DT 26211 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26211 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26211 – Hints

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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The usual few hints to get you started.

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, 15th April.


1a    One making religious ceremony sound different (6)
The definition here is, rather cleverly, “one making”, and is usually preceded by a word that tells you what they are making – it sounds like a religious ceremony

14a    Still like peas in a pod (3,3,4)
A phrase that means still, in the sense of nevertheless, describes peas in a pod

26a    Army craftsmen have 24 hours without a cure (6)
A charade of a four-letter abbreviation for the Army craftsmen followed by a synonym for 24 hours without the letter A results in a cure


2d    Winger from Real Madrid (3,7)
This winger is a butterfly! – indicated once again by that weakest of indicators, from, it’s an anagram of REAL MADRID – but the surface reading is excellent

15d    Term of endearment by one consuming bird (10)
Combine a term of endearment with someone who is consuming food to get a bird that consumes the term of endearment!

24d    Crawler with no backbone (4)
A creature that crawls can also be used as a description of a mean, grovelling or contemptible person – the entire clue also reads as a non-cryptic definition!

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!

67 comments on “DT 26211 – Hints

  1. Good morning Dave, can’t believe this – just back from the market with DT in hand (un opened) and find I’m the only one here ! Must be the change in the weather !!

    Right go and make a coffee and see what delights this weeks puzzle holds – I’ll be back later for help !

      1. That could explain it ! here I am, now 2.10 p.m. and just beginning the struggle again. Don’t think I like this one.

  2. Am I jaded and in need of a holiday (off on Monday!) or was it the crossword? Got really excited by the surface reading of 1d, first clue answered, and went downhill from there. 7d and 16d too similar for me;

  3. I have to admit that I’ve had a struggle with this and I’m not happy with some the constructs of several of the answers. I am assuming that I have the correct answer for 4d . 23d begs the question as to whether James Naughtie could take the place of Juliet Newton and similarly, in 20d, could Octavius replace Oscar? And I thought it was such a beautiful morning…

    1. Not really since Juliet and Oscar in the international Call Sign alphabet and Newton is a measure of force which is a standard abbreviation.

    2. 4d is a charade of synonyms for to imagine and A profit.

      Juliet and Oscar represent letters in the NATO phonetic alphabet (see The Mine).

      Newtons are an SI unit, the unit of force, equal to the force which, acting on a mass of one kilogram, produces an acceleration of one metre per second per second which is represented by the obvious abbreviation!

      1. Doh! And, believe it or not, I can recite the NATO phonetic alphabet from Alpha to Zulu! I shall go and stand in the corner, wearing a dunce’s cap… Thank you both for elucidating.

  4. Not a nice one – can’t say there was one clue that I really enjoyed. Got the answer for 18a but had never heard of the anti-movement. After yesterday’s ecxcellent puzzle this leaves a lot to be desired.

    1. Lea
      I agree – it’s terrible after yesterday’s high. How on earth clues like 17a and 16d get into a broadsheet prize crossword is beyond me. At least we have Tilsit’s puzzle to look forward to.
      In 18a “movement” indicates an anagram.

      1. Thanks Gazza – see it now and agree – just printed off Tilsit’s so will give it a go after I have some lunch (or while I am eating it). BTW – good COW write-up, Brain didn’t work to submit this week but enjoyed reading them. Some very good clues.

      2. Gazza

        I’m reluctant to be too critical as today’s puzzle is an improvement on those of a year ago – perhaps we should mark Cephas’s report as “Showing signs of improvement”

  5. I did this quite happily in several sittings and only had real trouble with the four-letter words. Still haven’t found 22a. I got into rather a muddle when I put in a synonym for 13d which fitted nicely until I started filling in the words across. It should be something which would describe a pond, for instance, rather that something that is merely pretty (am I allowed to say that? if not, take it out).

    I thought this was a good, straightforward puzzle, and will now go out an enjoy the sunshine. :-)

  6. I had to drag myself through this one today, the brain is a bit lazy.
    9a kept me at it for ages as did 11a believe it or not.
    There seems to be trend with this compiler for using every day phrases as answers as in
    Is it considered an easy way to think up clues among the aficionados of the craft ?

    1. I found this a struggle too – I was stuck on 9a, but your comment on everyday phrases made the penny drop, which helped with the whole north-east corner where I was struggling. Thanks! Glad to get this one finished – I didn’t really enjoy it.

    2. 24 + hours after starting and after many interruptions ( typical weekend !) I’m down to the last two – 9a and 6d. Started off so well but am now completely clueless so please ……. Help !!! Anybody !

      1. 6d Extremely heavy drill received shrewd publicity (4)
        You want the extremes (outer letters) of heavy followed an abbreviation for physical exercise (drill).

      2. 9a Just what is needed now second person has arrived (4,3,3)
        Double definition – the second what you might say to someone arriving late.

        1. Thanks Gaza, got them – albeit two days later !

          Don’t really see what the link is between “shrewd” and the answer though.

          Must get back to preparing work for Purbeck Art Weeks, coming up at the end of May, but at least I can give all my mind to carving my bits of wood now !

  7. I am doing quite well with the puzzle today. Just been out digging turf. Now I am going to have another look. I have a problem with the down clue about the expert and the internet – I think I have written something wrong in :(.

    1. 5d Sound expert left on the internet (7)

      The definition (not a very good one) is sound (of breakfast cereal, maybe) – it’s a charade of an expert, L(eft) and E (as in email, etc). Yes, I can read your thoughts about this one! You can hear Eric Morecambe saying “What do you think of it so far?”

      1. before i had 9a I had put Mauchly in for 5d, anyone ever heard of him, he had something to do with computers??

        1. Thanks Dave. That’s what I got after entering something totally stupid! Not my favourite clue – the internet / “e” idea is fair (I suppose) but I wasn’t sure until now.

    2. I had -*-*-*- and through trial and error, got the answer, but I’ve no idea how the clue works

  8. An ok puzzle day for me managed it all in the end but without much enthusiasm, must be the change in the weather :) didn’t even manage to start yesterdays properly! I think i must have got used to long, rainy days with the central heating on with my crossword in front of me! not an easy one though i didn’t think, good luck other CC members :)

  9. Hardly dare admit it in front of you experts but can someone help me with 8d, 11a and 22a please? Also is 21a the thing I’m always on (Did I Eat That?) and if so, why?

    Got the rest and liked 4d and 23a best (Again I hardly dare admit that as these are the clues the rest of you hate which obviously makes me some sort of crossword heathen) Didn’t like 7d or 16d (very similar) and although they help me get letters in ones I don’t know the answer to, I’m also getting bored of easy and obvious anagrams.

    Am I the only member of the Thick Yorkshire Lasses club?

    1. PS Well done Ross County (Super COUNTY go ballistic, Celtic are atrocious!) Woop woop. Highland boys are best x

    2. 8d. Moderate Christian I leave (6)
      Start with a non-Jew (these aren’t just Christians!) and remove the I (I leave) to get an adjective meaning moderate or benign.

    3. 11a. Once it could offer an opening (4)
      You want an opening (through which you leave a building, say) and it’s made from two 2-letter words, of which the setter has given you the second in the clue.

    4. 22a. Started enveloping some flower (4)
      The name of a river (flower) is hidden in the clue.

      You’re right on 21a. It also means a legislative assembly.

      1. Thanks a million Gazza. You’re a genius. Used to be pretty good at football too eh…

    5. Willie/Helen
      Not sure I can comment on the “Thick Yorkshire Lasses club” but a number of years ago I was a fully paid up member to the “Thick Yorkshire Lads club”!

    1. 7d Victoria’s comedown in Australia (10)
      Put what Victoria was from 1837 to 1901, then ‘S in front of what an aircraft does at the end of a flight (comedown).

      1. That might have been obvious if 21a had been correct … Thanks. At least I can almost write today, even I can’t almost get the answers!

  10. Thought this was too easy… and then I hit the top right corner. I would still be there if not for your blogg.! Many thanks! :)

  11. I agree with you guys, this was a bit tougher than the weekdays xwords. Being a bit of a pagan, those religious references left me cold and the’opening’ one was the last nail to knock home. These things are addictive. I’m also worried about the day i can’t do one being the first sign of my slide into senility. Am i alone in this fear?

  12. You’re not alone there DD! Just finished it but some less that satisfactory clues today.

  13. I thought today’s was awful. boring and hardly any clever clues. either that or they were too clever. last two for me were 21 and 22 across. think they are right. was looking for a river but seem to have a garden. only clue I liked was 23 across. think my 19 down right but would not associate this with friction.

    1. Hi Gonzo – welcome to the blog.
      19d. Man causing friction at work (7)
      It’s a weakish cryptic definition of a man who relieves tension by kneading.

      1. Thought so – thank you. Poor clue – just like many others this week. I’m off to download yesterday’s Guardian!

  14. Not a nice puzzle at all, esp after Fridays Giovanni special which was excellent. Didn’t enjoy this one at all. :-(

  15. I think I agree with wanda – usually when I am stuck I leave the xword in the smallest room and can usually finish it over the course of a week!
    This one I am looking for help to get rid of it. Stuck with 3d – no one has mentioned it so it must be a mental block. 22a is a river in cumbria I
    presume but how *– = some I can’t work out.
    Got 1a and 9a but they seemed too removed from the clue for me – one making = ****** ?

    1. Welcome to the blog jigsawjoe

      Please read the message in red print at the end of the post!

      22a the river is hidden in the clue

      3d Look — transparent fabric has middle missing (4)
      remove the middle letter from a transparent fabric to get this look

  16. afternoon all, I’m still doing this one (26211) and am stuck on 9a 6d 18a and 21a, any help that can be within the blog rules for saturdays would be appreciated…

    1. For 9a and 6d see responses to comment #6
      18a Princess, aficionado in anti-movement (7)
      The answer is the title of a Spanish princess. Put a synonym for aficionado inside an anagram (movement) of ANTI.

    2. 21a Isn’t there much to chew over at this conference? (4)
      You want a word for a conference or assembly which is more widely used as an eating plan which aims to reduce the amount eaten.

  17. Still stuck on last 3 even after 24hours. The only thing I can see for 1a is the word for someone like Van Gogh or Rubens but that leaves 3d a mystery as is 6d. Any help with this poor and frustrating puzzle would be appreciated.

  18. first time blogger – finished this one no prob apart from 17a – no one else mentioned it so clearly having a mental block ?

    1. Welcome to the blog bantam bobby

      17a An attack to be faced? (7)
      I thought this would have been asked by now – the type of attack that comes from the direction you are facing. I think it’s a sort of a double definition.

  19. If you are being attacked facing an oncoming enemy it might be described as a full _______ attack. Hope that this helps.

  20. Paid a fortune for the paper in Rome and crossword still not quite done. Will hopefully see it off today!!

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