ST 2635 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2635 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2635 (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           One key diver sent back to find what’s mostly underwater (7)
Start with I (one) and a musical key and then add the reversal (sent back) of a diving bird to get something that is mostly underwater – and one of many clues linked to 28 across, today’s theme

14a         Put in another appearance and denigrate chaps in speech (8)
A verb meaning to put into another appearance or camouflage sounds like (in speech), when split (3,5), denigrating some chaps

26a         With aim of saving infant, behold signal (2,3,6)
This phrase meaning with the aim of saving someone is a charade of an infant (3), a phrasal verb meaning behold (4’1) and a signal

28a         Craft in Leonardo’s picture, appropriately positioned here (7)
The craft which is the subject of today’s theme was featured in a picture starring Leonardo (and Kate), and finished up where this clue is in the grid

29a         Wrongly tried me for fault (7)
An anagram (wrongly) of TRIED ME gives a fault or shortcoming


1d           Origin of many emigrants wrecked liner ‘ad (7)
The country from which many have emigrated in the past comes from an anagram (wrecked) of LINER ‘AD

5d & 16a               Journey, initially, taking servant and messenger long time (6,6)
This initial journey comes from a charade of a servant, a messenger and a long time

12d         Start of ill-fated trip that has a saintly side? (11)
… the saintly side is a football team known as The Saints!

24d         Zero mark, one of many 28 got (5)
A charade of O (zero) and a mark left by a wound gives one of many awarded to the Leonardo picture in 28 across

27d         Wood topping off steering apparatus (3)
This wood is derived by dropping the initial letter from (topping off) a steering apparatus

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 Emma Watson (22), Emma Thompson (53) and Claudia Cardinale (73)

43 comments on “ST 2635 (Hints)

  1. Superb – best puzzle of the week yet again – and 28a is 5* entertainment all on its own. Thanks to Virgilius and BD too.

  2. I’m not normally a fan of themed crosswords, but I enjoyed this one! Thanks to Virgilius for the entertainment!

    28a – It took me a long time to “fathom out” the significance of the second half of the clue! :wink:

  3. I did like it…. but, knowing the theme early on made it all too easy to fill in. My first thought was where is that 7-letter word?… oh, there it is – 1a.
    An excellent puzzle, but not my favourite from Virgilius. Thanks to him, and to BD.

        1. Aah, I was reading too much into that, thought you were referring to a compilers trademark type clue.
          I had realised the significance of 1a to the puzzle.

  4. Not a good puzzle to be solving while sat in a little boat in Dover. :)

    Really enjoyed this one, mind you it wasn’t till I was halfway through it that I twigged the theme…doh.

    28a, took me a while to twig the wordplay.

    All in all very enjoyable, thanks Virgilius.

    Thanks BD for hints, not needed again today, the gen gathered from this blog is slowly sinking in.

    1. 5a: prophet found in clue.
      25a: take off M(aiden) from man (chap) then dont know the rest but wrote in what Mrs T says.
      Thanks to All for lazy Sunday in Boston.

  5. Help on 2d and 20d (cos we are extremely stupid Americans). Thanks y’all have a nice day.

    1. 2d an American solder (American ‘serving’ inside the – all reversed to get the name for a rowing crew
      20d extremely stupid is the definition insert into fees a two letter abbreviation for doctor (not DR) and follow it with T (ahead of Time).

  6. What a brilliant crossword. I only needed the hints to explain the significance of the last three words in 28a, and, needless to say, the “saintly side” of 12d! Took some time to understand 3d. I really enjoyed the whole thing and there are far too many great clues to write them all down so my two absolute favourites today are 14 and 19a. With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  7. An excellently-themed puzzle on this centenary day.
    Great work Virgilius!

    Very difficult to pick out favourites as I liked it in toto!

  8. This crossword confirms my opinion that it must be far harder to set crosswords than to solve them. How clever to get so many of the clues themed! Brilliant.

  9. Such a brilliantly themed puzzle! Thanks Virgilius and now that I understand 28a ,even better. :smile:

    1. I agree Nora and Annidrum – a really good one. It’s taken me a very long time to appreciate Sunday puzzles – all down to how much I’ve learnt from this great blog – I could never do them before. I didn’t completely understand 28a until I read the hint.

  10. Lovely xword, really enjoyed it. Only thing what has the answer to 26a got to do with saving an infant? Loved 16a, very clever.

  11. Beautiful morning in Portland, Oregon, and already back from Fresh Pot, our favourite coffeehouse (2 mile walk there and back) where I did about half of a big, complex, and ingenious New York Times puzzle on the same theme. They had an earlier puzzle a few weeks back which alerted me to the centenary (sorry, Kath). Now to Skype my wife who’s been in Calcutta close on six months, coming home in nine days. Thanks again to BD, the Friday reviewers, and all you blognoscenti.

    1. Virgilius in the USA? – RayT in Paris? I have always thought that these setters were very clever!

      Regards, Disgruntled – Royal Tunbridge Wells!

    2. “blognoscenti”? – Sorry, but it’s not in my edition (12th) of The Chambers Dictionary – The Commentariat are revolting!

        1. Yes – we are, aren’t we?! And anyway, Franco, even if we are, surely the commentariat IS revolting! This is called sticking my neck out here! I’m probably wrong!

    3. Currently trying this puzzle as it comes on hotel news-sheet. Agree with your comments and have done about a third so far. I never fail to be amazed by the NY Times/Sunday Times puzzles and the way the clues are written. Give me the DT and ST any time. By the way, loved your puzzle today, thanks.

  12. Thanks to the setter & Big Dave for the hints, I enjoyed this a lot. I figured out the theme after my first one in, which was 1a. Fairly straightforward, but I must’ve had my Dunce”s Cap on for 14a & 26a, had to read the hints about 5 times before the pennies dropped. Favourites were 19a,5d&16a and 8d.
    Good luck to Big Dave’s team.

  13. Like Franco I don’t always go a bundle on themed puzzles, but this was the exception that proved the rule. 24d was my favourite.
    Is there any news yet on Mrs Astor?

      1. Sorry Kath, I was thinking about the newspaper headline that heralded today’s theme.

      1. … how the hell do you manage to fill a grid with stuff that makes sense, full stop! I think that they are ALL masters! :smile:

  14. Where is everyone – where is Mary? VERY quiet today ….. especially after such a good crossword.

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