DT 26421 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26421 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26421 (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.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post before asking questions about the site.

A full review of this puzzle will be published on Friday, 17th December.


1a    Where publicans may be bottled up? (6,4)
A cryptic definition of where publicans may be is a term for being bottled up in prison

18a    New US city a loner’s wandering round (7)
If you put New in front of this French city you get a US city – it’s an anagram (wandering round) of A LONER’S

They just don’t make them like this any more!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

25a    Married woman’s ill-will (6)
A charade of M(arried) and a woman’s name give a synonym for ill-will

28a    Go to bed, with painful disorder arising in the morning (7,3)
A charade of a phrasal verb meaning go to bed (4,2) and a painful disorder in which excess of uric acid in the blood is deposited as urates in the joints, with swelling especially of the big toe (4) gives arising in the morning


1d    Shoot nuisance besieging a city (8)
Put a shoot on a plant and a nuisance around (besieging) A to get a city formed in 1873 by the union of cities on the right and left banks of the River Danube

5d    Seems troubled three times during the course (8)
An anagram (troubled)of SEEMS followed by a prefix meaning three times gives an academic half-year course

17d    Stick with New Testament disciple (8)
A charade of a verb meaning to stick followed by the abbreviation of New Testament gives a disciple or follower

22d    Penny turning blue at old American Indian village (6)
Combine a P(enny), an anagram (turning) of BLUE and O(ld) to get an American Indian village

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!

144 comments on “DT 26421 (Hints)

  1. Hey this is a first for me! Yay!! Finished all bar one – 21d – just can’t get my head round it but LOVED the puzzle today. Any extra clues for 21d??

    1. 21d Caution about entering colony (6)

      Put a word meaning to caution around the two-letter abbreviation for about to get a colony of small mammals

    2. 21d, you need a four letter word for caution, with a two letter abbreviation for about inside i.e. ‘about entering’ to give you a word for colony, as Barrie says above think rabbits for the whole word!

      1. That was the last one that I got too. No need to add any more hints as I think that everyone has got there before me! Couldn’t get beyond thinking of ‘care’ for caution!!

  2. Excellent start to the weekend, just struggled with 4d then it all fell into place. Some clever clues today 18a, 25a 28a etc. probably far too easy for the experts but I enjoyed it! :-)

  3. Good morning Dave, have just finished, I thought I was going to need your hints but was able to manage without albeit with help from books, machines etc. I found this difficult to get into but once I actually go going it fell nicely into place, 5d I Haven’t heard that prefix for thee times befor, maybe I have something wrong! don’t quite understand 6a or 10a and didn’t think 13d was a term for ‘forecasting’ disaster, thanks for hints Dave will read it all through again to try and understand! Not a bad one for CC today but it does require perservation :)

  4. I take it all back. I’ve finished! Forgive me for wittering on but this is such a big deal for me. Was thinking I wasn’t making any improvement until now! Never mind that it’s a misty cold morning, I’m off out to lunch with a spring in my step :-)

      1. It certainly is Mary, it’s quite a buzz. I’m meeting 3 other women today for lunch. We’ve been meeting together for nearly 20 years, through many changes and events in our lives. I shall tell them about this although I’m not quite sure they’ll understand the pitch of excitement and 24a derived from it.

  5. Thanks for the hints Barrie and Big Dave, I appreciate it, but I actually managed to get the clue before they popped onto my screen. I am one happy bunny. Tee hee

  6. Done this morning, but do we not think the ‘at an angle’ part of 11a is pushing it a bit? Thanks to setter and BD.

      1. The Compliments of the Season to each and every one of you. I was totally happy with the construct of all the answers except this one but having, checked the Blessed Chambers, I find that the word does exist but I think it’s highly unlikely I’d ever use it in conversation…

      1. Hi Wayne you are looking for a word for very wet, take a five letter word for at an angle or an incline and pur the musical term for gentle or quiet inside

      1. as I see it this clue can be solved from the word play in a couple of ways but I cannot see where material caomes in at all!

        1. Mary, I assume material means any piece of fabric or card etc as cut out implies it in general terms. Cut out being the operative phrase.

            1. I´m sure it´s bad form to immediately answer my own point, and it was lazy of me not to look it up first, but anyway rep is a silk, wool, rayon, or cotton fabric with a transversely corded surface.

    1. 10a Ready with material cut out in advance (8)

      A word meaning ready is a verb meaning cut out material from, say, an apple with a prefix meaning in advance

      See also below!

      1. also 10a – letters 2,3,4, is a word for a type of corded material used in upholstery, this in the word for cut out gives us the same answer???

        1. Could we be completely on the wrong track here? could the definition be ‘in advance’, ready would be the verb to ready, the first 4 letters of the answer, followed by a material or fabric shortened, afraid I can’t think of the shortened material using those letters though??

          1. I have to say the clue looks obvious to me. The first three letters are ‘in advance’ and the last five describe ‘a piece of material that has been cut’. Put them together and you get a word meaning ‘ready’

  7. A good puzzle today with many enjoyable clues. The top right corner had me stumped for a while but other than that not to taxing.
    Snow is meltng and my bike is winking at me!..fire up the Ridgeback!.
    Thanks to Dave and Cephas

  8. We finished unaided

    27a. Was my favourite

    Using my iPhone I cannot access other comments which is a shame

    hope everyone liked it though I suspect too easy for some:)

    1. Peter, what’s the problem with viewing comments on an iPhone?. I use the WordPress mobile format (which it defaults to but you can select it) and the comments follow on from the post after the adverts.There is a link to click which expands them.
      All of this is irrelevant, of course, until you look at this comment from your PC!

    2. Glad it is not just me then. Something must have changed in the WordPress template that generates the iPhone view as it has suddenly started playing up and lots of the usual links don’t work.

      1. I upgraded the theme to Sandbox 1.6.2 earlier in the week, but was unaware of any change to the mobile app. I have asked, but only major upgrades are announced and there is no change log – bad IT policy.

        1. I have no problems accessing the blog using my Blackberry and since the upgrade it seems to be faster than before. :D

  9. All done over the umpteenth cup of coffee. Agree that it was probably too easy to please the experts but I enjoyed it – just the right standard for me this morning! Also agree that the five letter word meaning ‘at an angle’ in 11a could be pushing it a bit. Liked 14, 25 and 28a and 1, 4, and 22d. I had never heard of the last three letters of 5d meaning ‘three times’ but it had to be what it was. Off to do shopping for my Mum now – she’s FINALLY coming out of hospital tomorrow after breaking her leg in the middle of September! Who knows what the next few days are going to throw at us ….

      1. Thanks Mary – I think that we may well need it! She’s still quite wobbly on her pins – we’ll see! :smile:

  10. Having become an addicted follower of the Big Dave site in the last few months, delighted to say this morning was completed in best time (for me). Can’t tell you all how much your comments and hints both educate and amuse! Many thanks BD for putting together such a great forum and thanks to today’s setter – how on earth do you guess who they are?

    1. Welcome to the blog Zofbak

      All Saturday puzzles used to be by Cephas, but he told us a few weeks back that he would be appearing less often. It looks, at the moment, like every other week. Many setters have a style that can usually, but not always, be recognised. This one definitely looks like Cephas.

    2. Brilliant site isn’t it? I spend far too long reading it (lots of the regular readers would probably say that I spend far too long commenting too ….?)

  11. I started late again today and have hit a snag with 23a………I think all the surrounding answers are OK. I liked 14a,28a, 1d and 2d.
    A small push on 23a will be appreciated…thanks

  12. Before I start commenting on the very lovely Saturday puzzle, can I just say Harrumph to the person at the DT who thinks its clever to put an advertisement on the back of the paper. Its not, its very aggravating and today’s advert is worse than those phones, who has wealth to invest these days? Harrumph over. Sorry.

    I really enjoying solving this puzzle – didn’t take very long but quite a few clues made me smile. So thank you Cephas (presumably) and BD.

    I can heartily recommend the NTSPP, hints and tips for which will appear later this afternoon.

    1. and I meant to say, remember that material in 10a – it’s appeared quite a lot over the years and is bound to turn up again..

      1. This clue is still niggling at me Sue, if the definition is ‘ready’ then it could be an anagram of the two words needed i.e. synonyms for ‘material & cut’ – ‘out’ being the indicator, but either way now where does ‘in advance’ come in, it sounds as though you need to add an ‘a’??? so many confusing ways to look at this clue, maybe ‘the setter’ will put us straight?

        1. How about it having two definitions ‘ready’ and ‘in advance’, *** being the material and ***** being the cut. ‘out’ should then be ‘in’ because you put the material in the cut. Bet people are glad its not me doing the review! Perhaps the setter will elucidate later today. I

          Iam off to make a quick stir fry and then out for a walk in the lovely sun and relatively, compared with the last couple of weeks, ‘tropical’ temperature.

            1. Mary – lovely sunshine, blue sky, and no wind. temp approx 8 deg which is much better than all those minus 4’s and more we had last week.

              1. we have had blue skies and sunshine I must admit but it is dull and overcast today but as you say, much warmer

          1. For what it is worth I took it as Ready as one definition and the other 3, 5 as describing material that has been cut out in advance.

                  1. I suppose to pare a material is to trim it down, so——–yes, I give in, maybe, sort of! sorry to have caused trouble :)

  13. All done, with much relief after a complete disaster with last Saturday’s puzzle. Pleasant enough, with one I didn’t like, 11a. Like Kath, stuck on ‘care’ for caution in 21d for ages and putting the answer for 25a in 23a didn’t help much! Lots of help needed, one or two hints and needed the toys for 23a as could neither sea the relevance of main nor the word itself.

    Thanks to setter and BD.

  14. Think I’m done apart from 19d!. Assuming that I’ve got 18a, 24a,26a and 28a there don’t seem to be many words that fit in 19d – problem is that I can’t seem to get the clues ‘to fit’ in with the answer (or vice-versa!). Anyone able to enlighten me on 19d ?

    1. The usual one word abbreviation for ‘second’ followed by the highest mountain in the world (I think, and am sure that someone will tell me if I’m wrong!) whole word meaning most dangerous or harshest.

  15. Big Dave, your use of the Gary ‘U.S.’ Bonds track to illustrate 18a brought back some memories… In the late 60s, The Scorpions – a Crewe soul band who used the name before the German outfit – invariably opened with this song but used three saxes – two baritones and a tenor – and gave it a fuller sound. Those were the days…

  16. I’m afraid after some recently improved and challenging Saturday puzzles, normal service has resumed – DT 26,421 is the easiest puzzle of the week by miles. 28a was the best of a bad bunch in my view. 1a quite clever.

    The crossword was also again off the back page so this also irked me a tad.

    But at least I am avoiding Christmas shopping. BAH!

    A West Brom win today will help me cheer up.

  17. WOW! Never realised that! Honest. Wolves are our big rivals of course. I do prefer cricket though.

  18. Quite an enjoyable puzzle today, done in quick time with no ‘last clue blues’ at last. i was waiting for Mary’s tips but I wasn’t 10a for the above avalanche. Favs were 1a and 1d but also liked 4 14 19 21 26 and 28.

  19. Why have we been kicked off the back page again by some advert, I cannot tell you what for so it doesn’t work.
    Apart from that an enjoyable work out. I find it better to sit down with the puzzle and see it through rather than do it in bits the way I have done recently.
    What is Caravaggio talking about? Who or what is Gary Bonds!?
    Thanks to setter and the bloggers, great fun

      1. Slightly more than a 60s singer… I have a couple of his albums – namely Dedication and On the Line, highly recommended – as they feature Springsteen and the E Street Band.

  20. Off for a while back later to see if setter has been to explain 10a it’s still bugging me!
    LATERS :)

    1. Mary. Do you realise you have made 26 posts today, I think you should go for a lie down to prepare yourself for 5.30!!

      1. Your concern is touching UTC! but as I’ve just explained to Nubian at 5.30 I shall be tooting my flute in Church!! but thank you anyway :-D

  21. Mary, may I wish you well in the forthcoming confrontation which I hope will be played with quality and panache. I”l check my hubcaps later. Toon Army!

          1. Nubian, am I not right in thinking that Newcastle is a city?

            Why the “Toon Army?” Does “Toon = “Town” ?

            As I am a neutral, I just hope that the best team wins! (And the best team is Liverpool!)

            Hubcaps on the Ridgeback?

            1. It’s a Geordie thing Franco, football here is a religion, and if I am not mistaken even our capital city is often refered to as London Town.

  22. Back to 10a – when I first wrote it in it didn’t occur to me to think about it very much but there have been SO many comments that I’ve been looking at it all ways up. Could there be THREE ways of looking at it?
    1. Everyone agrees that the whole eight letter answer means ‘ready’
    2. The material is the second, third and fourth letters of the answer with the first letter and the last four letters meaning
    ‘cut’ and the ‘out ‘ bit meaning outside the material,
    3. Cut out in advance – the last five letters mean ‘cut out’ and the first three mean ‘in advance’ ie before
    Or is this just fogging the whole thing and making it all much more complicated than necessary? :grin:

    1. no I think we have looked at it this way too Kath, it is just all gettting mixed up now :) and I think that is a plausible solution too, we will just have to wait!

  23. Big Dave – don’t know if something has changed on the tech side, but just to let you know there seems to be a problem accessing the comments on the “mobile version” of your site.

      1. Apologies for the repetition – just couldn’t see the previous comments until I cranked up the PC! In the middle of enjoying today’s puzzle – thanks again for a fantastic site that has really helped my standard improve.

      2. Whatever the issue was, it seems to have been corrected. Mobile version on iPhone is now working correctly.

  24. Quite agree with Sue & others about the back page being sold to a bank for the day – still at least it’s not one we own !!

    Apart from that, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this weeks puzzle and amazingly got most of the answers by myself – but I did enjoy watching and listening to 18a’s hint – thanks BD !

    Just one problem remains can someone give me a clue for 3d please ? Then I’ll go away !!

      1. Thanks, BD – I’ll sleep now ! I could not for the life of me get it – Dooooh !!

        Finished and a lot happier than last week !

        Good Night

  25. Sorry Mary and Franco but 3-1.3-1.3-1.3-1.3-1.3-1.3-1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Toon,Toon,Black and White Army !!!

      1. Nubian, I meant to say “Thoroughly well deserved!

        I don’t know if it’s me, or the latest version of the “WordPress Sandbox theme” installedd by BD but Mozilla Firefox SpellChecker doesn’t seem to pick up my typos as well as it used to?

        BD, What is WordPress Sandbox ?

        1. How long have you got?

          In simple terms any WordPress blog consists of the underlying software together with a theme. The one I use is called Sandbox, a very basic theme which allows extensive customisation. Most of what you see is what I have added to the theme by means of CSS (Cascading Style Sheet).

  26. Finished off this morning and enjoyed this one. Can anyone enlighten me as to the references in 9a and 2d meaning “two” or “a couple” – its clearly a crossword land connection which I can’t figure out.

    1. Al,
      Both clues require you to put together two words. In 9a it’s two male names; in 2d it’s two ways of referring to a journalist.

  27. 2d I take to be ‘******’ comprising two words for journalist, namely a ‘****’ and an **(****).
    Similarly 9a I believe to be ‘******’ as in ‘he has a ****** tendency for…’, comprising two men’s names – **** and **.

    Any ideas for 11a?

    1. Hi Bob – welcome to the blog.
      I had to censor your comment – please read the sentence in red at the bottom of the review.

    2. 11a Gently at an angle outside, it is very wet (6)
      See Mary’s response to Wayne within comment #6 above.

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