ST 2687 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

ST 2687 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2687 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

There’s still time to have a go at our April Prize puzzle.

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 and the FAQ 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           A substance consumed by male, rather naughty in legal office (10)
The A from the clue and thye substance of an argument inside M(ale) and an adjective meaning rather naughty

6a           Substitute put in for striker, as result of injury (4)
Two definitions, the first being someone who works during an industrial strike

12a         Following a trend, in a way (5,1,7)
A word meaning following then the A from the clue and a trend

14a         In hospital, immersed in a large volume (2,4)
A very short definition! – put H(ospital) inside (immersed in) the A from the clue and a large volume or book

17a         Source of support for Edward II (8)
How one might describe the regnal cypher of Edward II (6,2)

22a         Noise from horse initially blows cover for us in vicinity (13)
The noise made by a horse followed by the initial letter of Blows and what might be a cover for us to wear on the head (3,4)

25a         It is where you think, this country? (7)
IT is in the place where you think!

27a         You’ll find it thus in hospitality suite (10)
This adverb describes how IT is found again and again in this clue


1d           Nobody’s wife is a failure? (4)
Two definitions – the first being an unmarried girl

3d           Fair acting in play represented in prim snapshots (13)
An anagram (represented) of PRIM SNAPSHOTS

4d           Right clue finally leading to wrong answer (6)
R(ight) and the final letter of clue followed by a legal wrong

5d           Failure of nerve due to lack of adequate hose? (4,4)
… could be caused by not wearing socks!

8d           Women entitled to give piece of music zero points (10)
These titled women are derived from a charade of a short piece of music, O (zero) and some points or headlands

16d         Bound over unnamed adolescent, one who has been expelled (8)
Reverse a five-letter word meaning bound or tied up and follow it with an adolescent without his final N (unnamed)

18d         Exclusive groups have measured intelligence in things like this (7)
Put a two-letter abbreviation for a measure of intelligence inside what one reads in order to solve this crossword (things like this)

23d         Diplomat with no love for green cause (4)
Drop (no) the O (love) from a diplomat to get a reason for turning green!

The paucity of illustrations is a result of the lack of suitable subject material!

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 Ritchie Blackmore (68) and Julie Christie (72)
Especially for gnomie!

78 comments on “ST 2687 (Hints)

  1. A fairly gentle puzzle today, favourite had to be 22a.

    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for clarifying some, especially my initial (unsatisfactory) reasoning for 8d

  2. A brief pause at 16d, in an otherwise gentle puzzle today. Many thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  3. At the moment I’m the first one to comment for the first time ever! By the time I’ve written it, had more coffee etc etc I won’t be.
    I thought this was fairly gentle for a Sunday puzzle although I stared at 27a for ages before even having an answer, let alone understanding why.
    I spotted a couple of the hidden-in-the-middle answers quickly, for me anyway, and then completely missed the third one, 19a.
    Lots of really good clues – 12, 24, 25, 26 and 27a and 1, 4, 5 and 11d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Beautiful day here – warm and sunny. It’s amazing how quickly the garden cheers up with just a bit of sun and warmth – I do too! :smile:

    1. 19a was my last in because I too missed the inclusive cle, print ting them over two lines always makes them tricky to find I feel

      1. They so often run over two lines – I agree it makes them tricky to find and the worst ones are when they run over two lines AND are reversed, not that we had any of those today.

  4. I agree with John. Thanks to the setter and BD for the hints – I needed clarification on my answer for 6a.

    Stupidly I initially spelled 11d with the wrong middle letter, which held me up on 19a.

    My favourites today were 27a and 5d

  5. Really struggled with 27a, even when we had all the checking letters. Our favourite solving site gave four possibilities, but even then the penny took a long time to drop. However was then my favourite clue.
    Thanks to Virgilius and Big Dave

  6. 8d held me up for a while but found the rest accessible with a bit of thought.

    Thanks to BD for the review and Virgilius for another excellent puzzle

  7. A gentle stroll but enjoyable all the same. A few clues left and luckily all the hints matched – thanks for that! I groaned when I saw the answer to 27a.

    Quick question….the BRB …is that the Chambers Crossword Dictionary?

    1. No – much as I hate to disagree with Brian it isn’t. It’s the Chambers Dictionary. The Chambers Crossword Dictionary is a completely different animal.

    2. The CCD is more a thesaurus Roger, out of the two I use this much more than the BRB which is a dictionary, they are both Telegraph Setters bibles

    3. Well now I am triply confused. On my smartphone I have Chambers Dictionary. Also access to the online version. I have the paid Thesaurus on my smartphone as well. Also access to the online version.

      So what prompted this was trying to find the elusive alternative meaning for miserly = stingy from yesterday. Every copy I looked up I found ‘mean’ but that isn’t the first word in the answer. So I thought that the BRB possibly referred to the Crossword Dictionary and that when my copy arrives tomorrow I’d look up stingy and find ………

      1. Oh dear – sorry about the confusion. I have just looked in my fairly elderly and falling to bits Chambers Crossword Dictionary. It doesn’t have yesterday’s word under miserly, stingy or mean.

        1. The Chambers Crossword Dictionary -CCD- does have yesterdays word under ‘stingy’ Kath, third word in

          1. Mine has mean and miserly under stingy, and stingy and miserly under mean, and stingy and mean under miserly but none of them give the first word of yesterday’s 21a. I didn’t think it was too much of a problem because I’ve heard it before but some people did. My Crossword Dictionary is a very old one – 2000 edition so maybe it’s been updated. Had better shut up now as I’m not sure we should be talking about yesterday’s crossword on today’s blog!
            :smile: Back to the garden now.

  8. Nice crossword although got stuck on NE corner due to having the wrong ending on 1a! Loved 7a, very clever but absolutely hated 27a which I thought was just plain daft.
    Not that easy i thought but very doable apart from 27a which I would never have got except for the hint and it still doesn’t really make much sense.
    Thx to all concerned.

        1. If ‘it’ is in the clue several times you could say that it appears 27a. Oh dear – not very helpful but it’s too late to be sent to the naughty corner now.

  9. Lovely morning and early afternoon here. Nightingale singing outside window while i battled with 27 with variations on tri, try, thr, etc … Last in was 9. Thanks to BD for a couple of jump starts.

    1. Alan,
      Your comment needed moderation, because you’ve changed your alias (by leaving off the city). Both should work from now on.

  10. Hi Dave thanks for hints, I didn’t need them today and actually understood all the clues :-) , however I did go wrong at first putting an incorrect ending on 1a, which gave me a problem with 5d, lots of clues I liked, favourite being 25a, liked also… 12a, 17a, 24a, 25a, 27a and 1 and 18d, not a nice day here, it’s been a wild wet windy night and it’s continued into the day, yuck!!!

  11. Thank goodness for Virgilius turning up with a very enjoyable crossword to brighten up a very grey damp morning (yes, I know the rest of you have blue sky and sun and stuff, but here in East Kent, we haven’t :( )

    Thanks to BD for the hints, and to Virgilius for a puzzle with so many stars by favourite clues, Iit would take me for ever to list them.

      1. Post lunch, we have sun, blue sky and a lovely warm washing-drying wind. Sorry if yours hasn’t turned up yet.

        1. You’ve obviously pinched our sun. :sad: On the plus side the washing is already dry and brought in. :smile: Just needs ironing now! :sad:

  12. Slow to start, then whoosh with the occasional unwhoosh.
    Many thanks Virgillius and BD

  13. A lovely Sunday morning treat, very enjoyable.Hard to pick a favorite, perhaps 23d. Unlike the rest of you so far , I haven’t managed to untangle 27a. I’ve been looking at it for quite a while.By the way there is a fabulous clue in the Sunday Times c rossword, 7d.I hope I don’t get in trouble for mentioning that.Thanks to BD and Virgillus

    1. You’ve given yourself a clue here una, read what you’ve written again and again and again…!

      1. Thanks ,Mary , but our comments seem to have crossed. I wouldn’t call the weather here horrible, just very ,very windy.

  14. I had a better look at BD’s hint for 27a and between Virgillus and BD its a brilliant clue.

  15. Well it must just be me then – but I find this very hard going. I had a measly 4 or 5 answers before I had to resort to BD’s hints. That got me moving, but I still have four left to go and I can’t seem to make any headway on them (I’m sure I will kick myself when someone prompts me).

    10a and 11d
    13d (I have an answer from the checking letters, but I can’t work it back to the wordplay) and

    Lovely sunny day here in London (I’ve put the washing out!), but black clouds in my mind because my cryptic ability seems to have gone backwards. Very frustrated…

    1. Am I allowed to say that 11d and 13d are anagrams and 26a is exactly what it says on the tin ?

    2. 10a – Del Trotter used to refer to part of the answer
      11d – the word “changing” should provide a nudge
      13d – accommodation could be a place of residence
      26a – conclusions are also “ends”

      I can’t be more specific than that otherwise you know where I’ll end up!

    3. 11d – A Double Anagram … if there is such a thing?

      Anagram indicators are “awfully” and “changing”?

      1. Thanks Stan.

        I’m feeling particularly thick today.

        Just not on the right wavelength…

        1. I had a thick day yesterday Arthur, particularly regarding one clue , never mind you got there with lots of perservation and a little help

  16. With reference to the visual clue for 25a, I am surprised to see the northern kingdom included, as I thought that the clue would have to include a five letter word before it.I am open to correction on this.

  17. Had to resort to the hint for 27A and I have to say I thought it a poor clue, but maybe that’s just me being dense. Otherwise a very nice puzzle and a bit more challenging than is usual for a Sunday. Thanks to the setter for the workout and to BD for the hint.

    Looking at another lovely day here in Southern Maryland — mid-70s. Quite unusual this early in the year, but I’m certainly not complaining.

    1. I had to refer to hint for 27a, my last one in, but having got it, I thought it was a super, super clue.

  18. A lot easier for me than many recent STs from Virgilius, quite surprised at the number of “hidden” clues, but welcome after a day off suffering from man flu. Beautiful but blustery in Reading, couldn’t sit outside to do it without losing it completely (over the neighbour’s hedge).

  19. I solved this while finishing off a drop of Brunello di Montalcino from that wonderful area of Italy – Siena.

    Favourite clue was 17a – as a 20d, the rest of the puzzle was a load of Codd’s Wallop for me!

    No disrispects BG!

    Spring has at last arrived in NL!


  20. Tired and thick today, so cheated and took some hints – thank you BD. Still stared at 26a for a while before the penny dropped. Thank you Virgilius for another enjoyable puzzle which would have taken me ages without the hints.

      1. Welcome to the blog Catherine

        26a Conclusions reached in the media, perhaps, overly simple (4)
        The final letters (conclusions reached) of 4 words in the clue

              1. If you replace the ‘thus’ in the clue with your answer I’m sure you’ll understand.

  21. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. Usual great stuff from Virgilius, I needed the hints for 1a, new word for me, and 27a. Favourite was 17a. Was 2*/4* for me. Spring has sprung at last in Central London!

    1. Well if you have any spare ‘spring’ could you please post it to us in cold, grey, wet Herefordshire !!

  22. working away at the times crossword and it’s lonely and hard work without a nice friendly blog,only 5 to go.

  23. I stared at 27a dejectedly and **********. Thought it must be the latter but needed the hints to explain why.

  24. i’m driven mad by -“after securing silver , furious chef claims top spot” (5,1,7,2) checkers –t–h,-,——-,-f.Are there any kind hearted geniuses out there?

    1. Definition is spot. It’s an anagram of ‘CHEF CLAIMS TOP’ with the chemical symbol for silver inserted (securing).

      1. Thank you so much ,Gazza, for replying. I did try that anagram , but my anagram solver refuses to solve ! I guess I’ ll just have to mull over it for a few days if necessary.You know, bathroom flooded and kitchen full of boiled eggs.

        1. Bathroom flooded and kitchen full of boiled eggs . . . ? Am I being dim or just missing something?

          1. in the last few weeks , we, or at least I, have been very entertained by versions of the time it takes P G Woodhouse to solve cryptic crosswords.Some say the time it takes to boil an egg , others say the time it takes to fill the bath. P G Woodhouse said he had flooding problems and a kitchen full of boiled eggs and still hadn’t finished the times crossword.

    2. Excuse my ignorance – but my puzzle hasn’t got a clue with those words in ! Have I been doing the wrong crossword ?? !!

Comments are closed.