ST 2663 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2663 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2663 (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           Bachelor in repeated shows ridiculously wins everything (6,3,5)
Bachelor inside an anagram (ridiculously) of REPEATED SHOWS

12a        Person called to order  drink (11)
Two definitions – a person called to a holy order and a drink allegedly developed at his abbey

15a        Artist, architect, and engineer putting sign outside on a road (8)
A sign of the zodiac around ON A and the abbreviation of R(oa)D

22a        Convincingly made clear what bacon is for dependants (7,4)
The main earner in a home did this with the bacon in a well-known expression

27a        Incomplete screening — biased excerpt from the clip seen (7,7)
An astronomical event in which the whole of a heavenly body is not completely obscured by another comes from an adjective meaning biased followed by a word hidden inside (excerpt from) the rest of the clue


1d           Ambitious types that may be found in mobile class, mostly rich? (6,8)
An anagram of (may be found in) MOBILE CLASS and most of RIC(h)

3d           Boy in family flanked by men on board in uncle’s business (11)
A shortened form of a male sibling (boy in family) between (flanked by) two of the men on a chessboard gives the business carried out by an “uncle”

5d           One who acts badly as Duke in role I’ve revised (4-4)
A bad person is derived from D(uke) inside an anagram (revised) of ROLE I’VE – in Crosswordland someone who acts badly is usually a ham, but not this time 

16d        Climber writes a novel about island (8)
An anagram (novel) of WRITES A around I(sland)

21d        Screen part in which mysterious smile attracts most viewers (6)
Where do thousands go to see a picture with a mysterious smile?

25d        For example, a little rum  baba (3)
Two definitions

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 Julia Roberts (45) and Cleo Laine (85)
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34 comments on “ST 2663 (Hints)

  1. BPOTW by a very long way. I particularly loved 15a and 21d. Thanks to Virgilius and BD too. Oh, and Gnomey, if you have to do overtime on the 7th Nov, I won’t be upset to get an email from you :)

  2. Greetings from Eeklo, Belgium.

    Thanks to BD, as usual, and for posting the information about Puzzazz.

  3. Very enjoyable and either not as difficult as Sundays can be sometimes or I’m finally getting the hang of them.
    I spent far too long trying to justify the wrong answer for the last word of 1a. I got the right answer for 21d but couldn’t work out the ‘mysterious smile’ bit. :oops: I don’t understand anything about 7d – suspect that my answer could be wrong but I can’t think of another word that even fits there.
    I liked lots of these – 12, 15 and 27a and 6, 8 and 25d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    1. 7d More inclined to stop working without raise? Just the opposite (7)
      An adjective meaning more inclined or more willing is constructed from a verb meaning to stop working inside a verb meaning to raise children – the opposite of the instructions in the clue

          1. It’s just that when someone who really knows what they’re talking about explains a clue it always seems so simple – even having got the answer (only because I couldn’t think of another word that would fit with the letters I had) I STILL couldn’t untangle it. Never mind – it’s not that long ago that I didn’t even look at Sunday puzzles – really couldn’t do them in PBD – I’ve just decided that could stand for ‘Pre Blog Days’ or ‘Pre Big Dave’! :smile:

  4. Must be the extra hour in bed ! Finished without hints for a change. Very enjoyable puzzle – thank you Virgilius and BD

  5. Very enjoyable puzzle with some clever clues. I esp liked 12a and 18d. Struggled a bit with SW corner until I realised I had put a plural in for 3d. Clot!
    Thx to all concerned.
    See you in a week as I am off to Hong Kong.

    1. 3d..ditto for me…even though I couldn’t quite make it fit the clue, I was convinced I was right! Say Hi to HK for me…great shame that the Chinese have sanitised it so much. Like the ferries…I fondly remember the fresh juice vendors pre-handover on the ferries…Now sadly gone post handover.

  6. As always – the best puzzle of the week!

    My personal favourite was 27a – I knew there was a trademark Virgilius hidden clue in there somewhere! Thanks!

  7. Very enjoyable puzzle. Favourite clues, 12a and 4d. Last one in 21d.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  8. Very enjoyable and many thanks for the hint to 21d which I couldn’t see. And for the explanation for 7d in the comments. That was the word I had in mind but couldn’t see it. Favourites 12,15 )especially 15) 22,27,4.

    Still can”t work out 10A though.

    1. 10a Blow up new tyre needing air that is lying around (7)
      A verb meaning to blow up (a tyre) comes from N(ew) and a tyre that is in dire need of air all inside (lying around) the Latin abbreviation for that is

  9. Really enjoyed this puzzle, lots of nice clues.

    No hints or electric help required, just a bit of thought.

    Thanks to BD and the setter.

    For 12a a visit to Fecamp should always include a vist to the Abbey, beware the strength of the free samples though!

  10. Although I enjoyed this I didn’t find it all that easy, 7d was the last to go in even after reading your hint Dave I couldn’t see it! I don’t quite understand 13d unless we are taking the l off **** for story?! Is 8d cryptic, or am I missing something here? Thanks for hints Dave, fav clues 22a and 4d

    1. Hi Mary

      Re 8d,there is a little misdirection intended, in that ‘whose positions may be very far apart’ could refer to their opinions or beliefs.

  11. Thanks to Virgilius & to Big Dave for the hints. Enjoyed this a lot, needed the hints for 15a & 21d, and needed the blog to justify my answer to 7d. Weather dull in Central London, it’ll be dark early for a long while now.

  12. I thought this was a great puzzle although I didn’t exactly find it a walk in the park but with much brain stretching got there in the end. Loved 22a & 8d . :smile:

  13. Really enjoyed this puzzle. Did it without hints but couldn’t work out the wordplay for 3d until I read your hints BD. So obvious when you know what you are looking for!! Some nice misdirection on that one – or so I am telling myself.
    Thanks to BD and the setter!

  14. 15a was my standout clue in an excellent puzzle. Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the H&T.

      1. I came back to search for this, Kath. Thanks for the reminder :P
        I’m blogging this one so am sure to gloss over it! ;)

  15. Still stuck on 17a, 22a and 18d. Bottom left corner insoluble for me. Didn’t understand the hint for 17a. I know if and when I get the answers it will be a doh! moment……can’t see why so many saw this as easy. Hey ho!

    1. 17a Mischief-maker not breaking law, it’s understood (8)
      Definition is understood or taken for granted. It’s a mischief-maker (3) followed by an adjective meaning not breaking the law or legal.

      1. Aha!! Just identified the culprit……3d ending not right, so checking letters wrong. Just got 22a as well…….

        1. Mark,
          Your comments are needing moderation because you’re putting a space between the L and the -H in your alias.

    2. 18d For a sailor getting a raise, equitably distributed? (3,4)
      A word meaning for or in favour of, then A and a sailor reversed (getting a raise).

    3. 22a Think of an expression ‘***** **** the bacon’ meaning to earn money to support one’s dependants.

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