DT 26265 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26265 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26265 – 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, 17th June.


1a    Fish for each companion (5)
This fish is a charade of a synonym for each and a Companion of Honour

4a    Persuade that underwear is being laundered (9)
A reworking of one of Crosswordland’s famous clues – “Bust down reason (9)” – a word meaning to persuade, when split (3,2,4), could be an item of female underwear being laundered

11a    Bird to be cooked, willow-warbler perhaps (4-3)
A dialect name for various birds, including the willow warbler, is built up from where food is cooked and a small bird

23a         Manager’s one of the band, one played quietly inside (7)
To get the name of the current England football manager, put an instrument in the string section of an orchestra around A (one) and the musical abbreviation for “play quietly”

29a    Simpleton I name in northern New York (5)
A simpleton is built up from I and N(ame) inside N(orthern) and New York


1d    Official in favour of jailbird smugly offering the odds (9)
This official is a charade of a prefix meaning in favour of followed by the usual jailbird and the odd letters of SmUgLy

3d           The pale shimmering last drop (7)
Here shimmering is used to indicate that an anagram of THE PALE leads to the a small quantity of liquor left in the glass after drinking

8d    51 in wizard spiral (5)
Put the Roman numerals for 51 inside a wizard (or a witch)

25d    Priest losing his head, it’s a crime (5)
Remove the first letter (losing his head) from a priest to get the crime of maliciously and feloniously setting fire to property

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!

59 comments on “DT 26265 – Hints

  1. It’s high horse time again. I breazed through the puzzle until I stopped at 11a and 3d. These I think are annoying little clues were the compiler lets you get right to the end of the puzzle and throws in a couple of answers that are .
    1 So obscure they should be banned from the dictionary , ref 3d
    2 What looks like a made up phrase I or anybody else may never have heard of before and then claim it is in everyday use, ref 11a.
    God my fingers are burning but sometimes these puzzles really annoy me when they do that.
    Apart from all that hot air I was really enjoying todays crossword and my favourite was 23a

    1. I agree 11a was pushing it a bit. It is not even listed as a species of the bird on the RSPB web site!!

      1. …but it does have the advantage of being in the Big Red Book ;-).
        I know what you mean – Although I had the wordplay and checking letters there is still that “It can’t be can it?” uncertainty.

        Regarding 3d – I didn’t think it was that obscure and is a marvelously evocative word if you consider drinking champagne out of ladies’ shoes!.

    2. Glad you breezed thru, most of the clues for me were so obscure that they made little sense but I thoroughly agree with you about these two clues, really nasty. Don’t know the identity of this compiler but I hope the DT thinks twice before using them again.

    3. I’m with you, Nubian. Looked up 11a on the web and all I got was ‘do do do’ repeated about twenty times. The bird’s song, perhaps, but not much help.

  2. As an RSPB member, I would have expected to have known 11a. I didn’t! Although I love football [and cricket, rugby union and athetics], I was hoping that the crossword would be a World Cup-free zone. It isn’t!

  3. I don’t like to criticise compilers but I thought some of the clues here were weak. I found this a mediocre challenge the only answer I like being 4a. Bah!

  4. I’m one of those who pretty well breezed through until utterly stumped by the NW corner. I needed your help with that, for which I thank you, and it’s a relief to find that others had similar difficulties. Thought it was a pangram too, and was sure that 13a contained a ‘k’. Learned a new word at 26a, but didn’t think much of 19d. I liked 4a too. What was the World Cup reference? I’ll probably be watching Female Sleuths this weekend, if anything.

  5. enjoyed the puzzle all but 11a & 3d! Liked 4a & 6d didn’t like 9a either, out to plant some flowers now that i bought earlier this am, good luck everyone :) thanks for hints Dave though I didn’t use them today I used all my other aids

      1. But what is it!! It’s the only one we haven’t got. Is it an anagram? Unlike some of the others we rather enjoyed todays offering (except 11a) over a late breakfast :-)

        1. Claire – it is an anagram of the first two words. The definition is the ‘last drop’. My previous observation on the word may actually help!

        2. Thanks guys – I now have it! Never heard of the word before but always make sure I drink down to the very last *******! Have a good Saturday :-)

    1. WOW Mary I am impressed! I thought this was sooooo difficult. Only managed about half up to now and I am completely stumped on the rest esp this “famous” clue which I have never seen before and which I cannot find any ref to on the net apart from on this blog.

      1. The original clue “Bust down reason (9)” is an &Lit that is credited to Les May. The wordplay here is the same as with today’s clue.

        Concentrate on the definition “persuade” or, as given in Chambers, “To subject (a person) to systematic indoctrination or mental pressure to make him or her change his or her views or confess to a crime, etc.”

    2. 3d appeared in DT 25863 (Friday 27th February 2009) and Toughie 116 (Tuesday March 24th 2009) and I think it was also in a General Knowledge puzzle at around the same time.

      1. Thanks Dave, I eventually got it after solving 4d which I did after stopping trying to get BA into the answer rather than just B. I haven’t seen it before but I would have thought the answer was a bit more severe than just persuade but hey ho! Finished it now after a burst of inspiration and the name of the England manager. Lets hope for the same sort of inspiration from the boys tonight!!

  6. Got completely stuck on 11a until I read the hints – never heard of it and, like others, couldn’t believe that what HAD to be the answer actually was right. Am still stuck on 23a but now that I know it’s something to do with the World Cup I’m not going to beat myself around the head too hard! I didn’t know the 3 letter word for wizard in 8d and neither have I come across 3d before. I liked 4a and 18a.

    1. Kath, for 23a, if you take the name of a large stringed instrument and put a monkey inside you get a word that’s apparently something to do with the World Cup. I hope that helps. :-)

      1. Thanks Franny – did wonder where the monkey came from but now I see what you mean!

  7. We rather liked this and finished, using the dictionary for 11a and 3d, having worked out what we thought they must be.

    I wonder who the compiler is?

      1. Thank you, BD.

        I had wondered (as others seem to have done) if someone else had done this one. It seems somehow different. For me, it was easier than usual. Clearly it was not for others.

        1. We can’t say that this is definitely Cephas, but the 25 letters out of 26 near-pangram and some of the clues are strong indications.

          Of all the setters, Cephas is the one whose puzzles have improved the most since the blog first started, which may lead some people to think this is a different setter!

  8. Whoa there, peeps. I must say the answer to 3d is in the general public domain. I’ve used it down the pub and am sure i got it from my dad. I think it’s a great word which instantly portrays its meaning. I got through this relatively quickly after watching the rugby. Indeed, my last answer,19d, was entered at 1330. Weird, eh?
    Was a bit miffed at the Cheesy clue to 26,264-my dictionary does not recognise that particular spelling for that Swiss cheese-wholly dissatisfying

    1. All spellings and enumerations are, with a handful of exceptions, found in Chambers 11th edition.

      This gives:

      Emmental or Emmenthal also Emmentaler or Emmenthaler
      A hard Swiss cheese, similar to Gruyère, made in the Emmental or Emme valley

  9. I rather enjoyed this Saturday Cryptic in comparison to other recent efforts and actually gave it 4* here to try and push up BD’s average score a bit. OK, I agree with the consensus regarding 11a – I’d never heard of it before and was only able to get the answer (it was my last in) by guessing and submitting a couple of times on CluedUp. 3d is, as explained above, a crosswordland special which I’d first been mystified over a number of years ago. Having remembered that one, I now hope advancing senility will not prevent retention of 11a for possible future reference….

  10. Does anyone else agree that 17d and 19d were poorly crafted clues? Others may not agree – perhaps its the media football overdose taking effect on me quicker than usual.

  11. Thanks for all the clues – but I am still stuck on 9ac, I have the first word, but the obvious second one is making 4dn impossible!! Still confused by 26ac, any hints welcome. Is 12ac the name of a well known ‘green’ protester – not sure why? Thanks

    1. Mr Bennett ;-)
      9a, the second word is a homophone (say) of complete.
      12ac is not as you say but 13a is :-D The member is a parliamentarian and think of synonyms for Authority or control.
      26a – The definition is a stage of insect development and the remainder is a charade of the start of the sentence

    2. 9a Round area complete, say, but there’s an airy gap! (5,4)
      The second word sounds like (say) a synonym for complete or entire.

  12. Thank you so much – the mist is clearing! A three star puzzle, some too straight forward and some too obscur – but then I am in the dunce’s corner, so usually have a bit of a struggle. I am still stuck on 4dn. but the rest is done. I much enjoy reading all the comments and the hings – a life saver

    1. 4d Bachelor had game although very drunk (6)
      The answer is a slang term for very drunk (inebriated). Put the abbreviation for bachelor in front of a children’s game similar to bingo.

  13. Found this comparatively simple, I was on the same wavelength from the start, but confess 23a I STILL don’t know!! I’m not a follower of football! And surely 3d is not that rare? liked4a and 27a. Thanks to all of you, love reading your comments. I’ve been a devotee of the DT cryptic for many years and love the sheer logic of the clues and I’m kinder than you in not minding a bit of leeway

    1. SO glad to find another person who isn’t a follower of football, particularly at the moment! Having only ever been a girl myself and having produced daughters we are almost entirely a female household – do hope that all that doesn’t sound too sexist! I couldn’t do 23a either until reading all the hints and some of the replies posted above. The answer is a specific manager of current interest (to some), one of the band is a large stringed instrument and inside that is “a” (for one) and the usual letter meaning “played quietly” Good luck!

    2. You are not alone! I can barely spell football (or rugby and cricket) and was stumped by 23a for some time. ‘A’ for ‘one’ is new for me, which didn’t help.

  14. Finished, but not without quite a lot of ‘research’ with the really useful Chambers Word Wizard. Some fairly obscure stuff here – can’t see what ‘porter’ has to to do with 5d, but all will be revealed in due course.

    (Apologies for email typo in earlier comment1)

    1. Geoff, Porter is a type of strong beer or stout. According to Chambers it is ‘ A dark-brown malt liquor prob form its popularity with London porters.

    2. Something else new – learned part way through my jolly nice pint of Abbot Reserve. Thank you all.

  15. A heeltap may mean nothing to anyone who hasn’t read Thomas Love Peacock, a poet who celebrates conversation and, among other things, drinking. I think it goes something like: ” A heeltap, a heeltap, I never could bear it..” Sorry! Can’t remember what comes next, but since I read it, I’ve never been able to bear it! Never waste the stuff.

  16. It’s come back to me now:
    A heeltap! A heeltap! I never could bear it,
    So fill me a bumper, a bumper of claret.
    Let the bottle pass freely, don’t shirk it nor spare it,
    For a heeltap, a heeltap, I never could bear it!

    I think those who value good things, such as Big Dave’s blog, claret, conversation instead of argument, should start a campaign for the revival of this excellent word. Cheers! By the way, I liked the puzzle, because I could sort of breeze through it. Still stuck on that damn round area, however.

    1. 9a Round area complete, say, but there’s an airy gap! (5,4)
      A charade of a round letter, an area and a word that sounds like (say) complete, or all in one piece, gives a gap in the upper atmosphere attributed to the chemical action of CFCs and other atmospheric pollutants.

  17. Thanks! I wondered if that was it, but had a view only of rather stinky emanations coming off remote pools. I know it’s all very important for our survival, so I’ve entered it quickly at 9 across.
    Keep up the great work, Dave.

  18. My brain must be odd – although relieved that at least one contributor is on my wavelength! Came back from weekend away and did early this a.m. thought it was great. Did not use clues nor other artificial aids apart from Chambers Dictionary – which had 3d and 9 and 10 ac. which I found the hardest. First one in was 18a – too easy it jumps out at you. Finished SE corner very quickly NW corner last to get. Thought of a fish but couldn’t see why for a time. As with another contributor for 4d I was fixated on BA. Also 9a I was fixated on ovoid (until I remembered that eggs are not round). Not a football fan but 23a easy although would have preferred orchestra to band. Not heard of 26 but was easy to build up. Quite a few clever ones I thought – 21 and 22 d for example. Struggled with 15a which should have been easy. Again because I was thinking “way = street (st). Not sure whether some of Cephas’ clues are a double bluff! Any way has to be at least a 4 out of 5 for me.

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