DT 26654 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26654 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26654 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, and provide hints for them.

Feel free to let off steam about the continuing, non-lightning-strike related, problems on the site and the lack of recompense or honest explanations.

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              Windbag Ali does a shuffle, playing by the rules (3-7)
A fairly obvious anagram (does a shuffle) of WINDBAG ALI gives an adjective meaning playing by the rules

12a           Not one chain of mountains but another (8)
Drop the initial A (not one) from a chain of mountains in Italy to get one closer to home

24a           Dial, unhurried (4-4)
The answer could be a clue for “dial” and it means unhurried

27a           Treatment that is exclusive (9)
A cryptic definition of exclusion from a society or group

30a           Likely to happen at a whist drive? (2,3,5)
A cryptic definition of a phrase meaning likely to happen


1d              Register round trademark (4)
A register or record of performance and experiences is followed by the round-shaped letter to get a trademark

2d              A room we converted in Aussie test venue (7)
This site in South Australia was used in the 1950s for nuclear tests, not cricket matches!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

3d              Do not declare staff (5)
If this staff is split (3,2) it means do not declare in a cricket match

9d              Stuck in an area of hard water (8)
… water gets hard when it is frozen!

16d           President locks maiden in prison (8)
The head of a business is created by putting locks or tresses and M(aiden) inside a slang word for a prison

26d           Last character Susan bowled over, being divine (4)
The last character in the alphabet is followed by the abbreviation for Susan reversed (bowled over) to get the greatest of the ancient Greek gods

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: {noh} + {tab} + {Benny} = {nota bene}

76 comments on “DT 26654 (Hints)

  1. Enjoyed today’s although I did spell 20d incorrectly which stumped me on 27a for a while. 3d was nice but I have seen it before I think.

    1. Me too – and it never occurred to me to doubt it until I read this comment – thanks – it did rather screw up 27a, didn’t it?

        1. Welcome to the blog Tim

          I’m afraid we don’t allow that sort of question for the Prize puzzles, but as the answer is a noun it can only be spelt one way, unlike the corresponding verb.

  2. I think most of us will find this a walk in the park with anagrams & hidden words galore for those who like that sort of thing.

    “Made me Smile” clues – 9d, 20d & best of all – 24a.Thanks to the setter & to BD.

    1. Thanks Spindrift, I’d been stuck on 20d for ages until I read it had made you smile. Which is more than it did for me ! That’s it finished with for another week and we beat the Pumas !!! just.

  3. Quite enjoyable, I remembered the ‘old cleric’ for 7d. Liked 15a, and 2d for the cricketing misdirection. Have 22d, but can’t fully justify it. Thanks to setter and BD.

  4. Good morning Dave, at least the only good thing about it is the crossword! Once again the weather is abyssmal, yesterday it was atrocious, anyway, thanks for the hints but I didn’t need them today, it took me longer to get into the site to print it off than to do it!!! fav clues today 3d, 6a, 24a, thought it was going to be a pangram at one point but there are two letters missing! have fun everyone, lots of nice ‘spottable’ anagrams to help us today, before I forget well done to Gnomey on winning COW this week :-D

  5. Apart from not being able to spell 20d correctly, which held me up for half a minute with 27a, this was a very straightford Cephas puzzle, thank you to him and to BD too.

    Congrations from me to Gnomey too on his DIY COW win.

  6. “Feel free to let off steam about the continuing, non-lightning-strike related, problems on the site and the lack of recompense or honest explanations.”

    You took the words out of my mouth. I’ve been doing Telegraph crosswords since the early ’70s and joined the Crossword Society (as it was) at the start. That became Clued (Screwed) Up, which metamorphosed into Telegraph Puzzles (which it does). This morning I took over an hour to get into the site, so I haven’t as yet managed to look at today’s Cryptic.

    The lightning-strike explanation reeks of the infamous “dog ate my homework” excuse that’s guaranteed to raise a smile. The Telegraph has its own site so why outsource the puzzles? Hosting a stable web site isn’t exactly hard. Worst of all, why no explanation beyond the landing page message? Apology? Recompense? I for one won’t be renewing.

    Sorry guys and gals, rant over.-)

  7. Easy peasy Saturday again, all over before the rugby. It is the same on Monday when there is no toughie to fall back on.

  8. Nice puzzle today. Thanks to B Dave and Cephas. Re the online puzzle, the only saving grace about the current problems is it must be driving Robr up the wall. Everycloud eh?

  9. I enjoyed this one very much and whizzed through fairly quickly (for me anyway) before getting completely stuck on the last couple – 3d – no excuses for being unable to do that one – and 27a which I had made virtually impossible by spelling 20d wrongly. So glad to find out that I wasn’t the only one! I needed the hint to explain why 12a was what it was. I liked 10, 15 and 24a and 8, 9 and 21d. With thanks to Cephas and Big Dave.

    Beastly weather – hot, sticky and grey! :sad:

    SO glad that I do the crossword in the paper …… :grin:

        1. Same here in East Kent but at least the washing is drying. We are promised horrid weather tomorrow and Monday – the tail end of Hurricane Katia apparently.

        2. We still have 33 degrees – which is unusually hot for September and we’d love some respite. We do rain dances regularly but they’re doing no good. However, the washing here dries in about 10 minutes so whilst my garden is parched, my laundry is easy!

          1. Its about 10 degrees cooler here but very muggy. Can’t have the window open because the ‘nice’ man next door is repointing his brickwork while playing awful music very loudly. :(

  10. As a supporter of Welsh rugby, like Mary, the crossword was infinitely more pleasurable than watching England against Argentina… Incidentally, Mary, I had a call from a friend who was on Newgale beach yesterday and there are still carcasses of various birds – not just manx shearwaters – strewn everywhere and Pembrokeshire is due for another pounding this weekend.

    1. Hi Cara, yes it is so sad, lots of young birds following their parents out to hotter climes got stranded, The RSPB have rescued loads but inevitably not all :-(

  11. Bit embarrassed as I’m still going. I’m finding this enjoyable and have found it easier than others.

    I am stuck on a bit of the top right hand corner and would be grateful for some help with


    I shall keep trying

    1. Hi Carrie don’t be embarassed I have had help on more occasions than I care to remember

      7d you need a word for paid back, as in retribution maybe, a 4 letter word for old has a 3 letter abbreviation for cleric in it

      13a You need a word for sham – a three letter public transport vehicle with a two letter word for attempt, as in have a — reversed inside it (back)

      17a you are looking for a word for ‘in parts’ take ‘a’ from the clue follow it with a three letter well known newspaper and the three letter word for socialist reversed (turning) at the end

      1. You beat me to it Mary. Think I shall have an afternoon siesta as the family have disappeared shopping for a couple of hours :)

    2. 7d – the definition is ‘repaid’. You are looking for a word meaning ‘old’, with an abbreviation for a cleric, or holy person of the RC church inside.

    3. Thank you both, l am saved from a few more grey hairs! l realised when trying to solve 13a that my 9d was wrong.

      All done.

      Thank you setter, BD Mary and Jezza

  12. A rather easy puzzle today.
    Faves : 12a, 17a, 24a, 27a, 4d, 9d, 14d, 16d & 22d.

    Weather still good in NL but trees are colouring and shedding their leaves as autumn approaches.

    Celebrating my twin grandchidren’s forthcoming birthday in Amsterdam tonight so must get ready.

  13. I’ve been away for a couple of days, and have come back to find Clued Up as frustrating as ever. Could some kind person please post a link to printable version of today’s cryptic?

    1. Make a comment on my last week’s review 26648 and I will get an email with your email address on it and send you a pdf by return.

      1. Thanks Sue, but typically just after I pleaded for help, I managed to get the crossword to print. I will bear in mind that I can get a pdf from you in the future. I don’t suppose there’s any news on getting Clued Up sorted out. I’m really tired of reading their pathetic apology. I’d rather not have had the paltry 2.99 refund, but have a functioning site.

        1. As a paper solver, I don’t often need the site but yesterday when I couldn’t get a paper, it took me over 20 mins to get into the site. At least I do have the choice unlike all of you who live abroad.

          1. If Clued Up continues to let us down,and we all have to come back to the UK so that we can get the paper at a less than extortionate price, that will alter the net migration figures and give the government a new take on their statistics!

  14. i know i am going to kick myself, but i just can’t see the answer for 14d. I’m also stuck on 22d – i had the obvious answer (with a double letter second and third) but that is wrong apparently

    1. Hi Sally – welcome to the blog.

      14d Flies goods over part of London (4,2,4)
      This is an anagram giving us an area in the East End of London.

    2. 22d Regarding the eyes, holding sense initially of kissing (7)
      The definition is “of kissing”, i.e. it’s an adjective meaning relating to kissing. Insert the initial letter of sense in an adjective meaning relating to the eyes.

    3. Hi Sally for 14d you need an anagram of ‘flies goods’ indicated by ‘over’ to give you a part of London

      Yes, I made the same mistake for 22d, remove the 2nd letter you have, this leaves you with a word related to ‘eyes’ take the ‘s’ from ‘sense’ and insert this, the word apparently is to do with kissing, this is your definition

    4. Hi Sally,

      14d is an anagram (over) of “Flies goods” – answer being an area of London. Don’t quite know where it is and not sure if this is very helpful.
      22d is probably the word you have got but instead of double 2nd and 3rd letters the 2nd one is different – you need a 6 letter word meaning “about the eyes” around another letter – don’t think I can say much more without ending up in the “naughty corner”!!

  15. Even I thought this one was easy! Thx to BD for the full explanation to 16d (could’t see the prison). Loved 3d, made me smile and always nice to see a cricketing reference.

  16. You need to know London for 14d, think of a bit of land surrounded by water referring to canines. It’s also an anagram of the first two words.
    22d refers to eyes

  17. Quickly solved today. I liked the idea of a cricket themed puzzle…even if it wasn’t really. No great clues but 2d and 3d were in theme!

  18. Looking after the grandchildren this week in their house without printer so had to buy the paper (£1.90!!! but heavy though and no IT problems) and didn’t get to look at it till they’d gone to bed. Irritated that I didn’t get the mountain range, even from all the crossing letters; my excuse is that i don’t consider them mountains. It was the last clue to go and i got with the help of wiki’s list of mountains.

  19. I am needing a further clue for 24 a, & 20, 21 d.
    perhaps looking me in the face but at the moment no!!!!!

    1. 21d Win by playing his trump after South passes (7)
      It’s an anagram of his trump after S(outh) has been removed.

      1. I am not getting something herem an anagram of ” his trump + s” gives too many letters, + 2 too many.?
        It must be a eord meaning trump + s. we never did bridge in the army only poker.

  20. The hint above for 24a is very good. Think about how one might write a simple, wordplay-only crossword clue for “DIAL”. Remember, both words in the solution here have four letters, and there’s a hyphen.

    20d and 21d are both the same kind of clue. “Misguided” and “playing” are similar wordplay indicators. In 20d the definition is at the end of the clue. In 21d it’s at the beginning.

    1. I at last got 20d, but had to change the last letter of 27a from * to *.
      Am I getting warm?
      20d ? another story.
      have one of those missing word finder things and comes up with 3 words thar mean nothing at all, perhaps only like a long lost roman general?

      1. 20d is an anagram of NOT and LIKE and is the name of someone who writes ‘fantasy books’ – Look further up the page as Mary talks about one of this authors books.

        20d if you have the right word in 20d then you must have the right letter at the end of 27a !

        1. I thank you both so much, but it is one of those days (perhaps a weekend) when your brain is not in the same tree, on this occasion not in the same parish!
          Too much work and not enough play, and to think they took me from c squadron to central intelligence.
          my brother has read all his books, I not even picked one up yet!

  21. This was the easiest puzzle that I have attempted so far. Finished without access to the blog. Found 27a difficult but then the penny dropped. Also stumped by 22d – put in the double letters to make it fit! – so the comments came in handy after all. Must check the dictionary next. Thx again.

  22. Rather late as away yesterday but I am now completely fed up with the DT website, I have not been able to access it at all for th last 4 days. Every time I try to log in it jut hangs and does nothing. I leave it 10 minutes, an hour or even 2 hours and still no joy. I think that everyone should be given an extension to their subscription of the amount equivalent to the time that this takes to solve as a gesture of goodwill (and without them having to ask). It is a complete disgrace. Did the crossword with no problem (having had to buy the newspaper first!).

  23. We did ours very late last night, too, as we were away. And that’s despite having it on the iPad! Same problem as others with spelling of a particular down clue, and when we’d tried it both ways, we still had to ask my Dad for 27A *sighs in shame*. Don’t think I could cope with the DT site by the sound of it…

  24. Well, this is something. All done. EXCEPT 29ac and I have first and third letters. The fact that this has troubled no one else indicates the answer is bleedin’ obvious. I have a word… but cannot link it to ‘fusses.’ Please… someone, put me out of my misery!

  25. Thanks Crypticsue for the hint that finally got me 20D. *GROAN*!!! Why on earth I didn’t get that one sooner I shall never know! A busy weekend means that once again I am finishing up the last few clues on a Monday.

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