DT 26169 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26169 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26169 – Hints

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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A few hints for today’s Prize puzzle.

Starting this week, there will be no ratings or comment until the full analysis is published.

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, 25th February.


1a    Speed leafstalk absorbs it (8)
A word meaning speed is derived by putting an umbelliferous plant whose blanched leafstalks are eaten cooked or uncooked as a vegetable around IT

10a    Sign here, dunce (6,2,3,4)
Where you would sign an application – or the dunce’s position in class

29a    Episcopal dignity does not reach end of large church (8)
The position or duties of a bishop is created by dropping the final letter from a very large church


1d    Mend ways at last? (6)
As a noun this used to be used to pave streets, as a verb it means to mend shoes on a last

16d    Made a v-sign! (9)
… like the ones on the M1 to encourage you to keep your distance

26d    General stall (5)
The General who founded the Salvation Army could also be a stall at a fair or market!

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!

162 comments on “DT 26169 – Hints

  1. A big improvement on recent Saturday offerings, with several meaty clues.
    Favourites 27a, 6d and 18d.

  2. Good one today, enjoyed the usual struggle (for me) through it. As ever, I’ve got some answers in that even now I don’t see why??? 11a and 13a to name two. I think I’ve made a mistake as I just cannot get 28a with the letters I’ve got – any further clues? The only other one I’m stuck with is the first word of 18d (I’m probably being incredibly thick!)

    1. 11a. You want a word for a toboggan and put inside this a word for a joke (crack) to give the cases that you might check in at the airport.
      13a Think of cloth in the sense of a vicar and what he is paid.
      28a The answer is a see in the sense of a diocese in the SW of England
      18d. Man is used in the sense of an island. In which sea would you find it?

      Hope this gets you on your way

  3. BD – it’s thanks to finding this blog that I was able to have a go at this crossword today. As has happened in the past, ScrewedUp loaded the wrong clue set this morning – for a Quick Puzzle, I don’t know whether today’s or not. Previously at this point I would have spat my dummy out and exited the site for the day, but having read one of your previous postings about needing to try reloading several times to sort this problem out, after an exit and resume, hey presto – the right clues. Still b****y annoying, though, Mr Phil McNeill Puzzle Editor – again thanks to your blog BD for flushing him out of hiding.
    One or two really smart clues today, mixed with a few lesser creations – 1a had me flicking through my battered 1952 edition of Chambers to look at how it defined what lurks in my fridge waiting to be made into soup (Delia recipe) this weekend.

    1. Mr Chairman

      I appreciate that as you are new to the site you may not have realised that Phil McNeill has left a total of ten comments to date and also contributed the page on Prize puzzles that you can access fom the Pages widget in the sidebar.

    2. There are better ways of using it than just soup, Mr Chairman. Braised with carrots and onions is very good, another Delia (online) recipe. Another new word too, as was part of 11a.

  4. I found this puzzle curious as 15a was so easy yet 12a, in contrast, was a word that I’d never come across before and had me reaching for the Blessed Chambers. Some of the constructs were more complicated than usual but, having said that, I did enjoy it, because it stretched me more than in previous weeks, and I particularly liked 13a and 25a.

  5. A wonderful puzzle today with a sense of achievement at the end. Some of the clues were quite brilliant.
    Favourites 16d and 18d
    19a was the weakest clue I thought but did not detract from the overall enjoyment.

    1. Nor me Mary! NW corner complete, but the rest is looking very bare. Will be souring the comments for more hints. A nudge for 27a would be appreciated.

    1. Just realised the same thing myself Shrike, when it wouldn’t fit with 21d!

      LH side complete, still some gaps elsewhere.

  6. Nice and enjoyable without providing too much exertion.
    28a last to fall – I always miss that other definition!
    Favourites were 3d and 12a – they go so well together!

  7. Great crossword today.I enjoyed doing this and even finished in 25 minutes!!! learnt a few new words such as 24d and 29a. Beautiful day here in canterbury so I’d best go and enjoy it!

    1. 12a – You need a word for “everything” with the last removed inside the vehicle registration code for the Czech Republic and add one word from the clue to the end to get the answer.

      8d. If you put moisturiser on your skin it will be wetter – you want another word for making something wetter that could also mean lowering ones spirits.

      1. thank you lovely Prolixic, that’s what I had for 12a but have never heard of it!! had the first part of 8d but couldn’t get it to work with the clue, ooph, thank goodness that is finished, didn’t know 16d could be a verb? Had lots of Chambers and electronic help but at least I understand the answers afterwards. I think tougher than most Saturdays, not heard from many CC members yet, A grades for all who get at least 3/4 right :)
        PS Barrie is still missing

      2. Knew about this form of pizza from “Men in Black 2” (yes, yet another film reference), but really impressed that you could work it out from the “bits’n’pieces”. Crikey!

          1. Not taken part up to now – but take a look. Will have to see if I can come up with anything intelligent.

  8. 18d: fairly certain of the answer, but no idea why.

    25a: small village in northern Italy? Is it a cold area?

    1. on the wrong track with 25a Geoff, not quite sure how to explain without giving it away here, what is the abbreviation for S outhern followed by a part of Spain to give you a cold region, not necessarily in Europe
      18d because that is where you find it?

      1. 25a: got it now! Made another guess at 18d, but again, no idea why. If there’s only one unfilled, then it’s a pretty good day! So out into the sunshine for a while!

    1. See the comment in reply to Mary’s post – number 12 (I think – the Avatar hides the number!)

  9. Geoff:

    18d: Man is used in the sense of an island. In which sea would you find it?
    25a: The answer is a cold part of Russia made up from an abbreviation for Southern and part of Europe

  10. I struggled with every part of this ( not 15a obvsly ). Even had to register with AnswerBank to get 5a. Has taken me hours to finish. Whats category below C/C??

    1. You don’t get any lower fran but you can have the corner seat if you can get it today, it won’t be lonely, loads of us fighting for it :)

          1. no – I mean cheat – there is a way of renewing your hint letters on “screwed up” (I am so ashamed :sad:)

            1. We can blush together Shrike. Some days I can’t even get started without some ‘research’ …

          2. Finally finished, by fair means and foul :)

            My favourites were 18, 26 and, as a chemistry teacher, 17d.

            Some clever wordplay in this one. Didn’t like 5 across due to the specialised vocab.

  11. Much improved on recent Saturdays. Thank you to setter.
    Seemed difficult to get going on and then fell into place.
    18d and 25ac were favourites and didn’t think much of 19ac and 15ac.

  12. Can it be said that as a rule of thumb a reference to a country, eg 12a, is to its international vehicle code?

    1. Very often, but not always. The IVR codes can be found in The Mine.

      One of the most famous of all clues is “Capital of Czechoslovakia (4)”

      1. Thanks. I was wondering where I had seen the IVR codes recently!

        Umm … and the capital was … ?

  13. Late starting today but really enjoyed it – some lovely clues. Final one to go in was 10a as had the first three words but kept getting stuck on “page” for the final word – possibly could be forgiven as not a word we used in a class format.

    My favourite clue was 1a and 14a.

    Haven’t we had 13a and 3d just recently in clues?

  14. Am I the only one whose family love *******? My husband and daughter’s favorite!!! A little joke for you all that I got today;-

    ‘So I met the bloke who invented crosswords today. I can’t remember his name, it’s P something T something R.’ LOL

  15. Enjoyable and more challenging that a usual Saturday. Like others I thought this was a mixed bag of the simple versus a couple of stickers. 16d was a weak one for me. Overall satisfying and difficulty 2.5*.

    1. Welcome to the blog Nalced

      20a Monk runs into trouble (7)

      To get a name used to address a monk, just put the abbreviation for runs in a bowling analysis – O(vers) M(aidens) (?)??? W(ickets) – into a word meaning trouble.

      1. Thank you for having me Big Dave. Apologies again for my first comment – what a bad entrance that was! (laughs)

  16. Me again – apologies for not reading the comments more closely! (c.f., #28)

    Stumped on 22d also…

    (I don’t think anyone has mentioned that one yet)

    1. No problem with the earlier comment!

      22d Fellow drawing up sacred text (6)
      This one is a bit harder – start with a fellow (three letters, half of the population) and add the class where you learn drawing, but reverse it first (up, as this is a down clue). If your still with me and don’t know what it is, then look it up!

      1. Thanks again Big Dave. Re: 22d, I actually had the answer earlier in the day and penned it next to the clue – keeping it on standby just in case, so to speak – but decided against a little later in the day as I didn’t see the connection with “text.” It’s a spoken thing, surely? Anyway, I’m not too picky when it comes to knocking answers off the Saturday crossword – so thanks again!

        On to 6d and 5a for me – my last two obstacles. I shall be valiant and try to better them unassisted!

        (disclaimer: that’s tentative valour there)

    1. Thanks Rob – yes, with your help and Big Dave’s I got there. Rather than the Overs, Wickets, Maidens, etc., reference, putting an “r” (from “runs”) into a word for trouble saw me through. Another one of those where you see the answer early on; but have trouble justifying it!

      (and spend the rest of the day over-thinking, trying to shoe-horn the over thought words in, failing, losing all hope, then coming to see Big Dave…)

        1. I think today’s crossword has melted my brain and it has cracked in half…

          OK, re-reading your comment (reply to #28) I see what you were doing – a more avuncular way vis-a-vis Rob’s (not giving the letter in question directly). Before I dig myself any more holes I’ll say sorry (for the nth time!) and direct the final dregs of my sloppy (half-)brain power to finishing the crossword…


  17. I’d have finished if my grandfather hadn’t written in ‘black sea’ without me questioning it! Lol, more careful supervision needed for those helping out!! He did get 1d for me so I can forgive him this time……

  18. I’ve managed to hobble in to the finish line: two clues (5a and 6d) taking over an hour…

    6d – very 1990s!

    5a – just awful, I had to bungle my way over on that one (still don’t fully understand how “one’s” translated into the first three letters).

    On the whole though a rewarding crossword; thanks – in huge part – to the help received here.

      1. Hello again Big Dave,

        Hmm. Yes, I thought (after getting the answer) it’d have to be something like that. And I’ll second you in not liking it.

        Is it me or was (it possible to consider) “round shell” slightly differently: as a double reference? One reference the last three letters; and, well, I can’t really explicitly say the second reference as it pertains to an answer to another of the clues – but to make this a little clearer, I’d originally thought “one’s” meant two pronouns. So I spelt 5a incorrectly as a consequence, but a dictionary check showed no such word existed, and the correct answer came quickly thereafter by process of elimination…

        It’s just me. I know.


        Thanks again for the kind help Big Dave.

          1. I don’t need experience to see you are right Big Dave; my ineptitude commands me know you are right!

            Thanks again.

  19. Found this one really difficult. Maybe even 4 corners will not be enough for all the skulking (or researching) CC members today! Stillcan’t get 8d despite clues above, though I’m sure my checking letters are right. Thanks to everyone for the hints and tips – at least I’ve got the rest now!

    1. I found this very difficult too Claire – it took me the best part of a day to finish and left me ragged. Despite resorting to the Dictionary and Thesaurus – and this page – in record time.

      Re: 8d. Recheck Mary’s post #12, and her response to Geoff down at 1:36 p.m., that really helped me. Otherwise, think about a mechanical part for dulling sound or vibration – and you’re ENcroaching on the answer…

      1. Here’s a tale for all those who, like me, permanently struggle and quickly resort to various electronic dictionaries etc. etc.

        Was, for me, doing remarkably well yesterday and by tea time – with a lot of help from all of you – was left with about six to solve.

        Then the computer crashed and refused to talk to the rest of the world again. Being a proud Dinosaur the only thing I could think of was to turn the whole dam**d thing off and, despite the early hour, go and have a scotch.

        Thus fortified, I sat down again and lo and behold, within an hour had completed the whole thing !

        So, thanks to all of you and especial thanks to the Famous Grouse !!

      2. Aha – thanks Tom, now I get it! Didn’t help that I’d ended 12a with i! Have been out all day so now to get down to Sunday’s offering. :-)

        1. no problem Claire. Enjoy Sunday’s puzzle; I’ve switched brands and am grinding through the Sunday Times prize cryptic…

          (dry squeals of rusty metal and clanging machinery heard in the background as Tom’s brain attempts to get in gear)

  20. Tougher than usual for Saturday!
    I liked : 5a, 11a (un peu français), 12a (un po italiano), 15a (encore français), 25a & 28a.
    3d, 8d, 16d & 18d.
    Incidentally, the noun for 8d was found only in Chambers 21st. Century Dictionary not in its big brother!
    I feel on reading some of the comments that some of you give the game away somewhat for pen seekers!

    1. Etiquette alone stops me from giving all the answers. If the Telegraph persists in presenting puzzles that are unworthy of being called Prize puzzles then that may change! Don’t get me wrong on this – it is a good honest Telegraph puzzle, but to award a prize to someone for solving it turns it into a lottery (or perhaps that should have been farce).

  21. I struggled with this one and still remain puzzled by 7d. I have the three letters, the first and the last spell the name of a river. But the only word I can get to fit doesen’t fit the rest of the clue.

    Puzzled of Stocksfield.

    1. Welcome to the blog Andrew

      Perhaps it should have said very, very warm! The answer is what results from exposure of film in a camera (that’s a non-digital one of course!).

  22. Thanks Big Dave.
    I must now make an embarassed and humble apology.
    I had the correct answer for 10 across but had scribbled the answer in too quickly, consequently the o looked like a u and caused the problem.
    ( reminds me of my school reports: “Andrew really must try harder”.)

  23. Another brilliant crossword from Vigilius. I didn;t quite whizz through it but it was a satisfying puzzle to solve. The clues were smooth and had convincing surface readings. Favourite was 13d.

    1. Twit that I am this morning I posted this to the wrong thread. Get’s coat and heads for exit!

    1. This has been discussed above. You are looking for a member of a monastic order (monk) clued by a word for trouble with a one letter abbreviation for runs inside it.

      1. I know, I made a gaff yesterday and was attempting to have a joke with BD after his ‘I don’t think I would have got that!’ comment.

  24. Can anyone enligthen me on 28 across please? I just cannot fathom it and it’s now making my brain hurt

    1. The answer is a diocese in the SW of England from a two letter word for old and an anagram (doctor) of tree.

  25. Hi there B D
    Just discovered your site [now in my favourites] Thanks for your help on T26169. I really enjoy cc but not very good at them,so have really appreciated the help given without the answer. Hope with your help to get better in time .However I’m still stuck on11a and 3d.

    1. Hi Glyn – welcome to the blog.
      11a. See the hint at comment #2
      3d. Drink I love in fancy jar (5)
      Make an anagram (fancy) of JAR and put I and the letter that resembles zero (love in tennis) inside. You should end up with something that’s alcoholic.

  26. Blimey, with all the clues and hints above the DT must now be inundated with people trying to win the Saturday puzzle award! The sale of postage stamps must also be going through the roof.

    1. Chris, there is a hint above but with so many posts its probably difficult to spot. The answer is a diocese in the SW of England from a two letter word for old and an anagram (doctor) of tree.

  27. Hi all,
    I found this one hard and I’m still working on it, I see the reference to ‘crosword speak’ for ‘your’, and it’s little gems like this that I don’t know. Is there somewhere that lists crossword speak?

    You’ve all been a great help again today….Ta !

    1. Hi Cas – welcome to the blog.
      The best way to pick up up the jargon is just to practise and read the reviews here every day. If you haven’t already found it, there’s a lot of help in Big Dave’s Crossword Guide – just click on FAQ at the top of the page and see where it leads you!

    1. 10a is where you sign an application, and the last word is not line – the dunce is in which place in class, the last word being another name for class based on the seats that were once used in schools. (BTW I’m assuming hat you meant fourth word of 10a.)

      8d has been covered above, but there are rather a lot of comments this weekend! If you want to calm things down you could be said to put a _________ on the celebrations.

  28. Hi Dave,
    Well, as a mediocre solver myself, I found this one more demanding but got there !!!
    The postbag is large so presumably your blog does reap some inner satisfaction!!!
    Thank you & Cheers

    1. Peter

      The Saturday puzzle is usually attempted by more people than any other day of the week – presumably because a) there is more time available at the weekend and b) many are desperate to win a fountain pen they are never going to use.

  29. Big David

    Hint means Isle of Man, hence Irish Sea; cant make it too obvious.

    Have tou ever won the pen

    1. What I was getting at was that your comments were not associated with any other comments – if you click reply on the relevant comment before writing then it is obvious to what you are referring.

      Your other question is easily answered – I have never bothered to enter for this puzzle — to me it’s a waste of a postage stamp. You have as much chance of winning as you do with those phone-in competitions on ITV.

  30. Big David

    Would Man means island be better? Although made is more obtuse; rather in keeping with the crossword.

    Must agree with waste of a postage stamp

    1. Robert

      As a hint, that would be better – but it would have been better still if it has been attached to the same comment thread in which the question was asked. Up to ten levels of comment are allowed before the “REPLY” optionh disppears.

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