DT 26343 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26343 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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Regular followers of the blog may have seen a comment from Brian Greer, the setter of the Sunday Telegraph Crossword, for a meet while he was in London.  This has now been arranged for 2.00pm on Sunday, 3rd October at the Bree Louise in Euston.  Fuller details will be published nearer the date.

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, 16th April.


1a    Sling mud at fellow taking morning afloat in river (6)
A word meaning to sling mud at, in the metaphorical sense, is derived by putting F(ellow) and the Latin abbreviation for before noon inside one of Crosswordland’s favourite rivers

10a    Follower had record that is about small place (8)
A follower of Jesus is built up from a record (not EP or LP, or even CD, this time!) followed by the Latin abbreviation for “that is” around a shortened form of PL(ace), as seen on many street maps

12a    Youth who is extremely distressed? (8)
This youth has shaved off his/her hair (dis-tressed)

22a    Slow-mover from wrong French river (8)
This slow-moving creature is a charade of a a wrongful act and a tributary of the River Seine

27a    Rod, go inside for Peg (6)
Take a rod that is used for roasting meat and put GO inside to get a peg used to close the opening of a tube or pipe


1d    Not saying anything to indicate pantomime (8)
A charade of “not saying anything” and “to indicate” gives another name for pantomime

2d    Uselessness following public service (8)
A word meaning uselessness comes from F(ollowing) and a public service, like gas or electricity

7d    Bird having a swim? (6)
This bird could be one that enters the water for a short swim

16d    With short front and back, perhaps, it’s oblique (8)
If the front and back are cut short, what happens to the rest?

21d    Tremor as sea engulfs swampy ground (6)
Some swampy ground is hidden inside the first three words

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!



  1. Rod Ash
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Good morning all
    I thought that today’s puzzle had several weak clues such as 7d and 19d, but also had several fair clues such as 1a, 6d and my favourite of today 18a.
    So OK for a wet morning.

    • mary
      Posted September 11, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Its strange but I never think the clues are weak if I can do them, :)

      • Franny
        Posted September 11, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        I’m with you there, Mary :-)

  2. Posted September 11, 2010 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Good morning to you too, Rod, and to future contributors. I liked this puzzle and particularly 22a because I fell into a trap of my own making. Having put in the answers for 13d and 21d – but not 19d – I assumed [wrongly] that the river was a four-letter English one and I then had a problem! All became clear eventually…

  3. nanaglugglug
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Good Morning to you all from a very sunny Tarragona. Only got stuck on 1d as have never heard of this definition. Otherwise some very nice clues!

    • mary
      Posted September 11, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Tarragona, my brother used to take his Spanish class there on a school trip every year, I went with them one year, beautiful :)

    • Spindrift
      Posted September 11, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      I worked it out but then got confirmation from Bradford’s. Tarragona or the East Midlands? Mmm…no contest methinks!

    • Nora
      Posted September 11, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      I’m not too far south of you in Valencia – beautiful autumn weather here too – hot days, and nights getting refreshingly cool at last.

      I didn’t find much to get excited about in today’s puzzle – I got through it at one sitting and didn’t really scratch my head over anything. No doubt tomorrow I’ll be back in the CC.

  4. Nubian
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Bonjour a tous, A quite enjoyable puzzle that was let down by one or two “well all right”s. 16d was a stretch if you’ll pardon the pun, it looked like it was the Setter’s last clue to go in and the only word that would fit and so took some explaining in the clue, of which I think He/She still has not got nailed it for me. 12a was the same, the clue was a bit thin on top,sorry
    Fav was 5d
    It’s just started raining in Newcastle and I was all ready to go for a bike ride, we have guests coming for the weekend and I have to be out of the house for at least an hour and a half. Something to do with tidying the place up which men apparently are incapable of doing or indeed understanding the finer points of such a process. Oh hang on I can see blue sky, Fire up the Ridgeback!

    Thanks to the Setter and Big Dave, do have a small tincture for me as I am on self enforced alcohol stoppage at the moment.

    • dinosaur pete
      Posted September 11, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know Nubian, I’m always happy to concede that others are vastly superior to me when it comes to “tidying the place up” !!
      Not sure if Ridgeback is the name of your trusty two wheeled steed or the four legged variety which accompanies you! Anyway have a good ride away from the domestics.
      But before you go (or when you get back) I’m completely stuck on my last clue – 23a – any help will be greatly appreciated.

      • mary
        Posted September 11, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        Hi Pete, 23a – you need a word for something that’s round and also means an are of speciality as in it’s not in my *****

        • dinosaur pete
          Posted September 11, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

          Thanks Mary, got that one but I must have something wrong with 15d cos it doesn’t work any more! …………

          After another trip into the electronic gizmo — BINGO !! Another method of absorbing and I’m done
          Have to say I enjoyed this weeks effort mainly because I’ve finished it on Saturday rather resorting to reading everyones hints for steadfast members of the CC on a Sunday !!

      • Nora
        Posted September 11, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        Come on now, chaps. You know very well that tidying isn’t difficult, it’s just boring – that’s why you pretend it’s beyond your capability!

        • dinosaur pete
          Posted September 11, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

          Depends on what you’re tidying – I’m as happy as a piggy tidying my shed and get ever so excited when I rediscover a bit of wood I’d lost ages ago. As for anywhere else, well enough said !!

          • Nubian
            Posted September 11, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

            Hi Pete I,m back from my bike ride(the ridgeback mxk). Just in time to see the furniture being replaced and I swear the place doesn’t look any different to me. Definately a woman thing. I arrived just in time to go out for some shopping at the local Sainsbury.
            I see Mary sorted you out with 23a. so enjoy the rest of your day.
            What a hectic day it has been !

            • dinosaur pete
              Posted September 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

              Quite agree and commisserations over the Sainsbury bit – I always volunteer to do that on my own – so much cheaper !!!! ………………….

              Just joking ladies – sorry

              • crypticsue
                Posted September 11, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

                double harrumph! (Speaking from the point of view of the only female in a house with 3 men.

                • mary
                  Posted September 11, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

                  with you Sue, only female in family full of men!! far too many harruphtions here today :)

  5. Spindrift
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Looked quite difficult on first reading but once I got into my stride the answers came quite easily. No particular favourites & some weak ones notably 19d. The weather can’t make its mind up so the laundry has been in & out like a dog at a fair! Mrs Spindrift is at work so the pegging out duties fall on me!
    Let’s have a crack at the NTSPP!

  6. toadson
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Did this a bit more quickly than usual – must be getting used to the ways of ‘Crosswordland’!

    Thought ‘shining more brightly’ was a bit thin in 14a.

    By the way, liked the Sean Connerty pun in Tuesday’s quickie (or is it verbotten to mention the smaller puzzle?)

    • Claire
      Posted September 12, 2010 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Me too Toadson! Just come to have a read of the comments – out & about all day yesterday & eventually finished at midnight. Not too bad but not one of the best Saturdays. 18a favourite & 3d. Happy Sunday everyone- will get down to todays after church.

      • Claire
        Posted September 12, 2010 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        Oh – and 13d. How I feel some days!!

        • toadson
          Posted September 12, 2010 at 9:39 am | Permalink

          Claire, re 13d – presumably you refer to the clue, not the answer!

  7. mary
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I thought it quite difficult today, some clues I really didn’t like, e.g. 16d, 13d 12a and a few more however did like 5d and 4a, I have to admit to having help from my brother today for 3 clues, don’t think I’d have finished otherwise!

    • mary
      Posted September 11, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Weather here sunny/cloudy today :)

  8. Posted September 11, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I must agree on the defintion at 14a – Surely there are better definitions that would have served. Otherwise a very nice puzzle – 13d made me laugh when I got it!.
    Thanks to Cephas and BD for the pointers.

  9. Franny
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Mary today and needed a bit of help to complete this. A good puzzle on the whole, though. I didn’t like 14a, but enjoyed 18a and 13d. Favourite was 28a. :-)

  10. peter
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    We liked this

    1a and 14a were weak I thought

  11. crypticsue
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    I took a little longer today to finish this, mainly I think because of 14a. Having scribbled on the paper my working out ‘why it is’ notes ready for typing the review, I confirmed my first thoughts that it was a nice enjoyable puzzle. Saturday Cryptics do seem to be upping the brain stretching lately, time was that no-one would have complained at 7d at all. Thanks Cephas and BD.

    • mary
      Posted September 11, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Hi Sue, no complaints on 7d from me :) You have invented another new word today
      ‘tohughts’ can’t quite figure the meaning out though?

      • crypticsue
        Posted September 11, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        Corrected. One week away from work and typing and I revert to my old ‘all the right letters, not necessarily in the right order’!

        • Spindrift
          Posted September 11, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

          Don’t get too puthered about it – a wonderful portmanteau of “put out” & bothered” invented by a friend of mine or so she claims.

        • oldflyer
          Posted September 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

          Hi all

          Thanks for a good puzzle today. I am a bit concerned aabout the picture BD has used for 12a as i am reasonably sure that is a girl ;-)

          I would really appreciate some guidance on 14a. I have an asnwer but i am not able to convince myself i have the right answer .

          • Posted September 11, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

            I thought everyone (especially Gazza) would prefer to see a picture of Natalie Portman!

          • Posted September 11, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

            14a Shining more brightly to expose etching (10)

            The first part (3) is to expose something about a person that they would rather keep to themselves. The rest is what an etcher is doing to the base material.

            • oldflyer
              Posted September 11, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

              ‘Thanks BD. I was very happy with th picture. thanks fo the hint i am now convinced i have it right..

  12. ChrisH
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Nothing too taxing here. 6d had me scratching my head for a while ’til the penny dropped. Agree about 14a, I would have thought ‘besting’ more appropriate than ‘shining more’, but on consideration I suppose they mean much the same thing.

    A glimmer of sun here in Lynmouth, and no toughie to cloud the horizon!

  13. Collywobbles
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    I do wish that the DT would stop putting adverts on the back page because I can’t get the creases in the right places

    • crypticsue
      Posted September 11, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Its maddening, isn’t it? Still its a different phone company this week so perhaps when they have run through the whole range, they will return the Saturday Cryptic to its proper place.

      • dinosaur pete
        Posted September 11, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        Here, Hear (never was too sure which “here” signifies agreement ! But it does sadden me that even the DT puts increasing profit above everything else.

        Let’s hope they return to normality soon – I really do object to being relocated – it’s as annoying as finding all the groceries have been moved in the supermarket !!

        • Digby
          Posted September 11, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Permalink


    • Beangrinder
      Posted September 11, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      I agree. Even as an iphone4 devotee I am finding this a pain two weeks in a row. The enjoyment of a well folded back page cannot be touched by any online equivalent. Is this an indication of the onset of middle age??

      Enjoyed today’s straightforward puzzle. Why is F an abbrev of following though? Think I asked this on a previous day’s blog. Thanks to setter and solver again.

      • Posted September 11, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        I’m sure you did, and the answer is the same “because it’s in Chambers”. Unfortunately Chambers does not explain the rationale. The ODE does usually explain the context in which abbreviations are used, but doesn’t list this one.

      • Posted September 11, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        I’ve just checked the Shorter Oxford and it says it means following page.

        • gazza
          Posted September 11, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

          I found the following examples of how f and ff are used in citations: A single f apparently means the quoted page number and the following one, whilst ff means that page plus any number of following ones.

          “Hornblower 258f. would refer to pages 258–259 while 258ff. would refer to an undetermined number of pages following page 258.”

          • mary
            Posted September 11, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

            ff is a letter of the alphabet in Wales :)

  14. Kath
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Just back from a couple of days in Dorset – have had to manage the crossword without the blog – found yesterday’s a touch on the tricky side – will read the hints for that one later on. I enjoyed today’s – favourite ones were 5 and 13d. Completely stuck on 17d – can’t even think of a word that will fit in with the letters I’ve already got – perhaps something is wrong! Any help would be gratefully appreciated!

    • Spindrift
      Posted September 11, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      17d – what are you using now as you read this….

      • Kath
        Posted September 11, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        Oh, of course – thank you, Spindrift. I, rather stupidly, put the wrong last two letters in 18a. I think that my mind was going back to 9a, assuming that it was going anywhere. All is clear now.

  15. ChrisM
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Hello from Putney! This is my first post though I’ve been lurking for a while getting a bit of help when required. I thought it was a good puzzle today, but I couldn’t work out where the third from last letter to 5d came from, or where ‘stalked by quiet’ fitted into things. Can anyone enlighten me?

    • gazza
      Posted September 11, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Hi ChrisM – welcome to the blog.
      5d Complaint of hen stalked by quiet fox losing its head (10)
      We want a medical complaint. It’s a synonym of hen followed (stalked) by the letter signifying soft or quiet in music and fox without its first letter (losing its head).

  16. ChrisM
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Ah. Quiet as in music. All clear now. Many thanks Gazza!

  17. Spindrift
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    On a note totally separate to this blog but in reference to today’s DT – exactly how many pieces of unsolicited junk mail did it contain? I seem to remember the DT going on a bit of a crusade on the subject of junk mail in the last 12 months or so…seems to be a case of glass houses & projectiles…

    • Digby
      Posted September 11, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Harumph !!

  18. Drcross
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    I thought it looked quite difficult initially but then there were some fab clues. I loved 5d and 13 d but thought 8d was weak. I also rather liked 24 a and 17d (which was the last one I got and made me think “of course”.

    • Posted September 11, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Does that mean you are Drhappy today!

      • Drcross
        Posted September 12, 2010 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

        If I win the prize I shall be!

  19. Little Dave
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Afternoon folks – as ever a lively read from you all. First impression today was that this was going to be quite taxing but once I slipped into first gear the bearings were greased and I quickly got into top gear. BUT! I did get the wrong last three letters for 18a which wrecked 17d. Realised my error, did a quick 3 point turn and was then back into the rhythm. A good puzzle from Cephas coupled with sunshine in Hertfordshire.

  20. ChrisW
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    I have been a lurker , using the blog for the Satuday crossword.I come from the same town as dinosaur pete. I have come in this eveing after going to see the Folk festival. Now I have finished the puzzle all bar 20 down. I have the 3 clues going across but I am still blank . Hints please

    • Posted September 11, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog ChrisW

      We have about 1,500 lurkers every day!

      20d Track round in wood (6)
      A track, maybe on a record, is built up from O (round) in a wood or copse

  21. ChrisW
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Got it . So easy when you seeit!! Many Thanks Chris

  22. Joey Joe Joe Jr.
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    1,500 Lurkers? Blimey that’s a lot of competition for those three pens. Thanks for the hints!

    • Posted September 11, 2010 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

      You don’t have to take my word for it!


      It’s estimated that about 10,000 entries are received for this puzzle.

      • Lea
        Posted September 12, 2010 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        Amazing – I never submit mine and now I know why – odds to high for me…..

        • toadson
          Posted September 12, 2010 at 9:44 am | Permalink

          And there I was haring down the road to catch the lunchtime post on Wednesday. I think I’ll be saving a bit on postage stamps in the future!

          • Posted September 13, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

            Keep trying – after about 30 years, and a small fortune in stamps, I won a consolation prize (notebook) about 6 months ago. If I ever win the pen I expect ink will have become obsolete!

  23. spencermay
    Posted September 12, 2010 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I am stumped over 23a, the rest I did in no time!

    • Prolixic
      Posted September 12, 2010 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      The answer is a double definition. Something that it round (and three-dimensional) shares a name with another word for a field of activity.

  24. Lea
    Posted September 12, 2010 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    I was out all day yesterday and although I printed it off I didn’t get it done until this morning. Can’t say I enjoyed it – a few nice clues but all in all left me feeling flat. Last to go in was 14a and didn’t like that one at all. Oh well – will give a look at today’s and am sure it will be better.

  25. Geoff
    Posted September 12, 2010 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Busy day yesterday and pretty fairly cream-crackered by the time I got home, so did this over breakfast. Enjoyable, with a few more ‘of course!’s. NO, I didn’ t like 14a either. 6d was one of the last to go in, as, for some rather worrying reason, I was convinced that ‘centre’ had 5 letters …

    Thanks to setter, BD et al.

  26. Dr. Spoons
    Posted September 13, 2010 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    Thanks, guys (& gals) – all done!

  27. Derek
    Posted September 13, 2010 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    A gentle crossword which I solved last evening – it is now Monday in NL.
    A lot of clues with play on the meanings of words.
    I thought 17d was the very best and I also liked 18a, 22a, 5d & 13d.