ST 2729 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2729 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2729 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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There’s a new monthly Prize Puzzle with a very special prize

In response to a number of requests, I have added a page, The Usual Suspects, to the Crosswords section of the blog.  This lists some of the wordplay elements commonly used in cryptic crosswords.  I hope it proves to be useful, especially to newer solvers.

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           Watches, for example, man in rival publication (10)
Another name for a chessman inside a rival publication to The Daily Telegraph

10a         Small woolly jumper for cute infant (7)
Two definitions – the first being a baby sheep

12a         Be embracing novel gold bar idea — as opposed to plastic, for instance (13)
BE outside (embracing) an anagram (novel) of gold bar idea gives a word meaning having the quality of being able to be broken down by bacteria, unlike plastic

14a         Serve two couples holding hands in a corner, finally (6)
This verb meaning to serve or fulfil is derived by putting two pairs of bridge partners (couples) inside the A from the clue and the final letter of corneR

22a         Place to find info, within a ship, on ammo (8,5)
A phrase meaning within a ship (2,5) preceded by a piece of ammunition

25a         Hint about one’s home cooking (7)
A hint or prompt around I (one), the S from ‘S and a two-letter word meaning home

27a         Is single, occupying dull accommodation (10)
IS and a three-letter number that represents a single inside an adjective meaning dull


1d           Loud instrument makes neighbour upset (4)
Reverse (upset in a down clue) a verb meaning to be next to or make(s) into a neighbour

2d           Not positive about one British form of transport (7)
A five-letter word meaning not positive around I (one) and B(ritish)

4d           Oriental cut European flower for festival (6)
It looks like Virgilius couldn’t make his mind up as we have two separate pieces of wordplay!  Either drop the final letter (cut) from an adjective meaning oriental or combine E(uropean) and a flower

8d           One of those competing in uniform, including half of team (10)
An adjective meaning uniform around the first half of TEam

11d         Making new offence up, within reasonable limits (13)
A three-letter word for a moral offence reversed (up in a down clue) inside reasonable limits or avoidance of excess

13d         Reverses under shade in these vehicles (10)
A verb meaning reverses preceded by (under in a down clue) a verb meaning to shade with fine, usually diagonal, lines

20d         Aesthetically unconventional daughter’s on a platform on time (7)
D(aughter) followed by the A from the clue, a platform and T(ime)

21d         A Conservative using public transport? You can count on it (6)
The A from the clue and C(onservative) inside some public transport, i.e. “in (1,3)”

23d         Announced what’s going to happen to one charitable function (4)
Sounds like (announced) what’s going to happen to one in the future

Highlighted words are to be found in my new “Usual Suspects” page.

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

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

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 Sir David Jason (74)
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48 comments on “ST 2729 (Hints)

    1. A noun meaning making new – a reversal (up) of an offence inside an way of saying that something is done within reasonable limits.

  1. 2.5*/4* rating. The extra ½* for difficulty came from the NE corner, which held me up after the other three quarters went in fairly smoothly.

    My only minor quibble with this very enjoyable puzzle is that some plastic items are specifically designed to be 12a, so I think the clue is misleading. Perhaps it should read “as opposed to some plastic, for instance”?

    There was a lovely balance of clues with excellent surface readings sprinkled with nice touches of humour. I particularly liked 14a, 15a and 26a.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    P.S. BD you’ve duplicated your hint for 27a.

  2. The usual superb start to Sunday, thank you Virgilius. The highlight has to be the ‘two couples holding hands’ – brilliant!! Oh… I also loved the way 10a made me think of Kath – I bet it’s her favourite clue today. :)

    Thanks to BD too.

      1. Sorry – I was feeling a bit frisky with these pics of lambs and spring in the air here in Boston (42f)

  3. Thank you Virgilius – another puzzle giving great enjoyment ! Thanks BD for your hints.

  4. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very good and enjoyable puzzle from Virgilius. Great fun, no major holdups. Some really good clues 14a&9a,2d, but my favourite by a mile was 15a which was last in. Was 2*/4* for me. Lovely day in Central London, hope the storms are not too severe for everyone next week.

  5. Best Sunday puzzle for some time IMO and that’s saying something as they’re all brill. Reckon 14a is the clue of the year so far.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and BD

  6. I loved this one, and wholeheartedly agree that 14a is without doubt the best yet. Last one in was 27a, but that was because I carelessly used the wrong ending to 20d. All good stuff. Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the review.

    Super Bowl this evening, but unlike most Americans, I won’t be glued to a wide-screen TV eating chicken wings and chips, and drinking beer and shouting. I don’t even know who’s playing. I wish I could watch some of your rugby.

    1. Get a VPN into the UK and you can. It is well worth the $5/month. Or try ‘hola’ on Chrome.

        1. Does anyone have any ideas how we are going to watch the MotoGP now that big business has hijacked the sport (BT), trying to make their offering seem more appealing. There must be a way on the net but it will not be in glorious HD as it was with Beeb2. I have already cancelled one phone line in protest.

          Who am I kidding.. I’ll be amazed if anyone other than Steve_the_Beard has ever watched MotoGP.

            1. Thanks, site added to my Favourites tab for when the season starts in April. MotoGP not listed presently though.

  7. Having been up early, left Oughtibridge at 8am, travelled to Preston, played in brass band contest, got home 3.30ish was looking forward to some Easy Rider and a good crossword. Disappointed by neither. Excellent puzzle. Excellent beer. Love my daughter- Rachel- who did her first contest today.

  8. What a lovely crossword – I seem to say that every Sunday. It feels like a very long time ago that I couldn’t do Sunday puzzles – thanks BD et al.
    For once I didn’t have any major hold-ups apart from 14a which was my last one.
    Another first for me is that I found the hidden answers quite easily.
    I was a bit doubtful for a while about the first part of 13d.
    I liked too many of these to write them all down so just a few are 9, 15 and 26a and 3 (even though I’ve never heard of it) 4 and 20d.
    My favourite was, needless to say, 10a.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    I’ve been in the garden all afternoon – it really felt as if Spring is on its way. On the other hand Christmas feels like yesterday – am I getting old?

    1. Sunday puzzles are always lovely. Are you sure you didn’t make a 3d at school? I can remember making one and we are ‘of the same era’!

      1. Oh – I see what you mean – bits of paper and solar eclipses? I was thinking more of surgery – I certainly don’t remember ever making one at school although we are definitely of the same era.

    2. Having transgressed I seem to have escaped the naughty corner – only just spotted my sins.
      Sorry BD – completely unintentional.

  9. I’d love to try my hand with this one, but I can’t find it! It’s usually at the end of the “Life” section, but there’s no sign of it on the e-telegraph site today. Still, fear not, fellow cruciverbalists, l’m with you in spirit.

  10. Spent ages on 23 down and then, as always, when the answer appears I couldn’t see how I’d missed it for so long. Have never encountered 14 across in that context but Roget says it’s ok! Everything was pretty straightforward until those two last clues. Very satisfying

    1. Glad someone else had problems with 23d because that still prevents me finishing. I realise it must be a homophone. Thanks Virgilius for this entertaining puzzle and BD even though your hint doesn’t do the trick for me with this one. I’m sure I will kick myself eventually.

        1. Many thanks but I’m afraid the penny still didn’t drop so I admit to resorting to another blog however, in my defence, I don’t necessarily think of it as a “charitable” function. Phew now I can relax!

  11. Another great Sunday serving from the Master of fluent surface readings – in the DT at least. Loved 14a which was my last one in. Dead easy gimmies like 9a are big on entertainment and let you get a start with a smile. 15a a firm favourite. Big thanks Virgilius for a weekend highlight. **/****.

  12. Lovely crossword, just the right amount of ‘tension’ for me.
    14a brilliant,
    Strangely, because I had the wrong answer to 2d, I struggled with 1a until the penny dropped for both.
    Many thanks to Virillius and BD for the review.
    Can’t find the Thread about the DT’s IT.
    It’s still not working, I sign in OK but when I proceed to play, I get a blank screen, not even the little clock.
    I despair, DT.

  13. Thanks to Virgilius for a very enjoyable solve, and to BD for the blog (and for telling me where to download the crossword in the first place). Favourite clues were 27a and 11d.

    1. Welcome to the blog Melissa.

      6a Starts off building line of command in multinational group (4)

      It’s the starting letters from words in the clue.

  14. 15A my favourite, such a neat pairing in the first sentence and then the use of ‘odd’ (usually anagram) cleverly misdirects. Lovely clue. Really enjoyed this week’s crossword.

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