ST 2731 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2731 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2731 (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 What might come from ship in danger — list is bad (8,6)
Crosswordland’s usual ship inside an anagram (bad) of DANGER LIST IS gives something that might come from a ship in danger because it is listing

9a One state very briefly joined with another, in short (7)
This US state is derived from most of (briefly) VERy followed by the shortened name of another US state

11a Creative writing, in short, was illuminating (3)
Two definitions – the abbreviation for some creative writing and a verb meaning was illuminating

14a A form of support for ship, perhaps, at sea? On the contrary (6)
The A from the clue followed by a form of support that could (perhaps) be used in a ship gives a word that means the opposite (on the contrary) of at sea

19a Sally‘s nature that is succinctly presented (6)
A nature or type followed by the Latin abbreviation (succinctly presented) for “that is”

23a Negative expression that’s repeated in error (3)
A show of disapproval (negative expression) that, when repeated, means an error

27a Very happy place — relaxed with a small drink (7,2,5)
A charade of PL(ace), a verb meaning relaxed, the A from the clue, S(mall) and an alcoholic drink


1d Arguer for unpopular cause was upset over votes a cad rigged (6,8)
The reversal of a verb meaning was or existed followed by an anagram (rigged) of VOTES A CAD

2d Slight injury making one withdraw (7)
Two definitions – a slight injury and a verb meaning to withdraw from a competition

4d It helps to locate game or puzzle constructor (6)
Two definitions – a dog that helps locate game and a constructor of puzzles like this one

6d Material in part of racket  one’s bust in strenuous effort (3)
Two definitions – material that used to be used in tennis rackets and part of a phrase meaning to make a strenuous effort

8d Leading man in play that has two parts (5,3,6)
The eponymous leading man in a Shakespearean play that is split into two parts

13d Old male with stake in economical source of fertiliser (7,4)
O(ld), M(ale) and a timber stake inside an adjective meaning economical

18d Alternative to watch, but only for daytime viewing (7)
A cryptic definition of a device for telling the time that is useless at night

25d Combination of blood groups that’s dangerous for South Americans (3)
Combine three blood groups to get this South American reptile

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

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As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment.

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to John McEnroe (55)

31 comments on “ST 2731 (Hints)

  1. G’day, BD – Nice to see the sun. My Avatar has suddenly changed and I got a little message saying my comment required moderation. So far as I know I haven’t done anything out of the way – what is the reason for this? I’m not a bit computer savvy, so I’m feeling a bit out of my depth!

    Nice Cryptic this morning.

    1. If your avatar changes it usually means you have miskeyed your email address, which also puts your comment into moderation. I have corrected your address by putting ll instead of l. You need to do the same. While you are doing that, could you please drop the capitals from your alias, i.e. Magmull instead of MAGMULL. Capitals are an internet convention for shouting.

      1. Thank you so much BD – I can’t think how any of that happened. Have made the alterations so hope I’m back on course again. Many apologies for taking up your time. All the best.

  2. 2*/4*

    Another Sunday delight and all is well with the world (temporarily, at least!) The wind has died down; the rain has stopped; the sun is shining; there are only a few fluffy white clouds in the sky here in SE London; and Virgilius has presented us with a magnificent crossword.

    I thought all the clues were excellent with 18d my favourite, but all four long clues along the edges deserve a special mention too.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    P.S. John McEnroe 55? You cannot be serious!

  3. I liked all the framing words,it made the puzzle so much easier to crack.Lots of great inclusive clues as well.8d is my favourite. Thanks to Virgillius and BD.

  4. Thank you Virgilius – a particularly enjoyable puzzle with so many good fun clues. 1d especially. Thanks for the hints BD. It isn’t raining here – might have to go out !

  5. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very nice puzzle from Virgilius, but a bit more gentle than usual. Only hold up was 19a, which was last in. Favourites were 17a, great skill by the setter, and 26a which made me laugh. Was 1*/4* for me. Great day in Central London. Come on the Gooners, get your own back on Liverpool later :-)

  6. Perhaps too gentle for a Sunday.
    But must agree, the long answers certainly helped.!
    25a and 27a very clever, I thought.
    Slow to see the well-concealed ‘hiddens’
    Many thanks Virgillius and BD.

  7. Another very enjoyable end to the week from Brian!
    The external 14-letter jobs were my favourites as well as13d – as I have lived in a third-floor flat for nearly 20 years, I don’t have such now but we had a large garden in the previous abode.

    Weather in NL very sunny but rather windy.

  8. A very pleasing puzzle which I much enjoyed. Not a great level of difficulty. My favourite was 24A with 27A in hot pursuit.

  9. Completely not on this setter’s wavelength I’m afraid, although I usually like 2 or 3 word answers. We’ve finished it, but with lots of help from DB. When we got the answer, its difficult to see quite why we found it so hard. Thank you to the setter & to BD.

    1. Well I’m relieved I wasn’t alone in really struggling with this one – and, like Sheila P, wasn’t quite sure why I’d found it so hard when I completed it! But appreciated the brain work out with heaps of Mary’s perservation, so thank you setter for that, and to BD for showing me why my answer to 4d was correct…

  10. Thoroughly enjoyable fare for a relaxed Sunday and still leaving time for a constitutional in the (shhh!) sunshine. Many thanks setter and BD. ***/****.

  11. Really enjoyable.
    Getting the four long answers round the outside certainly made for a good start as did the other anagrams.
    I was slow to get 19a and 21d – having got 17a I thought that I was done with the dreaded hidden ones that I still always miss until the last moment.
    We don’t seem to see three letter answers very often – I liked them, especially 25d.
    I liked all the very long ones and all the very short ones and my favourite was 26a.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    I can hardly believe that the sun is out – it makes such a difference.

  12. Super puzzle! Yes, Kath, the long answers certainly got the ball rolling. I got the answer to 4d on first read through but it took a long time to get the “helps to locate game”, wotta clever clue. Last one in was 21d, missed that hidden word for ages. How can you choose a favourite with all these gems, but I did like 8d particularly. Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the review, not needed today but always entertaining.

  13. Thanks Virgilius for another great CW. I am still struggling with 19a even with BD’s hint. I thought this was one of V’s slightly harder offerings unlike some commentors/commentators (I don’t know which is correct). We have a normal rear garden with a non-normal tree – a Sequoiadendron Giganteum Wellingtonia. It is to be admired how this big thing (unoriginally called ‘Red’) has withstood the gales but goodness, it drops some stuff. Off to clear up after it…. again.

    1. You must have a HUGE garden! Remember seeing those trees in Muir’s Woods in Calif many years ago.

      1. No. The estate was built in the grounds of James Watt or one of his descendants who saw fit to create an arboretum (as you do). We just happen to be custodians of one of a pair of these things. We are really rather fond of it (him) even though he gives me a LOT of work each year.

  14. This is very strange and happens a lot. I came to the site for the four clues I had left but unfortunately they weren’t included.
    As soon as I went back to the crossword, I completed it. Weird or what?
    Thanks to both for your subliminal help.

    1. One of the aspect of the mind that crosswords illustrate so well. They allow us to dip our toes in the 80% that we don’t use – or don’t think we use. It would be nice to get access to the whole shooting match.

  15. Really quiet here today. Has everyone been out and about taking advantage of the sunshine or are we all just a bit stunned?

  16. A nice puzzle from Virgilius, for which many thanks. I would rate it as 2*/4*, and 19a was my favourite clue. Bliss it was this day to be alive, here in Cornwall, but the rain hasn’t finished with us yet and will be back tomorrow. Still, let us be thankful for small mercies.

  17. I am all behindhand. I did this beautiful puzzle on Monday but haven’t had a chance to comment. My fave was 8d. I enjoyed your hints, Big Dave, but haven’t used them. I now await the full review to see how I fared!
    Thank you very much, Virgillius, for a most enjoyable puzzle. Thank you very much, too, Big Dave, for the hints.

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