ST 2662 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2662 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2662 (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           Start of squabble or argument making us feel sad (6)
The initial letter (start) of Squabble followed by OR and an argument

4a           Arrangement of pro wrestling location (6)
A word meaning pro followed by a location for some types of wrestling

11a         What sailors sometimes call a boat (4)
Split as (1,3] this is a large one-decked boat, commonly rigged as a sloop

16a         Hybrid kind of music not on tracks (5-7)
A word meaning a hybrid and a kind of music gives a word meaning through fields, woods, over hills, etc., rather than by road

21a         Material for newspaper, shrinking outside page (4)
An adjective meaning shrinking or bashful around (outside) P(age)

23a         Pie chart showing this indicates how business is doing (8)
A double definition

25a         Mass being performed by essential primate (6)
M(ass) followed by a two-letter word meaning being performed and an adjective meaning essential


1d           Hide principal gang member (8)
A hide or pelt followed by a principal of, for example, a school

2d           Spirit the writer’s shown in game (5)
An alcoholic spirit followed by a possessive adjective meaning the writer’s

5d           Tragedy that’s less hard in Verdi’s version (7)
Verdi’s version of this Shakespearian tragedy is missing the H(ard)

14d         Tragedy’s beginning, in fact, in a touching way (9)
The initial letter (beginning) of Tragedy followed by an adverb meaning in fact

15d         Quietly optimistic about start of peace he forecast (8)
The musical notation to play quietly and an adjective meaning optimistic around (about) both the initial letter (start) of Peace and HE

18d         Ration distributed to north or south of old province (7)
An anagram (distributed) of RATION followed by (to the north in a down clue) of O(ld) or the same anagram preceded by (south) of O(ld), both give the same province

21d         Key piece that’s held up by bishop (5)
A musical key followed by a chess piece gives something that is held by a bishop

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 Carrie Fisher (56) and Manfred Mann (72)
ARVE Error: need id and provider

27 comments on “ST 2662 (Hints)

  1. I found the bottom half of this to be quite a bit tougher than the top.
    Very enjoyable; favourite clue 12a.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  2. Rainy and cold in Boston… and in Reading Berks (visiting for a week). I made great progress until the jetlag hit me. But 20a seemed mighty familiar ? I guess that now BD is back we cant sneak into the NC without being foggy noticed.

    Thx to all

  3. I agree with Jezza – bottom half was trickier than the top. I ended up in a real pickle with a few in the bottom right corner.
    I didn’t know that the Verdi version of 5d didn’t have an H. I also think I’m missing something with 24a and 17d – or my answers are wrong which is, of course, always a possibility! As usual I was slow to spot the ‘hidden-in-the-middle’ bit of 8a and 7d.
    Favourites include 8, 10, 11 and 25a and 1, 6, 18 and 19d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    I hope that everyone had a good time in London yesterday and that there aren’t too many sore heads!! :smile:

    1. 17d Eccentric left over part of one (7)
      Definition is eccentric. An adjective meaning left over or unpaired is followed by part of an over (one sixth, normally).

    2. 24a Top people and the issue they raise (6)
      You’re meant to think that ‘issue they raise’ means problem that they bring up, but here it means offspring that they rear.

    3. Thanks gazza – please note lower case g!
      I had got the right ‘end of the stick’ with 24a but had just wondered if there was more to it. Needless to say I’d missed the relevance of the last four letters of 17d – when will I learn?

  4. Took a couple of go’s but finished without too much trouble. Nice puzzle with some clever clues. Esp enjoyed 4a & 20a. Last in was 1d, don’t think the setter is perhaps quite au fait with modern gang culture!

    1. Ps can anyone explain 17d, got the answer but apart from eccentric I can’t see how the clue fits the rest.

      1. 17d: first part is three letter word meaning unpaired – not in twos. second part is a four letter word for the basic delivery of the round thing in cricket, there are six of these deliveries in an over before the bowlers swap and the other bowler delivers the round thing from the other end… again the bowler has six attempts (unless the deliveries are so poor that the round thing doesn’t make it anywhere near the batter – then the umpire pretends to be a plane and the bowler has to have an extra go). Together they mean an eccentric. He is an *******. Any cake left?

        1. The first word (eccentric) is the definition. The next two words (left over) clue the first three letters of the answer. The remaining words (part of one) refer back to “over”, and clue the last three letters of the answer.

  5. I thought this a wee bit harder than usual from Virgilius!

    Faves : 12a, 16a, 23a, 5d, 9d & 19d.

    1. Hi Kath, Just to make up the numbers, I’ll put in my two-penn’th. Mind you, the Sun is shining, so there will be a plethora of comments when it goes down. Nice puzzle today, I had little difficulty but thanks to Virgilius and BD anyway. I’m a bit late on parade since Mrs B insisted I make a hibernation box for our resident hedgehogs; they’ll be off to sleep any day now the frosts have arrived. Well they have here in Cumbria.

      1. No sun in Oxford today – have spent day chopping kindling wood and moving logs around – I quite like doing that kind of stuff – makes me feel a bit like a squirrel getting ready for winter. (In our house we have to say ‘SQ’, as letters, because if we say the whole word our collie goes mad, even if we think she’s asleep!)

  6. Harder than the normal Sunday, I also got in a bit of a muddle bottom right but on the third stab got it sorted out.

    Thanks to BD and to the setter.

  7. Oh dear, Oh dear.
    All over too quickly.
    One of those, for me, where, for some clues, the word/answer precedes that which would be derived by working it out from the clue.
    One has no control over one’s subconscious, does one? Not this one, anyway.
    Enjoyable, though, some ingenious clues.
    Thanks Virgillius and BD.

  8. Thanks to Virgilius & to Big Dave. 3*/3* for me. Favourites were 11a & 18d. Please help on 19d, I’m stuck.

  9. STILL very quiet here today – I can see that I’m going to have to stand in for Mary, in her absence, this week! I hope that she has a good break in her camper van – she certainly deserves it and the ‘chatty seat’ will be kept open for her on her return!! :smile:

    1. Haven’t started Sundays offerings, had a hectic weekend, including sublime lemon drizzle cake, now work has got in the way grrr

  10. Better late than never ! At least yesterday the sun was shining on both sides of the Pennines – today rain on both sides. Like others found this rather harder than normal and difficult to get started. Bottom half harder than top and put the answer in for 17d but needed to get home and look at all the comments to understand the wordplay.

    Thank you Virgilius and BD for hints, which I needed to check – and thanks to everyone for helping with 17d !

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