ST 2719 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2719 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2719 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a number 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           Glasses you need to stop and put on, we hear (8}
A collective word for, say, wine glasses is derived from a verb meaning to stop or staunch and what sounds like a verb meaning to put on or be dressed in

11a       Boxer knocking down couple in bus? (6-6}
Could be two people knocked down by a boxer, but it’s actually a type of bus

15a       Extract from judge’s conclusion in line with law (6}
This verb meaning to extract comes from the final letter () of judgE followed by an adjective meaning in line with the law

16a        One of two men never taken on board, not totally similar (4}
The are two chessmen that can never be taken, so start with one of them (1,4) and drop the final letter (not totally)

20a       Result of brain operation that’s incomplete, however (6}
Start with the result of using the brain and drop (that’s incomplete) the final letter

21a        Scruffy and shabby party clothes editor put on (3-5}
A charade of a part (2), some clothes (4) and ED(itor)

26a       Container in store we’re hiding, either way (4}
Hidden both forwards and backwards (either way) inside the clue

27a        Finish off stand of trees, possibly? (8}
The final letter (finish) of stanD followed by an anagram (possibly) of OF TREES

28a        Something dividing church in two or ten parts, unfortunately (8}
An anagram (unfortunately) of TEN PARTS


2d           Secret of much sporting success one can never produce (8}
A cryptic definition of the co-operation, pulling together, regard to success of the enterprise as a whole rather than personal exploits or achievement (thanks to Chambers for the definition)

3d           Bird that can be cooked with orange and honey (8,4}
A type of orange followed by a term of affection similar to honey or darling

6d           Club athlete from Cambridge perhaps welcoming BBC VIP to cricket side (8}
An athlete who has represented, say (perhaps), Cambridge University around the two-letter abbreviation for the controller of the BBC and followed by one of the two sides of the pitch in cricket

12d         Silly mistakes about providing female with husband in gripping yarns (12}
Some silly mistakes around a two-letter word meaning providing, F(emale) and H(usband)

14d         Having consumed tea, say, pronounced sober (5}
The letter that sounds like (say) tea inside (having consumed) a verb meaning pronounced or stated

17d         Have seniority around hospital as person who can see what’s going on (8}
A phrase meaning to have seniority in age (2,5) around H(ospital)

22d         State of so-called pig that’s experimentally tested? (6}
This animal, not actually a pig but has pig in its name, is often used, literally and metaphorically, for experimental testing

24d         Combination of keys that users might scoff at (4}
A combination of musical keys (letters in the range A-G) forms somewhere that one might scoff food

25d         Deposit on time that’s not needed if you chip in (4
A verb meaning to deposit or place followed by T(ime) gives a shot that is not needed if the golfer chips the ball into the hole

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 Sir Ian Botham (58) and Billy Connolly (71)

103 comments on “ST 2719 (Hints)

    1. Apparently the teccie who knows what button to press doesn’t work weekends. Either that or a passing unicorn tripped the wire as it was chasing a phoenix. They’ve used other hard to believe excuses in the past so why not this one?

      BD ~ thanks in anticipation.

        1. Nobody works there any day. There are so many problems with the ipad crosswords and sudoku and they couldn’t care less. Also you can’t copy any articles you want to save since the last update

          Finished the crossword at least!

  1. That was tough but very enjoyable!

    My rating today is 4*/4*.

    It took me ages for the pennies to drop regarding the wordplay for two of my answers: 16a, even though the board in question is something I use regularly; & 20a.

    1a &19d were new words for me but easily derived from the wordplay.

    As usual on a Sunday, there were a lot of great clues and I particularly liked 11a, 3d & 12d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and, once again in advance, to BD.

    P.S. Happy Birthday, Sir Ian. Your country desperately needs you! Presumably you are in Australia working for Sky so please call Alistair Cook and make yourself available.

    1. As always a most enjoyable Sunday crossword from Virgilius!

      RD, I had the same experience with 16a & 20a – it’s always nice to hear the penny finally hit the floor!

      26a – Very Virgilian!

      I presume that DT Puzzle subscribers will automatically be given a refund or an extension to their subscription!

  2. Thanks Rabbit Dave for teasing those of us who are sitting here, waiting for the IT crowd to stir their stumps (or another PDF). I live In the middle of nowhere and, being a subscriber to the online version, resent having to venture out to buy a paper version. Will be forced to do some housework if it doesn’t appear soon, and that’s almost unheard of on a Sunday! Retirement’s a wonderful thing and the daily brain puzzling keeps me sane. I think.

    1. Sorry about that, Baa. All I can say is it is well worth waiting for, but I hope you don’t have to wait too long.

      I totally agree with you about the benefits of a daily crossword in retirement.

  3. Many thanks in anticipation, BD, you’re a gem.
    Eagerly awaited.
    Apparently, the technical fault is caused by Mercury rising over Uranus.
    Or something like that.

  4. In the meantime…weather report for West Wales…fine and dry with just a hint of sunshine, best of all no wind

  5. I have the puzzle up on my android Hudl but the application is almost impossible to use, so will have to wait. I’ll have to finish raking up the leaves in the garden!

  6. In the meantime … I can thoroughly recommend yesterday’s NTSPP – 198 by Toro. I found it most enjoyable. Am now going to turn my attention to yesterday’s Prize Puzzle. Thanks to Big Dave, I have a .pdf copy.

  7. Whilst all those out there with digital subscriptions are gnashing their teeth, have you heard about the Maintenance Manager, Quality Manager and IT Manager who work for the same company?

    They were travelling in the same car when the brakes failed. After a terrifying few minutes the car was brought under control and they managed to stop. The three of them then considered what to do.

    The Maintenance Manger said, “One of the hydraulic brake lines must have split. Give me a few minutes. I can fix it and we can carry on our way”.

    The Quality Manager said, “No, no, no! We must do a detailed root cause analysis so that we understand the problem before we can fix it”.

    The IT Manager said, “Oh, come on. Let’s just get back in the car; we can get going and see if the same thing happens again”.

    1. Although I can see that you might think this crossword capable of producing feelings of fear (thank you BRB), have another look at the clues. As usual with Virgilius the wordplay is beautifully written, it is possible to sort out the definitions and I for one thoroughy enjoyed myself.

  8. Gave up waiting for the website to come good, so tramped through the mud to my local newsagent for the papyrus version. Wondered why I bothered when first I scanned the clues. Not one could I solve!

    Then slowly it came together and, when finished, earned 4/4. A good ‘un.

  9. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the scan. I finished this ok, must have been on the right wavelength. Last in was 4d. Favourites were 16,20,23a and 17&22d. Super puzzle. Was 3*/4* for me. Spurs on the receiving end at the moment.

    1. Afternoon Heno.
      Where did you get the scan, I’m suffering withdrawal symptoms without the crossword!

      1. Malcolm, I don’t know how Heno got his, but I just followed BD’s instructions at the top of this page to email Phil McNeill himself and, sure enough, Phil has just sent me a (home-made!) PDF. I am just making a cup of tea to sit down with it now!

  10. I downloaded the Guardian puzzle in the meantime and cannot write in a single answer! Total washout. I’m certainly not going to give that rogue Murdoch one penny, so the Times is out. I hope “herself” takes him for gazillions. I’ll get my book and spend some quiet time reading. Wotta cockup.

  11. Thanks to Phil McNeill – Sunday is the only day I don’t drive anywhere so I do rely on the site (we live 2 miles from the nearest shop).

    I didn’t find this too tricky at all and had great fun as usual. Thanks to Virgilius once again.

  12. Phew…finished without help today…..totally amazing. I’m sure if the hints had been there, we would have been tempted to have a peek, so perhaps an ill wind and all that. Thank you BD & the setter. We love newspapers, well some of them, but use my iPad for assistance & for the fun of the comments.

  13. Yes, much thanks to Phil Mc Neill, almost done, though I am stuck on 2d., 16a and 24a.Would any of you speedy solvers like to help ?

    1. Have a look at comment 12 above. The ‘conversation’ may help you get 2d.

      16a the definition is ‘similar’ – almost all of one of two ‘men’ on a ‘board’
      I presume you mean 24d – somewhere you might ‘scoff’ is a combination of certain keys.

      I am full up of lovely pudding so am not going to say any more in case I end up in the corner and have to eat cake.

      1. Thanks, got it now , 16a helped, and its a very good clue.I wonder if I had put on the central heating, would I have got it faster.All in all , a terrific puzzle, in the end .Thanks to Virgillius and CS.

      1. I’ve only heard this “term of endearment” in Nottingham?

        Talking of which … Sir Ian Botham scores very highly when it comes to the batsmen who have most frequently failed to score a single run in Ashes Test matches! Happy Birthday to Beefy!

  14. Thank you Virgilius – a real fight today. Had a good start this morning over breakfast in our hotel, but having got home and settled down to finish it, it got harder and harder. Last in 20a – penny drop moment ! only got that when I finally got 17d and had the checking letter. All good fun !

  15. I’ve emailed Phil and he’s ignoring me! The withdrawal symptoms are so bad that I have to lie down in a darkened room for a while. Isn’t technology a wonderful thing?

    1. Me too. Got an auto response saying he was away from laptop til 6pm. Poor fellow’s probably been chained to it all day. Ho hum

  16. Slightly harder puzzle from Virgilius this Sunday!

    Faves : 11a & 3d.

    Steak, frites & sla for dinner tonight!

  17. This took me a very long time. On reflection, I wonder why I found a few clues so difficult. Needed the hint for 20A and the explanation for 16A.. Favorites were 12D and 17D. Although I see 1A as an “Americanism,” it took me ages to twig.

    Thanks to BD for the review and the link and to Phil for his prompt response (would it be badgering to e-mail him for a PDFevery day that the site’s down, I wonder?). Kudos to CS for being so willing to help out those who missed Phil’s earlier window of opportunity and for hanging out here to help with hints.

    Off to look at the Everyman now.

    1. Agree with everything you said, especially CS for all her help, on a Sunday, no less. The people who run this site are pure salt of the earth! We send many thanks and appreciation. (You will enjoy the Everyman … I’d never done one before but did today on pommer’s recommendations and was not at all sorry. Pure candy floss but entertaining)

      I found this puzzle hard, too, but definitely do-able and many “aha” moments. Difficult to get into, but once in, the rest fell into place.

      Thanks to all again.

        1. I put “border”; “b” for bishop and “order” as book/order a table in a restaurant, and “border” as a border bed of flowers. Too obtuse do you think?

          1. That’s it! Thanks. Not the word I had in mind, though. All I could think of was ‘buried.’

  18. Second day in a row I hadn’t heard of 1a, which is never a good way to start. Needed a couple of hints but got there in the end.

  19. I found this difficult and needed the hints just to get going. Once BD had helped me with a few of the across clues I was off and managed to finish all bar one…

    19d is driving me mad – I’m sure it’s simple (no-one else has asked for a hint) but I just can’t see it! Would someone get me to the point where I can kick myself please?

    1. 19d Reveal changes in work becoming clear by spring? (8)
      An anagram of reveal inside an abbreviation of work.

      1. Thanks Gazza!
        Well at least I don’t need to kick myself – A word I seem to have lived my life without encountering (I would have constructed a phrase with the elements of the word the other way around) – but Chambers confirms it.
        Thanks again…

  20. or what today, or is it just me? Out of routine as we’ve been on a flying visit to see Pet Lamb No 1 and partner’s new house in Richmond(ish).
    I thought this was on the tricky side of normal for a Sunday.
    Did a few sitting by the fire in daughter’s house (keeping well out of the way) but lots of noise and swearing going on (husband trying to help daughter fit cat-flap) so concentration not too good – wasn’t sure who was going to kill who . . .
    Eventually got home at about 6.00pm and most of the rest fell into place.
    I’m glad that others had trouble with 16a and 2d as I needed all the help I could get with those. There were words that I’d never heard of – 1a and 19d.
    Too many that I liked to mention all but thought that 3d was wonderful.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    1. I agree with Expat Chris that 1a is more an American usage, so not surprised you didn’t know it.

  21. Several people have mentioned 1A as being a new word to them. This is a common term in the USA xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Similarly, xxxxxxxxx here is what you (and I) call cutlery and covers everything from silver plate to plastic picnic ware. Cutlery in the USA means kitchen knives. Worth remembering for the future.

    I have no problem (albeit some difficulty these days) with peculiarly British terms being included in crosswords. After all, the puzzles are British. I do wonder, though, if its fair game to the wider British readership to include what would appear to be less well-known Americanisms.

    1. Well, I didn’t know that about cutlery or xxxxxxxxxx Interesting. Learn something every day and your day has not been wasted!

    2. Just realized that in my enthusiasm I unwittlingly gave away the answer to a prize crossword. So sorry. I await the wrath of BD…and bread and water in the dungeon.

      1. It’s not a dungeon – I should know as I’ve been there lots of times and as for the bread and water you needn’t worry too much – I sneaked into CS’s freezer and stole all the bite sized mince pies that she’s stored up for the church Christmas thingie – she hasn’t noticed yet!!

  22. A bit tricky but beautifully clued as usual from Virgilius. We’re a day late solving and very grateful to Phil for sending us the pdf so we didn’t miss out altogether.
    Thanks all round.

  23. Nothing to do with crosswords but I just want to mention Ireland’s heroism in defeat today. I got up at 6.30 (half an hour into the match) with the plan of checking how far New Zealand were ahead and then going back to sleep. When I saw the score I headed off for Kell’s Irish Pub in downtown Portland and saw the second half.

    At half-time on the Internet someone had posted “Green is the new black”. Alas, not to be.

    1. I’ve just watched the game on BBC iPlayer!

      The Luck of the Irish? Bad Luck!

      (And the comment above yours is from the 2Kiwis)

      P.S. Nice crossword today – as usual! Much appreciated!

  24. I’m saving my Sunday’s for tomorrow as I just know that there won;t be one on Monday. Until we get a pdf, thanks to Phil, of it which I can then do on Tuesday morning etc. Clever, huh?

    1. Wash your mouth out! How can you say there won’t be a puzzle tomorrow, it’s a RUFUS day, how can you doubt!

  25. Wow that was a real struggle but glad I wasn’t the only one! 21a, 23a and 6d provided lighter moments. Must say Ireland certainly didn’t cover themselves with glory at end of game even giving All Blacks a second go at conversion.

  26. Now Monday 10am here and still no puzzles site… Not exactly inspirational server uptime…

  27. Completed this without the hints and I agree with the others who thought it a tad harder than usual for a Sunday, albeit still a pleasure to solve.

    Thanks to BD , Virgilius & Phil McNeill for pinging the pdf across, although I note the site is still grovelling apologetically while not providing the service we, as subscribers, have already funded. 36 hours is not an acceptable timeline for a crossword site to be down due to “technical difficulties”.

  28. If you ring up the Telegraph and ask to speak to someone about the missing online crossword service then they will email you the days crossword (and do so for subsequent days until the problem is fixed). 020 7931 2000 is the number

    1. Roger ~ thanks. I’ve just spoken to a very helpful young man called Nathan. I now await an e mail confirmation although I’ve already received today’s puzzles from Phil McNeill.

  29. I only got around to asking Phil McNeill for a pdf this morning. I found this one a little trickier than recent Sunday puzzles, and interestingly my last three in all contained double unches.
    Many thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

      1. Normally they don’t cause me a problem. I haven’t looked at Rufus yet; that’s next on the list.

  30. OK – I’ve looked and looked, but I can’t find the instructions for getting the Saturday and Sunday PDF’s

    I looked on the Telegraph web-site for Phil McNeill but he’s not listed with all the “normal” journalists.

    I’ve e-mailed Telegraph but had no reply.

    4 whole days now with no access is a joke – haven’t they heard of hot standby servers?!?!?!?!?

    And I’ve got a blood pressure monitor on for 24 hours – timed to perfection

      1. Thanks a lot – hopefully be able to get them posted in time!

        I hope that the Telegraph are extending the deadline this week.

  31. This was a splendid Virgillius puzzle. I am so far behind I shall wait for the full review before commenting. In the meanwhile, I would like to say hats off to all who have been working so hard on this wonderful blog. And especial thanks too, to Phil McNeill for ensuring we can still get our puzzles.

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