DT 26846 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26846 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26846 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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First of all, many happy returns of the day to Her Majesty the Queen, Big Dave, Libellule (a special one for the latter!) and anyone else whose birthday is today.   Big Dave is celebrating his birthday at the Sloggers & Betters in Todmorden and so I am in the hot seat for the day – I would have loved to join the celebrations but West Yorkshire is just a bit too far for a day trip from Kent!

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.


4a           Tom maybe will go east of Long Island to get vital link (8)
A charade of the initials of Long Island, followed by (east of) the adjective used to refer to a tom, or indeed any other cat, produces a vital means of communication.

9a           The Spaniard turned about during trial TV show (8)
Another way of saying a television broadcast –  A reversal of the Spanish word for the,  followed by the Latin abbreviation (2) meaning about, are both inserted into a word meaning trial or examination.

12a         Little play of note? (8)
A cryptic definition of a short light musical drama.

16d         Catty in a big way? (8)
Not spiteful or backbiting but in the manner of a large member of the cat family.

26a         Tramp got fool’s allocation (8)
An anagram (allocation) of GOT FOOLS produces a verb meaning to march or tramp, the latter here relating to walking rather than a gentleman of the road!


1d           People generally will admit blame for treatment (7)
The treatment of diseases and disorders by means other than surgery – insert a slang word for a criminal charge (3) into a  plural nominative pronoun meaning people generally.

 3d          Narrow computer studies may support rising skills (6)
A narrow passage of water – reverse a word meaning practical skills and follow it with the two letter abbreviation used to refer to computer studies.

4d           Learn that liking bananas is a way to solve problems (7,8)
One of the ways we use to try and solve cryptic clues is contained in an anagram (bananas) of LEARN THAT LIKING

15d         Concerned with court after wife I left reveals material for cleaning (4,4)
One of those easier to solve than explain ones!    A mass of thin metal used for cleaning – W (wife) I (from the clue), the Latin two-letter word meaning about or in reference to (concerned with or how a lawyer might talk about a particular legal case), an old-fashioned way of saying court or try to win the affection of,  and, finally, L (left).

20d         Notice nothing in being decrepit (6)
Decrepit in relation to decay of mind or body in old age –  insert a synonym for zero or nothing into a verb meaning to notice. 

22d         A special bed, of course (5)
A simple charade to finish with:  A from the clue, the abbreviation for special, and a type of child’s bed produces the name of a famous racecourse.

The Crossword Club is now open.  Feel free to leave comments.  If you need any more hints, please ask!

Please don’t put whole or partial answers or alternative clues in your comment, else they may be censored!

The Quick crossword pun: {hop} + {paw} + {tune}  + {nitty}  +{knocks}} = {Opportunity Knocks}   The fifth word is not in italics in the paper but I feel sure that it should be!

114 comments on “DT 26846 (Hints)

  1. ASm just about to download the puzzle and get started but thought I would wish two of the top bloggers a HAPPY BIRTHDAY and of course mention to the queen as well. Libellule – congrats on a milestone and Big Dave – enjoy yourself in Yorkshire.

    On to the puzzle

  2. Greetings from the Calder Valley! Happy Birthday to Libellule and everyone else celebrating. After a very enjoyable concert last night, which climaxed with a Scottish piper jamming with the band we saw! Sounds awful, but was amazing.

    Enjoyable puzzle today from Cephas with some smile clues and nothing too taxing. Off to the S&B do in a while when my chums arrive. Looking forward to it!

  3. Another nice puzzle, with, for me a few blind alleys which I gormlessly wandered up before seeing the error of my ways.
    Thanks CS for hints especially for bottom left corner where I didn’t see the wordplay despite having the right answers.
    Thanks to Cephas, a thoroughly enjoyable start to the day.
    Happy Birthdays all round.
    Garden beckons. (as yesterday, the heavens will now open).

    1. There do seem to be a lot of black clouds gathering over your end of Kent. Keep them over there please as I hav just put the washing out!

  4. One of the quickest Saturday solves in a while. The end of a reasonably unproblematic week. (Should never say that, there will probably some hellish puzzles next week now).

    1. Please can you take a moment to fill in your name/alias and email address when making a comment as we bloggers don’t know whether we are welcoming a new person to the blog or an old hand who hasn’t filled in their details.

      I agree that today’s puzzle didn’t take long to solve but that isn’t a bad thing for lots of reasons. I like the way the puzzles change from straightforward to impossibly tricky, with all stages in between – variety being the spice of a crossword solver’s life.

      1. For some reason I had to enter my email before commenting today, though we have just made some changes to our computer.

        1. There is a WordPress problem with logging on to make comments. BD relaxed the ‘rules’ a bit but it does mean that you need to ensure that your alias and email address are filled in before you press ‘post comment’

  5. Happy birthday guys, thanks for your help, despite what it may sometimes appear I really do appreciate your efforts. Today’s offering was a gentle start to the weekend I thought. Best clue for me was 4a, knew it was something to do a with a moggy but took me a while to sort it. Thx to BD for explains the answer to 20d, had to be the right answer but couldn’t see the nothing!

    1. I hope it is not being 20d that is preenting you from noticing that it wasn’t BD that gave you the hint :D

      1. …. and I hope that it’s not 20d that made you miss out the 4th letter in one of your words!! :grin:

  6. One of the quickest Saturday solves for a while. The end of a reasonably unproblematic week. (Should never say that, there will probably be some hellish puzzles next week now!)

    1. Ah… you were ‘anonymous’ above. Can I just repeat that if people ensure that they put their name and email address in when commenting so that we know who you are.

  7. Happy birthday Libellule & BD.

    Thanks to Cephas for an enjoyable crossword and to CS for the review.

  8. Well I am back and that was a good straigfhtforward solve. For some reason the bottom r/h corner took me longest and for some stupid reason I put the wrong last three letters in 23a and of course couldn’t get 18d until I changed it.
    Off to finish off preparations for dinner as it’s my turn to cook.
    Have a good weekend everyone – dark clouds coming – probably rain!!!

    1. Good morning (just) Lea – I’m also having trouble with the same corner, just got 23a, help with 14d would be much appreciated. I must finish it soon as I’m off to sing in a scratch Pirates of Penzance this afternoon. Glad to see our birthday girl and boy sharing them with a very special lady – ER.

      1. Hi Ann. firstly can I point out that Libellule is a boy too :) 14d the definition is slipping back. Firstly you need to reverse a word meaning lighter in the sense of not so dark, and then follow this by what you do if you make notes with your voice.

        1. Oops – sorry Libellule – I’m fairly new to your community. Sue, many thanks, finished on the stroke of midday. I can go and make notes with my voice with a clear mind.

  9. Ooos – manners – forgot to say thank you to Cephas and to CS (well done on the hints – good pics as well).

  10. Happy Birthday to BD and to Libellule – both have one for me!
    Agrred a very gentle puzzle but I enjoyed it!. Thanks for the hints, CS – I will be covering for the birthday boy in tomorrow’s hints as well.

    1. I don’t know why but I am having trouble off and on entering the ‘comment’ box and therefor have to get into someone elses, sorry gnomey, Happy birthday to Dave and Libelulle hope the day is special for both of you
      I really enjoyed this one today, downloaded it last night/early this morning and did it in bed as I couldn’t sleep, I am always chuffed when I manage to do one with no books or electronic friends, even if it is on the easier side, three years ago this would have taken me all day, even with all the help going!

      1. Hi sue, nice to see you in the chair, have you put cakes and drinks in the naughty corner ready?? thanks for todays hints though I didn’t need them today :-D

        1. I am trying to fit in some baking today but it won’t be for the naughty corner – we are having a work charity cake (not a) sale’ in a week’s time and so I am putting lemon cakes and cheesy bacon loaves in the freezer ready for that. We aren’t allowed to call them sales because if anyone died, the organisation for which I work would be liable for corporate manslaughter! So we have make a donation/get a thank you at your own risk instaed.

          1. You’ve made my mouth water already :-) I don’t know what’s wrong with my comment box, I can reply easily enough but can’t seem to make a seperate comment

              1. Yes at last pepsi is back, it has been so strange without her, a bit of time and perservation today seems to have paid off, here’s hoping :-D

                1. Why “pepsi”? Now all you need to do is just make sure that she doesn’t go wandering off again! :smile:

                  1. Because that was the name of the last dog we had Kath and she was half bassett (as are our present two) she was crossed with a golden cocker spaniel and was the most beautiful dog sadly she died suddenly when she was only 7, the two we have now are also half basset crossed with cocker spaniel, this time black, they are also beautiful dogs, they are now almost eleven years old but act like juveniles but we’ll never get another like Pepsi :-)

                    1. That’s a pretty good reason for your little dog to be called Pepsi – how sad that she died so young. Ours is now nearly 13 and still very lively – can’t even begin to think about losing her – she is SO lovely and very silly!!

          2. Cheesy bacon loaves sound wonderful – what are they? Bread with cheese and bacon or something completely different … ?

            1. I will email you the recipe tomorrow.The other half of the weekend team (young Gnomey) is responsible for the Sunday Hints & Tips – the Weekend Two have really taken over. I seems a long time since I drove to the next village shop to get the paper and then sort out the Hints & Tips so I am off to bed now. Night everyone.

  11. Happy Birthday BD, Libellule and Her Maj of course, have a great S&B although only 23 miles away I can’t get there, family commitments. Enjoyed the crossword immensley. Weather nice occasional shower. Thanks Cephas and Sue for keeping the chair warm :-)

  12. Thanks to the setter & to Crypticsue for the hints. I zoomed through this with no real sticking points. Favourites were 4a & 20d. Just getting ready to watch the Gooners.

  13. I echo the birthday wishes.

    I thought this a tad or two easier than I expect in a Saturday Prize Crossword. 14d was the last in; 4d made me smile, but I had no particular favourite(s).

    1. For 4d, I think this is the first time I have seen bananas being used as an angram indicator.

      1. Chambers DIctionary has a section in the middle with lots of fascinating information and ‘bananas’ is in the list of anagram indicators. I think Cephas (today’s setter) is a master at finding original anagram indicators.

          1. now I’m coming up as pepsib1 don’t know what’s happening, got my dog but lost my name!!

      2. … don’t think that I’ve ever seen “runny” as an anagram indicator before, but I have a feeling that I’ve met “bananas”!

  14. Happy birthday to BD and Libellule – do hope that everyone there has a great day – you deserve it! :smile:
    I thought this was reasonably easy too. 4a and 26a were my last ones and I was slow to realise that 5d was an anagram. Other than those, no problems. Favourites include 4a and 2, 4, 17 and 20d. With thanks to Cephas and CS.
    Off to the garden now so it’s sure to be raining again soon!

  15. Happy birthday to all and thanks to CSI for taking on Big Dave’s mantle so effortlessly. I thought this was slighly easier than usual but none the less enjoyable for that. Fav clue was 4d which reminded me of my favourite Groucho Marx saying “Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana”. Have a godo Saturday everyone.

  16. I wished Dave Many Happy Returns of the Day on his Facebook page earlier this morning and the same now applies to Libellule and, if you happen to have found this wonderful site, to you too, Ma’am. I thought this was a pleasant Saturday morning stroll, without any real problems, and thank you, Sue, for your hints – one of which clarified an answer for me.

      1. You never know, Mary! By the way, did you see Scrum V last night? Shane left it late to bow out in style, scoring in the 82nd minute, as Ospreys went for a bonus point, and then being persuaded to take the kick himself, which he duly converted.

        1. I didn’t really watch it Cara but it seems that now he may have another two games?! I don’t watch club rugby, my partner does, he has a season ticket for Scarlets and is off to watch them this evening

          1. Last night was supposedly Shane’s farewell appearance for the Ospreys and it only became apparent during the commentary that perhaps it wasn’t… I am now confused and it doesn’t take much to confuse me these days! Scarlets are playing Munster so there’s a very good game in prospect.

  17. Happy Birthday to BD and to Libellule, hope you both have a good one.

    A very pleasant puzzle today which we enjoyed over lunch as usual. Favourite was 11a.

    Many thanks to the setter and to CS for the hints.

  18. Crypticsue – I think you answered this type of question a few weeks ago; however, when I logged into the DT website for this puzzle at three minutes past midnight (6:03 pm in Texas) it said that the top time for one play was 1 week 3 days 17 hours 44 minutes 14 seconds? Is this really possible, or was the DT website having a bad day?

    1. I think that must be a mistake. Today’s puzzle would only have gone up at midnight so the soonest it could have been was 3 minutes. I know how people think they are getting away with putting a solving time of just over a minute (because once I have solved on paper, were I minded to do so, I can type the solution in about a mnute, but I don’t understand the 1 week… for today’s puzzle at all.

      1. Thanks CS – my take on the fast times is that some people may have registered with the website more than once. Access the puzzle with one username, and input the solution using a different one (but I am a natural cynic).

        1. We think that a lot of the very low times are set by “puzzle_tester”, an in-house id. It may well have been tested over 10+ days. I hope you managed to knock that time off the leaderboard!

  19. Many Happy Returns to all those to whom it applies and to Mary’s Pepsi who I hope doesn’t need to return again in future ! ?

    At last, after years of frustration, I seem to be getting the hang of these things. Finished it again today which makes about six weeks on the trot. Had problems with the NW corner, mainly because I couldn’t “see” 2d. Actually enjoying my weekly mental exercise now !

    Thanks to you all for all your help.

    1. I’ve whizzed thru the rest and am left staring at 2d, which I’m just not getting. Any prompts, pls?

      1. njm – 2d – a gentle nudge – the definition is “Chief”. I cannot explain further without being banished to the “Naughty Corner.”

        Wot – No Cake!!

        1. Sorry no cake – there isn’t any for the CS household never mind that corner.

        2. I did think about giving a hint for this one when I typed up the H&T but it isn’t easy to keep out of the naughty corner with this one. Less sensitive or having less feeling, for example how you might feel after a dentist’s injection, then ON from the clue and the abbreviation for Ecstasy.

          1. The dentist ref was the key. Thanks.
            Can now go back to simple tasks like learning Linux syntax following hardware rebuild of my PC! 3 Maxtor disc failures in 4 years – perhaps not buy any more?!

  20. Very pleased to see that Pepsi has returned. Can you keep her under control now? :)

    1. Sorry Mary, this was supposed have attached itself to your message that Pepsi was back, not as a stand alone statement. Anyway it’s very nice to see the little chap back.

  21. Happy birthday to ER, BD & L. This is our fastest solve for a Saturday crossword ever. Either my wife and I are getting better (unIkely), or the setter is luring us into a false sense of security and is going to hit us hard next week. I think the Cryptics have been very kind to us this week. I liked todays offering which had humour and guile in equal measure. So*/**** from us. Favourite clues 4a, 13a, 2d. Thanks to setter and CS.

    1. I think you and the Captain’s Mate are bound to be getting better as you can’t fail to do so the more puzzles you solve. Cephas, today’s setter, always sets an enjoyable puzzle. Next week, we have the turn of the Saturday Mysteron who has a different setting style and may be straightforward or may be tricky, we just have to wait and see what turns up when we go to the back page of the paper (although these days more often than not it is a blasted advert for some product no-one wants, especially where the crossword should be located).

  22. I thought this was better than the usual Saturday standard with some nice clues. I particularly liked 4a 23a and 4d. Managed to get it done before we had to set off for a wedding. Happy Birthday Your Majesty!

  23. I would like to add my best wishes to all those with birthdays today. Could someone with more knowledge, or reference books, than me explain the connection between “providing” and the answer to 25a?
    Je vous remerci d’avance.

      1. I pondered over the significance of ‘providing’ first thing this morning have various theories none of which quite make sense. Unless you are providing the material for the backing. I was just mightily relieved it wasn’t the last clue in the acrosses in which case I would have had to have given a hint for it :D

        1. I wondered about the expression “……” ones pocket ….. or am I going to be in the naughty corner? I’m not going – husband is cooking supper and it’s going to be wonderful – he’s really becoming very “chefy”!

  24. Happy Birthdays!!!! Two to go…. 18d and 25a. Please help! 8a made me giggle and 4d guffaw. Great week for me. I’m a beginner at all this and this blog has made such a big difference to my progress. Thanks to one and all. Zxx

    1. Welcome Zoe. This blog is life transforming isn’t it. 18d is a simple double defintion – you need a word that means a bill and also means a story. 25a – a sort of backing material – if you look above I am still hoping someone will explain the ‘providing’ bit.

      1. My One-Look Dictionary says “xxxxxx = providing something with a surface of a different material”
        Happy Birthday BD and L
        Enjoyable crossword, thanks Cephas, some pennies took a little time to drop.

        1. As you have explained it so nicely, I won’t send you to the naughty corner for giving away the solutiion in a Saturday prize puzzle. Thank you very much indeed. I can go and have a bacon buttie and a beer now knowing that I don’t have to think about it any more.

    2. Welcome from me too, Zoe! :smile:
      This is a wonderful blog – lots of very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful people. No-one ever makes anyone else feel stupid – if you don’t understand something just ask and someone will help out within minutes. But, be warned – it’s highly addictive!

  25. Finally completed without having to ask for specific help. Many thanks to Crypticsue for the hints and to all previous bloggers today as well as the setter.

    Happy birthday to everyone whose birthday it is today (including my nephew).

    I fell into the traps set for both 9 and 10 across which held me up :oops:

  26. Nice straightforward puzzle today. Happy birthday to Big Dave & Libellule and thanks to the setter & CS. ;smile:

  27. Thanks CS. We will baton down the hatches for the storm brewing up for next Saturday then! 80

  28. I know there was help with 16a but I can’t get it, also need help with 15d and then it’s all done. Have struggled with those two for last 50 minutes. Please put me out of my misery.

    1. There is a picture with the hint for 16a – see if that helps. 15d I have explained the wordplay in the hint and given a picture too.

  29. Very quick resolution this week. Whilst the rest of you migrate to Yorkshire, I’ve shifted in the reverse direction for the weekend! No favourites this week, all a bit to swift. Many happy returns to all concerned.

  30. I’m glad that this puzzle was pretty straightforward as I had to fit it in at the end of a busy day. I hope that all the birthday boys and girls (including my cousin V, with whom I have just spent a lovely few days in Perthshire) had a great day, with not too much difficulty in blowing out the candles on their cake!

    1. Glad you enjoyed the puzzle. Do tell are you ‘someone’ who hasn’t been on the blog before or ‘someone’ we know who hasn’t typed in their alias and email address.

  31. Needed help with 3 clues today – 16a (never heard the word) / 15d and 26a. Thank you for the hints. Looks like a better day here in Northants.

  32. I would like to thank everyone who wished many happy returns for my 50th birthday, have now returned from a brief trip to Roscoff to meet my parents, partake of some good food, and take a trip to the Ile de Batz. I am out on Monday, so Gazza is covering for me, will be back on Friday.

    1. Ile de Batz sounds lovely Liblulle, having just looked it up, we always croos Plymouth to Roscoff when visiting my sister-in-law and mother-in-law in Brittany and will make a point of visiting it sometime in the future, enjoy :-D

  33. I’ new to this forum and may have solved 26A (I think) but can’t understand why the first four letters of the solution should be “man on board”. Please someone enlighten this confused semi-solver.

    1. Welcome Riochad. You confused me for a moment there but I see you mean 23a. My experience is that one should always wait a second or two before clicking ‘post comment’ as invariably the penny drops as soon as you do so :D

  34. Way off the pace, but can I have a clue to 19A, please? (last one! – and I finished last weeks, too!!) (Based on the last few I’ve got I suspect it will be a d’oh moment?)

      1. Welcome Helen. 19a – example is the definition – a charade of favoured or fashionable (2) plus posture in the sense of point of view or attitude.

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