ST 2682 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2682 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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The March Prize Puzzle is still 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


7a           Rogue who sings, popular earlier (8)
This rogue who spills the beans comes from a charade of a two-letter word meaning popular followed by a word meaning earlier

11a         Former Asian capital — and in Asian language (8)
Put AND inside an Asian language

12a         Predicament I have with effect of pollution involving those near to me? (7,7)
A cryptic definition of the predicament of those near to someone who is polluting the atmkosphere

19a         Abridged book (cut from end) not having brilliant cover (4)
Drop (abridged) a verb meaning to cut from the end of a book of the New Testament

25a         How board meeting may end for prisoner, say (6)
Split as (2,4) this is how a game played on a board may end

28a         Escape from ordeal with maximum speed (8)
A charade of to escape and an ordeal or trial


1d           Nose or chin split and reconstructed (4)
A verb meaning to nose or move slowly is derived by splitting the word CH IN and swapping the two parts

2d           Latin’s body found in library? (6)
Two definitions – the Latin for body and a collection of written texts

3d           One letter from MP set up classical concert (4)
Reverse (set up in a down clue) a way of describing one of the letters in MP (1,2,1)

5d           Resignation letters in fast mail misdirected (8)
An anagram (letters in … misdirected) of FAST MAIL

6d           Make what’s initially so disorganised right and neat? (10)
The initial letter of So followed by an anagram (disorganised) of RIGHT and NEAT

8d           From motorway, to no avail, I moved vehicle (7)
M(otorway) followed by a phrase meaning to no avail (2,4) with one of the Is moved

18d         Central character taking combination of drugs (7)
This central female character combines two drugs (6 and 1)

26d         Piece of work from artist, a sketch (4)
Hidden (from) inside the clue

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 Prince Edward (49) and Sharon Stone (55)
Prince Edward Sharon Stone


  1. spindrift
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    By ‘eck! That took some doing. IMHO probably the most difficult Sunday puzzle for many a year. Thanks to V(?) & to BD for the hints which I needed earlier on but persevation got me there in the end.

  2. una
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for 12a, but I am still perplexed by 14d.Help please !

    • Kath
      Posted March 10, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Hi una,
      The definition is founders of colony – think about flying insects – the usual abbreviation for South followed by a four letter word meaning in between hot and cold.

      • una
        Posted March 10, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        Thank you anyway.And Happy Mothers Day.

    • una
      Posted March 10, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Really, really cold it myself finally, don’t know why it took me so long.Thanks to setter and BD.

  3. Kath
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    I found this really difficult to get started – maybe just because of frozen brain – it’s terribly cold here.
    Once I got going everything eventually fell into place although I ended up with several answers that took a long time to sort out – spent ages trying to make sense of 12a. I needed the hint to explain 3d.
    I thought 10a was brilliant once I understood it – just couldn’t see why for the first letter.
    I liked 1, 11, 19 and 20a and 1, 14 (had the wrong answer for ages) 16 and 26d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Just starting to snow – this is getting VERY silly! :sad:

    • Brian
      Posted March 10, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Still don’t get the First letter!

      • Kath
        Posted March 10, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Hi Brian,
        The first letter is ‘letter on tap’ – think about your bathroom! Good luck. Took me ages.

        • Brian
          Posted March 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

          Now I see:-) Thx too obscure for me.

    • mary
      Posted March 10, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      If it’s anyconsolation Kath, it’s very cold and windy here today :-(

      • Kath
        Posted March 10, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Mary – it’s nice to know that we’re not suffering alone!
        2C – black sky and east wind but it only snowed for a few minutes.

  4. Jezza
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    I found this more of a challenge today from Virgilius. Thanks to him for the normal, quality enjoyment, and to BD for the hints.

  5. crypticsue
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    One of those hard to get started, didn’t take as long as I thought after all, Sunday puzzles. Thank you to Virgilius.

    My particular favourite was 2d as I did like the hint of a link to Cluedo!

  6. Rosie G
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    battling a bit with this one but the day is not over!

  7. Brian
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Blimey today’s is tough. Got all but 15a and 27a now but stuck.
    Could I respectfully suggest that the hint for 1d should not be slowly but rather the distance a horse wins by (I suspect this might be moderated!). Chambers does not give the answer as slowly.
    Can see the answer to 19a by the first part of the clue but can’t for the life of me understand the second part.
    Some really convoluted clues today that need careful thought.
    Needed the clues to understand the answers so Thx for that.

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

      On the contrary, Chambers defines the answer to 1d as “to move by slow degrees” and Chambers Thesaurus gives “move/advance slowly”.

      • Brian
        Posted March 10, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        It’s not the answer i am querying which does mean slowly but the clue of nose which certainly does not mean slowly. Nowhere does Chambers define nose as slowly but a a small measurement as in winning by a nose or to investigate.

        • stanXYZ
          Posted March 10, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

          Nose – Think Verb? Why slowly?

        • Posted March 10, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

          I’m not sure which dictionary you are using:

          Nose (transitive verb and intransitive verb)
          * To proceed or cause to proceed gingerly, as if feeling with the nose

          Nose (verb)
          * (of a vehicle) move cautiously forward

          Chambers Thesaurus
          Nose (verb)
          nudge, ****, edge, ease, move slowly, push (where **** is the answer)

    • mary
      Posted March 10, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      19a you take a three letter word for cut from a book of the bible to give you a word for a type of paint that isn’t shiny i.e. not having brilliant cover

      • Brian
        Posted March 10, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        Thx Mary, not impressed with that clue.

  8. Only fools
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Another choice puzzle from Virgilius .Faves 2d ,16d,11a and 19a for which I could see what but not why for quite a while .
    4* enjoyment for me .
    Thanks very much .

  9. pommers
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Finally caught up!

    As others have said this was perhaps the trickiest Sunday for some time but stiil as enjoyable as always. Favourite was 7a.

    Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  10. Tantalus
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to BD and the setter for a fun Sunday morning. But Mrs T was quick to observe that the Sharon Stone exposure was reminiscent of yet more “lift and separate” imagery. I said the sardonic grin from the Prince was more disconcerting. Cool here in Boston – a sharpening of toast and tea awaits.

  11. mary
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Tough today but have done it n two sittings, one after being taken out for Mothers day lunch, now there is an afternoon of rugby and football to share with sons and grandsons and partner all supporting different sides, such fun! Happy Mothers day to all Mothers on the blog :-)

    • mary
      Posted March 10, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Favourite clue 3d, took me only a short time to get the answer but ages to understand why! Thanks for hints Dave though didn’t need them, I’m in opposition to you today Dave in rugby and soccer so may the best teams win ;-)

  12. Merusa
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Man, that was a hard one. I never did get 12a and not sure 11a is correct. I am having problems accessing this site on my iPad so have had to resort to computer, very inconvenient. Is anyone having the same problem? It keeps scrolling back to the top and won’t let me scroll down. I really needed assistance with this one and my handy gizmo has been in use all morning. A real workout, thanks to setter and to BD, your hints were really needed today.

    • mary
      Posted March 10, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Yes Merusa my ipad is doing exactly the same, at least the desk top is ok today, couldn’t even get it on that yesterday until well into the afternoon!

    • Kath
      Posted March 10, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      The first and last four letters of 11a is an Asian language. The second, third and fourth letters are the ‘and’ from the clue and if there’s a road going there it’s probably right!

      • Merusa
        Posted March 10, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        No wonder I was confused. I was putting in a language which has the same name as a citrus fruit. Of course, on the road to ….. I had that dead wrong. Thanks for putting me right.

      • Merusa
        Posted March 10, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        Further, I should have remembered that one. My Dad used to sing that song every Sunday when we drove down to the beach, then whoever saw the sea first, got points. Don’t remember what the points gained you, but it was fun getting them!

  13. stanXYZ
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    A very nice puzzle from Virgilius today!

    Needed help to explain 3d! Do’h.

    Next Sunday – St Patrick’s Day! Paint the Town Green?

  14. Flashling
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Surprisingly hard, perhaps I let my guard down expecting it to be easy, but thanks Virgilius &BD.

  15. Colmce
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Ooh, this was very difficult for me today, really struggled, lots of electric help and head scratching.

    Thanks for the hints, needed for word play on a couple or three.

    Thanks to Virgilius, a real stretcher for a Sunday.

  16. Hrothgar
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Tough one today, I thought.
    Bottom SW corner held me up, mainly because I got the wrong first word in 20a.
    Silly me, it was an ******* after all!
    But once righted, home and dry.
    Many thanks setter and BD

    • Kath
      Posted March 10, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      I tried to do that with 20a too but then spotted too many somethings, not enough something elses AND, the real giveaway, an unused letter – in other words just plain wrong!!

  17. Brian Greer
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Nobody seems to have noticed 12a is an &LIt. (start with a word meaning “predicament”, add short version of “I have”, then word meaning “those nearest to me” inside something that’s the effect of pollution. C’mon, work with me here, people.

    Spoiler alert. I had a St. Patrick’s Day special done, but Phil (I suspect rightly) deemed that its nationalistic flavour might offend some Telegraph readers, so look out for it next year in the Guardian.

    • Kath
      Posted March 10, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      As soon as I saw the short version of ‘I have’ I knew there was more to it – and I’m really trying to be a person working with you but I still don’t get it. I’m sorry to be so dim!! :sad: and :oops:
      On the plus side in pre-blog days I couldn’t do your crosswords at all! Don’t know what makes them different – they just are.

      • pommers
        Posted March 11, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

        Hi Kath

        Start with an obscure word for a predicament – ‘a pretty . . . ‘ and then follow with the IVE (as you said). Then put the usual word for those near to you inside some air pollution. Split that lot (7,7) and you get something described by the whole clue – love it when an &lit really works :grin: As said below on this post it is particularly relevant to my current predicament!

        Predicament with effect of pollution involving those near to me ? (7,7)

      • pommers
        Posted March 11, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

        BTW, the reason you didn’t ike the Sunday puzzles in the past was that it was a different setter.

    • stanXYZ
      Posted March 10, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Some of us here don’t know what an &Lit is! But some of us also enjoy Brendan.

      What has happened to your “hidden” clues? And themes? The Grauniad must pay better!

    • una
      Posted March 10, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      That is a pity because I love themed crosswords.Have you heard the one about the republican response to Kia new car ? “Tiochai our car”

    • Heno
      Posted March 11, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the explanation Brian, a very good clue. I love your puzzles, and can usually complete them. Today was a rare exception.

    • pommers
      Posted March 11, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      Hi Brian
      I certainly noticed the &lit in 12a. As someone who packed in the weed 71 days ago (who’s counting) but his wife hasn’t quit – I’m well aware of the answer :grin:

      Great puzzle so many thanks.

  18. Colmce
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    I thought that clue was a bit thin for Virgilius, but missed its depth.
    Lovely work.

    • Kath
      Posted March 10, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      And I did too but still don’t quite get it – I’m terribly bad at this sort of thing.

  19. Rabbit Dave
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been away for an enjoyable long weekend on the Isle of Wight, so I was very late today to get started on the crossword. I enjoyed this, and found a good mixture of clues of different difficulties. Although I got the answer for 3d as soon as I had the checking letters I needed BD’s review to understand why it was right. Thanks BD.

    One thing I still don’t understand is the need for the word “second” in 23a. Isn’t it simply an anagram of ethical and t?

    • mary
      Posted March 11, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      second time merely illustrates you need another t I think RD

  20. Brian Greer
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    To Rabbit Dave: “second” in 23a is not strictly necessary, but is justified, since “t” is added to a mixture that already includes a “t”. And it helps with the surface.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted March 10, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      Brian, thanks for the explanation and thanks very much for the very enjoyable puzzle.

  21. gnomethang
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    A lovely puzzle – thanks Mr Greer .
    I spotted the &lit at 12a since i have to blog it and i couldn’t see a straight defense otherwise .
    A lovely clue.
    Just back from Twickers -we need to be better against the Welsh. Thanks to BD as well .

  22. Adam Parnell
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    A hard one today, completely stuck on 9a and 13d. Any help appreciated!

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted March 10, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Permalink


      9a – put the name of a former Prime Minister round the one letter abbreviation for pound
      13d – a word that could describe a prosecutor’s approach in court is also a noun for a grammatical case

      • dolllar
        Posted March 11, 2013 at 2:57 am | Permalink

        Alas, if you have “ones” for 15a you will have trouble getting 13d correct. Just ask me.

  23. Heno
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. Found this really difficult, could only solve 8 clues. Resorted to the hints and read the blog, got there in the end after all that help.

  24. Telboy
    Posted March 14, 2013 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Finished, ridiculous in places.