DT 26259 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26259 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26259 – Hints

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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A 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, 10th June.


6a    Remove half a stone, it’s the trend (6,7)
An anagram, signalled by remove, of HALF A STONE IT’S gives the trend

9a    Martha with an extraordinary bloomer (8)
An anagram, here signalled by extraordinary, of MARTHA and AN gives a plant of a chiefly tropical family that includes love-lies-bleeding (bloomer)

20a    Jack’s bag is a song with punch (5,3)
A sailor’s bag for personal belongings is a charade of a short, simple song and to punch

27a    Rocket with satnav? (6,7)
A cryptic definition of a rocket-propelled projectile carrying a warhead and electronically directed to its target for the whole or part of the way by remote control


1d    Inflexible remnant on said stream (8)
A word meaning inflexible or obstinate is a charade of a remnant, maybe in a chequebook, and what sounds like (said) a small stream, especially one that flows intermittently or seasonally

5d    Kay with one young lady at island capital (6)
Run together K(ay) I (one in Roman numerals) a young lady and an I(sland) to get the capital of Rwanda – nice misdirection here making you think of the capital of an island

13d    First man in Cleopatra’s embrace (3)
… the second man hidden inside Cleopatra is Pat

21d    Poison, sound the alarm (6)
An alarm bell that sounds like a poison

22d    Shell not in report (6)
To get this shell used in a firearm drop the IN (not in) from a report of a patient’s progress

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 26259 – Hints

  1. A bit of a race through over breakfast this morning, pausing only to check the capital at 5d and the plant at 9a (not my stringest subject). I was not familiar with 20a but the direction and checking letters made it clear enough. 7d probably favourite in a fairly routine Saturday. Good job I have Loroso from the FT saved for today – I expect that will keep me going!

  2. Only one left is 15d. I think I know the answer but do not understand the clue!

    1. 15d Fourth-rate lines are uninteresting (3)
      Fourth-rate is represented by the fourth letter of the alphabet; add the abbreviation for railway (lines) and you get a word meaning uninteresting.

  3. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle as I particularly liked the frame of the four 13-letter clues but I do appreciate that the format is perhaps not to everyone’s taste. Dave: I was really impressed by your mathematical discourse on another site earlier this morning. Respect, man!

    1. I was annoyed that two people thought that by describing themselves as teachers they were automatically correct, especially as neither had read the question!

  4. Hi everyone, morning Dave, nice to be back and a fairly easy one to get back into stride, still not got out of CC though as I had to look up 5d and 9a to make sure they were correct, fav clue 27a and 7d, think I must just about be coming up to a year on this blog now and must say thank you to Dave and everyone who has helped me along, maybe, who knows by this time next year I might have had a day or two out of CC! :)

        1. Mary – it’s lovely to have you back as your comments are entertaining. Belated birthday greetings – hope you had a good time – mine comes in July and since I have lied about my age since I was 17 I can’t remember how old I am!!! (In Canada you couldn’t drink in bars until you were 21).

          Hope you enjoyed your holiday and are pleased to get back to lovely weather…

          1. That’s nice of you Lea, thanks very much, you are probably cancer then, in my experience they are a very nice star sign, being Gemini makes for an interesting life! :)

            1. You are right – I am – my grandson however is Gemini so it will be interesting as I don’t know many Gemini people. (he’s only just turned 1 so no telling how he will bve).

      1. Wow!! and I thought I was a fairly quiet person :) so my blog birthday is on Weds, no don’t think I’ll make it out of CC by then, not if I couldn’t do it on todays :( thanks for that info Dave, guess this makes it 1,491!! :)

        1. Happy Blogday for Wednesday, Mary. What are the qualifications for being in, or out, of the CC? A pretty gentle stroll for a Saturday morning. I wish “they” would up the difficulty level by a star to make completing it more satisfying.

          1. Hi Digby the Clueless Club is a self imposed mythical club where we lesser able crossword solvers ‘meet’, for myself I have decided I will not get a day out until I have completed a crossword without any help, i.e. electronic friend, crossword dictionaries etc. :) nearly made it today but not quite :)

            1. Happy Blogday Mary, and welcome back. I hope you enjoyed your holiday. I consider myself a life member of the CC as it is more than rare that I can finish a puzzle without help — though I did manage today’s and that’s encouraging. :-)

            2. Well done Franny, that’s great, you qualify for a day out today :) maybe we’ll see you tomorrow, hopefully not!! :)

  5. Lovely accessible one for a sunny Saturday over breakfast! Thanks for the hints BD – got all the answers but didn’t know what 20a was or that 21d was an alarm or how the fourth rate bit came into 15d. Rather liked 7d and 18d and 27a (though I had global in there for a while!). Well done Mary on a year of blogging – I reckon you’re well out of CC now if you only had two to check! I remain firmly entrenched, all very tricky for me this week – until today :-)

    1. Thanks Claire, I would never have improved so ‘quickly’ without the help of everyone on here, but I am sure today is a one off and not wanting to seem defeatist (looks wrong) I am surely still firmly entrenched with you in the CC, still never mind, good company :) and we always have something to aim for??

  6. Excellent puzzle today, such a relief after this weeks brain-strainers!! For me the best clue was 25a although I did struggle with 5d on account of spelling 12a with a Y instead of an I DOH!!

  7. I’ve been off the cxrosswword for a bit, painting the house. Can anyone help with 23a. By the way, hasn’t it been fixed where our name and e.mail come up automatically?

    1. Colltwobbles – The definition is ‘band’ and is derived from a word for tour (or vacation) inside the area of the country that contains London

      1. Tks Gnomethang, that’s a funny word, anyway I’m finished. Tks for the leg up

  8. Not v. satisfying. Decided to have a quick look before going shopping and bingo nearly all done. SW corner last to get. Needed your clue for 22d. Had the word but don’t think I would call it a shell. Liked the long answers and the framework, but all four very easy which gave alot of letter clues. Too many anagrams as well I thought.

  9. A nice gentle Saturday puzzle – did it in Starbucks after food shopping. Had to confirm 21d when I got home though as was just guessing the word. Liked 18d and 20a.

  10. I would like to start a campaign for a certain 4-letter public school to disappear from the cryptic compilers’ tool-kit. Is it just used for the Torygraph? And no, I’m not a socialist or Guardian reader. Far from it.
    It’s just too obvious and boring now after the 3-plus decades I’ve been doing the DT.

  11. Managed all but 5d unaided. Nearly out of CC today, but not quite!
    Off to find the Loroso puzzle – had missed it!

  12. V enjoyable, not too tricky.

    Still doing SW corner, haven’t got 20a, 25a, 27a, 21d or 22d.

    Secoend word of 27a appears to refer to a certain cheese pasta dish but unsure of why??!!

  13. Have just looked at the hints—many thanks–but 27a still escapes me!!

    Just having a peep at a nice Rufus puzzle in my Glasgow Herald CWd book.

  14. We finished before coming here. Best bit was being teased in a pub for having a pencil sharpener.

    Learned a new word: 20a

    I think that pasta dish might not be right.

  15. Thanks, Big Dave, for all your tips, but amazingly this is the VERY FIRST TIME I have ever completed the crossword on my own. I suppose that means that it was much easier than usual, but I really enjoyed it. Of course it has taken me until now!

  16. Nice to see you back Mary, happy blogday for Wednesday if I miss it. I didn’t know you had gone on holiday until someone said you were walking the hills or something so I was a bit concerned.
    Today was pretty easy fair but nonetheless enjoyable.
    Favourite was 20 across, being an old sailor,RN retired as they say.
    Weekend Wanda, 20d still qualifies although it is a little one.

    Temp today in Carcassone hit 33, got a bit steamy so I was glad the puzzle wasn’t too mind stretching

    1. Thanks Nubian, not Hill walking, more flat walking these days, but great break nevertheless :) glad you’re still enjoying Carcassone

  17. All done, with 18d last to go; the unexpected roman numerals usage for 99 confused me for a while.

    Nice to see you back Mary, I’ll be in the CC for a good while yet!

    1. I believe that the Roman numerals required by 18d are incorrect. The correct Roman numerals for 99 are XCIX (just as the Roman numerals for 999 are CMXCIX and not IM).

      1. Quite so, novel, but incorrect – after all, the entry in The Mine couldn’t be wrong,could it ??

          1. Isn’t 4 = IIII quite often on clocks? I suppose it’s the exception that proves the rule or something!

  18. Dave I have just realised if you hovver your mouse over the pictures it actually gives you the answer :(

  19. Took me a few hours (though I was at work!) and enjoyed it – but disappointed in two clues unless anyone can explain to me why a *** is a bag, and a globe a ******?

    1. The first one was explained in the hint – the sailors “bag” often has the other name.

      The second is a bit weak, using a two-dimensional object to describe a three-dimensional one, but it was easy enough to work out.

  20. Like a few above, I struggled with the SW corner, but a flash of inspiration later, all done. Never heard of a 20a, and my new word for the day is 21d.
    Not bad…..

  21. A very nice crossword and I only needed help on a couple: 20a and 5d. Managed to get it done in just over an hour.

      1. Me too! – not heading for the hints just yet but don’t think it will be long!

    1. Hi MP – welcome to the blog.
      25a Global pamphlet? (6)
      It’s a double definition, the first describing a shape that’s not so much global as round, the second what may be put in your letterbox.

    2. Thanks! Got it now.

      Also, your roman numerals comment was interesting.

      Ever wondered why four is written differently on clocks than to normally (iiii vs iv)?

      1. Thanks Big Dave!

        I’d heard some of these theoies but not all!

        May be blogging again this weekend if stuck!

  22. Did this one sitting in glorious weather in Bournemouth. Rattled through it save 20a and 21d both new ones for me. Just back in Hertfordshire – 2 1/4 hours. Dread to think what the traffic will be like out of Bournemouth later. Thanks Cephas.

  23. Good fun, pretty easy one this week, completed during the Wales v South Africa rugby match yesterday. Good game good xword.

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