DT 26116 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26116 – Hints

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

A number of you said that you didn’t like having too many four-letter words in a puzzle – well Cephas has delivered on his promise and the shortest answer today is six letters. The result is one of the best Saturday Prize puzzles for quite a while. Remember that most of the recent puzzles from this setter have been pangrams – that is all 26 letters of the alphabet are used – as this may help you with the final few answers.

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, 24th December.


Across

1a    Endorse cards carried by hiker (8)
A charade of a word meaning to endorse an a set of cards gives something that could be carried by a hiker

9a Herb’s divine article (8)
The candied leaf-stalks and midribs of this herb are used as a decoration for cakes and you get there by taking a word meaning divine, in the sense of celestial or heavenly, and adding the indefinite article

10a    A fib about artillerymen in part of Nigeria once (6)
About signals an anagram of A FIB is followed by the Royal Artillery to give a part of Nigeria that broke away for a short time and endured great hardship

11a Check joystick (7)
This is a double definition – think about what a joystick does to an aircraft

22a    Greatest current asset of the People’s Republic (7)
Certainly one of my favourites is this cryptic definition of a Chinese river [Tilsit has pointed out that there are two ways to spell this answer, and that the ambiguity is on the penultimate, unchecked, letter.  I am sure that both will be accepted, but only one of them completes the pangram, and this is the one that CluedUp expects.]

26a    May be used by speakers at station? (8)
Someone who is speaking to an audience would often use this, and it can be found at any railway station

Down

1d    Local office out on a limb? (6)
This double definition is a bit of an old chestnut – the local office of a large organisation or a limb of a tree

2d    Powerful businessman (6)
This charade is concealed by running the two parts together! – split the second word into business and man and it becomes more obvious

4d Light boat providing cover for sea-creature (11)
The light boat was featured in a famous film about the eponymous heroes – and it is also a cover for a seafood that could have been purchased from Sweet Molly Malone

15d    Yellow and white container (8)
If you are doing this puzzle over breakfast you may have just broken one of these containers!

18d He draws when one is open-mouthed (7)
The word that has deliberately been omitted from this cryptic definition is “teeth”!

20d    Black missile thrown overboard? (6)
Our final charade combines the colour of a rich black highly-polished variety of lignite with a surface-to-air missile to get items thrown overboard from a ship and subsequently washed up on shore

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!


40 Comments

  1. NathanJ
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 2:48 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Big Dave

    I agree with you that this was a good puzzle. Probably one of the best Saturday puzzles I have done. Congratulations to Cephas for an enjoyable Saturday challenge. My favourite clue was 2d.

  2. Prolixic
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 8:16 am | Permalink | Reply

    A nice start to the day. Favourites were 22a, 2d, 15d but the top one for me today was 13a.

    Many thanks to Cephas for an excellent puzzle today. Hope that you have a joyful Christmas and I look forward to your Boxing Day treat.

  3. Posted December 19, 2009 at 9:47 am | Permalink | Reply

    I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle and, like my fellow contributors, it has been a good start to the day. Make I take this opportunity to wish all the contributors to Big Dave’s Blog a very Happy Christmas and, unless I’m seeing things, BD has been very inventive with his faux snow!

  4. Barrie
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thorougly nasty one today, not a patch on last weeks great puzzle. Very disappointing.

    • Barrie
      Posted December 19, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Now finished all but 23a, but try as I might I can’t find a word that fits the grid let alone the clue!! Is this a knitting or nautical term? Please bring back some 4 letter clues!!

      • Prolixic
        Posted December 19, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Barry,

        Think more in terms of a direction given to actors at the end of an act or scene when they all leave the stage.

        • Barrie
          Posted December 19, 2009 at 12:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Ah got it! Thanks

  5. sarumite
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    At long last, a Saturday puzzle to merit a prize crossword, ( although I never submit them!)
    Some stylish clues … esp 13a and 15d.

  6. Nubian
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    6d and 23a were two new words for me today and all part of a very enjoyable puzzle.
    Big Dave’s explanation of 1d gave me a laugh,
    ‘is a bit of an old chestnut – the local office of a large organisation or a limb of a tree’
    Is that a double clue,chestnut and tree ?

    • Posted December 19, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I wrote the notes at about 1.00am and if I’d seen that I would have milked it a bit more!

    • gnomethang
      Posted December 19, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Nubian, didn’t we have 6d recently ?(maybe modified at the end)

      • Nubian
        Posted December 19, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Don’t remember seeing it before, mind you my brain sometimes fails to file things away.

        • Libellule
          Posted December 19, 2009 at 2:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Re 6d. The following appeared in the Sunday Cryptic 2513 a couple of weeks ago…
          “I’m into unusual saints, those who take a soulful view of nature”

          • Nubian
            Posted December 19, 2009 at 3:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Aha! I must have missed that one. So youre still on line and not snowed in Libellule, I noticed Rochefort is currently -4 degrees. bbrrrrrrrrrr

            • Libellule
              Posted December 19, 2009 at 3:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

              Nubian,
              I am snowed in – or was until the local Mairie sent out one of the farmers with his tractor this afternoon. But the adsl is working fine. Current temp is 0.3 degrees centigrade, so the snow is melting.

  7. Franny
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I also enjoyed this puzzle very much. There were plenty of good, amusing clues and I completed it in pretty good time. Hard to pick a favourite as I agree with all the above.
    So I just wish all of you a very happy festive season, and may you joyfully 21a all over the town! :-)

  8. gnomethang
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Beat Saturday for a while. My hangover didn’t help much but I suddenly realised it was me snd not the puzzle!

    9a last to go in and favourite by a mile was 13a.

    Seasons greetings to Cephas.

  9. Dottle
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 4:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Would definitely endorse the positive comments about this crossword. A good challenge but really enjoyable with it. Thanks to the setter. 21 across my favourite, a lovely word I’d forgotten about.

  10. Little Dave
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 4:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Toiled over this at work on and off and thought this was the best Saturday one for a long time. I particularly liked 20d and 13a. Polished it off listening to the test match ebb and flow. I can assure everyone I was busy though! Nice crossword and yes I will post it and no I don’t expect to win (16 years of entering and not a sniff).

  11. anne
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 4:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hello Anne is stuck again she just cannotget 4d what sea creature

    • Posted December 19, 2009 at 5:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

      4d Light boat providing cover for sea-creature (11)
      The light boat was featured in a famous film about the eponymous heroes – and it is also a cover for a seafood that could have been purchased from Sweet Molly Malone

  12. Chris
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great. Like the rest enjoyed and not without challenge.
    The sea creature might be a bivalve found on the beach.

  13. vulpus_rex
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 6:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Best puzzle for weeks – 23a brilliant

  14. Posted December 19, 2009 at 8:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi,
    I am very new – started this morning! – to these crosswords and am enjoying the struggle. I scanned the clues, thought for the umpteenth time don’t know what’s going on here, then accidentally solved 22a. And was hooked! With the help of tips here have done quite a few more, thanks. But the following are beyond me.

    9a
    11a
    18d
    Any pointers gratefully received!
    Thanks

    • Posted December 19, 2009 at 9:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog Flaneur

      9a Herb’s divine article (8)
      The candied leaf-stalks and midribs of this herb are used as a decoration for cakes and you get there by taking a word meaning divine, in the sense of celestial or heavenly, and adding the indefinite article

      11a Check joystick (7)
      This is a double definition – think about what a joystick does to an aircraft

      18d He draws when one is open-mouthed (7)
      The word that has deliberately been omitted from this cryptic definition is “teeth”!

  15. Posted December 19, 2009 at 10:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you!
    There are still a couple I’m pondering, but I hope to figure them out before you publish your review. Some are so obvious when you point them out!

  16. Rishi
    Posted December 20, 2009 at 5:14 am | Permalink | Reply

    Very good.

    I liked 14d. For some time I had only the last four letters of the 8-letter word: I cautiously did not put in a four-letter possibility up front until I got the first letter of 21a when I dismissed this possibility and inserted the correct one. The annotation was worked out later!

    Thus I did not have any spot of trouble!

  17. Lea
    Posted December 20, 2009 at 11:43 am | Permalink | Reply

    A day late to the table as was too busy yesterday but really enjoyed this one. Yes Dave I am one of the ones who hates four letter words that need to be guessed at rather than solved so was really pleased to see there were none in this puzzle.

    I also enjoy the pangram aspect of the puzzle – makes you think about what letter is missing. My last solve was 23a and of course the x was missing elsewhere so there was nothing else it could be. I liked 16a and 21a but favourite has to be 22a.

  18. NeilH.Francis
    Posted December 20, 2009 at 11:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    This Crossword has posed only one problem for me; namely 17 Down.
    It reminds me of my schooldays when I was always looking for the complicated answer, never believing that the obvious was correct.
    Surely in a Prize Crossword with challenging clues, the answer to 17 is not so blatantly afoot?
    Please tell me the answer is not so…….

    • gazza
      Posted December 20, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Neil – welcome to the blog.
      17d. Coach and carriages about to turn up (7)
      The answer is “afoot” as you say, but it’s also a coach.

    • Posted December 20, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Neil

      There is a bit of wordplay in there – a set of carriages gives you the first five letters and one of the usual crossword abbreviations for “about” is reversed (to turn up, as it’s a down clue) for the last two.

  19. Terence
    Posted December 20, 2009 at 12:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent and difficult xword for a Saturday, which I didn’t finish until this morning – thanks to late night viewing of fascinating football encounters both in England and Spain. Bottom right corner proved most difficult and clever clues in 22a, 24a and only got 26a because of answer to 20d ‘Black missile thrown overboard?’.

    • Posted December 20, 2009 at 12:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog Terence

      • Rishi
        Posted December 20, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Terence

        I too finished the bottom right corner last.

        26a, 12d and 18d, being cryptic definitions, didn’t come quickly enough.

  20. Derek
    Posted December 21, 2009 at 8:20 am | Permalink | Reply

    Enjoyable puzzle for Saturday.
    Best across clues for me are: 13a, 22a and 24a.
    Best down: 20d, 15d and 12d.
    3d was my first success – when I was a lad at school in Yorkshire Pudding Land, we had to sing at morning assembly ” He who would valiant be, Let him come hither…” and I suppose we have all made some progress thereby!
    Solstice greetings to all of you!

  21. Chinfaces
    Posted December 21, 2009 at 10:08 am | Permalink | Reply

    Please help. We’re stuck on one in the right hand corner again…the clue was something about a container in another container holding nothing?

    • Posted December 21, 2009 at 1:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Sorry for the delay

      5a Container inside another holding nothing (6)
      You put another word for a tin inside a large vessel or tank, especially for fermentation, and you get a word meaning holding nothing, i.e. empty.

  22. Derek
    Posted December 21, 2009 at 10:47 am | Permalink | Reply

    Correction!
    What we sang at school was from the original text of PP not from the hymn:
    Who would true valour see, Let him come hither…….

  23. Chinfaces
    Posted December 21, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Got it! Thank you Big Dave

  24. Peter
    Posted December 21, 2009 at 3:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Enjoyable crossword.

    No need for dictionary or crossword key.

    Did need an atlas!

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