DT 26444 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26444 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26444 (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 after the closing date for submissions.


1a    World Cup-winning footballer fades (6)
The name of one of a trio of West Ham players who were in the 1966 World Cup-winning footballer side also means fades – and it’s not Bobby Moore or Geoff Hurst

12a    Composer ignores a Green artist (2,5)
Drop the A (ignores a) from a composer and then follow it with a prefix used for protection of the environment (green) to get this artist

17a    Old Mayor in revelling helped enjoy folk song (1’2,3,4,4)
Put the first name of the former Mayor of London inside an anagram (revelling) of HELPED ENJOY to get a famous folk song about a huntsman whose “View, Halloo!” could awaken the dead

27a    Lousy racehorse left in care of old man (6)
A moderate horse entered for a minor race is derived by putting L(eft) inside the Latin for father


1d    Having this, belt’s tight in fat person — not half (3-5)
Put an anagram (tight) of BELT inside the second half of a word meaning having a round, plump appearance to get what may be a feature of said person

9d    Comparison in adverts making crazy offer and rebate (6,3,5)
A comparison used in adverts showing the results of using a product is an anagram (crazy) of OFFER AND REBATE

19d    Two separate articles penned by Bloom — rising author (7)
Insert two indefinite articles inside (penned by) a flower which is reversed (rising) to get this Trinidadian author of Indian descent, known for his novels set in developing countries

22d    Stick the workforce (5)
The puzzle ends with a relatively straightforward double definition

The Crossword Club is now open!  Feel free to leave comments.

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

108 comments on “DT 26444 (Hints)

  1. A very enjoyable puzzle with some reasonably difficult clues. Favourites were 14a and 17a. Is that really Ms Jolie in days gone by? Blimey!. Thanks to BD and the setter.

  2. Wonderful puzzle with a bit more of a challenge. Many thanks to our Saturday setter. Almost too many good clues to select a favourite but 13a just pips some of the others to the top. Thanks too to BD for the hints.

  3. Interesting puzzle today, more difficult than most Saturdays. Stuck only on the top right corner. Don’t really understand 4a but then what I know about porcelain could be written on a pinhead :-) and as for 25a, I can’t even make a word from the 3 letters I have got from the down clues!!!

    1. Hi Barrie 4a – a type of porcelain – first four letters of answer – goads or cheers on, second four letters, would be an unpleasant place to be at the end of out earthly time!
      25a, you need a three letter word for intend to, with the first letter of Britain and first letter of right to give you a word meaning ‘to the top’

      1. Thanks, Mary for the 25a clue. I´d never heard of this word and despite having all the intersecting words right, just couldn´t see it. Nice puzzle otherwise.

  4. Well that was one for the books, had I been sat on a train with just a newspaper I would have probably got two or three answers. Lots of general knowledge required today including football, art, literature and folk song.
    Big Dave, is there a word decribing this type of puzzle, it seems to incorporate gen know with cryptic for the purpose I assume of it being a prize puzzle and so a little more difficult.
    I still enjoyed it but it took me double the time I usually take.
    Fav was definately 18d as a cryptic clue.25a I still can’t find an explanation for.
    Thanks to you for the blog and to the setter.

    1. 25a: First two letter of BRitain, inside a goal that you intend to achieve. Definition is something filled right to the top.

        1. Its in Chambers, Nubian. It is also one of those constructions where the addition of the first letter, to this and other nouns, creates an adjective meaning “in a state. Its somewhat dated now.

        2. This puzzle stumped me in that corner. I really should have got 25a from the wordplay. Not so sure about getting 19d that way without knowing my authors properly rather than vaguely having heard of some.

          You’re right that 25a is hard to come by online. The very useful onelook.com looks through many free online sources at once and only found it in Wordnik yet it didn’t report it in the wildcard search (presumably because it’s only one source). That is quite unusual given that its a word I’ve come across, and it wasn’t in the lexicon used by Puzzlex software either (with which I tried to solve two simultaneously – it did have the author, who didn’t really ring a bell with me, but no ***** word. I guess that the shortcoming of the free versions of the online dictionaries. I have a paper copy of Chambers.

  5. I didn’t enjoy this one at all – too much general knowledge for my liking. I would never have got 17a or 19d without the hints, so thanks for those. I hadn’t heard of 1a (the footballer), 5d or 6d either, but they were at least easy to work out.

    I’m stuck on 4a. I’m thinking that it’s a charade of “gives cheer” followed by an “unpleasant place”, resulting in a kind of fine porcelain. But I’m at a loss as to what it could be. I’ve ever trawled Wikpedia’s list of porcelain for inspiration, but to no avail. Am I on the right lines?

    10a and 16d made me smile, but that was about it, I’m afraid. Maybe it’s just me… that’s the third one this week I’ve failed to finish :-(

    1. Abw – you are on entirely the right lines on 4a – its just a matter of spotting the two synonyms! ‘Gives cheer’ is the trickiest one.

        1. I had the beginning of 5d wrong too – in fact I think I invented a whole new word and am too embarrassed to tell everyone what I did! :oops:

  6. I thought that this was a really good puzzle – what the prize puzzle should be like every week. Favourite clues: 10a, 13a and 23a.

  7. Yes, I liked this one too. several clues required a lot of thought. Favourites are 13a, 14a,23a, 2d,9d and 20d.
    Still not totally happy with construction for 12a despite Dave’s clue.Perhaps because I haven’t figured out who the composer is.

  8. Really good puzzle – 17a & 23a favourite- once started couldn’t put the paper down. Thanks setter and BD for the clues-even when we don’t need help its good to read the reasoning behind the answer. Must go and clean my chickens out now!!

  9. A very enjoyable prize puzzle from the mystery setter – nice mix of pure cryptic and general-knowledge-hidden-in-cryptic clues. I also quite like a crossword where you end up having a bit of a sing as you work your way through :) Thanks to the Mysteron and BD.

  10. At first attempt I thought I’d never be able to do it but after a couple of brainwaves (doesn’t hapopen often!) I got the LH side and most of SE corner which I finished with the hints (many thanks BD). Still struggling with the NE corner – can’t see 6d & 13a and fear I may have others wrong – any tips gratefully received. That said I enjoyed the puzzle – it was a tad trickier than usual but still fun & lots of good clues – Thanks setter :-)

    1. 6d Group of musicians met an artful composer (7)
      The composer is hidden in the clue

      13a Crew cut back with extravagance in panic? (4-3)
      The definition is a hair cut also known as a crew cut. Reverse a three-letter abbreviation for extravagance inside a panic.

      1. As a matter of interest Dave the Americans also use the phrase to describe an aircraft carrier.

      2. Thanks BD – never heard of the composer (tho Mr C says he has – some help at this stage!!) and had 2nd half of 8d wrong. Oh well – all done now, better get on with my job list. Happy weekend.

  11. Started late today but have finished albeit with your help Dave for 1a, how are we ever supposed to know that name out of all the Worl Cup winning footballers, it would have helped had we been given the date! 6d and 19d very obscure for me but maybe not so to others? fav clue today was 18d I thought it was brilliantalso liked 16d and 15d, had to look up the spelling for 14a, what a strange clue! also liked 2d Thanks setter and thanks Dave for the hints :)

    1. Sorry you struggled with 1a, still if you will play a game with a ridiculous shaped ball, I suppose you could be forgiven for not knowing the name of the finest inside-forward the game has ever see, known at Tottenham as The Ghost! :-)
      I totally agree with 19d, never heard of him! Still don’t understand the clue even with Dave’s splendid clue. Still got 4 to do but that will keep me going over lunch. By the way I hope its a static van you are buying and not one of those portable road-blocks!

      1. sorry Barrie its a portable road block! I know quite a bit about football having grown up with only brothers and having only sons, nephews and grandsons (until grandaughter last yr!) but I wouldn’t have known Martin ******, now if it had been a Liverpool player, just might have known it :)
        19d Barrie is the name of a flower – 5letters – reversed, indicated by rising, with two a s (two separate articles) in to give you this author

        1. Thanks Mary, I was trying to be too clever and fit in the name of a river DOH!
          As well as Hunt there was also Alan Ball in the team although he did play for the other side of Stanley Park!

  12. Finished all except 21a, just can’t get my head round it despite 4 letters from down clues. A nudge would be appreciated. AH! just came to me as I was writing this comment, all done now. Had to look up 6d and 19d, never heard of either. Most enjoyable, thanx to compiler and of course BD.

    1. Sorry Wayne can’t help you with the explaination of 21a, the answer was guesswork on my part and then I looked it up! It is a ‘famous’ stone found in Egypt, the name of the place it was found is also the name of the stone, the stone apparently has an inscription in three different scripts all to do with deciphering hieroglyphics

      1. Thanx anyway Mary, had “sussed”it while writing original comment. Difficult to explain the clue without giving away elements of the answer and then incurring BD’s wrath. However, I think it’s a three letter word for ‘arranged’ inside a four letter word ‘for a list of peoples names etc’ from the Latin “wheel”
        Lucky, Lucky Arsenal !!!!
        Play Up Pompey.!!

  13. I found today’s puzzle was hard work – principally because I didn’t think, at first, that the answer to 5d was one word – but I got there in the end. Tilsit’s wish has come true so I wonder if Mary knows that Liverpool and Roy Hodgson have parted company…

      1. Ah well Kenny Dalglish in charge against Man U on Suday, here’s hoping :)
        Though will miss the match tomorrow off to Nottingham to hopefully buy a caravan!

  14. I found this puzzle REALLY difficult – it’s taken me a very long time so I was quite glad to read that others have also found it harder than usual for a Saturday.
    Didn’t realise that 1a could stand on its own – I’m only familiar with it being followed by ‘out’. 4a became a bit impossible as the second letter was ‘P’ – don’t anyone even ask ….!! Eventually sorted that. Made a complete mess of 5d – see previous sentence! Have never heard of 19d.
    I really enjoyed this one even if I have made a muddle of parts of it. Lots of brilliant clues – 10, 23 and 24a and 2, 15 and 18d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave.
    Can’t explain 7d – any help?

    1. 7d Top people from European Commission in English language teaching (5)
      The definition is top people. It’s the abbreviation for European Commission inside the abbreviation for English language teaching.

      1. Thanks Gazza, Mary and Big Dave – didn’t know that they were all accepted abbreviations – thought it had to be something like that but just got in yet another muddle!

    2. I just think you take the top letters of European Commission English Language teaching Kath though I could be wrong!! putting the first two in the next threeif you know what I mean! not really sure how it works though!

  15. Found today’s tough going to be frank and I certainly learnt a few things – folk songs not being a strong point for instance! I was lulled into an early impression that this was going to be a cinch but I soon encountered problems.

    All done now though. I have clearly spent too many nights deprived of sleep listening to the lads down under.

  16. A splendid crossword which was a good mix of various types of challenges.

    For those of you not acquainted with ******* I do suggest you become acquainted. His opera The Bartered Bride is highly thought of, but his general compositions are well worth you attention.

    Dvorzak was not the only composer from Prague!

  17. Hard-going today! Another one needing all the books, toys and hints. Lots of stuff hear I don’t understand and the review should explain, but for now, what is the hidden word indicator for 6d?

      1. Thanks, that’s not in the xwd dictionary indicator list and didn’t occur to me for one moment.

          1. No indeed, nor is there enough space to pencil them all in, but some are more, or less, obvious than others.

            Didn’t this composer or his rather fine river crop up elsewhere recently ??

  18. I am just getting into this, and enjoying it.

    As I know nothing about, and care even less about, football, I shall have to look this up on Wiki. Meanwhile, the news seems to be full of football………….groan!!

    glad of this blog! Thanks to the setter and Dave

  19. Lot of general knowledge required for this one. Finished with the exception of 8d which is frustrating. I understand the anagram with the heart removed – but then cant make sense of the second word in the answer. Any hints anyone?

      1. Thanks For the confirmation BD. I’ve just never come across it as “plural” which was throwing me off. Doh!

          1. The hyphen in the enumeration (3-3) indicates that the answer is a (plural) noun,

            Had it been a phrasal verb the “S” would have been on the end of the first word, the enumeration would have been (4,2) and it wouldn’t fit in the grid!

  20. HARD!! Thanks to BD and everyone else today, without your helpI would not have finished The puzzle today had a very different feel to it that I could not get my head arround.Anyway all done now and I can go back to her indoors and help with the marmalade making.

  21. Managed the first corner then spent the rest of the afternoon in trouble. thank you all for your comments and tips, its really really difficult for me today

  22. Very difficult but enjoyable; I needed quite a few hints and tips from the comments above (especially 19d) – so many thanks! Favourite: the Michel Roux clue – very clever!

    Am I in the minority of ONE in appreciating today’s Quickie Pun? I didn’t realise that she was an English-born, Australian.

    1. I liked the pun, but thought that some of the synonyms for some of the answers were stretching things a little bit.

  23. Happy New Year to all!
    Just stuck on 14a and 26a today, otherwise a stroll.
    Any help appreciated.

    1. 14a Revolutionary air a la ‘Les Mis’ embraced by the French (2,12)
      This is an all-in-one clue. A French revolutionary song is an anagram (revolutionary) of
      AIR A LA ‘LES MIS’ inside (embraced by) a French definite article.

    2. 26a Screen in the middle best clothes industrial plant (8)
      The definition is industrial plant (where petrol, for example, is produced). It’s the central letters (in the middle) of screen followed by another term for ‘best clothes’.

    3. 26A: You’re looking for two letters from the middle of the word “SCREEN”, followed by a synonym for “best clothes” (in all of which one might be “bedecked”).

  24. Wow! Quite a challenge. I found that one difficult and have just finished. I have learned a bit more about footballers and composers in the process.

  25. I’m surprised that some found this so tricky. I thought that it was relatively plain sailing, although the quality of the clues was high, and I enjoyed it a great deal, certainly more so than some Saturday puzzles.

  26. Pretty difficult for a Saturday puzzle I thought. Finished it but had to look up 19d on the internet as I must admit I’d never heard of him. I agree 25a is a very little used word indeed these days and was probably only ever used in poetry. Never realised 5d was all one word and also never heard a crew cut given the name of 13a although it’s logical.
    So I learnt a lot today and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    1. Chambers gives 5d as one word, meaning “merry or pleasant company, conviviality” and as two words meaning “companionableness”.

      You pays your money …

  27. There are times when I feel downright thick! I found this really hard (serves me right for being a bit cocky about finding Friday’s relatively easy!). I’d never have finished it without the clues and comments here, so thank you all. There are still a couple of answers that must be right but I have absolutely no idea how they relate to the clue (10a and 11a). And I’d never heard of 27a or knew that 5d was a word (although googling it shows a few pubs by that name).

    1. 10a Many questions make this degree a poor one (5)
      Put the answer in front of degree and you get the asking of many questions – as a university degree this is poor and only slightly better than a pass degree.

      11a Work in factor for flight to Gretna? (9)
      Put the usual two-letter word for a musical work inside a factor or component to get a flight to Gretna Green to get married by a blacksmith!

  28. Hi all. I thought this was a belter and I’ve had to result to assistance for the first time in weeks. I agree with a previous poster who said that this should be the standard of the prize crosswords every week. I’d never heard of the composer at 6d, needed google for 15a and BD’s hint for 19d. All done now though after about 3 hours in two attempts. Well done setter and thanks BD.

  29. Hi I have an unrelated question re the prize puzzle. I have just joined the telegraph puzzle site and was wondering if anyone who uses it can tell me this; when you complete the saturday and sunday prize puzzles do you have to print and post to enter or does submitting the puzzle online enter you for the prize? also on the sat puzzle which I just finished there is a button for view solution I assume it won’t work for the prize crosswords ???? Thanks for any help

    1. If you want to submit the Saturday or Sunday prize puzzles, you need to print them off and send the completed grid by post to the Daily Telegraph. If you click the Solution button, you will be told that the solution will not be available until …

      One thing I have always found odd is that you can click on the Submit button and it will tell you whether you have the correct solution. It gives those using the on-line crossword a slight advantage as they know whether any solutions need to be corrected before submitting the paper version.

    2. Read all about it in this page, contributed by the Telegraph’s Puzzles Editor:

      Prize Puzzles

      You are right about the results – they display next day for normal puzzles and after the closing date for prize puzzles.

  30. Very enjoyable. Some straightforward and others definitely not! Enjoyed 14a and 17a but was struggling with one vowel in each until I thought it through. Had an advantage on 1a as (for a non football fan) there has only been one World Cup! A whole estate of houses was built near me with all the streets being named after the players and manager! Needed help with 19d and 27a. Does anyone know the setter? Is he/she a regular as it was certainly different from the Saturday puzzle and unusual.

    1. From earlier posts from Cephas, it looks as though he and an unknown setter are now sharing the Saturday puzzle slot on alternating weeks. This was almost certainly by our Mysteron who so far – (hint hint) – has not come forward to claim the honour of having set some fine prize crosswords.

  31. Definitely the craftiest, cleverest cryptic in ages! Spent hours completing thanks to some useful hints from your regular contributors. Several favourite and confusing clues including 1d and the ‘concealed’ Trinidadian author in 19d.

  32. I finished last week’s all bar one clue so thought I was getting better at this hobby but this week I was almost completely stumped – it was far too difficult and I had no feeling of satisfaction. If they were like this every week, I wouldn’t bother with them at all.

  33. Very hard and not enjoyable. 1*

    I liked 11a and 17a.

    In spite of reading the above, we cannot do 13a, 24a, 2d, 5d.

    I still do not understand 12a.

    27a is not in my edition of Chambers.

    Any further hints?

    1. Peter, 24a – the definition is a type of pasta – an anagram of “Eat this” plus toppings of (g)rated (P)armesan.

      1. Apologies, I should have said that the “solution” is a type of pasta – not the “definition”.

        Unfortunately, I don’t know the technical term for this type of clue – some sort of all-in-one? However, a very good surface reading!

          1. And I was just about to try to explain 12a!

            I solved it but completely missed the wordplay despite reading BD’s hint above. Just for the record, the composer (without an “A”) wrote “Pomp and Circumstance”.

            1. Well thanks again, Franco.

              It is jolly depressing not to get the answer AFTER reading BD’s hint!

    2. 2d Spare toothless so-and-so (9)
      This is an informal and vague way of referring to someone or something (so-and-so). It’s a charade of a synonym for spare or lean and an adjective meaning toothless.

  34. Belatedly finished this after a weekend of unblocking the drains!

    Tough and definitely the work of a new setter.

        1. Cephas told us a few weeks ago that he would be sharing the Saturday slot, but so far the new setter has yet to reveal himself/herself.

            1. I started with WordPress and have found it to be an excellent platform. There are restrictions, but these are in place to protect users and bloggers alike. I did set up a blog on blogger, mainly to see what it had to offer and I was appalled by the constraints.

              WordPress recently absorbed a large number of former Windows Live Spaces bloggers.

              Have a look at the other site that I run to see how different it can be – the Village site has most of the “blogging” features hidden away and looks like a “normal” site.


  35. Team included Bobby and Jack Charlton, Alan Ball, Bobby Moore. Ceorge Cohen, Nobby Stiles, Gordon Banks, Geoff Hurst, Roger Hunt, Martin Peters and Ramon Wilson. jimmy Greaves was left out by Alf Ramsey.

  36. Very tricky one this,sweated before I solved it.BD,did you watch Martin Peters in flesh while playing?

    1. Many times!

      I saw him playing for West Ham at Fulham and on numerous occasions for Spurs – i particularly remember the 1972 Eufa cup final against Wolves.

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