DT 26822 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26822 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26822 (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           Taking part in film attack (5)
Split as (2,3) this could mean Taking part in a film but it actually means an attack

18a         One sharing top billing starts to irritate customers around country (5,4)
This person who shares the top-billing (2-4) is followed by the initial letters of (starts to) three of the words in the clue to get a republic in Central America

24a         Magical quality that’s captured by astronaut in vacuum? (8)
Think of what Tinkerbell might use for her magic spells and what an astronaut would have to “vacuum or hoover” up in outer space [SpikeyMikey]

26a         Local leader finds gold after 31 days (5)
This local dignitary is created by putting the heraldic term for gold after a month which has 31 days


1d           Expecting the best work, time being short is initially tough in charge (10)
This adjective meaning expecting the best comes from a charade of the two-letter abbreviation of a musical work, TIM(E) without its final letter (being short), IS from the clue, the initial letter of Tough and the abbreviation of In Charge

2d Music and reels creating metallic element (8)
This is simply an anagram (reels) of MUSIC AND to give a metallic element

3d Number requiring equipment — King put out feeler (8)
This is split (3,5) with a number and a word for kit or equipment with the King removed (put out) to give a feeler [gnomethang]

7d Drop rent (4)
The drop may fall from your face is also a rent! [gnomethang]

ARVE Error: need id and provider

14d         Sex act thrown in for criminal (10)
A sex is followed by ACT inside (thrown in) FOR to get a criminal

23d Man sounds promising (4)
The required capitalisation of Man is disguised by placing it as the first word in the clue: its prefix sounds like a promise (1’2) – definitions by example are usually signalled by a “perhaps”,  a question mark or similar, but not here

I’ve added a few more hints from the comments, and credited them where appropriate!

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: {agree} + {cultural} + {workers} = {agricultural workers}

RIP Jet Harris MBE (6 July 1939 – 18 March 2011)
ARVE Error: need id and provider

83 comments on “DT 26822 (Hints)

  1. There were a couple of d’oh moments :-), 6 and 16d being the two main offenders – a good and enjoyable puzzle to start my Saturday off! First in was 13a and last in was 1a. Off to paint a door now!

  2. Excellent saturday puzzle for me, now I can get on with my Saturday. Btw nice to see a bit of science amongst the arty clues :-) Thx to BD but rarely I didn’t need his help today

  3. A very gentle & pleasant start to my Saturday. No real problems. Off now to do the supermarket run, what an exciting life we lead.

  4. Would appreciate a hint on 2d, got an answer but can’t reconcile it with clueing, although it fits what I think is the definition.

    For some reason 15a just leapt out, and after that everything fell into place quite smoothly, quite pleased with progress since joining this blog, my stab in the dark ratio has gone right down and getting the right word for the right reason is very satisfying. Thanks all.

      1. I feel the same way, Colmce! I’d put in the answer for 2d without knowing why and, having completed the rest of the puzzle, I then had to go back to justify that answer. There was a loud clang as the penny dropped… The rest of the puzzle fell into place very easily and was an enjoyable start to a Saturday morning.

  5. I got held up by putting in HOUSE for the second word in 15a. Apart from that no real dramas and a standard Saturday puzzle. Like BD I thought some indication of Definition by Example was required at 23d and also thought that the last two words in 24a might be superfluous or even misleading (if one is to consider what a vacuum actually IS!)
    In any case thanks to the setter and to BD.

    1. I think 24a is meant to make you picture an astronaut hoovering up, without regard to the fact that the cleaner almost certainly wouldn’t work in the the cosmos.

  6. Fairly standard Saturday fare. 2d was nicely misleading – I thought that “creating” was the anangrind until had enough checking letters.
    Now to decide whether to waste another 39p, or save the money and buy a fountain pen. Thanks BD & setter.

  7. Good fun for a sunny Saturday morning. Did it in corners with the l/h top being last in. Got the right second word for 15a straight away but took longer to fit in the first one.

    Thanks to setter and to BD – now must go and get some work done.

  8. Finished without hints apart from 24a – I can’t even think of a word that would fit with the letters I’ve got let alone anything that would fit the clue – MUST have got something wrong but don’t know what. Any help would be very welcome. 22a would have been easier if I could spell – always want to put a “U” as the third letter from the end which meant I didn’t think it could be an anagram. I’ve never heard of the metallic element or the three letter spell in 16d. Favourites include 9 and 13a and 3, 12, 14 and 20d. With thanks to the setter and BD, and, in advance to anyone who can sort me out with 24a.

    1. Magical quality that’s captured by astronaut in vacuum? (8)

      Kath, the definition is a notional substance that imbues a special charisma for a performer and is cryptically alluded to as something that an astronaut might attempt to pick up in space.

    2. Think of what an astronaut would have to “vacuum or hoover” up in outer space. And what tinkerbell might use for her magic spells. Hope that’s not too much of a give away.

    3. Thanks to both of you. :smile: Hadn’t got anything wrong after all – just couldn’t see it – complete mental block!!

      1. I’m with you on that one Kath. i knew it must be what it was – just couldn’t see why.

  9. Did this without hints today, but not sure that I understand last five letters of 3d or the drop clue in 7d

    1. 7d – the drop may fall from your face!
      3d – this is split (3,5) with a number and a word for kit or equipment with the King removed.

  10. Nearly finished today’s puzzle – a few challenges along the way. Favourite clue so far and first one in was 15a. Hint for 18a would be appreciated..

    1. I bet someone will already have helped by the time I’ve finished this but I’ll have a go anyway.

      You are looking for a country in Central America. First you want a word, for an actor sharing the limelight – six letters or probably split 2, 4. Then the starts to I(rritates) C(ustomers) A(round) from the clue.

      1. Thanks so much, Kath, got it now. Excellent hint – Digby and Lea are right, could have been one of BD’s!

      2. Thanks for being so complimentary – I think you must all be having a laugh! It’s only when I try to do this that I realise just how difficult it is to do properly.

  11. Thoroughly enjoyable outing today, while enjoying the gorgeous weather! Struggled with 15a for a while, but penny dropped when I corrected my spelling of 12d….. d’oh! Thanks to setter and to previous comments, which I used for support (unashamedly). Garden beckons, I fear……!

  12. I am nearly there and when I first looked, there were only four hints (thanks Big Dave) so had to use my brain far too much for a Saturday :-) but am left with 6d and 21a to go if my answer for 16d is right. The concert of War of the Worlds used a horrible one IMHO.

    I would be grateful for enlightenment, lovely day here

    1. 6d is an anagram of inlet followed by the abbreviation for lake to give a kind of seed.

      21a reverse the IN in the clue and add the title of Turkish commander and the initials that indicate an artist is a member of a famous insititution to find the name of a waterfall.

      1. Thank you Prolixic, I have just been hit on the head by the penny dropping for both clues, my spelling of 16d threw me as I thought it had a different vowel :oops:

    2. Quite pleased with myself for almost finishing before looking at the clues. Just 20d and 22d and 25a left to do. A little bit of help would ease my frustration with myself. TIA !

      1. 25a March round island in state of bliss (8)
        A march goes round a two-character abbreviation for island to make a state of bliss (Eden, perhaps?).

      2. 20d A spring swarm (6)
        We want a verb to swarm or exist in large numbers. It comes from A plus a synonym of spring or leap.

  13. Enjoyed this, but over too soon. Not time consuming enough for a Saturday when there isn’t a toughie. The NTSPP always waits until it is dark after the gardening. Lovely day for it today.

  14. Spent a pleasant morning in the garden sunshine, made even more relaxing with today’s cryptic in hand.
    No real problems but wasn’t totally convinced by clue to 24a.

  15. Nice and gentle today – which is what I needed as filling in with just the one arm and pen in wrong hand. Recovering from shoulder op. Thanks to setter and BD. Kath could do a blog, that was a great hint.

  16. BD,
    Can’t we get rid of that signing in thingy. I thought that you were going to suspend it, whatever it is

  17. Nice enough weekend puzzle – should fill the postbag. Last in and favourite by a mile was 24a – I can just imagine Apollo 11 taking a Dyson with them!

  18. I have never heard of that singer in 7d but he was brilliant. Looked as though it came from the sixties. Wasn’t the girl in the one whosang ‘Walking back to happiness’

    1. Yes – it’s Helen Shapiro with Craig Douglas.

      Unfortunately Gene McDaniels died last July.

      Interestingly, both Gene and Craig had hits with “A Hundred Pounds of Clay” – Both versions were banned by the BBC because of the line “He created a woman and-a lots of lovin’ for a man”. Craig re-recorded a version especially for the radio with “He created old Adam then He made a woman for the man”:

      1. Thanks for that BD and the one for Jet Harris, who I do remember, It reminds us of our mortality.

      2. Here’s the full comparison (revised lyrics in brackets):

        He created a woman and a lots of lovin’ for a man
        (He created old Adam then He made a woman for the man)

        For every kiss you’re givin’
        (For all the joy He’s given)

        For the arms that are holdin’ me tight
        (For my world full of beauty and life)

        Doin’ just what he should do
        (Makin’ land and sky and sea)

        To make a livin’ dream like you
        (And doin’ it all for you and me)

        What would they have said back in those days to Katy Perry’s:

        I kissed a girl and I liked it, the taste of her cherry chapstick
        I kissed a girl just to try it, I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it
        It felt so wrong, it felt so right, don’t mean I’m in love tonight
        I kissed a girl and I liked it, I liked it

        1. I don’t know who Kate Perry is but I don’t think that like her lyrics. ‘A hundred pounds of clay’ brings back memories of a forgotten age. Many thanks BD for the memories

    1. Don’t know where Mary is – don’t remember her saying that she would not be around. Thought earlier that she must be out enjoying the sun but it’s dark now …. Never fear, she’ll be back!! :smile:

  19. Most enjoyable. Probably helped by our solving it over a coffee at our favourite bar in the town square after a mooch around the Saturday market :smile:

    Thanks to the setter and to BD et al for the hints.

    1. We almost finished it over coffee but got stuck with bottom r/h corner. Kick started it again this afternoon with 24a and 23d last in. Some great clues – 19a favourite. Thanks BD and setter.

  20. A bit off topic but my favourite clue today is from Araucaria in the Grauniad.

    Drunk as a snake? (7)

    Think I’ll use that phrase at the first opportunity :lol:

    1. Put me out of my misery and tell me the answer – I can’t do it and it’ll drive me mad!

      1. Sorry Kath, was down the bar having dinner and getting nearly as drunk as a snake but I see that Gazza came to the rescue!

        1. … as he always does! Thanks to Gazza and for the great NTSPP – spent an afternoon sitting in the sun in the garden doing it and NOT doing all the things that I should have been doing! Really made a lovely change.

  21. Many thanks BD for the Jet link, he was one of my childhood rock heroes and I still have a first edition of Jet Black and Driftin from the time when they were the Drifters before becoming the Shadows.

  22. Just 15a left and I cannot think of what it could be, think I’ve got the second word. Please help!!!!

  23. Been out all day. Just finished. All in all quite enjoyable. Not sure about 2d., is there much point to clues like this? Really enjoyed 1, 5 and 14 d. Many thanks all.

  24. Enjoyed that – done in two halves – before going to Brighton for the day and then on returning from Brighton after a really enjoyable day out. Have never been to Brighton before – can you believe that??! Mind you, all the world and his dog were there as well, enjoying the glorious sunshine. Nice puzzle – just taxing enough IMHO – with enough to make you scratch your head and think. Last in was 24a, although 1d took me a while before the penny dropped, as did 23d. Thanks to setter and BD for hints.

  25. Thanks to the setter & Big Dave for the hints, which fortunately I didn’t need for once. Very enjoyable puzzle there were a few that made me laugh 16d was one. Favourites were 18a and 3d. Last in was 6d. Like summer in Central London, almost got my Barnet burnt at the Emirates this afternoon :-)

  26. Later than everyone else- as usual!! Thx for all the help on the blog today. Having a block with 14d.
    Can anyone help?

    fav clues were 13a 15a Needed help with 24a

    Lovely weather for golf today

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