ST 2702 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2702 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2702 (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


7a           On course, performing relatively well or rather poorly? (5,3)
On the golf course, performing relatively well – but rather poorly with respect to one’s health

11a         Rip off, in a word, someone who’s reckless (8)
When split (4,4) this is a phrasal verb meaning to rip off and as a single word it is someone who is reckless

12a         For example, football magazine’s linked with Liverpool, say (9,5)
A political magazine followed by the S from ‘S and a town with a harbour, like (say) Liverpool

15a         Island with a lot of dance (4)
I(sland) preceded by (with) most of a gathering for dancing – the whole clue loosely describes the answer

17a         What’s repeatedly found in grizzly bear, possibly, or other wild animal (5)
The letter that is repeated in griZZly followed by an anagram (possibly) of BEAR

19a         Flamboyance — it’s not a word that can be seen in this clue (4)
It can be seen in the clue – but it’s not a word – shouldn’t there be only one of them?

20a         Western crew showering after time for strenuous exercise (6-8)
W(estern) followed by a crew in the Boat Race and a verb meaning showering prece3ded by T(ime)

27a         Scotch is what drunken revellers try, initially (6)
A verb meaning to scotch comes from an anagram (drunken) of WHAT followed by the initial letters of Revellers Try

28a         Remove two wives, with a third mistreated inside (8)
W(ife) and W(ife) with an anagram (mistreated) of A THIRD inside


1d           European carried by rail coming to Paddington, say (4)
E(uropean) inside (carried by) a rail

2d           Pieced together  picture of ancient lawgiver (6)
Two definitions

6d           Politically co-operative oil company retaining current skilled worker (10)
A two-letter abbreviation for an oil company around the symbol used for electric current and followed by a skilled worker

8d           Flamboyancy Scrabble player can never produce (7)
A word that can’t be constructed from the letter in a standard set of Scrabble® tiles – as pointed out in the comments, two of several alternative spellings of this word fit the grid

13d         Kind of author that takes gamble with flier, originally (10)
a verb meaning to take a gamble followed by the surname of each of the brothers who pioneered flight

18d         Not for  touching (7)
Two definitions

21d         Sporting and jovial male also having aesthetic interests (6)
The male pronoun followed by an adjective meaning having aesthetic interests

22d         Insignificant type‘s critical comment on wine (6)
Split as (2,4) this could be a critical comment on a wine

26d         Be first to play heavy metal? Doesn’t sound like it (4)
Two definitions – to be the first to play a card in a game like bridge and a heavy metallic element – both are spelt the same, but are pronounced differently (doesn’t sound like it)

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 Jim Davis (68)

48 comments on “ST 2702 (Hints)

  1. Many thanks Dave. I certainly needed you for a few gaps today. My thoughts were on the right tracks, but needed confirmation. Loved the flamboyant clues, personally, although I found different spellings of the answer to 8d, with regard to the second letter. I went for *.

  2. Morning all. Thought the Quick and the Cryptic pleasantly demanding for a cooler Sunday morning. Both finished in good time, but somewhat baffled by my answer to19A, and BD’s hint has left me even more mystified!

    1. Thanks BD – my answer WAS right, and your hint was very crafty and clever. Don’t think I’d ever have cottoned on!

  3. I have been waiting with baited breath for the hints to come out. I had (with, it must be said, quite a lot of electronic help) solved all but one – 16d. Of course this was one of the few without hints.

    I was just about to post a plea for help when I thought I would give it one last go. I got it straight away and am now ashamed to admit that not only had I previously managed to work out the wordplay correctly (just not get the answer), but also my wife is a native of that particular island – which I just could not see.

    Some great clues today – too many to mention – but I will single out 17a.

    With thanks, as always, to BD (who was, for once, of no use whatsoever) and to the setter.

  4. I thought this was a very, very enjoyable puzzle. I’m not sure I particularly like the clue to 15a, but that won’t stop me awarding the puzzle 5* for enjoyment.
    Many thanks to Virgilius, and to Big Dave.

  5. Morning all. Very enjoyable solve. I particularly liked 7A and 27A. 19A was the last one in – a big “AAH” moment and instantly my favorite clue of the puzzle. Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the review.

  6. Excellent puzzle yet again .Took some research to be convinced about 15a because I was unaware of the significance of “dance” to the inhabitants ….clever .
    Fav 13d .
    Thanks to Virgilius and BD .

  7. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave. I really enjoyed this one, was going great guns, then came to a grinding halt at the bottom of the puzzle. Needed the hints for 27&28a and 21d. My first clue in was 7a, but I put the opposite of the correct answer for the first word, great clue. I’m still stuck on 24d, any help would be much appreciated, I think I’ve the right answer to 23a. Favourites were 7,16,9a and 6&8d. Was 3*/4* for me. A bit cooler today in Central London after the rain last night.

      1. Thanks, but still can’t get it. Does it begin with the letter that needs aspiration? I may have 23a incorrect.

      1. Thanks all ok now, have corrected 23a. Gnome’s Law, just got it after I posted the comment :-)

  8. Thank you Virgilius. I found this to be one of your harder puzzles, and it took me a while to get started. Managed to complete though without the need for hints. Initially I thought that I would have to wait for BD’s hints to get under way ! Thank you anyway BD for your hard work as usual.

  9. Very pleasant start to two weeks’ holiday – never heard of 16d until today. Thought 19 across was very witty :-)

    1. Is it really 16d that you’ve never heard of? If it is are you sure your answer is right? Just can’t quite believe that you’ve never heard any jokes that begin with three different nationalities . . .

        1. Don’t think I’ve said anything that I’m not allowed to say. If I have I seem to have got away with it, so far!! :smile:

          1. I did hum and hah about your hint this morning but Mr CS wants the cherry pie all for himself so I have let you get away with it :D

  10. Very enjoyable today. Some lovely clues such as 17a and of course 8d.
    Can’t quite see 23a, is the young woman referring to the first three letters in which case where is the fourth or is it to the middle three in which cases why young?
    Apart from that nit picking, very good. Thx to all.

    1. PS from a purely selfish POV, very glad to see the dearth of religious clues recently and the emergence of some sporting ones. Long may it continue. :-)

      1. Hear hear. But we didn’t realise that they had magazines in Liverpool (other than for their pistols). [Mrs T is from Liverpool, so this comment was not intended as a general insult]

    2. 23a The definition is wrongly perceived. It’s an eight letter word made up of two homonyms (speaking). The first three letters sounds like a young woman and the last five letters sound like a crowd.

  11. I thought this was one of Virgilius’s more straightforward puzzles – possible because a lot of the less common letters were checking letters – trying not to be too specific here as I don’t want to be sent to the naughty corner!
    I got myself into a terrible muddle with 13d and needed the hint to untangle that one – it wasn’t as complicated as I was trying to make it. I had to check the spelling of 8d – there are four but only two of them were the right number of letters and it doesn’t really seem to matter which one is the answer.
    I spent far too long trying to justify ‘jigsaw’ for 2d! :roll:
    I liked SO many clues that I’m not going to write them all down. Just a few were 17 and 27a and 8 and 18d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    1. It was also one of our faves, but we are still struggling with 12 & 14. (Doh! Just figured them out).

      We have also returned to the best collective noun for toast. Any suggestions?

  12. Lovely puzzle , as we have come to expect from Virgilius and are rarely disappointed.I have been focusing on cryptics for some time now and so got better. Now I have shifted my focus and am finding I need the clues more. Thanks , BD.How to pick a favourite ? That is very difficult, but I opt for 8d, as a original to me and not too obscure.

  13. Great puzzle again. I spent some time worrying over 28a as believed the answer could not begin with the word in the clue. 19a has to be favourite, so clever. Thanks to all

  14. Usual enjoyable Sunday solve from Virgilius.

    Faves : 9a, 11a, 12a, 19a, 6d, 8d, 14d & 22d.

    Still high summer here in NL.

    Daughter and family collecting me this evening for first-class nosh at the top local restaurant.

    No wine for me though!!

  15. I did enjoy toiling my way through this one and got there in the end .Thanks to Virgilius &BD whose hints I needed for a couple of explanations.

  16. I took 15a to mean the island I recently visited plus a play on the word ie Swan Lake

      1. Oh right. I’ll know that in future. I haven’t done Sunday’s before so I was a bit haphazard

  17. I don’t usually do Sunday’s as I hate the Sunday paper for ipad. I don’t get a paper copy.
    But I did it and emailed it off for the first time.
    I don’t always need help but your site inspires me to have a go.
    Thank you

    1. This site is brilliant all the time but particularly at weekends when no answers are inside the brackets – not for that reason – just that you can’t look if you’re really stuck. So, when/if you ARE really stuck you ask and someone always answers really quickly. It’s a bit like a security blanket!

    1. Welcome to the blog PaulT.

      25a Interfere with person who’s entitled to hold key (6)

      ‘Person who’s entitled’ is a person with a title. Insert (to hold) a musical key.

  18. Am I alone in disliking 8d? The fact that there is more than one spelling doesn’t do it any favours.
    The rest of the puzzle was an enjoyable solve.

  19. I read 11a differently to your hint. I was thinking “off” is not at work I.e. ****

  20. Brilliant crossword! **/**** for me. I got all the answers but needed BD’s hint to understand 15a and Ade’s comment above to understand the wordplay for 11a, which I agree with BD is probably a better explanation than his hint.

    Despite the two possible spellings, 8d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  21. Good Sunday exercise. I struggled with 15a for ages..whilst the answers that fit are limited the construction is not clear.

  22. A strange puzzle from my point of view. The NE corner answers came quickly but I struggled with significant parts of the rest and without a couple of BD’s hints I don’t think I would have completed it. Although I didn’t need the hint for 13d I am confused by “to take a gamble” which to me is only loosely connected?

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