ST 2631 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2631 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2631 (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           Being non-judgmental, first of drawings is put in frame (14)
A word meaning being non-judgmental is created by inserting the initial letter (first) of Drawings and IS from the clue inside a verb meaning to frame or accuse

12a         Final instruction on board for players there (7,4)
It took a few seconds before the penny dropped, making this my favourite of today’s clues – the final instruction given by the captain of a stricken vessel can be split as (1,4,2,4) to give a group of players on said vessel

14a         Too old? Extremely — about fifty (6)
This word meaning too or excessively is derived from O(ld) and a word meaning extremely or greatly around the Roman numeral for fifty

27a         Get composed and take revenge (6,3,5)
What could mean to agree on a musical composition is actually a phrase meaning to take revenge


1d           Creative planning, having room for improvement? (8,6)
This creative planning could improve the décor in a room, usually at great cost!

5d           Animal tormentors who usually avoid charges (8)
These tormentors of bulls usually avoid them charging (but not always!)

20d         Prince’s friend starts in head office — nine to five, say (7)
This friend of the Prince of Denmark is derived from the initial letters of (starts in) Head Office followed by another word for a proportion like (say) nine to five

25d         Disapproval as short skirt’s made shorter (3)
This quiet exclamation of disapproval is derived by dropping the final letter (made shorter) from a ballerina’s short skirt

Today it’s Happy Birthday to Charley Pride (74)

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36 comments on “ST 2631 (Hints)

  1. Interesting puzzle today with some lovely clues esp 12a and 18d. Stuck now on the right hand side esp with 5d and 13d, can’t seem to unpick these clues, must perservate!

  2. Quite difficult, I thought. It’s taken me longer than usual and I can’t explain the answer that I have for 15a – maybe it’s wrong, although it certainly is to do with guns. Some lovely clues, especially 10, 12 and 24a and 2, 8, 18 and 25d. With thanks to Virgilius, I presume, and BD.
    Where is everyone today?

    1. 15a Guns and rockets, initially, held back inside previously (8)
      Insert the reversal (held back) of AND plus the initial letter of rockets inside a synonym of previously.

  3. Another enjoyable Sunday puzzle!
    As well as the four 14-letter border clues I liked : 10a, 15a, 24a, 5d, 18d & 20d.

    The three-letter clues were also nice!

    Off to my daughter’s for dinner.

  4. Very enjoyable, over too soon, crossword from Virgilius today. No special favourites, just a nice start to Sunday morning. Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    In response to Kath’s question about where everyone is, having just dashed out to the garden centre, I would say they are all on the roads in East Kent :) It is lovely and sunny here today, still with a little chill in the air, but far too nice to be indoors.

    1. Grey and chilly here with a bit of drizzle but not enough to do any good. Enjoy the sun! :smile:

  5. Hi Dave
    Disaster! My husband went out to the newsagent with my Telegraph coupon and came back with the Sunday Times. I’m too mean to buy another paper. Is there any way I can get the grid to complete?

    1. Poor you – how annoying. I don’t know how to help but I’m quite sure that someone will – this “place” seems to be full of lovely helpful people.

  6. Very enjoyable puzzle today. It took me longer than normal for a Sunday, but then again I was trying to keep 2 children happy at the same time (Mother’s Day!).
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  7. I am just testing to see if I can make comments because yesterday I could not

  8. Really enjoyed this one, cracked 1a and 8d and it all fell into place. Thanks to Virgilius for an entertaining puzzle and to BD for hints which for once confirmed my reasoning :)

    Like CS down the garden centre, and then some honest toil in the garden, lovely day.
    Tomorrow servicing an antique diesel engine so hopefully a nice Monday puzzle to provide some light relief.

  9. I am completely bemused…my brain has taken a holiday.
    Its been a lovely day and the roast beef lunch down at the pub was great.
    I will wait for more hints and then out comes the sackcloth and ashes. :(

  10. Thanks Virgilius and BD.
    Very enjoyable and clever clues.
    Took me longer than usual but got there eventually unaided from the hints.

  11. 12a – Thanks to BD for the explanation! I wondered why the “players” were on board!

  12. After a prolonged – but delightful – BBQ’d family lunch, by the I time got to open the paper my grey matter was clearly in need of a stimulus, as this puzzle seemed a bit harder than of late. The sleepy, velvety tones of Mr Pride didn’t help, but I finally cracked it unaided. A good night’s sleep, then wake up to Rufus. Thanks to Virgilius, and of course The Head Blogman.

  13. Great puzzle again from Virgilius. I was up late last night and solved at about 1 in the morning. Nice to see some great hiden (and reversed) clues again. Thanks to BD as well!

  14. Very much enjoyed this today – didn’t get to it till quite late as the paint scraper appeared in my hand!!! First in was 2d, last in 7d. Favourite was 12a. Thanks to Big Dave for the Hints and Tips.

  15. Loved it – was it me, or was it a tad easier than some Sunday’s? Done in two halves – one this morning and one this afternoon, with a delicious Mothering Sunday lunch sandwiched in between. Thanks to Virgilus (is that right?) and BD for the hints which, for once, I didn’t need, but was very obliged for some explanations.

    1. Easier? Haven’t you read the other comments? I found this very enjoyable, but much harder than I would have expected, and only just got inside the DT time limit!

      1. I don’t “do” time limits Steve! Sometimes a crossword can take me all day, in 3, 4 or 5 hits, depending on what is happening. If I finish it, I’m happy – if I can’t, I come and consult Big Dave.

        1. That’s a fair point about time, I only mentioned it because I was surprised that you had found it easier that recent Sunday puzzles. Wouldn’t Life be boring if we were all the same :-)

  16. This one certainly did not float my boat. Liked 1 17 19 and 27a. 16d I’ve seen before. I assume I have 4d right. I have a word that means diverging from the centre and assume a word for set (as in set the table) and initials for a Red reversed. I thought both this and 2d could be got from the clue in a non cryptic way but the cryptic solution was too contrived. Also put pop for 23a which held me up with20d. Stool there’s always tomorrow or rather today!

  17. Having taken my lovely lady out for the day in celebration of Mothers Day, I am only just getting round to the crossword. Fabulous crossword from Virgilus which I really enjoyed, thanks to him and BD for the hints.

  18. Started this yesterday, then superb mother’s day lunch by our son and d-in-law. Lost crossword. Started again today and finished. Well worth perseverance as I thought it was a really good crossword. Last ones in we’re 1a and 1d. 12a excellent. I suppose I’ll send it in like last week, but I never win anything. Thanks to V and BD.

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