ST 2733 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2733 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2733 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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There’s a new Monthly Prize Puzzle available.

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 Apply equal weight against noble, monarch, and bishop with a weapon (14)
A charade of a foreign nobleman, our monarch, B(ishop), the A from the clue and a weapon

9a Musician given help by band-leader (7)
A word meaning to help preceded by the initial letter (leader) of Band

11a Spoils sound of old instrument (4)
The spoils of an illegal activity sound like an old musical instrument

14a Person who’s judgmental about husband, somewhat (6)
Someone who judges or assesses around H(usband)

15a Line on former PM, our counterpart of Charles de Gaulle (8)
A line preceded by the surname of a former Prime Minister gives London’s counterpart to Paris’s Charles de Gaulle

21a Run into experienced Tory in leading position, shown to be different (10)
R(un) inside a verb meaning experienced or tried preceded by (in leading position) a three-letter abbreviation for a Tory

24a Doctor heeding how Arab, for example, sounded (7)
This anagram (doctor) of HEEDING is how an Arab stallion might have sounded

26a Go through problem area on foot and split cost of cheap accommodation (10,4)
A charade of a three-letter word meaning go or vitality, a three-letter preposition meaning through or during, a four-letter problem area on the foot that can cause pain and suffering for those so afflicted and a four-letter verb meaning to split


1d Iced drink  worker found at last (7)
Two definitions – the second being a tradesman who works at a last

2d Links son up with team, oddly taking on rugby, initially, not cricket (15)
An anagram (oddly) of LINKS SON UP with TEAM around the initial letter of Rugby

3d Understand it’s a little bit of a chestnut (4)
Two definitions – a verb meaning to understand or get and a little bit of a chestnut, or any other, tree

5d On radio, it includes Romeo and Juliet (8)
Romeo and Juliet phonetically represent letters in this when used on the radio

7d Fellow revised NT, reserved a location for text (7,3,5)
A fellow followed by an anagram (revised) of NT RESERVED A

16d Unfashionable drink, we hear — certainly no favourite (8)
A three-letter word meaning unfashionable followed by what sounds like (we hear) an alcoholic drink

19d Having one run on time in top gear (7)
A score of one run in cricket followed by T(ime) gives an item worn on the upper half of the body – the cricket term is in my new page on Cricket Terms and Abbreviations

23d Circular letter with enclosure, unsealed (4)
The circular letter followed by an enclosure

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.

Please read these instructions carefully. Offending comments may be redacted or deleted.

Today it’s Happy Birthday to Harry Redknapp (67)

28 comments on “ST 2733 (Hints)

  1. Terrific challenge , as usual, from Virgillius. The north east corner proved to be the trickiest after putting an incorrect synonym for 2d.
    15a is my favourite for misleading me into racking my brain (such as it is ) for an english equivalent of Charles de Gaulle. I have come to the conclusion he has no parallel in the english speaking community (thank heavens).Thanks BD for the blog, no hints needed today.

  2. Thanks for blog Dave though not needed today, a 3 star for me finding some of the long clues quite difficult, no real favourite but enjoyed overall, where has all the sunshine gone? own up, who’s got it!!?

    1. It has finally stopped raining here and the sun is peeping out, for the moment , anyway.

    2. We haven’t got your sun either – it’s been drizzly all day and is now absolutely chucking it down, again.

  3. Another pleasant puzzle to round off the week!

    Faves : 15a & 5d.

    Lovely sunny day here in NL.

  4. 5* for enjoyment! Virgilius has surpassed even his usual standard of excellence today to offer us this magnificent puzzle.

    I’m struggling to rate this for difficulty because I’ve been multi-tasking, something very difficult for a man, indeed some would say impossible :wink:. I’ll settle for 3.5* (plus or minus).

    Although I didn’t need any outside assistance to complete this, the drink part of 1d was a new word for me, and I needed BD’s hint to understand the parsing for 26a. Although it was logical that the first 6 letters were clued by “go through”, I completely missed that they needed to be split (3,3) :oops:

    This was so good that I need to have a favourite, but Kath, I’m really sorry, for me 15a, 24a, 2d & 5d were all equally brilliant.

    Many, many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  5. Had to give in & look at some hints, but to be fair they were all very reasonable. We just couldn’t see them. We haven’t got the sun in Scarborough today either. But at least it’s not pouring down. Thank you to the setter & to BD for his helpful hints.

  6. I thought this was a terrific crossword. Challenging at times but enough ‘easier’ clues to help one on ones way. No help needed this time. My thanks to the setter.

  7. Brilliant! So enjoyable, that’s more like it. Thanks Virgilius, you did not disappoint. I was not aware of the drink for 1d, a quick google solved that. How can I choose a favourite? I loved all the long clues and so many more. Didn’t need your hints today BD, but, as usual, the review was entertaining.

  8. Excellent puzzle, Thanks to V, BD & the Cyrptognomethings for a partly toasty and partly sunny morning here in Boston.

    Mr & Mrs T

  9. Thank you Virgilius, another lovely puzzle. I managed to get onto the right wavelength today, so I didn’t have too many problems for a change ! Thanks BD for the hints. Back to the familiar rain in the NW.

  10. Excellent tussle.
    Love those long word clues, if only because they provide so many checking letters, very clever constructions.
    Ashamed that 26a was my last in.
    Notice Mr. Whatsit crops up yet again as an ex PM.
    Many thanks Virgilius, and BD for the review.

    1. 26a was my last one too but I don’t think I can do better than BD’s hint – try reading it again, very carefully.

  11. I agree with everyone – another lovely Sunday crossword.
    I got into a muddle trying to untangle 2d although I got the answer from the checking letters.
    I couldn’t make up my mind which definition, and therefore which spelling, we needed for 11a so didn’t put either in until it was obvious.
    I interpreted 26a as the first six letters meaning ‘go through’ like ******* but I suppose either works – I hadn’t thought of BD’s way of explaining it but I’m sure he’s right – he usually is!
    I liked lots of these but I think my favourite has to be 15a.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    1. You’re rather late today. Thought you might have gone AWOL!

      How did the birthday celebrations go yesterday evening?

      1. No – haven’t gone AWOL, as you can see.
        Birthday celebrations were lovely and seemed to go on for most of today hence my late arrival.

  12. No real problems, but an enjoyable puzzle to solve. A bit more than 2* by my reckoning. My favourite clue was 6d. Ta to Virgilius for the workout, and to BD as usual for blog and hints.

  13. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very nice puzzle, no major problems, very enjoyable. Was 2*/3* for me. Favourite was 24a. Couldn’t parse 2d&21a. So thanks for the explanations.

  14. A brilliant puzzle and, for me here in Houston, Texas (6 hours behind most of you) a tougher wrestle than normal for Virgilius – but as ever all perfectly fair and ingenious. Managed to complete with no help other than a extra dose of time. last in was 26a in common with quite a few writers. Nominated for an Oscar for best clue today are 24a and 5d.

    Today saw the temperature drop 20 degrees C in 6 hours or so. Never seen that much before standing in one place.

    I have been finding it hard to do the crossword and the blog each day because I have to get other things done. The trouble is that it’s very enjoyable and you solvers are good fun on the blog so the whole is quite addictive – the thing with addictions is recognising the problem and then having the resolve to cart yourself off to rehab.

    Now I am back, the plan is to be an occasional user – when I genuinely have the time. Shame because I feel I have got to ‘know’ some of you but until someone gives me a gold watch I have no option. I won’t be missing Sunday’s Virgilius though – that would never do.

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