DT 26894 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26894 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26894 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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Today is the last day to enter our very own, brand new, Prize crossword.

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           Gardener’s skill? (10)
The first name of this famous 18th century gardener is also a skill

9a           Noble descent takes precedence in medical analysis (5,5)
Start with a noble, Dracula perhaps, and put a word for descent first (takes precedence) to get this medical analysis

13a         Sporting contest cut short means 50-50 (4,5)
Combine a sporting contest from which the final T has been dropped (cut short) and means or wealth to get odds of 50-50

24a         Go round wizard home in Mediterranean island (4)
Put GO around the home of the Wizard in the classic film to get this Mediterranean island off the coast of Malta

29a         Light malt Peter’s brewed (10)
This light could be found in the road– it’s an anagram (brewed) of MALT PETER’S


1d           Island reporter covers America (4)
An large Caribbean island is built up from a junior reporter followed by A(merica)

3d           One who has committed a grave offence (4,8)
… a cryptic definition of a grave robber

4d           Stable — but it could fall off the back of a lorry (5,3)
This part of a stable where horses are kept untied could also be something that might, literally, fall off the back of a lorry

7d           Not many reformed — plenty will make an example here (7)
An anagram (re-formed) of NOT MANY gives a word opposite in meaning, like plenty is to not many

17d         The continental coin having risen first 100-fold (8)
Start with the French definite article and precede it with a foreign coin and a two-letter word meaning risen to get an adjective meaning 100-fold

21d         Graduate’s last letter: ‘Nothing’s fine’ — found with a deadly weapon (7)
A five-part charade or wordsum – a graduate, the last letter of the alphabet, O (nothing), a two-letter word meaning fine or all right and the A from the clue – gives this deadly weapon

25d         Picture cards (4)
A double definition – a photograph and a card game

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: {Witt} + {ackers} + {almanack} = {Whitaker’s Almanack}


97 comments on “DT 26894 (Hints)

  1. I always seem to enjoy the Saturday crossword whether it is Rufus or Mysterion who sets it. I wonder why?

      1. Sorry CS, yes, I meant Cephas. Not so Mary, I’m still at it but mixing it with a bit of sun

    1. You mean Cephas and it is probably because they are pitched at a level to make lots of people finish it and send it off for try and win the pen.

      1. You’re spot on CS, though there are some who think that because it is a prize crossword it’s harder. I always find it the easiest of the week.

  2. Good morning Dave, I enjoyed todays crossword though I thought 27a was worthy of a toughie? getting the answer was ok but figuring out the first part was something else!
    In 21 across I thought the ‘s’ after graduate was wrong
    However I liked 1a, 12a, 16a, 4d, 22d and 21d apart from that ‘s’
    Easy in parts but I struggled with at least a 1/4 of it
    Thanks for hints Dave though I didn’t need them today
    It’s a really horrible depressing day here today!!

    1. Mary

      All setters use ‘s to improve the surface reading. In this case you have assumed it is possessive, but it can be read as “graduate has”.

      1. Ah thanks Dave, I did indeed take it as’ graduate is’ or ‘possessive’ wouldn’t have though of it as graduate has

    2. I’ve solved 27a but can’t work out why it is what it is. Can you give a roundabout hint please?

      1. Here goes for a try, this part of speech always starts with a capital letter spindrift and a common one doesn’t, so it’s ‘uncommon’

        1. Google also says that it’s primary application refers to a unique entity, so I suppose that could refer to ‘uncommon’ too?

  3. I am assuming this is a Cephas as it should be his week, although it did take me longer to solve than normal and there don’t seem to be quite as many anagrams as usual. My favourite clue has to be the sort of self-referencing 29a. Thanks to Cephas for waking my brain up and to BD for the hints.

    Very windy here in E Kent today, and the clouds and sun can’t decide which one is going to win so I have to keep breaking off from crossword solving to keep an eye on the washing.

    The NTSPP is recommended – on the tricky side but well worth spending time on.

      1. And there’s no sun in South Cheshire either! I’ve completed this week’s puzzle while watching Trooping the Colour and our troops, to use a vernacular expression, really are a class act. I’ve not experienced any problems with the puzzle – everything fell into place mostly sooner than later.

  4. Pleasant enough – no stand out favourites, although I quite liked 8d.
    One of my least favourite expressions is 23a, second to ‘sack the juggler’ when the barman drops a glass on the floor.

    Thanks to setter, and to BD.

  5. I have all the odd letters for 5d, but I still can’t get it…….

    Quite hard today I thought.

    1. The type of pedlar who did door to door – often mending pots and pans. Does anyone do that these days?

        1. A peddler is someone who peddles, say drugs, but a pedlar is a person who goes from house to house selling things. The meaning is similar, in that they both sell things, but it’s an interesting distinction.

  6. Enjoyed todays, not too taxing but fun. Liked 2d and 3d. 24a not bad either. Thanks to BD and setter.

  7. Nice puzzle today. Booked my £15 iTunes voucher for next week with some degree of confidence.

    Thanks to BD for the hints, not needed this week.
    Thanks to setter, enjoyed solving it.

  8. I enjoyed this – it’s taken me a bit longer than is usual for a Saturday – perhaps I’m just grumpy about this AWFUL wind that is completely wrecking the garden. :sad:
    I was slow to get 18 and 27a and started off with “****” for 26a which didn’t help with 14d at all – then got 14d but don’t understand the answer that I’ve NOW got for 26a!! Oh dear – perhaps we should have a dim corner on the other side of the room to the naughty one!
    I liked 1 and 29a and 4, 7 and 22d.
    With thanks to Cephas and BD.

    1. You had the correct answer for 26a and then changed it!

      For 14d, examples are Shane Warne and Phil “The Cat” Tufnell

      1. Oh no!! I’m making SUCH a pig’s ear of this! :roll: Now I’m back to square one and can’t do 14d – AND presumably in the naughty corner ….. ! Sorry – wouldn’t have put my original (correct) answer in my comment if I hadn’t thought it was wrong!

  9. I logged on today to (hopefully) find the full explanation for 27a – got it now. Also can’t fully justify the rest of 8d outside ‘the runs’, but I’m sure the answer must be correct. Thanks to all involved today.

    1. I think I originally did the same as you for 14d Kath, maybe we should re-open the ‘clueless club’?????

      1. I checked that CS and it has an apostrophe. Does that mean it is joined up?

        1. It means it’s a word formed from two others. Collins don’t make the distinction and just has it as one word.

  10. Must have made a mistake somewhere cannot make anything for 2d.
    17d was a new word for me but then I’m only 78_ so much to learn.
    Nasty outside… Oxfordshire.

  11. Could some kind soul help with 2d. I’m sure it’s easy but I can’t see it or I’ve got a wrong letter

    1. 2d the definitino is the sort of radio show where people members of the public can add comments to a discussion. A type of peg or fixer with a verb meaning to sharpen, or make sharper, inserted.

  12. I’ve just started the NTSPP today for the first time. Do we get help or are we on our own?

  13. For 15a – I have only the odd letters – and I believe the correct answer is a famous U.S. Military five-sided building…
    However – can anybody confirm that my approach of (3) (3) (2) to cover “Write | name | above | – building in America” is correct? I’m loathe to put this in/am not certain I’m correct.
    Thanks in anticipation,

      1. Thanks Jezza – it was a (very!) late night last night here in New York …
        The cobwebs are seemingly clearing – not that I’ve noticed yet::(
        Thanks again,

        1. Can anyone give a hint for 8d please? Still being thick! I managed about 2/3 of today’s without any hints but then as soon as I looked at one hint it’s so hard to stop!

          1. Welcome Hatts. There is some discussion about 8d at comment 9 above. You are looking for a type of person who revels or has fun at festivities. Split 5, 4 1 as Jezza says above, you get a word which politely describes someone’s state when they have imbibed a little too heavily, followed by a synonym for score and then a letter which represents a Run in a cricket score.

  14. These crozies recently are making me feel old. I look at the clues and think oh that one. Do I need to be asking a different web site about this or am I becoming institutionalized ? Mary, Sue help !

    1. Oh Nubian – we are not old – we are just very experienced DT crossword solvers. Please don’t go off to another site or an institution – we have missed you enough lately without you disappearing altogether. Is Mrs N well?

      1. She is thanks Sue, new curtains, new bed, new kitchen, she’s like the cat that got the cream. It’s nice to be back as a regular, house moving is as bad as weddings and family bereavements, too old for all this stress.

        1. Lucky Mrs N. I am holding out for a built in wardrobe for our 30th wedding anniversary this year – we only got the baskets, hanging bits etc from Ikea 6 yrs ago. We live in a converted barn so Mr CS has got to build the frame himself. I think the way things are going it will be a golden wedding present!

          Now repeat after me – I am not old, I am not old :)

          1. I think what started it off was reading Housemans “Shropshire Lad”. I got to the ‘blue remembered hills’ bit and realised in three weeks I have to add another year to total. Still have to wait until September for my bus pass !
            Do tell Mr CS to get a move on, IKEA are very reasonable.

            1. Highly recommend the bus pass. I use mine to nip into town at lunchtime – saves having to find somewhere to park both in town and then when I get back to work afterwards. The railcard – what the nice person at the station referred to the other week as my Young Lady’s Card – also comes in useful too as you save a bit on the normal fare.

              1. Up here in Newcastle for 25 pounds per year, Mrs N gets as much travel on the Metro system as she wants as well as the free bus.

                1. Hello Nubian and welcome back, don’t know what your cry for help is about but this is the place to be when you need it, sostick around :-D

                2. Hello Nubian, it’s good to see you, don’t quite know what your cry for help is about above but if it’s help you need you are in the right place, so hope you’re not still thinking about moving on??

                  1. Thanks for the concern Mary, Sue has calmed me down for the time being. Downsizing is quite traumatic. I have to forget the phrase “Just put it in the garage for now !”

  15. Everyone may have gone by now but l’m hoping someone is still there to help me with

    with hints and tips l found the rest of today enjoyable – a bit of a challenge but solvable apart from the above which l have been staring at for about an hour without a glimmer


    1. For 8d see comments above by Jezza and Crypticsue.

      10a One way to make the food go round (4)
      .. go round in a mixing bowl.

      12a This person gets seconds in dining room (4)
      ‘This person’ is how you’d refer to yourself. Add a couple of abbreviations of second.

      1. 12a – “This person….”

        I thought this was a variation on the theme of the setter referring to himself…. “yours truly etc”

        Wrong again!

        1. Well he is really Franco, because when the setter says this person he is referring to himself which is also ** when referring to myself ?????

    2. Hi carrie
      8d – you are looking for a word for a reveller – think of a 5 letter word for ‘tight’ as in drunk follow this with a four letter word for ‘score’ as in score a century maybe, followed by the one letter abbreviation for runs
      10a – to make food go round you normally do this to it
      12a – you need a word for dining room or canteen, maybe military, take another two letter word for yourself, followed by the abbreviation for seconds

  16. Not being of the horsy set, 4d is a mystery to me. My uncle was sent away for some silverware he said had fallen off the back of a truck. X-X-X -X-? Sounds like yodeling.

  17. duh seems obvious now

    Thanks you one and all..I could see the comments about 8d but could not connect them to the clue so special thanks to Sue

    I’m finished :)

    Thanks to Setter and BD

  18. Finished this puzzle earlier but had to concentrate on cooking dinner as am clearing up the contents of the fridge and freezer prior to going off down south in July.

    Faves ; 1a, 15a, 16a, 27a, 3d, 5d, 14d & 21d.

    Enjoyable puzzle.

  19. Oh well, long night ahead! Village Fiesta this weekend and the disco plus live band will start at 0000CEST (about 40 mins) and it’s in the village square – about 70m from my bedroom window! Probably go on untiil about 0400 – so you gotta go and join in (be rude not too) and it’s impossible to get a kip anyway – FF don’t begin to describe it :grin: At least there’s a bar in the square!

    Don’t expect me around early tomorrow!

    Enjoyed the puzzle so thanks to the setter (Cephas?). ‘Easy but fun’ was my thought!

  20. Thanks to the setter & to Big Dave for the review and hints. Very enjoyable, I struggled at first, but then it fell into place. Started with 3d, finished with 4d ( I think I’ve got the right answer ) . favourite was 2d. Blowing a gale in Central London today, flaming June :-)

  21. Thanks from me too. Liked this but no easier to me than last Saturday’s from Mysteron. Thought it was a palindrome at first as has the unusual letters.last 3 in were 4d (so obvious) 13a and 8d (not so obvious). Back to Friday’s now!

  22. Good morning fellow cruciverbalists. Sunny in Hertfordshire! ERRRM – some dodgy clues I thought – 9a, 4d and 27a especially. Maybe I was not tuned in? Overall although quite enjoyable my least favourite challenge of the week. Feeling very grumpy!

  23. What’s wrong with 4d? Once I eventually got it I thought it a very good double definition.

  24. Still struggling with the final 3. 18a,26a and 19d………any help please.

    1. 18a – you are looking for a term for a beginner which if split 2, 4 would mean that you hadn’t got a tool for gripping
      26a the french word for she followed by a word meaning at home – stretched out is the definition
      19d an anagram of to not give makes a word meaning issuing a refusal or going against a proposal

    2. 18a – think woodwork – quite a nice word-play; 26a the in French and being at home; 19d is an anagram.

  25. I posted comment earlier but it seems to have disappeared. A few weak clues I thought but all done. Probably my least favourite crossword of the week. BAH!

    1. Your comment is at the top of this page (page 2 of the comments on yesterday’s puzzle)

  26. Yes I’m with Little Dave on this one – a bit “Bah Humbug” from me I’m afraid.
    I had never heard of the stable in 4d, or the Mediterranean Island for that matter, I would never use the phrase at 23a (assuming I have it right) and I would never have got 8d (or indeed many others) without the hints.

    I am feeling a bit dispirited at the moment. I have only got 2 (yes two!) answers to today’s (Sunday) puzzle. I am waiting for the hints simply to be able to get started.

    I seem to be getting worse, not better, at this cryptic lark. Perhaps I’ll take up something easier instead. World Peace perhaps?

  27. Very late joining the party but I have been working my way through holiday washing :-(

    Still can’t get 17d, 22d and 27a despite the hints and comments, any other advice pretty please?

    As usual, many thanks to BD for the hints and setter for exercising the little grey cells.

    1. 17d the definition is hundred-fold – a charade of a foreign coin, a word meaning having risen (2) and the French (continental) word for the.
      22d is a very old chestnut – a double definition – some boring nonsense which if left to run riot in your woodwork might indeed cause the house to fall down
      27a I can’t think of a way of explaining this any differently from the other peoples efforts yesterday.

  28. Just back from a long lunch. Thanks crypticsue for your help, all done now!

  29. Since when has “**********” (DT26894 29A) been one word. Google could not find one example of it!! (6,4) would have given a fair chance of solving the clue.

    1. Welcome to the blog John

      Please don’t put answers to Prize crosswords in your comments prior to the closing date.

      The Telegraph uses Chambers for enumeration, and it is one word there. Try putting the word in quotes and you will find nearly a million hits in Google.

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