DT 26960 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26960 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26960 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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There’s a new Monthly Prize crossword today – this one is by Gazza so 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           Leave Adriatic resort (5)
A double definition

20a        Harris turned in old coin (6)
Reverse (turned) the first name of Australian entertainer Harris and then add IN

24a        Club cup-holder excluding engineers (7)
Start with a garment which could be holding a D-cup and drop the engineers from the end – this old-fashioned club should really have been indicated as such

29a         Hairpiece in reserve for sport (5)
A slang word for a wig then a two-letter word meaning in reserve


1d           Member of Barmy Army perhaps to drink beer (9)
A verb meaning to drink followed by a type of beer – the Barmy Army are a group of cricket fans who follow the England cricket team all over the world

ARVE Error: need id and provider

16d        Make tame jokes, sourly (9)
Split as (3,6) this could mean to make tame jokes

23d        Blood groups — doctor’s very powerful weapon (1-4)
Three blood groups followed by a doctor

25d         Refuse to grasp North’s informal language (5)
Some refuse or coalmining waste around N(orth)

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: {sum} + {assaults} = {somersaults}

149 comments on “DT 26960 (Hints)

  1. 23a…….? Given the checking letters it could only be one thing…….couldn’t it?

    Hope so, as I’ve already submitted it…….

    **/*** for me.

    I liked 16d, even though I had to use my crossword completer to get it! Always a let down when you use a reference, when you know if you had been a bit more patient you would have got it any way…..

  2. Good heavens! It’s a long time since my comment appeared so early on a Saturday morning. I really enjoyed this puzzle and I’m pleased to say that everything fell into place very quickly, particularly the answer to 24a which I think is very clever.

  3. Sorry to disagree but I really disliked this puzzle. Can’t get on the wavelength at all and find the clues too complex.

    1. I agree Brian – head just won’t engage with this one – even struggling to spot some of the anagrams. One to come back too.

  4. No stand out clues as they were all good. Just a shame it was over relatively quickly. Hints not needed but thanks to BD anyway and to Cephas?

    A new word from a puzzle far, far away in another galaxy..PARAPROSDOKIANS…that took some googling let me tell you. I can’t give the definition as it’s a prize puzzle & BD will no doubt give it the blue pencil treatment.

  5. Anagrams are useful so as to get a foothold into a crossword but I felt that there were too many in this one

  6. Finished without help – thank you setter for an enjoyable morning and to BD.

    After yesterday’s debacle with “Chile” I am not sure that I will ever own up to making a mistake again ! More like ” Amazingly quick solve, easy puzzle etc” !

    1. there’s nothing wrong with owning up to a mistake. My grouse was with the usual suspects still saying they were right even after we had provided an explanation for the correct answer.

        1. sarcasm Dave ;-) don’t know whats wrong with me today just cant get into this, have only solved about 14 clues so far!

          1. Same here Mary. No room for sarcasm here and I’m having trouble getting into this one other than the anagrams. By the way, how do you get the smiley faces?

                1. It’s Airedales Mary and, yes, they are both mine. Ruggles and ****. They are both 10 now and the 3rd set of Airdales that I have had.

                    1. Wasn’t entirely sure which of your two comments to edit. There isn’t going to be enough cake to go round at this rate and it is supposed to be for when my oldest friend in the world visits tomorrow (same age, known each other since we were 5).

                  1. Haven’t even downloaded the puzzle yet as have been out all day. Will be doing it later as only in for a while. My comment though is about your dogs. My brother and sister-in-law in Canada breed cooleamber airedales which is what yours look like. They are beautiful animals and you obviously get lots of pleasure from them.

                  1. Not you this time Mary. Kath gave away part of the answer to 20a when commenting on the name of one of Collywobbles’ dogs so I took the name out. Definitely not going to be enough cake today.

                    I have to pop out for an hour or so – see if you can all behave while I am gone.

                    1. Oh well we’ll have a party while you pop out for more ingredients :-) Tut, tut, naughty Kath, think you’d know better by now ;-)

                    2. Oh dear!! Sorry!! There seemed to have been SO many comments relating to this one that I thought I’d get away with it without being in trouble, or the naughty corner!! :oops: Will try to behave now.

  7. After much perservation I have still only completed the top right and bottom left corners with a couple of others thrown in, is it me????

      1. Hi Digby, I’ve now got the bottom right hand corner to do, very much a four corner puzzle today, it might help if I could get 20a, and 24a then I’d just have 16d and 21d left!

        1. 20a – think of the ubiquitous, bearded Ozzie “artist”.
          24a – you’re looking for an old name for a golf club

          1. Thanks Digby I’ve got 24a, had to look up golf clubs to get it, don’t see where the cup-holder comes in, still stuck on 20 though I know who you’re talking about!

            1. Reverse his first name + IN (from the clue)
              I think you’re old enough to remember these – apologies if I’ve got that wrong!

                1. Decimalisation Day was my 17th birthday – I still sometimes translate prices into pound, shilling and pence

  8. It took me quite a bit of perservation too Mary (for a Saturday anyway) mind you Mr CS was hoovering in the background.

    A nice Saturday challenge with lots of d’oh about it. Thanks to setter and BD.

    1. cant help with that one sorry, unless its just harris backwards in which case I’ve never heard of it, never heard 3d either, if I’ve got it right!!

      1. Your comment went into moderation because you’ve changed your alias – both should work from now on.

          1. We can’t delete aliases as they are not stored separately. The system checks for a match on any previously moderated comment and accepts it if one is found.

            1. Clever and no worries cobber.

              I’ll have to stick with Mr Dog now, as Mrs Dog has over 700 followers on twitter and steadfastly remains Mrs Dog.

              Never upset a Mrs Dog….

    2. I hope this doesn’t land me in the naughty corner, but think of a man with a kangaroo and reverse him. And I also have a very strange word at 3d.

      1. If you look up the word you have at 3d and it concerns the cessation of hostlities, then you probably have the correct solution.

        1. well the only word I could fir there at first was c****** then that didnt fit with 1 across, so now I have a different first letter giving me a word I’ve never seen before!

          1. It wasn’t me who edited you Mary, someone got there before me, but I can offer lemon drizzle cake :)

              1. Anyway I could do with a rest and some of that lovely cake sue after that puzzle, which for some reason I found really hard!

                  1. Yes, I’ve got the right word too, but had to look in a couple of dictionaries before I could find it. That lemon drizzle cake sounds delicious!

        2. Can you expand a bit Digby? (I think that I may have some wrong checking letters but I can’t see what they are)

  9. Well I found that really hard today, thanks everyone that helped me out, landed myself in the naughty corner too! Perservation won out in the end but 3d I’d never heard of and I really struggled with the bottom right hand corner, not one of my favourite Saturday puzzles :-( nice cake sue

          1. I’ve been there – 1990 European Athletics Championships! Just before the very bloody break-up of Yugoslavia! On my visit, I definitely got the impression that the various ethnic groups in that part of the world didn’t really like each other!

            1. ps. The Athletics was great from a GB perspective! Lots of Gold medals – if I remember correctly!

          2. Me, and then went up north to Rovinj, heck of a lot cheaper to take the hydrofoil to Venice to see the sights than to actually stay in Venice. Back to the crossword, I thought this harder than usual for a Saturday but no less enjoyable for that. Thanks Setter and BD

  10. Beautiful day here in Boston, Mrs T and I breezed thru this one. Thx BD, if antipodean and kangaroo are not penalized – can I say digeridoo (and lots of heavy breathing).

      1. lol – My usual approach is BD’s ‘lift and separate’ pics, but the digeridoo may serve as a useful standby.

  11. Damn – just wrote a screed – pressed “Post Comment” and got “Fatal Error” (and then a whole lot more that I can’t remember) and now the comment has vanished! Try again time!
    I thought this was quite difficult in places but have been trying to do it at the same time as making peach jam and peach tarts (a neighbour gave us about 10lbs of peaches yesterday) and I’m SO hopeless at multi-tasking that sometimes I think I must be a man.
    I’ve finally finished the crossword, only needing the hints to explain 20a and the “Balmy Army” bit of 1d. I’ve never heard of the answer for 3d and if I’ve come across the first three letters of 29a meaning “hairpiece” I’ve forgotten about it. With 15a isn’t a more common expression meaning “without energy” ****** out?
    I really enjoyed this one – lots of good clues, probably too many to write them all down so just a few are 1, 12 and 27a and 6, 8 and 16d.
    With thanks to today’s setter and to BD. Now try AGAIN to post this – bet the first commment appears as well and then you’ll all think I’m crazy.

    1. Agree with most of your comments Kath, especially 15a, bring some of those cakes to the naughty corner, you do know you’re on your way to meet me there don’t you?

      1. Haven’t got time to go to the naughty corner today – too much to do. Still need to clean up the sticky mess in the kitchen before I head off up the garden, and I want to have a go at the NTSPP and the new prize puzzle – maybe they will have to wait until later.

      1. If you get the fatal error message, press F5 or the ‘refresh’ thingy at the top of the page (green circling arrows) and you should get back to the blog and find your comment has got there before you.

        1. Thanks Sue – not sure about the refresh thingy at the top of the page with the green circling arrows but even I can probably manage F5. I’ll try it next time it happens.

    2. …I’m SO hopeless at multi-tasking that sometimes I think I must be a man.

      I’m listening to the football commentary, watching the paralympics, avoiding the washing up, and trying to think of an apt response to such a sexist comment! :wink:

      (Is that an Oxford Comma?)

      1. I suspect the only suitable comment is “no comment” unless I ask my wife permission to say something more manly.

      2. I’m REALLY not sexist at all – you can ask my husband – it was a joke! And what Oxford comma – I’m completely lost there – or am I being dim yet again? :sad:

  12. No trouble with today’s offering, thanks BD and setter. I was thirty when decimal coinage was introduced and an insurance underwriter. I recall how much easier the calculations became at the time; even so, I still use old coinage terms. I wonder how the youngsters would get along with learning the old weights and measures. Back in the forties and fifties we had to learn rhymes in order to remember Rods, Poles, Perches, Chains and Furlongs. As for Bushels, Pecks, Stones, Quarters and Hundredweights – doesn’t bear thinking about.
    Greetings all and the Sun’s come out in W. Cumbria.

  13. Almost finished, but for the life of me I can’t understand how my visual aid answer to 8d relates to risky investments.
    Can anyone clear my cobwebs?

    1. It is an abbreviated word, but as we are running low on lemon drizzle here thanks to Mary and Kath, I suggest you look it up in the dictionary.

      1. REALLY sorry – have gobbled it all up! Do hope that you have a lovely day with your old friend tomorrow (and that there’s enough cake left!) :smile:

  14. It was a struggle for me today but got there in the end. I find it interesting that the ones I struggled with were not mentioned in the comments, but some of the clues other people found hard I solved right away. It shows we are all different.

        1. 3d Rightly cut short including spies concerned with ceasefire (7)
          You want an adjective meaning ‘concerned with ceasefire’. An adverb meaning rightly or genuinely is truncated (cut short) and contains the transatlantic body noted for spying.

  15. Nice puzzle. Thanks to the setter and BD’s hints which I didn’t need today, although I could do with the reason why 18a is right…

    It’s an odd thing that happens so regularly, it can’t be a coincidence. I got about half-way through this afternoon and stalled. I dozed off in the all-too rare Birmingham sunshine and awoke to find the rest of the puzzle had suddenly become relatively straightforward. Either I had surprised the crossword or a postprandial nap is the key to mental agility…

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend all.

    1. I don’t know whether a nap has anything to do with it, but leave any crossword you are stuck on for an hour or so and you will find that some innner part of your brain has been working on the crossword without you knowing.

      18a Roll is a type of list and you just insert a ‘notice’ into a synonym for roll.

  16. Fairly easy and solved in the street outside local over an early pre-prandial. Very pleasant :smile:

    Quite liked 18a – you can guess how I would illustrate!

    Thanks to the setter and BD

        1. bd – of all the opportunities that you had for a “lift & separate” pic for 24a … you must be getting sensitive. Thanks

    1. 4a made me smile a lot. No 2 has just arrived back in London from his travels, and won’t be home in Kent until tomorrow or Monday as he has to have a few beeers with his London ‘lot’.

      An anagram (undo) of SONS BEERS rearranges to form a description of his state before he met his friends :D

      23d to get a very powerful weapon, you need the letters for three differfent blood groups followed by one of the abbreviations for a doctor.

      1. I thought 4ac was an anagram, however been given the wrong medicine has made my eyes bad and I miscalculated the number of letters, so frustrating, I think when I win the lottery it will be delivered in larger print.
        Thank you, 23d I was thinking along the lines DR not,,,,,
        Thank you.

      2. How lovely that son No 2 has arrived back in UK – you must be SO happy and excited about seeing him – with or without a hangover! :smile:

  17. Thanks for the assistance! I’m new to these cryptic crosswords but I solved it! I’m not sure about 26a… I know my answer is right, based on the first part of the clue and the linking letters, but can’t see the link to the second part of the clue. Then again, it’s getting late and I may ‘see’ it in the morning :-)

    1. Welcome to the blog Andy

      26a College that’s left behind alternative (5)
      The college is created by putting the Latin abbreviation for “that is” and L(eft) after the alternative.

  18. THanks fr the hints and thanks to the setter. No dramas here apart from the dreadful word at 3d – the wordplay was clear but I was blinded to it even with only the first two letters missing!.
    Bad day at wotk so am back in tomorrow- – catch you all when I can.

    1. Thanks Gnomey, i too thought 3d, as Brian would say, and rightly imho, an absolutely horrid word, one which I hope never to see again or have need to use.

  19. I found this tough going today…usually start it about 14.00 or so and take an hour or so on and off but I still have two to go at 21.50.

    Please enlighten me on 5d and 17d, nudges most gratefully received.

    Thanks to BD for your hints, I would not have got started today without them and found it hard to spot the anagram indicators today and thanks too, to all contributors to the blog which aided my efforts!

    All I can say is thank goodness I invested in BRB and have a thesaurus on my phone otherwise I would still be looking at an empty grid :-)

    1. 5d Stupid fellow, single male, snared by evil (8)

      The definition is stupid fellow. Another word for single and a male pronoun both go inside (snared by) an adjective meaning evil.

      1. Thanks Gazza, I had convinced myself that it ended differently so was barking up another tree in a seperate forest :roll:

    2. 17d British Rail breakfast perhaps about to make you brainy (8)

      The definition is brainy. Put the abbreviation for British Rail inside an example (perhaps) of a healthy breakfast.

      1. Thank you again Gazza, I now have a sore head as the penny has just dropped very hard, perhaps I should stick to what I’m good at (being dense and lace knitting) :D

    3. The first four letters of 5d escaped me for ages – just couldn’t see it – had “birdbrain” in my head which a) had too many letters and b) didn’t fit the clue at all. Maybe I’m the birdbrain!!

  20. Presume BD is on hols, as this is possibly the least helpful and stingiest of all the hints he has provided for many a year. Only 8 clues several of which like 1D were not too difficult to fathom without help and the hint for 16D absurd as the first 3 letters do not indicate a joke.

  21. Really enjoyed this one! think I’m getting better. Needed help for 9a/24a/3d (had to google that one despite your hint) Thank you again.

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