DT 26486 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26486 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26486 (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.

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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.


4a    Prying person occupied with main part (8)
This prying person is a charade of a word meaning occupied or working with the main part

12a    Chuck has a humble property (8)
A slang word for to chuck is followed by A and a word meaning humble to get this one-storey property

16a    First to take one drink into examination (8)
A word meaning first or at the beginning is created by putting I (one) and an alcoholic drink (3) inside a spoken examination

23a    Eyebrows may rise when it’s plunging (8)
I couldn’t resist a visual hint for this one!

26a    Banned peacekeepers start to look terrible (8)
A word meaning banned or illegal is built up from the abbreviation for the world’s peacekeepers (2), the first letter of (start to) Look and a synonym for terrible


1d    Give a hand to lad playing with a pup (7)
Give a big hand to a performer to show your appreciation! – it’s an anagram (playing) of LAD and A PUP

4d    East London passage that has a dark side? (9,6)
A passage from one side of the River Thames to the other where the name, if split (5,4), could men dark side

14d    Tube stress? (9)
The first of these two definitions is a bit iffy in my opinion (which possible explains the question mark at the end of the clue) – London’s central network of trains could be, but isn’t, described as this (5,4); the other meaning is to stress or emphasise the written word

22d    Country most likely to crack? (5)
The name of this huge country is also used for articles made of porcelain

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: {Mont} + {tree} + {awl} = {Montreal}

111 comments on “DT 26486 (Hints)

  1. Another pleasant Saturday morning puzzle. A couple in the SW held me up for a while but nothing too severe. 2d, 12a and 13a stood out as favourites for me due to the good surface reading. Thanks BD.

  2. Having made a slow start, I thought this was going to to a trickier Cephas. However, I hit a purple patch and suddenly all the clues fell into place.

    Many thanks to Cephas for the crossword and to BD for the hints.

      1. I didn’t want to stick my neck out and say out was him as it wasn’t an archetypal Cephas IMO. As previously stated I am notoriously bad at spotting most setters!

        1. Wasn’t there a recent comment about one of the setter’s having the trademark of limiting all the clues to 8 words or less? This nearly meets that criterion.

            1. Tantalus, I see what you mean….”each clue” …might be more accurate.

              I’m surprised you didn’t notice the “setter’s” apostrophe!

  3. Took a while to get into this but once I’d cracked 4d it was completed without too much fuss. While I wait for the NTSPP to appear & seeing it’s persevating down with rain, I think I’ll take myself off to the Grauniad & print a few off.

      1. After an awful day yesterday it is blue skies and sunshine today but with a cold wind, don’t forget Gazza, Wales v Italy, come on Wales :)

    1. Spindrift appears in a novel by Henry Porter ( The Dying Light); a political thriller in the John Le Carre mode.

  4. Thanks BD. A nice gentle start to the day. Iparticularly liked 11a and 12a. 23a also made me smile (but not as much as your hint did!). The only one i’m not entirely sure about is 17d. I’m pretty sure I’ve got the right answer but i dont get the rest of the clue?

    1. Ian, with the help of an atlas (and possibly a magnfying glass!) you might confirm that the clue is a double definition, the latter meaning one reason for a gathering of people.

      1. Thanks Guys. That’s what I suspected but the first definition is a new one to me! I will go and try to find my atlas!

  5. Bit of a curates egg today, but a nice mix of straightforward and tricky clues. Just one thing, what has 5d got to mum and/holiday?

    1. 5d Get rid of mum’s wig on holiday (5,3)

      Split the first word as (2,3) and you get mum or quiet and a wig. The second word means on holiday.

    1. 21a Might Frenchman have cryptic clues? (6)

      A word meaning might or strength – start with the title accorded a Frenchman and follow with an anagram (cryptic) of CLUES

  6. I thought I was going to finish this in record time but then got really stuck in the north-west corner. I could see 1d was an anagram but just couldn’t work it out and 8a across had me really foxed. All done now and favourite clues were 21a, 25a and 11a. Enjoy the day. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  7. Finished in record time for me. Got stuck in SW corner partly due to having wrong answer to 15d. Thank goodness for my new eraseable biro !
    Don’t like the word that is the answer to 15d.
    21a last in. The Frenchman reference was an unhelpful diversion to finding the answer ( for me !)
    Sun trying to break through in Cheshire.

    1. I didn’t like the answer to 15 d either until I looked it up in Chambers, where it specifically refers to a doubting of religion – hence the second ‘faith’ in the clue.

    1. The answer is something that may be done to a photograph. You want a three letter word for look (as in demeanour) followed by a five letter word for groom (as may be done to a horse) to get the required word.

    1. The answer is a word meaning counter (as in act against). It comes from a two letter word for work followed by a word meaning model (as a verb).

          1. 8a Counter work by model (6)

            Counter, as a verb, is the definition. The two-letter abbreviation for work is a Crosswordland favourite. Model here, like counter, is a verb – what is someone doing when they are modelling in front of an artist or photographer.

  8. A very nice Saturday puzzle. A nice mix of clues – 19a 21a and 23a all made me smile. Thanks to Cephas (if he is the setter) and BD for the hints.

  9. I was looking forward to seeing what you got for 23a: isn’t it about time they started calling Google Go Ogle?
    12a and 25a were my favourites today and I’m finished in time to help North Devon CAMRA pick the new Pub of the Year. I don’t think I’d have got too far with this one after the meeting. Cheers!

  10. Took a while to get going until the grid had filled up a bit. Don’t understand 2d at all. Can someone explain please?

      1. That’s what I thought, but I still don’t see what it’s got to do with solicitors and remaining available …

    1. The answer is a double definition. Someone who sets out to solicit (in the sense of asking for something) also may describe something that is spare or waiting to be taken.

  11. Jolly good, thanks for the hints BD, used only one to confirm my suspicions and a very nice decollete it is too!

        1. Hi you two. late today had visitors just as I was sitting down to do this! Hope you’ve done 21a in yesterdays toughie now UTC?

  12. Pretty easy stroll today. Favourite was 23 [ thanks for picture] Also liked 2 4a 4d 16 19 21 and 25. Now back to yesterday’s toughie – still one short but I’m determined to perservate and crack it.

  13. I too had a slow start and then, like Prolixic, everything started to fall into place. The photograph of Konnie Huq makes me wonder how many calls the BBC would have got if she’d appeared like that on Blue Peter…

  14. A week on the south coast and back only today hence late start with the crossword.

    Will be in touch later.

    Lovely picture above. Cor! I have always liked a nice dinner service.

  15. A tad easier than recent Saturday’s I thought, but quite enjoyable. Just dropped in to browse the hints & visuals – a nice one of “the dark side”! (a slight typo in the hint for that clue, Big Dave)

  16. Just making a start, after a busy week when I haven’t really got to grips with any crosswords.

    Glad to see from comments that it isn’t too tricky!

    Thanks to setter and reviewer.

    Lovely sunny day here in Edinburgh so off out to park with the crossword in my pocket!

  17. All done and fairly pain-free. I have endured 4d many times (avoid at all costs on a Friday). Nothing too startling and difficult to choose a good clue from a fairly mundane bunch.

    Enjoyable nonetheless which is why we do them after all. Thanks to Cephas if it was indeed one of yours.

    See you Monday.

  18. Afternoon Dave, really late today, unexpected visitors! Not a crossword I enjoyed but maybe that’s because I was thrown out of routine, two favourite clues today first in 21a and last in 11a, didn’t like 23a because it didn’t really lead to anything! No sign of Gazza today he must still be recovering after winning COW yesterday :-D

            1. I got the answer first and then worked backwards. I would never have got it from the wordplay.

  19. Got really stuck with bottom left corner; when 17d went in then all unfolded. Thought 21a was my favourite clue.
    Thanx to all as usual.
    Pun in the Quickie quite good to.

  20. Late today as had visitors about 5 minutes after I first started and they stayed forever – nice to see but wanted to get to the puzzle. Can’t say it was my favourite of the week as the bottom r/h corner stumped me for ages – last in was 25a and I kicked myself when I got it.

    Favourite was 5d when I finally got it.

    Thanks to setter and to BD – nice bungalow!!

      1. Frustrating isn’t it when your schedule and plans go out the window. Oh well – got there in the end. Have been busy this week and haven’t commented on the puzzles but read the blogs.

  21. A very pleasant Prize Crossword and all done with no assistance required just in time for the rugby. A question, can anyone explain why only an occasional clue ends with a question mark, as in 21a?

    Today I liked 4d and 13a. **/****

    1. The question mark usually indicates that something dodgy is going on in the clue. This can range from a simple definition by example to a far worse crime!

      1. Thanks BD. I had noted that the pesky devils were generally up to no good when the ? was in there. However, to me this was just a fairly straightforward anagram. So, why the ? on this occasion?

    2. It seems somewhat random today. Normally “?” implies some dastardly obtuse misrepresentation that in business could be compared to malfeasance (if the setter had any fiduciary responsibility). Anyway, back to the hint for 23a – which clearly should have had a bang at the end (as they say here in Boston for factorial or exclamation point!).

  22. Finally finished! Terrible trouble with SW corner, mainly due to 17d, so many thanks for all the help from above hints, otherwise would still be staring blankly at the wall. Thought it more difficult than general for a Saturday?

  23. Changed my routine and had this done before bedtime last night – the bright side of my 7 time-zone shift, and bit of an indicator on the degree of difficulty. I must confess to consulting ‘Go Ogle’ to confirm a Scottish island (having worked it out from the clue, but not being familiar enough with the Hebrides) and to check a list of London ‘passages.’ Just to be different, I rather liked 14d. And is it the faults in my cranial file, or have we seen the likes of 23a before? Thanks to all for a good discussion, and to BD for the hints and pics.

  24. Phew! I found that pretty hard today. Couldn’t have done it without the clues, and even then I struggled with a couple. All done now though, so thank you as always :)

  25. Evening all………I’m in Glasgow today and managed to work through this one quite quickly without dictionary or computer to help. Not so many clues that I really liked either. Best are 26a, 1d and 2d for me.

  26. The hints on post 13 are not very clear. No clearer than the original clue! Clearly its got something to do with soliciting.

    1. You are meant to think of solicitors in the legal sense, but one definition of to solicit is “to importune for alms”, a posh way of describing sitting in a shop doorway with a sad-looking dog asking for money.

      1. Thanks BD didn’t think it would contain a participle as there wasn’t one in the clue.

  27. I have been very interested reading the comments. The way our brains work or don’t is fascinating. To me this was far, far quicker to solve than many in recent weeks. The right hand side was in in no time and most of the left. However, it was the SW corner for me which was the sticking point and took far longer than all the rest of the puzzle! I liked 16, 19, 21 a and 2 and 17d. I think the ? for 14d is because it is a possible description for the first word of the clue rather than an alternative. Worst clue for me 15d.

  28. Huge thanks to BD and everyone who has helped with clues. Until this morning I had only managed to get 3 by myself and was feeling really daft. I still have 3 or 4 left – but am feeling much more confident now.

    I only get the chance to do the saturday crossword so don’t get so much practice -but still love to try.

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