DT 26277 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26277 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26277 – Hints

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the better clues and provide hints for them.

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.

A full review of this puzzle will be published on Thursday, 1st July.


1a    Fancy a ringer took the lead (7)
To get this wild fancy you need A with a ringer that makes a sound like Big Ben in front

12a    Wonderful not having short visit by wise men (4)
Take a word meaning wonderful and drop most of CAL(L) – a short visit – from the end to get the three wise men of biblical fame

16a    Well-liked turn in part of East London (7)
To get a word meaning well-liked put the kind of turn that Maggie Thatcher refused to make inside a district in East London

22a         Leave old capital (5)
A charade of to leave, or give up, with O(ld) gives a South American capital city

26a    Forever said to have gone round and round with nurse about where in France? (5,7,3)
This phrase meaning forever or eternally is a charade of a word that sounds like “gone round and round”, like a dervish, then WITH and to nurse around the French for where

28a    Tyre oddly having sufficient tread (7)
Take the odd letters of tyre followed by a synonym for sufficient to get a word meaning to tread on and crush underfoot


1d    Agreement on tailless aircraft (7)
This agreement is derived from a supersonic aircraft without its last letter (tailless)

2d    Medal-winners like ABC? (2,3,5,5)
… where you need to come in a race to win a medal

3d    Case quite confusing, not initially (4)
This small case for holding sewing articles is a frequent visitor to Crosswordland – to get it you need to find an anagram (confusing) of (Q)UITE (quite, not initially)

8d    Hotel that is right to be more luxuriously elegant (7)
A charade of a world-famous hotel in Piccadilly, the abbreviation for “that is” and finally R(ight) gives a word meaning more luxuriously elegant (kinda like the hotel in Piccadilly!)

25d    Most of panel on a Scottish island (4)
Put most of the panel that is sworn to reach a just verdict on A (as this is a down clue) to get a Scottish island famous for its single malt whisky

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!

92 comments on “DT 26277 – Hints

  1. A solid puzzle with a few nice clues – I liked 17d and 19d in particular. Although the answer is clear to 13d I am a bit confused – there seems to be no indication that the ‘lines’ need to be treated slightly before entry – am I missing something.
    Thanks for the notes and thanks to the setter.

  2. Straightforward puzzle from Cephas today – many thanks to him. Gnome, for 13d, split the answer 2/3 and look again at the worplay private / lines.

    Many thanks to Cephas and to BD for the notes.

    1. Thanks! Once again I solved my own dilemma while emailing you!. I was not aware of that one abbreviation and was trying to fit two in!
      For future reference here is an excellent solving tip that anyone can use:
      If you are stuck on a clue or don’t understand the wordplay just start writing an email to Prolixic. Its OK, he wont mind. You don’t actually need his email address either. Halfway through explaining your thoughts you will get the answer. Try it – it works!

  3. That was fun – think it was the quickest I have done a crossword in quite a while. Got stuck on 13d for ages – not reading those type of mags!!! LIked 15a, 22a and 20d.

    Enjoy the sunshine (and the heat).

    Thanks for the advice Gnomey – will have to try it. I usually walk out in to the garden – take a tour around and then come back in a try again. Sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t. Today I didn’t even have to do that.

    Dave – love the pictures and the hints – thanks

  4. Progress has been slow today and, unlike Lea, I think my brain must have been fried over the last few days. 1a was a revelation to me – as I’ve always known that word to be a fire-breathing monster – and I was surprised to find that the principal definition in Chambers is the one which is apposite to the clue.

  5. Not bad today but still stuck on the SW corner and of course 13d which I can’t see even with the hints above. Are the lines something to do with a railway or should I be thinking about the sort of mag you find on a top shelf? In addition just cannot see the first word in 26a, got the other two but been racking my brains (such as they are!) for the first. Best clue so far is for me def 28a, easy when you see the answer and all you need is in the clue, all you have to do is find it!! :-)

    1. Barrie – you are on the right lines with your first thought on 13d (Couldn’t resist that!).
      on 26a, BD’s hint should help – the first word is the homophone for “gone round and round” (at least it is for most people!)

        1. Thx guys, what was causing the confusion was having ‘place’ as the third(!) word in 2d DOH!! You were quite right, writing the email focused my thinking and it became obvious when I thought again about 3d.
          Only stuck now on the inevitable 13d (!) – still thinking. And 22a &18d. Going to mow the lawn and see if inspiration strikes.

          1. barrie for 22a you need a 4 letter word meaning leave with abbreviation for old to give you a South American capital, I think. For 18d, the only way i can explain it is you need a 5 letter word for way as in road etc with IN inside to give you a word meaning regular, hope that helps :) bet the lawn looks nice

  6. 12a across got it probably for the wrong reasons wonderful conjured up ***** straight and then drop the C for the wise men
    Am I on the wrong track?

    1. Welcome to the blog winno

      Please read the bottom of the blog regarding partial answers!

      For wonderful you need the adjective rather than the noun – see my hint for what to take away.

  7. Ta for the tips on 13d, which I wasn’t “reading” correctly. The printed clue for 23a is “Australian’s startling exclamation at court order”. I assume the answer is something that gets handed out nowadays, together with an electronic tag, but shouldn’t the clue say “starting”?

    1. Digby, The last two letters of the answer are (the alternative spelling) of an exclamation intended to startle someone.

      1. I agree with Digby.. it should have said’ starting’ not ‘startling’ I also do not like the abbreviated form of the exclamation! Oh well, enjoyed the rest and loved 17d, whichis what I am most of the time! Catching up on some crosswords now I am back from a half knee replacement last Tuesday! :)

          1. Gazza, With respect, I think you’re missing the point. Lizwhiz1 and I are not disputing the “official” explanation, merely pointing out that “starting” would read better, indicating the first two letters of the more traditional spelling of a word meaning exclamation

            1. It’s more not finishing than starting. In a recent discussion with Anax on another puzzle he expressed dissatisfaction at a clue that used a similar construct to give the first two letters of a three letter word.

              In Chambers the entry for the two-letter word in question says to see the more common three-letter word. Personally I think I would have clued the two letters as an abbreviation for something else!

              1. BD, Having just got back from the tennis courts, somewhat sweaty, I know what you mean! Thanks for this, and all your other helpful tips, comments & hints.

                1. I’m not in favour of alternative clues as hints, but “Australian’s unpleasant smell leads to restraining order” rather appeals to me.

  8. Have a very busy day so today’s offering suited me down to the ground. Very quick to solve with a couple to make you think. I liked 26a best – very clever. Agree with Gnomethang about realising the answer as soon as you have emailed someone or posted an entry to this blog – happens to me every time.

  9. Give up on 13d, just can’t see it, got migraine coming on, too much sun and action yesterday! so can’t concentrate any more, fav clue today 20d, thanks for blog Dave, have a nice day everyone :)

  10. Good start to Saturday!! Thanks for the explanation on the first word in 26a – knew what but not why!!

  11. ok cant rest til i get 13d i know it ends in a double letter and i know the 2nd letter but still cant get it , help anyone, pleeeeeeese

    1. Mary, Think US Private soldier (2) and standard “crosswordspeak” for the railway. You would typically find them on the top shelf! (I believe!!)

      1. Digby

        To be fair, the “standard” crosswordspeak is a two-letter abbreviation. Chambers XWD gives three alternative abbreviations.

    2. Mary, Hows the migraine, I find a cool spot in the garden, some peppermint tea and the DT crossword usually sorts mine out! 13d probably more a male than female orientated clue, even though female features heavily. Still struggling with the old capital myself, probably a popular crosswordland answer but I can’t see it. Good luck with yours.

      1. for 22a another way of saying ‘don’t give up’ is don’t ****, this plus a one letter abbreviation for Old will give you your answer, just going to try your advice now

        1. “Don’t give up” is good advice for any puzzle!

          I was going to say to check which letter was needed to complete the pangram, but we are missing a “V” today.

        1. Thx Dave, perhaps just a hint of the continent might have helped, there are an awful lot of capital cities! Must admit I read leave as to depart not as to give up DOH! I agree about 1a, never knew it meant that, only knew it as a mythical beast or in the biological sense. Also didn’t know that word for an opening (it refers to a mine opening apparently) so learned two new things today. Only hope I can remember all these new words I am learning!
          Finished down so can go back to the garden, now got a wall to build. Hope you feel better soon Mary.

  12. Have finished this without resorting to any hints but STILL don’t understand why 23a is what it has to be – where is the Australian …. actually forget previous bit – think I’ve just seen it – had missed out the ‘s!! Got in a bit of a muddle in SW corner – had 17a done quite early but then went on to the down clues and was convinced that 17d had to be an anagram of “partly a” which meant that 17a couldn’t be what I thought it was …..! Finally sorted myself out!! Favourite clues today are 9a, 26a and, having eventually got it, 17d. Jolly glad that I’m not going to cut grass today – much too hot for that.

  13. I did not rnjoy this much.

    Only 20d really made me smile

    Took me ages to get 1a but I’ve learned an obscure meaning of an uncommon word.

    23a is weak and tenuous.

    Shock, horror, I have not done 5d. Is the 5-letter word the most part of a spade-like tool?

    Not done 24d either.

    1. Peter

      1a is the main meaning of an obscure word!

      5d Prop certain to sound more costly (5,2)
      The five-letter word is a homonym for a word that means certain and the definition is to prop

      24d Notice something opening (4)
      This is a charade of a notice, perhaps in a newspaper, and “something” leading to an opening

      1. Thanks, BD.

        I am much more familiar with the biological meaning of 1a

        5d. I “sea” it now.

        24d will have to write an email…..


  14. Just 10a left. Can’t see it – is there a roman numeral in it? or what happens when you steer too much on a bend? or something to do with skirting boards? The options on the blank letters are almost as in 26a …

    1. Hi – re 10a – yes there is a roman numeral in it. Think about a different kind of steer ie nothing to do with driving. Start with “round” (a round letter, perhaps) a roman numeral and then the inside of bend.

  15. Arrgh! So obvious. Even though I live where they had a ford, I still didn’t get it! Thanks.

  16. Normally I have to try and do the crossword in the office, but having the day off today I was able to take a bit of time and found this to be all the more enjoyable for it. A CAMRA meeting at lunchtime may have inspired me a bit with the botton half, but it’s a personal best in terms of how much time I had to spend with the dictionary and other aids. 26a was probably my favourite.

  17. A very pleasant solve for a sunny afternoon after shopping for prams (grandchild on the way!) and gardening. Thanks for the tips – needed for a few clues today. Favourites were 17d,19d, 20d and 28a :-)

  18. why can’t I get 27a completed the rest. please help. is it ref to treading the boards?

    1. Welcome to the blog charlied

      Read my hint carefully – the first two letters you should have from the odd letters of TyRe, the rest is a word meaning sufficient or enough.

      Ignore that, wrong clue. It’s a hidden inside the second and third words

  19. Finally ! after weeks of diversions and interruptions, a week has arrived when I’ve been able to not only look at the puzzle on the day it is published, but actually complete it without too much outside assistance !

    Favourite was 19a – seems to have been obvious to many of you but it had me stuck for ages – then suddenly the light dawned …. oh joyous moment !!

    Once again thanks BD and all of you for your helpful observations.

  20. I got 12a OK but don’t follow your hint. Isn’t it dropping a ‘c’ off a word meaning wonderful….so (C)ALL rather than CAL(L)?

    1. Welcome to the blog Haggis

      I’ve had another look. Although the word you are talking about can be used as an adjective, it is essentially a noun. Add AL and it becomes an adjective. Now you can remove CAL(L). Additionally you could not use “short call” to indicate C. I’ll stick to what I said earlier.

  21. Completed without much hassle. Agree about 23a – V poor effort!
    Best clue? 26a without doubt!

  22. I do the Saturday Cryptic Cossword regularly. Could some-one advise where the winners’ names are published in the Monday paper.


    1. Welcome to the blog New Boy

      It’s not something I have ever been interested in, but I’m sure someone else can help you.

    2. It’s on the court & social page – Birthdays / Court Circular / Engagements etc, about 2/3 of the way through the paper.

  23. 6d must be a ‘strength of materials’ clue – referring no doubt to the famous impact test which compares the ability of materials (metals) to withstand shock loads.

  24. 24d This is a mining term. When a plug in one of these (24ds) failed after pumping stopped at Wheal Jane mine in the Carnon valley, acid mine drainage turned the river Fal and Carrick Roads red.

  25. New Boy – Winners are published two pages from the back near the ‘Britain at War’ article on Monday week.

  26. Enjoyable if rather swift – I had been looking forward to hours in the sun solving. Last one in was 17 d oddly! In the end got it by just staring at the letters in.Some of them too easy to solve without working out why! Eg 18d. Regular course of action provides the answer before you start looking for the cryptic! Next to last in was 25d as I am not too familiar with Scottish islands. Luckily I am familiar with legal terms and THAT sort of panel. Legal terms also helped me on 23a but still not sure despite having trawled through the comments above exactly where the Australian comes in. Many years of Sunday School and church helped me with 26a. I’ve not heard the expression in 19d for many years but remember being told “You’ll ***** **!” when up to mischief. Best clue perhaps 15a. Also liked 8d – had some novelty about it.

    1. Chambers gives A as an abbreviation for Australia and Australian – the latter, presumably, because of it’s use in abbreviations like ANZAC and RAAF.

  27. New Boy – I hope you have better luck than me in the prize crossword – 13 years and not a sniff. I’ve tried using coloured envelopes and other failed strategies! I have had two Letters to the Editor published though!

    My weekend isn’t complete without the Prize Crossword.

    1. Would love to know how many entries they get and whether it varies according to complexity. Only claim to fame is that I know someone who won the pen three or four years ago. I did once get a prize for submitting the Observer many years ago.

      1. The Telegraph puzzles editor has given some hints as to which puzzles give you the best odds for winning a prize here.

  28. I know how you feel, Little Dave! During the time that I’ve been religiously sending in the Prize Crossword [and it must be approaching 20 years], I’ve never had a sniff either. However, a friend of mine has won five runners-up prizes during that time and he’s annoyed that he’s never been one of the three first prize winners…

  29. ha. turns out I had te answer to 27a all along but was spelling it wrong with ss instead of st. thanks anyway.

  30. Other failed strategies have included: varying the post box used, varying the day of post, inverting the stamp (possibly an obscure offence?), large envelopes etc. I have not stooped so low as including an money to bribe though!

    I guess they get 1000s of entries – mine probablly goes to the bottom of a sack.

    Does anyone know what the DT does with all the entries? Is there a big bonfire and do the stamps go to Blue Peter? I think we should be told.

    Come on England! Against Australia that is.

  31. Silly me….. I understand your hint now….. I was thinking in ‘youth speak’ ie that the word for wonderful was ****c rather than ****cal!

    1. Luckily I am just writing up the review for Thursday, Robert!

      6d Metal press (4)

      This is a Double Definition clue where, as suggested, there are two words (or phrases) which mean the same thing. The first is simply the metallic element and the second refers to a household chore. Hope that’s not too obvious.

  32. Although I had the answer to 13d I needed the above points to understand why – I didn’t get the lines connection.

    Mind you the answer to 17a, crossing 13d, made me fairly certain.

  33. Hi Big Dave – first time for me on this blog. Your tips a good fun and sometimes essential. However, given that you ask that no one should give the actual answers, when you hover the cursor over the photos up pop the answers!!

    1. Hello Clueless and welcome to the blog.
      In Big Dave’s defence the photos giving away the answer are deliberate.

    2. Clueless

      Have a look at AnswerBank some time and you will see what I am trying to avoid!

      A typical example question:

      4d Has mad trouble when embarrassed 7 A?E???D

      Note how the person asking the question has one letter wrong (out of three!) and has transcribed the clue incorrectly.

    3. … and I forgot to say that last time this came up and I suggested I might stop doing it I was deluged by requests to continue.

      1. Yes, I see what you mean!!

        Please add my request for you to continue to that previous “deluge”…

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