DT 26325 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26325 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26325 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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, 26th August.


1a    Ruddy duck that’s pink (8)
Combine a red colour with O (duck) to get a pink bird

11a    Torch songs? (5,5)
A cryptic definition of what was played on Radio 2’s predecessor!

17a    Try to play an ace (5)
… in tennis

22a    Not notice tradition moved by anthem (7)
An anagram (moved) of TR(AD)ITION after removing a notice gives this anthem sung at the beginning of Mass, immediately after the Confiteor

29a    Tale one cadet spun (8)
This tale is an anagram (spun) of ONE CADET


2d    Means of escape from rising water covering unpleasant place (8)
This means of escape from a contract is built up from some water reversed (rising, as it’s a down clue) and an unpleasant place

8d    Money from American wrong at pay-desk (8)
The American spelling of an order to a bank to transfer money is followed by wrong, in the sense of a set of figures not balancing, to give the pay-desk at a supermarket

15d    Mother country? (2-4-4)
… because there are only women here?

25d    It is still produced in Russia (5)
A cryptic definition of an alcoholic drink that is distilled in Russia

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!

113 comments on “DT 26325 (Hints)

  1. Good morning Dave, just beginning this, had to grab the only dry half hour we’ve had in the last 2 days to deadhead about 300 petunias, I am never doing petunias again!! here we go back later, ps haven’t looked at the hints, honest :) (yet)

  2. Progress has been slow this morning but, nevertheless, enjoyable. I hampered myself by entering a specific word for the second part of 11a but then realised that it was a generic word and then couldn’t understand the construct of 21d. My Blessed Chambers [other dictionaries are available] came to the rescue and I have to say that I didn’t know that…

  3. A fairly good puzzle overall although I found one or two straying into Gen Knowledge rather than Cryptic. 24a and 25d and especially 10a.
    No real favourite.Thanks for the blog Dave.
    Weather in Newcastle sunny 18 degrees and looks promising.

  4. I enjoyed this one too. 22a is a new word to me and, like Caravaggio, I needed a well known reference work to explain the wordplay in 21d! Particularly liked 9 and 27a and 15d

  5. I enjoyed this – it’s the first time for several weeks I have been able to start it before late afternoon on a Saturday. Last to go in was 26a and it was so obvious once I had got it! I think I was having a Homer Simpson moment – doh!

  6. Finished I think, last to go in 12a, fav clues 11a, 27a, 15d, agree with Nubian there were some clues verging on GK, going to read hints now

  7. A pleasant half hour of enjoyment. Having put in a few lesser used letters (Z, K, V) I was looking for a pangram, so was disappointed when it didn’t materialise.

  8. Nice Saturday crossword but completely stuck on 27a – have first, third and fifth letters and STILL can’t see it! Any help welcome .. Favourite clues today 1 and 26a and 2d. Good luck with the petunias, Mary – have to confess that I gave up on them three years ago after a particularly wet summer – they really hate it, don’t they?

    1. 27a Wearing only a scrap in Spanish place (6)
      It’s a region in Spain. As 1,3,2 it might mean that you’re wearing a scrap of clothing.

      1. Thank you Gazza. Must be particularly dim today – STILL can’t do it! Will go and do some of the things that I really ought to be doing and let the little grey cells have a while to see if THEY can do it!

    2. I cant believe how much work they are, by the way you were right yesterday about the dogs :) Have a lovely holiday

  9. Very enjoyable. Didn’t take long at all apart from 24a where of course you have to spend a time wondering why a fish might need reinforcing!!

  10. Thank you! Looking forward to understanding the clues on Friday. Away now for a couple of days, but might be able to get online. Back next week!

    1. Its not me this week, its Gnomethang. I have been though and practised my ‘why is this clue this’ and there are some very nice clues today. Hope it doesn’t rain where you are going.

    1. Hint – what is March. Removed is an anagram indicator. Hope I haven’t given too much away.

  11. For the first time in ages I was able to finish without sneaking a look at the Crossword Help Forum.. I suspect this says a lot more about the difficulty of this week’s rather than any particular skill on my part. I did have to guess the Across clue about the anthem. I didn’t know the word


  12. Quite painless today – I suppose it encourages entries to the competition.
    Favorites were 22a and 17d.
    Talking of G & S, just off now to see the Peer and the Peri an Buxton Opera House. Ta ta folks!

  13. Could anyone explain 5d to me? I’ve got an answer (the last letter that Zorba might have written), but I can’t see why. I’m assuming that the Australian gives us the final letter, but where do the first four letters come from? It doesn’t sound like anything I can make an order out of.

    An enjoyable puzzle, all in all. 15d was my favourite. I struggled with 19d, then kicked myself when I got it.

    1. Hi abw – welcome to the blog.

      5d Last order, say, Australian concluded (5)

      The first four letters are an order or honour followed by an abbreviation for “say”.

      1. didn’t really understand this one myself Gazza, though I have the answer, still don’t even after your explaination, all the rain must have made me a bit soggy!!

          1. the first and second letters are an order or honour and the last letter is from Australian, all to give us the last letter in the Greek alphabet, is that right??

        1. I still don’t get it! I’ve got the answer, but I’ve never heard of an order/honour of the first four letters, and how is the last letter an abbreviation for ‘say’? And is that case where does ‘australian’ come into it…?

          1. Sorry, got it now! ‘The first four letters are an order or honour followed by an abbreviation for “say”.’ I thought was explaining the whole answer.

          2. The added underscore sent your comment into moderation – either format of your name will be ok now!

            The answer splits (2,2,1). The Order is first, say (or for example) next and finally A(ustralian).
            Last is the definition (Chambers defines the answer as “the conclusion” as well as being a character in the Greek alphabet).

  14. Wish I could do it in half an hour. It’s taken me that long to get the last two (1a and 5d). Can someone hint at the cryptic reasoning behind 5d?

    1. Just to clarify 5d – it’s a 2-letter order, followed by a 2-letter abbreviation for “say” followed by an abbreviation for Australian, and the definition is “last”.

    2. I get it now apart from the 2 letter order bit. Is that something I will just have to remember for future?

      1. It’s the abbreviation for an order that is in the personal gift of the monarch, and it’s limited to 24 living members at any one time.

        1. Thanks; I should have got that but just wasn’t thinking that way. Well and truly wrong footed.

      2. Yes, it is an abbreviation for an order or an award, there are lots of them to try to remember :)

        1. personally, I could never remember them all and I find Chambers crossword dictionary and Chambers XWD dictionary of crossword abbreviations invaluable both very reasonable from Amazon and no I’m not on commission :)

  15. Average today.

    I like 16a, 18a, 4d.

    3d – I don’t see where the second word of the cricketing term arises from the rest of the clue.

    21d – I really dislike the “army” bit.

    9a I still don’t get.

    1. Peter for 9a March say means March is an example of something, i.e. there are twelve in a year, inside this word you put an anagram of oil to get another word for pillar

    2. 3d Cricketing term young lady took on (6,4)
      The second word is another word for “on”.

    3. re: army – me too. I don’t quite get how ‘army’ is the first 4 letters…? I would have thought this clue could still work without the ‘army’ at all. TAKE instead of TAKES perhaps.

      1. That wouldn’t work!

        21d Army takes mature prisoner (7)
        This splits as (4,3) – army + mature. The setter has used “takes” to join the two parts of the wordplay in order to improve the surface reading.

        Chambers gives the following as one of three definitions for the first part:
        * An army (archaic)
        * A great multitude

  16. Right.

    I just need 12a.

    Is the first word “circular”? If so, that’s a weak clue in my opinion.

    1. No Peter, you need something meaning periodic gathering, you would do this to get these milk producers into the cowshed, hope that’s not giving too much away??

          1. The clue is meant to be cryptic, in that the setter is trying (not very successfully) to make you think of something like an annual convention of dairymen.

    2. 12a Periodic gathering of milk producers perhaps (5-2)
      It’s the bringing together of milk producers (a term often heard in Westerns).

      1. Might this expression appear in the film Casablanca, with reference to the usual suspects?

          1. I don’t like films much but this one I have watched several times. Do watch it if you can.

            Thanks Mary and Gazza!

    1. 9a During March, say, removed oil from pillar (9)
      It’s a word for a pillar made from a single upright block of stone. Put an anagram (re-moved) of oil inside what march is an example of.

  17. Hi Sarah for 9a see answer to Peter a few comments up
    24a is hardly cryptic the ‘sole’ is on the bottom of your shoe and a cobbler might use this to fix it

  18. started this morning after breakfast ,,then out shopping just home & had cuppa in garden & finished last 2.Great.

  19. Very enjoyable puzzle with a couple of GKish clues as noted.
    Thanks to Cephas for the puzzle.

    1. Hi Steve – welcome to the blog.

      6d Something soothing used at social gathering that started late (7)

      It’s an ointment and to get it start with a word for a “do” or social gathering and drop the first letter (starting late).

  20. Fairly straight forward, though struggled with 6d and 24a. Had to revert to Crossword Solver to finally get 24a. Should have thought of “boots” rather than “shoes”.

  21. Feel quite pleased after all those comments because I finished it without your blog B.D. [but did use a Crossword solver for one] which doesn’t worry me if it helps me to complete the whole puzzle.

  22. I thought there were some quite vague clue constructions today – particularly found the following a tad oblique: 12a; and 15d. Am I being unfair to Cephas? Got it done but a strange puzzle in my humble opinion.

  23. Didn’t think today’s was too bad although got stuck on 22a finally found it under eccesiastical terms in one of my books then checked wikipedia for the answer, new word to me not being a churchgoer but now imprinted for next time. 8O

    Thanks for the review BD

  24. Being a churchgoer helps I think. I got 22a when doing the puzzle this morning, and then heard the word on the morning hymn singing on Radio 4. Also 21d – thinking of an army of angels helps. It was one of those that I looked at and thought I could get none. Then they all came pretty swiftly. I did not put 10a in until I had all the checking letters as it seemed a bit too obvious. Thought 3d was something more complicated and was misled by wanting to put a four letter word for a young lady as the second word. I thought 12a was fine as that is what you have to do to milk producers isn’t it?Agree about 24a – not really cryptic. Liked 8d, 1a, and 19d.

  25. Well i’m all done apart from one. 22a I had to look up, and 12a took a while before it clicked with a loud moan!

    But am i the only one stuck on 27a?? I’ve got a Spanish-sounding place name that fits but not sure how that works with the rest of the clue…
    Also how is ‘wrong’ the last bit of 8d?

    This is the nearest i’ve come to completion for a long time!

    1. 27a Wearing only a scrap in Spanish place (6)
      Split your answer as (1,3,2) and you get “wearing only a scrap”.

      I explained the last bit of 8d in the hints. Add up a column of figures, and if they they don’t balance, they are wrong.

      1. Ah! Got it now. Thanks, and apologies for not seeing the 8d hint. That makes sense too now.


    1. Welcome to the blog Eddie

      26a Sailor wrapped up in very attractive boisterous performance (10)
      Put a two-letter abbreviation for a sailor between the two parts (5,3) of an adjective meaning very attractive to get a boisterous performance.

  26. As usual, a day later than all of you but I’ve completed it all (mostly without help) except for 20d which I am convinced must have at least one wrong letter in it !

    Will someone PLEASE HELP !!! Thanks D.P.

    1. Thanks Caravagio, that’s what I thought and discounted – I seem to have to many O’s – back to the drawing board. Must be the religious one that’s wrong – it is a word I’ve never heard of …………….. several books later and bingo , I’d mis spelt it !1

      I can sleep in peace now – Thanks again Cara

  27. Am I alone in thinking that the clue for 14d is not quite right? Surely it should be something like ‘fish stink when NOT decapitated’ …. or is there something I’m missing (as usual!)?

  28. Please can somebody help with 7 d in DT26325? Rest is disturbed before tea’s served (6).

    1. Welcome to the blog Matt

      Rest is the definition and it’s a trivial anagram (disturbed) of IS followed by a further anagram (served) of TEA’S

Comments are closed.