ST 2748 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2748 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2748 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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Try our June Monthly Prize Puzzle – you have more chance of winning than you do with this Sunday Telegraph 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”. Where the hint describes a construct a “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

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

Some hints follow:


1a    Slender, small, and easy to lift (6)
S(mall) followed by an adjective that describes something that is easy to lift

10a    Hint on page spotted? (6)
A verb meaning to hint or suggest preceded by P(age)

12a    Look after leg — it’s 9 Down, say (10)
A verb meaning to look after or care for followed by the two-letter word for the leg side in cricket and the expanded version of it’s

13a    Not flexible at home, passing around front of goal (12)
The two-letter word for at home followed by an adjective meaning passing or momentary around the initial letter (front) of G[oal]

20a    Have responsibility about Eastern vase, initially, holding water? (10)
A phrasal verb meaning to have responsibility (2,6) around E(astern) and the initial letter of V[ase] gives an adjective meaning holding water or making sense

22a    Large snake — it goes the other way on board (6)
L(arge) followed by Britain’s only poisonous snake gives an item on a board game that goes the other way to a snake

23a    Young women holding right tools for plumbers (8)
A slightly derogatory word for young women around (holding) R(ight)

25a    World record time shortened, finally (2,4)
A record of maps of the world followed by T(ime)


1d    British money’s sound in Scottish city (8)
This Scottish city sounds like British money

2d    I had taken over island, in a manner of speaking (5)
The abbreviation for I had followed by the abbreviation for an island in the Irish Sea

3d    After red card, chaps, lacking leader? Cheer up (7)
One of the red suits of playing cards followed by some chaps without (lacking) their initial letter (leader)

6d    Select group of MPs, perhaps, to pledge support for ball (9)
A verb meaning to pledge or promise followed by a support for a golf ball

9d    Unusually intense blow resulting in problem for person serving (6,5)
An anagram (unusually) of INTENSE BLOW gives a form of 12 across that affects a person who serves a ball in a game

18d    Thwart gathering arranged to promote business? (7)
Split as (2,5) this could be a gathering arranged to promote a business

19d    Last month, in short, a politician beat it (6)
The abbreviated form of the last month of the year followed by the A from the clue and a politician

21d    Take care of leading man with a hot drink (5)
The abbreviation for Care Of followed by the abbreviation for a leading military officer and the A from the clue

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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 Simon Callow (65) and Noddy Holder (68)
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43 comments on “ST 2748 (Hints)

  1. Thank you Virgilius, another super puzzle. Last one in 11a – penny drop moment ! So many good clues which cause amusement. Thanks BD for the hints.

  2. I needed the hints to explain my answers for 18D and 21D, and the middle bit of 12A, but otherwise no problems. Loved 10A! Thanks to the setter and to BD for the review.

  3. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle. I don’t know how Virgilius keeps on producing such high quality puzzles week after week, fantastic! Last in was 20a, favourite was 12a.Was 2*/4* for me. Cloudy in Central London, but at least there’s still play at Lords.

  4. Very enjoyable and would have got 5 stars from but for 21d, ugh!
    Thought 12a though easy was a sloppy clue, there was no indication that you need the long version of ‘it’s’. Apart from those, excellent puzzle with 22a easily my favourite.
    Thx to all.

  5. Fairly straightforward for a Sunday – maybe I’m getting better at them.
    Today I wasn’t fooled by the hidden answers which makes a change.
    I needed the hint to understand my answer for 18d – was beginning to wonder if it was wrong – it wasn’t – I was being dim.
    I got 20a from the checking letters and then worked out the why bit and was very slow to get 8a.
    I liked 22a and 7 and 21d. My favourite was 10a.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  6. Very enjoyable for me. I needed the hints for the why of 12a (not being au fait with cricket terms) and 18d, the same as ExpatChris! Brian, I didn’t see anything wrong with 21d, I thought it was pretty good. I dunno, how does one choose a favourite? Thanks to Virginius and to BD for review.

  7. I would have preferred something more of a challenge from my favourite setter for a prize puzzle; I do not think I have finished a Sunday puzzle in a quicker time.

  8. A very enjoyable puzzle today. My last one in was 15d being on the iPad didn’t help there.

    Like a few my favourite was 22a, before looking at the hint I was thinking of all sorts of exotic snakes

    Thank you to Virgillus for the fun and BD for the help

  9. Quiet here today – where is everyone? Football I suppose . . .
    If I see one more England flag on one more car I will cry. I’m fed-up with it already – how long does it all go on for?

    1. The football goes on for ever and ever – well that’s what it seems like.

      I have just come up to draft the review of today’s crossword – I’ve been cooking (ten cheesy bacon loaves in the freezer ready for the cake stall at the church fete on the 28th; and 4lb strawberry jam for us); also gardening and a 4 mile walk this morning.

      Ready for a zizz in the chair now.

      1. What a busy day – well done to you.
        I agree the football seems to go on for ever but never mind – it’ll be our turn soon as it’s Wimbledon in a week or so. And then, of course, the dancing will be on in the Autumn . . .

        1. Oooooh, Wimbledon … can’t wait! I’m going to invest and get the Tennis Channel for the summer. There were so few broadcasts of the French Open, I now realise that tennis is no longer the prime sport in the US.

          1. I’m looking forward to Wimbledon too – our garden is pretty much in order (as much as a garden like ours ever is) so have decided that I’m going to award myself time off from it for good behaviour and watch some tennis this year – haven’t done for years as once I get into it I’m hooked and that’s it for two weeks.

        2. I always remember Tommy Docherty’s statement as Scotland flew off for a Football World Cup (yes, they did use to qualify) sometime in the Eighties: “They’ll be back before their postcards”.

          1. Does that mean that all this will be over soon? I’m only joking really – I don’t begrudge all the fun that football fans get out of it. I think it just depends on what you enjoy. I enjoy my garden and lots of people find that boring . . . whatever turns you on I suppose.
            I did like the Tommy Docherty statement.

    2. I agree with Crypticsue, forever and ever and ever and …. so on. Kath, it’s not only England, it’s all over the world. As Miami is such a melting pot for all of S. America and the Caribbean, it’s total madness here.

      1. Oh dear – poor you. It was pretty noisy round us last night – lots of cheering and stuff.

    3. England flags and flags of other nations seem to be everywhere. Google has had World Cup stuff on the homepage since the beginning of the competition. TfL puts scores on the train indicator boards. Not being a football fan I find it hard to show interest and understand the fervour the World Cup generates. Nevertheless my male work colleagues will be taking about it, analysing the games, the teams and the players ad infinitum, I am resigned to hearing all about it until it’s all over.


  10. A very enjoyable puzzle which was not too taxing however I must admit I still cannot see the answer to 8A I will stare at it a little while longer and hope inspiration comes! Thanks to Bd for his review.

    1. Ditto for me! Very enjoyable puzzle, not too diffficult but really stuck on 8a… Liked 10a and 22a. Many thanks to Virgillius and Big Dave – wished BD had given a hint for 8a!

      1. 8a Activist set on fire area in plant (8)
        A three-letter verb meaning set on fire and A(rea) inside an aromatic plant.

        1. Got it! Realised that my 1d was wrong, hence the puzzlement. Mille mercis BD!

        2. Enlightenment has arrived! I was spelling the answer to 1D with an * as in the money instead of an * as in the city! This is the joy of crosswords – satisfying but at times totally frustrating. Thank you Big Dave for guidance.

          1. So we were both mislaid by the wrong spelling of 1d! As you say the joys and frustrations of cryptic solving know no bounds…

    2. I agree that this spelling was not entirely clear from the clue – it could have been either – it’s the kind of clue that always foxes Mary.

  11. I agree the cryptic was enjoyable today and not too many probs. – but has nobody suffered with the Quick apart from me? I’m still stuck with 3 or 4 clues in the top left hand corner – and none of the usual books seem to be of any help. Perhaps I’ve been watching too much tennis.

    1. Where is the quick crossword in a Sunday paper? I didn’t know that there was one. I usually go straight from cryptic to sudoku (or garden) on a Sunday.

      1. Hi Kath,

        Not sure exactly where it is in the paper version but there is one on my iPad. When I choose puzzles from the meni it offers Quick Crossword 316

        Hope that help


    2. BD, you’re a star, hope this isn’t too late. ( The morning has been spent at a lip reading class and I’m fair wore out. )
      In yesterday’s quickie I can’t get 1d “Give notice” and 2d “Portable” among others. I’ve got “Logo” for 7a – can’t think of anything else. In all my many years of cruciverbalising I can’t recall being at stuck as this! I do enjoy the blog – many thanks for all the effort that must go into it. I’m not very computer savvy – is “posting a comment” the same as simply replying to you?

      1. 1d is forewarn, 2d is mobile.
        If you click reply your comment is nested under the comment you’re replying to (as I’ve done here). If you’re starting a new thread just use comment.

      2. Oh brillo – now I can rest easy. What a speedy response! Do you good folks keep your computers on hand all day long? Wonderful service – thank you. I’ve clicked on every “reply” I can see, but I seem to lack the nesting instinct – don’t think I’m doing it right – sorry!

  12. A pleasing little puzzle. Not particularly difficult but satisfying nonetheless (2*/4*). I liked 10a. VMTs to Virgilius, and to BD for the hints.

  13. Top notch puzzle as usual ,regardless of the time taken (does it really matter) great surface meanings and lovely ambiguity ..Thanks Virgilius and BD

  14. Very straightforward puzzle though I’ve never come across 11a used as a noun. Interestingly I had the wrong answer for 1d while it made no difference to the grid it made no sense to a Scottish city!

  15. Enjoyed this. Thank you Virgilius and also BD for a couple of explanations including 12a where I had overlooked the cricketing term. 9d was probably fav.

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