ST 2747 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2747 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2747 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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Why not have a go at the June Monthly 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”. 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.


7a    Highest level of salt in tree (8)
The chemical formula for common salt inside a type of tree

9a    Unsuccessfully leading army maybe around island (2,4)
Where those in the forefront (leading) of an army are said to be (2,3) around I(sland)

10a    Dog in cargo vessel that’s docked (6)
Drop (that’s docked) the final letter from a cargo vessel

12a    Performer who survives dangerous form of consumption? (5-9)
A cryptic definition of a performer who “consumes” something that is very dangerous

19a    Nasty cracks in accommodation (4)
Two definitions – some nasty cracks or gibes and accommodation, especially for a student

23a    Men and boys outside prison put back in shackles (8)
The plural noun that includes both men and boys around (outside) the reversal (put back) of a slang word for a prison

25a    Line outstanding, calling from Jersey or Guernsey (6)
L(ine) followed by an adjective meaning outstanding or due gives the calling or sound made by, for example, a Jersey or Guernsey cow

27a    Energetic kind of voice (6)
Two definitions – an adjective meaning energetic and a grammatical term meaning of that voice in which the subject of the verb represents the doer

28a    Alternative to ally is supporter of ruler (8)
An anagram (alternative) of TO ALLY IS


1d    Italian’s so long in Chicago, oddly (4)
The Italian farewell is derived from the odd letters of a word in the clue

2d    Be irritating about length — he tends to exaggerate it (6)
A verb meaning to be irritating or annoying around L(ength} gives someone who tends to exaggerate the length of his catch

3d    As which, best is the same as worst (4)
As this part of speech, to best can mean the same as to worst

8d    Part of our capital, in addition, invested in tea (7)
An adverb meaning in addition or besides inside a colloquial word for tea

13d    Timepiece that, on the other hand, can be digitally adjusted (10)
A cryptic definition of a timepiece that, while worn on one arm can be adjusted by the fingers (digitally) of the other hand

16d    Like theatre surgeon, perhaps, caught pocketing fine instrument (8)
A two-letter abbreviation for someone who could (perhaps) be a surgeon, although traditionally a surgeon does not use this form of address, and C(aught) around (pocketing) a fine instrument that was made in Cremona, Italy

22d    In audience for Shakespeare, namely As You Like It? (2,4)
A two-letter word meaning in the audience for a show followed by the shortened form of Shakespeare’s first name

24d    Second nature for so-called lawyer (4)
S(econd) followed by a Scottish word for nature or type

26d    Something found in Chinese soup — or in minestrone (4)
Hidden inside the final word of the clue

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Sir Tim Berners-Lee (59) and Bonnie Tyler (63)
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29 comments on “ST 2747 (Hints)

  1. So far I’m the first to comment for the first time ever but I bet I won’t be by the time I’ve done it.
    Lovely crossword – I thought it was about average difficulty for a Sunday.
    I was held up by 23a and 16 and 24d. Spent ages trying to work out why my 16d was right before, in desperation, I looked up the middle bit in BRB.
    I liked 11 and 25a and 3 and 18d. Needless to say 10a was my favourite.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

      1. Yes! I’ve been commenting for either just over three years or just over four years and never got there before – just when I think I have someone has always pipped me at the post!

  2. Found this one very hard going but have finished all except for 3d which I just don’t get even with the hint. Is the answer a part of speech? If so what has it got to do with worst? For me ***/**
    Not much fun at all.
    Too much else to do on a Sunday to be struggling with tough crosswords

  3. I did this last night and thought it was relatively benign .The stand out clues for me were 19a, 10a, 25a, 8d and 24d (which was also a great t.v. show).Thanks Virgilius and BD.

    1. Yes – a very good TV series – they’re not making any more of them which is a pity.

      1. Wasn’t the ending of the last episode most peculiar ?Great acting , marvelous screen plays, plots, the whole production of such quality !

      2. Oh no! No more? I’ve just got the final episode of series three to go, I wonder if there are any more after that? Whenever I hear of a good UK TV programme, I get them from and have a huge library which I share. Any tips on good series always welcome.

        1. Hi Merusa, Line of Duty (series2 BBC 2) Happy Valley and Generation War (German With subtitles). Really really good. Enjoy.

          1. I ordered Line of Duty series 1 on Netflix, the only series released so far, but Happy Valley has not been released yet, but I think Sarah Lancashire is great so look forward to that. Thanks, B

            1. Hi Merusa – we have just got back from holiday and watched the first 3 programmes of Happy Valley last night – last 3 tonight. It is sinister gripping stuff !! I think that the lady who wrote it also wrote Last Tango in Halifax also with Sarah Lancashire. She seems to specialise in SW Yorkshire life ! I am sure you will enjoy it.

              1. I have it on my wish list! Loved Last Tango in Halifax. Rumour has it that they’ll make another series, but I think that might be a mistake.

        2. “Prisoners of War ” the israeli version, absolutely brilliant. Believable and authentic.
          “Borgen”, a Danish series about politics, way better than “the West Wing”.
          My colleages and I spend our breaks discussing these two series.

  4. 3d got me for a bit because I hadn’t heard the second word used in quite that way
    14d confused me because I’ve always taken this to mean the opposite
    So two learning opportunities for me :-)

    My favourite is 20a which was a real Ah Bisto! moment when I realised it was not related to politics

    Thank you Virgilius for the challenge and BD for the help. I’m still taking baby steps and not walking without help yet

    It is a beautiful sunny day here in West London so I’m off to enjoy it while I can

  5. Enjoyable as ever on a Sunday but I found it a bit trickier than usual – still stuck on 24d… Apart from that managed most of it with no problems and would go for ***/3.5* Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  6. Thanks to V and BD for our tea and acetylcholine morning.I got Back from Pangbourne last night so have a real paper crossword for yesterday.

    Mrt T

  7. Thank you Virgilius, another lovely puzzle which seemed fairly straightforward. Thanks for the hints BD – I was pleased that you gave a hint for 7a. I had the answer, but was struggling with the chemical element. Some Googling sorted that, so many thanks.

  8. Great puzzle, just tough enough for some head scratching but well clued so do-able. **/*** for me. 25a my favourite and last in. Thanks to all.

  9. Loved it, as usual on a Sunday. So many good clues, difficult to choose a fave, though 10a wins because of the dog connection, they always win. Honourable mention to 25a, how clever is that? Thanks to Virgilius and BD for the review. Back to Rafa and the Joker.

  10. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, that puzzled me a lot :-) I had 5d wrong, so needed the hints for 9a. Also had 28a wrong, me being sloppy, so needed the hints for 24d, only managed to get it after reading the blog. Needed the hints to parse 23 & 27a & 16d. Favourite was 7a. Was 3*/4* for me. What a scorcher as the Sun would say :-)

  11. Since the hand surgery I’ve had, this is the first time I have had a full day doing things in the garden, then followed a refreshing shower, opened a bottle of cheeky red and set about No. 2747 I must say very enjoyable, a lot of excellent clues and a lot of smilers, (22D being my favourite). I would rate this 2.5/4 Thanks to Big Dave for the review. Why can’t all Sundays be this good?

    1. It must be lovely to be able to do stuff in the garden again – I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to be tied by the leg (in your case the hand) at all let alone at this time of year when everything is growing so fast. Enjoy your cheeky red.

      1. Thank you for your kind thoughts Kath. Bordeaux is going to plan and the borders are the plan tomorrow !

        1. Hand surgery (dominant hand) is staring me in the face, too. Doing everything I can to stave it off for a long as possible, but I’m limited in what I can do in the way of gardening or anything else. Still, at least my brain is working and I can type! Good luck with the recovery and mind you don’t overdo the weeding and feeding!

  12. I quite enjoyed this one (thank you, Virgilius) and would rate it at about 2*/3*. 8 and 16 down tied for favouritism. Thanks too to Big Dave for the hints, although l didn’t need to draw on any.

    1. Welcome to the blog steve.
      BD has given a hint for 3d and I can’t really improve on it. You need to think of the part of speech of which “to best” and “to worst” are examples.

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