DT 26409 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26409 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26409 (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 December.


1a    Obtained directly from leading worker (5-4)
A word meaning obtained from the original source is a charade of synonyms for leading and worker

12a         Disagreeing about one point whilst trying to be amusing (9)
Put a word meaning disagreeing or quarrelsome around a compass point to get an adjective meaning humorous in a flippant or inappropriate way

16a         Current uprising (7)
A slightly cryptic definition of an ascending current of warm air, used by birds and gliders to gain height

29a    Rubbish, it produces opium, mate (9)
A word meaning rubbish is a charade of the flower from which opium is obtained and a colloquialism for mate, or as Chambers puts it “British informal – a friendly form of address among men”


1d    Viral infection following repeatedly will get you down (5)
A charade of a viral infection and an abbreviation for following gives a description of down, as in feather

4d           Sherry lover (7)
A dark, sweet sherry and a ladies’ man – perhaps one who likes Sherry!

20d         Worst place to park during break for repairs (3,4)
A charade of the worst place in the world, according to John McEnroe, TO and P(ark) gives a break for repairs during a motor race

27d    Modest woman’s figure? (3)
This figure is hidden inside the first two words

The Saturday Crossword Club is now open. 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!

94 comments on “DT 26409 (Hints)

  1. Easy one today after a pretty testing week. Favourite was 1d – very clever. Also liked 29. Can’t wait for Mary’s hints today as I have to go out.

  2. Good morning Dave, a lovely crossword today, lots of clues I liked, still needed all my books and machines though, but not looked at hints, Is it today that we (Liverpool) play You (Spurs) if so what time is kick off?? :)

  3. Up here in the Artic of Newcastle I managed to drag myself out of bed and don lots of layers to uncover the car, I knew it was there somewhere, then warmed myself up with this edifying puzzle which was a treat.
    Thanks Dave and the Setter, will it be Jay ?

    1. Hi Nubian sounds like the white stuff hit you too, I had to go find the car yesterday, so far it hasn’t snowed anymore, fingers crossed! I think weekends it’s either Cephas or Vergilus not sure which day

  4. After some challenging cryptics this week I found this quite easy. 18a was my favourite however I found 1d & 10a a tad iffy (in my opinion of course).

  5. Another excellent puzzle following yesterdays brilliant one. I am almost prepared to put up with the odd Ray T if it means more like yesterday and today :-) My congratulations to the setter.

    1. How can you not love Ray T puzzles – the high spot of the week for me, although I have to confess that I didn’t enjoy his on Thursday this week as much as usual, but I think that was probably me …

  6. I’m really enjoying todays’ Xword and I havn’t used the hints yet but they seem more frugal than usual!

  7. I enjoyed this too because the compiler cleverly backed me into a corner – the upper left. Having discovered the answer to Id – I thought this was ingenious – and assuming the answer to 10a was untie, I was left scratching my head as to why rat – also involved in preparations – was an agent… So now you know where I’ve been for the best part of the morning!

  8. Very enjoyable Saturday crossword. My only struggle was with 1d but I soon sorted that out. Hard to pick a favourite from all the lovely clues. Thanks to Cephas (if you are back on duty this week?) and BD too. No snow here yet in Kent – it was minus 4 at 9.30 this morning but has warmed up since. Even have the odd burst of sun too.

  9. I really liked this one today. Some clever clues, one or two I have seen before, but that did not detract from my enjoyment.
    Many thanks to Cephas, if it is he, and to BD.

      1. Not yet Lea. Due today but no sign of anything happening. We are just off to our son’s school Christmas Fair. I will let you know as and when there is any news :)

        1. Oh yes – please do – how exciting. Do you know whether your son is going to have a brother or sister or have you chosen to remain in the dark?

          1. We have no idea Kath. We asked our son what he thought we were having and he said a dinosaur! :)
            Still no sign of movement today (perhaps it has decided it is too cold to enter the world).

  10. Nice crossword today. I liked 11a, and I also thought 10a was on the ‘iffy’ side. But what is 22d?? Any clues?

    1. Toadson, I haven’t inked it in yet either, but I think it’s the name of the French proprietor in ‘ello ‘ello

        1. Thanks to you both – I initially had in mind that the last two letters should be three to mean ‘born’ (i.e. with an extra E).

          1. Yes I thought that too toadson,I think, because that is how we see it in English, eg on a form when they ask for maiden name etc. but used here it is the masculine form in French

          2. toadson, ‘Allo ‘Allo!

            The French feminine form of “born” is “**e”, the masculine is “**”.

  11. An enjoyable puzzle today. I was lazy and grabbed a couple of letters from Clued Up as I am recovering from a Leaving do last night.
    Thanks to Cephas (I am reasonably sure it is he) and BD

  12. Nie Saturdayb puzzloe. Fouled myself up for ages on 15a as had the wrong ending dfoer 4d. Lesson – don’t make assumptions!!

    Thanks to setter – Cephas – and to BD for hints.

    A dusting of snow at 9:00 but clear skies and clear ground by 9:30.

  13. Very nice puzzle. The right hand side went in fairly easily, with a the left side a little less easily. Lots of good, enjoyable clues, with a couple I just didn’t understand, but Mary enlightened me. Last two in were 15a and 22d, faves would half to include 4d, 7d and 29a.

    Thanks to Cephas, BD and Mary.

  14. Favourtite was 29a – not convinced about 28a – can anyone assure me it is to do with a ladder or am I wrong?

    Very cold in Hertfordshire – heavy frost. Would rather be in Brisbane.

    Advice on 28a would be appreciated please.

    1. nothing to do with a ladder little Dave, it is class as in position in the services perhaps and also row as mentioned by toadson above, it is a double definition

    1. Will you be there next week? I had to edit my review last week as I had typed it before you posted to say it wasn’t you!

      1. Thanks, I’ve done the ones which are the subjects of hints or discussion above, and will attempt some more.

        I’ll come back for the really tough ones.

    1. Quite agree Peter and ……………………….. MARY –
      yes, what are the answers !!!
      We’ve a fine sprinkling of snow on the hills around Swanage but none in the valley – jolly cold though and I have to go out and find, then seal, where something is getting into our garden at night and waking the dog (hence us) at 3.00 a.m. Might explain why I’m struggling today !

        1. most of them – don’t worry Mary, that’s my normal state ! Now I’ve found the hole (and hopefully sealed it) where a badger (I think) was disturbing the peace I’ll get back to concentrating on the puzzle.

        2. One hour later and Bingo ! All done and dusted. Thanks Mary for the offer but these things just have to meander around in my mind and all of a sudden the light dawns ……………………………… Trouble is the meandering can go on forever !

          Hope the Flute goes well – what are you playing?

  15. Finished again this week with no help from the hints. The only one I was not sure of was 22d. I had the answer , now I know the reasoning.Favourite clue was 17d. Regards to Dinosaur Pete, we must be sharing the same view. It may be the South coast but it is still very cold.
    Has anyone else noticed that the last day for entry is now shown as Friday, and the review is still done on the Thursday?

    1. You’d have to be very keen to read the review on a Thursday afternoon, fill in the ones you hadn’t already got, rush to a postbox and rely on Royal Mail’s first class service to get the envelope to the Telegraph in the first post on the Friday morning – and your chances of winning the pen after all that would be extremely remote.

    1. Hi Peter, glad to see I’m not the only one still ploughing on !
      15a could be described as a part amateur so he/she is a …./… If that’s any help
      15d is a word used to describe imposing spectacles i.e. processions.
      Sorry not practised in giving clues, I usually read them, but just finished and saw your question – hope they’re some help.

  16. 15a “Sportsman on half-pay”. You need another word for half plus a brief description of a sportsman who is not an amateur.

    15d “Odds on Leonard with sullen brilliance.” You need an abbreviation for odds used in horse racing + a diminuative name for Leonard + a word meaning sullen to give an answer that means brilliance.

  17. BD Being aware of your predilection for music of yesteryear, I was most disappointed that you did not take the opportunity to include a clip of that marvellous record that went to No 1 in December 1982 by todays 22d and yesterday’s toughie 24a [sic].

  18. Thoroughly enjoyed todays CW, many thanks Cephas & BD, got stuck on 10a, am I right in thinking it also means to take off the price label from something ie; a new jumper. :D

  19. VERY late commenting today – frozen brain, impacted wisdom tooth causing trouble AGAIN, ancient Mum causing more trouble yet again and visitors for weekend. Somehow have found time to do crossword – it really is my bit of escape time – I love it! All visitors now gone to bed, clearing up done, husband and I about to sit by fire for a few minutes then to bed. A dusting of snow last night but nothing more in Oxford although it is now -3.5C – who knows what will happen overnight? Too tired to comment on any of today’s clues apart from 29a which I just loved – it was one of my wonderful father’s favourite expressions whenever he thought that anyone (usually me or my sister) was talking a load of rubbish! Sleep well all and stay warm and safe. Thanks to today’s setter and Big Dave. Maybe I will be the last one to comment today ….

        1. I bow to your superior knowledge. Maybe on Thursday you will let me know who was who and who did what. Reminds me of an old limerick!

              1. You’ve got the gist – but it’s difficult to explain without mentioning the base word itself. The closing date having passed you comment will not be edited!

    1. Welcome to the blog David

      26a Whole drink taken to health centre (5)
      A word meaning whole is a charade of a small drink of spirits followed by the middle (centre) two letters of heALth

      24d Alien had many a coin from Albania (5)
      This alien is an enemy of Dr Who – a charade of a large Roman numeral (many) with A and the Albanian currency

  20. Nice puzzle I got 10 a from the definition part but I can’t quite work out the cryptic indicator…..un= a presumably in French but how does the next part work?

    1. As you say 10a starts with “a” in French. What follows is just “woman”, i.e. a woman’s name for which there’s no further wordplay – you just have to get it from the definition (release) and the checking letters.

      1. Many thanks Gazza – it makes sense now- I was reading it in the wrong way and trying to think of a word for a Parisian woman!

  21. Yes, I enjoyed this one too. It was an early start on the 6.10am from Leeds to Kings Cross yesterday and was down to 2 left by Grantham after reading the paper first. Finished this morning thanks to clearer brain. I liked 1d, 7d and 20d best.

  22. Having a serious senior moment here. Stuck on 23a and then its off to the post box and await my prize pen. Got most of the letters so missing something. Dinners on the table so got to go. Small clue please.

  23. Ta now wasn’t that obvious. Good news after the roast. Now for the afternoon sleep.Best Saturday crossword for weeks.

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