ST 2721 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2721 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2721 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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Why not try your hand at the December Prize puzzle.

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           Celebrated fellow introducing prophetic work about university (6)
F(ellow) followed by a prophetic work from the Old Testament around U(niversity)

Russian icon of the prophet Amos

10a         Deflect criticism from very short show (9)
The abbreviation (short) for V(ery) followed by a verb meaning to show or point out

11a         Using few words repeatedly included by better setters, etc (5)
A trademark Virgilius clue in which the answer is hidden (included) not once but twice (included)

12a         Search Internet link the wrong way, in excess (7)
A verb meaning to search the internet followed by the reversal (wrong way) of a link

14a         Finally shortened book of world records? (5)
A phrasal adverb meaning finally (2,4) without its final letter (shortened)

15a         Charming article on the cards about Queen (8)
The indefinite article followed by an adjective meaning on the cards or possible around the Latin abbreviation for Queen

18a         It enables speculator to see what’s central to board (5-3)
Cryptically this is what someone who speculates in stocks and shares uses in order to be able to see

26a         Excellent fish found in British stream (5)
Two definitions for this word which is derived from B(ritish) followed by a small stream

29a         Scot’s understanding no backward African (6)
A Scottish word for understanding or knowledge followed by the reversal (backward of a three-letter word meaning no


1d           Top-quality light installed in tree (4-4)
An adjective meaning top quality when applied to something like a hotel is derived by inserting a light or match inside a tree

5d           European with brief lecture that is about one group engaged in politics (14)
E(uropean) followed by the abbreviation (brief) for LECT(ure), the Latin abbreviation for that is around ONE and finally a group

7d           Cut line holding a Spanish ship (7)
A verb meaning to cut, for example, meat and L(ine) around the A from the clue gives a small, fast Spanish sailing ship

8d           Possibly hiding-place for ace record-holder (6)
Two definitions – where a card-sharp might hide an ace and a holder for a vinyl record

9d           Awfully ill, appreciates incomplete coverage – seen as ominous by some (7,7)
An anagram (awfully) of ILL APPRECIATES

17d         Accommodation over club that’s no longer a pressing requirement (8)
Some accommodation over a type of golf club gives an item that used to be used for pressing clothes

22d         Weak player has rook and bishop captured by a piece (6)
R(ook) followed by B(ishop) inside (captured by) the A from the clue and a small piece

24d         Complete classical quartet turned up in house (5)
An adjective meaning complete and the Roman (classical) numeral for the number in a quartet all reversed (turned up in a down clue)

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 Kim Basinger (60) and James Galway (74)
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25 comments on “ST 2721 (Hints)

  1. Why is it that the DT Sunday Cryptic has a different ‘feel’ to it? Anyway, 2*/3* for me. Completed sans assistance but unsure about 4a and 15a which I don’t really get. It could be I have them both totally wrong, of course. Off to the pub… I wish. Ah, I see you have posted the hints now, Thanks BD.

    1. It has a different feel because it is set by one of the best -ever setters of cryptic crosswords, and we are very lucky to have a puzzle from him every week.

      4a Addict losing head with bad habits, hence court actions (8)
      A drug addict without (losing) his initial letter (head) followed by some bad habits gives some actions on the tennis court

      1. Aggh! Tennis Court. How stoopid. I see now Thanks v much. It’s strange how you can still get tram-lined in your thinking even though you tell yourself to look at every possible meaning of the words in the clue.

        Best-ever setter. Quite an accolade – I’ll have a go at more of them then. Thanks for that.

  2. Having read BD’s hints , I found I needed to alter , slightly, 10a.Terrific surface readings in the anagrams.Lots of great clues, including 6d, 13a, 20a, 14a . I didn’t find it anything like as hard as last week. Thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Could it be , that not being able to access letter hints is nudging up my solving ability a teeny bit ?Treasonable, I suppose.

    1. P.S Thanks for the really lovely James Galway video.Some say that if there ever was an all island Ireland, this should be the anthem.

  3. Thank you Virgilius – not your hardest I was relieved to see – which allows time for assisting with the Christmas tree etc. That reminds me – Spindthrift, if you are there, I was wondering if the NATS glitch yesterday affected the operations of your Control Tower ? Maybe you were the beneficiary of the temporary shut down ? Jennings ? Thanks BD for your hints and hard work.

    1. The Control Tower was decking out her mother’s house while I went to York to deliver Crimbo presents to the family. This obviously necessitated an overnight stay during which me & my old man slipped out for a couple of cheeky ones. This was only marred by the fact that York city centre was absolutely rammed with shoppers & tourists which meant the pubs were overflowing (& not with Jenning’s either!)

  4. Apart from a bad start (marmalade all over the crossword so had to wipe it off and put on radiator to dry) I didn’t have any trouble today.
    The usual 26a crossword with lots of 26a clues.
    I liked 20 and 27a and 21d. My favourite, and one of my last, was 1d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Back to whizzing, well, plodding anyway, round garden with lawn mower collecting up leaves again and hopefully for the last time this year.

  5. We managed to complete today’s crossword before the hints appeared, so we’re feeling a little smug, though not too much as it’s a rare occurrence. Thank you to the setter & to BD.

  6. Excellent puzzle today, came together very nicely. Thx to BD for explaining 11a, missed the inclusion but got the answer anyway. Is it me or or is there a huge 12a of the letter V today? Hard to pick a favourite as they are all good but if I had to it would be 18a.
    Many Thx to Virgilus for a super Sunday crossword.

  7. Close to perfection for me today! 3*/5*

    7d was a new word for me, but easily derived from the wordplay. I’m not sure why, but 12a was my last one in.

    When I had finished, my page was littered with asterisks, with 4a, 14a, 20a, 26a, 8d and 9d getting special mentions.

    However my stand out favourite must be 22d. :wink:.

    Thank you so much Virgilius for a delightful puzzle and thanks too to BD for the hints which I didn’t need today.

    1. I edited your comment to remove one line as, appropriate as it was, I think it might have strayed into the realms of partial answers/alternative clues.

      1. I thought about it, weighed it up, and concluded (wrongly) that it wasn’t a transgression as I was mainly referring to my prowess, or rather lack of it, in relation to the clue and not the answer.

        On my way now to the naughty corner …. Will I find any goodies when I get there?

        1. No goodies in the naughty corner – I was there, all on my own, all last night and I gobbled them all up.
          Where is everyone today? It’s very quiet.

  8. Great puzzle, even though I had to struggle a bit, however, I think that was due in part to the printout. The print and grid were so small I struggled to read and, with my horrible arthritic fingers, write legibly. I got there in the end, thank goodness. Thanks to Virgilius for our puzzle and BD for review, particularly for the James Galway, made my day!

  9. Many thanks to Virgilius for the excellent puzzle we come to expect as the norm every Sunday, and to BD for the hints.

    The hint for 24d needs a ‘reversal’ added to it.

  10. Great puzzle and despite jetlag (scariest & roughest transatlantic crossing I ever experienced) and no crossword for 2 weeks, I found that not too tricky and very enjoyable. Thanks to Virgilius & BD.

  11. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. Managed the bottom half ok, but got stuck at the top. Needed the hints for 1a, 1, 7,8d. Super puzzle as usual, was 3*/5* for me. Favourites were 20a, 5&19d. New word for me in 7d & a new biblical reference in 1a. Gooners hit the woodwork near the end of the game.

  12. Virgilius puzzle was a joy with which to contend, and indeed to complete, without having to resort to hints which are so often needed and indeed much appreciated. Perhaps no really outstanding clues but several “goodies” including 1d, the rather convoluted 5d and 16d.

  13. Took a while to finish a few.last clues. Amazing
    Y, 23a was my last one, took for ever to see it. Now back to NTSPP 200,1 only a quarter done so far.

  14. I love Virgillius puzzles. They are special, and, to echo Crypticsue and Kath, this one was definitely 26a. It’s difficult to chose a fave from so many excellent clues. I really liked 11a and 8d, just to mention two.
    Very many thanks to Virgillius.
    And very many thanks to Big Dave for the excellent hints and lovely illustrative material. didn’t need these on this occasion, but always appreciate them.

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