DT 26432 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26432 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26432

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Rufus told us on Monday that the Christmas Eve puzzle would be by him, and he’s given us a cracker with a seasonal theme and plenty of pies. I look forward to your comments on it.
May I take this opportunity to wish everyone in our extended blogging family (setters, co-bloggers, commenters and lurkers) a Very Happy Christmas.

Much to my surprise (which you will be aware of if you saw the hints earlier) this is a prize puzzle. I’m providing a few hints here and a full review will appear on or after the final date. Please feel free to comment but please don’t reveal any answers or part-answers otherwise the blue pencil may be activated.

Across Clues

1a  He is, or could be, the provider of Christmas stockings (6)
Someone who provides stockings, but not just at Christmas is an anagram (could be) of HE IS OR.

17a  Hasty cards I’m sending out in time for this (9,3)
It’s a bit late to be posting cards now if you expect them to arrive by this time!

30a  Mince-pie man? (8)
Lovely cryptic definition of someone who has given his name to a pie containing minced meat.

31a  Ecstatic when surrounded with Christmas paper, say (6)
An adjective meaning ecstatic sounds like (say) a description of a parcel under the tree.

Down Clues

1d  Cigars he ordered — an archbishop’s entitlement (3,5)
The manner in which you would refer to an archbishop is an anagram (ordered) of CIGARS HE.

11d  The dream that involved a man at a party (3,3,6)
An anagram (involved) of THE DREAM THAT produces a fictional character at a tea party.

21d  Nursery ones are busy at this time (6)
Cryptic definition of where would-be skiers learn how to fall over gracefully.

27d  Check on the deer for Santa? (4)
A verb meaning to check can also be put in front of (on, in a down clue) deer to make Donner and Blitzen, etc.

I very much liked 20a, 2d and 27d, but my favourite clue today is 30a. Let us know what took your fancy in a comment.

Since it’s Christmas I’m going to indulge myself with the best Christmas song ever [IMHO, you are of course free to disagree!]:

ARVE Error: need id and provider

78 comments on “DT 26432 (Hints)

  1. Thanks to Rufus for a lovely stroll through a puzzle of this busy day when I suspect few of us will have much time to do crossword puzzles :-)
    I hope you all have a lovely and peaceful holiday no matter what your God and my sincere thanks to all those who have helped me struggle through some perplexing puzzles this year esp BD, Crypticsueand all the others who take the time to put together this fabulous Blog.

  2. A very savoury filling to this pie-based puzzle. Many Thanks to Rufus and gazza. Merry Christmas to you both.
    7d was favourite for me. (Love the Brolly Dolly!)

  3. I’m surprised that the answers have been revealed! The paper version has this as a Prize Crossword!

    1. Gazza, Looking forward to reading the full review (again)! I agree with your choice of best Christmas song! Thanks for all your entertaining and very instructive reviews!

  4. I won’t get time to look at this until evening. Off to Benidorm this afternoon for a couple of days of being a lager lout!
    Have a great Christmas everyone – I’ll see you all again on Tuesday.

  5. A lovely themed puzzle for Christmas Eve, thank you and happy Christmas to Rufus. (Too many good clues to pick a favourite) Seasons Greetings to Gazza too – thank you for your help and encouragement which has helped me no end while I get to grips with the mysteries of crossword reviewing.

    Many people this morning will look at the Toughie and thnk ‘Friday Toughie and an Elgar’ can’t do that. My response to them is do give it a go. Its achievable apart from two words for which you will need the letters of the alphabet and Chambers!

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all bloggers, posters and lurkers.

  6. Agree with the above comment by Franco.
    Never mind quite enjoyed the work out after clearing another 15cms of snow from my drive. When will it all end.
    Best wishes to all, setters, hint providers, bloggers etc, for Christmas and I look forward to seeing you all again on Monday!
    Particular thanks again to todays setter and to Gazza who”s hints and tips are always so much fun.

  7. Entertaining and enjoyable puzzle from Rufus, loved 30a and 7d. Merry Christmas Rufus and many thanks for a feast of great puzzles this year. Thanks Gazza for another great review and even great picture clue at 18d. Seasons Greetings to all.

  8. Enjoying this very much! Thanks, Rufus.

    Have printed out the Toughie and will have a look at it over the w/end.

    Does anyone know what happens tomorrow for crosswords?

    Have a lovely Christmas everyone.

    1. Tomorrow there are puzzles on the Telegraph Puzzles website. I have signed up for the week’s free trial which means that you can access them. You have to pay for a month but you can cancel at the end of the week’s trial if you want. I will do so because I much prefer solving in a newspaper.

  9. Cracking end to the Week.
    Best wishes to everyone.
    So cold last night THe brilliant Sunshine this morning makes it look as if the Snowfieds around our village are covered with Sparkling Diamonds.! Amazing !

  10. Gazza,
    Joyeux Noel from all thr Francophiles and many thanks for your support throughout the year

  11. Hi Gazza, managed this without the hints, thank you Rufus for a lovely Christmas Eve crossword that didn’t take up too much time :) Merry Christmas everyone, especially BD, Gazza, Libelulle, C Sue, Tilsit, Gnomey and Prolixic and anyone I may have left out, also all my blog ‘friends’ hope Santa is kind to you all :) and thank you to all the setters too especially Rufus, who ‘got me out’ of the CC! (have I ever said……. I love Rufus puzzles!)

  12. I am a lurker, but love the site. Always complete the crossword first and then see what others thought. Happy Christmas everyone. I’ve looked at today’s Toughie, may finish it by 2012!

    1. Hi I’m looking at the toughie whilst listening to Gazza’s favourite Christmas song, which I rate highly as well and have concluded that 2012 to finish is far to ambitious

  13. A very nice Christmas Eve puzzle which I managed to finish with only a bit of electronic help. Hard to find a favourite clue as there were so many good ones, but I think I’d go for 10 and 30a.

    A very Happy Christmas to all my blogger friends, to the setters even those whose wavelength I’m still aiming at, and to the invaluable analysts and explainers. Thank you all for brightening up my year so much. :-)

    Here is another Christmas treat you might not yet have seen.

    1. Franny

      Something strange seems to have happened to the posting of videos in comments since the last software upgrade. I’ll write to WordPress after Christmas.

      1. Sepp Blatter’s Fall from Grace!

        Nothing to do with the Crossword, just trying to post my favourite YouTube video of the year!

  14. Nice, easy to digest, festive fare. Excellent!

    (The Toughie is also great today)

    Festive greetings to all.


  15. An easier one but maybe no bad thing on Christmas Eve. I found the SW corner the hardest. Favourite clues are 10a, 29a and 16d and 1a is an excellent anagram.

  16. Like some I was surprised (but pleased) to see this was a prize puzzle – I thought the paper yesterday said you would have to access it on-line only? Anyway, found it very rewarding in between peeling sprouts and listening to my sons practice their instruments – a noisy household here!

    Thanks to the Setter and for BD et al. I have really enjoyed the comments by many over the past year or so and will see you all in 2011.

    Happy Christmas!

    1. fav clues 6d, 7d, 30a, 16d I didn’t help myself by putting 23a in the other way round, how do you know which way its supposed to go??

      1. You can do what I did and wait for the checking letters! Although really you are told that his name returns for Christmas, so its clear that the name is what you need.

      2. If you replace “he” in the clue by the right answer it makes sense. If you replace it with the wrong answer it doesn’t work.

      3. Mary, 23a – very good question. I can very rarely explain which way round they should go (unlike the experts). But, today, more by luck than judgement, I got it right!

      4. I’m one of the ‘lurkers’. Have only started doing cryptic crosswords this year, and this site has been invaluable in showing me the way: thank you all. I was pleased to be able to do almost all of this crossword without help, but 23a has me completely foxed, despite clues above. I have the checking letters, but still can’t see the answer.

        1. Welcome to the blog Irish girl

          23a He returns for Christmas (4)
          It’s simply a boy’s name that, when reversed, gives another name for Christmas, used in a lot of carols.

          1. Of course! Thank you very much. Did think of the name, but could see no reason for it. But once it’s explained, it’s obvious.

            Good result this afternoon (for I think we support the same team). Hope to go to the New Year’s Day fixture, so will have to try the crossword in the morning

            1. Hi Irish Girl, I’ve been doing cryptics for 18 months or so now and through this blog and all the friendly people on it have got on better than I would ever have thought, don’t just lurk, join us we need more female company we are vastly outnumbered by the men, nice though they may be :)

    1. Welcome to the blog Ronald0

      As this is a prize puzzle your comment has been censored. Please don’t publish answers until after the closing date.

  17. My last entry before our guests start arriving! Last in was 19d for me first in was 31a. Always start bottom right hand corner I say.

    Festive greetings to one and all. Us cruciverbablists need to stick together!

  18. I’m a bit of a lurker too like BoltonBabs but my crossword solving has improved enormously since I started using this site so I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all those in contribute in every way and I hope you all enjoy a happy and peaceful Christmas. I’m now going to be really brave and have a go at the toughie as OH is cooking tonight!

  19. Lovely festive crossword which I managed to sit down to at about the same time as the 9 lessons and carols on radio 4. All prep done so really feels like Christmas now. Thanks to all the setters, writers of hints and bloggers who have helped me to enjoy cryptic crosswords (and even improve, although I will still need the hints for quite a while) since I was introduced to them back in April. Wishing you all a happy and peaceful festive season.

  20. As I’ve been out all afternoon and am having difficulty with the SW corner, I see that I am too late to get the hints that were up earlier!!!!!

    I shall have to work a bit harder now! Perhaps having had a luxury mince-pie, my brain might feel re-energised!

        1. Welcome to the blog John

          15a Song of the tree around the end of Christmas (5)
          To get this song, many of which are in the Bible, put a tree associated with the Holy land around the last letter of Christmas

          16a Santa’s less saintly form (5)
          An anagram (form) of SANTA gives a far from saintly being – the construct uses a bit of licence!

  21. Just finished this whilst cooking dinner as I have been working all day and thoroughly enjoyed it favourite 29a.

    A Merry Christmas and Happy new year to all who contribute to this blog as you have all helped me understand answers when I couldn’t initially see why and I have improved greatly during the short time I have been reading it. Also to all the setters without whom we wouldn’t have the enjoyment we have. :D

  22. Did not pick up my paper untill this afternoon. Loved the festive theme. Did not need a 20a to crack the puzzle today.
    Thanks to the site for helping through the year. Happy Christmas to all

  23. I only realised this evening that this was a prize crossword, so sat down with a glass of red wine and really enjoyed thisone. 30a was my final word and Big Dave has confirmed above my logic. Plenty to praise 1a, 10a 20a,23a,29a 2d,5d,7d and 16d
    My favourite was probably 20a.
    Merry Christmas to Dave, the setters and fellow solvers.

  24. After a week off puzzles due to excessive crem duty thanks to the snow, I had a go at this one and can I finish it ?? Got well over halfway and maybe I can get there over the weekend, otherwise I’ll be asking for hints!

  25. OK I’m going to need help here.

    Any clues for 7d, 8d, 18d, 19d, 22d ?

    If I get those I might finish.

    About half done so far.


    1. 22d Part of Christmas dinner, with greens?
      This is both part of a meal and where you may find greens for putting.

    2. 7d One all set for a musical party (4-2)
      What a lady may get set in a salon is a charade of a 1960s musical and a party.

        1. 8d Skidded when we got in the sleigh (8)
          The definition is skidded. Put WE inside another word for sleigh.

          1. Thank you. I have finished now.

            For a puzzle I havbe finished, this included a lot clues I would never have solved alone.

            Those were:


            I liked 16d

  26. 19d Councillor raised thanks to child – Tiny Tim (8)
    The surname of Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol is the abbreviation for councillor, followed by an informal way of saying thanks reversed (raised) and a 4-letter word meaning child.

  27. Took another look at it after yet another stunningly cold church visit and the rest of it fell into place quite nicely. Most enjoyable, thanks to Rufus and Gazza.

    Hope you all have a very good day!

    1. Welcome to the blog Hinton

      20a Proverbially oversized nutcracker? (12)
      It’s a reference to the saying “using a 20a to crack a nut”!

    2. 20a Proverbially oversized nutcracker? (12)

      The answer refers to a proverbial saying. If you were to use an excessive solution or force to a small problem (in this case the cracking of a nut) you would use this.

  28. I attacked this one from Rufus on Boxing Day (Tweede Kerstdag) at my daughters while they were out skating on the Braasemermeer.
    Got 90% of it out with no references to dictionaries nor electronic aids of any kind whatsoever then had to abandon it to go out for an afternoon trip round the snowcovered platte land of Holland with the family when they came home for me..
    Only missing items are down in the SE corner.

    I am sending this comment from my grandson’s laptop!
    Back to my home tomorrow!

  29. Thanks to everyone for their comments and all the help and fun over the past year. Don’t post very often as I usually don’t get round to the crosswords until evening by which time all interesting and pertinent points have generally been made!! ;-) Only just got round to doing the Christmas crosswords after a few days wall to wall family! Still struggling with the top LH corner of this one but will plough on with the rest – lazy day today.
    Hope you all had a great Christmas and thanks for the treat Franny – Wonderful!!

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