DT 26540 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26540 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26540 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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           Vehicle having left seedy plant (7)
A charade of a vehicle followed by a word meaning having left or gone gives a plant the seeds of which are used for flavouring

18a         Install spies protecting English mediaeval rulers (12)
A word meaning to install (5) is followed by some spies (6) around (protecting) E(nglish) to get these  mediaeval rulers of England

25a         Spoil man consuming a bit of delicious spread (9)
Start with a word meaning to spoil (3), add the masculine gender and then insert (consuming) A and D (bit of Delicious) to get something to spread on buttered toast

28a         Send off steel-making town director (3-4)
One of these is shown when the referee wants to send off a footballer – start with a steel-making town in the North East of England and add D(irector)


1d           A recipe in restaurant — it may contain wine (6)
Put A and R(ecipe) inside a restaurant to get an open-topped glass flask used for serving wine

5d           Creature often disguised as another one keeping hot a long time (9)
This creature that is often disguised is constructed by taking another creature, inserting (keeping) H(ot) and adding a long time

16d         ‘Decluttering’ expert who aims to go far? (8)
This person who could be a decluttering expert is actually someone who aims to go far – perhaps to the moon or beyond

24d         Dysfunctional family member is short man with title (4)
This member of a dysfunctional cartoon family is a short name for the lowest hereditary titled order

The Crossword Club opens at 10.00am. Feel free to leave comments.  I will be in Putney all day, but I’m sure that others will look after you.

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

The Quick crossword pun: {farm} + {assist} = {pharmacist}

120 comments on “DT 26540 (Hints)

  1. Quality crossword from our Mysteron. Not overly complicated but some smiles and penny drop moments on the way. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints. Favourite clues were 28a / 7d

  2. I could almost quote Prolixic verbatim, although I do have a soft spot for 14a. Thanks to BD and our mystery setter – I will be seeing at least one of them this afternoon.

  3. My favourite clue was 7d. It was also my last to go in; that was because I had the first 2 letters of 12a the wrong way round!
    Thanks to setter, and to BD for the notes.

        1. me too, not finished yet so now I don’t know if I’m right or wrong, so has the answer got anything to do with Russia please??

              1. I fell into the same trap too so my progress was hampered and a telephone call didn’t help matters either. Just to prove that I’m turning into a Grumpy Old Man, why does the Telegraph have to sell its soul for a full back page advertisement? No, don’t answer that because I can see the £ signs flashing before my eyes…

          1. And me – have now managed 7d though have to admit I don’t fully understand it? Am stuck on 13d, 19d and 26a – any hints, please?!

            1. 13d Use the usual reference to Britain & then surround that with how you would describe our ———- friends
              19d See Mary’s suggestion at point 12
              26a Reg Varney used to drive the referenced public transport!

              1. Many thanks Spindrift – had managed the others whilst waiting for help!! But couldn’t see 13d for the life of me – so simple when you know how!! Have now finished, but it was a bit of a struggle. Good luck to everyone else.

              2. hi there 26a how does the answer refer to ‘expert’ I understand the transport and ‘following’ but cant see expert.

                1. stephridout,
                  Its an informal word for expert, but could also be used to describe a colour, to polish, a type of leather or nakedness.

                  1. i CAN SEE THE 1ST 3 letters but the word doesnt fit in with 20 d ‘what you do when you get rid of error’ where have I gone wrong?

                    1. Think of a 4 letter word for times, e.g time defined by particular circumstances, and then add a two letter word for a chief journalist. Definition deletion, e.g. using a “rubber”.

                    1. ive got 20d so its the island Ive got wrong I thought it was in the hebrides (to man something or to be on the pay role) followed by a

                      oh dear have to give up on this

        1. Me too! Maybe now I can get 8d. Still 8 clues to do – sadly none of the above tips help but thanks anyway BD :-)

          1. Hi Claire for 8d you need the standard abbreviation for Learner followed by a seven letter word for to do again to give you a word meaning educated or intelligent

            1. Thanks Mary – now just have a couple in the bottom left corner to do – getting there but out in the sun now while it lasts.

  4. Quite tricky today, needed most of the hints and a little ‘research’ here and there. Several good ones but I’m with Gnomey on 14a. Will need the review to explain a couple of constructs.

    Thanks to setter and BD. Wish I could join the revellers …

      1. The two-letter abbreviations are used by the US Postal Service. There are others – the particular state mentioned here can be abbreviated in two, three, four or five-letter form … and there is an alternative two-letter form as well (!).


  5. Very pleasing Saturday puzzle.. 28a my favourite. Off now to get some sunshine which was missing yesterday here. Thanks setter and BD.

      1. 11 deg. here but clear. Off now to wrestle with the GK Quick.
        Mike. I wish I could do a smiley face.

  6. OK finished at last fav clue today 14a, not sure where the first three letters of 21a come from

      1. Nicely done, mary – I’ll leave the clues for you now as I need to go out and help someone out – unfortunately this means I will miss the Cruciverbalists Convention in town. Boo!

        1. Oh shame about that, I will do my best but will be back and fore I’m sure others will help out too, hope all goes well :-)

    1. I can’t explain how you got it ;-) , but I got it by taking a charade of a verb for ‘follows’ (like a Private Eye or a Dog) and then adding a synonym for ‘fix’ or ‘stick’ with a needle.

  7. For 3d I’ve got checking letters ??????????. Can somebody tell me what I’ve got wrong. I hope that this does not break the rules

    1. You probably are breaking rules Collywobs but I have no power to delete you :-) you are correct so far apart from the ‘A’ you need a three letter word for small followed by the a word for men on a chess board to give you something that comes after working days

  8. I’ve been a bit tired* this morning and made hard work of this. 13d was a new expression to me but a lovely clue and there were plenty of others to enjoy as well but 14a was probably my favourite. Thanks to the setter, and cheers to BD for the hints and tips, they were much appreciated. From my window I can see Mrs Tub painting a fence so I need to lie low for a while. Or maybe just lie down.

    * hung over

  9. Good crossword, I especially liked 14a – very funny.

    Why is a bird consuming ‘secondS’ in 10a? Surely there’s only one ‘second’ consumed by the bird????

    Please can someone give me a hint with 19d? I have all the three crossing letters, but can’t for the life of me see what it is.

    Thanks to BD, the Setter and to anyone who gives me a hand with my last clue.


    1. Hi Nick 19d think of ‘man’ as ‘to man’ verb – 5 letter word, followed by one (single letter abbreviation) this gives you an island in the rkneys I think or maybe the Hebrides!

      in 10a I think it can be single or plural and just wouldn’t read right with singular??

      1. Ugh. I thought of that particular word (because of the cross-letters) but my mind was blinkered….

        Thanks for that, Mary, it’s very much appreciated. I’ll go and do something else now.


      2. can you help with this Im screaming if 19a is maybe an isle in hebrides than Im completely wrong with 26a which i thought was something you get for free at 60! *** pass cant see where expert comes in or maybe I have wrong island!!!

          1. Ive got that but it completely throws out 26 a!!maybe its a word I dont know (i understand the ‘expert’ but cant see hwo it fits with the transport hey ho

            1. A big red london transport around two letters that mean very loud (or following). Check on an alternative name for the Royal East Kent Regiment.

              1. 26a is simply what you get when a referee in a game decides that what you did warrants an early bath.

    1. perservation wins the day carrie, if not please ask for help, always someone around :-) I will be around for another hour or so and I think Gazza is about too, if not I’m sure someone else will help

  10. Yes folks, I too fell into the 12a trap. Last in 27a favourite 28a. Has the royal pregnancy been announced yet?

    1. 17d Fellow defyin’ official (8)
      You want an official or senior bureaucrat. Start with a synonym for fellow, then add a present participle meaning defying with its last letter dropped as in the clue.

    1. Eileen, you are looking for a woman’s name. Take all but the last letter in a verb meaning chat or gossip and insert the abbreviation for New England.

      1. please some help with btm corner 19d and 26a
        i thought i had it cant find the island and when I thought I had it ‘to man something’ it thro out 26a!! which I thought was ‘on the *****’) HELP

    2. A woman’s name (the only famous one I can think of did a lot of washing up). A synonym for to “gossip” without its last letter surrounding (“about”) the abbreviations of New and England.

  11. Ignore above request, all fallen into place, had 24D wrong. Too much wedding yesterday!!!!!

  12. Just getting at this now after being out in the sun. Either the sun has gone to my head or yesterday’s RW is still in my mind but finding it quite tricky.

    Will perservere!

    1. From comments on this blog from BD and Gnomethang on April 9, 2011.

      Per Sevation Ad Astra

  13. I’m struggling with 19d – have looked at all the islands in the orkneys, hebrides and shetlands and cannot find it! :( (that’s a sad smiley face as I haven’t been to the FAQs yet!)

  14. A thoroughly enjoyable excursion this week; thanks to BD and the setter – despite my not getting in a ‘7d’ over 7d! Could any of our number perhaps shed some light on 13d, which is still eluding me….

    1. MAV1967, – 13d – the definition is “Pamper”. A word describing birds (before they are plucked) around an abbreviation of Britain. (1967 -a very good vintage)

    2. Gazza, mea culpa! I should have indeed spotted that; thank you.
      Franco, many thanks; so simple, when the mist clears….!
      Thank you both!

  15. Pleased to note normal service has resumed. Enjoyed this work out in the sunshine later today, need to keep clear of that chilly easterly wind though.
    Thanks to the mystery setter and Big Dave.

  16. Just back from the gathering in Putney – a great time was all – if you didn’t come you missed Big Dave, his sister, Bufo, Mr and Mrs Cephas, Mr and Mrs Elgar and Nik and me to name just a few. The highlight of the afternoon was the arrival of Sophia the beautiful blog baby accompanied by her equally beautiful mum and brother, not forgetting the lovely Jezza. – all this sat in a beer garden with lots of beer but no bears :D I took some pics which I will try and send to BD tomorrow for him to put on his facebook pictures page.

    It is many hours since I solved the Cryptic on an early train this morning but I seem to remember enjoying it and no, I didn’t fall into the wrong anagram word in 12a.

    1. Crypticsue, it was great to meet up with you yesterday, and all the others who were there (setters and solvers alike), without forgetting Big Dave himself, and his lovely sister. We only stayed for a short while, but many thanks to everyone who made us feel most welcome :)

    2. Thanks all for a great day and such a warm welcome. And for the help with the crossword…

      Look forward to doing it again!

  17. I really liked this one. Favourites were 3d, 7d, 16d & 17d.
    Also enlist me in the 12a club, shortly until I twigged 7d.
    Thanks to Dave for 24d…which I hadn’t twigged before logging on.

    1. Thought I had finished this today, but I’ve just discovered that I’ve missed 24d!


  18. 9 ac – cannot see this for the life of me. Got the rest. Any clues please?

    1. Hi Fareast – welcome to the blog.
      9a Line with navy in fashion (5)
      The definition is line, as in a line of clothing. Put the abbreviation for navy inside fashion (as in “it’s all the —-“).

  19. Is there anyone still puzzled by 13 down. We still can’t see it and it is driving me crazy. Heeelp

    1. John, it may be reclined on, notably by a certain singers grandmother.
      Place an abbreviation for Britain inside a description of birds that applies to no other flora or fauna.

    1. Welcome to the blog Sheila
      Put another word for A mine, e.g. a colliery inside a three letter abbreviation for California. Definition is wealth – for example accumulated money or property.

      1. Thank you! Now realise what 6d is as well, and can go to bed with a quiet mind.

  20. Great puzzle. All you helpers are so clever. How do you do it? I didn’t realise 13D could be a verb.Still struggling with 22A, 19D and last word in 15D.

    1. 19d Man — one island (6)
      The definition is island – it’s a Hebridean island (the site of Fingal’s Cave). You want a verb meaning man (as in “supply the workers for”) followed by A (one).

    2. 22a He hopes to find fortune having power in professional arena (10)
      This is someone who’s hoping to find a fortune (gold, perhaps). Put together an abbreviation for professional and another word for area or subdivision and then insert the abbreviation for power.

    3. 15d Angus briefly set up mysterious source of sweetness (5,4)
      Reverse (set up, in a down clue) a short form of Angus and add an adjective meaning mysterious or secret to make what a sweetener comes from.

    4. Jane – 15d – a diminutive (3-letters) of Angus (reversed) followed by a 6-letter synonym of “secret, mysterious, concealed” gives you the definition “……source of sweetness”

    1. There is a hint for it above. I explained it to someone on Saturday as a proper D’oh moment. The son of the dysfunctional family, the father of which says D’Oh a lot is also an abbreviation for one of the members of the landed gentry.

    2. Dysfunctional family member is short man with title (4)

      The young tearaway in the fictional family decried by President Bush (“We should be more like the Waltons and less like the …..”).
      He is also the abbbreviation of the lowest hereditary title.

      1. Can anyone tell that it’s windy in Kent – why else would Gnomey and I be replying to queries!!

  21. I’m glad that some of you are still there. I’m a bit slow off the mark on this one. Thanks CS and Gnomey. I don ‘t watch the Simpsons but with your help and the support of Mrs Collywobbles I’ve now finished. Now on to Mondays because we didn’t get any papers in The Languedoc on Sunday

    1. 6d Ring friend about Spain (4)
      For ring think of church bells. Put a synonym for friend around the IVR code for Spain.

  22. And now…… my Crossword Averse Wife, Princess Sharrona of Scandonorvania, has just solved 14A for me, thus completing the puzzle. I remember the last time this was in a puzzle, and I struggled with it then too. Tut.

Comments are closed.