DT 27026 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27026 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27026 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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Last chance to enter our monthly puzzle 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.


2a           Hanger-on, one getting behind shelter (4-8)
A cryptic definition of a civilian who follows behind an army, providing services for the military personnel

8a           Dash! Old train service goes by ten (4)
How our train service was known before privatisation followed by ten displayed in in numerals – watch out for this construct in one of the down clues!

12a         Top rep’s book? (10)
A charade of an adjective meaning top and a rep or supplier

18a         High flier‘s suite? (10)
A double definition – a bird of the crow family and a musical suite

ARVE Error: need id and provider

23a         Expressions of disbelief and surprise, going by island in boat (5,3)
A two-letter expression of disbelief is followed by a two-letter expression of surprise and a Channel Island to get this biblical boat – don’t forget that apostrophes are never shown in the enumeration!

26a         Vocalist drunk on recent tour (12)
An anagram (drunk) of ON RECENT TOUR


1d           Feel acute embarrassment for the man supporting court order (6)
The male pronoun follows (supporting in a down clue) a court order

2d           Training regularly? (9)
A cryptic definition of regularly travelling by train

7d           Proof of independent study clubs being held by the First Lady (8)
I(ndependent), a study and C(lubs) inside (being held by) the First Lady from biblical times

16d         Produce family unit price (8)
A charade of a unit of heredity which is transferred from parent to offspring and a price

22d         Bear east, fleeing from Brunei in confusion (5)
A name for a bear, especially in children’s fables, comes from an anagram (in confusion) of BRUN(E)I without (fleeing from) the E(ast)

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: {pour} + {coup} + {pine} = {porcupine}

90 comments on “DT 27026 (Hints)

            1. Perservation, Collywobbles !!
              I thought it was slight harder then recent Saturday challenges, but all the clues are fair and gettable, IMHO.

              1. Actually Digby, I’m finding that now. I originally spent an hour on it and only got 3 clues but I took a couple of Daves’ hints and I’m building on them. As you say ‘perservation’ not ‘frustration’

          1. Never thought of him as Spanish but a inquisitor, perhaps. Nice to know that someone else struggles with a Ray T offering, I was beginning to feel lonely.

            1. Lots of people struggle with RayT Brian but I think more people love him, I am one of the first group, although I have found a few within my capabilities and with lots of perservation usually get there, it is all up to us whether we want to or not I suppose :-)

              1. The difficulty I have, Mary, is finding a way into them because the anagrams are often well hidden. If I can get in, as in a recent one, I find that they are doable for me

              2. I love Ray T because I struggle with him. It is a puzzle and it’s boring when you complete in a record time every day. I love the stupid doh moments like 19d which was last in due to my own inadequacies!

              1. That’s ridiculous, leave Ray T alone. Why even mention him? I always struggle with Giovanni, but I never critiscise his puzzles. If I can’t solve them, it’s my fault.

                1. I don’t agree Heno, sometimes puzzles are really difficult and words very obscure, constructs can be very long winded and confusing without need ( I am not particularly referring to RayT but any crossword ) I don’t think it’s necessarily the ‘fault’ of the solver if some puzzles are beyond them whoever the setter may be…just saying :-)

                  1. Hi Mary, my point is that if someone can’t solve a clue, they shouldn’t criticise the setter, unless the setter has broken the rules or convention.

          2. Is there a ‘ximines’ reference there Dave, something to to with Don Giovanni and the Spanish Inquisition?

            1. Or am I just totally on the wrong track in thinking your Spanish inquisitor remark was a crossword reference?

  1. Morning Dave have been patiently waiting in hope of a hint for 3d and 10a, finished rest with a little of my usual help, I quite enjoyed this one once I got stuck in but no amount of perservation has helped me with these two! Fav clue today 23a, don’t quite understand 18a though I have the answer, a three star for me today

          1. Indeed – I think I had misdirected myself ! Just shows how the puzzle can confuse the brain – I suspect that you know which one I was referring to – and knowing the part of the world where you live I should have known better anyway !!

    1. 10a Strung-out Louis must drop round for shot in the arm (8)
      An anagram (strung-out) of L(O)UIS MUST without the O (drop round) gives a shot in the arm

      3d More than one course that is African sweetcorn (6)
      More than one course at the dinner table followed by the abbreviation for that is gives African sweetcorn

      1. Thanks Dave, now that is how I looked at them, but am still struggling, something wrong perhaps, back to the drawing board!!

      2. I think I can say this without going to the naughty corner, having ‘tent’ for the first word of 2a was obviously wrong and following on from there so was ‘toileting’ in 2d!! Therefore the the reasons why I couldn’t solve 10a and 3d, although 3d is another word I didn’t know! Ah well they made perfect sense to me just didn’t fit in this crossword :-)

  2. After being left on the grid yesterday it is good to have finished the race today ! The puzzle still seems harder than the usual Saturday – but nevertheless good fun. Thank you setter and BD for your hints. Wish we didn’t have to go to watch the football this pm – would prefer Twickenham !

  3. For no particular reason I completed this in reverse order which by accident seemed to help.Hadn’t heard of 3d , liked 2a,12a,17a, 18 a,2d .2*\3* for me .


  4. Thought this was one great and very enjoyable. Particularly liked 13A & 23A, but clearly know nothing about vocalists, as I’d never come across 26A before.

  5. I agree with Mary, bit more difficult than the usual Saturday and needed a couple of hints to finish. However, don’t quite see a) why is Clubs plural in 7d, b) can see the answer for 19a and 3d but can’t see the construct.
    Hard work today but did like 24a.
    PS cheer up BD, we should beat the Gooners today.

    1. Clubs is plural because the abbreviation C is for Clubs (as a card suit) not Club. Don’t ask why, but Chambers only gives the abbreviations of the plurals, as in ace of clubs, two of clubs etc..

  6. Good morning from a damp and dismal Cheshire. I don’t know whether I was inspired but I didn’t have any difficulty with this puzzle which I thought was normal fare for a Saturday. Thank you, Dave, for one particular hint which caused everything else to fall into place and my compliments to the setter.

  7. A very nice Saturday level puzzle with only a couple of clues which were a smidge on the tricky side (yes, I know I would say that wouldn’t I, but it really was). Thanks to the setter (not sure whose week it is) and to BD too.

    THe NTSPP appears to be a gazza crossword that he has snuck past me, either that or my filing system has gone astray. Looking forward to solving it once I have made a nice macaroni cheese for lunch.

    1. Oh Collywobbles .. the definition is capital. you need the leaders of Puerto Rico followed by a from the clue and part of a synonym for visitor without the abbreviation for a ‘way’.

            1. You don’t really need a hint for 11a apart from just someone telling you to read the clue more carefully than you have up to now

              1. Actuallly I got it CS and I was just going to ask how I have got 6d. I don’t understand it but the checking letters fit

                1. If you have the right answer for 6d splitting it 1, 4 and then reading the clue should make all clear.

                    1. Also I know you like us to look stuff up in the dictionary for you but why don’t you try looking up bouquet for yourself. In the BRB, the second definition is the relevant one.

  8. After yesterday when I couldn’t solve my way out of a paper bag I was happy to have a puzzle I could solve! I guess if I could solve them all easily there wouldn’t be much point. That’s what I enjoy about the DT puzzles – lots if variety because of lots of setters. Of course yesterday I wasn’t feeling quite so philosophical.
    Many thanks to BD for the hints which I always enjoy even when I don’t need them. And thanks to the setter – 24a was very funny and enjoyed 26a too. Alfred Deller was a famous one whose records my mother always used to play. BD – am I allowed to say that??
    Enjoy your Saturday everyone!

  9. A great puzzle for a Saturday – certainly more taxing than usual Saturday ones in my humble opinion. 10a was rather nice. And remember folks – the prize crossword is worth entering – my runner up prize for DT 27,014 arrived today – a pen and a notebook. Not going to change my life but after 15 years or so of entering a rather nice feeling! Have a good weekend folks – hoping that Cook and Compton drop anchor now.

  10. I thought this was a pretty good puzzle. Tricky enough not to be a write-in but not one to cause too much trouble.

    No stand out favourites for me 12a raised a smile I was a rep for a few years.

    Many thanks to the setter and BD.

    BTW, Gazza’s NTSPP is very amusing, well worth a look if you’re not caught up in the rugby or football..

  11. Managed to complete and loved 18a. Didn’t know this was a bird either but the clue had a wonderful obviousness once the penny dropped.

    1. So did I – well almost. Finished all but 8a and 1d before lights out last night – thanks to BD for the help in completing them this morning. Favourite was 12a. I am a little bit surprised about the comments on 24a – that seems to a fairly popular, and not infrequent, answer. Overall, after the experiences of the rest of the week, this was very enjoyable.

  12. No problems here – thought it was a tad harder than the usual Saturday but no real roadblocks. As far as the criticism of Ray T is concerned then I must say he is my favourite setter after Virgilius. And with Ray T you nearly always know you’re in for a brain workout.

    Thanks to Cephas (?) and to BD’s hints which were not needed. Now if anyone needs a challenge then try Gazza’s NTSPP. I’ve been trying to solve it off & on since 13:00!

  13. Really enjoyed this, whoever set it. I took ages to get going and thought it was going to be a bit of a little piglet but did the bottom half and then top right corner – still had absolutely nothing in top left corner but then things fell into place, apart from 8a which I couldn’t see for ages.
    I was stupid about 16d – thought that the first six letters were the family unit which left me with the last two that I couldn’t make any sense of at all – the hint sorted that out. I had heard of 3d but didn’t know what it was. The second word of 4d is one that I can’t spell – at least I KNOW that I have to look it up – always want to put an F into it – don’t know why.
    I thought that there were lots of good clues – far too many to pick out any particular ones – perhaps 18 and 23a and 2 and 14d.
    With thanks to the setter and BD.
    Sister-in-law here for weekend but she’s doing some work so I’m going to have a go at gazza’s NTSPP.

  14. No real difficulties in this one, although a clumsy and unnecessary transposition error in the second word of 4d, meant that my last one in was 18a.
    Thanks to setter, and to BD.

  15. Thanks to the setter & to Big Dave for the hints. A good puzzle, quite tricky in places. Needed the hint for 3d to finish. Favourites were 24a & 9a. Sorry Dave, but great result for the Gooners earlier :-)

  16. Enjoyed this one – just the right – difficult enough to make it enjoyable and satisfying.

    If I’m allowed to stray off subject – can anyone explain the 2 line letter on the letters page referrring to Sally Bercow?
    It makes no sense to me!

    1. She is the tweeting twit who furthered the Newsnight blunder about Lord McAlpine. I believe when you get lots of followers on Twitter you are supposed to be ‘trending’. Anyone remember the days when we knew nothing about the private lives of the Speakers of Parliament?

      1. I remember lots of days when we didn’t have to put with most of today’s nonsense. The joy of becoming an octogenarian!

  17. The Sally Bercow reference is a repeat of what she said about Lord McAlpine when the rumours were flying – presumably in her case the rumour is that she is going to be taken to the cleaners by McAlpine’s lawyers

      1. Thanks BD, I’ve been lurking for some time and thanks for the help with some of the clues which fox me each day.

        I tried to post a request for any hints on 21a about 15 mins ago but it seems to have disappeared into a black hole. Apart from that clue managed to do the rest today but it took me much longer than usual which might be down to a late night of course.

        1. Welcome from me too. 21a is a simple double definition. The first word in the clue is one definition and the remaining words the second one.

          1. Thanks CS. It’s only simple if you’ve got the letters from the other clues correct!
            I had managed to muddle up my east and west in 22d and had produced a word meaning bear but not the right one! Once I spotted that bit of stupidity your hint did the trick.

    1. Had a chuckle at her protestations that she didn’t libel him. If it comes to court [it probably wont] it will be interesting to see whether Lord McAlpine’s lawyers resurrect the age-old case of the illiterate farmer who drew the attention of passers-by to a letter that libelled his ex-landlord and was found to have thereby criminally libelled the landowner despite not knowing the contents of the letter.

      It seems to me that the principle might well apply to drawing attention to a trending topic that comprises or contains libellous statements.

      1. I had a peep at the silly cow’s Twitter feed.

        Nearly 60,000 idiots follow her to get rubbish like this “2nd time recently I’ve been to gym & found fellow sauna devotee eating sandwich/crisps in the sauna. A new weight-loss fad or just silly?”.

    1. I’m very pleased too but if you’re talking football did you see that terrible foul committed by Adeboyer (sp) in the Arsenal/Spurs game? The man should be banned from the g\zme for life.

  18. Great in parts.
    I only got 8a because of 15d (I’m sure that it’s not naughty to say that)
    Thanks setter and BD.

  19. A fairly stressful day with car trouble, Newcastle and England losing ….but the cryptic was an excellent tonic. Many thanks setter and BD. :)

  20. enjoyed this one whoever the setter was.

    Wasn’t ******** a stage play starring the great Peter Sellers?

  21. I only got to this about an hour ago. Clealy my brain and heart weren’t in it for a while and I indulged in a couple of BD’s hints … for which many thanks.

    In passing, is there a name for puzzles that can be completed with the keys struck by the left hand on a typewriter, or that uses only the keys to the right of the QWERTY keyboard centreline? I’m fairly sure I remember a weekday Cryptic in the past couple of months that did the latter.

    I rather feel that a Cryptic that only requires the right hand, or the right of the QWERTY centreline to entee the answers might be a particular challenge to compile … and complete.

    Is there a challenge there?

  22. Finished at last!

    I got the spelling of the first part of 24a wrong (foolishly, my memory told me there was an ‘h’ in there) which resulted in not getting 15d. When I got round to checking the spelling the penny finally dropped.

    Having been brought up in Africa, 3d was easy.

    Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle.

  23. I really enjoyed this puzzle this morning. I tried to post at just after 10am this morning before going out for the day but the machiniery must have been a bit slow off the mark this morning. My only observation is that 8a is not old train service as it still exists and sort of runs East Coast.

  24. Found this puzzle to be a shade tougher than usual for Saturday but got there in the end.

    Faves : 8a, 17a, 23a, 3d, 14d & 16d.

    Must now get to bed as it is already Sunday here.

    Thanks BD for the music for 18a!

    BTW : The BRB doesn’t have the word POBS in it – pieces of bread soaked in hot milk!

  25. Once again, late to the party after a busy Saturday, I looked at this last night and eventually got a couple in under my own steam and wondered if I would ever complete the grid :-)

    Returned to it this morning and made progress after seeing the hints and then it began to flow but it didn’t help having static for 21a and I soon saw the error of my ways.

    Thanks as always to BD for the hints and 23a made me chuckle. Only 20d to go…I shall let it wander in my little grey cells to see if anything pops up.

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