ST 2726 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2726 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2726 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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There’s still time 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 Another penny put in drunkard’s hat (6)
Start with a drunkard that includes a P(enny) and insert another P(enny)

11a Fail to justify inconclusive opinion (5)
Drop (inconclusive) the final F from an opinion

13a Least disciplined author joining Lawrence or James, say (7)
The surname of an Irish author and playwright followed by the title accorded to both Lawrence and James, among otherw

14a Get wind of small change in Washington (5)
S(mall) followed by some US coinage (change in Washington)

15a Source of books in computer catalogue for one month, in short? (8)
To get this person who writes books put the usual single-letter prefix for a computer or internet facility and a catalogue after the abbreviated form of one of the months of the year

18a Wherein a critic, theoretically, gets support from both sides (8)
A cryptic definition of where someone who offers advice, but never shows that they could actually do any better, sits (gets support)

25a Legs of round trip in uninhabited area (7)
Run together both legs of a round-trip (3 and 4) to give an uninhabited area

27a Not straight about signs of debt, oddly (9)
An adjective meaning not straight around the signs of a debt that are usually scribbled on paper

29a Part of string that’s new in old violin (6)
N(ew) inside a famous old violin


1d Mechanically write bad acts with no variation in roles (8)
A verb meaning to write mechanically followed by an anagram (bad) of ACTS gives an adjective that describes an actor who always plays the same sort of part

2d Lying about note enclosed by me, so irreverent (7)
An adjective meaning lying or xxx around (about) the note that comes between me and so in the musical scale

5d Reject most of the argument concerning committee (5,9)
Most of TH(e) followed by a three-letter argument, a four-letter word meaning concerning and a committee

7d I’m going to head to make complaint (7)
An abbreviated for of I am going to (1’2) followed by a headland

9d Playing first recital badly – that’s what editor writes (7,7)
A verb meaning playing first or showing the way followed by an anagram (badly) of RECITAL

16d Leaves when one should be ready to retire (6,3)
This verb meaning leaves or decamps is also the time to retire for the night, in a boarding school, barracks, etc.

19d Men on board overlapping in the middle? That’s cheating (7)
Two four-letter chessmen share a letter (overlapping in the middle)

21d For this British city, what’s bigger than a Tchaikovsky masterpiece? (7)
My favourite clue! Start with a Tchaikovsky masterpiece (4,4) and increase the size of the body of water

24d Large-hearted entertainer, musical writer (5)
L(arge) inserted into the middle (heart) of an entertainer gives a famous composer (musical writer)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

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 Kirstie Alley (63) and Shirley Eaton (77)

59 comments on “ST 2726 (Hints)

  1. Woke at 6:30 and reached for the iPad as ever. Sunday’s Prize puzzle waiting to be tackled. What a delight it was. Lots of clever clues fitted a tough grid-shape with precious few anagrams to help get the proceedings going. SW corner was troublesome and last for me is (they are still not done yet) 7d/15a. Favs today 25a & 21d. I give this a ***/****. These days I am a Sunday DT fan so thanks Virgilus and BD of course to whom I shall now turn to for those last two!

    1. Thanks BD 15a sorted. Still can’t get the last part of 7d…. and don’t really understand the last bit of 13a. Looks like your army of followers was waiting for you today judging by the comments pinging in after your post. Thanks for you devotion to the cause. We’d all be lost without your daily decode.
      Eldest Daughter’s 24th today so off to see her and give her a hug in her new house.

        1. Thanks… that’s my problem – I can’t think which one – unless I have the third-last letter wrong.

            1. 13a name of an author followed by a two letter abbreviation for what James and Lawrence are examples of although I admit I hadn’t heard of Lawrence to give you a word for ‘least disciplined’

            2. Aaaagh!!!…. I had the 2nd letter as an ‘*’ (as literally from the clue – Doh.) once I changed that for the correct one it was obvious. I was trying to fit the names of all sorts of headlands in there. Feeling particularly thick right now. Thanks for your help, Mary

  2. Another brilliant Sunday crossword. This one was 3*/4* for me.

    11a was my last one in. 21d was my favourite, the same as BD’s, with 2d a close second.

    For the second day running I learned some new slang. Today it was 16d where the alternative meaning of the answer is something I’ve never heard of before, but I found it in the BRB.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    1. P.S. I was rather hoping for a picture for 28a, but I’ll settle for Shirley Eaton not wearing one. My goodness is she really 77? Happy Birthday, Shirley!

  3. A lot more difficult than the normal Sunday Virgiius! But great fun – impeccable clueing!

    21d – I always like a Яussian clue!

    (I sincerely hope that no-one says “a write-in”)

  4. Wow I found this really hard today and got so many answers without knowing why??? Thanks for the explainations Dave, my favourite clue was 20a, nearly gave up on this one but perservation and nothing else to do got me there in the end, a three to four star for difficulty for me!!!!

  5. Thank you Virgilius. It took me a long time to get a foothold, but once there, great fun as usual with some terrific clues. Regarding your favourite clue BD, and at the risk of a visit to the naughty corner, we are going to see the “masterpiece” tomorrow night, performed by the Russian State XXXXXX !! Should be more fun than the Reebok ? Thanks for your hints and photos.

  6. Like Mary , I found this really difficult and I’m not finished yet. Still stuck on 4a and 8d. Help!

    1. 4a Una you are looking for a word for ‘following’ take the one letter crossword abbreviation for ‘second’ followed by a 7 letter word for ‘conversation’

    2. 8d you are looking for a word for ‘poor part of town’ you need an two word expression for ‘anger around the one letter abbreviation for hospital

    3. I’ve got a perfectly good answer for 8d which ticks all the boxes, but I can’t find the reasoning behind it, so it’s “help” from me too.

      1. I took a while to ‘see it’ too but I can’t explain it any more clearly than above without being sent to the naughty corner!!!

      2. As Mary says you want a two word expression – it’s split 3,2 – meaning to anger or really bug someone. Stick the usual one letter abbreviation for hospital in the middle of it.

  7. Nowt to do with cruciverbalism, but does anyone know a good place to stay in the Yorkshire Dales – off walking there next week if the weather half-way behaves itself. My normal way of picking somewhere would be CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide but that can be a bit lotterish.

  8. Finally ! Thanks to Mary and Big Dave(29a). 21d one of the first in, most unusual.Lots of good clues, I like 8d now that I get it. Thanks to Virgilllius.

  9. Took a while to get going & needed one or two hints to start us off, but we finished in the end. Very cold here today. Thank you setter & BD. We enjoyed it very much.

  10. I found this far more difficult than recent Sundays.
    I was very slow to get started at all and then began to get a few but I was dim with some of the less difficult clues eg 4a – no excuse at all for missing that one first time round. No excuses for missing the anagram indicator in 12a either.
    I had a lot of trouble with the bottom right corner. I spent a long time trying to make 17d an anagram of observed and couldn’t get 27a for ages.
    For the first time ever I remembered to go hunting for the hidden-in-the-middle answer – the kind that always defeats me – there isn’t one today, or if there is I’ve missed it again.
    Lots of good clues as is usual on a Sunday – 18a and 3, 19 and 21d. My favourite was 17d – it was also my last answer.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    I don’t understand my answer for 22d – it fits with other letters and means ‘exactly’ – why can’t I see it?

        1. did Mary and I both miss that?
          The stereo call seemed to work though – it must have landed roughly between Oxford and Wales!

    1. Read upwards, things (articles) with ** ****. The word ‘articles’ threw me for a while – as V intended!

        1. I think you must be feeling better – you’re much chattier than you have been for quite a while.

  11. I was glad this was more of a challenge than usual, since it gave me something to do while the weather is bad.

  12. By ‘eck! That was a battle but nevertheless enjoyable. Thanks to V & to BD whose tints & hips I had to resort to.

    51 days since the site collapsed – I wonder if they’ve tried turning it off then back on again? Tomorrow maybe- otherwise we could make a case in the small claims court for breach of contract – do we have a lawyer in our midst?

  13. This was definitely a hard slog but once done, one wonders why? I had one clue I couldn’t get, 21d, and it was probably the easiest. It’s my favourite with 17d earning honourable mention. I now have total brain exhaustion. Thanks to Virgillius and to DT for help with the “whys” and help for 21d.

  14. Very heartening to read so many did not find this easy. Got there eventually with the help of a hint or two from BD. So thanks BD & Virgilius.

  15. Jolly tough I thought but very enjoyable with a super clue in 21d. Needed the hints for 11a and 14a. Thx to the setter and to BD.

  16. This was a superb Virgillius. His puzzles are always excellent, but I thought this outstanding. I was a little slow getting into it, but have completed it without using any hints. I have marked so many enjoyable clues I can’t list them all. My absolute fave was 21d, followed by 13a and 18a.
    Many thanks to Virgillius. And many thanks to Big Dave for super hints.

  17. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, managed it all bar 21d, would never have got that in a million years. Was 3*/4* for me. Favourite was 27a.

  18. I came to this late in the day once guests had left but by golly I found Virgilius’ offering hard work and would never have completed without several of your excellent hints BD for which many thanks. I’ll find a way of sharing the fountain pen with you when I win it – some hope! I have been submitting DT and ST competition cryptics without joy for probably 20 years.

  19. I kept this pdf for today (as I still have no internet at home), and what a lovely start to a Monday morning at work!
    One of the trickier puzzles from Virgilius I thought, but a most satisfactory solve.
    Many thanks to Virgilius, and to BD too.

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