DT 26528 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26528 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26528 (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.

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”.

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


1a    Amusing chap travelling by rail or older form of transport (5,5)
A charade of an amusing chap and a phrase meaning travelling by rail gives an older form of transport, common in the Wild West

10a    Almost settle the country’s ministry (5)
Most of a word meaning to settle expenses gives the abbreviation of the government ministry that looks after, among other things, the countryside

13a    More dandified servant of S Pickwick (7)
A word meaning more dandified, when split (1,6) gives the name (initial plus surname) of Mr Pickwick’s faithful servant in The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club

21a    The girl has to make a visit returning clobber (7)
Start with the female third person pronoun and add word meaning to make a visit reversed (returning) to get a North American word meaning to clobber or beat decisively

27a    Study lawyers in the case that’s falling apart (10)
An exercise in “lift and separate” – put a word meaning to study, particularly at University, and senior lawyers collectively inside (in … case) THE to get a word meaning falling apart or tattered


1d    Wife that is most broad (6)
Start with W(ife) and add the full Latin expression, not the more usual abbreviation, for “that is” to get an adjective meaning most broad

2d    Nonsense gets a weak laugh (6)
A charade of a slang word for nonsense is followed by A and W(eak) to give a loud and boisterous laugh

5d    Keys for passageways by the sound of it (5)
… keys as in the Florida Keys

8d    Officers to lead donkey’s about right (3,5)
These senior military officers are a charade of TO, the chemical symbol for lead and a donkey with R(ight) inserted

15d    Without a care, such infancy would be fashionable (5-4)
Take a hyphenated word meaning without a care as an instruction to remove part of the word IN(FANCY) and the result is a word meaning fashionable

22d    Bag fastening (5)
A double definition – to bag or trap and a device for fastening or securing something such as a window

The Crossword Club opens at 10.00am. 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: {planes} + {Peking} = {plain speaking}

77 comments on “DT 26528 (Hints)

  1. This was a nice workout for a Saturday morning with some satisfying penny drop moments. Many thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

    Favourite clue was 24a but there were lots of runners up!

  2. Loved it today. Thank you to the Setter for a lovely start to the day, and to BD for the hints.

    Favourite clues: 14a 16d 3d 1a 1d.

    2/3* for difficulty, 4/5* for enjoyment.


  3. Nice puzzle. Good fun, and not too taxing.

    I liked 1D for its slightly unusual treatement of a crossword staple.

    Thanks to the setter for a fine job, and to BD for the same.

  4. Morning Dave and all, I realy struggled through that one today and now I don’t really know why, just tired after 2 hrs of flute practice for Easter last night I think! still not got 10a we used to call it the ministry of Agg don’t know what its called now though! fav clue I think 24a when the penny eventually dropped, so used to now thinking of a flower as a river! good luck all, perservation is the name of the game today :-)

        1. ok got it, simply being stupid and looking at the clue the wrong way round! unusual for me :-D

                1. Kath – No problem. I’m a Yorkshireman so wouldn’t recognise rudeness, only blunt speaking tha knows!

  5. Very enjoyable. Favourite clues were 1a (made me smile) & 9d . Last one in was 27a which took me a while only because I had entered 20d incorrectly.

    Looks like it’s going to be a sunny day here in West Bridgford so it’s out with the sun lounger, fill up the cool box then wait for the NTSPP – life doesn’t get much better.

  6. Took a while to get the remaining brain cells going again after that culling I gave them on Thursday, but all done now thanks in no small part to BD’s tips. 1a was my clear favourite, had a good snigger at that one.

  7. Haven’t commented all week – been a bit budsy – did all the puzzles but just didn’t comment. This was okay – nothing spectacular but worked through. Liked 4d out of all of them.

    1. Hi Lea long time no ‘see’ I like your new word in fact it is a good description for people on this site, all quite ‘budsy’ here :-)

  8. Difficult but good, I thought. Witty rather than ‘clever for its own sake’ like a recent Thurs puzzle I seem to recall! Many ‘penny drop’ moments. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  9. Just a small point shouldn’t 14a be spices not spice? otherwise where does the ‘s’ on the end come from?

      1. Sorry Dave, being a pest, I still don’t ‘see’ it as I read the clue, we are looking for a ‘cultivating talent’ ‘wild fern’ around Spain is an angram of fern around E for Spain the spice then is around that, still don’t see where the s on the end comes from?

  10. I thought I was going to do this really quickly as the North West corner went in so easily, but then I came to a shuderring halt. All done now, with a bit of thanks to BD. Can someone explain 14a to me please? I’m pretty sure I have the right answer and I can see where the “wild fern” fits in, but am not sure about the rest. Otherwise very enjoyable so thanks to the setter and BD. Favourite clues 1a, 1d and 24a.

    1. It’s an anagram (wild) of fern around the IVR code for Spain inside a seven letter word meaning adds spice to.

      1. Thanks Prolixic. I understand it now – I must need a bit of spicing up to get my thick head around some of these clues!

        1. Hi Kath taken me a while to see how the ‘s’ on the end gets there until I read Prolixics reply to you, thanks :-)

            1. Oh good – was thinking that Prolixic had replied to me and I hadn’t even written anything yet! I’m easily confused!! :smile:

  11. A very nice finish to a busy Saturday morning. Lots of lovely clues – like Prolixic I will pick 24a as my favourite but would agree with him that there are some very close runners up. Thanks to the Mystery Setter for the fun and BD for the hints and explanations, particularly the clobber part of 21a which saves me having to look it up later!

  12. Great puzzle- kept me busy but not in despair! Put many in and then had to work hard to find out why! OFSTED next week so I can’t oput off the dreaded lesson prep and form filling :(

  13. Another enjoyable Saturday solve. Particularly liked 1d and 8d and 14a was clever. Thanks to BD for the review – expecially for the explanation for clobber in 21a which is new to me. I was going to ask, but I don’t need to now! Thanks to setter and BD

  14. This was enjoyable to solve over a coffee in Costa, with nothing to grumble about. Favourite clue 15d.
    Thanks to the ‘Whodunnit’, and to BD for the hints.

  15. Struggling with 24a – not sure if it’s a flower (river) or a flower (plant)! Don’t like 21a – never heard of it as meaning clobber. Surprised by 4d – not seen Harry used as an anagram indicator before!

    1. The answer is neither. It is something that may be pure white. The name of a plant (flower) does appear in the answer.

  16. Also, how can I change my picture from a grim looking grey thing to a pretty flower (the one that features in 24a!)

  17. I don’t know whether I’m having an off day but I’m embarrassed to have admit that I’ve really struggled with this puzzle and the foregoing comments would seem to indicate that it’s reasonable. I’ll go and sulk for ten minutes or so!

    1. I’m with you Cara – this puzzle just made me grumpy – I’ve found it almost impossible to crack whereas I can usually do almost all ot it. If it was like this every week I wouldn’t want to do it at all. Of course, all the early comments tend to be positive – from those who’ve found it a breeze – and then us stragglers eventually get round to admitting that they’re stumped or find it difficult! So I try not to be disheartened by the first few comments or so..

  18. Nice crossword today. Needed the hint to explain 13a and part of 8d. Had never heard of 21a meaning that – only as a sort of varnish.
    Favourites today 1, 18, 21 and 24a and 1, 3 and 9d.

  19. Found this pretty fair today but couldn’t finish 24a and 27a….because I’d stuck in clasp for 22d! Once again BD to the rescue. Thanks as ever.

  20. An early input from me for a change! I enjoyed solving this one.
    Many good clues of which I liked 1a, 11a, 13a, 14a, 21a, 23a, 27a, 3d, 4d, 7d, 8d & 9d.
    I find clues like 10a & 24a poor. 10a because I don’t like acronyms; 24a because the second word in the clue is an adjective whereas in the answer one finds a three-letter short form of a noun!
    I suppose it is crossword licence!!

    1. Hi Derek – I agree with you. 10a poor ( I didn’t think that sort of word was allowed) and 24a grammatically incorrect!

  21. Off for a few days in the caravan tomorrow, dogs and all! relaxing not! maiden voyage so to speak, only going an hour down the road to Freshwater beach, where a lot of the last Harry Potter novel was filmed, for a trial run, see you all next Friday, be good! :-)

    1. Mary – really enjoy yourself – hope the weather holds for you and that it’s not too stressful.

      1. Just did a web search for ‘Freshwater Beach, Wales’. It looks very nice, I wish I was going there too.

        1. Hi Sue you if you do a search for Llansteffan that is the beach just 2 miles away from me, beautiful

  22. Another puzzle requiring some thought. I liked 6a, 10a ,11a and 24a. I worked out 1d without understanding why until reading Dave’s comments above. Thanks

  23. Gave up on this one some time ago with seven unfilled and n-one has asked the questions I need answered. Sorry BD, a couple of hints just incomprehensible, even with the answers in place. I seem to be making such reverse progression recently that I wonder why I bother with them.

      1. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them, just didn’t understand them. 5d and 15d, even with the answer to 15d it took some time to work it out. Now I can see the answer to 5d, I have the second half of 1a wrong, which didn’t help! Not a good one for me. Didn’t ask the questions, because there were too many of them.

    1. When no-one asks the questions you need answering why don’t YOU ask them – someone always replies – late in the day it usually seems to be Gazza. Just keep ‘perservating’. :smile:

      1. What Kath said.

        Practice makes perfect, and experience is the key to solving cryptic crosswords. On this site, you can take a shortcut by benefitting from the experience of your fellow solvers.

        If you say where you’re struggling, someone will try to help.

  24. Geoff,
    I have been struggling with 16d and17d for the last 3 hours on and off. And look at them as much as I do the solutions just don’t come. Persevere and sometimes the Eureka moment just hits you. BD and all the other bloggers’ inputs are invaluable to me.

    1. 16d Spy girl in year out (8)
      To get a spy or agent put a young unmarried girl inside an anagram (out) of YEAR

      17d What’s made finally in working at craft (8)
      Put the final letter of madE inside an anagram (working) of AT CRAFT to get something made by human workmanship (defined by the whole clue, making this an all-in-one clue).

      1. 17D is a very nice clue.

        The solution to 16D might not be instantly recognisable as meaning “spy”, but it’s not too much of a stretch, and regular followers of the blog will recall that it appeared not so long ago with a similar definition.

  25. Hi, Can I have some help with 7d and 11a please.
    Also, I have the solution for 9d, but don’t understand why.
    Thank you.

    1. 9d HP Lovecraft’s foremost with world of fantasy (5-5,4)
      HP (Hire Purchase) gives the (5-5) and then add the first letter of Lovecraft and a synonym of with to get a world of fantasy.

      1. Goodness me – that was a great clue and I now know who HP Lovecraft was. Would never have understood the cleverness without tthe explanation -as always thanks to BD.

    1. As BD says, the first “two” words form a (colloquial) synonym for HP (as in tick, credit); the third word is a synonym for “world” (in the clue).

    1. Welcome to the blog Sean

      Read my hint above (there’s a hyperlink that helps!) – you are looking for the Government ministry that replaced the old Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

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