ST 2693 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2693 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2693 (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           Kind person like me, one working for newspaper (10)
A charade of a kind or sort and another word for a person like me, the compiler

6a           Young child may lie in this card game, or cheat (4)
Not one, not two but three definitions

10a         Old kingdom captured in coup — Russians moving capital West (7)
This old kingdom, with a capital to the west of that of Russia, is hidden (captured) inside the clue

17a         Exemplarily cool climber (8)
This fruit of a climbing plant is often used to exemplify coolness

24a         I am stupid fellow, grabbing pawn — game’s ending in stalemate (7)
The abbreviated form of I am and a stupid fellow around P(awn) and followed by the final letter (ending) of gamE

25a         One surprisingly raised as Cockney intellectual, we hear (7)
This feature that is often raised as an expression of surprise sounds like (we hear) an intellectual spoken by a Cockney (i.e. without the initial aspirate)

26a         Standard choice between centrally placed characters (4)
Split as (1,2,1) this is a choice between the two central letters of the alphabet

27a         Confounded woman that gets mixed up in bar (6,4)
A mild expletive meaning confounded followed by a woman’s name gives a cocktail


1d           One of the effects of global warming that we endlessly must connect (4)
Drop the final letters (endlessly) from two words in the clue and then combine (connect) what is left

2d           Employer without capital foolishly making synthetic material (7)
An anagram (foolishly) of (E)MPLOYER without its capital letter

3d           People pretending to hold large advantage as heavy hitters (13)
Some imposters (people pretending) around (to hold) L(arge) and a four-letter word meaning an advantage or upper hand

4d           Secure section of route there, else evacuate the road (6)
A typical Virgilius clue with the answer hidden not once, but twice

7d           Particular esteem (7)
Two definitions – a particular or characteristic and esteem or high regard

16d         Partners holding partners dance in informative film (8)
One pair of bridge partners inside the other pair followed by a Scottish dance

20d         Courts covering a lot of states in European country (7)
The plural of a word for a central courtyard around a two-letter abbreviation for a collection of a lot (50 to be precise) of states in North America

21d         Happen prior to warning from bad driver on journey (6)
A  warning cry to anybody in the way of the ball struck with a driver by a bad golfer followed by a verb meaning to journey

23d         Influence of wise leader within state (4)
The initial letter (leader) of Wise inside (within) a verb meaning to state

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 Helena Bonham Carter (47) and Stevie Nicks (65)

26 comments on “ST 2693 (Hints)

  1. It took a litle while to get going on this, but once I did, it was straightforward and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Lots of smiles, but I think 25A is my favorite today. Many thanks to the setter, and to BD for the review. Off now to make the most of the holiday weekend in the garden.

  2. For some reason found this to be one of Virgilius’s easier puzzles – thank you, most enjoyable as usual. Thank you BD for your hints – I did check 21d, as I had the wordplay but struggled with the definition.

  3. A great crossword – I didn’t find it as difficult as some Sunday puzzles although my last few answers, probably about six, took longer than the whole of the rest of it.
    I didn’t understand my answer for 20d – it was wrong, that’s why! Stupid! Also needed the hint to explain how the bad driver got into 21d. I thought that the first four letters were just any old warning rather than specifically golf.
    For once I did OK with spotting the hidden answers – well, thought I had – found two and then completely missed 14a for ages.
    Spent far too long trying to fit chemical symbols into 13d having missed the anagram indicator.
    I think that my favourite clue has to be 27a – what a pity she’s not around at the moment! SURELY that won’t put me in the naughty corner.
    I also liked 6, 17, 25 and 26a and 1, 5, 8, 11 and 18d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Good photos from Thursday.

      1. Are you being cryptic? I thought it was a brilliant clue – and who is missing from the comments at the moment? Just in case she reads this I do hope that she is having a good week away with some decent weather, and a happy birthday. :smile:

        1. I’m never cryptic, Kath, so I took you’re blog literally & wondered why you would want ****** **** around now, oh dear, sorry.

  4. I made heavy weather of this for some reason, not helped by having the wrong card game for 6a for a long time and taking an age to see the old kingdom.Favorites were 25a and 27a. Thanks Virgilius and Big Dave.

  5. Usual pleasure,long (ish) anagrams apart,Favourite 17a closely followed by 3d,18d,25a.
    Thanks very much
    Garden or Grand Prix ?

  6. I found last week’s Virgilius very difficult, and when I started today I thought this would be the same. However, with a bit of persevation I chipped away until just two were left – 21d and 27a. I had thought of the golf connection in 21d, but I was thinking of the implement, not the person wielding it; and for 27a I was on the wrong path altogether.

    I also needed BD’s hint to understand my answer to 20d. Like Expat Chris and Una, 25a made me laugh…

    With thanks to BD and to Virgilius…

  7. Took longer than it should have done today thanks to the wrong material in 2d – novice error falling for an (almost) anagram of capital. Also went for wrong card game at 6a.
    All done now though so thanks to setter and BD for putting me straight finally!

  8. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A super puzzle as usual from Virgilius,always puts me in a good mood. Started with 1a, finished with 13d, favourites were 1&17a and 16&20d. Was 2*/4* for me. Great weather in Central London, but beware It’s Bank Holiday tomorrow :-)

  9. 2.5*/3.5* for me. Didn’t notice that the answer was hidden twice in 4d. So pleased to uncover the first one, I moved swiftly on to the next clue.

    1. 4d is a crafty clue, isn’t it, because it actually tells you that if you can’t find the first ‘hiding’ you can look for the ‘second’ one.

      1. That is one of the cleverest clues! Confusing at first, then the light comes on.

  10. i enjoyed solving this puzzle from Virgilius (as well as Saturday’s) after getting back from my daughter’s where I stayed overnight after celebrating her Sarah birthday anniversary on Saturday.
    We dined at the Ciel Bleu Restaurant atop the 23-floor Hotel Okura in Amsterdam but the outlook was not bleu but very gris cette fois!

    Faves : 12a, 17a, 25a, 27a, 3d, 8d, 13d & 20d.

    Must shop tomorrow for basics as the kitchen is very empty – fortunately there is a packet of plaice fillets and a half-bottle of Menetou-Salon blanc in the fridge so it is fish and chips tonight!

    Weather sunny but cool.

  11. Very quiet here today. I know that the weather has been lovely – well, it has been in Oxford – and that all of us have been out and about and doing, but now it’s dark so where are you all?

    1. Well, it’s only 5:45 pm and still sunny where I am, Kath. Absolutely lovely day here….and lots of work in the garden done (including rabbit proofing my new perennial raised bed) before a protracted lunch with wine, then a nap. Dinner and a movie at home, then more gardening tomorrow, since it’s a holiday weekend in the USA. On this Memorial Day weekend, let me pay tribute to our fallen soldiers, especially drummer Lee Rigby, and all serving troops.

      1. A very heartfelt second to that. Where are you, expat? I thought they were having rotten weather up north.

        1. Southern Maryland, USA. A half hour by car from the Nation’s capital and blessedly light years away from big city life. But originally from Cheltenham, Glos.

        2. I’m in Miami. My folks were Glos folk, and I still have a cousin in Cheltenham. My parents went to Jamaica where my Dad was engineer at a sugar factory and I was born and brought up there. My Mum came from a village called Saul and my Dad from Glos city. Must stop, don’t want to be hijacking the blog.

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