DT 26480 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26480 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26480 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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I don’t usually comment on the Saturday puzzles, but if you are expecting the usual easy ride you may be in for a shock!

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the better clues and provide hints for them.

Don’t forget that you can give your assessment of the puzzle. Five stars if you thought it was great, one if you hated it, four, three or two if it was somewhere in between.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post before asking questions about the site.

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

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


1a    Chicken and fish having inside uncooked sent back (6)
A chicken, in the sense of a faint-hearted person, is constructed by reversing (sent back) a word meaning uncooked inside a fish

10a    Religious leader to live with new order (8)
This religious leader of the Church of Rome is a charade of to live, N(ew) and an order, possibly one made by said religious leader

17a    Ruthless businessman fools person on excursion, taking in first of tourists (5,8)
This ruthless businessman is built from some fools and a person on an excursion with T (first of Tourists) inserted

27a    Unconventional view in this place’s yard (6)
This unconventional view, contrary to the authorized teaching of the religious community to which one ostensibly belongs, is a charade of a synonym for “this place’s” and Y(ard)


1d    Making a show in Cyprus is not bright (6)
Put a word meaning showy in a vulgar way inside the IVR code for Cyprus (it’s in The Mine!) to get dull or not bright when applied to weather

5d    Footballing skills support young professionals (5-6)
These footballing skills, usually demonstrated as an exhibition rather than during a game, are a charade of to support with some young urban professionals

ARVE Error: need id and provider

18d    Draw explorer and artist (7)
A draw in a sporting contest (3) is followed by a famous Venetian explorer to get an 18th century Venetian painter

22d    Fool about in Islamic dress (5)
Follow a fool (4) with A(bout) to get this loose garment, with veiled eyeholes, covering the whole body

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: {less} + {tusk} + {wear} =  {Leicester Square}

234 comments on “DT 26480 (Hints)

  1. I was surprised by BD’s opening comment as I found this an easy ride today. Favourite by a mile was 5d. I wonder what Mary and Kath will think of that.. All the rest were good too – most enjoyable

    1. I based my comment on the fact that there are already 6 requests on AnswerBank asking for help with no less than 10 clues,

      Looks like you have done well.

              1. thinking about 5d, I can’t understand that I’d never heard it, coming from a home with two football mad brothers then two sons who played football every week from the age of 7 and still do and now three of my grandsons who also play every week and to think I’ve actually watched them all doing it and counted for them!!!

  2. As it is mystery setter Saturday, I was sort of not expecting an easy ride , and I was right in that it took me a third longer than last week’s Cephas. I think there are quite a few tricky clues including one that I had to read out loud to Mr CS before I had the necessary Eureka moment. Not sure about a favourite clue, I will decide when I have typed the review.

  3. Quite a battle today, but some clues are so clever that they make you laugh when you (eventually, in my case) get them. Liked 5d, 6d, 26a. Am hesitating to put two remaining answers in the bottom right corner – 25a, if the first three letters are the name of another tree, what is the significance of the last three?

    1. You are barking up the wrong tree. Strand as in abandon – the resulting word is a colour which I hadn’t ever linked with chestnut but I will see what Mr Chambers has to say when I review.

    2. I think we are looking for a word to mean ‘to strand’ toadson, which is also a colour but I may be wrong because I would not have said that colour is ‘chestnut-coloured’

  4. Good morning from snowy Leeds. I quite liked this one. A good variety of clue types, with 4a,11a, 26a and 2d today’s favourites. Not so keen on 6d, 7d, or 20d. 5d was the last to go in but this word for young professionals is getting very dated if you read yesterday’s front page!

      1. And in the East Midlands the precipitation is of the canine & feline variety and has been since the early hours…deep joy!

  5. Not all that hard, although the bottom left corner took a while…

    But I really didn’t enjoy today’s offering- the anagrams were clumsy, with the honourable exception of 16d.
    Didn’t like 20d, and would have to take issue with Upthecreek with 5d … the first word should clearly be ‘ie’ at the end rather than a ‘y’. I am sure that someone will point out that it’s an allowable alternative, but then the same argument might be made for ‘color’, ‘mommy’ or ‘pajamas’ and I still wouldn’t be keen.

    Sorry for being negative on the review, but thank you to Big Dave and The Setter.


      1. Thank you CrypticSue,

        I would not wish to argue with Chambers (!), but I don’t have a copy.

        As someone who’s been involved with football for a long time, and spent hours on the 5d activity, I’d always taken the first word with an ‘ie’ ending as the preferred spelling. Does Chambers list that or not? Perhaps I shall have to change my spelling….



        1. Sorry Nick it doesn’t list the IE. I hightly recommend the purchase of Chambers Dictionary – it’s expensive but worth every penny.

          1. Maybe the Prize for the DT Saturday Crossword should be the Chambers Dictionary!

            Does anyone still use a “fountain pen”?

            1. Actually, I think the DT might have an issue with postage costs. I’d rather send someone a fountain pen…

    1. 5d – first word – I think it ends in a “Y”!

      20d – nothing wrong with the clue – I just don’t like the tennis player! (Well, he did once say that he always supports the team that England are playing!)

  6. Whizzed through last Saturday’s in 20 mins – but you’re right, this week MUCH more difficult! Liked 5d – have got three footballing kids who practice this skill all day long!

  7. well I am really stuck on 5d! have all the checking letters, read BDs hint and still can’t get it! last one to go in, any more help, please??

    1. Ok, the phrase is in Collins and is a training game played by footballers to practise their ball control skills. The clue is split between a word meaning support and the second part is a 1980’s description for a young professional

    2. Mary,

      Your want a four letter word meaning support or maintain followed by a 7 letter word being a term used to describe young upwardly mobile professionals (used several years ago now). Split the resuling phrase 5-6 to get the answer.

      1. Thanks to you both, I would never have got that in a million crosswords!! what a terrible clue and an even worse answer!!!

        1. Couldn’t agree more Mary, horrid, horrid! Finally found the answer by searching the wiki link for ‘ie’ and then youyube with the first word. This is no way to solve a crossword!

    3. I agree with Dave, much tougher than the usual Saturdays but we should have expected that this week! still not done 5d will cogitate on it for a while, fav clues 16d, liked anagram indicator also liked anagram indicator in 23a, nice to have different ones, 25a don’t agree with the colour! also liked 12d

  8. 5d is also a little ‘outdated’ and quite a childish description of a footballing skill. It’s involves using the foot and sometimes the knee to keep preventing the ball from hitting the ground for as long as possible!! Not very good at giving hints without giving the entire answer!!

  9. Remarkably good crossword from the mysteron. Lots of nice penny drop moments. Favourite clue was 26a both for its well disguised definition and a very sneaky substitution indicator that made it look like a word sum clue!

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

  10. I liked this one a lot; some clever clues, and a decent dose of humour.

    Agree with Prolixic about 26A.

    Some setters would have taken a different approach to 17A, with implications for picture choice for the review…

  11. Glad of the above comments as I found this very difficult, finished except for 18d which I won’t get as my knowledge of Venetian Artists is “nil”.
    Favourite clue was 4a, worst was 5d.
    Thanx to all as usual.

      1. Wayne, your knowledge of Venetian Aartists may be nil but that is still a vast improvement on mine. Did this one escape from the GK puzzle?

  12. You lot are all so clever – I’m getting better at this lark but still struggling. Whereas most of you have clearly finished! 20d bothering me (love tennis) and have loads of letters for 12d but can’t even see what I’m supposed to be looking for!

    1. 20d is an abbreviation for British followed by the first name of Mr Murray to give a type of alcoholic spirit.

      12d you want a word for pay (as you may do in a restaurant after a meal out with friends). It comes from the surname of a labour politician noted for his lack of dress sense followed by a two word expression for coppers (as in the police).

    2. 20d. First two letters to describe British, then Mr Murrays’ christian name.
      12d. Paying for something.

  13. You were right, Dave! I’ve had a battle with this puzzle but I do agree that there are some clever clues and I liked 5d – your image of the suited Michael Knighton displaying his talents in front of the Stretford End made me smile too. Thanks for that!

  14. Hi all,

    Haven’t posted for a while but still pop in regularly.

    Found this much trickier than normal. Must admit I thought 26a was a bit unfair. Recognised the dropping of the “*” and thought of “***” as teacher and got it in the end but I thought “by” as an indicator meant next to or followed by rather than “surrounding”. Is that just me??

    On a separate note, the reason I don’t post much is that I usually to do the cw at breakfast time and by the time the hints are up I have usually finished it (albeit I do often need some electronic or book help) and am then doing other things. Really enjoy the hints and am in no way suggesting they should (or perhaps sometimes even could??) be up earlier, but any chance of the blog opening early without the hints to enable those of us who do it early to comment earlier – a bit like Saturdays without the hints??

    1. Hi RBC I agree with you about the ‘by’ not really being correct it just makes the reading of the clue better but it is misleading

    2. The wordplay in 26a is A is “expelled by” B which means A is replaced by B, not “A is expelled” “by B” meaning take A out and add B on the end. As I said earlier brilliantly deceptive as you have to read expelled by as one instruction.

      1. I see that now, but still don’t think “expelled by” can really mean “replaced by” without stretching grammar and syntax too far. They are not synonyms in the online Chambers Thesaurus. Indeed “expel” usually precludes the ability on the part of the expelled to replace him or herself.

        Never mind – a v minor criticism of a v good cw.

        1. I agree with you RBC, I see now what Prolixic is saying but I also think expelled by isn’t the same thing and if so doesn’t expelled do double duty?

          1. Mary, I have never understood what “double duty” is. Can you, please, explain? And why is it wrong?

            1. I’m not really sure I’m qualified to explain this properly Franco, maybe Dave would explain it better?

              1. I was just thinking that in 26a, ‘learners expelled by’, here expelled tell us to take the ‘l’ out of ‘really’ and if as Prolixic explains a word for teacher replaces it, ‘expelled’ is being used again?? I stand to be corrected on this as I’m not really sure!!

            2. What Mary is saying is that she thinks the word expelled is being used twice in resolving the wordplay.

              Personally, I disagree.

              26a Really, learner’s expelled by teacher that won’t allow alterations (4-4)

              Start with the word REALLY and then the teacher expels or pushes out the learner.

              If I have a grievance it is that there are two L’s (Learners) in the clue and many setters would have said something along the lines of “first learner is expelled by”.

                  1. I originally “expelled” both learners, having missed the apostrophe. Does it matter which “learner” is expelled?

                    I think I’m still missing the point – but I will re-read the above comments later, when everything will, hopefully, become clear.

                    However, why is “double duty” not allowed?

                    1. Franco,
                      “Expelled” is being used in the sense of “replaced”, so you need to replace the first L (only works with the first one) with a teacher. You can think of a sentence with this meaning of expelled, such as “Bloggs was expelled from the team by the arrival of a new goalkeeper”.

                    2. which takes us back to the first point Gazza how can expelled by mean replace it doesn’t give it anywhere I’ve looked??

                    3. Gazza, Thanks I finally understand why it’s only the first “L”!

                      It must be so difficult to write the blog, explaining each and every nuance! I just get the solution and pencil it in!

                    4. Franco,
                      I used to do exactly the same, but there’s nothing like the discipline of blogging to make you tease out all the wordplay.

              1. right I think I see it your way now Dave :) thanks for that, as for Francos point when a word sometimes does do ‘double duty’ why is it frowned upon?

                1. Mary, the term “double duty” comes from the book “Ximenes on the Art of the Crossword”. Although the principles in the book aren’t always followed, it remains pretty much the definitive guide to fairness in crossword setting.

                  Consider this: “Could be time to gamble (3)”

                  You’d probably understand that the answer was “BET”, but the clue isn’t fair, according to Ximenes. The definition is “to gamble”. The “subsidiary indication” is “Could be time” – the word “BE” and “T” for time. However, the clue, read as a whole, doesn’t make sense. For that “subsidiary indication” to work the clue would have to read, “Could be time be to gamble?” or something similar. In other words, “be” is doing double duty – for the clue to make sense, it should be there twice, but it’s only there once.

                  The example in Ximenes’ book is:

                  “Can the station be altered? He sticks his toes in (9)”

                  The solution is “OBSTINATE”; it’s an anagram (indicated by “altered”) of “station be” – but “be” does double duty. The clue suggests that “the station” is to be altered. To work in that form, it would have to read something like “Can station be be altered? He sticks his toes in (9)”.

                  Nowadays, 50-odd years on from when Ximenes published his book, his principles are still the benchmark by which crosswords are judged, but they are not always adhered to rigorously. A good thing too, IMO, otherwise the genius of setters like Araucaria and Myops would have been blighted.

                    1. Mary, I have seen it.

                      I have read it through a few times, but it may take further study to fully understand. But, I will persevere!

                      Thanks to Qix!

              2. Is Ainsley on line yet, need to discuss his/her interpretation on the debate on 26a, personally I find it quite easy, why it needs 18 or 19 comments I just don’t know, unless of course the participants are on a higher intellectual level than me, or just being plain pedantic.

    3. This is the last clue left unsolved for me — and I’m so fed up with this puzzle that I now can’t be bothered. :-(

  15. 8d reminds me of the old riddle – Which same word or words can be fitted into the gaps to make the sentence read correctly?
    “the ______ surgeon was _____ to operate as he had ______”

  16. I found this the most difficult, and also the most enjoyable of the week!

    I was misdirected by 23a , as I spent quite some time looking for Rhyming Slang. Also, surprised to see the enumeration (4,5), not (9).

    Cheated for the artist – never heard of him.

    1. thant’s not cheating Franco, it’s learning, how can we possibly have heard of everyone and everything? :-) I had never heard of 6d either, never having done Hamlet in school!

  17. Nice to join you today – and thanks for your help and hints! Have often logged on to the site but not posted comments until today. Only two clues to go – not bad for me as I usually spin it out until Sunday evening! 10a and 7d my only gaps – but quite happy to mull over them for a while yet. Thanks again!

      1. Got it! Thanks Dave – you’re a star! Now I can watch Man Utd v Crawley without the crossword on my lap! Have a good weekend.

  18. Is it just a coincidence that 9a and 10a, both made an appearance in yesterday’s Toughie? Has today’s setter been revealed?

  19. Stonkingly good puzzle today from the Mysteron favourite clues 10a17a26a5d6d and 12d. I enjoyed this more than yesterdays torpid Toughie, thanks to the setter and Big Dave for his comments.

  20. Hi all. Just finished and found it tougher than the usual Saturday. I think 26a does work and is quite clever. 22d About is normally Re or C why A? Also in 22d the fool part normally spelt with a E not U? Liked 11a 4a amongst others.

  21. Quite enjoyed this but struggled a bit in the SW corner for some reason. never heard of 18d but it came from the checking letters.
    Thanks to BD and the setter
    Liked 5d!

  22. Finished now with lots of help thanks BD and all the other bloggers, quite a struggle.
    I have the answer for 26a but can someone explain the logic of the clue?
    Not a bad day here on the South coast. Time to go out and do a bit of digging ready to plant some vegetables soon.

  23. Thanks dave. I also found this a bit trickier than usual and am still stuck on 6d (even with all the crossing letters!) Any hints would be much appreciated.

    1. Take a three letter word describing a place where films are made followed by a four letter word meaning actual and reverse the lot (turn up) to give the name of a character in Hamlet.

      1. Thanks Prolixic. My knowledge of Shakespear is sketchy at best and I wouldn’t have got that in a month of Sundays!!

  24. Real struggle to-day – still can’t get 10a despite all the hints, nor 26a, nor a few more!! Going out now – maybe light will dawn when I look at it again later with fresh eyes and a glass of something or other.

    1. Hi Addicted, for 10a you need a 2 letter word for ‘to live’, followed by the one letter abbreviation for ‘new’ followed by a five letter word for order, to give you the present day head of the Catholic Church

        1. Good to see Mary in fine tipping form again. Where is Kath? I think she saw 5d and had a funny turn!

  25. I would NEVER have got 5 Down without help from here. Also thought 6D was groan making. Really enjoy my Saturday crossword these days. Many thanks carrie

      1. Thank you Gazza.

        Although l am ‘IT literate’ it is taking me a bit of time to get the hang of the threads. You can teach an old dog new tricks :) carrie

  26. This has been a very tough week for me. I’m beating on the CC door to be let back in! I needed so much help to get finished minus 26a that today’s puzzle was no fun at all. So thanks to BD and to the other bloggers for helping me to get as far as I did.

    1. Hi Franny didn’t you notice me at the CC door with you this week??? It has been an unusually hard week all round and todays is no exception, 26a take the word ‘really’ and remove the first ‘l’ replace this with a three letter word for a teacher usually found at universitys, to give you the type of file found on a computer that you can’t alter

      1. Thank you, Mary. You are a comfort — and such good company at the CC door! I did think of those two words from the down letters I had, but couldn’t justify them. Now I can go off and see “Black Swan” in peace. :-)

          1. Thanks Mary, you’re a star ! I’ve spent ages struggling with 26a, reading and re-reading all the hints and clues above but with no idea what it was about. And then crash! bang! wallop! the light dawned thanks to your explanation!
            At last I can go and do something useful !!!

  27. Finally got there – BEFORE going out! – thanks Mary plus all the other bloggers and partic Big D. I thought it was a horrid puzzle!!! But, yes, some very clever clues once you eventually get the answer. Foul day – enjoy the football – not my scene, I’m afraid (which is why I have such a job with footie-related clues ,as in 5d to-day which I think, if I do have it right, is simply awful!)

  28. Fine puzzle. The SW held me up the longest but it was still very enjoyable. Thanks to the setter and BD.

    I can recommend Prolixic’s NTSPP – something for everyone.

    1. Same here!
      I’ll have a look at Prolixic tomorrow, if it’s like his last couple they’re aimed a little above my head but still worth a try!

  29. Managed to complete all but 3d eventually, though I had to google 6d & 18d. Favourites were 11a and 8d & I also liked 26a once I’d got it (thanks to the blog!) An extra clue for 3d would be lovely – then I relax on this very wet & murky day.

    1. HI Claire you are looking for a soldier, take a three letter word for traitor (the name of an animal – think pied piper) inside that put an anagram of code this should give you your answer

      1. Thanks Mary – I had thought that was the way to go but couldn’t make a soldier out of it – now I have – silly me!! :-)

  30. my last clue is 2d and as there are no posts re this I assume I’m missing something. any clues?

    1. Welcome to the blog Openside32

      I’m surprised no-one else has asked.

      2d Crew is tossed around ocean — they’re not as clever as they think (9)
      Put an anagram (tossed) of CREW IS around another word for the ocean (3) to get these people who are not as clever as they think.

      1. I may be wrong here but isn’t more of an American term than English? I knew it but Pommette had never heard it.

        1. Apparently the etymology is:

          Late 16th cent.: from Middle Dutch wijsseggher ‘soothsayer’, probably from the Germanic base of wit (2). The assimilation to acre remains unexplained.

          1. According to Brewers Ben Johnson said to a country gent boasting of an acre of land that he (BJ) had ten acres of wit, to which the landowner responded ‘Good Mr ********’.

          2. Wow! I’ve only ever come across the term in books and the occasional film I think, which is why I thought it might be of of US origin. Told you before BD, this blog is an educational place!

  31. Thanks Dave. Not a word I am familiar with, but googled it and now I am. We call them something else in Cheshire!

  32. Never heard of 5d. Big Dave’s hint plus google finally got me there. Was it worth the effort I ask myself?

    6d was OK once I realised it was “Hamlet” and not “The Winter’s Tale”.

  33. Good puzzle though needed help on 10a and 18d (see above). Off to watch Creepy overcome Manyoo – oh, were it to be so!

  34. The reason that Mary and Franny are unable to get back in through the CC door is that I have collapsed on the inside of it and am, therefore, holding it firmly shut!!
    What a crossword! We have visitors this weekend but my French sister-in-law and I finally admit defeat – we STILL can’t do 26a (in spite of all the correspondence and hints etc etc) or 16d. Any more help would be very much appreciated.
    5d was done for us by my brother-in-law so that sorted that one out – thanks to all who were ‘worried’ that I would neither like it nor be able to do it – they were absolutely right!!
    No time for more now (I can almost hear the sighs of relief!) but best clues for me today include 4, 11 and 24a and 2 and 8a.
    Thanks to the setter and Big Dave.

    1. I don’t think I can explain 26a any better than all that lot further up the page. 16d is an anagram – you are looking for someone who works wth/trains a particular type of bird.

      1. My problem with 26a is that there’s no containment indicator. If you read the clue as ‘learner’s = learner is’ then take an L out of really (doesn’t matter which) and *** for teacher but where’s the instruction to put *** in the middle?

        1. It does matter – it has to be the first L. Read expelled by as “kicked out (and replaced) by”.

        2. Because it’s not a containment in the normal sense. The learner is expelled by the teacher. It’s little different from similar clues which say “A with B for C = D” like this one from DT 26472 “They read cruellest novel left out for Rector (9)”.

          1. Sorry BD and Gazza – forgot it was a Saturday puzzle!
            I still don’t see where the ‘and replaced’ comes from. When I was nearly expelled from school for trying to synthesise TNT there was no question of a replacement! Or am I just being a bit thick today?

            OK, BD. Just re-read your comment and I get it now. Does that make it the tyrickiest clue in the puzzle? – I think so!

  35. Enjoyed today’s CW did it all this morning with the exception of 26a before I went to work for the afternoon, been thinking about it all afternoon and had to resort to the comment’s to work it out thanks to all for explaining the wordplay.

    many thanks to Setter and BD.:D

  36. It is now 8.01 pm, and with Ainsleys permission it is time to open the after 8 club. When Ainsley has caught up with the debate on 26a perhaps he could give an opinion. I found it quite easy and why it needed 18 or 19 comments is beyond me, unless the participants are on a higher intellectual level than me, or being just plain pedantic.

        1. Possibly both! Visitors this pm that seedem to require the consumption of about 3 bottle of Rioja and one of cava. Surprised I can still type!

          1. You can’t type, guess “seedem” means “seemed”. got to be a cryptic in there somewhere. Rioja is c..p try Borgo Magredo Pinot,!

      1. See #38 and my conversation with BD and Gazza, and the 18 or so comments prviuosly.
        I think it’s a tricky little rascal but so clear when the penny finally drops!

          1. Apologies for overstepping!
            Understand but not thinking straight tonight! Agree it’s a prize crossword and should be treated as such.
            I’m actually surprised that the DT don’t object to the few hints you give on Sats and Suns.
            Back to the ‘naughty corner’!

      2. Sure, but will get told off by BD. Plenty of references above but to me simple.
        Remove the (L) from Really, then insert a 3 letter word for a university lecturer, then you get an **********.

          1. Well BD one of us is right, without giving the answer guess we’ll have to wait ’till next week, I’m convinced I’m right but you disagree, that’s about 24 comments on this one particular clue. Roll on next Friday/Saturday.

            1. Wayne – I was referring to your expansion of the definition which contained information that could not be derived from he clue itself.

              1. Bloody hell Dave, after that I really do need a pint. Look forward to continuing this debate next week after (hopefully) a full explanation of the clue. Cheers.

              1. I thought they must be OK with what happens on the blog or we wouldn’t get the occasional friendly post from the editor. Just a bit surprising to me that they’re happy for you to give hints on a prize puzzle before submission date.

        1. Hi Wayne
          See #38
          My problem was that the clue wasn’t that hard to crack but there is no containment indicator. BD and Gazza have shown me that there is, albeit quite cleverly hidden IMHO.

      3. It’s usually best to avoid comments like “think xyz” at the weekend. If you are going to provide information that is not in the clue then the solver is learning nothing. Here the definition could be expanded to “a word meaning can’t be altered”.

      4. Pommers – 26a – Sorry, my comment was supposed to be a joke!

        Most of today’s blog has been taken up about the why’s and wherefore’s of 26a.

        1. Sorry Franco – bit overdone with the rioja tonight!
          Think I might be in the naughty corner over 26a – just about to apologise (again) to BD!

      5. Franco, see Mary’s explanation just below comment no. 29 – I couldn’t understand that one despite the numerous hints and clues when Mary made it all clear for me !

  37. Well it’s 2100hrs, no after 8 club, lots of comments on 26a. I’m off to the pub. Thank god for extended opening hours. Bon nuit .

    1. Yes – it certainly seems as though any comments on the remainder of the crossword have been expelled by the discussion of 26a :) :)

  38. Going bed now – the rioja is catching up.
    I will spend the night in the naughty corner and return tomorrow refreshed!

  39. Enjoyed solving this one.
    Had a spot of trouble with 5d but finally sorted it out by sleuthing big Chambers. Best clues for me :11a, 6d, 12d & 16d.

  40. 200 miles in 5 hours and foul weather to visit the grandson who cried all the while I was there and the M25 is too ghastly for words and this puzzle isn’t much more friendly than either of them! 18 answers and giving up … but I enjoyed what I did do. Thanks for the hints and comments. Not the slightest hope of deciphering 5d, despite all the pointers …

  41. As usual the blog has been a joy to behold today. Especially all the controversy around 26a. And as usual I’m flummoxed by one clue. 19d, I have looked at it from “every which way” as our American cousins would say and I’m still no nearer to solving it. With inflation I’m still waiting for the pound to drop!!!!!

    1. A four letter word for a servant goes around a three letter word for always (often used poetically) to give a word for Lords

      1. “Lords,” in this case, used as a collective noun (which would be preceded by “the”) for all of those who’re enobled, although the word itself is usually used (preceded by “a”) to refer to the honour that’s conferred upon an individual.

    2. nalced – 19d – the definition is a collective word for “Lords”. Take a word for (a young) Servant, then surround it with a 3-three letter word (poetical) for “always” or “ever”.

      That’s the best I can do! Very difficult this blogging! Hats off to all of them!

      1. Oops! Completely wrong!!

        Should be – “surround a 3-three letter word (poetical) for “always” or “ever” with a word for a young servant giving a collective noun for Lords.

        Earlier in today’s blog, BD asked for volunteers to do the review – “Include me out”. Far too difficult!

          1. nalced, I am surprised that you needed help on 19d. Where I come from it’s a mere “penny” that drops. :grin:

  42. 26a last in for me. A sneaky misleading replacement indicator but fair enough if understood as “pushed out by the insertion of”. I live and learn. I guess we should be told which learner goes out but it has to be one or the other! Thanks to both again.

  43. I was trying to hang on long enough to be Comment #200, but too much excitement for one day forces me up the Wooden Hill. Is this (198) a record for a single day?

      1. But many of those were posted the following day. I suspect that this has been the busiest blog on the day itself.

  44. Damn – foiled again!!
    Now what I was going to say is thanks for more information on 26a – got it now. Also got 16d – how stupid – knew it was an anagram, knew what letters and had complete mental block.
    Bed now -didn’t get there until 2.30am last night/this morning so very tired.
    Sleep well all.

  45. Finally finished! I was interested to see that 5d caused so many problems as it was my first one to go in. The top left hand corner was where I got stuck, but I must admit that I was a bit ‘tired’ by the time I got there which is why it had to wait until this morning. Thanks to Big Dave, the setter, and Brummie Rob for his help with the bottom left hand corner yesterday afternoon. 17a was probably my favourite, but all in all I enjoyed this one very much. Cheers!

  46. Well on the way to completion, 6 clues completed already and its only Sunday. Haven’t got a favourite clue – only the ones BD gave me.

      1. Completed 20.5 so far; the 0.5 is 5d. My wife makes a particularly nice dessert called ‘pave aux marrons’ (Burgundy and the Lyonnais cookbook), so 25a was no problemo.

    1. You are looking for a word meaning a controversial view of something, especially religion. if you are in this placeyou are ****, add an S because the clue says place’s and follow this with a one letter abbreviation for yard.

  47. Thank you all, especially BD. I finally finished it. 26a was last to go in – deal with these all day so felt stupid when penny dropped. Didn’t Crawley do well!

    1. Watching Notts County at the moment I don’t think they are going to win – they are the oldest team in the football league I believe.

  48. Rather speechless – wordless I should say. I do not believe those who found this easy, unless of course there brains just happen to coincide with that of the setter. I found I did a few good clues very quickly and then got stuck. I had never heard of 5d and would not have got it without the clues. Still not sure about the spelling of 22d (first vowel) but admit I have not checked in Chambers. there are quite alot of clues I like inc. 1a, 24a, 25a (I thought of the french word too), 6d, 8d, 12d, 20d. 26a clever but took alot of getting (eventually electronic aid applied)

  49. Managed to finish today after belated start due to friends around over the weekend. 26a posed the biggest problem. I thought that he clue was a bit flabby. Favourite clue was 8d this week. In the post as usual tomorrow! Has anyone ever won the pen? Thanks to setter and hints as usual.

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