ST 2646 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2646 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2646 (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           Collected crops, first removed from landing-stages ahead of time (7)
These crops which have been gathered are derived from some landing stages without their initial W (first removed) followed by T(ime)

11a         Like records kept about king’s main opponent (4-5)
Put an adjective meaning like records kept around the Latin abbreviation for king to get one’s main opponent, in Batman’s case it was The Penguin

13a         Start off without a meal (5)
Take a verb meaning to start off a campaign and drop the A to get a meal, but not a free one!

22a         Problem with cereal crop — hence end of wheat? (5)
To get this problem with a cereal crop the Latin term meaning hence or therefore is followed by the final letter (end) of wheaT

25a         A writer’s attribute (7)
The A from the clue is followed by an archaic word for a writer to get a verb meaning to attribute

28a         Hold up or turn us back before pass (7)
To get this verb meaning to hold up or postpone start with US reversed (back) and add a verb meaning to pass time


1d           Piece of luggage, dilapidated, found in entrance (7)
A piece of luggage is created by putting a three-letter word meaning dilapidated or ancient inside an entrance room

2d           River crossed by burning boats? (7)
Crossing this river, as Julius Caesar did in 49 BC, means passing the point of no return, or burning one’s boats

6d           Part in theatre? Yes, had own kind of make-up (9)
… a signature hidden word – Virgilius is still the master!

8d           Drive around separate area of UK to do ongoing checks (7)
… it’s great to see the correct use of UK, the inserted area is not part of GB but is part of UK

14d         Man’s right to get free hamper (9)
A well concealed anagram (to get free) of MAN’S RIGHT gives a verb meaning to hamper

17d         Island ultimately seized by order of Reagan (7)
Brilliant surface reading for this island that was invaded on the order of President Reagan – the final letter (ultimately) of islanD inside (seized by) an anagram (order of) of REAGAN

20d         Outstanding piece of spinning, perhaps? Exactly (7)
… the “piece of spinning” refers to spin bowling in cricket

23d         Journalists from Washington, originally, shortly heading south (5)
To get these journalists, start with (originally) the abbreviation (shortly) of the title (heading) accorded to George Washington and add S(outh)

24d         Character flaws of leaders in the younger part of society (5)
These character flaws or slips come from the initial letters (leaders) of five words in the clue

A few bonus hints this week, but 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 Dan Aykroyd (62), Deborah Harry (67) and Olivia de Havilland (96)
ARVE Error: need id and provider
ARVE Error: need id and provider

51 comments on “ST 2646 (Hints)

  1. I have only just started this one. I am nowhere near finished and I have not looked at the hints (yet), but I just had to log on to say that 3d, and especially 5d, made me laugh out loud. Great stuff!…

    Only really done the NE corner so far, but hope there’s more like that!

    1. Even a non-cricketer ought to know what a series of six balls after which play changes from one end to the other is called!

    2. The definition is ‘Outstanding’ and is an example (perhaps) of what a piece of spinning might be, followed by a synonym for ‘exactly’.

      1. Was still barking up the wrong tree! Going for outstanding in terms of above average rather than the more obvious but now have a fit so just left with 21D and then lunch (hour ahead down here) can you nudge me again please

    3. Got an answer to 20d, but I’m not sure it’s right as I haven’t done 19a either……

      if i said 6balls then a member of the aristocracy without a k would I be barking up the right tree?

        1. Now I am really puzzled, please can I request another hint for the 2nd part of 20d if Hilary’s suggestion is wrong…

          1. Hi Dominic – welcome to the blog.
            Hilary’s suggestion is not wrong but it’s not the sort of hint that helps people understand the wordplay. The last bit of the answer means exactly (when describing a direction which corresponds exactly to a point of the compass, say).

            1. thanks Gazza I get it now. And am relieved to find I was right after all, even if I didn’t fully understand why.

  2. Perhaps the gentlest puzzle I have seen from Virgilius, but still very enjoyable.
    Thanks to setter, and to BD.

    1. Yes, I second all that.

      Although I must confess that I didn’t understand 3D until Arthur Dent said it made him laugh out loud!

  3. Extremely straightforward but such fun, a very ‘dotty’ morning with loads of favourites. Thanks to Virgilius for the only good thing so far this morning and to BD for the hints.

  4. Lovely crossword with 25a and 26a great clues and to be finished before midday with no recourse to BD a real bonus. Persevere strugglers, it must be solvable, if I can do it.

  5. A bit on the benign side for Virgilius but I thought it was billiant :grin:

    Favourites 6d and 19d, both superb..

    Many thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  6. Great and enjoyable.
    But rather too many right answers came to the fore without prior analysis of the clue.
    I suppose one cannot help that.
    Thanks Virgilius and BD for the review.

  7. All done now with much merriment. Needed a couple of the hints (especially 22a which I had to google even after reading the hint just to prove that I had parsed the hint correctly! Never heard of it!) and some internet help, but very satisfying to have completed it.

    My first (very quick) scan produced nothing but dismay and I almost gave up, then I “saw” 5a and I was away! So glad I stuck with it. Really enjoyable.

    With many thanks to Virgilius and BD both…

  8. Really good and most enjoyable, (loved 5d & 23a) whilst listening to ‘I’m sorry I haven’t a clue’ on Radio4. The one that made me fall over laughing was ‘Stannah have brought out a new high speed chair lift, it gets you upstairs before you forget why you were going’ Thanks Virgilius and BD for the hints

  9. I really enjoyed this one and finished without the hints – ie I had an answer for everything – just needed a few (quite a few if I’m honest) explanations. I still can’t understand my answer for 15a – it does mean a journalist and I can see the woman around the base but can’t make sense of my last five letters.
    I liked 17, 22 ….. far too many to write them all down.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Is Mary still away – seems to have been quite a long absence?

      1. Thanks – that means that the woman is just the first two letters? Was assuming that she was the first, second and fourth.

        1. The woman is only being pursued by the man – her (my) name is not in there at all :D

            1. Strange – I had a prospective swain around a base in a gardden for example.

      1. Thanks – now I understand. Not just barking up the wrong tree but in the wrong forest completely!

  10. Most enjoyable, if not very taxing puzzle today. I inserted 1a on reading the first two words in the clue, then went back to figure out how it was constructed. Thanks BD and Virgilius. Favourite had to be 6d.

  11. Late on parade.

    Really enjoyed this, unlike the old stagers, didn’t find it particularly easy but it was well worth the effort.

    Thanks BD for hints, not needed but I look forward to full review for parsing hints.

    Thanks to setter.

    As its now raining will have a go at yesterday’s NTSPP as I’m back on my steam driven confuser.

  12. Nice effort APART from the SE corner which is ‘orrible. Still can’t see the last 3 letters of 20d and even the first three has nothing to do with spinning, 24d and 26a have got me totally foxed!! Loved the top half, not the bottom so much.

    1. Ok I get it, it was the comma being after strike rather than fast that threw me and missed the importance of leaders in 24d. Still don’t get 20d (i have a three
      letter word but dont see what is has to do with exactly) so I’m off to watch the cricket in the hope it might bring understanding.

      1. If ou split your word 4, 3 and try saying it out loud, it refers to the possibility of a piece of spinning being outstanding.

        1. I suppose so but it’s more than a bit weak. I think I would have gone for
          ‘six past time’ myself.

          1. Good job you aren’t settnig the crossword then, as I would have struggled with that one.

  13. Thanks to Virgilius & to Big Dave for the hints, started with 5d, finished with 25a, needed the hint for the latter. Favourites were 11a & 6d, very entertaining high quality puzzle. Sun out in Central London, come on England.

  14. I thought that this puzzle was less taxing than many previous cases from Virgilius also had a rather Yankee bias! – I know all about Jan & Kees as I have been here in NL for nearly half a century!

    My faves today : 11a, 15a, 22a, 3d, 18d, 20d & 23d.

    Weather in NL is magnificent today.

    Departing for The Var on Tuesday – have virtually emptied the fridge and got the rubbish out so shall leave the place clean for my return.

    My household help comes in regularly to check all is OK.

    La semaine prochaine, je dois recommencer á parler français.

    Groetjes allemaal,

      1. Hi Kath!

        When NYC was New Amsterdam most of the boatsmen on the Hudson were Dutch and they hailed each other Hi Jan / Hi Kees!

        Kees is short for Cornelius.
        This is one version of the origin of the name Yankees.

  15. Hi guys – done most of it but was floundering in SE corner – solved a couple from reading the blog – thank you! and am now left with 19a, for which I simply don’t have a clue?? And I don’t understand 26a – always assming I have the correct answer of course! (But I can’t see what else it can be?)
    I think that was a somewhat more gentle Xword than some Sundays – going only on my “solving” because I’ve been out most of the day and only started it late pm and then went out again for an hour or so. So a hint on 19a to complete would be most welcome.
    Thanks to setter and hinter.

    1. 19a: a 3-letter acronym for the international medical group (an NGO) followed by a couple more letters gives a word which can mean healthy…

  16. 19a the definition is healthy. An abbreviation for an international medical group followed by the abbreviations for Left and European.

    26a Split your answer 3, 4 and see if the penny drops

    1. Thank you CS! 26a – yes, the penny did drop! 19a – of course! Why do we get these blanks??

  17. Lovely puzzle again. Thanks Virgilius and BD. Golf went well and I won the sweep on Spain.

  18. I have seen the hints for 20d and 26a but without 16d I am still struggling. First post on here but have been following for a few years now but iPhone had now helped me to get on when I am in the pub winding down at the end of the day!
    3 to go, fairly straight forward for a Sunday, nearly there.

    1. Welcome to the blog Staxs.

      16d – The answer is a type of game. Put the abbreviation for large and a generic description of a deceptive or untruthful person inside a four letter word meaning attempts (that you may make at an auction).

  19. Lovely Sunday puzzle as always from Virgillius…
    Was pleased to finish this without any assistance, but many (1a, 2d, 14d, 20d) were more ‘well, it can’t be anything else’, rather than me actually following the wordplay…
    3d, I think, was my favourite :o)

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