DT 26110 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26110 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26110 – Hints

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Tomorrow afternoon there will be a Charity Rugby match in Upton-upon-Severn. I’ll publish the full details tomorrow, but if you live nearby then please try to come along.

If you do the Saturday Prize puzzles on a regular basis then you will find little here today to surprise you. This is still the easiest crossword in any of the weekend quality papers. And don’t forget that this setter loves his pangrams (all 26 letters in the answers) and we have another 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, 17th December.


1a    Gaff someone reproduced while playing badly (3,4,4)
Reproduced signals that an anagram of GAFF SOMEONE is required to get a phrase meaning playing badly

21a    Same bet for elderly lady (7)
Start with the two-letter abbreviation used to indicate the same as the above and follow it with a bet to get this elderly widow

28a    Replacing neat gun compartment in this room? (11)
Don’t try and find 11 letters to use as the fodder for an anagram! – replacing does signal an anagram, but only of NEAT, which is then followed by a word meaning the compartment of a gun into which the bullets are loaded to get a type of room


2d    Discharge female leading light (4)
A word meaning a discharge from a mucous membrane is built up from F(emale) and the unit of illuminance (which is from the Latin for light)

8d    Only the second person must be patient with this threat? (4,3,4)
A charade of words meaning only, the second person and to be patient gives this threat

26d    Way to cook clam at party? (4)
The way a clam is cooked on hot stones, with layers of potatoes, fish, sweetcorn, etc, at picnic parties in USA

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!

66 comments on “DT 26110 – Hints

  1. A pleasant outing from Cephas this morning. Favourite clue was 27a. Many thanks to Cephas. Enjoy the rugby.

  2. am stuck on 27a is this a cricket term? i have most of the checking letters but still don’t know it, otherwise one of the easiest crosswords for a while, a lovely one for us cc members i think :)

      1. Mary

        It’s a double cricket reference.

        An off break is a ball that breaks from the offside towards the legside, i.e. from right to left for a right-handed batsman

        The answer is a period, a bit like half-time in football, when the players leave the field for a break – and to sup beverages

        1. thank you Dave – have a good day – how did u manage to solve this in one minute???? this was posted at 12.01am :)

            1. I know more much more about rugby being from West Wales and having grown up in a family of men, brothers, sons, stepsons, grandsons, also a lot about football/soccer but although lots of them like cricket it was never my thing, having had to play with my brothers when younger, just to make up the numbers!!

  3. Quite enjoyable although not difficult, with both rugby and cricket references .. deep joy!
    But I have a “blind spot” … how does the answer to 11a relate to “Many scrums, say?”
    Am I being particularly wooden-headed today??

    1. You need the first letter for “many” and the final three letters form a homophone “say” for a rugby formation.

      1. Of course … thanks Prolixic, how on earth did I miss that?
        … and as an avid rugby fan I’m even more embarrassed!!

        1. Quite so Libellule (and thank you) … one occurs in open play whilst the other is given following an infringement.

          Yes!!! I feel so much better now :smile:

        2. I think that what you are calling a scrum is officially a “set scrum” whereas the homophone is a “loose scrum”.

  4. It wasn’t difficult – I agree and even the 12 four letter words were reasonable. Some quite good clues – I liked the 8a and 8d ones.

    Is there a reason why there are so many four letter words used in a puzzle like this?

    I still have an aversion to them and don’t get as much pleasure out of solving them as I do the longer words.

    1. apparently Lea ( i await to be corrected???) it is all to do with the grid, setters so i’m told use set grids, some prefer this type, which obviously involve a lot of 4 letter clues, personally i like them though i know a lot of people don’t, i don’t understand why, i like the mixture of the long and short clues in this particular grid

      1. I agree it is all about the grid – but I can’t say it is my favourite unless the clues are really good. Today’s aren’t bad and make sense but often you can guess the word and not even worry about the clue – don’t like that.

        We are all different though and it is good that it pleases some people. I am sure they wouldn’t do it otherwise.

        1. as you say we are all different and often i find the longer words easier to guess at than the short ones

  5. Found this okay but am I the only one who thinks 13a is a bit of a dubious word? Otherwise zipped through. Stand to be corrected on 13a though.

  6. Hi, This is my first posting on this site. I do the Telegraph prize crossword every week on a Saturday and didn’t expect to find a blog on the web! Managed to do it all fairly quickly, it is certainly much easier than previous ones but having trouble with 3 down, any hints greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Royston – welcome to the blog.
      Sorry for the delay in getting your first comment approved. I see that you now solved your query.

  7. 13a was one of the earliest answers that I got in this crossword that I did after an Everyman (no particular engagement to attend and rain confining me to home). I have no problem about the ‘comparative’ word.

    The last to go in were 27a (what’s cricket about this clue, I would like to ask) and 19d.

    Some succinct and nice clues, though I don’t like the surface reading of 23a.

    Question: Anent 25d, when we use ‘some of the ….” shouldn’t the word filling …. be in plural form if it is countable?

  8. Got the answer now, made a mistake with 8a, which threw me. I got 23a and 15d first but they seamed so obvious i didn’t put them in for a while. As others have mentioned, I wasn’t sure initially about 27a. Is this a recognised cricketing expression?

    1. Royston,

      Like you I had the answer for 23a almost immediately after I read the clue, yet I did not pencil it in. This is not a desirable thing.

      Deletion clues could be a little more subtle.

        1. Dave,
          Thanks for that – I just realised that the link has the “word” in it, and was just about to do what you have done.

      1. Royston,

        The second word of the clue 27a is certainly a cricketing term. Let me confess that I know many sporting terms only as terms and if you ask me to explain some of them I may not be able to do well.

        Anyway, no knowledge of cricket was needed to solve the clue.

        And are only bowlers involved? What about the batsmen? Don’t they have 27a?

        Also, ‘offbreak’ is one thing. ‘Breakoff’ is another thing. And ‘break off’ is yet another thing.

        Perhaps this was one of the “dubious definitions” tilsit was alluding to in the Comment on top.

        Finally, is it a mistake to anatomise clues in this manner?

  9. The Compliments of the Season to you all. I found this enjoyable but I agree with Little Dave that the answer to 13a is dubious and I can’t think that I would ever use the word in conversation…

    1. 18a Girl in sight (4)
      This girl’s name is also part of the eye

      22a Seek after as legal (7)
      A word meaning to seek after is a charade of words meaning as and legal

      10d Compel break-up of nice estates (11)
      Break-up indicates that an anagram of NICE ESTATES is required to get a word meaning to compel

      26d – the picture in the above hints will link to further help, but don’t tell anyone !!

  10. Loved todays puzzle esp 27a. But I am stuck on 24d even though I have 3 of the 4 letters I can’t find a word which fits the clue. Is it the name of a list or something to do with jousting?

    1. 24d New field first making list (4)
      An abbreviation for New is preceded by another word for a field, resulting in a word meaning to list, as in to tilt

    2. Damn them pesky fields!, Barrie, This clue is probably on your “Not Favourite” list but is a banker for all intents and purposes..
      The field is a 3 letter word starting with L.
      List is a nautical term for a boat not being on the straight up and down!

      The amount of times I have missed the ‘List’ clues is unbelievable! Worth putting in the old memory bank!.

  11. Excellent puzzle today – just right for us CC members! Mr C & I managed it all wothout any external help – must be a first!! Lots of clues I liked – 21a & 8d particularly. Got 13a last – don’t think it is a word many would ever use – it certainly doesn’t sound right – not British anyway!

  12. I got 3d immediately but then misspelt it causing havoc for a time.

    I have no objection to the answer to 13a, but I am dubious about the second word in the clue to 16a.

    In 21a the answer really refers to a relationship rather than an age – the same as widow for example, widows can be young.

    26d I assume I have got, but if I have it is a very unusual clue being a single definition and not really cryptic. Hmm, perhaps I have not got it.

  13. Just look at the time!
    Some solvers don’t get the chances to look early in the day.
    I may be alone (as usual) but thought this was all a bit feeble…..the whole middle section was not good.
    The only clue I liked was 17ac but by the time the first and third letters were known it too evaporated…..
    However, as everyone has gone to bed my ranting will be unheard…..

      1. And people in other time zones log on at what may be an unearthly hour for you but is perfectly OK for them and read messages.

        You can rest assured that nothing goes unheard.

    1. 7d Adapt house temporarily (11)
      It’s a double definition. To adapt, in the sense of to make suitable, and to house temporarily, in the sense of to find or provide a room.

    1. Hi Caroline – welcome to the blog.
      19d. Need of some writing paper (7)
      You need to think of a word for 25 sheets of paper (one twentieth of a ream).

  14. Pretty easy puzzle – quick time despite rushing initially into writing the wrong kind of “discharge” at 2D. This is a rather perverse grid, with both 12 4-letter answers and 8 11-letter ones, all in the middle of rows or columns.

  15. For those of you who don’t like too many 4-lettered words in the grid, there are none shorter than six letters this coming Saturday

    1. In fairness to Cephas and other Telegraph setters, my understanding is that they are obliged to use a predetermined set of grids. Although the Puzzles Editor has, in the past, defended these grids there is a general feeling that they are long overdue a substantial overhaul along the lines of a similar exercise at The Times a while back. Until this is done we will be seeing the same grids over and over again.

  16. LoL – again I managed to finish this week’s prize without recourse to this blog so it must have been an easy one!

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