DT 26092 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26092 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26092 – Hints

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment *

Oh Dear! Just as I thought that I might be able to look forward to Saturday puzzles, along comes this one. If it wasn’t a prize puzzle then I would recommend consigning it to the recycling bin.

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, 26th November.


1a Can’t be seen from the mountains (3,2,5)
This is a double definition –first: can’t be seen because it is too far away, second: if something is from the mountains it could, at a stretch, be said to be this. Concentrate on the first one, but incorporate a word meaning a mountain chain.

8a Twice as much as a cheap opera? (8)
This will be easier for some than others; take a musical by German dramatist Bertolt Brecht and composer Kurt Weill and double the monetary amount in the title.  One of the best things to come out of this musical was Mack the Knife, sung here by Lotte Lenya (James Bond fans will know her as Rosa Klebb in From Russia with Love).

ARVE Error: need id and provider

23a Environmentalist with European author (6)
The environmentalist is a member of a group associated with a particular colour; add E(uropean) and you have the author of a number of well-known books like Brighton Rock

28a Where to find church militant in Wiltshire? (10)
This town in Wiltshire is a terrible charade of a state of military conflict and a type of church, like the famous one in York


1d Block former pupil over the way with curt disposition (8)
A word meaning to block is built up from abbreviations for a former pupil and a way, or urban road, followed by an anagram (disposition) of CURT

3d Fast that is replaced by festival (6)
This is a borderline indirect anagram – find an anagram of FAST and the familiar abbreviation for “that is” that gives a type of festival

5d Increase rapidly or go down the tube? (8)
I never heard anyone describe going down a moving staircase to the Underground Railway as this, but I suppose they could, again at a stretch

22d Periodical taunt is in French (6)
A type of periodical or magazine suitable for Readers (that’s a hint !!) is a charade of a taunt and the French for “is”

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!

55 comments on “DT 26092 – Hints

  1. I think that you are being a little harsh on this one. I did not find it too bad. With the exception of 5d, where the subsidiary definition was dodgy, I did not find that any of the clues grated and there were some tongue in cheek moments like 8a.

  2. The saving grace for me in this puzzle was a part reference to a football stadium close to my heart in 19d!

      1. Sorry, Mary, i have been out. They are playing Sunderland away and i am now going to watch your team on tele!

  3. OK not a crossword i enjoyed although i have completed it all but one in record time for me, help please, i know it will be obvious once i have the answer but i am stuck on 16d!!!???

    1. s’ok now thanks i had got 14a wrong, well fancy that i have now got a ‘free’ Saturday morning :)

      1. Isn’t it strange six months ago i would have ben jumping for joy having finished one so soon but now although of course i am very pleased to have done so i can be picky and say i didn’t like it – amazing!!!

    2. I STILL havent got 16 d Mary! I’ve got all the across cliues so have four letters to complete and have come up witha potential answer which doesn’t seem quite right!

      1. I hope I’ll do instead of Mary !!

        16d Very many expelled were downcast (8)
        Very many is a large Roman numeral, and this is followed by a word meaning expelled, perhaps from a military aircraft, to get an adjective meaning downcast

  4. Thought that was fair enough today. 13d and 11a seem to be have come up as answers very recently, with only slightly different clues.

    I am not too sure how 2d and 4d come about – I have got the answers but neither seems to fit with the second half of the clues.

    No complaints from me here though!

    Now going to finish a bit of work then watch our boys give the Kiwis a good thrashing!

      1. 2d Toby levy is *** first three letters, next two ** from the actual clue, and last one * force at least that is how i see it

    1. Hi Toby .. I admire your optimism, but reckon it’s probably tounge-in-cheek ref this afternoon’s match!?
      At the very least let’s hope for a better show from our boys than last week … then who knows!!!! :wink:

      Ref. 4d This person will generally be heard only during half time intervals at Twickenham etc!!

  5. I have just come back from shopping and thought I would check out the comments before I started the puzzle.

    If you didn’t like it Mary then it can’t be that good a puzzle – shame as after yesterday’s I was feeling so good,.

    Mind you – I looked at the Toughie after doing the daily yesterday and felt as though I had regressed a million steps. Finally gave up on it and read Anax’s hints – it was a good write up but made me realise I still have a long way to go. Felt as though I should be joining your clueless club Mary.

    Comments and assessment when I have done today’s.

  6. Can’t say we really enjoyed it, because no paper this morning so had to slog over the computer whilst having breakfast., so a certain amount of panic! Anyway, off swimming now with my water-shy grandson! Have a good day everyone!

  7. The puzzle was enjoyable enough although there were a few corny clues that you get the answer to before you finish reading them which I sometimes think is a bit of a rip off.
    26a ‘left over’ would have worked better than ‘more; for me Is this a valid point ?

    1. Nubian – I think ‘more’ goes along with the twelve inches to try to confuse us, which leftover wouldn’t do, maybe???? but don’t listen to me, i generally only think i may know what i’m talking about and when i try to explain it realise i don’t !!

      1. Mary, I was thinking of more being ‘the ****’ as in I will have even more or literally the ****. Job for BD I think.

  8. I didn’t enjoy this either and thought that some of the clues were poor. Toby, don’t bother watching the All Blacks hammer England; watch Wales show England how to score tries against the Pumas and, if the roof’s shut at the Millennium Stadium, turn the volume up to ’11’ and you’ll get an idea what it’s like to be in there!

      1. I didn’t realise this blog was so full of those from the valleys. I will have to choose my blog sites more carefully in future. My prediction (and I promise to add no more on what should be just discussions about Crosswords) England 12, NZ 9, Argentina 20, Wales 18. Come on Johnny!

  9. I suppose that after such high quality Friday puzzles in recent weeks, we are entitled to be a little disappointed with the standard of the Saturday Prize Crosswords.

    I fully agree with Big Dave ref the poor charade in 28 across, and always dislike shortened anagrams as in 15 down. This approach appears to me rather a slack method of finding a clue to fit the answer.

    However, there were a few decent clues, although I had no real favourites today.

    1. Well spotted. Cephas uses pangrams (crosswords which contain all 26 letters of the alphabet) quite a lot. I thought about this when I saw the “Z” but forgot (or was it dozed off) to go back and check. In some ways the restrictions caused by looking for the last few letters may lower the quality of the finished puzzle – what do you think?

      1. I was staring blankly at 9A and then, realising there was one letter of the alphabet still to be accounted for, suddenly found the answer!

    2. If I had noticed this ( I usually do) it would have increased my enjoyment, psychologically of course :)

  10. Despite morning chores ferrying two children to various activities etc (wife enjoying a day out with a friend – shopping!!!) I managed to finish this without any angst. Clues generally okay in my view but again the easiest puzzle of the week. Enjoyable though. My team are playing at home to the mighty Bristol City.

  11. The puzzle may not have been the most demanding but it is good to have a range. Twelve months ago, this would have been a challenge as I had recently taken up crosswords. Perhaps this one will give a good number their first unaided completion.

  12. Hmmm! 15d and 28a were pretty poor.
    I might stop doing the Saturdays having just picked them up again.
    I really don’t get 4d since you can also hear them at the start.
    Feeling a bit 16d.

  13. Well, I didn’t think it was that bad, but I didn’t have too many problems with it.
    14A is my “new word for the day”.
    I always think that the quality of a clue is mainly defined by how it reads “stand alone” and the lack of padding and “obvious” words/phrases, and to be fair, this wasn’t a great one.
    Nice to finish it though.

  14. Overall this week’s selection has introuduced me to some new words which is great. Favourite word of the week for me being “lentigo”. It’s also good to see how lively this debate has become. By the way….my team won 4-1 so I am now going to celebrate with a nice glass of burgundy. Lovely.

  15. I enjoyed it – though this is usually a sign that I finished it without having to come here for “assistance”!

  16. Having been stuck at home for the last two days with a sick child I think I have become brain dead. I’m struggling with 24a. Help!!!

    1. Hi Fi (I couldn’t resist that!)

      24a Lied about drink I included producing wild excitement (8)
      Easy when you know how – an anagram (about) of LIED is followed by an alcoholic drink (for sailors?) around I (I included) to give a word meaning wild excitement

      1. Thanks BD. I tried every drink except that one……..
        You’re one of many who can’t resist – I have a friend called Simon and we take great delight in signing off emails as SiX and FiX

  17. Monk has been doing pangrammatic (and double pangrammatics) in The Times and FT for years.

    This really was poor fare, i’m afraid.

    For a very enjoyable challenge that will test you a little, try this….

    Click to access gdn.cryptic.20091121.pdf

    Today’s Guardian puzzle by the venerable Araucaria, who, at the age of 88 still knocks most setters into a cocked hat.

  18. Again struggled for a while, my brain is not getting out of first gear. But having read the wonderful messages left on this blog and BD’s hints have finished. Off to Oxford to celebrate three years with the missus. see you guys tuesday.

  19. Finished much more quickly than usual, without needing a dictionary or to come here!

    How do you know who sets the crosswords? Does it tell you on the website? I only ever use the paper version.

    1. Peter

      Not only does the website not have this information, but you don’t even get the Toughie setter’s name there – we have to wait for the paper to be sure of that.

      I have answered this before, but I will try again. For five days out of the seven the setter is almost always the same. For the other two days we rely on being told by the setters themselves, although we are able to recognise some of them by their style. Ray T, for example, uses almost invariably one-word answers and his clues have an absolute minimum of padding.

      A good example of this is that several of us detected a significant change in the style of the Sunday puzzles, and a mistake made one Sunday revealed that not only had the setter changed, but Peter Biddlecombe identified him correctly. (See http://bigdave44.com/2009/06/21/st-2489-hints/ )

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