ST 2629 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2629 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2629 (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.

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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           Child engaged in a piece of music (6)
A charade of a male child, a word meaning engaged in and the A from the clue gives a piece of music

ARVE Error: need id and provider

12a         Part of defence for second person breaking down (7)
Part of the defence of some football teams comes from S(econd) and a person breaking down in tears

13a         Assemble around noon in Irish quarter (7)
Put a verb meaning to assemble around N(oon) to give a province in the south-west of the Republic of Ireland

25a         Hits drive to one side, going left into grassy area (5)
A verb meaning hits the golf ball intentionally in such a way that it moves from one side to the other in the air is reversed (going left in an across clue) to give an expanse of short grass

27a         Excel as risk-taker (6)
A double definition – a verb meaning to excel and someone who wagers money


1d           Flatter piano used on TV serial (4-4)
This verb meaning to flatter is derived from the meaning of the musical term piano and a sentimental, melodramatic television serial

6d           A couple of top brass, eccentric and kind of shy (7)
A person holding a senior commission in the army is repeated and followed by an eccentric to give a kind of shy found at the fairground

9d           Old border lines are revised for state, going beyond what’s justified (14)
O(ld) followed by a border and an anagram (revised) of LINES ARE gives a verb meaning to make a statement that goes beyond what’s justified

16d         Key inhabitant I defame (8)
Someone who inhabits a key is a charade of I from the clue and a verb meaning to defame

22d         The writer invested in currency of one foreign country or another (5)
Put the first person objective pronoun (the writer) inside the currency of Japan to get a Middle Eastern country

Today it’s Happy Birthday to Patsy Kensit (44)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

30 comments on “ST 2629 (Hints)

  1. Another excellent puzzle. This took me a while to get started and I kicked myself several times when uncovering the deceptions. Thanks to BD and to Virgilius.
    Off out later on armed with Today’s Times and Yesterday’s NTSPP.

  2. Found this a bit odd today – some struggles here and there. First in was 17a and last in was 9d which took me forever to work out!! Enjoyed it though – Thanks to Big Dave for the Hints and Tips and Happy Birthday to Patsy! :-)

    1. I think I finished on 8d/13a. I was going nowhere until I started getting the 4 big clues. 14a was my Clue of the Day for the wonderfully smooth surface reading.

  3. Thanks for hints, 25a I had written in and can now justify it similar on 9d.

    Generally enjoyed puzzle, once again going up blind alleys is feature of my solving, mental note, justify before writing in.

  4. A smashing puzzle for a wet, tennis-less Sunday forenoon. Agree with Gnomey that 14a is a 5* clue.
    17a was my last-to-go-in – not a pretty word, but the clue works well enough. Cheers BD & Virgilius

  5. Hi folks!

    Had several days off solving as was working on my 2011 income tax return – it is amazing how much photocopying one has to get through to send in full details – however it is done except for the cover letter!

    Re the puzzle from Virgilius – excellent as always!

    Aside from the four fourteen letter jobs, I liked as follows :-
    12a, 22a, 25a, 1d, 6d, 16d & 20d.

    A very sporty puzzle – cricket, football & golf!

  6. Apart from the going out with yesterday’s puzzles, my comments are identical to Gnomey’s, incuding the usual thanks. Big thank you to BD for explaining 25a for me, I thought I was going to have to email Gnomey and make use of his golfing expertise :).

  7. Had to suffer . . . and come to the bar to do this one as although we have internet access, we don’t have a printer. :(
    Great puzzle completed over a coffee and brandy sat by the heated, outdoor pool. What more could a girl want?
    Last one is was 9d – which pommers isn’t keen on. Our fave clue was definitely 14a and the pommers like 4a too.
    Got 25a but hadn’t got a clue where it came from from, so thanks BD for the hints.
    Thanks also to Virgilius too for a nice Sunday romp.

    Hope you enjoy the game this afternoon BD. Might have to stay in the bar to watch as we have Sky Sports here. What time’s kick-off?
    Might be drunk before it even starts though !!!!! :roll:

  8. Thanks to the setter & Big Dave for the hints. Just needed a couple, but made things hard for myself by not putting in the correct last 4 letters for 17a.. Very enjoyable puzzle, favourite was 4a.

  9. I’ve had a real battle with this one. Finally finished apart from 12a and 9d – what a good thing that BD gave hints for those two! I also needed the hint to explain what I had for 25a. I just about managed 15d. I don’t understand what I’ve got for 26a – it does mean “speculated” but can’t work out where it all comes from. Football, cricket AND golf all in one puzzle?! Oh dear!! Need a long lie down now. I liked 4, 10 and 14a and 1, 6, 20 and 22d. With thanks to Virgiius and BD.
    Cold and wet – rain, sleet, snow. 2C here – that’ll serve me right for thinking that Spring had arrived. :sad:

    1. Hi Kath 26a took me a while too – it’s a three-letter word which can mean “having secured” plus a legal document with an “r” in it. Snowed here to-day too but hasn’t settled, thank the powers on high!
      Had a real struggle to-day but did finally finish, with a lot of electronic help and some checking from the hints.

      1. Thanks for the 26a bit – now I understand – and now I do, it’s difficult to see why I didn’t!! I found this difficult today.

    1. You need an abbreviation for doctors (not the more common Drs) followed by a three letter word meaning intimidate or instil fear to get a capital of a large country.

  10. After first read through I didn’t think I was going to get anywhere with this one to-day but eventually got there but needed BD’s hint for 9d.So thanks BD for hinting that one. I don’t understand why 24a is what it is though. I loved this puzzle and fav.clues were 5d,6d & 14a. Thanks again Virgilius.
    The A team finished yesterday’s NTSPP ,this morning. As you said CS it was a delight but didn’t find it all that easy .:smile:

    1. 24a Laments in Greek island about maiden not fair (9)
      A verb meaning laments or bemoans is created by putting a three-letter Greek holiday island around M(aiden) and an adjective meaning not fair or not pretty.

  11. 24a was my dead end today so had to look thro’ hints…Ty Big Dave.
    Yet another puzzler saved from a nasty end :)

  12. Head above the parapet for the first time for ages !
    I thought more difficult than usual. Normally I go through this one fairly quickly before struggling with the S Times.
    Still stuck on 8d : can’t find a suitable word that fits unless I have one of the checking letters wrong, but I don’t think so.
    any help would be appreciated. Thanks for hints, needed today.

    1. 8d Optimistic about a monarch showing this kind of devotion (6)
      This is a form of devotion in which beads may be used to keep track of where you’re up to. Put an adjective meaning optimistic or promising around A and an abbreviation for king.

      1. Thank you : i came across that word, but didn’t think of it at the time as that kind of devotion !

  13. Sitting in a pub in Todmorden enjoying a cappuccino and this splendid puzzle.

    If you are scratching around looking for things to do the 40th anniversary Azed puzzle on the Guardian site is worth a bash.

    And Notabilis fans wanting another fix of their hero could try yesterday’s Indy or Times Jumbo.

  14. Really enjoyed this today, struggled with some of the long ones for a while but got there eventually, first chance i’ve had to call in today, see you all tomorrow, sorry about result Dave :-(

    1. Why do they put the Sunday puzzle in the middle of the gubbins that we normally throw away? Having found it eventually I did it in quick time. Some enjoyable clues, though, especially 4 and 14.. Why is it not on the back page – there is enough room.

      1. Sorry, Pepsi, I don’t know how it got in there. Don’t mention football – it will only put him in a bad mood.

  15. Just finished. In my defence I only started after Dancing on Ice. Last one in 8d and confess to electronic aid. I was looking for a word using our current monarch which was my downfall. Penultimate was 13a – again I had an idea which was wrong. I wanted to use ‘meet’. Got in end without help by going through the verbs. Spent ages on 26a – looking for something with writ rather than another legal document. Favourites 13 and 26a and 1,6,16 and 22d.

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