DT 26391 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26391 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26391 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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First, some news.  Tilsit had his operation on Wednesday and is currently recovering in the Huddersfied Royal Infirmary.  He is recovering well and I spoke to him last night.  He hopes to be back soon, but his online activities are hindered by poor cellphone reception in the hospital.

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, 11th November.


1a           Brave worker puts bitterness to one side (7)
A word meaning brave, in the style of the knights of old, is derived by putting one of Crosswordland’s ubiquitous workers after a synonym for bitterness

9a           This the camel found unbearable (4,5)
The one that broke the camel’s back!

10a         Circus worker not about to move energetically (5)
Drop “about” from an American circus worker to get a word meaning to move energetically – Elvis played one of these circus workers in an eponymous film

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

17a         Philip loses one animal or flower (5)
Drop the I (one) from the affectionate form of Philip and add an animal to get this oddly named flower

28a         Bird coming from wet tree? (7)
An informal word for a bird is an anagram, indicated by coming from, of WET TREE


1d           Giant barbarian contained rising trouble (7)
This biblical giant, the one that was slain by my namesake, is constructed by putting a barbarian from an ancient Germanic people around a word meaning trouble, reversed

6d           According to Peter, Frenchman’s gobbled up tropical fruit (9)
A word meaning according to is followed by the first Christian name of the apostle Peter, itself placed around the title accorded a Frenchman, equivalent to Mr in English, to get this tropical fruit

17d         Carriage transporting Stanhope that does not start (7)
A Stanhope is a light open one-seated carriage, first made for Fitzroy Stanhope – an anagram (transporting) of (S)TANHOPE without the first letter (does not start) gives an open four-wheeled carriage for one or two horses

24d         Wanting a drink (5)
A double definition – wanting as in deficient or lacking and a drink of spirits

The Saturday Crossword Club opens at 10.00am. Membership is free and open to all. Feel free to leave comments.

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

95 comments on “DT 26391 (Hints)

  1. 22a was a new word for me which I fancy I will never hear again. I don’t know, the whole puzzle seemed to annoy me for some reason I can’t put my finger on.
    I needed B Dave’s hint in the blhc so thanks for that and to the Setter.
    Beautiful day in Newcastle, off to a christening, let joy be unconfined.

  2. I enjoyed this one today, liked 17d and 20d, thanksforthe clues Dave, though I didn’t need them, my newspaper has the crossword number as 26391, you have it as 26385 ooops

  3. Lovely sunny day in Leeds too.
    Solved today’s whilst waiting sitting in the barbers. I liked 11a, 12a, 16a and 19d best.

  4. Would you believe its actually sunny here too! blue skies, the lot :) I found this hard work today and I’m blaming the antibiotics for making me a bit befuddled! I have finished it but with a sneaking suspicion that I might have 10a and 8d wrong, I don’t know what an american circus worker is called unfortunately, nor the film, never heard of 22a, fav clues 16a and 18a, good luck everyone :)

    1. Mary – hope you are feeling ok – antibiotics can really play havoc with all kinds of things. Weather here is gorgeous today – sunny and quite mild. Went to a sale of cashmere sweaters etc so haven’t started as yet. Going to download it now and get started.

  5. The usual Cephas mix – thanks to him and to Dave.
    Tilsit seems to be doing OK judging from posts on another site but Get Well Soon from here!.
    Off to Spain for a week of golf tomorrow – I’ll stick my head in occasionally!

    1. Enjoy yourself Gnomey – hope the weather is good for you and that the course is in good condition – should help your golf!!!

    2. Should make a change from playing in all that sand. ne’er mind, your bunker shots will be killers!

  6. First of all, I hope that Tilsit is soon discharged from hospital and I wish him a speedy recovery. I enjoyed this puzzle because I found it testing and I have one answer which I’m still not sure about so I’ll have to survey some of the subsequent posts as Big Dave’s not covered it above. It’s sunny in Cheshire too and Delamere Forest is a wonderful spectacle on days like today.

  7. Today’s must be easier than normal as I have finished it much more quickly than usual. Or maybe it’s been back in the warmth and sunshine of Barcelona after a few grey and chilly days in Whitley Bay (just down the road from you Nubian!). I think I remembered 22a from mediaeval history lessons. Thanks to BD and to Cephas.

    1. Ola ! Kate It’s a fantasic day here today, not a cloud in the sky and off to a family christening in an hour or so.

    2. I’m going from Valencia to Bamburgh next week, so I know just what you mean about the brain cells responding to the Spanish climate. I’ll have to look out some woollies.

  8. Al best wishes to Tilsit, he does seem to spend a lot of time in hospital, hope you recover quickly Tilsit :)

  9. I found top right hand corner very tough – I’m still not sure whether the answer I have to 12a is correct

    1. Hi Sheepdog for 12a, take ‘put’ out of particular and the answer is an anagram of the remaining letters for a type of coach, bet you were right anyway??

      1. i.e. take the letters p u t out indicated by Put ‘roughly’ out, the anagram indicator is refurbished, the definition is coach

        1. I sent an answer, but I am not sure if it arrived, my computer is hopeless (or perhaps it’s me)

          I did get the answer right – but I missed the indicator. Thanks very much.

    2. It’s nice to see Cephas using correct protocol to remove non-contiguous letters from the anagram fodder – other setters should take note.

  10. Tilsit

    Hope all goes well with your operation and with your recovery – we are all sending you positve thoughts to speed your journey.

  11. What I really like about coming to the blog at the end of the morning is that Mary has provided some splendid hints which I can then ‘pinch’ for the review. Once again another enjoyable Saturday crossword from Cephas – I did, however, comment to Mr CS that someone was bound to have a little moan and I wasn’t wrong. A nice mix of very good clues with no particular favourites. Thanks Cephas, BD and Mary.

    If you have finished this puzzle, I can highly recommend the NTSPP – hints and tips for which will appear later in the day.

    1. Will take your recommendation CS as I see it is a Prolixic puzzle and I enjoy his.

      The Cephas puzzle today was good – got stuck on 10a as kept trying to use the circus worker slang – carnie and decided to quite that and work the down ones first so it was obvious in the end. My other faux pas today was 15d where I put an o instead of an i to start with. Didn’t affect anything but meant clued up told me it was wrong.

      My favourite clue was 16a. Thanks for Cephas and thanks to BD for the hints.

  12. To continue the weather update news it’s sunny in Hertfordshire too! No rain after I got soaked launching fireworks last night!

    I found this a tricky puzzle last in being 10a.

    Good to get done and clearly not on Cephas’ wavelength today. Another bonfire party tonght. Lovely.

    1. Weather update from the Languedoc is that it started misty and cloudy and now the sun is shining brightly and it’s very warm.I think that I’ll paint a volet now that Mary has helped me to finish the Xword

      1. what is a volet, my sister-in-law lived in the Languedoc region until she moved to Callac a couple of years ago

  13. Very slow getting started – but very enjoyable in the end. Thanks to BD for full explanations of 10a, 17a + and to Mary for 12a.

    Still don’t understand the wordplay in 25a – which normally means I’ve got it wrong. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Franco, for 25a if you add ‘on’ to the end of your answer you get the name of a town, clue says not ‘on’

            1. Lea, are you a non UK solver? At this time of year I wish I wasn’t a UK Solver!

              Gnomethang is off to Spain for golf, Kate has returned to Barcelona, and I think there’s a Chris in Brisbane – Sunshine Coast! Lucky them!

              1. No – I’m a UK solver but days like today with the sun shining and it is mild out – I don’t mind. It’s when tomorrow hits and we are going to get cold weather (and probably wet) that I would like to be elsewhere.

        1. Gnomey, I keeeeeep telling you, I have no idea of what you’re talking about :) I have enough trouble understanding them myself!

  14. Best wishes to Tilsit for a speedy convalescence.
    I’d like to endorse Crypticsue’s recommendation for NTSPP-039. It’s really entertaining and not nearly as fearsome as you might think – why not give it a go?

    1. Spindrift for 11a you are looking for another word for ‘area’take the standard 2 letter abbreviation for ‘about’ ‘border’ this with the type of ‘jail’ you might keep an animal in, ie put this around your abbreviation with ‘a’ in front – ‘a’ jail

      13a – another way of saying he said i.e. change the second word put in the letter i and you get a word for ‘dithered’

      Hope this helps

    2. If you are not metrically minded, a piece of ground could be said to be this. Put the compiler’s two letter word for about – often seen in email subject replies – inside A and the sort of prison a budgie can be found in.

        1. I do try my best to keep my hints up to your very high standard :D Just waiting for my friend and her dog to come so that we can take advantage of today’s lovely sunshine and have a long walk. I think we are promised the same again tomorrow too.

      1. Eureka! Many thanks to both of you now let’s have a look at the NTSPP… don’t go away ladies I could be back!

  15. Still got 17a and the bottom right corner to go… I’m wondering now if I’ve made a mistake with 15d. I’ve already had to change it once to get 13a in. It’s one of those days!

    1. Mr Tub for 17a take the shortened 4 letter form of Phillip, though this isn’t indicated, remove the i on the end add a two letter beast of burden to give you a sweet smelling flower (not river)

      1. Re 17a: I think that Mary raises a very pertinent point in saying that the shortened form of Philip isn’t indicated anywhere in the clue. Foul, Ref!

    2. Mr Tub – 17a – see BD’s hints above – the definition is “flower” and the animal is “A bovine mammal”

      1. Did not like this clue. Agree shortened form not indicated! Had it been I would have thought of the other shortform for Philip. Bit of a double bluff really which was clever if intending to confuse as I usually think of a crossword flower as something which flows into the sea and not something which shoots up from the earth. Also to show my ignorance for many years when my neighbour used to refer to this particular flower I thought it was spelt quite differently like a type of wallpaper! I did like the seasonal clue 8d. An archaic expression when you think about it. Got 12a but until I saw posts above did not know why! Also liked 9a and 27a. Had not heard the name for a circus worker so that didn’t help me solve that clue. I agree with another poster that this was an irritating puzzle. That’s what I felt as it was ongoing as I lost the will to persist with it – but looking back I ssee it has its moments!

  16. Afternoon all,

    This took me just under two hours today – my worst time for a few weeks!
    Suffered 14d for a while.
    Looked at the last word of clue 17a incorrectly……I’m sure you all know what I mean.
    Did know 22a as a word but first time I’ve ever had to use it :)

    17d my favourite today.

  17. What a lovely puzzle – not a single clue to irritate me. It helps, of course, that here in Valencia it’s warm enough to need the parasol up.

    1. Now you are just making all us UK solvers jealous. We have sun and it’s mild but no one could say it is balmy!!!

      1. Sorry, but I’ll be in the UK next week – and it’s cold and windy here today, so serves me right for bragging on Saturday!

  18. Got it now! It was that 17d holding me up, serves me right for trying to guess the spelling instead of looking it up! After 22a the rest took care of themselves, so all done now. 5a and 18a were my favourites, thanks to the setter and Big Dave, happy hols gnomethang and get well soon tilsit.
    Now let’s see if I can finish that jigsaw puzzle as well…

      1. Why did the Australian Rugby League team turn up at the Millenium Stadium today? Great attacking rugby, but what happened to the scrum?

        1. Libellule, don’t know, Mate!

          With regard to Rugby League and Scrums – why do they still bother? No-one ever complain about a crooked “put-in” – might as well just give a free kick to the oppo.

  19. Really enjoyed this one today did it quite quickly after dinner many thanks to Cephas.

    Favourite is 22a, had to put my french head on as its an old French word with similar pronunciation to the English enjoyed the film trailer many thanks BD. :D

  20. Just finished. For some reason I had 4d as “torture” which held me up until I got it right. My favourite was 18a.

    I must go and retrieve the dog from the wardrobe where she is hiding from the fireworks.

  21. I enjoyed this one. Did it in chunks here and there around other aspects of the day and went off to a concert with a fair few gaps on the RH side. Now home (and fairly exhausted, accomp’d the guest soloist AND the choir, 2 x 40 mins almost non-stop playing!) and realisations dawned on me; gaps all happily filled.

    Thanks to Cephas for a lovely puzzle and to BD et al for hints and tips in the comments.

  22. 1. Best wishes to Tilsit – get well soon and always keep cheerful!

    2. I found this to be a very average puzzle – it didn’t send me at all.

    Nevertheless, I liked 16a, 28a (for the question mark), 4d, 6d, 8d & 15d.

  23. Average for me too.

    More disjointed answers than usual which was a bit annoying.

    Best wishes to Tilsit.

  24. Forgot to say on my last post I thought 4d was particularly clever – helps to be a lawyer though and I wondered how many people would have difficulty with it. 22a of course is also a legal term! Am happy with legal terms and french words – but perhaps not everybody agrees?

  25. Afternoon folks. All done by last night, though I’m still confused by the second half of 8d. Any way of explaining what lighting blue touchpaper has to do with nodding off?

    1. It’s a double definition.

      What you should have done after lighting the blue touch paper on a firework, if you follow the instructions, on the one hand and nodded off on the other

  26. Ah yes, I see it now (after looking up the instructions). Just as well I stayed in the last couple of nights!



  27. Sorry me again. Bit stuck in SE corner 19d, 22a and 23d and not convinced about 10a. A little clue might help please .Otherwise happy to have competed most of it. Thanks again for your help last week.

    1. 23d Animal’s down in the dumps right away (5)
      Start with an adjective meaning down in the dumps or sullen and remove the middle R (right away) to leave the North american name for a large deer.

    2. 19d New sketch of Ruby found by boat (7)
      The definition is new sketch. The capitalisation of ruby is an attempt to misdirect. What you want is a charade of the colour associated with ruby and a flat boat.

  28. Brilliant. SE corner now sorted although never heard of 22a. Have an answer for 10a but cant fit it to the clue. Circus worker?

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