ST 2724 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2724 (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 Place for pictures taken from medicine man (6)
Hidden (taken from) inside the clue

10a What singers and musicians do ain’t bad on record (9)
An anagram (bad) of AIN’T follows a verb meaning to record

11a Match, for example, that’s not serious (5)
Two definitions – a match is an example of the first definition and the second is an adjective meaning not serious

13a Almost crossing part of Welsh border – we’ll reach it soon (3,4)
An adverb meaning almost around a river that forms part of the border between England and Wales

15a Start off sick in this hospital that’s rather crowded? (8)
Drop the initial letter (start) from (S)ICK and insert what’s left inside THIS H(ospital)

18a Maintaining distance apart, cut line with everyone aboard (8)
A verb meaning to cut or trim and L(ine) around (with … aboard) a word meaning everyone

26a Show aggression as boxer, good left securing fight (5)
… this boxer is a dog

27a Claim in opposition to government leader, using statistical procedure (9)
A verb meaning to claim or state followed by a colloquial word for “in opposition to” and the initial letter (leader) of Government

29a Section of First Amendment that’s a bit of a bloomer (6)
Hidden (section of) inside the clue


1d Take oneself off rota – clue must be revised (5,3)
An anagram (must be revised) of ROTA CLUE

2d Remarked how plain cake is? (7)
Split as (3,4) this describes a plain cake!

3d End up including speaker in temporary stoppages (9)
Reverse (up in a down clue) a three-letter word meaning an end or purpose around (including) a speaker

7d Revolutionary measures creating distinctions that are academic (7)
The units used to measure angles are also academic distinctions

8d Character that’s referred to as ‘Mother’ (6)
This character or personality can also be preceded by Mother to describe a creative and controlling force affecting the world

16d Shifted stick in racing vehicle to get going (4-5)
An anagram (shifted) of STICK inside a vehicle raced by many F1 drivers at the start of their careers

17d One element or another turned over, with supporting information (8)
OR followed by an(other) element are reversed (turned over) with some information underneath (supporting)

19d Salt put on sole and shellfish (7)
A salt or sailor followed by a word meaning sole or single

22d Calamitous end of aircraft, with smoke rising (6)
… this smoke is a something used by a smoker!

24d Small piece of land surrounded by water has a tenant (5)
Split as (2,3) this means that a property has a tenant

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 Ted Danson (66) and Marianne Faithfull (67)
Ted Danson



  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    1.5* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment on a bright but chilly Sunday morning here in London.

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

  2. Sweet William
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Certainly at the easier end of the Virgilius scale. Suits me ! Family still here so not easy to sneak off for puzzle time. Many thanks Virgilius for a fun puzzle and BD for your hints.

  3. Jezza
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Virgilius for a most pleasant puzzle, and to BD for the hints.

  4. Graham Wall
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable puzzle which I managed to complete without the hints. (Second day on the trot, I really am improving thanks to Big Dave et al showing the way) One question, the solution to 3d is a good word play but is the answer really remarked? Can any one offer me guidance? My thanks to the setter and BD

    • crypticsue
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      I have edited your comment as you are not allowed to give wrong answers! Have a look at BD’s hint for 3d and check whether you have the right solution.

      • Posted December 29, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        You’ve been a bit hasty with the blue pencil CS.

        The word Graham used (now restored) was the definition in the clue, for which the answer is one of the meanings given in Chambers.

        • crypticsue
          Posted December 29, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

          In my defence, he does say 3d and not 2d!!!

          • Tantalus
            Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

            Cryptic Penelope Sue and Big Arthur Dave, you have been found guilty of public squabbling. You shall be taken from this place to… The naughty corner.

            • crypticsue
              Posted December 29, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

              That’s OK then – I have Christmas cake, choccy biccies, cheese straws, jelly sweets, mini toblerones, panettone and Mr CS has two boxes of choc liqueurs (ugh!)

              • Tantalus
                Posted December 29, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

                I’ll come with. Merry Xmas!

  5. Chris T Heswall
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Agree this was a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle and the second day that I didn’t need the hints although I always enjoy reading them. With thanks to setter and BD.

  6. Arthur Dent
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Well I really enjoyed this one – probably because I was able to do it without recourse to the hints!

    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    Two (slightly) related issues:
    a) I was travelling yesterday and unable to print off the puzzle – has anyone kept a pdf that they could send me?
    b) with the perpetual saga of the DT website still ongoing, does anyone know if we subscribers will get an automatic extension to our subscriptions, or do we have to make a request?

    • Posted December 29, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      You’ve got mail.

      I believe that only those who whinge get refunds – a poor exercise in public relations.

      • Arthur Dent
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        I have indeed! Thanks BD!

        Thanks also for the advice. I will indeed whinge.

        Thanks again…

      • Merusa
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        Does anyone have any insight as to when the site will be up and running again? I whinged and got my refund but that’s not the point. Bloody cross, I am.

      • Nigel
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        Got an address one can complain to? I’ve mailed enquiries at Telegraph but heard nothing back.

  7. Graham Wall
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I apologise as I did mean 2d and not 3d. I was unsure as to whether the word remarked (given in the clue) was a synonym for the answer to the clue . I did not intend to cause a rumpus. I’m consider myself duly reprimanded.

    • Posted December 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      If you click “REPLY” before responding to an earlier comment it keeps the conversation together in the same thread.

      No need for the self-flagellation!

      • Tantalus
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        But we like self mutilation (or at least watching others), now where’s Mrs T’s cilice collection?

        And surely the exclamation mark at the end of self-flagellation is a little surplus. Or have you been reading the Sun again!

  8. Brian
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Thoroughly enjoyable Sunday offering. And no weird words, how pleasant.
    One of those puzzles that was a touch of here’s the answer, what’s the clue?
    Thx to all concerned.

  9. Merusa
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Where is everyone? I am so used to being on the tail end of the comments, it’s quite weird. Anyway, I couldn’t believe this was Virgilius, everything just worked in with the minimum of struggle. I needed BD’s hints for the “why” of 15a and 27a, otherwise a piece of cake. Thanks Virgilius for being so kind, and BD for his review.

  10. Tantalus
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    And a most enjoyable morning of teasing, tea & toast. Thx to v & bd.

    Tea spilt, toast in bed, divorce over 13 across, send help or poison.

    • Merusa
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Cup of hemlock on the way!

      • Tantalus
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        Mrs T died violently, thanks. But I still want to solve 13a. Or I could use it as an epitaph.

    • Tantalus
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Mrs T says: it is in response to “are we there yet” in a posh Ascot accent. And I think Vymwy is in there somehow but can’t find a solution!

      • steve_the_beard
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        Are you still working on 13A?

        • crypticsue
          Posted December 29, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          If he’d spent less time spilling his tea and leaving toast crumbs in the bed, he might have noticed BD’s very clear hint for 13a

          • steve_the_beard
            Posted December 29, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

            Yes, I was wondering whether BD might have added that as a later entry, just to help poor Mrs T.

        • Tantalus
          Posted December 29, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

          We have given up. All is lost – her final words were “Big D”?
          Please help.

          • crypticsue
            Posted December 29, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink


          • steve_the_beard
            Posted December 29, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

            Have you got the name of the river that is the southern part of the Welsh border?

  11. neveracrossword
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful sunny day here. Today’s offering was not too demanding – and reasonably enjoyable.

  12. Angel
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius for not over-taxing the addled festive brain and to Big Dave for yet more clever hints which I always enjoy even when not needed.

  13. pommers
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable – thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    Favourite was probably 13a out of a lot of good stuff. It was **/**** from us, the 4* enjoyment possibly because we solved it over a couple of tinctures while sat watching the sun go down at a local bar

    Shouldn’t 2d be enrolled in the rest home for retired crossword clues – or possibly just given a decent burial :lol:

  14. Kath
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Blissfully peaceful here but house looks as if several bombs have gone off
    I thought this was Virgilius at his most benign – I even found all the hidden answers without any trouble. 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I needed the hint to explain my answer for 15a – the main reason being that I had the wrong ending which didn’t make sense. I was a bit slow to untangle 3d.
    I liked 4 and 26a and 17 and 19d. My favourite was 8d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    I just read yesterday’s comments. I learnt here that using capitals was internet shouting but didn’t know that an exclamation mark was a ‘shouty’ mark. Apologies for all the shouting that has, up until now, accompanied my comments – I’ll try to do better in future.
    Off now to see if husband is still being a bit like the tortoise with no legs ie exactly where I saw him last which was on the sofa.

  15. Una
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    I also liked 4a, 25a and 26a and 21d. But 22d was my favourite. Like Tantalus I had trouble with 13a. Everybody saying it was easy and there I was thinking I had improved.Thanks to Virgillius and Big Dave.
    Honey has returned at the cracking fine of 212 euros, from the dog pound.A neighbour caught her , kept her locked up and then called the dog warden, who wouldn’t return any calls over the holidays.The vet appearently didn’t chip her correctly.

    • Kath
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

      I’m so pleased that Honey has returned to you – you must have been nearly frantic – well, I would have been anyway. How did the vet get away with chipping her incorrectly? What would have happened if you’d taken her abroad? Are there any vets, retired or otherwise, here? We must have a pretty good cross section of expertise on this blog.

      • Una
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

        Thanks , Kath, on the first night , when I was trawling the neighbourhood , I thought I could hear her barking, but it was an incredibly stormy night and I couldn’t locate her.Then my husband found her on a “adopt a dog” site, and claimed her, so she disappeard from the site.Then the local police put us through to the dog warden but wouldn’t give us the number.By then ,we knew they wouldn’t put her down since we were going to cough up the ludicous fines.I hope she is chastened.

        • Merusa
          Posted December 29, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

          I am so glad you’ve got her back. I can’t imagine losing a precious one. Is she a runner?

          • Una
            Posted December 29, 2013 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

            Oh is she ! this is her second visit to the dog pound and many, many other close encountors. If left to her own divices she gets home. But the scent of the local foxes drives her to hunt.And she is very pretty, so many of her finders want to keep her.As of now , she is forbidden the front garden.

            • Merusa
              Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:34 am | Permalink

              Runners are a problem. I have always had Labradors and I think they’re less likely to run. What a worry for you. Good luck.

  16. Wahoo
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Not much one can say about that (1*/1*) completely a read and write for me. I was hoping for something more challenging as a prelude to this afternoon’s siesta!

  17. Una
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Here’s an easy one for you Spindrift :Bachelor’s last words almost in language designed for everyone (3)

  18. Heno
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but was on the gentle side. Favourite was 3d, last in was 15a. A super sunny day in Central London. Was 1*/3* for me.

  19. Catnap
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    I always thoroughly enjoy Virgillius’s puzzles. I have marked many clues I particularly liked, such as 26a, 28a, 19d, 22d and 24d. My absolute fave is 9d, especially in the light of the past five weeks. Most beautifully said!
    I also enjoyed your hints very much, Big Dave, and made use of two, namely 15a and 17d.
    Very many thanks to you both, Virgillius and Big Dave.