DT 26936 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26936 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26936 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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There’s a new Monthly Prize crossword today – don’t miss it.

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           Flashy performer who’s dressed up with hat (10)
This flashy performer comes from an anagram (dressed up) of WHO’S followed by a straw hat

6a           Old group making comeback is just the same (4)
… i.e. the name of this group is a palindrome

ARVE Error: need id and provider

10a         Note money given backing television etc. (5)
Tricky wordplay – a note of the scale in sol-fa notation is followed by money given to relieve poor or disaster-stricken countries reversed (backing) to get a generic name for television etc.

13a         Great brain — mine familiarly enjoyed acquiring bit of erudition (7)
This great brain comes from a three-letter familiar or slang word for a mine or bomb followed by a verb meaning enjoyed into which a bit of Erudition is inserted

24a         Liven up former Argentine leader with a bit of Italian pizza topping (9)
A charade of a verb meaning to liven up (3), a former Argentine leader and the initial letter (bit) of Italian gives a pizza topping

27a         Insect in certain level of development eating vegetable line (4,6)
This insect is derived by putting a certain level of development around a vegetable and L(ine)


1d           Southern prophet gets a snack from India (6)
S(outhern) is followed by an Old Testament prophet and the A from the clue to get a snack from India

3d           Dodgy dealer to miss trade in alcoholic drink (5-9)
To get this dodgy dealer put a verbs meaning to miss or xxx and to trade inside one of my favourite alcoholic drinks

4d           A jolly fuss about sick creature from South America (9)
The A from the clue is followed by the two-letter abbreviation for a jolly or marine then a fuss is placed around an adjective meaning sick to give this creature from South America

16d         Cut into hill having got away without resistance (8)
A little-used verb meaning cut into a hill is easily derived from a word meaning having got away around (without) R(esistance)

19d         Two TVs a source of much entertainment (3,3)
… two informal words for a TV

20d         Nuisance left quarter pounder (6)
Combine a nuisance with L(eft) and a quarter or cardinal point of the compass to get this utensil that is used for pounding

22d         Caught yob a hard blow (5)
C(aught) followed by a yob gives a hard blow

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: {Buchan} + {barring} = {you tell me!}
[Stop press – a last-minute change of {EARRING} to {BARRING}, presumably to avoid {EERY}, an alternative spelling of {EERIE}, for 7 down, wrecked the conundrum.]

50 comments on “DT 26936 (Hints)

  1. All quite straightforward today, however I did have to think about 20d for a while.
    Thanks to setter, and to BD.

  2. Nice puzzle! Thanks to the setter! Some very easy, some very difficult to comprehend!

    13a was the impossible one to parse! (Thanks BD – a new definition of “mine” for me)

    Favourite: 14a

  3. I was slow to get going on this one – having read all the across clues I only had two answers – the down clues were a bit more productive. I got in a bit of a muddle trying to work out why 27a was what it was and needed the hint to explain 13a – I’ve never heard of the slang term for “mine”. 1a was my last one in – even with alternate letters I couldn’t do it for ages – then had to look it up – never heard of that either.
    I liked 11, 14 and 26a and 20d.
    With thanks to the setter and BD.

    1. 1a was my last. I left it alone to make some lunch, asked Señor Nora to have a look, and just as he was going through the alphabet for the 2nd letter, it came to me in a flash. How does that happen? I’d heard of the verb, but not the noun, but might use it for people who are showing off!

      1. Aren’t brains amazing – leave them alone and they just get on with it, all on their own!! Quite often an answer pops into my head when I’m in the middle of a dog walk.

  4. Is anyone else finding that the Olympics is having a serious effect on their ability to solve cryptic crosswords, and I am not helped with my ‘distance’ contact lens not working properly too.

    I found this one hard going and will be awarding it at least 3* for difficulty when I do the review. Thanks to the setter adn to BD for the hints.

    I do recommend the monthly prize puzzle. Do give it a go in between cheering on Jessica Ennis and all the other gold medal prospects today.

    1. Certainly the Olympics don’t help ! I found it hard going as well and needed one or two hints from BD to keep moving along. I have put an answer in for 13a, mainly because it can’t be anything else – and with BD’s hint – but I am still not sure how one gets to the answer !

      Thank you BD for your help and to the setter.

      Back to the rowing !

      1. I’ve been having the same problem, particularly as I’ve been switching between BBC channels. However, when I concentrated on the puzzle, I found that this was on a par with recent Saturday crosswords and I didn’t experience any difficulties but perhaps, like some of our competitors, I’ve been inspired by the noise of the crowd…

  5. I finished this one slowly, but without resorting to hints. Thanks to Big Dave for explaining the wordplay in 10a, 13a, 4d. “Jolly” as an alternative for “marine” was new to me!

    Pleasant sunny day, light breeze, 31C.

    1. This use of jolly is not universally accepted. Strictly speaking a jolly is an individual and the abbreviation is the armed force of which he is a member, so you are unlikely to see it in a Giovanni puzzle.

  6. Not sure about 11a… Don’t like sound like clues at the best of times. Otherwise nice puzzle with one or two clever clues. Many Thanks.

    Oh and the i-pad Network Not Available notification is almost as annoying as me complaining about it!

  7. Damn tough today, first run through produced zero answers. Finished now but a real slog. 3/4* for dif and 1* for enjoyment fom me. IMHO I think 10a is one of the most unpleasant clues for a long time. Still I learnt today that jolly is the term for a marine and that 16d is a new word for me. Thx to BD for the explanations although must admit I had finished before the hints came up perhaps it wasn’t as tough as it first appeared. :-)

    1. As in Jolly Jack Tar I suppose? I always thought this meant sailors were happy chappies!

      1. Jolly is what a sailor would call a marine apparently. Seamen apparently also referred to empty bottles as marines because sailors regarded ‘sea-soldiers’ as useless. I offer no opinion on this personally, I am just paraphrasing Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable :)

  8. Hmm… after a good week, this one seemed to be (much) more difficult than it should have been. Had to resort to Chambers for spelling confirmation on a couple, including 21a (which was last in).

    As with others, Olympics are proving to be a major distraction. Being a man, multi-tasking isn’t a strong suit… am I allowed to say that?

    Thanks to the setter and BD. Have a good weekend all.

    1. Err… I’m still struggling with the linked words in the quickie. Got the answer but no idea what it means.

  9. regarding the quick crossword pun, perhaps the clue for the second clue should be jewelry giving an answer of earring ,then it gives us a pun it would not be the first time they have screwed up

    1. Roger – yes I agree. Obstinately wasted some time getting earing to fit. Interested if there is a tenuous pun in there but I can’t see it.

      1. Sue

        Absolutely… but the point is that 1a and 7a make no sense at all (at least to me)

  10. Hi all you clever people!
    I’ve made a bit of a meal of this one and I’m still left with one.
    Can someone help me with 26a I think I know the answer I don’t get why


    1. Hi Carrie,
      The answer is a very mild swear (probably wouldn’t even rate as that in our house) – it is also one of two things that the Morse code is made up from. The “Morse” with a capital and in italics is a bit of a red herring.

      1. Thank you Kath

        I was on the wrong track your explanation helped a lot.

        I was thinking of the television programme with Detective Inspectors another duh moment :-)

    2. Carrie

      It’s what people used to use for a swearword and a constituent of the code…

    3. 26a – The answer maybe:- xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      Edited because I think that was definitely entering naughty corner territory! CS

  11. Strangely I didn’t find it too difficult ( for a Saturday prize puzzle ). But I couldn’t get the bottom right hand corner without BDs help.
    Thanks, BD

  12. Nearly finished! Thx for the help. Top right proving a pain- help please with 7d and 11 a

    1. 7d is another way of referring to a handcuff – a charade of a word meaning couple and an obstruction.
      11a Part of London sounds like what you might have done to provide a bride with something to wear on her head.

  13. Some enjoyment, a new word and a few groans especially when l finally got 26a (with help) this causes me much embarrassment as it seems so obvious now.

    Thanks to BD, the setter and all who helped me finish.


  14. Today’s Quickie Pun: Buchan + Earring = Buccaneering!

    No idea why! No checkers either! Answers on a Postcard, please!

    1. Stan

      The answers I have given are those accepted as correct by the online Telegraph Puzzles site.

      I’m afraid you can’t make up your own answers. The clue for BARRING is “except for” and the checking letters are BA?R?N?. The B comes from BEVY where the clue is “flock” and the checking letters are BE?Y. The validity of the answers is not in question, but it looks as if someone somewhere has screwed it up. Maybe buccaneering was the original intention, but it certainly doesn’t work in the published puzzle.

      1. Our Crossword Ed apparently changed 7d to avoid an obscure word but didn’t notice that this would affect the pun. He apologises profusely! The pun was indeed intended to be buccaneering.

    2. Hi Stan

      I know it should be “earring” to make the pun work but, having (for the first time ever) completed the quickie to convince myself that this just can’t be right, I can only assume I’m missing something really obvious or there’s been a bit of a mistake.

      In the scheme of things this isn’t terribly important, buts it’s niggling me.

      1. Thank heavens for that! I thought I had completely last the plot… thanks to Dave and Crypticsue for clearing this up.

    1. Not beaten just held up a bit! You are looking for a word meaning music shows or events and you then replace the R in that word (not right) with the abbreviation for piano to get ideas or innovations.

  15. Nice puzzle to finish off a day of fog and ships missing the tide. Very relaxing.
    BD I am thinking of changing my alias and the mention of Genesis the other day brought back memories of other band names. So can I be renamed as Captain Beefheart?
    Think I will now go and enjoy a bottle of your favourite drink.
    Regards to all, some very good anagrams today.

      1. Thanks Big Dave. Just got round to reading this.
        Probably start using on wednesday, walking in Cairngorms tomorrow.:-)

  16. Thanks to the setter ( I wonderif it was Jay ? ) and to Big Dave for the hints, which I only needed to parse 13a, having had the answer, but knowing why. Started with 2d, finished with 26a. Nearly put “dung” for 27a. Favourites were numerous, but 11a was the best, as I worked there for six years ! Fantastic puzzle, more like this please. Managed to solve it after watching the Olympics, go on Team GB :-)

    1. Put the abbreviation for mark twice (as marks is in the plural) inside an abbreviation for one and a kind of test. The result is a word meaning bad.

      1. Many thanks Prolixic. Sorry for misleading you byt I’m still on the prize crossword from yesterday. I know that I am slow but I’ve got a lot on

        1. Apologies. I was answering on my iPhone and did not spot I was a day ahead!

          For this 19d, you need two informal words for a television. Put together they describe a compilation edition of DVDs (for example) which may contain the entire series of a programme (much entertainment).

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