DT 26942 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26942 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26942 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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There’s still time to enter our third 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           Talk about deerstalker perhaps (4)
This verb meaning to talk informally is derived from the abbreviation of the Latin for about followed by the item of clothing of which a deerstalker is an example (perhaps)

3a           Become gradually less light (5)
… if you are looking for the definition it is the last word

8a           Bats flutter maybe, flapping about in opera (6,9)
Start with a word meaning bats or bonkers then add an anagram (flapping about) of FLUTTER MAYBE to get a Giacomo Puccini opera

17a         Four repeatedly redesigned fussy decoration (4-4)
…  that means it’s an anagram (redesigned) of FOUR FOUR

19a         Conferences required when centre of Syria is occupied by politicians accepting nothing (8)
… or more accurately the centre of Syria is replaced by politicians accepting nothing

23a         Unfair, making regular visits to Burghley (4)
… read the first word as un-fair

25a         Dreadful sound made by colourful worker (4)
This word that sounds like a synonym of dreadful is actually a worker who colours cloth


1d           Doctor seen in outdoor clothing meeting worker and fighter (9)
Put one of the abbreviations for doctor inside an item of outdoor clothing then add a worker insect and the result is a fighter

4d           Victoria paid for headlong plunge (7)
The type of fruit of which Victoria is an example is followed by a verb meaning paid a bill to get a headlong plunge

5d           Animal with another animal on American railroad (5)
… this elevated American railroad, like the one in Chicago, pops up in crosswords from time to time

6d           Hit no longer available, being deleted (6,3)
Be careful with the tense – I hit the ball today (present) or I hit the ball yesterday (past); the clue is in deleted, the definition  – it’s no wonder foreigners have trouble learning English

12d         Silence young dog with savoury doughnut (4,5)
A charade of a silence and  young dog gives an American savoury doughnut – I’ve never heard of the doughnut but the answer means something completely different in the UK!

16d         Coming to a similar conclusion, we hear (7)
Not a homophone, but a characteristic of two words or lines that end with the same sound

20d         Therefore friar may be cut off in old city (5)
Start with a two-letter word meaning therefore and add an abbreviation (cut short) of an order of friars to get this old Biblical city

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: {nut} + {craic} + (cur) + {sweet} = {Nutcracker Suite}

116 comments on “DT 26942 (Hints)

  1. I was given a bit of a lecture last time I said this, but done in fairly short time today. Save the postage stamp, I reckon. Quite enjoyable though! Have a good weekend all.

  2. Too many anagrams for my taste but overall fairly enjoyable. Not seen 5d for a while!

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  3. A very gentle start to Saturday but quite fun to do.Sometimes it’s nice not to struggle. Liked 3 and 25A, 7, 12, 16 and 20D Thanks to setter and B.D.

  4. Satisfying, gentle massaging of the cerebellum – 5d was a ‘try it and see’ though.
    We don’t have xxs here, or they’re not called as such.
    Thanks setter and BD.

    1. Hi Sheepdog

      10a – an atomic group is a colloquial term for a spy followed by an anagram (translated) of CLUE.

        1. Yes, that helped me finish, thanks very much.

          Now I’ll try the general knowledge crossword (encouraged by getting 19 in the ‘pub quiz’ didn’t know what POP stands for)

  5. OK today but not much fun I thought. Still have one to go and that is 5d. Don’t get the hint either. Can anyone help?

    1. Think of a rodent with three letters followed by a two letter abbreviation for American railroad, then put together to form another rodent.

    2. Never heard of this animal or the chicago railroad would suggest you use the options you get after 3A, 8A and 10A completed and look them up!

    3. Thx for the help, never heard of this animal. I think setters must have a list of weird and wonderful words that they are allowed to use just once to confuse us poor souls. Never come across 12d either in this context, always thought these were something you **** ** **** ****!

      1. Sorry that should have read weird and wonderful but the predictive texting had its own idea. Can’t edit the comment today it just drops out in iPad mode.

    4. NE corner was “tricky.” Not sure I understand why what I put in for 6a works, or even 7d (a sea from the Good Book?). Otherwise very enjoyable for a Saturday.

      Living in Texas, I know about 12d – a most odd “edible” item which according to legend was made from scraps by Southern fishermen and Civil War soldiers to toss to barking and begging dogs with the command to “****, *****.”

      1. Look at your answer for 6a backwards and then look up the singular in the dictionary. 7d is a charade of a way of referring to a girl, I from the clue and a word meaning shelter (from the wind, is how I always think of it).

        1. Shelter from the wind is exactly what it is to a sailor! Talking of sailing the Spanish senoritas just won a Gold in the Eliot match-racing! :grin:

        2. I too am stuck on 6a and have tried looking up the singular of the reverse of my word, but it does not seem to be there!
          Can you tell me if the meaning of the word is story?

          1. Welcome Mowser. It is indeed a type of story of heroic deeds. The Commander is a Turkish commander or chief officer.

  6. Thanks to the setter & to Big Dave for the hints. Found this quite straighforward. Favourites were 10,24a & 5d. Summer at last in Central London.

  7. Nice and straightforward – the perfect puzzle for a busy Saturday thank you Cephas. Thanks to BD too.

    1. I echo those sentiments, Sue, especially as I watching television at the same time. It would seem that life will return to normal from Monday onwards…

  8. I see some people have their own icon next to their name – is it possible to change from the robot mask I have to something else like my scruufy dog?

    1. Of course it is – not thinking – just too hot here on the Costa. So Gravatar or WordPress? Which is the least intrusive as I only need this for here on Big Dave. I really have no problem with the Robot but my scruffy dog is better looking.

  9. What an enjoyable puzzle. Many thanks to Cephas and to Big Dave for the hints. Does anyone know what has happened to Mary?

    1. Mary is in hospital seeing if she can win a gold medal for number of tests undergone in a single visit! I hope all will join with me in sending our good wishes.

      1. She certainly has my best wishes! Knew she’d been unwell but didn’t know she’s in hospital.

        Get well soon Mary – we all miss you.

      2. I echo what pommers has just said – if you are in touch with her, BD, please send my best wishes too.

          1. Mary has already replied to my message:

            “Thanks Dave miss you all too just not got the energy to come on site at moment still in hospital!!”

      3. Really sorry to hear that, please send my best wishes and tell her we are all missing her and hope she gets well soon.

  10. Thank you setter, most enjoyable and took my mind off the booming music played by our neighbours. One of the problems which a sunny day brings ! Thank you BD for the hints – although not needed today.

  11. Enjoyed this one very much, not too hard for my Saturday brain, perhaps a tad too many anagrams though.

    Thanks to Cephas and BD and best wishes to Mary


  12. I agree that there are lots of anagrams in this puzzle but I like them and I enjoyed it very much.
    I got in a terrible muddle with 8a – got the answer, realised that it was an anagram, of sorts, just couldn’t work out the right letters but the hint has sorted that one out. The hints have also sorted out the others that I didn’t understand – 19a and 5d. Still don’t entirely get 20d. I didn’t know that 12d was a savoury doughnut.
    I liked 1, 3, 22 and 24a and 3 and 16d.
    Thanks to Cephas and BD.

  13. Maybe I’ve just sorted out 20d. I was looking for a four letter friar with his last letter cut off. Am I right in thinking that it’s a long word – nine letters – so very much cut off?

      1. Couldn’t quite think how else to word it without being sent to the naughty corner and it sounds as if you’re too busy with campers to be making cakes today!! :smile:

        1. The campers and the stayers at the Premier Inn up the road have all gone now, son and girlfriend are out, it is really odd just me and Mr CS. Extremely quiet :)

  14. If you’re looking for something a bit more stimulating than this one (but not so difficult as to drive you to drink) in between watching the Olympic events, I thoroughly recommend the super NTSPP from Bufo.

    1. Gazza… no thanks!

      This one was just fine especially after yesterdays’ little challenge, so I’m going to quit while I’m ahead and enjoy the rest of the sunshine before it rains tomorrow. Many thanks to you for yesterdays’ hints and to Cephas and Big Dave for today.

  15. I don’t need driving to drink Gazza, the bar’s just round the corner! Agree that the NTSPP is very good. Struggling a little in the NW corner at the moment but I’ve had one eye on the lady’s mountain bike race :grin:

  16. Usual format me on a Saturday -i.e. slow start down the first straight then up to speed in the middle with a fast final furlong. Thank to Cephas & to BD for the hints which I didn’t refer to for a change.

    I wonder if I stopped gong out for a few cheeky halves with my sons on a Friday night would I be able to get a better start on a Saturday morning?

    Best wishes to Mary & have a speedy recovery ~ we miss your wisdom.

  17. Nice & straightforward today although 16d beat me but knowing what the answer is and reading the clue again I think it is very clever. :smile:

    1. i so wish the answer was unwelcome irritant, now quite frankly go defecate elsewhere you stupid little hampton

  18. I went though today’s crossword rather quickly but my thanks to the setter.It gave me a pleasant time whilst consuming my bacon buttie here in sunny Cheadle Hulme. As with many 5d, was the last in, a new word to me but once you have the crossing letters it can be constructed from the clue.
    Sadly I cannot attend Anax’s B & S meeting combined with finestkind Saga qualification thrash as it clashes with our 40th wedding anniversary bash.

    I have printed the photo of the Lass of Gowrie meeting and flaunted it shamelessly as me mixing with the lumenaries of the crossword world.

    Thanks to Big Dave, Best wishes Mary, regards to all,


  19. Once again, very enjoyable from Cephas; thanks to him. Never come across 5d before but then, I never take much notice of Americanisms. I also thought 19a was in relation to drinking parties rather than conferences.
    Get well soon Mary, best wishes. I had a spell in hospital back in February and it’s such a relief to get home.
    Thanks BD; first time I’ve seen you allow anyone to rattle you.

    1. I wasn’t rattled – I just don’t like people with no manners who ignore the weekend posting protocol. He published the answer out of spite, but has been suspended from posting again.

        1. Well done Dave – we don’t need types like that.

          Re 5d, it used to be a regular in crosswords but it must be about a year since I last saw it. maybe he’s making a comeback! Worth remembering anyway.

        1. I don’t understand the cockney rhyming slang bit – what am I missing?
          I’m wondering if YOU could be heading for the naughty corner because of one of the words you used in your comment!! :smile:

              1. What slightly perturbs me is that, as a lady, should I know what that particular rhyming slang means? :D

    2. Hello The Buffer, Xenophon went to one in Pireaus and it was all about eating drinking and dancing girls!

  20. HELP please! Despite the hints and some comments, I still CAN’T get 6d – nor 6a, either, which would be a great help! Woe is me! and I did the rest with great pleasure and enjoyment. Sorry to hear about Mary – best wishes from me too.

      1. Thank you Denis & Heno – obvious when you know how!! Just couldn’t “see” them.

  21. 6d is what BD has just inflicted on a recalcitrant contributor, but it mainly applies to doctors who misbehave. 6athink of an organisation catering solely for the over fifties; also means a story.

    1. It takes me ages to move a comment to make it a reply – I have to log off, add a comment as me, log back on and then edit the comment. I did this for Denis, but I’ll leave yours here. It is a lot tidier if you click reply when answering a comment – and it won’t then end up on a different page!

      1. Got it – sorry! I am better at solving crosswords than handling matters involving computer technology. I shall try and avoid further inconvenience.

  22. Finished on a Saturday!! Last to get was 16d. Liked 4d.
    Thx to setter and Big D. Will try tomorrow’s this week

  23. Solved this one in the heat of an almost Mediterranean afternoon here in NL.
    Faves : 8a, 17a, 21a, 22a, 4d, 7d, 14d & 20d.
    Liked 20d since it is a change from the Chaldean one!

    Best wishes to Mary – get better you Welsh wizard – we miss you on the Blog!

  24. Thoroughly enjoyed that and only needed a couple of hints. I haven’t come across 5d before.

  25. Just working my way throught this puzzle—nice and gentle, suits my life just now. Also caught up with everyone and good to be back again.

  26. evening all. I thought that this felt slightly different without being particularly hard or easy. I like clues where I get the answer after a minute to think through all the different meanings. Plenty of those today. Thanks

  27. Bit late posting today, painting outside of the house before it rains again!
    Thanks for the hints, BD, though I didn’t need them today. Got hung up in NE corner with the wrong tense but having sorted that, no problems.

  28. Mo did BRILLIANT! Question is “what am I going to watch on the TV next week?” :grin:

    1. didn’t he just, was privileged to watch the brilliant Nick Skelton at Greenwich park earlier this week, even here in Glasgow Olympic fever rules. The Paralympics should be good too.

  29. This was my first puzzle finished without reading the hints and comments, so feeling mighty pleased with myself.

    Thanks as ever to BD for this fab site and to the setter.

    Best wishes to Mary for a speedy recovery.

  30. Hello, I know it’s Sunday and you crossword pros put your pens down about 10mins after picking them up yesterday, but as a mere mortal I still have two left. Help on either 18d or 21a would be much appreciated. Thx

    1. Hi Caroline. 18d is a hidden word – you are looking for a home of a member of the clergy. 21a is the nickname for a member of the Military Police. Insert the abbreviation for District Commissioner into a verb meaning to cut down, eg corn.

  31. Thanks Crypticsue. Can’t believe I didn’t see 18d! I’ve followed this page for over a yr now and learnt so much. Just waiting for the day I complete without needing the clues. It will be a while yet, but one day… Thx again.

    1. I am sure it won’t be long before you can complete one without hints. Now that you have de-lurked, I hope we will hear from you on a regular basis.

    2. Hi Caroline,
      You will learn so much here that you’ll soon be able to do them without hints sometimes, then a bit more often etc etc. No-one here ever minds questions and there are lots of really helpful and knowledgeable people around. Keep commenting! :smile:

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