ST 2725 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

ST 2725 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2725 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Don’t forget to have a go at our latest 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    Tory leader once including Labour leader in toast (6)
A former left-wing Tory Prime Minister around (including) the initial letter (leader) of Labour

10a    French artist who represented his subject thoughtfully (5)
A cryptic definition of a French sculptor which alludes to one of his most famous works – I don’t think the setter had The Kiss in mind!

13a    People holding it so stupidly in water a bit (7)
Some (male) people around an anagram (stupidly) of IT SO

14a    Endless attacks on board in no-win situation (9,5)
A slightly cryptic definition of a situation in chess in which one player’s king is continually attacked by the other player who may thereby claim a draw

21a    Unable to relax in the lead, with little room for manoeuvre (7)
A two-letter word meaning in the lead followed by an adjective meaning with little room for manoeuvre

23a    Clergyman dropping second one in church (7)
Although this is an easy clue – drop the second I (one) from a clergyman – it’s worth pointing out to aspiring setters that Virgilius has indicated which I (of two) is to be dropped

24a    Difficulty for reader, indeed, in English school (3,6)
A three-letter word meaning indeed or positively inside E(nglish) and a verb meaning to school

27a    A Conservative getting together with left, it’s clear (6)
The A from the clue and C(onservative) followed by a verb meaning left or departed give a verb meaning to clear someone from a criminal charge


1d    Key work included by author that’s printed out (4,4)
A musical key and the two-letter abbreviation for a musical work inside the surname of the well-known author who set most of his novels in the semi-fictional region of Wessex

3d    Uncovered area on top in fashionable style? Certainly (7)
A three-letter word for a fashionable style followed by a word meaning certainly

5d    A cold kind of praise about quiet exploit (14)
The A from the clue and C(old) are followed by a kind of praise or flattery around an exhortation to keep quiet to give an exploit or achievement

6d    In part of Ireland, is uncouth and aggressive (7)
Put the IS from the clue inside an Irish county in the province of Leinster

7d    Suitable music for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs? (5)
Add up the number of players and you have the suitable music!

9d    They allow one to pay for fare on train (10,4)
… what you need to know is that this fare is food!

16d    Extremely mad king that is beset by dread (8)
The Latin abbreviations for king and “that is” inside (beset by) dread or anxiety

20d    Prince as rugby forward (6)
The two-letter abbreviation for Rugby Union followed by an adjective meaning forward or cheeky

22d    Communicate in a way that’s short, time after time (5)
This modern form of communication is derived by putting a Scottish word for short or small and T(ime) after another T(ime)

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.

RIP Eusébio da Silva Ferreira (25 January 1942 – 5 January 2014)
ARVE Error: need id and provider

29 comments on “ST 2725 (Hints)

  1. Thank you Virgilius – consistent enjoyment ! Just about the right level for me ! Thanks BD for your hints and photos as always.

  2. Just noticed that the puzzle has finally appeared on the website – efficient or what, not

    1. ST couldn’t be bothered to put up the substitute, repeat, substitute, site until after 1pm.
      I e-mailed and complained.
      What service for its paying subscribers!!!

  3. Rating: 3.5*/4*. For me, this was a perfect Sunday crossword to start the New Year, with a range of entertaining clues varying from straightforward to difficult.

    I have one question. Is it considered as acceptable crossword practice to clue the first letter of 8d using a plural?

    My favourite today was 14a.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    P.S. I was very sad to hear about the death of the brilliant Eusebio today. I had the privilege and pleasure to be at Wembley in 1968 when Man U beat Benfica to win the European Cup after extra time. Late on Alex Stepney pulled off an amazing reaction save from a blistering Eusebio shot, which, had it gone in, would almost certainly have prevented the need for extra time and would have given Benfica the cup. Being a gentleman and a true sportsman, Eusebio went over to congratulate Stepney on his save. Not something you are likely to see on the football field these days!

  4. I found this quite challenging but it gave me something to do on a wet morning. **** for enjoyment.

  5. Very enjoyable, and challenging enough to make me ponder (especially 27A, my last one in). Thanks to the setter and to BD for the review, and special thanks once again to BD for going above and beyond again and sending the PDF hither and yon until the DT staff woke up.

  6. I enjoyed this, it is , to me, the epitome of what a crossword should be about: a challenge with enjoyment in equal measure. I would rate this 3/3 I needed the hints for just one clue. 24A made me smile. My thanks as usual to Big Dave for his offering.

  7. Quite challenging, with some lovely clues. 20d was the last one in and I needed the hint.Favourite10a, much liked 11a and 14a.

  8. Enjoyable crossword which we completed for once without help from BD, though not without a little assistance from our electronic device. Unfortunately, it’s not just in football where manners are in decline, but in the population as a whole I’m afraid. Big thanks to the setter & to BD.

  9. Enjoyed that. It felt more difficult than we’re used to from the Sunday Maestro IMHO.
    Thanks to V & to BD for the hints which I had to refer to for 14a – not being a chess player I had never heard the phrase.

    I was stood outside 23a with thousands of others, including all of my immediate family, to hear the bells ring in the New Year. The atmosphere was very cordial with no hint of aggression from the younger attendees despite drink being taken by the majority.

  10. I’m having such a lovely day – house to myself, (apart from collie and cat and they don’t talk much) a great crossword and I still haven’t even looked at the NTSPP or MPP yet.
    When I first looked at this one I thought I was going to have trouble – it always helps with Sunday puzzles if you can do the long answers and I couldn’t – well, not to begin with – but then I began to get a few and all went surprisingly well after that.
    For some reason my last answer was 4a – thought of seas and oceans but it took ages to think of the right kind of ‘lots of water’. Similarly with 14a – I thought of every kind of ‘Victoria’ except the right one. I didn’t know 14a (got put off chess at a very young age) but I guessed the first word from the checking letters and then checked in BRB.
    I liked 10a and 1 and 9d. My favourite was 7d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Weather still miserable – very ‘glim and doomy’ which is an expression coined by my Dad who unintentionally made a Spoonerism.
    Off to light fire and look at the other two crosswords.

  11. Still very quiet here – where’s Mary? I’m not really implying that there’s any connection between the two!

  12. Enjoyed this one, despite finding it a little tricky and needing electronic help in the end. Having finished it, I have no idea why I found it tricky as it was very straightforward with no obscure words. Last one in 27a. Not sure about my favourite, too many to choose from. Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for hints, not needed today but always entertaining.

  13. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very nice puzzle, usual great stuff from Virgilius. Needed the hints for 27a, 16d & 22d. Was 3*/4* for me. Favourites were 10a & 20d.
    Very sad to hear about Eusebio, I remember the 1966 world cup when Portugal were 3-0 down to North Korea and came back to win 5-3 with Eusebio scoring four goals.

  14. Really enjoyed the puzzle today when we eventually got it in the paper. The on-line version was still not published at 10.00am when the paper arrived. However yesterday the Telegraph very efficiently removed my annual subscription from my credit card. Has anyone taken up the question of rebates with them and is there any mileage in a joint effort?

    1. If you send an email to the enquiries address given on the site you will probably receive a two month’s subs refund. At least that is what happened for us. It seems that if you do not complain you get nothing. Cheers

        1. They’re not even consistent on their policy on refunds. I contacted the “customer service”[???] dept and got 1 month’s subscription back!

          Jan 6 & it’s still not fixed despite some hot air about using the Christmas holiday period to work on a solution.

          1. I complained and got two months refund.
            I suppose it would be a massive exercise to give all subscribers a refund.
            Perhaps their IT wouldn’t be able to cope with it, (Joke)

  15. What a gem of a crossword.
    Thoroughly enjoyed struggling to completion.
    20d one of many crafty clues.
    Many thanks Virgiluis and to BD for the review.

  16. Once again I missed printing this crossword even though I checked the web site on Sunday morning. All I could download was Saturdays puzzle! Sorry to ask once more but if there is a copy floating about could someone mail me a copy! Thanks in advance

    From the comments it looks like a great puzzle would be a shame to miss it again! I hope the web site is sorted soon I don’t have access to the paper and only subscribe to the puzzle site. Its been gone for too long I am loosing my Jedi crossword solving ability!!!!! (ha I wish, but sitting staring at the wall for a couple of hours each week doesn’t have the same appeal!)

    1. Hi and massive thanks for sending me the PDF I appreciate it now to find some fresh ground coffee and set to!!!!

  17. Another excellent offering from Virgilius, which hopefully is the first of many for 2014.
    My last one in was 10a, where I knew the answer but was a little slow in understanding why!
    Many thanks to Virgilius, and to BD and Gazza who both provided me with a copy of the puzzle.

  18. Thank you so much, Big Dave, for sending me a copy of this puzzle. I certainly have enjoyed it! I managed to complete it without your excellent hints and illustrations.
    This is an excellent crossword. I liked so many clues, I shall just give a short(ish) list — 4a, 10a, 12a, 14a (my Dad was an avid chess player), 1d, 7d, and 20d.
    Many thanks to Virgillius and to Big Dave.

Comments are closed.