DT 26774 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26774 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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Three years ago today I set up this blog, and the first post was published the following day – some hints for Toughie 86.  Since then we have seen over 5,000,000 page views, with a record daily total of 10,504 a week ago today.   There have been 2,375 posts published and a further 175 static pages.  To say that this has far exceeded my wildest dreams is an understatement.   I could not have done it without the the help of the fabulous team of bloggers, some of whom have been with me since early 2009.

I will be at the Bridge House in Westbourne Terrace Road, London W2 all day, where I expect to be joined by Elgar, Jetdoc, Crypticsue, Prolixic and Gnomethang, so if you live nearby why not come along and join us.  I am hoping that some hints might be added throughout the day, but you can always ask for help by leaving a comment.

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.


5a Bloomer made by insurgent captured by Harry (8)
A type of flower (bloomer) comes from putting a five letter word for an insurgent inside a diminutive form of the name Harry.

19a Power of attraction, it’s perverted group pleasure (12)
A word for pleasure comes from a two letter abbreviation indicating a romantic / lustful power of attraction followed by an anagram of its and a word meaning a group.

25a Coming first or second (6)
The first is celebrated in the period before Christmas.  The second will be heralded by the sound of a trumpet.

26a Man to come ashore first during outstanding event (8)
A word for an outstanding event comes from putting a four letter name of a man after a four letter word meaning come ashore.


1d The man encounters a fellow face-to-face (4-2)
A phrase meaning face-to-face comes from the pronoun for a man followed by the A in the clue and another word for a fellow of a college.

2d Mole seen in Box Hill maybe (6,4)
Box Hill is an example of this lovely natural feature that also may describe a mole on the skin.

7d Apathetic want a platform, I state (13)
A word meaning apathetic comes from adding together a word meaning want or need, the A from the clue, another word for a platform, the I from the clue and a three letter abbreviation for one of the States of the USA.

23d Odd characters involved in heartier dislike (4)
A word for dislike comes from taking the odd letters in the word heartier.

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: {whacks} + {sand} + {weigh in} = {wax and wane}


  1. SpikeyMikey
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Just started today’s – have a great day and a big ‘congratulations’ to you and the Blog for an outstanding achievement.

  2. Tilsit
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Congrats to Big Dave from me. Hope to raise a celebratory coffee cup with you later!

    • Pam
      Posted January 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Congrats from me too, a very new disciple of this site. I may raise more than a coffee to you. Have a good day.

    • Franny
      Posted January 28, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      I too add my congratulations and thanks. Wish I could join you all in Westbourne Terrace. Also would like a pattern for that crossword cushion! :-)

  3. Posted January 28, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I haven’t looked at the puzzle yet but felt that I must thank you and the others for this site. It is beyond doubt the best on the web.
    Have a great day!

  4. TimCypher
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Congrats on your site milestone – a superb job well done!
    Currently in the car on the way back from Heathrow, having nearly completed today’s puzzle (I’m not driving lol). Whizzed through most of it – 3d took a few cycles around the alphabet for the two missing letters before arriving at what looks like the answer (16 of them? :) )
    25a is the last one holding me up – any hints appreciated! :)

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 28, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      for 25a think about ‘coming’ before Christmas. The second bit refers to the people who think it is going to happen again.

      • TimCypher
        Posted January 28, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        Thank Sue – that was my number one guess, but I couldn’t see how it fitted until your explanation!
        All done now – 3d was my favourite clue of if only for the mental gymnastics involved in getting there! :)

        • Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

          Wev’e had this one before recently

          • mary
            Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:40 am | Permalink

            Yes not too long ago collywobs

    • Terence Harnetty
      Posted January 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Looking at the Christian seasons would help you with 25a. Any hints as to 3d or 8a ?

  5. crypticsue
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Happy Birthday to the best blog in the world. Do you think Cephas knew of the significance of today with 26a, 18a having relevance as does 14d as I am sure the blog will grow ever this. I just hope there isn’t a 12a at the gathering as I am not sure how that would go with beer drinking :D

    Thanks to Cephas for the very nice start to a lovely day – the sun is shining and I am off to get the train to London shortly for the birthday party. Hope to see some of you there.

    • mary
      Posted January 28, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Have a lovely day sue :-)

      • mary
        Posted January 28, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        Would love to see a picture of you all on 12a after a few drinks!

        • Prolixic
          Posted January 28, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

          I think we might leave that for Joseph to enjoy!

  6. Posted January 28, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Happy third birthday, blog! My thanks to all who have contributed in any way.

  7. Jezza
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Well done BD! Great site, great people. Wish I could join you all today, but my son, Joseph’s 6th birthday party takes precedent.
    Have a good time :)

    • mary
      Posted January 28, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Happy birthday Joseph, hope you have a great party :-D

      • Jezza
        Posted January 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Mary – 15 children, and a bouncy castle for the afternoon. A strong drink might be required afterwards!

  8. mary
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Happy Birthday to the Best Blog ever! I can’t believe how I found this completely by accident not long after starting to do cryptics, in desperation one day I aske ‘Google’ for help with the Telegraph crossword and discovered this blog, I think I have been on it most days since, apart from holidays, absolutely brilliant and everyone on it, thanks once again to Dave and his merry band of helpers, have a great day, you deserve it :-D

  9. Lea
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I am just about to download the puzzle but thought I would get my HAPPY BIRTHDAY and thanks to BD and all the bloggers (and Mary) for all the help, entertainment and conversation. It is without a doubt the best blog and the most entertaining site. Enjoy the birthday party – we will look forward to the pictures.

    • mary
      Posted January 28, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Thanks for including me Lea but I have done nothing except take part in this brilliant blog, in fact thanks to everyone for cheering up my days :-D

      • Lea
        Posted January 28, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        Mary I think everyone will agree with me that we enjoy your participation although only a few acknowledge it. I think you cheer everyone else up as well with your positive attitude. Thank you.

        • Tilly
          Posted January 28, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

          Absolutely, Lea. Well said.

        • Franny
          Posted January 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          Hear, hear! The blog wouldn’t be the same without you! :-)

      • Captain Lethargy
        Posted January 28, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Don’t sell yourself short. You do a great job with the blog.Encoraging helping and being positive.

      • Annidrum
        Posted January 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        Mary, what would the blog be without you?

  10. Tilly
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Congratulations on a magnificent achievement. Absolutely the best. Thanks to BD and his team for all their efforts, support and encouragement over the last 3 years.

  11. Prolixic
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Many happy returns to the blog and thanks to BD for his dedication in keeping the wheels rolling and the saintly Mrs BD for allowing him the time to do so.

    Thanks to Cephas for a lovely gentle puzzle. Hopefully the will not be too much need for hints today as many of us will be celebrating the birthday in the Bridge House.

    I see that BD has scheduled the NTSPP to be published in his absence. I will see if I can do the same for the review of the puzzle as well.

    • mary
      Posted January 28, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      I agree Prolixic, a nice gentle puzzle today although I had a few sticky moments, I am sure a few of us will be around to help today if needed, I will be back and fore most of the day, have fun all of you, fav clue for me 19a

  12. Caravaggio
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I remember having a sneak preview of this wonderful site, and telling Dave how impressive I thought it was, and it’s just gone from strength to strength over the years. Many Happy Returns of the Day [and to Joseph] and I hope that all of you who are at the Bridge House celebrate in style.

  13. Posted January 28, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    A hearty congratulations from me too!. Some of the statistics are mind boggling a true testament to the success of the blog. I first found it whilst looking for a hint on Toughie 195 by Notabilis and haven’t looked back (except to find my first comment!).
    A gentle but fun puzzle today – a couple of chestnuts/starters and a few to make you think. Thanks to the setter (might see him later) and to BD, who I will see for a pint later. Hope to see some new faces there as well!.

    • mary
      Posted January 28, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Think you got here before me Gnomey

    • Franco
      Posted January 28, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      gnomethang or is it “gmomethang” ? Just read your first comment (Toughie 195) ! Your typing hasn’t improved! :grin:

      I had always thought that you were one of the original team!

  14. moose
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Many congratulations on what is a quite remarkable achievement.
    I’ve had to check my watch this morning because I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many pre-11.00 am comments. Again testimony to the popularity and prowess of the site but why is everyone up so early when it’s a weekend?
    I put in about 7 answers so quickly over breakfast that my initial thoughts were too easy and unenjoyable. The ensuing halt to proceedings forced a change of mind and it was a little while before the penny dropped on some of the longer entries e.g. 2d,7d and 19a, all of which added to the pleasure. Once these were in completion wasn’t too far away. Another week gone!

  15. Brian
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed this one apart from 25a which I reckon is a bit of a yuk clue. Loved 14d and 26a, both very clever clues. Thx to BD for the hint to 25a but still don’t get the trumpet reference. :-/

    • Posted January 29, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      I can’t claim any credit for the hints!

      The reference is to the”Second Coming”. It’s actually very clever and certainly not a “yuk clue”, unless you define such a clue as one that you don’t understand.

      “”And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” —Matthew 24:31″

  16. Toadson
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Well done BD.

  17. Sarah F
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Haven’t started the puzzle yet but a very Happy Birthday and many thanks to BD for this wonderful blog and puzzle site. Have a great time at the party, sorry I can’t be with you, and look forward to seeing the piccies later. Here’s to more success for the site and for us solvers, and many thanks to all the setters.

  18. Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I love this site – happy birthday to the Genius behind it and to all who contribute. 4d made me giggle Zxx

    • gazza
      Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Hi Zoe – welcome to the blog.

  19. foray
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Congratulations to BD – a very enjoyable blog I discovered a few months ago. Before today have only managed to log on and make the odd comment on a Sunday when everyone has packed up and gone home – Gazza, though, is often there to help, which is appreciated. Today is a first for me, doing the crossword on a Saturday morning; however, am stuck on the NE corner. Have got 4d, favourite clue so far, but would appreciate hints for 8a and 11a.

    • Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      8a A second bird behind (6) – Take A from the clue with Second and add a bird to get a word meaning behind (nautically).

      11a Make shorter agreement (8) – Two meanings for the same word. ‘Make shorter’ and also a legal agreement.

    • mary
      Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Hi foray

      8a you are looking for a word to mean ‘behind’ take ‘a’ from the clue, then the one letter abbreviation for ‘second’ followed by a four letter bird

      11a is a double definition, you are looking for a word that means ‘make shorter’, and ‘an agreement’ the kind you might sign

    • Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      8a the bird is a 4 letter one
      11a double definition – i agree these before starting work for a client

      • foray
        Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        Thanks to all for help. The nautical tip on 8a unlocked it all for me. Now I can’t believe I didn’t get 11a as I have a legal qualification!

  20. weekendwanda
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    You don’t usually hear from me at this time on a saturday. Firstly congratulations. Thoroughly enjoy this particularly since I have had more time and do cryptic most days. Enjoy your day. Wish I was there.Still in bed in sunny Nottingham. Finished today in record time for me.Best clue 7d. 19 had me on the wrong track somewhat although I suppose it is whatever takes your fancy. Went straight through. Unlike Brian I thought 25a a brilliant clue but all those years at Sunday School paid off. Last in were the clever clues 25 and 26a and 14 and 16d. 26a very last and then I kicked myself. Almost resorted to the hints (but did not) as I was convinced the answer was going to be a well known sporting event – possibly golf about which I know nothing. First half easy and as soon as I thought men’s names I was there! Complete change from yesterday. Different excercise altogether. Did enjoy the mental gymnastics yesterday but disappointed after hours at it that there were one or two that I would never have got in a hundred years. Thanks again and have a good day.

    • Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Hi Weekendwanda
      I’m sat in West Bridgford reading about the atrocious weather we are due next week. It’s more like a cold Spring day here!

      • mary
        Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Its a beautiful day here, then I’ve not been outside yet, glorious blue sky and sunshine but I can see ice on the car windscreen at front of house, so for the time being I’ll stay put :-)

      • Weekend wanda
        Posted January 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        Oh dear
        Can’t bear to think about the weather as I am planning a long weekend away! C’est la vie.

        • Posted January 28, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

          A weekend away is great whatever the weather Wwanda relax and enjoy :-)

  21. Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Many congratulations to BD on a fantastic achievement! Have a great party this afternoon, only sorry I can’t be there but have one for me!

    Off to try the puzzle now. Been struggling with Paul in the Grauniad all morning – that is a Toughie!

    • gazza
      Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Paul is superb today, isn’t he?

      • Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        One of his best for a while I reckon. 28a linked to 27a was very clever and amusing! Typical Paul.

        Can’t parse 29a but I think I have the right answer, any hiny appreciated.

        • gazza
          Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

          Old as in bread.

          • Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

            D’oh! A senoir moment on that one methinks, so obvious now! Thanks Gazza.

      • Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        I’m going to have to give him a go now that you two have endorsed him. Mrs S & her job list will have to wait!

        • Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

          Good luck Spindrift – it’s a tricky little rascal, to use pommette’s phrase!

          • Posted January 29, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

            Pommette’s description was spot on! I waved the whiite flag after only completing 25% of the bugger. I’ll wait until the solution is printed & try and work it backwards. That way I should learn something for future reference.

      • Posted January 28, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the tip – I also enjoyed Paul’s offering today. Class act! I was held up for quite a while due to putting the wrong ‘crawler’ as the last 3 letters of 7d……
        I don’t often look at the Sat Grauniad after years of struggling to get my head round Araucaria’s style.

  22. Lord Luvvaduck
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Many Happy Returns – a wonderful site. Thanks to all those who put so much time into keeping it up and who provide such an expert service to those of us who are less expert. Thanks for the explanation of 19a – we (Lady L and I) got the right answer but were flummoxed by the first two letters – not an abbreviation which is much heard these days – at least in this stately home! When I clicked on the music clip I got the impression when the conductor first appeared that it was our beloved PM following in the musical footsteps of the much missed and lamented Ted Heath. On second thoughts I thought he looked rather like Nick Clegg – perhaps the two are morphing as a result of too much coalition?

  23. Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Congratulations BD and the rest of your team. For us old folk who are en retard the Telegraph crossword and this blog are a regular part of our day and help to keep the grey matter ticking over

    • mary
      Posted January 28, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely collywobs :-)

  24. Dickiedot
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations Dave and all the ‘Team’ a great achievement and a great site. England just lost, 72 all out ! Pathetic

    • Posted January 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Is that called “Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory”?

  25. mary
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    As an aside again, after beating Man City in the week we (Liverpool) are taking on Man U this afternoon, as one of my grandsons says ‘bring it on’!! :-) Walk on etc. ……

    • Captain Lethargy
      Posted January 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      My daughter was convinced that the words were “You’ll never walk again”. She was only 6 at the time.

    • Posted January 28, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Yes, oh yes, 2 – 1what a week for Liverpool :-) :-)