ST 2681 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2681 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2681 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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There’s a 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


1a           Ruthlessly running clubs after top side demolished (8)
C(lubs) after an anagram (demolished) of TOP SIDE

9a           For which a daughter’s one possible choice? (8)
The A from the clue followed by D(aughter) and a possible choice

11a         Arranged special calls for place in outback (5,7)
An anagram (arranged) of SPECIAL followed by a verb meaning calls on the telephone

Alice Springs

20a         Make big effort, taking son to school (6)
S(on) followed by a verb meaning to school

23a         Male with corrupt lawyer in East producing collective frenzy (4,8)
M(ale) followed by a corrupt lawyer inside the Eastern continent

26a         Spell for beginner in Hamlet, ironically, rather than petty role (4)
This spelling of a beginner is the one hidden inside “Hamlet ironically” rather than the one inside “petty role”

28a         Person who pokes fun at flower-girl in street (8)
AT and a girl named after a flower inside ST(reet)


2d           For example, subject of sultan with a personality disorder (8)
The abbreviation of for example in Latin followed by a subject of a sultanate in the Middle East and the A from the clue

5d           It’s worn over shoulders and head (4)
Two definitions


7d           Foreigner at first without a right to a lawyer (4)
Start with a word for a foreigner and drop (without) the initial (at first) A

16d         Like euro for German, it’s added to envelope (8)
After the previous German currency!


22d         Authorise possible instruction for shock treatment (6)
Split as (4,2) this could be an instruction for treatment of a shock of hair

Perm it

24d         Polish tiny moving bits in old timepiece (4)
A verb meaning to polish and the tiny grains in an old-fashioned timepiece


25d         Sticky wicket set up for spinners (4)
Reverse (set up in a down clue) a sticky wicket or tricky situation


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 Ronan Keating (36) and Miranda Richardson (55)
ARVE Error: need id and provider
Miranda Richardson

26 comments on “ST 2681 (Hints)

  1. */*** for me for this one which all fell smoothly into place.

    I see in 10a that the animal of the week has made yet another appearance! Thanks very much to the setter and to BD for his hints, which I only needed to confirm that I had got 25d right. I understood the spinners part, but not the sticky wicket! Nevertheless a lovely clue for cricket lovers such as me.

    I didn’t know you could spell 26a with an “i”, but the clue leads nicely to the correct spelling expected for the answer. 23a was my favourite today.

    The weather seemed promising here in London earlier after an overnight frost, but now it‘s gone dull again :-(

  2. Lovely stuff as we have come to expect on a Sunday. Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    At 9 o’clock this morning, we had warm sun, blue sky, skylarks singing, lambs gambolling in the field. Now we have mist making its way slowly across the marsh and the sun seems to have taken fright.

  3. 4 * enjoyment for me .
    Faves -all of them .
    Took a while to parse 12d
    Last one in 24d which Iam still smiling about .
    Thanks very much

  4. A lovely puzzle on a beautiful sunny morning. It’s so nice to have learnt so much from this great blog that I can, after years of struggling with Sunday crosswords, finally appreciate them. Having some sun is also pretty good!
    I didn’t have too much trouble with this one although untangling 23a took a while. I didn’t know that 26a, or its alternative spelling, was a learner and I was stupidly slow to get 24d which was my last one. 15a would have been easier if I hadn’t swapped the fifth and sixth letters of 6d – I did think at the time that what I had wasn’t really ‘put together’! :roll:
    I liked 13, 16 and 23a and 12 (another one that took a bit of thought to work out why) and 16d. Favourite was 22d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Off to the garden . . .

    1. I too had the wrong order of letters in 6d for a gnoment until I realised I couldn’t solve 15a. Memo to self – read clue properly.

      1. Unfortunately my wrong letters stayed there for a bit longer than a gnoment! Oh dear!! AND the sun has gone in . . .
        Where is everyone today?

  5. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. Enjoyed this one a lot, no problems was 2*/4*for me. Started with 2d, finished with 24d. Favourites were 15 & 23a and 4d. 10a appeared for the third consecutive day. Sun just came out in Central London. Have a great weekend all.

  6. Very enjoyable Sunday puzzle from Brian – as usual!!

    Faves : 11a, 16a, 23a, 27a, 3d, 12d, 17d & 24d.

    Weather here in NL is slowly perking up – now only two-and-half weeks to go to the equinox!

  7. Very enjoyable today. Last in was 7d as it is not a term we had heard of but got the construct in the end. Not sure I fully understand the ‘forwards rear’ bit in 8d though the answer was obvious from the checking letters and the final part of the clue.
    So nice to be able to get the two across clues early, gives one the confidence to go on :-)
    Thx to Virgilus for the puzzle and to BD for the hints.

    1. Brian, “forward’s rear” is directing you to the last letter of forwarD.

  8. Not too tricky, but I did have to tease out the wordplay for a couple.
    Many thanks to Virgilius for a top notch puzzle, and to BD for the hints.

  9. Very enjoyable puzzle, piece of cake, so thanks to all. However, did have some “must be but don’t know why” moments, 12d being one and 17d being another. I did eventually twig 24d. Just worked out 17d, missed the anagram. Still cold here, with tomorrow morning being the coldest in the 40s F, but sun is out today so may be able to get in pool.

  10. Enjoyable as usual – took a long time to get the wordplay at 12 d and 23 a – thank you Virgilius and thanks to BD for your hints.

  11. Nice little puzzle, took me ages to spot 7d, kept looking for a word to remove R from.

    Thanks B & BD

  12. I solved this at about 10 a.m. before walking out into the open air, blinking, and wondering what was going on. Lovely day. Lovely puzzle.
    Thaks to Virgilius, BD for the hints and the Baby Jesus fo the gift of Life,

  13. It must have been easy because I am not begging for help , for once. 12d has to be right, because it fits the definition and the checkers, but the clue leaves me completely baffled. Where is the bear ? Or the anxiety ? A cool but spring-like day again.And what’s this about Pommers starting a free speech blog?Thanks to Big Dave and Virgilius

    1. The bear is someone who plays the stock market. “Initially” in the clue indicates taking the starting letters of the four previous words and inserting them inside the “bear”.

      1. Thank you. I was completely lost there but, like Una, knew it had to be right. Very convoluted.

  14. So again I’m asking where the hell is everyone else today . . . ? Come on, you lot, wakey, wakey! Actually you might as well forget that – we had a late night yesterday, it’s now after 11.00pm and I’m going to bed pretty soon. Night night all. zzzzzzzzzz

    1. I’m here, but did a ‘bad thing’ so keeping gob shut for now. See you on 21 March perhaps – no , that’s not an anagram indicator!

    2. i gave up trying to find the Sunday puzzle months ago – its too well hidden. Do the Express Skeleton instead.

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