ST 2708 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2708 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2708 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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The September Prize puzzle is now available – don’t miss your chance to enter

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the more difficult clues and provide hints for them.

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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           No other people can provide it, as a rule (4-10)
A cryptic definition of the rule of a country by its own people, especially after having been a colony.

9a           Vehicle driver exhausted in fighting (7)
An alternate spelling of a driver of a horse-drawn vehicle is constructed by putting an adjective meaning exhausted or spent inside some fighting

10a         Like male with pride, one numbered among mediaeval popes (7)
A three-letter name of an 11th century pope and his number

11a         Frequently ring — daily, in short (3)
The letter shaped like a ring followed by the shortened name of a daily newspaper

15a         Troublemaker, youth who ultimately reformed in gaol (8)
The final two letters of two words in the clue followed by an anagram (reformed) of IN GAOL

22a         One in front of stage who’s at the mercy of masked man with knife? (11)
Someone watching a play could also be a patient on his way to an operation performed by a “masked man with knife”

27a         Altered dress an aunt did — not uniform (14)
An anagram (altered) of DRESS AN AUNT DID


1d           With part of barrel missing, one may be discharged for robbery (4-3,7)
A cryptic definition of a weapon that has had part of its barrel removed and is often used in a robbery

2d           Kind of craft that matchless person may use (7)
…  for his cigarette

3d           Who’s got lineages sorted out? (11)
The whole of this semi-all-in-one clue is the definition – an anagram (sorted out) of got lineages

6d           Author of little read book, so to speak (3)
The author of a book that sounds like (so to speak) the “little read book”

8d           Foreign farmworker that’s delighted by effect of red setter or another dog (6,8)
A foreign national followed by the type of farmworker that is proverbially delighted by a red sky at night

13d         Produced ‘Love’s Labours Lost’, say, fully performed many times (11)
A verb meaning produced a series of words starting with the same letter is a charade of a three-letter word meaning fully followed by a verb meaning  performed many times

21d         Caught in grip of South American snake in city there (6)
A three-letter verb meaning caught inside a South American snake

25d         Scene of shooting established as part of court activity (3)
The scene of shooting a film is also a word meaning established and a part of a game played on a court [thanks to Crypticsue for pointing out that there are three definition, not two as I originally thought.]

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 any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment, else they may be censored! 

Today it’s Happy Birthday to Martin Freeman (42)
ARVE Error: need id and provider

29 comments on “ST 2708 (Hints)

  1. It didn’t help misspelling 3d,causing lots of problems with12a, but they were resolved in the end.I liked the short clues the best, such as 11a and 23a.Thanks to BD and Virgillus.

  2. Many thanks to Virgilius for a really entertaining puzzle. Although I found this a straightforward solve (1*) it was nevertheless very enjoyable (4*), with lots of great clues. After a tough struggle to decide on a favourite, I’m going for 13d with 22d a close second.

    Many thanks too to BD for his hints, which I needed only to understand the relevance of the second part of the clue for 22d.

  3. Enjoyed this puzzle even though it was pretty easy. I liked 22a and 12a – the latter because my optician tells me I have this condition!

  4. Another beautifully crafted puzzle, a pleasure to tackle on a bright Sunday morning.

    Needed the hints to fully explain 22a, clever stuff!

    Thanks to BD for hints.

    Thanks to Virgilius.

  5. I thought this was a great crossword and really enjoyed doing it.
    I started off with the wrong ending of the second word of 1a which made 6 and 7d tricky, if not impossible – didn’t think to doubt it until I was about to give up with those two.
    It took me a while to understand the ‘red setter’ bit of 8d.
    2d made me laugh because whenever elder daughter has been here I’m the 2d-less one using matches – all my 2d’s are in her pockets!
    I liked too many of these clues to put them all down so will just pick a random few – 12 and 23a and 6 and 8d. I think my favourite was 22a.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    It’s finally raining here. :smile:

    1. I thought the “red setter” bit of 8d was very clever, though it took a little time to tumble to it.

  6. This one went in so easily, had no problems at all. Needed the hint to know the why of the second part of 22a, my favourite. Great enjoyment, sorry it’s over. Thanks to all.

  7. Very quiet here today – has everyone gone into early hibernation or is there lots of sport on? Or is that a stupid question . . .

    1. Runner bean chutney, two sorts of casserole for the freezer, Sunday lunch inc crumble made with peaches from the garden, ironing, review of today’s puzzle and knitting some more of a ‘hoodie’ for Alfie. Definitely no time for hibernation here.

      1. OK – give in! I’ve just had the first totally idle day for quite a long time. It’s been raining on and off so wrote the day off, from the ‘useful stuff that needs doing’ point of view and said ‘who cares’ – read the papers etc etc and am now trying very hard not to feel guilty. You sound as if you’ve been incredibly productive.

  8. Thank you setter for some ingenious clues. And needed the hints (thanks BD) to explain why 22a was correct which made me laugh (rather ruefully as I’m not too far from a similar experience). So probably that’s my fave today, although I also loved 8d. Mr P up in Edinburgh so I’m glad I won’t need to water my triffids today. But if I end up with loads of giant, but I ripe, tomatoes – what then?

    1. I’m in line for a bionic hip, have no idea how long I’ll have to wait, but dreading it. They didn’t tell me the golden years would be slightly tarnished!

          1. A family friend has just had one of those and is doing brilliantly so hope you find the same massive improvement, Merusa…

          2. Don’t worry about the hip job. I had one 4 months ago. Walking following day with crutches, down to a stick after 2 weeks and doing most normal things by 6 weeks.

              1. I should think the prospect of surgery of any kind is scarey – never sure whether that is supposed to have an ‘E’ or not – they both look wrong once you start to think about it. Poor you.
                My ninety-one year old Mum had her second hip done almost five years ago – you can do your own sums! She had the first one done about twenty years ago which was before my Dad died. The day after it was done I rang Dad to see how she was doing. He told me that she was fine, he’d been in to see her and she’d met him walking down the ward on her stilts!! I suspect he meant crutches!
                It’ll all be fine – let us know when.

              2. I haven’t had it myself , yet, but I know lots of people who have, and they are dancing the light fandango !
                Operations are scary,but you wouldn’t be doing it unless it was better than going on as you are.Best of luck.

  9. Too many good clues to name a favourite. Overall an excellent puzzle with ho hints needed from the boss but thanks anyway.

  10. Thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle, ***** for enjoyment for me. IMHO, each clue is excellent in its own way. Particularly liked were 10a, 12a, 22a, 23a; 3d, 13d (which I thought bril) and 25d (very clever with its three definitions). So it’s a very big thanks to Virgillius for a super Sunday puzzle and to Big Dave for the hints which I didn’t need on this occasion but appreciated nevertheless.

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