ST 2715 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2715 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2715 (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           Spread in breadth, say (6)
B(readth) followed by a verb meaning to say

4a           Mighty hunter‘s sleeping quarters at home turned over (6)
A four-letter abbreviated form of some sleeping quarters and a word meaning at home, all reversed (turned over) – 10a/12a may provide some additional help!

10a/12a                Pieces by 21 Down, such as 4 — and 22? (6,10)
These pieces were written by the composer who is the answer to 21d – 4a is one of them and 22a can be derived from this answer

16a         Miles covered by fellow, one sailing in competition (12)
M(iles) inside a fellow and followed by I (one) and a phrase meaning sailing (2,4)

22a         Mischievous young woman finally detonating an explosive device (6)
The final letter of denotinG followed by the indefinite article and an explosive device– 10a/12a may provide some additional help!

24a         Score under 100 — that’s significant when opener’s dropped (6)
I loved this one! – the value that is a score under 100 is derived by dropping the initial letter (opener) from an adjective meaning significant

25a         Alarm time set by mistake (6)
T(ime) followed by a mistake


1d           Occasion for celebration, often involving light blow-out? (8)
A cryptic definition of an occasion at which lights are often blown out

2d           No-win situations besetting mass publication (5)
Situations in which neither side is winning around (besetting) M(ass)

7d           Set piece generally spotted in each half (6)
Or to put it differently – a piece, which is part of a set, on which each half of the face has a number of spots (usually!)

9d           Page with line inserted in necessary rewrite for scripts (11)
Insert P(age) and L(ine) inside an anagram (rewrite) of NECESSARY

15d         Having left, is about to catch up, one hears (8)
L(eft) and IS followed by the reversal (up in a down clue) of words meaning about and to catch

18d         Too old to have romance and passion? Not 50, for a start (4-3)
A charade of words meaning romance and passion from which the initial L (50 in Roman numerals) has been dropped

21d         Composer turning fifty in years, right? (5)
The reversal (turning) of the Roman numeral for fifty inside a number of years is followed by R(ight)

There are two events very cleverly interwoven into this puzzle, which can be solved without knowledge of either.

ARVE Error: need id and provider
RIP Lou Reed – (March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013)

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 John “Elgar” Henderson (50) and John Cleese (74)

48 comments on “ST 2715 (Hints)

  1. 2* Difficulty/5* Enjoyment for me today :grin:. To quote Craig Revel Horwood from Strictly Come Dancing, “One word : A- MAY- ZING”.

    This was a brilliantly entertaining puzzle as ever for a Sunday. I was very much in the right frame of mind having completed the NTSPP yesterday evening, which helped my thinking with several of the clues.

    I made nice steady progress with lots of smiles along the way, but finally got held up with my last two answers – 1a and 2d. I needed to take two breaks before both pennies dropped, and then the inevitable self-questioning – why did I find them so difficult? I’ve no idea, but full marks as usual to Virgilius for a potpourri of amusing, tricky, devious and topical clues.

    10a/12a was my favourite, with the wonderful twist at the end of the clue; but many more got short-listed including 13a, 24a, 1d, 15d, and, once I had worked it out, 1a.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  2. Not finished this yet but as luck would have it I am practicing 4a for Remembrance Day service with the band!!

  3. Unlike Rabbit Dave, I found it hard going.Once I saw the number clueing, my heart sank. After getting the composer in 21d, things improved. I’m not sure I agree that 22a definition is precisely the answer, no doubt I’ll stand corrected. Other “8a” ‘s.Perhaps I should get out more.Thanks to Virgillius and BD.

  4. Another fine Sunday puzzle, with a timely theme, and some excellently constructed clues. Many thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.
    Happy Birthday to JH.

  5. Young 21d is a lucky chap – so many crosswords for one birthday. Even without the two themes, this would have been a splendid puzzle anyway, but knowing the significance of some of the clues made it even more superb.

    Thanks to Virgilius and BD and Happy Birthday to John (and John).

  6. Absolutely loved every minute of this, particulalry as I had a go at the NTSPP yesterday. First one in was 1D and that got the ball rolling. 10/12A was the runaway favorite…until I came to 22A and that one pipped 10/12 at the post. I even found both of the events! ***** for enjoyment from me. Many thanks to the setter (Virgilius?) and to BD for the review.

  7. Finished at last, must say would never have got 22a normally but I think the inter connection of all those clues although very clever was a bit of a toughie and admit I would not have solved them if I hadn’t joined a band a few weeks ago!!

  8. Excellent stuff from Virgilius as usual!

    As others have said, doing yesterday’s NTSPP was a great help. I experienced a few déjà vu moments which somewhat reduced the D’Oh factor!

    “Great minds think alike ” springs to mind – thanks to Virgilius and all the other setters from yesterday.

  9. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A super puzzle, got most of the composer clues, but stuck on 22a and 7d. Any help would be much appreciated. Was 3*/5* for me. Favourite was 4a. Wind getting up now in Central London, fingers crossed for later.

      1. Well something very pecular happened when I “submitted ” my effforts on line and the computor accepted a wrong answer for 22a, where I had “******”, which I couldn’t work out, and it put me in bad form.This new solution puts a glossier slant on the whole thing and it is a much better puzzle than I thought. Thanks , Virgiius and stanXYZ. I wonder what else the computor shouldn’t have accepted.

        1. There’s nothing wrong with your computer. The answer you gave (which I have now deleted) is correct. Even if it had been wrong, I have specifically asked that you do not post incorrect answers.

              1. No cake today. Pears from the garden stewed with vanilla syrup, with home made chocolate sauce any good? Mr CS is rescuing as much fruit from the garden as he can before the storm blows it away.

                  1. Are you still planning on going away tomorrow? Haven’t seen an official request for time off . . .

                1. Made upside-down pear tart last night – there was one little tiny bit left over but husband ate it for breakfast to help his hang-over! :roll:
                  Spent morning trying to make garden as storm proof as possible.

                2. You must have a huge orchard … first of all exquisite peaches and now pears. Anything else?

  10. A really good crossword as usual. I thought it was going to be a tricky one to begin with but then got going.
    I had 23a wrong to begin with – was just about to ask someone to explain but have now seen the error of my ways. My answer meant the same but had a double letter in the middle.
    16a took a while – had the first five letters but couldn’t get any further for ages. 15d was my last one.
    I liked all the clues that were linked together and 13a.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Going to carry on with NTSPP – didn’t have enough time yesterday but not sure that I’m going to be able to finish it anyway.

  11. Brilliant puzzle and another lovely tribute to the Birthday Boy. Thanks to Virgilius and also to all involved yesterday.

    1. indeed, I raised a glass again (maybe 3) at sheffield tap whilst solving this morning, huge thanks to all involved with yesterdays bash, and Gnomey External and Toby for the curry and beers at silly o’clock :)

  12. A very enjoyable puzzle from the Sunday Maestro!

    In the clue for 10a & 12a shouldn’t this read ….such as 10 – and 22? I cannot see what 4a has to do with 21d!

    Got all the clocks on to winter time – 99% yesterday and was relieved to see today that my large-screen TV is automatic after getting nowhere with it yesterday!

    Fish and chips for dinner with a drop of rosé from the Var – brought here by my son who is still down there! Then blueberries and cream.

  13. This was a great puzzle and I loved it. My heart sank on first reading when I saw the clues within clues, not my favourites, but when I got 21d, everything then fell into place. How clever was all that, and appropriate, a huge thanks to Virgilius. I must also thank BD for some hints to explain the why, in particular 24a.

    As an aside and off subject, I just hope all of you keep safe in this forecasted “hurricane”. We’ll be thinking of you over here and hoping for no power cuts or floods.

  14. I enjoyed this one, although I needed help on 7d and 22a. I thought the linking of 10a/12a, 4a, 21d (and 22d) was brilliant – 4a is my favourite of 10a/12a. Thanks to Virgilius and BD. Hope this week’s puzzles are not too much of a challenge – as BST ended overnight, and the US does not “fall back” until next weekend, there will be one hour less of solving time before lights out each day.

  15. Thank you Virgilius. Managed to do most of this in bits and pieces during the long drive to Cornwall. Having arrived, I couldn’t finish it and needed your help BD with a couple in the NW corner which I could not see at all – many thanks for your help – also with the wordplay explanation for 9d. It is certainly rather breezy here on the N coast of Cornwall !

  16. Appreciated your guidance today, BD, on one or two clues dotted around the puzzle so I’ll share the prize with you – some hope! At least one doesn’t have to waste a postage stamp these days to enter. Now to batten down the hatches for the night in case the forecasters have got it right this time!

  17. It’s now raining quite hard in Oxford but no sign of much wind – can’t help thinking ‘wolf wolf’ but could have changed my mind by the morning – who knows? Whatever! Just be careful and stay safe to all of you.
    Quiet here today . . .

    1. Its been very windy here all day in Kent. It’s raining now too. Waiting to see what the morning brings.

  18. PS Sad about the death of Lou Reed – ‘Perfect Day’ and ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ would be in my list of top not quite sure what – not ten but possibly twenty, and if not that not far off.

  19. This was an absolute joy! :grin: ***** for enjoyment. Very difficult to choose a fave clue. Loved the theme.
    Big thanks to Virgillius for a superb puzzle and to Big Dave for his excellent hints.
    Belated but very Happy Birthday to John Henderson. (I have only ever attempted one puzzle, a ***** difficulty back-pager. I completed it but it took days!)

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