DT 26289 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26289 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26289 (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, 15th July.


1a    Teacher to exchange mains device (6-6)
A male schoolteacher is followed by a word meaning to exchange to get a device for controlling the supply of mains electricity

10a    Mother takes in older sort of play (9)
Put a child’s name for mother around an anagram (sort) of OLDER to get a play that is excessively sensational

23a    Still said to be bound together at end of day (8)
Combine a synonym for still with a word that sounds like (said) to be bound together to get a poetic word for the end of day

28a    Military advisers in fees rant — flag desecrated (7,5)
These military officers who advise senior officers on policy and administration are an anagram (desecrated) of FEES RANT FLAG


2d    By and large a couple of lines repeated about having arrived (3,2,3)
This phrase that means by and large or on the whole is built up from A and a couple of L(ines) which is then repeated on either side of a word meaning having arrived at home (or the office)

3d    Book coming my way (4)
Split this large book as (2,2) and it means coming my way

8d    Despite being oversensitive reach journey’s end (6)
A word meaning oversensitive is built up from to reach and the final letter of journeY (journey’s end)

25d    Bellyful causes greedy person to lose weight (4)
A bellyful or overabundance is created by taking a large weight away from a greedy person

The Saturday Crossword Club will open at 10.00 am. 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!

93 comments on “DT 26289 (Hints)

  1. A nice gentle start to a Saturday morning, with no problems experienced, and most certainly the puzzle wasn’t as taxing as last Saturday’s was.

  2. I can’t believe it,I completed it in 45 mins,a new personal record for me!! I must be on fire and cooking with gas!!! Great. Sorry for bragging and boasting but had to get it off my chest.

  3. A bit of a disappointment in a way, nothing contentious to get my teeth into. All clues doable and friendly.
    Just as well really as I’m off to the Pont du Gard for a couple of days. They say they have free wifi where we are going but that remains to be seen. If the Romans didn’t do a good job installing it 2000 years ago then it will probably not be fixed until next weekend.
    Temp 23 and rising as at 09:30 CET(+2)

  4. No complaints here. There were a few clues that needed thinking about but everything was fine. I liked 5d and 14d althoughbthe latter might be considered a bit of a chestnut.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD

  5. 6d and 16a across were new to me so caused a degree of difficulty, but solved with an online dictionary.

    Didn’t like 8d. Is it usual to have the straight definition in the middle of the clue?

    1. Agree on that Ayayay, I don’t think it’s usual, the definition, as I have learnt in the last year usually comes at the beginning or end of a clue, maybe it’s a kind of all in one clue?

  6. Thought I was going to do it it under an hour but would you believe although I think I know 16a I don’t understand it, otherwise. lovely crossword, though fairly easy, it was really enjoyable, because everything was workoutable :) fav clues 4d, 11d really liked that one, 13a,

    1. 16a Novice from Austrian province not an inexperienced driver (4)
      The definition is novice and to get it you need to remove the letter indicating an inexperienced driver from the end of the name of an Austrian province.

          1. Blimey, must be a record a word I have heard of that Mary hasn’t! Makes a change, it’s usually the other way round (still haven’t forgotten Nutwood!):-) Have a great day Mary, hope the rain has stopped

          2. It is a quite common word in the DT Cryptic but obviously hasn’t appeared much in the last year.

  7. Most agreeable start for what looks like to be the hottest day of the year so far. Sparkling rosé wine chilling in the fridge. Is it 12:00 yet?
    Favourite clue has to be 4d

  8. Very nice puzzle for today although it took two visits to complete. Lots of anagrams to get you started and loved 11d :-)

  9. Blimey – did this one in 25 minutes having struggled for much longer on a couple of the weekday ones recently. I find a prize one as easy as this about once a year!

  10. Haviing a really good day today – everything flowing from the early morning 4 mile walk (at 7.30 am when (sorry Mary) it was already sunny and 27 in the shade) to a good shopping trip and now this lovely Saturday crossword. Lots of good clues but I will pick 11d because it made me smile the most.

  11. A different story to last Saturday’s puzzle! Very doable and probably my quickest solve yet, about an hour I think. Some good stuff, especially 26a, 4d, 11d. I think I have encountered 16a before. Don’t understand 17d; what’s it got to do with ‘finish in haste’?

    Manning the bookstall at the church fete this afternoon … oh joy!

    1. 17d Finish in haste and stop work (5,3)
      Double definition. It’s a phrasal verb which means to produce something quickly (finish in haste) and to stop work (as well as a few other things!).

  12. Very enjoyable crossword from Cephas this fine Saturday and, I agree, much simpler than last week’s puzzle. Just picked a lot of blackcurrants and whitecurrants from the garden – very tasty fresh from the bush!

    Favourite clue was 11d.

  13. A mistake on 13a caused a few problems but did nothing to stop my enjoyment of today’s puzzle. 3d was my favourite. I was reading Hardy yesterday and he does make these things prey on your mind.

  14. On a horrible dreich day in Auld Reekie, glad to have a gentle, straightforward puzzle to do, before looking at last Sunday’s cryptic which I haven’t yet started.

    Not much on telly—I’m not a sports fan!

  15. Lovely way to spend time in the garden – enjoyable puzzle – not too taxing but good fun. As per several – I enjoyed 11d best.

    Off to my son’s for a barbecue – sorry Mary – weather is hot and humid here!!

  16. Really enjoyed today’s puzzle. Didn’t manage it in under the hour but not too much longer. I’ve had a very busy and challenging week and it was a lovely treat to take a wander through this pleasurable puzzle. Particularly enjoyed 11d and 13a. Oh well, off to have a busy and challenging weekend now, painting garden fences and the like…. and in this heat. Phew!

  17. Done relaxing with a latte waiting for my wife’s car to be serviced. All done and hassle-free.

  18. Perhaps done a little too quickly. Makes me think I have to do some work as no excuse now to sit in the sun. Not the usual sleeping on it on this occasion. Got it all without help but checked Chambers for 16a. 5d can only be one thing – I think, but not sure how its made up. I’m thinking the last three letters mean would obtain but if that is right how do we get the first half unless I have spelt it wrongly? Liked alot of the clues but like it to take a bit longer. I agree 4d and 11d good

    1. 5d Wife and I would obtain gizmo (6)
      The definition is gizmo. Start with the abbreviation for wife and add a contracted way of saying “I would” and a synonym for obtain.

      1. I had missed that! Didn’t know that word for gizmo but easy to ‘get’ thanks to your hints! Great!

    2. 5d The first letter is from Wife, the next two is a contraction of ‘I would’ and the last three are as you say.

  19. Thanks for all the help – definitely a lot nicer than las week, but I am having trouble with 21d 17 dn, 24ac and 6 dn.
    17dn. I have the second word, but am struggling with the verb?
    21dn. If it is another way of saying ‘as usual’ not sure what that has to do with Holland! – or is it an anagram of roam and two letters from Holland?
    Any more hints very welcome.
    Thought 13a clever, Liked 23ac. 11dn was the first one I got!

    1. 21d Roam about in Holland as usual (6)
      The definition is usual. It’s an anagram (about) of roam inside the IVR code for Holland (Think of the more correct name of Holland).

    2. 24a Recorder making twenty ? (6)
      Someone who keeps the record of who’s doing what in a sports event is also a sort of cryptic way of accumulating a word for twenty.

    3. 6d Attempt to embody outstanding Queen in decorative pattern (7).
      The definition is decorative pattern. Put a synonym for attempt around a 3-character informal word for outstanding and a 1-character abbreviation for Queen (or King).

      1. thanks for explaining that Gazza, cos I took ER for Queen and just couldn’t work out where the ** came in?? Duh!

    4. Hi Gordonbennet – is that u Helen? 17d – you might reply ‘who’s there?’ if someone did this on your door – first word that is :)

  20. Amazing ! All done and dusted in about three hours with only a little help from electronic gadgets. It’s good to feel that for once I’m not lagging a day behind the rest of you – most encouraging !

    Well just time for half an hour in the sun before I have to go out again – sorry Mary and all those in soggier parts but I bet you’ve got green grass – ours is pure brown with hardly a drop of rain in months.

  21. Rattled through this one without any help. Can’t be the weather as it’s 33 in the shade in Bavaria and due to get warmer tomorrow.
    If Germany wins tonight and Spain tomorrow, that octopus is going to end up in the paella!

    1. Aren’t you a bit behind PJ assuming you’re talking about the world cup that is???

      1. Mary: Germany and Uruguay are due to fight it out tonight for third and fourth place. If you fancy a flutter, Germany are odds-on favourites with the online bookies, but you can get 7 to 2 on Uruguay. Paul the octopus is backing Germany.

        1. Oh ok didn’t know, will watch that then, thanks for info, think I’ll pass on the bet though :)

        1. Oh well we can’t all be lucky and it has stopped raining but the sky is quite black, enjoy your swim

  22. I seem to be in a minority. I had no trouble with it but did not find any of the clues amusing. The best of a poor bunch (for me) were 4d, 11d and 14d. I did not like the “despite” in 8d and I am not sure about “bellyful” in 25d – Ï would prefer excess.

    1. I’m with you on ‘despite’ Michael, funny nobody else seems to think there’s anything wrong with it??

  23. Did this in 23 mins…. can I qualify for getting out of the clueles club??? I think not-just happened to understand all the clues apart from 16a which I guessed! Thank god for aircondidtioing in the car, as I have driven to visit my aunt in hopital and its 31 in the shade here in canterbury!! Not nice when you are weraing DVT stockings I can tell you! can’t wait to stop wearing them!

  24. I’m overjoyed as I haven’t practised that much so far but managed to do the whole grid but for 3 clues. Not sure I know the required English words though. Anyway, if you can give me a tip for 13a , 5d (don’t think I know a synonym for gizmo) and 22d, I’d be very grateful! Merci beaucoup!

    1. Hi FrogOne a synonym for gizmo, I may be wrong but don’t you find them in some cans of beer or lager??,
      The return you are looking for in 13a comes from the stock market,
      22d, another word for old hand is old ****** another word for boards as in theatre followed by a one letter for resisance i.e. little resistance
      Hope these hints are helpful :)

      1. Tks for help Mary!… 13a guessed so too but feel better now that you confirm it…and I guess what I found for 22d is right given your clue though it’s not in my dictionary?! Never mind. I’ll have a look at the clues again tonight when all is quiet at home!!!! ;-)

        1. Actually found 22d in my bible ‘Le Collins & Robert”.. but it wasn’t in the Oxford Advanced learner’s hence my doubt! So tks indeed Mary!.. However, I can’t find 5d, don’t think I know the word, probably because I only like draft bitter and never drink canned beer! ah ah!

  25. A record for me too! Took under half an hour either side of the Tour de France after a long day at Market. I normally have to sleep on a clue or two (ok……five or six then).

    I’d like to think we are all improving.

    1. It was a bug on WordPress that affected sites that used their own domain names (WordPress redirects bigdave44.wordpress.com to bigdave44.com) and it took WordPress a while to sort out the underlying problem.

      1. even 4! but isn’t it amazing that something which is really such a minor problem in the grand scheme of things can upset our day :)

  26. Thanks so much Gazza and Mary, so much easier when you show me the way! I was being thick about some of them.
    Really pleasant day here in the north of scotland, 15 degrees and dry! A huge welcome relief after a quick visit to London last week. Hope you are all surviving. How about a holiday in NE Scotland????

  27. Well bringing up the rear, as usual, I truly think everything that can or could be said about this crossword has already BEEN said. Enjoyable because the clues were clear, straightforward and soluble, even for the not-so-clever, like me. Thanks Cephas. For once didn’t need the hints, tee-hee-hee!

    1. Hear, hear, Brendam! Did crossword this morning before it got too hot – 20c when we woke up at 6.30am. Sorry about the weather in West Wales, Mary, but, as someone else has said before me, bet your grass is green – ours looks like hay!

  28. Just finished it! But then again, I have dusted and vacuumed the house, painted the garage door and watched F1 qualifying. Maybe I’ll win the lottery later.
    Learnt a few new things today. For some reason I wasn’t convinced I had the answer to 24a correct until I had all the crossing letters.

  29. Eight hours later, having wondered on and off all afternoon if I had 9a right, it’s just dawned on me how ‘one leaving coral island’ leads to the answer … astonishing!

  30. A really quick solve today and with no recourse to clues, hints or anything – amazing, that happens VERY rarely!!

  31. Only the second or third time I have completed the DT Saturday crossword on my own! So I feel able to enter these hallowed halls and comment! I normally return to it on and off throughout the weekend and then visit Big Dave on Sunday evening to finish off. Had to resort to dictionary for 6d and 16a – both new words for me. Caused myself an issue with 8d as I had 9a wrong (had taken last letter off not first). Really liked 4d, 21d and 26a. Don’t think I am getting better, just an easier one!

  32. I’m pretty new to this. Getting better and quicker all the time tho! Just stuck on 13 across….a hint please?

    1. Hi Caro – welcome to the blog.
      13a Return from the market (8)
      It’s a cryptic definition of the financial return you’d hope to get by investing in the stock market.

  33. Was out walking in the Peak District yesterday so solved this this evening to avoid watching the football.
    Definitely much easier than last week with several very obvious anagrams to help me on the way.
    Gave it *** as no great clues.
    15a and 20a are new words for me.

  34. Found this one much esier than last Sat but stumped on 19d as is my little electronic device of last resort

    1. Welcome to the blog plot50

      19d Demon girl — men excited! (7)
      The demon is an anagram (excited) of GIRL MEN – you may have something else wrong!

      1. Thanks Dave I had though of LP for record which put me up the proverbial gum tree. Now all solved.

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