DT 26642 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26642 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26642 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, and provide hints for them.

If you have written to me recently and not received a reply, it’s because your email was on the hard drive that crashed this week.  Please write again.  BD

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.


3a           Penny and one pioneer left out to find leader (4-6)
A charade od P(enny), the playing card with one spot and a pioneer or colonist without the L (Left out) gives the early leader in a race

10a         Officer Charlie meets a new islander (8)
A charade of an army officer, the letter represented by Charlie in the NATO phonetic alphabet, A (from the clue) and N(ew) gives someone from a Balearic island

12a         Well banged up, or fine? (2,4,4)
What could possibly mean banged up in an excellent prison actually means fine or hale and hearty

24a         Frenchman turning emerald — with this? (3,2,3)
What makes a Frenchman turn a shade of green?

26a         Plain where river runs to one side (10)
A word meaning plain or direct is a charade of a Scottish river (I bet Big Boab knows this one!) and one of the two sides


1d           Mulled over anagram about alcohol (8)
An anagram (mulled over) of ANAGRAM followed by the single-letter abbreviation of the Latin for about gives a type of brandy

5d           Naughty gal cutting single track mixed hit (8)
An anagram (mixed) of SIN(G)(L)E TR(A)CK without the scrambled letters (naughty) of GAL  gives a verb meaning hit or afflicted

17d         Sin of excess adding to US city (8)
This deadly sin is a charade of an excess, TO and a hurricane-threatened US city

19d         Outlaw born with sex appeal (6)
An outlaw is a charade of B(orn), a synonym for with and the two-letter word for sex appeal (not the abbreviation SA)

23d         Turn up after father gets jumper (4)
Reverse a turn or chance after the abbreviation for a religious father to get an amphibious jumper

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: {soup} + {Perrin} + {junction} = {superinjunction}

89 comments on “DT 26642 (Hints)

    1. I tried at 6:30 am with no joy, again at 6:45 then I finally got on at 7:15! As I wrote in an e-mail to BD (which looks to have disappeared up his hard drive) could we not as a collective group organize some fund raising activity on the lines of “Blue Peter’s” bottle tops campaign? That way we could buy some more batteries for this worse than dreadful website!

    2. This was the message I got after my 10th e mail this month!

      Dear subscriber,

      I would like to apologise again for the recent problems that you have experienced in accessing and using the Telegraph Puzzles website. I’ll try to explain as best I can what has happened and what is being done to correct it.

      The initial issue was caused by a fire at Amazon, which hosts the TP website, resulting in 50% of the systems required to run the website being destroyed. Although new servers were built to get the site back online, performance is still severely reduced. Certain functions within the site are causing an overload to the database. This makes the site run slowly or become inaccessible at times.

      Our IT people are developing new software to correct this. In the interim we have had to disable or throttle back some of the live updates on the site such as the leaderboards and who’s online now.

      I’m sorry to say this will not be a quick fix. However, I am assured that over the next 6-8 weeks we will see improvements in how the site works.

      Thanks very much for your patience. If you have further queries, Customer Services will do their best to assist.

      Phil McNeill
      Telegraph Puzzles Editor

        1. How about just one of us subscribing to the site and they e-mail everyone who wants a copy the downloaded crossword as a PDF?
          Of course it would require some kind and dedicated soul(s) to volunteer to do this…..
          I’m not sure though whether this would be actually legal? Any lawyers out there?

      1. Sorry to say this is my first post, I am one of your sites many silent lurkers! First off, many thanks to all the contributors for your free daily solvers master class! I though you might be interested by the exchange I had with the DT last week….small refund offered…..

        Dear Mr Edwards
        In light of the fact that the Telegraph sever has not functioned correctly since the 7th of August, could you please tell me what form of compensation/refund the Telegraph will offer to their subscribers? I am currently paying for a service that is not useable. I am unable to access the service again this morning and it is not reasonable for me to “keep trying” all day until it decides to work.
        I look forward to hearing from you.

        and the response……..

        Thank you for contacting the Telegraph.

        Further to your recent communication I regret to confirm that on 7th August 2011 a lighting bolt struck the Telegraph Puzzles host server in Dublin. This resulted in intermittent fluctuations in both availability and the functionality of the Telegraph Puzzles website.

        Thanks to the valuable feedback of our Telegraph Puzzles subscribers, who have helped to identify the key issues, I can confirm that a full review of the Telegraph Puzzles service has now been scheduled. This will happen throughout September and include substantial site maintenance, with the aim of restoring full site functionality and usability as soon as possible.

        As a gesture of good will, I have organised one month‚s refund of £2.99 to your payment card. Please allow up to 5 working days for this transaction to appear on your card.

        Please accept our sincere apologise for the inconvenience caused by this incident and rest assure that the Telegraph Puzzles team are working hard to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as possible. We thank you for your continued patience during this time.

    3. Took me longer to access it on the site, print it, and then to submit it, than the time it took me to do it.

  1. A fairly average Saturday puzzle for me both for solving time and enjoyment – thank you presumably to Cephas. I quite like a clue which conjours up a vision and so for me my favourite so far is 24a. Thanks to BD for the hints and illustrations – nice to see the pic for 3a – my uncle was Gordon Pirie who ran at the same time as, and with, the gentleman shown there.

    1. I agree with your comments, Sue, as I found this puzzle to be merely average. I recall your uncle winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in, I think, 1956 as that was the year of the Melbourne Olympics where he won a silver medal.

      1. You are right about Melbourne, but he actually won the Sports Personality of the Year in 1955.

  2. Excellent and very enjoyable puzzle with lots of lovely clues. My favs are 12a, 20a, 26a and esp 24a.
    Thx to the setter for an enjoyable start to the weekend and to BD for the hint for 1d, I just couldn’t see the extra letter!

    1. Welcome to the blog Dave

      Please don’t put answers in comments on posts providing hints for Prize crosswords.

      Yes, I know what happens when you hover over the picture, but I have to draw the line somewhere.

  3. Quite enjoyable – 7d was new to me even though I’m quite keen on classic cars. Liked 12a and 21d. Have a good weekend all.

      1. A humble MGB Roadster Brian, but a very nice one. Maybe one day an Austin Healey 3 Litre … now there’s a thought.

        1. MGB Roadsters are very nice, especially the earlier ones. I see some good examples at the classic vehicle events. The Healeys are there too but not in the same numbers. I’m doing a charity road run tomorrow in a 1969 convertible, fingers crossed for good weather. :-)

          1. Good luck, hopefully you’ll have an enjoyable spin through the lanes – and with the roof down!

  4. Morning Dave and everyone, quite a bit of French involved today, thanks for the hints Dave I particularly needed 5d, why do we need the ‘naughty’ surely it works without it? fav clue today 11a

    1. I am not sure about the ‘naughty’ but need to work it out for the review! Could it be that the letters we have to remove are muddled up in the other ones we have to mix. Hopefully someone cleverer than me will let us know :)

          1. Yes I see now, well done Sue to explain that without giving anything away :-) typical bank holiday weather here today, sunny, cloudy, showery, windy and quite cool!

            1. We are a bit like that too but i have risked putting washing on the line. Better than yesterday when we had over an inch of rain and we were caught outside in quite a lot of that!

  5. Bonjour a tous, beaucoup mots francais aujourd’hui. J’espere tout personnes peux finis. Anyway, I enjoyed it and 25a will be a word I will engrave on my heart.
    Thanks to B Dave and Cephas.
    A demain

  6. This puzzle took about as long as my early cup of tea to finish. Call me pedantic (go on) but the answer to 11a would have got me in trouble during my schooldays. My English master insisted that the final letter was superfluous because it indicated -like. The word it qualified either was or wasn’t! BD – I hope this is sufficiently obscure. However, I see that it’s in Chambers.

    Regarding the difficulty of this puzzle, prize competitions are primarily list-building exercises. If made too hard they won’t get the response which enables them to sell lists of presumed high-quality readers to those organisations that bombard us with junk mail. The principle is taken to extremes on those premium-rate phone competitions which have ridiculously easy answers, where the object is revenue generation. See, I learned something from my spell in publishing. :-)

    1. And to prove the point, how many of the contributors here have ever won a prize after sending in Saturday puzzles year after year? I recall that question being asked before, and the answer was ‘very few’.

      1. Hi having been educating myself on your blog for a little while now. And many thanks for it. I have to tell you my boyfriend (much older boyfriend) has indeed won three times. And has three pens to prove it. Personally I’m seduced by the general knowledge fountain pen more as it seems more exclusive. His ability to do this crossword baffled me. I remember my grandmother taking all day over it and I still couldn’t understand when she explained. Loving English I became determined to conquer it and today was my biggest breakthrough.never before have I dared to even attempt the prize crossword but today I did five, in quick and inexplicable succession. So thank you BD, it’s clearly going in!! I hope one day to send off the Saturday crossword but I do feel a prize would be too much to hope for.

    2. I have always imagined that the Saturday puzzle was deliberately easier than the weekday ones, mainly to introduce people to the world of cryptic crosswords when they have more time to sit and work at it. I also wonder whether someone at the DT has a deal with a person who collects large quantities of postage stamps, so the simpler the crossword, the more stamps they have to trade.

    3. @toadson: I sent in the Saturday and Sunday prize puzzles for years but to no avail. However the Post Office benefitted greatly from selling me (and countless others) the stamps. :-)

      @crypticsue: I worked at a large publishing company in the mid-’80s where there was a well-staffed postroom to open the mail. The general stamps were sold to a dealer but the supervisor gave me some of the more exotic foreign ones for my daughter. Nowadays large organisations’ mail is opened mechanically so I presume the stamps and their envelopes go to recycling or trade waste.

      1. Yes, I have to endure piles of junk mail, which goes directly into the blue bin without being opened, but at least I have my little black notebook, with embossed DT logo, as a consolation! It has only cost me about £200 – so far. The puzzle was about par for a Saturday, and I agree with those who would wish it to be harder. Thanks to BD & Cephas.

  7. This was a nice, easy puzzle to welcome me back from my holidays. Vive la rentrée, as they say here! And I’m glad to have been able to print it off from Clued Up before the site crashed yet again. It still seems to be unobtainable. I agree with Father Brian — never have liked 11a, it always seems a bit twee. But there were lots of clues that I did like, especially 22a which I’ve been hearing a good deal of and 24a which I managed to avoid. But I think the best was 15a. Many thanks to BD for explaining 5d and 17d which I had trouble working out, and of course to Cephas if it was he.

    1. Welcome back Franny – did you enjoy The Var?
      I am back in NL (Nederland) now.

      I met my late wife when we were both pioneers at CERN.

      1. Cern’s ‘Cloud’ experiment is confirming Henrik Svensmark’s work that cosmic rays are causing global warming (and in the past global cooling) and not CO2 emissions from fossil fuels. The massive expenditure on offshore windfarms of +£100 billion is completely unnecessary.

  8. Thanks to setter for a pleasant puzzle, and to BD for the hints.
    Re 23a, I thought it was two words, but presumably Chambers (which I do not have) gives it as one word.

  9. Thanks to the setter and BD for the hints. I was struggling to see why 5d gave the answer it did. It makes sense now, although I don’t think I would have worked it out by myself.

    Did anyone else notice that it was a pangram?

  10. Hi Have completed the crossword except for 8A and 2D. Haven’t got a clue, please can I have some help. Thank you

    1. 2d – This well known author is made up from a conjuction meaning ‘alternative’, followed by a synonym for a source, perhaps underground.

      1. That should have been 8a!

        2d – The definition is ‘kick-off’ as in a decisive, or critical time, constructed from a numerical word for ‘no’, and followed with a period of time.

    2. Hi,
      Re 8a – can’t really think of ‘clever’ hints but think of ‘Animal Farm’.
      Re 2d – have a good look at the crossword, remembering that it’s a pangram, and find the letters you haven’t yet used. Then think of what time space shuttles blast off!
      Hope that helps and that I’ve managed to do this before someone else does! :smile:

  11. Nicely illustrated hints today. I particularly liked the animated pig, and of course dear old Kermit. Much better than the scantily clad women we often get popping up on the blog!

  12. This is the response I got, to a less than patient email:

    Further to your recent communication I regret to confirm that on 7th August 2011 a lighting bolt struck the Telegraph Puzzles host server in Dublin. This resulted in intermittent fluctuations in both availability and the functionality of the Telegraph Puzzles website.

    Thanks to the valuable feedback of our Telegraph Puzzles subscribers, who have helped to identify the key issues, I can confirm that a full review of the Telegraph Puzzles service has now been scheduled. This will happen throughout September and include substantial site maintenance, with the aim of restoring full site functionality and usability as soon as possible.

    Please accept our sincere apologise (sic) for the inconvenience caused by this incident and rest assure (sic) that the Telegraph Puzzles team are working hard to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as possible. We thank you for your continued patience during this time.

  13. I have finally finished this but thought that the top left hand corner was a bit tricky – looking at it again now that I’ve finished it can’t really see why. I got 5d but only because it means ‘hit’ and because I couldn’t think of anything else that would fit – I would NEVER have worked out why on my own so thanks, yet again, to BD. 7d was a new word to me – shall we add motor racing to the ever increasing list of things that I can’t do! Too many good clues to enumerate individual ones – perhaps 24a. With thanks to Cephas and BD.
    Cutting VERY long wet grass in the rain is an absolute mugs game but that is what I’m going to go and do now! :sad:
    Have a good weekend all.

      1. Thanks Mary – have now done about half of it – problem with leaving it until tomorrow is that, at the rate it’s growing at the moment, it’ll be another inch longer by then! Having a break from it to take the four-legged for a very quick walk.

    1. Welcome to the blog Old Nick

      Sorry it took so long to authorise your comment.

      8a Author’s alternative source (6)
      This author is a charade of a word that separates two alternatives and a source of water

      3d Head of couture in tartan, being cool (6)
      Put the initial letter (head) of Couture inside a long piece of woollen cloth, worn over the shoulder, usually in tartan as part of Highland dress to get a word meaning being cool

  14. I am stuck on 7d and 14a and would appreciate a nudge.
    With regards to doubts expressed above I have the pen for winning and everyone who has attended a meeting with me is well aware of it because I flaunt it!


    D. D.

    1. 7d is a term for a motor racing team – put the usual abbreviation for Eastern on the end of a word meaning supply.

      14a is a double definition. Think about each of the two words in the clue and you should hear a penny drop to the floor.

      1. Thank you Crypticsue,
        In view of the Franglais content today if “motor-racing” had been omitted from the clue I would have solved the clue more readily.

        No hidden words today so I am guided by wiser souls that Cephas is the the setter. Thanks to him/her and to BD.


        D. D.

      1. Nor me! So I googled it before I put it in. Don’t follow cricket, or football and am not a petrol-head either, so you’re not alone Kath. I found NW corner tricky too and had to get 4d before 3a had a chance – but last in of all was 11a and that penny tokk for ever to drop !Good luck with the grass!

    2. Denis, Congratulations on winning “the” pen!

      14a was my favourite today – a simple clue for a simple mind!

      Double definition. 1) “Similar” as an adjective 2) “writing” – perhaps – communicating by letter?

      (Trying to provide hints makes me appreciate the Bloggers on this Web-site all the more). Must stop Drinking!!!

      1. Thank you Franco,

        As I sit here with a Whisky and coke I appreciate your abstemious advice and assume that both you and I will ignore same.


        D. D.

  15. Enjoyable puzzle with a definite French flavour.
    Faves :11a, 20a, 24a, 1d, 7d, 17d & 21d.

  16. Very straightforward but enjoyable today. Thanks to Cephas for the crossword and to BD for the notes.

    Today’s NTSPP is a gentle crossword and well worth a go too.

  17. I thought this was a good challenge – better than the usual Saturday standard. 8a was my favourite.

  18. I cannot be arsed to leave a comment. Nothing wrong with the puzzle but I had to buy 3 Lbs of paper today for the one thang that I wanted (and I m already subscribed to!). Now that I am trying to look online to view the puzzle in order to help others I cannot get in.
    Nevertheless I cannot fault the (no doubt frustrated) setter.

    1. I managed to do this puzzle online at 1am or so.

      Perfectly decent puzzle, but, lighning strike at Amazon or not, it’s amazing that the website is still performing so poorly.

  19. I have been using this website on and off for a couple of years now. I really have found it useful but…it would be great if there could be a ‘FIND’ or ‘SEARCH’ function to allow people to type in the clue number that they are wanting guidance about. It can take a while to scroll through all the conversations. Perhaps this accounts for people who often ask a question about a clue that has already been covered. Hope you don’t mind me suggesting this….

    1. If you are using Internet Explorer, just click Ctrl F and a little box called Find: will appear at the top of the page. Just type in the number you want iand it will tell you how many matches and you can press Next to move through them all.

      Mind you, it is fun to read all the conversations as we seem to stray into many different areas as well as giving hints :D

  20. hello -thx for the hints. Again- am a day late – had a soggy barbecue yesterday!! Help for 18d wd be appreciated.

    1. Hi cruisenuts you are looking for a sign of the zodiac (5 letters) with ‘a’ inside to give you a word for a violent woman

  21. Enjoying this (always enjoy DT cryptic crosswords where l struggle and eventually solve some clues without help) :)

    Am also a day late. Had daughter to chauffeur yesterday. We had to travel around various corners of London. Lack decent PT due to planned engineering works and the variety of roadwords around London made it seem as if we were never going to arrive. Staying fixed on sofa today with coffee and cake and will finish this.

    Thanks to BD and setter

  22. Thanks to the setter & Big Dave, for a very enjoyable puzzle, for once I didn’t need the hints. Favourite was 24a wordplay superb with emerald being most of the anagram, and all of the description.

    1. Re 7d, as per crypticsue earlier
      “7d is a term for a motor racing team – put the usual abbreviation for Eastern on the end of a word meaning supply.”
      11a is simply the abbreviation for credit followed by a childrens game that involves your eyes. Definition, with crunch.

  23. I liked this one. 1d particularly too my fancy but also liked 10a and 3d.

    Thanks to Big D for explaining 5d.

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