DT 26678 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26678 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26678 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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Many thanks to Phil McNeill for providing today’s puzzle, which can be downloaded from the previous post.

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.

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           Bang on the forehead (6)
A cryptic definition of hair cut square across the brow

10a One from the country taking beer after ten to seven (8)
This country dweller could easily be me! – start with the type of beer that is only fit to be drunk with curry, then convert ten to seven into hours and minutes, convert each part into Roman numerals and put them in front of the beer

25a         Sounds like this medicine is free (13)
A word that sounds like a type of medicine is an adjective meaning free or without charge

27a         Going to court? Attorney can start to grill (6)
A word meaning courting a partner is a charade of a two-letter abbreviation of an American attorney, a can and the initial letter of (start to) Grill


2d           Butler I re-employed did something constructive again (7)
An anagram (re-employed) of BUTLER I gives a word meaning did something constructive again

6d           One might have a pointed fixation for her (3-2)
A cryptic definition of a picture of a young lady that is fastened to a wall

20d         Fuss caused by flirt (5,2)
A double definition – a fuss (5-2) and a phrasal verb meaning to flirt (5,2)

24d         The Continental worker had an inclination (5)
The French definite article is followed by a worker insect to give a word meaning had an inclination

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!

Quickie Pun: {weir} + {awl} + {inn} + {knit together} = {we’re all in it together}

77 comments on “DT 26678 (Hints)

  1. Thanks to the setter & Big Dave. A great puzzle. Favourite was 10,lovely use of Roman Numerals.

  2. The lesson I learnt this morning is to wait until the crossword has printed successfully before closing internet explorer. Having spent 30 minutes or so pulling pieces of paper out of my printer with a pair of tweezers, I then spent another 30 minutes or so trying to get back into the website to reprint it!
    I now see that I could have found the crossword here instead….
    Thanks to setter for a relatively straightforward puzzle, and to BD for the hints.

  3. I found the down clues were prettystraight forward and then the across solutions looked after themselves so all sorted in next to no time. One or two interesting word plays such as 9a, 14a and 25a but 23a was probably my favourite today. Have a good day everyone

  4. Another straightforward Saturday puzzle, thank you Cephas – my favourites were 1a and 23a and I really enjoyed the Quickie pun too. Thanks to BD for the hints.

    It is exceedingly chilly here in East Kent today but I am going to be indoors solving the rest of today’s cryptics in between stirring green tomato chutney.

  5. Got held up in the s/w corner as put the wrong first word in for 21a so 17d caused problems. Once I got that sorted out I changed 21a and was finished.

    Thanks to Cephas for an excellent fun puzzle and thanks to BD for the hints (which I luckily didn’t need today).

    Been a bit absent this week as have several friends in need of care and attention. Weather here looks grey and miserable. Going to Kent tomorrow so home you get the weather changed CS!!!

    1. Bring large woolly pully and body warmer – I have just changed the duvet from summer weight to winter weight one to stop grumbles from Mr CS. Headline in one of the tabloids in the supermarket today said that Britain would soon be -20C. Hope whoever forecast that was the one who got the barbecue summer wrong.

      1. I keep hearing about “snow in October” but nobody seems to know where that bit of information has come from – perhaps it’s just gossip!

      2. Thanks CS – I too changed my duvet over yesterday and was pleased that I did. I will keep in mind about the warm clothes – I don’t think the weather forecasters know how the wind is going to blow so how can they predict such cold. Have resisted putting my heating on but may have to soon.

  6. 3d is behind the times with South African history. The answer no longer is a part of the republic, not by that name at least.

  7. I can see the answer to 3d by the checking letters and republic but what the blazes has it to do with rain?

  8. I thought this was pretty straightforward, particularly the whole of the top half – bottom half took a bit longer but no real problems. The clues I really liked today include 9 and 25a and 6 and 18d. Best of all 10a – I thought that one was great – spent a while trying to fit an “X” into it somewhere before I realised what it was. With thanks to Cephas and Big Dave.
    Have a good weekend everyone.

  9. Well, that Crossword was an absolute joy. Interesting and challenging. Tks to PM and BD for the pdf. Could not have done it without. Wasn’t the problem going to resolved by 7/10.

    Where is Mary today?

  10. I had a good titter at a few of these today. Particularly enjoyed 1a, 11a and 6d. Thanks to the setter and BD for the invaluable service this site continues to provide.

    1. Please can I join in and echo your last sentence – all the time and effort that must go into maintaining this is very much appreciated. :smile:

      1. Well said Kath – it is such a pleasure to learn something and to have good conversations. Thanks to BD and your team.

  11. Like Collywobbles, I thought that this puzzle was a joy too although I appreciate that my opinion might be heavily influenced by Wales having beaten Ireland. Having watched both games this morning, I can only commiserate with the England supporters – it just goes to prove that you never really know which French team is going to turn up…

  12. Pleasant but rather easy fare this Saturday.
    My faves : 10a, 11a, 19a, 23a, 4d, 15d, 17d & 18d.

  13. Just wanted to echo the comments above about how good this site is and how much it helps to read all the posts. Very nice puzzle today with thanks to Cephas and BD.

  14. A lovely puzz;e, just right for my birthday!

    Thanks to setter and to reviewer……..and (echoing above comment) to BD for this site–such an encouragement, especially as I don’t do the puzzle every day, but when I do call in, everyone is so friendly and helpful.

  15. Finally got around to doing this having been side-tracked by a good lunch and the NTSPP (well worth a look).
    Favourite has to be 10a for the clever use of the Roman numerals.
    Thanks to Cephas for the puzzle and thanks again to Phil and BD for the pdf.

    1. 10a is too clever for me, my answer has Roman numerals for * and **, followed by a German style of beer – where does ten and seven come in please?

      1. Hi marquetryman – welcome to the blog.
        Think of “ten to seven” as ten minutes to seven.

            1. I still dont understand it! Ive got the answer and Im looking at it time wise 10 to 7 presume that means * as in half a hundred what does the ** mean ?

              1. Write down 10 to 7 as hours and minutes (as in the normal way that times are quoted) then convert each part into Roman numerals

    1. Welcome to the blog Brian 2

      16a Alien goes beyond point, getting cut off (8)

      Put an adjective meaning alien or unfamiliar after a compass point to get a word meaning to cut off or split up (of a relationship)

    2. The definition is ‘cut off’, and you are looking for a point (of the compass), followed by a word meaning ‘alien’, or unfamiliar.

  16. Lovely puzzle today, thanks to all concerned.
    i can’t find the quickie pun, am I looking in the wrong place ?
    I wish I hadn’t been recommended to do yesterday’s Church times crossword :usually i find it quite easy, but the last few are driving me potty, or at least more potty than normal. Could we have a blog including it as well?

        1. Anncantab, is that the Church Times No. 1131 by the Don? I think I’ve finished but I’m “struggling” to explain quite a few.

          Has anyone taken up Giovanni’s invitation to blog the CT puzzle? Presumably, the rewards will be spiritual, rather than financial.

          1. Franco,don’t know if you will see this as it’s now Sunday evening. Yes, it is the 1131, have you any help to give on the NW corner please?

  17. Loved it! – mainly because, I believe, I’ve never completed one in so short a time – would hope that means I’m getting better but really think it probably means this one was quite straightforward for a Saturday? Loved 10a – put it in without thinking and then had to look at it wondering “why” – “ten to seven”, like it! Thanks to setter and Big Dave for the hints which for once, I didn’t need, but probably will all next week. Don’t know about the C Times but does anyone out there ever do the Saga crossword? I don’t think I’ve ever completed more than 2 clues – I find it completely impossible!

    1. Just mailed this month’s Saga prize crossword to Folkestone. Always live in hope. Don’t always complete it but probably do 9 or 10 a year. There are a couple of tricks but most of the clues are straightforward – it’s just that the answers are obscure words though all in Chambers.

  18. I wonder if someone would mind sending me a pdf – have been tying since yesterday but no joy here in Oz. Thanks, Stephen

    1. Sorry – must pay more attention – First line cleary states one can download the puzzle from the previous post…..

  19. Completed this morning, last night l was stuck on 4 in the SW corner and awoke this morning with 3 of them. Then looked up a new word (for me) which was 22 d.

    Very enjoyable, especially liked 9a (which l am) and 13a (which I’m not)

    thank you BD and setter

  20. I forgot to drop by and say thanks to the setter and to BD – A mid range difficulty for this setter but some fun clues..
    Regarding the denoument from the scene shown at 20d: “Matron! Take them away!!”

  21. As usual, probably last to start Saturday’s puzzle, as its now Sunday. So far its been entertaining and not too challenging but for the life of me can’t see what 14 across is despite having a few letters in place to help. Still can’t can’t get it – if there’s anyone still there, a hint would be great!

    1. This is a double definition clue where one word means both co-operative (as in willing to help) and compelling (as in forcing someone to do something). Without providing an alternative clue (which is frowned upon) it is difficult to be more specific but if you have the cross-checking letters it should be doable.

      1. Thanks very much, Prolixic, I had 5 down wrong, which was the problem. Got it now – no end of problems you get by putting in the wrong word!

  22. 23a the only one causing me brainache.
    I will be glad when the RWC is over, 0545 rises at the w eekend has me bushed for the rest of the day .Huge conflict of interest yesterday as an Hibernian living on Anglesey. Still it would be brilliant to see Wales win the cup.

    1. Do you mean it’s still causing you brainache – or that it did cause you brainache before you got it. I can provide a hint if required.

  23. Having failed to drag my jet-lagged self down the newsagent’s yesterday, I ended up doing this in the pub last night with a copy they had lying around.

    Great puzzle, I thought – didn’t take too long to do, and I pretty much liked all the clues – The ‘starfish’, ‘drop off’ and ‘going to court’ clues provided a smile or two! :)

  24. Good evening one and all. I found this the easiest Saturday challenge for a few weeks and did it while trying to keep warm watching year 7 rugby. Enjoyable. A Steve Finn hat-trick in India too! Thanks for the review.

    1. Welcome to the blog Eleanor

      23a Comedy with classic car filling empty day (8)
      This type of comedy is created by putting the nickname of a posh classic car inside D(A)Y after removing the internal letter (empty)

  25. I thought 10a could be P******* – but knew there wasn’t a roman numeral in the letter P!! I love this site, it helps so much for those of us still learning, thank you!

  26. This site is a great discovery – thanks BD. Like most of the other bloggers, I found this fun and relatively tame. Particularly enjoyed 10a and 15d. However, 13d is completely eluding me… I know I’ll kick myself when I finally get there.

    1. Welcome to the blog Mr Neep

      13d Salesman turns up with past actor (9)
      Reverse the usual three-letter abbreviation for a salesman and follow it with an adjective meaning past or prior to get this actor or entertainer

        1. 8d Ernest confused about a Pakistani perhaps (7)

          You are right – it’s an anagram (confused) of ERNEST around A and Pakistani is a definition by example (indicated by perhaps) of “from the Orient”.

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