ST 2751 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2751 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2751 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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Why not have a go at our new 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”. 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    American in party concerning host (10)
This member of an American political party is a charade of a two-letter word meaning concerning and a host or landlord

9a    Part of speech supporting no multinational organisation (7)
A charade of a three-letter word meaning supporting or in favour of, NO and the usual multinational peacekeeping organisation

14a    They are mostly awfully coarse (6)
An anagram (awfully) of THEY with most of AR[E]

15a    Break where some locks have been cut (8)
Split as (2,6) this could mean where some locks of hair have been cut

19a    Pass, in parts of race, European after European (6)
This verb meaning to pass or slip away is derived by putting some parts of a race around a circular track between E(uropean) and E(uropean)

22a    I, for example, making excellent landlord (7,6)
A charade of an adjective meaning excellent and a landlord who rents out property

26a    Backed host’s call to stop getting drinks put out (4)
The reversal (backed) of the call made by a host or landlord to indicate that no more drinks will be served

27a    Composing melody for little children (6-4)
A cryptic definition of a melody for little children intended to make them composed or soothed


1d    Like a painter of poor quality (4)
This could be an adjective meaning like a painter of the kind used for fastening a boat

2d    Stupid person offering inferior wine to ruler (7)
Some inferior wine followed by the Queen’s regnal cipher

ARVE Error: need id and provider

3d    Hear Ted may be grief-stricken (6-7)
This could describe the first two words in the clue and the gap between them!

7d    Parted from popular humorous author (2,5)
A usual two-letter meaning popular followed by an American author famous for his witticisms, like “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

11d    Unlikely transport for officer? Everything stops for it (7,6)
Split as (7’1,5) this could be an unlikely form of transport for a senior military officer

16d    European citizen in trio ending off four months on ship (8)
The three-letter suffix (trio) that appears at the end of the names of four months of the year followed by an ocean-going ship

ARVE Error: need id and provider

18d    Thus princess brings in piano for top singers (7)
A two-letter word meaning thus and an Indian princess around (brings in) P(iano)

23d    Excited to have a game in East Germany, initially (4)
The A from the clue and an Oriental (in East) board game followed by the initial letter of G[ermany]

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Sylvester Stallone (68) and Burt Ward (69)
Sylvester Stallone ARVE Error: need id and provider

34 comments on “ST 2751 (Hints)

  1. Me again!! I found this quite difficult wondering why now! took me ages to get 22a and 27a, which I thought was stretching it a bit, put the wrong letter at the start of 12a which made 2d impossible, however on the whole enjoyable with a lot of clever clues, thanks for hints Dave, needed the explaination for 27a!! Off now for a few days to Stourport …hope Kath got my request for leave of absence!?

    1. I, too, struggled with 27a, Mary. So I’m comforted by that! Do hope you have a terrific time in Stourport. Thanks to setter for puzzle and BD for hints.

    2. No – I didn’t – but since you’ve probably gone by now it’s a bit late to do a
      Have fun and hope that the weather is nice to you.

  2. Once again a Sunday delight full of goodies! Quite challenging and very enjoyable. 3*/4*.

    I have marked 1a, 12a, 22a, 24a and 3d as especially good. I didn’t fully understand the wordplay for 11d until I looked at BD’s hint following which I added that one too to my short list. I keep changing my mind regarding which of these is my favourite, but I’ll get off the fence and select 12a.

    I am still a bit puzzled by 23d. My initial thought from the wordplay was exactly as BD’s hint indicates, but I couldn’t find any reference to that word in my BRB, or on Google, or using a variety of other electronic tools. Hence I put in another four letter word which fits with the two checking letters and which means excited, hoping that BD’s hint would explain the wordplay for my answer – which it doesn’t because I’m clearly wrong! I’m now guessing that the answer must simply be an uncommon spelling of the same word.

    Many thanks to the wonderful Virgilius and the wonderful BD!

  3. No real difficulty today, although I spent a while trying to fathom 16d.
    Many thanks to Virgilius, and to BD for the hints.

  4. Re the video for 16d, that phrase in german means “I am a sausage”, he should have said “Ich bin Berliner”.The audience had difficulty keeping a straight face.
    Virgilius certainly is a 22a. thanks to all concerned.

    1. There may be a sausage called a Berliner as indeed there is also a sort of jam donut (US spelling!) but IMHO the use of the indefinite article is not grammatically incorrect in the context of JFK’s speech.

  5. Thank you Virgilius, excellent as always and too much for me today, almost certainly due to excessive enjoyment of the Katherine Jenkins picnic concert yesterday evening. Many thanks BD for the hints. I solved about half of the puzzle then just sort of ground to a halt. So the hints were much needed to get things going again. Looking back, I wondered why I needed them

  6. Many thanks for the hints although none needed apart from an explanation for 15A…which I still don’t get (assuming I have the right answer).

  7. A very good crossword indeed. I would rate this as 3/4 I did like the red herring in 22A which is my favourite. A mention in dispatches for 13D I cannot see the sense in 7D
    Many thanks to Big Dave for the review.

  8. Tricky one I thought and sadly BD you were no help at all – I had all the clues you gave us hints for! Got there (I think) eventually but a bit of a struggle. I love big anagrams so thumbs up to 12a.

  9. Most enjoyable crossword from Virgilius. I found it pretty tough but perseverance paid off and was definitely into 3* territory. 2d went straight in first with a chuckle. Thanks to BD and Virgilius ***/****

  10. Another brilliant offering from Virgilius, requiring just the right amount of brain work. I am sure that my 13d is correct but don’t understand the “current” bit. Many, many good clues, but I think my favourite has to be 22a, with honourable mention to 1d and 2d. Thanks to Virgilius for the enjoyment and to BD for the review.

    Enjoying the men’s finals, though not sure I can manage the stress of Roger being down 4/2 in the tiebreaker. Monster storm brewing, so my TV will probably go out and save my sanity.

    1. Hi Merusa!

      In electronics the symbol for current is the ninth small letter of the English alphabet.

  11. Another pleasant Sunday puzzle.

    Faves : 22a, 27a, 3d, 7d & 23d.

    Weather still good down here in the Var.

    1. Am so glad you are having a good time in the south of France. I have cousins just east of there in a very pretty little town called Vence.

  12. Just finished it! Last in were 13d, 17a, all this because my first word for 22a was wrong! Pleased that I managed to sort myself out. Enjoyed this puzzle – liked 27a which was my first in. Many thanks to Virgilius and of course to BD – was expecting help for the clues I was stuck on but alas… Thought 15a was great. Where are you Derek? I live in Hyères – part of the year and here at present.

    1. Should have I said there at present? Often get here and there mixed up!!!!

      1. Grammatically I’m not sure – but someone will know. I suppose you could have got round the problem by saying “I live in Hyeres, for part of the year, which is where I am at present”. Just a guess!

          1. . . . but then I can’t do a cryptic crossword in anything but my first language, and even then I sometimes struggle. If I possessed a hat, which I don’t, I would take it off to you!

  13. A really good puzzle with 22a my favourite clue. The SW corner was a bit of a struggle but once I got 13d things moved on rapidly. Thanks to BD and the setter.

  14. dear – if it’s not tears about John Thaw it’s about Roger Federer – he’s got such a lovely face.
    Enough of that and on to the crossword!
    I thought this was one of Virgilius’s more straightforward ones and wondered if he realised that some of us would be glued to Wimbledon with the rest of you looking at other sport?
    I needed the hint to understand why, or even if, my 16d was right but apart from that didn’t have too many problems.
    I liked 6a (don’t know why, just did!) and 22a and 1 and 2d (even though in the paper version we have 2d x 2). I think my favourite was 11d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    1. I agree with you, Roger has a lovely face and is so gracious. I don’t think he’s finished yet, though at 32 it’s going to be difficult to compete with the young ‘uns. Maybe he can spend more time with his children now!

      1. I think I’m probably being a bit mean here – the other chap (can’t even attempt to spell his name without looking it up) was a very worthy winner and was absolutely delightful when interviewed immediately after the match.

  15. This was going in very easily until l got hung up on 15a, 27a, 2d, 7d and 23d. I had all the answers but couldn’t see how l was supposed to arrive at them. From BD’s hints, l can see they’re all pretty fair clues, with the possible exception of 23d. Still, a decent puzzle, about 3*/3*, and l enjoyed 22a. Thanks to the setter, and to BD.

  16. Some real head scratchers in an excelletnt puzzle. The last 4 took me as long as the rest! Thanks to BD and BG

  17. Thanks Virgilius for a stimulating puzzle. Northern half went in quite easily but the South
    was a different story so thanks BD for a couple of hints which in retrospect can’t believe I needed. ***(with help)/***.

  18. I thought this was a delightful solve, with lots of chuckles and “ahh!” moments. Some fun, cheeky and sneaky clues. Started quickly enough, then had to ponder hard for a few, then really had to work at the remaining couple. In the end, I only needed the hints to fully parse 3d and 27a. ***/**** for me. Thanks to setter and BD :).

  19. Brilliant crossword but apart from a couple quite straightforward. Thx for explaining the game in 23d.
    Thx to all

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