DT 26217 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26217 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26217- 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, 22nd April.


1a    Hurt mother long time afterwards (6)
a word meaning to hurt is a charade of a mother, usually of cattle, horses, etc.,and a long time

13a    Beer jar first contains refuse from grain distillery (6)
Start with a beer and put a jar that could be used for beer in front of it to get refuse from grain distillery

15a    Local salesman recollected that it was limited in size and scope (2,1,5,5)
Recollected is the rather unusual indicator that an anagram of LOCAL SALESMAN is required to get a phrase meaning limited in size and scope

29a    Albert returned a hat made of silken wool (6)
The shortened form of Albert is followed by A and a flat brimless hat, usually with a peak, both reversed to get a silken wool made from an animal related to the llama


1d    Scheme to suppress depravity? (6)
If you read this scheme differently it could mean to suppress depravity – it doesn’t mean that, hence the question mark

2d    Gas encircling same drug (9)
A common crossword ploy is to use the abbreviation of ditto for same

20d    Long fish beached? (4,3)
This long fish sounds as if it could be found on the beach

25d    Hopes once held of making money (4)
Hidden inside hopes once is a currency used by many South American countries

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!

83 comments on “DT 26217 – Hints

  1. Gentle but engaging. I learned a couple of new words from this puzzle. Many thanks to Cephas for the crossword.

        1. Jan

          When contesting definitions or enumeration by saying “according to the dictionary” it helps a lot if you quote the dictionary and version.

          The Telegraph almost invariably uses Chambers 11th edition for all except proper nouns that are not in that dictionary. You might well argue that certain other dictionaries are “better” but Chambers is de rigeur for all Telegraph crosswords. Enigmatic variations occasionally uses words that are not in Chambers, but always states that in the preamble.

  2. What a dreadful start to a Saturday, far too tough and not at all enjoyable. Please can we return to the usual complier who always gives us such great puzzles for Saturday morning. By the way thanks for the clues but I don’t understand your hint for 2d? What is the abbreviation for ditto?

    1. Oh Barrie – how can you say that – it was a great puzzle! A few tricky words but altogether pleasing & I thought a good one for CC members. Abbrev=1st & last.
      BD, Is there a ‘not the Saturday’ today?

    2. Quite agree Barrie, of the half dozen I’ve done, four were due to Dave’s help – the rest are still a mystery.

      See if a strong coffee helps to encourage the mind !

    3. Can’t say I’m enjoying it either. Some of it fell into place really easily, with a good guess for 13a and then a few more after a walk in the glorious sunshine. Got some gaps in NE and SW corners – but just realised 26a might be an anagram.

  3. It took a long while for the penny to drop with 13a and, like Nora, it was a new word to me too. Unlike Barrie, I didn’t think that this was particularly tough and thought at first that Alan was agreeing with him – until I realised that it was a pointer to the abbreviation in 2d!

    1. Agree Caravaggio, 13a was a new word for me and I had to check with Chambers that my solution was correct. Enjoyable and no too taxing, thank you Cephas.

  4. Hi there, I’ve just discovered your site…and DT crosswords, and I love the way you help newbies like me learn to think outside the box. Just a single semi criticism…when you show pictures to illustrate clues as in today’s posting, often the subject and hence tha answer appear when you move your cursor over the picture. i really don’t mean to criticise and if it comes across like that I apologise unreservedly!

      1. No please keep it. Once we know about it, we have a choice as to whether to put the cursor on the picture.

  5. Never heard of 13a but other than that a fairly simple and straightforward crossword and quite enjoyable.

  6. I thought I was doing well until I read that most people were finding it relatively straightforward! SW corner is proving tricky – got 3 to go now.

  7. Got it now.! Had an incorrcet answer for 22a which I thought was a contined clue. Really should have got 28a earlier though.

  8. A better, fair challenge for a Saturday, so thanks to compiler and cracker. A small point, but if I’ve solved 13a correctly, my dictionary shows it as 3,3 or 3-3, but not 6?

    1. If you do a search you can get all three, but Chambers definitly gives 6.

      Chambers 11th edition is essential for this kind of check as all answers are usually checked against it before publication.

  9. Been away for a few days so first puzzle this week – very pleasant but several of the clues/answers seemed like deja vu. New word for me in 27a – quite a nice clue.

  10. Totally stuck in NW and SE -got the rest out.

    1d -Sorry -I don’t understand the hint.
    2d I know the abbreviaiton for ditto but that still leaves 7 other letters

    A hint for 17d would be appreciated.

    1. 1d if you can imagine that a made-up word to suppress goodness might be “devirtue” what might a made-up word to suppress depravity be?

      1. Gazza, I’ve finished apart from NW and I feel that 1a or 1d will close it up for me. Despite all the hints I still can’t see 1d, can you help a little more.

        By the way, for all those enjoying the weather in the UK, the weather here in the Languedoc is magnificent

        1. 1d The definition is scheme and it’s a synonym of plot, ploy. ruse, dodge, trick, gambit and artifice.

    2. 17d. Pleasure for jockey — one driving illegally (8)
      The definition is (some)one driving illegally. Put a synonym for pleasure in front of another word for a jockey.

    3. 2d. Put the name of a gas (as produced by the flatulence of cows, for example) around the two letters which you already have.

  11. A much better Saturday challenge than usual and it got my brain working nicely on a beautiful Hertfordshire morning. 17d was the last one to go in. Really enjoyable and thanks to the setter.

    Unbroken blue skies here – no signs of aeroplane tracks either!

  12. I rather enjoyed thisthough not quite finished yet.

    I liked 6d – maybe I’m easily pleased?

    I still don’t get 1d in spite of all the hints!

  13. Managed to complete with out hints but although I got 9a due to having every other letter can some one explain the break down of the clue?

    1. 9a Against nameless authorised official becoming devoted adherent (6)
      The definition is devoted adherent. Start with a single letter standing for against (in a sports fixture, say) and add an authorised official (in the legal field) without his/her leading N (nameless).

  14. I enjoyed this one and completed it in two agreeable sessions. Thank you, Cephas. I had to check up on 13a and 26a and needed my thesaurus for 1d, but otherwise managed it without help. My only niggle is that 4a seems more a toast than a greeting. Lots of good clues, but my favourites were 18a and 19d. And I liked 6d too.

    A question of wavelength, Barrie and Collywobbles, as I’ve said before. :-)

  15. Well, I’m kicking myself for the 2 or 3 I had left, but am now complete.
    New words for me are 26a, 13a and 9a, so I have a small excuse.
    Funny how sometimes you get fixated on a path to a clue and can’t get it out of your head? I had 24a and thus had the second letter on 21d. I became convinced that the first three letters of 21d were thus what you see through, led by the clue. Have now got a bruise on my shin.
    Nice puzzle I thought overall. Not all that easy, but it kept going nicely.

  16. Have I got the right idea of 22a – is the answer in the clue? Only SW corner to go! Didn’t help that I had 17d ending in ‘s’!

      1. Cheers gazza, got it now. I’ve spent all afternoon with my nose stuck in the virtual thesaurus!!

        1. Can see now what some people thought the answer to 22a was – Could quite easily have been and I guess would then have held up solving 19 and 23 down. Luckily I never went down that path although it took me some time to get it. You have to get your mind off food!

  17. 2 d The “same” could be another gas i.e Nitrous Oxide which would give the official name of Ketomine rather than the more obvious drug. We will have to wait and see

    1. Hi David – welcome to the blog.
      If you subscribe to CluedUp you can check your answers, so that we know the correct answers. “same” is as explained in BD’s hint.

  18. Stuck on 4a, 10a, 5d (did this involve red coats, dogs and is now banned? and 7d. A little help, please, with 4/10a will probably resolve the down gaps.

    1. Geoff
      You’re right on 5d.
      7d Expression of surprise about longing to find this animal (5)
      Put a two-letter expression of surprise around a synonym for a longing or yearning to get an animal which is a scavenger with extremely powerful jaws.

    2. 4a Features informal greeting (4-4)
      In informal term for a greeting (or toast) is made up of a facial feature repeated.

      1. Just sussed 4a Gazza, having realised 6a is not ‘ruinous’ (and I was so sure it was!). All sorted now.

        On reflection and to be fair, quite a few good clues, including 1d and, now I understand it, 6d. 9/13a were new.

    3. 10a One initially nominates wizard lacking professional skill (8)
      Rather a poor clue (IMHO) in which part of the wordplay has the same meaning as it does in the answer. Start with the letter that stands for one and add the first letter (initially) of nominates and someone who is very skilled (wizard) to get an adjective meaning unskilled.

      1. Thanks Gazza. I wasn’t impressed with 4a, 10a or 17d. Some other good ones though. I spent far too long at 29a on trying to come up with type of hat rather than a beastie!

  19. Well it’s taken all day but I have eventually finished it with help from some of the correspondents above :-)
    Too many obscure words for my liking (26a, 13a and 9a), and very little humour. Sorry I really disliked this one.

      1. Well done Mary, only a day behind you all but I’ve managed to finish it eventually. I claim distractions from unsympathetic relatives as my excuse this weekend !! But like you, not my favourite by a long way.

  20. Not only a better Saturday puzzle but some new words for me too. Lovely sunshine, fresh air, Mrs L D cooking tea, chilled burgundy and a completed crossword. A good day.

  21. Can anyone help me with 11d “melted tarmac runs under vehicle” (7). i’m being very dim: -*-*-*-?

    1. Put the usual abbreviation for runs under (after, as it it a down clue) an anagram (melted) of TARMAC to get a public service vehicle that is making a return to some major cities after a long absence.

    2. Ignore me: I’ve got it and was being stupid. But why does “runs under” become “r”?

      1. We frequently criticise “yodaspeak” in crossword clues – in normal speak this would read “runs under melted tarmac vehicle” but that destroys the surface reading.

  22. Finished this without hints (but with the help of my mother and father-in-law). Slight problem when I wrote totally wrong answer in for 22a (I had jumped at thinking it was a hidden word, although in retrospect that was very silly).
    Enjoyed 17d and 28a. I was mildly annoyed that my in-laws got to this quite early on so I didn’t get a chance to do more of it solo!
    On to NTSPP!

  23. (16d) Am I being picky when I say that Victoria is a state which is federated with a number of states to form a Federation of States. The answer that fits for me is the name of that federation. In other words the question doesn’t make sense.

  24. I too thought it a very good crossword today. There were some words I had not heard of – but could be easily built up and checked in Chambers. Once you had them they were obviously right (apart from those who went down the wrong track with 22a. I too enjoyed 17d and 28a although both took me longer than they should have done, particularly the latter. I do find this compiler has very different styles – and levels of difficulty. Secret for me in solving this was was look – do a few clues – got to sleep and then fill them all in very quickly!!

  25. I know it’s Sunday but had to work this weekend. Been looking forward to the crossword which I thought was very good. After putting in a j z and x got bogged down looking for the q.
    Faworite clue 21 d

  26. Left paper at work so just revisited last 2. Finally got them but… 22a. Only one answer. It fits 1st part of clue but still not sure about 2nd half ” incomlete diet” ??

    1. 22a is a sort of double defintion, so your answer should fit both meanings….
      In terms of administration, think about what the “government” in France was called before the French Revolution. For the other word its another word for diet with the last letter missing.

  27. ..Also 26a Is this, as I have put, something which would be an easy target for St George or has it something to do with trawling but with an additional unmentioned letter? Either way not a great clue.

    1. 26a yes – target for St. George + object for trawling and its a simple anagram of “danger to”, the answer being a brightly coloured fish. So a very simple straightforward clue, even if you have to check that the answer is really a fish.

  28. Hello all,
    Spent the last 2 days driving up from Spain! So started late, I can’t get 12a but think I have the down clues right? Must be tired, as I’m sure I’ll kick myself – any clue please? Thanks

    1. 12a Not very fast-moving toadies (8)
      I’m sure this was intended as a double definition, but it doesn’t quite work as such. The first definition would have to read as “not very fast-moving people”, a term that could be applied to (some) babies! The other definition is toadies or sycophants

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