ST 2727 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2727 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2727 (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.

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    Evil male set straight (6)
To get this adjective meaning evil start with M(ale) and add a verb meaning to set straight

4a    Unsystematic piece needed to complete memo, as we hear? (6)
This adjective meaning unsystematic sounds like (we hear) the rest of the word (piece needed to complete) of which memo is a shorted form

8a    Indication of challenge that may be punishing for runner (8)
Two definitions – what is thrown down to indicate a challenge and what is run as a punishment

10a    Cross river, then getting over the hill? (6)
R(iver) followed by a verb meaning getting over the hill

11a    Acknowledgment of being hit endlessly – that hurts! (4)
Start with an acknowledgment of being hit by one’s opponent in fencing and drop (endlessly) the outer letters

Can this be better expressed?

13a    Organised in units, go crazy (12)
A verb meaning to go followed by an adjective meaning crazy

16a    Capes put on after concert by right people (12)
Put ON after a concert, the kind at which many of the audience are standing, and add some people with political views that are right of centre

21a    Performed a sort of pop music for listeners, enthralled (4)
Sounds like a verb meaning performed a sort of pop music (although to call it music is contentious)

23a    Namely mixed drink, starting with right kind of wine (8)
The Latin abbreviation for namely and a mixed drink, often made with gin, after (starting with) R(ight)

25a    Relation concealing drug in floor (6)
A relation or narrative around (concealing) the single-letter abbreviation for Crosswordland’s favourite drug


1d    Calculated amount of old drink certainly consumed (8)
An old drink, often prepared by monks, with a word meaning certainly inside (consumed)

7d    Removed silver, say, over time – how a lot of money’s made (6)
A verb meaning removed a metal, silver say, from the ground around T(ime)

14d    Like any of us, cut by current attack on reputation (9)
A two-letter conjunction meaning like and an individual or human (any of us) around (cut by) the symbol used in physics for electric current

17d    Stone’s remixed old record for dance (3-4)
An anagram (remixed) of STONE followed by an old 4-track vinyl record

18d    Time I put in that is optimally arranged (7)
T(ime) followed by the I from the clue inside the full Latin phrase for that is

19d    Like feet? Yes and no (6)
Like a line of poetry with a specified number of feet (yes) and like a system that does not use feet (no)

21d    Drawing aid from head of state (5)
Two definitions

If you need further help then please ask and I will see what I can do.

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Today would have been the 75th birthday of the late Phil Everly (died January 3, 2014) RIP
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Popular musical duo Phil and Don Everly recording at the Warner Brothers studio in Hollywood, 1963.   (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images) ARVE Error: need id and provider

24 comments on “ST 2727 (Hints)

  1. Half time at the game then Dave?
    I needed the hints to get 4a and to understand 19d, other than that I found it a ‘workable’ puzzle but once again I didn’t have a favourite clue!!! Off to try a short walk in the sunshine

    1. I hope the walk in the sun makes you feel better. We had sun to begin with but it’s gone a bit cloudy now.

  2. I think it was Kath last week who mentioned the lack of hidden words – she’ll be very pleased today, not least because of 22a.

    Thanks to Virgilius for another great start to Sunday morning and to BD for the hints.

  3. Thank you Virgilius. Took me a while, but enjoyable nevertheless. Thank you BD for your explanation of 18d. A case of having the answer but unable to decode the wordplay. My head still hurts from the drubbing at Reading yesterday !

  4. I started off very slowly and thought that the week was going to end, as it not only started but carried on, with me having trouble with the crossword. I ended up not having too many problems.
    Like Sweet William I needed the hint to explain my answer for 18d. I also needed the explanation for 4a – clever.
    I think the 15d anagram indicator is a new one on me – I like the idea of the letters being ‘possessed’ and causing chaos.
    My last answer was 19d.
    I liked 1 and 10a and 14d. My favourite was either 6 or 19d – and before any of you start I’ll let you know when I’ve decided which of the two it is!
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Off to plant sweet peas now.

  5. Another fine Sunday puzzle which went in without any significant problems; my only hold up was working out what 11a was a contraction of.
    Many thanks to Virgilius, and to BD for the hints.

  6. IMHO Virgilius’s puzzles are getting harder. I certainly could not have finished without BD’s hints. Many thanks to he & to V.

  7. As always for a Sunday, very tough but enjoyable. My only query is re 14d, * for current? Never come across that before.
    Thought 11a was weak as was 26a but did like 8a and 10a which were very clever clues. Thx to the setter and to BD for the explanations.

    1. Remember, Brian, show any signs of human weakness on this site and you get your t***s cut off.

  8. that was hard work but very enjoyable. 4*/4*

    I came to this one late today after a very pleasant weekend in Oxford. I needed BD’s hints to understand why my answers for 4a and 8a were correct. Lots of very clever clues with 19d my favourite and last one in.

    Many thanks to Virigilius and to BD.

  9. Miserable weather here in Scarborough today, but can’t complain. Our weather has been good so far this winter compared to some peoples. The crossword today for us was quite tough & we were glad when the hints appeared, but we’ve finished it now & enjoyed it too. Thank you setter & BD.

  10. I found this puzzle difficult and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Got about half way then had to resort to the help from the genius who is BIg Dave. Despite the labour I found it enjoyable. I would rate it 4*/4* Thank you Big Dave for easing the torment.

  11. Wow! That was hard. Not so much the top half, but some in the bottom half were really difficult. I needed the hints to know “why” of 4a and 8a like RD above. I got 21a wrong, I thought it was a hidden word, which didn’t even make sense, so this meant I had 15d, 21d and 25a blank and needed the hints. Favourite I think must be 19d, took me ages but such a good clue. Thanks to Virgillius, and very grateful to BD for his helping me to finish this.

  12. I did this earlier this morning, and 21d is the only clue I marked as witty for some reason although there were lots of great clues such as 7d and 10a. A good deal more doable than in recent weeks.Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  13. Liked this a lot as ever with Virgilius. Always ingenious wordplay and fun to fill but without the slightest feeling of being a drudge. Best for me were 8a & 14d. Needed BD for the explanation of the 11a which I doubt I would have got if my life had depended on it. Sundays are now my favourite cryptic thanks to V.

  14. Great stuff so many thanks to Virgilius for livening up our post-prandial coffee down at the bar (coffee machine at home has gone tits up, well that’s my excuse!)..

    Too many good clues to mention but top of the shop is probably 21a or 1d perhaps. Both raised a :grin:

    ***/**** from us.

    Thanks also to BD.

  15. Hi all,
    Been doing the S.T. cryptic for the last 18 months. Never did crosswords before. I’ve tried a couple of other setters, but I simply adore Virgilius’s clue setting. I do the “I” every other Tuesday. Two questions. Does Brian Greer set anywhere else? Are there any other compilers that the forum members might recommend? Thanks, Christy.

    1. Welcome to the blog Christy

      Brian sets as Brendan in The Guardian. I don’t think he still sets as Virgilius in The Indy or, anonymously, in The Times

  16. To have a Virgillius puzzle on a Sunday is a pleasure I always look forward to. This one has ***** for enjoyment. The clues I liked most were 8a, 13a, 22a, and 25a.

    I completed the puzzle without hints. Like Jezza and McMillibar, I was uncertain I had contracted the right word for 11a. Looking at Big Dave’s delightful hint and illustration now, I think I had it. I also had difficulty working out the wordplay for my answer to 14d. So very many thanks Big Dave for enlightenment here.

    Very many thanks to Virgillius for an excellent puzzle. And very many thanks to Big Dave for excellent hints and lovely illustrations.

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