DT 26121 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26121 – Hints

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

I hope you all enjoyed Christmas yesterday and that you are not suffering from a hangover this morning.

One Saturday Cephas will fool us by setting a puzzle that is not a pangram, but not yet! This one is relatively easy, but with one or two slightly tricky clues. The construct used in 16 down will be unfamiliar to many of you as it is usually only found in the more difficult Toughies.

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 Wednesday, 6th January 2010.


1a    Judges inquire before one’s second act of treachery (5,4)
Start with the abbreviation for the Book of Judges in the Bible and follow that with a word meaning to inquire, an abbreviations for one, the S from ‘s and finally Second and the result is an act of treachery under the guise of kindness – note how Judges requires a capital J in this context and this is disguised by placing it as the first word in the clue

13a    Most important building to see in Devon (6,9)
In crosswordland a see is a diocese, so you are looking for the most important building in a Devon diocese

25a    Consider what hostess should do (9)
There are two definitions here – to consider and what a hostess should do


1d    First person in France included extraterrestrial chart for high flier (3,5)
The French for “I” surrounds (included) everyone’s favourite extraterrestrial and a chart for something that flies high

16d    Cecilia’s former country in Africa? (8)
This slightly unusual construct tells you to find a famous Cecil and then add IA to get the country in Africa that he founded – today it is split into Zambia and Zimbabwe

21d    Mad rush that starts after finishing one’s education (6)
This double definition can be either a mad rush or what you take up after finishing your education

If you haven’t come across the term before, a pangram is a puzzle in which all 26 letters of the alphabet are present in the answers.

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!


  1. trotters
    Posted December 26, 2009 at 7:37 am | Permalink | Reply

    “Working” a quiet nightshift and had it finished in record time for me with minimal help from usual sources. On first read through didn’t see any I could do, but then a light came on. However didn’t like it much – ones I didn’t like too numerous to mention. Got 15d but not sure why.

    • Posted December 26, 2009 at 9:03 am | Permalink | Reply

      Good Morning Trotters

      15d Crack made by vicar accepting a vessel in church (8)
      This one is built up from a string of abbreviations – the title used for a vicar, A and crosswordland’s seabound vessel are all placed inside the Church of England

      • trotters
        Posted December 26, 2009 at 9:47 am | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks! Off to bed now!! Happy Boxing Day

  2. Barrie
    Posted December 26, 2009 at 11:12 am | Permalink | Reply

    Can’t seem to get a paper today, is there a way of getting an electronic version of the Crossword does anyone know?

    • Posted December 26, 2009 at 11:17 am | Permalink | Reply

      Probably only by taking out a 7-day free trial

      • peter
        Posted December 26, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

        You can print off copies of The Telegraph daily crossword on their website.
        Click on “Games” at the bottom of the homepage, then crosswords.

        • Posted December 26, 2009 at 5:19 pm | Permalink | Reply


          Welcome to the blog

          Unless you know something that I don’t, you can only do this if you are a subscriber.

  3. Nubian
    Posted December 26, 2009 at 11:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    Morning Big Dave, todays was carrying on in gentle fashion.
    Havn’t you given the answer in 1d ?

    • Posted December 26, 2009 at 11:47 am | Permalink | Reply


      I couldn’t resist the link.

      • Nubian
        Posted December 26, 2009 at 11:53 am | Permalink | Reply

        Mums the word

      • Rishi
        Posted December 26, 2009 at 11:58 am | Permalink | Reply

        Why, even in 16d there is a give-away, though I had the answer before I came here.

        Finished the puzzle comfortably; first the right half fell, then the left. Among the last were 3d and 18d – the latter I liked.

        The false capitalisation in 24a may be acceptable but what would people with the said name think?

        I don’t mind proper names being used for anagrams but what is the general thinking?

  4. Posted December 26, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I didn’t find this particularly entertaining, although there were certain clues which amused me, but, unlike Rishi, I am unhappy with the answer I have for 18d. Am I being obtuse? No, don’t answer that, Big Dave!

    • Posted December 26, 2009 at 2:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I’ve seen better clues.

      You need this one to complete the pangram!

      • Little Dave
        Posted December 27, 2009 at 9:46 am | Permalink | Reply

        Is 18d really a solid clue?

        • Posted December 27, 2009 at 10:01 am | Permalink | Reply

          Welcome to the blog LD

          Are you the other LD in disguise?

          • Little Dave
            Posted December 27, 2009 at 10:08 am | Permalink | Reply

            No just a novice.

  5. Fi
    Posted December 26, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Finished it apart from 3d – which I am sure is obvious to all but me! Help please……….

    • Posted December 26, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

      3d Old penniless top dogs arranging economic policy (4-2)
      An anagram of TOP (D)OGS, without the old penny gives you an economic policy replaced by Gordon Brown with Crash, Bang, Wallop!

      • Fi
        Posted December 26, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks BD – it was obvious. Didn’t really enjoy today’s but as I have finished it (unusually) I shouldn’t really complain!

        • Peter
          Posted December 26, 2009 at 3:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I liked this one, ditto Cecila’s African country. But they are clues which are more likely to be solved by those with knowledge of politics 50 years ago!

  6. Prolixic
    Posted December 26, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A nice challenge from Cephas today. Favourite clues were 12a and 15d. Many thanks for the notes BD and thanks to Cephas for the puzzle.

  7. John
    Posted December 26, 2009 at 6:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This one is not for me. Could I have a hint for 10 or 12 ac and 6d which will help me get this corner sorted – may be its the turkey (lame excuse!)

    • jerelado
      Posted December 26, 2009 at 7:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

      12a is a double definition. You should think of types of school and also what rules of language are … 10a is another phrase for fully equipped. Spring being the big hole in ground where water comes from and another word for discovered ….

      • Posted December 26, 2009 at 7:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Welcome to the blog Jerelado and thanks for your help

    • jerelado
      Posted December 26, 2009 at 7:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Oh yes, and 6d – think of another word for personality first, then use a region of London found on postcodes on the outside of ‘a’ and medium as you wold see it on a clothing label (like L for large!). You then get two separate words which, together form a single word meaning exactly the same thing (oops!).

  8. John
    Posted December 26, 2009 at 7:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks Jerelado, got 12a right away from your clue – will keep going, thanks for the encouragement!

  9. Little Dave
    Posted December 27, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hey, BD – I see there’s another LD! What’s going on?!!!

    • Posted December 27, 2009 at 5:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Soon we will only allow people called Dave to use the blog!!

  10. Peter
    Posted December 27, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    And (yet) another Peter.

    BD do you realise you will publish your full review before the prize submission date?

    • Posted December 27, 2009 at 5:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Our local newsagent sold out yesterday so I didn’t get to see when the entries have to be in – let me know and I’ll adjust the date.

      • Peter
        Posted December 28, 2009 at 5:32 am | Permalink | Reply

        I think it was 6 January but I’ve sent it off. Yes, I think it was that far ahead. Others may know better.

  11. Deva
    Posted December 27, 2009 at 5:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    If your name was an anagram of Dave … are you still allowed in?

    • Posted December 27, 2009 at 7:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Definitely! And welcome to the blog.

      • Rishi
        Posted December 28, 2009 at 5:56 am | Permalink | Reply

        ‘Deva’ in Sanskrit means ‘ a god’. A Hindu name, masculine. The female equivalent is Devi.

        ‘Veda’ is any one of, or all of, four ancient holy books of the Hindus. A Hindu name, feminine.

  12. jwed2000
    Posted December 28, 2009 at 5:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi guys, I can confirm that 6th Jan is the closing date.

  13. jwed2000
    Posted December 28, 2009 at 5:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Apologies, not easy to work this from a BlackBerry. Got an error message but obviously worked first time round. HNY to you all.

    • Posted December 28, 2009 at 5:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Sorted -I’ve deleted the duplicate!

      Thanks for the info.

      Is the Sunday one the same?

  14. Derek
    Posted December 28, 2009 at 8:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks Dave for the e-mail. I finished 26121 which I would never have received without possibily driving up to Schiphol – in this weather and at my age not on!!

    I never send in the prize crosswords as I have an infinity of pens and in any case the DT never awards prizes to persons outside GB. The only paper that does in my experience is the FT!.

    Have a guid New Year and if you go first-footing don’t forget the lump of coal and the malt whisky!

    • Posted December 28, 2009 at 9:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

      No problem Derek

      And Happy New Year to you.

  15. Old Spice
    Posted December 30, 2009 at 4:12 am | Permalink | Reply


    Searched for help on 6d – thanks for the confirmation – without which I would not have made the same decision myself.

    Happy New Year!


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