DT 26618 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26618 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26618 (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           Sailor not taking extreme position? (10)
A cryptic definition of a sailor, like the one in the novels by Frederick Marryat

18a         Eating from the land (7)
A verb meaning eating away that can be applied to the gradual wearing away of soil from the land

24a         Poet’s game that’s spoken about (8)
The poet who wrote, among many others, The Charge of the Light Brigade is a charade of a word fragment that sounds like a ball game and a two-letter word meaning about or concerning (not “re” this time!)

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” he said.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

28a         Intelligence? Dull subject! (4,6)
This intelligence or common sense is a charade of a word meaning dull, frequently applied to former Prime Minister John Major, and a subject or topic, like Henry VIII’s great one


1d           Get wind about one in case rendered invalid (8)
Put a  violent cold dry north-east wind in Southern France (Derek will know this one!) about I (one) to get a court case that has been rendered invalid

4d           One needs to take steps to make it count (9)
A cryptic definition of a device used for counting the number of steps taken by its wearer

16d         Late estate agent (8)
A cryptic definition of a person appointed by a testator to carry out the terms of their will

22d         A point of view obliquely across (6)
Combine A from the clue with a point of view or opinion to get a word meaning obliquely across

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: {Hugh} + {Mann} + {kind} = {humankind}

As I was writing, Brian Matthew played this on Sounds of the Sixties!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

I saw the group live at the Marquee Club in Wardour Street back in the mid-sixties – followed by coffee at Le Macabre.

79 comments on “DT 26618 (Hints)

  1. Done and dusted early today. Most enjoyable. Best clues for me were 25a,19d.
    Thanx to Compiler and BD for this excellent blog.

  2. Sorry if this is off topic but I thought I’d point out that cryptic crossword fans who live in the Three Counties Radio area, that’s Beds, Herts and Bucks might like to tune in to ‘Treasure Quest’ at 9:00am till noon on Sundays.

    It’s a live treasure hunt around the district, with a reporter in a radio car and contestants in the studio and live help from the audience. They have to solve cryptic clues to find various locations and eventually the treasure.

    The clues are fiendishly difficult and somewhat frustrating for crossword fans since they don’t follow the usual crossword conventions but somehow, usually with the help of local knowledge, they manage to get through.

    If you don’t live in the area you can get the show on BBC iPlayer but it won’t have the same attraction if you don’t know the area.

    1. I meant to add many thanks to Big Dave and others for this blog, I’m a regular lurker and usually far too late to make any comment.

  3. Finished early today, and without Big Dave’s help for once! Liked 1a and 25a, but don’t understand 19d. Am I being dense again?

    1. Re, 19d it’s a sort of double definition, the second piece consisiting of a well known phrase…

    2. Is there room for another? Whilst the answer is obvious from the checking letters, I can’t work out the cryptic either. An explanation would be appreciated.

      Otherwise a nice warm up to what is supposed to be a pleasant weekend. Good luck to the Brits at the Hungaroring and the English at Trent Bridge.

    3. I’ll try and expand on what Libellule has written.

      The definition is majesty, and the answer is the “subject” of the phrase “delusions of xxxxxxxx”.

    4. Wikipedia has a page about the phrase, and here is a, slightly editited, extract!

      Principally a subtype of delusional disorder it can occur as a wide range of mental illness, including in two thirds of those in manic state of bipolar disorder, half those with schizophrenia and a substantial portion of those with substance abuse disorders.They are characterized by fantastical beliefs that one is famous, omnipotent, wealthy, or otherwise very powerful. The delusions are generally fantastic and typically have a supernatural, science-fictional, or religious theme.

      1. Regrettably also found in those in the tertiary stages of sexually transmitted diseases i.e General Paralysis of the Insane (GPI)

  4. Thoroughly enjoyable, nearly finished. Thanks BD for the tips, they were very useful. Have you got the phone number of 4d?

    1. BD, I may have been at the Marquee Club around the same time, a few years after I left Rutlish. It’s a funny old world

      1. Memories, memories !! A pal and I used to visit the Marquee Club on our not very frequent trips from the suburbs. Thought we were being very daring !

        Happy (and innocent) days …………… how times change.

        And yes I’m still around but not regularly enough to compete with most of you !

          1. The 1850s in some parts (says an unreconstructed islander who toasts, “The Queen, the Duke of Normandy).

  5. That was a nice Saturday morning puzzle – thanks to setter (Cephas if it is) and to BD for the hints.

    I made heavy work of 11a and kicked myself when I finally got it. I enjoyed 25a and 28a.

    Have a good weekend and enjoy the sunshine everyone.

  6. I’ve finished eventually but with a little help from the dictionary. I’ve never heard of 15d and I don’t understand 11a. However I really liked the mix of clues today, particularly the purely cryptic ones and I think the favorites were 4d and 23a (I was trying desperately to put an “l” in the answer until the penny dropped). Thanks to the setter and BD – next time can we have a photo of a semi-naked man please? Have a great weekend everyone.

    1. Kate – have a look at the review on Friday – I have found picture possibilities for at least two clues :D

  7. Very nice, thank you Cephas. I did like the quickie pun too – can’t stop singing the Mighty Quinn now! Thanks to BD for the hints.

    Not much sun here Leah – the local BBC weather lady specifically said that East Kent would miss out on the sun and she wasn’t wrong. :(

      1. 30 miles isn’t far but as I have pointed out, you get a different sort of weather just past Canterbury – its the ‘Island’ effect ;-) (Ducks for cover from CS)

        1. Grrrrrr :D I don’t mind really. I have lots of indoor stuff to do and am hoping the sun is saving itself for here the week after next when I have a week off.

  8. 27a. I’ve got the checking letters but for the life of me I can’t get the clue. Can anybody help without breaking the rules

  9. I’m envious of those of you who visited the Marquee Club – a legendary venue – but I can claim to have been in the Cavern, although it was extremely uncomfortable at the time. When I saw Paul Jones with the Blues Band six or seven years ago, I was astonished at how many harmonicas he had in the case which was open on the stage. The crossword… Most enjoyable and my thanks to Cephas – if it was he – and BD.

  10. Enjoying the crossword relaxing at the Cambridge Folk festival. Dry and hoping for a bit of sun. Just 22d and 27a to go. A wicket or two at Trent Bridge is, I feel, in order.

  11. Thanks to Cephas for today’s gentle puzzle, and to BD for the notes.
    25a was obvious from the clue, but I did need to check it in the dictionary – I don’t think I have ever heard of those muscles before!

  12. If like me you look to see who has set the NTSPP and think ‘oh heck it’s a Radler’, then this week don’t let that put you off! It has a very nice theme, is great fun to solve, and had I not been sent it to test solve by the man himself, given the trouble I usually have with his crosswords, would never have believed he set it!!

  13. Not even sure that I can write any comments now – SO distracted by the clip of the wonderful Paul Jones! :grin: I saw them too (they were my favourite group in the ’60’s) nowhere as grand as the Marquee club – just in a small provincial town very close to where BD lives. Right – now on to the crossword! Having found the last few Saturdays much more difficult than I ever used to I thought this one was quite straightforward. Took a while to get 19d for some reason and, although I didn’t write it in, wondered fleetingly about “grazing” for 18a – how silly! I liked 9, 23, 25 and 27a and 4, 5, and 17d. Thanks to Cephas and Big Dave.

    1. Here but late in again today been playing builders mate, getting myself covered in dust during wall drilling for pipes for new shower installation, last part of refurb of bathroom, it’s only been ongoing since April!!have 3 left to do, no 4 3d and 10a, and 9a and 7d, any help appreciated as I think I have to go back and be builders mate shortly!!

  14. A very quick finish here but an enjoyable outing from Cephas so thanks to him. 15d was my favourite. Thanks to BD for the hints too.

  15. S’ok I have now finished, I have two choices now, and no sitting in the sun is not an option (no sun here today) I can either go back to being a builders mate or take a nice shower (in the one that is working) and hide away with my kindle and computer for a couple of hours til I go off to toot my flute later on, methinks, the secon option the better one back soon :-), thanks for hints Dave I did need a couple of them today, fav clue 20a :-)

  16. Greetings all,
    The sun is cracking the flags here in Cheadle Hulme as Pommers will no doubt be pleased to hear.
    I enjoyed today’s crossword especially the use of the apostrophe in 26 a.
    My favourite clues were the charades in 23 a and 25 a ( a pain in the a**** for those without altar boy latin) 17 d was hardly cryptic.
    Why is Cephas the favourite?
    I thought the hidden word in 21d was the Virgilius trade mark.

    Once I discarded Cary from the pun things became clear

    Regards to B. D. and the setter,


    1. Hi Denis
      Glad to hear about the weather.
      The current clients in our apartment come from Cheadle Hulme – they live on Blenheim Rd. Small world!

  17. Thought this was a pretty mundane offering for Saturday completed while watching the F1 qualifying. Here’s hoping for rain in Hungary tomorrow or that looks like it will be mundane.
    Thanks to setter and Big Dave for the hints. A little more elaborate this week?

  18. Excellent stuff from Cephas!
    Not too taxing but some very good clues – particluarly like 16d!
    Just finished in time for the Grand Prix qualifying – well done the Mclarens!
    Thanks to Cephas and BD for the picture and the video clip!

  19. P.S. If you want a sterner challenge the prize puzzle in today’s Grauniad, by Biggles (the 4 Johns), is very good!

    1. Agreed, but it’s only by 3 of them in honour of the wedding of the fourth. They have also done one in the FT which is even more of a challenge.

  20. Very good – thought 4d was just about cryptic. A couple of new words today, but they were able to be worked out from the clues, so fair play. Thanks to all and enjoy the rest of the weekend.

  21. struggling with left hand side of puzzle but will persevere. Sun is also shining here in the Lakes, hope it stay like this for my weeks hols

  22. finally finished (?) after struggling with the last few.
    However, the answer I have for 9a means deserving, but I thought a big cheese meant someone powerful rather than deserving. Perhaps I have the wrong answer ?
    Thanks for hints very much needed for the last few, esp in the NE corner.

  23. Good evening fellow cruciverbalists. Slow start for me so did some weeding in the garden, picked some apples for a crumble, some more chores, tooks boys for a swim, listened to TMS (Broad hat-trick!) then got the crossword done. Nice glass of chilled wine now to watch the highlights from Trent Bridge.

  24. Stuck on N/W corner. 8a, 2d,3d. 15d also causing brainache. Any suggestions?. Still marvelling at Broad’s hat trick.

    1. Hi nalced
      Not sure how far I can go here without transgressing the rules for prize puzzles but I’ll have a go.
      8a Double definition.
      2d ‘Yours truly’ placed inside (embraced by) a member of the clergy gives a word meaning to humble.
      3d 2 Bachelors inside a difficult situation (pommette says when in one of these then stop digging!) gives a word for hamper
      15d Anagram of TOILING (vigorously) around (to overlay) A is an engraved design. Slightly obscure word which comes up in xwords now and again.

      OK Dave, I’ll go to the naughty corner now – any of the lemon cake left?

  25. Thanks to Big dave and the setter. I enjoyed this one, was plain sailing until I got to the NW corner, but eventually managed to complete it.
    Favourites were 1a, 4d & 8a which was last in.

  26. Out on the trains to go to the Test yesterday and disasters at every step. Set off early and arrived late! Anyway had to complete this standing up as no seats on the train that was running. Enjoyed 14a,5d and 15d. Completed quite quickly in adversity.

  27. Still struggling with top right but press on. As to the Marquee I was a frequent visitor back in the late 60s –was anyone there for the double bill of Jimi Hendrix and The Nice which broke the house record of bodies crammed in. Also when the little know Cream played 2 sets a night each week.

  28. Strange one this week.
    In between shopping and looking after the grandson (4, so a bit of a handful) and taking him swimming and playing cricket (my club is “50 and out” this year) I got stuck on the last 8 or so clues to go in. Gazing for ages, resigned to not finishing, last night.
    In the canteen at lunch today, all done in 3 minutes!
    That’s how it goes sometimes.
    Faves were 25a, 28a and 13d (Let’s Go Devils!)

    PS Sadly too young, but envious of the Marquee stories…

  29. Found this one a little tricky so must once again cry for help.
    6a, 7d and our unknown muscle 25a.
    Suspect the first and last letters of 25a must be our usual US soldier with an instrument in the middle but that is as far as I go.
    As for the other 2. I have words that fit but no explanation to either.
    Congrats to Jenson on his victory on Sunday. Brilliant result for his 200th GP.

    1. Bob

      Sorry for the delay in replying.

      25a US soldier squeezes instrument to show muscles (6)
      You are right about the US soldier – just insert an old-fashioned stringed instrument, shaped like half a pear, to get the muscles in the backside.

      6a Female rule could make you defect! (4)
      F(emale) is combined with a rule or edict to get a defect or imperfection

      7d Hat Annie removed from one from the capital (8)
      An anagram of HAT ANNIE gives someone from the capital of Greece

  30. Were the answers to 26,618 (in Monday, 8th Aug’s Daily Telegraph) incorrect? I rarely buy anything other than Sat’s telegraph but wanted to see what I had missed in the cryptic!!!

    1. Welcome to the blog Smithie

      The answers in yesterday’s paper were actually for DT 26624 – published before the closing date for the competition.

      The actual answers can be found here:

      DT 26618

    2. The correct solution for 26,618 was published in Tuesday’s paper along with a note to say that the winners for Prize Crossword 26,624 will be drawn on Friday.

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