ST 2740 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2740 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2740 (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    Sneak on board with son to recover after breakdown (4,4)
S(on) followed by a phrasal verb (3,4) meaning to recover a vehicle after a breakdown

10a    Run in manner that’s suspicious (4)
R(un) inside a manner or method

13a    What’s attractive and marvellous about surfing facility? (8)
The origin of the verb to attract is the Latin ad (to) and trahere (to draw) so it means “to draw towards” – to get the associated adjective put an adjective meaning marvellous around the three-letter word for the kind of surfing facility that you are using right now

15a    Democratic politician after good moves to left aplenty (6)
Start with the name of a Democratic politician and former US vice president and move the G(ood) to the left


16a    Staunch supporter of flag, for example (4)
… this flag is a plant, also called the iris

18a    Yarn in court before end of trial (4)
A verb meaning to court followed by the final letter (end) of triaL

23a    Is unfinished treatise wrongly included in academic’s scholarly work? (12)
IS and an anagram (wrongly) of TREATIS(E) without its final letter (unfinished) all inside an academic

27a    Celt killed retreating non-U person (8)
A verb meaning killed is reversed (retreating) and followed by a person without the U (non-U)

28a    Grit shown by you once in MCC, but missing double century (8)
Some grit preceded by an old-fashioned (once) word for you – the definition is the number represented by the Roman numeral M, i.e. MCC without (missing) the Roman numerals for two hundred (double century)


2d    Negotiate with a couple of partners in region (8)
Put the A from the clue and one of the usual couple of bridge partners inside a region or area

4d    Influence that’s minimised by removing crew (6)
Dropping (removing) a rowing crew from this word meaning influence leaves its abbreviation (that’s minimised)

6d    When it’s dark or darkish up near opening of tunnel (8)
A three-letter adjective meaning darkish or gloomy is reversed (up in a down clue) and followed by an adverb meaning near and the initial letter (opening) of Tunnel

12d    Illegal activity, except when dreadful villain finally is put inside (12)
A preposition meaning except or barring around an adjective meaning dreadful or terrible and the final letter of villaiN

14d    Killing, for example, in war zone endlessly (5)
Start with a 19th century war zone, that was very nearly a 21st century one, and drop its final letter (endlessly)

19d    Good-looking expert? (8)
A cryptic definition of an expert who helps people to see better

22d    Tough love, including current arrangement of locks (6)
An adjective meaning tough and O (love) around the symbol used in equations to represent electric current

25d    Relation starts off as usual, ends in heartbroken lament (4)
The initial letters of (starts off) As and Usual followed by the final letters of (ends in) heartbrokeN and lamenT



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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Nicholas Lyndhurst (53)

27 comments on “ST 2740 (Hints)

  1. My rating today is 3*/3* for yet another challenging and enjoyable Sunday puzzle.

    5d was a new word for me but easily derived from the wordplay. As usual for Virgilius there were lots of excellent and amusing clues, and I marked 11a, 13a, 15a and 24d as stand out.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  2. Many thanks Virgilius – another clever puzzle. Having finished it, I still couldn’t get the wordplay for 12d and 28a. So I read out the clues to Mrs SW and Hey Presto, as often happens, the penny dropped with a loud clang ! I thought that it was one of Mr V’s more difficult puzzles – or maybe just me after too much Ribena last night with our son and his family, who are with us for the weekend. Thanks BD for the hints – which I thought that I might need at one time.

  3. I had decided in advance that I would spend a certain length of time solving this and no more, and lo and behold I completed it in that time.Therefore probably not at the more difficult end of the Virgillius scale.24d was my stand out clue , with 9a a close second (I always like the science ones).Thanks V and BD.

  4. Many thanks to Virgilius for my favourite puzzle of the week, and to BD for the hints.

  5. A very enjoyable puzzle today which Would rate**/*** I particularly liked 11A Thanks to Big Dave for the review. It will be some time before I comment on this blog again. I am to have hand surgery which means I shall not be able to type and do other things for a while. I shall look in though on a daily basis – I would not dream of missing Miffypops on a Monday.

    1. Good luck with the surgery! I’ve had my right wrist in a brace and thumb in a splint for the past two weeks, though I can still do certain things, so I fully understand how frustrating it is.

    2. Good luck but how tedious for you – hope it all goes well and that it’s not your dominant hand that’s being ‘done’.

      1. Thanks Kath, unfortunately it is my right hand that is having treatment. Still it is a good excuse to grow a beard!

  6. It isn’ t a very nice day here today so this very straightforward but extremely enjoyable crossword certainly brightened up my morning. I won’t list all my favourites in case Kath is watching.

    Happy Easter and thank you to Virgilius and BD

  7. Usual great stuff from Virgilius. Although 15A and 28A were head to head at the finish line, my favorite has to be 15A. Can’t stand the man but loved the clue. Thans to BD for the review, and I hope you all have a lovely Easter Sunday.

  8. The usual good Sunday crossword – I found it one of Virgilius’s more straightforward ones.
    I got into a tangle trying to understand 4d and 27a also took ages to unravel.
    Only one hidden answer which, for once, I didn’t miss.
    I liked 15a and 19d. I think my favourite was 25d, but it just could be 15a
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    I hope that you are all having a lovely Easter Sunday.

  9. Happy Easter all! Another star puzzle from Virgilius, with fave 11a. Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for review.

  10. Thanks to Virgilius for another lovely puzzle although I was a bit slow to get 27a&28a. Happy Easter to all.

  11. Having successfully downloaded (and solved) the crossword puzzles this morning, I thought I’d have a go at the Sudoku this afternoon.

    Unfortunately, the Wizzkids in the basement must have pulled a plug out and I’m now told that my subscription has expired! This despite the fact that I paid for a year in advance this March.

    Has anyone else suffered this indignity recently? I fired off a complaint to them and had an instant email with the usual platitudes and excuses. Has anyone any confidence that I’ll get my service back?

    Yours incandescently

  12. Very enjoyable today with some lovely clues . I was convinced that I knew how to spell 23 a which caused a hitch otherwise OK .

  13. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle as usual from Virgilius. Favourite was 6d, needed a few hints to finish. Was 3*/3* for me. Happy Easter to all.

  14. A very rewarding but not overtaxing crossie, about 3*/4* by my reckoning. My favourite clue was 28a, but 19a came close as well. Thank you Virgilius, and Big Dave for hints and the blog in general.

  15. I don’t often do the Sunday puzzle but this weekend is an exception and it was a very enjoyable solve with several chuckles along the way. Thank you setter and BD for the review. 2*/4*

  16. Could not get to the Sunday puzzle yesterday as we had the family for lunch. Really enjoyed solving it this morning and it did not cause me any problems. Loved 11d! **/**** for me. Thanks Virgillius and to BD for the review.

  17. A super Easter offering, done in two sittings with a big old family lunch in between. ***/****. The good looking clue was my last and had my brows knitted for a while.
    Thank you Virgilius for this and for all your sterling work which is always a must-do.

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