DT 26456 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26456 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26456 (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.

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


1a    Disreputable pair cons politician — get detained here? (6,4)
An anagram (disreputable) of PAIR CONS is followed by a politician to give where said politician may be detained if he fiddles his expenses

9a    Initiate Dracula perhaps as a measure of his diet (5,5)
A word meaning to initiate is followed by Dracula’s title to give a measure of his diet

15a    Poet’s endless wonder (6)
Drop the final letter of the name of this seventeenth-century English metaphysical poet to get a wonder or spectacle

19a    Academics take in old papers for correction (6)
Put the abbreviated form of these senior academics around (take in) O(ld) to get trial impressions of pages used for making corrections before final printing.

21a    Popular cleaner source of information for Chinese (7,5)
The official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party could describe a popular cleaner

27a    Independent university has secure incentive (10)
A charade of IND(ependent), U(niversity) and a word meaning to secure or bond to get an incentive


1d    Boozers knock back drink swallowing first of beers (4)
Here the boozers are the places for drinking rather than the drinkers themselves – reverse (knock back) a verb meaning to drink around (swallowing) the first letter of Beers

4d    Bird with mild ailment taking in hospital (6)
This bird of the crow family, inhabiting sea-cliffs and mountains and having glossy black plumage, red legs and a red down-curved bill, is created by putting a mild ailment, often associated with a cold, around (taking in) H(ospital)

7d    Tuck up gripping injured fallen wrestler’s hold (4,6)
Reverse (up, as this is a down clue) a slang word for tuck, as in food, around (gripping) an anagram (injured) of FALLEN to get a wrestler’s hold

14d    Confusion about right climbing plant for each insect (4-6)
Put confusion or haze (3) around R(ight) and follow it with a climbing plant (3), the fruit of which is used for flavouring beer, and a word meaning for each (3) to get this jumping, plant-sucking insect, the larva of which produces cuckoo spit

23d    Stab a slug (4)
A double definition – to have a stab or go and a slug of metal for firing from a gun

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!

112 comments on “DT 26456 (Hints)

  1. That was a humdinger – after a succession of reasonably easy puzzles we’ve finally got a real challenge. Thanks to the complier & BD for the hints.

  2. On the whole a pleasant Saturday diversion but I am stuck on the last 3 which is vexing me.
    I am wondering if 25a has anything to do with a very long-running west end musical (grasping at straws here :-) ).
    And even with the excellent hints, I still can’t see 23d Grrrr!

    1. 23d Give it a go & bite the bullet!
      25a – think radio 2 presenter & add…
      No doubt BD will edit these if I’ve gone too far

    2. 25a Rather sour ‘Panorama’ presenter making a show (10)

      This has nothing to do with any musicals, West End or otherwise. The definition is “rather sour” and to get the word combine a presenter of Panorama (4) with a word meaning showy (6).

    3. Thx Guys, 23d so obvious DOH!!! Not surprised I couldn’t get 23a, never watch Panorama and always turn off Radio 2 at 12 as I can’t stand the pompous presenter in question. All done now. Great crossword today, asked some challenging questions but eminently doable. Great week for me, finished 4/5 and no Ray T – HURRAH!!

  3. That puzzle was an absolute joy and I’ve awarded it five stars even though I didn’t breeze through it. I don’t have a favourite clue because there were a number of them but suffice it to say that there was some wonderful wordplay. I can’t believe that I’m the first to post a comment… Do I get a prize, Dave?

  4. A really enjoyable puzzle.
    Those who felt disappointed by the Friday Toughie yesterday may like to know that today’s prize puzzle in the Guardian is by Enigmatist (Elgar) and it’s well up to his usual standard.

    1. Hi Gazza, just had a look at the Enigmatist for half an hour – I may be some time!
      Phew, this is hard!

        1. You can say that again!
          Done about half and giving up now – I’ll have wait for the 225 blog next week! I did like 7d though once the penny dropped about ‘supporters’. I always forget that meaning of the word!!
          Off to try today’s DT with pommette over lunch – back later.

  5. Am realy struggling today, have not found this easy at all, well done Barrie and everyone else, I have 4 left and am giving up soon! :(

  6. I found this a difficult puzzle today despite there being lots of split answers which I usually like, if I have favourite clues they are 25a and 9a, good luck everyone I am just glad to have finished this at last!

        1. Hi Mary, that one made me laugh ! as for the rest, I’ve got seven to go including 26a which seems to have Japanese connections ?

          1. not sure about the Japanese Pete but if you combine the first word with the two letter abbreviation for right you get a word for wrong

            1. Thanks Mary, I had the last letter wrong ! What A silly mistake !!
              That’s it, 12.30 ish and all finished – have to go and do some domestics now, heh! ho!

  7. Great puzzle, do we know the setter? Thanks Mr Mysteron. Liked 25a 13d. Thank you for the hints BD needed 14d

  8. A joy. Different again. Another setter? lst one I got was 1d and I thought this is going to be easy, but I was wrong! First run through I got about 4, put down and then most slotted into place. Unusually I found the answers easier to get than I found the explanation. Needed dictionary but not the BD’s clues- but needed his clues for some of the explanations! Liked 9a, 16a, 13d.

  9. Apart from one or two clues I found it quite pedestrian.I suppose if you are doing the crossword on line in Australia or somewhere you might struggle with 25a which is a bit naughty.
    Thanks to Dave for the hints and one of Capt Scarlett’s foes.

    1. Agree Nubian – C List “celebs” should not be used in a crossword, as you should be to solve it anywhere / anytime. And the person in question will be soon forgotten. I see that Ark Royal V pays off today. No tears from me – not a proper aircraft carrier!

      1. Indeed the loss of Ark Royal V is no great shakes. I always wondered if it was true that the guy who designed the ski jump got 25 quid as it was entered into the ideas box. I forget the name it, someones name I think.

        1. Herbert Lott. And it was £50 – a 2 1/2 Engineer Officer – Richards or Rogers, I seem to recall.

    2. Yes, 25a was last in for me and I needed a couple of letter hints. And I’m only writing from Switzerland.

  10. Tricky one today – more on Mr C’s wavelength than mine!! Favourite for me today was 11d, also liked 9a and 25a. Thanks for the hints BD – helped me to understand a few but still struggling with the ‘why’ of 5d and 22d :-/

    1. 5d. The first, second, third and last letters are a First World War battle of August 1914 around a synonym of principal.

      22d. Long is in the sense of desire or yearn for.

    2. 22d is a double meaning. Different sort of long! Not sure about 5d. I thought the first three letters related to the first part of the clue but I think I am wrong about that.

    3. Thanks you two – got involved in a massive photo sort out and forgot to come back to look. Now can’t sleep so here I am!

  11. Excellent fun today. Didn’t take long to solve but some cracking wordplay. Thanks to BD and the Mysterious Mysteron.

  12. Yes, very enjoyable. I needed a good deal of perseveration and a bit of electronic help but I did finally finish it. It took me a while to find 21a and I’d never heard of 14d but otherwise there was no great problem — except of course 25a, as mentioned above. Also, I thought 16a was American. There were lots of good clues, but best for me was 9a.

    1. where would we be without perservation, hope Liverpool have some of it, they are on now v Wolves! I remain optimistic :) big sigh………

  13. Great fun, loved 9a and 5, 7, 11d along with lots more. Really enjoyable exercise, thanks to compiler and B.D.

  14. Hello – new to this site (and cryptic crosswords to a degree!). Convalescing after foot op so trying to use brain….. Really struggling with 3d. Any hints?

    1. Welcome to the blog Cassidy

      3d Fanciful yarn o’ wild wild virgin and earl (3,5,4)

      This fanciful yarn is an anagram (wild ) of O’ WILD followed by a Roman virgin and E(arl)

  15. The most enjoyable crossword for some time! Thanks to the setter especially for 9a,16a and 11d.

  16. I was so gobsmacked at finishing before lunch that I forgot to make any comments!
    Thoroughly enjoyed todays offering which needed help from electronics and especially BD’s hints but it’s finished – not a common occurence in this house ! So thanks to both BD and the Setter (be he English or Red !) favourite was still 18a.

  17. Ten not yet done and I rather think they will stay that way! A bit on the hard side … Will check the comments for more hints later. Thanks for review, needed most of those hints.

  18. Second word of 14d: is this some sort of generic term for climbing plants? I can’t find any references to a specific plant – indeed to any plant.

    1. The first three letters of the second word are a plant which used to be grown a lot here in Kent!

    2. Thanks BD & CS. Missed the reference to ‘each’ …

      There are some of these growing wild in a ‘heinz 57’ hedge just up the lane on the flood-meadows.

  19. Romped through this but then spent ages on 26a!!!!!! Really enjoyed this on a really wet miserable day in Canterbury! Hope it brightens for Monday as alas we have a family funeral ;(

  20. Just finished after quick start that rapidly slowed, needed the hints and comments, thanks. Best clue 13d. Groaners were 16a and 25a.. Last in was 6a, took a while for penny to drop, even when I had put the answer in and it was staring me in the face! Should 14d really be hyphenated or one word ?

  21. Great stuff – my thanks to the Mysteron!
    Too many good clues to pick favourites but 18a deserves a mention I think.
    Thanks for the blog BD. Actually, I mean the whole site, not just today’s hints!

    P.S. If you think this one’s hard have a look at my previous conversation with Gazza about the Enigmatist it today’s Grauniad – a real mind bender!

  22. Have finally finished after having quite a struggle with this one – I enjoyed it but found it VERY difficult.
    Didn’t understand where ‘initiate’ came into 9a until I read the hint – fairly obvious really – just missed it.
    All I could think of for a distinctive feature of Long John Silver was a parrot and that somehow didn’t seem to fit!!
    Being a Radio 2 addict I got 25a quite quickly.
    I’ve never heard of the 14d insect.
    5d took me the longest – was trying to make the answer an eight letter WW1 battle.
    Favourites today – 16 and 25a and 3, 11 and 13d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints.
    Off for a rather cold walk now. Hope you all have a good weekend.

  23. Finally got there – needed a few aids today and one or two from BD. Liked 25a, but take the point about knowledge of ‘celebs’ etc. Have a good weekend all.

  24. Good afternoon fellow cruciverbalists. Grey and dreary in this part of Hertfordshire so DT, 26,456 was a nice distraction wth a cup of tea. Nothing too contentious in my view and the usual Saturday standard – must be Cephas? 6a was my favourite albeit seen before and 18a focused my mind on the forthcoming season to such a degree that I took my soons out to get freshly kitted up for the indoor nets!

    Last in was 19a.

    Thanks to the Setter as usual.

  25. Enjoyed that – a nice change for a Saturday puzzle to have to think so hard. Favcourite clues were16a and 27a.

    Thanks to setter and to BD for the hints.

  26. Driving me mad to-day even tho got some that others are having trouble with! Needed BD for second word of 9a, and 19a (couldn’t get my brain past “dons”) – so obvious when you see them! Can anyone help with 6a, 8d and 11d please? And I haven’t a CLUE on 16a. I usually find the Sat one easier than this!!

    1. Hi Addicted
      Just fired the blog up after getting bored with the football and seen your post. Hope I can help!
      6a – you need the 4 letters that get stamped on Tax letters etc and spell the unit of electrical resistance – look in The Mine.
      8d – S (soprano, why that’s allowed I’m not sure) ON, top note = G, followed by a word for strain gives a Diva
      11d – What you do to free a seat belt is also what Governments and/or companies give out to the media when something important(?) is happening.

      Hope this makes sense – I’m no Blogger!

      1. Pommers, 6a has stopped writing to me! I now receive letters from HMRC!

        I wonder how much the change cost the Tax Payer?

    2. Sorry, missed your request for 16a.
      Definition is ‘artist’ – an American one in this case.
      A charade of a card game followed by both hands (Left and Right) with E inserted (involving) give the artist’s name..

  27. Quite fun today

    Thanks to the setter fo a doable puzzle and to Big Dave and everyone else who provided hints

  28. Good heavens, I’ve finished it! Needed lots and lots of help and a lot of CS’s putting-down-and-coming-back approach (is there a word for that?). 11d was a real struggle until I realised I was trying to fit it into the checking letters of 13d … :oops: Also got stuck on ‘don’ for 19a – was that hint there this morning ??

    Hard word, but very satisfying. Thanks to setter and all the hinters.

      1. Just didn’t see it … not due an eye-test until April, but these specs are defnitely past their use-by-date!

        1. Not been to pecsavers for over 2 years now. Perhaps that’s the reason I was blinded today on a few!

          1. “Not been to pecsavers for over 2 years now.” – you should try to get to the gym more often. :smile:

  29. When I started this one, I thought it was going to be a disaster and on the first run through only got about 3 clues. I then sat for ages with no advance and then suddenly it all started to click into place. 25a caused me the most grief and I needed a hint.

    Very enjoyable.

  30. Had to wait until this evening to tackle this one…and really enjoyed it. Particularly liked 12a, 16a,19a, 27a, 3d and 13d.
    As a person who hasn’t watch Panorama in years I had to guess the presenter, so not impressed by 25a. BBC presenters are no longer household general knowledge.

  31. I’d like to say that we finished this in xx minutes but a) that wouldn’t be true and b) BD would censor it. Completed just after 6 this morning with fresh eyes courtesy of our 5 week old.. Last one we got was 10a. D’oh! Is there a crossworder’s condition for being unable to see the obvious?

    1. There ought to be a word for it as we all suffer from time to time!
      How about lightblindness?

  32. Very late doing this as only had a short while yesterday Finished now thanks to a few hints so can pop round for the Sunday now and start all over again :)

  33. Hi Pommers – many thanks for your help – 11d SOO obvious once pointed in the right direction!! Only trouble is I now don’t have the second word of 21a – can anyone put me out of my misery so I don’t have to wait a week for the answers?? Am also about to tackle the Sunday Jan.

      1. I struggled on this one, Little Dave. When explaining the clue to my friend in the pub I said ” Cleaner like char or *****. Then the penny smashed me in the face!!. Last in over here!

  34. Bottom right hand corner was very difficult, particularly 25a and 27a, the former because I don’t watch Panorama so did not know its presenter, and the latter because it took until about 10am Sunday for me to consider the possibility that it did not begin with “un”. Excellent 5 star puzzle.

    1. My slowness in the bottom right hand corner was that I got the word but could not work out why. I was trying to put in three letters for a particular institution and then trying to find an obscure meaning for a four letter word at the end, instead of the obvious 7 letter word. Doh! Has the mystery compiler been unmasked yet? Would like to see more of the same (or rather – similar).

  35. Many thanks Little D – just how obvious was that? Am evidently having a “thick” day, so maybe the Sunday is beyond me!! But at least have at last finished Sat’s, so another paper for the recycling.

  36. Who is the setter of DT 26456? I really enjoyed this one and would like to see more of the same!

    1. Agreed, Franco. The setter is a mystery but he or she is giving us a very entertaining puzzle on alternate Saturdays.

  37. Almost finished except for 6a,10a,12a,16a, 24a, 26a, 27a, 2d, 5d, 8d, 11d, 20d, and 22d. Favourite clue 1a got it straight away.

    1. 12a Detectives’ aid to identify culprit impresses (12)
      It is a charade where the definition is ‘Detectives’ aid’. Take a vernacular word for ‘to identify culprit’ followed by a synonym fo ‘impresses’. The whole thing can also be (sort of) read as the definition.

    2. Hi David S
      You need something that is actually analysed by Crime Scene Investigators rather than detectives. They are ‘impressed’ on the crime scene by the criminal, unless they wear gloves, and are said to be unique to the individual.

        1. Evening Gnomey – what you doing here at this time of night? I just thought I’d have a last look before going to bed. Had enough wine now.

            1. Indeed so, and it’s bloody cold here this evening! Can one say that on the blog? No doubt you’ll edit it if not.

            1. Current teperatures as reported by airport weather centres:-
              Alicante 8C
              Birmingham 6C
              So not a lot of difference and we have no carpet (tiled floor) and no central heating! Believe me, it’s chilly!

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