ST 2680 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2680 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2680 (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           One can expect us, in a way, to provide record of costs (7,7)
An anagram (in a way) of ONE CAN EXPECT US

11a         Consequently, making some progress, but in the wrong direction (4)
Hidden (some) and reversed (in the wrong direction) inside the clue

12a         Benevolent type, one hopefully contributing money to water supplier? (4-6)
This could be someone who throws money into a fountain!

17a         Monster Greek character encountered in youth (8)
A letter in the Greek alphabet inside a youth or young person – brilliant surface reading

21a         Information about mature people holding a moderate position (6,4)
A three-letter word for information around an adjective meaning mature followed by some male people around the A from the clue

26a         Like people giving 100 per cent, where they all do badly (5-9)
An anagram (badly) of WHERE THEY ALL DO


1d           Times included among English newspapers, say (7)
The mathematical symbol for times or multiply inside E(nglish) and a collective noun for newspapers

2d           Simple meal for chap who takes a share to work (10,5)
This chap’s share is use to cultivate the ground!

3d           It’s a gas, one repeated endlessly (4)
Start with ONE ONE (one repeated) and drop the outer letters (endlessly)

5d           Performed festive music girl conducted (8)
… at Christmas

7d           Leader of Nationalists and I can represent this part of island (8,7)
The abbreviation for this part of an island is NI (leader of Nationalists and I)

8d           Inadequacy of paintings he had put up outside (6)
Some paintings with the reversal (put up) of the abbreviated form of he had outside

17d         Very strong foreign fighter has trounced you, initially (6)
A Russian aeroplane (foreign fighter) followed by the initial letters of three words in the clue

23d         Epitome of insobriety reformed over time (4)
The amphibian that is an epitome of insobriety,or being drunk, comes from a word meaning reformed or fresh followed by T(ime)

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 Bill Bailey (49) and George Thorogood (63)
ARVE Error: need id and provider

72 comments on “ST 2680 (Hints)

  1. Another cracker from Virgilius .Faves 2d,16d,6d and 22a and23d which were my last 2 in and were terrific .
    Thanks very much .

  2. Overall an enjoyable Sunday morning excursion, though I felt that a couple of weak clues detracted from the high quality we have come to expect recently.
    Thanks as ever to BD for his efforts, and of course to our setter.

  3. Wow!! Found this quite tricky and still don’t have an answer for 22a! Any help gratefully appreciated!

    1. 22a Point in what finally converts adjectives to nouns (4)
      What would you add to ‘good’ for example to make it a noun?

      1. Ahhhhh!!! We had what we thought was the right answer but no idea why!! Thanks Gazza-I can now go out to lunch with a clear mind(??!)

      2. Thanks Gazza. That little beggar kept distracting me from my No2 son’s first attempt at a Sunday roast. And a bloody good effort it was too!

    2. As I have to blog this may I point out a definition of Point as in Cape?.
      Lovely puzzle as always – thanks to Mr Greer and BD

      1. Hello – it’s me that has to blog this one – well I think so – I have just done two lots of Saturdays and so I must be on Sundays, although you still have a Sunday to produce for this Thursday, followed by yesterday’s Cephas on Friday..

        My draft review does indeed point out the definition of point as in cape.

  4. Good fun as usual, thank you Virgilius and BD for hints. Had to look carefully at one or two to make sure that the wordplay tied in with what I thought was the answer. 22a and 23d come to mind. New expression for me at 21a and new word at 17a. Displaying usual lack of GK.

  5. Whistled through this one until I hit the bottom left where I got into a dreadful muddle, lots of nice words that fitted, but not the right ones. Gave myself a severe talking too and eventually got it sorted, had forgotten the foreign fighter.

    Thanks to BD for the review.

    Thanks to Virgilius for leading me up the garden path.

  6. Bit of a struggle with this. 21a new phrase for me. Liked 24 and 17 across. Would be very grateful for clarification of 16d. If I’m right, it’s not a word I’ve ever heard used unless coupled with ‘smart’ … :-o so perhaps my solution is wrong. Many thanks to setter and BD.

    1. 16d Be better than something that’s of no use to smoker? (8)
      If split as (3,5) this would be of no use to someone lighting up.

      1. Sorry, Gazza – I’m still being thick. I’ve got the 5 letter part for the smoker, it’s just the 3 letter part beforehand I’m not getting. I’m assuming my checking letter is correct for 17a, so I’ve got the middle letter of the three, but can only make (INVHO) a complete word that seems very forced? Very grateful for help (& appreciate the patience!)

  7. */*** for me. I whizzed through this very enjoyable puzzle but, like Nanaglugglug, I couldn’t work out 22a, so many thanks to Gazza for the hint. Thanks very much as well to the setter and to BD.

    Although I understand the word play for the second syllable of 24a, I’m not sure how the first two letters of 24a are clued.

    1. It’s a synonym for ‘beside’ in a phrase like ‘the weather is nothing beside what it once was’.

            1. You’ll need it if you come to see me. If you have the solution to 24a written in, say the last five letters out loud and think about what Gazza says above. I expect I will hear the penny drop on the other side of the country.

    2. . . . and even after all that I STILL don’t get it. :sad: I’m sure that there is nothing left to add but . . .

  8. Did all but two of this before going for a walk on the beach at Llansteffan, still can’t do 19d, any help gratefully recieved, also don’t understand how 24a works?

    1. Mary, I am in South Africa but have my best mate in Llanstephan, Big Bill, do you know him?

  9. Another great Sunday puzzle, thank you Virgilius. I particularly like the way 24a references the Hollywood Awards scheduled for later on today. Thanks to BD for the hints too.

    I presume Mary is still having different weather to the whole of the East of England. I went out to the dustbin just outside the backdoor and that was enough of a walk in the freezing wind for me.

    1. Not as nice as last week sue but hat coat gloves and scarf and it was a lovely walk along the beach and back along the headland path, haven’t been up to doing it for ages so chuffed today :-)

  10. Another good end to the week from Virgilius!

    Faves : 11a, 17a, 21a, 22a, 3d, 13d, 17d & 23d.

    Overnight and today, snow again! Most of it has gone but now it is sleeting with a mild northern wind.

    Reckon the gas bill will be enormous this winter!!

        1. Ah – give in. When you said mild I thought you meant temperature rather than strength! SO dim today. :sad:

    1. like Kath, i’m bemused, unless north west rather north east. Dogs back from Glasgow today into my new house, i’m convinced it was warmer there than east anglia, absolutely biting. Electric and gas bills, groans…

          1. Una!
            I am a very fortunate person in that I travelled widely both because of work and with my late wife when on holiday.
            I haven’t been everywhere as we had to cancel one trip due to the start of the Gulf War and we never got round to repeating that!
            Later when she became seriously ill other projects went down the drain so we were left with good memories of what we had achieved.

        1. For over twenty years I was south of Glasgow in a tiny village amongst the grouse moors. Like an alpine village in the snow, but with fearsomely strong midges in the summer!

          1. Hi Poppy,

            I must have eaten thousands of such midges when camping al fresco in the west of Scotland and barbecuing food outside!

            It is amazing how one survives!

  11. I started off at a gallop, but like many before me, failed at 22a, and not sure I am right with 23d but assume it’s a Brit thing. I immediately got 17a, remembering Ariadne and Theseus, but stupidly put an “a” instead of “o” and missed the reason why. Back to my trusty iPad for spelling and penny immediately dropped. I enjoyed this one immensely, thanks to all.

  12. I enjoyed that. My favourite was 22a .What a clever clue! Thanks to Virgilius &BD. And Scotland won the rugby!!

  13. Flurry of snow here in Valencia this afternoon. Think it froze my brain as I found this really hard – or should I blame the cocktail and four course lunch?

    1. worked it out myself ,finally, (well not quite by myself, online anagram solver helped).Thanks to Virgilius and Big Dave.And thanks for all the tuition over the last 6 months.

  14. One of the advantages of being late to the party is that, usually, someone has already asked about any problems that you may have had. That has certainly been the case today except I STILL don’t understand my first two letters for 24a. Perhaps I’ll just have to wait for the review.
    Really out of sync with myself today – didn’t start crossword until late afternoon which always throws me. Very enjoyable. Will try, just for a change, to keep this brief.
    Some of these caused problems but more from the why is my answer right than actually getting the answer.
    My favourites included 9 and 14a and 1 and 16d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    The lesson that I have learnt today is that, when daughters have been home for the weekend, NEVER expect whatever they have nicked to be where it was when the little dears decided to help themselves to it!! Still hunting . . .

      1. Thanks jezza – I’m sort of getting there but still not very keen. And still hunting for things that daughters have put somewhere other than where they found them in the first place – just wait until yours are a bit older . . .

  15. enjoyed this a great deal, completed in very reasonable time for a Virgilius, who normally causes me enormous headaches and d’oh moments in equal measure. Thanks to BD too

  16. The top half was super-quick, the bottom half took longer but all in all a very satisfying solve.

  17. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave, a very entertaining puzzle. Needed the blog to sort out 22a, apart from that I managed ok. Favourite was 2d. Was 3*/3* for me.

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