DT 26798 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26798 (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           Going down in the main (6)
My original thought was diving, but it is actually a faintly cryptic definition of what the tide does when it is going back

9a           Healer administering drops? (4,6)
A cryptic definition of person in tribal societies who professes to bring precipitation, usually after a prolonged dry spell

14a         Attack upland fell (6,4)
A charade of an aircraft attack and an upland like those in the South East of England fives a verb meaning to fell or slay

18a         A sandwich from this joint is a blow (7)
When this joint in the hand is followed by sandwich it means a blow with the fist

22a         Short hair below one’s nose (4)
Be careful of the spelling of this abbreviated form of  the unshaved hair on a man’s upper lip – if you’ve put a “C” in there then it’s wrong!

26a         Late transport (6)
Another faintly cryptic definition – this time of a vehicle used in funerals


2d           The bolivar exchanged for a biscuit (4,6)
An anagram (exchanged) of THE BOLIVAR gives a plain biscuit invented by an 18 th century physician

5d           Having a clear ringing sound — that’s elementary (7)
This adjective meaning having a clear ringing sound also means like a metallic element

13d         Human Resources in firm will need set amount processed (10)
Put the abbreviation of Human Resources inside an adjective meaning  firm and add a verb meaning to set to get the amount of material or items passing through a process, especially in manufacturing or computing

19d         Opening device has message of fundamental importance (7)
A charade of a three-letter device used to open a lock and a short message gives an adjective meaning of fundamental importance, as in a speech designed to state the main concerns of a conference

24d         Star given ovation in crossover part (4)
This star that suddenly increases in brightness is hidden (in crossover part) inside the clue

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: { high } + { Dane } + { Sikh } = { hide and seek }


  1. Hrothgar
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Thanks BD and setter..
    Nice, steady dog-trot, clever and elegant in parts.
    Never quite understand the DT’s ratings.
    They rate this a 5* I would suggest a 2/3*

    • Posted February 25, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Hrothgar

      I think their difficulty rating is based on average solving time, so will probably go down when those who have completed the puzzle in the paper have entered the answers online. I suspect a lot of people open the puzzle online and then print it out and the clock starts running as soon as they do that (although no longer if you print without opening the puzzle!).

      • Hrothgar
        Posted February 25, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, BD, and for a truly great site.

        • Kath
          Posted February 25, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

          Brilliant site, isn’t it?

          • Sarah F
            Posted February 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

            could not agree more.

          • Steve_the_beard
            Posted February 25, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

            It certainly is, Stanley.

            My wife still thinks it’s the name of a porn site, though…

            • Willie Eckerslike
              Posted February 26, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

              Haha Steve – I often tell my husband I’m going to bed with big Dave…

  2. Posted February 25, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Well that wasn’t the usual Saturday stroll though the park. Needed the BRB on more than one occaison. Still not sure about 23a. Thanks to setter and to BD.

    • Posted February 25, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      23a Relating to business in government (10)
      The definition is “relating to” and it’s a charade of a business, IN and G(overnment)

      • Posted February 25, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        Many thanks – now to tackle the NTSPP before the rugby fest starts…

    • Posted February 25, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Not crossword related but I was just looking at special offer beers in Sainsburys and had to buy Adnams ‘Spindrift’ Apparently you are ‘full of flavour’ with a touch of wheat ‘to make it sparkle’! Apparently you are bright blonde English , dry, crisp, with aromas of tropical fruits, and evoke images of sea spray blown off a cresting wave. I would be interested to hear Mrs Spindrift’s comments on that description :D

      • Posted February 25, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        I’ll order some in my next consignment. It’s Jennings Snecklifter today with the rugby

        • Posted February 25, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

          You’ll be lucky to remember the second half…

      • Posted February 25, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        Mrs S would probably describe me as thick and dark from a Romany background, wet and soggy with an aroma of socks and that I would evoke images of a wet Wednesday in Cleethorpes.

        • Posted February 25, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

          I think I will stick to the beer :) . Mr CS and I are going to have one with lunch. I will report back.

          • Posted February 25, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

            We recommend the ‘Spindrift’ – must go and buy some more while it’s on special offer. Definitely beery and a touch of fruit but we didn’t notice any sea spray or crested waves!

      • Steve_the_beard
        Posted February 25, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        A lady whom I love dearly, and who also happens to be my wife’s oldest friend, took great pleasure in giving me a red wine by the name of “old Git”.

        And no, you may not hear my wife’s comments :-)

    • Peter
      Posted February 25, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      Good crossword today- thanks BD & setter.
      I might appear a bit dim but some bloggers talk of using the BRB: what is that?

      • andy
        Posted February 25, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        Hi Peter, the BRB is the “big red book”, a description of the chambers dictionary.

  3. Colmce
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    2d leapt out at me and after that it fell into place quite quickly.
    And yes I did get caught by c/* in 22a.
    Sitting on the boat, so why did 1a cause a problem?

    Enjoyed it thanks for hints and tips.

  4. Brian
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    I think the DT must have been giving out too many prizes so decided to put out a much tougher one than normal. Still stuck on 11a and consequently 8d. Also have answers to 4d but cannot see what is has to do with table and 17a which ought to be ****coat but obviously isn’t. Some clever clues but not my favourite puzzle.
    Thx for the hints.

    • Posted February 25, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      11a Redcoat
      A cryptic definition of a red coating caused by oxidation

      4d Leaves on the table (5,5)
      The kind of leaves put on the table in a bowl to eat with a cold meal

      • Brian
        Posted February 25, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        Many thanks, I did in fact see the 11a but I always thought of this product as brown rather than red but had the wrong answer for 4d (sward instead of the correct word) but that now mucks up 17a, damn!
        Sorry for putting in the word in clear, oops.

        • Brian
          Posted February 25, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

          Just seen 17a, so obvious when you get it but then arn’t almost all crosswords :–)

    • Posted February 25, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      By the way, the expert in 8d is not an ace or a dab – more someone who is paid to be good at his chosen career

  5. Captain Lethargy
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Agree with Spindrift. Also put diving in which slowed me down somewhat and again am somewhat unsure of why 23a is the answer I have. 5d I thought had 2 possible answers until I re-read the clue! Old age creeping up – ok I know racing up. Fave clues were 2d and 18a. Thanks to BD and setter.

    • Posted February 25, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      See comment #2 for 23 across

    • Posted February 25, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      23a – a business is the first part then IN Government – hope that doesn’t break the ‘partial words rule’ – if it does forgive a newby!

      • Posted February 25, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        It’s ok to use words that are in the clue.

  6. Dickiedot
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Enjoyable, thanks for the hints BD needed a couple, do we know the setter? Thanks anyway

    • Posted February 25, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      It’s the turn of Cephas, so presumably it is he

  7. Caravaggio
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    If I hadn’t looked at Big Dave’s hint for 1a, I think that I’d have been going round in ever-decreasing circles because I was tempted to put in ‘diving’ too. Thank you, Dave. After that, I made very good progress and, whilst there weren’t any ‘Eureka!’ moments, it was still an enjoyable puzzle. Now that’s out of the way, I can concentrate on the weekend sport and the omens are good for teams who play in red… Mary will no doubt agree in due course!

    • Posted February 25, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      I rather think Welsh teams will get stuffed at Fortress Twickenham and at Wembley.

      • Posted February 25, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        My heart would agree with you but my head is saying something else. I hope it’s proved wrong.

        • Posted February 25, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          Your head is definitely right spindrift. Here we goe, Jennings Snecklifter at my side

        • mary
          Posted February 26, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

          Well boys it look as though we got the right result! now for the soccer, come on Liverpool :-D

      • mary
        Posted February 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        Hopefully at Wembley Dave not sure about Twickenham though, just popped in to say hello, not got time yet today to do the crossword busy doing my bit pressure washing the back whilst the glorious sunshine lasts, maybe back later if got time :-) well done all on a quick look through it doesn’t look too easy to me, back to the pressure washer :roll: I enjoy it really especially in this weather

        • Caravaggio
          Posted February 26, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

          And it came to pass…

  8. Wayne
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    First trawl through only got 4 clues, thought OMG! Then 4d and 14a got me going nicely. Very enjoyable Xword. Thanx to setter, didn’t need your hints BD but always read them, so thanx also.

  9. Posted February 25, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I didn’t think I could solve a crossword that my previous personal best but apparently I can! 1* difficulty for me 2* entertainment. Thanks presumably to Cephas and to BD too.

    Lovely sunny day today in E Kent with the first primroses out in the woods. :)

  10. ChrisB
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Yet again the crossword is displaced from the back page, but it is Saturday. How many BD followers remember a greater calumny committed on a Monday morning in the late 1980s?
    The Telegraph had employed a new designer and one of his earliest actions was to remove the ‘High & Dry’ gin “ears” from the top of the front page, for aesthetical reasons at a cost then of some £250k pa. The Telegraph was a customer of mine in those days and I was a frequent visitor to South Quay and I was due there for 9am on the particular Monday that the crossword was laid out across the width of the back page, the height of the grid, albeit at the bottom of the page. (For the benefit of non-commuters this makes it pretty much impossible to do the puzzle on the train or tube.)
    Unusually, the receptionists were all on the telephone when I arrived dealing with the overflow from the switchboard; as my pass was silently handed over I asked if they had had many calls regarding the crossword layout that morning. The lady put her hand over the telephone mouthpiece and said that she had been on sinced 7am and the calls had been both incessant and incensed. The calls were still arriving when I left after noon, and the experiment was not repeated.
    Thanks to setter and BD for review.

    • Posted February 25, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      I have given up harrumphing about the crossword being in the wrong place. I just work my way from the front of the paper until I get to the crossword. The advertisers (whoever they are) are wasting their money because I should imagine no-one whatsoever looks at the advert at all.

  11. Posted February 25, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    6d is clever. Is it an all in one clue?

    • Posted February 25, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      No – the river is not defined by the whole clue. It may look as if “German” is doing double duty, but the definition is just “river”.

  12. Trekman
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Struggled and struggled before visitiing here. I think the expression is OMG. I DID put in diving. All sorted now. Thank you. As ever I am in your debt. Fondest regards to all

    • Posted February 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      It’s rather difficult to get the biscuit if you put diving in!

  13. Kath
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was going to be really easy as I got the answers to several of the first across clues as soon as I read them, but then slowed down quite badly and the rest has taken a while. “Diving” for 1a fortunately didn’t occur to me. 11a was my last one – lots of it around here as I am REALLY naughty about putting garden tools away – drives husband MAD!! I didn’t understand the last three letters of 13d which wasn’t surprising as I had “…….out” but worked that one out. I did have 22a spelt with a “C” – don’t see how we are supposed to know which one it is, not that it matters very much. I enjoyed this puzzle very much – best clues for me today include 18, 20 and 25a and 7, 16 and 23d. With thanks to Cephas and BD.
    Going to have a go at the NTSPP later if time but beautiful day, husband’s birthday and daughters here for w/e so might have to wait until tomorrow. Have a good weekend everyone.

    • Posted February 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      The other spelling is not in Chambers in the context given in the clue – it has a different meaning, but is still a diminutive.

      • Kath
        Posted February 25, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        Thanks – had quick look in Chambers and got in a tangle with the same word with an “E” at the end etc etc – that’ll teach me to read it properly! :oops:

    • Lea
      Posted February 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Kath – the NTSPP is well worth it – just finished it and enjoyed it more than this one.

  14. Posted February 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Just finished it in time for a quick bacon butty, then some tennis – and the sun came out. Does it get any better? And the crossword was pretty good too. Thanks BD & Cephas?

  15. Jezza
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I cannot say that I liked this one today. It must be just me, as others seem to have enjoyed it.
    Thanks to setter, and to BD.

    • Posted February 25, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you, Jezza.

    • Lea
      Posted February 25, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Me too Jezza – try the NTSPP – it is a good one

      • Addicted
        Posted February 25, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        And me! Did eventually struggle to a finish, but not without lots of electronic help and certainly needed BD to explain a lot of the answers.

  16. Little Dave
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    6d comes up quite regularly as does 2d. 26a has featured before as has 8d. 1a is a regular. Overall rather tame crossword although I did learn a new thing with 2d. Done whilst watching my son place football – a 4 -3 win and a great game. East Herts is sunny but very chilly.

    • Kath
      Posted February 25, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      You’re heading for the naughty corner with one of the words at the beginning of one of your sentences!! :grin:

      • Caroline
        Posted February 25, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for that one! Really struggling today so scanning for as much help as possible!

        • Kath
          Posted February 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

          Looks as if it’ll be me in the naughty corner for pointing it out!!

      • Little Dave
        Posted February 25, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        Unintentional! Not even a yellow card, ref!

  17. Posted February 25, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Not on the right wavelength today and, like Jezza, didn’t really like this puzzle :sad: Perhaps I spoiled my appetite by doing the Paul offering in the Grauniad first!

    Oh well, off to try the NTSPP and then the rugby beckons :grin:

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

    • Kath
      Posted February 25, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      I’ve had a very quick look at the NTSPP – I think it’s very difficult but could easily be just me – only done about seven clues and I don’t understand two of them. :sad: Might have another go but will probably have to wait for review.

      • Lea
        Posted February 25, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        Keep at it Kath – I worked in corners and “clicked” once I got a word in each corner.

        • Kath
          Posted February 25, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for the encouragement – off for sunny dog walk now but will try again later – I think it’s tricky and probably a bit beyond me.

  18. Franco
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Is this a record for the least number of words used in a set of Across clues?

    • Kath
      Posted February 25, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      I hadn’t noticed, but now that you’ve mentioned it …..

  19. Rich
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    1a was the catalyst, though it took ages to get there even with BD’s help. Maybe starting work at 5 am didn’t help!
    Hopefully I can stay awake for the rugby.
    Thanks to BD for the nudge in the right direction.

  20. Posted February 25, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Oh Dear, I’m glad I’m not Italian

  21. Annidrum
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Found this pretty straightforward to-day but needed 13d explained to me. Thanks BD &Cephas

  22. Derek
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Quickly solved puzzle this Saturday.
    Faves : 9a, 14a, 23a, 4d, 13d &15d.
    26a is an old chestnut.
    Fair number of anagrams!

  23. Posted February 25, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Can anybody help with 23d. It’s probably very obvious

    • Addicted
      Posted February 25, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Well, if I’ve got it right – think of horses – there is I think a saying that “they go at a fair old ****” and I believe you use the same word when *** **** **** * “*******” ** **** **** **** ****!!

      • Little Dave
        Posted February 25, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        Now that’s a red card for you Addicted!

      • Posted February 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        thanks Addicted

      • Posted February 25, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        I’m not sure about the second part of that comment!

        • Addicted
          Posted February 25, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

          Thought I’d been very careful – but there you go!! Sorry, sorry……….

          • Posted February 25, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

            I was probably a bit harsh. No need to apologise.

  24. Posted February 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Well done Wales (Triple Crown winners) – never in doubt :D . I have to say that England played as well as I’ve seen them for many years.

    • Posted February 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      They certainly did – surprisingly

    • Gari
      Posted February 25, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      It should have been a draw as that England try should never have been disallowed. But there again England did do their usual trick of throwing it away in the last 10 minutes. :roll:

      • Tim Asson
        Posted February 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        Gari – please explain how you can exert downwards pressure when your hand is under the ball?

    • Franco
      Posted February 25, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Gazza, How do you spell “patronising”?

    • mary
      Posted February 26, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Brilliant result Gazza :-D

  25. Little Dave
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    More impoRtantly West Brom 4 Sunderland 0, Gazza.

    • Posted February 25, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Who are West Brom? Finished puzzle. Very entertaining and enjoyable. Thanks for hints BD and Addicted (if you are off the naughty step) A very satisfying day of rugby

      • mary
        Posted February 26, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        West Bromich Albion collywobs and yes a Very satisfying day of rugby, now lets hope it’s a very satisfying day of soccer – come on Liverpool!!

        • mary
          Posted February 26, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

          also a good day for Welsh boxing

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