ST 2636 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2636 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2636 (Hints)

Hints and tips by gnomethang

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Morning All!. I’m covering for BD whilst he is recovering from his birthday and the Tilsit-hosted Northern Sloggers and Betters meeting in Todmorden.

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.


1a          Something good about monarch for state (6)
Something that is good, valuable or useful goes around an abbreviation for a monarch (either king or queen) to give a verb meaning ‘state’.

13a          King has troublemaker beheaded in Russian fortress (7)
Cut the head off a pesky critter (troublemaker) and place him after a King to reveal an historic fortress in Russia.

27a          As opposed to some solvers, useless (6)
Nothing to do with us!. A word meaning as opposed to is hidden towards the end of the clue.


1d          Pretentious behaviour on flight, perhaps, and where it might end (8)
Thanks to gazza for correcting me here. The clue is a charade of pretentious behaviour that one might put on plus a journey (by plane perhaps) . The definition is where one might land.

9d         Revealing bad acting as critic, putting end to play (7-7)
Two meanings here, the second one is how a referee stops play in football.

16d          Advertisement displayed in vehicles in Greek islands (8)
One of the island groups of the Aegean archipelago. Place a short advertisement inside some green modes of transport.

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 guitarist Peter Frampton (62), Actor Jack Nicholson (75) and Author/Poet Kim Elizabeth (34)

62 comments on “ST 2636 (Hints)

  1. Fairly straightforward for a Virgilius I thought but definitely the most entertaining crossword of the week. thanks to Virgilius for a nice start to Sunday and to Gnomey for the excellently illustrated hints and tips.

  2. Enjoyed this. Completed, but unsure about how 17a is derived from clue.
    Thanks to compiler, and to gnomethang for hints.

    1. 17a is a cryptic definition of how actors (parts) might be listed in the film credits.

    2. Think of the order of the individual letters in the word ‘films’ (similar examples might be biopsy or chintz).

        1. The answer to the clue is a description of the order of the letters of the word ‘films’.

  3. Morning gnomey

    Not had a chance to look at this one yet, get to it later.
    Well done standing in for BD – hope he’s not too ‘duntish’ this morning :grin:

  4. Done it! First Mate and I are very pleased with ourselves as not so long ago we would only get a handful of the answers for a Sunday Xword. I know we have 17a right but do not understand the film connection. Favourites are 5d and 9d. We erroneously put in UPSTAIRS for 1d which held us up for a while. Very enjoyable. All done sitting outside on the patio having coffee (cold when the sun was behind the clouds and really hot when it wasn’t). Many thanks to Virgillus and gnomethang. Have a relaxing Sunday everyone.

    1. Hi Captain – see Gazza’s expalnation to Comment #3 above.
      It’s not the way that the credits are shown in a film (which is rarely this) but the sequence of the word “films” itself.

      1. If a film has an ensemble cast with no clear lead role, it is traditional to bill the participants xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, so I see this clue as a sort of cryptic definiition with an added “ah/d’oh”.

          1. I took it as both – the American series now prevalent on our TV’s tend to list cast members **************, so I agree with Sue. And sadly what the US does, British TV will probably do as well.

  5. I finished up in the NW corner, in what was a most pleasurable puzzle today. Many thanks to Virgilius, and to gnomethang.
    Belated birthday wishes to BD, and Libellule.

  6. I thought that I was getting better at the Sunday puzzles – maybe not! I have finished now but it’s taken me quite a long time – never mind – not so long ago I was lucky if I could get a couple of answers. I’ve enjoyed this one very much – needed the hints to understand 1d (that’s just me being slow) and 14a. Favourites include 10, 11, 13 and 25a and 5, 16 and 18d. With thanks to Virgilius and Gnomey.
    Off to the garden now – still recovering from feeble attempt at NTSPP yesterday! :sad:

    1. No garden here today Kath we are having really heavy showers of rain, in between which the sky is blue and the sun comes to tempt us out, then whoosh down comes the rain again!

      1. I think we’re going to get the heavy showers later so trying to do what I can before I have to retreat to the greenhouse – will start doing some baskets then they can have plenty of time to get established before I put them out.

        1. thats a good idea, that’s what I should be doing, maybe I’ll pop down the garden centre

  7. Hello gnomey, thanks for the hints I needed a couple today, Having the end of 2d wrong made 17a a bit of a problem! also had the end of 15d wrong so 25a was last in!!! I blame all the phone calls I have had this morning :-) a three star for me today, fav clue 8d

  8. Thanks to Virgilius 7 to Gnomethang for the hints. I don’t know if I’m on form, or wether the puzzle was on the easy side ( probably the latter :-) ), but no real problems, the only one I had to think about was 24a. Re 10 across, I think I’ve got the answer, but I thought it was a bit iffy, because if I parsed it correctly, a left hand bat would be on the opposite side. Favourites were 5 & 19 downs. Glorious day here in Central London, just great for the Marathon.

    1. …. very lucky for me that it being anything to do with cricket hadn’t even occurred to me – if it had I wouldn’t have been able to do it!!

      1. My first thought was football and that rule we ladies aren’t supposed to understand, but I soon realised it related to the road.

        1. Nowadays, because of the recent changes to the Offside Law, I don’t think anyone understands it :-)

  9. As usual, the best crossword of the week! Favourite: 14a – a very nice anagram – Is this what Pommers calls an “apposite anagram?

    However, I found it a bit of a struggle, especially the NW corner. (I blame the compiler of yesterday’s NTSPP – my brain still hurts!)

    Thanks to Gnomethang (and also to gazza for the “finishing touches” of 17a).

  10. As usual V never fails to deliver a cracker. Thanks to he and to Gnomey for the hints.

    As far as yesterday’s NTSPP is concerned I am told by my doctors that its effects will be not be long lasting and that I should make a full recovery as long as I keep taking the tablets and avoid bright lights.

  11. franco and spyndryft – my brain still hurts too and my confidence is for ever dented!! :sad: I trust that we’ll all feel better soon!

      1. I don’t care how it’s spelt – it’s exactly what I should have done when I read what clever people were saying! Next time I will pay more attention!! Again :sad:

  12. On the gentle side for a Sunday IMHO but, as CS said at #1, the best puzzle of the week.

    Loved 17a – how clever was that?

    Many thanks to Virgilius and gnomey.

  13. The usual nice end to the week from Virgilius – not so difficult this time.
    Liked : 12a, 17a, 23a, 24a, 3d, 9d 16d & 19d.

    Weather here sunny but a northerly wind. Did a slightly longer constitutional – must get rid of the cold-weather embonpoint!

      1. Correction gnomey!
        In both French and English, embonpoint means to put on weight! This always happens to me in the cold weather as it is too cold over here to do regular long walks and get the system moving!!

          1. Hi gnomey!
            Cleavage in French is décolleté : it has two meanings – 1. a low neckline (of a garment) ; 2. the female cleavage!

            I have spoken French most of my life and lived in the Var for years!

            1. I am aware of the décolletage and please let it be known that this is just a word game now!.

              Google gives corpulence (yours) and “The plump or fleshy part of the body, in particular a woman’s bosom.” (Mine!) but Chambers has you correct on “Stout, Plump, or full of figure”

              I guess I failed in the ‘chesty’ joke!. Bon Nuit mon brave!

  14. Enjoyable sword but for 9d and 1a which I didn’t like much at all. The rest was excellent.

  15. I do hope that all those who were up north yesterday had a good time, that BD had a great birthday, that you all got home (or wherever you were going) safely, and that your heads have now recovered!! :smile:

  16. NW last corner in. Some very good clues although some were a bit corny unless that was a DIYble bluff. got an answer for 15d which means family but not sure where the first part if the clue comes in. Can anyone help?

    1. I am now at work and nowhere near yesterdays crossword but if it is the clue I think it is then think about accounts meaning tales would be my least contraversial suggestion.

  17. The paper I picked up whilst away at the weekend did not include the section with the crossword. Would it be possible for a PDF to be emailed to me please.

    Thank you.

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