ST 2689 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2689 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2689 (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    Living area somewhat protected by cover (7)
Somewhat (1,3) inside (protected by) a cover for the head

5a    Behaviour that’s becoming weird after code’s broken (7)
An adjective meaning weird after an anagram (broken) of CODE

9a    Space restricted in aircraft as North African set returned (7)
A North African and a verb meaning set all reversed (returned)

10a    Contemporary contributor of comments for book by lumberjack (7)
B(ook) followed by a lumberjack

13a    Location for surfing — not hard, in principle (5)
A location for surfing (3,3) without the H(ard)

15a    Removed from sight without rhyme or reason, initially? That’s glossed over (9)
A word meaning removed from sight or disappeared around (without) the initial letter of Rhyme or of Reason

19a    Craft needed in sketchbook etc, honed repeatedly (5)
Hidden twice (repeatedly) inside the clue

25a    Surrounded by dreadful feeling about how one operates (7)
A dreadful feeling around the two-letter abbreviation for how one operates

28a    For example, future saint is extremely rigid (7)
Future is an example of a form of a verb which indicates the time of the action – add the abbreviation for saint


1d    Nincompoop‘s bad flaw concealed by success (4-3)
An anagram (bad) of FLAW inside (concealed by) a successful record

2d    Outlaw seizing old sports facility — that can be scary for kids (7)
A verb meaning to outlaw or prohibit around O(ld) and a sports facility

4d    Rival daily with claim it improves efficiency (4-5)
One of the Telegraph’s rivals followed by a verb meaning to claim or state

6d    Piece of meat staff provided that’s singularly useless for diner (9)
A piece of meat followed by a staff or rod gives one of a pair of eating implements

14d    Excellent final steps for upwardly mobile type (3-6)
An adjective meaning excellent followed by a series of steps

17d    Indicates informal speech is being written up (7)
Informal or colloquial speech and the IS from the clue all reversed (being written up in a down clue)

20d    Closed with disgusted exclamation — that is really hard puzzle (7)
A two-letter word meaning closed, as in a door, followed by a disgusted exclamation and the latin abbreviation of that is

24d    Like a no-win situation, portrayed as  strained (5)
Three definitions

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!

There have been a number of comments recently regarding the policy adopted on this site regarding Prize crosswords. None of the other crossword blogs allow any discussion on these puzzles until after the closing date. I decided to give a few hints and to allow sensible discussion. In the early days I was criticised for this by some of the Telegraph setters. What I am desperate to avoid is requests of the type “I’ve got A?B?C?, what is the answer to 8 across”. I started slipping a few gimmes in which could be revealed by hovering over the pictures. When it was suggested that this practice be stopped there were howls of protest. Please be sensible and respect this policy. If you have any doubt about what to put in a comment, then don’t do it.

Today it’s Happy Birthday to Sir Bradley Wiggins (33) and Ann Margret (72)
ARVE Error: need id and provider

41 comments on “ST 2689 (Hints)

    1. Hi Bob – welcome to the blog.

      21d Host, having switched one couple, goes on to dine — tricky situation (3,4)
      Reverse a couple of letters in host, then add a verb to dine.

  1. A lovely puzzle…seemed a bit easier than the usual Sunday, or , and this is unlikely I’m getting better at doing them.

    Thanks to BD for the hints…not needed this week.

    Thanks to the setter.

    Lovely day here, bright sun and light winds, a drift around the bay this afternoon, magic.

  2. I thought this was fairly gentle for a Sunday – either that or I’m getting better – probably the former.
    This might just be the first Sunday that I haven’t either got completely stuck or, at least, needed a few hints to explain something.
    I was slow to get 25a and 17d and spent a while trying to fit RU into 18d as it seems to be the most common crossword game. I also nearly missed 27a even though this one didn’t even go over two lines – must try harder with that kind of clue.
    I had to check my spelling for 7d because it looked a bit funny.
    I liked 10, 11 and 22a and 2, 6, 20 and 23d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Chilly here today – going to cut grass (because I can’t think of an excuse not to) and then carry on fighting the NTSPP.

  3. One of my quicker Sunday solves, but enjoyable while it lasted.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  4. Lovely puzzle.
    I did this when it came on line at midnight and then had two clues to get.
    Polished off this am.
    They were 14d and 22a.
    Many thanks Virgilius and BD

  5. I find this a good deal more difficult than usual for a Sunday and am very stuck on the south west corner, in particular,22a and25a.

    1. 22a – The definition is ‘make hostile noise’, and is a charade of a verb meaning to ‘become’ and an abbreviation for ‘large’.

      1. Thank you , Jezza, I finally worked out that one, and corrected my mistakes on 18d and 27a, leaving me with 25a and the second half of 14d.

    2. 25a – A latin abbreviation for ‘how one operates’ goes inside a ‘dreadful feeling’ to give the definition to the clue, which means ‘surrounded by’.

      1. I feel like a total 1d,I’m looking at it and looking at it , and if I read you last bit of assistance correctly that makes 18d wrong, which it can’t be.So , I’d better go and do something else for a bit.Thanks anyway.

        1. Good luck later on. I think once you start thinking that something is wrong you change that, and then that makes something else wrong etc etc. Try rubbing out everything in that corner unless you’re really sure about it and then starting more or less from scratch.

  6. Loved it! Challenging in places, but not too much so. Just right. Lots of favorite clues, but my personal winner is 25A. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the review.

  7. I agree with the comments that this was a very enjoyable puzzle with some challenging clues. Many thanks to the setter.

    It was actually a puzzle of two halves for me. I went through a first pass of all the clues during which I almost finished the right-hand side but had only one answer in the left. After some deeper thought I finished the right but still had only one lonely answer on the left :-( . Decision – go and do some gardening in the sun. Result – I dug up the wrong plant leading to Mrs RD very kindly calling me a 1d. She was somewhat taken aback when I thanked her profusely and came back indoors to finish the crossword! With hindsight I don’t understand at all why I struggled so much with the left side. But hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    Many thanks too to BD, whose hints I needed only to decipher why “closed” clued the first two letters of 20d. It’s so easy when someone points it out to you!

    1. As per Rabbit Dave, the grid filled up in a strange way today – SE corner first then NE, SW corner and then the NW corner. So at the halfway stage I had the right half completed and nothing at all in the left.

      I didn’t need the BRB or the hints today but thanks to BD for the blog and the setter for an enjoyable puzzle.

      I’m curious to know if the photo of the *******s features any contributors to this site.

    2. I sympathise with Mrs RD but am glad that it led you to the right answer! Reminds me of a Sunday many years ago when my Dad went out to do some gardening when Mum was cooking lunch for the masses, as usual. It’s far to long a story to go into in detail here but it involved some VERY old and well established paeonies (? not sure about the plural) and a bonfire! Oh dear!

  8. We finished in record time today: only 5 arguments and 1 sharpening of toast.
    Thanks to the setter, bd and the book lumberjacks. Any cake in the naughty corner?

    And why “repeatedly” in 19a?

    Mr & Mrs T

  9. Took me a bit longer than I’d have liked today, and like Rabbit Dave, I’d done rh side with practically no left filled in. Pondered for while, switched snooker on, dozed off and awoke to rattle in missing answers. I think I’ve found the magic formula!

  10. Watched the fugue episode of Endeavour last night, it really does rival Morse! There are so many clever links to the future, waiting for the leg injury now. And the Barrington Pheulong music is exquisite ! Maybe one day we will have a Hathaway series?

    BD – can you do a survey on morse vs Lewis vs endeavour?

    1. No contest – and we haven’t even watched Endeavour yet. You can call me biased if you like . . .

    2. I seem to remember a number of Morse plots involving rich, dynastic, squabbling, business families.
      And now, we had such in Endeavour last evening.

  11. Finally sorted out 14d and 25a.I definitely needed the break to let the subconscious do it’s thing.Thanks to Virgillius for a tougher than usual task, at least as far as I am concerned . Thanks to BD and Jezza for the hints.

  12. Thank you Virgilius, enjoyable as always. Thought I was going to struggle on first reading but got a foothold in the SE corner which got the ball rolling. Finished without hints, but needed the intervention of Mrs SW to get 25a. Lovely day again in Suffolk, finishing the puzzle sitting in the sunshine during our lunchbreak. Migrant birds are finally arriving in some numbers, so perhaps Spring has finally arrived. Leaves have appeared on the trees during our first week here ! Thank you BD for the hints – nice to put a face to a name – what a good looking bunch !

  13. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big dave for the hints. Usual great stuff from Vigilius, was 2*/4* for me. Started with 9a, finished with 28a. Favourites were 1,13,26a and 20d. Lovely morning for a walk in Central London.

  14. On a completely non-crossword topic and just in case anyone loves Dave Allen as much as I do he is on BBC 2 tomorrow at 9.00pm.
    He always gives me the giggles for ages. :grin:

  15. Strong objection to 6d. When spearing your wasabi shumai, this device is in fact singularly useful for diner.

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