ST 2634 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2634 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2634 (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           Complain about partners being put under spell (7)
Put a slang verb meaning to complain around two bridge partners to get a verb meaning to put under spell

9a           Excel in eminence in public work (7)
This verb meaning to excel is a charade of an adjective meaning public and a short word for a musical work

11a         Multiple goals, perhaps, represented in kitsch art (3,6)
These sets of three goals are an anagram (re-presented) of KITSCH ART

15a         Part of Ireland far away, going by air (9)
It’s a long way to this part of Ireland, according to the song (air)!

28a         Man on board finishes off the repair quickly in colony (7)
Start with a man on the chessboard and then add the final letters (finishes) of three words in the clue to get a colony of birds


1d           Order member to be concerned about right (7)
This member of a holy order is derived by putting a verb meaning to be concerned around R(ight)

3d           Train from Waterloo heading North, crossing West End (5)
A verb meaning to train a pupil is derived by reversing (heading North) a battle like the one at Waterloo around (crossing) the final letter (end) of wesT

6d           Calm, never flustered? Not so (9)
An adjective meaning calm is derived from an anagram (flustered) of NEVER followed by a word meaning not so much

16d         Assigned task to catch up Dr Jekyll, for example? (4-5)
Reverse (up, in a down clue) an assigned task and a verb meaning to catch to get someone who, like (for example) Dr Jekyll has two “occupations” – a bit difficult to explain this one!

24d         Band with little room, at first, for large instrument (5)
Put a letter shaped like a band after a little room, perhaps one occupied by a prisoner, to get a large stringed instrument

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 Kofi Annan (74)

45 comments on “ST 2634 (Hints)

        1. I’ll take the harder one:
          7d African plant is set up in liberated area (7)
          Reverse IS (from the clue) and place inside a synonym for liberated and an abbreviation for Area. Plants and flowers aren’t my strong point but I trusted the wordplay here.

          1. Thank you – I had scribbled that on the side of the paper! Didn’t trust the word play! D’oh!!!

        2. 5a Talk together about island as source of timber (7)
          A word meaning to chat to another(s) with I(sland) in the middle produces a kind of tree.

    1. Thank you Digby, Gnomethang and Big Dave. That corner had me foxed for a while!! Enjoyed the struggle as always. :-)

    1. A gentle stroll? Gentle? This is a Toughie! Or maybe it’s because my brain is still vexed by that selfish prat who wrecked the Boat race yesterday. It is rare that someone like him gets so under my skin. I truly feel for the teams having all their effort spoiled by one person’s vanity.

  1. It must have been the mood I was in this morning (particularly missing no 2 son who, if he was here, would be consuming his bodyweight in chocolate) but I struggled a bit to get started with this one. Soon got it sorted, however, my favourites being 15a and 20d. Thanks to Virgilius and BD and Happy Easter to all.

    1. I’ve had No1 & No2 sons here to help me prune an unruly laurel bush (about 15 ft tall). Their reward, as decided by Mrs S is for me to take them to our local for lunch tomorrow with girlfriends. It was only going to cost me £50 to have it done by a professional and he would have cleared the rubbish afterwards. Expensive things are families!
      Still it was fun and the banter between the lads was amusing.

      1. The banter is what I miss. No 2 is in Sydney – year working in Australia but he thinks he might stay on longer if they will let him. I just looked at all the chocolate on the sideboard this morning and it made me think if he was here, that it wouldn’t last long. Although it would have been cheaper to have had your pruning done professionally, you wouldn’t have been able to have so much time with your sons and if Mrs S is like me, it will be a treat for someone else to cook the lunch.

        1. Oh – poor you! Don’t know if you read comments posted really late – I hope you do! We have daughters not sons – don’t know if that makes a difference or not. I sometimes feel as if we spend a long time bringing up our offspring to be independent and capable of living successfully away from us, then, when they are, we don’t like it much! I think we have to remind ourselves that we’ve done a good job.

          1. Thanks for the sympathy Kath. He was in London for several years before going to Australia, but at least then he was in the same time zone and I had the excuse for going to crossword gatherings in London in that, although the train fare isn’t cheap, I was getting double value out of the ticket.

            1. … you’re very brave about it – I’d hate it and would probably be crying all the time. I cried for a month when our younger went off to university in London – a mere fifty miles away. Mothers ….. :roll:

  2. Found this one really difficult, esp NW corner.
    Think my skill reserves were drained by yesterdays NTSSP.
    Still fun to do on a dreary wet morning.
    Thanks to BD for hints and Virgilius for making my brain hurt.

  3. This took me a little longer than normal today, which I put down to ‘Easter distractions.’
    Getting ready for an afternoon in Ickenham – fortunately I am only doing the driving one way! :)

    Thanks to Virgilius for the puzzle, and BD for the hints. Happy Easter to all.

  4. Struggling today, thanks for the hints i needed them. Still have 2 outstanding
    Even with all the checking letters ( assuming they are correct )
    10a ,20d still a problem any tips would be appreciated

    1. 10a is an anagram (originally) of restyle and the definition is short in the sense of brief (when speaking).

      20d insert the abbreviation for stone (weight) into E (english) and how someone might refer to an edifice or large home. The whole is either one of St Paul’s ‘works’ or if said out loud it means part of a building. These hints sound more complicated than the clues – apologies its the rose wine I had with lunch, probably :D

      1. Thanks sue,
        You have saved my day. I can now have my usual customary pint of ale (and enjoy it ) befor mine.

  5. Pommette and I took a lot longer than usual to finish this one. Don’t know why as the clues are all fair and nothing really out of the ordinary but some of the pennies stubbornly refused to drop :sad: Still, got there is the end.

    Now back to the footy – looks like United have 12 men again! :grin:

    Thanks to Virgilius for the usual excellent puzzle and to BD for the hints.

    1. On my first run through I only solved two clues. On my second run through, I wondered why, as this was fairly straightforward. Maybe because, unlike other bloggers above, I haven’t had any alcohol yet today!

      1. I solved it some 5 hours before I took to the alcohol – perhaps I might have done better if I had had the wine for breakfast and the breakfast cup of tea for lunch :D

  6. Hmm Waterloo was most certainly not a 3d (part). It was in the words of Wellington a damn close thing. If it hadn’t been for Blucher we may well now be speaking French.

      1. Ah got it! Now just stuck on the bottom right. Need that pesky 17d, that’s the key.

        1. All done, now going for a lie down in a darkened room and hope that Man City can do us some favours.

      2. You have to work out synonyms for a) an assigned task or responsibility and b) a verb to catch (a wild animal, say), then reverse (up) the whole lot. The definition is a description of Dr Jekyll (who shared his life with Mr Hyde).

  7. I didn’t find this too easy today & struggled with the top right hand corner.Got there eventually but couldn’t work out why 20d was what it was until I read Crypticsue’s explanation at number 7. D’oh! Thank you CS. Still enjoyed it on the whole. :smile:

  8. More enjoyable fare from Virgilius!

    Faves : 9a, 15a, 17a, 28a, 3d, 7d, 8d, 16d & 20d.

    Daughter is collecting me in 15mins to go out to eat at our regular Easter restaurant.

  9. Thanks to Virgilus & Big Dave for the hints. Enjoyed this one, managed without the hints for once. Favourites were 27a & 4d. Happy Easter all. Typical Bank Holiday weather in Central London.

  10. Yet another who took some time to get going, but got there unaided eventually.
    Brilliant clues, thanks very much Virgilius and BD.

  11. Just back from weekend in Birmingham with daughter and her partner – lovely time – have done lots of sorting out in their garden – all day today and lots of yesterday too – VERY sore hands with lots of spikey bits in them! :sad:
    Started crossword when we got home – couldn’t do it at all to begin with and then it all fell into place. I needed the hint to explain why 16d was what it obviously was. 20d was my last one. Favourites include 1, 15 and 17a and 4, 5 and 18d. With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Going to have a go at NTSPP later – printed it out yesterday and took it with me but no time ….. put to work! :roll:

  12. PS Surprised that no-one has mentioned the poor little chap banging his head on the wall in the hint for 16d! Is it something that we can do? If so, I could really do with knowing how… !!

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