DT 26864 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26864 (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           Part of goal to annoy lawyers (8)
Split the part of a goal that is between the posts as (5,3) and it could mean to annoy lawyers

… and here for all you Chelsea fans is why 1 across is there!

16a         Professor has a hand in this couple having abusive relationship (5,3,4)
This is a cryptic definition of a seaside attraction about an abusive relationship which is performed by a “professor” using glove puppets and involves the answer,  Toby the dog,  some sausages, a policeman and anyone else I’ve forgotten – once performed by the original “professor”, Giovanni Piccini, in the early 19th century

23a         Bring up without favour for the major part (8)
This verb meaning to bring up from the ground is created from most (for the major part)  of a word meaning without favour

26a         Singer otherwise ‘Mr Silent’ (8)
This itinerant medieval singer comes from an anagram (otherwise) of MR SILENT


2d           Take back regular payment retaining accountant (6)
A verb meaning to take back an opinion or belief is derived by putting a regular payment for accommodation around (retaining) the abbreviation for a Scottish chartered accountant

7d           He was employed in a gory line (9)
An obvious but poorly indicated anagram of A GORY LINE gives a soldier loosely described by the whole clue

15d         One produces great paintings — ‘Mountain range endlessly shrouded in cloud’ … (8)
This person who creates great paintings on walls (Banksy perhaps!) is derived by putting most of (endlessly) a Russian mountain range inside (shrouded in) a fine cloud

22d         Vehicle carrying a weight of gems (5)
Put a horse-drawn vehicle around (carrying) the A from the clue to get a measure of weight used for gems

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: {van} + {tay} + {earn} = {vingt-et-un}



  1. Colmce
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Another tough but fair puzzle for me with a couple of deadends which as always I bumbled down. saved by the anagrams.

  2. cephas
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    What a lovely quick crossword pun. It comes under the heading, I wish I had thought of that myself.

    • Posted May 12, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Your “sack + ray + blur” last week was pretty good!

  3. Franny
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I found this a bit of a struggle and needed my Chambers to finish. Even so, I’m not sure I have 23a right. I spent a long time looking for horses at 10a. The anagrams were a great help, with 13a being my clue of the day, followed by 17d. Many thanks to the compiler and to Big Dave as ever. :-)

  4. Digby
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Hi Franny – 23a was my last one to go in. Nicely misleading, with the definition being the first two words (if I’m correct).
    A good challenge – about right for a Saturday I think.
    And, yes, the Quickie pun was great!
    Thanks team.

  5. Collywobbles
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I’m about halfway through and thoroughly enjoying it. However, now hit the buffers a bit

    • Posted May 12, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      In the SW corner, perhaps?

      • Collywobbles
        Posted May 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        Certainly in the SW corner Dave, I can’t get 23a even with your hint. I did not think that I was thick but I may be wrong

        • crypticsue
          Posted May 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

          If I tell you it is ‘free from favour’ as in impartial or unconcerned, does that help.

          • Collywobbles
            Posted May 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

            You know, CS, I had considered that and rejected it because I was thinking up from the ground to whateever is above the ground. Thanks. Doh

            • Collywobbles
              Posted May 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

              I’ve done SW Dave

  6. Franny
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Yes, well I’ve just tried putting my solutions on line and find that I have got 23a wrong after all — largely because I mis-spelled that instrument — but I would never have understood the answer without the hint, so thanks again BD. Didn’t like the clue anyway. My last in was 15d.

  7. crypticsue
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    The SW corner was an absolute beast – especially 23a. Definitely 4* difficulty for me and don’t have any favourites at the moment. Will see if anything grows on me as I sort out the review. Thanks to setter and hintgiver as usual.

    • Collywobbles
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      My limit is normally 2/3* but apart from your help on 23a I finished. However, I got 9a because of the checking letters but I don’t understand it. Can you help?

      • crypticsue
        Posted May 12, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        You have the IVR code for Switzerland (2) take that out of the word you have and then reverse the remaining letters.

        • Collywobbles
          Posted May 12, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

          Thanks CS, obvious now that you say it

  8. Kath
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I started off VERY slowly and thought that I was going to have trouble but everything eventually fell into place. There were several that I had answers for but had trouble unravelling – 11, 23 and 25a and 20d – I think I would have spelt it with a “Y” as the second letter. Still not quite sure about 16a – I think what I have is right but can’t quite see why.
    Lots of really good clues – 6 and 10a and 4, 14 and 15 were my favourites.
    I assume that this is not Cephas but thanks to whoever set it and to BD.
    Lovely day – sunny and breezy although not very warm – off up the garden. :smile:

  9. gnomethang
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    That was an excellent puzzle. Agreed on the SW corner. Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  10. Kath
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks BD – now there’s a hint for 13a. I didn’t understand how the Professor got in there!

    • gnomethang
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      I think he forgot the crocodile !

      • Posted May 12, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        He didn’t really forget! Just felt the hint was getting a bit long.

        The Baby
        Joey the Clown
        The Crocodile
        The Skeleton
        The Doctor
        Hector the Horse
        Pretty Polly
        The Hangman (a.k.a. Jack Ketch)
        The Devil
        The Beadle
        Mr. Scaramouche

        • Kath
          Posted May 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink


        • gnomethang
          Posted May 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink


  11. Caravaggio
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I’ve read the previous comments with interest and no-one has had problems with 12a – unlike me! Despite having all the checking letters in place, I couldn’t see the answer so I amused myself by going into town to do some shopping and, when I came back, I saw the answer straight away. However, I had no problems whatsoever with the SW corner…

    • Chris
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      I’m stuck on 12a ….

      • Chris
        Posted May 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        Oh, got it …. silly me. Good clue, in fact.

      • crypticsue
        Posted May 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        You’ll kick yourself. The first bit means to reserve or engage in advance; the second bit is simply the letters than mean ‘that is’. The definition is a cryptic one of someone who’s living depends on people being betters.

  12. Sheepdog
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    The brain was not working this morning – I have finally finished after seemingly gazing at this for hours since 10ish (with one brief trip to shops) – penny suddenly dropped and did about 10 answers easily – a definite D’oh for many of the clues – phew, need to lie down in a darkened room (or, better idea, go and have a pint or three of Directors!)

    • Collywobbles
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Lucky dog. We can’t get beer here

      • crypticsue
        Posted May 12, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        We have to have beer here to compensate for the dire weather.

        • Kath
          Posted May 12, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

          Do you mean dire weather in general or have you had dire weather today? We’ve had a lovely day – not what I would call warm but mainly sunny and, above all, DRY!

          • crypticsue
            Posted May 12, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

            We have had a beautiful day today – not only did all the washing dry but I also sat in the garden solving crosswords in the sun (although I will admit that some of the solving was behind closed eyelids (I started very early yesterday and am still catching up on my sleep) :D

  13. lizwhiz1
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    I also str5uggled with the SW corner.. and even hints did not help :( After a bit of sweeping and a trip to feed some cats, it all became clear! I enjoyed it ! Thanks to the setter and for the hints!! Off to attack the weeds which have had far too much fun in this wet weather- some sunshine is such a delight! ;)

    Posted May 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Just finished it without hints! My brain must be benefiting from this sunny day. Enjoyed this one, and favourite clue was 12a. Must agree with Big Dave about 7d. No anagram indication really at all. A slightly messy clue I thought. Just one query. Pretty sure I have 25a correct, but whilst I can see it means “attitude”, what’s the relevance of “in which is example”. Can anyone enlighten me please?

    • crypticsue
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Put IN in front of your answer. ‘Employ’ is in the Chambers Dictionary Wordgame Companion list of anagram indictors

      • Kath
        Posted May 12, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        Two of the really great minds not only think alike but also at exactly the same time! :smile:

    • Posted May 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Just put IN in front of your answer and you get an example

        Posted May 13, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        So simple, but don’t think the penny would ever have dropped!

  15. BigBoab
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    enjoyable fun, thanks to Cephas and BD.

    • crypticsue
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Not Cephas – it is the turn of the Mysteron this week – Cephas commented on the Quick pun earlier on this morning.

      • BigBoab
        Posted May 12, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

        My apologies to the mysteron, or perhaps congratulations as it was as good as Cephas in my humble opinion. I enjoyed it anyway.

  16. Dawn
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    After a couple of goes at this on and off I am down to five clues left.

    Thanks to Big Dave yet again for your hints and to the setter too.

    I think I have an answer for 6a but am not getting the wordplay.

    I would welcome further help on 5d, 20d, 10a and 19a … Pretty please :-)

    • crypticsue
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      6a an Islamic rank – insert A (containing a) into a word meaning cut or trim and follow the result with the one letter abbreviation used to mean hospital.
      5d Break or stop followed by craft in the handicraft sense
      20d A share that was given to the church of someone’s income – a musical note followed by THE from the clue
      10a a tiny bit – insert a biting creature into a boy (I have two such ‘boys’)
      19a is a homophone (delivered) so say your answer for 22d out loud

      • Dawn
        Posted May 12, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Crypticsue, your clarification on 6a confirmed my thinking and your further help (I have now been hit on the head by pennies dropping), has enabled me to finish so I shall now enjoy the first glass of the day :D

  17. Wayne
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Another very enjoyable xword. Guessed what 25a was but didn’t understand why until reading the comments above, so thanx to CS & BD for that. Agree with comment(s) regarding Quickie pun, very clever. Definate **** for enjoyment. Thanx to Compiler and to BD for the blog.
    p.s. Beautiful weather down here on the south coast.

  18. Brian
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Very late start today but finished now. Quite tough I thought but enjoyable. Struggled with top left for ages and didn’t really like 1a but did like 10a.

  19. andy
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    My head and shins hurt immensely, (nothing broken or re-broken) was totally stuck in another corner than anyone has commented on. Checking letters et al could I see18d, could I heck, and was convinced I’d gone hopeleesly awry with the acrosses. Thanks setter and BD as ever

  20. adam parnell
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Well it took a while but finally cracked it. Favourite is 22d because the number seems so apt. As ever thanks for the hints, particularly for the SW corner

    • gazza
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

      Your comment went into moderation because you used a different (full name) alias from your previous forename only. Both should work from now on.

  21. pommers
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Tricky but fun :grin:

    3*/4* for us but maybe it’s because we did it after dinner and some wine – ‘some’ wine meaning anything more that two glasses! Very drunk

  22. Derek
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Solved this one late in the evening.

    Liked : 6a, 21a, 25a, 4d, 15d & 17d. At first thought 16a a shade weak but BD’s remarks are clarifying.

    A somewhat homophonic job in places.

  23. Riochad
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    I’m totally in the dark regarding 12a and 10a, hints considered. SW corner was tough but I think I am a tad slow with the rest, even with the hints. By the way, this is a good way to spend my Saturdays…even though I should be gardening…

    • Robert S
      Posted May 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      !2a think race track. 10a can’t get that one either.

      • Posted May 15, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        Please avoid hints that start with words like “think”.

        By all means say “someone dependent on his betters at the racetrack”

    • Robert S
      Posted May 15, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Got 10a think something very small.

  24. cruisenuts96
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    really struggling today. Still not getting the blog into my mail box.

    • Posted May 13, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      That’s because you weren’t on the mailing list – I’ve added you now.

  25. Sarah F
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Late starting this and haven’t got very far! However, as wild and wet here in Edinburgh, will have another go at it after breakfast.

    Then……there’s always todays one as well!

  26. Cal
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink


    Can anybody help with 8d it’s the only one I can’t do

    • Posted May 13, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      8d Life cut short in crop I treated producing high output (8)
      Put LIF(E) inside an anagram (treated ) of CROP I to get a word meaning producing high output

  27. Cal
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Omg thank you it has been bugging me since yesterday
    Love the blog and whilst i dont post very often always read on a saturday
    Thank you

  28. Jezza
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t have the time to look at this one until late this morning. Not the normal gentle Saturday fare, and quite tough in parts. Took me twice as long to complete as today’s puzzle.
    Thanks to setter, and to BD.

  29. Helen
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    All done – thanks for all the hints!

  30. Heno
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the mysteron & Big Dave for the hints. Enjoyed it, but am fining it very tricky. despite reading the hints & blog, I still can’t get 21a & 23 a. Any help would be most welcome, but please don’t end up in Naughty Corner.

  31. Heno
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    got 21a now, had 17d wrong.

  32. Senf
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Needed lots of help on this one – thanks to BD, CS, and Bill Gates (MS Word thesaurus). It seems to a bit tougher than usual for a Saturday puzzle. Hopefully, Rufus will be kind to us tomorrow.

  33. Rod Ash
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    I struggled with sw corner too…23a and even 16a until I resorted to Dave. I liked several clues particularly 6a and 12a thanks.

  34. Addicted
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Sunday night and only just finished Saturday’s!! Mind you, have had visitor and been very busy. REALLY struggled with this one – partic SW corner! – and have finished only with hints and comments – so thank you all very much. Fas wer 17d and 10a (once the penny had droped!)

  35. Sean
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Can anyone please help with 23a….thanks. :)

    • crypticsue
      Posted May 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Read Dave’s hint and then read my explanations to Collywobbles somewhere up above this lot and see if that helps.

    • gazza
      Posted May 14, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Bring up (possibly from a depth of about six feet).

    • Sean
      Posted May 14, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Cool…thanks guys and gals. :)