DT 26600 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26600 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26600 (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           Showing surprise on the square perhaps, deny a lie that’s false (7,2,6)
This phrase meaning showing surprise is comprised of a word meaning being on the cricket square receiving the bowling followed by an anagram (that’s false) of DENY A LIE

9a           Having domain unsettled, getting about (7)
An anagram (unsettled) of DOMAIN is followed by (getting) a one-letter abbreviation for about – read this all-in-one clue again to get the definition

11a         Vegetable garden containing kale initially put on large lorry (9)
To get this grey-green flower-head, served as a vegetable, put a verb meaning to garden (with a particular garden implement) around the initial letter of Kale all following the informal form of a large lorry which has its cab flexibly attached to the rear section

21a         Soldier perhaps infiltrated by good English spy (5)
… the soldier that is being infiltrated is an example of a common three-letter insect

25a         Ascot may be gripped by this closest of races with fast pace (3,4)
The definition here is an Ascot, a type of neckwear, may be gripped by this – it’s a charade of the closest of races (3) and a fast pace

27a         Book unravelling ethnic treachery (7,2,3,3)
One of America’s most famous works of fiction is an anagram (unravelling) of ETHNIC TREACHERY


1d           What’s said to be famous dandy’s remains (4,3)
A homophone (what’s said to be) of a famous Welsh dandy (4,4) is actually the remains left following a cremation

3d           Litmus perhaps in acid turned to red at first (9)
A very cleverly constructed clue! – litmus, a substance that turns red in acid, is an example of this substance which is constructed from IN, ACID reversed (turned), TO and the first letter of Red

7d           Most stupid of Americans anyhow (9)
Two words that mean most stupid (5,4) when combined give a word, largely used in North America, meaning anyhow or however

17d         Man that’s cut about the ear gets disorganised (7)
Remove (cut) the final P from an informal term for a man and follow it with an adjective meaning about the ear to get a word meaning disorganised

19d         Person is standing up on seat (7)
… seat here is a large country house

24d         Father holding Australian bird’s bone (5)
Put the abbreviation of father, in the religious sense, around an Australian bird (the feathered kind, not a Sheila!) to get a bone found in the leg

The Crossword Club opens at 10.00am.  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: {tallier} + {telly} = {tagliatelle}

101 comments on “DT 26600 (Hints)

  1. I found that there were a few clues to make me stop and think today. I finished in the SE corner after blinding myself to the clear wordplay and definitions at 19d and 26a. All in all a pleasant Saturday morning solve. Thanks to the mystery aetter and BD. Off to tackle the Times now!

  2. Hi Dave, I thought this was a lot tougher than the usual Saturday morning crosswords, it took me ages to get started, last one in was 25a, I particularly found the top L/H corner difficult and had never heard of 4d! what’s new, there’s always something I haven’t heard of :-) fav clue 19a, when I eventually stopped thinking about using the ‘g’ from guerilla! Duh! Thanks for hints but although I struggled with lots of this I didn’t need them today, makes a change

    1. I found this one quite tough too, Mary. My last in was also 25a and I couldn’t stop thinking about putting in a “G” in 19a.

          1. Bonjour from Honfleur.
            Mon Dieu, I thought an Ascot was a chapeau as they say round here.

            So all done except for 25a, and just couldn’t make hat fit.

            Also had it split (4,3) instead of (3,4), so I could have tried to solve this for the rest of my life and failed.


  3. Easy puzzle as usual on a Saturday. Some very nice clues of which 23 was the best. Could really do with a harder contest at weekends. Never mind, i can now go back to yesterday’s Toughie.

        1. Mary. This was a puzzle where the outside clues were quite easy and then all you had to do was apply Mary’s Law to the SE corner and work from there. Whatever happened to the After 8 club?

          1. Ah but it was getting the outside ones to start with that I had a problem with! Ainsley has been missing for a while now

        2. I agree, Mary. My thanks to you and to Big Dave.You have helped me to know how to think,this enabled be to complete the puzzle,compiled brilliantly,and be able to get to the ‘barley mow’ in reasonable time. ATM I am in Chester, a beautiful and interesting city, have travelled so much recently I am feeling quite 9A!

  4. Although I managed to make an earlier start today, I’ve had something of a struggle and I’m grateful for your hints, Dave, which have been invaluable.

  5. A most pleasant distraction for a Saturday when I’ve been left a long list of jobs to do by the Meme Sahib. So if I crack on then I can look forward to the NTSPP & a couple of cold ones later on in the thunderstorms…

    Thanks to the setter & to BD for the hints as usual

  6. While I was waiting for the computer to agree to wake up, I had a quick work through all the wordplay and there are quite a few clues that take some working out including the clever 3d. Thanks to the Mysteron for the Saturday morning workout. I will pick my other favourites when I sort out the review. Thanks to BD for the hints – is it a sign of the extra complications that there are more hints than usual today?

    1. The encouragements might be said to a horse round the abbreviation for company into which is inserted the letter which means one thousand. (I promise I will refine my prose for the review!)

              1. Very late start for me yesterday so only finished this morning! Thanks Mary – had no idea anything but M was used for 1000 & that’s my last in. Would get on with todays but clued up’s screwed up again! Thanks to all for a great crossword and discussion :)

  7. An early start for me hence the early finish. Unlike Caravaggio and Mary I found it easier than some Saturdays, so make of that what you will! 3d was a favourite with 11a and 25a not too far behind. 7d was the sticking point, but once that went in the rest followed fairly quickly. Enjoy your Saturday and your crossword; cheers!

    1. I thought it was easier, but then when everyone says how easy it was I’m still struggling!
      Was very good though.

        1. Thank you for a great site. I’ve been dipping in and out for a while and you have some good people here.

          1. Welcome aboard,Captain Lethargy. Hope you haven’t expended too much energy in leaving your first comments.

    1. Remember that two negatives can make a positive, so the first word is the opposite of most and the second the opposite of stupid!

    2. Hi Sheepdog, the way I see it is, if you seperate the clue 5,4, you get two words that mean the most stupid, as one word this is another word Americans use for anyhow, at least that’s what I think!

  8. 15a is totally impossible for me. Is this a fictional author within the book? Or am I way out………..HELP!!!

      1. Oh my god, so obvious – can’t see the wood for the trees. Thanks Dave.

        Surely it would be a general knowledge clue if it said “in” Eyeless in Gaza rather than “of”. The fact that it says “of” makes it cryptic I would have thought. That’s what I like about cryptic puzzles.

  9. I managed to finish but it took me longer than usual. Thoroughly enjoyed it though! Thought 1d, 11a and 25a were tough. Thought 16d and 22d were good! The suns out – the garden beckons!

  10. I enjoyed this one today. I raced through it apart from four in the bottom half, which went in on the second visit.
    I agree 3d was very good.
    Thanks to setter, and to BD.

    1. I give up on ever being able to race through a puzzle, I think, after two years of doing these, I have reached my level, where I can solve the occasional one without hints, most of the time they take up a good deal of my time and I need lots of ‘help’ and hints, however it’s all about enjoyment, some I enjoy more than others, saying all that I really would enjoy being able to race through one………one day maybe………. until then thank goodness for this site and my ‘little helpers’ :-)

      1. Hi Mary

        I’ve been plodding through them for years. I think I’ve completed it without dictionaries and other aids (can’t for the life of me think what the plural of thesaurus is!) less than a dozen times. Still enjoy doing them though. I don’t think it matters if the solvers use aids, because I bet the setters do!

  11. Missing notice
    Lost, little Seiko, missed terribly, life is a struggle without my little friend, anybody finding Seiko please contact me via this site! :-(

        1. I bought a new one for my birthday! Trouble is I need to read the instruction manual before I can operate it properly! Hope yours turns up soon.

        2. I have a Seiko, which is fast approaching the end of its life – the display has become very blurry! I appreciate your loss! :sad:

              1. It is a little electronic hand held machine that can work out anagrams for you, suggest synonyms, and if you put in the letters you’ve got for an answer, will give you a list of possible answers, some people see them as cheating, but I think that if it helps you get an answer, you can often then go on to solve the rest of the crossword, so I see it as helping, not ‘cheating’ , I often refer to them as my electronic friends, I also have another Franklin, Chambers, amazingly sometimes one will come up with an answer when the other won’t but as you see ‘Seiko’ has gone walkabout in Devon somewhere!

                1. I have a Seiko.
                  It’s an automatic winding watch.

                  It’s absolutely useless at helping with crosswords.

  12. I thought that this was quite difficult and made life even more complicated by making lots of wrong assumptions. Started off making the second word of 12a “on”. Like Mary I wanted to put a “G” in 19a (for the “guerilla leader”). I also wanted to use an “M” in 4d – always forget the other things that “thousand” can be. For a short time I tried to make 7d an anagram of “Americans” but that clearly just wasn’t going to work. Having said all that I really enjoyed this one and have learnt yet another “crickety thing” from 1a – have never heard of “on the square. I particularly liked 9, 10, 15 and 27a and 3 (although it took me a long time to work it all out) 14, 16 and 24d. With thanks to the setter and to Big Dave. Have a good weekend everyone.

  13. I liked this puzzle. It took a bit more thought that a few of late. 4d was last in as my mind was “encouraged” in another way! I liked 17a, 3d and 19d.

  14. Im pretty sure I have the answer for 4d as its the only one left but I cant for the life of me see where the ‘thousand’ is in it – is there more than one letter depicting the number?

  15. I thought l was doing pretty well with this (with a LOT of help from the hints) then at about 3 p.m. yesterday I had one left and was stuck on 13a. My problem was that l had a word in my head that l could not let go off. Looking at it this morning it is obvious, but it was not yesterday. 15 a had me flummoxed for a while. Still very much a newbie. Enjoyed this as l do most Saturday DTs.

    1. hello Carrie! i think that is the principle rule of the crossword. I have several goes when I can grab a chance during the day; Yesterday I had second stab shile watching the Old Man play fot the 4ths at cricket. A glass of Rose, a sunny afternoon, nice deckchair and somehow the whole thing just fell into place!

  16. Thanks for the hints Dave. Stuggled with the top part. Sorry to be late with queries – I tend to start the Saturday crossword on Sunday morning! Finished this one much quicker – but with the help of dictionaries! Still learning fast and enjoying the challenge. Thanks again for your hints – haven’t heard that expression for 1 across. Really struggled with 7 down – finally got it! Not sure if I’ve got 25a correct – can you help?

  17. Hi Everyone – late start for us after lunch today. We thought it was middling in difficulty – not too hard, not too easy. Particularly liked 14 down – made me laugh. Thanks for the hints Davd – we needed a couple!

  18. Hi all
    Many thanks for the hints and I enjoyed most of this, but am stuck on 8d and 16d – any more ideas would be welcome. I’m probably being dim, but brain addled as we are living in a monsoon! Poor Castle Stuart!

    1. 8d Any gold changed for 24 hours (7)
      It’s something lasting 24 hours and it’s an anagram.

    2. 16d Sign of penitence to fire clergymen generally (9)
      What a penitent traditionally wears is a charade of a verb to fire or dismiss followed by a general term for the clergy.

      1. Thank you Gazza, it is so easy when you get a nudge, I can’t think why I hadn’t seen that. All done now

  19. Looks like I’m last again! Just finished it. I only managed to start it this evening and I thought it was quite difficult. Whilst it hasn’t been mentioned at all, I got the answer to 26a by a process of elimination but I’m still not sure how the clue works. It appears that I can get some clues straightaway but others on this blog have trouble with them – yet others that are not mentioned (I assume everyone gets them) give me problems. Ho hum.

    1. 26a Powerful chap, one such as Hadrian pressing North (4,3)

      This powerful chap – maybe one who has won a harder version of the triathlon – is built up from I (one) followed by Hadrian’s nationality around (pressing) N(orth)

        1. And Blak Sabbath song for those that way inclined.
          I liked this one, a bit harder than last week’s and more rewarding, with at least 2 new words for me. One I thought it just had to be and the dictionary confirmed.
          I had the entire right side in before 90% of the left, whcih is a bit strange.

  20. And a Black Sabbath song for those that way inclined.
    I liked this one, a bit harder than last week’s and more rewarding, with at least 2 new words for me. One I thought it just had to be and the dictionary confirmed.
    I had the entire right side in before 90% of the left, whcih is a bit strange.

  21. I was really pleased to have started and finished this crossword today without referring to this blog. However, pride comes before a fall and when I checked, I found that I got one clue wrong. It was stll an improvement for me though. :-)

  22. Sorry but even with all the hints we are stuck on 13a and 4d.Assume the suit in 13a relates to cards but still cant get the answer and 4d is a complete mystery although exotic pet (lizard) is a possibility but may be spelling it wrong.

    1. Bob

      Both have been covered in earlier comments.

      13a Suit husband going in cosy places (7)
      Start with a suit of cards and then insert H(usband) to get these cosy fireside places.

      4d Encourages keeping company holding thousand exotic pets (7)
      Put a word meaning encorages (as one might encourage a horse) around (keeping) CO(mpany) itself around (holding) the abbreviation of a thousand metric units to get these exotic pets. As with flamingo and mosquito, the plural of this pet can be spelt in two ways.

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