ST 2679 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2679 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2679 (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           Tripe and fish added to small buffet (10)
A fish followed by S(mall) and a verb meaning to buffet or thump

Codd's Wallop

6a           Standard document‘s short question about gender? (4)
Split as (1,2,1) this could be a short question about gender

12a         On a roll, take steps to produce excessive amount (4-9)
A charade of a word meaning on or above, the A from the clue, a sweet roll or cake and a verb meaning to take steps in time to music

15a         Main area separating contenders for Triple Crown (5,3)
The body of water (main area) that separates the contenders for Rugby Union’s Triple Crown

19a         John, for example, shortened period on journey (6)
John’s contribution to the New Testament is an example of this – drop (shortened) the final L from a period of time and preceded it with a verb meaning to journey or travel

25a         Race on island in which run, in part, is hard (7)
The people described by Winston Churchill as The Island Race are derived by putting R(un) inside a small part and following it with IS and H(ard)

27a         Military leader and PM in Commonwealth capital (10)
A Military leader and PM and a Commonwealth capital to boot! – a certain pair of Kiwis should know this one!


1d           Show in which exotic cast also acts strangely (4)
This famous musical is an anagram (exotic) of CAST and also an anagram (strangely) of ACTS


2d           Issue shares making leaders of directorate yell (4,3)
The first two letters (leaders) of DIrectorate followed by a verb meaning to yell

5d           Not taking a drug, foolishly, so lacking alertness (3,5)
A word meaning not taking, as in not taking one’s food, followed by an anagram (foolishly) of A DRUG

7d           Right from start, specifying course South for trips (7)
Drop the initial R(ight) from the start of a verb meaning specifying a course followed by S(outh)

11d         Interrogates new doctor, initially — is medicine holding up one’s illness? (13)
The initial letters of the first three words in the clue followed by IS and a medicine, the last part including (holding) the reversal (up) of I’S (one’s)

13d         Occupying a key position in church is error (10)
A charade of a two-letter word meaning occupying, the A from the clue, a musical key and a position in church

20d         Divine kind of wine consumed by ancient Briton (7)
A kind or colour of wine inside (consumed by) an inhabitant of northern Scotland in Roman times (ancient Briton)

21d         Fish taking something on hook on end of the line (6)
A backward-facing projection near the point of a hook followed by the final letter (end) of thE and L(ine)


23d         At what point does it stop alcohol delivery? (4)
An adverb meaning at what point is used to request the recipient to indicate that they have enough alcohol in their glass

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 Becky Adlington (24) and Nick Hewer (69)

49 comments on “ST 2679 (Hints)

  1. I agree with Ann I found this quite tough today and had to resort to all my sources of help and electronic friends and also some of your hints Dave a three to four star for me today, I did however like 1d and 13d, good luck all, another beautiful sunny day here today :-)

    1. I agree. Good puzzle but needed all available help from gizmos, books, iPad, etc. I did bet one wrong, corrected with help from BD. thanks to setter and help from BD

  2. Thought this was a real pleasure particularly the NE and SE quadrants .Particular faves.15a,19a,20d ,21d and 23d (surprising hint ?)
    At least 4* for enjoyment for me .
    Thanks very much .

      1. BD’s hint actually included the word which is the answer, which is unusual to say the least!

    1. It is a double definition – one part is something that stings and the other is a verb meaning to irritate

  3. I am 22a when it comes to working my last-4d.just the 3 letters. Thanks to BD, for much needed help and to setter for the work out.

    1. 4d Amateur display manager has taken to heart(6)
      See what’s hidden at the heart of two words in the clue.

  4. The usual splendid fare on a Sunday so many thanks to Virgilius.

    3*/4* for me as, for reasons that are now not clear, I stalled a bit in the SE corner. Favourite was 21d as I caught one of these rascals on the River Severn near Bewdley when I was a young kid. It put up a hell of a fight for an 8 year old to handle but I landed it with the help of my Dad!

    25a – hands up all those who thought that TT would come into it :grin:

    Thanks also to BD for the hints.

    1. Not me this time, guv – honest! It’s one of the ones that I always forget – just as well today!! :smile:

  5. What a difference a day makes! Another splendid crossword from Virgilius so a big thank you to him. Lots of lovely typically Virgilian clues but my top favourites were 1d and 23d. Thanks to BD for the hints too.

    Yes Pommers I did spend a gnoment trying to fit TT into 25a.

    Funny old weather in East Kent today – lovely sunshine in Whitstable for our walk this morning, thick chilly mist at home about 15 minutes down the road.

  6. Thx to setter and CS… Am in NL at the moment (sunny and cool) – heading back to a snowy Mrs T this afternoon.

  7. Thanks very much to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle. However, I still haven’t got 26a, which is a bit embarrassing with only two letters missing. Can someone please provide me with enlightenment?

    I managed the rest without needing any hints, although I did need BD’s help to understand the wordplay for my answers for 19a and 23d. Many thanks, BD.

    As a relative novice at cryptic crosswords, is it considered OK to set a clue like 21d which says “end of the line”, when strictly speaking it should be “ends of the line”?

    1. 26a Spiritual exercise many do, avoiding karma ultimately? (4)
      I didn’t provide a hint for this as I didn’t expect anyone who is a regular solver of the Sunday puzzles would miss this clue which selects the final letters (ultimately) of four words in the clue!

    2. Did you read my hint for 21 down?

      It’s not “ends of the LinE”, nor “ends of thE Line”, but “end of thE” followed by L(ine).

      1. I probably would have spotted 26a across if I hadn’t made a 13d with 13d, ending my answer with the incumbent and not the position :-(.

        I’m somewhat abashed to say that I did check your hint for 21d, but clearly too quickly as I managed to see what I was expecting to see, i.e.: final letter (end) of thE and linE – and not what you actually wrote. More haste less speed!

        As a newbie, I am absolutely delighted to have found this blog and my thanks to you and to all the other contributors for what has become essential and enjoyable daily reading.

        1. Don’t worry about 13d RD, it’s easy done! I too had the incumbent at first until 26a came to the rescue.

        2. I was lying in the bath after a very pleasant afternoon in the garden when I realised that my explanation of why I had misunderstood BD’s hint was utter nonsense. A second case of more haste less speed related to one clue! When looking at the clue I assumed that “end” could mean either the first or last letter. Hence I thought it was pointing to the last letter of thE and the first letter of Line, which is why I queried that it didn’t say “ends”. I missed the word “final” and the brackets in L(ine) in BD’s hint and I had completely forgotten the very much simpler use of L as an abbreviation of line!

          I’ll try harder not to be so daft tomorrow…

          1. I’m glad that you had a nice afternoon in the garden – I did too – it really felt as if Spring is nearly here. Five weeks next Saturday the clocks go forward . . .! :grin: Pity about the dark mornings which is what really gets me. :sad:

  8. I really enjoyed this and I found it really difficult too. It’s taken a long time and to begin with I didn’t think that I was going to get anywhere with it. Have now finished although I needed the hints to explain 15a and 7d.
    Very slow to get started – only two answers from the across clues but a few more from the downs. I spent far too long trying to make 11d an anagram. I nearly missed the hidden bit of 18d.
    Far too many good clues to write them all down. My favourite was 1a but I also liked 12 and 27a and 1, 20 and 23d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Very chilly wind but beautiful blue sky and sun – off up the garden now.

  9. A bit late today but enjoyed this so much I have to thank setter and blogger for so much pleasure. Thank you both, needed BD to confirm 19 and 25 otherwise slow but steady progress.

  10. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave. Enjoyed this one but couldn’t do the right hand side at all, needed six hints to finish. I had a complete mental blank on all the missing answers. Favourites were 1a & 11d. Was 3*/4* for me. Lovely sunshine today in Central London.

  11. Another enjoyable end of week puzzle from Virgilius!

    Apart from the four corner four-letter clues, I liked : 1a, 15a, 19a, 25a, 3d, 8d, 13d & 28d.

    I saw 1d the last time my late wife and I were in London – now many years ago!

    Today, wonderful sunshine here in NL- maybe Spring is on its way at last!

    Roast kip(Dutch) or killing(Danish) tonight with a drop more of Bourgueil then fruit.

  12. Found this a bit trickier than usual, in particular in the SE corner. My hands are up Pommers – I kept thinking TT for 25a as well which held up the whole SE corner. Once I sorted that I was finally able to finish – but needed all the electronic gear and books etc ! Thank you Virgilius for a more taxing puzzle and BD for hints, which I double checked to make sure I had the SE corner right !

    Lovely day for our journey back from the NE and a real treat to see 2 red kites over our son’s house near Hexham. I expect you get these all the time Kath where you are.

    1. Yes – Red Kites everywhere around here. They were re-introduced not far from here, which I’m sure you know. They fly over us all the time – people have stopped noticing them. I do, just occasionally, worry about our little nineteen year old cat in the garden . . .

      1. Yes I counted over 15 on my journey up the M40 from London to Stratford yesterday. A glorious sight. And once before I gave up counting when I reached 30 – all around the Oxfordshire section.

        1. M40 is safer than it was about fifteen years ago when the kites were still quite rare – people, particularly ‘birdie people’, used to be so busy looking at the kites that they forgot to look out for what the other cars were doing. NO – don’t look at the kites – look at the car in front of you, and the one in front of that, because they’re ALL looking upwards!! :roll:

          1. Oh! Hadn’t thought of that aspect – very scary! At least I was not driving, so free to count. Hope you had a good time on the garden today, Kath…

  13. This took me quite a bit longer than I would expect for a Sunday, with the last few in the bottom right taking as long as the rest of the puzzle.
    My crossword brain definitely functions better early in the morning on weekdays, as opposed to weekend afternoons!
    Many thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

    1. My crossword brain also works at its best (or what passes for that) around mid-morning – after several cups of coffee and a dog walk. I think that routine also comes into it – if anything disrupts the norm I am more likely to have trouble – might have trouble this week – sister coming to stay!

  14. You are right BD. 27a was an absolute gift for us. However we must confess that we did not look closely enough at 1d and put in a wrong answer. (An anagram of four of the letters of exotic that could mean “show”). Also tried TT on 25a too.
    Thanks Virgilius and BD.

  15. could I possibly ask for assistance for “it’s ancient, aureate, and headless”in an otherwise very easy crossword ?5 letters o-s-n

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