ST 2744 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2744 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2744 (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    Go round the world in MCC tour I’ve again organised, missing nothing (14)
An anagram (organised) of MCC T[O]UR I’VE AGAIN without (missing) the O (nothing)

10a    Poet leading international group, as result of big hit in US (4,3)
A Greek epic poet followed by the international peacekeeping group

11a    Off colour? (3)
The colour of card that a referee shows to a player he is sending off

15a    Running one kind of entertainment (2-6)
This phrase meaning running away is the entertainment provided on an airliner

19a    Not just dark, also raining perhaps? (6)
This adjective meaning not just or equitable could describe hair that is dark or slightly unpleasant weather

22a    Diligent musical group ahead of us on river (11)
A musical group with three players and US preceded by a river in southern Asia

23a    From taps, initially, a drink (3)

26a    Visionary‘s other novel covering page after page (7)
An anagram (novel) of OTHER around P(age) and following P(age)

27a    Travel with French writer mostly in mind to see how countries are run (14)
A two-letter word meaning to travel followed by most of a French science-fiction writer and an adverb meaning in a manner relating to the mind


1d    Diminish captain’s position in game (8,6)
A verb meaning to diminish followed by the position on a ship where you might find the captain gives a card game

2d    Raced around area, infuriated, in fast time (7)
Put a three-letter word meaning raced around A(rea) and an adjective meaning infuriated to get a time of fasting for Muslims

5d    Check restraining macho types getting heated (8)
A three-letter verb meaning to check around (restraining) some macho types

8d    Adventurously moving piece, rushed attempt to capture queen (6,8)
A chess piece, a verb meaning rushed and an attempt around the Queen’s regnal cipher

13d    Discoverer of stars having latest count wrong (6,5)
This person who discovers future stars in entertainment and sport is an anagram (wrong) of LATEST COUNT

16d    Person operating over time as supplier of delicacy (8)
Put a person operating in a hospital operating theatre around T(ime)

18d    Cook for short time that’s rounded off (7)
A well-concealed anagram (off) of ROUNDED

25d    Player who excels in matches, ignoring the odds (3)
Drop (ignoring) the odd letters from [m]A[t]C[h]E[s]

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Toyah (56) and Rick Wakeman (65)
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31 comments on “ST 2744 (Hints)

  1. Another splendid start to Sunday morning with all the Virgilius trade mark clues and a couple of splendid penny dropping moments as I worked out the wordplay.

    Hard to pick a favourite, so I won’t but just say thank you to Virgilius and BD, and take myself back out to the lovely sunshine.

  2. I was beginning to think I’d used up all my brain cells on yesterday’s NTSPP because the last three–8D, 15A and 19A–to ages to sort out. I got there in the end though and 8D is my favorite today. I didn’t need the hints, but as always I appreciate the review, so thanks to BD and to the setter.

    1. Even though I got 23a right, for the life of me I couldn’t see why. Did you get the “taps” bit?

      1. Yes, I did. Those two letters have come up before. [Text deleted – too much information. Please don’t expand on my visual hint. BD]

  3. Some of this took me a while to work out, but as always, an excellent Sunday puzzle. Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD too.

  4. Thank you Virgilius. Lovely to sit in the sunshine working one’s way through such an enjoyable puzzle. Thanks BD for your hints – hope you all had a great time in Derby.

  5. Lovely sunshine, hot too, and a lovely crossword.
    Getting the long anagram at the top and the long answer down the left hand side gave me lots of first letters which always helps but I don’t think this was one of Virgilius’s tougher puzzles.
    Like Expat Chris my last couple were 15a and 8d and I was beginning to think that the little grey cells had all been used on the NTSPP yesterday.
    I even managed to find not just the one but the two hidden answers, all in one clue.
    Completely missed the anagram indicator in 18d and wasn’t too sure about the “off” bit of 11a. 13d was fine once I realised I wasn’t after an astronomer.
    I liked 14 and 17a and 1 and 21d. Favourite was 20d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD, especially for summoning the energy to do hints after what was probably a boozy day and a late night.

  6. What a super start to the day. I agree, Kath, not really one of Virgilius’ more difficult but hugely entertaining. As I said above, I got the answer to 23a but needed the hint to know why. How can one choose a fave from these gems? I think 8d comes closest, so very clever. Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for hints.

  7. The blog is a revelation having tried and failed to emulate my father who was a keen Telegraph cryptic crossword solver. It may be a bit of a cheek then to question the clue for 1a in cryptic crossword 2744 – should again be part of the anagram or is that so obvious that … Best wishes Nick Tierney

    1. Welcome to the blog tiernnm.
      I’ve moved your comment to the puzzle blog where it’s more relevant and will be seen by more people. You’re right about the anagram fodder – I’ll update the hint.

    2. Welcome from me too – and good luck in your attempt to emulate your father with his crossword solving.
      Hang around here for long enough and you will learn a lot very quickly.
      I don’t think that anyone here ever sees any question as cheek – especially if it’s a valid question. When I first dared to post a comment BD said that the only things banned were bad language and libel.
      Keep commenting.

  8. Welcome Nick.

    It helps if you ask your question on the correct page for the puzzle. You are indeed correct, AGAIN should be part of the anagram fodder.

  9. I don’t often do the Sunday puzzle, so it’s an added bonus when I have time and it’s as enjoyable as this one. Not too easy, not too difficult.
    8d was last one in as I’d not actually heard of the phrase used in that form.
    Thanks to Virgilius for the entertainment in the sunshine and to BD for the blog although no hints needed today.

  10. Great entertainment and (for me) not too difficult.

    Liked a lot of the clues/hints, it’s difficult to choose a favourite. Liked 24d, although it was on of my last in and a bit of a ‘duh’ moment.

    Thank you setter and BD

  11. A very enjoyable puzzle – thanks to Virgillius – which I would not have been able to complete without a few hints – so many thanks to BD. 8a would have foxed me completely as I did not know the expression. 3*/4* for me with 27a as favourite.

  12. Lovely thang! It took a while in the SW corner but was of the usual excellent standard.

  13. Not too tough but v entertaining. Lovely sunshine in E Devon today. Like Kath, I missed the anagram indicator in 18d.

  14. Excellent puzzle but I did need the explanation for the answers I had for 19a and 23a (a diabolically difficult clue). Could someone also explain 17a and the wordplay for 20d. I’m sure both my answers are correct but damned if I can see why in total. 17a is the hair colour and for 20d why shot?
    Very enjoyable nonetheless.
    Thx to all.

    1. Hi Brian,

      17a – the definition is colour of hair – you need an adjective meaning improved or enhanced without its last letter (cut) around a three letter word meaning streaked, or moved fast.

      20d – I thought this was brilliant and it took me far too long to work out the why bit. It’s an anagram (drunk) of LOCAL around the middle two letters (what’s contained) of shot.

    2. Hi Brian

      Re 17a: Seems like you got the righthair colour. It’s a word for ‘to improve’ without it’s last letter (when cut) and insert (put in) a word meaning streak, but perhaps with the clothes on!

      20d: What’s contained in shot is the central 2 letters, i.e. s(HO)t. insert into an anagram (drunl) of LOCAL.

    3. Brian the wordplay in 23a comes up quite often, not just in the Telegraph, I missed it when I first came across it, now it’s stored in the addled brain cells :) cheers

  15. Thank you Virgilius for an enjoyable romp of a crossword, which rounded off a day of 39th wedding anniversary jollifications very nicely. Not too difficult, 3*/4* for me, but lots of great clues to choose from. I’ve decided to plump for 22a. Thanks too to Big Dave for the hints (your explanation of 23a is much more convincing than mine – l just took the initial letter of “taps”, considered it as a homophone of a drink, and came up with another name for it).

    1. Many congratulations from me :) Hope the weather was as good for you as it was here in Cambs. Re 23a , see my response to Brian

  16. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. Another super puzzle from virgilius, I don’t know how he manages to produce such good puzzles week after week. great entertainment, always some thing to make me smile. Just needed a bit of electronic help on the second word of 8d. Was 2*/4* for me. Favourite was 23a, great misdirection, I had *** before I saw the light!

  17. Thank you so much Virgilius for a fairly simple but cracking good puzzle which stimulated the old grey matter in a fun way. It’s late so hope I will be able to sleep! Appreciate your help BD in explaining one or two of my answers – 18d and 20d for instance.

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