ST 2743 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2743 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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Have you solved the May 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    Like beer provided by clubs, a little rough (6)
An adjective that describes beer as being like one of its constituents preceded by C(lubs)

10a    Business leader I betray, one of four beginning on board (6)
The initial letter (leader) of Business followed by I and a verb meaning to betray gives one of four similar pieces that are on the chess board at the start of the game

11a    Movement  in which you’ll find people with convictions (4)
Two definitions – a movement or activity and a colloquial word for a place in which you’ll find people with criminal convictions

13a    Factionalism making old weapons trendy (12)
Some halberd-like weapon with twin axe-blades followed by an adjective meaning trendy

16a    Encouraging to hold copies back as parsimonious behaviour (12)
A verb meaning encouraging or uplifting around the reversal (back) of a verb meaning copies

20a    Part of exam, oddly, I get right — not a real threat (5,5)
A part of an exam containing a set of questions followed by an anagram (oddly) of I GET and R(ight)

22a    Previously support European (6)
A phrasal verb meaning to support (2,3) followed by E(uropean)

25a    Line penned by author with difficulty (6)
L(ine) inside (penned by) the surname of a famous author


1d    Altered raincoat from area in Europe (8)
An anagram (altered) of RAINCOAT

2d    It could be the usual  architectural style (5)
Two definitions – a request for one’s usual drink and any of the classical styles of architecture

5d    Left in bar, is hard to get out (7)
L(eft) between a bar or inn and IS H(ard)

7d    Demonstrator in rain not sounding the same (6)
Two homonyms – words having the same spelling, but not the same sound, as another, but a different meaning

9d    Prophetic vision assistant’s seen on location, we hear (6,5)
An assistant, typically one helping a boxer, followed by what sounds like (we hear) a location

15d    Not following uniform style, oddly? (8)
An adverb that could mean not the opposite of odd-ly

18d    Skill in place for orchestra with a set of musical compositions (7)
Some skill inside the part of a theatre in which the orchestra is to be found followed by the A from the clue

21d    Churchman or academic upset about king that’s defenceless (5)
A four-letter word for a churchman or an academic is reversed (upset in a down clue) around K(ing)

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As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment.

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Eric Burdon (73)



  1. Una
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    As usual , an excellent puzzle from Virgilius, although I found it quite difficult in places.The hidden clue was well disguised, perhaps there was more than one, I don’t know.It’s hard to pick a favourite , maybe 23a.Thanks to all.

    • Posted May 11, 2014 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      The other hidden clue must have been particularly well disguised! If it helps, they are both down clues.

      • Una
        Posted May 11, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        Thanks , I found it , I had forgotten about as I started this last night.

        • Una
          Posted May 11, 2014 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

          Yes extremely well hidden.

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I was out yesterday from 7:30 am until 2:00 am this morning so yesterday’s puzzle remains as yet untouched. I was pleased to be able to get stuck into this very enjoyable one today. My rating is 2.5*/4*, with the SE corner being the last to be completed stretching the diffculty to a bit above 2*.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD. I needed the hints to help unravel the wordplay for 13a as I had never heard of the old weapons in question.

    • Merusa
      Posted May 11, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      I, too, had to look up the old weapon in question as had never heard of it.

  3. JonP
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Struggled with this and needed quite a bit of electronic help. Enjoyed it however and would give it ***/***. It’s funny, but looking at the now completed grid, I’ve no idea why I found it a problem (common ailment methinks). Thanks to setter and BD for explaining the wordplay for a couple I couldn’t quite fathom.

  4. Una
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Eerily quiet around here ….

  5. Merusa
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Una, very quiet! I found this delightful puzzle only 1* for difficulty. I usually struggle with Virgilius’ puzzles but today I was dead on wavelength. Last one in was 13a, I had all the letters and the answer seemed obvious, so a quick google proved it right. Hard to pick a favourite, but I think 23a is a strong contender. Thanks to Virgilius and BD for review, not needed today.

    • Chris T Heswall
      Posted May 11, 2014 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      Agree with your ratings and last one in for me was 13a too. No hints needed today, but as ever thanks to setter and BD. A bit late in posting as it was a nail biting clincher to the EPL – ah well, still broke out the bubbly for a second place finish.

  6. Jezza
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    A couple of things I needed to verify, but the wordplay led me to the correct answers.
    Many thanks to Virgilius for the normal excellence, and to BD for the hints.

  7. Brian
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Super crossword, lovely wordplay and some well hidden but very fair clues. 18d was a new word to me but the wordplay solved it and Google confirmed it.
    My personal favourite was 1a.. Thx to the setter and to BD of course.

  8. Ian
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    By hovering the pointer over the pictures for 10a and 21d the answer is revealed!! Spoils the principle of hints and not answers.

    • Posted May 11, 2014 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Ian

      That’s your opinion. I’ve been doing it for about 5 years and many others would disagree. You don’t have to look if you don’t want to.

    • Kath
      Posted May 11, 2014 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      I’m with BD.

  9. Annidrum
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Lovely as always from Virgilius. Thanks to him & BD.

  10. Framboise
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Super crossword most enjoyable to solve, many thanks to Virgillius! Solved13a – guessed it – but needed BD’s hint to understand the first part of the wordplay – thank you! 2*/4*. Liked 6d and 18d.

  11. Expat Chris
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Happy Mother’s Day Merusa! And the same to all the other crossword Mum’s who may be reading this in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

  12. Salty Dog
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    2*/2* or thereabouts, and 16a my favourite clue. I usually enjoy Virgilius puzzles more than l did this one, but l found it rather uninspiring. Not V’s fault, l’m sure; l just wasn’t in the mood. Anyway my thanks to him (or her) and to Big Dave for the hints.

    • Posted May 11, 2014 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Brian Greer, who drops in here occasionally, is very much a him!

  13. Kath
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 10:54 pm | Permalink the crossword although I didn’t find it easy – more about the day – jungle warfare in Pet Lamb Number One’s garden in London.
    As a result of day in London (and pub lunch in the middle of it) I didn’t start this one until this evening.
    I found it quite tricky but I’m totally out of routine which always makes a difference to me. I got there in the end.
    I had to look up the first bit of 13a (ie the weapons) – never heard of them.
    Please could someone be proud of me for spotting both the hidden answers today.
    I liked 22 and 23a and 6, 14 and 19d. I think my favourite was 1a – it was also almost my last answer.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    • Una
      Posted May 11, 2014 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      I am so delighted that your late appearance was just about gardening in London. I was worried that it was something worse.Well done on overcoming your bete noir !

    • Merusa
      Posted May 11, 2014 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

      Whew!! Glad you’re only late because of a garden. It was so quiet here, Una and I felt that everyone must have deserted.

      • Una
        Posted May 11, 2014 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

        Or been nuked or something!

    • Catnap
      Posted May 13, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Belatedly, very well done, Kath!

  14. Sweet William
    Posted May 12, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Thank you Virgilius I found this quite hard and it took several short sessions to finish. Another excellent puzzle. Thanks BD for the hints, to which I referred in order to speed up the solution !

  15. Heno
    Posted May 12, 2014 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hint. A super puzzle as usual from Virgilius, really enjoyed it. Favourite was6d. New w ords in 16a & 18d, but got both from the wordplay. Was 2*/4* for me.

  16. Catnap
    Posted May 13, 2014 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    It’s always a super Sunday puzzle from Virgilius! There’s so much to enjoy in this one. 20a was my fave, followed by 16a, 23a, 6d and 18d.

    Managed to complete without hints, but am very glad of 13a now. I hadn’t heard of these old weapons and so couldn’t parse part of my answer.

    Much appreciation to Virgilius for the superb Sunday treat and to Big Dave for super hints.