DT 26624 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26624 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26624 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

[I am in Cheltenham today for the exciting 3D Sloggers & Betters meeting (see sticky post) so Tilsit will be compiling the hints.  BD]

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, a few of the more difficult clues have been selected and hints provided 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.

Apologies if things aren’t up to the usual standard but I’m typing this on a new fangled tablet thingy and it keeps going wonky.

Right, here we go.


1a      Returning sick of Mexican food (4)
One of the toughest clues in today’s puzzle. Not hard to work out from the crossing letters but if you have never heard of this word (an unusual definition of a common word). The word for a feline is also a verb meaning to throw up. If you reverse this (returning) and follow it with O (of = O’, as in ‘Will o’ the Wisp’) you get the name of a Mexican dish.

8a      Where film is not exposed (2,8)
You are looking for a Latin phrase that means in secret, often used with court cases. If you answer the question where to find a roll of Kodak film?’ The answer is not “Boots”!.

21a      Expression of praise that’s not rare (4,4)
‘Rare’ here refers to how you like a steak cooked so if it’s not rare you may have it cooked this way. This is also an expression you may hear when completing a task satisfactorily.

26a      Without places to recuperate (4)
Here we are looking for an abbreviated word that is the old name for places where the sick used to recuperate. It’s also the French word for ‘without’.


1d      Traffic delays follow vehicle overturning near Kansas (9)
The word for traffic jams (as commonplace on the M25) can be found by taking a word for follow and adding the reverse of another word for a taxi, and adding the abbreviation for the state of Kansas (the first and last letters of the state).

2d      Once more flying over centre of Austria, out of touch (2,7,6)
An expression that means out of touch or ‘completely barmy’.  Take a phrase that might mean ‘being airborne again’. Add to it the middle letter of the word Austria.

17d      Screaming colour (3)
A double definition clue, the old way of saying ‘screaming’ as in the expression __ & cry.

21d      One spelling ‘Transposition’ disregarding ‘S’ (5)
A word for someone who casts spells can be found by taking a word meaning to transpose or move something around, and removing its first letter, an ‘S’.

The Crossword Club open 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: {rowed} + {Esher} = {Rhodesia}

132 comments on “DT 26624 (Hints)

  1. Very nice hints thank you Tilsit – not least the one for 1a – I had the answer but was going to have to ask for help as I had no idea how the wordplay worked and it’s my turn to review.

    Thank you also to the Mysteron who has given us one of those Saturday puzzles where a bit of thought is needed to get the solutions. Usually when BD is away for the day, we have lots and lots of comments from the slightly, or even more than slightly, grumpy. I have the feeling that this puzzle might produce one of those days too! Tme will tell.

  2. Apologies but I’m having a lot of trouble posting on my tablet.

    I’ll post one more hint and I’m sure a couple of my esteemed colleagues will be around to assist.

    21 down. One spelling ‘Transpoition’ disregarding ‘s’ (5)

    A word for someone who casts spells can be found by taking a word meaning to transpose or move something around, and removing its first letter, an ‘s’.

    When I get back home later, I’ll tidy things up. Apologies again. Blooming technology!

      1. Give us a shout for the all clear, Tilsit, and I can do the necessary on the tidy up. Funny old puzzle this one – I had about six clues at the end that were checked but nowhere near each other – it took a while to grind them down. All in all quite a good puzzle!

      1. Gazza told me recently that I ought to be able to attempt to write clues and I didn’t think I would ever be able to do that. Obviously I can do so without trying.

          1. What Qix fails to mention is that he is the judge on DIYCOW this week, having deservedly won last week’s competition with a super clue.

          2. Well done Qix on winning – I still wouldn’t know where to start clue writing.

  3. All done but for 1a – thanks to Tilsit for the hint although I am not keen on the use of the letter “O” from the word “OF” & I’ve never in my chuff heard the 3 letter word for a feline to mean to throw up.

    Overall quite a stretch for a Saturday. Thanks to the setter & to Tilsit once again.

  4. Struggling with this….by the way 8a should say’ exposed’ not ‘expressed’! Will persevere! Thanks for the hints which have been helpful!! Had only done about 8 clues before turning to your blog!

  5. Managed it without the hints, but secure in the knowledge that 1a always features in the hints, as I had the correct answer, but not a clue as to why. Thanks Tilsit for the explanation, and I trust that your tablet didn’t get the float test? No real stand-out clues, but as we used to live just outside 25a I suppose that would be my CotD. i expect that BD and the team will be putting the world to lights with pints in hand by now?

  6. Definitely a more challenging crossword from our Mysteron today. Favourite clues were 6d and 18d. Many thanks to our setter and to Tilsit for the hints.

  7. What a great puzzle!! 22a, 23a 24a, 26a all excellent.

    And 1a…….. deary me. Now that’s new!!!

    But good stuff!!

  8. I also was unable to explain why 1a was correct, although it is the only 4 letter mexican food I know!
    Thanks to the setter for an otherwise uncomplicated puzzle, and to Tilsit for the above notes.

  9. Tough for a Saturday, are the DT running out of cash for prizes! Thought the clues rather sloppy and when I lived in 25a it most certainly was not in east anglia. Overall I thought today’s was rather poor and certainly far below the standard set by yesterday first class puzzle. Thx for the hints esp 1a which I got but had no idea what it had to do with being sick! Not my favourite at all.

  10. Any clues anyone to 3a which has me totally stumped? (a bit like most of the right hand side!)

    1. The Flying Dutchman is an example of this art form. Put together the first letter of Germany, a word meaning smuggled, a word for a type of drug and the abbreviation for an artist who is a member of the Royal Academy and you will have the answer.

      1. Thx, I see one, I’ll stop worrying about the Marie celeste or any type of ghost ship, I would never have got this, I loathe this art form, makes my head ache :-)

  11. For anyone struggling with today’s Cryptic, I can recommend the NTSPP which is, if you get the long anagram early on, much easier to solve.

    1. Ditto that. Thoroughly excellent puzzle which has a number of excellent surface readings.

  12. Done! Would never have made it without your help!! Found such a struggleto get going, but with a few clues in, all became much easier! In the end I reelly enjoyed this puzzle. many thanks to the setter and the hints :)

  13. Not easy but enjoyable. Liked several clues including 19a, 24a and 15d. Needed the blog to fully justify 1a and 26a. Have a good weekend all.

  14. Thanks to the Setter – and to Tilsit for the review and the explanation for 1ac (and indeed 17d).

    I found this one quite slow this morning, but the clues I got later were all very good.

    I’ll have 21d for the favourite today, but plenty of runners-up.


  15. Found this a tough slog, but got there in the end, just before the hints came up, Thanks Tilsit and the Mysteron

  16. Real trudge today, very little fun and must say I have now given up with 5 clues left on the bottom right. Got better things to do than struggle with this, just for me not a nice experience.

    1. The bottom right caused me a lot of anguish, too, but some of the answers were worth the struggle. Here’s a few extra hints for you or anyone else stuck down there in misery:

      19d is a pudding that rises (took me a long time to see that). Going down, it’s tied up.

      24a is a missing bit of wire that someone voiced a complaint about.

      20d is a woodwind. It’s constructed (1,2,4) from the clue.

      1. abw,
        I’ve removed your hint for 15d because you’ve included alternative clues which are banned. What we try to do is give hints for the clue as the setter wrote it.

  17. I’ve finished this now but found it very difficult – that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. I needed the hints to explain several answers – along with lots of others 1a. Also 26a – no wonder I couldn’t explain it – I had “spas” as the answer! :oops: I still can’t explain what I have for 9a – it fits with the checking letters and sort of fits the clue but I can’t work out where it all comes from – any help would be appreciated. I liked 13 and 22a and 1, 5 and 6d. With thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the very much needed hints. I do hope that all those who have gone to Cheltenham are having fun and that everyone else has a good weekend.

    1. Split the answer 2,4 and you have a description of how Father Williams might have described himself in Lewis Caroll’s poem. The other part of the clue is a straightforward description of something seen in a looking-glass (which ties in nicely with the Lewis Caroll reference).

    2. 9a – I forgot that I didn’t understand this one either. Just Googled “Father William”. Apparently,….

      “You Are Old, Father William” is a poem by Lewis Carroll that appears in his book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865).

    3. Thanks to all for the replies – I was, for some reason (probably stupidity), trying to split it 2,1,3 and it just didn’t make sense then I did it “all my own self” (to quote younger daughter aged two). Was driving home from doing lunch for my Mum and it just came to me.

  18. I really struggled with this one today, particularly on the right side.

    I’m still not quite sure about my answer for 22a. The word I’ve got fits in with “one exhibiting”, but I can’t see what that would be “uninspiring lot”.

    Thanks to the setter for taxing the grey matter, and to Tilsit for the hints.

    1. The unspiring lot might be schoolboys, army recruits or a poorly performing football team who might be called an awful ******

      1. Oh yes, of course. Thank you for putting me out of my misery. I can get on with the day now. :-)

        1. According to Chambers it applies to groups of people but I have only ever heard it applied to men and boys. I speak here as the only femaile in a house of males, including the cat!

          1. Is it Mr Chambers or Mrs Chambers?

            Is there a new edition of this volume about to be published? If so, will this be the new bible for the DT crosswords?

            1. Mr William Chambers was the publisher and originator of the dictionary – see I told you it all referred to men :D

    2. Your first sentence mirrored my experience but we’ve both got there. Like previous contributors, I had the answer to 1a – enchilada wouldn’t fit in -but had no idea why so thank you, Tilsit, for your explanation and thank you to the setter, particularly for 6d.

  19. Very enjoyable, as was Lizwhizl’s Italian word for ‘hard work’, I’ll have to remember that one.
    Thanks Tilsit and the Setter, Woof Woof!

  20. I think I am going to have to give up with two to go – 9a and 11a. Even with the hints here I can’t get them. It may well be that I have 7d wrong, but I am assuming it is more of less what the clue says ie the major part of one of the smaller Channel Islands. Apart from those, once I got going, the rest fell into place fairly easily. Favourite clue was definitely 6d, just for the mental image it summoned up. Can’t we have a photo relataing more to the clue than the solution? I heard a piece at the end of the Today programme this morning about the 3d crossword in Cheltenham. It sounds unbelievably difficult but I hope everyone there has a great time and that they raise a lot of money (apparently you have to pay for the solving hints, so hopefuly it is very hard!). Have a great weekend everyone.

      1. Thanks ABW, it’s what I supposed, but I am surprised that one word of the clue is included in the solution without any changes – I assumed it had to be something else, but maybe I was trying to complicate things.

        1. An alternative explanation is to put the first letter of bile (a bit of bile) in the name of an electronic device that throws out electrons or electromagnetic waves to give a word meaning cause to resent.

      2. abw,
        Please read the sentence in red in the review and don’t provide “alternative” hints. Thanks for providing hints but please stick to expanding on the clue that the setter wrote.

        1. Yes, sorry, once again. I had already posted this one before you set me straight over my previous offence. I couldn’t see any way to edit/delete it. :-(

  21. If anyone wants to know more about what Big Dave and others are putting themselves through this afternoon, Eric Westbrook (the organiser) and John Henderson (Elgar) were on the Today programme this morning. It is on the iPlayer at the very end of the programme `1.55 mins in to the 2 hrs. Very interesting but I am not sure I would know where to start!

    1. 3D crosswords! I’m not ready for that! I thought they were just going for a drink……and a curry!

        1. In 3D crosswords – presumably one has Across Clues and Down Clues……….what is the name for the Third set of clues?

          1. This link is on BD’s sticky post.
            I’m currently having a go at #1 but it’s not only 3D but by Enigmatist(Elgar) and is truly mind-bending!

              1. I think from what was said on the radio, Eric Westbrook devised it and poor old Elgar has to solve it on his own (the other competitors are in teams)

                1. That’s this afternoon’s plan I believe but, if you follow the link, you’ll find a puzzle per month since January (presumably the test puzzles that were referred to in the broadcast). I printed out #1 on the basis it might be the easiest and it is clearly attributed to Enigmatist – and it’s got me well flummoxed!
                  From what was on the radio today it sounds like the format was Eric Westbrook’s idea but others have obviously been involved with the test puzzles. Haven’t looked at the others so don’t know any other setters might be.

              2. Thanks, but I think I should stick to 2-dimensional crosswords for the time being! I cannot comprehend the idea of 3D crosswords – my brain hurts!!

  22. I’d give this a 2.5* rating. I’m not claiming it was easy at all. However, all completed without hints. 1a was obvious but don’t ask me to solve the clue. I’ve read the hint and still don’t get it. I liked 3a best with 5d second. Rugby now.

  23. Am I the only one having a problem with 4 down? I have all of the checking letters I hope but no joy with an answer

  24. 1a was ‘obvious’ even without the checking letters but, as with many others, I was at a loss to understand the clue. I knew the word as meaning a feline, a spiteful woman, as a reference to actively seeking sexual partners and in relation to anchors (raising to the cathead – a beam extending from the bowside of an old sailing ship), but not in the context used.

    A nice puzzle. 11a and 19a were my favourites, with the realisation of 19d read backwards a groan-inducing moment.

    1. Curses is the definition. Its a charade of a word meaning late, dead, no more (2) followed by the IVR code for Spain and then a term for unreliable cars which I always thought was what WWII pilots called their planes.

      1. Many thx! New word for me.

        Originally I had an anagram of late (Unreliable) and cars with Spain in centre.

        Lacerates could mean curses with some enthusiastic imagination I guess.

    2. Late (former wife), unreliable cars (packing boxes), around first letter of Spain (in Spanish). Equals curses.
      Not sure I’m going to get away with this! I hope I’ve only expanded on the clue. I think I’d best get ready for a spell on the naughty step!
      Never mind, my rugby team just won.

  25. Well folks I can’t work out whether today’s challenge was particularly difficult or whether I was not on the ball. I was in the conservatory staring at 12 unanswered clues at 3PM before things took shape. I would be surprised if Cephas set this one. 26a was poor. All done but a strange one in my view,

    1. Cephas was last week (and will be next week). It’s the turn of the Mysteron this week. Your post sounds like you have been in the middle of a game of Cluedo all afternoon!

      As there’s nothing on the telly and I have a busy week next week, I have started to darft the review already. I wasn’t sure about the crossword but it’s grown on me as I have worked out the whys and wherefores.

      1. Strange! We did play this also this afternoon. That Miss Scarlet needs to be locked up!

  26. Thanks for the clues, I have found this much slower than usual – enjoyed 8a and 3a. Stuck on several: 6d – I have been trying to do this anagram for many hours and no joy! Also no luck with 23a. 24a, 25ac. Any tiny hints would be brilliant.

    1. It’s all that talk about lacier jockstraps has got you befuddled. It’s a well known expression for people who play tricks. 23a homophone of money and a man’s voice. 24a think about bicycle wheel components. 25a split 7, 3 the 7 being a term for tracking down and the 3 being a mafia boxx.

      1. Thanks, needless to say I got the anagram as soon as I pressed send! Typical. Will set to work on the others – more damp cloths round the head!

    2. 23a – Sorry Franco but I think what you said here would count as an alternative clue so I have edited it away. CS

  27. Hard not to get in trouble for this!

    6d. The people who fool around may do something like put a whoopee cushion on your seat.

    23a. This sort of note is a homophone of a male singing voice.
    24a. An integral part of a cycle wheel may not be aligned.
    26a. What a detective may be doing to a felon followed by crosswordland’s name for a Mafia boss is a town in E. Anglia.

    1. I think these are borderline Don but you’d better have a cake ready for the naughty corner, just in case :D

      1. Why gnomy my dear old thing (credit to Blowers), you are far to kind. I’ve got a tear in my eye, nobody ever told me I was good at anything before. The trouble is I’m not quite sure what I’m good at!

          1. Phew, that’s a relief! The reason I didn’t indicate that it was an anagram was that gordonbennet had already said he knew it was, but couldn’t figure it out. Glad my hints didn’t cross the line but, great deal of fun trying though (I suppose that could be construed as a deliberately ambiguous comment).

  28. Thanks to the setter & Tilsit for the hints. I couldn’t seem to get anywhere at first, then it all fell into place. Needed the hint for 26 though. Favourites were 3a and 13a. All the clues were well constructed.

    1. Hi Michael. You look a bit like me upside down!!! Re your suggestion, I’m genuinely interested, why?

    2. Rather than East Anglian town what old county town or even rotten borough.

      If space allowed old Major Constituency would work too.

  29. Certainly required more thinking time than usual. I liked several of the clues including 3a, 13a, 4d and 5d .

  30. I did eventually finish it – without the hints (though I needed them for some explanations, partic 1a along with everyone else!) and a lot of electronic assistance. Is it me, or are they getting harder???? Phew! Used to do the Saturday one after breakfast and then get on with life – but not any more! However, all good for keeping the little grey cells active, I suppose? Liked the upside-down plaits one, though it took a while for the penny to drop!

  31. Hi I have and answer for 3d but don’t get why which is driving me mad – any hints please?!

    1. 3d Made special appearance and blustered taking in English (7)
      The definition is made special appearance (like a famous personality appearing in a single episode of a regular TV show).

  32. I wish you could’ve heard the cheer that went up in the pub last night as Brummie Rob played a blinder with 3a.

  33. Finished after scanning above comments. 10A – a guess from three down clue letters ‘but’ doesn’t look quite right.

  34. As ever, doing Saturday’s crossword on Sunday. A pleasant challenge but can’t see 15d for some reason.

    1. Foray – start with a two letter word meaning “late” or a reference to a previous wife/girlfriend – then add first letter of usual code for Spain – and finish with a word more often used to describe ******** ****** [please only use synonyms of words in the clue, not words in the answer].

      For my part – still stuck on 3a, 9a and. 11a – any hints gratefully received!!

  35. Reading post 21 I thought that 3D meant the answer to 3 down so I was substituting that word each time it was mentioned. I thought you were doing this so as not to give the answer away! It made for interesting reading.
    To ‘abw’ in post 16 – I think you have the wrong word in mind for your defintion of 19d. Substitute the letter ‘u’ for the first ‘e’ and this means tied up. Thanks or the hints though abw very helpful.

    1. Can you forward 9a then?? Haven’t made it to the newsagents yet! Srtuggling to finish it!

  36. Really struggled with this – even with hints (thank you so much) Finished – I think!! 9a – still bothering me though.

    1. Sorry, missed this earlier!

      3a Flying Dutchman perhaps and German leader smuggled drug to artist (5,5)
      Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman) is a work of this genre by Richard Wagner – to get it you need a charade of the first letter (leader) of German, a word meaning smuggled (usually applied to the smuggling of drugs), a drug and the usual Crosswordland artist

      9a I am like Father William perhaps seen through the looking-glass (6)
      A verb that means seen in a mirror is built up from the abbreviation of “I am” and a word meaning “like Father William” in the well-known poem “You Are Old, Father William” by Lewis Carroll in his book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The whole clue is a literary allusion to the Alice books.

    2. 4d Head of Academy established American composer in film (7)
      A charade of A(cademy), a word meaning established or constructed and a two-letter abbreviation for American gives a film about a famous composer (the title of the film is the composer’s middle name)

      7d Tree covering more than half of Channel Island (5)
      This tree is more than half of the letters in one of the Channel Islands (not Jersey, Guernsey or Sark!)

      12d Spaces in electronic manuscript (3)
      These spaces used by printers are a charade of E(lectronic) and the abbreviation for manuscript

  37. The Telegraph has made a real boo boo. It has printed this Saturdays answer to day and not the Saturday before. Correct puzzle number but answers from Saturday. Whoops – no winners then!!#

      1. How do they select the winner? Is it the first correct entry received?

        Judging by today’s chaos, perhaps, they don’t know.

  38. Big blunder at the DT

    They have published the answers to the 6/8 prize crossword by mistake – thought I was seeing things

    1. Not seeing things Pete you are right a ‘few’ of us had already noticed Dave suggests they all go to the naughty corner, big party there leater! ;-D

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