DT 26229 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26229 – Hints

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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The usual few hints just 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, 6th May.


1a    Railway employee working on and off (9)
A cryptic definition of someone in charge of rail points

19a    Operatic stylist in Iberia (6,2,7)
… by the name of Figaro!

29a    Like what seamen are doing beginning hostilities (9)
Combine a synonym for like with what seamen are doing, especially if they are in yachts, to get a word meaning beginning hostilities


2d    Nothing removed from hall in Cambridgeshire except nun’s veil (6)
Remove O (nothing) from a National Trust Hall in Cambridgeshire to get a nun’s veil

6d    Formal and proper item I have that’s rudimentary (9)
A charade of a word meaning formal and proper, an item (as a pronoun) and the abbreviation of I have to get a synonym for rudimentary

14d    Rich one leaping (9)
Nothing to do with the lords who were leaping, this is rich, in the sense of plentiful coming from the indefinite article (one), followed by a synonym for leaping

24d    A French drama — heard but not viewed (6)
Combine the French indefinite article with a word that sounds like (heard) a drama, or part of a drama, to get a word meaning not viewed

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! By all means provide relevant hints, but please avoid alternative clues that lead to the same answer.


  1. Richard
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 10:01 am | Permalink | Reply

    1d would have had me puzzling for ages without your clue, Thanks

    • Posted May 1, 2010 at 10:04 am | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog Richard

      While the answer was quite easy, the hall in Cambridgeshire was one that I had to look up on Google.

  2. mary
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 10:27 am | Permalink | Reply

    really stuck on 5d! i know its an anagram must have something wrong somewhere, also stuck on 7d & 8d any help anyone? please

    • gazza
      Posted May 1, 2010 at 10:33 am | Permalink | Reply

      5d. Sad orators flow south, dazed and confused (2,1,4,3,5)
      It’s an anagram (dazed) of SAD ORATORS FLOW S(outh), and it’s a phrase that means confused or dumbstruck.

      • mary
        Posted May 1, 2010 at 11:06 am | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Gazza and everyone els, you see Gazza for 5d I read it as an anagram of orators flow with ‘s’ for south ind by ‘sad, with an anagram of and ind by ‘dazed’ to mean confused, which is what i am :) so how am i ever going to judge |COW this week, i think it will have to be the clue that i find funniest and easiest to understand!

    • gazza
      Posted May 1, 2010 at 10:38 am | Permalink | Reply

      7d At home in Paris (2,7)
      You want a French phrase (in Paris) which means at home with just the usual people around, no visitors.

    • gazza
      Posted May 1, 2010 at 10:39 am | Permalink | Reply

      8d. Spirited producer (9)
      A (barely) cryptic definition of someone who makes alcoholic spirits.

    • Haplogy
      Posted May 1, 2010 at 10:42 am | Permalink | Reply

      Mary 8d, think of spirited as in alcohol

  3. Digby
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 10:33 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Mary, Yes an anagram is 5d, with the 1st 14 letters plus s. An the answer is what you are at the moment! Thanks for the clue to 1a Dave – I had ********* which threw me completely!

    • Posted May 1, 2010 at 11:09 am | Permalink | Reply

      That was my first attempt as well! I think it is probably used more in America than here. I’ve censored your “attempt” as it shares its last syllable with the answer (OK, I know you can get the answer by hovering over the picture!)

      • mark
        Posted May 1, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I also fell into that trap. I should have thought more about “on and off”!

  4. Kare
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 10:40 am | Permalink | Reply

    Having struggled all week I finished this without looking for your help.. But thanks for a great site!

    • gazza
      Posted May 1, 2010 at 10:50 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Kare – welcome to the blog.

  5. Haplogy
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 11:16 am | Permalink | Reply

    Found this one a bit trickier than the normal Saturday puzzle, though quite enjoyable particularly liked 4d

  6. Libellule
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 11:26 am | Permalink | Reply

    Did anyone else consider “ATTACKING” for 29a?

    • Haplogy
      Posted May 1, 2010 at 11:35 am | Permalink | Reply

      No Libellule but a can see why you would, except you can’t get at from the clue

    • mary
      Posted May 1, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yes Libelulle that is what i put in too :) couldn’t understand the ‘at’ though!

  7. Posted May 1, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’m late on parade today as I had to go into town to replenish my mealworms, which are an easy source of protein for the robins’ and blackbirds’ young! I particularly liked 12a which threw me for a while as ‘elastic propellor’ brought back memories of a balsa wood aeroplane which my father made when I was young…

  8. Geoff
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Got there – finally! Got stuck on 8d as I was so sure it would begin with GIN. Also stuck on 15/16d as 26/28a were BOTH wrong! At last it dawned on how ‘goatherd’ was relevant …

    19a was my out-and-out favourite.

  9. Posted May 1, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Most enjoyable Satuday fare. I whizzed ‘attacking’ (at tacking) in without too much thought for 29a, as it seemed to fit the bill. Trying to work round that slowed completion down for a few minutes..

  10. fandango
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    really struggling on 15d, any help? am i wrong in thinking it’s the name of a country…south american to be specific?

    • gazza
      Posted May 1, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi fandango – welcome to the blog.
      15d. Olfactory property of piece of worn cloth found in the country (9)
      You are wrong. The definition is olfactory property. Put a bit of worn cloth inside a (European) country.

      • Haplogy
        Posted May 1, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Gazza you must be a quicker typist than I :-)

        • gazza
          Posted May 1, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Haplogy, I had an advantage in that I moderated the comment so I knew what was coming.

    • Haplogy
      Posted May 1, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Fandango
      The Clue is Olfactory property, and is constructed by putting a bit of cloth in a European country

      • fandango
        Posted May 1, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

        many thanks! almost finished now

  11. mary
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A few sticky places for me today, getting the wrong words for the anagram at 5d didn’t help, and putting attacking in at 29a didn’t either, never heard (my knowledge is sadly lacking) of 9a and 1a have never actually heard that term used? still all finished now ‘with a little help from my friends :)

    • mark
      Posted May 1, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I am with you on that – I’d never heard that word before, although I suppose the clue was fair enough :(

  12. Peter
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Quite fun today, not too taxing.

    Some of you seem to be getting wrong answers today – that is my role! :)

  13. gnomethang
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Another late arrival as I was obliged to work today.
    Whizzed through until the last few (12a stumped until I got 4d).
    All in all ok, I liked 26a and 28a

  14. Dim Dave
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good fun and not too taxing. Have addd one or two interesting words to my vocab. It’s a big help to tackle the toughie this week as it gets me into that ‘twisted logic’ frame of mind.
    A question for Big Dave- why are the weekday ‘cryptics’ unattributed when we get to know the Toughie’s setter’s name?
    Also how many people fill in and post the sat. prize comp.?
    Love the illustrated guide to the xword, thanks Dave.
    i give this **** diff. and **** enjoyment rating.

    • Peter
      Posted May 2, 2010 at 6:00 am | Permalink | Reply

      I usually finish on Saturday and if I do, always send it off. No, I have never won.

  15. Liz
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Have finished at last ! What is the worn cloth in 15d?
    never heard of 25a but worked it out!
    Going back to nursing a horrendous throat and cough :(

    • gazza
      Posted May 1, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Liz – welcome to the blog.
      15d. the worn cloth is letters 2-4 of the answer.

  16. Claire
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Yes!! finished without help for once! (well just a couple of hints from Mr W..) very enjoyable – I think I must be on the same wavelength as the setter. Will have a go aty the NTSPP but usually these are way beyond me!

  17. bobness
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Finished it fairly easily today, once I got going, and it’s not that often I say that…!
    Had a xword dictionary’s help for 1a, I suspect unless you’re in railways, that may be a difficult job title to know?
    Why Lyon in 28a? Would any french city have done?
    Didn’t like 2d. Especially as I’d never heard of the Hall.

    • gazza
      Posted May 1, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Any French-speaking city would have done for 28a (and for 7d).

      • bobness
        Posted May 4, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Ah, thought so. God knows why Lyon then!

  18. Jezza
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Not sure what to make of this one! Raced through most of it, but had to think about 1a, 12a, and 7d. I had never heard of the hall referred to in 2d either. It was all over a little too quickly, and no great satisfaction at the end.

  19. Little Dave
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Have just surfaced from spring-time garden clearing – must be a Bank Holiday. Anyway, took time out to watch my son’s wind band and got through today’s challenge relatively quickly. All done. I would recommend a visit to 2d – lovely house and gardens and NT owned. Favourite was 4d. Last to go in was 1a.

  20. moonstruckminx
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Help struggling with 11a….any hints?

    • gazza
      Posted May 1, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

      11a Skimp acting part to make an impression (6)
      Prepare to kick yourself – it’s a hidden word!

      • moonstruckminx
        Posted May 2, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Gazza…Yes I am definately kicking myself!

  21. anne calvert
    Posted May 2, 2010 at 8:34 am | Permalink | Reply

    stuck on 9a ends in I is race or end in it ? and 7d looked at others replies but do not see home. Help would be great, that pen is so far away

    • Posted May 2, 2010 at 9:00 am | Permalink | Reply

      9a Be including race, I concluded, in the country (6)
      Start with BE, include a word meaning to race and add I at the end to get the name of a country

      7d At home in Paris (2,7)
      This is simply the French for being at home

      • Dinosaur Pete
        Posted May 2, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks (again) Dave I couldn’t get 9a for love nor money ! Only looked at this this morning and that was the last one to do. Off to split wood for the fire now the weather’s returned to normal temperatures again !

  22. wizweg
    Posted May 2, 2010 at 9:29 am | Permalink | Reply

    Loved 19a. one clue to go – 25a any hints?

    • Libellule
      Posted May 2, 2010 at 9:34 am | Permalink | Reply

      A word for going side to side (e.g. on a trapeze) with one of the points of the compass inside. Definition drastic or severe.

      • wizweg
        Posted May 2, 2010 at 9:57 am | Permalink | Reply

        hurrah! thanq, had always thought that word meant whining and snivelling, it sounds like it!

  23. Posted May 2, 2010 at 10:00 am | Permalink | Reply

    the answer for 13a is not in my Chambers. Any reason please?

    • Libellule
      Posted May 2, 2010 at 10:11 am | Permalink | Reply

      It is in the on-line version as an adjective.

    • Posted May 2, 2010 at 10:25 am | Permalink | Reply


      It is in my copy but, as Libellule says, it is an adjective under the entry for the corresponding noun (which ends …UM)

  24. Barrie
    Posted May 2, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink | Reply

    Late to the party this week on account of going to the Army v Navy Rugby at Twickenham yesterday, we wuz robbed by a dreadful referee!! Great match tho. Nice puzzle this week, got some easier clues to get you started and hooked and then some tricky one (Ray T please take notice!!). Best clues for me are 14d and 15d although it took me a while to twig the latter. :-). Didn’t like 6d, too obscure for my liking.

    • Barrie
      Posted May 2, 2010 at 11:56 am | Permalink | Reply

      By the way, strictly speaking 13a is wrong as the plural of these cavities is as in the latin declension of Bellum ie bella

      • megansgran
        Posted May 2, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I think the term means “of the” cavity, rather than the plural of. There are medical conditions of the cavity which use this term

        • Barrie
          Posted May 2, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

          No sorry, the clue is clear in that it says ‘cavities’ in the plural, it would only make sense if it said cavity of the heart.

  25. Gman
    Posted May 2, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    all done except 4d, totally baffled!

    • gazza
      Posted May 2, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

      4d. Nag, say, after nagging too much one might be? (6)
      It’s what your voice might be after too much nagging, and it also sounds like (say) a four-legged nag.

  26. megansgran
    Posted May 2, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Phew, finished, with a little help form the Blog…thanks to you all. Rather liked 29a. Don’t understand the answer to 20a.

    • Barrie
      Posted May 2, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      *** Tower is a bell tower in Oxford, England, named for its bell, Great *** and of course a *** cat

    • gazza
      Posted May 2, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

      20a Bell the cat (3)
      It’s a double definition, the name of a great bell and a male cat.

  27. Wingnut
    Posted May 2, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    First one i’ve finished without help for a few weeks. Although, to be honest my wife did tell the answer to 7d. I hate french but tolerate the french for le etc; but complete answers in french is going too far imho.

    Is 18d a proper word?

  28. Lea
    Posted May 3, 2010 at 10:03 am | Permalink | Reply

    Just got to doing the weekend puzzles – started with this and finished it in nice time. Enjoyed it. On to Sundays then really looking forward to Monday’s Rufus puzzle – may do it before Sunday’s.

    BTW – Mary – well done.

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