ST 2746 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2746 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2746 (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”. Other useful pages are The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay, and Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

Definitions are underlined in the clues.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submission.

Some hints follow:


1a    East of mountain range, spotted woodcutter? (8)
Another word for a mountain range followed by *East of) a three-letter verb meaning spotted or observed

10a    For example, air pressure makes one catch one’s breath (4)
Start with a substance, of which air is an example, which will fill any space and follow it with P(ressure)

13a    Horse‘s upper body and head (8)
This type of horse is a charade of the upper body and a slang word for the head


16a    Bridge  team (4)
Two definitions – a bridge and a team of oxen

17a    Man captured by queen might (5)
The abbreviation for a man who has been captured by opposing forces followed by the Queen’s regnal cipher

21a    Democrat and European male engaged in opposition (8)
D)emocrat) and E(uropean) followed by a male who is engaged to be married

26a    Be inclined to give instruction to setter, say (4)
Two definitions – a verb meaning to be inclined or tilted and an instruction given to an animal of which a setter is an example (say)

28a    The small instrument that’s been shortened for player (8)
THE and S(mall) followed by most of (that’s been shortened) a musical instrument gives a player or actor


2d    Was able to sail over line, finally, in leading position (8)
A phrase meaning owned something in which to sail (3,4) around the final letter of [lin]E

3d    Impressionist painter’s room in a mess (12)
An anagram (in a mess) of PAINTER’S ROOM

6d    Person who runs out of clothing (8)
A cryptic definition of someone who runs while not wearing some or all of their clothes

7d    For instance, eight  dice (4)
Two definitions – a number, of which eight is an example (instance) and a dice – common usage has allowed this plural noun to represent a single die

8d    Justifiable deception as we don’t stand up about strike (5,3)
WE and a verb meaning to do the opposite (don’t) of standing up around a strike or blow

14d    Helped when powerless — reason for being in church? (5)
This verb meaning helped a stranded motorist when his engine has failed (powerless) could, if split (2,3), be a reason for being in church

22d    Effigy of Fawkes, endlessly burning? (6)
Most of (endlessly) the first name of Gunpowder Plot conspirator Fawkes in a position where it is burning burning (in ****) – conjures up images of November 5th!

25d    Aromatic plant  in perfect condition (4)
Two fairly obvious definitions

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Ronnie Wood (67) and Pat Boone (80)
Ronnie Wood ARVE Error: need id and provider


41 comments on “ST 2746 (Hints)

  1. Very enjoyable solve indeed – a type of ‘Goldilocks’ crossword for me. Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints which I didn’t need today. **/****

  2. A real treat for a lovely sunny Sunday morning … it’s not always sunny here on Sundays but the crosswords from Virgilius are always a treat.

    And there was I thinking that there were no hidden clues today!

  3. The first puzzle I have looked at after a few days away, and a lovely welcome home! Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD too.

  4. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. I enjoyed this, but am finding it very tricky. Needed the hints for 2d. Still stuck on 4&16d and 20a. Any help would be much appreciated. Favourite was 7d, was 3*/4* for me. Nice weather today in Central London

    1. 4d whats in a newspaper and the usual journalist. 16d timber.20a first letter of convey and say.

      1. Thanks Una, got them all now due to your help. I had 11a wrong, which made 4d impossible. Now corrected.

      2. Yes – thanks Una. Absolutely sunk with 20a but got it now. A little for you.

      3. Careful Una, or Miffypops will have you blogging! Look what happened to Kath!

        1. I very much doubt that BD wants anything to do with people who can’t spell reliably.

      4. I thought we weren’t supposed to give additional hints for prize puzzles.

  5. Lots of lovely clues, favourite 7d. Thanks Virgillius and BD.
    21a is a great film.

  6. Wow, that was tough in parts, but very enjoyable. 4*/4*

    I needed BD’s help to understand precisely why my answers for 2d and 22d were correct, and the second meaning of 16a was new to me.

    6d made me laugh out loud, and I’m delighted to see that BD has taken the opportunity to show us Erika after the recent debate whether or not it would be reasonable to use her picture in a clue involving Erica.

    3d gets my vote as favourite. Its wonderful surface reading alluding to a specific artist whose room was always reputedly messy cleverly hides the fact that it is an anagram. It reminded me of a Bestie cartoon birthday card I once received which still makes me laugh whenever I think about it. Here is a link to it for any fellow bloggers who might share my sense of humour:

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  7. 3*/3* for me. Just difficult enough to make it a challenge rather than a walkover. Thx to all.

  8. Pleasant end of week fare from Virgilius as usual!

    Faves : 1a, 20a, 26a, 2d, 12d & 14d.

    Today is June 1st. It was once the Glorious First of June.

    Fillets of plaice and chips tonight with a drop of Jacob’s Creek pinot grigio.

    Weather still magnificent here in NL.

  9. Hello on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in London.
    First time logging in. We do the crossword together most days to either get the brains working in the morning or to chill out after work. First time for us for the Sunday but it’s caused the usual arguments and fierce competition!
    9a has us stumped though. Cannot see how, what we think is the answer, comes from the clue?
    Really enjoy reading the blog comments for additional inspiration when we’re stuck. (Which is more often than we’d like)

    1. Welcome to the blog pipettes. Now that you’ve introduced yourselves I hope you’ll be regular contributors.

      9a While in hospital, thought (8)

      You’ll kick yourselves! It’s a hidden word.

      1. Aaaargh! Now that is embarrassing for a first post!! Too much early summer sun is getting the blame…..

    2. Welcome from me too – glad that I’m not the only one to miss the hidden “stuff’ with monotonous regularity.

  10. I romped through this but got pulled up short by 20a, needed a hint to get it (thanks Una!). I loved 26a and choose that as my favourite, but so many deserving clues. Loved it. Thanks Virgilius and to BD for review.
    We had some rain last night but very little, so our rainy season has not really started. We need inches to make up for the past dry season to bring the aquifer up to an acceptable level.

    1. I liked 26a too – yet again another “doggy” clue from Virgilius. He must be a “doggy” person.

  11. Enjoyable tussle, last in 7d.
    18a and 12d special mention.
    Many thanks Virgilius, and BD for the review.

  12. Buene sera from sunny Sorrento. What a way to enjoy a Virgilius puzzle sitting by the pool with all the time in the world ! Enjoyed it twice as much as usual. Probably because my brain was untroubled by worldly thoughts. Thanks BD for your hints as usual.

  13. Lovely stuff from one of my favorite setters. A tad more challenging that his last few, I think. I simply could not see 14D or 17A so sneaked a peek at the online version before the review came up and used a letter hint, something I rarely do and always feel guilty for. Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the review.

    Gorgeous sunny day here in Southern Maryland. Just right for lunch and a glass of wine in the garden.

  14. A real challenge for me. There is great satisfaction in finishing as always. I made a real meal of 24d and had a real duh feeling when it finally clicked.

    Liked many clues with 13a and 15a being favourites.

    Thank you Virgilius for the challenge and BD for the help.

  15. The usual lovely stuff from Virgilius but I was a tad slow with it and quite a few d’uh moments ,so a great feeling of satisfaction to have finished it .

  16. Well OK – here I go! Very late today . . .
    Both Lambs plus elder one’s partner here for weekend as it’s the nearest one to my birthday so out for dinner with them all yesterday – lovely – how lucky am I? Elder Lamb and partner have lent their car to friends – when they decided that I had far too many tomatoes and cucumbers in pots, and far too many geraniums in pots etc etc it became pretty obvious that they were not going to be able to get back to London on the bus . . . . bang goes day!
    Right – crossword rather than babble. I found it of fairly average difficulty – thought it was going to be tricky but then got going.
    Ended up with a few that took a while, all in the left hand side, and one that I just couldn’t do – 20a. Thanks again, Una.
    Three clues that came out on top for me today, so no proper favourite although any of them could qualify for that position – 13 and 28a and 14d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Need food – about to have supper.

  17. So, ten days in the UK where it rained on every single one of them! Saw the sun about two or three times. Now back home and guess what? You’ve got it – peeing down all day! Not what we expect in June, but it has just stopped and a bit of the blue stuff is beginning to show . . .

    As to Virgilius I thought it the usual Sunday excellence, although a bit trickier than recent offerings. Maybe that’s just me being a bit knackered due to travelling yesterday and today watching all the tennis and three motorbike races and the Giro d’Italia – it’s a hard life!

    9a fav by a mile but the rest a dead heat for second.

    Thanks to the Sunday Supremo and BD.

    1. So far we are still waiting for our rain, a deluge was forecast for today but no signs. I telephoned my friend in Wales yesterday and she says that the sunshine has been nonstop, they have summer as it can only happen in UK. It must have waited for you to leave. For God’s sake someone, send some rain here before we completely dry up!

  18. Thanks to Virgilius (if he is indeed the setter) and to Big Dave for the hints (albeit not needed on this occasion). Will a certain generation of men ever forget Erika Roe, l ask myself? And l answer myself “No!”. 20 across was my favourite, and my overall rating about 3*/4*.

  19. Excellent puzzle from Virgilus. I had to work hard on three separate occasions to finish it.
    BD – wouldn’t the second definition in 7d be a cooking term rather than a die?
    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  20. Very much enjoyed completing this without too much difficulty this evening in glorious sunshine in the garden accompanied by a glass (or two!) of Sicilian “grape juice”. Several good clues with 18a and 21a among my favs. ***/***. Thanks Virgilius and BD.

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