DT 26301 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26301 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26301 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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You will probably have gathered by now that the Wedding of the Year was held yesterday – hence the hints being a bit late.

This was me and the missus yesterday (taken by Tilsit):

And this is the happy couple:

I’ve added a few other pics to the facebook page.

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, 29th July.


1a           Failure encountered in possession of pound, depressed (8)
This failure in the cooling system of a nuclear reactor is built up from a synonym for encountered around the abbreviation for the pound (in money, not weight) together with a word meaning depressed

15a         Annexed unsettled state with desire born of experience (8,5)
Easier than it looks – you need a word meaning annexed and an anagram (unsettled) of STATE to get a desire born of experience – like whisky, perhaps!

23a         Provided backing as firm was humiliating failure (6)
Probably my favourite today – it’s a simple charade of a two-letter word meaning provided, as in on condition, which is then reversed (backing) and followed by AS and the abbreviation for CO(mpany) to get an humiliating failure

29a         Work in the pool shed’s pigeonhole (8)
Combine what people are likely to do when they work in a pool, or team, with to shed, as in to  discard, to get a word meaning to  pigeonhole or assign to a particular category


1d           Person of note (8)
One who plays lots of notes!

4d           Caution about hostilities to the north (4)
Be careful here – the definition is to “caution about”

17d         With money. Where? (2,6)
An audiovisual hint!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

20d         Cordial enquiry about my competence (7)
The definition is cordial, as in friendly, and if you split it as (2,1,4) it could be an enquiry about my competence

25d         Fast-moving Charlie getting in the money (4)
To get a word meaning fast-moving just put C(harlie) inside the money you get for working

Feel free to leave comments or ask questions.

Please don’t put whole or partial answers in your comment, else they may be censored!

133 comments on “DT 26301 (Hints)

  1. I can confirm that Big Dave and Mrs Big Dave spent much of the ceremony dancing on the tables and generally having a fine time at the wedding reception.

    A lovely time was had by all.

  2. Thanks for that update Tilsit – glad to hear that the wedding went well and that everyone had a good time (bride and groom included I trust).

  3. I’m pleased that everything went well and a good time was had by all. At first sight, I thought I was going to have problems with this puzzle but was pleasantly surprised when eveything started to fall into place and it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was going to be.

    1. My sentiments exactly – started off well enough but then came to a grinding halt in SW corner with 29a being the clincher after which it was plain sailing all the way.

      1. Well done, I wish I could work our 29a, it’s got me beat! Only this corner to finish now.

        1. 29a Work in the pool shed’s pigeonhole
          The answer is a word that means pigeonhole – like certain actors or actresses may be. It is a charade of what a secretary does in the “pool” and a word for shed (as in throw off).

            1. Just seen 24d but I have to say i think it is by far the worst clue in todays puzzle as this particular manufacturer makes estates as well as sedans and it rather spoils what is otherwise an excellent crossword. Best clue for me is 5d, I like clues that come in bits that I can assemble.

          1. Thanks for that, bit ironic as I have spent the last two days working on a film set as I will for most of next week.

  4. morning everyone, just cant see 15a any help please, ps i have others but i think that will help immensely, i thought i was going to finish this without help todat but no such luck1

    1. 15a – You want a word for annexed (as in obtained) plus an anagram of state (unsettled) to give something that might be gained by experience – for some marmite is this!

    2. 15a Annexed unsettled state with desire born of experience (8,5)
      It’s a verb meaning annexed or obtained followed by an anagram (unsettled) of state to make something that you only get gradually (desire born of experience).

  5. Back in Blighty and a good start to normal operations again, It’s great to sit down to a crossword without sweating all the time.
    Todays was a tad harder than normal with the bottom half proving a stretch.
    For some weird reason I looked at 21 down for ages and couldn’t see it.

      1. Hi Steve – welcome to the blog.
        21d One might give you a clip round the ears (6)
        You’re wrong. It’s the sort of clip done with scissors.

        1. D’oh, of course, that makes far more sense! Thanks for the help, and the welcome. Sorry for the fairly brusque first post by the way, I was typing with one hand while trying not to wake the baby sleeping in the other and balancing the crossword in my knee in the middle!

  6. Thanks for the help with 29a which was vexing me. I assume that 24d is a type of car that used to be a joke (what do you call a ***** convertible = A skip) and writing this comment has helped me see why it works! A reasonably good challenge for a Saturday, I think.

  7. Haven’t finished this yet (Making a birthday card!) but looks a good puzzle & enjoying it.

    1. Before I started I made a a couple of birthday cards so was a bit late to it. What medium do you use? I used rubber stamps and promarkers for the ones I did today.

      1. Hi—all sorts of medium/media! I have far too much stuff and don’t need any more card-making stuff ever. These used pre-printed background paper, altered by overstamping and embossing, rubber stamps and punched-out daisies.

        1. Sounds like a nice card – I too tend to use all different types of media but the only decoupage I do is when I make up my own rather than buy specific kits.

          Like you – if I didn’t buy another craft item I would be able to make cards for the rest of my life BUT that doesn’t mean I don’t buy!!!!

  8. Nice Saturday – bit more taxing than normal but once the long ones went in I was away. Longest to go in was 26a for some reason and I kicked myself (you didn’t have to Dave) when I got it. Liked your hint for 20d and for that matter it was my clue of the day.

    Liked the picture – good of you to share it with us. Glad to hear you were dancing on the tables – must have been a fun day.

        1. you (dave) remind me of the bloke on ‘Eggheads’, think his name is Dave too, the one that know all about trains? Off to try out ny new skechers they are trainers/shoes that give you a work out and let you lose wight whilst walking apparently you don’t have to do anything else, we will see!!

          1. Hadn’t heard that about skechers – may need to try them as I will be doing a lot of walking after my hip operation as I won’t be able to go to the gym.

            1. they are supposed to be excellant Lea I will let you know, another thing i have found really good for bad joints, i.e. hips, knees ankles are ‘fitflops’ I discovered them this summer they are brilliant.

  9. Hi Dave, glad u had a good time yesterday, this is all finished now, 7d threw me a bit because I thought that was the plural form, so i looked it up in the big red book where it says it is sometimes used as the singular in ‘non-standard English’ ! what exactly does that mean, anyone else put staple in for 5a at first??? fav clue today 18a, thanks to Gazza and Prolixic for help with 15a, which enabled me to finish the rest :)

  10. Afternoon everyone from sunny Hertfordshire. All done. 5a is an interesting one and there are two very worthy answers for it in my view. I went for one option but now prefer my second one. What does everyone else think?

  11. Likewise Mary. I’ve gone for option 2 which I assume is what you now have – don’t want to reveal to anyone though!!

  12. Lovely wedding photos. Nice to see Mrs BD too, and why shouldn’t you both dance on the tables – it must be a very rare chance for her to get you away from blogging duties. Today’s puzzle was very enjoyable, with quite a few clues needing a tiny bit of lateral thinking, but finished in usual good time.

        1. yes, the answer is the plural form of the word and wonder is singular, I looked it up in Chambers and it says that the plural form is used as singular in non-specific English whatever that means

  13. In 24d (apart from the fact that I think “saloon” is a poor definition) where do you think that the final letter of the answer comes from?

    1. I think the 1st, 4th and 5th letters are the abbreviation for the state with the other two being the decisive blow inside it??

        1. If so where does the 5th letter come from if it is not the abbreviation for decisive blow?

          1. I can only conclude that the state abbreviation is letters 1,3,4 with the abbreviation for decisive blow inside! :)

    2. But the standard abbreviation for the State is just the 1st and 4th letters of the answer. As far as I can see the last letter has got to come from “for”, but I can’t think of a sentence in which the two are interchangeable.

  14. All done apart from 6d. The second word seems to be obvious, but science was never my strong subject. That said, the others weren’t either! I’m starting to wonder if I’ve made a mistake on 5a…

    1. 6d Potentially great having arsenic. It’s enough to make one’s eyes water (4,3)
      It’s an anagram (potentially) of great followed by the chemical symbol for arsenic.

      1. Many thanks, Gazza. As feared, 5a was wrong! 20d’s my favourite today, because I do wonder sometimes!
        It’s clouding over in Barnstaple Gazza, you may want to take the laundry in…

  15. A very pleasant diversion over one mug of coffee and last in 29a. A good morning!

  16. Can anyone help with 19d. I normally get the US and French clues but I just can’t see this one

      1. Tks Tubby, now I’ve got the answer but I don’t understand why apart from …..le

        1. It’s one that I only ‘got’ in retrospect as well. I don’t think that I assciated the middle syllable with ‘before’.

          1. American behind the Parisian preacher (7)

            A (for American) + word for behind + le (the in French) = preacher

        2. 19d American behind the Parisian preacher (7)
          The definition is preacher. It’s a single-character abbreviation for American, then a prefix meaning behind or after and finally the French definite article.

          1. Should have known you’d be there before me – don’t always know why but this one I did. Thanks Gazza

  17. Well I appear ti have printed off no. 26187!
    Best I print out the right puzzle when I get home!

    1. I started off solving 26187 on-line and found it very familiar – the penny dropped about 10 clues in and I went in another way on clued up to find the right one!

    2. I emailed the editor in the early hours and his reply was “This is a mystery! And why does it have to happen at 1am on a weekend??”. I know the feeling. It was, however, corrected by (my) breakfast time.

  18. Congratulations BD let’s hope you make many happy memories together. Nice puzzle today, as it seems with many today 29a was last in.

  19. To clear up any misunderstandings – the wedding was John (Elgar) and Jane (Jetdoc)!!

    Mrs BD and I have been married for nearly 43 years.

    1. I know the name ‘Elgar’ from the toughies – who is ‘Jetdoc’? Whoever she is I send them all my best wishes ..

        1. Thanks for the link BD – haven’t looked at photos yet, apart from, that is, the one at the beginning of the blog – as others have said, really good to be able to put a face to you at last! Also to Mrs BD, of course, and congratulations on the nearly 43 years!

  20. I too thought BD and Mrs BD had just got married!

    I also had the same plural/singular problem described by Mary.

    Otherwise, an enjoyable puzzle which took us from Fort William to Carlisle to solve.

  21. New here and feel as if I am sitting around the kitchen table with you all. Hope it isn’t too forward to post a ‘hello’!

    Fairly new to cryptic crosswords and still find myself tripped up but what turn out to be the simplest of clues after which follows much forehead slapping.

    Thank you for the extra puzzles and the hints.

    1. Hi Dee – you’re very welcome to join us round the table! Perhaps you’d like to pour?

      1. Hmm, well have just opened a jolly little Oz red if anyone wants a top up?


    2. It took me several months of reading this blog before I summoned the courage to write anything – I think that it’s really good fun and very friendly – keep going (and I’ll have a glass of the jolly little Oz red if there’s any left – all on my own on a Saturday pm as husband is on call and has had to go back in to work!)

  22. Having printed the correct puzzle everything was pretty straightforward with some good clues.
    28a was nice but 24d is under the spotlight as stated by gazza.

  23. Bit late today – thought I would write my own comments before reading those from everyone else. I found this much harder than the usual Saturday puzzle. Came to grief in a big way in the bottom right hand corner, in particular with 29a and 17 and 24d. Right, one at a time now! Re 29a, having FINALLY got it, what a good clue! VERY misleading – pool shed’s etc etc! 24d – had wrongly assumed that I was looking for a word that began with ‘S’ and ended with ‘D’ (South Dakota) and was therefore looking for a three letter word meaning ‘decisive blow’ to go in the middle, whole word meaning saloon. OK, got there in the end too. As far as 17d goes I’m not sure that I have heard this expression – I HAVE heard of the opposite – ie *** of ****** meaning that someone owes you something – anyway, that took a while but eventually did it. Oh dear, a bit of a struggle – if in doubt blame the weather – very sticky, humid and generally lethargy inducing here in Oxford today. I’m now going to go back to the beginning and read what other people thought of it!

  24. Oh, I give up! Oddly enough, found this much harder than yesterday’s. Still haven’t got 21d and 28a. Didn’t enjoy this one a lot, alas.

  25. Is anyone still out there? Sat down with this late and have enjoyed it but I just cannot get my head round 28a. Hints anyone?

    1. Pete,

      Director is used in an oblique sense of something that might direct a boat – found at the back underwater. Take a word meaning less polite and put it around an abbreviation for an old penny (not 1p but 1?).

    2. Yes – still out here (see above!) Re 28a – the word you are looking for is something that steers (think boat) then think of a word for not polite, therefore ….. than and think of an abbreviation for the old penny in pre decimal currency and stick that in the middle. Good luck!

  26. PS Grammar seems to have gone somewhat awry due to having deleted a word or two without others!

    1. Doesn’t really matter – just got in a muddle in the middle of the sentence and didn’t delete ‘of someone’ – thanks. How can you still be awake and functioning – you must be suffering from sleep deprivation after yesterday!

  27. In the main good. Some excellent clues and about the right length (to solve that is)NW corner first to go in and SE corner last. Like 1de 15 and 18a and many more. 28 and 29a had me stumped for a long time. Did not like clue for 28 even when got it. Did like clue for 29 when the penny dropped. Another one I liked 20d. Did NOT like 24d. I think saloon was confusing. No doubt to confuse is the idea but definitely not nice! Now for my confession. I fear that I got staple for 5a which according to your comments it is not. The only other one I could think of – another word for plain – would not give me 6d. I give in!

    1. The correct answer for 5a doesn’t change the second letter so your 6d is still OK. I don’t know what kind of ‘plain’ you’re thinking of – perhaps the wrong one. Think of wide open land – that’s the word you’re looking for. The way is the usual abbreviation then think about an old kind of record (vinyl) – not the ones that used to be played at 33 rpm but the smaller ones! Then you want two of them – one the right way round and the next the other way round. All that sounds like a terrible muddle but hope it might help.

    2. 5a Plain way to put records back to back (6)
      The answer is neither STAPLE nor SIMPLE!

      The way is an abbreviation and it is followed by an Extended Play record and then the same reversed (back to back) giving a dry, grassy, generally treeless, uncultivated and sometimes salt plain, as in central Europe and in Asia

      1. Thanks BD, Like others, I’d plumped for Staple and had completely missed the relevance of “plain” – infuriating as I’d seen the correct answer on wordsearch and disregarded it !

        Anyway, thanks for the photos, glad the day went well and good to meet the missus ! You’d be amazed how alike we look – right down to hair (what’s left of it) colour and furry faces !

  28. Got there in the end! Wouldn’t have made it without BD’s hint for 5a – another (geographical) definition of ‘plain’.

    1. Hi Mary, just back from pulling Ragwort to find your blog – I was pulling it out before it harms some horses that live up on a “Nature Reserve” nearby. It was lovely up there today with a view to the East across Swanage Bay and Old Harry rocks right round to the West across Nine Barrow Down and to Portland in the distance – wonderful !!

      Anyway, despite all the comments about it, I still couldn’t make the connection between plain and the answer – DOH !!

      1. Great minds and all that :) well done with the ragwort, it sounds beautiful in your part of the world, have u done todays yet, i found it quite challenging worthy of a toughie in my opinion but thats probably just me

        1. No, normally only have time for the Saturday one – all efforts otherwise go into my sculpture to keep the bank manager quiet ! Not easy in the present state of the country.

          But yes, Purbeck is a little known and very beautiful corner of the world which, at this time of the year, feels to be overrun with visitors – campsites springing up on every farm. We’re very lucky to live here !

  29. thanks everyone. May be worth sending it in this week as I think there will be some wrong answers to 5 a.

  30. Didn’t get round to starting this until this moring, but managed to finish it in less than 45 minutes with help from the hints above – thanks!

  31. The 10D was my favourite clue but does not appear to have been mentioned.
    The definition part was a bit obscure but the word-play of the subsidiary part of the clue then came to me in a flash!

  32. Never find time to look at xword until Sunday midday and try to finish before the start of the Grand Prix in Hockenheim without BD’s assists. Like so many other fans I disliked the 24d clue for abbreviation of South Dakota and identification of the saloon as a particular car. Best and wittiest clue perhaps 17d.
    No-one seems to have objected to the answer to 1a being an 8 letter word rather than in fact two 4 letter words ?


  33. Thanks to Prolixic and Kath. shortly after I posted my question the penny dropped. Feel such a fool when it does!

  34. Once again the cobwebs fell from my eyes when I perused the threads above for 23a and 29a. Your exposition for 5a was masterly… I had plumped fpr staple. Now I can concentrate on digging and planting late cropping potatoes on the vicar’s allotment!

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