DT 26786 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26786 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26786 (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.


3a           Ecofriendly home’s a haven for delicate flowers (10)
A charade of an adjective meaning ecofriendly and a home gives a haven for growing delicate flowers

10a         Speed of dancing reel in Edinburgh maybe (8)
To get this word meaning speed, don’t go for the obvious answer but put an anagram (dancing) of reel inside what Edinburgh is an example of (maybe)

14a         It’s a small world! (6,7)
A cryptic definition of the world, in reference to its apparent smallness due to improved communications, and the way in which changes in one area are likely to affect the rest of the world (thanks Chambers!)

26a         Vehicle’s standing charge (7,3)
A cryptic definition of the charge made for leaving your car near shops or offices, or sometimes outside your own front door!


1d           In retreat, sappers yielding (8)
A word meaning in retreat is created by combining the sapper’s regiment and a word meaning yielding

3d           Sign of Treasure Island near northern Italy (6)
This sign of the Zodiac is derived from a charade of a precious stone (treasure), I(sland), N(orth) and the IVR code for Italy

5d           Hazel’s coverage amounts to few words (8)
The outside casing of the fruit of the hazel tree is also a word meaning briefly or in a few words

15d         Following a Spanish hero, I hurried round to find cause of pollution (4,4)
Start with A and the name by which Spanish hero Rodrigo Díaz de Viva is better known, then add I inside a word meaning hurried to get the precipitation containing sulphur and nitrogen compounds and other pollutants released by the combustion of fossil fuels in industrial processes (cause of pollution)

21d         Voice three times as much (6)
There are two words that mean three times as much, but only one of them is also the male equivalent of a soprano

23d         Joint complaint (4)
A double definition – a joint of meat or a complaint

More hints are being prepared while you are reading this!

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: {dye} + {agnostic} + {tests} = {diagnostic tests}

169 comments on “DT 26786 (Hints)

  1. I have really enjoyed the puzzle today. It was a little easy but there were some tough ones. I have 3 clues left to do so I’m diving into BD’s hints and hope that they are there. Thank you Mystereon

  2. A couple to think about, in an otherwise gentle, and enjoyable puzzle.
    I wonder if anyone else had the wrong ‘vehicle’ in 19d – having seen it recently somewhere else. Fortunately I realise it was wrong fairly quickly!
    Thanks to setter, and to BD.

    1. Well Jezza, I’ve got a vehicle in there but I don’t know if it’s wrong. Can you give me a clue without breaking BD’s rules and go to the naughty step

    2. Yes I had the wrong vehicle Jezza, which gave me the present tense instead of the past!! theis held me up on 24 & 26a for a while! Duh :-(

    3. You know me, Jezza – Exactly the same problem (although it was my only problem!). An enjoyable and gentle puzzle today. Thanks to Cephas and to BD

          1. The first three letters relate to the little thing in your mobile that holds all the information; ‘you reportedly’ means that you say ‘you’ out loud, and then follow that with another word for ‘overdue’

    1. That’s one of the clues I’ve flagged for a hint

      24a Phonecard overdue you reportedly held that’s fake (8)
      The card you put in your phone is followed by a word meaning overdue and then the letter that sounds like(reportedly) you is inserted (held) to give a verb meaning to fake

  3. Thank goodness (and the setter)for an easy one today. Recently my confidence has been at an all time low!

  4. Nice gentle Saturday workout in a week where I’ve struggled with most day’s puzzles. Had a little glitch with 10a, which does not start with a setter might call “bicycle in Paris (4)”!! Thanks to the setter and for once I won’t need Big Dave’s help.

    1. That was my first thought, but it only satisfies the definition in the clue and not the wordplay. It’s another one that I have flagged to provide a hint

      1. I’ve struggled this week as well and, yes, this was gentle but enjoyable. 10a is my last clue but BD, There are 8 letters in the answer and 7 letters in ‘dancing’ so I don’t see how you can put anything around it, there’s only one letter left

        1. collywobs, ‘reel’ is dancing, i.e. anagram of reel, inside a four letter word for what Edingburgh is an example of, got it?? :-)

                    1. Ah, you might be right Mary, I didn’t think of that. I’m off now, back for the Rugby at 16.00 hours. I presume that Wales are on tomorrow. We only get the papers a week at a time in these remote parts.

                    1. Thanks Jezza. Of course you are right and there is an accent. It was the ‘Parisian’ bit that threw me because it’s the word for bicycle throughout France

  5. Hi Dave, enjoyed this today, a few that stopped me in my tracks in top left corner but that was probably due to careless misspelling of 12a! fav clues 20a and 25a, didn’t think the reading of 24a was too good, thanks for hints tho’ I didn’t need them today it is always good to read through thme :-) , nice dry bright day here today, I have my Friday Art Class Exhibition this afternoon, it’s in a little town 20 miles away, I put ‘ Not for sale’ on my effort, ‘cos nobody would want it anyway!! :-) The exhibition runs for ten days!! I can’t imagine whos going to go there :lol:

    1. I wish you luck with your exhibition and I am sure that someone (probably family??) would buy it just cause you did it. I am sure it isn’t as bad as you think. We are always hypercritical of our own work and full of praise for that of others. Enjoy the exhibition.

      Haven’t started the puzzle yet – just reading the blog

  6. I thought that this was a most enjoyable puzzle even though it was on the inside of the back page again… Grrrrr! Curiously, 8a was the last answer which I put in and I was then left wondering why it had taken so long for the penny to drop.

    1. It’s very misleading Cara, this was one of the last for me too, the ‘among’ makes us think it’s another inclusive clue, which it’s not, then first and last make us think we may need to use end letters somehow, which we don’t, and in the end it’s not really cryptic at all!

          1. As jezza said collywobs the wrong one is a childs three wheeler toy, if you put this in you get the present tense of the answer, putting the right vehicle gives you the past tense, the clue fits either answer but not either answer fits, if you know what I mean!

                1. No you are right Mary, I did have the right one in the first place. Jezza put me off by making me think about it – and I thought too much. What is a bloomin Parisian bicycle

                    1. Thanks Franny, but I wasn’t going to until I read njm’s comment and I have been worried about it ever since. I didn’t understand the ‘Parisian’ aspect

              1. Welcome to the blog Stuart

                What Mary is saying is that the clue has two perfectly valid answers, but only one of those fits with the letters from the across clues.

                1. What Mary is saying is that the clue has two perfectly valid answers,

                  Yes, if you had the answers? had a nap, was getting a headache, and the last clues fell into place, happens like that go away think of something else and you say, why did I not see that / those?

  7. Enjoyable and easier than some have been this week. Thanks to the setter (Cephas?) and Big Dave for the not needed hints.:-) BD sorry to be picky but the quickie pun has three words in the puzzle and two in the answer

    1. The online version of the puzzle doesn’t put the relevant clues in italics like the newspaper does, so sometimes I have to wait for someone to tell me. Thanks.

  8. A different kettle of fish after the last two days Most went straight in. Some nice clues if a bit straightforward. Last one in was 10a and checked word to make sure in BRB. Also had trouble with first word of 14a which was penultimate answer!

  9. May be my eyes as best specs broken but in the paper version Magpie is in Italics. I am assuming a reason but, if so, I don’t know what it is. Can anyone explain?

        1. All fine thanks!. After the repressurisation I actually think that the lack of battery in the wireless controller wasn’t helping. It seems counter intuitive that it needs a regular signal or else the boiler turns off but that is the only explanation based on testing!

  10. I’m enjoying this one more than most because it’s so much easier!
    Help would be appreciated for 8a and 23a. They should help me
    Finish the last few.

    1. 8a – Think of their first names.
      23a – Take the first name of the singer and include a word meaning smaller part inside to give a word meaning hope fulfilled.

    2. Hi pam

      8a you need the name of both these presidents
      23a you are looking for a word for ‘hope’ take the first name of the famous Crosby and put a four letter word for a smaller part inside

        1. F
          Thanks to Prolixic and Mary. So obvious when you know!
          23a is a very clever clue including both singers. Had me foxed!

  11. It’s obviously me or maybe the cold has got to my brain, but I cannot get 1d. Regiment is obvious but not at all sure about the rest! Help!

    1. two letter abbreviation for sappers followed by a word for yielding gives you ‘in retreat’ as in hair!

        1. Thanks Collywobbles, I’m ex MOD civilian, so military ones are usually OK. Thanks also to Mary – just had one of those duh! moments following your hint. Onward!

    2. If you have the initials of the regiment, then think about a six letter word meaning yielding that could follow the regiment’s initials and mean ‘in retreat’

  12. Very straightforward today which is handy having spent well over an hour on a journey back from Canterbury that should have taken 20 mins – blooming level crossing gates stuck. Enjloyable puzzle, thank you setter and BD too for the hints.

      1. Yes indeed it was – our quick dash into Canterbury worked very well until we tried to come home again :)

  13. Really enjoyed todays crossword. All they should be.Faves were 12a 20a and 23a but all good. Last one in stupidly was 22a Doh! Thanks to all.

  14. Do have a go at the NTSPP – its by eXternal and has some really splendid penny-dropping moments.

  15. Further to Mary’s comment at #8 (one of her many savvy remarks) there were at least a couple of clues (e.g. 3a, 8a) that were “barely cryptic”. A fairly run of the mill Saturday puzzle, which should produce a mountain of mail at the DT sorting office. Thanks to our setter and Squire Dave.

  16. A very pleasant puzzle, done under the dryer this morning. I only needed help with 24 and 26a, due to having put the wrong vehicle in 19d, but thanks to the bloggers I managed to sort that out and have now finished. Thanks to Cephas and BD, and ‘bon dimanche’ to all. :-)

      1. Yes, I know, but in this neck of the woods they start wishing you a happy Sunday a day early. One of those odd Swiss customs, I suppose!

        1. Presumably you can name 5 famous Swiss quite easily! (Earlier this week William Tell appeared in the clues)

          1. Yes, well apart from Federer and Ursula Andress, you might consider Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the sculptor Giacometti and Henri Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross. But I think that’s about it.

  17. Finally got to download it and completed it in good time – quite straightforward and I enjoyed it. Thanks to Cephas and to BD for the hints (will go read them now).

  18. Oh, I am so excited. I finished this one today, without any help from here, and have submitted it from my Ipad. I was disappointed to see what the prize was; I wanted the same pack of cards that my grandfather won in about 1950. (He sent it in week after week, and I think he only won once.)

    Isn’t retirement wonderful !


      1. The prize these days is a £15 iTunes voucher. (The second prize is two iTunes vouchers.) Perhaps the prize is different if you submit a paper solution.

        Having thought a bit, I don’t think my grandfather ever did win a pack of cards, as it would have become a family heirloom.

        I seem to be following a family tradition: first my grandfather in the 50s (he died in January 1956) and then my mother in the 60s and 70s, although I don’t remember her submitting the prize crossword. In her latter days, she had several crosswords cut out and attached to a clip board. She said she preferred to do several at once and strongly denied looking up the answers !

        1. The prize in the paper is still a fountain pen “three prizes of a boxed Telegraph fountain pen will be warded to the senders of the first three correct solutions opened from all those received”.

    1. Philip, do you do the crossword on your iPad? I use mine but I can’t do the interactive one because Apple won’t allow Flash Player. The curly bracket clues don’t work on iPad either.

      1. Yes, Pam, I do use the iPad, but I subscribe to the paper and download the crossword with the rest of the paper.

        The lack of Flash does mean that using BigDave’s clues is not total cheating !

          1. The iPad app was updated recently to include the prize puzzles and sudoko. The keyboard for the prize puzzle includes a “submit” key. Voilà !


      2. Pam, I use an iPad for the clues having just rediscovered the DT crossword after some 40 years! If you slightly enlarge the clues page then hold your finger on the space in curly brackets you get a “copy” or “define” option. Select define and there’s you answer. You may have to enlarge the page sufficiently to stop the selection of an adjacent line or word.


  19. Feels a bit like being on holiday after the struggles that I’ve had with several of the crosswords this week. Best clues, for me, include 8, 12 and 20a and 5 and 13d. With thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints, even if I didn’t need them today.

    Going to have a go at the NTSPP after dog walk. Still very cold here (-1C) although lovely blue sky and bright sun. It went down to -11.6C in Oxford last night – a lot of the things in my 3a look a bit “flopsy bunny”! :sad:

  20. Not so enjoyable when the answers go in as quickly as they can be written.

    The blog is much more taxing today. I have no idea what some of you are talking about.

  21. fairly straightforward with a couple of d’oh moments thrown in for good measure. -13 at 9am , -4 at noon. Brrrr. Still the ducks and swans don’t seem mind walking across the frozen river Nene!

  22. Finished today’s inside-back-pager in almost record time (for me). The NTSPP – a different kettle of fish – struggling!

  23. Nice easy puzzle to-day after the battering the old grey matter has had this past week Thanks Cephas. :smile:

  24. Yes!!! Finished with no hints required. That means either it was very simple or I am getting better…………..

  25. Been interesting afternoon reading about French bikes and tricycles!

    Football turned out OK (sorry Mary :smile: ) so now off to watch the England Rugby game. Seems to be snowing in Rome :grin:

  26. Enjoyed that one but was completely stuck on 8a – so thanks for blog up above somewhere which made the penny drop – a real DUH! moment – so obvious, after I’d been manically trying to do something with the first letter of Washington and the last letter of Bush!! I’m also wondering if I have 22a correct – I can kind of justify it but am a bit iffy about the first 3 letters, so any help would be appreciated. Very entertaining blog to-day!

        1. It’s difficult to give any better hint than pommers has aleady given – final (4) + edition (2).

  27. Greetings each,
    it was a bit straightforward today, my last clue to be solved was 3d after putting the atlas back on the shelf. I liked 24 a with the double meanng of phonecard. Thanks to setter and to BD.



  28. A pleasant, quickly-solved puzzle today.
    Faves : 8a,14a, 23a, 2d, 5d & 15d.

    I think “phonecard” is becoming a modern replacement for “old city”.

    Must now get ready for the dinner tonight at the Number Two restaurant in the whole of NL – it is the Zwetheul in Schipluiden south of Delft. I lived in Delft when I first came to Holland many years ago and visited the restaurant a few times in those far-off days so it will be interesting to see the changes.

    Weather still brutally cold – look at the map of Europe on the DT back page.

    1. Lovely Delft! I went there last year and came back with quantities of blue and white china. I hope you have a splendid dinner and wish I could remember the Dutch for Bon Appetit. Let alone spell it! :-)

        1. The dinner last night was superb.
          Today is my son-in-law’s birthday anniversary which is why we chose the Zwetheul.
          Light fall of snow here this morning so temperature is near zeroC but it is going down again.

  29. The top left corner had me in a bit of a muddle, but all became clear after reading the hints, so cheers for those. 19d had me wondering if I was right about 26a for quite a while. 8a possibly my favourite today.

  30. Breezed through this today without hints or electronic’s, had a minor operation on my hand this morning and had to have a general anaesthetic, maybe that sharpened the grey cells if it did maybe me have one every morning rather than a cup of tea. :lol:

    1. Well done, breezing through this after a general anaesthetic! I hope your hand gets better soon. :-)

  31. A very pleasant crossword today. Did most of it drinking coffee in a cafe in Windsor Great Park, looking at the snowy landscape. Last two in were 21a and 17d. Spent ages trying to remember who the presenter of ‘Magpie’ was – not needed, of course!

  32. Got as far as three clues to go without reading the hints or the blog so feel pleased but am stumped on 12 across, please put me out of my misery

    1. 12a Broadcasting of ‘Magpie’ girl’s journey (10)
      It’s an anagram (indicated by broadcasting) and the answer is a journey.

      1. Thanks Gazza. What a numpty, the anagram indicator went right over my head … And there’s me thinking I was beginning to get the hang of cryptic crosswords :D

        thanks too to Big Dave for the hints and this setter is definitely on my wavelength today.

  33. Evening all. I agree with several above in that some of the clues were hardly cryptic and only a couple really caused me to stop and think. I liked 12a and that was about it. Quickly done.

  34. A large number of comments again which I might not have time to read through.

    For once I have managed to finish without resort to the hints so it must be straightforward. After a difficult week this is quite a relief.

    1. The first UK cryptic I’ve ever finished! It might have been easy, but now I feel like I can do it!

      1. Well done Tmdess – just keep going and reading this brilliant blog! You will learn so much and there are lots of really helpful people here. You imply that you either live abroad or that English is not your first language – in either case good luck! :smile:

  35. Finished! Being a good speller helps; but as one gets older this acquired skill begins to wane (eg 1d).

  36. First time I’ve completed the puzzle on a Saturday – First time downloaded too!! Found it relatively straightforward so either it was easy or I’m improving thanks to all the tips from your site. Thanks again.
    Am into Sunday’s now – but going to need some help!

  37. This was quite enjoyable, I thought. 10 was a new word for me, but it was clear from the wordplay what was intended. Not overly happy with my answer for 1d, but it looks sorta right – I’ll wait until the full review to see whether I was right or not.

    1. Welcome to the blog Tim

      Please read the note about not putting partial answers in your comment.

      17 Mix up hospital department’s viewpoint (8)
      You are ok so far – the hospital department is followed by a viewpoint or way of looking at something to get a verb meaning to mix up or intertwine

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