DT 26205 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26205 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26205 – 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, 8th April.


1a    Short-tempered agent included hot tip (6)
A word meaning short-tempered is derived by putting a secret agent around a hot tip, typically from a horse-racing tipster

17a    Near definite spot that’s irrelevant (6,3,4)
Combine a word meaning near, or next to, with a definite spot, or target, to get a phrase that means irrelevant (and therefore inconsequential)

25a    This speech is not reported (6)
Speech in the very words of the speaker is described as this

27a    Guide personnel to river (6)
A more senior or experienced colleague appointed to guide a junior employee is built up from personnel, as in staff or crew, with TO and R(iver)


1d    Old scholar found rudimentary dwelling in southeast (6)
An old scholar is derived by putting a rudimentary dwelling, or a bed of the kind used for Jesus, inside South East

3d    Lead about alternative vegetable for flavouring (3,4)
Put the chemical symbol for lead around a word meaning the alternative, i.e. not this or that, to get a vegetable used for flavouring

6d    Donated too much during dance (7)
This bit of Yoda-speak is actually telling you to take a word meaning donated and then insert (during) an abbreviation that means too much, or over-the-top, to get a dance, somewhat like a country dance

22d    Endlessly courageous going over a Spanish Costa (5)
Take a word meaning courageous, drop its final letter (endlessly), and put it over A (as this is a down clue) and you get a Spanish Costa

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!

65 comments on “DT 26205 – Hints

  1. Was called in to work so have had very little sleep in last 36 hours. Picked up the paper on way home and finished it with a cup of tea. Very straightforward even by the usual Saturday standards. Off to bed. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  2. I agree with Little Dave, although I had a slight problem with 17a and had to resort to your hint, Big Dave, and the Blessed Chambers, which shows the answer to be an acceptable variation of a similar phrase – which ends in a five-letter word – and one with which I’m far more familiar!

  3. Very enjoyable little puzzle today, one for the CC’s to their teeth into.
    Agree with Caravaggio about 17a although not too difficult to work out the answer.
    Enjoyed 14a as an anagram.
    Must get on and marinade my chicken for the Fajitas tonight,work,work,work.
    Happy Easter to all worldwide. (Who is using the blog outside the UK ? Libelleule is a given.

    1. Moi aussi. I live in Australia and visit this blog daily. I managed to do yesterday’s crossword before the Cluedup site went down but I’ve noticed that the leader boards today are totally stuffed up. This morning I didn’t appear, and now I appear twice – so does Big Dave.

      Managed to do today’s quite easily. Happy Easter. Don’t eat too many eggs!

    2. I think there are quite a lot of us. I live in Geneva, so Joyeuses Pâques to everyone! :-)

    3. I’m in Valencia so it’s Feliz Pascua from me. Can’t believe I got through a 5 star puzzle without help. What is your star rating, Dave? This seemed pretty straightforward.

      1. Nora, if I was reviewing this, I would give it 2*’s for difficulty. But that would only be because of 17a and 25a.

  4. I enjoyed the anagrams, also 13a and 8d but feel slightly deflated in what usually takes a good few hours today was completed before nine, or is that the price of becoming more skilled? For a fleeting second I ‘d even contemplated striking a conversation with the Jehovas witness who just called , until I realised I’ve still got the kids to dress. A long wet weekend in prospect I fear. Happy Easter to all!

  5. Thank you. My father handed me over to him on the boundary at Scarborough when I was two and informed him of my name. I was left handed ever since just nowhere as near talented. He was a 13a of the game.

    1. As you’ll probably know, the Legend was, at one time, professional for Norton in the North Staffs League and, after playing in a Sunday friendly fixture at a local [to me] chemical processing factory, he took on all comers at snooker, darts and table tennis in the clubhouse – and beat them all. But, what endeared him to everyone he met, was that he was so modest about his abilities.

  6. A nice one for CC today, fav clue 11a, well done to Gazza once again on winning COW another busy weel ahead Gazza :) Happy Easter everyone, just in case i don’t get chance to say it tomorrow, busy day, playing flute in church am then lunch to make for all the ‘boys’ in my family, being hte only ‘girl’ for the last 60 years has its drawbacks!!

    1. I just tried to go to the COW site, using Firefox, and got the following:

      Reported Attack Page!

      This web page at http://www.ukpuzzle.com has been reported as an attack page and has been blocked based on your security preferences.

      Attack pages try to install programs that steal private information, use your computer to attack others, or damage your system.

      Some attack pages intentionally distribute harmful software, but many are compromised without the knowledge or permission of their owners.

      Any comments/ideas ?

        1. Thanks BD, if it’s Anax’s site then I guess it’s perfectly safe and will look into it sometime.

  7. Agree with all- not too taxing today– though must admit one final one to get is 25a–cannot for the life of me see the answer–any help anyone?

    1. This is a grammatical term: speech can be reported or a synonym for straightforward, as from one person to another.
      Happy Easter! :-)

  8. Got everything except the four letter word in 17a. Can’t see what it could be although it should be —— — point.
    Have I got something wrong in the down clue I wonder?

    1. no you are right Barrie, its not a usual way of saying it, I would give the answer a black ****!

        1. Ah I get it!! Not a very well-known phrase or saying or at least not one I have heard of before. Thanks everyone for putting me out of my misery :-)

  9. Looking forward to the new season? Durham champs again on evidence of MCC match.

    1. Going to the 20/20 in Barbados in May so may see your namesake there I hope. The greatest cricketer that ever lived in my opinion, felt very privileged to have seen him and Sir Viv action.

    1. Reported speech is something like this:
      He said the weather was nice.
      The answer describes this was of writing it:
      “The weather is nice,” he said.

      Hope this helps!
      I am stuck on 20d and 1a

      1. Got them now – with a little help from google and grandma alice.

        Thanks for the hints today Dave. I’d never heard of that word for a “tip” – hence my problem with 1a!

      2. See the Blog for 1a. Agent – (007?) around a 3-letter word for a brief sleep. 20d – famous London art gallery (also Modern) with abbreviation for Sister around it = old Greek coin.

  10. Relieved to see I’m not the only one with just 25a to go! Everything else done in an hour today, so it must be easier than usual. Agree with comments on 17a, not a commonly used expression and with Mary on 11a. Quite liked 19d too.

    I have a very large sea-bird for 2d, but no idea how it fits with the clue …

    1. 25a Geoff – if someone asks you the way you give them ********** take the last four letters off and you have your answer, hope this helps??

    2. 25a – thanks, got it now, but don’t think much of the clue.
      2d – ah, a golf thing, that’ll be why I don’t know then!

      BTW, if, like me, you’re into cooking, there’s a jolly nice-looking recipe for shoulder of lamb in Weekend supp, pg 7.

    3. Any hints on 24a ? My inability to see it makes me thing I may have an error in those connected to it. Rather liked 1d today although simple.

  11. hI mARKre 1a…put secret agent round a betting tip
    I still havent comprehended 25a even with yoiur clue

  12. Looks like 1a and 25a were a challenge for quite a few – me too! Still a good one for the CC and it was very exciting to finish it (all but those two) with no help at all – Wow! My favourites were 11a,21a,26a and 5d,16d and a few pleasing ‘Aha’ moments. A very Happy Easter everyone.

  13. Yes, this was a very nice one for the CC, and I did it happily this morning under the dryer. There were no great challenges, although I still don’t understand 1a (was expecting an ‘h’, being the ‘tip’ of ‘hot’) and thought 17a an odd turn of phrase. As I live in Switzerland I enjoyed the Bernese anagram, but my favourites were 5d and 11a.

    Happy Easter to all! :-)

  14. Either todays’ was easy or I’m improving. I’ve got 13a but can somebody tell me how?

    1. 13a One in island race, a new giant (5)
      You want the abbreviation for an annual motorcycle race on the Isle of Man. Put one inside and add a new.

      1. Good Heavens! That was one of the answers I got without knowing why — and I never would have guessed. Motorcycles on the Isle of Man ?! :-o

  15. Hi folks. Some interesting comments. Pity this was not more troubling to take us through the long weekend. Monday’s will be better. This was 1* in my view.

  16. Just had one of those EUREKA !! moments after a long (well it seemed like it) day “doing” a craft fair with no chance of serious crossword thought, have just finished in an hour and a half having finally understood your clues for 24a and 25a.

    Thanks all and Happy Easter

  17. Pretty straightforward puzzle this one.
    I liked 11a, 14a, 17a & 26a. 2d (never had one but did have plenty of the other birds on the fairway), 6d &16d but my favourite was 5d.
    21a is becoming an old goldie like the middle of 20d.

    Many thanks Gazza for the cost of the DT in GB – we have to pay a 3x mark-up over here!

    Pleizierige Paasdagen allemaal!

  18. Happy Easter from Menton in the South of France.

    I thought this was a gentler but nice Saturday puzzle from Cephas.

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