DT 26193 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26193 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26193 – Hints

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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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 March.


1a    Blue waste material about to be returned to tall building (10)
A charade of something blue, some waste material found in a yard, and Crosswordland’s abbreviation for about, the last part being reversed, gives a tall building

10a    Cultivate land, distant meadow first (4)
A verb meaning to cultivate land is a charade of a synonym for distant and the first letter of Meadow

18a    From 10 across, foie gras or soft cheese (7,5)
An anagram, indicated rather weakly by from, of the answer to 10a together with FOIE GRAS gives this soft cheese – very close to being the dreaded indirect anagram (an anagram where part or all of the fodder is not directly contained in the clue)

27a    Spring put in a good position (4-6)
Another charade – this time of a spring, as in a water source, and a word meaning put gives a synonym for “n a good position”


1d    Wild one of magi protected Virginia (6)
An adjective meaning wild is derived by putting a wise man (magus) around the abbreviation for the US State of Virginia (all of these abbreviations can be found in The Mine)

8d    Frenzied evil spirit has the first clue (8)
… and the first clue today is 1 ac(ross)

14d    Claret’s served in enemy living quarters (10)
… on a ship

23d    Old friend’s a gem (4)
Our final charade – an abbreviation of old is combined with a friend to get this gem – one might say that the clue is also an old friend!

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!

101 comments on “DT 26193 – Hints

  1. It looks as though I’m in pole position today! I found this puzzle testing but I particularly enjoyed 24a – I think that there was a little subterfuge with the word ‘bit’ – and 8d. Mary and the Minx will no doubt join me in expecting Wales to score a few tries against Italy, who have declined to have the roof shut…

  2. Thought maybe i was going to get a day out from CC today but after speeding along have come to a halt with 7 clues left and am afraid i will have to us ref books cos i don’t know that silly cheese :) yes , hopefully Wales will get a few today roof open or not, we are becoming real softies wanting it closed all the time!!

    1. HORRAY!!! I have finished one at last. After the last 2 weeks I was beginning to lose all hope and thought Alzheimers was kicking in. For me the best puzzle for a very long time, esp loved 24a (dead clever I thought) and 9a although there were some other clever clues as well. Well done to the compiler for giving us in the CC some encouragement. :-)

        1. There we are, it had to happen one day -)
          By the way, thx for all the hard work you and the others put into this blog, I really do appreciate even it I am a miserable old git at times!

  3. Made quite a good start, but now I am a bit stuck. Thanks for the hints (I have now got 18a). Some of the hints still failed to enlighten me!!
    I liked 15a.

  4. Good luck CCs – a manageable one for us today I think, though quite challenging. Liked 9a particularly for it’s sound play (if you imagine an s) or is that just my weird mind? I also like 24a Carravaggio – and 7d & 14d. We’ll be rooting for England (somewhat hopelessly I feel but you never know!)

  5. Fairly easy I thought, having said that, I’m not sure I’ve got 24a right. Obviously I can’t say what I’ve put but a few confirming hints would be useful…. Please :)

      1. OMG! What a ‘Make officer’. It came to me as i was in the shower. Wish I hadn’t posted…… :(

    1. Chablis
      I got this wrong at first. I put teal, thinking that ‘another’ might be ‘alter’ as in ‘alter ego’, without the ‘r’ (bit missing). However, the bird is not a duck. The correct bird is a small seabird, and the answer comes from taking the first and last letters off its Latin name.

  6. so annoyed would have had a day out fron CC today but for two clues i needed to reference! my best effort ever without using books, machines etc. don’t really know why 8d would have 1a!? or if 17d is correct why it is this? anyway well done Barrie, and good luck rest of CC if you get out for a day today, maybe see you tomorrow :)

    1. 8d Frenzied evil spirit has the first clue (8)
      Look at the last three letters!

      17d Officer’s material not English (8)
      Put E(nglish) into your answer and you get a word meaning material, as in physical

    2. You remove the letter E (not Engilsh) from a word meaning material (as opposed to a ghost which may be non material) to get an “officer” – though in the Army they would be an NCO (I believe)!

    3. For 17d the addition of E(nglish) to the answer 7th letter, should give a synonym for something of a material nature.
      Hope that makes sense.

  7. Enjoyed today’s offering .. whilst not too taxing there are some well rounded clues.
    Might have been simple, but my favourite was 6a.

  8. Finished – my best ever. Fairly certain all are correct but as usual a couple I can’t quite explain why (9a for example!) I loved this one.

    1. Helen

      9a starts with a 3-letter vehicle, then put she (lady) within a slang word for a pound (money)

  9. About right for a Saturday, imho. Last to go in was 6a – and, just to be sure before I post it, I assume that there is a cricketing connection, unpopular though this might be to some of our members.

      1. should have read further down before panicking!! Got it now! Thanks everybody!

      1. Hi Mary – sorry, I didn’t mean to confuse you with acronym soup, but I see others have de-coded it for you. I expect you’ll be quite pleased with the result agaianst Italy, and presumably hoping that the French put England to the sword later today?

  10. I really must practice more with 4 letter words – 6a, and 26a were the last two to go in so I am back in the CC Mary – it shows you never really do leave it.

    I liked13a and 15a.

      1. Hi Better late than never – welcome to the blog.
        26a. Make officer a blockhead (4)
        The definition is blockhead. You want a synonym for make followed by a 2-character abbreviation for an army officer.

  11. Enjoyed this one and managed to complete with only a little help. But not sure of 21ac. Have an answer but don’t get the clue!

    1. BJ
      21a. Inescapable revolutionary avoiding awkward ban for principal (8)
      Remove the letters of BAN (not in order, hence awkward) from INESCAPABLE and make an anagram (revolutionary) of what’s left.

      1. Hey Gazza thanks for this. I too had the answer but had persuaded myself to it by another route entirely – makes much more sense this way!! :-)

      2. Thanks, Gazza. Don’t think I would have got this without help. Didn’t like the clue.

  12. Look. – Is E in or out of17d because I’m struggling with the SW corner. Prolixic says take it out and Sarumite says put it in?

    1. We were looking at the hint from different directions. Sarumite’s response was to put the letter E into the answer entered in the grid to make a word for material. My response was to take a word meaning material and take the E out to get a word meaning officer that you enter into the grid!

  13. Hi, I love all your comments and they are a great help. However, I am still stuck on 21ac, 24ac, 26ac, adn 16dn!! I, too , need to practise the four letter words. Can’t fathom the bird with or without the ‘bit’! Plainly I am in the class below CC!

    1. Welcome to the blog Gordonbennett

      The across clues have been explained elsewhere, and some will become more obvious after you get 16d

      Pretended to be moved emotionally (8)
      This is a double definition – the first one is pretended in the sense of phoney or simulated (Chambers also gives la-di-da and hoity-toity); the second is moved motionally in the sense of had an impact on.

  14. Hello folks, hope you are all well

    Just a quick question, thought I’d post it on today’s blog as only got round to dt 26191 yesterday. For 5a I had stabbed, which I think just about works with the clue. S(on) + TAB (belt) + BED (next to sea?) = attacked.

    I was wondering, when setting (maybe Anax knows?) whether the setter tries to solve with alternative answers as a check. This was the first time for a while that I have had a wrong answer that really convinced me – which I guess is quite remarkable. What I’m saying I suppose is how do they normally avoid this so well?

    Cheers, keep up the great work guys, Rob

    1. Robbo

      We do pick up comments on other posts!

      A lot of setters have test solver(s) and the Crossword Editor to help identify alternative solutions. However, when a setter has a particularly good clue he takes some shifting. I advised Anax that his “Good milk” clue would be troublesome two weeks ago, but he still went ahead with it!

      1. Ah, didn’t realise that. Cheers Dave.

        Well done Wales, time to smash South Africa and New Zealand later this year!


  15. Hi. New to cryptic crosswords but very pleased to have done most of 26193 with no help – including all of above. Just can’t get 6a and I don’t understand the cricketing analogy – preferring rugby! Any clues?

    1. Hi Charlie – welcome to the blog.
      6a, Out, say? Standing out (4)
      It sounds like (say) one of the ways a batsman can be out at cricket, and here’s a visual hint to the definition.

      1. Thanks gazza. For a while there, I thought your visual clue was a link to a webpage with a far too obvious answer and BigDave had blocked it.

        Well, it is 02:15…



    2. The answer sounds like (say) what the umpire might say if a batsman was dismissed when the ball hits the wicket. The other definition ( standing out ) might be what you do to type on a WP to make it stand out.

      1. Thanks Prolixic, got it at last . Really struggling with this one – only a dozen to go now !

        Well done Wales, sorry you had to put up with a shower of rain though – and well played England good effort !

  16. Enjoyed todays crossword. Much easier than Fridays!! I only needed help from the blog for 8d, 17d and 26a. Thank you, it stopped the frustration.

  17. Can’t do 22a or 11d. :(
    I enjoyed this puzzle – might have another look at yesterday’s in a bit. I didn’t get far (and I can’t blame it on the madame / mademoiselle thing lol!)

    1. Mark
      22a. Pig and strangely one that flies (6)
      Pretty poor clue. You want a bird (one that flies) and the setter’s given you the first three letters for free!

        1. Got 11d now. I am really pleased with getting them all done (albeit with some expert help).
          Going to have a go at NTSPP later!!

    2. 11d. Passage to Scottish island learner took was temporary (12)
      The definition is temporary and it’s a charade with 3 elements: Synonym for passage/ name of a Scottish island/ usual abbreviation for a learner.

  18. I got all the clues today fairly easily today, but just can’t get 14 down. However it seems no one else is struggling with this. Is it me??

    1. Hi Carina – welcome to the blog.

      It’s living quarters on a ship. You need a synonym for enemy with an anagram (served) of CLARET’S inside.

      1. Thank you – and thank you for explaining the clue. I had to use an anagram solver to solve it. Never heard this word before, but you live and learn. Cheers Gazza

  19. I’m stuck on 22a as well,and found I had got 24a wrong when I realized 17d from earlier comments. Otherwise fairly straightforward.

    1. 22a OK now, thanks. I wondered if there was an anagram involved, but didn’t see it earlier!

  20. I am stuck on both the “officer” clues, even with your glaringly obvious hints in the comments. I’m tearing my hair out!

    1. Done it. Needed to look up NCO and all became clear, though I’ve never heard of that word for material before, presumably the opposite of ethereal?? Couldn’t get a certain extinct bird out my head for 26a so glad I didn’t write it in!

  21. Finished finished finished! yay! Read your hints on the ones I was stuck on but cos I’m so thick they didn’t help. Used my little electronic friend for a couple and then you couls hear the penny dropping on the soft cheese one (still annoyed at myself over that one as my kids have it all the time). Anyway the outcome is that this one has restored my faith in myself as I had a disaster yesterday.

    Scotland have just scored – what is it that turns the mild mannered gentle man that i married into a beer-swilling, foul mouthed thug the minute Scotland play anyone.

    Well done Wales Mary – although defeating the italians is like playing a team of boy scouts so not sure that counts…! haha xx

    There’s another Helen on the blog so to save confusion i’m gonna change my name.

    1. that’s quite a change of name Helen, yes good result for Wales now to make it a good weekend just need Liverpool to do the double on Man U, come on you real reds :)

  22. Finally … 24a dawned on me … it will be nice to see them and the swallows coming back, now that it’s officially spring.

  23. Just completed without any help. 8d the last to go in. I spent ages trying to figure out the connection to the answer to 1a until realisation crept over me like syrup what the clue actually meant. Doh!

  24. Well we finished!

    I liked 14d and 18a

    Disliked 21a because I don’t think the meaning is correct. In fact I rejected the answer before being persuaded it was indeed the answer.

    Still 4stars though.

  25. like afew of you we have finished but for 6a ,cannot get our heads round the cricketeing term .point us in the right direction please

  26. Just back from Bournemouth and the sea air helped to lubricate the brain cells although I found this quite a challenge for a while. 24a was clever and my favourite of the day.

    1. Hey little Dave, was just across the water from you in Swanage – what a lovely day to be out and about !

  27. Just over three hours since my initial whinge about struggling with this weeks puzzle and with a lot of help from all manner of electronic gizmos, your hints and a good walk along the cliffs with the dog and ………. finished !!

    Must say that I really didn’t enjoy this one much and found many of the clues just plain confusing !

  28. Dinosaur Pete – was there on Saturday too – thoroughly rain-drenched with the family as out cycling. Beautiful today though. Now back in Hertfordshire.

    1. glad you got one good day – I’m lucky, I live here and can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be !!

  29. Finished it, a day late in know but I was busy yesterday. My wife had to give me the answer to 6a when i had just 2 left and then i got the last 8d. And now to Sunday’s. (I should add that my wife cannot do cryptic crosswords and she got the answer in about 1 second flat. oh well :( )

  30. Late comment from me – comme d’habitude – I was too busy shopping Saturday to do this puzzle and today I enjoyed tackling the ST2528 effort. So started tonight.
    I liked 6a, 13a, 18a, 21a & 24a. Also 7d, 11d, 14d & 17d.
    Good laugh with 22a & 24a!

    1. Hi Newtothis – welcome to the blog.
      3d. Out-of-town ball? (7,5)
      (Barely) cryptic definition. It’s a social occasion (ball) and it’s in a rural location (out-of-town).

    2. 5d. All over each point at this place (10)
      The definition is “all over”. It’s a charade of a synonym for each, the abbreviation for one of the four main points of the compass, and another word for “at this place”.

  31. Thanks Gazza, 5d solved. I had the same idea as you for 3d, but I’ve got ***** as the second word, and I’m still stumped. Perhaps I’m being really dim!

    1. As you are new to this, a gentle reminder – please don’t give whole or partial answers in comments, except where the word(s) being referrred to are in the actual clue. The letters you gave are correct and are what you do at a ball!

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