ST 2628 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2628 (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 submission


1a           Saw dog being restrained by lead (7)
A saw or adage is created by putting a name given to many dogs inside the chemical symbol for lead

10a         Continent rejecting a loan, initially, for European state (7)
Start with an  island country and continent of the southern hemisphere and drop the A from the clue and the initial letter of Loan and a short word meaning for to get a European country I always thought that the continent has an additional AS in the middle, but the ODE gives that as a region, not a continent, including New Zealand, New Guinea, and the neighbouring islands of the Pacific as well

11a         Present with potential to get work, for what it’s worth (4,5)
This voucher that is often given as a present enables the recipient to purchase works of fiction and non-fiction

22a         Composer extremely attached to his country (5)
This composer is a charade of a two-letter word meaning extremely and the abbreviation of his country

28a         Form of energy involving carbon, as a rule (7)
Put an anagram (form) of ENERGY around (involving) the chemical symbol for Carbon to get rule by a person invested with interim authority on behalf of another


1d           Job secure? Sack given peripatetic worker (7)
A charade of a job and a verb meaning to secure or obtain gives this sack used by a peripatetic worker to deliver the mail

6d           It has pieces of information year after year, very little (4-5)
Start with the abbreviated form of “it has” and some pieces of information and add Y(ear) to each part to get an adjective meaning very little – like a teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini!

7d           Artist put in much energy creating hotchpotch (7)
Put the usual artist between words meaning much and energy to get this hotchpotch

24d         Major political movement including second member for a lark? (5)
This major shift in political opinion is a charade of S(econd) and member for a lark, or any other bird

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 Tom Courtenay (75)



  1. Posted February 26, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I enjoy the Sunday challenge more each week. This was as enjoyable and thought-provoking as we come to expect. Are you going to illustrate 6D?

    • Posted February 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the 6D clip, but not quite what I had in mind !

      • Posted February 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. A blonde mullet with a moustache is hardly what one had in mind!

  2. Prolixic
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    I thought Virgilius was in a gentler mood for a fine sunny Sunday today. All the fun and elegance but not as tricky as some of this recent crosswords. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

  3. Jezza
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was fairly gentle today. I filled the grid in quickly, and then came back to 11a; the answer went in without me fully understanding the wordplay at the time, although it was obvious later.
    Thanks to Virgilius as always, and to BD, as always.

  4. Colmce
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for hints, more by luck than good judgement did almost all of it without them.

    Still stuck on bottom left corner, have a feeling I’ve got at least one seriously wrong,

    Lots of fun though. 14d sent me down a few blind alleys.

  5. crypticsue
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    I would give this 2* difficulty but for the age it took me to work out why 24d is what it is. That ‘including’ was very misleading, well I thought so anyway. Usual 4* fun, thank you Virgilius. Thanks to BD too.

  6. Posted February 26, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Still staring at 18d and 22a and not quite sure on the parsing of 11a. I’ll get there – I think at I Am just In thick Sunday mode!
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    • SpikeyMikey
      Posted February 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      For 18d try the (r)iver and another word for excursion to give you something you plot to get from a to b

      • Posted February 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Spike of Mike!
        I got there (have heard off the composer but I find them easy to forget!)

    • Jezza
      Posted February 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      The way I understood 11a was that with the answer to the clue, you could potentailly get (a) ‘work’, up to it’s value (for what it’s worth).
      With the value of those I was given as a child, I would not get much these days!

  7. Posted February 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    According to Alicante Airport weather centre it’s now got up to 23C and not a cloud in the sky! I’ll have to get my shorts out if it carries on like this (which it won’t!).

    Just off to the local to give this one a go over a pre-prandial (and pre-football) glass of vino collapso :grin:

    • Posted February 26, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Pommers! I’ve just put the thermostat up for the central heating and I’m sat in a T-shirt, rugby shirt & fleece. The temperature is a balmy 11°C outside but because of the wind it feels a few degrees colder.

      • Posted February 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        You do acclimatise though! You may think 23C is hot and 6 years ago I would have been wearing flip-flops, shorts and a T-shirt but today it’s shoes, socks, jeans, polo shirt and a sweatshirt. My Spanish mate was dressed similar but with a lightweight body warmer as well!

  8. SpikeyMikey
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Really really liked this today – thought provoking and fun – especially liked 14d. First one inwas 26a, last one in was 22a. Thanks to Big Dave for H&Ts.

  9. Derek
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I finished this enjoyable crossword from Virgilius about two hours ago and have since had strange computer problems – it seemed to be completely blocked – but at last it is OK again. ODTAA!

    Faves : 1a, 13a, 17a, 22a, 4d, 7d, 14d & 20d.

    Coleridge has been popular this week!!

  10. Posted February 26, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    For some reason this didn’t feel like the usual Virgilius fare. I can’t put my finger on why but it just seemed a bit pedestrian compared to the usual Sunday puzzles.

    And like I could do better – I don’t think so!

  11. Kath
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been slow on this one but have finished it now without needing hints – but only just!! Of all the setters I think that Virgilius hides his anagrams most efficiently – it’s always a Sunday crossword when I don’t see them for ages – 28a today. I spent a long time trying to make the 22a composer begin with “Ad” because of the “extremely (A)ttache(D)” bit of the clue – wrong!! Didn’t think I was ever going to get 24d. I’m not quite sure why 3d is American. I liked 12, 13, 15 (probably wouldn’t have got that one if we hadn’t had it earlier in the week) 19 and 26a and 4, 5, 6 … why don’t I just write them all down?!!! With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    I KNOW I’ve said it numerous times before but until I found this great blog I couldn’t even begin the Sunday crosswords, so thanks, again, to all the bloggers! :smile:

    • Posted February 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink


      You have a good point about 3d. According to Wikipedia he was born an American and moved to the United Kingdom in 1914 (at age 25) and was naturalised as a British subject in 1927.

    • steve_the_beard
      Posted February 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Re 3D: He was American, he of “burnt-out ends of smoky days” (thanks, O-Level English!)

  12. Posted February 26, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Spring must be sprung. We’ve got an official drought and I’ve just heard the first lawn mowers of the season!

  13. Posted February 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Excellent puzzle but a bit ‘Virgilius lite’ I thought! Note to self – take harder crosswords to the bar otherwise you won’t get the second glass of vino :grin:

    Thanks Virgilius and also BD.

    • Prolixic
      Posted February 26, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      Take Myops next time and you can drink the bar dry :)

      • Posted February 26, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        But by the time I’m on the third or fourth I won’t be able to think straight! There again, that might be an advantage with a Myops :lol:

  14. Posted February 26, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    In view of the London derby result I won’t mention the football but Liverpool are about to kick off so see y’all later.

    • Heno
      Posted February 26, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      Gooooners have got some o’s back today :-)

  15. Colmce
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Phew, well I got there in the end.
    To echo Kaths remarks in just over a week, reading this blog has dramatically improved my skill levels and enjoyment, thanks to BD and all the other contributors.
    Give it another year or so and I could become competent.

  16. Addicted
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Managed without hints but lots of electronic help – brain a bit foggy following lunch with large glass of wine! Enjoyed this one but could someone explain 21d please? Pretty sure I have it right but don’t quite “see” it. 15a was first in due to same answer earlier in the week! (And being a golfer but never having achieved one of these) 24d last in after eventually deciding it was about all it could be, if you see what I mean? And 6d took forever until penny dropped. Thanks to setter for Sunday fun.

    • Posted February 26, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Hi Addicted

      21d is a word meaning too much with T(ime) inserted (put in) giving you a word meaning done out in the open – trying to stay out of the naughty corner today but hope that helps a bit :smile:

      • Addicted
        Posted February 26, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Pommers – I was definitely being a bit thick there – looked at just the first 4 letters as being “too much” – silly me!

  17. Gari
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Just finished this, got stuck on SE corner mainly due to me putting Yodel in 19a which threw everything else out and then had a doh moment. :rol:

    • Gari
      Posted February 26, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      opps should finished. :roll:

      • Kath
        Posted February 26, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        Think you mean oops ie :oops: AND :roll: Where is everyone today – terribly quiet for a Sunday – bloody Rugby/football I expect ….. !!

        • Posted February 26, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

          Sunday – rugby – football, not surprised it’s quiet!

          Might go back to the pub to watch Athletico M v Barca, KO in 20 mins (just to complete a ‘lazy Sunday’ :grin:

        • Posted February 26, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

          As a Spanish friend once said – in Spain we have 3 levels of football. La Liga then Barcelona/Real Madrid and then Xavi/Messi/Iniesta :grin: Always worth watching!

          • Kath
            Posted February 26, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

            Don’t understand – do wish BD would invent a “face” for :yawn: !!

            • Posted February 26, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

              Don’t think it’s BD who invents the faces but there probaly is a yawn available from somewhere! I’ll try this :yawn:

              • Posted February 27, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

                The supported emoticons are in the FAQ.

                And there’s more about them here.

            • Posted February 26, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

              Well. that didn’t work :grin:

            • Posted February 26, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

              But Barca won 2-1. :grin: :grin:

            • Posted February 26, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink


              • Posted February 26, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Permalink


                • Prolixic
                  Posted February 26, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

                  Don’t think there is a yawn emoticon. The closest is probably :eek: ‘:eek:’

                  • Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

                    There is a yawning emoticon here Smiley face yawning

                    Only problem is that this is the HTML code for it ! a href=””>Smiley face yawning It needs a < at the beginning to make it work :smile:

                  • Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

                    Actually it seems you only need this bit of the code :

                    img alt=”Smiley face yawning” width=18 height=18 src=””>

                    • Gari
                      Posted February 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

                      I like this one.:& Sick:

                    • Gari
                      Posted February 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

                      or this.:mrgreen:

  18. Hrothgar
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable and clever Sunday fare.
    Thanks Virgilius and BD.
    Lingered, perhaps, too long over the reason for 26D until the penny dropped.

  19. Heno
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter & Big Dave for the hints. Found this a real struggle, got there in the end with a couple of hints and a couple from the blog. Sorry BD, but a great result for Arsenal today :-)

  20. Weekend wanda
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    I find Sundays different and difficult. For me this one was more difficult than last week. I liked 5 17 26a and 2 16 18 21d. But can someone explain 19a to me without giving it away. I have the word for celebratory call in. I can also think of two words – one shorter one longer – for lout but I cannot get the connection.

    • Posted February 26, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      Hi WW

      I’ll end up in the naughty corner here so hope you read this before it’s deleted!

      It’s a slang word for a lout which is also a shout of delight (and it’s also an internet search engine) – OK, is there any cake left?

      • Weekend wanda
        Posted February 26, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

        Thanks. I got end result but I was thinking of another word for lout. Three letters or five letters with the same two at the end as the answer. I did not know that the answer was also a word for a lout. Sorry that’s cryptic or double Dutch! Thanks again!

        • Steve_the_beard
          Posted February 27, 2012 at 1:12 am | Permalink

          It was the name of a race of people in Gulliver’s Travels, whose behaviour was crude and loutish – does that help?

  21. Gari
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    try again. :&sick