DT 26187 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26187 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26187 – Hints

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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, 18th March.


1a    Vehicle makes way for others (10)
This vehicle clears roads in winter

9a    Holder of land speed record (10)
… is found in most lorries

18a    Islander, artist welcoming first character with husband (8)
A resident of an island in French Polynesia is constructed by putting a 16th-century Italian painter around (welcoming) the first character of the alphabet and H(usband)

19a    A dingy sort of Polish port (6)
An anagram, signalled by sort, of A DINGY gives a Polish port – unwelcome general knowledge, or should that be specialised knowledge, content

27a    Infuriate snake by weed back in river (10)
A word meaning to infuriate is built up from Cleopatra’s snake followed by a vetch (weed) reversed all inserted inside a Devonian river


1d    Place in bedsit established (4)
This place is hidden in the rest of the clue

3d    Entrepreneur’s drive to work? (6,6)
The incentive that drives him – a reason to make a gain

8d    Secret member added weight to coded message (10)
Combine a person who is secretly a member of an, organization with the basic metric weight to get a coded message

23d    Lied about being out of action (4)
A simple anagram, signalled by about, of LIED gives a word meaning out of action

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!

135 comments on “DT 26187 – Hints

  1. Well hello, everyone!.

    Sorry I haven’t been around much. In fact I have hardly been on this planet much over the past couple of weeks, I wouldn’t have probably recognised a crossword if it was 42 foot tall and less than a foot from my face, although thanks to the unbelievable care and patience shown by the staff at my local hospital, I am in a position to go home this afternoon.

    I suspect my next comment may make a certain person think I actually am still out of it, but for me this was an absolutely terrific puzzle that was a joy to solve. A good mix of teasing and challenging clues with 1 across one of the final clues to go in the grid.

    Thanks to Cephas for a grand puzzle and to Big Dave (he knows why!) and those of you who passed on kind thoughts and wishes while I was in hospital.

    I am planning to have a bit of a rest but will be contributing reviews as often as I can.

    Back soon….

    1. Tilsit – it is so nice to have you back with us – we missed you. Now that I have read your review I can hardly wait to start the puzzle.

    2. Good to have you back, Tilsit.
      Am just wrapping this one up – strangely 1a went straight in but my knowledge of Polish ports is sadly lacking!

    3. Tilsit,
      Just dropped in before the rugby, nice to see you back. Like you I thought this was a very enjoyable puzzle today!

  2. To echo Tilsit’s sentiments I really enjoyed this one with 13d last to go in and possibly favourite.
    Thanks for a good start to Saturday Cephas, I hope I don’t ruin it on the golf course (teeing off in 30 mins.

  3. Welcome back to the planet, Tilsit, and I hope your health improves throughout the rest of the year. I agree with you – a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle, which has got my Saturday off to a good start, and I just hope the enjoyment continues at Croke Park this afternoon. Mary, without doubt, will have a similar sense of optimism.

                1. No, not the score we wanted but we’ll have to doff our caps to the Irish, who were the better side. I do have the satisfaction of being in the Millennium Stadium in 2008 [with the roof closed] when we won the Grand Slam and I think my hearing has just about recovered…

  4. Welcome back Tilsit, glad to hear you are on the mend and hope that you get some good rest and recreation over the coming weeks.

    Many thanks to Cephas for a cracking puzzle this morning. Among some top notch clues this morning, 9a and 13 were my favourites.

  5. welcome back Tilsit, hope your recovery will be full and complete and that the spring weather hopefully helps you along, judging by the comments made so far and a quick look at the puzzle , i have a feeling this will not be an easy one, we will see!

  6. Hi everyone. I’m back! Took longer than I thought recovering from this last dose of chemo but here I am at last and only one more to go in a couple of weeks time. Thank goodness. Haven’t been near a crossword till last night and managed loads to say it was Friday’s which I usually struggle with. Today’s was enjoyable for me simply cos i’m feeling well again and my brain is less addled (not brilliant like you guys you note, but definitely less addled!)
    Don’t get the Telegraph on a Sunday (I know I’m a heathen but I like the Express General Knowledge one on a Sunday – used to do it with my dad!) so I’ll wish all you mums a Happy Mother’s Day for tomorrow and will check out the blog on Monday.

    1. Hi Helen, welcome back, i have two friends coming up to their last chemo session next week and know how terrible it is, so well done, nice to see you back, i am almost giving up on todays with 7 left to do, i think it is tougher than the last few Saturdays, so well done on completing, maybe i will leave it a while and come back :)

      1. Isn’t it funny how that happens – you struggle and struggle and can’t get any further and can see no way forward. Then you come back to it in an hour’s time or even the next day and slam about seven clues in. You can almost hear the penny dropping. Good luck with the rugby. My husband is a highlander so we’ll be at different ends of the sofa today (not for the first time haha!)

            1. Crikey – I was born in Ripon. My parents ran the fish and chip shop on North Street 30 yrs ago.

              1. Oh my god – is that Betty’s fish and chip shop? It’s gone downhill now mind. Bet my mum taught you to swim…

                1. No – it was “Bell’s” in those days

                  My Dad used to trade a crate of fish at the Spa Baths for the swimming lessons – long time ago now.

                  1. Bells, that’s right. My mum has taught every child in Ripon to swim for about 100 years – Sylvia Grice. She’s still teaching every day aged 76. When I joined at the Spa Baths Fred Windsor was the manager, then Norman Dalton followed by Jimmy Taylor. Ring any ‘bells’?

                    1. My Mum, Pam Bell, is staying with us at the moment and remembers your Mum fondly. She taught my brother Stephen to swim (I wouldn’t go in the water at the time).

                      The people who bought the shop after us kept the name and pretended my Grandad, Harry, was the manager. My brother visited incognito and asked to see him – the name changed shortly afterward (we had a laugh about that one!)

                      I don’t remember much about living in Ripon, but I do remember St Wilfred’s parade where they threw sweets at us, and a massive party our parents had for us at the baths – it was great.

                    2. I might have to change the name of the blog to “Friends Reunited”

                      I’ve taken you email address from the name field and will forward it to Helen.

                      (Email addresses published on the internet invite masses of spam.)

                      On top of that, this thread has reached the limit of ten levels.

  7. Thanks for the hints Big Dave. Am still struggling today though. 12a and 11d would help me out hugely though. Hints welcome!

    1. 12a what do you get monthly from your bank telling you how much money you have or haven’t! preceded by M(ark) and abbreviation for one’s, 11d, somebody who only ever comes first is this?

      1. You can read each of the clues as a word sum. Mary is spot on with 12a. Simply insert a few imaginary plus signs and an equals sign in each to get the answers.

        11down works in exactly the same way.

      2. Mary, thanks for the hint but still can’t see it. The only thing I get from my bank is dodgy insurance offers and the occasional statement neither of which seems appropriate here!

        1. Think of another name for a lie-detector, and shoot ‘poly’.

          Or the sort of paper crossword setters used before t’internet for help with their grids.

  8. am stuck on 13d & 14d help would be gratefully appreciated, then i can get on with my flute practice! :)

    1. got 13d now, quite like it! think I have 14d but just cant see why one of these would be getting into trouble, or have i got it wrong????

      1. sorry am being so stupid, of course 14d, if you are heding for this you are heading for trouble, of course, why didn’t I see it, like it, ok flute practice here I come, good luck all CC, I found this a tough one but that doesn’t mean anything :) I needed BDs hints for 9a, and lots of electronic friend help today, i could see what i was looking for but just didn’t know the answer!

        1. I agree, I think its a bit of a swine today, not the usual pleasant exercise for a peaceful Saturday morning. The DT must be running out of cash for prizes:-)

  9. Top quality puzzle today.
    Welcome back Tilsit, hope your recovery is swift.
    Thanks for the blog Dave

  10. Good to see you back tilsit, and I agree it was an above average Prize Puzzle today.
    I was held up initially on down clues after putting “Tachometer” when starting across clues.
    Favourites 13d and 11d.

      1. Think of another name for a lie-detector, and dispose of ‘poly’.

        Or the sort of paper crossword setters used before t’internet for help with their grids.

        1. Ah obvious now!! Got so hung up on meter, lost sight of the alternative. Thanks very much. :-)

  11. Got stuck doing something else and only got to the puzzle – very enjoyable – except for 3d – not a smooth flowing phrase but it fits I guess. A strange wording is what I say – would have read better as margin for the answer.

    1. I think my hint could be more difficult than the clue. A very awkward phrase, and if you key it into Chambers online it takes you to Capitalism!

      1. I’ve just looked at your hint – it looks fine to me and leans toward what the answer actually is.

  12. Hmm, not liking todays too much, well stuck on the top right apart from 6a. Tricky today!

      1. 7d, straightforward anagram indicated by ‘chewing’ to give a word which is part of a mixture
        10a, is an odd one i think another word for fair could be pretty and if you’re not this then you could be ****, actually you could be pretty ****, not exactly sure how the answer fits the clue, very losely i think
        8d, can’t really say more than BD already has
        hope this helps??

        1. Thanks Mary, those I have managed (hard work though), just 3 to do now 11d, 5d and 16a. Just don’t understand where the compiler is going with 16a, which bit of this is the clue?

          1. 16a, the whole thing is the clue really, the easiest way is to think of a word for ‘fiiting’ as in suitable in a nice way, ‘it looks very ********’, once you have the answer you will ‘see’ the clue
            11d, as i said above if someone thinks they are the best or are always first, then they think they are this, first word is what comes after first!
            5d, if you are a tourist you do this, and if you are going to be successful you aim to do this perhap???

            1. Thanks Mary, now finished!! Hard one today. Thanks for your help, shame Wales is going to lose to the Irish today :-)

          1. 8 down

            Think of a burial chamber – remember the 70’s hit The Monster Mash? Google it and look for part of the backing band.

            Add to this a big round zero and then a very small weight to finish.

    1. Like you Barrie, not enjoying this one much, thank heavens for Dave’s clues to get me started and the rest of you’se to help me continue – think I’ll come back to it later – too many other things to distract me at the moment !

        1. Sorry – what’s football ?!!! Definitely prefer the odd shaped ball but don’t know either of todays results yet which says something about me I guess.
          Sad is the word I was looking for – I’m still scratching around trying to finish this puzzle !

  13. Is it me Dave anytime I want to see the next comments I have to go off the site and then open up again, i have always had to do this, sometimes some will come through when i am posting a comment but otherwise i have to keep going on and off the site, which is a pain if i’m doing something wrong, i’m not going offline or anything?? sorry should have put this under comments!

          1. as you can tell Dave i’m not very computer literate, only been using one for 20 yrs or so! its internet explorer, not sure what version assume 8, and its virgin broadband, most refresh keys are F5 I know but it doesn’t seem to do anything, sorry to be such a numbskull

              1. Mary

                The version of IE is very important. Go to Help / About. If you have any version less than 8, then upgrade asap. Alternatively, download and use Firefox – 100 times better than IE.

                1. will get my one of my sons to sort it, i will probably just mess it up, thanks for help and time, off to watch Wales hopefully beat Ireland now :)

                  1. Listening to Land of My Fathers pre-match is one of those things guaranteed to reduce me to a blubbering wreck – and I’m not even Welsh, though my ancestors are.

                    May the best team win and it be a splendid match.

  14. Nice puzzle for a Saturday, not too simple and made our collective brain work. Finally back properly on line after almost 3 months – only to see that there have been some poorly people I wasn’t aware of! Very glad to hear you are both feeling better and hopefully on the mend, Tilsit & Helen.

  15. Managed to finish it with a little help from my (new) electronic friend! Not so happy with 12a and 13d as would have thought both would be hyphened – maybe that’s just me being grumpy cos it took so long to get them ;-). Otherwise a very enjoyable puzzle – Thanks everyone and all the best for a full recovery Tilsit and Helen :-)

  16. Good afternoon everyone.

    I cleared half this away in the morning; and in my hubris, thinking it was going to be a cakewalk, left the remainder for this afternoon (for after my saturday errands). I’m back on it now, and am having rocky time! Not the sedate p.m. I envisaged this morning for sure.
    So, I’d knocked out the NE and NW corners this morning; with the SE and SW waiting for the afternoon, i.e., for now. Some progress on the SE corner (23d was a give away!), but the SW corner is so difficult I’ve had to come knocking on your door Big Dave (and all).

    Here’s some areas I’m having the most difficulty with:

    18a – I don’t know that many Italian renaissance painters that’d fit in here. One has the same name of the young Brazilian some-time right back at Man United, but I think this name is too long; another has a name beginning with “t”, and the first part of his name means a shade or colour, again I think his name is too long; Dan Brown made a fortune on the name of the other, but again this name must be too long. Help!

    21a – just no idea at all. I’ve looked up “Quito”, although I suspect we are only supposed to use the “Q” here; and I’ve jotted down some words for “novice”, some words for “surprising”, and the combo of all this makes a word that fits a definition of “doubtful words”. Otherwise, I can only guess that either of the “surprising use” and “doubtful words” references is a prompt for an anagram: of “Quito Novice” and “a”. Help again!

    1. sorry everyone—I’ve got 18a now. Wow, you are all excellent for knowing that artist. I’d never heard of him!

  17. Tom, surprising use is the anagram indicator for the words you used, doubtful words is the definition

  18. Afternoon bloggers! Hope all is well. Strangely sluggish today but now all done 10a being the last one to go in. Perhaps my brain is tired – started listening to commentary from Chittagong very early! I now have an hour before off to a swimming gala – watching – and maybe time to peruse the rest of the paper. Any enjoyable puzzle – yesterday’s was excellent and a tough one.

  19. Gosh, sorry to keep posting. I’ve knocked out the clues I’d had a problem with (18a and 21a); only to find my answer for 25a was wrong, as it doesn’t fit with what I think 17d is. I’m pretty sure my answer for 17d is going to be right (I used to play with miniature cars made by a brand of the same name when I was a youngster); so I’m convinced I have to rethink 25a now…

    I’d originally written in a naval phrase people use to describe everything as being above board, correct, or tidy; and I have heard it often used for a clean bill of health. But, I had put a “d” on the end to make it fit and sound a bit more adjectivey. Doing that was fishy; and I suppose the phrase isn’t really supposed to mean “strong and healthy” (but judging by the answer to 10a I thought we could be fast and loose today)—so, yes, I’m convinced my answer is incorrect. But then, I have no idea what the answer could be now!

    Any hints for 25a?

    1. I think I understand all that – although for me it conjures up memories of a great Carl Perkins song rather than model cars!

      25a Strong and healthy like one who is at sea (4-6)
      It’s what puts the AB into seaman!

      1. Hello Dave. Hey, there’s a new song for me! I just had a watch on YouTube, and as C.P. sings – “I got a long way to go…”

        Thanks for the hint to 25a. So, “it’s what puts the AB into seaman!” – OK, I’m going to go away and have a think…

        (with some Carl Perkins on in the background!)

        Thanks again.

  20. Running exams today at one of he local unis, so it was a late start on this one. Most of the RH side is in place, but the SW corner is looking sadly bare. A hint to 13d would be useful please.

  21. 26a – one of the Gospels?

    4 / 17d – connected with sport?

    22d – the name of a singer?

    1. 26a – Yes.
      4d – For the answer, no. The word play is a cricketing term for leg + a word for swift to give another word meaning an impetuous forward movement.

      1. Apologies – 4d, the answer is a word for attack, the wordplay is a cricketing term for leg + a word meaning a swift impetuous forward movement.

      2. Thank you Prolixic. I didn’t see you reply until after I had posted my previous comment. I wandered from the pc for a moment and comments have been a little slow in appearing in the last few minutes.

  22. All done! I remembered that letters 1&2 of 4d came up recently in a cricketing connection, I think. I was just left with 14d, but got it now. Can’t say I’ve really enjoyed this, but 25a was one of the good ones.

  23. I’m all done, except for one: 11d. I’ve been staring at it for hours and hours now. I have:

    ****** / ** / ****

    I can’t get a grip on the clue. The “not initial weight” phrase has stumped me…. What is the setter’s preoccupation with “weight” and “not” in the clues today?

    Sorry I’m a bit grumpy…

    1. 11d. Not initial weight, somebody who is suprme (6-2-4)
      The first word of the answer is “not initial” , i.e. not first but …. Follow this with a large weight and end with an impersonal pronoun (somebody).

        1. This is the only one we needed help with.

          Thank you.

          These days it is a nice change to finish the Telegraph crossword.

      1. Apologies Dave! m(. .)m

        I’d seen that here before, so thought it was OK. Won’t happen again.

        1. Tom

          If you did see it before then I missed it!

          The problem is where to draw the line, otherwise the comments become a whole collection of correct and incorrect patterns. The “rule” only applies to Prize Crosswords. Most other similar sites won’t allow any discussion until after the closing date – I have taken a compromise view with the object of helping people to learn about how cryptic crosswords work rather than just giving the answers.

          1. Big Dave

            I think it must have been a weekday i.e., non-prize, crossword blog where I’d seen people quoting their checking letters, and so I’d gotten confused. But I can see your warning in red on the first post there—so the fault’s all mine. I’m so embarrassed by the whole thing I’ll not forget the rule now!

            And, finally, in the tradition of everyone mentioning their favourite clue…

            5d – “What a successful tourist will do?”

            I’m off to bed.

              1. Good morning Big Dave.

                Yes, I just took a look at AnswerBank this morning (I’d never looked at any other crossword sites/blogs than yours before now): not very sporting is it. Seeing that makes me want to say thanks again for giving us a fun, open, and didactic blog. I think where you’ve drawn the line is just right.

                By the by, in my case getting through a Telegraph cryptic, any day of the week, is its own reward; but are there many members sending their Prize crosswords off to the DT?
                I’ve not been at it long, but my experience so far has been that the midweek puzzles can be better/more satisfying than Saturday (prize) ones. If I were the chap in charge of organizing which puzzle goes in when at the DT, I’d have put Friday’s one in yesterday; and yesterday’s in on Friday. Friday certainly felt more prize worthy to me at any rate. As have quite a few mid-week ones.

                I suppose we get on better with different setters don’t we…

                Anyway, I do the Sunday Times puzzle on Sunday, as my Dad has a go at that one too—so I’m off to the Newsagent’s. Lovely sunny morning in Kent today!

    2. Same here Tom, pondered it for a long time. Once I had thought what’s after initial?, the rest just fell into place.

      1. Good to hear I wasn’t the only one Geoff. Yes, I’m still a newbie to cryptic crosswords and to Big Dave’s Blog (sorry again for the slip-up!), so the only reference I was used to for “initial” regards using the first letter of the word following or previous.

        Anyway, I’m glad for everyone’s help on this one: a new “initial” reference for the memory banks!

  24. I thought this a good and not too difficult puzzel. Got all but the wretched cricketing one! I’m sick to death of ****** cricket terms!!! BD you did mention adding a sporting section to the mine……
    Glad to hear that Tilsit and Helen are feeling better, we’ve all been rooting for you.

    1. But once they have popped up once or twice, we might remember them, Chablisd. This term cropped up recently (was it last weekend?) and, surprisingly, I remembered it! I can barely spell cricket (or football!), but I’ve learned this one!

  25. An enjoyable but rather straightforwarrd puzzle from Cepheas.
    I liked 1a (especially after this dreadful winter which the pundits last autumn said would be a mild one!), 9a, 16a & 25a. 3d, 8d, 11d, 13d & 14d.
    Re 22d does this need to be a singer?

  26. Solved this one with My Sainted Mother – enjoyed some of the clues but others didn’t seem to work properly for me. More due to me being thick than anything else. I’m looking forwards to the full explanation.

    Many thanks for the hints.

  27. Eughh…really struggled today. 11d and 12a really had me stumped. Still left with 4d and 5d to solve, so not feeling too clever. Still, Ireland did well, so that salvaged the day! Sorry…

  28. Was completely stuck on 10a until I saw Mary’s hint, so close yet so far, maybe next week I’ll get them all. must admit found this one a bit challenging and have diiscovered new meaning to the work rush, never heard that cricket term, or knew it is also part of a skirt!!

  29. pleased to discover you ,recommended by daughter Jill Price.Found this one quite tricky, still need 24a thought it might be dozy like me.! Obviously not!

  30. Lots of great comments. Just thought I’d let you know that Hertfordshire is in sunshine. Lovely day for all the mothers out there. It’s in the envelope ready to be entered.

    England well on top in Chittagong – a good day.

  31. Strange! I didn’t find it particularly difficult today- but then I am always one of the slower ones to solve everything.

    I am , however, really stuck on the last one to go in – 14d. I have all the other letters but for the life of me cannot understand what this is about!

    Any help please?

    1. dentian
      14d. In the event one who is getting into trouble (4,6)
      It’s someone who is participating in an athletics field event, and if you’re “for” this you are in trouble and about to be severely reprimanded.

  32. Gazza

    All is revealed…….. Ta. It would be interesting to know the origin of the phrase , but perhaps that’s a little too intellectual.

    1. Dentian
      I believe that it comes from standing on the scaffold with a rope around your neck …

  33. Hi – just found this site this weekend. I regularly do the DT crossword, but rarely finish it without the help of my mother-in-law! Maybe now I can start to learn how!

    This is a great site. I’ve been having a go at some of the other puzzles on here too,

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