ST 2741 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2741 (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.


7a    Devotee covering half of idol with blossom (8)
The second half of idOL inside some blossom

9a    Choose as successor — isn’t accepting refusal (6)
A slang word for isn’t around (accepting) a refusal

10a    It’s held back in month? That’s debatable (6)
The reversal (back) of IT inside (held) a literary term for a month

12a    Harmoniously settled scores, making speeches about case, right? (14)
These musical (harmoniously settled) scores are derived from some speeches around a five-letter word for a case and R(ight)

17a    Boxer, for example, getting his start in part of old film (5)
Neither a dog nor a pugilist, this Boxer was popularised by the film 55 Days at Peking – put the initial letter of Boxer inside the part of an old film that once needed to be changed to be able to see the next part

20a    Catching small boy in greedy behaviour, being highly judgmental? (14)
S(mall) and a three-letter boy’s name inside greedy behaviour – note the question mark which indicates that the definition is cryptic

23a    Converted by force, was hesitant (8)
A verb meaning converted preceded by F(orce)

28a    Flier showing part of menu that changes (8)
This bird is cunningly hidden (part of) inside the clue


1d    In which horsemen attack and defend  traveller (4)
Two definitions – a game played on horseback and a famous 13th century Venetian traveller

2d    Travel over snow to butcher, say (6)
Sounds like a verb meaning to butcher or kill

4d    Something attractive that’s good in artist (6)
G(ood) inside an Impressionist artist

5d    Pre-eminent doctor in Midlands team (8)
One of the two-letter abbreviations for a doctor inside an East Midlands football team

6d    Strange leanings about monarch, initially, who lives in castle? (10)
An anagram (strange) of LEANINGS around the abbreviated form of address for a monarch gives a person whose home is his castle

14d    Unpaid worker? British in origin (5)
B(ritish) inside an origin or foundation

16d    Short rest, mostly time off on the river (8)
Most of some time off work followed by THE and R(iver)

18d    Be harsh critic of English writer as leader of trend (7)
An English writer who often used Elia as an alias followed by AS and the initial letter (leader) of Trend

21d    Patriotic composer retained by monarch for lucrative job (6)
The composer of the music for the patriotic tune Rule, Brittannia! inside the regnal cypher for our monarch

26d    Short time, repeatedly, for religious group (4)
A three-letter abbreviation for a short period of time followed by the shortened/abbreviated form of T(ime)

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Anna “Duckface” Chancellor (49) and Sheena Easton (55)



  1. mary
    Posted April 27, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dave finished this without hints but used my electronic friends quite a lot!!! Thought 17a a bit of a toughie, for me anyway
    also 10a…no real favourite once again, no problems with annoying Kath lately, I’m struggling to find one favourite let alone more!!!!
    Off to band practice in a bit will be missing THE match of the day

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted April 27, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    2.5*/3*. Many thanks to Virgilius for a most enjoyable puzzle which brightened up a miserable, grey morning.

    Although I got the answer for 17a I couldn’t see at all what it had to do with Boxer, so many thanks to BD for his review which explains this.

  3. Una
    Posted April 27, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Same as Mary ,I didn’t need the hints but personally I found it very difficult. Take 20a,I can see how the clue works retrospectively but I don’t see how the definition connects to the clue. Bit of a slog for me.Favourite 6d, probably.
    Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    • Posted April 27, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      20a the definition is being judgmental and going too high rather than too low.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted April 27, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Una, if you judge that something will take you more time than it does in practice, i.e. your judgement is on the high side, then you are guilty of 20a.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted April 27, 2014 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        BD replied while I was typing my reply and he has said the same thing as me but using about half the number of words!

    • Una
      Posted April 27, 2014 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      Thanks BD and RD

  4. Expat Chris
    Posted April 27, 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Good morning from Maryland, where it looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day. I finished without hints, and I was familiar with 20A, but I found the 14-letter clues a but tougher than usual. Plenty for me to like–1D, 6D, 10A, 17A and 19A. I wonder if anyone will have a bit of a quibble with 15A. Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the review.

    • Heno
      Posted April 27, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      I can’t see anything wrong with 15a. Looks like a fair clue to me.

    • andy
      Posted April 27, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      15a seems ok to me

    • Kath
      Posted April 27, 2014 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      I wonder if Expat Chris meant the likes of me because of cricket stuff. Apart from that I can’t see anything wrong with it.

      • andy
        Posted April 27, 2014 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        Oh yes I see now, maybe

      • Expat Chris
        Posted April 28, 2014 at 4:46 am | Permalink

        Not you at all, Kath! Just an obviously misunderstood musing about aficionados taking exception to the cudgel-like reference. Not really worth a discussion.

  5. Jezza
    Posted April 27, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Another fine Sunday offering. Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  6. Heno
    Posted April 27, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle on a grey Sunday. Seemed quite straightforward, but my only problem was getting the wrong answer to 3d. Once I corrected it, I managed to get 7&11a. Last in was 1d. Favourite was 17a, very clever clues. Looking forward to the match soon.

  7. SheilaP
    Posted April 27, 2014 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    This was one of those crosswords where we could only work out what the setter meant, after getting the answer, with help from either our electronic friend or BD’s explanations, and even with all this help I think some of the clues were a bit tricky. Still, it is a prize crossword, so it shouldn’t be too easy I suppose.

    • SheilaP
      Posted April 27, 2014 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Forgotten to thank the setter and BD again.

  8. Kath
    Posted April 27, 2014 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one a lot but found it really quite difficult – the little grey cells need more sleep than going to bed at 2.00am gives them.
    I was very slow to get going and didn’t seem to speed up at all but have finished now even if it has taken quite a long time.
    I didn’t understand my answer for 17a and still don’t really but will do a bit of googling in a minute – anyway spent too long trying to fit H into it – H(is) start. Oh dear!
    Managed to spot two of the three hidden answers and then completely missed 22d for ages. I didn’t know that meaning of 9a.
    I liked 19 and 28a and 1 (even if it did take me ages – it was my last answer) and 8d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Pet Lamb Number One told me of a conversation overheard in Waitrose between a man and his small son – “Daddy, does Lego have a silent T like Merlot”!!

    • Merusa
      Posted April 27, 2014 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Loved the Lego joke!

    • mary
      Posted April 27, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Me too with the ‘H’ Kath :-)

    • Una
      Posted April 27, 2014 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      Obviously thick or something but I don’t see what’s funny about the kids remark or is it just precocious ? It reminds me about the joke told about Jean Harlow when asked a similiar question re the spelling of her name,(silent T or not) which I always thought wasn’t very nice.

      • Expat Chris
        Posted April 28, 2014 at 4:39 am | Permalink

        It’s from an article called “10 funniest Things Overheard in Waitrose” or something like that. I read it quite recently and it’s gone viral on the internet. It’s a bit of a dig at people who shop at Waitrose supposedly being somewhat pretentiously middle class. Another of the ‘quotes’ was “Daddy, do we need parmesan for both houses?” It’s actually quite funny taken as a whole and with a big pinch of sense of humour.

        • Kath
          Posted April 28, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

          Yes – that’s where daughter saw it – she didn’t tell me about the parmesan.

  9. Sweet William
    Posted April 27, 2014 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Virgilius – I really enjoyed that. After the long drive to Suffolk it took me a while to get started, but once under way had no problems. Really liked 28a – well hidden – hopefully they will be easier to see tomorrow at Minsmere ! Thanks BD for the hints. After yesterday and today I am hoping that my bad run has come to an end !

  10. framboise
    Posted April 27, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius for a very enjoyable puzzle and to BD for the hints – I needed some of them to understand some of my answers. 17a,14d and 6d were my last ones in. Difficult to choose my favourites, lots of them! 17a and 18a made me smile. Writing this with one eye on the rugby – Toulon is only a few kilometres away from where we live …

  11. Merusa
    Posted April 27, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    I found this decidedly difficult but very enjoyable. So many good clues, it’s going to be difficult to choose a fave, but I think the honour has to go to 6d. It took me ages to get 20a when it really is not that hard, just thick, I suppose. I liked 17a, took a long time to change from dog to Chinese. Thanks Virgilius and BD for review.

  12. Annidrum
    Posted April 27, 2014 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t find this very easy and needed BD’s hints to get it finished. Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  13. Salty Dog
    Posted April 27, 2014 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Pretty tough, l thought, but l got there in the end without having to resort to any of BD’s hints. About 3*/4* for me, and 6d my favourite (would that the saying in question still held true). Thanks to Virgilius.

  14. Angel
    Posted April 27, 2014 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable, thanks Virgilius. All went well initially but then I stalled and needed BD help (thank you for that and the particularly stirring stuff in your 21d hint to finish last few words including 20a where I had misplaced greedy behaviour. ***/****.

  15. Angel
    Posted April 28, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Is anyone else having problem reaching today’s Cryptic (Monday 28/4) hints?