ST 2756 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2756 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2756 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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There’s still time to enter this month’s 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    It’s repeated the wrong way by an old master (6)
The reversal (the wrong way) IT and IT (IT is repeated) followed by AN

4a    Hit and pinched (6)
Two definitions – hit or struck and pinched or stolen

8a    Unfaithful wife in part of so-called cage (5,3)
An adjective meaning unfaithful or disloyal followed by a biblical expression for a wife

12a    Staggered because heavy weight I dropped (10)
A charade two-letter word meaning because, a heavy weight, I from the clue and a verb meaning dropped or cast off

13a    Mostly err badly about favourite bird (6,6)
An anagram (badly) of MOSTLY ERR around a favourite

21a    Short power cut, thank goodness! (4)
The abbreviation (short) for P(ower), as used in physics, followed by a verb meaning to cut or fell

22a    Project about story producing tragic heroine (6)
A three-letter verb meaning to project or protrude around a story or fabrication

ARVE Error: need id and provider

25a    Part of flower some plant here (6)
Hidden (some) inside the clue


1d    Absurd misrepresentation of attempt to wrap a piece of clothing (8)
Put an attempt around (to wrap) a piece of underclothing

3d    Study in a library that’s emptied so soon! (7)
A four-letter verb meaning to study inside the A from the clue and L[ibrar]Y after the inner letters have been removed (emptied)

5d    Driver missing in combat (7)
A four-letter verb meaning missing inside a major conflict

7d    Salesman with a line in expensive-sounding animals (6)
The A from the clue and L(ine) inside some animals that sound like an adjective meaning expensive

9d    British are mendacious about female monarchs, say (11)
B(ritish) followed by a phrase (5,4) that means are mendacious or tell fibs around F(emale)

15d    Old family member shouted warning after driving over animal (8)
A warning that is shouted after driving a golf ball followed by (over in a down clue) an animal

17d    Excellent kind of characters needed for TV but not radio (7)
A Virgilius special – look carefully at the two words TV and radio!

21d    In essence, caught lofted shot (5)
Start with a word meaning essence or essential character and insert (in) C(aught)

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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 Ronnie Spector (71)
ARVE Error: need id and provider

33 comments on “ST 2756 (Hints)

  1. Usual good standard for this Sunday puzzle. No difficulties encountered. Some good smilers, I like the word play of 12A My favourite has to be 17d – A nice contrivance. my rating is 2.5/3 Thanks to BD for the review.

  2. Thank you again Virgilius for another lovely puzzle. Usual pattern – difficult to get going but then once under way the bits fell into place. Needed Mrs SW to decode 8a. Thanks BD for the hints. Weather inclement !

  3. Another great challenge from Virgilius.12a stands out , and I really liked 6d , 21a and many others. Thanks BD.

  4. 3*/4*. This was an excellent puzzle and a very enjoyable challenge.

    Although I got the answer to 8a, I had forgotten the biblical reference for a wife and so needed BD’s hint to understand the wordplay.

    17d was my favourite with 9d a close second.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    1. I don’t know if you do the NTSPP but you shouldn’t look at yesterday’s – you really won’t like 5a!

      1. I try to limit myself to one crossword per day so I rarely look at the NTSPP. I just took a peek at 5a from yesterday – shame on you Gazza! I showed it to my rabbit who twitched his ears and thumped his back leg in disgust!

        P.S. It is an excellent clue though.

        1. Poor rabbit – I hope he’s recovered from his nasty shock. I do agree that it was a great clue – it was also my last answer.
          I’m not as strong minded as you – I now usually do two crosswords – rephrase that. I do the back page cryptic and attempt the Toughie with varying degrees of success.

  5. Agree: thanks to Virgilius for another fine offering. I needed t’internet to confirm 6d, and BD’s help with 8a and, for some reason, 15d: many thanks :). ***/***, or maybe ***/****, and my favourite clue has to be 17d.

  6. Don’t ask me why but for some unearthly reason I decided 1a had to be an expression of disapproval as used by old school masters. Is that ok BD? Eventually when 3d became impossible I reasoned that I possibly had not read the clue correctly. Once again, Doh!
    An excellent crossword in spite of my ineptitude. Fave was 17d. Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  7. More top class Sunday entertainment. I think 8a will catch a lot of people out – I have certainly managed to go 60 years without coming across that usage of the second part.
    Lots of gems to choose from. 6d is a favourite and Monty Python fans will have no problems with 13a, but 17d wins the prize for me today. 2.5*/4*

  8. I thought that was trickier than the last few Sundays have been – maybe just me?
    I did about three quarters of it without too much trouble and then it all went a bit wrong.
    My last two which I couldn’t do for ages were 8a and 9d. Even with the hint I still don’t get the cage part of 8a.
    Today I get 0/10 for observation so needed the hint to understand 17d, but I did find the two hidden answers!
    I liked 11a and 19d. My favourite would have been 21a if it hadn’t been for the picture/music hint for 22a – I loved that record and had forgotten all about it, so that’s my favourite.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD, particularly for 22a.
    Now back to emptying the sitting room so that we can paint it . . .

    1. I agree that it seemed a bit trickier than recent Sunday puzzles – I would’ve definitely struggled 6 months ago but managed OK today. I haven’t counted but it seemed a bit light on anagrams?? – could be wrong though. Thanks to Virgilius and BD ***/****

      1. Yes – you’re right. I hadn’t really focussed on the anagrams but, having just counted, I think there were only two. As far as I’m concerned that was probably the reason I found it tricky – I like anagrams and find them a good way into a crossword.

  9. Good challenge from Virgilius this morning. Thanks to him and to BD for the full explanation of 8a – a rather complex and clever clue.
    Got 9d straight away as we have just come back from our cottage and were on the lookout for them. We have a huge field of milkweed which is their preferred flower.
    Thanks again to all.

  10. Huge usual Sunday enjoyment from Virgilius again. Like Kath, I had forgotten the song from 22a, so happy to listen again. I really didn’t have a problem with any of it, though 3d was last one in and seems so easy in retrospect. Too many good clues to single one out, but I particularly liked 8a, 21a, 22a, 9d … maybe that’s the fave. Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for review.

  11. 3*/3*, l think. Some nice clues (6 and 9 down my joint favourites). I was held up by my insistence that the solution to 15d had to be “********” (it isn’t) but it all went in OK once the penny dropped. Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD for the hints.

    1. You’ll be in trouble – we’re not supposed to put in answers even if they’re wrong, although I really can’t see how that one could help anyone. Here’s a little wave from me to you (in the naughty corner!)

    2. Oh dear – I did tell you – I knew that “they” would catch up with you sooner or later! Another little wave to you, now in the naughty corner!
      Right – now being serious, as far as I ever am. Why does it matter for a wrong answer to be put here, especially one that was SO wrong? That was clearly of no use to anyone (apologies Salty Dog!)

        1. OK – I give in. It’s a bit like dishing out iron tablets to all pregnant women because it’s easier, quicker and cheaper to do so rather than to weed out those who need it from those who don’t! I agree with the first here, but not the second! I’ll shut up now . . .

  12. I don’t often have time to do the Sunday puzzle but today is a very enjoyable exception. Lots of well constructed clues and surface readings that produced a smile. Thank you Virgilius, and also BD for the review.

  13. Started this puzzle after driving back from Grimaud where we had lunch at a restaurant I had not visited for nearly twenty years.
    For my son it was a first visit. Lunch was excellent.

    Faves : 8a, 16a, 22a, 3d, 6d, 9d & 17d.

    My daughter and family are back home in NL from Indonesia.

  14. To me, Virgilius is the Master of crosswords and always creates something that makes any Sunday a brighter day!

    If an aspiring compiler ever wanted a guide as to how to create a great puzzle, not intended to be so challenging as to cause frustration – this one is a model. The blend of types of clues, the surface readings that disguise the synonym one is looking for, the mixing on anagrams and inserted parts, reversals, one or two slightly obscure words, use of final letters, etc. etc.

    Blimey I must be feeling good! So i think I’ll pop down to the beach now for a little lunch and libation.

    Thanks to V and BD. **/****

  15. Wrong place to put this comment but . . .
    I think I need to go to Specsavers – just decided that it was time to put my answer in for the MPP – proving that I’m not a robot was really quite a challenge – there again, perhaps I am a robot!!

  16. Meant to thank BD for welcome yesterday, in fact did make some comments about 4 years ago when I discovered blog. Big fan and it has helped me enormously to enjoy the cryptic crossword most days, not sure I would have learnt how to construct answers without it. Try not to look at blog until I have to, always find Sunday hard.

  17. I struggled to get started and don’t think I would EVER have got 17d if it was not one of BD’s hints.

    I have two to go, however, my little brain is tired so I think I’ll see if I wake up with the answers tomorrow morning.

    It’s difficult with a Virgillus to have one favourite, I’ll plump for 20a

    Thank you Virgillus and BD

    Good luck with painting Kath, I do not envy you.

  18. I found this more of a challenge than normal so a 3*/4*. Started late again today so more haste less speed. Lady Gaga at Rogers Arena was outstanding if bored to death by the preamble of her arriving on stage. I’m getting too old for this

  19. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. Another super puzzle from Virgilius. Lots of smiles along the way. I started with 2d, and finished with 15d. Favourites were 21a & 9d. Was 2*/4* for me. Late commenting due to a visit to Wembley to watch the Gooners. I’m having trouble getting rid of the redbox when using my smartphone.

  20. Have only just completed this excellent Virgilius puzzle. It’s always difficult to select a favourite from his clues. As usual, I have several that I particularly noted — 12a, 21a, 22a, 9d, 17d, and 19d — but there are others besides… **** for enjoyment.

    I completed this without hints, but reading Big Dave’s hint for 17d now has added an extra dimension to my appreciation!

    Very big thanks to Virgilius for a Sunday treat enjoyed on a Wednesday, and to Big Dave for the splendid hints.

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