ST 2706 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2706 (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           Calm producing uncertainty in fleet (6)
A two-letter word of uncertainty inside an adjective meaning fleet or fast

4a           Kind of player that’s put back guarding goal (8)
A verb meaning to put back or postpone around (guarding) a goal or aim

11a         Close to home occupied by soldier with good reason (9)
An adverb meaning close to home around (occupied by) an American soldier

12a         Demonstrate about one old coin in short supply (7)
A verb meaning to demonstrate or ascertain as truth around I (one) and the abbreviation (in short) for an old pre-decimal coin

17a         Experience life with unusually free emotions, having progressive ideas (6,4,4)
A two-letter verb meaning to experience life followed by an anagram (unusually) of FREE EMOTIONS

24a         Stop working with old master who offers consumer advice? (9)
A three-letter verb meaning to stop working followed by an old master of the Venetian school of painting

27a         Convert ready after priest initially performed religious act (6)
An anagram (convert) of READY follows (after) the initial letter of Priest


1d           Repeatedly ring up and scornfully dismiss (4-4)
Reverse (up in a down clue) a ring and then reverse the same ring again (repeatedly)

2d           Preserve intonational variations with East Asian language (9)
A verb meaning to preserve by storing in a container followed by intonational variations and E(ast)

3d           Jolly fine adaptation for TV, I see (7)
F(ine) followed by an anagram (adaptation) of TV I SEE

5d           Fight with cartel as indication of commitment to union (10,4)
A fight followed by a cartel or group gives a commitment to a marriage union

6d           Bit of work Rex secured in bar (7)
R(ex) inside a preposition meaning bar or not including

8d           Heard but not seen, Frost’s poetry (6)
Sounds like but doesn’t look like frost, not forgetting the S from ’S

15d         Not many people can control this, as a rule (9)
A cryptic definition of a country governed by a small group of people

19d         Smile ingratiatingly about learner being less intelligent (7)
A verb meaning to smile ingratiatingly around L(earner)

22d         Uniform put on entrant, finally, for competition (5)
A word meaning uniform or level followed by the final letter of entranT

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 Billy Ray Cyrus (52) and Sean Connery (83)


  1. una
    Posted August 25, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Well there are no comments yet to be seen, but since my typing is two fingered, I expect to be forth or fifth.I thought it was quite a challenge, although I got there without any hints. I confess to using electronic assistance. 17a took an absolute age. My favourites ( Kath is still away ) were 10a and 23a.Thanks to Virgillus and Big Dave.

  2. Colmce
    Posted August 25, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    19d explanation doesn’t stack up.

    I don’t think it’s an anagram. But then I could be wrong, I often am.

    • Posted August 25, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      It was a mistake and was changed almost immediately!

      • Colmce
        Posted August 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Thank goodness for that, on reviewing my post and seeing the correct explanation , I thought I was cracking up:-)

    • una
      Posted August 25, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      I puzzled over this one , but it does “stack up “, not an anagram, though. In fact one of the easier clues.

      • una
        Posted August 25, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, misread explanation as clue.

  3. Colmce
    Posted August 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Any way apart from all that excitement , another enjoyable puzzle from Virgilius, a bit trickier than usual for me.

    Thanks to BD for his hints

    Thanks to Virgilius.

  4. Sweet William
    Posted August 25, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Virgilius, enjoyable and a bit tricky ! Thanks BD for your hints.

  5. Heno
    Posted August 25, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave, a super puzzle that I found easier than usual. Favourites were 10&23a. Last in was 15d.Was 1*/3* for me. Shame Big Dave’s team are not on the Box.

  6. una
    Posted August 25, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    One question , what is cryptic about 9d ?

    • stanXYZ
      Posted August 25, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      According to Google Maps it’s only 1.8 miles away from Victoria Station. Quite close.

    • Derek
      Posted August 25, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Hi Una!

      I suppose it falls into the GK class only!

      • una
        Posted August 25, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        Hi Derek, Hi StanXYZ,
        I think you are both right. Thanks !

  7. Derek
    Posted August 25, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Another enjoyable Sunday finisher of the week from Virgilius.

    Faves :17a, 23a, 8d & 15d.

    Re 9d – there is also one in Geneva!

  8. jo mayor
    Posted August 25, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable crossword today but can’t fathom 8d, unless I have wrong answer, (which is always possible)! Where does the frost come in??

    • Posted August 25, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      As I put in the hint, the answer sounds like this type of frost but is not spelt the same. Try looking up words that sound like your answer.

  9. Merusa
    Posted August 25, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    The bottom half went in a treat but struggled a bit with the top, then I got a couple and they got me going. I am also in the school that loves 10a and 23a. Thanks for a super puzzle, though hints not needed today.

  10. Ian
    Posted August 25, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Quick typo Dave – the main heading in your blog has ST2705 rather than 2706 like the bar across the top.
    **/*** for me. Smiled at 10a. Thanks to all

  11. Brian
    Posted August 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable. First pass looked tricky but it built nicely from the bottom up.
    Last in was 17a, could see the obvious answer but took ages to get the first two letters!
    Thx to the setter and of course to BD for the hints which for once I didn’t need. :-)

  12. Brian Greer
    Posted August 25, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    For Una (#6), the intended crypticity of 9d was to have people think of Victoria the location, rather than Victoria the queen, who was very close to her consort, Albert, for whom the Memorial was constructed. Not clear if you got that.

    As always, thanks to BD and everyone.

    • una
      Posted August 25, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      Gee whiz, Brian , I’m very honoured that you replied to me personally.Thank you so much.(You may have broken the rules a tiny bit. Shush, don’t let BD hear)

  13. Brian Greer
    Posted August 25, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Sure, Una, happy to.

    I guess I’m in the famous Naughty Corner. My apologies, BD.

    • una
      Posted August 25, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps Cryptic Sue will send out some of famous proposal inducing lemon drizzle cake ?

      • crypticsue
        Posted August 25, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        Haven’t got any of that in the tin at the moment – I can offer a sponge cake with home-made gooseberry jam inside if that suits?

  14. 2Kiwis
    Posted August 25, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    We always solve and really enjoy the Sunday puzzle but generally refrain from commenting on the prize puzzles. Today, though, seeing there are so few comments, seems like a good chance to give special thank you to Brian Greer who gives us such delightful fun every week. Much appreciated.
    Many thanks Virgilius and BD.

  15. Rabbit Dave
    Posted August 25, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Another late one for me today, but well worth the wait. I’m giving **/**** for a very enjoyable and most amusing puzzle.

    I could see that 9d was cryptic but I couldn’t understand why 4a was until I read BD’s explanation.

    Like Una, I am going to risk having two favourites today – 10a and 8d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  16. Rod Ash
    Posted August 26, 2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    good Sunday workout although 8d was the stumbling block for me. I think we’ve had a similar clue earlier in the year and I still stumbled around! Thanks

  17. Catnap
    Posted August 26, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Another splendid Virgillius puzzle! ***** for enjoyment for me. His clues are always so meticulously tailored. Mega thanks to Virgillius, and also to Big Dave for his excellent hints (luckily not needed on this occasion). (Incidentally, ‘The Road Not Taken’ is a fave poem…)

    • gazza
      Posted August 26, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Catnap.

      • Catnap
        Posted August 26, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, gazza.