ST 2633 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2633 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2633 (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.

Check today’s date before starting this puzzle!


5a           Fool with strange device heading East (7)
A verb meaning to fool is derived from an anagram (strange) of DEVICE followed by the initial letter (heading) of East

11a         Fool corruptly dealt with cop (8)
This uncommon name for a fool comes from an anagram (corruptly) of DEALT with COP

16a         Time for silliness, unusually old as a folly (3,5,3)
The date which is the key to today’s puzzle is an anagram (unusually) of OLD AS A FOLLY

29a         Fool, perhaps, moving South into wasteland (7)
Fool is an example (perhaps) of this dish – to get it put S(outh) inside a wasteland


1d           Religious work I do (4)
This religious work is simply a charade of I from the clue and a verb meaning to do (or to 5 across!)

3d           Two birds died in harbour area (8)
Combine two birds, the first is an alternate name for a black-and-white chattering bird and the second a small flightless South American bird, and add D(ied) to get this harbour area

18d         Against a background of Land’s End, with poor visibility? (6)
An adverb meaning against a background is created by putting the final letter (End) of LanD  inside poor visibility – where is the insertion indicator? Think of the poor visibility as a phrase (2,1,4) starting with “in”

27d         Appearance made by one of the Romans, escorted by soldiers (4)
This appearance or manner is created by putting the Roman numeral for one inside (escorted by) some soldiers

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 Debbie Reynolds (80)

ARVE Error: need id and provider
ARVE Error: need id and provider
ARVE Error: need id and provider

67 comments on “ST 2633 (Hints)

  1. Good morning – you are bright and early today.

    Lovely crossword. Having been called most of the across answers at some point or another, this was not too difficult. Thanks to Virgilius for the crossword and to BD for the hints.

  2. A very amusing, not too taxing offfering today. 3d was last in, the two birds being well hidden in the solution. I also struggled with the meaning of the 7d solution. The wordplay was clear enough but it took a while for me to realise that the verb is transitive. I am still a bit unsure. I’ll have to consult a dictionary.
    Thanks to the setter!

    1. It’s one of those strange verbs that can have opposite meanings.

      To complete successfully (a putt or shot) by causing the ball to run into the hole (golf)

      To invest, especially unprofitably or beyond easy recovery

  3. As Nestorius said, very amusing and cleverly constructed “well done” to the compiler. I hadn’t come across the answer to 11a before but it is quite descriptive and will be mentally filed for future use.

  4. Good morning Dave, I really enjoyed this one, very clever to be able to incorporate all those different meanings for fool into one puzzle, a few I hadn’t heard of such as 11a but it was an obvious anagram, 3d was the last one in for me and 18d 2nd last, I needed your hints for those two, thanks, I hadn’t heard of 28a meaning this before either, off to hand out some more leaflets now, I will see us re-instated hopefully :-)

  5. Superb start to SUnday once again from Virgilius. Many thanks to him. Too many favourites to choose just one or two but d’oh of the day ahs to be 7d with its obvious answer buit why?? Thanks to BD too.

  6. What a lovely puzzle! Trust Mr Greer to come up with something so well crafted. Seems strange that no-one has mentioned the NINA yet (Thanks Tilsit for putting me on to it!)
    Thanks also to BD and to Virgilius.

    1. That’s mean!! Have now just spent several minutes hunting and thinking that I must have got something wrong!! :grin:

  7. I enjoyed this one very much – 18d took me ages and was the last one in – tried, unsuccessfully, to make it “smudgy” as I hadn’t got 28a, which was my second to last one in. 3d also took a while – had spotted the second bird and the “D” but just couldn’t think of another bird that would make sense of the clue. I had heard of 11a (almost certainly from a previous crossword) and understood 7d quite quickly. Anyway, finished now. Favourites include 10, 20, … actually too many to write them all down! With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Back into the garden and then later will carry on with what I suspect is going to be an unequal struggle with the NTSPP – I think the winner is a bit of a foregone conclusion!

  8. It is just as well that the 1st of April falls (no homophone intended!) on a Sunday, because as gnomethang says above, Mr Greer has put together such a lovely puzzle!
    Thanks to him, and BD too.

  9. Really enjoyed today’s with a clever if obvious theme but just unsure about the last clue 13a. What has the hero from the Iliad to do with being revered? Can see it as a mocking remark but the answer just doesn’t quite sit right. Am I going down the wrong path? I’m sure the answer will make me a bit of a 26a!

    1. Revered person – two letter abbreviation – inside a word for mock 4 letters gives you this fool

          1. Sunny interspersed with cloud I’m afraid Brian, warm when the sun is out but too cool to sit out with all the clouds about :-(

            1. Bit the same in Bucks. Thx for the help I now see I was only totally he wrong track with Hector, I should have been looking for the court fool!

      1. Thanks for reply yesterday, Mary. Sorry to hear about all the flute tooting problems – good luck with your “cause”. :smile:

  10. As always, I enjoyed today’s crossword. I had to read the hints & comments to get the wordplay in 3D.Best clue for me was24A. I have never known a 10A to be amusing.
    Thanks to B. D. and Virgilius (2 hidden words & one a latin plural!) O. K. for us ex altar boys.

    The Sun is back out In Cheadle Hulme but I am going to watch the end of the tour of Flanders cycling.



  11. Does anybody actually enter the prize crossword and if so are there any winners amongst us ?
    Is the pen worth the trouble or shall I pop into WH Smith ?

    1. Pop into Smiths – especially with the stamps going up – you will be able to buy a pen for much less money than you will spend on sending off the crossword for weeks/months/years. Ask Digby – he has made a life’s career of it and still no pen :)

    2. I always send ’em in. I have won two pens in the last twelve months. It is also true to say ,I have won two pens in the last thirty years. I am as you will realise an optimist. For me the glass is always half full but the glass is also abit on the small side.



  12. Enjoyed this one but stuck on two clues if anyone can help without being sent to the naughty corner. Still can’t get 3d, despite the hints, probably because I don’t know any S.American birds and for the life of me I can’t think of the alternative name for that chattering black & white job. And neither can I make any sense of 2d. Thank you in anticipation…?!

    1. The chattering black and white bird apparently is called also by the first three letters of its name and by the second three, you need the second three followed by a 4 letter bird followed by the d for ‘died’ this will give you something in a harbour area, hopefully once you have the first 3 letters plus the checking letter from 10a you will get it

      1. 2d another four letter word for a stake followed by a two letter word for raised gives you a term for a car crash

          1. Mary,

            Cheadle hulme is nice Cheadle is nice, Hulme is

            This new laptop, that I bought for my retirement is about as user friendly as a cornered rat

            1. The thought of a cornered rat makes me go cold, pale and sweaty! I’m totally, irrationally, terrified of them! :sad:

    2. The last thee letters of the chattering black & white job can also be used as an alternative name. Have a web search for flightless South American birds and you should get that bit. The definition in 2 down is a crash involving more than one vehicle.

    3. Clever one today so well done setter. I need some clues for the bottom left and confirmation i had decoded 3d correctly -I’ve got it now so thanks. On with the bottom left.

        1. Yes but the other way round. I am going to XX out your letters as it could be giving away too much.

          1. Thanks, i get it now and will file away for future reference. Back to square 1 with 18d!

              1. Finished it now. All i needed was to know the name of that river (another thing to file away), then all else fell into place.

    1. I fell for it too and spent quite a few minutes hunting around, then convinced myself that I must have got something wrong, before I realised that I’d been completely “had”!!

  13. Had to scratch the old grey thatch a bit today, but very enjoyable just the same. Thanks to BD and setter. Favourite today was 28a; a name for a fool kindly donated by our American cousins I believe. Was it first heard in “Starskey and Hutch”, I wonder?

  14. Many thanks to Virgilius for a well-themed puzzle!
    Liked : 11a, 20a, 24a, 29a, 3d, 7d, 14d & 17d.

    Weather here sunny but cold!
    Some friends of mine who also live here are down at their second home near Bordeaux and tell me it is very cold overnight but warms up to 20^C in the sunshine.

    1. 28a Think about Christmas and then look it up! :smile:
      3d Lots of hints above – not sure that I can do better but I’ll have a go – this is a black and white bird – it is better known by a six letter word – you want the last three letters by which it is also known. Just think of a black and white bird – they’re absolutely everywhere, or at least they are around here.

  15. I wrestled with this off an all day but enjoyed every clue and solving moment and got there in the end. Thanks to Virgilius and BD

    1. 3d first bird ia a black and white one, male. Or blue and white, female. They collect shiny objects. This should give you a six letter bird. Just use the last three letters for the version that fits the clue. 28a you can eat them at Xmas.

      1. Sorry henostat – didn’t see your reply to Adrian until I’d already pressed send. :oops:

  16. Thanks to the setter & Big Dave for the hints, which for once I didn’t need. Great puzzle, it gave me a laugh out loud moment when I said “All the across clues except one start with fool. ” No real favourites, just made me chuckle trying to get all the idiot words. Just as an aside, I bought a copy of the BRB a couple of weeks ago. I was trying to solve a Telegraph back pager, and got an answer, “grandeur “, needed to check the spelling, used my BRB for the first time, started thumbing through, and to my amazement the marker ribbon was already between the two pages I needed, 664 & 665!

    1. BRB is great! Ours is very old and rather falling to bits through use and falling onto kitchen floor from table – indispensable, as is the Chambers Crossword Dictionary – even older!

  17. Coo – that ‘against a background’ hint got me going (18d) – surely not? This one really held me up. Otherwise ok once I got going.

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