DT 26516 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26516 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26516 (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.

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    Phone card used by single girl (6)
A charade of the type of card found in a mobile phone and a single leads to a girl’s name

4a    Confined in the past by National military office (8)
Combine words meaning confined and in the past and then add N(ational) to get this headquarters of the US military

21a    Criminal injury soldiers hate (5)
The abbreviations for a criminal injury and some soldiers combine to give a word meaning to hate

26a    Australian batsman around start of innings making gesture (8)
Put the name of this batsman, who until recently was the Australian captain, around the first letter (start) of Innings to get a word meaning making a gesture

27a    Church has spoken for singers (6)
Start with the abbreviation for CH(urch) and add a word meaning spoken to get a word meaning for or of singers


1d    Turbulent priest’s mischievous essence (6)
An anagram (turbulent) of PRIEST gives this mischievous essence – the clue alludes to the question posed by Henry II about Thomas à Becket: “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”

3d    Attire close to sleeper (7)
This attire worn by a sleeper is a charade of a word meaning close or near and a Noth American term for a railway sleeper

16d    Sea food from El Salvador with endless fish served up (8)
This seafood is constructed by putting the IVR code for El Salvador in front of most of (endless) a fish of the cod family reversed (served up)

22d    Language from backward island (5)
To get this Indian language start with a word meaning backward and add I(sland)

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: {perry} + {Cleese} = {Pericles}

RIP Johnny Preston (August 18, 1939 – March 4, 2011)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

117 comments on “DT 26516 (Hints)

  1. Needed the hint for 4a to finish this – quite liked 8d and 10a. As is often the case, there’s one I can’t fully justify, i.e. 18d (assuming the answer relates to the fruits of farm labour!)

  2. Still working on Friday’s toughie but no problems with this one. A bit of golf and cricket will please Mary. All clues were good and solvable with the best IMO 24a. Now back to the toughie and the SE corner.

  3. Morning Dave and everyone, just right for a Saturday I thought, not too easy for me, but each clue was workable and I could see a way in, I’m ok with golf UTC and luckily this name was somewhere in the back of my mind for the cricketer, least favourite clue 14a because is there ever such a thing as a soldered kilt!! fav clue 13a, my kind of clue short, sharp and witty :), thought 15d bit contrived but hey if only I could write a crossword and clues like this one, some hopes! good luck all :) thanks for hints Dave just need two to confirm things

  4. I’m sure that I’ve got 10a simply because of the letters but can anybody tell me why?

      1. Im really stuck on 10a Ive got the word (i think) but cant make sense of the clue can you help?

  5. Managed most of it fairly quickly (for me!) but got stuck in NE corner, so needed hints for that – once 10a was in the rest came together. Liked 8d – don’t fully understand 18d – how are the last 4 letters justified? Even got the dreaded cricket clue but only becos had most of the letters in! Enjoyable puzzle and thanks to BD for enabling me to finish.

      1. Im being really thick on 15 d Ive put in the ‘*********’ but cant see where sex appeal and great man come into it – am I having a senior moment?

        1. Steph

          Please don’t put answers in your comments. The reason you can’t work it out is because it is wrong!

          15d One succeeds in getting sex appeal in great man right (9)
          This person who succeeds another is built up from IN followed by a two-letter word for sex appeal (not SA this time!} inside a great man, like Johnson Beharry VC, and finally R(ight).

          1. I was very careful NOT to put the answer in—hand slap for a beginner eh! fills me with confidence

    1. The last four letters are defined by Chambers as a verb:

      * To invest
      * To settle, secure, or put in fixed right of possession (law)
      * To endow (law)
      * To clothe, robe, put vestments on (archaic)
      * To drape (an altar)

      The second definition is the one you need.

      1. I too got stuck in the NE corner so thank you for the hint for 4a, Dave, because, after that answer was entered, everything else fell into place. Does your new, shiny-bright avatar indicate that you’ve a hangdog expression, Mary? I wouldn’t have thought was the case unless, of course, the MIghty Reds go down to the Baggies this afternoon…

        1. Hi Cara – Can’t believe it Man U back from 2 nil down to win! it’s anybodys game today with Liverpool I hope they win but have no confidence that they will, the little Bassett dog is cute don’t you think, she is my avatar off the COW site and Dave showed me how to get her onto here , instead of the ‘ugly’ face :)

      2. Thanks both – I must use my Chambers more – have become too lazy with my electronic OED!!

  6. Mary as you liked 13a across so much, could you give me a hint please? I am finding it tough going today and needed some of BD’s hints (thank you BD) as well as other electronic means of help. Maybe my solution to 6d isn’t correct. I”ve also got problems with 17a, but other than that all finished … I think. I too liked 24a but thought had never seen the spelling used for 16d. I have usually seen it without the first letter used here.

    It’s a gorgeous day in Barcelona – summer seems to be here already so I’ll be off to enjoy the sunshine as soon as the last two clues go on.

    1. Hi Kate a synonym for ‘nick’ may be used in speaking about a membr of the opposite sex who is a very good prospect i.e. they are a good *****
      17a – you are looking for an area of London, first word – if one gives protection to something, eg sheep, or someo e you could be said to do this, second word surname of ex US president, there have been a father and son version!

      1. Thanks so much Mary – I can’t believe I didn’t get 17a and I lived in London for about 20 years. I think the brain is just not working well today. As for 13a, I I had 6d wrong, which meant I couldn’t get anything to fit.
        The light has just dawned for 6d – and it makes more sense as I know who the explorer is. I had thought the solution was a spicy little red sauce, but maybe that’s because I’m a Bloody Mary drinker. Thanks again and enjoy the weekend. It’s a big game for Liverpool today isn’t it?

        1. Yes Kate they’re all big games now but unfortunately I think its all too late for this season! they could have discovered that spicy red sauce in America, who knows, someone will :-D

  7. I thought this was one of the easier Saturday puzzles. No particular favourite, but I liked 6d.
    Thanks to setter (I thought it was Cephas, but I think he set last week), and to BD.

  8. Its a gorgeous day here in East Kent at the moment, although the mist is creeping back across the marshes. A nice Saturday puzzle, I thought, which held me up slightly in the SW but not for long. I liked 24a too. Thanks to the setter and to BD.

    I highly recommend the NTSPP.

      1. At the top of the page usually above Daves fishing reel?? at least I think its a fishing reel!

            1. what does it calculate then? I’ve looked at the large picture and it still looks like a fishing reel only with numbers!

            2. Have a go at the NTSPP Mary – you are the right era (notice I don’t say age!) and have brothers so should be able to spot the theme.

              1. I will later Sue have to get ready to go toot my flute soon, so I will try it this evening especially after your cryptic message??

          1. Ah I see it is a precursor of our modern day calculators and a collectors item today?? sorry about the mistake :(

  9. Well I found this hard going today – maybe because my attention kept wandering onto the India -v- Sri Lanka final on TV. I liked 8d. Thanks to setter and BD

  10. Excellent entertainment from our Saturday Mysteron. It took a while for the penny to drop on a few of the clues. Thanks too to BD for the notes.

  11. Another puzzle that looks like it is written by a computer so I will call the Setter HAL. No fav clues just a bit of a chore really. Sorry Dave, I just didn’t enjoy it. (with apolofgies to Arthur C Clark)

  12. Please can I have help with 11a and is 25a the clue with something to do with golf as I cant really justify my answer.

    1. Think I have sussed 25a – I hadnt changed the first letter, I have now got the golf connection. Still can’t make headway with 11a despite having every other letter!

    2. Hi Ruth,
      11a is an Italian restaurant. You need a four letter word for pie (one without a top perhaps) reversed around to and a three letter word for ‘spread around’ ie if you make your feelings known you could be said to … them.
      I think 25a is a ‘golf stick’ – usual crossword land one letter musical abbreviation for ‘soft’ and a five letter word for talk.

    3. Have just read that again and realised that I’ve got it all a bit scrambled. I’ll try again!
      11a – first four letters are another word for pie reversed (returned) then ‘to’, then a three letter word as in ‘… your grievances’ – also reversed (around).
      Hope that helps – all sounds a bit garbled!

      1. Thanks Kath – not a word I have across often in Chester but hopefully will sit in a few next week as off to Italy skiing. Not too sure about having ‘to’ in the clue and as part of the answer.

  13. I enjoyed this although was very slow to get going and thought that it was going to be more difficult than it ended up being. Sister-in-law here for weekend so guessed the Aussie batsman and checked him with her. I got the answer to 3d but missed the subtlety of the clue until I read the hints (thanks BD) – I just thought it was ‘close to sleeper’ because people don’t usually wear anything underneath them!! Oh dear! :oops: Also couldn’t explain 18d until I read some of the other comments.
    Clues that I liked today include 4,10, 13 and 17a and 6, 8, and 19d.
    With thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints.
    Have a good weekend everyone.

  14. It is not my crossword but can you please stop giving the answers when you pass the mouse over the pictures. It is a prize crossword after all

    1. Cephas

      You get a lot more than half-a-dozen answers on AnswerBank! They are there to help the less-skilled to get a start on the puzzle.

      1. I welcome some picture clues as I am just starting out on crosswords – it helps me enormously to work out the rest of the puzzle by having a few lettes I know are right, so many thanks Dave. After all you don’t have to hover on the pic if you don’t want to!

      2. Whilst you are talking about Prize crosswords, do you know how many people actually send in their completed answers? I did the very first time I completed it, before I discovered your blog; then I discovered loads of other folk can finish it and haven’t bothered since. I have also wondered why the winners of crossword competitions win dictionaries and crossword aides as they seem to be the least in need of such books. Has anyone else ever wondered this?

        1. Ruth, I’ve been sending in the Saturday DT crossword for over 20 years – probably 50 per year (I don’t submit them if I use this blog to get help). How much has that cost me in stamps !!?? I won a consolation prize last year (notebook with DT logo) but I will keep going till I either win the pen, or lose the will to live!

        2. I used to send in the Monday Herculis GK Puzzle – the prize was £750.

          Who wants a fountain pen?

            1. It would be nice to have “one” of the unique Telegraph Pens….but I would prefer the money!

              On a more serious note, does the DT have an agreement with the Post Office? I have read that the number of entries posted for prize puzzles is enormous! Do they share the spoils?

              1. I won the Herculis crossword a couple of weeks ago and the prizes are now £50.00 and the unique Telegraph fountain pen. Neither has arrived yet…

        3. I have often enquired if anyone knows how many are sent in but have never found out. What I would find interesting is whether or not the numbers vary greatly depending upon the difficulty of the particular puzzle. I always finish it but never send it in – although I do have phases! I have never won but I know people who have including the proud possessor of a pen. I once many years ago got runner up in the Observer prize crossword – I think it was £10 at the time!

  15. Hi All

    My heart sank this morning when I looked at the crossword – could only get one clue. However, having scratched my head a few times, with and ‘ahhh’ moment here and there its is gradually coming along.

    All the hints discussed here and BD’s at the top are most helpful.

    This one has proven to be a challenge to me – but as always, determined not to give up.

    Thanks everyone – you’re all stars!

    1. It’s your month, April.

      I always (generally!) prefer the ones where I have to work at it a bit.

  16. Got off to a bad start with this by putting in ‘esprit’ for 1d, but all done now, though not without most of the hints, lots of help and a little cheating. Found this really hard today. There a few synonyms I didn’t know, 18d and, I presume, letters 2-4 of 23a for ‘forward’, and it’s not in the XWD dictionary. Not a chance of 26a of course, but 25a was ok. Several constructs I can’t untangle, will await the review. Still in the CC then …

    Can’t say I enjoyed it much, but thanks anyway and to BD for the hints

    1. Hi Geoff long time no ‘speak’ yes that’s right for 23a, it does give under the 4 letter word forward as a synonym but not the other way round :)

      1. Sorry, typo there, I meant 2-5. So it does, Mary, it didn’t occur to me to look up the synonym.

  17. Dave many thanks for the tribute to Johnny Preston I only heard about it this morning on Brian Matthew’s Sound of the Sixties.

  18. Quite fun, not too difficult IMO and maybe not as sparkly as the last few Mysteron puzzles. Nevertheless, thanks to BD and our mystery setter.

      1. Yes, but next year it will be on a different day, so it won’t be Gnomey you are catching out!

          1. It will be a Sunday (leap year next year) and you wouldn’t want to upset our Dave, would you??

      2. I did put a wee April Fool joke (not the toilet roll) in yesterday’s Cryptic review but obviously not a very good one since nobody spotted it (or at least nobody commented on it) :D

            1. I actually looked it up on Google yesterday and read that Greta Garbo successfully made the transition from silent movies to talkies. I was fooled by Gazza saying that it was recent speculation. I hope that no-one from MGM reads this blog – Gazza might need a good lawyer.

        1. I mentioned it to my husband last night, just didn’t commit myself in public :)

  19. Thank you to BD and the Setter.

    I thought it was slightly harder than a usual Saturday puzzle, but once I’d removed ‘esprit’ from 1d, it did get a LOT easier.
    Please, someone else say they made the same mistake…. :o)

  20. A good Saturday puzzle – thanks to setter and to BD.

    BD – also thanks for the video – brought back lots of memories for me as it was popular when I was in school and lived up in the north of Canada.

    Took me ages to work out 23a until I got 19d – felt really dumb when I finally got them. Enjoyed the puzzle and liked 24a best. Cricket clue was okay as I think we have had it before and it was a cricketer I knew.

      1. I actually fared better than Mrs Tub who twenty minutes in to watching Casablanca said ‘is this ALL in black and white?’ and promptly fell asleep! And she hadn’t even been to the pub. But last night’s tiredness did mean that I forgot to thank BD for his comments and the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle. Sometimes I thought a mirror would’ve been useful for all of those words that had to be reversed, but it was good practise for someone like me who is still learning these things.

  21. Thanks for the Johnny Preston song . Unfortunately, I’ve never heard of him before. But I enjoyed it – especially the scratches on vinyl – that brings back memories.

    1. I saw him in concert a few times – the last being only a few years ago. His recording of “Feel So Fine” was years ahead of its time.

  22. Enjoyable Saturday puzzle with a slight leaning to the USA! (4a, 17a, 6d & 12d).
    11a, 21a, 26a, 6d, 16d & 22d were best for me.

  23. Only just completed this one this morning. I liked 1a,8d and 12d. Took a long time for me to tune into 8d and 13a. Good to see 26a not involving Bradman!!

  24. I’m still struggling with yesterday’s crossword. Seem to be tackling it in fits and starts. With some clues l would not have a hope without this place.

    I will persevere as the satisfaction of completing a puzzle is immense. Hoping train trip back from Durham will provide the necessary time to devote myself to this.

    Cheers all


  25. A good Saturday offering but as usual I am comletely flummoxed on a couple of clues. Even having slept on it 7d and 8d still evade my limp brain power. Thanks to BD and everybody for thier contributions.

    1. 7d Such as Alfred, old king ruined tea (5)
      The epithet used to describe King Alfred is made from the initials of our most recent king followed by an anagram (ruined) of tea.

    2. 8d Crazy man will make concise container (8)
      An informal word for crazy is followed by a contracted form of “the man will”. This makes a container used in a phrase meaning to say or put something concisely.

      1. Many thanks Gazza. On the subject of prizes, whatever happened to the S T Dupont pen that used to be on offer? I have never ever seen one on sale commercially, much as i looked !!!!!

  26. Doing the Saturday crossword on Sunday, as usual, when I get peace and quiet. Can see why people are saying that it is not particularlIy exciting. Think I’ve got 20 down right but not completely sure about the reasoning. Interested to read comments on sending off for the prize pen. I’ve been doing this recently and expected I might win, but reading that some people have done it for twenty years and only got a consolation prize is making me think again! It would be great to win, though, wouldn’t it? Like receiving a medal from the Queen!

    1. 20d Representing a star with luminance (6)
      This is an all-in-one clue. It’s an anagram (re-presenting) of a star followed by the abbreviation for luminance.

  27. One of the lurkers here!

    I found this week’s puzzle quite difficult . I always use Big Dave’s hints – for which many thanks but also had to resort to electronic aids more than usual. I think I’ve completed it , but would really like to know how 15d is arrived at, especially where the sex appeal comes in! Many thanks for any help.

  28. Last in was 13a – a fairly mundane puzzle with little to enthuse about. 3 points for West Brom though!

  29. It took me ages this time, I just could not get going. Once I solved the two longer clues, I made steady (but slow) progress. One of the clues took me ages and thanks to here I eventually got it. (See post 5)

  30. Oh and 2 points thrown away by Everton against a very lacklustre Villa side. Why are we having such a poor season?

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