ST 2678 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2678 (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           My political ire disturbed MP (8,6)
An anagram (disturbed) of MY POLITICAL IRE – not a Member of Parliament, but different MP!

10a         Worried as it might become less peaceful (7)
An anagram (as it might become) of WORRIED

12a         Among email letters being exchanged, a chronic lack of modesty (11)
An anagram (letters being exchanged) of AMONG EMAIL followed by the A from the clue

15a         One who profits from keeping people up in arms (8)
A cryptic definition of someone who makes firearms

23a         Conclusions reached by jury are dubious, I agree (3)
One of Virgilius’s final letter (conclusions reached by) clues

24a         Touching relationship between two sides (7)
A cryptic definition of a line which touches a circle

27a         Unusually lucid narrative that’s naturally good (8,6)
An anagram (unusually) of LUCID NARRATIVE


1d           Following endless failure, apt to embezzle (14)
Most of (endless) a failure followed by an adjective meaning apt

2d           President from city near East Coast (7)
Former US President and city near the East Coast of England

3d           Time that woman’s doctor encountered ruler as measuring device (11)
A charade of T(ime), the pronoun meaning that woman, a doctor, a verb meaning encountered and the usual regnal cypher for our queen

5d           Oil processed in southern country’s not safe (8)
An anagram (processed) of OIL inside a South American country, not forgetting the S from ‘S

8d           Chance to relax, initially bothered about an object’s speed (9,5)
The initial letter of Bothered followed by a two-letter word meaning about, A (an), an object, the S from ‘S and a speed or rate

18d         Home supporter upset at some issue raised in Spanish court (7)
A charade of a two-letter word meaning home, a supporter and AT reversed (upset in a down clue) gives a daughter of the ruling monarch of Spain

25d         Either way, am in Amsterdam for a purpose (3)
Where will you find AM in AMsterdAM?

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 Roberta Flack (76) and Robert Wagner (83)


  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    A gentle but very enjoyable work out for a Sunday. */*** for me. I think 25d is brilliant.

    Thanks very much to the setter and to BD whose hints I didn’t need today

    • Merusa
      Posted February 10, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      I got it, natch, what else could it be, but had no idea why. Very, very clever. It needs a smarter person than me to work that out.

      • Merusa
        Posted February 10, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, the “me” should have been “I”

      • Kath
        Posted February 10, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Me too! So glad that I didn’t have to ask for an explanation.

    • Fortis
      Posted February 11, 2013 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      there weren’t any difficult ones!! it was childishly simple

  2. axe
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I am pleased that BD has produced a hint for 1a, I can now admit that after realising it was an anagram I did spent an age trying to find the name of an MP.

    On the whole a very enjoyable puzzle. Many thanks to BD and the setter.

    • Senf
      Posted February 10, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      I aslo got ‘hooked’ on the political theme for 1a, then, while looking at the letters for some time the penny dropped – not sure how and why but I wlll take it.

  3. Chris
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Thoroughly enjoyable, with some lovely clues. Particularly liked 13D, 21D and 8D. Had to think about 27A and 21D for a bit, and needed the explanation for 25D, but finished in good time. */**** for me. Many thanks to Big Dave and to the setter for a satisfying start to my Sunday.

  4. Hrothgar
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyable.
    25d was a brilliant clue.
    Thanks setter and BD

    • Hrothgar
      Posted February 11, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Never like saying “setter”
      So, thanks Virgilius

  5. crypticsue
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Me too in the 1*/4* and 25d is brilliant corner Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  6. Senf
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    I don’t tackle the ST very often, but after this one, perhaps I should do it more often. Finished it before lights out last night in the same sort of time as a typical Monday Rufus. This included trying to go in a wrong direction on 1a (see number 2 above), and taking extra time for 1d and 8d. Favourite was 8d – a really well constructed clue. Now, have to make sure that I am ready for the match that I consider will identify the eventual Six Nations winner (and I favour white over green).

  7. GMalaga
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    */**** My Sundays always feel complete when I can finish the xword. Some lovely clues. Thanks to compiler and hinter.
    Was wondering, those who use iPad – wouldn’t it be more enjoyable if we had a few more puzzles on a Sunday?

    • Colmce
      Posted February 10, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      The Telegraph app, is a bit short of puzzles. The Guardian site yields a rich harvest of puzzles which can be solved on the IPad.

      • GMalaga
        Posted February 10, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        Thanks – am tempted but can’t be seen to be supporting the commies!

  8. Colmce
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Another brilliant puzzle, lovely clueing, 25d very good, tad more difficult than 1* for me as I got a bit tied up top right.

    Thanks to BD for the hints, not needed today.

    Thanks to Virgilius.

  9. Heno
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius & to Big Dave for the hints. I found this quite gentle, the only difficulty was in putting in the wrong answer to 25d. Once that was sorted, everything fell into place. Was 2*/3* for me. Favourites were 8&13d. Drizzly day in Central London.

  10. gnomethang
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    A very quick solve so i may not have appreciated every nuance. Thanks to BD and Virgilius .
    Come on England!

  11. una
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    This is the first time I tackled a ST cryptic and have finished all except for 15a.Any help appreciated as I would like to watch the match, even though I am cheering for the other side, naturally.

    • Posted February 10, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      As well as the hint I have already given, if you are really stuck just hover over the accompanying picture!

      • una
        Posted February 10, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        Thank you.

    • una
      Posted February 11, 2013 at 1:03 am | Permalink

      I failed to mention that I almost completed this without any hints,except 15a,so I think I am making some kind of break-through after 5.5 months of trying.Not bottom of the class anymore ! Thanks to BD and all the other bloggers , especially Gazza , whom I find perfectly clear, and CS for her generous tips on how to improve.
      Disappointed with today’s rugby result , though.

  12. Sweet William
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Virgilius, good fun as usual and thanks to BD for hints. Rather cold in Bamburgh – waiting for the snow now !

    • Poppy
      Posted February 10, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Hope you’re keeping dry. Any SE owls?

      • Sweet William
        Posted February 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        No SE owls ! a lot of good birds on the sea – Long Tailed Duck, Slavonian Grebe, Black Throated Diver , rafts of scoter and eider etc. A question of dashing out of the car for 10 mins with the scope, then back in for a coffee and a bit more of the puzzle !

  13. Brian
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Very good Sunday offering even after trying for ages trying to find the name of an MP!
    Best clues for me were 15a and 22a. Mind you Mrs B was a great help today.
    Thx to the setter and for hints which for once I didn’t need.

  14. Patsyann
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable puzzle. Needed explanation for 25d – and then thought it a very good clue! Not stopped raining all day on the Wirral.

    Thankyou Virgilus and BD

  15. Merusa
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable puzzle, thanks to setter and hinter, which I didn’t need today except for finding out why 25d was correct … See above. I, too, got hung up on Westminster until I got some letters to put me on the right track. I hope the NE snow doesn’t wreak havoc on you today and that the storm has lost most of its wrath.

  16. Nora
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    I got the right answer for 21d but I’ve no idea why. I turned my answer back to front (turned over) but it didn’t give me religious groups. Can somebody explain please?

    • Posted February 10, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      21d Religious groups turned over weapon (6)
      A two-letter word meaning religious followed by some groups reversed (turned over)

      • Nora
        Posted February 10, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        Thank you. I’ve just read the book which gives the first two letters, and I think this abbreviation for religious came up the other day, so I should have got it. Thanks, Dave

    • Poppy
      Posted February 10, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Really had fun with this, and agree with all those who picked 25d as especially clever. 1/4 for me. Nora, I’m probably too new to be much help, but I found two amusing ways of finding the religious connection to 21d. Either split the answer 2/4, or else first three letters, with the last three turned up. That was my ‘take’ on it, anyway! Many thanks to setter & Big Dave for hints.

      • Poppy
        Posted February 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Or even first two letters with last four turned up (as BD has put in already – & he is the man who knows!!)

      • Nora
        Posted February 10, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Nobody is too new to be of help, Poppy. All assistance is gratefully received.

  17. jezza
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    This all went in very nicely, apart from one minor hiccup, where I tried to invent an abbreviation for 1a (along the lines of an economic, fiscal plan), and then I realised that letters 2,3,4 and 14 were not part of the anagram fodder!! After realising my mistake, I managed to finish up with 2d.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  18. Annidrum
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Lovely. How clever is 25d….too clever for me ,although I had the answer couldn’t see why.. Thanks to Virgilius & BD.

  19. Kath
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    I found this quite tricky but I think my brain is a bit scrambled having spent the weekend nattering and giggling with daughter – fun though!
    I got completely tangled up with 1a trying to think of the name of an MP (wrong kind). I was very slow to get answers to all four of the long ones round the outside, and have never heard of 27a but got there eventually. I needed the hint to explain why 25d was right. I will never have trouble spelling 13d again, as long as I can remember the clue! Took a while to see why 7d was what it was.
    Lovely crossword, as always.
    Liked all four long answers (even if they did take me a long time) and 12, 19 and 23a and 3, 20 and 25d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    I’m now officially fed-up with winter! :sad:
    STILL no sign of Mary.

  20. Kath
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    PS How on earth can Roberta Flack be 76?

    • Attila Thehun
      Posted February 10, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      Being born in 1937 helps. :)

      • Kath
        Posted February 10, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        Well, I’m jolly glad that I wasn’t! Just didn’t realise that she was THAT old when she recorded that.

  21. Brian Greer
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Just back from Kells Irish Pub, Portland. Disappointed that Ireland lost, of course, but encouraged by a great forward display. England’s backs were impressive.

    As always, thanks to BD.

    • gnomethang
      Posted February 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      There is an Irish Pub in every major city in the world so it is nice to know that you were close to home!.
      Thanks for your continued entertainment!
      Come on England! I am at Twickers on the 10th for England/Italy.

      • una
        Posted February 10, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        The best team won and the weather came second

      • Kath
        Posted February 10, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        But today is the 10th – or am I being stupid/missing the point AGAIN, not being football/rugby minded? Or shall I just go away now and hang my head in shame for not being better informed . . . ? :sad: Oh dear! Who knows? I certainly don’t!

        • Senf
          Posted February 10, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

          gnomethang is referring to March 10th.

        • jezza
          Posted February 10, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

          gnomethang is referring to the 10th March. I have seen a photo of his ticket for the match on facebook (not that I am jealous or anything like that……):)

          • Posted February 10, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

            • gnomethang
              Posted February 10, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

              That’s the badger!

        • Kath
          Posted February 10, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

          I knew I’d wish that I’d never said that . . . :roll: oh well – if in doubt just keep going and dig the hole a bit deeper! Who cares? :smile: to all of you who do!

  22. Derek
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Another enjoyable puzzle to end the week!

    Faves : 24a & 25d.

    I do like a drop of 7d now and again!

  23. Rufus the Dog
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed that – had to complete it without the aid of hints as I was not able to get online at my Dad’s

  24. Kath
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Well I don’t know where the hell Mary has got to. In her absence I’m going to sit in the “chatty chair”!. I’m more than happy to vacate it when she returns.
    I do hope that she is OK – a big :smile: to you, Mary.

  25. Brian Greer
    Posted February 11, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    For the record (if anyone reads this the day after), 24A is a two meanings clue:
    xxxxxx = touching
    xxxxxxx = relationship between two sides (in right-angled triangle), opposite/adjacent — don’t you all fondly remember your trigonometry?

    • crypticsue
      Posted February 11, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for the additional explanation which I am sure Gnomey will take note of for his review. I remember my trigonometry vaguely and not necessarily fondly! I am much more of a words person than a numbers person.