ST 2734 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2734 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2734 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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Don’t forget to have a go at the new Monthly Prize Puzzle..

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 Religious teacher and Edward informally talked (8)
A Jewish religious teacher followed by the three-letter affectionate form of Edward

9a Coming out of hotel, even though it’s after ten (8)
hidden (coming out of) inside the clue

15a Highest number on clock in taxi indicated? (6)
The Roman numerals for this number are hidden (in) inside the clue

16a Guy‘s instruction to boxer, perhaps (4)
Two definitions – a guy rope and an instruction that might be given to the kind of animal of which the boxer is an example (perhaps)

20a Given and returned, coming back in fall, autumn (6)
This adjective meaning given and returned or reciprocal is hidden (in) and reversed (coming back) inside the clue

21a It’s used by typist, but not for letters (5,3)
… because it’s on the keyboard

23a Sacred books we sent out, getting positive response time after time (3,9)
An anagram (out) of WE SENT followed by the biblical positive response meaning “so let it be”, especially at the end of a prayer, and T(ime) with the latter two elements preceded by (after) the other T(ime)

28a Lots of fish caught for men on board (8)
Two definitions – lots of fish in nets and some men or pieces on a board game


2d Would-be revolutionary partisan (8)
This would- be is an anagram (revolutionary) of PARTISAN

3d Nothing to wear for annual event? (8,4)
A cryptic definition of what we all wear on arrival in this world!

4d King’s supporter, it’s said, no longer in the saddle (6)
The item of furniture that a king sits on sounds like an word meaning no longer in the saddle because you unwillingly came off the horse

6d Move up the right men, though lacking leaders (8)
Drop (lacking) the initial letters (leaders) from three words in the clue

7d Where to find Nicaraguan or Guatemalan, or old Peruvian (4)
Split as (2,2) this could be where to find a Nicaraguan or a Guatemalan

8d Article about one extremely dishonest activity (8)
The definite article around I (one) and followed by an adverb meaning extremely

12d Checking under normal conditions big game bagged by novelist (5-7)
A big game of cricket inside the surname of an 18th century male author or a 21st century female one

24d Source for four-letter word repeated in Shakespeare comedy (4)
This source of water appears twice in the title of one of Shakespeare’s comedies

25d A royal I revered, ultimately, inspired with respect (4)
The A from the clue followed by how royals, especially Queen Victoria (and famously Maggie Thatcher), refer to themselves and the final letter (ultimately) of inspired

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Sundays are such a joy!

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Ornette Coleman (84)
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34 comments on “ST 2734 (Hints)

  1. Excellent stuff so thanks to Virgilius. Also thanks to BD for pointing out how 15a works, d’oh! Tricky or what?

  2. Another great challenge set for us by Virgillius.My favourites included 21a and 12a. I’m going to stick my head above the parapet and say that I am not sure that 19d fully works.A thank you to BD for the blog.

      1. Thanks for that , I had the solution. I thought that 19d was a noun but I see now that it is also an adjective.

  3. 2*/3* again today for the second excellent puzzle this weekend. 7d was going to be my favourite until the penny finally dropped regarding the wonderfully devious 15a, which is a brilliant clue.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to BD.

    1. Whoops :oops:

      Not Rufus again! Many thanks of course to Virgilius, with my apologies.

  4. To borrow from Big Boab “pure dead brilliant” even allowing for the chestnut!!

    Thanks to Virgilius for making a beautiful sunny warm day even better and to BD for the hints.

    Now back to the chair in the garden just in case this is summer!

  5. 3*/4* for me today. Did not need the hints but ,as ever, enjoyed reading the blog. Thanks to Big Dave. Favourite clue was 11A. Now to support England!

  6. Thank you Virgilius – brilliant puzzle. I thought that I would struggle to start with but somehow kept going. Some seriously clever clues IMHO ! Actually warm enough to mow the lawn today – and now settle down to watch what I hope is a terrific match at Twickenham. Many thanks BD for the hints and your hard work as always.

  7. One was most amused by this puzzle from Virgilius!

    The usual excellent entertainment for a (sunny) Sunday morning!

    My Favourite: 6d

  8. My main problem was trying to work out why 6d was right.
    I thought that 15a was about the most devious hidden-in-the-middle answer I’ve ever seen.
    I spent too long trying to make 11a an anagram of ‘hot unrefined’ which was a bit silly.
    Just a few of the clues I liked are 11, 15 and 16a and 6, 14 and 17d. Couldn’t possibly pick just one favourite out of so many.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Back to the sun now the digging up of nettles

  9. Wotta brilliant puzzle. Thank you Virgilius for the entertainment. I didn’t need the hints to finish but I certainly needed a couple explained, not least is 15a. I didn’t get that at all, how clever is that. It has to be my favourite, with honourable mention going to 21a, 11a … a host of others, too many to mention. I didn’t know the fish meaning for 28a. Thank you for the review BD.

  10. Excellent grey cells exercise.
    6d was an especially brilliant clue, I thought.
    15a was absolutely diabolical, staring at us in the face.
    Many thanks to Virgilius (master of the hidden clue) and to BD for the review.

  11. As others have said an excellent puzzle! This all flowed very nicely; the only one that I pondered over for a while was 12d.
    Many thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  12. A great puzzle that only yielded 10 double unches as opposed to yesterdays 12 so there is hope. GGGRRRHHHH. Thank you Virgilius and BD

    1. Something that has always been a mystery to me is who is it who decides on the grid? I never notice numerous double unches unless someone points them out to me. I know, at least I think I do, that a grid has to be symmetrical but that’s as far as I can go with all that kind of stuff.

  13. Thanks, everyone.

    Just wanted to mention some classy rugby from Ireland yesterday.

  14. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A super puzzle as usual from Virgilius, though a bit easier than usual. Managed ok without using the hints, but had to check on why 15&28a were what they were. 15a was very clever, and was my favourite. Last in was 6d. was 2*/4* for me. Lovely Spring day in Central London.

  15. An enjoyable and satisfying puzzle, in which l took a while to get a foothold before the solutions starting coming quite freely. 3*/4* for me, with some splendid clues (particularly my favourite 12d). Thank you Virgilius for rounding off a good day – courtesy of England and Exeter Chiefs – with an entertaining mental workout.

  16. Very enjoyable 2*/4* so many thanks to Virgilius – and to BD for his review, which explained a couple of my answers for me.

  17. A cold making me more thick-headed than usual so BD’s help much appreciated with this excellent but for me quite taxing exercise from Virgilius. ****/***.

  18. I have only just done this one and still can’t ‘see’ 15a!!!! grrr …fav clues 18a and 26a
    I will have to wait to do todays as printer out of ink, never mind, sunshine beckons :-)

  19. Many thanks to Virgilius for a super puzzle. This was ***** enjoyment from start to finish. My fave was 15a, but I also very much liked 1a, 6d, 24d and 25d.

    I needed just one of Big Dave’s excellent hints. I had the novelist but not the ‘big game’ in 12d. At which point, may I say what an impressive list of cricketing terms Big Dave has added to the Mine. I thought I was doing well because I’m now familiar with a fistful! )

    Thank you so much, Big Dave, for all the painstaking work you do to help us all. It’s wonderful and greatly appreciated.

  20. Still don’t “get” 7d. I’ve got the answer but the last 2 letters are not where I thought those 2 places were.

    1. Ognomemoment! The last 2 letters are not where I thought those places were but they are a bit higher up!

  21. Sheer class. **/***** Only got round to it on Tuesday but worth saving and well worth the wait.

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