DT 26098 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26098 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26098 – Hints

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

This week we have a much better puzzle to solve. OK, there’s a couple of places and a boy’s name, but they don’t detract from the overall enjoyment. The clues are all fair, with a few smiles along the way. Like several other Saturday puzzles, this one is pangrammatic – which means it contains all 26 letters of the alphabet – and this can help you solve those last few clues.

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, 12th November.


1a What arable farmer likes to see happen casually (4,2)
The farmer would like to see his harvest has increased

10a Carelessly drive round north and south coast resort for wine (5,5)
Carelessly indicates that you need to place an anagram of DRIVE around N(orth) and a south coast resort near Brighton to get this “green” wine from Portugal

26a Catch the girl below (6)
A charade of to catch a butterfly, say, and the girl, as a pronoun, gives a word meaning below, or lower


2d Find again left-winger one’s to embrace (10)
A word meaning to find again is made up from a left-winger (the kind that hide under the bed !!) 1’s and to embrace, as in to encompass

4d I would be found in part of South of France or in Rhode Island port (10)
Put the abbreviated form of “I would” inside a region in the South of France and the result is a port in Rhode Island

20d Cupholder Elizabeth up in the country (6)
Combine the kind of cupholder word by a lady with the affectionate name for of Elizabeth reversed (up, yes it’s a down clue) to get this country in South America

24d Nimble lizard under bottom of shed (4)
A word meaning nimble is derived by putting a small lizard under (as it’s a down clue) the bottom (i.e. last letter) of shed

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!

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While the large number of comments that we get on these posts are much appreciated, I realise that it must be difficult to find hints for some of the clues.
From today, I am going to summarise the additional help that is contained in the comments.

13d Italian saint with American canticle (10)
The Italian Saint has the same name as the current Pope – just add the usual two-letter abbreviation for an American and the result is a canticle; as with 25a it would be a better clue if the answer was built up from pieces that did not come from the same root – in this case the Latin for “well” and “to speak”

15d Comedian on practice vehicles (5,5)
There is some doubt that this definition should be plural, albeit it consists of a number of separate vehicles. The wordplay is a three-letter word for a comedian followed by ON and a word meaning to practice.

19d Knave, visual and humorous (7)
The knave is the abbreviation seen on the playing card, and visual is a word meaning relating to the eye – the definition is a word meaning humorous; don’t forget that this puzzle contains all 26 letters of the alphabet

23d Bound to miss one out (4)
If you are old enough to remember what the triple jump used to be called (a much better name imho) then you will know the type of bound required in this double-definition clue

67 comments on “DT 26098 – Hints

  1. Greetings all from Calderdale Hospital. I can’t get time off for good behaviour at the moment, so I am stuck here for the foreseeable future.

    I nearly had a major relapse with this for two reasons. I thought it worse than last weeks and spent two hours trying to persuade Screwed Up to accept my solution.

    25 across is probably the worst clue I have seen in a long while, and I am not convinced that the definition in 15 down is adequate.

    Oh well, it’s time for my Rice Krispies. Whoopee!

    1. Very sorry to hear that you are back in Calderdale and hope that they are able to get you stabilized and out and about before too long. Was Screwed Up working sufficiently to enable you to enjoy Elgar’s treat yesterday?

    2. Tilsit

      Sorry to hear you are still stuck in the hospital – hope they are treating you well and that you will soon make your escape. We miss you.

    3. Best wishes to you Tilsit – will you be in hospital for long? Liked this puzzle, and found it a welcome relief from packing!! Favourite clue is 14a

  2. I thought that this was better than last week’s Saturday puzzle and (unlike some) did not think that that one was too bad. Favourite clues were 14 and 18 across, 8d and, with due deference to Tilsit, 15d. However top of the pile was 20d.

  3. I rather enjoyed this- managed to complete it without any electronic aids for once. Found some very easy clues and some not so easy – I think you clever ones will sail through it but perfect for us clueless ones!

    1. not too easy for me today Toby – so it will be a lonnng time before i resign from the clueless club, stuck with me unfortunately :)

    1. louise
      19d. Knave, visual and humorous (7)

      For the knave you want the abbreviation used in bridge, and the definition is humorous.

    2. Good Morning Louise

      Late on duty today!

      19d Knave, visual and humorous (7)
      The knave is the abbreviation seen on the playing card, and visual is a word meaning relating to the eye – the definition is a word meaning humorous. Don’t forget that this puzzle contains all 26 letters of the alphabet !!

  4. Best wishes Dave, hope you get better soon.
    As for todays offering – UGH!!
    I think going Xmas shopping with my wife is preferable to this horror!!
    Not nice! Italian saint indeed!!

  5. I’m with Dave – I solved this to see what the Saturday puzzles were like these days – althought the puzzle was maybe rather easy for a competition one, I noticed little to complain about while solving, and as far as I can tell, only 14 and 18 are cryptic defs. The pangram helped a little – when 19D went in, it strongly suggested a location for the Q which hadn’t appeared yet.

    I don’t understand the complaint about the saint – the clue is perfectly accurate, and the saint’s nationality doesn’t really matter if you see the canticle from the helpful first letter.

    1. I assumed 13d is an anagram of US and canticle meaning an Italian saint of whom I know precisely none but I may be on the wrong lines completely as I seem to be for most of this puzzle.

      1. Barrie,

        For this one, the answer (a canticle) is a word sum of an Italian Saint (associated with the rules of monastic life) and the abbreviation for America that you already have. The canticle in question is one of those appointed to be said after the second lesson in the Book of Common Prayer.

      2. As prolixic indicates, you are on the wrong track if looking for an anagram. If an anagram is used, there is normally something like the “carelessly” in 10A – an “anagram indicator”. I can’t see anything in 13 that could suggest an anagram. There might still be one or two Telegraph setters who use unindicated anagrams, but I’d only try this route if the potential fodder matched all or most of the checking letters. As long as you have correct answers for the others, only 2 of the 5 checking letters could come from “US canticle”.

        As for the canticle, these days you’re more likely to know it from a classical music format based on a church service – not many churches use the Common Prayer service in which you’d hear it.

  6. Hello Big Dave and Gazza… got it now… thanks for the help.. feel a bit stupid that I couldn’t do it myself! Still – that’s what friends are for…

  7. I thought this was a nice Saturday puzzle and should be enjoyed by all the C C – I see Toby has already commented.

    I think it was easier when you realised that it was a pangram – my brain didn’t click to 23d until I realised there was no “k” elsewhere,. Nice time – extra points on clued up always help as well.

    There were a few nice clues but I think my favourite was 20 – nice pictures Dave!!!! Close runner up was 25a.

    Am away tomorrow so not sure I will get a chance to either do it or comment so may have to do two on Monday.

    Have a good weekend everyone.

  8. Hello Barrie after failing miserably on 19d I don’t feel qualified to comment really – but as far as 13d goes.. the US is relevant – but not canticle as an anagram. (can I say that?!)

  9. I am always loathed to use the free letters in clued up and should have realized the pangram but you seem to have to remember so many things that my brain goes into neutral. I should make a list of things to remember and read it before each puzzle although I would propbably miss something. What gets me is that after doing the DT crossy for so many years, everytime I have a queerie everyone else knows it except me as in pi means ideal or something and I can’t remember ever having written that into a puzzle in the last 30 years. Am I going saline ?

    ribbit ribbit

  10. I quite enjoyed this – I loved 20d – I will never think of CUPHOLDER the same way again!

    I think the standard of all the puzzles this week has been good. The Telegraph crossword editor deserves a pat on the back because I think the puzzles have gotten better as the year has gone by. Well done Sir!

    My best wishes to Tilsit. I hope you feel better soon.

  11. Morning all i am late starting today but Barrie the Italian Saint has an order named after him, he is followed by us as you said giving a well known canticle for us church goers but lets be fair maybe not so obvious to others, ah well lets see how i get on with the rest of it

  12. I wish Big Dave sets a crossword, even if it is a small 11×11, with all clues using only visuals and symbols such as the stunning one above for 20d.

    That will be a delight for all of us.

  13. Didn’t find this as easy as suggested, with Barrie there, I am stuck on 23a and 23d, i know i am missing the letter x & k but still cant see it – HELP – please?

    1. Mary the X is in 5d. The K is in 23d. Re. 23d its a double defintion, as in hop and **** over something.
      The port is a cinque port in Kent.

      1. thank you Libellule, i realised the error of my ways as you say already had the x in 5d – i need to wake up today :)

    1. Mary

      23d Bound to miss one out (4)
      If you are old enough to remember what the triple jump used to be called (a much better name imho) then you will know the type of bound required !!

  14. Loved today’s offering and (amazingly!) managed to complete it, with input from Mr C, over a very long and leisurely brunch. Took ages to get 12a and 13d & then kicked myself. I quite liked 25a but agree with Tilsit (all the best T – hope it’s not too long a haul) that 15d was not great – vehicle(s?). Other favourites were 8d, 20d and 18a. Still consider myself a member of the CC – keep at it Barrie, it often looks worse than it actually is….. Maybe?!

  15. Hi Big Dave, we are Miranda and Stuart from Crouch End in London. Your site is fantastic we do the DT crossword nearly every day, including Toughies. The contributors and comments really are helpful and we finally thought to say ‘hi’ to you all and to thank you. Miranda is an Artist and I run an engineering business up-North. Apart during the week, we have been known to complete the puzzles over the phone! Guess we are kinda hooked. Thank you so much to you all. Now down to having a go at the Prize over a long, lazy late brunch on a brisk, breezy sunny afternoon in lovely Crouch End.

  16. Huummmm! Bit of a mixed one for me folks – liked 15d best and I also improved my wine knowledge. Otherwise all done without too much grief for a change based on my recent toils.

  17. Completed this in ** minutes. Well, very nearly – I am yet to fill in the fifth and the seventh letters in 5dn! … Ah, as always, admit defeat and you get it! The answer suggested itself as was writing this Comment. So, done!

  18. Have just come across your excellent site. Really helpful. Having trouble with 15d, and can’t fathom it. Have shown my customers (I’m a barber in Evesham), and they can’t get it. Only one did, and he refused to tell me!.
    Any hints please?
    Tom the Barber

    1. Welcome to the blog Tom – we are almost neighbours !

      15d Comedian on practice vehicles (5,5)
      As mentioned above, there is some doubt that this definition should be plural, albeit it consists of a number of separate vehicles. The wordplay is a three-letter word for a comedian (I bet you get a few of these in your shop) followed by ON and a word meaning to practice. The customer who knew the answer wasn’t called Ward Bond by any chance?

      1. My take on this is that the answer to 15d is a collective noun for a group of vehicles so that the definition “vehicles” is acceptable.

  19. Alluding to Tilsit’s Comment above, 25a was easily obtainable but I have never come across this word before in all my reading. And at 15dn, if one were looking for a word in plural form, one might be in trouble.

    1. Rishi, re 25a just be thankful you have been spared Dan Brown! This lot were a sect in “Angels and Demons”.

    1. It hapens all the time Rishi

      You should try posting on AnswerBank – when you start entering your reply there are no answers, but by the time you have posted it you are fifth in the list!

  20. Thank you.
    Silly me. I finished 25a with an E, not an I. Clear now. No, not Ward Bond (I thought he was an actor). Where are you, if we are near (ish) neighbours? I assumed that you were in North London (as a Spurs fan). Wrong side of the Thames for me – “Nobody likes us, and we don’t care”.
    Tom the Barber.

    1. Ward Bond was indeed an actor – but what was his most famous role?

      I am in Hanley Swan – today’s setter featured the village as a Nina in DT 26044 – but I am originally from (South) London and have followed the Spurs for nearly 60 years.

      1. I would have thought that as a Rutlish boy, you’d have been rooting for Wimbledon.. We have AFC Wimbledon these days…!

        1. In my schooldays Wimbledon were in the Isthmian league and I supported Sutton United of the Athenian League. Football was not played at Rutlish – strictly an RU school.

    2. Tom

      Have applied your correction (and modified your name on the initial comment so that they all tie in).

      25a is a good example of where you need to read the clue very carefully as the wordplay doesn’t support your original answer. The “almost” and the “one” are important and not just padding. To a degree I am with Tilsit on this one – the two long words involved are very closely related. A good clue builds from unrelated words – 21a is an example of how removing just one letter changes the entire meaning of the word.

  21. Was he the trail leader, or the cook, in 15d?
    As to the football team. Always cursed my Dad to taking me to Millwall for my first match, so I was stuck with them. Wished he’d taken me to Upton Park.
    Tom the barber

    1. Can’t give his role without giving away half of the answer, but he was the boss.

      BTW if you select reply before entering the comment they stay in the same thread – it does’t always matter, but it can get confusing if another comment intervenes.

    2. Just looked up your shop – I bet you got flooded two years ago. I spent that Friday night stranded in Moreton-in-Marsh and couldn’t find a way around Evesham on the Saturday morning.

  22. All this football talk – the mighty West Brom march on – any chance for some cricket debate please!

  23. Missed the flood. I was about 50ft above the highest level. Hope it never happens again. Although it probably will. Take care. Nice to find such a friendly interactive site. Certain we’ll “speak” again.
    Tom the Barber

  24. Nearly done but struggling with bottom left – BD, can you help with 13d as it will likely help with the rest?

    1. 13d Italian saint with American canticle (10)
      The Italian Saint has the same name as the current Pope! Just add the usual two-letter abbreviation for an American and the result is a canticle. As with 25a it would be a better clue if the answer was built up from pieces that did not come from the same root – in this case the Latin for “well” and “to speak”.

  25. I managed to finish this quite quickly and rather enjoyed it, even though at first glance i thought I’d never get started. I found 10a a bit startling and took ages to get it — living in a Swiss wine area, I’m not used to these foreign drinks:-)
    I thought 14a was two words and took a moment to justify the singular/plural thing in 15d. A number of the clues made me smile, but I vote for 19d as the best.
    Incidentally, how do you know a crossword is a pangram before you solve it?

    1. As far as the pangram is concerned, several recent Saturday puzzles have been, so now you anticipate it. Basically when you see two out of J, K Q, X and Z you start to look for the rest.

  26. We finally finished after lots of breaks and some head-scratching. Our problem sometimes is reading the clues from a toughie-perspective and then having a penny-drop moment as we see a much easier way to the answer.
    Big Dave, plenty of Gooners round here for sure!

  27. Much more enjoyable than the last few. Kudos to my friend who got the humerous knave one before me – that was my clue of the day.
    Wow – Lashings of comments today with loads of new bloggers – Hello everyone!

  28. I enjoyed this puzzle very much. I took a long time to get started and I only managed to make progress after a 40 winks worth of background processing! 25a kept me in the dark for a while, particularly as I had originally entered an incorrect final letter! 15d was a new definition for me. Good Fun.

  29. Easy puzzle yesterday!
    I liked 10a and 20d.

    I await Giovanni’s reaction to my comment on Friday’s puzzle.

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