ST 2710 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2710 (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.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before asking questions about the site.

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           Bring up opinion with paper that shows what’s coming to pass (4,4,6)  [Newspaper version (4-4,6)]
There’s a mistake in the enumeration of this clue in the online version of the puzzle: according to both Chambers (12th edition) and the ODE (2010 edition) it should be (4-4,6) – a verb meaning to bring up or nurture followed by an opinion and a national newspaper gives something that shows a driver what is coming to pass him

9a           Job description one included in manifest (7)
I love this one – we are looking for a description of the biblical character Job, carefully concealed by placing his name first in the clue – put I (one) inside an adjective meaning manifest or obvious

11a         Acknowledgement of carelessness as nothing works (4)
This acknowledgement of carelessness is a charade of O (nothing) and some musical works

14a         Inferior tea, so to speak, ready to pour (6)
The letter that sounds like (, so to speak) tea followed by a phrase (2,3) meaning that the tea is ready to pour

15a         Humorous conversation that is, in contrast, good in youth? (8)
Split this as (3,2,3) and it could mean the opposite (in contrast) of good in youth

17a         Joined and served? Not I (8)
Start with a verb meaning served in the army and drop (not) the I

18a         Artist using mainly scarlet and black, as he said (6)
This French artist is derived from most of (mainly) a scsarlet colour followed by the French (as the artist said) for black

25a         Old vehicle for fighting in Boston Tea Party, say? (7)
Split as (3,4) this could (say) describe the Boston Tea Party

26a         Heading into hospital too soon, in agonising way (5-9)
A verb meaning heading or having a prevailing direction inside H(ospital and a word meaning too soon


1d           Good relationship with left, on board after strike (7)
Put the nautical (on board) term for left after a verb meaning to strike

2d           Deviously manipulate tenet, such as eighth of ten commandments? (15)
This anagram (deviously) of MANIPULATE TENET gives a word meaning not the tenth of ten, nor the ninth, but the one before that

4d           Unattributed element in score for temporary players (6)
Two definitions – the runs in a cricket match that are not attributed to any of the batsmen and temporary players in a film

6d           Think once more about team in tight corner (10)
Put a team inside an anagram (tight) of CORNER

8d           Resilient spirit copper exemplifies, from what we hear (6)
Sounds like (from what we hear) the type of substance of which copper is an example

13d         Romance with a female, beautiful with nothing on (4,6)
The A from the clue and an adjective meaning beautiful preceded by a score of nothing in tennis

20d         Experience life in prison — that can be a warning (6)
Split as (2,1,3) this could mean to experience life in prison

23d         Formalities this country, without capital, installed in ’40s (4)
This country, with a lower-case initial letter instead of a capital, when installed inside forties (’40s) gives formalities – which is another way of saying that it is hidden inside the clue!

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 Rupert Penry-Jones (43) and Andrea Bocelli (55)



  1. stanXYZ
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    My Sunday roast will be later than usual … I spent far longer than expected on today’s Virgilius.

    Great crossword!

    But I still do not understand 23d (I’ve read the hint)

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted September 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Stan, I was going to try to explain it to you but I can’t think of anything clearer than BD’s hint (except for his misplaced apostrophe in “40’s” :-( ). I can only suggest re-reading the hint carefully.

      • stanXYZ
        Posted September 22, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        Thanks! I now understand! D’Oh! :oops:

        Whose misplaced apostrophe?

        It’s a long time since anyone has been sent to the Naughty Corner … I think there should be a Pedant’s Corner or is it Pedants’ Corner?

        • Posted September 22, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

          I’ve put it in the correct place!

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted September 22, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

          If Cryptic Sue has suitable provisions available, I’d be delighted to become the founder member of Pedant’s Corner, or, if others would care to join me, Pedants’ Corner.

          • crypticsue
            Posted September 22, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

            No 2 son has just polished off the last bit of possibly the best cake I ever made ‘Pear and Ginger Cake’ which is made with treacle, syrup and all sorts of scrummy stuff that makes it taste like the best treacle toffee ever but with pear and ginger too. Far too good for any corner apart from our tiny corner of Kent. I will see what I can rustle up next week.

            • Rabbit Dave
              Posted September 22, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

              Sounds absolutely scrumptious!

            • Kath
              Posted September 22, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

              I’m already planning a visit to the naughty corner next Saturday or Sunday. :smile:

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely magnificent! My rating is 3* for difficulty and 5* for enjoyment. What a wonderful mixture of challenging , funny, clever and devious clues. A perfect puzzle for a grey and miserable Sunday morning!

    I was held up in the SE corner for a while, having initially put the wrong last three letters for 7d.

    I am not sure why tight in 6d is an anagram indicator, but I loved the blatantly humorous anagram indicator in 17d.

    After a real struggle to decide on a single favourite from this brilliant selection, I am going to upset Kath (sorry :-( ) and get my knuckles rapped by choosing 14a (my last one in) and 2d (wonderfully devious!) as joint favourites. 9a, 25a, 4d, 23d and several others also came close.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    By the way, 1a is enumerated (4-4,6) in the paper.

    • Posted September 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      In 6 down, it’s tight as in drunk.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted September 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        D’oh! Thanks very much.

  3. jezza
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    The normal excellence from Virgilius, who once again produces the best DT puzzle of the week.
    Many thanks to him, and to BD too.

  4. una
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgillius for quite a challenge and to BD for his much needed assistance.For some reason I cannot now explain, I made a dog’s dinner of the south east corner. Favourite :1a.

    • una
      Posted September 22, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      I understand my difficulties now, I missed the “in” of the definition of 26a.

  5. neveracrossword
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    More challenging and more enjoyable than yesterday’s prize crossword. I needed a lunch break before finishing it.

  6. Senf
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Quite a challenge after yesterday’s puzzle. Needed a lot of help – thanks BD. Deviously was a very appropriate anagram indicator for 2d! (Hope this gets through with my new e-mail set-up).

    • crypticsue
      Posted September 22, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      You had to be ‘approved’ this time but your new email ‘set-up’ should work from now on .

      • Senf
        Posted September 22, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        Thanks CS.

  7. Derek
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Another enjoyable end to the week from Virgilius – many thanks!

    Faves : 9a, 18a, 25a, 2d, 20d & 23d.

  8. Jon
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    26a was an age for me. And still not sure that there is actually a verb for heading or having a prevailing view in the answer.
    23d was brilliant. So simple in the end but so well worded.
    As ever, the Sunday DT crossword is a notch above others.

    • Posted September 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      You obviously don’t use Twitter!

  9. Kath
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I was a bit slow with this one – thought it was quite difficult but it’s probably just me. It’s taken a long time but I enjoyed it very much.
    Like Rabbit Dave I had the wrong ending for 7d which made 26a tricky until I saw what I’d done. Unlike Rabbit Dave I’ll only pick one favourite!
    I missed the significance of Job in 9a until I read the hint and understood it completely.
    I liked 11 and 18a and 2 and 13d. My favourite was 1a.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Really sorry to be dim but I STILL don’t understand 23d even after reading the hint about ten times. :sad:

    • Senf
      Posted September 22, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Kath – The country is inside the first word of the clue (without its first letter being capitalized) and the rest of the first word is expressed numerically at the end of the clue. The country was also an answer a couple of days ago.

      • Roger
        Posted September 22, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        thanks Senf for explaining it. I could see the country but not where it was in the clue!

      • Roger
        Posted September 22, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        My goodness…one of the toughest ones for me for quite a long time with many left undone. And grateful for BD for the hints as most matched my missing ones. Excellent crossword. I still can’t see 19d. I think I have the answer but can’t see how it fits. The BRB doesn’t have any entry for derby and I’m not sure what a local derby is.

        • jezza
          Posted September 22, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

          Take your final letter (finishes) off those two words you just mentioned, and add them to what a ‘side’ might be.

    • jezza
      Posted September 22, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      If you take your answer to 23d, you will see that it is hidden inside one of the words given in the clue. If you remove your answer from inside that word, the remaining letters spell out another word which is also given in the clue.

      • Kath
        Posted September 22, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        FINALLY I get it – thanks very much jezza. I ‘found’ the country, even though it was one of the dreaded in the middle ones that so often catch me out, it was the ’40s I had a complete mental block about. :roll:

  10. Sweet William
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Great puzzle today Virgilius, good fun, loved 14a and 20d ! You were on terrific form today ! Many thanks BD for your hints

  11. Brian
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    For difficulty a curates egg but for enjoyment no doubt, it was excellent.
    Lots of ‘smile’ clues such as 14a and 20d.
    Very enjoyable, much Thx to the setter. Finished before the clues today (just!)

  12. Merusa
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    This was pretty difficult for me, well, the bottom half mostly. Many, many clever and enjoyable clues; 9a, 2d, 15a, 18a, to name just a few. I needed the hints to get the “why” of 26a, pretty convoluted. Unlike others, I had no problem with 23d and was one of my first in. Another example of different wavelengths. Thanks to all.

  13. angel
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Quite a challenge after yesterday’s cakewalk! Glad to know I was not alone in having trouble in SE corner mainly due to putting wrong ending to 7d – in fact I think that would have been a better solution as it avoids the abbreviation! ****/**.

  14. Heno
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Big dave for the hints. Great fun as usual from Virgilius, I was ok until the end, where I had six clues to solve. Needed the hints for all those, that took me ages to finally get all the answers. I think my crossword brain switched off after watching 2 live football matches :-) Had trouble with 14a,17a,25a,26a,20d,23d. Would never have got any of them without the hints, and even had to look up 17a in a crossword solver, despite using the technique to join wires together when I was working!! Brilliant puzzle, favourites were 1a & 2d. Was 4*/4* for me.

  15. Toni
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    I too was unsure about the ending of 9d but decided adding pointed the way.
    Do I earn a place in the pedants’ corner if I say for the other ending it would have had to be “addition”?
    Very enjoyable. I’ve only recently started to try the Sunday one so feel really pleased to complete it albeit with a little help.
    Thanks to both. How do you know who the setters are? Then I can avoid my Thursday nemesis or at least be aware.

    • crypticsue
      Posted September 22, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      How we know the names of the setters is a frequently asked question so the answer can be found

    • Kath
      Posted September 22, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      I still think that the Sunday crossword is a completely different animal. I haven’t yet found any way to explain why that is so – it just is!! In PB (pre -blog) days I gave up even trying – I just couldn’t do them but now it feels as if there is a ‘security blanket’ and when I get stuck someone will help. The end result of having that ‘security blanket’ is that I don’t get stuck very often – although I did get in a complete muddle today trying to understand the finer points of 23a.

      • Toni
        Posted September 22, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

        I agree thatit’s a different animal

      • Kath
        Posted September 22, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

        PS – 23d not across! :roll:

  16. Hrothgar
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    All the verys – clever, challenging, enjoyable, funny in places.
    Finished up with wanting 23d and 2d
    After a lengthy stare, got 23d, then changed my entire thinking on 2d and got it.
    No excuse for not getting an anagram a bit quicker!
    Many thanks Virgilius and BD for the review.

  17. 2Kiwis
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    A truly excellent puzzle. Good enough to make us break our usual pattern of not commenting on the prize puzzles to say a special thank you to the setter.
    Many, many thanks Virgilius.

  18. slartibartfast
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    I rarely comment on the quality of the crossword, i have to make an exception here. I thought this was terrific, 1a very good, 9a brilliant. 25a made me laugh. And how do you clue a word like 11a? Many others.

    • una
      Posted September 22, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      That’s quite some moniker, I’ll puzzle over for a bit.And Virgillius never lets us down.And I like your avatar. Tartifartblast ?

      • Kath
        Posted September 22, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        How odd that you and I have both commented for the first time this evening on a ‘name’ that pops up from time to time.

        • una
          Posted September 22, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

          I think it’s called serendipity.(excuse spelling if necessary ).

      • slartibartfast
        Posted September 23, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        Avatar taken on approach to st peter port , guernsey . Mobile phone camera so i was pleased with it.

    • Kath
      Posted September 22, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      . . . not to mention how the hell do you spell 12a? I know how to spell it but as soon as I had to think about it properly it all went completely wrong! Then I had to look it up!! :roll: And anyway where does your ‘name’ come from?

      • una
        Posted September 22, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        I got the spelling from the anagram solver, I’m resorting to electronic help again. I guess I’m a rescidivist.

  19. pommers
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Just popped in to say that if Virgilius can ever produce a better puzzle than this then I will be first in the line for a copy! Absolute brilliance as far as I’m concerned.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    Who is your favourite? According to Kath you can only have one so I don’t have a favourite but rank in two tiers – top guys are Virgilius, Jay, Giovanni. Rufus and RayT (in no particular order). Second tier is everyone else, and they’re all bloody good too :grin:

    • una
      Posted September 23, 2013 at 12:35 am | Permalink

      I think Virgilius has produced better, and I am so looking forward to his Guardian puzzle for March 17th, only 6 months to go.With regard to your order of preference, I am in agreement , except for Ray T, whom I don’t really get,yet. Also Rufus should be higher.

  20. Only fools
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Favourite puzzle for some time or was it last Sunday’s ,must be Virgilius again !
    Thanks to himself and himself
    Nice to see you again Hrothgar .

  21. Catnap
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Masterly or what! This is a superb puzzle. Enjoyment at least ***** . I found it fairly difficult, although I did complete it without recourse to Big Dave’s illuminating hints. Alas! I see I missed one or two subtleties — but then Virgillius’s puzzles are full of them. I await the full review with much interest. Seeing how each clue is put together enhances my appreciation. Many thanks to Virgillius and Big Dave.