French phrases and food included.

      Thanks BD for making it available to all of us.

    • nubian
      Posted November 7, 2009 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      I wonder if Big Dave will have an AGM for all users of the blog with pop and crisps for the yungins and chicken tikka masala for the more discerning palate and then lots of beer and wine and wassailing

  17. Peter
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Finished at last.

    Thanks all.

  18. Jake
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Finished, thanks BD for your help with the cud-chewer which otherwise would never have got!

  19. Robbo
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Down to the last one and completely stuck on 5a – any suggestions??
    Great blog by the way

    • Posted November 7, 2009 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Robbo

      5a Man on whom success depends gets an honour, gold (6)

      The definition is “man on whom success depends”, and it’s charade time again – AN + an Honour from the Queen + gold, crossword style (but not AU).

  20. Little Dave
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable but again the easiest of the week by a mile. Finished it during my son’s wind-band performance. It’s in the envelope ready to post after firework watching and now a nice glass of white burgundy. Lovely.

  21. tonyp17
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Best Saturday crossword for months and the right level for me. I can rarely solve the more complex clues like in yesterday’s offering.

    Great blog – amazing how the number of comments has grown recently as has the number of hits.

  22. Claire
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Loved this weeks Saturday crossword (and this blog!) but can’t finish :-( 17a and 20a have me stumped. Pretty sure I have 8 down ok & I thought 16d was ok but maybe not…. or maybe I’m just being dumb!

    • Posted November 8, 2009 at 12:01 am | Permalink

      17a Amphibian remaining headless (3)
      Drop the first letter from a word meaning remaining (after some has been taken away)

      20a Say about husband going in pale (4)
      This is an anagram (about) of SAY around H(usband) to give a word meaning pale

      8d there are a number of hints above!

      16d Neat gash free from infection at the start (5-3)
      The definition is neat, and you get there by putting a word meaning a gash after one meaning free from infection

      • Toby
        Posted November 8, 2009 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        Do you ever sleep BD?

      • Claire
        Posted November 8, 2009 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

        Thanks BD – had 16d ok – should have got 20a! Unless my hill dweller’s wrong I’ve never heard of 17a!

        • Posted November 8, 2009 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

          17a is a word that crops up frequently in quick crosswords.

  23. Jane
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed this. Much more fun than watching Strictly . . or X Factor!

  24. bobness
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Hi all
    I’m now done with a little help from here.
    I’m a Saturday only man, when i get the time (Tricky this weekend with daughter largely unable to walk due to descending a staircase the quick way) and SWMBO having a dental procedure yesterday) so have been looking after the grandson (2 1/2) mostly, but an enjoyable and well pitched puzzle I thought.
    I always say there’s a new word in every Saturday puzzle, today i learned 2. 9a and 17a are new to me, I think 9a is a well known clue/wordplay, but 17 had me stumped for a while. Had no knowledge of the word, but in true “good clue” style, you could work out pretty much what it just has to be.
    Especially liked 15a and 18a.

  25. Hippo
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Hi. Just wanted to say thanks for the help to finish today’s xword. Have eventually got round to posting something. Am a relative newbie but love doing them.

    • Posted November 8, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Hippo.

      You are in good company here!

  26. Edward Bear
    Posted November 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    don’t understand the clue for 5a at least not the 1st 4 letters of the answer which I assume is a thing on a boat – can you assist please

    • Posted November 9, 2009 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Did you see comment #19 above?

      • Edward Bear
        Posted November 9, 2009 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        Thanks – being dim here still dont get logic for letters 3 and 4

        • Posted November 9, 2009 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          Try looking up Companion of Honour – it’s used a lot in crosswords!