ST 2749 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2749 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2749 (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”. 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    Painter‘s canvas finally framed by old measure of length (6)
This member of a modern movement in painting is derived by inserting the final letter of [canva]S into an old measure of length, approximately equal to the length of a forearm

12a    Trains and other transport (7)
Two definitions – a verb meaning trains a sportsperson and forms of transport

13a    Expressing  what follows a successful pitch (7)
Two definitions – a verb meaning expressing or phrasing and what follows pitching in a game similar to golf

14a    Endlessly in a dire and extremely low position (5)
A rather different way of clueing a hidden word! – drop the outer letters (endlessly) from a group of three words in the clue

18a    Cold Scandinavian city absorbing new cut (8)
C(old) followed by a port in eastern Denmark around (absorbing) N(ew)

26a    Over time, does, for example, discourage (5)
… these does are female animals!

28a    Fan of John or George at various times, but never Ringo? (8)
There have been kings called John and George, but never one called Ringo, or Paul, so we need a word for someone who supports a monarch

29a    Awfully ribald, like one matchmaker? (6)
An anagram (awfully) of RIBALD


1d    Concerned initially about smell in street (8)
The initial letter of C[oncerned] followed by a two-letter word meaning about and a smell or odour

5d    Composure left female on legal team in meeting (4-10)
L(eft), F(emale) and a body of men summoned by a sheriff to enforce the law (legal team) inside a meeting or sitting

6d    So, bit by bit, disrupting performance in English course (5)
Intersperse (bit by bit) the letters of SO inside (disrupting) a performance to get an English racecourse

7d    Foreigner I arrested concealing article (7)
The I from the clue and a phrasal verb meaning arrested (3,2) around the indefinite article

9d    Penetrating articles as result of reduced circulation (4,3,7)
Two definitions – penetrating articles with sharp points and a condition caused by
reduced blood circulation

16d    On hill, sign about European national hero (9)
Start with a three-letter word for a hill and precede it with a sign of the Zodiac around E(uropean)

21d    Flapping of wings over sea (7)
An adjective meaning of wings followed by (over in a down clue) the three-letter abbreviation for a sea

22d    Web designer beginning to swell with false pride (6)
The initial letter (beginning) of S[well] followed by an anagram (false) of PRIDE

24d    March is followed by this pair getting into trouble (5)
The abbreviation for P(ai)R inside a verb meaning to trouble or distress

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Cyndi Lauper (61) and Prunella Scales (82)
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34 comments on “ST 2749 (Hints)

  1. I’m running out of superlatives for the Sunday cryptic! Suffice to say that this was up to Virgilius’ usual extremely high standard being both challenging and very enjoyable. My rating is 3*/4*.

    The NW corner took me the longest with 1a my last one in. The first four letters of 21d were a new word for me.

    My page is littered with asterisks marking the clues I particularly enjoyed with my as yet undecided favourite coming from a short list of 28a, 9d and 22d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    1. I think some people round here are getting a bit sneaky about this favourite “stuff” – I can see that I’m going to have to be more vigilant for a while!

  2. Very enjoyable puzzzle as usual.favourite 9d and I also admired 1a.Thanks Virgilius and BD.Thanks for parsing 13a.

  3. I worked through this without too many issues in time for the start of the cricket. Looking above your 18a picture clue has a slip in it!

  4. Many thanks to Virgilius for the normal Sunday excellence, and to BD for the hints (the picture of the port in 18a has an incorrect letter when hovered over).

  5. What could possibly be better than a cup of freshly ground coffee in the sunshine with a quality cryptic crossword. I really enjoyed this and agree that 28 across and 9 down we’re excellent clues. Got completely suckered by 9 down… Could understand why a ‘penetrating article’ that obviously started ‘**** *** … Something?’ would ‘lower circulation’ then the penny dropped. I love it when the setter leads me up the garden path so successfully that I become blind to any potential solution other than the one stuck in my head!

  6. The usual elegant Sunday puzzle but the most benign for some time methinks. We got 12 across and then 12 downs on first pass

    Favourite was the one about King Ringo

    */**** from us. Thanks to Virgikius and BD

  7. I agree with pommers – didn’t take me too long to finish and enjoyed it while it lasted. 1.5*/**** for me. Thanks to Virgilius and BD

  8. As is so often the case, this seemed really tough to begin with but I much enjoyed the challenge and all’s well that ends well. Many thanks Virgilius for another good one and indeed BD for working, as always, on the day of rest. Joint favs (sorry Kath) 13a and 22d. 18a makes a reappearance but it still took a while to sink in. ***/****.

  9. A lovely crossword – no major problems apart from missing 15a for ages. I did get 4 and 14a.
    9d was my last one – how silly – and I spent a while trying to think of the name of an artist for 1a.
    The first four letters of 21d were new to me.
    Please could we add Scandinavian cities to the long list of things that Kaths can’t do.
    I liked 3, 6 and 9d. My favourite was 28a.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  10. Super puzzle again from Virgilius, but I agree with Pommers that it is kinder than usual. I did this without having to check spelling or anything else, a first for me. I can’t choose a favourite, unless I were to say they all were and incurring Kath’s wrath, but I did think 1a and 28a were outstanding. Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the review.

  11. A very good puzzle made all the more enjoyable because I did not have the time to tackle yesterday’s offering. Loved the cleverness and misdirection of 28A. I should like to rate this as 2.5/4.5 and I should like to thank Big Dave for his blog.

  12. A very enjoyable start to a sunny day. Thanks BD for unravelling 7d for me. Had the answer but was stuck on the parsing.
    9d was so clever!
    Thanks again to BD and to the setter.

  13. No hints needed today; however, 13a ref to pitch puzzled me. I’d thought for it to be a successful pitch it would have to be a hole in one, thrown rather than hit with a club. Gentle feedback would be appreciated, please. Thanks

    1. In my role as quoter of the BRB, it does have ‘a shot where the ball flies in a high arc and doesn’t roll much on landing’.

        1. Thanks for being nice about it, guess I need to get out more, on the golf course that is! Last time was in 1987!

  14. The NE corner proved most difficult for me. I enjoyed both the clues and the hints and tips. I too get a train if thought going which I find difficult to veer away from.

    My shortlist of the more enjoyable clues are 13a, 25a and 22d my favourite is 28a I would have spent a lot longer thinking this one through without BD

    Fantastic day sitting in the sunshine with coffee, shortbread, the DT cryptic crossword and listening to Radio 4. Life doesn’t get much better

    Thank you Virgillus and BD

  15. Another lovely puzzle, thank you Virgilius. For some reason I liked 6d – rather clever I thought. Thanks BD for your hints as usual.

  16. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very nice puzzle, just needed the hints for 28a, and some electronic help on 19d, even though I had all the letters bar one. Must be due to brain lag after watching all the sport. Favourite was 21a, was 3*/4* for me. Nights drawing in now

  17. I wonder how many of us say, four days before Christmas Day, that the days will be getting longer now.
    As for 21a –

  18. 3*/3* for me, and 9d definitely my favourite. Thanks to Virgilius, and of course BD.

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