DT 26229 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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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.

64 comments on “DT 26229 – Hints

    1. 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.

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

    1. 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.

      1. 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!

    2. 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.

    3. 8d. Spirited producer (9)
      A (barely) cryptic definition of someone who makes alcoholic spirits.

  2. 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!

    1. 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!)

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

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

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

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

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

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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..

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

    1. 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.

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

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

  9. 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 :)

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

  10. Quite fun today, not too taxing.

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

  13. 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 :(

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

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

    1. 11a Skimp acting part to make an impression (6)
      Prepare to kick yourself – it’s a hidden word!

  18. 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

    1. 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

      1. 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 !

    1. Wizweg,
      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.

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

    1. Werm

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

  19. 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.

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

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

        1. 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.

    1. 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.

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

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

    2. 20a Bell the cat (3)
      It’s a double definition, the name of a great bell and a male cat.

  21. 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?

  22. 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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