ST 2622 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2622 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2622 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the more difficult clues and provide hints 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           Bishop leading one religious group split down the middle (6)
A charade of B(ishop), I (one) and a religious group leads to a verb meaning to group split down the middle

11a         Annoyed reaction heard in summit, or just a short-term view? (5)
Virgilius has given us two homonyms for this annoyed reaction – a summit and a short view

26a         Extremes of honesty coming in useful (5)
Spell out the outside letters (extremes) of HonestY to get an adjective meaning coming in useful

29a         Heads off for big gin, for a start (6)
A trademark Virgilius clue! – drop the initial letters from (heads off) three words in the clue to get a start


1d           Primate holding former president dear (8)
This small nocturnal lemur-like primate is a charade of the name of a former US president and an affectionate term similar to dear

5d           In line with right policies? Vice versa — only changing over time (14)
This adverb meaning in line with right-wing policies is an anagram (changing) of VICE VERSA ONLY around (over) T(ime)

22d         Understand female cutting party short (6)
A word meaning to understand or comprehend is created from F(emale) followed by a party held in a someone’s own house (2,4) without its final letter (cutting … short)

24d         With less confidence in company, cast going on short English run (5)
An adjective meaning with less confidence in company is built up from a verb meaning to cast followed by the abbreviations (short) of E(nglish) and R(un)

More hints soon!

If you need further help then please ask and I will see what I can do.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put whole or partial answers or alternative clues in your comment, else they may be censored!

Today it’s Happy Birthday to Princess Michael of Kent (67)

35 comments on “ST 2622 (Hints)

  1. Another superb start to Sunday, thank you to Virgilius. A very nice mix of the ‘ah yes’ and the ‘what the heck’! Thanks to BD too.

    I hope everyone is having the same lovely sunny day that we have got in East Kent. The morning walk in the woods was wonderful. Back to the cake baking now.

  2. Either I’m getting better at these or this one was reasonably straightforward for a Sunday – will wait to see what the consensus is! Spent a while trying to make 4a begin “Che” but sorted that one out. I wasn’t too sure about 1d as I thought, from the clue, that something was meant to go inside something else (the “holding” bit) but it had to be what it was. I assume that 18a is something to do with one of the sports that I can’t “do”! I liked 11, 15 and 26a and 3, 8, 17 and 22d. With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    1. Maybe we’re cleverer in 2012 than we were last year, as I seem to have struggled less lately as well. I too was trying to use Che in 4a – he crops up so often, he’s always my first thought. I keep feeling I must get over being intimidated by the Toughie and give it a go. I do sometimes when bloggers say it’s doable, so maybe I’ll make a belated New Year’s resolution to try a bit more often.

  3. Had fun with this – started in the bottom right hand corner and worked my way up and across. 12a made me laugh and 14a was very sixties! Thanks to BD and the setter – time to sort the Sunday lunch!! :-)

  4. Put five in on first read through and thought it was going to be a doddle! 3 hours later puffing and panting I’ve arrived, what a struggle, but why? Looking at it now it’s not as difficult as I made it , so a great puzzle, thank you Virgilius and BD

  5. Hi Dave and everyone, I found this quite hard today and IMHO almost toughie level in parts, particularly clues like 18a, the top right hand corner was last to go in for me today with 6d, 7d and 11a being the very last, fav clues 25a and 18a, I think at least a three star personally which left me needing lots of ‘friendly’ help :-) , quite a sense of achievement on finishing it

  6. Another great puzzle! How does Virgilius keep the standard up week in week out?

    Glad I’m not reviewing this one as I know I’d spend an inordinate amout of time vacillating about what partiuclar example of 16d to use for a picture, and with which driver! Don’t like 17d – the herb that is not the clue which is fine.

    I think favourite is 16d but there are a lot of really great clues in this (I thought 26a was clever!)..

    Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  7. Not very keen on this one. Didn’t like 13 – what is that j-word. Its certainly not English. Also 29 was pretty poor with part of the clue in the answer. Best was 7 for the misdirection and also liked 20 22 and 26.

    1. Not entirely sure why I am rising to the bait, but I am waiting for the kettle to boil so here goes. The j word in 13d is in Chambers as an alternative spelling. Re 29a it has to be in the answer because otherwise the clue wouldn’t work or you wouldn’t be able to remove the ‘heads’.

      1. Did you mean 13a? I have an answer in but it doesn’t have a j – have I got it wrong? Seems to fit the clue. Struggling with several clues still, 7 & 19 & 22d and 18,23 & 28a. Not my day today :(

        1. Sorry I do mean 13a. UTC was complaining about the spelling of the final word in the clue.

          1. Ah now I see! Have suddenly had spurt & put everything in ,,,but not sure why 18 is what it is – if what I have is right. Any hints?

            1. Ignore last request have just twigged. Thank you for all hints BD & others and to Virgilius for making my brain ache (in a very satisfying way)!

      2. Re 29, the answer should not be in the clue so the setter should have thought of another type of clue. It makes the answer so obvious.

          1. I have no objection to hidden clues as long as they are well hidden and relevant, as this one was.

        1. This was an absolute trademark. Removing the heads (initial letters) from three words does not mean that the answer is in the clue!. I’m with gazza on this one!
          Much fun to be had here – thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the review.

          1. Hi Gnomey, I think that these comments merely show that UTC didn’t fully understand the clue on first reading. The fact that the letters GIN are in both the clue and answer is irrelevant. I constructed the answer in my head as pommette read out the clue and never even realised that gin was a word in the clue too. Just ‘heads off’ immediately said ‘first letters off the next few words’ and the answer was there! Not a difficult clue I have to agree but it works OK for me!

        2. Please don’t confuse me UTC – I’m only just beginning to recognise these “take the heads off the word” type of clues – I was quite proud of myself for getting it today without thinking “how the hell does that make sense”?!! It seems to be a Sunday trademark.

    2. Re the j-word in 13a (why are we all pussy-footing around here – it’s in the clue!) the only way that I can remember the two accepted (ie in Chambers) spellings is :-if it has two “LL’ then it has three “E” as in “Jewellery”, if it only has one “L” then it only has two “E” as in “Jewelry. You have to count the “L”s!! :smile:

      1. Hi Kath, never thought abut that ( why would i ?) but the OED has the two spellings as alternatives, but Collins says the one in the clue is a ‘US’ spelling. I don’t really care because the word was in the clue and not the answer and was perfectly understandable.
        I did note, however, that Jay used a similar construction a couple of weeks ago.

  8. I tend to agree with Dickiedot (#5), and this always seems to be the case with Virgilius’s puzzles – the first read-through reaps a limited harvest, and the feeling that it is impenetrable. Then another a-hah moment, a break for a cuppa, and slowly but surely it all falls into place. The mark of a master-craftsman! Thanks to he & Bee Dee.

    1. 22d – To understand this clue you need to forget the first letter , imagine an E at the end of the last 5 letters and then split the 2, 4 to get a type of party.

  9. Enjoyed this one today, thanks to BD and Virgilious. Favourite for me was 12a; are we still in the panto season? Oh no we’re not. Going for my op on Tuesday morning, so I might be out of touch for a few days. Buffer’s mate has promised to bring the crossy in to me; and she’ll have to do the cooking for a couple of months, which will be a nice change. Cold here today but Scafell looks majestic. Back soon.

  10. Another pleasant end to the week from Virgilius,

    Faves : 10a, 15a, 23a, 29a, 1d, 8d, 19d & 22d.

    Entrecôte and French fries tonight followed by raspberries and cream – must fish out some red wine as well.

  11. Thanks to Virgilus for a good puzzle and to Big Dave for the hints. I struggled initially, but got it with a bit of persevation :-) Most enjoyable, a few penny drop moments. Favourites were 12 & 16. Last in was 22d.

  12. Oh dear I think I need alot more practice with Virgilius clues. For me some of the clues were convoluted. Loved 11a when got it after picking up on the pantomime clue from one of the bloggers. Was on the right track with 28a. Got eventually but take slight issue with the term ‘official’. The official is in the masculine whether post holder is male or female. Last in 11a. Simple once I had corrected 7d fir which I had respure

  13. Started this one this morning, and it’s taken a day of coming back to it on-and-off for the penny to drop on the final set of answers (mainly SW corner – 18a, 23a and 19d), but I feel very satisfied to have finished this – not one of Virgilius’s easier offerings, I would have said.
    12a made me laugh when I finally got it.
    All-round enjoyable stuff! :)

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