ST 2700 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2700 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2700 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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Don’t forget to have a go at our July Prize crossword.

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           Challenge over part of form I release to public (10)
A verb meaning to challenge around a part of form and the I from the clue – I’m not sure about this wordplay element being part of a form, it is usually synonymous with a form; I did look at its use in grammar but remain unconvinced

6a           Gang was audibly triumphant (4)
Two definitions – not a homophone!

12a         Savagery around a king that’s not personally experienced (13)
A word meaning savagery around the A from the clue and the Latin abbreviation for king

15a         Go-between one somehow has to admire (8)
An anagram (somehow) of TO ADMIRE

19a         Unknown leading African country replaced by good leader in this one (6)
Replace the mathematical unknown at the start of an African country with the initial letter (leader) of G(ood) to get another African country

22a         Check about second work of poet (13)
A check around S(econd)

26a         Not quite as depressed, how one can perform (4)
A word meaning as followed by nearly all (not quite) of an adjective meaning  depressed

27a         Source of illumination to secure inside staircase (10)
A verb meaning to secure with a rope or cord inside another word for a staircase


1d           Part of Ireland (see above) (4)
The answer is given immediately above the clue!

3d           Go from nine to five with 50 per cent less effort thus? (13)
Travelling in this direction one gets from nine to five with 50 per cent less effort than by going in the opposite direction!

5d           Understood grief at home defeat to some extent (8)
Yet another 4 down example of Virgilius’s skill in hiding (to some extent) the answer in the clue

7d           Pay more attention, as doctor, to back (7)
This could mean to pay attention, as a doctor,  to a patient more than once

8d           Extra small page perused, in general (10)
An extra in cricket followed by S(mall), P(age) and a verb meaning perused

16d         Relating to community in that way, clubs I and others joined (8)
A charade (joined) of a two-letter word meaning in that way, C(lubs), I and a two-word Latin phrase meaning the others (2,20

20d         Being inclined to disallow ruler’s financial activity? (7)
Two separate definitions surround the wordplay – a verb meaning to disallow followed by a ruler or sovereign

23d         Recited pieces of poetry, quite an achievement (4)
Sounds like a technical word for piece of a line of poetry; each line of an iambic pentameter comprises five of these

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 David Mitchell (39) and Howard Webb (42)

46 comments on “ST 2700 (Hints)

  1. What a delightful way to spend time on a beautiful Sunday morning! I needed quite a big dose of the BRB to complete this challenging but very enjoyable puzzle, although with hindsight I don’t know why – the sign of an excellent crossword.

    3d was my favourite today, but overall too many great clues to mention, leading to many smiles and “d’oh” moments.

    My rating is 3.5* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment. Many thanks to presumably Virgilius and to BD.

    Now come on England!

  2. An enjoyable Sunday puzzle from Virgilius!

    Faves : 9a, 12a, 17a, 27a, 1d (quite a laugh!), 3d, 11d, 21d & 23d.

    Gray cloud-cover today so slightly lower temperature.

    Re 1a – perhaps the word “form” should have been replaced by “school”.

  3. Thank you Virgilius – one of your tougher ones I thought. Some tricky wordplay but nevertheless enjoyable as usual. Thank you BD as well for your hints. Come on England – we need this last wicket !

  4. Finished it after the cricketers went in for lunch. Thought it was a mite tougher than usual but had some good clues.

  5. 3d so clever! I’m surprised that I understood it!

    Thanks to Virgilius!

    Come on you Aussies! I always back the underdog! (£20 to win @ 4-1)

  6. Jeepers creepers, I am finding this really difficult ! Is it the unseasonal (and delightful) weather or is it me ? Probably me. Still stuck on 10a,11d,18d, and 14a.Any and all help gratefully accepted.

    1. 10A means “distorted”. I spent so long trying to make the whole of the answer a Dickens hero…

    2. 18D means “spraying can” and the word damage is an anagram indicator here.

    3. And finally, 11D means uplifting.

      I’m trying so hard not to break BD’s rules here!

      1. You are an absolute brick! thanks a lot.The brain was just not tuned in today.Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    4. 18d is a magnara. Oops, too late with the contribution.

      Anyway, a lovely Sunday morning, thanks to v, bd & the cryptognomes. Sunny and warm here in the commonwealth.

      Mr & Mrs T.

  7. Not so much barking up the wrong tree, but howling in the forest as Virgilius the master of misdirection strikes again.

    A lovely puzzle.

    Thanks to BD for the review.

    Thanks to Virgilius.

  8. Way way above my pay grade. No fun if they are this tough for me.
    About as tough as watching a England play cricket!
    No phrases and far too many 13letter words.

    1. Still you haven’t changed your avatar to show a picture of your new motor! What should I read into this, I wonder…

      1. The fact that I am too stupid to work out how to use Gravatar!
        I have upload the pics several times but it steadfastly refuses to change.

        1. Brian, I agree with you about Gravatar – It should be easier to use.

          But, as it’s free, I don’t think we should complain … or should we?

    2. Decided to be bloody minded and perservate with this and by using every hint, all my electronic aids and without understanding some the the answers (24a, 6a, 23d and 11d to name but a few) i have completed it.
      Haven’t altered my opinion that it is very tough and very little fun.
      But at least we won the cricket JUST!

        1. Ah you see that’s where we differ. However, that’s the great attraction of crosswords, they appeal to so many people in so many different ways and long may it be so.

          1. If you use a different email address, your comment pops off to moderation and gives you a different gravatar.

            PS: I’m with BD on this one!

    3. Now, just this last week you rhapsodised about a puzzle that I couldn’t do, now you have one that is so straightforward and you say it’s above your pay grade. I think you can do these but you don’t keep worrying at them if they are a tad harder. Keep going, you can do them.

  9. Overran average Sunday time by quite a margin.Last one in 16d which is now second favourite to 3d .
    Definitely a 4d puzzle
    Thanks to Virgilius and BD .

  10. I just took less time to complete this than England needed to get the last wicket, so a very good contest on both parts!
    Thanks Dave for explaining 23d. I guessed the solution but had no idea how the first part of the clue related to it.

  11. This was another great puzzle, though I didn’t get 23d and needed the hint. So many clever clues. I also put in the wrong country for 19a, not replacing the first letter with good leader as I should have done. Thanks to all.

  12. Back from London AGAIN – Mum’s taxi/ambulance service! A great puzzle to come home to – I really enjoyed doing it sitting in the sun.
    I thought this was quite difficult and to begin with didn’t think that I was going to be able to do it but gradually got a few answers and then a few more and then all was fine apart from the top left corner – couldn’t do 1 and 9a or 4 and 5d for ages, but did in the end.
    I was also pretty dozy about 8d (cricket again – always defeats me) and 10a and missed the anagram indicator for 15a.
    I had to go and look at a ‘timepiece’ (was nearly heading for the naughty corner there!) – before I completely understood 3d!
    I liked 19a and 1 and 11d – and lots of others too. My favourite was 23d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  13. This is my come uppance for finding them all easy this week! Fun maybe , easy no.
    Thank you all the same to setter and BD.

  14. Never thought I would finish unaided but I did after, for me, some real hard thinking.
    1d was very, very naughty.
    I enjoy Sundays as much as Thursdays!
    Many thanks Virgilius and BD for the review.

    1. Love your new avatar. However dogs on the loose are extremely damaging to the population of the few kiwis remaining in the wild here We’re sure your dear little pet would never do anything nasty though Una.

  15. An excellent puzzle from Virgilus which I solved sitting in the sunshine trying to acquire a tan. I actually now anticipate and look forward to doing the Sunday crossword. Long may it continue. Does anyone know what a “Fluffy of rain” is? It appeared as a clue in the Quick :-)

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