ST 2714 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2714 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2714 (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           Keep tight grip on mechanism controlling engine (6)
Two definitions

10a         It encourages popular change for Americans, I have to conclude (9)
A two-letter word for popular followed by the kind of change an American might have in his pocket and the abbreviation for “I have”

11a         It’s not good to drive into these carriages (5)
Two definitions – the first one especially for golfers

13a         Offer a lot, as you said, in legal case (7)
A verb meaning to offer a lot for sale is derived by putting the letter that sounds like (said) you inside a legal case

14a         Girl‘s good time in Paris, going by air (5)
This girl’s name is part of a song (going by air) about a good time to be in Paris

ARVE Error: need id and provider

23a         What makes men poorly in India etc is no problem for elephants (7)
An anagram (poorly) of MEN inside the land mass of which India is a part, along with numerous other countries

26a         Daft way in which judge, referee, or umpire reaches conclusion (5)
They way (2,2,1) in which each of three words in the clue finish (reaches conclusion)

29a         In New York or Washington, say, Democrat is announced (6)
As well as being cities, the type of territory of which New York and Washington are examples (say) followed by D(emocrat)


1d           Lawless section of Pacific Rim, in Alaska (8)
Hidden (section of) inside the clue

3d           New composition for cantor left to female singer (9)
An anagram (new composition) of CANTOR followed by L(eft) and TO

5d           RA, perhaps, excited about best people in art school (3-11)
An anagram (excited) of RA PERHAPS around the pick or best of anything

6d           Like area of Greece once that’s reached by final flight (5)
Two definitions – the second one being that part of a house that is reached by the final flight of stairs

8d           Acting to contain onset of sickness? (6)
In this &Lit / all-in-one clue a verb meaning acting as in taking action around (to contain) the initial letter (onset) of Sickness

16d         Coaches, for example, after short time controlled game (9)
The short form of T(ime) followed by a three-letter verb meaning controlled and a game or recreation

22d         List of charges provided after scoundrel upset female (6)
A two-letter word meaning provided after the reversal (upset in a down clue) of a scoundrel and followed by F(emale)

24d         Top player without piano to perform quick movement (5)
A top player in, for example, a tennis tournament around (without) P(iano)

I’ve been having a lazy morning after a log, tiring but very enjoyable day in Wapping.

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.

Please read these instructions carefully. Offending comments may be redacted or deleted.

Today it’s Happy Birthday to Wanda Jackson (76)
ARVE Error: need id and provider

45 comments on “ST 2714 (Hints)

  1. A lovely puzzle which, if I had started with the Downs, might have stopped me worrying that I had post-Wapping stress disorder. To appease Kath, I will just say that I have two clues with ** by them and several others with *.

    Thanks once again to Virgilius and to BD too.

  2. V stingy with the hints. Here is a contribution:
    9d. AanRamg of IRRITABLE MAN with IS meaning laissez-faire doctrine.

    Thx to v & bd (and Mrs T)

  3. Thank you Virgilius, entertaining as usual and thanks to BD – clearly operating under difficult circumstances ? Beyond the call of duty.

  4. My rating for this superb puzzle is 2* for difficulty and 3.5* for enjoyment. There are lots of interesting and amusing clues with excellent surface readings; I marked 23a, 26a, 28a, and 5d as especially good, with 8d my favourite.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  5. I hit Virgilius’ wavelength straight away and thoroughly enjoyed this. I had two in particular that I loved…5D (almost the first one in) and 8D (very clever, I thought) but also liked 19A and 23A a great deal . If I’m correct in my rationale for 14A, then add that clue to the list. 9D was the last one in. Many thanks to the setter and to BD

    1. I hope I put the correct word in for 14a, I used the French. Don’t know if that is breaking the rules, but I hope it’s right.

        1. I don’t know what is going on. I tried to thank you for your correction, and it came back asking me to type some numbers to prove I’m human, but when I did it told me I was incorrect. Anyway, if this comes through, “thank you”!

  6. A lovely puzzle and not too much trouble with many of the clues.
    Unravelling 5d took a while – just couldn’t find the ‘best people’ for a ridiculously long time.
    My last two were 11a and 6d – dim again, specially with 6d.
    Nearly missed the middle-of-the-clue bit of 1d – will I ever learn? Probably not!
    Far too many brilliant clues to pick out a favourite but I loved 23 and 26a and 8d.
    I’m fairly sure my answer for 21d is right but I don’t understand why.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD – I think it sounds as if a lazy day is needed, and deserved.
    It’s absolutely chucking it down in Oxford. :sad: I’m really glad that I cut the grass a couple of days ago. :smile: Just about to attack ironing mountain. :sad:

      1. Thank you. :roll:
        However did I get in such a muddle with that? I had the first two letters as the ‘British’ bit – the fourth and last letters as the ‘court’ which left me with an untidy tangle of unexplained letters when it was quite an easy clue after all! Oh dear . . .

          1. Why were we both slow with that one? It was probably one of the easier clues – oh well, never mind – you win some, you lose some, or whatever the expression is. Really nice to know I wasn’t the only one, so thanks. :smile:

            1. I worked it out, but this was the only clue I really did not like at all, probably because I don’t think that particular striker should be spelled that way. Call me old fashioned, but…

              1. Ah – you mean it should be spelt with a ‘?’? I hesitated to mention that that was why I had trouble in understanding the why bit.

                1. Sorry to whoever rubbed me out! I did have a think about it before I wrote it and decided it was OK – obviously not. Wrong again! :sad:

    1. If you click on reply, even if it is to your own comment rather than a response, it keeps the linked comments/queries together.

  7. This was another great puzzle, I loved it, not just because it was easy, but also it shores up the confidence of us with lesser brilliance. Last one in was 9d, I had all the letters so it was a matter of fitting in the missing ones from the anagram. Thanks to Virgilius and BD for review, albeit limited! I am amazed that you are still standing, you must be exhausted.

  8. Interesting puzzle today, partly easy partly tricky for me. Not sure 1a is strictly accurate unless it is intended to be misleading.

  9. Hugely enjoyable especially 26a. My thanks to Virgilius, indeed to all the setters, and also to all you guys who put in such sterling work in helping me keep the little hair I have left!

  10. Can anyone help with 6 down? I need this to complete and I can’t make head nor tail of the clue???

    1. 6d is an adjective describing an area of Greece. As a noun it is a bit of your house that you might get to by going up the last flight.

  11. When I first looked at this this morning I couldn’t do one, then after a shower and breakfast it all came together with a bit of electronic help and perservation, I have three I like but no favourites! 23a, 26a and 21d when I eventually ‘got’ it, I have been off to band practice again today and must admit I wonder what I’m doing there???! I get totally lost, I am used to just playing melody lines and don’t know what I’m doing half the time or where I am in the music! :oops:
    Thanks for hints Dave tho’ I didn’t use them today

  12. We just needed electronic help today. It took a bit of doing, but we got there in the end, I think! Thank you to all concerned.

  13. I found it quite difficult, so the later posting forced me to work out for myself, with electronic help. Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  14. The second definition in 1a is surely incorrect. The mechanism controls the drivetrain, not the engine.

    1. Boy stuff, I think! If I see a clue that has either of the words mechanism or engine in it I go a bit glazed. This was near enough for me!

      1. PS If one clue has both of those words in it I switch off completely.
        Since I’m practising the use of bold and italics could someone tell me when to use which – or doesn’t it matter, as long as I remember to get the right ‘switchy offy bit’ at the end of whatever I’m trying to do! Thanks to BD for sorting out my comment on the NTSPP page yesterday.

  15. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. Super puzzle as usual from Virgilius. Glad BD enjoyed himself yesterday. Enjoyed It immensely, 26a, 28a and 19d deserve a mention, but Favourite was 12a. I had one letter wrong in 12a. Was 2*/4* for me. Torrential rain this afternoon in Central London.

  16. The usual Sunday service – just brilliant! I see the transfer of the “King of the Hidden Word” jersey is being contested – really liked that one :smile:

    Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  17. This was a really super Virgillius puzzle but I didn’t really do it justice. Mr Catnap gave me the answer to 14a, but I needed Big Dave’s hint to explain ‘going by air’. Also needed the hint for 22d where I knew the answer but succeeded in spelling it wrongly so it wasn’t possible to parse correctly. Oh my! :oops: Hint needed for 26a — what a clever clue! Hint also needed for 24d. (Had the ‘p’ but couldn’t think what went round it.) So, thank you very much indeed for most welcome help, Big Dave. And thank you, too, Virgillius for an excellent puzzle.

  18. I didn’t start this until this afternoon (who’d have thought retirement could be so busy eh?)
    I thought the whole thing a delight….. except 1a which spoiled it for me. It was almost the last in for me & I only got it by pretending to be an engineering ignoramus! Attilla is spot on in his criticism here.
    I’d still give it 4* for enjoyment though, too many favourite clues to list.

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