ST 2738 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2738 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2738 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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There’s a new Monthly Prize Puzzle available right now – can you solve the mystery?

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    Support, then scold, inferior (6-4)
Verbs meaning to support and scold combine to make an adjective meaning inferior

6a    Covering a sound sleeper? (4)
The A from the clue followed by something that is a metaphorically sound sleeper

9a    Armed civilians prepare to fire back across one line with it (7)
A verb meaning to prepare to fire, for example, a rifle reversed (back) around I (one), L(ine) and IT

12a    Declaration you or I, say, stick at the end (13)
The part of speech of which you and I are examples followed by a verb meaning to stick or bond

14a    I accordingly must join legal group on which pressure is constant (6)
The I from the clue followed by a two-letter word meaning accordingly and a group of lawyers

15a    Skilfully arrange language that’s brief, stylish, and always poetic (8)
A three-letter abbreviation (that’s brief) of a language followed by a two-letter adjective meaning stylish and the poetic word for always

24a    Add weight, about pound — or remove bulge? (7)
A verb meaning to add weight to the body around the symbol for pound sterling

27a    Cheered up after book’s corrected (10)
B(ook) followed by a verb meaning corrected or redressed


1d    Problem in adding ring for foreign form of fighting (4)
A problem followed by the ring-shaped letter

2d    In county, foolishly plays number of West Indians (7)
The abbreviation for CO(unty) around an anagram (foolishly) of PLAYS

ARVE Error: need id and provider

3d    Preserving organisation in part of Bible? Initially it could be (8,5)
The organisation that preserves a lot of our heritage has the same initials as a part of the bible

7d    Wear the writer out, crossing river in ancient vessel (7)
A phrase (4,2) that could mean to wear out the writer of this puzzle around R(iver)

8d    Summon artist producing exciting work (4-6)
A verb meaning to summon, typically by using a public address system, followed by a famous English artist fives an exciting book that the reader finds difficult to put down

13d    Equally, it’s central for school-leaver (5-5)
The answer is represented by the Roman numerals6 that are central to schooL-Leaver

20d    What non-profit organisations do a good deal (7)
Split as (3,4) this could, at a pinch, be what non-profit organisations do

23d    Gave rise to bishop and cardinal, say (4)
B(ishop) followed by a colour of which cardinal is a shade

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to John Ratzenberger (67)

38 comments on “ST 2738 (Hints)

  1. 3*/4* for yet another absolutely delightful Sunday puzzle. The NE corner took me as long as the other three quarters put together.

    It’s always very tough to pick a favourite on a Sunday with so many good clues to choose from. My short list today is 12a, 15a, 2d, 3d and 13d, with 13d getting my final vote.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  2. Lovely stuff. Lots of “likes”…12, 14, 15 and 19A and 2, 7 and 8D. A tough choice so I’ll just throw caution to the wind and choose all of them! Many thanks to the setter and to BD for the review.

  3. If only I had a memory – we’ve had 7D before but I had to visit dictionary corner. 3*/4* for me, a really good puzzle. I was halfway through the clues before I got a start and then most went well until the NE corner slowed me down some.

  4. Agree with previous comments – NE corner completed last . Ta for explaining 13 d. Loved 12a. I wonder if I will win this week !!

  5. Sailed along nicely until 7 down which I had never heard of and 6 across which I had no excuse for not getting. 22 across was obvious with checking letters, but still can’t work out how the first word is clued.

    1. You’ve changed your email address – both should work now.

      22a Since bank worker is hiding strain, who knows what is going to happen? (7-6)
      A 3-letter word meaning since and a bank worker around a strain or melody

  6. Funnily enough the north east corner presented no problems, however ,17a held me up for a long time and I still don’t get it, (I have the answer but I don’t know why).I liked 10a,14a and15a and that type of clue in general.I didn’t notice any hidden clues, perhaps I missed them.Thanks Virgilius and BD.

      1. Sorry to be late on parade, only just finished. Could you give a clue about hidden clues please? Two of them here?


  7. Some crosswords I like to finish quickly … some are over all too soon!

    Last one in today: 16d – Virgilius at his very best!

    Thanks to BD for explaining 13d.

  8. NE corner for us too. Never heard of 7d, or perhaps just forgotten it. Don’t understand where the sound sleeper fits into the answer to 6 across. Still, an enjoyable puzzle, so thank you to the setter & to BD. Weather here on the East Coast is warm, cloudy, a little bit a sun with the odd shower thrown in & quite breezy. Typically British I think.

  9. A challenging but enjoyable 3*/4*, l think. I was at a bit of a standstill in the NE corner until l took the crossword to another room (if l said which room l might stand accused of undue coarseness). Anyway, in no time at all the grid was full. Lots of contenders for favourite clue, but in the end l will plump for 12a. My thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  10. Always look forward to the challenge from Virgilius each Sunday and enjoy every one. Thought this was perhaps a little easier than some, but couldn’t work out why my answer to 13D w2as correct, until I read BD’s hint …. Thanks to setter and reviewer.

  11. Lovely puzzle to come back to after a crossword free week.Thanks to BD for the explanation for 13d (duh!) and 22a (duh again!) & to Virgilius for the lovely puzzle. I loved 12a.

  12. A lovely crossword – what a lot of early birds there were today – I only got round to the puzzle quite late.
    I started very slowly but picked up a bit of speed when I got going.
    Needed the hint to understand what was obviously the right answer for 13d and, just for a change, missed both the hidden answers for ages.
    I also missed the anagram indicator in 17a for far too long.
    Spent a little while trying to make 8d an anagram.
    I liked 15 and 22a. Loved 26a and 8d – my favourite is one of those but so far
    Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  13. Thank goodness, back into the Sunday puzzle and loving it after being totally lost last week. Thanks Virgilius, you’ve restored my confidence. So many good clues and I originally chose 15a as fav, but on checking BD’s review and learning the “why” of 13d, I have to change faves. How clever was that. Thanks BD.

  14. Thank you Virgilius, another enjoyable puzzle. Took me a while as brain is stuck in first gear after a wonderful celebration last night. Thanks BD for your hints as always.

  15. Lovely crossword but struggling to see why the second word of 1a means scold or have I got the wrong answer? Thx to all.

    1. If you have the right word, you know what I am going to say – it is definition 2 of the word in the BRB

  16. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A super puzzle from Virgilius as usual. Favourites were 12&15a and 8d. Was 2*/4* for me. Most enjoyable, but over too quickly.

  17. Managed to complete all bar a couple in the NE corner for which the hints were needed. Thanks to setter for an enjoyable Sunday morning cerebral engagement and thanks also to BD for the hints.

  18. Hurrah! For the first time managed to solve the Sunday puzzle unaided apart from a few forays into my faithful Bradford Dictionary. Probably a one off but nevertheless immensely enjoyable.
    Could not help looking at BD’s hints just for fun. I read somewhere that only French and English crosswords have cryptic type clues. I often do the DT cryptic puzzle with my best friend Elaine either sitting next to each other when in UK or when in France by messages with our IPads, great fun! May I ask how one knows this puzzle was from Virgilius? Bonsoir to everyone!

    1. Brian Greer has set every Sunday crossword since ST 2479 on 12th April 2009, which means that next week will be his 5th anniversary.

      1. It also explains how I could never do Sunday crosswords and had almost given up on them. They used to be a “no go” area for me and so I had pretty much stopped trying – if I managed one or two answers I thought I was doing quite well but that wasn’t enough to let me in to the puzzle. I thought that I had learnt so much from this wonderful blog that I could now do crosswords that, hitherto, had been impossible. I now realise that it’s because it’s a different setter. Damn! Morale gone down the tube again!

        1. Funnily enough Kath, I’ve tried a few of the Sunday Telegraph puzzles prior to Virgillius and I found them to be mundane and boring. I think it must be the site which has sharpened your natural cryptic solving prowess (and mine).
          Have another go at cryptics below lets say 2500 and you won’t complete it out of sheer boredom.
          I complete Virgillius most weeks without hints, but he is difficult !

        2. I too always thought that Sunday DT Cryptics were far too difficult for me! I really enjoyed yesterday’s. Most weeks I have a go at the Sunday Times Cryptic and when lucky almost complete it except for a few clues. I get so much enjoyment at solving Cryptic puzzles… My British husband comes to the rescue for cricket terms which I am not familiar with.

    2. Well done – you could do with a BRB which is “The Chambers Dictionary” so called because it is a B(ig) R(ed) B(ook). In theory all the answers to the clues in the crosswords are in it.

      1. Thank you Kath! Will order BRB when back in England. Have not yet printed today’s puzzle, keeping it for later as a treat!

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