ST 2642 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2642 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2642 (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


1a           Melancholy detective, without love (6)
To get this adjective meaning melancholy put the name of Colin Dexter’s famous detective around O (love)

4a           Small piano I bring in, or other keyboard instrument (6)
String together S(mall)< P(iano) and I then add a verb meaning to bring in a catch and the result is a (different) keyboard instrument

16a         Part of our capital that’s used to go to college, perhaps (6,6)
This road in the heart of London’s West End might be the way to get to a college in the city of dreaming spires

23a         Spell of work crucial as way to get capital (5,3)
A charade of a spell of work and a word meaning crucial gives what needs to be pressed to turn a lower-case letter into a capital

25a         Guest competitor who should do well in the long run (6)
This guest can also be a competitor who should do well in the long run, particularly with reference to a racehorse


1d           Doctor getting nothing extra, on average (8)
Put a five-letter word for a doctor around (extra) O (nothing) and add a word meaning on or about to get an adjective meaning average

3d           Help person taken advantage of in hearing (7)
This word for help or aid in distress sounds like (in hearing) someone who has been taken in – allegedly P. T. Barnum said there is one of the latter born every minute!

14d         Company car? (9)
… big enough for those that go together to make company but not big enough for those that make a crowd!

17d         One serving in uniform in base on isle (7)
To get this uniformed servant put a word for a base, of a pedestal for example, over an isle in the Irish Sea

21d         Ruth introducing husband, with a few words (5)
Put a word meaning ruth or sorrow around H(usband) to get an adjective meaning with a few words or succinct

A few more hints when I get back from the Big Lunch, which is being held on  the Village Green outside our bungalow (in the pouring rain!).

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 Suzy Quatro (62)
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ARVE Error: need id and provider

35 comments on “ST 2642 (Hints)

  1. Excellent as usual, thank you Virgilius. Quite a few d’oh moments for me this morning but then I was woken up several times in the night by what turned out to be an inch and a half of rain.

    Thanks to BD for the hints – enjoy your soggy lunch.

  2. Just got 12a & 7d to do. Thanks to V & to BD (hope the burgers weren’t waterlogged!). Now time to sit back & watch the pageant on the Thames. God Bless Good Queen Bess!

  3. Pretty soggy in Heavenly Henfield, but clearing up (I hope) for our “Last Night of the Proms” this evening.
    The puzzle helped to brighten up a dull forenoon, with soem nice twists and turns.
    Cheers to Virgilius, and BD – hope he remembered to take a brolly!

  4. Stuck on the top right hand corner – anyone got a hint for 4A and 5D please. Sorry about the weather it is lovely here at the southern end of Europe

      1. 4a – The clue gives you the first three letters **i then a three letter word associated with successful fishing = a keyboard instrument.

  5. Great puzzle – some really crafty diversions.
    Thanks Virgilius and BD for the review.

  6. Another pleasant puzzle from Virgilius.

    Faves : 12a, 16a, 23a, 2d, 14d & 15d.

    Clouded over today with some rain.

    1. My sis in law has one that is identical!
      I found this a bit more difficult than normal but looking back it might have been me.

      Thanks to Virgilius and to BD!

        1. The link doesn’t work but I bet we aren’t the only ones to have made a cake like that this weekend. Shame no-one got sent to the naughty corner as, if I say so myself what baked it, it is extremely delicious.

  7. Afternoon all. Cloudy here in West Cumbria and a little cooler than of late, but no rain.
    Stuck on 23a. The spell of work seems to refer to – say – 6 till 2 which leaves me with a three letter word with an e in the middle. I think I have something akin to a 13a. Any help available? I think I am going to kick myself!

    1. 23a Spell of work crucial as way to get capital (5,3)
      .. i.e. capital letter.

      1. I thought this a great clue.

        What a wonderful parade of Bristishness at its best that was. Especially the brave singers.

  8. Again I was going to have a crossword free day but could not resist. Done in fits and starts due to plenty if interruptions. Got there in the end. Thanks to all.

  9. Thank you Gazza; I’m normally a bit sharper than this. Could be because Mrs B reminded me yesterday that my seventieth birthday is looming large!

    Thanks to BD and Virgilius, very enjoyable.

  10. Enjoyable, but 1a took longer than it should. Surely it should be with love, as you’re adding the o? Thanks to setter and BD

    1. Welcome Steve. The definition in 7d is occupation of an appointment or position. The abbreviation for Time followed by a word meaning harden or accustom which I always thought started with an I., but can start with the letter in this clue too..

  11. Hmmm, thanks for the tip, time to regroup and have another look at 12 across, the second part of which could be my problem.

  12. Another late start for me meant that I still haven’t finished this yet. I managed to do rather less of this one on my own without the hints and indeed I am still stuck on three – 19d, 22a and 10a.

    I am particularly worried about 10a because the three checkers give me an odd combination of letters so I wonder if I have one of the down clues wrong (although they seem pretty god to me).

    Anyway, I enjoyed what I managed to do. Thanks to all involved…

    1. 10a Head of college, outstanding and daunting (6)
      The first letter (head) of college is followed by a word meaning outstanding or unpaid.

      1. Ahh! Thanks. For some reason I was stuck on the past tense – I was thinking it had to end in “ed”.

        Thanks again

      1. D’oh!

        That’s the second hidden clue I’ve missed in 2 days. I though I was good at spotting them but clearly I’m not.


        All done now. Just need to pop out for a paper and start today’s one now…

    2. 19d Society has extreme dislike for this element (6)
      The abbreviation for society is followed by a word meaning extreme dislike or abhorrence to make a chemical element.

      1. Thanks Gazza – getting 22a allowed me to see 19d. I had been stuck with 19d because I was convinced that the abbreviation had to be the more normal 3 letter one.

        Thanks (yet) again! I love this site.

  13. Thanks to Virgilius & to Big dave for the hints. As usual a high quality & very entertaining puzzle. Managed to finish without the hints. Favourite & last in was 23a.

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