DT 26966 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26966 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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 Don’t forget there’s still time to enter the  Monthly Prize crossword competition

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 Attractive romantic heroine about to be possessed (6)
Insert the Latin abbreviation for about into one of the Bronte’s romantic heroines to get an adjective meaning attractive.

11a Unwell between the sheets yet supposed to be taking part (6)
On the line up for a show  – put a word meaning unwell in between what sheets go on.

12a Joy‘s plant, left by bishop (8)
Remove the abbreviation for bishop from a garden plant of the spurge genus to get an exaggerated feeling of wellbeing or joy.

27a Sneering single man’s in charge (6)
A charade of the letter meaning one or single, a man’s name and the abbreviation for in charge produces an adjective meaning sneering or sarcastic.


1d Songster that has been barred (4-4)
A very cryptic definition of a bird such as a budgie.

2d Right-o, sweetheart! (8)
Another term for sweetheart –  a synonym for right or correct followed by the word which O represents (especially in a tennis score).

3d Hearts up front — ordinary, needing to exploit crafty winger (8)
An annoying domestic ‘winger’  – a charade of the first letter of Hearts, an abbreviation for ordinary, a verb meaning to exploit, and a slang word meaning crafty or sly.

21d Waif‘s staggering, topless … and bottomless (6)
A mischievous, raggedly dressed child.   Remove the first and last letters from part of a verb meaning staggering or pitching from side to side.

The Crossword Club is now open.  Feel free to leave comments.   

BD doesn’t normally mention birthdays on a Saturday, but I think we should say Happy 50th Birthday to Dean (Anax/Elkamere/Loroso).   Hope you and everyone else there enjoy both the S&B gathering and the Birthday Bash.  Suexx

Please don’t put whole or partial answers or alternative clues in your comment, else they may be censored!

There are no italics in the paper version today but I believe that the Quick crossword pun has four words : {CHROME} + {APPEAR} + {NORTH} + {NORFOLK} = {Cromer Pier, North Norfolk} (not least because I’ve been there!)



  1. Qix
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Coincidentally, 3d is another clue with a surface about Scottish football, after Dada’s Tuesday Toughie.

    The wordplay in 11a is interesting; “between the sheets” = “in ***”.

    Best wishes to all who’re heading to Altrincham today, and a belated happy birthday to Anax .

    • crypticsue
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Scottish football isn’t my strong point! I did realise that about the wordplay of 11a but was trying to give a hint without giving too much of a hint, if you see what I mean.

      Wish I was going to Altrincham too but it is just too far away, and someone’s got to ‘be Big Dave’!

  2. pommers
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed this one so thanks to the setter (Cephas’ turn this week I think?).
    Took a while for the penny to drop on 3d as I was looking for a different type of winger (one with feathers), d’oh!

    Favourites 11a and 12a (only because it’s a plant I’ve heard of!).

    Thanks to crypticsue for standing in for BD.

    Happy Birthday to Dean and I hope everyone has a great time at the Stamford Arms, it’s a good pub! Wish I could be there but lucky pommette will be!

    • crypticsue
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      It is definitely Cephas – all those lovely anagram indictors!

      Lucky pommette indeed. Just too far away, notwithstanding the fact that I have one of those Saturdays a bit like an American tour of Europe – you know, if it’s half past eleven, it must be….! Still it is all good fun and great for BD to have a two day break from devoting himself to this blog in more ways than many people know at least 350 days of the year.

      • mary
        Posted September 8, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        He is really appreciated sue at least by myself and I’m sure by everyone on this blog, as is yourself and all the others who willingly give their time to helping :-) thanks BD and Co. hope you all have a great day today :-) Happy birthday Dean

        • Kath
          Posted September 8, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

          Yes – I echo all of that (and this is much quicker than writing it all again myself)! :smile:

        • Collywobbles
          Posted September 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

          I certainly agree with that Mary and their help is often sorely needed by developing crossworders

          • Mary
            Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

            I still need all the help I can get collywobs even after three years!

        • Brian
          Posted September 8, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

          I agree, help is always appreciated esp with the bottom half of this one! BD certainly seems to devote huge amounts of his time to the blog.

          • pommers
            Posted September 8, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

            Anything in particular Brian?

    • Aunty Marge
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      Wow the Stamford arms in altrincham! You’re going to the Stamford arms in altrincham! I’ve not been to the Stamford arms or even know anyone who has , until today, since I left there at 18. All of 40 years ago! Family moved away I went to UNi and that was that . Amazingly nostalgic to come across it here!

      • pommers
        Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        Marge, have we met I wonder? I used to go there every Friday night about 40 years ago! last went on a bit of a nostalgia trip about 15 years ago!

  3. bifield
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    A nice steady puzzle this morning, not too taxing but quite enjoyable. Thanks to setter & to Cryptic Sue for the hints which were not needed today. I hope all goes well in Altrincham today.

  4. Captain Lethargy
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Quite a nice crossword today. Not taxing but enjoyable, with a couple of “iffy” clues such as 8d which doesn’t often appear in that form and 3d which was last in!

    Would have done better if I had read CS’s hints first!
    Thanks to CS and setter.

  5. gnomethang
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one on the way to that London so thanks to the setter.
    Just left Euston for Altrincham.
    Apparently some people find it acceptable to let their mobiles ring in the quiet zone and then stand outside shouting down the trumpet.
    A 65 yo woman should know better!
    Thanks to CS for the hints, I will pass on your love to all.

  6. Dawn
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Thanks to CS for the hints, gratefully received for the top half of the grid.

    Bottom half went in fairly quickly.

    4a amused me.

    Enjoy the gathering in Altrincham.

  7. Pam
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I wonder what the odds are! I was just pondering on 14a while listening to Radio 4, when I heard a word which fitted the first and third letters. It fits the last part of the clue but I’m uncertain about the politician bit. Any hints forthcoming? I have done more than I usually do without the hints. Seem to be on the right wavelength.

    • crypticsue
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      If you have the correct word, split it 5 1 4 and see if that helps you see the politician in the last four letters.

      • Pam
        Posted September 9, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        Thanks.bi had the wrong ending!

  8. williamus
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    A nice Saturday mix. Thanks to the setter and to Crypticsue for the rationale for 12a. 14a was a new word for me and I dont quite know why 18a is right, but hey, the sun’s shinning and I did the garden yesterday so I’m going to go and enjoy the last weekend of summer…

    • crypticsue
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Split your answer to 18a 5, 1,4 and then read the clue again.

      • williamus
        Posted September 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        Ah! Thanks

    • Derek
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      You are two weeks too early for autumn!

      • pommers
        Posted September 8, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        Must be Autumn already – I haven’t turned th AC on for a week!

        • Derek
          Posted September 8, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

          In Europe it is fantastically sunny this year!

          • crypticsue
            Posted September 8, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

            It was glorious here today,loads of people enjoying a day at the beach. We are promised another lovely day tomorrow and then autumn apparently starts on Monday.

            Iam off to bed now, will be back in the morning with the H&T for the Virgilius.

  9. mary
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Hi sue and thanks for hints, didn’t need them today but this took me a bit longer than usual Saturday, the kind of puzzle that falls slowly into place for me, off into the sunshine to read now before braving Tesco for the first time since I was in hospital!!!! Good luck all a three star for me today

  10. Kath
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    This is the third day in a row that I’ve found the crossword quite difficult – must be losing my grip as no-one else seems to think that today’s is a bit tricky. I took a long time to get started and then began to see some of the answers but still had a completely empty top left corner when the rest was finished. Oh dear!! Anyway finished it now and enjoyed it. I didn’t understand my answer for 21d – that’s because it was wrong!! Stupid!!
    I liked 1, 9, 12, 18 and 24a and 1, 2, 6 and 21d (now that I’ve sorted that one out).
    With thanks to Cephas and Crypticsue.

    • Digby
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Don’t panic, Kath !!
      It took me a while to get going, but eventually the botton half fell into place, and I meandered north from there to a satisfying destination.

      • Kath
        Posted September 8, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Digby – thought that I must be losing my marbles!!

        • gnomethang
          Posted September 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

          My solving route as well. the problem is three is only one way in to eschew corner.

        • gnomethang
          Posted September 8, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

          Each even!.
          Just leaving Stockport.

          • crypticsue
            Posted September 8, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

            Just wondering what abstaining had to do with finishing a corner. Very quiet here today, wonder what proportion are out enjoying the sun and how many are waiting for you at the S&B. (not you specifically you understand but you know what I mean).

    • Heno
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      I’m struggling!

      • crypticsue
        Posted September 8, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        Need some hints or do you wish to perservate?

      • Brian
        Posted September 8, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        Me too! Can’t get much at all in the bottom half.

  11. Derek
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Knocked this one off in the brilliant sunshine here in NL.
    Faves : 1a, 12a, 3d & 6d.

    Re 8d, I always remember Terry W. in those heady days of yore!

  12. Caravaggio
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Because of an unavoidable disruption to my Saturday morning routine, I was late starting this puzzle and, like Digby and Gnomey [you can blame Mary for that] , I worked my way upwards. Best wishes to Dean and to all the other contributors to this site who are happily imbibing in Altrincham.

  13. Collywobbles
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got 4a but can somebody indicate why – I don’t really understand it

    • Qix
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      A colloquial term for a greasy spoon (4) goes inside a synonym of “touted” (4). “Around” indicates that “touted” is on the outside. The whole thing means a kind of platform.

      • Collywobbles
        Posted September 8, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Qix, it was the first part that threw mw.

        Now finished. Many thanks to Cephas for an excellent puzzle which was hard in places but not insurmountable. And thanks CS for the hints which I did need to use

      • Stuart
        Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        Still got me beat.
        as has 18 22 23 26 27 acc
        & 6 7 8 15 16 19 20 d

        • crypticsue
          Posted September 8, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          If we give you hints for that lot it will turn into a weekday blog so I do hope that Gnome’s Law has kicked in since you ‘posted comment’ and that some pennies have dropped.

          I gave a hint for 27a this morning. Kath has provided a very clear hint for 16d – have another look at them and see if light dawns and then it helps you get some others.

  14. Rod Ash
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Like most of the posts above I enjoyed several of the word play clues but solved everything without need for the dictionary or help!.

  15. Heno
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter & to CrypticSue for the hints. Found this really difficult, but still enjoyable. Managed to complete the bottom half bar one, but had to use all the hints and read the blog to get the top half. Still stuck on 10a & 16d. Any help would be much appreciated. One more day of Summer left.

    • Kath
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      I’ll try but bet someone gets there before AND does it better!
      10a – The definition is “eagerly waiting” – it’s an anagram of (rum) “to pine to”.
      16d – It’s two words for the “number of copies”. A five letter word for a form of photo that you might frame and a three letter word for a course. That’s not very helpful but can’t do better with the second word without ending up in the naughty corner!

      • crypticsue
        Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        Looks OK to me Kath. I snuck off to do the ironing and Heno appeared while I was away.

        • Kath
          Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          Couldn’t think of a better hint for the second word of 16d.

          • Heno
            Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

            Thanks Kath, go ’em both now thanks to your help. Glad you didn’t end up in Naughty Corner :-)

  16. Mary
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Looks like the nice weather has kept everyone outdoors today :-)

    • Kath
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Yes – just finished cutting grass. We’re going out this evening but would really much rather stay at home with a barbecue and a glass (or two) of wine! Hope that you’ve had a good day, managed the dreaded Tesco shop and are still feeling better – you certainly sound as if you are. :smile:

    • Heno
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      Hi Mary, glad you are feeling better, I’ve just had a walk over Parliament Hill and Kenwood, lovely afternoon.

      • Brian
        Posted September 8, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

        Ah Parlie, went to school there, happy days!

  17. steve_the_beard
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    I seem to be on a different planet to almost everyone else here!

    I do the cryptic every day, and usually agree with the ratings, and my expectation on a Saturday is to have a quick and easy ride with no need for recourse to any external aid at all.

    Not today!

    The NW corner really threw me, even though 1D went in immediately. Trouble was, 1D was wrong… Didn’t anyone else think of Elvis Presley singing behind bars? That made me sure that 1A must have something to do with Juliet, and it all went downhill from there…

    I had to use the DT website to give me the first letter of 1D, after which the NW corner finally succumbed. Last one in was 1A, even though I’d been humming a particular song by Kate Bush for quite some time…

    Heigh-ho, not my finest performance… total elapsed time for a cryptic ;13 hours!

    • Mark L-H
      Posted September 9, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Absolutely the same for me, Steve. I am on the same planet as you for this one.

    • Jezza
      Posted September 9, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      The NW was my finishing point too… which was also my finishing point in today’s puzzle.

  18. Brian
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Finished at last, that was hard work and a bit of a drudge IMHO.

  19. spindrift
    Posted September 9, 2012 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Is it me? I cannot see any mention of 13d in the blog. I’ve got an indefinite article, the time, the place & the usual old city but as for the rest? Help!

    • Weekend Wanda
      Posted September 9, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Think about what the officer says after the soldiers have been standing to attention or simply a synonym for rest. I was led astray with this one for a time as I was thinking leisure

      • spindrift
        Posted September 9, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Thank you

        • crypticsue
          Posted September 9, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

          Its the Saturday blog Spindrift – we only give a few hints as it is a Prize Puzzle.

          • spindrift
            Posted September 9, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

            Thanks Sue but what I meant was that no-one else seemed to have had problems with that clue, only me.

  20. Weekend Wanda
    Posted September 9, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed this thank you. Bottom half went in first. Last two in 8d and 12a. Was starting to resort to speller machine as had first 3 letters of 8d. But penny dropped before I pressed the button. Still don’t know the plant at 12a but got the word with the checking letters. Slightly unusual for a Cephas I thought as alot of clues which needed a letter inserted into another word or letters taken away. Now on to the ironing…

  21. Senf
    Posted September 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Stuck on 5d, I have all the check letters and I still can’t see it – any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

    • Jezza
      Posted September 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      The definition is ‘coming together’, and it is formed by a verb meaning ‘agree’, followed by a synonym for (a) ‘periodic payment’.

      • Senf
        Posted September 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Jezza – got it. It didn’t help that I had pencilled in the wrong ending – ‘ing’