DT 26756 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26756 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26756 (Hints)

Big Dave’s 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           Cause confusion to bird gripped by cattle disease (6)
This verb meaning to cause confusion to is created by putting a flightless bird inside a cattle disease

15a         Left star-studded programme favourable prospect (3,3,2,5)
A charade of someone politically inclined to the left and a TV programme about astronomy (star-studded) gives a favourable prospect for a shepherd

24a         Suspend meetings for reprobate (8)
A verb meaning to suspend a meeting is a charade of a prefix meaning for and a reprobate

29a         Warm clothing to take for a ride (6)
A double definition – a garment of fluffy acrylic thermal fabric worn like a jacket and to take for a ride or swindle


1d           Cut part taking short amount of time (6)
To get a  verb meaning to cut into two pieces put a part or fragment around a three-letter abbreviation of a short amount of time

7d           How Barbie signs gift voucher (5)
What Barbie might write on a gift for her boyfriend (2,3) is actually a voucher

12d         Support at top of tower (6)
Split this support or maintenance as (2,4) and it might mean at the top of a tower

14d         Haggle with steward without end (6)
This verb meaning to haggle is created by dropping END from a steward who serves drinks

21d         Greatly admire American hero (6)
This verb meaning to greatly admire is the surname of the American hero who was most famous for his midnight ride warning of approaching British forces

25d         Tennis player has unfinished work (4)
If this female tennis player has a T added to her name the result is a word meaning work or toil

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: {alley} + {gaiters} = {alligators}

92 comments on “DT 26756 (Hints)

  1. Nice enough puzzle done in quick time. 11 and 26 were favourites. I noticed there was no mention of 19 in he above tips!!

    1. Thanks to the setter & Big Dave for the hints. I enjoyed this one but I’m stuck in the SE corner. Favourites were 15& 18a. Congratulations to Mary on being last year’s most prolific blogger :-)

        1. Hello! I am a US Telegraph cryptic fan (cryptics are hard to find here!) Hope you won’t mind a basic question — are puzzle difficulties determined by the day of the week? The New York Times’ puzzles get harder during the week, with Saturday the most difficult…I’ve never been clear on UK puzzles. Thanks!

          1. Hi Brad and welcome to the blog. It used to be the case that the difficulty did increase as the week progressed, and certainly Rufus puzzles on the DT back page on a Monday are usually the easiest to solve. The Saturday puzzles are usually at the easy end of the spectrum – the cynic in me would say that this is because they want more people to enter the competition, but I like to think it is to encourage people new to the art of the cryptic to have a go at the weekends when they have more time. I think Tuesday – Thursday puzzles are usually about the same level of difficulty – it depends who has set the Tuesday and Thursday ones as it isn’t the same person every week.

            1. Thanks, Sue! I love the UK and try to visit once a year — it’s been a project of mine to learn how to do cryptics, and after almost 18 months, I think I’m almost there. My only problem is with UK slang — I sometimes have no idea what the answer means!

          1. Wow, that’s fascinating, thanks for that Prolixic and Heno, don’t know what that says about me though!!!!

        1. 16d Fire will do this — the usual damage? (5,4)

          If you split the answer (2,2,5) you get what the fire will do – as (5,4) it gives how much will usually be paid (for a job or to borrow money).

          1. Thanks BD. I don’t think I would have got that for a very long time and life’s too short ……

  2. Really enjoyed this one, some excellent clues notably 7d which made me laugh and 13a. Learned a new word in 24a as well. My thx to the setter for a good start to weekend and to BD for the hints which helped explain 25d.

  3. A slow start for me today but once I got going it started to fall into place. Quite easy really,I do not know why I struggled at first. Does 19d really deserve a mention?

        1. What are you all talking about? Is it in code? By the way, there are 3 good rugby matches on this afternoon (and Mrs Collywobs wants me to go shopping)

          1. They are talking about the football team that one of my sons and one of my grandsons support Thierry Henri has just gone back to them!

  4. I found this one a smidgeon trickier than normal – I even had to read two clues out loud to Mr CS to enable the penny to drop – but it was enjoyable. Thanks to the Mysteron and to BD too.

    Do have a go at the NTSPP when it is available too – its very good.

    1. Apart with a little trouble from SE I found this puzzle very enjoyable and quite easy. Many thanks to BD for the hints and Mysteron if we don’t know who it is. Where is Mary today?

  5. I made steady progress with this puzzle but found some of the clues were rather convoluted and I ended up guessing the answer correctly – like 19d from only the initial letter – as I suspect other contributors did. May I take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year.

  6. Liked this one, though with Caravaggio on 19d even with the benefit of the other letters! Also with Brian in learning a new word. Thanks to all.

  7. Enjoyed this. 7d made me laugh too, and the American hero was new to me, I am left with one clue not answered – 20d – am I missing something?

    1. The French for “a” and a composer gives a word that means to sort out messy strings!

    2. Sorry – forget that (I had a spelling mistake in 18a, which made me think 20d started with ‘r’!

  8. I’ve had a real battle with this one – admittedly it was very enjoyable but it was still a battle. To begin with I could hardly do any, then I got a few answers, then ground to a halt again. Was beginning to think that I was going to have to ask for lots of help but have finished now. I didn’t understand why 14d was what it was so needed the hint for that one. 28a was my last – having got alternate letters in it looked so unlikely that I thought that I must have got something wrong but then saw it. I’m assuming that 10a is a “footbally thingy”!! I liked 25d, if only because it is so rare to have a tennis clue!!
    Liked 24 and 26a and 2, 7, 16 and 20d. With thanks to the setter and BD. Have a good weekend everyone.

    1. This seemed to fall into distinct quarters for me, which is quite satisfying, completing a chunk then moving on. Even the ones that I found difficult in the top right section made perfect sense once the pennies dropped.

      Life can now get back to normal here in Spain. The festive season doesn’t reach its peak until 12th Night as the children get their presents from the Three Kings, rather than Santa Claus, so it seems to go on an on. Any excuse for a fiesta and fireworks, despite ‘la crisis’!

      1. For the first time ever we actually had a Kings procession in our village! Horses, sweets for the kids, the whole shooting match! Not as good as the one in the local town but a very good effort for the first in a very small village!

        At least Almoradi market was back to normal this morning.

      1. Except that netball have a Goal ……… and a Wing ………. We are never referred to as ……ers but ……ing players!

  9. Another very enjoyable puzzle that I worked through with only a few dips into Chambers. I loved 13a and 7d, but also 17d. Thought I’d need the hints for 25d, which was last in, but then the penny dropped. Many thanks to BD and the Mystery Setter, and bon weekend à tous. :-)

  10. Splendid puzzle! Particularly liked 16d.Thought I was the only person left who uses the phrase ‘What’s the damage?’ when asking for a bill!

    Thanks to setter and BD

  11. Hello all late signing in today started this early on but got distracted and have only just finished it, as for 15a where does it tell us to leave out the first word of the programme? 4a I would never have thought of this word as a synonym for intoxicant? fav clues 7d and 16d last corner to go in top R/H

  12. Another extremely enjoyable puzzle with some lovely clues which made me smile. In fact it’s been a really good week with crosswords that have been challenging but fun and doable. Are the setters easing us gently into the New Year and saving more fiendish offerings for later, maybe?

  13. Still stuck in the SW corner, unfortunately the hints didn’t cover this part, except for 25d, which I still can’t get.
    Do i gather that 19d is a football team in N London, and if so, why ? I thought at first that it was one in Wiltshire : s then to win, etc
    is 18a an anagram of “a pirate launch “t o give the name of some unknown to me star ? Any further help would be greatly appreciated !

    1. 25d – This (female) Tennis Player (very well known and who won many Grand Slam singles titles), is a synonym for ‘work’ without its final letter (unfinished)

    2. Yes it is an anagram – see my comment below. 19d think of another name for a stadium and the initial letters hinted to. 25d had lovely legs.

    3. Hi Annct – yes 18a is an anangram, I had to look up the constellations to get it, 19d is that football team, it is first to score which is ‘s’ in another word for stadium – 5 letters with l for lost on the end

      1. ..should read ‘star’. What with this, and typing my email address incorrectly, I think i’ll stay away from the keyboard for a while! :)

  14. Marginally harder than usual methought – I like 2d, 7d and 20d. Took me a while to get the brain cells to turn last in being 27a. I also spelt 18a wrong which did not help!

  15. Finding this hard today & not quite there yet. (just got started) but persevering.

    Hints invaluable!

  16. Hi all, nice crossword today, thanks to BD and the setter.

    24a was new to me, but easily worked ouy with the word play and checking letters

  17. Lots of new people here today (well, at least a couple!) Keep commenting – it’s a very friendly helpful place!! :smile:

  18. 7d was my favourite today. I knew the answer but couldn’t work out how I got it but then the penny dropped and I had a good giggle about it. Remember, Cindy can’t have an art centre named after her, but Barbie can!

  19. Mighty enjoyable stuff, I thought – the left side went in a lot quicker than the right side.
    29a was my last in – took ages for the right word to drop into my mind…it was just that missing first letter, which always seems to make a big difference for me…:)
    I presume, for 6d, that the last two letters are derived from some sort of cricketing term? I had trouble reconciling that.
    But, yeah, great puzzle – 7d was simply fantastic, and I liked 11a, 28a and 16d too.
    Thanks to Dave for the hints – although I was pretty sure of the answer for 21d (enough to write it in), the confirmation was appreciated. 8)

  20. Had more trouble with the NE corner than with the rest of this puzzle.
    Faves : 1a, 15a, 18a, 24a, 28a, 2d, 6d, 16d, 20d & 21d.

    re 21d – my son lives in Boston MA so I have followed Paul’s footsteps many times!

  21. Late start for me today…watching the reds win at Chesterfield. I liked 15a and 7d and had to look up 24a. Good puzzle & good day all round.

  22. Had to do in two parts die to entertaining last night. Thought it was brilliant. Some inspired clues. Did not particularly like 18a although worked it out when I had enough checking letters. Some took longer than others for the penny to drop but what I like is that there is no room for self doubt with any of the answers. Did not need help apart from checking my answer for 18a. 19d was obvious from the checking letters but needed the hint for the explanation. Difficult to single out favourites but
    4 24 26 27 28 29 across and 2 14 15 17 20 21 down all hit the spot.

  23. I’m new here. I’ve struggled with the Sat Tel crossword for many years, seldom finishing.
    I have macular disease and my brain seems to be fading as my sight does but I will not give up! Must keep the grey matter going!
    Big Dave, your clues are a great help but I still have not finished. I did a day course once on solving cryptic crosswords which was good. One rule was never to write in anything unless you can explain the clue but I sometimes break this rule as with this one, in 19d.
    A clue to the clue for 17 d would help with 22a and 26a. TIA

    1. Welcome to the blog Pam

      17d Voracious artist’s sex-symbol embracing love (8)
      This adjective meaning voracious is built up from the usual Crosswordland artist followed by a sex-symbol, the Roman goddess of love, with O (love) inserted

  24. Struggling still with yesterday’s puzzle. Thanks for the hints. Will try to finish later – off for a quick nine holes now – the fresh air should clear my brain!!

  25. Thanks Dave. Finished now but don’t understand 22a. Forgot about ** for artist in 17d.
    This beats doing it on my own.

  26. Disappointed with the cryptic element of the clues to 29a (to take for a ride) and16d (the usual damage) which I thought were somewhat vague and not strictly correct, as also was the non-cryptic ‘fire will do this’ clue in 16d.

    Terence Harvey

  27. Now that we’ve all finished, can someone please explain how you get the last two letters of 6d. What does it have to do with legs?

      1. Thanks Big Dave, I should have guessed it would be something to do with ****** cricket although it wouldn’t have helped with me not knowing what the leg side is either.

  28. My edition of the Telegraph (Weekly ‘World’ Edition) had a different clue for 5d.
    “Key of woman’s voice in low register”.

    Worked out the answer, but it seems to have no crypticness at all!

    Lost an entire night’s sleep; I envy all you DT readers..

    No apology or explanation or anything in this week’s Telegraph….grrr!

  29. I’m running a little behind the rest of the crossword community here – I like to have a lot of puzzles in reserve as some days I may do quite a few one after the other. But that’s by the bye. I’ve read all the comments re 7d and still don’t ‘get’ why Barbie should sign a card to ‘Ken’. Is there another doll called Ken or something? Maybe it’s an age thing – had no trouble at all with any of the other clues.

    1. Hi woonsmith – welcome to the blog.
      Ken is the name of a toy doll, marketed as the boyfriend of the female doll Barbie.

      1. Many thanks Gazza. You live and learn! (-which is for me a big part of the fun of cryptics). Thanks again

      2. …. sadly, however, he proved to be not entirely satisfactory, having a deficiency in the equipment area.

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