ST 2664 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2664 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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Why not have a go at our latest monthly puzzle?

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           Waved sword I discarded (10)
A type of sword followed by the I from the clue and a verb meaning discarded or cast off

6a           A variable fashion feature that may be said to attract attention (4)
The A from the clue followed by a fashion feature that goes up or down from year to year

10a         Actress initially is embraced by male with pride in affair (7)
The initial letter of Actress and IS inside the male in a pride of animals

14a         Hunt lasting very long time (6)
Split as (3,3), this hunt could mean lasting a very long time

19a         So-called father that divides capital (6)
A cryptic definition of the Father that divides London into two parts

24a         Group together make a score of nineteen, for example (5,2)
What could be done to nineteen to make it into twenty (a score)

27a         No crudeness cut, when edited — like this (10)
An anagram (when edited) of NO CRUDENES(S) without its final letter (cut) gives an adjective meaning with nothing edited out


1d           Polish fan (4)
A double definition – to polish and a fan or enthusiast

4d           Asian food doctor found in another continent repeatedly (6)
An abbreviation for a doctor is sandwiched between the abbreviation for a continent other than Asia and another occurrence of the same continent (repeatedly)

8d           Wanting to control cash flow, painter is absorbed in his work (10)
This nounal adjective meaning wanting to control cash flow comes from a French Impressionist painter followed by IS inside a three-letter word describing the painter’s work

20d         A German guy rises to the top as executive (7)
Start with the A from the clue and GERMAN and then move the guy to the beginning (top in a down clue)

21d         Give bad marks to, various grades one repeated (6)
This verb meaning to mark give bad marks or disfigure is made up from letters in the range used for marking examinations, one of which occurs twice

23d         Singer having run in one club, say (4)
This feathered singer is derived by inserting R(un) inside what “one club” could be in bridge

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 Louise Redknapp (38)


  1. Brian
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Will someone please give me a clue to 26a, it’s the last one and its driving me nuts!

    • Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      26a Supreme deity put back in place in Egypt (4)
      Reverse (put back) the supreme ancient Greek deity to get a place in Egypt – it’s that easy!

      • Brian
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        Thx BD , saw it just before your hint came up, so simple but just couldn’t see it. Enjoyed this one and has passed several idle hours in Hong Kong airport (still there!). Thx to the setter.

    • Brian
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Got it, never think of this as being in Egypt, thought the Israelis still owned it.

  2. alan
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    The King of the Greek Gods *************

    • Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Please read the notes at the bottom of the post about alternative clues.

  3. mary
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Afternoon Dave, didn’t need the hints today but got stuck for ages on 19a! Thinking of so called father as a homophone for a male cat and then adding a two letter synonym for that on the end to give me a mans name and trying to figure out what it had to do with capital!!! finally the pennydropped Duh! two to three star for me today favourite clue 6a, horrible day here today, lets hope it will be cheered up by a Liverpool win, though I doubt it very much!

  4. Only fools
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this .I saw 21d slightly differently and confess to a delay with 19a .2.5*\3.5* for me

  5. spindrift
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Usual excellent puzzle from the Sunday Maestro (I assume it is Virgilius isn’t it?)

  6. Tantalus
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Thx to setter and BD. clocks went back today so no more early starts for us here in USA. Thx for all the kind words re Sandy.

  7. Tim C
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    All done except 21d. And that is one that BD has given an explanation to. Any chance of a (massive) hint please?
    Tim C – also known as a bit of a thicky!

    • mary
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Hi Tim you are looking for ‘give bad marks to’ as Dave said in the way of marking something so as to disfigure it, take a range of examination grades to make up this word one of the grading letters is used twice, hope that helps?

      • mary
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        This was one of the last three in for me

    • Digby
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      The definition is a verb describing, for example, to scrawl graffiti on a work of art.

    • Tim C
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Mary and Digby. I’ve got it now. So obvious once you get it. I just could not work it out even with BD’s hints. Perhaps I really do need to change my name from Tim C to Thicky.

  8. Sweet William
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Virgilius if it was you and BD. Very enjoyable and a good mixture of different clue types. Liked 24a and 23 d particularly ! Getting the long anagrams helps !

  9. Burkey
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Whizzed through left hand side and then ground to a halt on the right, particularly the SE corner. Grades at my school didn’t go lower then ‘E’, so 21d stumped me. I wouldn’t know a 25a if someone poked me int he eye with it, but the word play rescued me. Eventually.

    • Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      You may be thinking of pass grades – there is another one!

      • Tantalus
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        25a – We have the weapon (thx to the “poke in eye with sharp stick” hint, but can not see the logic of the clue “inconclusive attack?” help please.

        • mary
          Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

          Inconclusive attack is a word for attack without the end letter?

          • mary
            Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

            with the two letter abbreviation for ‘for instance’ inside

    • spindrift
      Posted November 5, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      25a is worth remembering as it crops up quite frequently in the DT puzzles.

  10. Kath
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    A lovely crossword but one that I found really difficult. At least 3* if not 4* for difficulty and 4* heading towards 5* for enjoyment.
    I got completely stuck with the top right hand corner – had about five gaps and decided that was too many to ask for help with so ‘perservated’ for ages and eventually finished, apart from 19a, which came to me as I sat down at the computer. I’m definitely beginning to win with the Sunday crosswords. I’m also getting better at spotting the ‘middle-of-the-clue’ answers EXCEPT on Sundays when I nearly always miss them for ages.
    My favourites include 6, 17, 19, 22 (that’ll be me!!) and 27a and most of the down clues. How long did I spend trying to find a singer with the surname 23d?! :roll:
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Absolutely chucking it down with rain and 3C in Oxford.

    • mary
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Well done Kath, perservation definitely pays off, horrible day here too, never mind we have the dancing to look forward too :-)

      • Kath
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        Looking forward to the dancing – only watched it with half an eye last night as elder daughter and her partner have been home for the weekend – we all sat by the fire when it was on (the dancing, not the fire) but were nattering at the same time – they are EVEN more important than the dancing!!

        • mary
          Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

          Since getting Sky plus last year Kath the beauty of it is if someone calls you can pause it or you can record it to watch later :-D

  11. Roger
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Nice crossword. I don;t get the first part of 1a …a type of sword. I know what the answer is but still can’t see it. Googling wasn’t much help either but admittedly those terms are pretty broad. Favourites 6, 19,24 and 8

    • Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Have you tried looking it up? It is in Chambers. I should perhaps have said a general name applied to a sword

    • steve_the_beard
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Hi Roger

      If you don’t have a physical copy of the BRB, go to
      and enter the five-letter word you’re thinking of.

      Meaning number nine reads “literary a sword”

  12. Colmce
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Late start on this one no 3G signal, rain affected?

    Always enjoy Sundays, lots of different types of clues, found it a bit harder than usual though.

    Thanks to BD and Virgilius.

    Now to have a crack at the NTSPP and the Prize as my cheap printer ink has arrived.

  13. axe
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Well done Kimi.

    Enjoyed this one . Thanks to BD and the setter.

  14. The Buffer
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Lovely puzzle today, thanks BD and setter.
    Gorgeous day here in Cumbria, wal to wall sunshine and the Scafell massife looks magnificent under snow. Mrs B has taken a number of photos today; she uses them on Christmas Cards.

  15. Jezza
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius for a most enjoyable and well–crafted puzzle, and to BD for the hints.
    A late start on this one, and a little longer than normal to complete. 3*/5* for me.

  16. Kath
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    I never fail to be amazed by what I learn from this blog. Today I have learnt what a ‘nounal adjective’ is – eg 8d. I’m now trying to think of others, and I’m sure that there must be lots of them. The only one that I have come up with so far is ‘Fascist’.
    Anyway, this all just leads me on to saying “Thank you”, yet again, to all the helpful, friendly and informative people who contribute so much of their time to running this great ‘place’.

  17. Derek
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Solved this earlier then had friends in for coffee and a chat so forgot to blog it!

    Faves : 16a, 19a, 24a, 26a, 4d, 8d, 16d & 20d.

    Weather today in NL very pluvious as well as cold.

    Looking forward to seeing what Fiona has to say at 21.00hrs – she is a descendant of Robert – The Bruce!

    Greetings all!

  18. gnomethang
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Great puzzle which I would have enjoyed more had I been solving over a pint and not in a shortish break whilst working for the second day on the weekend. Harrumph!.
    THanks to BD and to Virgiius.

  19. Tmdess
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Hi all! Only 21 down and 25 across — I am not sure about the UK grading system….any advice? Thanks!

    • gazza
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      I can’t improve much on the hints already given. For 21d ‘give bad marks to’ (which is the definition’) means to mark badly – see Digby’s hint at #7 above. For 25a you want a native weapon.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      All the poms probably in bed by now. The grading letters are the first six of the alphabet, one is repeated in the answer. The weapon alluded to is hinted at above when someone mentioned a poke in the eye. Hope that helps.

      • crypticsue
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

        It is only 10 to 10 Kiwis so most of us are probably still up.

        • Kath
          Posted November 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

          I’m certainly still up – only 10.20 now – what did you think of the dancing? i thought the wrong person went out – really liked him! :sad:

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      Look at comment 9 above where Mary provides a hint for 25a. Quite a lot of systems would use this grading, not just the UK. Again if you look in the comments above, all should become clearer.

  20. charlie
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Are you sure this is a Virgilus crossword?

    • Posted November 5, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink


      He has set every Sunday Telegraph puzzle since 12th April 2009.

  21. lostboy
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    8 d!!!! Rats rats rats!

    Had to go to another website to get the answer to this, despite having finished the rest of it, AND reading the hint. I just couldn’t make the mental leap between the artist’s name and a word beginning with it.

    Great puzzle though, and now off to fume gently somewhere about my shortcomings.

    ps, pity there was no Toughie on Monday tghis week.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted November 7, 2012 at 2:40 am | Permalink

      There never is on a Monday. What we do is save the NTSPP from this site to do instead. Cheers.