DT 26468 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26468 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26468 (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.

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A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.


1a    The French FBI agent is one doing the donkey work (3-3)
The French masculine definite article is followed by a nickname for an FBI agent to get someone who is doing the donkey work – the nickname is alleged to have originated during the arrest of gangster George “Machine Gun” Kelly in 1933

12a    Stick on gallows, up there is a difficult situation (3,4)
A charade of a word meaning to stick and an archaic term for a gallows gives, when preceded by “up a ” a difficult situation

25a    Old man against keeping recipe for light snack (7)
One’s old man is followed by a word meaning against, the opposite of pro, around R(ecipe) to get a light snack which is popular at the cinema – recipe is the Latin for to take and the abbreviation r is used on prescriptions

ARVE Error: need id and provider

29a    Past history revolutionary holds that’s surprising! (6)
To get the past history of, for example, a criminal put a revolutionary or left-winger around an exclamation that indicates surprise


1d    Hero of romantic comedy does so miss working outside (4,4)
An example of how “lift and separate” makes the clue a lot easier to unravel; separate the clue between “so” and “miss” – the hero of a romantic comedy does so and a miss who is working outside, during World War II

5d    Old comedy film, a right corny production acting foppishly outside (5,2,7)
To get this old comedy film place an anagram (production) of A R(ight) CORNY inside a word meaning acting foppishly (like Kenneth Williams, one of its stars!)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

6d & 9d    Nice items I’m arranging on monument longer than anyone knows (5,4,10)
Start with an anagram (arranging) of NICE ITEMS I’M and put it on a monument which serves as a remembrance to get a phrase meaning longer than anyone knows

24d    One leading pack from Lakeland (5)
The leader of a cub scout pack is hidden inside Lakeland (the word not the shop!)

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!

The Quick crossword pun {Steve} + {Miliband} = {Steve Miller Band – their big hit “The Joker” is at 10a}

118 comments on “DT 26468 (Hints)

  1. All done after a sluggish Saturday start – I made headway after my poached eggs on toast. 23a evoked nice memories. 19d was quite clever. Overall 2*.

  2. I solved this late last night and for the life of me could not see the lift and separate at 1d!. Turns out to be a fine clue in what was quite an entertaining puzzle. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

    1. Agree with that – thought 1d was very clever when we finally read it properly! Maybe a few too many anagrams, and this comment from me who loves ’em!! Apart from that, enjoyable start to Saturday!

  3. I was with you on 1d Gnomey. At first I thought this was going to be a right stonker but once I got into my stride it fell quickly into place.
    Thanks as usual to BD for the clues & the setter for a pleasant challenge.

  4. Have done this, but – 1d answer means (wartime) field worker, what is the reference to romantic comedy? Liked 21d, by the way.

  5. Very enjoyable – 1d was my favourite – took a while for the penny to drop, I kept trying to fit Hugh Grant in somewhere! Thanks to the Mysteron for the very nice Saturday crossword.

  6. Enjoyed this puzzle, bit tricky in parts but very solvable. I would rate is 2/3 star for difficulty for me personally. However, one question, what has the end of 23a got to do with the opposite of yes? Best clue for me by far was 2d, it ticked all my boxes :-)

    1. Sorry don’t think I expressed myself too well here. I am puzzled by what the opposite of yes at the end of 23a has to do with working back?

    2. The answer to your question is nothing whatsoever!

      23a Construction set holy place’s working back (7)

      The last two letters come from reversing a word meaning “working”

    3. Where does the opposite of yes come from? Or is the clue in the paper different? It is “Construction set holy place’s working back”

  7. I have plodded through this puzzle but, nevertheless, found it enjoyable. I notice Mary hasn’t made a contribution yet and I wonder whether she’s sulking, like me, after last night’s events in the Millennium Stadium…

    1. Not sulking Cara, expected it really but hoped for better, lets hope the under twenties do better today, I have a friends son in the reserves for them, and tomorrow it is the big soccer Derby, Swansea v Cardiff, both chasing points for promotion

  8. Just about to ask for help with 14a, when I ‘saw’ it, at first I thought I really was going to find this hard work and own up to using two hints to give me a good start, thanks for that Dave fav clues today 6&9 down, 22d, 23a, and of course 1d, my mother was one of these in 2nd world war, good luck everyone, a little harder than normal for a Sat IMHO :)

  9. 1d was a treat, but I have a fondness for 5d too. Didn’t 11a pop up last Saturday?
    Right, job done, I’m off to see the 27a…

      1. Oh sorry 22d – You need a word for a charm, tkae a + cross (as in an animal – the donkey kind) and the one letter for beginning of teacher

              1. not far out with the Japanese Digby it is apparently one of the biggest business consultancies in Japan! :)

  10. Enjoyed that … only needed help with 1d. Thanks for that. Favourite clue was 19d and least favourite was 24d …

  11. Thank you for the Hints BD but fortunately for me I didn’t need them today. After my experience with yesterdays cryptic I found todays somewhat easier. Did get stuck for a while in bottom left hand corner but found those to be the best clues for me i.e 19d,22d,24d and 23a,28a.
    Thanx to all concerned as usual.

    1. Its a sign of the zodiac, put most of the name of a famous Evelyn Waugh novel on reporting, around the abbreviation for Retail Price Index.

    2. You are looking for a word for a sign ( of the zodiac) you need a five letter word for story as in newspaper with the last letter removed (mostly) with a three letter abbreviation for ‘amount of inflation inside it

    3. You want an abbreviation for the Government’s measure of inflation inside a word used to describe a news story exclusive to one paper with the final letter removed to give the name of a sign of the zodiac

  12. Don’t want to hijack the Cryptic Crossword, but has anybody tried to do the Quick GK Crossword? For those printing it out from ScrewedUp we have “Fail disasterously (12)”, what does it say in the newspaper? Also can anyone work it out. My wife did – finally based on the checking letters. I am distinctly unimpressed.

        1. I am always distinctly unimpressed by the Quick GK crossword in the Saturday paper. Its usualy one of those ‘how many words can we put it that no-one has ever heard of” crosswords and frustrates me so much I have vowed never to start one again, but every week I am lured back in in case it might have improved.

          1. Sue,
            The Quick GK on Sat seems to have improved, but for some reason the GK on Sunday now needs degrees in all sorts of esoteric subjects as the author of the crossword seems obsessed with pangrams.

  13. Blimey – I thought that was really difficult!!
    Could see that 1d had to be what it was but couldn’t see why – thanks for hint, BD.
    Looking at it again I can’t really see WHY it was difficult, or why it’s taken me so long – it just has!
    Favourites today – 12 and 28a (which took me ages – tried to make it an anagram) and 1, 3, 5 and 21d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave.
    Have a good weekend everyone.

  14. Very enjoyable crossword today from our Mysteron. I thought this was a tad easier than his or her last couple of puzzles but there were still some head scratching moments to enjoy. Favourite clue was 1d. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

  15. I failed to get 1d – but having read all the tips and hints above – what a great clue!!

    8a in the Quickie – Labour Leader (8). I went thru the list… Brown, Blair, Kinnock……Keir Hardy. Finally decided (wrongly) on “Militant”. The current leader of the Opposition doesn’t seem to have a very high profile.

  16. Enjoyed this one so thanks to the setter and BD for the (unused but entertaining) hints.
    Favourite definitely 1d.
    May be back for the After Eight Club but it may depend on how MU do against Wolves – I may be drowning my sorrows!

  17. I enjoyed doing this one, a nice mixture of obvious and challenging clues. An initial sweep to find anagrams gave me enough letters to help with the rest. I liked 18a.

  18. Finished! Thanks to Big Dave’s blog and wikipedia to confirm that my answer 11a across was in fact a Prime Minister, during George III’s reign! I didn’t get taught that at school, but you all seemed to know of him, I am having fun learning so much, makes a rainy day seem ok.

    18a Please can someone tell me where the last letter comes from. I have the A in the middle of a word meaning song, but where does the last letter come from, apart from making it a word that means dislike. Is the setter allowed to add a letter to make it fit?

      1. The A in the middle of the word goes with ‘one’ in the clue. The last letter means Australian. (I think!)

        1. Thanks, I had used (A)ustralian for my middle A, I hadn’t picked up on the use of one of the extra A. Sorry setter for doubting! I’m just getting back in to Cryptic Crosswords.

    1. The letter in the middle of the song comes from “one” and the one at the end from A(ustralian).

      No, the setter is not allowed to just add letters!

  19. Enjoying this although struggling with the left corner. Can someone please help me with 18a? Thank you.

    1. Collywobbles
      8d, Usual two letters for an “old flame”, followed by a 3 letter synonym for excited around the the first letter (start) of relationship.

    2. Hi Collywobbles
      8d – def is ‘urge’. You need the usual 2 letter abbreviation for a past wife (old flame) foolwed by a word for excited around R (start of Relationship).

      BD will probably edit this as I’ve given too much away.

    1. 14a Finish work losing right to make another attachment (5)
      Remove (losing) an R(ight) from a verb meaning to finish work permanently.

    2. 2d Get M Roux endlessly cooking for him? (7)
      This is someone who enjoys his food. It’s an anagram (cooking) of Get M Roux without the last letter (endlessly).

    3. 3d Bad breath or containing a bit of niff is noisome (9)
      It’s an anagram (bad) of BREATH OR with the first letter (bit) of Niff inside.

  20. Wolves 2 – 1 Man U !!!!! How did that happen?
    Wolves, this year, have so far beaten Man U, Man C, Chelsea and Sunderland but they’re still bottom of the Premiership! Wierd or what?

    Going to local now, I may be some time! (Barcelona are playing Atletico Madrid tonight,. Kick off in half an hour).

  21. I had to go shopping this morning, so did not start the puzzle untill after lunch. Most of it was straightforward, but put Ghent in as the answer to 26a.It took a while before I saw the error of my ways. After that all the rest went in. Loved 27a having been a shooter and living near to Corfe castle. Now I can get square eyes and enjoy a glass of wine.
    Thanks BD and the setter

  22. Hello After Eighters. Thought it was quite tricky today and needed several attempts. Needed help to understand 1d. No capial in miss was misleading (as I know it was meant to) and I did not understand the working outside reference (do now of course).

  23. Have been looking for hours at 15a,28a and 16d and can’t see the wood from the trees! Help!
    Probobly better to go away and come back in the morning having seen the Man Utd and Scotland/France results. Deep gloom !!!

    1. 9a Stir men playing lute primarily? He might (8)
      It’s someone who might play a lute and it’s an anagram (playing) of STIR MEN followed by the first letter (primarily) of lute.

          1. Host’s pretty good shot besieging stronghold (9)

            Robert, you are correct (although more accurately an archery target). A pretty good shot may be the portion of the board close to the bullseye. But this around (besieging) a word for a castle or stronghold to find ‘mein host’.

    2. 16d Perhaps watch to see how long performance takes (9)
      “Perhaps” indicates that a watch is an example of this. If you split the answer as (4,5) it could mean to calculate the length of a performance.

    3. 28a Tellurium’s not radioactive as can be proved experimentally (8)
      You want the chemical symbol for Tellurium (it’s in The Mine) – follow this with an adjective meaning not liable to change (not radioactive).

      1. Thanks Gazza, was half way there but needed that little extra nudge.
        Let there be light at the end of the tunnel but make sure its not a train coming towards you!!

  24. 13 degrees was warm enough for me to sit out at Exeter St Davids with this puzzel this morning. I think we were spoilt in January and I didn’t think this was either so testing or well crafted as some we’ve seen recently. That said, there were clues I liked..20a, 2d,and 21d.

  25. Finished but got held up by spelling the answer to 3d wrongly which threw me for 11a – dear oh dear!

    22d caused a slight delay since I could not get away from “cross” being a synonym for “angry”.

    It has been blowing a gale for the last few days in West Wales but we did not get the rain that was forecast.

  26. Kind of finished this at lunch time but have been busy since – just about to go to bed so viewed the blog ! Can anyone help with 11a? I have something in there, but don’t think it’s correct!! Don’t truly understand the clue. HELP!

    1. 11a. Cardinal was prime minister once.
      You need to think of a compass point. A Prime Minister who was ennobled.

    2. Hello Addicted

      Nalced has it right. The clue should say VERY old PM – he was in the 1700’s!

  27. Not sure what I thought about this. Took me a long time!Last three in were 29a, 1a, and 28a. Needed the clue for 29a – I was on the wrong wavelength. Looking for a word that meant surprising! Thought of a word that fitted (right) for 28a but had no idea why. Thought the clue was awful particularly as the word is not one that is used often – not by me anyway. Took me ages to get 1 a. Don’t know why because I guessed the construction. On balance some nice clues – one or two too easy eg 4a but some rather obscure. Why the mystery about the setter?

  28. thank you Nalced and Pommers – finally got it! Obviously a gap in my education along the line.

  29. Been able to complete recently without help! Very glad to get hints for 1d &21d today Many thanks, enjoyed teasing very old
    grey matter,90 at end of May.Best wishes to B.D et al.

    1. 3d Bad breath or containing a bit of niff is noisome (9)
      An anagram (bad) of BREATH OR around (containing) N (a bit of niff) gives an adjective meaning noisome

    2. The answer is another word for noisome. Clue is part anagram with an additional letter “bit of niff” (3d)
      Similar sort of clue – ie a mixture but in this case not an anagram but a sort of song with two additional letters found elsewhere in the clue

      1. 18a is rather flabby! I think the setter should be a little more considerate ! Think about another word for a song (the sort sung at a a football match) and add a couple of (A)ustralians!!

        1. 18a Song about one Australian that is strongly disliked

          The first A (the one that is inserted inside the song) comes from”one” – the second A (the one that is tacked on the end) comes from A(ustralian). Fortunately, after today’s cricket result, there is only one Australian involved.

  30. Hello, Telegraph Puzzles Editor here.

    I’ve just seen the conversation about Saturday’s GK Quick. Apologies for the problem, which I have now fixed.

    If any subscribers do come across a glitch like that, particularly at the weekend, it would be much appreciated if you drop me an email so that I can fix it for other solvers: phil.mcneill@telegraph.co.uk.

    Best wishes

  31. We must be getting better. My wife and I started and finished this today without having to refer to Dave.

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