ST 2717 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2717 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2717 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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Only a week left to enter our November prize puzzle.

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 What could be my one way to make payment? (5,5)
An instruction to make an anagram (could be) of MY ONE

6a Slowly move part of foot (4)
Two definitions – the second being a unit of measurement

10a American serving in country area or city in Italy (7)
The usual two-letter abbreviation for an American soldier inside a country and A(rea)

12a Change in indigenous fashion, otherwise (13)
A charade of a verb meaning to change and an adverb meaning in indigenous fashion

15a Strange taste in European liqueur (8)
An anagram (strange) of TASTE IN E(uropean)

19a This hat, passed round, gets a chap a little money (6)
Reverse (passed round) a charade of the A from the clue, a chap, the second A from the clue and the abbreviation (little) of a British coin

22a Care about right ancestry, sons, and the boys’ friendly relationship (13)
A verb meaning to care about around R(ight) followed by ancestry and S S (Sons)

27a Support current attitude on stupid person (10)
The symbol for electric current followed by an attitude and preceded by (on in an across clue) a stupid person


1d You’ll find him among German novelists (4)
This German novelist, the author of Der Tod in Venedig (Death in Venice), is hidden (you’ll find him among) inside the clue

3d At sea, with this, many chaps could be sailing craft (13)
An anagram (at sea) of THIS MANY CHAPS gives the art (craft) of sailing

8d Gold, for example, found in this kind of rock (5,5)
Two definitions – the second being a type of rock music

ARVE Error: need id and provider

13d Irish writer first covering English game in Africa (10)
An Irish author, poet and playwright followed by an adjective meaning first or foremost around E(nglish) giving a type of game that is hunted in Africa

16d Like fairytale emperor or king, surrounded by curious people (8)
To get how the emperor from a famous fairy tale paraded his new clothes put K(ing) inside (surrounded by) some curious people

20d Top marks, bad mark? Stay neutral, in a way (7)
The highest two marks in an exam (until the new GCSE changes come into force, when they will be 9 and 8!) followed by a bad mark

21d British couple in Rome clothing family in swimwear (6)
B(ritish) and the Roman numerals for two (couple in Rome) around (clothing) a three-letter word for family

23d Create borders, those of England and Greece (4)
This verb meaning to create borders is derived from the outer letters (borders) of EnglanD and GreecE
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 Hugh Bonneville (50) and Sir Tim Rice (69)

41 comments on “ST 2717 (Hints)

  1. Rating: 1* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.

    What a joy again on a Sunday! I have run out of superlatives for Virgilius’ puzzles. I found this straightforward but oh so satisfying, with glorious surface readings throughout. My only hold up was with 1a, where the second word was my last one in.

    I marked lots of clues as enjoyable including 9a (what an excellent double anagram!), 2d, 3d and 16d. However, after the penny dropped, the devious 1a was my favourite.

    The sun is shining here in London so I’m going to spend my day in the garden for the last bit of pre-winter tidying up.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  2. Really nice day here today and a lovely crossword to go with it, I didn’t find it all that easy though and had to have your help Dave for 6a and 8d, a real Duh! moment when I got them and they are two of my favourites along with 19a, 4d and 20d, sorry Kath Thanks for the help Dave, have a lovely sunny afternoon all, an afternoon of football in this house!

  3. Loved it, loved it, loved it! Beautiful clues and lots of smiles. 1D, 2D, 8D and 19A were frontrunners but 1A and 16D could not be beaten. They are my favorites today.

    Mant thanks to Virgilius (on whom I have a big crush) and to BD for the review. Great illustration for 16D!

  4. I found this a little tricky in places, not helped by putting an incorrect answer for the second word of 2d.
    As always from Virgilius, an excellent puzzle; thanks to him, and to BD for the hints.

  5. 1* for difficulty? Yikes! I found this one of the hardest for a very long time. Got there in the end with a little bit of help from the BRB. Very enjoyable nevertheless.

    1. The difficulty rating is nothing if not subjective :-)

      If you have reached your destination (as you have) and enjoyed the journey along the way (as you did), then isn’t that better than it all being over in a flash? Faster isn’t always better, so I’m told…

      1. Full house from us, *****/***** (5 stars for fun and simplicity – our first ever 5/5.
        Thanks of course to the usual crew.

  6. I thought it was slightly trickier than usual but great entertainment as ever. Many thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  7. If I had a 19a I’d doff it to Virgilius for yet another superb puzzle. How does he manage to produce such beautifully smooth clues week after week?

  8. Finding myself on the right wavelength for once, I’d rate this about 1.5* for difficulty, 4* for enjoyment, although I confess I did need a little help from my electronic friend.

  9. What a delight! A nice variety of techniques required, a superb anagram (3D) and an Italian city that I haven’t seen in a crossword before. :-)

    If I have to pick one favourite, then it will be 16D for making me laugh. BTW BD, for 21D I read the “couple in Rome” as being two Italians, but it works either way.

    So, thanks to Virgilius and BD both :-)

    1. It may well have given you the right answer, but the abbreviation for Italian is two or four letters, not one. The IVR code for Italy doesn’t work in the context of the clue.

      I’m sure there must be some people who have never seen one of Brian Greer’s most quoted clues – “In which three couples get together for sex (5)” The answer is {LATIN}.

        1. I’m not ashamed – I wouldn’t have got that in a month of Sundays!

          Note to self: I must brush up on my Latin numbers!

      1. Good point BD, and indeed it was the IVR code that I had in mind :-)

        I am the proud holder of a Latin O level (grade 6, the lowest possible pass), and in my Latin class was referred to as “Sextus”, being the sixth name on the register and there being no obvious translation of my surname.

        Have you ever seen a clue using the subject matter in the following example:

        “Two rods, a pole and a perch? (5)”.

            1. Michael, the answer is chain.

              A rod = a pole = a perch = 5½ yards.

              So two rods, a pole and a perch = 22 yards = a chain.

              Which incidentally is why a cricket pitch is 22 yards long.

              1. I still don’t really understand, RD – Clever Clogs, for the second time today! Now we need a dunce’s hat, but, in the absence of that, I’ll just go for a!

  10. Completed this crossword with the usual help from BD & our electronic friend. Thank you very much setter & BD. Hurrah, the Magpies have won again. They seem to do better against good opposition, & then fail when playing Sunderland.

  11. Did Sunday’s cryptic all right, but am totally stuck by 6d in the quick. “Standards” – I’ve got -A-U-S. Have I gone wrong or am I just thick? All help gratefully received!

      1. Oh brillo – I was fiddling around with flags and all sorts of obscure meanings. Can now settle down to watching the Downton replay in a little while. Many thanks.

  12. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very good puzzle as usual from Virgilius. All plain sailing, until I got to 16d, managed to get it from the hint. Favourite was 1a. Super sunny day, managed a short bike ride and a short run this morning, back playing up after an overdose of squash ( not the cordial) last week. Come on the Gooners. Was 2*/5* for me.

  13. Another brilliant crossword – I really am getting better at Sunday puzzles which always used to defeat me – thanks to all for the expert tuition of the last three and a half years.
    I didn’t have too much trouble with this one so I’m assuming that it’s fairly straightforward for a Sunday.
    I’d missed the double anagram in 9a until Rabbit Dave pointed it out – thanks, Clever Clogs!
    I got all four of the long answers quickly – it’s usually the very long ones or the four letter words that take me ages.
    I had the wrong 25a country for a while – couldn’t explain it and anyway it’s not very northern but worked that out in the end.
    I liked 1 and 26a and 1, 2 and 8d, and lots of others too. My favourite was 16d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  14. Another super ***** puzzle from Virgillius. With so many excellent clues to choose from, it’s difficult to name a fave. But I really did like 9a, 13d, and 16d. I didn’t use your excellent hints, Big Dave, but on reading through them, I see that I need to remember the significance of ‘in Rome’ and similar!
    Thank you both very much, Virgillius and Big Dave.

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