DT 26696 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26696 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26696 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

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As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, 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.


1a           Rough tune heard from this pirate (7)
What sounds like a rough tune (6,3) is actually a pirate

11a         Batty admirer, would-be lover, non-U type is set up by him (10)
Start with Nora Batty’s admirer in The Last of the Summer Wine and add a would-be lover without the U (non-U) to get someone who sets up type

12a         Football team shortly to make a great strike (4)
The abbreviated form of an East London football club, currently in the Championship, spells out a great strike

21a         Some land endlessly set aside for religious use (4)
This area of land is created by dropping the outside letters (endlessly) from an adjective meaning set aside for religious use

28a         Tumbler has some of its contents replaced by rum tot (7)
Replace the UMB of TUMBLER with a word meaning rum or strange to get tot or small child


1d           Copper provoking excitement in church office (6)
A charade of the chemical symbol for copper and a word meaning provoking excitement gives this church office

5d           Ace off to Saturn? (9)
A(CE) followed by an anagram (off) of TO SATURN gives someone who might, in the future, travel to Saturn

8d           Worker with small arms finds Cambridge college hard after comfortable upbringing (8)
This person who works with small arms is created by taking a college in Cambridge, Massachusetts and H(ard) and putting a word meaning comfortable in front after reversing it (upbringing in a down clue)

24d         This dish will make you flourish (4)
Put dish after this breakfast cereal to get a word meaning to flourish

I’ll see some of you at Liverpool Street Station later.

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: {gyp} + {zeros} + {lea}  = {Gypsy Rose Lee}

70 comments on “DT 26696 (Hints)

  1. Goldilocks would have liked this Saturday’s Mysteron offering as, in my view, it is ‘just right’. Very enjoyable start to the day, thank you Mysteron. Thanks to BD for the hints too.

    Just getting organised ready to set off to London for the Convention, but before I go, I can highly recommend today’s NTSPP.

    1. Do you still have an ETA?. I’m faffing about trying to sort out the end of this quiz. If I can’t meet at Stratford you just need to walk through Westfield and follow the signs to Stratford Station (5 minutes walk through the Muzak) and the central line or other trains will take you straight through to Liverpool Street. I’ll drop a text a bit later.

      1. Not yet Mary, I’m struggling with the last few. I don’t do them through until I finish, I do other jobs in between

          1. Tks Mary. I presume that the middle 2 letters of 20d are contained in the first 4 words.
            In 25a I agree with you. I can’t find the word with 1 L and I’ve looked in the BRB (I’ve got a copy now). Also I am not clear how we appropriate the 3 extra letters.
            I presume that 6d is one of those regularly/oddly thingys but I’ve never really understood them. So, if all those assumptions are correct I’m finished so the dogs will get a good long walk

  2. As CS said – just about right. A couple of chestnuts to get you going – 1a for example and a few to make you think. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints – catch you all later.

  3. Agree with the above pleasant and not over taxing. Some nice puzzles around today, try Araucaria and Mudd (Dada/Paul) in the Guardian and FT respectively. Both available for free online.

    Good luck to everyone at Liverpool St. Wish I was there!

  4. It must be me then! I found this more difficult than a Ray T so I was grateful to BD for the hints. Thanks to the setter as well. Have a great day everyone who is going to the CC. I can’t make it unfortunately, as I have to attend to matters of business i.e. some bugger hasn’t paid me so a personal visit is needed to remind him…

      1. Brian – if I were you I would “perservate” with the Ray T puzzles. In my opinion they are usually the best in the whole week.

  5. Loved 11a, but stuck on 22a, 19d. Maybe I should switch off the F1 qualifyng and concentrate.
    Enjoyed it so far.

    1. The clue is intended, think of freeing someone then add two letters in front which reverses the concept.

    2. 19d is reasonably straight forwards if you cincentrate. A popular London museum plus the last letter of foil gives a nasty piece of work.

      1. And no doubt some of the little darlings will be on the streets on Monday night as they make their own interpretation of that ghastly American “tradition”…

      2. Thank you for that Rod Ash – I got the answer but, however long I looked at it, I couldn’t see why – until I read your comment! How thick can anyone be??

  6. I really enjoyed this puzzle. I confess that I got 1a wrong at the start, but the Calypso in my mind carried me through to the correct answer in the end.
    Several good clues including 1a, 10a, 11a, 14a, 22a 13d, 19d and 20d.
    The poet in 25a is obvious, but the rest of the clue less so.
    Going to watch football at Sheffield later, so will not be joining you in London….have a good time.

    1. I agree about 25a Rod unless it is an educational establishment without one ‘L’ with a three letter word for ‘made clear’ inside it all the same the ‘L’ isn’t exactly at the heart of the educational establishment?

  7. Excellent puzzle today, made me think but eminently doable for me. Loved 11a, not only made me smile but reminded me of one of the funniest characters in British comedy. Thx to BD for the explanation for 8d, teach to me to realise there is more than one Cambridge!

  8. I agree with the previous comments – a most enjoyable puzzle – and I particularly liked the wordplay in 22a, which made me smile, but someone can perhaps identify how recently the compiler used the same Cambridge college on a Saturday because I remembered BD’s previous explanation…

    1. Caravaggio, this Cambridge College appears quite frequently. Last time it appeared on a Saturday was in DT 26612 on 23 July 2011 (I think….).

      DT 26612 (Hints)

      Hints and Tips: Try the “Search this site” widget in the right-hand panel.

  9. Wow finished at last, a tough one for me today at least a 3*, would never have finished without the anagrams, Daves hints and my electronic fiends :-) fav clue today 3d also liked 12a but confess to not quite understanding
    25a, horrible day here today, a good day to be at the convention, hope you all enjoy, are you going to be there Kath? Thanks for taking the time to provide the hints before you left Dave

  10. If you’ve finished this one and are at a loose end I’d recommend the NTSPP by Prolixic. If you have the idea that all the NTSPPs are terribly difficult and beyond you, then try this one – it’s very do-able and very enjoyable.

    1. Not me. 1000 miles is a bit far to travel. I doubt if there are enough of us in this part of Spain to have a convention!

    2. I got there and back again (to name a famous book). Thanks to all who were there (including a few new faces and a Lurker!).
      Thanks for the Jam Sue!

  11. Hi’ finished the crossword all apart from 6d and even with my letters impossible to come up with a word so maybe 5a is incorect please can I have some help, to be truthful didn’t even get 6d clue

  12. I finished this – I found it hard and it took me three sessions, but it didn’t seem much fun and I didn’t have much of a sense of achievement when I got to the end. Must be the rain that’s dampening my spirits, but the 200 onions just planted in the garden are loving it!

      1. Yes. We buy then in big bundles, they’re the size of spring onions when they go in, and we’ll be harvesting late spring. We’ve also planted Cantabrian red onion seeds – if they grow as well in Valencia as they do in the north of Spain, they’ll be ENORMOUS. Yes, rain in Spain, and how we’ve prayed for it after such a long hot summer!

  13. 24d is ‘unusual’ for want of a better word, surely ‘dish’ here is doing double duty, which I thought wasn’t allowed? I know it’s a type of all in one clue but I still don’t see how it can work if ‘dish’ is being used twice, i.e. as the answer definition and as the wordplay?

  14. Tks Mary. I presume that the middle 2 letters of 20d are contained in the first 4 words.
    In 25a I agree with you. I can’t find the word with 1 L and I’ve looked in the BRB (I’ve got a copy now). Also I am not clear how we appropriate the 3 extra letters.
    I presume that 6d is one of those regularly/oddly thingys but I’ve never really understood them. So, if all those assumptions are correct I’m finished so the dogs will get a good long walk

    1. From the Lord Hamilton:

      20d Another word for ale with an A and the first letter of rum inside to give another word for a porter.

      25a A 7 letter word for an academy has the middle letter removed and a word meaning clear included within it.

      6d Correct. Take alternate letters to find a US state.

  15. Found this a tricky one today, where I’ve got several answers that fit but I don’t quite know how the clue creates the answer! Thank you for the hints I needed nearly all of them today!

  16. Back from a very enjoyable visit to London. You shouldn’t believe everything you see written here as Tilsit was there ! Kath and Heno both came along to join the usual suspects for a very nice afternoon of puzzling, beer and conversation. THanks to BD, Elgar and Jane for their excellent organising skills. If only Derby wasn’t quite so far away…..

    Night all – I am off for an early night and to enjoy the extra hour in the morning.

    1. Not to mention the surprise appearances from Dave Tilley and Jeremy Much (Jay of Wedneday fame). We decided not to put BD’s theory to test – that if you were to cut Jay in half, you would find Daily Telegraph written through him.

      Many thanks to BD, Jane and John for organising the event and to all for making it an enjoyable day.

  17. Did’t find this at all easy – stangely enough, my first one in was 25a! 11a gave me the most difficulty but once light dawned (or the penny dropped) I loved it. Liked 1a, hated 10a as spent ages trying to think of someone who shows courage (reading the clue wrong!) Quite difficult for a Saturday, I thought, but kept me off the streets!

  18. Only just managed to get to this one due to being away last night but a splendid Saturday puzzle.
    Favourite was 24d as it’s a construction not often seen on the back page.
    Thanks to the mysteron and BD for the very early start!

  19. Far too much to comment on here and now. Loved crossword and did most of it (but by no means all) on the train on my way to Liverpool Street Station. Got home at about 8.00pm – lovely and very interesting day. The brain is still processing the day and all the people I have met. With thanks to all those involved in the organisation. Will have lots more to say tomorrow – the only question is where – on tomorrow’s blog, under the info about the get together? If neither of those then where? Off to bed now – serious brain overload!!

  20. Still processing Saturday 26696 crossword.

    Really enjoyed convention and great to put faces to names and meet lots of fellow crossword/puzzle/quiz lovers. Had to leave early due to Halloween party being thrown by Bulgarian work colleague. I did not know Bularians take Halloween so seriously. My token witches hat was in light of the really pukka scary costumes a tad tame.


    1. 19d Museum finally foil one causing damage (6)
      Spell out the name of a famous museum in in the Brompton district of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (1,3,1) and add the final letter of foiL to get someone causing damage

    2. 19d “Museum finally foil one causing damage (6)”

      The definition is “one causing damage”. You need the name of a famous London museum with the & spelled out followed by the final letter of foil”

  21. Thanks to the Mysteron & toBig Dave for the hints. Enjoyed this one, lots of nice clues. Great to meet everyone at Liverpool Street yesterday, where I received a bit of expert help with one clue, however I’m still stuck on 3 down. There was a very difficult picture quiz set by John, which was most enjoyable, all good fun.

    1. 3d. Officially approved writer is top man on paper (10).

      The definition is “officially approved”. Take another word for a writer and then add the “is” from the clue and the abbreviation for the top man responsible for a newpaper to find the answer.

      1. Thanks Prolixic & Big Dave, got it now thanks to your extra hints. Enjoyed yesterday, was glad of the extra hour’s sleep !!

    2. Glad you enjoyed yourself – it was great to meet you as well.

      3d Officially approved writer is top man on paper (10)
      This word meaning officially approved is a charade of a writer, IS and the usual top man on a newspaper

  22. Late input from me – had a terrible job shifting all the timers back one hour yesterday and this morning – the HP controllers for the central heating (20 years old) are very difficult to shift. Finally got the lot done except the car clock – do that tomorrow! With so much electonic euipment there is a large number of timers!

    Enjoyed the puzzle – faves : 10a, 11a, 14a, 25a, 28a, 5d, 8d, 13d & 19d.

    Re 11a – my late wife and I were great fans of that programme as it was filmed in our part of the country. Red & White roses!

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