ST 2666 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2666 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2666 (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           Weapons commanders in East deployed around vital centre (8)
Hereditary military governors who were the effective rulers of Japan from the 12c until the 1860s around the middle letter (centre) of viTal

9a           A Scottish island hit back, showing irrational fear (8)
The A from the clue followed by a Scottish island and a verb meaning to hit all reversed (back)

15a         Writer adding stone to middle in eating place (6)
A brand of writing implement around (adding … to middle) ST(one)

21a         University in top ten, maybe, intended for the masses (8)
U(niversity) inside what could be (maybe) the top ten hits (3,4)

23a         Books that provide meaningful help, by definition (12)
… especially for cruciverbalists!

28a         Unknown person runs into road rage (8)
R(uns) between the abbreviation for a road and rage


2d           Computers, for example, are added to hospital ward after reconstruction (8)
The ARE from the clue after (added to) H(ospital) and an anagram (after reconstruction) of WARD

3d           Theatrical performance after eleven near West End (7,5)
The ordinal number for the position after eleven followed by a word meaning near and the final letter (west in an across clue) of wesT

6d           As part of goal, get past hazard in estuary (8)
A verb meaning to get past followed by a sandbank hazard in an estuary

12d         From Pacific region, regrettably captured by European (12)
A four-letter word meaning regrettably inside (captured by) a European

17d         Person changing position about product of mine, in addition (8)
A person who is continually changing his position around a naturally occurring solid material which is extracted from a mine

22d         Painter’s initial cover for textbook (6)
A double definition – the type of paint used initially and a school textbook

25d         Prophetic book found in farmhouse — nothing odd in that (4)
This book of the Bible written by a prophet is derived by dropping the odd letters from (nothing odd in that) fArMhOuSe

I’ve been a bit generous again this week, but 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 Kim Wilde (52) and Linda Evans (70)
ARVE Error: need id and provider

The song Marty Wilde recorded in 1960
when his daughter Kim was born.

46 comments on “ST 2666 (Hints)

  1. Liked absolutely everything about this ,best weekend puzzle for months,lots of smiles when the penny finally dropped ! 3.5*\ 5* for me .

  2. After struggling in SE corner yesterday (held up by that lurking B-film cowboy) I enjoyed this and found it quite a gentle ride with some lovely surface readings including 12d and 19d. Thanks to setter (Giovanni? If so my better half heard him sing last night in Newcastle) and to Big Dave.

  3. Superb 1*/5* Everything one could wish for in a cryptic crossword, especially on a lovely sunny Sunday morning like this. Too many favourites to list. Thanks very much to Virgilius and BD.

  4. I don’t understand the ‘not so’ part of 20A – although I think I have the right answer. Everything else was pretty much plain sailing, but this seemed to me to be a little easier than some of Virgilius’ puzzles.

      1. Thanks Gazza, but I’m still not sure … Should I be linking the ‘not so’ with ‘knocker’ – i.e. not knocker?

  5. Thank you Virgilius and BD. Very enjoyable as always on a Sunday. Under enormous pressure from Mrs SW to get a move on and do something ! friends coming for lunch. Can relax now !

  6. Morning Dave thanks for hints though didn’t need them today, lots of clues I liked but no real favourites, just one thing, in 3d shouldn’t it say eleventh, not eleven? A two to three star for me today as I still had to look up a few things, nice sunny day here today :-)

    1. I took it as the “theatrical performance” after eleven was the *******.

      BTW the usual morons over on another site objected to Alchemi’s “Abba finish” to indicate A – what would they make of “west end”?

      1. Oh yes of course, I see that now, just need to do a bit more lateral thinking! :-) thanks, as to your other comment, well some people object to everything! unlike me ;-) , a mere mortal trying to understand things

  7. The normal Sunday top quality puzzle. Not one of my quicker solves, and I came back to it to put the last couple in.
    Scratched my head thinking about 1a, until the penny dropped.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  8. Just what a chap needs on a sunny Sunday.
    A nicely crafted puzzle which required a bit of brainpower.

    Thanks to BD for hints, not needed today.
    Gazza thanks for the word play 20a , had answer but wasn’t sure why.

    Thanks to Virgilius.

    See they’ve upped the prize to £50… Don’t hold your breathe Col.

    Have been presented with my afternoon task list, no rest for the wicked.

  9. Very pleasant, and I particularly liked 26A. No doubt I’ll now learn it’s a chestnut…

    Big Dave – am I being particularly dim, or does Virgilius not play the pun game in his quick crosswords?

  10. Have an answer for 26a but can’t see what cut short has to do with it so could be wrong. Also stuck on 24d, how dim am I since have checking letters?! Any help welcome.

    1. 26a For the Romans, one day each month that is cut short (4)

      Take the full Latin phrase for “that is” (not the more usual abbreviation) and drop the final letter (cut short).

    2. 24d Succinctly claim powerlessness in hypocritical statement (4)

      I thought I had answered this one, but obviouly not!
      A double definition – the first being a simpler way of saying “succinctly claim powerlessness” (3’1) and the second being a hypocritical or insincere statement

  11. I found this a bit more difficult than recent Sundays – the last few took me ages and understanding some of my answers that I was fairly sure about took even longer. My remaining problems, only three that I still didn’t understand, have all been covered by BD’s hints. Lovely puzzle – really enjoyed it.
    I particularly liked 11 and 13a and 3, 4 and 17d. My favourite was 19d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Very cold here but lovely blue sky and sun so going to rake MORE leaves!

  12. Sat waiting for the RAC with a puncture. ;(. A lovely Sunday puzzle from Virgilius solved while I’m parked up.

  13. Can only agree with CS’s comment #3 – simply a splendid puzzle!

    Many thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  14. Finished very quickly, but, ashamed to say had to use a dictionary to check spelling of the ordinal number in one clue!
    Can’t blame anything except a mental block, or too much wine last night.
    Thanks to the setter, we very much enjoyed it.

    1. i do know what you mean – you put it in and it looks a bit funny – and then you doubt yourself and look it up . . . :roll:
      I have loads of words that I know I can’t spell – knowing that I can’t is quite useful – the second word of yesterday’s 4d is one.

  15. Thought this puzzle from Brian was a tad harder than usual but eventually got down to business and solved it.

    Faves : 1a, 13a, 17a, 27a, 3d, 6d, 16d & 25d.

    Dampish morning turned into a brilliant sunny afternoon and now a cloudless cold night.

    The big birds going in to Schiphol are very visible.

  16. Reasonable, non-controversial puzzle, I’d say. Needed a bit of thought and a little help from my electronic friend, but quite enjoyable.

  17. Am I allowed to be a bit 27a in gazza’s NTSPP from yesterday? Too late – no-one said NO!!
    What an AMAZING opening to the dancing from Wembley this evening – I loved it.
    Come on CS and Mary – surely I’m not alone!! :smile:
    Really sorry to all of you who don’t like it.

  18. A fine puzzle again from Virgilius – there was a clue in every corner that proved the linch-pin and once solved every thing fell into place quite quickly. Just as well as I have switched from noghts to days Friday (only 4 hours) but then have just been on site for 13 and 14 hours respectively Sat/Sun. I’ll be there tomorrow at 7 to make sure everything is working OK as well.

    Thanks to BD and to BG.

  19. Thanks to Virgilius & to Big Dave for the hints. Enjoyed this one a lot, needed to use the hints for 17,22&25d. Bit trickier this week. Favourites were 11 & 13a.

  20. I enjoyed this puzzle but dispite having the checking letters I am stuck on27a.
    B.D. I have changed server so you might get a strange address on this response
    Thanks to setter & B. D. Hope Tilsit is mobile again.



    1. 27a Diagnose ill in US city (3,5)

      This is simply an anagram of DIAGNOSE, although you might not agree with the use of ill as an indicator.

      Although your ip address is captured by the WordPress software, it doesn’t affect your comments.

  21. Still stuck on 17ac 17d and 14d, none of which have hints. Anyone able to give me a clue (literally!). Please.

    1. Welcome to the blog Annabel

      17a Stated way in which landed gentry may feel at home (5)
      A word that sounds like (stated) a way or method is actually the type of home in which landed gentry may live

      14d When star makes first appearance in part of trip, unusually going North (5)
      The time when our nearest star makes its first appearance is hidden (part of) and reversed (going North in a down clue) inside the clue

      17d – there is a hint!

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