ST 2732 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2732 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2732 (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 Disrespect around monarch is stupid behaviour (10)
A word meaning disrespect or rudeness around the Latin abbreviation for a king or queen (monarch)

6a Beginning, but not finishing, as top player (4)
Drop the final letter (not finishing) from a word meaning the beginning

9a Port  with more piquant flavour (7)
Two definitions – a Moroccan port and an adjective meaning having a more piquant flavour

12a Fashionable site I’m changing within last minute (13)
The usual two-letter word for fashionable followed by an anagram (changing) of SITE I’M inside an adjective meaning last gives an adjective meaning minute

14a Spare money for a female American president (6)
This verb meaning to be able to spare money for a purchase comes from a charade of the A from the clue, F(emale) and a former US president

15a I’m returning to doctor awfully tiny photograph (8)
Reverse (returning) I’M and follow it with an anagram (awfully) of DOCTOR

19a Bringer of news about male baby (6)
The publication that brings news around M(ale) gives a verb meaning to baby or mollycoddle

24a Small bit of speech wherein I ask for ring? (7)
Split as (5,2) this could be the setter asking you to ring him

27a Suffering in opening without queen? Good (10)
This verb meaning suffering or enduring is derived by putting a verb meaning opening something that has been wrapped around the regnal cipher for the Queen and G(ood)


1d First nine of our letters turned up, and one from Greece (4)
The range covered by the first nine letters of our alphabet (1,2,1) is reversed (up in a down clue) to give a letter (the ninth!) in the Greek alphabet

2d Religious leader‘s page covering minor argument (7)
P(age) followed by a word meaning covering or about and a minor argument

3d Class in university local found far from enlightening (13)
A school class inside UNI(versity) and an adjective meaning local or indigenous

5d Prepare to fire back in Manhattan, for example (8)
A verb meaning to prepare to fire a firearm followed by the back or rear

7d Tested over very short distance, and cut down to size (7)
A verb meaning tested around a very short metric distance

8d With pistol, held up a politician concerned with rules (10)
The reversal (held up) of a type of German automatic pistol is followed by the A from the clue and a right-wing politician

11d Is breaking key instrument, I confess, and creating confusion (13)
The IS from the clue inside a musical key and a musical instrument followed by the I from the clue and a colloquial verb meaning to confess

13d Like a golf course, with sand placed haphazardly (10)
An anagram (haphazardly) of SAND PLACED

18d Outline first of challenges, playing away matches (7)
The initial letter (first) of Challenges followed by a phrase (2,4) meaning playing a series of matches in different locations away from home

23d Catch small shrew (4)
S(mall) followed by a shrew or aggressively assertive woman

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 Shakira Caine aka Lady Micklewhite (67)

21 comments on “ST 2732 (Hints)

  1. 3*/4* for this lovely puzzle which brightened a very gloomy morning here in SE London. I probably took a bit longer than I might have done as my brain was somewhat addled this morning after an exhausting time yesterday watching the rugby consuming a few beers in a local hostelry followed by a curry and a few more beers. What a great game of rugby between two excellent sides, with England’s win setting the stage for a very exciting finish to the Six Nations. Well done, England!!

    As always on a Sunday, Virgilius has provided us with a magnificent selection of clues, and I wouldn’t know where to begin to select a favourite. Although I worked out the answer for 24a, it was a new word for me which I needed to check in the BRB.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  2. Agree with RD, an evening of beer and curry was not the best preparation for this puzzle, still, fuddled my way through it!

    Thanks to BD for the hints, not needed today.

    Thanks to Virgilius.

  3. Good afternoon Dave, I found this really difficult today verging on 4 star territory with 24a belonging in a toughie IMHO!
    However several clues I liked were 17a, 26a 25a and 1d I think I will make 1d my favourite Kath :-)
    The readings of some clues particularly 20d I thought were pretty iffy!
    Will have to miss the Liverpool v Swans today band practice calls
    See you all later

  4. I always take a long time with a Virgillius. A terrific puzzle, some great misdirections.24a and 19a are very good clues amoung many others. One quibble, should Virgillius have a look at pedants corner, concerning one of the across clues ?Thanks Virgillius for an entertaining tussle and BD for the blog.

  5. There were some excellent clues here. Poor Wayne Rooney. Man U are not the only club throwing money at him.

  6. This took me longer to complete than my normal Sunday solving time. Either it is a little trickier this week, or the incessant drilling and hammering from workmen in our upstairs bathroom yesterday and today has fuddled my brain!
    Many thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  7. I thought this was really good – I enjoyed it very much – I agree with Mary that it was very difficult.
    I needed the hint to untangle 12a. I’ve never heard of 24a and I don’t really understand what it means even after BRB’ing it.
    I liked 19 and 26a and 1, 13 and 23d. My favourite is either 26a or 1d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Grey and drizzly in Oxford – going to carry on battling with the NTSPP – it’s not looking hopeful at the moment.

  8. Pretty hard today, but quite enjoyable we thought. I’ve never heard of 24a either, Kath, & had to look it up in the dictionary. Very grey & blustery on the East Coast. Thank you to the setter & to BD.

  9. Saw the Twickenham match at Kells Irish pub. Less saddened by the result that I might have been because it was such a great match. Have to admit England were really strong, but so were Ireland — who still have a good shot at the Championship because of good points difference.

    Usual thanks to BD. And, Una, I admit to being a card-carrying member of the pedants’ union, having had those tendencies since childhood.

  10. As usual, good puzzle needing stretch of the little grey cells. 24a was a new word for me also, I loved it! I needed the BD explanation for 27a but can’t understand how I missed it to begin with. It’s impossible to choose a favourite among such a host of entertaining clues, so today I’ll pass on that and just say I loved them all. Thanks to Virgilius and BD for the review.

  11. I struggled with the bottom left hand corner but my excuse is that I was listening to the Liverpool v Swansea game which did nothing for my blood pressure. Agree with Kath and Mary as to it being more difficult than usual. Thanks to setter and BD.

  12. Thanks Virgilius, a lovely puzzle finished in fits and starts during the day. A fine but very windy day on the NE coast. 13d looks like the 12th at Augusta. Could lose a few balls on that hole ! Thanks for the hints BD

  13. Oh, deep joy! I was late at attempting today’s offering as I went to watch my beloved Leicester Tigers beat London Irish. Then today’s puzzle was an absolute peach. I did need your hints Big Dave so thanks for the blog. the difficulty for me was *** but the enjoyment factor was *****+ Lots of lovely smilers, it would be unfair, I think, to single out any particular one.

  14. I’m with Kath, Mary, Sheila P and others in finding this very taxing and I needed all sorts of help including yours, BD (thanks for that). Thought at one stage I was going to throw in the towel but just made it.

  15. This was a delightful puzzle, for which many thanks to Virgilius, full of clever and frequently deliberately misleading clues. I found myself charging confidently in one direction, only to find the solution in quite another place. My only problem was one of inability to spell 12a – an inability l’ve had ever since l first knew of the word’s existence! All in all, an enjoyable and instructive interlude. Thanks too to Big Dave for the blog.

  16. Enjoyed the puzzle though I found it rather tricky. Thanks BD for the explanation for 1d. Just couldn’t see the word play . Unlike some of you watching rugby and football I was up at 6 am to watch the gold medal hockey game between Sweden and Canada! No wonder my brain is slightly fuddled. Thanks again BD and thanks of course to Virgilus for another fine puzzle. Loved 19a.

  17. Really enjoyed this one – slow but steady progress that kept me both puzzled and still enjoyably engaged.
    Thanks to setter and BD for the hints, which despite much temptation and to my surprise I narrowly avoided using.

  18. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A super puzzle, but very tough. Needed about 5 hints to finish. Was 4*/5* for me, favourite was 10a. Late blogging due to a day out at Poole on Sunday.

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