DT 26253 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26253 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26253 – Hints

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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A few hints to get you going.

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, 3rd June.


1a    Confused mess left in ship (7)
To get this confused mess of things lying about in an untidy state put L(eft) inside a one-masted ship

12a    Silent parent’s opportunity (9)
To get this archaic word meaning silent you need to combine a parent with an opportunity

17a    Man sticks quarter inside (5)
This man’s name is found by taking a word meaning sticks, as a door might do, and putting a compass quarter inside

28a    Meet ram (3,4)
This is a double definition – to meet or to ram with a vehicle


1d    Cancel visit on holiday (4,3)
A phrasal verb meaning to cancel is a charade of a visit and on holiday, as in not at work

16d    Force apart to get reward that’s available (5,4)
A word meaning to force apart is a charade of a reward and being available, as a shop might be to customers

24d    Partly dressed bird (5)
If you were only wearing this headwear then you might be described as partly dressed (3,2) but the whole word is a chicken that is fattened for eating

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 26253 – Hints

  1. I haven’t looked at the crossword yet but if your handy hints are anything to go by I’m not looking forward to it!

  2. &lt blackadder &gt What are you a Giant Lark? /&lt blackadder &gt. I am currently 2 hours ahead of BST and have just got to site and finished this over breakfast. Fallingstarr is right – it looked as if there were a couple of sticky clues but everything came in quite easily – certainly compared to the last couple of weeks.
    The archaic word at 12a was well signposted with the checking letters. Favourite clue were 5d and 13a.
    Have a good Bank Holiday Weekend everyone.

      1. Hey gnomethang, do you have a namething on the Cluedup site? Just curious. Not much else to do on this Saturday night – except to write meaningless comments. Now who else can I annoy………………………..

  3. Overall not too bad… I always thought that the first word of 16d, was spelt with ‘s’…

    1. Chambers, in its inimitable way, gives both spellings, but the wordplay demands one of them.

      Were it the other spelling, it would have spoilt the pangram!

  4. A gentle pangram to start the day – even the apparently trickier ones were clearly defined. Now for the NTSPP!

    Enjoy the Bank Holiday – hope the weather is better with you than here.

  5. An enjoyable outing from Cephas for a grey Saturday morning. Favourite clue was 18a.

  6. I found this puzzle to be thoroughly enjoyable although, at first sight, it looked as though it was going to cause me problems. It looks as though we’ve got the same weather here as Tilly but, turning a negative into a positive, it will save me having to water the lawns today…

    1. I know the feeling – put in all the summer bedding this week and prayed for rain for the first few days!!!

  7. Excellent puzzle. Good surface reading, humour (notably 18a, 24d) and learn’t some new words 11a, 12a, 6d, 17d but able to work out. Puts one in a holiday mood! Nothing can spoil it now even the hailstones!

    1. Aaaagh! It is driving me mad. A couple of pointers for 12a and 4d please? It can’t be anything to do with keeping *** by any chance?
      Otherwise, I enjoyed the puzzle.

      1. Welcome to the blog popsicles

        On 12a you are sufficiently close that I have censored you comment. Read my hint for the rest of the answer.

        4d Discharge ambassador in odd surroundings (5)
        This mucous discharge, especially from the nose, is found by putting the abbreviation for the titl given to an ambassador inside a word meaning odd.

  8. Nice bottom half with some clever clues but the top half – UGH! At the moment it’s somewhat of a closed shop even with the hints – what constitutes a one-masted ship I wonder? And 6d and 11a are total mysteries!

  9. Ah all is now clear!! Got the boat and all seemed to fall into place from there. Took me ages to see that 6d was made from the initials in the clue even though the compiler clearly told me so DOH!! Always though 16a was an outdoor loo :-)

  10. Very nice start to the day.
    12a ..wasn’t there a group of puppets with the same name a number of years ago ? they came from Europe somewhere, Germany possibly.

  11. I have really enjoyed this and give it 5*

    Learned a new word – 12a.

    I have only 14d left and may be reaching for the crossword key.

    I see 8d is circulating again after ?2days.

    1. 14d Diminution of charity work (9)

      The key part of this clue is the little word “of” or “concerning” which is the first part of the charade.

  12. Very quick this morning. Different setter I presume? Good construction of alot of clues even if you did not know the word. I also had to check the alternative spelling. I was just going to ask you about the Port clue – as got the answer but not sure why. Just looked at one of the words again. Anagram! – what a dumbo. Right answer, wrong tree.

  13. Thought i’d have a leisurely start to the w/e which meant NOT starting the puzzle at 0240hrs !
    I’d say one of the easiest of the week but loved the archaic 12a, the charade of 26a and 24d read well. My fave was 18a. Well done Bufo, you lightened up a damp sat am.

  14. Nice way to spend a rainy Saturday morning! Hotlips liked the quirky cryptic-ness of 19d, and was pleased to get 12a even though we didn’t know the word.( May well start inserting that word into conversation!)

    1. Thought I might give it a go at school (5yr olds) – wonder what reaction I’d get! I’m with most, thought it would be impossible at first run through but all the clues were really fair and with a bit of perseverence we got there – very enjoyable!

  15. Nice gentle Saturday puzzle with some nice clues. Did it on clued up and now my brain can’t remember which ones I liked.

  16. This was a very good Saturday puzze some excellent clues and yet another chance to learn a new “old” word. Not sure where I would ever use it though, unlike megrim last week.

  17. Gentle, but very enjoyable Saturday puzzle. Favourite clue and last in for me was 3d, which I’d been staring at for a couple of minutes until the penny dropped. Couldn’t stop seeing an ending in -ments.
    Raining gently here in Vienne, but at a warmer temperature than it would be raining at home – so sitting outside doing this under a garden umbrella, and will have a look at NTSPP now……..

  18. Could someone, please, explain 9a to me? I can see the answer but cannot get ‘Oriental’.

    1. An anagram around a compass direction, usally associated with the Orient.

  19. Once I’d got back into crossword mode, after an enforced absence while getting work ready for Purbeck Art Weeks, I enjoyed the change of thought process needed after too long struggling with carving pieces of wood !
    Really struggled with 9a and had to resort to electronic help for several more but all finished now.
    I now look forward to lots of time for crosswords while waiting for visitors to come to our exhibition !

  20. Took a while to get going but then it dell into place. First one i’ve finished unaided for a while and the last few Saturday’s i’ve only half done. Learnt a few new words/places/plants too. Although 5d was fairly easy to spot, since there are several, shouldn’t the clue have been “An element…” not “This element…”?

  21. Am I suffering from deja vu or is the same crossword that was in a couple of weeks ago? I’ve definitely done it before. Same goes for the quick one.

  22. Very enjoyable puzzle. I liked 27a just one of those words. Got 14d last should not have been that hard to get. 18a is v good

    1. Welcome to the blog Bobby

      3d Tidy vase’s accessories (9)
      I have edited your comment to remove the checking letters, but I can tell you that the middle letter is incorrect. Broken down as (4,5), the first word means tidy and he second refers to Chinese vases. Put them together and you get the accessories.

  23. Plenty of time for this yesterday at a rain-affected cricket. Soggy paper but all done. A tougher than usual Saturday one in my book.

    1. 11a – Poem used with hesitation in old Greek theatre (5)
      You need a word for a poem followed by one of Crosswordland’s hesitation noises to get an old Greek Theatre.
      That may well get you away on the other two – if not we can provide a hint as well.

    2. Thank you! Familiar with the chain of cinemas – but not this spelling. 3d made me laugh!

      1. What made me laugh was 2d: I was test solving a puzzle for one of our fellow bloggers on Wednesday evening and completely failed to spot an almost identical clue to this until the last.
        Needless to say I received a gentle poke in the ribs on Saturday morning to ensure that I had managed to solve it this time

      2. The cinema chain letters stood for ..**** **** **** **** ****, he opened them after the first world war .

  24. Just got 9a and NW corner fell into place! 4d is in archaic word spoken by Shylock in ‘The Merchant of Venice’ in conversation with Antonio.

  25. Just remembered. Same puzzle was in the overseas weekly edition bought in Cyprus on 15/16 May.

  26. I’ve just got one left, 7d. I think I know the answer but can’t work out why it is. Can anyone help point me in the right direction? Many thanks

    1. 7d One’s disturbed about explosive device somebody proposed (7)

      Paul, the definition is the last two words at the end. You need a toye of explosive device inside an anagram of ‘one’

    2. 7d One’s disturbed about explosive device somebody proposed (7)

      Paul, the definition is the last two words at the end. You need a type of explosive device inside an anagram of ‘one’

      1. Thanks gnomethang, but I’ve a different clue to that: 7d Capitalist at home in more whimsical environment (9)

        1. Er! That because I grabbed the wrong puzzle! My apologies!.
          The definition is a capitalist. You need a short word for ‘at home’ inside a synonym for ‘more whimsical’ or possibly ‘more swish/elegant’.

          1. No worries gnomethang, many thanks for your response, all finished now.

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