ST 2685 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2685 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2685 (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.

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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           Tune from America put on a record-player ahead of time (6)
The two-letter abbreviation for America follows the A from the clue and someone who plays records at a disco and is followed by T(ime)

4a           It’s hard to get caught, panic (6)
C(aught) inside (gripped by) a panic

8a           Birds getting together when dawn chorus happens (4-4)
Two four-letter birds, one after the other

11a         Turn around no-win situation in electoral area (4)
Reverse a result in which neither side wins

12a         Produce novel thus, or a joint literary work (10)
An anagram (produce novel) of THUS OR A followed by a joint in the body

20a         Successfully contest one cathedral city or another (10)
A three-letter verb meaning to successfully contest followed by a cathedral city in North West England gives a cathedral city in Southern England

ARVE Error: need id and provider

23a         Sovereign’s state is good, in truth (8)
Put G(ood) inside a word meaning the truth

25a         Marched or walked in two directions (6)
Put a four-letter verb meaning walked between two compass directions


1d           Like perfume from a poet like Keats or Shelley, not new (8)
The A from the clue followed by an adjective that describes the poets Keats and Shelley without (not) the N(ew)

2d           Was amusing, as judge allowed (5)
J(udge) followed by a verb meaning allowed

3d           Batman and Robin, initially, heading vehicle into location of shooting (7)
The initial letter of Robin and a commercial vehicle inside a location used for shooting a film

14d         Royal person slightly overlapping school in England, university in US (9)
The final letter of a royal person overlaps the initial letter of a school in England

18d         Honest, i.e. not lying (7)
Two definitions, the second one meaning not lying down

21d         Turned over painting of leaf (5)
Reverse (turned over in a down clue) a type of painting and OF

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 Rhea Perlman (65) and Herb Alpert (78)
  ARVE Error: need id and provider

36 comments on “ST 2685 (Hints)

  1. I found this really quite trying, and am stuck on 6d and 15d .Favorites so far are 14d and 8a. Thanks for help with 23a.Is this a Virgillus ?

  2. Realisation that my initial answer to 22a would result in a previously unheard of Greek god for 17d necessitated a rethink ! Very enjoyable .Faves 1d ,2d,7d,8a.etc etc .
    Thanks very much .

    1. I don’t think 17d was a god, although his father was!

      I thought this was an excellent puzzle **/**** for a very cold Easter Sunday morning, with a very nice mix of types and difficulties of clues. I struggled a bit to finish off the NW corner, but it all fell into place in the end.

      Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

      1. NW corner was my sticking point, too, but the light bulb going off for 8a gave me the needed help to finish. So easy in hindsight, as always

  3. Real tough one.
    One to go which I’ll save for later.
    Just persavate.
    And you get there.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

    1. Well I have been persavating for far too long now, turned out my first answer for 15d was correct but I am hopelessly mired in 6d and would love to get on with the rest of the day

      1. 6d – the definition is like the Spanish plains and a reference to them in an old song. Follow R (right) with an anagram (awfully) of WET SPAIN. The anagram words also have relevance to the solution!!

        1. Thx for that Sue, having finished it i could only get this last one by the checking letters. I learned my lesson long ago never to holiday in Spain in October, **** of biblical proportions!

        1. I freely admit that spelling is the thing I do worst. Sometimes I wonder if I am border line dyslexic. I can spell all the long words one comes across in biology and chemistry, but shorter ones, I use the BRB to check spelling, not meaning.It can be very frustrating and humiliating, and the worst of it is that my husband and daughter can spell everything effortlessly.

  4. Not the easiest Sunday I have ever tried but very enjoyable. Last in was 1a and 6d although it took me ages to stop seeing Batman as an abbreviation. My Thx to the setter and to BD (what price the Welsh wonder now!)

  5. To save time, I’m going to cut and paste my response to Sunday puzzles as they have a pleasing uniformity.

    As usual for a Sunday a beautifully crafted puzzle of moderate difficulty, with some nice misdirection and some nice wit.
    Fun to solve and with a couple of penny drop moments.

    Thanks to BD for the review, and to Virgilius for such splendid Sunday entertainment.

  6. Oh Lord,,,,clueless sums me up. I managed seven. The hints helped with a few but ….ah well..there is always tomorrow’s.

  7. The usual enjoyable Sunday puzzle from Virgilius.

    The second word in the clue for 10a is misspelt in my copy but no problem!

    Faves : 1a, 8a, 16a, 24a, 1d, 6d, 7d & 9d.

    Still waiting for Spring to show up here in NL but at least it is much lighter.

  8. A really good puzzle. Just couldn’t get 9d and then when I did couldn’t understand why I struggled with it for so long! :-)

  9. An enjoyable one for me. Slow start and held up for a while by desperately trying to fit a word for a collection of literary works in 12A. Finally sorted when 6D went in. Once I’d worked it out, 3D became the favorite today. Thanks to BD once again for the review, and to the setter.

  10. I initially thought this was diabolically hard and was ready to give up, then the bottom half fell into place and it gave me heart to keep on trying. I seem to be finding the puzzles harder and harder, but a good thing as it makes you think harder. I like to tinker with the Times Saturday jumbo but, so far, have only managed two words; a worst record. Probably just as well, instead of sitting and fretting about the brain I can get other things done.

    Thank you for another winner, setter and hinter, enjoy your Easter Sunday.

  11. This took me longer than normal today; partly due to my noisy children in the background.
    Many thanks to Virgilius, and to BD. Happy Easter to all!

  12. We found this one at the harder end of the scale for a Sunday but brilliant clues. Just loved the mis-direction and cleverness of 3d.
    Thanks Virgilius and BD.
    We don’t normally comment on the weekends but thought the page looked a bit empty this morning.

  13. Been a good Easter weekend really. Football went OK – in Spain Messi scored in his 19th consecutive game, back in the UK the Boat Race was according to plan and Man U won again. Weather here is ‘Spring has sprung’, but it’s now started raining!

    Oh, and a great crossword as well – thanks Virgilius.

  14. What a belter! Harder than the usual Sunday, but beautifully crafted and I reckon that I fell into every trap :-)

    My favourite was 5D (a new word for me but so well clued that it just had to be) followed by 8A, 3D and 9D.

    As many others did, I did the bottom first, then the NE corner and finished at NW.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and BD

  15. A few t make me think which is always good. Thanks to Virgilius for a fun puzzle – I managed this at a hasty lunch in a Wetherspoons before going back to work. Ta to BD for the review as well.

  16. Sorry dave I only knew the chap from A Midsummers Night Dream , my greek mythology is obviously deficient but as Aethra said if you don’t know who your father is it could be Poseidon .

  17. Thanks to virgilius and Big Dave , very difficult used 7 hints, stuck on the first word of 13a, any help would be most welcome .

    1. The first word for 13a is what the murderer might do to his victim to send him on his way. Hope that helps.

  18. I’m always a day behind everyone else because I start my day with the previous day’s puzzle. Late delivery in rural Norfolk!
    I got stuck in the NE corner and it took an age to see 7d and now it’s so easy.
    Thanks for the hints.

  19. Playing catch-up, just finished and found it trickier than normal – but enjoyable nonetheless. Thank you Virgilius and BD for your hints. Back to the grandchildren !

    1. Only got round to doing this one this afternoon so I really hope that someone is still reading the Sunday comments – I’m completely stuck on two.
      Even having read BD’s hint I can’t do 4a – have an idea but I don’t think it’s right, and if it is it makes 7d (the other one I can’t do) a very funny word.
      I thought this was the usual really good Sunday puzzle. I took a long time to get started and was pretty slow with several of the clues but I put that down having been seriously ‘over-peopled’ for a few days.
      I liked 1, 8, 20 and 24a and 3, 5, 6, 14 and 18d.
      With thanks to Virgilius and BD, and anyone who can sort me out with 4a and 7d.

      1. 4a is ‘hard to get’ because it’s in short supply.

        7d Finally schedule times of hearing for alien (6)
        The final letter of schedule followed by how you’d write ‘times’ when doing sums and an adjective meaning relating to hearing.

        1. Gazza to the rescue YET again! Thank you – you’re a star – those two were going to bug me all evening. :smile:

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