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DT 26403 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26403 (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, 25th November.


1a    Former PM in the Commons perhaps lying in the past (11)
This former Prime Minister, famous for holding a piece of paper, is a charade of a division of the Houses of Parliament (Commons perhaps) and the past participle of to lie, as in to rest

16a         Source of oysters, holiday’s food supply (10)
Cephas used this town in Kent last year (“
3d Firmly established after Pentecost in Kent (10)” – DT 25906) – it’s a charade of a holiday seven Sundays after Easter, the ‘S and a supply of food (or where it might be served)

26a    Giving affection, being very close (4-2-5)
A phrase meaning on very intimate terms or in close co-operation


1d    Padre rejects a former film star (7)
Drop an A (rejects A) from a padre to get a former star of silent films

ARVE Error: need id and provider

4d           What goes with rock drummer’s piece (4)
THere’s only one word that goes with rock – and it’s not chips!

Here’s a small hint – what type of music is this?

ARVE Error: need id and provider

12d         What BP does is of no interest to teenager (4-6)
An activity that BP,and other oil companies, carry out is also an expression that might be used by a teenager to describe something uninteresting

20d         What provides exercise to perform around a lake? (6)
Clue of the day? This semi-all-in-one builds a small boat, that could be used on a lake, from Physical Exercise followed by a verb meaning to perform around A L(ake)

23d    Still one mythical creature (4)
You shouldn’t need my help to combine a synonym for still with I (one) to get this large hairy creature, said to live in the highest part of the Himalayas

I have to go out for a while to get a flu jab – more hints when I get back.

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!

small pedalpropelled boat used (esp on lakes) for pleasure

141 comments on “DT 26403 (Hints)

  1. I enjoyed this crossword. Great fun and some smiles along the way. Many thanks to Cephas for the entertainment and to BD for the notes. Favourite clue was 12d.

  2. I also enjoyed this one so thanks Cephas and also BD for the hints (not needed today).
    Favs 3d, 12d and 14a (which legged me up for a long while as I hadn’t twigged the 4,6 construction and thought it was all one word) – Doh!!!!!

  3. I think I used more luck than judgement today, especially in the bottom right hand corner. Have I heard 12d before? 22a was probably my favourite. Thanks to the setter, and I hope the Dr was kind BD! Enjoy the weekend everyone, I’ve got a mulled win jelly in the fridge which should make for an interesting evening…

  4. A very good puzzle today compared to yesterday when I failed to finish and got booted out of cluedup, not that it bugged me, Mrs N keeps telling me to let it go. She thought 7d was a bit contrived..
    For my part, I enjoyed the whole thing and it has perked me up for the rest of the day.
    Miserable outside so I think hibernation may be on the cards.
    Thanks to Big Dave and Cephas.
    Today’s hand grenade into topics for discussion, should we have put the clocks back ? I say no and I’m only fifty miles from the Scottish border.

    1. In answer to your hand grenade I think that we should have put the clocks back. Perhaps it depends on whether you are a morning or evening person. Speaking as someone who always hates waking up I would never manage to get up at a reasonable hour if it was still dark at 9.00am – the time it gets dark in the evenings makes less difference, to me anyway.

  5. Lovely crossword today, thoroughly enjoyed & feeling pleased with ourselves. However – please can someone explain how we get to 2a – think I have it but….. Favourite clue today was 12d. Many thanks to Cephas and BD. Grey day here too but hoping to see my new(ish) grandson – 8 weeks now, how time flies!

    1. Think of a drink for which everything stops, and then a facial feature said to be lacking by the upper classes.

  6. Lovely puzzle and mostly straightforward. Got stuck on 16a and 21a, the latter being new to me, although add an ‘ise’ and we organists have to do it all the time! Didn’t understand 20d, so glad of the hints.

    Thanks to Cephas and BD, had my flu jab yesterday with no side-effects as yet.

    1. had mine 3 weeks ago, the combi one, no noticeable side effects :) Not done this puzzle yet! Had to go out this a.m.

      1. 21a was new to me too. I’m not going to have a flu jab – have never had one before so why start now?

        1. I hate to say it Kath but as we are getting a little (only a little mind) our immune systems may not be quite what they used to be :)

  7. After suggesting last week that I thought that the standard of the Saturday puzzle was deteriorating, I’ve been made to eat my words – I loved this puzzle. Respect to Cephas for 12d, innit? I’m still amused by that…

  8. An enjoyable crossword, 12d and 3d are amusing clues. I thought BD might have used 4d as an excuse for one of his favourite music clips! And wouldn’t have got 20d without the hint. (Well not before Sunday eve anyway). Am now held up on 7d and 10a – can anybody put me out of my misery? Is 10a to do with ‘hair loss’?

    1. 7d is an anagram of atom (unorthodox) followed by the name of a well known living scientist meaning axing.
      10a is another word for beer plus an ‘N’ surrounded by a four letter word for play around (…. around) whole word meaning masculinity.

        1. Spot on! Might get my lads to load that album onto a disc for me. Thanks to all for an entertaining start to the day.

        2. Brilliant !! That’s what I call music – my father said it was a bl**dy awful noise – how times change !!

          As for the puzzle, thanks for the invaluable hints BD but I think it’ll be Sunday p.m. before I finish – if then !

    2. I didn’t know 7d could be a verb. Thanks for explaining 10a, Kath, I wondered why but didn’t come up with the construct.

  9. I don’t know whether it was starting this straight after returning from starting the Christmas present buying ordeal, but I did struggle to get going on this one today. Having finished however, I did enjoy it. My favourite clue so far (this may change when I have written the review ) is 12d. Thanks to Cephas for the post shopping brain testing and to BD for the hints.

  10. I really enjoyed some of the clues but found it quite difficult, still haven’t got 21a! Favourites, 13a, 14a 22a 7d 3d and 12d. Clever stuff!

    1. Hi Brendam 21a is a strange word for Ad-lib, this word needs most of a word meaning to get better i.e. without the last letter, sorry can’t explain it any better

    2. Saturdays were becoming slightly mundane until I opened the paper today. A real challenge & most enjoyable. Favourite clue? 7d without a doubt.

    3. Brendam
      Sorry I didn’t mean to post my comment as a reply to you. 21a – think of a show that Paul Merton used to star in on C4 (I think)

  11. I really enjoyed the puzzle today but found it harder than usual for a Saturday – having said that I seem to have written exactly those words for several weeks now – am I losing my grip or have they been more difficult lately? 1a had to be what it was but I didn’t understand why until I read the hint. 10a took me a long time, as did 16a, and 7d. Favourites today are 14 and 26a and 7 and 12d. Generally rather cold, grey and not nice in Oxford today – ought to go and rake up some leaves but ….. ! Thanks to Cephas and BD.

  12. I agree Caravaggio, last weeks’ was dreadful but this is much improved even though I’m still b attling with it.

  13. Thanks to BD and Cephas, managed to finish this week with no help from hints . I enjoyed 14a as my favourite clue. I can now get on and enjoy the rest of the day. Light the log fire and keep warm seems like a good idea!!

  14. It must be me this week, this wasn’t a particularly easy one for me and I needed the hint to 1a, 10a is not a word I like, I put buck at first for 13a as in to rear up!! also put hand to mouth for 26a, as in blowing a kiss!! soon saw the error of my ways although I liked both answers! forgot 16a although once I looked at the hint I remembered we’d had it before, thanks Dave for hints and Cephas for puzzle :)

    1. Until I got 23d (I always start with the across clues) I had ‘hand on heart’ for 26a although I couldn’t quite see why …

  15. Just the spotted top of pg 4, doing the sudoku: there’s a voucher in tomorrow’s ST for free Tie Rack cufflinks worth a tenner … have you finished your christmas shopping yet ??

        1. ok then, no I haven’t started it yet, I’m determined not to panic this year! we have so many new shops etc in the new part of town that there must be plenty to go round!!

    1. Mary, from my days in London, I recall that rock is a type of fish sold in chip shops in the south-east.

  16. On a non- crossword topic if anyone is a “cat person” (I already know that lots of us are “dog people”) have a look at something on You Tube that one of our daughters has just emailed me about – it’s called “Cat vs Printer – the translation”. I loved it!

      1. Thanks for putting it on here BD – my daughter actually sent me a link but don’t know how to ‘transport’ that to here.

        1. This is the code I inserted:


          You get the bit between v= and &w from Youtube itself

            1. Franco

              You can, but you often pick up a load of unwanted YouTube parameters, and the w= and h= parameters keep the embed to a reasonable size.

  17. I thought this was a thouroughly excellent puzzle – The most fun on a Saturday for ages.
    9d and 12d were favourites. Thanks to BD and to Cephas.

  18. A really excellent puzzle today. Lots of nice clues. The only clue that I needed help for – (12d) – ends up being my favourite .
    Thanks to BD and to Cephas.

    1. Forget I spoke! No sooner had I pressed ‘post comment’ the answer came to me in a flash!

  19. Oh I so enjoyed today’s puzzle. I started off panicking and thinking I really couldn’t do it, but was thrilled when I finally finished bar one clue. A real sense of satisfaction – and some laughter along the way – loved12d. But I’m still stuck on 7a – please can someone put me out of my misery?

    1. 7a After drink feature long discussion (5-2)

      Start with a drink served in a cup and then add a facial feature to get a long discussion consisting of a succession of speeches by well-informed persons holding different views on a matter of general importance

    2. Hi Crystal, think of Britains favourite 3 letter drink, follow by a feature of the face Bruce Forsythe has a long one to give you a term for ‘long discussion’ personally I had never heard of this!

    1. don’t know though 2 – 1 now

      Never thought you would reveal your true identity on COW Dave, though I have had my suspicions for a while! :) Well done, I think any entry I might make this week will be with trepadition! at least I think that’s what I mean !

      1. 2-2 now! Hope that Monsieur Winger actually saw why it was a penalty!

        Another goal for Spurs and “Old Scroat” will be happy.

          1. How many DIY COW wins does it take before BD graduates to compiling a whole NTSPP like Gazza’s excellent crossword today.

            1. CS, Thanks for the info about Gazza setting today’s NTSPP. I always find Gazza’s reviews very amusing and informative. Looking forward to attempting his (debut?) puzzle later today or tomorrow.

  20. Enjoyed most of this puzzle apart from 21, which is not a word, and 12, where I did not like the surface reading. I originally put —-sunday in for 16 [memories of Queensland!] Favs were 3 [by a mile] 14 16 and 20.

  21. Enjoyed the crossword today – especially 3d, 12d … and thought it was more of an interesting challenge than some of the recent Saturday puzzles.

    Just posting my frustration that 13ac is my name… and was the last clue I got.

    Heh heh.

    Thanks to Cephas and Big Dave.

        1. People usually seem to lurk for a while – it took me weeks of reading the hints and all the comments before I summoned up the courage to actually say anything!

  22. BTW, weather here a bit odd today! After a v. cold morning it’s now warm, sunny and raining! Hell of a good rainbow though!
    Still struggling with Gazza’s NTSPP, I think his mind works on a higher level than mine!

  23. Evening folks. Odd crossword methinks and a few flakey clues. Can anyone explain 18a please? 10a very awkward/clumsy clue; 26a weakish; and 7d very odd.

    12d the best by far – made me smile.

    18a still confounds me and an explanation would be appreciated please.

    Still, on a positive note I did finish the Christmas shopping so am feeling very smug. Time for a nice white wine.

    1. I think that I agree with you about 18a – other than that it is a common abbreviation of Charles I’m not quite sure where the rest of the clue fits in – had forgotten about that one when writing various other comments or I would have asked the same question. Let’s hope that someone who DOES understand it is still out there ..

      1. Presumably its the initial of Charles + a vague synonym for tolerates, unless someone has a brighter idea.

        1. It’s C (Charlie in the Nato alphabet) + synonym for tolerates or allows (e.g. “I won’t have it”).

          1. Thanks Gazza – I had wondered about the C and Nato alphabet but I think the last bit is a touch on the dodgy side.

  24. Very enjoyable puzzle – a lot of good clues.

    Best for me was 7d – I did like 20d – but I have only used them on the sea!

  25. I really enjoyed this one. Favourite 14a. I assume I have got 18a right (diminutive form of Charles) but do not get the link to “tolerates”???

  26. I liked this puzzle, although it took me ages to get the NW corner started (and I’m still missing 10a and 3d – I’m hoping they will mysteriously occur to me once I look at them again tomorrow morning). Favourite clues have to be 12d and 16a.

      1. Literally translates as “a little place of forgetting” – a perfect description for the little bit of snatched time I spend doing the DT cryptic crossword rather than getting on with everything else I really should be doing.

  27. Some of the clues today were fun but others seemed a bit odd-, esp 18 across – you could say that the 2nd half after c means tolerates but its a bit weak for my liking.

  28. Best Saturday crossword for ages. First run through got 3 only but finished without hints or other aids – except I did check 21a with Chambers. Only complaints too many proper names and 18a. 18a is either weak or I have the wrong answer. Get the first letter, get the alternative name for Charlie, but do not know where tolerates comes in (even after looking at other posts!) Not quick to solve but did in one go. Best clues for me in numerical order across and down – 14a, 22a, 26a, 3d, 6d, 12d, 19d, 20d.

  29. Amazed that so many liked this crossword!!
    7a is dire, not a proper phrase surely?
    21a, not a word.
    Can you really make this noun into a verb??? (7d)
    16a, for goodness sake!!! there are some proper words that would fit in there without resorting to that!
    its starting to look like the new rules of scrabble.

    Come on, shape up!!!

  30. Not guilty. After just over 200 consecutive weeks Cephas is having a week off. Who is the mystery compiler?

  31. Hello folks – we’ve been lurking for a while too! We have finished the crossword and have the answer for 22a but can’t quite make it fit the clue. Help please!

    1. Welcome to the blog KateandRob

      22a Keep quiet about sign — time to provide impetus (8)
      The sign is in in positions 2-5, T(ime) in 6 and the rest is to keep quiet – the definition is impetus

    2. Hi U 2, the answer comes by putting a word for sign i.e. **** plus t for time inside a word for keep quiet i.e. *** which provides you with ******** :)

  32. Without a shadow of a doubt, the worst Saturday crossword for me by far. After 2 days I have managed to solve 1 clue!! Just awful :-(

  33. Not really, I have been doing the day befores crossword during breaks and getting on well, just can’t seem to make head nor tails of this one at all. Filming is nearly over for me, last day tomorrow (I hope!), it has been exhausting with some 14 and 16 days recently trying to catch up. May be some voice-overs still to be done, who knows, not the poor bloody actors thats for certain!

  34. Sorry thats 14 and 16 hour days. Ah well Captain America next then a rest I hope until the New Year.

  35. Have to agree Barrie – finally sat down to do it this afternoon. Got it done but sorry to say I really didn’t get the usual “buz” from it. Some very obscure words – always throws me off the trail – 7d, 7a, 3d and 16a I wouldn’t have got without BD

  36. A footnote concerning Saturday’s Quickie. Is it coincidence that 25a and 26a appear to follow the principle of the first few across clues being linked, or has a new trend developed? Probably not, as 24 & 25a today, Monday, don’t work.

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