ST 2673 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2673 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2673 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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There’s a brand-new monthly Prize puzzle available, why not have a go?

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

Apologies for the delay in posting these hints, but the morning was taken up with restoring the reviews and puzzles lost when the SQL database was restored from a backup taken on Friday morning.


1a           Precious stone from a Queen, you said — a queen in Eastern state (10)
The A from the clue followed by Q(ueen), the letter that sounds like (said) you, another A from the clue and finally the Latin abbreviation for Queen inside a state in the Eastern part of the United States

9a           Under pressure, is prepared for journey over snow (7)
Split as (3,4), this could mean is prepared for a journey over the snow

14a         I had brought in toll for old county division (6)
The abbreviated form of I had inside a verb meaning to toll a bell

15a         Clear about regions in part of Asia (4,4)
An adjective meaning clear or tidy around some regions

19a         French writer without penny getting university position (6)
The name of a French author and philosopher around the abbreviation for a penny gives the grounds of a university

22a         Study change in US helping effort to focus (13)
A charade of a verb meaning to study, some small change in the US and a helping or share

26a         Small building  that woman had  abandoned (4)
This typical Virgilius clue is a triple definition – a small building, the shortened version of “that woman had” and a verb meaning abandoned

27a         Bad way to tie relative to king? On the contrary (6,4)
This bad way to tie a rope comes from an elderly relative followed by K(ing) and a word meaning on the contrary – you are, of course, meant to be fooled into looking for wordplay which means “king to relative”!


1d           Pain repeatedly showing up in each extra check-up (4)
The master of the hidden word had concealed a pain not once but twice in the clue

2d           What comes from 12 that we hear is faulty (7)
Split as (2,5), this could be something we hear coming from the abbreviated answer to 12 across

4d           Get back through payment that’s concerning judge (6)
A charade of a two-letter word meaning concerning or about and a verb meaning to judge

8d           It’s consumed by airborne soldier, NCO, taking advantage of host (10)
The expanded version of “it’s” inside an airborne soldier and a two-letter abbreviation of a senior NCO

13d         Highly prized around company, showing early talent (10)
An adjective meaning highly prized around CO(mpany)

16d         Wellington, for example, wrongly ordered to war with foe (8)
The kind of clothing of which a wellington boot is an example comes from an anagram (ordered) of TO WAR with FOE

20d         Writes home about old, old person’s financial support (7)
A verb meaning writes and a word meaning at home around O(ld)

23d         Story of Julius Caesar, say — power and destiny (4)
P(ower) followed by destiny

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 Nigella Lawson (53) and Rowan Atkinson (58)
RIP Syd Barrett (6 January 1946 – 7 July 2006)
ARVE Error: need id and provider

39 comments on “ST 2673 (Hints)

  1. Very enjoyable puzzle today, however, just to be picky cant help feeling that 2d is a little contrived! Some nice clues tho ie 14a, 4d and 19a. Thx to the setter, sorry to hear about the site problems, that’s what has always concerned about relying on The Cloud.

  2. I thought this was great as I was solving it, but have just bashed out the draft review and realised how much more there is to so many of clues that it would appear at first glance. Lots of dots by clues I liked but my top favourites include 9a, 17a, 25a, 26a, 1d and 5d – the latter for the giant d’oh moment when I finally ‘saw’ the wordplay.

    Thanks to Virgilius for brightening up a very damp foggy morning. Special extra thanks to BD, not only for the H&T but for all his hard work this morning getting the site back to normal.

  3. Started solving this in brilliant sunshine, by the time I’d finished it the fog had rolled in over Dover, now dank and miserable.

    As always a beautifully crafted puzzle with some clever word play, really enjoyed it.

    Thanks to Virgilius for an early morning brain stretch .

    Thanks to BD for his hints and his tireless work keeping the blog up and running.

    Now back to THE prize puzzle with two episodes of Borgen to watch later.

  4. I thought this was a nice puzzle. It took me a while to get going but with a bit of thought it all went in without too much trouble. Thanks to compiler and to Big Dave for the hints which were not needed today.

  5. A really great crossword – I found it far more difficult than last Sunday’s – don’t quite know why now.
    I needed the hint to untangle 1a – I thought that the last three letters came from the clue (in Eastern) which landed me with a few spare letters. I’m still in a bit of a muddle with 5d, assuming my answer is right – I get the spotted bit but the rest is a bit of a haze. Also the last part of 18d. Oh dear – I’m sure it’s really simple – having another dim day.
    I spent far too long trying to make 21d the wrong kind of fruit – a dried one. Oh dear again.
    I liked 9, 19 and 26a and 1, 3 and 16d. My absolute favourite was 27a.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    All Christmas decorations down now – my life would be SO much easier if I was a bit taller! :sad:

    1. Hi Kath 5d is the whole thing turned upside down i.e. totally upset to give you candidates

      1. 18d the last two letters are the final letters of ‘fo(r) exampl(e) i.e. ‘for example’ ultimately

  6. really enjoyed this one although I didn’y know 10, thanks for hints Dave tho’ didn’t need them tioday, fav clues 17a, 25a, listening to the Swansea v Arsenal commentary on the radio the last twenty minutes have been brilliant 2 all now with 4 mins to go!

  7. Great crossword! Even though I had 22a, I needed the hint to know why it was right. Last one in was 19a, why? On solving it, it was so easy, much easier than most of the clues.

  8. Thank you Virgilius and BD for hints. At one point I thought that I might need one or two to help with the wordplay – having already got the answers – 1a and 5d typically. I finally managed to work it out though without the need for advice.

    I found this a lot more fun than yesterday’s puzzle !

    Many thanks BD for all your hard work in resolving the technical problems.

  9. A couple in this excellent puzzle held me up for a while, in particular 14a, where it took me a while to get the correct definition of ‘toll’.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  10. Great puzzle. so cleverly crafted.
    Sundays should be hard, we have more time. :)
    Mnay thanks Virgilius and BD

  11. “Always a pleasure never a chore ” sums up the Sunday puzzles .I actually thought this a shade easier than recent weeks but as always enjoyable .Did have difficulty seeing the wordplay for 15a . 2 * / 4 * for me .
    Just returned from what was a very sunny Whitby ,the North Sea is like a millpond today (happens about twice a decade!)
    Thanks yet again

  12. All these computer problems are an awful lot too complicated for me to understand but is it possible to have a page for pommers again so that we can keep up with his recovery?

    1. PS . . . or is that a bit cheeky – really don’t want to land BD with anything else when he has already spent most of his day on all this! Thanks to him for his hard work. :smile:

      1. Sorry – I never know how to find stuff unless it’s right under my nose, ie visible down the right hand side.

  13. Lots of lovely clues today, they’ve quite taken my breath away, loved 25 and 26A, 5 and 20D and especially 5D, so clever IMHO. Thanks to Virgilios and BD, all your hard work IS appreciated, you know, and that goes for all the other cloggers too. I can cope with most situationx as long as I have Big Dave’s Blog at the end of the day!

    1. Sloggers and Betters – I understand!

      “Cloggers” is open to interpretation! Nice typo! :grin:

      1. It took me ages to understand (for that read dare to ask) what sloggers and betters meant – I eventually did and on a day when there was a spoonerism in the crossword. Someone, gnomey I think, replied and told me that I would kick myself – I did!

  14. Lovely crossword made the more enjoyable by something or other clicking in my brain and I only had to look at the clue and the answer sort of subliminally popped into focus for many of the clues. Quite weird…but strangely enjoyable. Favourite clues 9,22,24 and thanks to setter and BD – especially given his additional workload.

  15. Nice puzzle from Virgilius for the first Sunday of the New Year.

    Faves : 9a, 14a, 19a, 27a, 2d, 7d, 13d & 21d.

    Glad that you restored the site BD!

    Sue has lost her flowers again!!

    1. Sue’s flowers are here! In other words I can see them at the top right hand side of both her comments today.

  16. Great puzzle, thanks to Virgilius & to Big Dave. Lots of good clues. Had to use the hints for 19a, hadn’t heard of the writer, and 8d, still not sure if I’ve got it right. Favourites were 15,17,25a.

    1. i had a bit of a battle trying to explain, to myself, why 8d was what it had to be. I’m not sure if I missed BD’s hint earlier or if it was a late addition but I wouldn’t attempt to do better than HIMSELF! :smile:

    1. It’s the sort of gambling you might do at the village fete, A phrase for plenty (1,3) reversed (raised in a down clue) in which you insert an anagram of MOB.

      I hope I haven’t overstepped the mark – but I hope that helps…

  17. I had no chance to post earlier, owing to preparation for an overseas trip and the website problems, but I found this easier than a Prize crossword has any right to be. Maybe I was just on the right wavelength, but everything slotted in with barely a thought. It was nice working out the detail of the wordplay afterwards, and there were some pleasure-giving clues.

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