DT 26361 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26361 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26361 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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Don’t forget that tomorrow Peter Biddlecombe and I will be meeting with Brian Greer in the Bree Louise, Euston.  Come along and join us from 2.00pm onwards.

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, 7th October


1a    Skip almost drunk by edge of river (6,4)
The kind of skip you find at a recycling centre is a charade of most of a word meaning drunk followed by the edge of a river

15a    Always nevertheless losing article, perhaps (8)
A word meaning always comes from taking THE from NEVER(THE)LESS and replacing each of the two words that are left with antonyms

26a    Feeling contrite, no end of destruction (4)
This looks as if you get a word meaning contrite by dropping the end of a synonym for destruction, but it’s actually the other way around!

29a    Damaging ocean winds during very cold weather (4,3,3)
An anagram (damaging) of OCEAN WINDS gives two things you might find in very cold weather


1d    Male animal that stops at the top? (4)
This male deer, goat, hare or rabbit is part of an expression that means the final responsibility stops here

11d    Amusing take-off? (5,7)
A cryptic definition of something you will find in The Beano

19d    Revived on court? (7)
A double definition – revived and made a series of to-and-fro strokes on a tennis court

25d    Swelling that’s irritating for viewer (4)
A barely cryptic definition of an inflamed swelling at the edge of the eyelid

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 or alternative clues in your comment, else they may be censored!

124 comments on “DT 26361 (Hints)

  1. I find this new limit on pressing submit only six times really annoying.
    OK I understand that constantly checking answers may be thought of as cheating, fair enough I suppose, but the really annoying thing is it is impossible to return to the puzzle.
    Losing the points is reasonable but to be denied access to a puzzle one’s paid a subscription to enjoy is rather unfair, as, if away from home traveling etc, one cannot always access a printer to produce a hard copy.
    I do the puzzle for pleasure, I’m sure lots of others do too, not competitively and this restriction really has taken the fun out of the day!
    J J James

    1. I would agree with that, JJ (and welcome). I didnt realise that it actually locked you out of the puzzle – that is plain daft!. Lose the bonus points and all that but at least let the person back in.

    2. I so agree!! I have emailed my opinion to them. They should at least have notified subscribers before doing this! I found it helpful to be able to check ideas especially with the Toughie which I am trying hard to do!

      1. I am very frustrated about it too! I have also emailed them with my opinion and agree we should have been notified in advance.

    3. Hear! Hear!
      I hope the Telegraph Crossword Editor reads this. Just because some people turn CluedUp into a childish competition, doesn’t mean it should be ruined for all of us.

      1. Meanwhile, also aimed at the editor are my thanks that, for those of us who stay with the paper version, we are re-promoted to our rightful place on the outside of the back page !

  2. It might be a Saturday morning thing but this one took me a bit longer to get into than normal. A typical Cephas puzzle with some nice clues (13a and 28a were there for me) and a couple of not very cryptic definitions to get you started. Thanks to Cephas and BD.

    1. Gnomey,
      I have to agree with you, strange as it may seem this took me longer than yesterday’s…

  3. …and if anyone envisages being at the Bree Louise earlier than 2pm that’s fine by me – a need to get back to the Manchester area for about 6.30pm means Moonstruckminx, my daughter, my mum(!!!!!) and I will be there from about noon; we need to catch a return train at 4:15 hence the slightly earlier start for us.

    1. Delighted to see that I won’t be the only ‘girl’ there tomorrow. I have to take birthday presents to son no 2 (in Clapham) but hope to be there at 2 ish.

  4. Good morning everyone – sun out, crossword back on back page and pen ready. Off we go!

  5. Enjoyed this morning’s.SW corner last to go in. 9a almost too easy when the penny dropped. Got 1a – nice answer but not entirely happy with the clue for the first word. Don’t quite get it. Last two in were the short ones 12a and 28a. Particularly liked 17d and 11d. Was on the wrong track completely with 11d thinking about Rory Bremner or Mike Yarwood. Quite a few clues that sent me on a wild goose chase but added to the satisfaction when got there!

  6. Stuck on 26a – if the answer means destruction (as in financial ….), what is the relevance of ‘feeling contrite no end’?

    1. 26a Feeling contrite, no end of destruction (4)
      As you say, the definition is destruction. Take a word meaning regretting or feeling contrite and remove the last letter (no end).

  7. Don’t quite understand 11d, surely to be a take-off the second word should be ***** but its 7 letters? With the first part being a name for a type of comedian or am I barking up the wrong tree?

  8. Morning all, I am going to go away to perservate for a while, I just can’t get my head around a few of these right now, I think it may be something to do with recovering from a slating I had on COW yesterday, wow, give me Simon Cowell any day!! seriously though harsh though it was, the criticism was fair and once, I recover, I daresay helpful :) Laters ,as the kids say!

  9. Would be interested to know if other members of CC are finding the Saturday crossword MUCH more difficult of late. Used to be a nice stroll of a Saturday morning but now it seems to be more of a slog!

    1. Hi Barrie, we have had a few lovely Saturday ones but this I am finding really difficult, have done abour 3/4 of it now, hoping hoovering might lubricate ny brain!

      1. Good luck with that, I will do mine later. The one that has me really stumped is 9a, just can’t see where the clue is going GRRR!

          1. Isn’t it always :-) Still can’t see any meaning at all, must be me being thicker than usual.

              1. Yes but I’m with Barried here I would have put the second word starting with M, how does the answer come to mean shade??

                    1. Ah that makes sense now, not impressed with the clue, far too obscure and not very clever IMHO

                    2. I thought that hiding a 10-letter word in a 25-letter clue was very clever. The answer is, by the way, a verb not a noun.

                      Chambers defines the associated noun (the one that ends -ing) as:

                      “shading by intersecting sets of parallel lines”

  10. Although I’ve finished the puzzle, I have found that it hasn’t been a stroll [to use Barrie’s expression] and, yes, I think over the last few weeks the puzzles have been getting more difficult. Mind you, I have had one ear on the Ryder Cup so perhaps I haven’t been giving either my undivided attention…

  11. I agree Barrie – I’m about two thirds in and think I need to go and persevate a little more as Mary says.

  12. Yes folks I agree. The Saturday solving difficulty has increased which is great news. Ryder Cup on the radio here.

  13. All done now apart from 6a and 28a two pesky little four-letterers where I just can’t seem to get any of the solutions to fit the clue. Thanks to BD and Cephas for a good Saturday morning workout.

    1. 28a Kath something you might add to a drink, a short, to dilute (weaken) it, reversed to give you a 4 letter word for fusses

          1. It might help to think of the Shakespeare comedy “Much *** About Nothing”, pluralise that word and then reverse it.

    1. I did have to resort to a couple of crossword websites for help Mary, so I can’t claim to be out of CC club today.

            1. I’m with you there, finished it but with little degree of satisfaction. Thought it was all a bit of a grind today!

    2. still stuck on 6a, 10a, 8d, 14d, 19d, 18a, 26a!!!!!!! shall perservate just a little longer, don’t really like this one today

      1. I can’t believe you’re stuck on 6a, Mary!
        6a Stunning card? (4)
        Which card suit might be used to stun?

      2. 14d Post-war conditions (5,5)
        This is a barely cryptic definition of the conditions under which the participants in a war may agree to stop fighting.

  14. I had to look up 18a in crossword help website as I couldn’t get it as it’s not a meaning I knew of for the solution. Think of crossword land’s abbreviation of church and add an anagram of “more” to get something that bathroom fittings are made out of! I am not sure why the word “Award” signals the first two letters of the solution, but I am probably being very dim!

    1. The first two letters of 18a are nothing to do with church but an award in the gift of the sovereign.

      1. Thanks Gazza, I realize that it’s nothing to do with a church but it was the only way I could describe the solution to Mary as I didn’t know the abbreviation you mention, but now I do, so thank you. Apologies if I have overstepped the rules of Big Dave by going “off message” with my posts!

    2. There’s an Aldous Huxley novel called “****** Yellow*, and that’s what I thought of. Never read it, though :-)

    1. Twenty minutes late, grumble, grumble … very nice black and cream 1930’s Austin Six parked outside though

      Down to the last two, both 4-letters, but don’t care much if I don’t get them; haven’t enjoyed this one.

      Thanks to BD and several others for the hints, really needed them.

  15. I found some of the clues a bit corny today, overall I enjoyed the puzzle but am recovering after a heavy night at a charity race night outing and could do with a 21d.
    Death where is thy sting ?

  16. I enjoyed today’s puzzle – thanks Cephas.
    Favourite is 9a. one of the best hidden words I’ve seen for a while and with nice surface reading too.
    Agree that Saturday offerings seem to be getting a little harder of late but this one is surely doable. Hadn’t come across 20a before, only its opposite.

  17. Right, now look, I can’t get 28a despite Marys’ hint. I know it’s easy but I can’t get it. When I get it I’ve finished. So, can somebody please help?

    1. 28a Fusses about what might weaken the spirit (4)
      A word meaning fusses is reversed (about) to make what you may use to weaken your whisky.

    2. IThe answer is something you add to a drink particularly a short ,to make it weaker, dilute it, I think I explained it to Kath the wrong way round, so I probably confused you, sorry, when you reverse a four letter word for ‘fusses’ you will get it, hopefully :)

  18. Thank you Gazza, I can always rely on you and it’s so simple I feel stupid. I must have less of that ‘falling over water’ on Saturday

  19. Thanks for the help Kath and everyone, I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to finish this today without help, I really didn’t like 15a or 20a, last night on the COW competition I was told that using Little Stuart i.e. Stu was too obvious but is it any more obvious than Little Vincent, I do get confused over things such as this? Good luck all CCers a hard one today I thought :)

  20. Thanks for blog and hints Dave, I needed them and more today! Hope you all have a good time tomorrow :)

  21. I seem to be going against the flow today but I didn’t take that long to solve the puzzle and quite enjoyed the process. Some clever clues, including 9a which is a splendid hidden word, and if you are a paper solver it needed more looking at because it goes over two lines. I didn’t know you could be 13a but I suppose if you can be in********, the opposite must apply. Too many ‘favourites’ to list.

    Can I just say a big Hooray and thank you to the DT for getting rid of those hideous phone adverts and returning us to our rightful place.

    1. Agree Sue, so no Harumphs today! Couldn’t see where all the hints for 26a were leading, till I worked out that the second half of 14d wasn’t “talks”. A good, all-round Saturday puzzle, IMHO

    2. I find that this type of clue often goes over two lines – I thought it was a deliberate strategy to make it less obvious

  22. I really enjoyed todays offering unlike yesterday…maybe my mood is better! Took me a while to do, but the struggle was worth it. I loved 1d and 22d… once i’d got them! Somehow 3d was the first to get.. can’t remember why!! :)

  23. I did this without too much trouble and was then completely stymied by about six words. One of them was 1a, so thanks muchly for the hint, BD. Now I’m almost finished except for 26a which I simply cannot get. Would someone please put me out of my misery?

    1. I got stuck on this as I had the wrong answer to the second word in 14d. You should have **** ? Think of a synonym for wreck, which with a G at the end means regretting. If that’s too helpful I’m sure BD will mediate (or is it meditate, Mary?)

      1. He has meditated and mediated!

        The problems with allowing A*B*C* are manyfold:

        You are giving away letters from the intersecting clues

        Many will give incorrect letters, confusing the issue

        This site could end up looking like a certain well-known answer site where anoraks race each other to give answers which they often don’t understand themselves

        1. Having read all this about the other crossword sites, I appreciate why you and Gazza were so quick to point out that I shouldn’t have given a different clue to the solution of 18d in my reply to Mary. I will try and be more careful in the future and consign myself to the CC corner for the next few crosswords. But I can promise that I hadn’t looked at any of the sites, cited in your post. Thanks for all your help BD

      2. Thank you, Digby. I did indeed have the wrong second word at 14d, but now all has worked itself out and I can get on with my life :-)

      3. Sorry Digby, I’m not very helpful today, if I’m not careful I could become an anorak!! :-D

      1. Thanks for that BD, got the answer but was confused by the hint :-) Thanks for all your help

  24. Quite difficult today – last to go in was 14d and I can’t remember my favourite….now was it 3d maybe?

  25. Again I did not enjoy this.

    I still cannot work out 26a or 5d

    I don’t see how the answer to 4d fits the clue.


    1. 4d, is another word for nail, followed by a make of car. Definition northern city (Yorkshire)

      1. Had no idea this town dear to me could be thus defined…. better than P..ILAND as I was told years ago… Weird synonym for nail though… Makes me see Pitt differently too I must say!…. I mean being called “Pit” was bad enough ;-(

    2. 26a – as a number of other people have commented, is simply a word meaning to feel remorse or repentance with the last letter removed (no end). Definition in this case – destruction.

  26. Not much to say about this one. After doing battle with both Friday puzzles, this was a leisurely solve over a pint at my local in SW19.
    Thanks to Cephas and to BD.

  27. Some lively chat today folks – good to see lots of the usual contributors signing in. Mrs Little Daves birthday so will be busy tomorrow!!

  28. A bit late posting today. Must say I didn’t find this tricky. Completed it whilst she-who-must-be-obeyed was on the phone. Mind you, that leaves plenty of scope.
    Maybe my biorhythms are all on a triple high or some such malarkey. 4 starts from me.

  29. Hello. I have visited the blog many times but this is my first post. Oddly enough, I’m stuck on two clues that haven’t been mentioned – 23a and 22d. The fact they haven’t been mentioned probably means they are quite simple but a hint would be welcome.

    1. Welcome mikef
      23a Spanish cry in ecstasy for freedom from bigotry (9)
      The definition is freedom from bigotry. Put a Spanish cry (equivalent to bravo!) inside a mystical semi-conscious state (ecstasy).

    2. 22d Reported how patients wait for doctor (6)
      It’s a recently-qualified doctor and it sounds like (reported) how patients wait (2,4).

  30. I know it’s late but is anyone there to help me with 17d?? I just don’t get it at all and it’s my last one apart from 14d second word..I mean the only word i can think about is a derogatory one for some women…. :-(

    1. I’m still up — just, so here goes. The first half of 17d is another word for teams, as in taking *****, the second part is a performance or display, and the whole is something one might like to see at a fun fair. The second part of 14d is the same word as the divisions of a school year.
      Hope that helps :-)

      1. I’ll let this one go, but “the same word as the divisions of a school year” comes under what I describe as an alternative clue – you might as well give the answer.

  31. 17d Another word for teams followed by an anagram(moved) of ‘who’ meaning a secondary entertainment.

    1. Silly me! I have it now!!! I’m so grateful for your clear explanation!!! Thanks indeed!! ;-) So glad I’ve managed to finish the grid today!!

  32. Oh dear all these lovely hints and I can’t get my crossword back to to life to enjoy it. I hope the powers that be take note of all the earlier comments and see sense—apart from Saturday and Sunday one can cheat with impunity using this site and get max bonus points every day anyway—-but why would you.
    Looking forward to tomorrows challenge and will avoid that cheeky “submit ” button until desperate.
    Bon soir folks

    1. Don’t forget the aim of the blog is to SHARE the FUN…. and not to help win the competition or whatever!….
      I’m really grateful such a blog exists and hope it will keep that way… I don’t often have the time to do a full grid and read the comments, but whenever I do, it’s a real pleasure, especially as there’s a real friendly respect between the bloggers … Bravo et Merci à vous tous!

  33. A pretty straightforward puzzle this Saturday!
    I started it, as usual, in the evening and made some progress but put it down to watch the longer coverage on BBC2 of the Ryder Cup. Then finished it after midnight over here.

    Best for me were 9a, 18a, 23a & 11d.

  34. I don’t get the reference to ‘lightweight’ in 13a. I have the answer but can’t see why.

    1. Hi Peter – welcome to the blog.
      Lightweight needs an abbreviation for a unit of weight for precious stones.

  35. Big Dave is getting very mean with his hints (only 8 this weekend), but fortunately his regular and reliable contributors came to the rescue as there were some tricky clues in XWord 26,361, e.g., 9a, 26a, 28a,14d and 19d.
    Most difficult cc in months only finished after watching an enjoyable ‘Sunday Supplement’ programme – whilst awaiting the resumption of the rained delayed Ryder Cup where the score board is predominately blue for a change !

    My daughter lives in Camden Town but I’m not familiar with the ‘Bree Louise’ pub in Euston, which is the rendezvous this afternoon between the competing beer swilling journalists and cc aficionados presumably to decide who is the greatest compiler of them all !!
    Terence Harvey

  36. Hi all,
    I had an enjoyable struggle with this one.
    26a last one to go in – not helped by the fact I initially thought it began with ‘M.’

    Liked 1a best.

    Have a great afternoon those going to Euston. :)

  37. Enjoyed sitting in the sun on a bench waiting for a train at Exeter St Davids station yesterday and managed to nearly complete this in good time however I was foxed by 22d which with the help here enabled me to finally sort out 27a. Certainly a bit tougher than recently. I thought that 11d was the best clue.

  38. Funnily,I found this one tougher than Gioanni’s yesterday but completed it eventually.Pity we dont have cryptic xwords forums here in Kenya,I really envy you Brits.

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