ST 2723 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2723 (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 Skiing, and so on, in snow trip rest organized (6,6)
An anagram (organized) of SNOW TRIP REST

13a Are you and I, speaking common sense, causing harm? (7)
The letters represented phonetically (speaking) by are, you and I followed by some common sense

27a Source of pleasant scent making fellow get angry after row (12)
A man’s name followed by a verb meaning to get angry after a row


1d Like 10 in mellow hit, evergreen (5)
An adjective meaning like the answer to 10 across in a famous evergreen hit record is hidden inside the clue

7d Temperature inside hooked fish, very cold (6)
T(emperature) inside a fish that is apt to take the bait

23a Poetically speaking, not a centre spread (5)
A poetic word for a border is also a spread used on bread

24a Swindler’s confession that may be seen on computer (4)
Split as (1,3) this is the confession of a swindler

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 Vanessa Paradis (41) and Ralph Fiennes (51)



  1. Heno
    Posted December 22, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A nice themed puzzle. Needed the hints for 7&23d. Still stuck on 21a. Any help would be much appreciated. Great to meet everyone yesterday in Holborn. Was 3*/4* for me.

    • gazza
      Posted December 22, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      21a Feature of festive celebrations / where you’ll find the whole family (4)
      Double definition. It’s not just the immediate family you’ll find here but some ancestors as well.

      • stanXYZ
        Posted December 22, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        I thought that “whole” was a reference to some sort of tall woody perennial plant!

        Can’t find it in the BRB but Google knows it!

      • Heno
        Posted December 22, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Gazza & Stan, I’ve got it now, due to your help. I always struggle with double definitions. Merry Xmas.

  2. Una
    Posted December 22, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    6d the definition is stall. Not sure of 21a myself.I echo Heno’s remarks. Thanks to Virgillius and BD.

  3. Sweet William
    Posted December 22, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks Mr. G for a most enjoyable seasonal puzzle. Happy Christmas and thanks for all the fun this year ! Thank you BD for your hints.

  4. Rabbit Dave
    Posted December 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    What a festive delight! My rating is 2*/4*.

    I think I have got the right answer for 3d but I don’t understand the wordplay. Can anyone help please?

    The poetic reference in 23d was a new meaning for me which required a quick check in the BRB to validate my answer.

    Many thanks to Virgilius for brilliant crosswords every Sunday and to Big Dave for his untiring efforts on this superb (and indispensable!) blog.

    • gazza
      Posted December 22, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      3d Covers 75% of main points about legal action (7)
      75% of main points = 3 out of 4 cardinal points.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted December 22, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        Thanks very much, Gazza. I had the right checking letters but with your help I can see I had the wrong answer, which is never easy to parse!

  5. Tantalus
    Posted December 22, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed the puzzle, thx to V & BD – and Happy Holidays to all (we can’t say “merry Xmas” ). Mr & Mrs T

  6. Merusa
    Posted December 22, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    A perfectly delightful holiday puzzle, though 23d had me completely foxed. Thanks to BD’s hint, I got it and was able to finish, apart from that, nothing really gave a problem. Favourite had to be 13a, very clever that. Merry Christmas to all, and thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  7. Brian Greer
    Posted December 22, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Greetings to all from Calcutta and thanks to everyone, especially BD, CrypticSue and the other reviewers throughout 2013.

    • crypticsue
      Posted December 22, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Season’s Greetings to you Brian too from me and (the weekend-working again!) Gnomethang.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted December 22, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Seasons greetings from us too Brian. We usually do not comment on the prize puzzles to avoid the naughty corner possibility but always really look forward to, and enjoy your puzzles every Sunday.
      Many, many thanks.

  8. Tantalus
    Posted December 22, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Can anyone help with 17s, our last ones.

    • crypticsue
      Posted December 22, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      Both 17s?

      17a def is first two words – the single letter meaning female followed by an upset anagram of doesn’t

      17d Put some ‘articles’ inside the abbreviation for French to get what some people call a priest.

    • Tantalus
      Posted December 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Ah! Thx CS – Mrs T must have received your thought telepathically. You both got it while I’m still thinking. And here in USA the red suited Santa is called “Person Godservice”

  9. Derek
    Posted December 22, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Well-themed puzzle!

    Favourite clue was 2d.

    Very cold in NL – clear blue sky all afternoon.

    Christmas greetings to everyone!

  10. Attila Thehun
    Posted December 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I don’t get the wordplay in 18d. Surely the 2nd and 4th letters of the five letter word for ‘picture’ going upwards (‘North’) are reversed, but where in the clue is that indicated?

    • crypticsue
      Posted December 22, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      All the parts are reversed ‘going north’ – a picture and then the abbreviations for hard and time

      • Attila Thehun
        Posted December 22, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        But the reversed five letter word for picture also has its 2nd and 4th letters transposed … doesn’t it? That was my point (albeit, blunted by lunchtime wine).

        • gazza
          Posted December 22, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

          I’m with you on this. It seems to me that there’s an error in the clue.

        • crypticsue
          Posted December 22, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

          So it does (and I didn’t have any wine at lunch) although I may be suffering from post splendid time in London disorder!

        • Merusa
          Posted December 22, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

          I also had a problem with that but felt it had to be correct, regardless of the clue

      • Una
        Posted December 22, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        I wish I could see the problem, it seems to me that the clue reads perfectly.ooops I see it now. Talk about seeing what you want to see..

        • Attila Thehun
          Posted December 22, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

          Picture hard time going North … : “going North” in a down clue means to reverse the direction of a word or the answer.

          So in this clue, the answer should be given by a five letter word for picture + (H)ard + (T)ime, then reversed and split 3,4.

          That would give THa|bcde, but instead the answer is given by THa|dcbe.

          I don’t see anything in the clue that indicates the ‘b’ and ‘d’ should be transposed. According to my Chambers, “dcbe” is not a word.

          Have I avoided the dreaded corner?

          • crypticsue
            Posted December 22, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

            I don’t know but when I went to get a mince pie, I found Mr CS had eaten them all while I was in London.

            • Una
              Posted December 22, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

              So that was a case of “oops I don’t see it now”.They must have been good.

        • Attila Thehun
          Posted December 22, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

          Una – you posted your “Oops” as I was writing.

          • Una
            Posted December 22, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

            Attila, are you a Maths teacher by any chance ?

            • Attila Thehun
              Posted December 23, 2013 at 9:56 am | Permalink

              No. Why?

              • Una
                Posted December 23, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

                You expounded your position very much as a Maths teacher would, you know logically,and with symbols, reading it I had a mental picture of someone at a blackboard being patient with the thick members of the class.

    • Outnumbered
      Posted December 22, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      I spotted this too, unusually, as I’m not normally good at checking the wordplay for “obvious” answers.

      • Hrothgar
        Posted December 23, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Confused – is it now agreed the setter made a mistake?
        That going north for the picture doesn’t work as two letters of it are out of place for that?

  11. Jezza
    Posted December 22, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    I doubt I will find time to look at many of the festive themed puzzles over the next couple of weeks, but very happy this was a good one today.
    Many thanks and seasonal greetings to Virgilius, and to BD too.

  12. McMillibar
    Posted December 22, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    An early Christmas present of a grid with 6d and 15a last for me. */*** taking less time than walking the dog so leaving more time to walk the dog – if the weather ever allows. Still in the San Fran sun, eight hours behind Blighty, but not for long.

  13. Ken
    Posted December 22, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the copy of todays puzzles BD, I see that they were on the site later on, would have been a miserable Sunday am if I had to have spent it watching the reruns of “Strictly” again & again & again………………….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  14. R1kx
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    is there any way of getting a copy of sundays crossword now? I had no internet access on Sunday and with the site being broken seem to have missed the opportunity to get it. Any help much welcomed

    • Posted December 23, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      It’s on its way!

      • R1kx
        Posted December 23, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        Thanks BD the whole family will be thrilled!

  15. spindrift
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    All done except I don’t understand the answer to 23d. Any hints, however vague, would be welcome.

    Only 2 more sleeps & the crazy Fat Man rides again!

    • gazza
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      23d is a double definition – the first a poetic word for something away from the centre; the second the sort of spread that you’d apply with a knife.