ST 2736 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2736 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2736 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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Bufo, Tilsit and I had a very enjoyable evening yesterday at the Listener Dinner in Cheltenham.  As a result, I’m feeling a tad delicate today!

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    Discover about new kind of altered state (6)
A verb meaning discover around N(ew)

4a    One trained to shoot birds, right? (6)
This person who trains his rifle at individuals from a position of cover is derived from some birds followed by R(ight) – remember that for some birds, like grouse and quail, the plural can be the same as the singular

10a    Most of the cereal, as it can be found in little titbits (6)
Most of TH(E) followed by a cereal crop gives the number of times IT can be found in the final two words of the clue – brilliant!

11a    Quickly moved right pieces in chess up the board (4)
The final (right) letters (pieces in) of four words in the clue

16a    Bill’s initial appearance, walking past trees (5,7)
The initial appearance of a parliamentary bill is derived by putting a verb meaning walking after some coniferous trees

21a    Centre of Kalahari Desert is this (4)
This semi all-in-one clue requires that you find the middle (centre) four letters of two words in the clue – note that this doesn’t mean the last two letters of the first word and the first two letters of the second, read it again carefully!

22a    Island is one that turned around another one (6)
Reverse (turned) I (one) and THAT and then insert another I (one)

24a    Allow to move freely? Quite the reverse — or partly so (6)
Q. If you do this to a horse, is it allowed to move freely A. No (quite the reverse), only a little (partly so) – the answer is hidden (partly so) inside the clue

25a    Started to write in dictionary, initially (6)
A verb meaning to write inside the abbreviation (initially) of a famous dictionary


1d    Man who silently obeys order (8)
… because he is in a monastery

2d    What’s down the road for each individual (5)
Split as (1,4) this means for each individual, as in “the entry fee for each individual is £5”

7d    Put in new position, we hear, and deliver lines that have been recalled (6)
Sounds like (we hear) a verb meaning to put in a new position

9d    Rock group informally joining cast? Not so far (6,5)
The informal name for the world’s greatest rock group followed by a verb meaning to cast

ARVE Error: need id and provider

14d    Wanting to change class I had in middle of holiday (9)
This adjective meaning wanting to change is derived by putting a school class and I inside a holiday or break

15d    Non-specific way to label painting that’s common? (8)
Two definitions – a label for a painting that that has no specific designation and common as opposed to noble

18d    In Rome, I set off for morale-boosting experience (3-4)
The Latin for I followed by a verb meaning to set off or trigger

21d    Visibly shocked, for example when abandoned by wife (5)
A two-letter word meaning for example (not the Latin abbreviation!) followed by (W)HEN after dropping (abandoned) the W(ife)

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Mo Farah (31)

29 comments on “ST 2736 (Hints)

  1. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A bit on the gentle side, but I still needed the hint for 15d. Very enjoyable, favourite was 24a. Was 2*/4* for me.

  2. A wonderful puzzle that I had completed fairly quickly, but I had to come back to a couple (10a, and 22a) to fully appreciate the wordplay.
    Many thanks to Virgilius (who continues to produce such excellent puzzles), and to BD for the hints.

  3. 4*/4* for a superb Sunday puzzle. This was a very satisfying mixture of straightforward and challenging clues, several of which needed quite a bit of perseverance.

    I agree with BD both about the world’s greatest rock group and about 10a, which was absolutely brilliant and my favourite.

    Even though I got the answer easily for 11a, being a chess player I concentrated on the surface reading and the wordplay completely baffled me so I needed BD’s hint to understand it.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    1. I was looking for birthday cards yesterday. I saw one that reduced me to hysterics – being completely helpless in a shop is very embarrassing. Mrs Rabbit was in the kitchen wearing her apron – the four flopsy bunnies come in and instead of having pointy long ears they all have very short little ears which are completely straight across the top. They say “Mum, Mr McGregor’s got a Flymo”!

  4. Some of this was quite challenging we thought, & we had to wait for the hints to appear to finish the SW corner, but it was enjoyable, so thank you to the setter & to BD.

  5. A brilliant Sunday crossword as usual.
    I needed the hint to understand why, or even if, my answer for 10a was right but apart from that the only other minor problem was 14d.
    For a few horrible moments I thought that I might be looking for a football manager for 20a.
    I liked 8 and 23a (and 10a now that I understand it) and 2 and 19d. My favourite was 9d.
    I’m not sure that I agree with BD (and RD) about the 9d’s being the world’s greatest rock band but I would hesitate to argue with BD at all and if he’s got a hangover I suspect this isn’t the best of times!
    With thanks to Virgilius and Bd – hope you feel better soon.
    It’s a silly day here – alternating between sun and really heavy hailstorms.

  6. Thanks Virgilius, I found this a bit tricky but always enjoyable. Thank you for the hints BD. In 24a is the answer “reversed” in the clue – as your hint – or maybe I have the wrong answer ? !!

    1. You are correct SW – the solution isn’t reversed at all, it is just the reverse of the question in the first part of the clue.

  7. Really struggling with this so far. A few read throughs have only yielded three answers. Guess I’ll persevere for a bit…

    1. Keep going, it will come . I have only managed ten today which is nine more than this time last year! Still better than Mr P who cannot even manage one.

  8. So where the hell have you all gone to? I think you’ve been kidnapped by aliens which leaves me with two possibilities:-
    1) You’ve all been taken somewhere wonderful and they consider me worthless so have left me behind.
    2) You’re all somewhere really horrible and they’ve decided to spare me for some unknown reason.
    So, which is it?

    1. Been out for lunch (very long, very tasty and very alcoholic, hic!) and now we’re off to the bar to watch El Classico and have some more beer

      Just popped in here to see if BD had hinted 10a – got the answer but couldn’t parse it. Brilliant doesn’t cover it by half .

    2. Guests here from Garve in Scotland and too busy chit-chatting. I’ll be back when things settle down.

  9. How did you know that I was kidnapped by aliens who cleverly disguised themselves as mother, daughter and husband ?I did the crossword in fits and starts, which isn’t the way I like to do it, in the flying saucer. Lots of very impressive clues , I liked 16a the best.
    Thanks to Virgillius and BD.

  10. Virgilius, for me, you set one of the biggest (but entertaining) tasks of recent times, particularly in the western half, so many thanks to BD (in spite of your hangover!) for considerable help along the way. 16a probably fav. ****/***.

      1. Lovely! I knew it better as the Lillybrook back in the day. I must say the old girl’s looking splendid now, as are all the distinguished guests.

  11. Apart from 10a, which had me completely snookered until l peeked at BD’s hint, this enjoyable puzzle was completed in about 3* time. Until 10a was explained to me, l had been planning to nominate 25a as my favourite, but that accolade must go to the clue that defeated me. Many thanks to Virgilius, and to Big Dave for lightening my darkness.

  12. Virgilius you are like the cartoonist, Matt – you never have an off-day. Another great crossword which needed Mr BD’s help to understand even though I had the answer.
    Favourite was 24a until 10a was explained… Clue of the Year for me so far.
    Slow with 2d and struggled with 22a so thanks BD.

    I enjoyed yesterday’s prize crossword too and am just about to pop over to have a look at what all the peeps had to say about it. Horribly late on parade again.

    Thank you Virgilius.

    (Kath, I think it’s the better weather of late – people must be out and doing)

  13. Another superb Sunday puzzle from Virgilius. I had a big chuckle at 2d. I needed Big Dave’s hint in order to appreciate 10a. Like others, I thought it was a brilliant clue and is my fave.

    Appreciative thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave.

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