DT 26768 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26768 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided 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.

Across

1a           Cut back tough fish (8)
Reverse a four-letter verb meaning to cut or trim and then add a word meaning tough to get this European sea fish like the herring, but smaller, thicker, and rounder

12a         Tragic figure going round the beat (7)
Put this tragic figure from the eponymous Shakespeare play around THE to get a verb meaning to beat

20a         The Third Man is this novelist (8)
A bit naught putting this in capitals!  Third man is a position in cricket – so what is this person doing?  The novelist is best known as the author of Tom Jones

28a         He has strict rule about rubbish in fashion house (8)
This strict ruler with total power over a country is derived by putting a single-letter abbreviation of for about and some rubbish inside a French fashion house

Down

1d           Cleaner turned revolting vermin (6)
To get this very light and porous volcanic rock, used for cleaning, reverse (over in a down clue) a two-letter word meaning  turned and add some vermin

16d         Sweet expression of disapproval about fine flower (9)
Start with a sugary sweet and then add the kind of expression of disapproval often used by older people about the activities of the young, put this around F(ine) to get a flower (yes, a flower and not a river!) with small heads of white, pink, or purple

21d         Experienced peacekeepers leaving for river (7)
Here experienced is a verb, not an adjective, just drop the usual peacekeepers and the result is any one one of four similarly named rivers in England.

25d         Dog caught soldiers — American one (5)
This dog, a favourite of Her Majesty, is a charade of C(aught), some soldiers and an American soldier

A few more hints coming soon to a blog near you!


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: {genie} + {allergy} = {genealogy}


235 Comments

  1. Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    It seems hard today. I can do with the help

    • Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      There were certainly a few that made me think hard.

      Do you want to suggest one or two that will get you going?

      • Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        20a would help because if it a novelist I won’t get it

        • Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

          I’m not sure that you knowing it’s a cricket term will help either, but I’ve already added a hint.

          • Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

            Doh! Of course I knew the cricket term, I just didn’t look beyond it and, as predicted I didn’t know the author

          • pawdaw
            Posted January 21, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

            The author referred to wrote Bridget Jones’ diary

            • gazza
              Posted January 21, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

              Hi pawdaw – welcome to the blog.
              You’re right – a lady of this name wrote Bridget Jones Diary but a gentleman of this name wrote The History of Tom Jones.

        • Prolixic
          Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

          Think of the third man (and what he does) in cricketing terms and you will have the name of a novelist.

          • mary
            Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

            don’t like it, I was working on the third man being Able and trying to come up with fablist or something similar!!

          • Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

            I really like the cricketing clues

            • mary
              Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

              Not for me

              • Franny
                Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

                Nor me. I just got the first letter and went on from there. Read ‘Tom Jones’ at uni and recommend it. Great fun!

                • pawdaw
                  Posted January 21, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

                  Where does the Tom Jones reference come from in the question? I cannot see it at all an I’m new to this.

                  • Posted January 21, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

                    Gazza answered this at your earlier comment.

                    With all due respect to Ms Helen, I think Henry is considerably better known, and will remain so.

                    • Kath
                      Posted January 21, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

                      Be nice to him (or her) BD – he or she is new to this game!! :smile:

                    • Posted January 21, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

                      It was not my intention to be nasty – I was merely expressing my opinion of chick lit.

    • Prolixic
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      If there are any particular ones you need assistance with, let us know and some friendly soul will jump in to assist.

  2. Prolixic
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    A couple in the south-east corner helpd me up for a little while until the “Third Man” appeared out of nowhere to enable me to finish. Excellent crossword from our Mysteron today. Thanks to him and to BD for the notes.

    • Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Same with me. Once the Third Man went in the rest of the corner followed – except 22d and, despite the hints, I still can’t get it. I must have something else wrong but I don’t think so

      • Caravaggio
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        Just like you, Collywobbles, I have the three checking letters in place with 22d, have read the hints and I can’t get it either! I’ve had no problems with the rest of the crossword – which proves, if nothing else, that my brain is working – but this answer is defying my Seiko crossword solver too…

        • Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

          and mine Cara. I’m going to the web site that BD gave me

          • Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

            plus, I didn’t know that ‘area’ had an abreviation

      • Prolixic
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        It is difficuly to be more specific without being sent to the naughty corner. However, there is an A in there as the abbreviation for area and the answer is a word meaning emptier as someone who is more empty headed or vacuous would be described.

        • Caravaggio
          Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

          I suspect that Collywobbles has had the same thought as me but you can’t qualify the five-letter word because it’s like the word ‘unique’. Chambers [unless I’ve missed it] doesn’t show this word and I’ve also tried the Longman Crossword Key and it’s not there either…

        • Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

          Right, now, there is only one word that fits, and I’m not going to the naughty corner either but I’m not sure that there is such a word and it isn’t in the BRB therefore, by BDs’ standards it doesn’t exist

          • mary
            Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

            got it at last! I’m not sure there is such a word either! I’m really not with it today, still not finished!!

          • Kath
            Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

            I agree with you about 22d.

          • Prolixic
            Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

            The notes in Chambers refers to how inflections are given. “Plural forms and verb participles, etc. are shown only if they are irregular in formation, or warrant special clarification. Comparative and superlative forms of adjectives are given (again by the same criteria).

            As the simple adjectival form is given and the comparative and superlative forms are not irregular this would suggest Chambers recognises the comparative and superlative forms without spelling them out.

            • mary
              Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

              You are so clever prolixic

              • mary
                Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

                but surely that’s only accademic?

            • Kath
              Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

              OK – maybe I give in on this one! Ignore my comment much further down!!

            • Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

              You what?

              • mary
                Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

                :-D

  3. Weekend wanda
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Finished. 21 and 22 d last to go in. Don’t like 22 and not sure where all the answer comes from. Ditto 21 quite like it but don’t know where the 1st three letters come from. Loved 26a when the penny dropped

    • Prolixic
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      21d Experienced peacekeepers leaving for river (7).

      The answer comes from a word meaning experienced from which the first two letters (the abbreviation for peacekeeper) removed leaving the name of a river.

      • Weekend wanda
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        Thanks I gothe river. Very pretty it is too. Just could not work out why. Not a word I would immediately associate with experienced

        • Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

          Hi Wanda – I struggled with 21d too, and it was the last to go in. The word from which you remove the peacekeepers defines experienced as something that you undergo – surgery, for example.

          • Weekend Wanda
            Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

            Got the method eventually. My problem was thinking it was made up from two words and not one! Happy days!

          • Pam
            Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

            21d. Thanks for all the hints.y I got the river but could not fit it to the clue. A clever one!
            Still got lots to do!

  4. Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    By ‘eck! We’ve not had one like this on a Saturday for a long while. I needed BD’s hints(ta gravely) to get me started properly but I’m stuck in the SW corner. If this a Cephas then he’s got his ‘ob nail boots on INMHO.

    • Prolixic
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      I think it is the Mysteron’s turn this week, not Cephas.

      • Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        If it’s RayT don’t tell Brian

        • Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

          Now now! You know Ray stays indoors on Saturdays, so stop teasing.

        • Prolixic
          Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          It’s not likey to be Ray T.

        • mary
          Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

          behave collywobs!

  5. Jezza
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Very good puzzle today. Took me a little longer than normal, but I enjoyed the cogitation.
    Favourite clue – 13a. 1d had me going for a while; I was convinced a reversal of MOP for cleaner had to be there!
    Thanks to setter, and to BD.

    • Kath
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Me too with 1d.

      • cruisenuts96
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        me too

    • Flintelliejet
      Posted January 22, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Jezza you and I must be on the same wavelength! 13a was my favourite and I was convinced with “mop” too!

  6. Brian
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Challenge today but with a couple of super clues ie 23a and 20a (nice to see a sporting clue). Stuck on the last one 22d, any help greatly appreciated. Also could someone explain what 13a has to do with break hold, 4d with telling a tale and 19d to do with rot. Thanks.

    • Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      13a In this clue “break hold” means that the “want” breaks the word meaning to “hold” to get “heavily involved”

      5d is an allusion to one of the Canterbury Tales

      19d is T(alk) and W(ith) followed by a word meaning to rot, usually applied to eggs

      • Jezza
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        Re 13a, could the synonym for ‘hold’ be a noun, as in a castle/fort?

        • Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

          It could, but the this use of hold as a noun is not as common as its use as a verb

      • Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        13a – So, BD, are you saying that there is a word meaning ‘to hold’ which is broken up into 2 four letter words meaning ‘to hold’
        19d – doesn’t this word start with a ‘c’

        • Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

          13a No. Read it again

          19d No

        • mary
          Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

          No collywobs 19d doesn’t start with a ‘c’
          13a a four letter word for hold split 1 and three contains a four letter word for want giving you ‘heavily involved’

          • cruisenuts96
            Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

            finally got it!! thx

    • Prolixic
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      For 22d a word meanig emptier (as in more vacuous) comes from putting an abbreviation for area inside a word meaning privy (not in the sense of a toilet) – think privy council.

    • Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Don’t think of emptier in the “vaccuum” sense nor privy in “toilet” sense

    • Prolixic
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      for 19d, a word meaning nonsense comes from the first letter of talk, the abbreviation for “with” followed by a word meaning rot.

  7. Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Very good puzzle today. I am glad that others found the South East corner to be tricky – it took as long as the rest of the puzzle to complete. Thanks to the Mysteron and to BD.

  8. Franny
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Yes, I enjoyed today’s puzzle too, although I needed Chambers and there were a number of answers that I didn’t understand. I was glad to have explanations for 1d, 24d and 20a, but I’m still confused about 11a and 13a. Thanks to BD, other bloggers and the Mysteron. How I wish I could join you all at the next get-together! :-)

    • Prolixic
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      For 11a, the answer (a form of sweet) comes from putting the abbreviation for “cold” inside a word meaning of superior quality.

      For 13a, a phrase meaning being heavily involved comes from putting a word of four letters meaning want inside (to break) a four letter word meaning to hold.

      • Weekend wanda
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        Think this needs editing!

        • Weekend wanda
          Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

          That’s better!

    • Weekend wanda
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      11a all revealed when you look at the answer as if it is one word. You find an abbreviation for cold inside something superior. 13 you find one word inside the other. Synonyms for want and hold

    • Franny
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much, Prolixic and WWanda. :-)

  9. Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    BD, The Third Man is out of position

    • Prolixic
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      BD caught in the slips!

    • Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      His captain has told Tuffers to go back where he belongs!

  10. mary
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Finding this hard today, 19d as far as I can see can only be one thing, now the last three words together mean this but if you go by the clue, start of talk, which is T with rot, now the last six letter don’t mean rot anywhere and I have looked, am I not seeing this properly??/

    • Prolixic
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      See my reply to Brian above – there is a sneaky abbreviation for “with” in there too.

    • mary
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      I see it now but surely the clue should say ‘starts’ then to indicate we need the start of talk and with followed by a five letter word for rot??

      • Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        Mary

        W is an accepted abbreviation for with – you ought to know that by now!

        • mary
          Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

          Oh dear, I’m not with it at all today, think I’ll go sit in the naughty corner anyway, this is too stressful for me today :-(

          • Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

            Now youv’e been told. Actually I’m having the same problems with this puzzle. It may be that it is just too difficult for some of us when we are used to finishing the Saturday crossword by now

      • Prolixic
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        No, because “w” for “with” is an abbreviation in its own right. You don’t need to indicate that it is the first letter of the word.

  11. Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Finished! I’m off to the darkened room before it gets too crowded…

    • mary
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      I think I’ll join you spindrift maybe you can give me all the answers!! :-)

    • Toadson
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      I’m already there! Some enjoyable clues though …

    • Prolixic
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Take today’s NTSPP with you. It is an alphabetical jigsaw but very solver friendly.

  12. Lea
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    That took longer than most Saturdays. NE corner was my stumbling block as spent agest on 6d and kicked myself (no help needed) when I finally got it. Took ages to understand 12a so will put that as my clue of the day. I also liked 17d and 19d.

    Thanks to setter and to BD for hints.

  13. SpikeyMikey
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed this today – 20a was the last in as I could get Harry Lime out of my head! :-) 15a made me smile and I wasn’t quite sure of 22d All in all an enjoyable Saturday morning. As always, thanks to Big Dave and this wonderful blog.

  14. crypticsue
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    A very enjoyable, going to be a 2* difficulty romp, for me until I got to 22d which on its own took me into 3* territory. Thanks to the Mysteron and to BD too.

    If you are a fan of the alphabetical jigsaw puzzle, you will enjoy the NTSPP.

  15. Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m really, really stuck on 8d – but no-one else seems to be! What am I doing wrong? I’m happy with all my letters……

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      You aren’t thinking laterally and of courts other than the legal variety??

      • Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        You put your finger on it – was hung up on the second word meaning a legal ‘test’. That’ll teach me.

        • Posted January 21, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

          Precisley why this is an excellent crossword and also precisely why this is an excellent ‘blog. CS only needed to nudge in the right direction and all is clear. I had the same ‘Penny Drop Moment’ myself. Hilary!

    • Prolixic
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      8d Fix adjournment – it will settle issue in court (3-5). Think of a court where a tennis match takes place. The answer involves synonyms for fix (as in moor not mend) and adjournment.

      • cruisenuts96
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        At last -got it!! Really struggling today

  16. Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Looked again – and now I’ve got it.GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the world of Gnome’s law – post your reply, send an email to Gnomethang, and your brain immediately clicks into place :)

  17. Kath
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    So glad that it seems I’m not the only one to have found this difficult – is there still any space in the darkened room? If so I’m on my way!! Have finished now without hints but not happy about 22d – the first five letters are fine for “empty” but can’t find the whole answer anywhere. Also something no-one else has had trouble with (or if they have they haven’t said so) is 2d. I’m fairly sure my answer has to be right – it’s certainly someone with “estate” and it fits with everything else but I can’t make any sense of it at all – am I just being dim? I’ve enjoyed this challenge but it was definitely quite a challenge. I liked 10, 20 (even though it was “crickety”) 25 and 26a and 9, 16 and 21d. With thanks to whoever set this one and to BD.

    • Prolixic
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      2d He has estate car finally at end of road, blue inside (9)

      The final letter of car goes after another word for a road. Inside, you add a word meaning blue (as in depressed) to get a word meaning someone who owns an estate.

      • Kath
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Thanks very much – NOW I see it – how come I didn’t before? :oops:

    • Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      For 22d I think Prolixic’s explanation in his Reply to Comment #6 is as good as it gets without being sent into Naughty Corner.

      • Kath
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        It’s not that I didn’t understand where the answer came from but more that I have doubts about the existence of any such word!

      • BusiAnn
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        Assuming I’ve got the correct word, I tried a Google on it and it does come up as a scrabble word meaning ‘lacking in intelligence’ – definitely me this morning!

        • Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

          Welcome to the blog BusiAnn

          • BusiAnn
            Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

            Thank you BD – my darling Dad of 89 and I are regular DT Saturday crossword fans and have often had to resort to your hints to move us along. Nice to join your select group.

            • Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

              I’m not sure about it being a select group!

              • Franco
                Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

                Just what I was about to say! You beat me to it!

                • mary
                  Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

                  Chek :-)

                  • mary
                    Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

                    Mean ‘cheek’ wish I could blame predictive texting!

                    • Posted January 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

                      With me it’s my fingers – they just don’t fit the dainty keyboard!

    • Franny
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Congratulations on doing this without hints? I needed my Chambers on several occasions. :-)

      • mary
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        I needed much more !!!

    • cruisenuts96
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Why do cricket clues come up so often ?!! I find them really annoying!

      • Posted January 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        I love them. It’s a pity we don’t have any rugby clues

        • cruisenuts96
          Posted January 21, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          Maybe we need more on embroidery or beauty treatments!!

          • Kath
            Posted January 21, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

            …. and dancing, and tennis and all the other “girly” things!! Oh dear – am I beginning to sound sexist here! :smile:

  18. Kate
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Gosh this was a workout for Saturday morning. thanks for all the hints and tips on the blog without which I would never have finished. But it was extremely enjoyable so thanks to the mystery setter and to BD for gathering us all together for a great exchange of help and opinions.
    PS Sorry for the typing errors – I don’t know how to jet rid of the predictive text in Spanish on the iPad!

    • Caroline
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Go to Settings then General. Scroll down to Keyboard and take off autocorrection!

      • Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        Surely if it’s a Spanish iPad “Settings” and “General” will be in Spanish. Pommers could possibly know the answer.

        • Caroline
          Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

          Hadn’t thought of that! Could always employ Google Translate!

          • Caroline
            Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

            Need to change the language to British English which is also in settings but again would need to know Spanish to get there!

  19. Posted January 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Definitely a more sporting challenge than of late, with some clever deceptions and the odd brain-acher. A pity that it was relegated to the inside back-page by Branston’s Broadband Ad. Harumph. Thanks to BD for the hints and “X” – please maintain this level of difficulty.

  20. mary
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Well I found that really challenging today! I can’t say I enjoyed it but I did have a favourite clue 5a, as for 15a is Russian accepted now?? obviously my education was lacking because I’d never heard of 18a or 16d, no definitely not one for me today, I am off to paint my horse perhaps I’ll have more joy with that! Good luck everyone a toughie IMHO especially for a Saturday

    • mary
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for hints Dave couldn’t have done it without you :-)

    • Prolixic
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Only if the horse does not move around too much. Does the RSPCA know of your unusual hobby?

      • Lea
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        My thoughts exactly until I twigged that Mary had been to art class yesterday!!

      • mary
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        Funny :-D

    • Lea
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Mary – what medium are you using for your painting? I have been taking paint fusion classes – which are based on the Donna Dewberry style of one brush painting – lots of fun but it’s flowers more than anything else.

      • mary
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        that sounds good Lea we are using water based oils and acrylics, I prefer the oils, the class is taking in a bit of everything, pointalism last week, it is supposed to be a beginners class but my friend and I think we are the only real beginners there, such fun, as Miranda would say :-)

        • Lea
          Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

          Not tried water based oils – may have to get to that but am enjoying the acrylics. I am not an artist but enjoying the learning process. Is the teacher able to cope with mixed abilities or does it mean you get left behind. The class I go to she is able to cope with all standards and that helps.

          • mary
            Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

            Now she realises we are not much good she does take more time, we were getting left behind as she assumed we knew lots of stuff, my friend gets really disheartened sometimes

            • Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

              I would have thought that pointillism, although the idea behind it is very basic, is hardly a subject for beginners. It’s an interesting thought that pointillism is the forerunner of digital photography, just as classical art was for analogue.

              • mary
                Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

                I knew I’d spelt it wrong, that really is interesting Dave, next week we have to submit a piece for our folio!!

              • Lea
                Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

                Some of the rubber stamps that I use for scenic images are produced using the pointilism technique of dots and the result is amazing but not something that I would put as easy.

                • mary
                  Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

                  Sounds as though you are quite an accomplished artist Lea?

                  • Lea
                    Posted January 21, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

                    Nope – use “cheating methods” for producing results but I enjoy it. By the “cheating method” I mean that I use rubber stamps as the basis and then use various colouring medium to produce results. Up until I started the one brush my favourite was watercolouring. Can’t draw worth a darn so have to use other means. How about you? I would say you are getting quite artistic – with your music and now with your painting.

                    • mary
                      Posted January 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

                      I can draw sort of! so don’t ‘cheat’ as such but very much a beginner, in everything, flute, art, crosswords, I have taken them all up because various physical problems mean I can’t do all the physical stuff like squash, badminton, ballroom dancing, walking (I can do flat walking but it’s not very flat around here!!) etc. etc. so I am a bit late starting these other ‘activities’

                    • mary
                      Posted January 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

                      Should have said can’t do them any more! anyway I am enjoying the ‘substitues’
                      Off now to toot the flute once more, see you all later :-)

                    • Lea
                      Posted January 21, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

                      They sound like good substitutes and I have been told that with practice you get better. Sorry to hear about the curbing physical activities but I think that often comes to all of us. I haven’t done any of the impact sports for years but am now at the ladies gym and enjoying it. It starts my day.

              • Lea
                Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

                Didn’t realise that about pointillism – thanks for that BD

            • Lea
              Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

              In my paint fusion class there is a lady who gets a bit disheartened but the teacher then gets her doing something different and her confidence returns.

              • mary
                Posted January 21, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

                I just watched a short utube video of Donna Dewberry painting a rose, brilliant

                • Lea
                  Posted January 21, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

                  It is such fun doing it and you can get realistic results very easily – I love it.

      • mary
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        Flowers are my favourite subject

    • Brian
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Mary, I’m with you, needed all my electronic aids today and still not sure of 22d, is there really such a word? Please DT no more of these challenging ones on a a saturday, save them for he Toughie. Any space in the darkened room?

      • mary
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        Still some space Brian but be quiet everyones taking a well earned snooze!

        • cruisenuts96
          Posted January 21, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

          I’m still struggling!!

  21. Caroline
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    How come no-one else is struggling with 26a? I’ve got 13a and 22d with not trouble but I’m completely lost with 26a. Help please!!!

    • Prolixic
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      26a Be inflamed with passion after ruthless interrogation producing most serious injury (5-6,4)

      A form of serious injury comes from putting a word (4) meaning be inflamed with passion after a phrase (5-6) that describes a form of ruthless interrogation.

    • mary
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Hi Caroline you are looing for a serious injury the type you might get if involved in a fire, you want a two word term for ‘ruthless investigation’ followed by a word for ‘be inflamed’

      • mary
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        or should say ‘be inflamed with passion’

        • Caroline
          Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

          Did you hear that loud clang? It was the sound of a penny dropping!! Thanks!

  22. Franco
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable puzzle today! Thanks to the Setter! Managed it completely unaided for once.

    I’ve read the hint but I am still confused about 1d.

    Vermin, I understand but – a two-letter word meaning “turned”??? Help!

    • Tantalus
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      in a down clue, the opposite is **.

      • Franco
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        Tantalus, Thanks – but now I am even more confused!

        • Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

          If you get 1 across you have the second letter of the two-letter word, so the rest shouldn’t be too difficult

          • Franco
            Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

            Thanks BD. 1d – I finally understand. For over xx years I’ve spelt the “hard skin remover” with an “o”. O Dear!

  23. Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m giving up. This puzzle is too hard for me and very unenjoyable (if there is such a word). I really don’t see the point in setting a puzzle that average folk can’t do – ev en using the hints of experts.

    • mary
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      I almost agree with you collywobs, you were doing well though how many have you got left?

      • Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        About half, Mary, and some of them have hints from the experts and I can’t even understand them. Look at it this way, there are 3 rugby matches on the TV and there’s an (un)enjoyable Telegraph crossword. Which would choose?

        • mary
          Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

          enjoy the rugby then

        • Captain Lethargy
          Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

          Is there one that you can use to get you started again?

        • mary
          Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

          How can I help?

      • Pam
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        I’m glad it’s not just me. Still can’t get 13a and 26a, 22d and
        several others. Now I walk away and come back later hoping
        for enlightenment!

        • mary
          Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

          There are lots of hints for those three floating around here Pam if you look through

          • Pam
            Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

            Thanks Mary. I’d read them but couldn’t see them. Went away, came back and all fell into place
            but can’t see how my word fits in 5a. I’ve earned a cuppa!

            • gazza
              Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

              5a Charm bracelet finally after a cross (6)
              Think of cross as meaning cross-breed.

              • mary
                Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

                My one and only fav clue :-)

              • Pam
                Posted January 21, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

                Ahhh! Got it. Thanks.

  24. Captain Lethargy
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    I had to really work at this.Got stuck in the south and it wasn’t until 26a finally dawned that I could finish it. In total agreement withe everyone regarding 22d. Didn’t help me thinking the last letter of 26a was a T.
    We do need these at times to give us a perspective. We would all be complaining if we had beat 4 1/2 minutes or whatever.
    Thanks to you all for the inspiring chat, BD and the setter.

    • mary
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      I would be throwing a party Captain :-D

  25. Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    And today we have ‘privy’ in 22d – I wish these setters would stop taking the mickey! Anyway, all back to normal in the pommers houshold this morning, in fact, ICFS, as the English speaking diplomats say in New Delhi!

    Enjoyed this one a lot even if a bit tricky in places.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

    • mary
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Glad you are both better pommers

    • Kath
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      I hardly dare ask but what is ICFS – if it’s “too much information” I really don’t want to know!!! :smile:

      • Posted January 22, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        I Can F*** Safely – you probably didn’t need to know that!

  26. Denis
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    25a & 22d have me stumped. I am going to get another glass of inspiration and try to think of a reason why I haven’t cleaned the drive.

  27. Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    I’m back to try again. The rugby is rubbish. BD you havn’t put a tag on the fish

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Being a child of the 1950s when you had to eat everything on your plate or else, I have terrible memories of sitting in front of said fish in tomator sauce on toast. Wouldn’t go near one with a bargepole now, never mind tag it!

      • Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        I’m allergic to fish so I need the tag

        • Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          Thanks BD, I wouldn’t have got it, even as a child of the fifties with the same compulsion to eat everything

      • Captain Lethargy
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        Ah Sue. I remember those days, sitting at the dinner table for 3 hours because I wouldn’t eat my overcooked greens. I did go back to 1a as I got older. These days it’s the cats Christmas present!

        • mary
          Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

          Me too, the only thing I didn’t like with Sunday dinner was soaked peas, but I had to sit there until they were all gone, I liked every other veg, one of my brothers who didn’t like any veg except said peas, only got those on his plate and didn’t have to eat any other veg, so unfair!!

      • Prolixic
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Used to love tinned 1a – lunch would be half an onion chopped with raw white cabbage and a tin of fish on top!

  28. luapsnoki
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Hi folks, my first posting, but a frequent and appreciative visitor :)
    As many others, I struggle with this one but thanks to hints inly one to go (and seemingly the only person to have problems with it :(
    9d ??? any hint would be welcome.

    • gazza
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Hi luapsnoki – welcome to the blog.
      9d Drinks consumed by old king leading to breakdown (8)
      Put a verb meaning drinks (like a dog, say) inside a merry old king.

      • luapsnoki
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        Doh! :) Many thanks

  29. Derek
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    A rather tougher puzzle this Saturday.
    Faves : 11a, 12a, 15a, 20a,1d, 8d, 9d, 19d, 21d & 25d.

    Grey skies and lots of rain here today.

  30. Denis
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Finished now. Once the penny dropped on 25a, 22d fell into place!
    I think it’s the wrong sort of leaves on the drive…….. no wont work, better do it.

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend

    Regards,

    Denis

    • Denis
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Great news! It’s raining in Cheadle Hulme.

      • mary
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        Oh well you’d better ‘leave’ that job til another time Denis!

  31. BigBoab
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    One of the better Saturday crosswords, very enjoyable.

  32. Annidrum
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Found this very challenging but also very enjoyable with some very clever clues. Can’t believe my last one in was 11a and it’s something I love. I found the top right hand corner my stumbling block to-day ,but to use Mary’s word I persevated. Thanks to Mystereron & BD.

    • mary
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Well done Annidrum for perservating :-)

      • Annidrum
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Mary

    • Lea
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Annidrum – it is nice to know I wasn’t the only with problems in that corner – everyone else seems to be in ther south corners. Well done for getting there.

  33. Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Can somebody explain to me why 5a is what it is?

    • Prolixic
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      5a Charm bracelet finally after a cross (6)

      The definition is a charm. Take the A from the clue a cross (as in a hybrid animal) and the final letter of bracelet.

    • mary
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      The answer is a charm made up of bracelet finally which is the ‘t’ coming after a cross which is,, a plus the next four letters which is a crossbreed animal!!

    • Little Dave
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      Hi Collwobbles – a (then an animal being a cross) and final letter of bracelet. Not a well constructed clue I think.

      • Kath
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

        … but one that comes up quite often so worth remembering …

  34. Little Dave
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Lots of comments today. I thought this was a rather clumsy puzzle with some ropey clues – notably 22d and 25d. My favourite was 20a. Nice to get it done but overall rather forgettable.

    • mary
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      agree Little D 25d doesn’t really work for me with soldiers seeming to do double duty?

      • crypticsue
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        It is two different soldiers that’s why. The British abbreviation for those soldiers who aren’t officers and then the handy abbreviation for the American soldier.

  35. mary
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    what a busy blog today

  36. Little Dave
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Mary – unless we are both missing something?! Perhaps I need an early glass of wine?

  37. cruisenuts96
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    STILL 2 to go! Help please! 17d and 18a

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      17d a description of how you will be after you finish this puzzle is simply the two letter abbreviation for the European Community followed by a word meaning stationary, still.

      18a is a proofreaders mark is simply obtained by following a word meaning to mind or pay attention to with T for time.

      • cruisenuts96
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        Thank you so much!! Yes I am !! Never heard of 18a Thx again Hope next week’s puzzle is easier!!

        • crypticsue
          Posted January 21, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          File 18a away for future use – it will be back!

  38. Posted January 21, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Finished. Blimey, that was a tough one. Come back Cephas, please

    • Posted January 21, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      Well done for perservating collywobs:-)

  39. Posted January 21, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been out for a couple of hours and there were 65 comments while i was away!

    • Posted January 21, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      I was quite pleased to score a ton yesterday – looks like you’re heading for a double century! Keep ’em coming !!

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      I think people know when you are out! I expect there will be a riot again when we are in London next week :D

      • Posted January 21, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        What was that about “When the cat’s away, the mice will play”?

  40. Posted January 21, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    I think that it is indicative of the difficulty of the puzzle

    • Posted January 21, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Don’t forget, it is a prize puzzle – if they were too easy then they would be more of a lottery than they are.

      • Posted January 21, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        Point taken, but it was difficult for a Saturday and most ookf the rest of our team seem to agree

  41. Posted January 21, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Finished at last. Very difficult for me today, needed lots of help from Big Dave & all the other bloggers. Quite enjoyable with lots of eureka moments.

  42. Kath
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    I have never seen the number of comments exceed 200 before – brilliant but it’s just taken me ages just to skim through – ie a VERY quick look to see if there was anything new since I was “here” earlier. If I sit here any longer husband will have cooked supper …… ! :grin:

    • Prolixic
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      It has happened twice before. Another of the Mysteron’s crosswords (again a tricky one) generated 234 comments.

      • Posted January 21, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        DT 26480 – 234
        DT 26504 – 216
        Today – 213 and still rising
        DT 26283 – 206

        All the above are Saturday Hints posts

        • Posted January 21, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

          Amazing this blog just grow and grows in popularity and now I can take my android to bed I can comment later on :-)

      • Kath
        Posted January 21, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

        OK Prolixic and Big Dave – for the second time today I give in!! Sleep well all – I think we deserve it!

  43. Rod Ash
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Very late start today, and I agree with the others on toughness. I quite enjoyed 13a, 26a & 28a.

  44. Posted January 21, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Saturday are always the commentiest days good night all :-)

  45. Heno
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the Mysteron & to.Big Dave for the hints.Got stuck in the SE corner, needed a couple of hints, then got the rest from the blog .a very entertaining puzzle. Congratulations to Big Dave on the website reaching the 5 million, I’ll bet it will be 6 million soon, it’s starting to take longer reading the blog than doing the puzzle ! Keep up the good work.

    • Posted January 21, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

      And on top of that, today is a new record number of page views – 10,175 and over an hour to go.

    • Heno
      Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      Forgot to say that 21d made me laugh as I couldn’t get it from the pictures, even though I’ve been to Keswick many times, penny finally dropped when I read the comments.Favourites were 1&5 across.

  46. Little Dave
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I think this makes 225 comments!

    • foray
      Posted January 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Well now its 226! This is obviously a really popular site, deservedly. I so wish I could make time to do the puzzle on a Saturday so that I could join in the conversation at the time – maybe I should have a belated resolution for 2012. Getting through it now, done all but the north-east corner. I thought 22d was quite clever, misdirecting you to the toilet! Thanks for hints BD.

  47. Glyndwr
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been enjoying reading all the comments, and of course reading the hints and tips, for a few months, but this is my first post.

    A tricky puzzle, had to sleep on it before Mrs G and I attacked it again today. Still not certian where the front of 21d and the whole of 22d came from but, the answers feel right.

    Thanks to BD for the site, and to the others for your clever hints, a dullard like me couldn’t do it without you!

    • Posted January 22, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Glyndwr

      21d is a word meaning experienced or suffered, perhaps experienced an operation in hospital, without the first two letters, which are the acronym for the world’s peacekeepers, set up after WWII.

      22d is an adjective meaning emptier or more stupid and it is derived by putting A(rea) inside an adjective meaning privy or private as in one’s private conscience.

  48. Gari
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Only just got round to doing this Cw rather busy weekend, really enjoyed it but got stuck on 22a and couldn’t work it out then realised I was trying to work it out as (3-4) and not as it should be (4-3) what a numpty !!. :D

  49. Jo
    Posted January 24, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    I expect most of you have either finished long ago or moved on by now, but having first flown across Europe on Saturday then across the Atlantic on Sunday to greet my newborn grandson, am suffering from a mixture of excitement & jet lag, Just in case anyone is still peeking at this blog could do with hints for 15 & 18a. I expect the answers are obvious (to anyone having had the requisite amount of sleep in order for the brain to function) since no-one else seems to have had a problem with them. I could use the letter hints but that takes away from the achievement of finally finishing so any hints readily welcomed.

    • Prolixic
      Posted January 24, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

      15a Russian’s agreement to take tea in his house

      Take the Russian word for yes and add a word mean tea to give a word for a type of Russian house.

      • Jo
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Prolixic, speak French & little Greek but have no knowledge of Russian so even with the middle 3 letters (which I guessed) wouldn’t have got 15a. Had correct answer for 18a, should have Googled it I suppose, but thanks for help .

    • Prolixic
      Posted January 24, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

      18a Sign of proofreader having attention to detail before time (5)

      The answer is a proofreader’s sign. Take a ward meaning attention to detail and follow this with the usual abbreviation for time to get the answer.