DT 26708 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26708 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26708 (Hints)

Today is a special celebration

25 years ago Cephas had his first Daily Telegraph crossword puzzle published

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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           Impose legal constraint on nuisance with past (4,4)
A two-word phrase meaning to impose a legal restraint on, especially not to disturb the peace, is a charade of a nuisance or problem with past or finished

11a         Amount spent is better with no pence (6)
To get this amount spent drop the middle P(ence) from a verb meaning to better or defeat

18a         Speculate in article where you’ll see love grow (8)
This word meaning to speculate or postulate is a charade of the definite article, O (love / a score of zero in tennis) and a verb meaning to grow

26a         The woman’s timeless song embraces English inborn character (8)
Put the feminine possessive pronoun and a simple song without one of the Ts (Time-less) around (embraces) E(nglish) to get this inborn character


1d           One is expected to stand on one’s own two feet (5)
A cryptic definition of the type of animal that has only two feet

4d           Rushing rant, girl thought, requires another approach (8,7)
The reason this phrase meaning rushing looks like an anagram (requires another approach) of RANT GIRL THOUGHT is because it is!  Don’t go looking for it in Chambers though.

7d           Thames-side spot offering watery old booze, one hears (9)
This Thames-side spot, famous for its association with the sealing of Magna Carta, if split (5,4) is a charade of an adjective meaning watery and what sounds like some old booze produced by fermenting honey and water

22d         Cracked like half the code (5)
This adjective meaning cracked or crazy could mean like one of the two symbols used in the Morse code (not the dash, the other one!)

More hints and tips will appear here soon.

The Crossword Club opens 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: {mind} + {Jerome} + (business} = {mind your own business}

97 comments on “DT 26708 (Hints)

  1. Enjoyable morning solving this and I did not know it was an anniversary. Right level of complexity and variety. Kicked myself on 1 a as I was looking for something Latin! Did not much like 22d as not sure about significance of last two letters. Ditto 9a for same reason. Across liked 11,12,13 18,20. Down liked too many to list. Was barking up the wrong tree with 4d. Second word easy. Got the answer for 16d but don’t know why. Thank you and congratulations Cephas. Some old favourites there!

    1. 16d Kay left upmarket Japanese dish (7)
      An anagram of (new recipe for) UPMAR(K)ET without the K (Kay left) gives a Japanese dish of seafood or vegetables deep-fried in batter

      1. Which strangely enough is what we ate last night for supper & delicious it was too accompanied by sweet chili dipping sauce!

      2. Thanks for the explanation. Had got the answer but missed the anagram. Also stupidly I got 9a but was fixed on the five letter word for land. Now all crystal clear!

  2. Jolly good stuff, thanks Cephas, congratulations on 25th Anniversary and BD for hints which were needed, took ages to get started but once on a roll…………………….

  3. Yes, congratulations to Cephas for his Silver Crosswords Anniversary. And thanks for yet another highly enjoyable puzzle. I had no great problems with it, particularly liked 12a and 7d — but on the Quickie I spent far too much time trying to find an author with a K in the middle of his name. I think it was the way it was printed on Clued Up.

    I also enjoyed the interview, but please what is the Nuclear Rabbit (4, 7) ?

        1. Have just read the interview with Cephas in the “Weekend” bit of the paper – I didn’t understand his favourite clue either – if that had come up as a clue in the crossword I wouldn’t have got it.

  4. Slow start, steady through the middle & fairly hurtled down the final furlong. Over far too quickly as the actress said to the bishop.
    Congratulations Cephas on a signifiant milestone. Here’s to to another 25 years of Saturday morning treats. Thanks to BD as well for the hints but not required by this solver today. Now I’ll have to wait until lunchtime for the NTSPP while I crack on with the domestic chores.

  5. Liked this one. 5d was new to me, and took a while to see 4d. I presume the first two letters of 25a are to do with markings on a map or something similar?

  6. Congratulations to Cephas achieving a memorable landmark. Seemed tough at first today but gradually came together with some brilliant clues such as 17d and 11a, not sure I understood the relevance of the aquatic animal and coming gently into land in 9a or what the last three letters of 8a has to do worth continental but i am sure both are logical just not obvious to me. Thx to BD for the hint for 4d for a less than obvious phrase.

    1. 8a Support the Continental drive (6)
      Combine a support with the Spanish definite article (the in a Continental language) to get a word meaning to drive or thrust

      9a Slowcoach gently coming into land (8)
      This slowcoach is created by putting the musical notation for gently or softly into some land

      1. Thx BD, I get 8a, dead clever I thought and as I suspected obvious when explained. However, still not convinced I have the right answer to 9a, I have a ***** ******* ****** similar to a ********, I can see the first 5 letters mean land or earth and the letter for softly but why the last two or have I got the answer totally wrong?

        1. Brian, take the single letter for musical notation out and the whole of the other 7 letters means a stretch of land.

  7. Ah, morning Dave thanks for the explaination of 9a, I was looking at the first five letters for land and couldn’t make out where the last three had come from! I found this tough today and am still not convinced I have the right answer to one across and 3d! fav clue 22d, some new words for me, 5d, 17d, and 3d if I have it right! at least a 3* today IMHO some ‘iffy’ readings as in 2d, thanks for hints today Dave, I really needed them to get going, because after getting 19d I was stuck for a while, congratulations to Cephas, what an achievement :-) good luck everyone from a warmish, dryish, sunnyish West Wakes, just as well our boiler is being changed today!!

    1. Congratulations to Cephas for setting such enjoyable puzzles.
      Like you, Mary, I am struggling today but perseverance is necessary. I agree, this has to be 3*

  8. Hearty congratulations and many thanks to Peter on his 25th Anniversary. This probably means that I have solved more of his puzzles than anyone else. This one was very enjoyable too with a few hanging out at the end which made me think. Favourites probably 5d and 14d.

  9. Congratulations to Peter on what is an excellent day for having anniversaries of any sort – well I might be biased! I did wonder how many people are like me and will have solved most of the Cephas puzzles over the last 25 years.

    I found today’s offering slightly trickier than usual – seemed to take ages but relatively speaking turned out not much longer than my usual Saturday time.

    1. I understand from usually reliable sources that Peter’s first crossword appeared in the Daily Telegraph on CrypticSue’s 10th (ahem) birthday.

      Many happy returns to Sue :)

        1. Thanks for the good wishes and jam-related compliments. We have so much jam still to get through you may get a jar at the next London gathering, and the one after that and….

      1. You are too kind…. sadly I wasn’t a child prodigy when it came to crossword solving (or anything else come to that).. I just like to think that I might be 35 :)

        1. And happy birthday from me too – lovely to meet you a couple of weeks ago – so you’re a Scorpio … ?

  10. Congratulations Cephas, you must be very proud at such an achievement. Thank you BD for hints and tips.

    Seemed to solve by completing corners in a counter clockwise direction, SW, SE, NE then NW which l found the most difficult but on reflection I’m not sure why. Over analysing perhaps.

    Favourite clues were 14d and 17d which seem somewhat tongue in cheek.

  11. Phew, dunnit, I found that tough, of course it doesn’t help when I put the wrong letter in one of the squares!

  12. Hee, hee, just seen the error of my ways for 1a,how stupid am I!! I put a three letter word for past inside a slang word for nuisance and ended up with the last word correct but the 2nd letter of the first word wrong!! How really really stupid!! Duh!

  13. Good morning all. Thanks BD for the comments on 25a as I didn’t understand the railway reference despite being relaxed with the answer. No great favourites today 26a, 2d and 5d are clever. Congrats to Cephas

  14. Just about the right level of difficulty for me. Liked 12a, 18a and 7d best. Thanks to Big Dave for explaining 9a, where I had also been wondering where the last three letters came after the latin word for land! Congrats to the setter on his silver anniversary.

  15. Electricity been off all morning so just getting started==looks to be fun and enjoyable. Lovely day here in Edinburgh.

    Congrats to Cephas and thanks for all your puzzles, also for the hints.

  16. Thanks to Cephas for an enjoyable crossword today, and a round of applause for your 25th anniversary.
    Thanks to BD for the hints.

  17. I feel obliged to apologise for arriving late for Cephas’s anniversary party and, like gnomethang and crypticsue, I’ve probably completed [and submitted] more of his puzzles than any other compiler – and I’ve still to get any sort of a mention on a Monday morning! Long may you continue, Cephas, and thank you for the enjoyment which you’ve given all of us over the years.

  18. Congratulations to Cephas – I wonder how many times I’ve cursed him over the years?! But not to-day – thought it a most enjoyable puzzle and was pleased to finish it without hints in about 3 separate attempts 5a took me a while until I got 5d and the penny suddenly dropped with a clang. Loved 7d.

  19. Congrats to Peter from me too!
    This was a splendid puzzle to celebrate with. Not too hard but it certainly raised a few smiles and gave a airing to some old favourites!
    Lots of good clues but 17d has to favourite.
    Thanks to BD for the hints.

  20. This was my most enjoyable crossword for ages. The north west corner had me scratching my head for the while, but I got there once the penny dropped on 1a. For once I don’t think there were any clues I couldn’t unravel – everything made perfect sense, which is surely the mark of an excellent puzzle.

      1. Great video – bolsters today’s learning…interesting to know if closure opinions would be different today in NY

              1. I am now trying to work out which of the other names on this site are you! Think I’lll give up and go and have another piece of delicious pear and chocolate marble cake. Good to see that no-one needs the naughty corner today, as I am definitely not sharing the cake with anyone.

                1. You misunderstand – I usually am gnomethang but hit the ‘facebook’ log in. I have a Twitter option too insert your own joke!
                  I have no interest in being anonymous!

                  1. I didn’t really misunderstand honest, I just had fun working out who you might be if you weren’t always Gnomethang if you see what I mean.

  21. I’ve got 21a but I don’t understand why. Can anyone help. That will be my last one when I put it away

  22. Congratulations to Peter Chamberlain on his milestone achievement!

    A very enjoyable puzzle!
    Faves : 9a, 12a, 21a, 28a, 1d, 3d, 7d, 14d & 22d.

    Very interesting clues containing subtle cues!!

  23. I admit that I found this one way outside my competence. Even with the hints, I am struggling. Ah well…there’s always tomorrow’s!

  24. Lovely crossword today – may I add my congratulations on the milestone of setting these addictive little brutes!
    Been gardening ALL day apart from two dog walks. Decided that I wouldn’t let myself look at the crossword until it was too dark to carry on – came in, had shower and promised myself that I would then sit down with the crossword – unfortunately, by then, had put so much hand cream on that I couldn’t hold the pen! Had to wait for it to sink in!!
    To begin with I really thought that I couldn’t do this one – wasn’t sure if it was a difficult crossword or just me being totally out of routine – normally do them in the mornings. Did left hand side without too many problems and then everything else fell into place and I ended up having finished it all too quickly – absolutely not bragging – just being honest.
    Lots of great clues probably too many to mention them all – perhaps 14 and 22d.
    With thanks and more congratulations to Cephas and, as always, thanks to Big Dave.
    Supper now, and wine and watch the dancing. Hooray!

  25. Had the nerve to go and watch the England v Spain game on Spanish TV in the local bar! Didn’t gloat, well, not much!
    Well done Wales too.

  26. Oh cripes, this is well difficult for a Saturday crossword! I’ve only got 8 answers, and I’m totally stuck – just thought I’d pop in to look at the hints so see if that gives me something to progress with (which I think it has!)
    Gratifying to see that others have found it on the tricky side too!
    On with the slog…

    1. Phew! Finally finished this…
      Wasn’t familiar with 1a and 9a used in those contexts…and the abbreviation for ‘theologian’ used in 6d was a new one on me too!
      But, yes, a tough, but fairly clued offering – I very much liked 17d, big smile as the penny dropped.
      Maximum respect to Cephas for reaching your milestone, and also to Big D for those hints, which I very much needed this week! :)

  27. Wow! First crossword in 1986!!

    I had always thought that the most significant event of that year was the Maradona “Hand of God” incident. Wrong again!

    Nice Crossword Today – I really thought that for once I was going to be able to just read all the clues and “pencil” them in. I had a very good start, but, alas, came to a shuddering halt in the NW corner. Thanks to Cephas!

    1. The most significant event in 1986 was the birth of No 2 son, who although not a good sleeper, did allow me time to solve the first Cephas crossword and many after that.

  28. I’m beginning to wonder whether Cephas has played a little joke on us! Having just looked at the puzzle again I realise that a lot of these clues are ‘ringing bells’ with me. At the time he started the Saturday puzzle was the only one I ever got a look at so . . .
    Could it be that Cephas has trawled his archives and employed clues that he’s used before over the last 25 years? Neat trick if he has!

    1. Ahhhhhhh, so this is a bit of a greatest hits package?
      Fair play to him – I’d say he’s earned the right to spot of self-indulgence! 8)

      1. Don’t really know Tim – the thought only just occurred to me and is probably completely ‘off the wall’, but it would be a fitting way to celebrate 25 years of setting IMHO.
        Perhaps Cephas will enlighten us!

  29. Congratulations to Cephas – 25 years and going strong. Well done. Got into this late as last night I was at Ronnie Scotts which was a great evening. This puzzle was nicely balanced in terms of difficulty 3d being particularly clever. A few give-aways but 17d made me smile. Thanks for the review and everyone else for the interesting comments.

  30. Thanks to Cephas and Big Dave, very good puzzle, thought Iwas struggling, then all fell into place. Last in 25, favourite 26.

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