DT 26086 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26086 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26086 – Hints

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

This prize puzzle is even easier than usual, so there should be a lot of happy people today!

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 will be published on Thursday, 19th November.


2a Making a smashing entrance (12)
… by going to a party without an invitation

16a Side of hill cut in London area (5)
You could ski down this side of a hill – it is built by putting a synonym for to cut inside either the area of England in which London is situated or a London Postal area (take your pick)

21a Discharge which Parisian? One caught outside (6)
A word meaning to discharge from an accusation in court is derived by putting the French for “which” inside a synonym for one and the two-letter abbreviation for caught

25a Remove coarseness if found in the way (4)
You need this one in order to solve 19 down! – a word meaning to remove coarseness is derived from IF inside an abbreviated way

26a What one hopes to have in hospital after being unwell, abuse! (3-9)
Put a process which hopefully leads to a cure (what one hopes to have in hospital) after a synonym for being unwell to get a word meaning abuse of, for example, prisoners


1d A paramour for the most part taking large number into secluded place (6)
Take A and most of a synonym for a paramour, insert a moderately large Roman number and the result is a secluded place

4d Cold beef many people have (6,9)
A cold is an example of this – just put a word meaning a beef, or grievance, after an adjective that means possessed by many people

5d Chemical compound, highly explosive and deadly potentially going round (8)
To find this chemical compound, take an abbreviation for High(ly) Explosive and DEADLY and find an anagram (potentially) – I’m not entirely happy about this one; it seems to be an unwritten rule in th Telegraph that indirect content, like abbreviations, cannot be part of the anagram fodder – if “going round ” is a reversal then it is a very odd construct.  You comments are, as ever, welcome.

22d A Parisian female with sex-appeal is not suitable (5)
The French indefinite article is followed by the usual abbreviation for female and that crossword favourite synonym for sex-appeal to get a word meaning not suitable

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!

56 comments on “DT 26086 – Hints

  1. Quite straightforward – didn’t find it as easy as some Saturdays though. Struggled on a couple for a while. Couldn’t really understand 24a – answer seemed a bit straightforward – does the “more than one” just refer to the fact that it is a plural noun – if so it is hardly a cryptic clue – or am I missing something? Can’t say as I have ever heard of its singular!
    5d- felt there should have been some indicator as to the two letters you need to add to get the anagram (I can’t believe that it is a well known abbreviation), especially given that the answer is a chemical compound.
    Some very clever clues though- 10a, 4d in particular. Very enjoyable!

    1. Glad I am not alone in finding less easy that BD suggested. I think that 24a is a tongue in cheek allusion to the fact that the noun is a plural noun that everyone uses in the singular.

      In respect of 5d, there are two generall used abbreviations for explosives. The first is TNT, the other one cannot be printed as it is Saturday but it is hidden in “other” and is also an abbreviation for an ambassador.

  2. Many thanks for the Blog Dave. Not sure myself that this was much easier than previous weeks – oddly, Ckued-Up shows it with 5 stars; not sure that that can be right. There were some more unusual(ish) words that cause people to think. My favourites were 2d and 14d.

    One small point on your hint for 16a. London area could also be a reference to one of the London postcode districts rather than the area of England where London is situated.

    1. I thought today’s puzzle was par for the course for a Saturday, and ranks perhaps **/*** for difficulty.
      Reference 16a, I also took it as a London postcode, although either way it’s perfectly appropriate.

      1. I think that BD’s original interpretation is more likely to be correct. We’ve had “Newcastle area” and “Geordieland” standing for another part of England in past puzzles.

        1. I’ll put both in!!

          The area of England is usually clued as “Home Counties” and I think I once saw it clued as “Kent area”. Whatever the answer it’s likely to be tricky for overseas solvers.

  3. Good Saturday fair which I like to see, as I suspect there are many who find the time on a Sat to make this a starting point into crosswords.

    One or two goodish clues, but enjoyable.

  4. Hi Dave
    when i downloaded off cluedup last night/this am i did a few straight away and thought, this is quite easy and left it til this morning, on reading your rating, i thought oh great and off i went, unfortunately i didn’t find it as easy as you suggest, some words i didn’t know and tuft = **** never heard that but i’m sure lots have?? cant understand 5d though i have the answer
    favourite 19d though it was the last one i got, thanks once again Dave – hope the weather is better in your part of the country :)

      1. thanks Dave, just assumed first of all that explosive was tnt, must admit not seeing the ** :), would you belive the rain has stopped, must go and set the garden straight before it starts again, everyting has blown all over the place.

  5. I got a different puzzle on the live entry page rather than the puzzle availabe for print.

    I wished the other puzzle was still there, it was infinitely better than this one. Dreadful surface reading at 10 ac.

    Last week’s terrific puzzle is now a distant memory.

    If you finish this quickly, may I recommend the Guardian puzzle

    Click to access gdn.cryptic.20091114.pdf

  6. Easy! You must be joking. This is one of the trickiest Saturday puzzles for ages. Got all the bottom fairly quickly but the top is beyond me at this moment. Will go away and give it some thought based on the helpful clues above.

    1. think you will get there in the end Barrie, i had lots of help from my Chambers and electronic friend, maybe you do it all without that kind of help, which is of course much much cleverer :), I am just pleased to be able to finish them now and again, when I think back to last June when I started doing them, I couldn’t even see what the setters were looking for most days so even with the said help I was useless, now at least I can see on most days what I am supposed to be looking for and even then I often work backwards, understanding the workings after getting the answers!! don’t give up

    2. Don’t give up Barrie! Hopefully you will get the top half soon. Like Mary I was rubbish when I started but now managing better. Usually manage about half without resorting to clues but excelled myself today & got the whole thing! Thanks for the hints to 5d, really didn’t understand why at all. Enjoyed 16d and 13a – pleasing and a bit of fun.
      Hope your garden has survived Mary – just got soaked myself coming in from the car

      1. Thanks for the supportive comments guys. Thanks to the hint above I got 1a and the rest flowed from there. Still think it was a tricky one though but better than most this week. Going to Cyprus now for a week for a bit of R&R so perhaps I will be refreshed on my return and able to tackle a Giovanni!

  7. 10a, 13a and 25a all contain remove/removing. Would have thought other words were possible. Sums up this crossword for me.

    1. Hi Roy – welcome to the blog.

      13a. Remove whitewash from continental bed (6)
      You want a french word for from, followed by a type of bed which is arranged vertically.

  8. Evening everyone – first time for me. I’ve been lurking and enjoying the blog. Found this a bit easier than usual (**/***). Laughed out loud at 19 Down when I finally got it.

  9. Thanks for the clues, although I am completely stumped on the chemical compound (5d) as I don’t have enough letters to make an anagram!
    Also problems with 9ac and 11ac
    Any help gratefully received

    1. Welcome to the blog Gordon

      I’ve added a picture for 5d. Sometimes I very carelessly link these pictures to the answer – either a web page or in the url, or both!

      9a Mild way to chide (8)
      The definition is “mild” and it’s a charade of a way or method followed by to chide or scold (this latter word is usually prefixed with be….)

      11a Tuft that is forming small cloth (6)
      Join together a tuft or handful of hair and the Latin abbreviation for “that is” and you get a small piece of cloth to put in your pocket (although they are usually made of tissue paper these days)

  10. Thanks for your concern Claire. It is now being propped up with the green waste bin. Just thought I would put your mind at ease.

  11. Hey Guys, I’ve been absent for a while and haven’t had a real chance to do many xwrds. Today was too tough for me. Maybe i’ve been out of the saddle too long.

  12. I dont know if the Spanish Sun has got to me but I started this on the plane going home today and realised that I had completed it at some point during the week – I think it might have been the Sunday Telegraph with condensed news over the week. Either that or I had a massive, continuous deja-vu experience over xx minutes!!
    Not too bad a puzzle IMO but I did find it slightly trickier than most Saturday puzzles.

  13. Hi Dave
    If you are there- I am desperate to know 6a just cannot see it I have the 2nd and last letters (i think) but still cannot see it – help!!! ps where should I put this message??? :) then I can get on with my day

        1. I dont mean whew is the answer, just whew thank goodness for that, once you get it you feel so stupid for not seeing it before :)

  14. Hello everyone, I’ve been happily visiting for some time and trying to learn how to do the DT cryptic. I only do Saturday so far and never manage to finish, but I really enjoy it, and this blog. For the first time I’ve nearly finished – with your help, but for some reason I’m completely stuck on 17A. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Welcome to the blog Carole

      17a Said fellow’s boost (6)
      This is a homophone, indicated here by said, of a fellow’s name. They can be notoriously difficult if you don’t spot them straightaway. This fellow is married to our Queen, and you want a word for a boost that sounds like him.

      1. OK that’s great thanks Dave, homophone is a new one to me, as is this word – if of course I’ve got it right. :o)

    1. 18a Consequence when I am left with damaged cane (10)
      Just build this consequence bit by bit – the abbreviated form of “I am”, the left side of a ship, and finally an anagram (damaged) of CANE

      16d Hot-tempered high-flier? (8)
      A hot-tempered woman or a Battle of Britain aircraft (high-flier)

    1. Welcome to the blog Pe

      We like to think that people come here to learn how to solve and enjoy cryptic puzzles and not just to get the answers. I’m glad you appreciate what we are doing.

  15. As usual a late response from me…..in 21A I think it’s the French for “who” not the French for “which”? That’s my excuse for not getting it for ages, and I’m sticking to it!

    1. Better late than never!

      I had this sent from someone who lives in Paris:

      “… another couple of French words for your Mine, ‘Qui’ and ‘Que’. As relative pronouns, they can both mean ‘Who’, ‘Whom’, ‘Which’ or ‘That'”

      I will be adding them soon.

      1. Thank you – serves me right for relying on my schoolgirl French. Perhaps I can switch to moaning about the cricket reference in the same clue. Cricket schmicket.

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