DT 26870 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26870 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26870 (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.


6a           Forger seen in bar, assembling it free (13)
This forger is derived from a bar across which liquor or food is served followed by an anagram (assembling) of IT FREE

11a         Two possibilities for batsman making attack (3,3)
… to strike the ball or to be dismissed

14a         Sustain record arrears (7)
A charade of a verb meaning to sustain or support and a written record of events gives these arrears or outstanding tasks

16a         Restore your old well (7)
Here a charade of a verb meaning to restore or cure and an old-fashioned word for you gives an adjective meaning well

23a         Boy gets around to returning soup (6)
Put a boy attendant around the reversal (returning) of TO and the result is this thick soup

27a         New start in life requires restraint before growth (13)
This new start in life comes from a charade of a restraint and a floral growth


1d           Screen star’s apartments? (8)
This screen is used to protects the skin from ultraviolet rays and is a charade of our nearest star and some apartments

3d           Yield for Mussolini? (7)
This verb meaning to yield or xx is a charade of a word meaning for and the title assumed by Mussolini

13d         River, one with a drowned valley (3)
String together R(iver, I (one) and the A from the clue to get a drowned valley

17d         Remarkable sixth sense Alice misconstrued (8)
An adjective meaning remarkable comes from a three-letter abbreviation of a sixth sense followed by an anagram (misconstrued) of ALICE

18d         Seducer finding harlot dancing before ten (8)
To get this seducer start with an anagram (dancing) of HARLOT then add the two letters that visually look like ten

22d         Strike camp — it disintegrates (6)
This strike is an anagram (disintegrates) of CAMP IT

A few more hints soon.

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: {ebbs} + {soul} + {loot} = {absolute}

113 comments on “DT 26870 (Hints)

  1. Really enjoyed this one esp 16a and 6d (obvious but the last in as I had 11a in wrong and a cricketing clue as well – hangs head in shame). Hoping today for a healthy first innings lead and a win for Bayern.

  2. I had more trouble with the Quickie pun than the Cryptic, which was fairly standard Saturday quality.
    Clouding over in Heavenly Henfield, but tennis still looking OK.
    With thanks to our setter and hintsman.

  3. Really enjoyed this one, for the first time ever, I managed it with the exception of 1d (thanks very much for the clue) and 13d. Favouriet clues 25ac & 27ac, not sure why 23ac is what it is!

  4. Nice puzzle, a few sitters but some which required some thought. last in 1d. Which totally foxed me till penny dropped as to definition.
    Thanks for review not needed today :), and to compiler for an enjoyable puzzle.

  5. Ditto Colmce’s comment above – 1d took a while. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

    1. And me too! I particularly liked 16a which brought a smile to my face. Gnomie, as I know that you’re into great guitar players like me, sitting in my DVD player at the moment is Stevie Ray Vaughan, filmed at Montreux in 1985. His Strat looked as though it was on its last legs but what a sound he got from it…

      1. One of those guys where I don’t own anything by him but whenever I hear him I always wonder why not!

  6. Is the mobile site ‘broked’? Its ok until I press the read tab,then all i can get is the whole page ‘writ small’ & i’ m wearing the wrong glasses….sitting in sunny hants coffee and puzzle ready to rock….

  7. Alarm went off at 4.15am so that I could take Pet Lamb No 1 (aka eldest daughter) and three of her Ph.D. students to Gatwick. Consequently feeling a bit on the knocked off side and didn’t think I would be able to do the crossword, but I did apart from 20a. I have an answer and it fits with the last two words of the clue, which I assume is the definition, but can’t see how the first word of clue goes with the first word of my answer. Oh dear – very long winded – blame it on lack of sleep.
    I really enjoyed this puzzle – favourites include 11 (even though it’s crickety) 16 and 27a and 6 and 17d – best of all 1d. Never heard of 7d. With thanks to the setter and BD.

      1. Mine are going to a big meeting in Vancouver – back next Saturday so yet another early get-up to go and meet them! REALLY not good at it – feel like a piece of chewed string for the rest of the day. :sad:

        1. 20a Kath, I just see it now! the first word is another word for ‘maintained’ the second another word for porridge or a prison sentance, put together they mean ‘maintained pulse’ as in beat in music

            1. I’m STILL up the spout with this one. I thought that the answer (4,4) was “maintained pulse” – I agree that the “porridge” is the second of the two words of the answer but where does the first one come from and how did “stored” get in there? A bit dim today, I’m afraid – don’t cope well on four hours of sleep!

    1. Having enjoyed “Maestro” last night, I suggest that this clue describes what the conductor did. Hope this helps :-)

      1. Thanks Mary and Franny – it’s not the answer that I have a problem with, it’s explaining it. I KNOW that I’m being dim but I just can’t see how the first word of the answer, or at least MY answer, means stored. I’m clearly missing something – brains perhaps.
        OH DEAR!! :sad:

        1. If you have stored something Kath for example if you store this in your memory for future use you will have **** it in your memory, yes?

            1. So THAT’S my problem!! Yes, you’re quite right – I have got “beat” for the first word. Now I’ll have another think ….. back later when I’ve “thunk”!!

            2. Got it! Thanks for your patience with someone who is finding life a little on the challenging side today!

              1. You just were stuck on that word, like me, once somethings in my head there’s no shifting it!!

  8. Compared to last week, when my brain was not in gear, this was a breeze. Now I can concentrate on the Test, sadly Strauss has gone already.

  9. Thanks to, I presume, Cephas as this should be ‘his’ week for a nice stretch of the old cryptic grey matter which seemed at the time to take ages but didn’t really. D’oh of the day has to be 1d. I blame my relatively early start on the time I wasted trying to work out where stars live :D

    Thanks to BD – had to meet some bellringers from the other side of Kent who were visiting our tower, one of whom saw me doing the Graun, asked if I did the Telegraph, and did I think the newer setters were trickier, especially yesterday’s :D I explained about Giovanni and then wrote down the url for the blog, so hopefully we should have a new lurker/commenter soon..

  10. stuck on 20a or if its what I think it is I don’t quite understand it and 9a, otherwise fairly enjoyable but once again not too easy for me a three star I think today

        1. Reverse a word meaning help and follow it with a word meaning clan to give a word meaning onslaught (of the verbal kind)

            1. problem was I had put ‘n’ at end of first word in 7d!! so was stuck on ‘kin’ for clan!

  11. What a good puzzle. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Particularly liked 3d. Now what will I do for the rest of the day. Oh yes, watch the cricket now and then the rugby. Life is gooood. Thanks to the setter and for once, Dave, I did not have to refer to your hints which does not happen very often

    1. Don’t forget the football too! You are getting too good now collywobs, well done :-)

      Westham v Blackpool in the play offs and later Chelsea v Bayern Munich in the cup!
      Not that I support any of those teams but should be good games

      1. Thanks Mary. To be honest, Mary, I have never really been a football fan. Probably because I played rugby at school and then for many years after. I have never finished the Saturday puzzle by lunchtime so there must be some improvement. It’s a bit like learning French – it creeps up on you slowly

        1. Hey, collywobs, I never played football either but I really enjoy it :-), I found learning French much easier than doing cryptic crosswords ;-)

          1. I suppose that you are right Mary but I did play football for a term once and didn’t really take to it and when I watch it on the tele it seems to me that the England team just do not possess the basic skills compared with the european players. Now, back to the cricket, I bet you are glued to the tele watching it

  12. I enjoyed this puzzle very much too, but had never heard of the valley at 13d and still don’t understand 7d. There were plenty of amusing clues, especially 16a and 1d, but I liked 3d best. Many thanks to BD and the compiler. :-)

    1. Hi Franny 7d as I see it is an anagram of ‘beg her fortune’ giving a term for ‘luck’ I always thought the first word ended in ‘n’!!

      1. It is apparently from a golfing expression (sport again) meaning a piece of good or ill fortune which is outside the competence of the player. Daresay Gnomey knows all about that and will explain it properly in his review of this puzzle.

  13. Highly recommend the NTSPP – it helps to ‘start with the downs’ and passes the time while hoping someone else will do the lunchtime washing up very nicely :D

  14. I’m still here though I’ve been dropped from the email list!
    I get despondent when people say how easy they find the crosswords. I try every Saturday and have done for years but only finish about half of them. Today’s is going well, but far from finished. Who is today’s setter? I always enjoy, and sometimes finish, Monday’s puzzle, by Rufus I think. More like my mindset! The rest of the week batters my confidence.
    Have just worked out 7d, but have never heard the phrase. My heart sinks at sporting or bridge clues!
    Thanks to all contributors.

    1. I try very hard not to say ‘easy’ preferring straightforward – and I didn’t think today’s was that straightforward to start with. Put the crossword down for an hour or so, then have another look. There is some magic bit in the back of your brain that carries on working out stuff while you are occupied doing other things. If that fails, read the hints, and any further hints that might be in the comments. and then ask for a hint or too yourself. It might help you to know that today’s setter is Cephas who is a fan of the cleverly indicated anagram. Perservate, cogitate and whatever you do don’t give up, there is always someone here to help.

      1. Thanks Sue. I do a lot of abandoning it and then going back and gnawing again! Thanks for the encouragement!

    2. Don’t be despondent, I didn’t find todays easy at all and had to ask for help and explainations for some clues, thanks to Dave once agin in helping me understand by his hints, I have been perservating for three years now and could not complete one back then, but with help from everyone on this fantastic site I have made progress and have occasionally finished one or two without any help, normally I need my books and electronic friends but that doesn’t matter as long as you enjoy it :-) everyone here is friendly and helpful and nobody thinks we are stupid if we ask for help, except ourselves! Don’t be put off by people saying they find some of them easy, it is just a personal thing, it doesn’t mean the crossword was easy necessarily, you will find different people are on the ‘wavelength’ of different setters, personally it is Rufus on a Moday for me

      1. Thanks Mary. I don’t give up easily!
        I could do with a hint for 20a. I have 3 letters but still can’t get it.

        1. Hi Pam, as above, 20a you are looking for a synonym for ‘stored’ four letters and a synonym for porridge, as in prison sentance, maintained pulse is the definition, it’s rather a strange way of saying it IMHO as Franny says above it’s what a conductor does (not a bus conductor)

          1. Thank you Mary l was struggling with 20A finally got it with your hint above

            Having problems with bottom right corner

            will persevere

        2. I’m with you completely on 20a – I have the answer (well, AN answer which I’m pretty sure is right) – still don’t get it.
          Don’t get discouraged – CS and Mary have already said everything so I’ll just say that I agree with them!

    3. Hi Pam, on first read through my heart sank, wasn’t sure if it was a long train journey up to Scotland last night and a few glasses (read rather more than a few) that had numbed the cells or what, but it looked impenetrable. Persevated though and it fell into place reasonably. Keep going!

  15. A very pleasant crossword today with a nice mixture of different types of clue. Not too tricky but with a few to scratch the head over while waiting for the penny to drop – 1d for example :smile:

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

  16. I found today’s puzzle fairly easy but cannot get one It may well be that one of the 3 letters I have from the down clues is wrong but I could really do with a hint for 8a please.

    1. Hi JayGee

      Re 8a – Aromatic plants is the def. To get them you need a word for lady’s followed by a sphere without its last letter (mostly).

      1. Sorry pommers – not only did you beat me to it but my reply didn’t even go in the right place – really not operating too well today! :smile:

  17. Hi JayGee,
    The definition is a word that describes aromatic plants such as Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme! The word is made up from a 3 letter word for belonging to the lady and 3 of a 4 letter word for a sphere – the kind used in lots of sports.

  18. Now Kaths got that I can sign off for a few days in camper van see you all middle of week be good ;-)

  19. Hmmm Tricky!

    I have an almost completely bare SW corner – not helped by my complete inability to get 27a despite BD’s hint.

    Strangely I had already managed to get almost all the clues that BD gave hints for (just 27a and 1d that I had not solved). 1d I have now got, but that 27a…. I know I am going to kick myself when someone (please!) gives me a nudge…

    1. Oh Arthur, I do hope you have the shin pads ready! A word meaning a restraint for either a horse or a toddler followed by a type of flower (growth). The definition is the new start to life.

      1. That sound you can hear?

        It’s my head thumping on the desk…


  20. Thanks to Big Dave and the setter for today’s fun. Struggled with 19d for ages and then finally got it. No help required today so am feeling mighty pleased with myself :D

  21. A pleasant Saturday puzzle of the kind that I call “outer square job” and I generally tackle those four clues to get them out of the way and one then has checking letters for the rest of the a’s and d’s!
    Aside from them, I liked : 9a, 16a, 26a, 1d, 3d & 17d.
    26a was a good laugh for me as apart from the fact that I once lived and worked in Switzerland, my daughter lived in that London area when studying in London!

  22. Goodness – very chatty to-day! I didn’t find this as straightforward as some Saturdays, I have to say, but did eventually finish. I do wonder if I have 7d correct? It’s definitely an anagram and fits with everything else, but I’ve never heard the expression – and me a golfer! Funny saying, is all I can say!! 6a took me forever as did 17d but definitely good clues once the penny has dropped. Thanks to setter and BD, though he didn’t explain any to-day for which I needed explanations- please do better next time BD!

  23. OK – well now I’ve completed the grid with thanks to BD, CS and others; but I have a couple of answers which I’m sure are correct but I can’t work out the wordplay – namely 24a and 21d.

    In particular, with 21d, I understand the “nervous reaction” bit of the word but where does the “part of play” come in?

      1. I think Arthur is assuming that the nervous reaction is the last three letters when it is actually the container for the part of a play.

        1. Oh God! I think my head has just made a hole in the desk! How can I have been so daft!

          Will I get more bruises when I discover why 24a is what it is?

          1. 24a Little girl’s confident but not right (3)

            This shortened form of a girl’s name is created by dropping the R(ight) from a word meaning confident.

        2. Ah, you’re probably right. Hadn’t occured to me and I now can’t get into the DT site to have another look at the clue – it appears to be down, again!

          1. Seems the whole puzzle will be a mystery to me as the site is down and I can’t download it!.
            You just get used to to it working all the time and then they do this…
            Ho Hum

    1. With a capital letter at the start of the word, it is the Biblical chap who fled from the wicked city of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    2. Well my reading of this was that it is both a word that can describe a large number of things, and the name of a biblical man who fled a town that gave its name to all manner of wickedness – his wife got turned to a pillar of salt.

      I hope that’s right!

  24. Hurrah – finished it once I realised the 19d wasn’t a FEATURE film as all the even letters were making me think. Interesting when your mind gets ploughed into thinking in a certain way. Sadly, after getting every clue except 19d and 24a without any aids, had to look for a hint for 24a on the website. This gave me a first odd letter, and from then on it was obvious. What would I do without Big Dave and Co? I used to be content to do most of it, but now I get bothered if I don’t complete it. Better completed with a bit of help I now say. Cheers all………..

  25. Many apologies for the interruption to service on the Telegraph Puzzles website. Our IT people have been working on it — I’m afraid we don’t have an ETA for when it will be fixed.
    Phil McNeill
    Telegraph Crossword Editor

        1. Here we go again.
          Can the DT not sort this out once and for all?
          Apparently not!
          Or are its crossword subscribers at the bottom of their IT pile?

  26. Thank you for the hints. Hardest clues for me were 1d /2d (even though I’m female!)and 6d.
    Had to look up 18d even though I only had 3 letters to fit in!!
    Wouldn’t have managed it without the hints. Thank you

  27. I have been ‘looking in’ for some time now and what a great,informative,site this is .
    Many thanks to Dave and everyone else involved.
    The more I use the site the more success I have , however I would like to ask a question. . .
    I only get time to do the Saturday Prize Crossword and finish it occaisonally and if I dont I
    usually only leave 2 or 3 unanswered , on the rare occaisions that I have a go at the crossword during the week
    I do very badly. . .assuming that the prize crossword should be ‘tougher’ why is this ?
    I dont know if there are setters just for saturdays and I am on a similar wavelength
    or is it because my mind is on other things during the week !
    Any explanations

    1. Hi Richard – welcome to the blog.

      I agree with you that the Saturday prize crossword should be the hardest of the week, a) because there’s a prize involved and b) most solvers have more leisure time to cogitate about it at the weekend. However, it’s normally the easiest of the week – I think it’s a deliberate policy at the Telegraph to allow as many people as possible to have a go at winning the prize.

      1. Thanks. I’ve been following the site for a while now but just keeping myself quiet. It’s been a great help in my learning process – thanks.

  28. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. I enjoyed this one. The top half went in ok. Then I was left with about 8 answers short in the bottom half. Then they all seemed to fall into place. 13d was a new word for me. Last in was 20a. Favourite was 6d. A nice puzzle.

  29. Thanks for clues – started well at the SW corner, then got totally stuck. All done now!

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