ST 2658 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2658 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2658 (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”.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.

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


1a           Communication on warship that’s prepared to surrender (10)
A communication follows a shortened version of an underwater warship – the definition is an adjective not a verb

12a         Medal winner and I, with this kind of clue (8,5)
A winner is followed by the I from the clue and the type of clue represented by this and thirteen others in today’s puzzle

17a         A short time ago getting everything out of rare chance? Not likely (8)
Drop the inner letters from (getting everything out of) the last four words in the clue

25a         British invading to pressurise part of Middle East (7)
B(ritish) inside a phrasal verb meaning to pressurise

26a         Owing to cut, one can’t peform this piece of music (4)
A word meaning owing followed by T(O) without its final letter (cut) – more than one person is needed to perform this piece of music – is the spelling error also present in the newspaper version?

27a         Regulations about sci-fi movie getting Oscars, for example (10)
Some regulations around (about) one of Crosswordland’s favourite sci-fi movies


1d           Problem with ring for kind of wrestling (4)
A mathematical problem followed by the letter shaped like a ring

3d           Forced to accept beliefs, with change of direction, and about time (13)
An anagram (change) of DIRECTION AND around (about) T(ime)

7d           Cover for student body university provided within convention (7)
A cover for the body of a student is derived from U(niversity) followed by a two-letter conjunction meaning  provided inside a convention or accepted standard

11d         Popular kind of TV covering cricket side before big match? Sure (13)
A two-letter adjective meaning popular followed by a kind of TV transmission system around (covering) a cricket side, also known as leg, and a big international cricket or rugby match

23d         Responsibility borne by setter and solver together (4)
Split as (2,2) this could mean borne by setter and solver together

 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 Bruce Springsteen (63) and Mickey Rooney (92)
ARVE Error: need id and provider

52 comments on “ST 2658 (Hints)

  1. Decent enough challenge for a wet and miserable Sunday morning.
    Needed the hints to understand why I had solved 17a correctly.
    Typo in 26a also present in print.
    Thanks BD and Virgilius?

  2. Oh don’t say that Hrothgar, I was just going to say ”Whoopee” yes, yes, yes, my first Sunday crossword completed with no help whatsoever!! However I thought someone might say it was a bit easy :-( , I really enjoyed this, not because it was easy but because the clues were nearly all explicit in their instructions and not unecessarily complicated, a lot of it felt a bit Rufusish to me, lots of fav clues today, 6a, 12a, 14a, 26a, 16d, 18d to name but a few, thank you setter for a nice start to Sunday and thanks Dave for the hints tho I didn’t even need any explainations today :-D, I still think it’s at least a two star today

    1. Sorry for using the word ‘easy’ Mary, it can be discouraging perhaps.
      But it’s balanced on this occasion by those who thought it hard.
      Well done, though, one can only get better :)

  3. The best way to start a Sunday morning. Lovely mix of clues, lots to smile at and d’oh to 17a when I realised how clever it was to hide the solution like that. Thanks to Virgilius and BD too.

    You wouldn’t want to sit and read in our garden Mary, very strong wind and real rain (as opposed to those half hearted efforts we have had lately).

  4. Thank you Virgilius and BD. As usual I found it difficult to get started with the Sunday puzzle, ( late night didn’t help ! ) but once under way made reasonable progress. Like others needed the BD hint to explain why I had got 17a. Very enjoyable – thank you.

  5. I really look forward to Sunday puzzles now, and this one didn’t let me down.
    Great fun.

    Thanks to BD for the hints, not needed today.

    Thanks to Virgilius for brightening a drearywetwindy morning.

  6. It took me a very long time to understand 17a.

    Still fail to understand the wordplay in 20d – Help, please!

    1. As I see it stan it’s start of book ‘b’ on ‘art’ (sculpture say) including ‘a’ which is one, which gives you a title

        1. If I go to the naughty corner I will consider it extremely harsh but yes now you mention it, it is a possibility, although sue is normally on gaurd!

          1. A or I to ONE is fine with me. The alternative is to write an essay to describe the transformation! The other three-letter word is a bit naughty.

          2. Home made bread pudding in the NC this afternoon. Just had some for pud with lashings of custard.

  7. Liverpool v Man U now, other half is ManU! Come on the REAL reds, Liverpool :-) , hope I’m still smiling after!

  8. Many thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.
    Lovely puzzle; last one in was 20d, which, like stanXYZ, took me a while to parse.

  9. Nice puzzle, bit tricky but very enjoyable. However, I wonder if, without breaking the prize embargo, someone could explain 20d, don’t see what the answer has to do with sculpture. Thx

    1. Sorry should have read the blog more thoroughly, just seen Mary’s reply. Well well Liverpool in the bottom three, Bill S must be spinning in his grave :-)

  10. I think that I probably say this most Sundays but I found it really difficult today. I’ve finished it now but if I said how long it’s taken me I think the rule for not mentioning solving times might be waived – it certainly wouldn’t discourage anyone! Having said all that, I really enjoyed it.
    I ended up needing the hints or previous comments to explain 17a (what a clever clue, and typical Virgilius) 11 and 20d. I think that I would probably call 6a a tree, not a 6a.
    Favourites were 9, 15 and 26a and 2, 8 and 13d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Awful here today – cold and wet. The only good thing is that to have an enforced day of relative idleness is quite nice – would like to light fire but daren’t until chimney has been swept.

    1. 13d – You could tell Mrs T that it’s an anagram of “…across tide,..”. She will be alone if she’s the only one not to solve this one!

      1. Mrs T said “That’s it, Stan’s off our Xmas card list!” I said it was just a rhetorical clue – now we are arguing about your motives! But thx, we have 13d.

        1. … she said “tell him I gave him the ‘ostrich eye’ “. A spell in the naughty corner is small price to pay to save my marriage. Thx

  11. I’ve used up BD’s clues and still it isn’t finished. But I will – too shameful to have to consult my 94yo dad :(

  12. Not quite as quick as yesterday, but not too far behind. I find it interesting that people react to setters in different ways, ranging here from easy to really struggling. I am with Mary on this one and thought of Rufus; but it couldn’t be, it’s Sunday.
    Very enjoyable indeed. Thanks BD although I didn’t refer to the blog until after completion, and of course Virgilius.
    Lovely sunny day here in W.Cumbria, has been all day. Mrs B and I have been giving the hedges a final trim; the flipping place is surrounded by the things, but we now have a superb view of Scafell.

  13. All done but one. 5d. My little machine gives me a word/name but I cannot see how it can be the answer. Could someone enlighten me a little – if the rules allow that……

    1. The Roman numeral for 6 followed by an anagram (devastated) of I RING and the abbreviation for area gives the name of an Eastern state in America

    2. I’ve said too far much already today, but….

      5d – Roman Numeral for six + anagram (devastated) of “I ring” + abbreviation of “area” ===> Eastern US State.

    3. Thanks for that. I was having a senior moment. Somehow I had managed to spell 10a beginning with the letter a. No idea how I managed that little trick! I could not even pronounce the word I had written! Explains why I felt that the word Vladimir was not a good answer!!!

  14. If it’s ok, I’d like to advertise a company called Puzzazz which has just launched a collection of 29 crossword books for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. They have the exclusive TouchWrite technology that allows you to write answers with your finger on the screen. Go to for details. The company was started by a puzzle enthusiast who knows exactly what he’s doing in terms of puzzles, computers, and business.

    The collection includes “Across and Down the Guardian Path with Brendan”, a selection of 20 Brendans from the last four years.

  15. Virigilus fans may wish to check out his Brendan in today’s Guardian (available free on line). It has a great theme and, wonder upon wonders, I saw the Nina too. Highly recommended.

  16. Thanks to Virgilius & to Big Dave for the hints. A super puzzle from Virgilius. Started with 10a, finished with 6a. Favourites were 1,12,17&25a. Found it tough at first, then everything clicked into place. A nice walk round Loweswater yesterday, back to the smoke today unfortunately.

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