DT 26810 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26810 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26810 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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I have added some pictures of the surprise party for Roger Squires to the blog’s facebook page.

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           Duty for this French military group (4,5)
A charade of a duty or chore, FOR from the clue and the French for “this” gives a military group

6a           Crowd round live group (5)
A word meaning to crowd round or surround is a charade of a verb meaning living and a group

18a         Eastern cape captured by Scottish poet is where in France? (7)
This hooded cape worn by Arabs has come up recently!  Put the surname of a (some would say the) Scottish poet around (captured by) the French for where

23a         Director on board? (7)
A gently cryptic definition of the commander of a ship

25a         Weapons in Welsh town, be gone! (9)
These weapons or heavy guns are created by dropping BE (be gone) from the name of a town in Blaenau Gwent, South Wales


1d           Function well enough when there’s no more credit? (4,4)
This phrase meaning to function well enough,  especially at a low level of activity like a car engine idling, could mean that there’s no more credit

3d           Disc that’s disaster, Penny points out (6)
This computer disc (more accurately disk or diskette) is derived from a disaster or unsuccessful venture and P(ENN)Y from which the compass points have been dropped

7d           Cast lines (6)
A cryptic definition of the lines spoken by the cast of a play

19d         Thunderous noise coming from bellyache — not good! (6)
To get this thunderous noise start with a verb meaning to bellyache or complain and drop the initial G(ood)

I don’t really need an excuse for posting the best-ever pop instrumental, by the late, great, Link Wray, so I’m going to!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

21d         One turn then another stopping short of the truth (6)
Combine two synonyms for turn, the first a try or attempt and the second a period of time, and drop the final L from the latter to get the truth, as given in the New Testament

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: {alphabet} + {tickle} + {jigsaw} = {Alphabetical jigsaw}
Explanation: {A crossword puzzle that requires the solver to solve the clues, for which the answers which are in alphabetical order, and then fit those answers into the grid}

94 comments on “DT 26810 (Hints)

  1. Liked this, lot of fun, thank you Mr Setter and BD for hints. What has happened to the web site, everything is appearing in caps, started yesterday……………?

    1. It appears to be a browser problem – or put differently anyone still using Internet Explorer should change to a proper browser rather than using Microsoft’s rubbish.

      1. Sore point, BD?

        And before you ask… I use IE professionally, but Firefox and Safari at home :-)

  2. Enjoyed this – 9a gave me a laugh. 18a was new to me but able to be worked out. Didn’t think 7d and 15d were particularly cryptic. Have a good weekend all.

    1. I enjoyed those clues. Perhaps not cryptic in the usual sense. I got 7d straightaway but thought it had a “fishy” ring about it so possible to get off on the wrong track with it.

  3. For second week I finished before the post came up. More to do with time I started than my skill. Light pleasant solve. Last two in 18 a and d. On right lines for 18 a although not heard of the word but delayed as thought I had the answer for 18 d which was wrong. Important to remember one word and not two three letter words which I was fixated on. Favourites 9 10 13 and 25 a and 19 and 21 d.

  4. Found today’s gentle, only minor hitch with 18a until i checked the spelling and removed the extra letter.
    Maybe it’s time to upgrade my Bradfords

    Thankx for the hints.

  5. Really enjoyed this – a good start to my Saturday. First in, 22a – last in, 24a. Now of to be a 22a – wife and daughter wanting to shop till they drop!!!!

  6. I enjoyed looking at the photographs, Dave, and I know where you were because I was in exile in Shropshire for seven years. I thought that today’s puzzle was highly enjoyable and I’ve probably finished this crossword more quickly than I have for some weeks which is fortunate because I can now get some jobs out of the way before watching Wales this afternoon.

  7. One for Mary today, never heard of that particular welsh town. Found it a little tougher than the usual Saturday but once underway it came steadily together mainly thanks to Mrs B who got the 15 letter clue :-)
    Thx to the setter and to whoever did the hints today which explained one answer.

  8. A perfect, straightforward, enjoyable, anagram-filled mid Saturday morning diversion thank you Cephas. Thanks to BD too for the hints. Grrr to the Telegraph Advertising Department again for (a) moving the crossword from the back page and (b) for putting two very nice looking pints of beer beside the crossword which is tempting me into having a beer with lunch.

    Mr CS has decided that we are going to spring clean today so I had better get on before it’s lunchtime and I have to break off to solve the NTSPP.

    1. An own-goal I suggest. This would deter me from ever selecting Santander as our bank, but could encourage me to try pint of Theakstons (should we ever run out of Black Sheep)

      1. My account with Royal Bank of Scotland is due to be transferred to Santander. Having worked for them in the past I will be closing the account as soon as that happens. Luckily my Lloyds account has avoided being transferred to the Co-operative Bank, otherwise I would be closing that one as well.

      2. I don’t even look at more than the top left corner of the back page just to check we have been let down again. I certainly don’t get as far as seeing who is ruining the back page for usn :D

        1. A cursory glance and then turn page. I couldn’t even tell you whoadvertises there.Make a point of not looking.

    2. Solving on-line or printing off from the website, you currently avoid advertising. However, there is a lot of white space on the printout just begging to be filled with adverts :)

    3. On the plus side there is plenty of space for working out the anagrams beside the larger glass of beer!

    4. I used to work for the Daily and Sunday Telgraph ad departments many years ago. It was recruitment advertising and the days when recruitment advertising in the Daily Telegraph on a Thursday dominated the paper. We never displaced the crossword though, that would have been down to the display mob! :)

      1. If you look at the top right of this site you will see NTSPP 109 under ‘Recent Posts’ It stands for Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle and is an alternative puzzle only found on this site. A different setter every week provides us with a nice different Saturday challenge and it gives them a chance to get their work noticed. Do have a go. Just make sure you click on the right Post as the one with Review after it contains Prolixic’s review and hints.

      2. They’re really good. I only started doing them a few weeks ago – I’ve enjoyed all of them. They are sometimes quite different to the “ordinary” puzzles – there was one a little while ago called an “Alphabet puzzle” which nearly “did my head in” and took ages but I finished it, somehow, although at various stages I didn’t think that I was going to.

        1. Thank you crypticissue and Kath. I hadn’t noticed it and have now printed it out to give it a try.

  9. all done but for 9a. i’m sure that all of the crossing letters are correct but just can’t get the answer. a slight hint would be most appreciated. thanks to setter and to BD’s hints without which i’m afraid i would have struggled

    1. 9a Take away motor parked by aristo (4,3)
      A phrasal verb meaning to take away is a charade of a motor vehicle (3) and an aristocratic or posh man

            1. And me! No wonder I couldn’t solve it but now it’s obvious when you read BD’s hint. Thanks for the help now it’s back to pruning trees before the rugby.

    2. 9a – the definition is take away – you need a motor vehicle (3) followed by a slang term for someone who thinks he’s pretty good. Hope this helps – bet someone has got there before me!!

  10. Good morning Dave, it’s a bit of a funny construct in 18a isn’t it? otherwise no quibbles from me today a nice 2 to3 star for a Saturday :-)

    1. It is but as the Scottish poet is predictable (for me as I only know one) any other way round may have been too easy to solve. From the construct there were a number of red herrings

      1. Och; McGonagall was never going to fit. ;-)

        Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay!
        Alas! I am very sorry to say
        That ninety lives have been taken away
        On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
        Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

  11. I commented in my review of last Saturday’s crossword that the welcome trend towards more difficult puzzles had reached about the right level (3*).
    This one was a journey back to the bad old days – very enjoyable, slightly amusing, but only 1* difficulty. I imagine that the DT postbag will be bursting.
    Thanks to Cephas, and of course BD.

    1. I must agree with you, Digby – it was pleasant enough but over all too soon.

      Re the earlier comments about 9A; I thought it rather slangy and the least satisfying of the lot.

      Thanks to all concerned :-)

  12. I enjoyed this very much. If 18a has come up recently I don’t remember it. Perhaps it was in a toughie – either that or I’m losing my marbles!! I didn’t think this was too difficult although 18a took a while, as did 18d. I’d never heard of the Welsh town but not too tricky as so many begin with those four letters so it was easy enough to guess and take out the relevant ones (trying very hard to stay out of the naughty corner here!!) I agree with weekendwanda that 7d sounded a bit “fishy”! Too many good clues to mention them all – perhaps 9 and 24a and 19d, but lots of others too. With thanks to Cephas (?) and BD.
    Going to garden now then maybe have a go at the NTSPP.

  13. Enjoyed that – got a bit stuck in SE corner so needed hints to confirm 25a – I kind of thought it was that but my knowledge of Welsh towns being virtually non-existent (sorry Mary!), I couldn’t justify it. Then the rest fell into place. 18a new word, but did work it out from checking letters. Liked 1d. Think it was generally a tad easier than other Saturdays but most enjoyable. Thanks to setter and BD for hints.

  14. I I really enjoyed today’s puzzle, completing it more quickly than ever before – maybe it’s because I’ve been ill and confined to home this week, therefore forced to do each day’s puzzle so maybe improving; I did find Thursday’s hard, though. The clue I was uncomfortable with today was 12a. I’ve not come across numbers making up a part of a word before because it is almost doubly cryptic – is this standard practice?

    1. Using the numbers like that is a bit naughty – it’s like using egg for O, or “pair of spectacles” for OO – but it does happen quite a lot

  15. Before Mr CS makes me clear out another lot of rubbish, can I just recommend the NTSPP. It’s a very topical puzzle from Alchemi.

    1. May I reinforce CS’s recommendation for the NTSPP by Alchemi. It’s fairly gentle but very enjoyable (especially if you like anagrams) and anyone who can normally manage the DT back-pager should find it do-able and entertaining.

    2. Just finished it and will have to wait for the hints to explain one answer which I can’t make head or tail of – maybe it’s wrong!!

  16. Solved this one surprisingly quickly. First in was 12a and last 18a which I needed the dictionary for confirmation. Like some other solvers I had not heard of that particular Welsh town but could work it out easily enough from the clue. Favourites were 9a, 1d, 17d and 21d. **/*** from me. Thanks BD

  17. Nicely flowing crossword today. Really enjoyed this.Was convinced 6d was Angelica even though it didn’t fit then had that doh moment. Thanks to all concerned.

  18. Not looked at today’s yet but got a nice surprise in the post this morning… Runner up prize for DT 26,792 of a Crossword Companion notebook…. after all these years…. finally I win something :)

  19. I constructed a word “*******” and, viola, it’s a cape. :)
    Never heard the word before.

  20. Thanks to the setter & Big Dave for the hints. Enjoyed this one, needed a couple of hints. still can’t see 7d. Favourites were 17& 21d.

  21. Pretty straightforward puzzle today.
    My likes : 9a, 13a, 18a, 25a, 1d, 3d, 6d & 19d.

    The weather here in NL seems to be changing to Spring at long last – about time!

  22. Hi folks. I have been away in Algeria – interesting! Anyway, after no DT since Tuesday it was good to get back to it today. This presented few problems save 18a which I cannot recall seeing before. Thanks for the interesting comments.

  23. 6d is beyond me therefore I can count the puzzle completed.
    Got the 25a thingy but putting BE in it tastes no turnips for me.
    BTW congratulations Zaphod. I’ve never heard of anybody winning anything from the DT

    1. The trick is that the answer is a type of church not a herb. The herb is the first five letters and you should get it with the checking letters. You have the next letter and the last two are ‘about’

  24. I presume that Pommers and Pommette are travelling back from their holiday as they haven’t remarked on the illustration for the hint for 23a :D

    1. 24a Fool wept tears about Romeo (5)
      It’s an anagram of wept containing the letter that Romeo is used as a codeword for in the Phonetic Alphabet.

  25. I found this just too easy for a Saturday. A few word plays but nothing that took me off my stride today. I suspect a lot of people will have liked this because they’ve been able to solve it quickly…

  26. Hep with 5 down please And why has the font changed this week? Find it much more difficult to read.


    1. 5d Use drill (8)
      It’s simply a double definition – use something like use ones power and drill in the sense of what takes place on the parade ground.

      BTW I have made no changes to the format of the site. Try using a decent browser like Firefox instead of Internet Explorer.

    1. If you read through the comments there are lots of hints for 6 down. Get that and you will get the first letter of 6a which should help you with that one too.

      1. Don’t know any churches that begin with a herb; so will have to abandon that one and consider it finished.

        1. 6d Herb’s independent about church (8)
          The herb is the first five letters of the answer, and you should already have three of them – then add I(ndependent) and the two-letter Latin abbreviation for about to get a magnificent church formed out of a large oblong hall, with double colonnades and a semicircular apse

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