ST 2668 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2668 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2668 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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There’s a new Monthly Prize Puzzle, set by Gazza, available .

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           Flier, and advertisement with it (6)
A colloquial word for an advertisement followed by a two-letter word meaning with it

4a           Something soothing said in royal residence (8)
Something soothing followed by an adjective meaning said or spoken

13a         Excuse being cheated by swindle (7)
A word meaning being cheated preceded by a swindle

15a         Gangster’s covering street, in top part of building (8)
The surname of a famous gangster around (covering) ST(reet)

23a         Beasts of burden carrying weight in tunnels (7)
Some small donkeys (beasts of burden) around W(eight)

26a         Piece of pottery, for example, obtained from small firm (5)
S(mall) followed by an adjective meaning firm

29a         Hospital moved cautiously, so guarded against loss (6)
H(ospital) followed by a verb meaning moved cautiously


1d           Offensive on the subject of a piece of cake (8)
An military offensive or advance followed by a preposition meaning on the subject of

5d           Like position of left wing — captain changed it on a roster (14)
An anagram (changed) of CAPTAIN followed by IT and a roster

16d         Daily race for joint property (9)
A daily newspaper followed by a verb meaning to race

21d         Son in possession of one sign of maturity (7)
S(on) followed by a verb meaning in possession of

24d         Stranger from Communist Party turned up (5)
Stranger here is an adjective – a communist followed by a party, both reversed (turned up in a down clue)

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 Britney Spears (31) and Nelly Furtado (34)
ARVE Error: need id and provider
ARVE Error: need id and provider

46 comments on “ST 2668 (Hints)

  1. I may be overly biased but I love the Sunday puzzles and this was no exception .Righthand side went in rather quicker than the left .Lots of favourites and in particular 15a,23a,28a and 21d.had never come across the advertisement usage before .3*\4* for me .

  2. Morning Dave, oh no sorry it’s just afternoon, I really enjoyed this one today, no strange unecessary words, all clues ‘followable’ to get the answer, not too easy a 3 star for me :-) , thanks for hints as usual tho didn’t need to use them today

  3. I thought this was one of the easier Sunday puzzles for a while. I did enjoy it, but no stand-out favourites for me today.
    2*/3.5* for me. Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  4. Yes another Sunday belter, always firm but fair, just scraped in without hints.

    Thanks for the review and to the setter for a nice diversion on this crisp clear sunny morning..

  5. Enjoyable as always, thank you Virgilius and BD. New word for me in 23a. Must remember to get the snow shovel ready for tomorrow am. !

  6. I also thought that this was easier than some Sunday crosswords – or I might be getting a bit better, but probably not.
    I was slow with 1a and 1d – had thought of the bird but dismissed it as, for some reason, I thought they couldn’t fly. My last one in, and deserving of a kick since we have piles of them all over our house, was 8d. I didn’t know the donkey. We have the first name of the 15a gangster so often that it took a while to think about using his surname.
    I liked 18, 25 and 28a and 1, 9, 21 and 24d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    1. I thought that at first about 1a Kath! Then I remembered seeing loads of them flying on a nature programme and also was thinking of using the gangsters first name!!

      1. Mary, you can see these comical birds at South Stack Cliffs Anglesey – also at St Bees Head Cumbria and Bempton Cliffs Yorkshire. They are struggling at the moment with lack of sand eels – their main food supply !

  7. I am in the opposite camp. I found this one very hard and demoralising. It wasn’t until 25a (and I’d also had a good yet fruitless stab at the down clues) that I had a sniff of an answer.

    I have found that, at least for my personality, I need a few clues to drop fairly early on as that motivates me to persevere. When I get a crossword such as this one where I read clue after clue and haven’t even got an inkling of what the answer might be then I start to think ‘What the Heck’ and go and do something else. Still I did persevere and got most of them in the end but have to say that it wasn’t particularly enjoyable or life-affirming.

    1. I can’t remember how long you have been commenting and don’t know how long you have been doing cryptic crosswords or reading BD’s blog. I have been doing crosswords on and off for quite a long time and reading the blog for about two and a half years, I think. Before I found the blog I was exactly the same as you with Sunday puzzles – rarely got more than a few answers, and that was on a good day – certainly never finished them. I can, now, usually finish them and if I run into trouble there’s always someone who will help. Don’t get discouraged – keep trying and good luck.

  8. Agree with others comments above (apart from Roger, that is). The perfect puzzle for a lovely crisp sunny morning before going for a lovely walk in the woods. Not sure about favourites yet but it’s my turn to do the review, so I will have a think about that later on today.

    Not sure people will need enough hints for anyone to end up in the naughty corner but just in case they do, I have an apple and mincemeat cake in the oven.

      1. It is very good – we had it hot for pudding with custard and it is also good as cake in its own right.

  9. Great puzzle. A nice start for a beautiful Sunday morning here in the north. Thanks setter and of course BD.

  10. Really struggling with this one and even these answers I’ve have got I don’t fully understand. For instance 22d, why pedestal, 27a why court, 17d why dispirited? Not liking this one very much.

    1. Assuming that you are being serious, especially about 27a and 22d:

      27a Court gives the start of a hidden word
      17d Dispirited is another definition of the answer
      22d The pedestal is the four letters between the A and the D(aughter)

      1. Thx for that, I had a u in the middle rather than the a, now that makes sense. Didn’t see the hidden word in 27a got the answer through the checking letters and now I am doubting my answer to 17d, I have the sort of without crew as in one of those US drones but can’t see that means dispirited!
        Sundays is usually quite tough and I found this one especially so but thx for the hints without which I most certainly would not have finished.

    2. I think you will get to the bottom of it even if the court is largely irrevelant and your ship is crewless !

    3. I side with Brian on 22d. A daughter ‘put on’ surely implies A and D followed by (because it is a down clue) a word meaning pedestal. Not between the two letters A and D.

      5d is a similar construct yet the clue is very clear – ‘penned’ puts the Italian article inside a word meaning fellow.

  11. I was going to complain that the solution of 15a does not appear in the BRB … but I’ve now found it!

    Presumably not worthy of an entry in its own right!

        1. Naughty corner for you then! Don’t despair though as crypticsue has provided some refreshments :lol:

  12. Another very enjoyable puzzle from Virgilius!

    Particularly liked :15a, 23a, 28a, 1d, 8d & 24d.

    We had a lot of hail (large stones) today but also sunny periods.

    Meat and two veg tonight with a drop of Chinon. Then blueberries.

    We are in the Sinterklaas period here in NL – it actually is 5th December but many people celebrate it at the nearest weekend.

    Christmas is looming up and then New Year.

  13. Thanks to Virgilius & to Big Dave for the hints. Found this very difficult, but enjoyable. Needed 3 hints for 13&15a & 5d. Favourites were 1&4a. Was 3*/4* for me. Lovely day in Central London, but rain tonight.

  14. Now very mellow after a rather long and large lunch with some friends! Finally got to look at this when we got home and thought it not the easiest Sunday puzzle! Maybe that was because of the garlic mussels, roast lamb, cheeseboard, apple strudel (to die for), plus half a bottle of Rioja, coffee and a very large brandy (2 actually!). Phew – stuffed or what :grin:
    Did finish it but it took a bit longer than usual as the brain wasn’t working too well! Now off for a kip in front of Strictly and then the X Factor! One person around here insists on watching both!

    Thanks Virgilius – promise to give your future puzzles the attention they deserve – always my favourite of the week!

  15. I rarely post because I don’t usually get the paper till a week late, but got today’s, lovely puzzle and thanks to setter and blogger – I needed to confirm for 23ac, and I don’t like my answer for 11ac……but I really just want to say how much this site has helped me, started a year ago not being able to do a clue, and now can normally finish though daren’t tell you how long I spend…

    1. Hi Molly
      It’s comments like that which make the whole blog worth doing! Thanks from me, and I’m sure, all the other bloggers.
      Don’t worry about time – it’s how much you enjoy the puzzle that counts.

    2. Molly – what’s wrong with your answer to 11a? I am very surprised that no-one has yet come to your rescue.

      I would like to help but … I don’t like apple and mincemeat cake. Don’t like puddings! Far too unsavoury!

    3. Molly

      Re 11a – it’s your policy, as in stance, followed by N(ew) gives something often covered by by a blanket – on a bed. OK, off to naughty corner now!

      1. It’s probably too late to add to the thread, but thank you pommers, I saw the ‘added’ letter as the central one, and knew that the definition of the outer letters was something else….stupid or what! But I do hate getting the answer without understanding the wordplay.

        1. Never too late Molly! There’s a guy in Kenya who sometimes posts but always about a month behind – that’s when the DT puzzle gets published there!

  16. OK you lot – I confess I can’t finish it (and just look at the time! Though I hasten to add I have NOT been “at it” all day until now) Hands up – completely stumped on:
    1d 12a 11a 8d 19d
    So call me stupid – I don’t mind. In any case, I would NEVER have got 1a without Big Dave – never heard of that as a colloquial word for advert. Hey ho – definitely not my day to-day. But if anyone else is still up, would love some hints for above.

    1. 12a Concede nothing young woman’s admitted as result of mistake by defence (3,4)
      A verb meaning to concede or admit followed by O (nothing) inside (admitted) a colloquial word for a young woman gives a mistake by the defence when they score for the other team.

      8d Narrow window for publication of research (6)
      A double definition, the latter being a journal for the publication of research by the medical profession.

      19d Male heir pronounced out of order for some post (7)
      A word that sounds like (pronounced) male heir out of order, i.e sounds like heir male.

      1. If I can be picky I would like to point out that 8d is not JUST about research – it is also about current medical matters. Don’t really want to stick my neck out here but . . .

    2. Hi Addicted

      Still here due to still waiting for the effects of aforementioned lunch to wear off. I’ll do my best but might not be on top form!

      1d – Def is “piece of cake” – an offensive (think WW1) and follow with a word for “on the subject of”.

      12a – Def is “as a result of mistake by defence”. Should be easy now!

      11a – See reply to Molly above

      8d – Double definition. Second one is a sort of narrow window and is a bit obscure. My last in and guessed from the checkers and then looked up to confirm.

      19d – It’s a phrase which sounds like MALE HEIR but pronounced in reverse – HEIR MALE?

  17. Thank you!
    8d – knew the second definition but have never heard it applied to the first – so, you learn something every day!
    12a – doh!
    19d – doh!
    Can now go to bed – thank heaven for that!

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