DT 26331 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26331 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26331 (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, 2nd September.


1a    Factory dance class (8)
A charade of a factory (5) and a high-school dance (3) lead to a group of people working on a creative or experimental project

An excuse (did I need one?) to post one of my favourite rock’n’roll tracks!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

10a    Central part of two presents where one might be isolated (6,2,7)
If you split this as (6,2,3,4) it could be the central part of present time and present place, but it actually means a place far away from any towns and cities

25a    Film Caledonian banker (7)
A film is a charade of a member of an ancient people inhabiting northern Scotland in Roman times and a river

29a    Surreptitious coming from stately home initially (8)
A word meaning surreptitious is an anagram (coming from) of STATELY and H (Home initially)


1d    Animal found warm sheltering environment at last (6)
This Australian burrowing marsupial is a charade of a warm sheltering environment followed by AT

3d    Less than half the smelling-salts burst (5)
Less than half of another name for smelling-salts gives a burst of gunfire

16d    Removed fault fast when windy (9)
An anagram (removed) of FAULT is followed by a time to fast, resulting in the release of wind from the alimentary canal

ARVE Error: need id and provider

22d    Language found in my side of Liverpool? (6)
Put the Irish Gaelic language inside MY – if you then add SIDE you get a part of Liverpool

26d    Developing a crop of dried fruit (5)
An anagram (developing) of A CROP gives the dried kernel of the coconut

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!

126 comments on “DT 26331 (Hints)

  1. An enjoyable crossword from Cephas. 16d was my favourite. Thanks to setter and to BD for the hints.

  2. Just back from holiday and completely off the wavelength yesterday, but I did manage to finish this with a bit of electronic help. 10a took me a long time to find and I don’t really understand how it fits the clue — ‘presents’? 16d was my favourite, though I also liked 1 and 23a. Now to catch up … :-)

      1. I’ve enjoyed this puzzle too and saw 10a straight away but your hint is very good, Big Dave, and it’s actually a very clever clue isn’t it?

    1. welcome home Franny, hope you had a great time, I’m finding this a bit tough, about 3/4 way through and have had to use Daves help already, thanks Dave, is it me or is it tougher today than normal Saturdays? so far favourite clue is 10a

  3. Enjoyable puzzle but stuck on the last 3 esp 7d (may have got 5a wrong, my take on it is that mini-greenhouse that sounds French). Also got answers to 11a (as in ‘amazing or striking) and 13a (as in to displace someone) but can’t see how either fits the clue.

    1. Hi Barrie, think you have 5a correct, 7d you need another word for ‘Gang’ on East to give you a station as far as I can see, 11a sounds correct but I can’t quite figure it out myself as to why the same with 13a, well done to finish it, I am still stuck on 4 clues!! I think fairly tough for CCers today

      1. Mary 11a is built up from a word meaning reverential fear followed by a word meaning not all

        13a is an a, a letter from the Greek alphabet and the first lady from the book of Genesis to give a word meaning perform successfully.

      2. Hi Mary, thanks for that but I must be being thick, I can’t think of a 5 letter word for a station starting with *. I have *-*-*, is that right?

        1. Ah I see it, the sort of gang which mans a ship!! Sorry not my idea of a gang at all, had to use a thesaurus to get the alternative word.

          1. you got it Barrie, really doesn’t matter that you had to use a thesaurus, I do all the time :)

  4. OK cry for help – first word of 17d, second word of 6d and second part of 9d am I being slow here? maybe I should cogitate and perservate a bit longer but it is sunny outside and I’d like to get out there before it disappears :) Please?

        1. OK I have perservated and cogitated and come up with three answers, personally I don’t see why 9d is what I have but can think of nothing else, so I will just run through it once more then I’m out to the garden to finish my book, praying that no one is going come visit today :) Thanks for hints Dave I really needed some of them today

  5. What a breath of fresh air that was after yesterday, I think I can skip classes in the CC today and get back outside in the sun.
    Can 4d be used to measure 16d ?, just a thought. Fav was 16d.
    Thanks to Dave and Cephas

    1. That’s a very clever thought Nubian, just for that you can have a day out of CC today, you lucky thing :)

  6. A very nice Saturday puzzle to suit this lovely sunny, yes sunny, day. A fairly quick solve with a nice mix of clues. Only worrying thing is how BD and I are going to find a “picture for Gazza” for the review from these clues as I am sure he is neither a 1d or 16d, the latter being one of my clues of the day.

    1. How’s about some suitably unattired ladies on a boat for 7d – that should keep him happy!

    2. I’ve only just noticed BD’s picture in yesterday’s Toughie review – very nice! I’m sure that you could find a suitable 11a 18d.

      1. I am sure between the two of us we can find something suitable. I am slightly worried about this tendency to associate you with pictures of the scantily clad but I am sure the other gentlemen of the blog appreciate it!

          1. I know what you mean. I keep hoping for a puzzle to review that I can suggest a pic of some scantily clad young man…!

            1. That would be lovely Sue – here’s hoping. Since most of the setters are men then it is doubtful don’t you think?

              1. Ladies, fret not, i came up with a cunning plan while slicing the East Kent runner bean mountain.

  7. Think I’ve got 4d – but what is it, not in my dictionary

    Also stuck on 6d

    Put letters to answer for wrong clue in 18d – now utterly confused myself

    1. 6d describes the evangelical wing of a body of believers.

      4d measures mileage in a vehicle

      18d The answer is another word for a picture from a type of biscuit and what something would be if it were burning

        1. I like “concertate” – presumably that is to focus one’s attention on a musical performance?

            1. Done it again ‘ay’ this time – I need typing lessons

              Record 8th wicket partnership in all Test cricket by aforementioned Trott and Broad

        1. Yeah, I got the anagram indicator- and had head the word, but did not know what it measured

  8. Had to wait until mid-morning for paper delivery this week as in Ibiza. Like others, I thought 16d and 18d were the best clues but also appreciated 7d as a railways enthusiast.

    1. Yes I suppose it could be carty, factory is a ******** and a dance class could also be a dance ********

    2. you probably have it right, its a five letter word for factory followed by a 3 letter word for dance as in ‘highschool ***’ giving you a word for class

  9. That was an excellent Saturday puzzle and nice and quickly solved. Enjoyed the comments (and the hints as well BD although I didn’t need them).

    Thanks to Cephas and BD.

      1. Must have been on the right wave length for a change. Helped getting the two phrases fairly early on. My favourite clue was 12a – liked the construction of it.

        Sun is shining but I finished my book this morning before starting the puzzle so now have to do some housework – yuck.

  10. Thanks to our Saturday Setter for the puzzle and thanks to Crypticsue for the gnomethang’s law moment on 5a!.
    Most enjoyable and a bit trickier than sone Saturdays for me.

  11. Where are you all enjoying the sun? It’s horrible here on the Wirral! Too wet to go out and post my completed cryptic!

    1. Its our first proper sun in East Kent for days. Rain gauge had nearly 2″ in it when I emptied it after this week’s rain.

    2. First sun here in West Wales for weeks! Its not going to last though, showers forecast for a change!

  12. Well today I’ve learnt was a 5a is, what a 17d is, what 26d is, and another name for smelling salts. It’s always nice when you can work out what a word must be from the clue, and then call on Wikipedia to confirm your suspicions.

    27a had me puzzled for a while. I could see what the answer was from the journalistic reference, but it took a while for the light to go on as to why it also straightened things out. Once I had got that ironed out I was much happier. 9d down was the last to go in… the first two letters were obvious, and I only needed the 3rd and 5th to make the 3-letter song (which was another new word for me). Got there in the end… but phew! What a lot of hard work for such a small word!

    All in all, a most enjoyable crossword.

  13. Suffering from a bad cold and feel rotten! My brain obviously does too! Struggling today….even with all your excellent comments and hints!!! 1ac and 18 d might help me get going again. Any more clues? Please :)

    1. Hi Caro, sorry you feel so rotten, 1ac another 5 letter word for factory followed by a 3 letter word for dance, as in local ***. or school ***, together they give you a word meaning class
      18d is a word for biscuits 5 letters as in ginger ***** ,followed by the temp of something if it is burning, together give you a word for picture or photograph
      Hope that helps :)

  14. We finished but did not enjoy it much

    5a and 13a look like general knowledge clues to me.

    3d is too tenuous for me. 9d is just obscure.

    17d is the best

  15. Am totally perplexed by 13a,23a,and 9d! Have been for hours. Gone away and come back several times but no inspiration. Interupted by cricket, rugby league and rugby union from SA.

    1. 23a Contract could put ferryman out of business (7)
      It’s a word meaning to contract or shorten. If you split it as 1,6 it’s something that may make a ferry redundant.

    2. 13a Entered office uninvited (7)
      It’s a sort of cryptic definition of a verb meaning took over someone’s job without their agreement (often by force).

    3. 9d Insert fashionable song (5)
      The definition is insert (as a noun). It’s a charade of a 2-letter word meaning fashionable and a word for a song or narrative poem (Google Macaulay and “ancient Rome” if you’re still stuck).

  16. Didn’t do too bad today, had to read through the blog to get 9d and only understood it after reading Gazza’s explanation on Google.

    thanks for the video BD very funny

  17. After early birthday celebrations with the kiddies, I’ve just read it through; filled in a few, suspect a few more and had a good chuckle at 21d. Might get it done, might not, we’ll see.

    1. good luck Geoff I thought it was a little tougher than the last few Sat puzzles, hope your celebrations went well :)

  18. Finished it over breakfast. Some very straightforward and some not; some slightly odd, 13a! Good day yesterday, Mary, except for son #1, who spent 3.5 hours on the joyous M25 … Will look at today’s puzzle after church.

  19. If you’re only going to do one puzzle this week then let it be today’s (Sunday’s) which has a whole host of brilliant clues.

      1. Mary, it’s not the easiest but it’s really worth persevering with for all the “aha” moments.

        1. 2551, am finding it tough, still only done half!! have had a break from it and will start again :)

            1. Not an easy one today – I have all but one – just can’t think of 16d. Everything else was hard work but got them. Needed lots of aids today Mary so I am back in CC.

                    1. you need a two letter word meaning during, followed by 5 letter word for fight without the first and last letters, followed by a three letter word for snide remark or having a go at somebody

  20. Dave,apologies for this question,it may be because its Sunday morning,but can you please explain what you mean by ” a charade “. Thanks sorry for being a bit dim !!!!

  21. enjoyable and I have particularly enjoyed reading all the comments after I finished. I have to say that Big Dave’s clue for 1a would have confused me had I read it first as it would have led me to a “prom”. Actually I think that is a clever clue. I also like 10a although it is unusual to see a word in the clue and the answer I think. I was slow on 7d and 22d. I don’t agree that some of the clues are general knowledge rather than cryptic, but I think you have to work out the cryptic once you have got the answer! Did not like 9d. First part easy, but I don’t think song is a good description for the second part. 19a good but fooled me at first because I am more used to another contraction for a type of a “way”.

  22. Sunday is a real challenge. I can’t wait for the blog as I am away to a christening then a family reunion with kin from Canada. It’s going to be a long day.

    1. Nubian

      I persevated and got there in the end. As you will by above the last one I got was 16d.

    2. If I had read 19d properly, I would have finished this hours and hours ago. As it was I struggled with 18a and 22a until my husband said ‘are you sure the other letters are right?’ Very enjoyable apart from my inability to read!

  23. Hi Dave, just asking….. should we be putting all these comments on todays puzzle on yesterdays page, as we are, or on the comments page or is there a way of creating a new page for them for today……just asking? :)

  24. I’ve just returned to see if there was any activity and, to my surprise, I’ve found a YouTube video clip of Danny & The Juniors. I know that, as the years advance, I can become forgetful, Big Dave, but was that clip there yesterday? If it was, I’m in trouble,,,

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