ST 2722 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2722 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2722 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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There’s still time to have a go at our 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    Everything I had put on page is colourless (6)
A word meaning everything and the abbreviated form of I had both preceded by P(age)

4a    Performances in ring mostly about dominant power (6)
Most of a Latin word for about followed by the world’s dominant military power

8a    First-class spinner plays in Asia, including Test cricket initially (3-5)
A spinning toy followed by some Japanese dramas (plays) around the initial letters of Test Cricket – note that the plural of the Japanese drama is the same as the singular!

12a    One’s in an utterly crazy position no supporter would adopt (10)
I (one) inside an anagram (crazy) of AN UTTERLY

20a    Small square advertisement covered bedroom item (4-6)
A small number that is a square followed by an advertisement

22a    People in charge turned area into place for pictures (6)
Some people and the abbreviation of In Charge all reversed (turned) followed by A(rea)

25a    Daughter called back, making peremptory request (6)
D(aughter) and a verb meaning called all reversed (back)


1d    Old line included by villain, under pressure, in opening speech (8)
O(ld) and L(ine) inside (included by) a villain, all preceded by (under in a down clue) P(ressure)

3d    Passionate kind of verbal difference (7)
Split as (2,5) this is how a verb can differ in time from another

5d    Receive, in a way, popular monarch, surrounded by success (7)
This verb meaning to receive or be bequeathed is derived from a two-letter word meaning popular followed by the regnal cipher of our monarch inside (surrounded by) a success

9d    Person who cares for property, e.g. backbencher? (5-6)
this person who cares for a property while the owner is away could be a backbench MP

15d    Two points in long passage put on TV (8)
Two compass points inside a long tedious passage of writing

18d    Animal from Africa, from its centre, held up in error (7)
The middle two letters (from … centre) of AfRIca reversed (held up in a down clue) inside an error

19d    Manager installing single piece of office equipment (6)
Someone who manages or gets by around (installing) I (single)

21d    Match garment with front part of another (5)
A garment followed by the initial letter (front part) of Another

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 Michelle Dockery (32) and Dave Clark (71)
ARVE Error: need id and provider

39 comments on “ST 2722 (Hints)

  1. 3*/4* today for yet another magnificent Sunday crossword.

    It took a while for the penny drop on the wordplay for 4a, and the “plays in Asia” part of 8a involved a new word for me. 19d was my last one in, and, even though the answer for 20a was readily apparent, I was completely mystified by the parsing of the first word until I read BD’s hint – followed by the d’oh moment!

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD for his usual excellent hints and pictures.

  2. Possibly the easiest Virgilius ever for me, even allowing for time spent admiring the wonderful surface readings. Thanks to him once again and to BD too.

  3. My only delay in this one was assembling the anagram fodder in 12a into a meaningful word; once I had 3d, the penny dropped!
    Many thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  4. Another excellent Sunday morning puzzle from Virgilius!

    Thanks to BD for explaining 4a & 8a.

    8a – I was going to complain about the plural bit – must brush up my Japanese!

  5. One of your friendlier puzzles Virgilius ! About my level ! Many thanks. Thanks to you BD as well for your hints and photos.

  6. Super puzzle today. Really enjoyable. Quite tricky but apart from 8a fully understandable. Must admit never come across the Japanese dramas before but the answer was obvious. I expect someone will tell me that they were in crossword no XXXX. Last in was 4a but when I got the answer I couldn’t see why is took so long! Hey Ho!
    Thx to Virgilius for the puzzle and to BD for explaining 8a

    1. Brian,

      I expect someone will tell me that they were in crossword no XXXX.

      Try using the “Search this site …” option – Top Right-Hand corner. There are lots of them!

  7. I agree with everything that’s been said already.
    12a was my last one in – just couldn’t sort out what went into the anagram. I was also pretty slow with 13a and 1, 9 and 19d.
    Needless to say I missed both the hidden answers for ages and spent too long trying to justify the wrong answer for 2d – well, it did have the same first and last letters.
    My initial thought was cricket for 8a and 2d. I needed the hint to explain 4a.
    I liked 13a and 14d, and lots of others too. My favourite was 8a.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    It seems to be snowing again!
    We had a brilliant Christmas card yesterday. It’s a picture of a reindeer surrounded by snow with Father Christmas disappearing in the distance and a sledge in a heap. The reindeer is on his phone, “What can I say – weather’s rubbish, sledge is wrecked and Fatty’s in a strop – just another Christmas really”!

  8. New to me Japanese word, but look upable.Needed one or two hints to get going, but managed to finish in reasonable time. Thank you setter & BD, again!!

  9. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A super puzzle as usual, not too difficult, but having said that I just couldn’t get 4&12a, and needed the hints for those. Favourite was 19d. Was 2*/4* for me. Dull & drizzly in Central London.

  10. Splendid stuff as I’ve come to expect on a Sunday. **/**** from us.

    Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    Here’s a great tip for solving anagrams. When you come to write out the fodder it doesn’t matter if you put the letters in a circle, a square or any other shape you care to use. What really matters is that you write out the letters CORRECTLY. It makes life a hell of a lot easier!

      1. The fodder pommette wrote down for 14d had two P’s and no W. There is an anagram available but it don’t fit the definition, doh! Held us up for ages :oops:

        1. Mrs T does that all the time. It drives me bonkers. And she writes over the numbers too. Arghhhhhh!

          1. We always print out two copies to avoid the problems you mention. It seems to work, and if you also reuse the paper by printing on the backs one need not feel too guilty about the trees. :)
            Another really good Sunday puzzle.
            Thanks Virgilius and BD.

  11. I am feeling dreadfully smug today, finished, with some mental exercise but with no real problem. I managed, with my limited computer expertise, to print it larger today which made it so much easier. I needed BD’s hint today to know the why of 4a, but it was plain sailing otherwise. Thanks Virgilius for the entertainment and BD for your review.

      1. You beat me to it! If BD hadn’t exerted his influence on the weather by tomorrow that’s exactly what I was going to say, except I’m not clever enough to do the clip too!

  12. Very enjoyable puzzle from Brian as usual.

    My GP diagnosed the trouble with my right foot to be gout so I’m off alcohol and red meat now!

    Back on to colchicine tablets!

  13. Finished at last have been back and fore to this all day between shopping, visitors etc. however can’t stay and chat now as Liverpool v Spurs on, come on Liverpool!!!! sorry Dave but I do hope Spurs lose :-)

  14. Just back from the pub and the last two just fell into place. Thanks Dave for the tips. Not needed today though apart from a welcome confirmation. A good puzzle with 12a my fav? Now looking forward to next week.

    1. Hello Brian

      Like the article but the best bit for me is “I don’t regard it as particularly serious,”. My thought exactly!

      Excellent today, as was last week’s (done this evening in the bar), so please keep them coming. Thanks a million, you make Sunday the best cruciverbal day of the week..

    2. Very interesting – I wonder how many other setters think of clues in the bath! Enjoyed the puzzle too – there are two clues where I am not sure I have the correct answer but I did have fun solving it.

      PS Just spotted the link to the solution – I was right!

      Seasons Greetings Brian and thanks for all the Sunday entertainment throughout the year.

    3. Lovely article, Brian.By the way , I just completed your 24930 crossword in the Guardian, picked at random. You certainly made a political statement ! I especially loved 12a from that crossword.

  15. Not that anyone will be interested but I just voted for Ben Ainslie.

    Apparantly the Scottish one couldn’t be bothered to get out of the shower in time. Says a lot!

      1. Leigh done good but I’m a sailor. ‘fraid you’re right though. Pommette went for Chris Froome but after Cav and then Sir Brad he’s no chance!

  16. Finished this in between celebrating the 27th anniversary of my 30th birthday with the family. Must agree with CS that it was the easiest Virgilius offering for many a long time (IMHO)

  17. I fancy this was not quite as tricky as some of Virgillius’ puzzles. (Let’s hope I haven’t gone horribly wrong somewhere!) Whatever the level of difficulty, I always find them exceptionally enjoyable — it’s ***** for this one, too. My fave was 18d. And I do like your 18d illustration, Big Dave. I greatly value your hints, too, although I didn’t need them.
    Many appreciative thanks to you both, Virgillius and Big Dave.

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