DT 26546 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26546 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26546 (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.


7a           Lack of consumer interest (8)
A medical condition characterized by lack of appetite for food

10a         Stranded lbw (3,2,1,4)
A phrase meaning stranded could, at a pinch, describe being dismissed leg-before-wicket in cricket

13a         No option (7)
A word meaning that the “no” option has been selected – a bit like the referendum!

24a         Purchase from bar long time afterwards (8)
Purchase, as in a mechanical advantage in raising something, is a charade of a bar used to achieve said purchase and a long time


1d           Curse put on three different articles, graduate concluded (8)
This curse or execration is a charade of three articles, two indefinite and one definite, and a graduate degree

2d           Bird from third line (4)
This bird could be between the B and D lines of seats!

12d         Broadcast rejected from beginning to end (10)
What sounds like (broadcast) a phrasal verb meaning rejected or tossed away is actually a word meaning from beginning to end

22d         Minor attraction mounted (4)
A minor who is in the care of a guardian is created by reversing (mounted) an attraction

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: {nigh} + {sand} + {easy} = {nice and easy}

130 comments on “DT 26546 (Hints)

  1. Oof! My Friday nights don’t do much for my Saturday mornings, but I found this to be quite a tricky little so and so. A few mistakes in the top right corner (13a and 8d) didn’t help things much either! 21 was new to me but quite ‘gettable’. Glad I’ve done it, but feel like I need a lie down now. 2d was my stand out clue of the day, and hats off to the evil genius who thought of that one! Cheers!

  2. Morning all
    I thought that this was the easiest for some time…but perhaps my brain is tuned into the compilers!!
    I liked 13a and 5d.
    My only doubts were on 15d..the obvious answer fits but I’m not sure about 75% cut bit

        1. the first 3 letters of the answer with P on the end gives you the whole word for ‘cut’

          1. the last four letters are a synonym for deputy, the whole word is a word for conditions as in weather

                1. I agree, this was the worst clue for me. Liked 17d and 6d but had to check plate bit, new to me.

                    1. I couldn’t understand that one either- got it right, but no idea why.
                      Thanks for the explanation

    1. Thanks everyone. I actually twigged this whilst waiting for my bus after this morning post.

  3. I too think the setter, presumably Cephas, has upped the tricky level this week. I did finish in my usual time but there was a moment when I thought I might have to invoke either the law or the hint of the Gnome! Thanks to Cephas for getting the brain going on a Saturday morning and to BD for the explanations, particularly the one in post 4 above! .

    1. It is but try reading out the clues to someone else in the room – that’s what worked for me!

      1. Thanks CS, I’ll do that. Actually Mrs Collywobbles often gets clues that I can not

              1. It works the other way round too – Mr CS doesn’t do crosswords – he does the number puzzles – I get some very strange looks when I start reading out cryptic clues to him, but quite often he will get the answer before me.

        1. with you here Collywobs, I’m still only half way through! Think I’ll read them out to myself!

                1. Finished at last not sure if I’ve got 4d correct, would I be correct in thinking that this type of plant s a building of sorts, if so I don’t understand the clue?
                  also curious about the working of 19d, never heard this word before, as Cara says above, once finished you can sit back and say, Ah yes some good clues there but going through it was not easy and lots of perservating and Daves hints needed, thanks Dave :-) fav clues 23a, 12d, fav of all 2d, love it, good luck all

  4. When I first looked at the clues, my heart sank but the solution to 10a was immediate and then I was away. Progress has been slow but, on reflection [and because I have the answers], there are some quite clever clues this morning…

  5. This has taken a good while! In the ‘difficult but well worth it’ category for me. Some very clever but often amusing clues, and some difficult – for me 21a, 15d, and 18d were in the second category. Took a LONG time to see the relevance of ‘75%’.Thanks to setter and BD.

  6. BD, you recommended Chambers the other day wirh a link to the Dictionary. Did you mean that or the Enclyclopedia?

        1. also Collywobs have you got Chambers Crossword Dictionary? I have both, I would really be lost without the latter, I have used it so much in two years that i am having to stick it together!

          1. Yes Mary, I got it on your advice but I do not seem to have used it much yet. It may be that I do not know how it works

  7. This is hard, and I am having to use the hints!

    Will take it with me into the park–perhaps the sun and breeze will clear the fog in my brain!

    1. CS recommends that you read them out lous to somebody, or even yourself, and it helps. Mary and I tried it and it worked

  8. Much harder this week. Last in were 6d once I realised it didn’t end with ED and 15d which I didn’t understand at all until I read the lengthy exchange above. Only got 11a when 12d finally dawned on me,

    Thanks to 11a and BD. Mixed bag of weather here with sunshine and showers, no boating today.

  9. I really enjoyed this one today. A bit more of a struggle than normal but most enjoyable.
    Many thanks to setter, and to BD.

  10. My goodness that was hard!! But enjoyable! Spent ages on 19a and 19d and have only now worked out why! Oh well out for some sunshine. Still no rain here in canterbury despite promises… maybe tomorrow ;)

    1. Still haven’t worked out why for 19d. Meant to say above some good clues but enjoyment lessened by the struggles to complete.

      1. 19d – the clue says ‘as lost’. If you put the as back with your solution, you get the name of some mountains.

        1. So you do. It was somewhere at the back of my mind, from where it refused to budge, even though I looked around at mountain names but didn’t find them.

  11. This took a good deal of perseveration and some help from Chambers but I managed to finish in the end with a feeling of satisfaction. Those two groups of 4-letter words in the NW and SE corners gave me pause for a while, but they ended up being my favourite clues, especially 22a. I found 10a by lucky guess — no idea what lbw meant (elbow?), might have known it was a cricket reference! Didn’t like 15d either, but apart from that I enjoyed this very much. So thanks to Cephas, if it was he, and to BD as always. :-)

  12. A bit of a struggle this morning with this puzzlle but that only increases the satisfaction from completion. I liked 7 and 10a and 12d but not 15d. :( Many thanks to setter and BD.

  13. This crossword is one of those that I found very difficult while I was doing it and now I can’t see why! I spent ages on 20d (why? – it’s one of the easiest clues in the whole crossword) Also spent quite a long time trying to justify ‘clique’ for 19d and the county town of Devon for 3d (being Saturday thought that I’d risk being censured if I wrote it as it has the same first two letters as the answer). I’d never heard of the snake in 21a and had failed to realise that it was an anagram but suddenly ‘saw’ (guessed) the first four letters and then cheated with the dictionary. Lots of good clues, I thought – even managed the lbw one! Favourites today include 9a and 2, 6, 8, 12 and 15d. Best of all by a long way was 5d.
    With thanks to Cephas (?) and Big Dave.

  14. Well 19a&d and 18d took me ages! Certainly trickier than usual but a fair puzzle. Thanks to Cephas & BD.

  15. Help, please, for the explanation of 12d.

    I’ve solved it, but I do not know why?

    1. That’s because you haven’t read the hints at the top of the page!

      1. Derek, 12d – Thanks – I now understand. Unfortunately, not “easy” for me!

  16. A rather nice Saturday puzzle – smooth to solve. Thanks Cephas.
    9a, 10a, 21a, 2d, 6d, 12d, 15d & 19d were best for me.

  17. Glad I’m not alone in finding it trickier than normal for a Saturday! Would never have finished without the hints, blog and my electronic friend. Ddidn’t like 15d – always assuming I have it correct, of course! Since when has the last 4 letters meant “deputy”?? It’s not in my thesoraus, anyway. And could someone please explain 6d to me? I’d be most grateful. Was pleased I managed 1 and 5d and 10a unaided Thanks to BD and all the rest of the help above.

    1. If you reverse (upside down) your answer to 6d, you will find a noun meaning ‘plate’, as in a thin layer of bone or mineral.

      1. Thak you Jezza – I have to admit to only ever seeing the word with “te” on the end!! Now it makes perfect sense.

  18. Good afternoon everyone. Slow start, got into 3rd gear then struggled with the last few. Liked the LBW reference particularly. Thought 19d a tad vague? 18d clever.

    I agree a trickier puzzle than the usual Saturday standard.

  19. I may be in the minority, but I found this to be one of the gentler Cephas crosswords, by no means his easiest, but far from his toughest. Many thanks to the setter for an enjoyable crossword and to BD for the review.

  20. It makes a pleasant change to see that others found it hard also. I sometimes feel in a very small minority.

    Thank you to Cephas and Big Dave.

    Favourite clue: 8d, with 12d a runner-up. Didn’t like 22a much though, sorry.

    I managed an alternative ending for 7a – using a ‘c’ as the last letter. Made 4d a lot harder than it should have been.
    Shame the summer’s over, but my wife is very pleased that the garden’s getting some water today.


    1. I assure you- you are NOT! I have only just finished it . Is this a record I ask myself.

        1. Nope still doesn’t help past tense of throw only has 5 letters Im looking for a 10 letter word!

          1. Robert,
            You’re looking for a 7 letter word that sounds like the past tense of throw followed by a 3 letter word that’s not in!

    1. 8a – The answer means Kind, as in sympathetic or compassionate, and is derived from a synonym for fellow put inside another word for appearance, as in a variety of colour, or tint.

  21. I’ve just done a CS on 20a. I said it out loud to Mrs Collywobs and got it

  22. Hi there, along with many others I found this tough today. Please can someone tell me why 20a & 20d are what they are? Ta

    1. 20a The unending lust bothered private eye (6)
      This private eye is an anagram (bothered) of “lust” + all expect one end of “the”.

    2. 20d Endeavour to bridge East River (6)
      A verb meaning to endeavour is hidden in the clue.

    3. 20a: Definition: private eye e.g. Philip Marlowe. Anagram of “lust” (bothered) plus “Th(e)” unending

    4. Oh, thanks you two – I can’t believe I was so obtuse! Enjoying a glass of wine outside now, bliss………

  23. I finished it!!!!!!

    So happy : )

    My heart was in my boots when l first looked at 26546. Then l read that l was not the only one finding it difficult. Persevered and did it before midnight – think that’s a first for me

    Last clues for me were 18 and 19 down which are obvious now l can see the answers.


    1. I like the avatar , that’s exactly how I feel.
      Thanks to everyone for all the hints.

  24. Finally finished what for me was a very difficult but enjoyable Saturday puzzle without any of the hints . I would quarrel with the meaning of 18d. To me it doesn’t mean “crumbly” at all, but more like “easily broken or snapped”. For instance the answer describes perfectly the property of glass, which is certainly not crumbly. For something to be crumbly surely it has to be soft like cheddar cheese or digestive biscuits. Am I right or wrong? Give me your opinion somebody.

    1. LD

      As far as everyday use is concerned I would agree with you, but Chambers Thesaurus gives the following:

      breakable, easily broken, fragile, delicate, frail, hard, crisp, crackly, crumbly, crumbling, shattery, spall plus a few regional terms.

      1. Fair enough, but just looked it up in the Concise Oxford which says “hard and fragile: apt to break.” Sometimes I think thesauri lists include near as well as exact synonyms, and even a few which are at best dubious.

  25. Well I really must be hopeless, haven’t managed to answer one clue in sw corner…

    So some help please with 14a, 15d, 19a 18d, 21a, and 23a……….have looked at help already given and I’m still no nearer!!!! Please and thank you……….and am I such a moron!!!!! Don’t answer that!!!!

  26. 14a – the type of headgear a schoolboy used to wear followed by an anagram (exchanged) of Eric gives another word for a whim or fancy
    15d Can’t think how to explain it any better than all the explanations above.
    19a take T for time out of someone at a royal court to get someone who takes messages or guides
    18d Type of cheese with a two letter abbreviation for a tea totaller and L for left gets a word that has had the large and small Daves in discussion (see just above your post)
    21a a type of snake is an anagram of baths and serum
    23a past present and ****** are type of tense – the answer means time to come

    And no you are not a moron – sometimes corners of crosswords get us like that !

  27. Tough at the start, then tough and then tough at the end.

    Finally finished (Sunday am.)

    And now on to the Sunday puzzle……….

  28. Always a preference for completing Saturdays’ cryptic xwords on Sundays whilst watching the sport. Lke so many regular bloggers found this one quite difficult to get started with dubious clues such as 18d definition of ‘crumbly’. Still don’t fathom 19d as lost in mountains of **** doesn’t make sense and not too happy about 10a as the solution, although clever, is not necessarily lbw in cricket? Favourites 9a and 8d with the bridging of 20d ingenious

    1. 19d Small group, as lost in mountains (6)

      The definition is a small group. To get it you need to drop AS (AS lost) from a range of mountains between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and SE Russia.

  29. I too have found this very difficult and would love a hint for 5d. I have the first word, as in how you might describe underwear without the final ‘s’ – but cannot work out the anagram – I need an extra letter! I have ..*.* ??? Not convinced I have the right answer to 16 a – a hint to confirm would be helpful. I have carried this puzzle round London and am now back in Scotland! NE corner still bare!! Think the brain has seized! Enjoyed 4d, 19ac, 23ac – first ones in but it has been a slow painful experience!

    1. 5d It sounds as though you have the first bit right, but why drop the final S? Follow these 6 letters with an anagram of ALEC to make a description of something having restricted size and scope.

    2. 16a Supple penny exposed to risk (7)
      The definition is supple. Start with the abbreviation for a penny and add an adjective meaning exposed to risk or legally answerable should anything go wrong.

  30. It is sad I am so dim – but thank you for that -I had been barking up the wrong tree! my 16ac is WRONG!! More thinking required.

    1. gordonbennet,
      It’s better if you keep relevant comments together in the same thread (by clicking on reply in the comment that you’re replying to).

  31. Phew! Finished at last! A very enjoyable puzzle. More taxing than the usual Saturday one I thought. I will try reading the clues aloud tomorrow .

  32. Saturday and Sunday have all gone without being able to work 4d out. I can’t see it in the comments above so am beginning to wonder if I’ve missed something obvious… ?

      1. Thanks, Robert.

        Stupidly, I had the second letter as C (putting 7A in as an adjective) – sloppy.

        1. I haven’t been able to work out 12d nor 15d despite BDs ‘hints’ above and I put C in at first for 7a.

          1. 12d: it’s a word that sounds like two words meaning ‘chucked ***’, that means from start to finish.

            What was the clue for 15d?

            1. Thanks Will

              Finally got 12d

              15d……….75% cut in conditions.

              1. 15d Deputy’s after 75% cut in conditions (7)

                The definition is “conditions”.

                A four-letter word for “deputy” (such as a plumber might have) follows the first three letters (75%) of a four-letter synonym for “cut” (such as a barber might give).

                1. thanks Qix

                  Got that which gave me19a. All I need now are 14a & 21a and Ive finished!

                    1. For 14a, see Cryptic Sue’s hint at #34 above, if you’re still stuck. She explains it very well.

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