DT 26990 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26990 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26990 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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There’s a new Monthly Prize crossword today – why not have a go?

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           Cavalryman drops round, smart — one’s all aflutter (9)
A cavalryman without one of the round letters followed by an adjective meaning smart or xxx

17a         Form of worship (3)
A cryptic definition of a bench in a church

19a         Jester’s desire — amusement sparked by a sentence? (8,2,5)
This could mean amusement after being sentenced

21a         Ring the woman in strife (6)
A female pronoun inside an extended strife

27a         One’s in one country or another (9)
ONE’S inside an Asian country gives another Asian country

29a         Gambler tours Bath perhaps to dish the dirt? (9)
A gambler around a characteristic of the town of Bath gives a verb meaning to shower with dirt


2d           Sanity found in ‘About a Boy’? (6)
A charade of a two-letter word meaning about, the A from the clue and a male offspring

5d           Conduct the conga and cause mischief? (4,1,5,5)
A phrase that could also be interpreted as to Conduct the conga

7d           Active Fifties teenager’s gone to get equipped (6,3)
A charade of an adjective meaning active, a Fifties teenager and a word meaning gone

15d         Sign up to be an underwriter? (9)
A prefix meaning under followed by a writer

18d         Possessing endless ingenuity (3)
A preposition meaning possessing without (endless) its final H

24d         Boating teams discussed pleasure trip (6)
A homophone of teams that man boats

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: {shed} + {yule} + {ling} = {scheduling}

RIP Joe South (February 28 1940 – September 5 2012)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

54 comments on “DT 26990 (Hints)

  1. Driven mad by 4d then realised I had misspelt 10a! Good fun and not too taxing. Thanks to setter and BD.

    1. Glad I’m not the only one who did that, spent ages trying to work out why 4d was notate!

  2. Very enjoyable although a smidge tougher than some Saturday mornings. Particularly liked 17a and 28a. Thanks to setter and BD too.

  3. Agree with CS on this – I too felt it to be slightly harder than we are used to on Saturdays – favourite clue 29a and last one in was 21a as I was trying to find another word for strife

  4. Can I remind any Kent-based posters or lurkers about the Petitjean workshops which start this Thursday. In addition to insights into cryptic crossword setting/solving, you get the chance to meet two bloggers.

  5. Good morning Dave et al from a very sunny West Wales once again, amazing two Saturdays in a row, a bit later today as have been to have the annual flu jab! I really enjoyed this one although I needed a ‘little help from my friends’ as the Beatles sang :-) , 50 years – where has the time gone?? lots of favourite clues but I think my favourite was actually the ‘cricket’ one at 28a, have fun with this everyone a two to three star IMHO

  6. Haven’t really heard of 19a as a saying. Worked out what it had to be, then Googled it, to find it was an old obscure play – but I don’t think there’s a link. Thought 16d was clever. Needed a couple of references, but enjoyed. ***/*** for me.

  7. Zoomed through it enjoying a cup of coffee in the conservatory. Beautiful day here. I especially liked 27a otherwise pretty much standard Saturday fare.

  8. I thought this was quite tricky. Finished now and enjoyed it very much.
    6d took a while as I was trying to make it begin with M followed by an 8 letter fish. 27a also – couldn’t get beyond a 7 letter country with ‘is’ in the middle to make another one. Just being dim today, I think.
    I liked 12 and 17a and 5, 7 and 18d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron (?) and BD.
    Beautiful sunny day – going to garden – will print out NTSPP and the prize puzzle and save them for later.

  9. A gentle start to the day, after yesterdays crossword struggles.
    No particular favourites, but a pleasant enough puzzle.
    Thanks to setter, and to BD

  10. I have to admit that I’ve struggled with this puzzle and I was grateful for a couple of hints – so thank you, Dave. To my mind, and I think Kath and Crypticsue agree, this was tougher than the usual Saturday fare.

  11. At the risk of being very boring and repetitive, I agree with Kath and Crypticsue. Somewhat tougher than a normal Saturday, especially the bottom half.
    And it is a grid I don’t particularly like. It is more like 4 crosswords

  12. I struggled a bit with this one but most of the problems were due to “help” from my 9 year old grand-daughter.Got there in the end. Thanks to setter and to Big Dave.

    1. I have the same problem with Mrs T trying to help. Thanks to setter and BD, from a sunny Boston.

  13. Glad some people found this harder than usual, had two stabs at it before completion

    Thanks to BD for review, and to the setter for an interesting puzzle.

    Now having lunch at base camp prior to an assault on the prize puzzle, initial scan indicates I may need oxygen.

  14. Still can’t see 22d, can see why it is to get back but what has it to do with a playing area or air?
    Apart from that very enjoyable if a little tricky in parts. Not familiar with the phrase 19a but did like 25a.

    1. Hi Brian,
      22d – the definition is get back. The first three letters are an abbreviation for ********** ground, or playing area. The last two mean in the air and the usual one letter for love in the middle.

      1. Thx so much, just couldn’t see that at all. One of those when you know the answer is right but can’t work out why. :-)

      2. Like Brian I struggled with 22d though I thought I had the answer. Why is this an accepted one letter abbreviation for love?

  15. Thought this was going to be a breeze after the first pass yielded 9 of the acrosses and 11 of the downs. The last half dozen or so then took labout twice as long as those 20 had!

    Last in (with a big D’oh) and favourite was 15d.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

    PS The prize puzzle is a tricky little rascal but well worth a go :smile:

  16. The hint for 2d seems a little unusual – “male boy” ? Or have I been away from that land of lost content to too long and now there are other kinds of boys (bouys) ?

  17. Enjoyable puzzle today.

    Faves : 1a, 19a, 21a, 5d, 16d & 22d – clever wordplay for the latter!

    Weather in NL still glorious.

  18. Really struggling today – and my best friends have completed it and crowing. Just got 25a and 9a (doh!) and gave myself a WAHOOOOO. Please could you help with 10a? Thanks Zxx

    1. 10a – The definition is “Master of strategy”. A charade of a synonym for “diplomacy” (4), the usual abbreviation of “in charge” (2) and the normal Scottish boy’s name (3). And it’s nae Jummy!

      1. Got it! Thanks so much to both of my helpers! Making slow progress but progress nontheless! Phew. Zxx

    2. Hi Zoe

      10a Four leter word for diplomacy, followed by the usual abbreviation for being in control and finish with a popular Scottish boys’ name. The first three words of the clue being the definition.

  19. Very enjoyable today and, somewhat unusually for me, needed no help. Nevertheless, thanks to BD and setter.
    Lovely day down here in Essex; visiting my daughter for a week.

  20. Unlike Pommers I couldn’t do ONE on first read through!! However, sat down later with a cup of coffee and no distractions and it all came toghether though the bottom half took a lot longer. Couldn’t understand my answer to 7d until I read the hint – my first word started with a “k” which absolutely made sense but didn’t agree with the clue!! Think I agree it was a tad more difficult than most Saturdays but nonetheless very enjoyable. Thanks to setter and BD.

  21. Finally finished…SE corner took ages to complete but managed nearly three quarters before resorting to hints and comments. Grateful thanks as always BD for the hints.

  22. I got most of this done without too much trouble this morning, but being completely illiterate as regards cricket I cannot work out 28a even though I have the alternate letters. A lovely day here too, and I’ve driven guests around the vineyards coming home with two cases of wine. :-)

    1. I’ve just drunk two cases of wine…hic!

      28a – Temporarily released from custody but charges may still be forthcoming! You might get the money back.

        1. In a cricket field, the players are said to be one of side of the wicket or the other. The two letters relate to that.

          1. Thanks! As soon as I posted my query, I understood (I was thinking of a team rather than a position. Dumbo!!!)

  23. Needed a bit of a confidence restorer today after yesterday’s struggle. With spending most of the day out on the North Norfolk coast there is not much time for the puzzle – so was grateful to finish it before setting off – thank you setter and BD. Highlight today was seeing an exhausted short eared owl arriving off the N. Sea at Titchwell – and sunshine as well – not something we are used to in S. Lancs !

  24. Pleased to see that Saturday is now, perhaps, being brought up the the harder standard of most of the rest of the week.
    Nice one.
    Thanks setter and BD.

  25. Please can someone explain 25a. I have an outlet and a river in there but the last letter doesn’t seem to belong to either of them. Thanks

    1. Hi Ruth – welcome to the blog.
      It’s an abbreviation for these days (2), then an outlet (4) then a river (3).

  26. Thanks to the setter & to Big Dave for the hints. I managed this fairly comfortably, so I would say 2* for difficulty & 3* for enjoyment. Started with 3d, finished with 29a. Favourites were 21&28a & 6&15d. Thought 27a was an old chestnut. Just recovered from the Ascot Beer Festival & mobile now fixed:-)

  27. Must be 12 or 14 hours now, (11:43 PM) still not done clues no good,
    acc 10, 12, 26, 27,
    dwn 2, 15, 17, 18, done 22d?????
    rest despair,
    Must take up another past time like hanging ones self!
    Every time there is is crossword get together there also seems to be a sheep sale on so I cannot get to.,

  28. Cannot find the place or town in Greece in 3D despite having the 3 letters across so unable to complete the prize Xword – help would be appreciated !


    1. Terence

      The first rule of cryptic crosswords is to ignore the surface reading!

      3d Collect two articles in Greece (6)
      What you need is a couple of articles, one indefinite and one definite, inside the IVR code for Greece to get a verb meaning to collect.

  29. I know it’s a bit late but I’m tidying up a few loose ends before I go onto todays and could with some help on 1a. If there is anybody still out there, Gazza, you usually are, please help

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