ST 2711 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2711 (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           Cut around page prominently displayed (8)
A verb meaning cut with a sharp blade around P(age)

9a           What might interrupt play in a final, badly received by both sides (8)
An anagram (badly) of A FINAL inside (received by) the abbreviations of each of the two sides

13a         Quickly responded with first of replies I sent off (8)
The initial letter (first) of Replies and the I from the clue followed by a verb meaning sent off a letter

15a         Lavishly entertain like King George, ultimately (6)
An adjective meaning like a king followed by the final letter (ultimately) of GeorgE

16a         Capture on film taking out back, so send off (4)
Start with a verb meaning to capture on film and then drop the final (back) letter

20a         Spicy mixture paper published (6)
A slang word for a newspaper followed by an adjective meaning published or released

28a         Where people face charges, in a way (8)
A cryptic definition of a barrier across a road where drivers or pedestrians must pay to go further


2d           Sanctimonious and greedy, swallowing last of eclair (8)
An adjective meaning like a greedy creature around (swallowing) the final letter (last) of éclaiR

3d           Social science research, initially work included in collection of writings (12)
The initial letter of Research and a two-letter word for a musical work inside (included in) a collection of writings

5d           Leave out of team for lapse in the field (4)
two definitions – to leave out of a team and a lapse by a cricket fielder

6d           Following straight path, learner arrived ahead of time (8)
L(earner} followed by a phrase (2,5) meaning arrived ahead of time

8d           Singer embracing monarch, for example, as bosom pal (5,3)
A singer around (embracing) the regnal cipher for our monarch and the Latin abbreviation of for example

14d         Needing doctor after doctor for routine procedure (5)
The condition in which one is needing a doctor preceded by the abbreviation for D(octo)R

17d         Roman general writing on and off, for instance (8)
A famous Roman general followed by a two-letter abbreviation for writing or documents gives the types of words of which on and off are examples

22d         Weed oddly pernicious — it can damage crop (6)
The odd letters of WeEd followed by an adjective meaning pernicious

24d         Tiny piece using only half of alphabet (4)
Regular solvers will quickly spot this description of the first half of the alphabet (1,2,1)

25d         Actual event starts in Finland and ends in Baltic port (4)
The initial letters (starts) of Finland And followed by the final letters (ends) of BaltiC porT

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 Jerry Lee Lewis – The Killer (78)


  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Yet another brilliant prize puzzle from the Sunday Supremo! For the second time in two days I found the NW corner the hardest, which today pushed up the difficulty for me from 2* to 2.5* overall. My enjoyment rating today was 4* :smile:

    Too many good clues to mention them all, with lots of smiles and great surface readings, but my short list for favourite is 28a, 14d and 17d, with 17d taking the top spot.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    • Posted September 29, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      That’s a very neat way to avoid choosing more than one favourite and incurring the wrath of Kath!

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted September 29, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink


        P.S. I love “The Killer”. Or more accurately, I love his music. He is a somewhat flawed human being, but a wonderful performer. It’s hard to believe he is 78 today.

        • stanXYZ
          Posted September 29, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

          The Killer – Clip #1.

          My old fashioned music teacher once said to me “That is not the proper way to sit at the Pianoforte!”

      • Kath
        Posted September 29, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        Yes – definitely very sneaky! Rabbit Dave has escaped but my beady eyes are on the rest of them.

  2. Sweet William
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Thank you Virgilius for an excellent puzzle – I am still searching for the hidden words ! Many thanks BD for your hints.

    • Posted September 29, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Did you miss the one in 18 across?

      • Sweet William
        Posted September 29, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Yes !! Got the answer the hard way ! Clever chap this Virgilius ! Thanks Dave.

  3. jezza
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Virgilius for another fine Sunday puzzle. Last one for me was 17d. Thanks also to BD.
    I thought both prize puzzles this weekend are very good.

  4. una
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable as usual,though 6d took me almost as long as all the rest. Thanks to BD and Virgilius.

  5. Brian
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Great fun today but it did take a little while. Took ages to see 16a but don’t really know why.
    Thx to the setter and of course to BD.

  6. Kath
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    A great crossword and for once I’ve not only got all the answers but actually understood them all – that’s where it usually goes a bit wrong on Sundays.
    Even the four letter answers didn’t cause too much trouble apart from 5d – I had the first and last letters but spent a while trying to make it *um* – knew it wasn’t right and got there in the end. 20a took a bit of thinking about, as did 17d.
    I liked too many of these clues to put them all down so will just pick a few, plus my one favourite – there are days when I wish I’d never started this! 15 and 21a and 7 and 17d. My favourite was 2d – clues that end with those last three letters always seem to make me laugh.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  7. Hrothgar
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    So enjoyable, but with a welcome hard edge.
    Left, after a good start, with six to get.
    Last in 17d, brilliant clue.
    Many thanks Virgilius and BD for the review.

  8. Senf
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    A little bit tricky. Thanks to BD for some help in the SW corner. I had a total blockage on the two 4-letter clues, and I am still not sure about 16d, I have two possible endings to the word.

    • Posted September 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      I can’t think why!

      16d Son unable to get away without sufficient funds (8)
      S(on) followed by a word meaning unable to get away gives a colloquial word for without sufficient funds.

      • Senf
        Posted September 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        Thanks – my real problem was a blockage over the fourth letter of the answer.

  9. soup dragon
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    After really struggling with yesterday’s puzzle this one went in a treat with the exception of 26A. Came here hoping to find a hint but there isn’t one so I will have to keep trying! Thanks to all behind this wonderful site.

    • Posted September 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      It’s only easy when, like me, you know the answer!

      26a Flag of a European island unfinished (4)
      This flag grows in the garden and to find it drop the final letter (unfinished) from an adjective meaning “of a rather large European island”.

  10. soup dragon
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Got it! I’ve never heard of flag in that context, we live and learn.

    • crypticsue
      Posted September 29, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      You obviously neither solved, nor read my review of, last Saturday’s Prize Puzzle then :(

  11. neveracrossword
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    I found this much easier than yesterday’s prize crossword. Very enjoyable. Thanks to BD for explaining 24d.

  12. Heno
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A super puzzle from Virgilius as usual. Too many Favourites to list them all, 20a made me laugh loud, 9a was good, and the best was 17d. Last in was 6d. Was 2*/4* for me. Lovely day in Central London, managed a short bike ride and a short run.

  13. Tantalus
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Naughty Kath bans livid dingus for praise (6,2,3,8)

    • Heno
      Posted September 29, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      To do with favourites?

      • Kath
        Posted September 29, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        Almost certainly but a) if it’s an anagram I can’t do it and b) I haven’t even been naughty today! :sad: But there is still time. :smile:

        • Heno
          Posted September 30, 2013 at 12:04 am | Permalink

          I couldn’t solve It either, but it probably involves something about Favourites.

          • Tantalus
            Posted October 5, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

            Naughty Kath bans livid dingus for praise (6,2,3,8)

            Praise to our leader and the setter from anagram (naughty) of KATH BANS LIVID DINGUS.

  14. Derek
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Virgiliuses usual fine ending to the week!

    Faves : 11a. 20a, 21a, 23a, 28a, 3d, 4d, 8d, 12d & 17d.

    Still enjoying the Indian Summer here in NL!

    Have a fillet of salmon for dinner tonight – oh how I miss the real wild variety we had when I lived in California! Of course, the farmed stuff is better than none at all!


    • Merusa
      Posted September 29, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      We can still buy wild salmon frozen, much better than the farmed stuff, but more expensive. It’s worth it, though.

  15. Derek
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink


    What happened to the flag between Germany and Jersey in the stats column?

    • Tantalus
      Posted September 29, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Geographically: Sark or Alderney?
      Or maybe NI, Wales, or Scotland.

      (More likely it is those visitors that have an IP address not associated with a specific country (or that are drug barons hiding in Portugal)?

    • Posted September 29, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      The widget may not be compatible with the latest version of WordPress. I’ve swapped the flags for Country name.

  16. Merusa
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Wow, finished this and had no questions regarding the “why” of any answer. That must be a record for me. I loved it all but some of it was difficult. I have to give special mention to 17d, what a clever clue. Thanks to all, very much enjoyed.

  17. Attila Thehun
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    A LOT less taxing than yesterday’s puzzle, but my head is much clearer today.

    Sadly, though, not clear enough to answer 8a “Present” in the Quick Crossword, for which I have _O_T. The only thing I can think of is “TOUT” … but it seems a stretch.

    Anyone help, please? I have 1d RESTRICT, and 8d CHORE. Feeling stupid at the moment.

    Many thx, whatever.

    • Posted September 29, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      It’s a verb and the answer is HOST.

      • Attila Thehun
        Posted September 30, 2013 at 6:14 am | Permalink

        Thx. I got it while trying to get to sleep.

  18. Tantalus
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Quick recap of the US rules, breaking of which mean the Naughty Corner.

    Rule 1: Do not provide better* hints (it upsets the management).
    Rule 2: Do not mention answers (or elements of the answers)
    Rule 3: Do not talk about sport (except those with balls or wheels or both).
    Rule 4: Do not mention completion times (it makes us feel inadequate).
    Rule 5: Do not use sweeping sexist generalizations (unless justified).
    Rule 6: Do not criticize fellow contributors (unless cunningly disguised).
    Rule 7: Do not use imperial metrics (it makes us feel old).
    Rule 8: Do not discriminate (We ‘americans’ are very sensitive).
    Rule 9: The refs’ decisions are final (unless they change their minds).

    BD: * Better hints are welcome, as long as they don’t involve giving away elements of the answer or the use of alternate clues that happen to give the same answer. But this only applies to the Saturday and Sunday prize crosswords.

    @BD – perhaps you can edit and publish on the site. Thx, Mr & Mrs T.

    • Kath
      Posted September 29, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      Not long after I dared to write my first comment (which was quite a long time after finding this blog – it took a while to summon the courage) I said that I wasn’t sure if it was OK to say something or other – can’t remember what now. BD said that the only two things that were banned were bad language and libel.

      • Posted September 29, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

        I have been forced into extending that to include religious bigotry. It’s really simple – polite discussion and banter is OK.

        Obviously there are special considerations where prize puzzles are concerned. The rule on one other site is “Please do not discuss (or even mention) current puzzles until after the solution is published” and on another “Prize puzzles should not be discussed, or commented on in detail, until the appropriate post has been published after the closing date for entries”. I don’t want to go that far, but I do ask that discretion be used.

        • Kath
          Posted September 29, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

          It is really simple – this site is clearly superior to any other. Thanks to all for making it so. :smile:

        • una
          Posted September 29, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

          Actually , I have been thinking for some little while that the only thing this visually attractive and extremely user friendly site lacked was a little box one could tick if one found a bloggers remarks to be racially or religiously or otherwise offensive.As it is , one is forced to take up the cudgels oneself.Perhaps it would spoil the look of things, but other blogs seem to have them.

          • Posted September 29, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

            It’ll never happen here.

            • Heno
              Posted September 30, 2013 at 12:11 am | Permalink

              Right on Dave. If someone does object to something, then they should state their case themselves. We don’t need tick boxes for things like that. One reason I think this site is so good is that it encourages spontaneous discussion.

              • una
                Posted September 30, 2013 at 12:44 am | Permalink

                I would normally agree with you and usually find myself of the same mind as youself as regards the difficulty of puzzles etc and I like hearing about your walks and runs around London. However, it has happened,that the aggrieved are censored,for taking up the cudgels, rather than the offender.

                • Posted September 30, 2013 at 8:37 am | Permalink

                  You well know that I found your responses offensive and bigoted and they were deleted along with the material to which you objected. If you repeat that sorry episode then my response will be the same as it was before.

                  Why don’t you just enjoy the blog and leave the administration to me?

  19. Cornish Pasty
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    After a very slow start I finally got into the swing of this one.

  20. Catnap
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    I think Virgillius’ puzzles are creme de la creme, and this was no exception. I thoroughly enjoyed each clue. In toto, enjoyment *****. It’s amazing how Virgillius never seems to use a word too many. Clues I liked especially include 9a, 21a, 8d, 14d, and 17d (brilliant!). I also very much enjoyed 18a. Not only is it very clever, but it appealed to me because, taken with its answer, the whole clue conjures up a vivid image. There must be many who empathise with an 18a situation!
    For once I didn’t need Big Dave’s hints but found them valuable nonetheless. It’s always nice to find oneself on the right track.
    Appreciative thanks to Virgillius and to Big Dave.