ST 2657 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2657 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2657 (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”.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submission


1a           Philosopher with old-fashioned West End address (8,6)
A charade of an 18th century Anglo-Irish philosopher and an old-fashioned word for old-fashioned

ARVE Error: need id and provider

11a         Guy‘s wife (3)
A double definition – a verb meaning to guy and a slang word for a wife

14a         Not without being selected (6)
Split the answer as (2,4) and it means being selected for the team

17a         Booth, for example, containing a pair of animals at home (8)
… the Booth referred to in the clue is John Wilkes Booth

24a         For artistic technique, nothing’s beyond me? Just the reverse (7)
Split the answer as (2,4,1) and it means the opposite of nothing’s beyond me

27a         It’s fun, say, but wrong, sandwiching player — not OK (14)
An anagram (but wrong) of  IT’S FUN SAY around (sandwiching) a theatrical player


1d           With note, I pressure skilled worker with craft to create harmony in house (14)
A charade of the seventh note of the diatonic scale of C major, I, P(ressure), a skilled worker and a craft or vessel giving harmony between members of two different factions in the House of Commons

2d           Diamond ring he oddly mislaid, initially, on coach (7)
Stop looking for complex wordplay, just take the initial letters of four words in the clue and add a coach

3d           The speaker, taken in by Lear, is led astray? Limerick’s part of it (7,4)
The first person objective pronoun (the speaker) inside (taken in by) an anagram (astray) of LEAR IS LED

8d           With total effort in difficult situation, we hear, passionately defending monarch (14)
A word that sounds like (, we hear) a difficult situation from which you need to dig yourself out followed by an adverb meaning passionately around (defending) the single-letter abbreviation for a monarch

16d         Fare from Rome or other EU capital to part of UK (8)
Some Italian food (from Rome) comes from a charade of an EU capital city, the TO from the clue and a part of the UK

20d         Scientist I spotted aboard old ship that’s docked (7)
I inside most of (docked) an old ship of the kind that used to sail the Spanish Main

25d         Marine mammal mostly is found here (3)
Most of a marine mammal gives where it may be found

 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 BB King (87) and Lauren Bacall (88)
ARVE Error: need id and provider

34 comments on “ST 2657 (Hints)

  1. I found this to be a tad trickier than last week, however once I got a foothold in the puzzle, the rest fell into place without much difficulty.
    My last one in was 8d.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  2. Took me longer than usual for a Sunday, but managed to work my way through it.

    1a took ages to get, must mug up on philosophers.

    Seen quite a few 9a’s recently

    Thanks to BD for hints.

    Thanks to Virqilius for an enjoyable test.

  3. I go there in the end thanks to hints and electronic help but found this absolutely at the limit of my abilities. Still it felt good to complete it.

    Many thanks


  4. Afternoon all; when you all turn up, that is. Took a bit longer than usual today but I got there in the end with a little help from BD, thank you. 2d foxed me and I had to research a little, even after having got the answer from the wordplay. 10a I should have got but I haven’t seen Mikado for donkeys’ years, and outside of that, it is not an expression I am familiar with. Thanks to Virgilius for a very welcome relief on a very wet West Cumbria Sunday. Never mind, when the sky clears, it’s magnificent.

    1. So please can you give me a hint for 10a without breaking the rules?? Never seen the Mikado and nothing comes to mind AT ALL. Only one I haven’t completed. (“oddly” I do believe I have the second word but am hung up on the first – unless, of course, it is the name of a ficticious bear??)

  5. I always find the Virgilius puzzles with the 14 letter words take a bit longer to solve that some of his others. Thanks to him for the usual perfect start to Sunday morning and to BD for the hints.

  6. Where is everyone today? I was hoping that there would already have been lots of comments saying how tricky this was but, so far, only Wozza. I found this more difficult than recent Sundays – I’ve finished it now but it really has taken me ages.
    I was very slow to get 1a and 1d which didn’t exactly get me off to a good start. Then managed to do a few (a VERY few) in the bottom half and then a few more all over the place etc etc. Lots of good and very typical Virgilius clues – eg 15a. Although I couldn’t justify it I had “macaroni” for 16d for quite a while.
    Favourites include 10a and 2 (another one that I had trouble with), 8, 20, 21 and 25d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    1. I gave up earlier Kath, I found it quite tricky, meant to get back to it this afternoon but had visitors, I may revisit it later!!

  7. Utterly enjoyable puzzle today. Romped through it. Some great clues 15, 17,22,23,18,20. Brilliant! Very happy bunny…

  8. Very tricky – and I’m not quite finished yet.
    Anyone want to give me an ‘acceptable’ clue to 22 and then I’ll be done?

    1. I have only one tiny bit of Battenburg cake in the tin (my current addiction – weird – Mr CS says it is because I must be craving cyanide as that is the only thing he can think of that tastes like almonds but isn’t) but I will have a go at explaining 22 without ending up in the corner.

      A two letter abbreviation for a way or road, a word meaning time, a male person, a word meaning time (person between times) the definition meaning to take control ‘dramatically’.

    2. I’ll try.
      The definition is “control dramatically”. You need one of the usual abbreviations for “way” (2) then a three letter word for “time” – that’s your first word. Then a three letter word for “person” followed by another three letter word for “time” (the same as the first one). Hope that helps a bit – good luck!

    3. Your requested deletion was not carried out because it would have orphaned CS’s reply. Never worry about deleting a comment because Gnome’s Law has kicked in – others may welcome the subsequent hint.

  9. Thanks to virgilius & to Big dave for the hints, which for once I didn’t need. Usual great stuff from Virgilius. The thing I like about his puzzles is that most times, including today’s, is that I can hardly get any on the first pass, but when you get on the same wavelength, they all drop into place. Started with 3d, finished with 15a. favourites were 3d, 10 & 22a. Sun just coming out in Central London. Off to the Lake District for some hill walking tomorrow, so if I blog, it will be late as I save the puzzle for the evenings.

    1. Lucky you Heno, Staying in Keswick, pint down the dog and gun or packhorse, curry and a quick shimmy up fleetwith pike , haystacks etc in the morning

      1. Yes, it’ll be brilliant, I’m about a ten minute drive fron Keswick. Can do Siddaw from the Hotel Car Park legs permitting :-)

        1. thats not on of my favourites…..BLENCATHRA …sharp edge but be careful, it van be dangerous

  10. My thanks to the setter for a thoroughly absorbing offering. Mrs A and I just love it when all the information is there but very cleverly hidden.

  11. To Big Dave, I just noticed that you attended Rutlish School, I played cricket back in the seventies (as a guest ) for the the old rutlishians , at Motspur Park I think. I had a very good friend who was an old boy.

      1. i think you probably left before my friend, his name was Babs Clark , Babs not his real name obviously, When he was born his dad called him a “Bloody Awful Baby” hence the nickname.He had a girlfriend called Mimi, not her real name either.

    1. i think Brian is away – I seem to remember that his last comment was a while ago – perhaps somewhere in USA, but I might have dreamt that one up. I’m sure he’ll be back . . . :smile:

  12. Best Sunday puzzle for a long while, in my opinion. Solvable but not as easy as the last few. All clues have excellent surface reading and there are a few quite tricky synonyms. 22a is a fantastic clue. Thanks to the compiler!

  13. We generally don’t comment at the weekends to avoid the traffic jam. Will help to boost the numbers this time though, to say how much we enjoyed this one. We also found it a little tougher than the last few Sundays but great fun. Lots of good clues so won’t pick favourites. Thanks Virgilius and BD.

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