DT 26858 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26858 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26858 (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           Digital recording uploads, off and on, produced by actors (7)
This digital recordings that can be downloaded to a mobile phone come from the even letters (off and on) of uPlOaDs followed by a list of the actors in a play

9a           Pudding with green veg — it’s nice in the garden (5,3)
Combine a pudding or dessert with a green vegetable to get a flower that can be found in the garden

15a         Song from unmarried woman? (4)
To get this operatic song, drop M(arried) from a woman’s name

21a         First light entering fiery den (4)
… it’s an otter’s den: see my Animals page

27a         Little woman getting into brandy on a Mediterranean island (7)
Put a common Crosswordland word for a cheap brandy made from grapeskins and other refuse from wine-making around one of Ms Alcott’s Little Women (also a fairly Crosswordland occurrence) and follow it with the A from the clue to get a Mediterranean island [Based on Gnomey’s comment below.]

29a         Shrouded in secrecy, cleverly use again (7)
Hidden inside (shrouded in) the clue is a verb meaning to use again


2d           Capsize open vessel (8)
This verb meaning to capsize is a charade of an adjective meaning open and a vase of the kind used for the ashes of the dead

8d           Ladies get together for a bender (7)
Combine the names of two ladies to get the anatomical word for the kneecap

20d         Arrested smuggling ring pirate initially deserted, being bent (7)
Start with a word meaning arrested or terminated then insert (smuggling) the letter shaped like a ring and drop (deserted) the initial letter of Pirate to get a word meaning bent or hunched

26d         After word of hesitation, proceed like this (4)
Start with a two-letter word of hesitation (not um) and add a verb meaning to proceed to get the originally Latin word for like this or therefore

A few more hints soon.

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: {sack} + {ray} + {blur} = {sacré bleu}

151 comments on “DT 26858 (Hints)

  1. Morning Dave, stuck on 9a and 8d, I’m sure they must be obvious but I just can’t see them, any help gratefullyaccepted :-D

    1. I quite enjoyed this one but have about six that although I have the answers, I have question marks by because I just don’t understand how I got them!!

            1. Hi Mary. I planted mine in the garden about a month ago and I swear they are smaller now than when they went in!

  2. As opposed to yesterdays, I found this very enjoyable. Head scratching moments on 1a until I realised the significance of ‘off and on’. Best clue for me was 20d. Thanx to Compiler and to BD for this blog. Thought the Quickie pun was good also.

  3. 29a was, in my opinion, a very well played clue. Very enjoyable today from (I presume) Cephas. Thanks to him and to BD

  4. I can’t see why 15a is what it must be. Favourite and last clue solved is 20d – very clever. Thanks to Cephas & to BD as per.

      1. Consider backside wellied! Thank you as this has been pestering me all of the way around Makro this morning.

  5. Finished all but 21a, driving me mad, got two letters but just can’t see anything that has anything to do with den. Also what has 27a got to do with brandy, only one med island it can be but why?

    1. Brian, a common crosswordland word for brandy goes around one of Ms Alcott’s Little Women – also a fairly crosswordland occurrence, followed by A

        1. I don’t think that I have heard of it mary and I have consumed many brandies in many countries. Are you allowed to tell me what it is without going to the naughty corner

      1. Thanks for that but I have to say I have never come across that as a word for brandy but Chambers agrees. One for the old memmory bank, unfortunately the emphasis is on the old!

          1. Thanks for the chuckle I’ve just had reading your comment Mary, you are not on your own on that one:-)

      1. I got 27a no problem but is that really a valid spelling these days – the Spaniards and airlines use a double L

    2. Hi there I still cant understand why 21a is what it is? Iknow its the otters den but whats the rest of the clue got to do with it?

      1. 21a First light entering fiery den (4)
        Put the first letter of Light inside a word meaning fiery to get this otter’s den

        1. Had me foxed for a while as well. Damn clever these setters (and the hint givers :-) )

      1. Hi tom – welcome to the blog.
        12a Make up about gaining access instantly (2,4)
        The definition is instantly. A verb meaning to make up or compensate has the abbreviation for about inside it.

  6. Didn’t have much time yesterday and left unfinished, so nice to see this off today. Used the hint for 8d though! Have a good weekend all.

  7. Just popped in to say hello. This is my 8th day in the UK and I’m now fed up of wearing the fleece and waterproof jacket – think I want to go home now, it’s 22C and sunny in Alicante!

      1. Hi Mary, should be back home about midnight Monday so all ready for blogging next Weds.

        1. If one more person says to me that this is the wettest drought they’ve ever known I’m going to smack them SO hard – I’m bored with that one now!

          1. Who are you and what have you done with Kath? You seemed so nice when I met you in London :)

            1. Nope, Kath can be fiery and more power to the elbow!. She doesn’t suffer fools (i.e. me!) gladly……

          2. Only joking! I wouldn’t really smack anyone (well, not VERY hard). No-one should feel chastised and certainly no-one here is a fool!! :smile:

  8. Splendid puzzle this morning.
    1a and 4d held me up for a while.
    Thanks to BD for hints.
    Thanks to compiler for a testing ( for me) but enjoyable start to the day.

  9. Early input from me today – a visitor brought the DT from the airport. Today being Bevrijdingsdag (anniversary of liberation of NL in WW2), the shopping street is closed off for a street market and the main drag is solid with parked cars and hundreds of bicycles!!

    Liked these clues : 1a, 22a, 27a, 4d, 6d, 8d, 14d, 19d & 20d.

  10. Still not getting emails for new posts. Have now ticked the boxes under the comments box.

  11. Long time reader, first post. Just to say how useful I find this site. 27a was a tester, but I quite enjoyed today, crossword in front of the snooker.

  12. If the answer to 8d bends you have problems. Therefore the clue is incorrect!!!!

  13. Excellent, lots of good clues including 2d, 8d 27a 28a needed help with 21a it’s a ‘hell’ of a clue, thanks BD and the setter

  14. I don’t know about the hob nailed boots but Cephas certainly had a slightly trickier hat on when he set this one. I too had to wait for the pennies to drop for both 21a and 8d. Thanks to Cephas for waking up the grey matter and to BD for the explanations

    I can highly recommend the NTSPP – those ladies who moan about cricket and football clues should find it more to their liking :)

    1. I’m going to have a go at NTSPP later on – I’m certainly one who moans about too many sporting clues although it’s some time since I’ve been called a lady!! :smile:

  15. I thought that this was a gentle start to a Saturday morning but then I got stuck on 4d. For the life of me, I couldn’t see the answer, despite having all the checking letters in place, so I left it for half an hour and then the answer came to me straight away…

    1. That was exactly my experience, all the checking letters and could I see it!

  16. I agree that this is a bit trickier than usual – I really enjoyed it. I couldn’t get 4d for ages – my last one in. 12a took some time to understand – was thinking of the wrong kind of make up! I’m not sure that I like 8d very much – it isn’t that bit of the knee that bends – husband says I’m being over picky!! Loved 9a – they’re my absolute favourites (and mine have already got buds on them!) I liked 10, 13 and 29a and 4, 5 and 17d (and lots of others as well but I can’t write them all down! With thanks to Cephas and BD.
    Weather a bit more cheerful here today. Have a good weekend everyone. :smile:

    1. My 9a are only about 2″ high and still in the greenhouse Kath! Bright but cold here today, I think it’s only going to get worse as the weekend goes on! As long as it stays dry for the match tonight………come on Liverpool :-D

          1. Mr CS is asleep in our (large) greenhouse – I wonder if sweet peas would look better ? :D

            1. Greenhouse – that’s a relief. I thought that I really had lost it as a gardener. On reflection I don’t think I ever really had it!

      1. Yes – we have got a greenhouse – I planted the 9a seeds in the autumn and over wintered then in the greenhouse. The ones that are nearly flowering have been outside for about six weeks – they’re in an enormous pot in a very sheltered corner of patio.

  17. I thought this was a good Saturday puzzle, and enjoyable. Thanks to setter, and to BD.

  18. There is just one clue I cannot solve in today’s puzzle. I started very late (for various reasons) and found it fairly easy apart from 10a. I have the checking letters but can’t get it. I probably have one of the other answers wrong but would appreciate a hint for 10a.
    I am not getting the emails each day since the site change although I have resubscribed twice. What more do I have to do to get the very helpful and interesting emails each day?

    1. Hi JayGee – welcome to the blog.

      10a Mistakenly call the malignant hag (7)
      It’s an anagram (mistakenly) of call the.

        1. I most definitely am not but I dread to think what you said to Gnomey that causes him to have such a different view ot you to mine :D

          1. It has been discussed before, we think in different ways. I am trying to explain somthing and Kath is saying “Yes I know that!”, meanwhile I am nissing the other correct alternative, And possibly vice-versa.
            I belive that our views are pretty similar as we are all nice people!

  19. You are all a lot cleverer than me today I am struggling. Please can I have help with 11 down and 14 down. Thanks

    1. Don’t think we are Eileen… it’s a wavelength thing. I bet now you have clicked ‘post comment’ the penny may have dropped. If it hasn’t however then 11d is an anagram of GRIEVANCES without the I (I was not involved) to get an old fashioned term for someone who kept the streets clean. 14d is a way of describing one of those relaly long roads in America. Insert R (river) into a word meaning without a will.

  20. Not really eileen, I got a lot wrong today and 11d is an anagram of grievances without the ‘i’ , I wouldn’t have thought this was really a street cleaner as I’d think of one, but there you go

    14d you are looking for a route in the USA, take a word for ‘not willing’ as in dying without a will, put an ‘r’ inside – cross river- to get this route or highway

      1. these days we all tend to forget an apple is a fruit and not just a computer!!

            1. ….’ and every night i’m there i break my heart to please Eloise….’

              1. Bless you Jezza – I now owe both Pommers and you a pint! (Eloise is my god-daughter!)

                1. I’ve got a feeling I might be singing that for the rest of the evening! :)

                  1. Thanks Jezza – I’m now going to be singing it for the rest of the evening. I’ll probably drive the rest of the family mad but I’ll just tell them that it’s your fault! :smile:

  21. Many thanks Gazza and Cyypticsue. My wife and I certainly had a “duh” moment in not spotting the anagram. I can’t remember the last anagram both of us failed to spot but neither of us saw this one – and neither did our mechanical aides!

    1. Mr CS does all the number puzzles while I do all the word ones although if I read a clue out loud in desperation he is very good at spotting the blindingly obvious.

      BTW if you click reply in the comment box then all the replies on a particular thread stay together and make more sense.

  22. Had a sudden rush of blood to the brain, all completed now. And withoout any further help.

  23. A busy morning so did not get chance to look at this until mid afternoon. After a sluggish start I managed to rattle it off 2d being rather nice. 12a does tend to crop up – a bit like “ennui” which is a regular. Thanks for the review and the interesting comments. Off to exercise, then football with a glass of wine.

        1. Afraid so, robbed we were!! although I must admit we only played well for about twenty minutes, not a good game overall, now to make up for it slightly I just hope the Swans hammer Man U!!

                  1. Are you 100% positive of that Dave, if it had been Spurs playing would you have been so certain?

  24. I really enjoyed this today,once I got into it, a bit slow I have to confess. My last one in was 6d ,it took a long time to remember the gravity theory. I needed the explanation for 27a & I needed the hint for 21a. **/*** for me. Thanks to Cephas & BD. :smile:

  25. Very good crossword IMHO. Though I thought it quite difficult at first scan, I used Mary’s method of concentrating on the last clue (26d) and then I was in. Some excellent clues – favourites 14d and 17d. I got the answer to 1a but thought, erroneously, that the first three letters spelt the word for something you get on and off such as on the London Eye. Last to fall was 8d. Many thanks to setter and BD. I do not seem to get notifications of new posts any more. ***/***. Thanks BD and setter.

  26. Late to post today.
    Crossword completed on the Sussex Downs over a f-f-f-freezing picnic lunch before going to the racing at Goodwood.
    Home now, and just about thawed out.
    Worth it, though, as Mrs Digby simply couldn’t stop backing winners!
    Enjoyed the crossword very much, with several penny-drop moments.
    Thanks to Cephas and BD.
    (I’m not getting notifications either)

  27. Quite straightforward today. Had to do it in several sessions due to the normal Saturday chores so had plenty of time to think about it. Thanks to BD for the explanations.

  28. Perfect puzzle for the Leeds to Manchester Victoria train this morning. Well into Lancashire before my brain came to otter’s homes.
    No real favoutites though, a mixed bag of reasonable constructions using one or two unfashionable words. Thanks

  29. Came to this late in the day and have 19 d and 22a to go. Have an answer for 4d but not sure if it is completely right – ‘parcel out’ and ‘newspapers are an example of this’ .

    A nudge or two gratefully received.

    Thanks as ever to Big Dave and setter.

    Still appearing to be taken to WordPress website to confirm subscribe.

    1. 22a Someone who sees a fortune in one’s house? (10)
      This person specialises in the houses of the zodiac

      19d Fall of rotter involved in lawsuit (7)
      This waterfall is created by putting a rotter inside a lawsuit

      4d is easier if you read it as a model that is in proporton, e.g. 1 in 6

    2. 19d you are looking for a type of fall… Using a word for a bounder or rotter and a word for a police investigation or lawsuit. 22a you are looking for a fortune teller. Hope I’ve not broken any rules.

  30. Thanks to the setter & to the reviewer. Enjoyed this one, got stuck on 8d had to use the hint. Would never have got it. Favourite was 19d.

  31. the blog is not appearing in my mail box any more. Thx for the help with 22a/20d. 6d has me stumped for a long time.

      1. Dave,
        I have resubscribed but i get the message ‘You have already subscribed to this site, please check your inbox.

        Join 24 other subscribers’


  32. If anybody is still paying attention I could do with some help on 24a

    1. 24a Have a drink in Spain, lying down (6)
      The definition is lying down and you have to start with a verb (3) (mainly used in the North of England) meaning to have a drink.

      1. Thanks Gazza, we can always rely on you. Also thanks to Cephas and BD for an enjoyable crossword

  33. Hello BD. Grateful thanks for many weeks of hints from this brilliant blog.
    I’m a late solver having to confine the crossword to Sundays so, if any of you are still online I’m having difficulty with 1a. I think the answer is made up of what peas come in and a word for a collection of actors, but for the life of me I can’t work out how “off and on” relate to the first part of the solution (that is if I’m correct).
    Call me a nitpicker for 8d. The solution is not capable of bending, it’s a bone suspended in a ligament (mind you it will,like anything, bend if you apply enough force!).

  34. Thanks for all the hints – got most of those with hints before looking here, and struggling with the rest – must have learned something from looking at this site in the past!! Would appreciate clue for 18d. Got 28a and 23d but don’t really know why?

    1. Split your answer for 28a 5, 3 and then look at the clue again
      23d is a charade of an old-fashioned way of saying mates followed by the abbreviation for Ecstasy

      1. Super – thanks! Old mates was new to me; still don’t get first half of 28a meaning to finish? (rather than to ornament?)

        1. It can also mean to finish:

          • complete the preparation or manufacture of (leather or fabric) by treating its surface in some way.

          • smooth the surface of (stone)

  35. 18d is a word meaning businesslike objective or functional. The Roman numerals for 150 followed by IN from the Clue, I (one) and the abbreviation for California

  36. Blimus as well. I know I speed read these pages but I thought my attention was focused…not so. Guess it must be due to that recurri ng theme on these pages..old(ish) age. Thanks to Gazza and Gnomethang and BD in retrospect even though I’ve not, as a newcomer, come across this kind of pointer before. Look forward to next week’s puzzle and anticipate the same kind of hints and (frustration).

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