ST 2648 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2648 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2648 (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           Study carefully for each application (6)
This verb meaning to study carefully comes from a charade of a preposition meaning for each and an application

8a           Pieces of cake for girls in organisation (8)
A double definition – some pieces of chewy chocolate cake and young girl guides

12a         What might produce page mostly similar? (10)
The act of presenting ideas similar to someone else’s as one’s own comes from an anagram (might produce) of PAG(E) (page mostly) and SIMILAR

13a         Appropriate setting for ‘all the world’s a stage’ (5,7)
A cryptic definition of the famous London venue for Shakespeare’s plays

21a         Ursa Minor astronomer’s first seen in tropical island (4)
Combine a little bear (Ursa Minor) with the initial letter (first) of Astronomer to get a tropical island

22a         Run unimpeded by a stitch (6)
… like Erica Roe!

25a         A deadly sin done! (6)
Combine the A from the clue with one of the seven deadly sins to get an interjection meaning done or OK


1d           Piano or piece of furniture easy to replace? (8)
A charade of P(iano), OR and a piece of furniture gives an adjective meaning easy to replace or move

5d           Fellow traveller, perhaps, abandoned one on way (7)
To get this person with political views, of which a fellow traveller is an example (indicated by perhaps), start with a verb meaning abandoned and add I (one) and an abbreviation for a way or road

6d           Eminent Quaker, we hear, supported by another chummy writer (9)
Start with what sounds (we hear) like the eminent Quaker who founded a US State and add (supported by in a down clue) another name for a Quaker to get this chum with whom one only communicates in writing

17d         Hide from female cheats connected to family (7)
The hide from a female deer comes from a charade of a verb meaning cheats and family or relatives

19d         Something easy for person whose charges are small? (6)
A double definition – an easy catch in cricket and a person who looks after small children while their parents go out

21d         Ramshackle vehicle’s speed after cold start (5)
To get this ramshackle vehicle put a speed after the initial letter (start) of Cold

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 Linda Ronstadt (66) [and Rembrandt (406)]
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48 comments on “ST 2648 (Hints)

  1. I thought this was very tough. I got there by myself in the end but it was a hard fight. I don’t understand all the answers now even when I have them – I needed your explanation to understand the clue in 17d for instance.

    Thanks to you and the setter for a good challenge.

      1. It is obviously an ‘in the zone’ thing. It has taken me less time than usual to sort out the (not particuarly complicated) explanations and type the review.

  2. Sorry to disagree with Wozza but I’m of the opinion that Virgilius has been a bit on the gentle side for the last week or so :smile:

    Favourite was 12a.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    1. I suspect your gentle and my tough are probably the same level, but I’ll get there one day!


  3. “The Telegraph would like to apologise for putting all the words in the clues in random order in Sunday’s puzzle”.



    I managed one and after 30 minutes came to the conclusion that I’d not get any more and so tore it up into little tiny pieces. I am so annoyed with this one that I won’t even look at the hints above.

    Ypurs grumpily…..

        1. Perhaps you should extend that finite time!. Or else save the time that you have spent tearing it up into little pieces in order to continue solving the puzzle.
          In particuler 8a and 21d are virtual ******* (19d), complete Dollies even!

  4. Hello all. Can I pass on a message about today’s GK Crossword 1,025?

    Today’s GK Crossword on the Telegraph Puzzles website had a corrupt grid, with a couple of extra black squares. Many apologies for the problem.

    I have corrected the puzzle. However, at the moment the “Today’s Puzzles” panel will still direct you to the corrupt grid. We hope to be able to fix this today. In the meantime, please use one of the other menus to access the Sunday GK.

    Thanks, and apologies again.

    Phil McNeill
    Telegraph Crossword Editor

    1. Thanks Phil.

      Do you also have an explanation for the cryptic crossword failing to download periodically (often on Mondays).

      Ihavecontacted cutomer service but have never received a response.


  5. Yep another vote for very tough, usually on Sunday I can grind through in one hit, this took four bites, but got there in the end.

    Lots of doh moments along the way though.

    Thanks for the hints not needed for answers but handy for some parsing.

    Thanks to the setter.

  6. Clever stuff indeed! Took longer than usual few clues coming to mind straight away so needed to think deeply and work out the answers — not easy in temperatures of 90+ — but finally finished with a little electronic help. Liked 8, 16, 21A and 1, 6, 17, and 18D . Thanks to setter, a good crossword, and BD for lucid, helpful hints

  7. Sublime mastery indeed – thank goodness for the Sunday puzzle. I didn’t find it difficult (sorry Roger) and my top favourite by a long way has to be the splendid 21a. Thanks to Virgilius and BD too.

    I can report that so far it isn’t raining in East Kent, which is probably because I am indoors making two different types of jam and lemon drizzle cake (and no there won’t be any left for the Naughty Corner).

    1. Back to disagreeing then Sue. Managed about half of this before I gave up.
      Always know I’m in trouble when i can’t understand the hints!
      Life’s too short to be worrying about one this tough :-)

          1. Nice one. Always happy to provide an opportunity for you to revisit the King.

  8. Struggling with this and had to come to the blog for BD’s hints (much appreciated). Back to the persevation & a glass of Rigwelter… well it is Sunday after all.

  9. I don’t understand the relevance of ‘south’ in clue 2d – despite getting the answer from the wordplay

    1. I think it probably means that “moved boats along” is the definition. The first letter of the answer is the usual abbreviation for river and beneath that (south) is a four letter word meaning “due”.

    2. Mike.

      Moved boat along river, due south (5)

      Start with the river abbreviation then to the South of this (This only works in a Down clue) is a word for due or outstanding. Hope this helps.

      1. As I said, I could work out the answer from the two component parts, but couldn’t see where ‘south’ came into it, unless it was indicating that the synonym for ‘due’ was south of the first part of the answer – i.e. below in a down clue – as you’ve both suggested. Thanks for your replies and to the setter for puzzling me and Big Dave, for another excellent review.

  10. Enjoyed solving this one from Virgilius while in the sunshine in The Var.
    Faves : 12a, 20a, 2d, 6d, 9d & 15d.

    My new computer is an ASUS android tablet!!!

    Greetings to all.

  11. I would agree with half of you. I found this pretty straightforward for a Sunday but there were some lovely clues contained therein. Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints – I saw 22a and thought of you (and Erica Roe!)

  12. Persevation wins the day! I never used to bother with a Sunday puzzle due to family commitments but now we are “Empty Nesters” with more time available I now realise what quality I’ve missed over the years. Thanks to V & to BD once again.

  13. I didn’t find this one at all straightforward so I’m glad to find that at least SOME others also found it a bit tricky. In pre-blog days I would have got a couple of answers and given up – I now know that I can usually finish Sunday puzzles because I’ve learnt a lot. The other thing that keeps the “perservation” going is knowing that if I do get stuck there is help at hand. Thanks, as usual, to BD and the rest of you. Enough waffling – on to the crossword!
    I thought it was difficult today – very enjoyable but definitely difficult! Finally finished. Even having read the hint I still don’t really understand 5d – I don’t see why he/she or it is a fellow traveller. I have to confess to starting off with “cast” for 11a but 2d sorted that one out.
    I liked 10, 12 and 13a and 14 and 17d – loved 21a.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    1. A fellow traveller is someone who is not actually a member of a radical party (especially the Communist party) but sympathises (goes along) with its aims and policies.

  14. Easiest Sunday puzzle for a long time – but still very enjoyable! Thanks Virgilius!

    On Sundays, I always look for the trademark “hidden” clues on my first read-through. So, no help there, today!

    I initially thought there were no anagrams – but completely missed the wordplay for 12a (thanks BD) – maybe there are more?

  15. Not sure I would go quite as far as Roger but I agree that this is close to impossible. Certainly far too tough for me.

  16. I’m with Patsyann on this one. Sort of reminds me of the wording which always appeared in my annual appraisals throughout my working life: “Targets should be set at a level, not impossiible to attain but will stretch the job-holder to achieve them”. Mercifully, it’s been goodbye to all that for some years now. If I had a favourite, it would be 16a.
    Nice puzzle, enjoyed it very much. Thanks Virgilius and also to you BD.

  17. Thanks to Virgilius & to Big Dave for the hints. Enjoyed this one quite tricky in places. Still stuck on 7 & 15d, any help would be much appreciated. Dry St. Swithins so far in Central London.

    1. 7 – the definition is piece of text – insert the single letter abbreviation for King or Queen into a period of growth or time.
      15 – the definition is a piece of a piano – a synonym for essential or important followed by the verb meaning to get into a bus train or so on.

      1. Thanks Crypticsue, Gnome’s Law just operated on 7d, but I would never ever have thought of that for 15d, thanks for your explanations.

  18. I’m with the “found it very difficult” clan – and still haven’t finished. Have one pesky 4-letter to do – namely 11a. I’m sure I shall probably slit my throat when the penny drops, but it hasn’t as yet – help please! I liked 13a – probably because it popped into my mind straight away 0 also 22a and 9d. But I have struggled – on and off all day.

    1. 11a Bowled as well as some players (4)
      You want some players (of music). The abbreviation, in cricket, for bowled is followed by a connecting word meaning ‘as well as’.

      1. Thank you Gazza – anything to do with cricket and I go in the opposite direction. However, I should have got it but perhaps it’s not worth a slit throat!

  19. Dave, forgot to say earlier – thanks for the Linda Ronstadt clips. Not heard her for ages.

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