ST 2757 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2757 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2757 (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    Making another appearance in theatre? (7,7)
A cryptic definition of having one’s appearance changed in the operating theatre

12a    Bad behaviour in stag party, in part (11)
Split as (3,7) this could be part of a stag party – the second word means a small group of people formed of dissenting members of a larger group or party

15a    Go from nine to five, say, as covered by official order (8)
Note that five is less than nine! – put AS inside (covered by) an official order

17a    Locate said bishop’s office to get views on holiday (8)
What sounds like (said) a verb meaning to locate followed by the three-letter office of a bishop

19a    European beer knocked back in feast (6)
E(uropean) and a tasteless beer, all reversed (knocked back)

22a    Giving off glow and awful fouler smell (11)
An anagram (awful) of FOULER followed by a smell or odour

23a    Something for elevenses? It’s not quite eleven (3)
Most of an eleven or side

26a    Adult opponents holding hands in circle (5-2)
… see The Usual Suspects page for these opponents

27a    After one season, uninspired play (3,7,4)
One of four seasons (3,6) followed by an adjective meaning uninspired


1d    Disorder in pros far worse — they can’t fight any more (9,2,3)
An anagram (disorder) of IN PROS FAR WORSE

2d    Hold up article, in turn, as circus performer (7)
A verb meaning to hold up or steal from and the single-letter indefinite article inside a turn or performance

4d    Hot food repeatedly found, from what we hear, in cold country (6)
This hot food sounds like (from what we hear) both (repeatedly) an adjective meaning cold and a country

5d    Life put in disarray, with daughter being given raise (8)
An anagram (in disarray) of LIFE PUT followed by D(aughter)

6d    CO, for example, leads in generating appropriate strategy (3)
… CO here is a chemical formula

8d    Reckon English king liberal — that disproves hypothesis (14)
A verb meaning to reckon or enumerate followed by E(nglish), the three-letter Latin word for a king and an adjective meaning liberal or generous

18d    Journey top-class — secure fare from Hungary (7)
A two-letter verb meaning to journey or travel followed by the single-letter that represents top class and a verb meaning to secure or fasten

20d    Part of crustacean or insect upset queen (7)
An insect followed by the reversal (upset) of the name of the last Stuart monarch

25d    Argument in bank? Heard otherwise (3)
Two definitions which are spelt the same but pronounced differently (heard otherwise) – sometimes referred to as homonyms [Chambers: homonym – a word having the same sound and perhaps the same spelling as another, but a different meaning and origin, sometimes extended to words having a different sound and the same spelling]

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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 Belinda Carlisle (56) and Robert De Niro (71)
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59 comments on “ST 2757 (Hints)

  1. Another lovely puzzle, thank you Virgilius. Getting 1a and 1d early was a help. Thanks BD for your hints. Too many favourites to list

  2. Had to wait for the hint to 19a to finish, quite agree about tasteless! I did however do most of the puzzle three times due to the persistent fault in the iPad edition, why can’t the techies sort this out?

    1. One man’s tasteless is another man’s subtle flavour! I like that beer (although not much of the “culture” that often goes with it).

      The techies seem to be a little more able with the Android edition: it’s only broken a couple of times…

    2. I’ve given up on electronics and resorted to paper. I had no response from the DT people.

    3. Barry, and others on the iPad. if you put your answers into the grid, then when you want to leave, swipe to the quick crossword and leave the paper at that point. When you return your responses will still be in situ. But remember to do this each time you want to leave. Don’t ask me why,! I found this out after a lot of hair pulling myself. The DT techies say that they are aware of it and are working on it.

      1. Thank you Ranjit, I’ll try that. Trouble is I lose the quick answers too sometimes!

  3. 3*/4*. I thought I was going to finish in 2* time but got held up with the SE corner which was the last to fall. This was the usual superb puzzle for a Sunday, with, as ever, too many great clues to select a favourite.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD, whose hint I needed to understand fully the wordplay for my answer to 23a.

  4. I am officially declaring myself a dimwit! I’ve really struggled with the last few days’ offerings (Friday’s and yesterday’s are still awaiting completion because I’m determined not to give up just yet). Excepting Rufus, Virgilius is the setter I’m least likely to need hints for, and yet I needed a couple today for completing and parsing. All stuff I would expect to get, too :(.

    From the little my foggy brain can discern, this was another lovely puzzle from Virgilius, for which many thanks. Also, my thanks to Big Dave whose hints today were much appreciated, and whose blog always increases the pleasure of crosswording.

      1. Yay – it’s good to have company :). Your comment below did make me feel better!

        How happy is the moron,
        He doesn’t give a damn,
        I wish I was a moron,
        My God – perhaps I am!

    1. Great – me, you, Merusa and Sheila P – enough for a party I reckon!! Who’s bringing what . . . ?

      1. May I join you? Did manage today’s, however, except for a struggle with 5d because of a mistake in 12a… Many thanks to Big Dave who put me right. Reconciled with cryptic puzzles after a struggle with Thursday and Friday’s offering, thought I had lost it! Could bring lovely wine from Bourgogne to your party… Forgot to thank setter, oops!

        1. On the subject of wine – husband bought a bottle from Sainsbury’s – it was called “Longue Dog”!! It had a picture of a “long dog” – I should think it was a dachshund . . . it made me laugh!

  5. Coffee in bed and the Sunday prize puzzle – one of life’s little pleasures! Great stuff as always, with some meaty long words to get stuck into. 1a took a while and gets the favourite vote. 2/4*

  6. I thought this one was quite straightforward and very enjoyable with the long words. Excellent! Thanks to the setter.


  7. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. Super puzzle as usual, very enjoyable. Can’t get 15a despite reading the hints, also stuck on 7d. Any help would be much appreciated. Was 3*/4* for me. Favourite was 1a.

    1. I’m not going to attempt to better BD’s hint for 15a – the order is something that I associate with being the kind issued a very long time ago – almost in Roman times.
      7d The definition is drink. The pupil is not a learner but part of the eye. You want a six letter word for another part of the eye (it’s situated behind the pupil) containing (swallowing) the usual one letter abbreviation for second.

      1. Kath, can you think of a way of helping me with 7d without being sent to the naughty step. It’s my last clue and I cannot find a 6 letter word for something behind the pupil. I’m sure that I must have a wrong checking letter

        1. If there’s a wrong checking letter, it’s likely to be the first – a few people got the wrong end of 1a. A quick google of “parts of the eye” will lead you to the one that you need :).

  8. Needed help from BD on a couple in order to finish and didn’t help myself by settling for wrong first word (without being able to parse it) for 1a so struggled with 4d. Otherwise an alright exercise without much light entertainment. Thanks Virgilius and BD for being the port in a storm again. ***/*. Too many crossings-out to submit for competition – must get erasable ballpoint!

  9. Oh dear – pig’s ears spring to mind and they were, needless to say, all my own fault. This was a lovely crossword that I messed up, quite badly too.
    First problem was being completely unable to see 1a for ages which meant no starting letters for the top bit.
    My second problem was spelling 9a wrong – stupid – I know how to spell it.
    17a was just plain wrong but screwed up the bottom left corner.
    Wrong beer in 19a meant that I couldn’t explain my answer.
    27a had to be right but took me ages to understand.
    The downs all went better apart from 3d,which suffered from previously mentioned misspelling of 9a, and a few in the bottom left corner, which suffered from wrong answer for 17a.
    I liked 10 and 15a and 4 and 16d. My favourite was, eventually as that was another that took me ages to see, 23a.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  10. A very straightforward puzzle, that I made unnecessarily awkward by putting my answer to 1d into the across clue (no correction fluid in Costa Coffee), and shortly after, writing the answer to 24a into the 26a space. Despite the dreadful mess of black ink, 1*/4* for me today.
    Many thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  11. I always enjoy crosswords by Virgilius … but I wish he would make his Sunday offerings a bit more difficult. I have lots of time on Sunday mornings … all over far too quickly today.

    What about a “Brendan” on a Sunday?

  12. A most enjoyable puzzle which certainly meets the high standard we have come to expect on a Sunday. I struggled a little with it owing to my wrongly reading a clue but I made the finishing line thanks to a couple of hints from the blog. I would rate this as 2.5/4 Lots of good clues but 1A is a top notch smiler for me. My thanks to BD for his sterling work.

  13. Slightly easier than a normal Sunday we thought but excellent nonetheless.
    Last in was that pesky 7d as we had the wrong ending for 1a. Lovely ‘smile’ clue in 15a (I love pun type clues). Learnt a new definition for 19a, never knew it meant feast before. All in all great fun.
    Thx to the Setter and to BD for explaining the opponents in 26a, always forget these type of opponents.

  14. Pretty straightforward apart from 1a that had me stumped for ages. Seems easy when the penny drops. 20d is my favourite. I think BD intended to put 4,7 in his hint for 12a

  15. A walk in the proverbial park this morning, except for the ending of 1a, interfering with 7d, drink dispenser thinking… Anyway, favs were 1a and 24a. And 6d is not true below 68k (or when given the look by Mrs T).

    Thanks to v and bd for an enjoyable Sunday in Boston.

    1. Ooh, I do love a bit of pedantry :). I think that the state in normal conditions can be taken as its normal form … not sure if that makes sense, but am trying to avoid being sent to the naughty corner.

    2. Hi Tantalus!

      I presume you are talking about degrees Kelvin which are written with capital K!

      I studied chemistry at the U. of Glasgow where he was famous!

    3. My brain has been tried and tested enough for one day. I leave all that kind of stuff to elder Pet Lamb (or husband) who tends to say things like “It’s not very difficult Mum . . .!” Don’t you just hate them . . . ?
      I was just a simple nurse but at least I did it properly!!

  16. Very enjoyable and reasonably straightforward crossword. Thanks to BD and Virgilius **/****

  17. Once 1a was corrected everything became possible! And as for 15a… well eventually I twigged it. A true ‘Doh!’ moment once again….
    Thanks Virgilius and BD

  18. Enjoyable puzzle from Virgilius as usual!

    Faves were the four 14-letter external, framing clues.

    Must now disconnect the computer because we go back to NL tomorrow. We have had just over two months of excellent weather down here in the Var!

  19. 2*/4*. Very enjoyable once I revisited the second word in 1a and corrected how I managed to spell 9a initally. Thanks to BD and the setter. The weather has become tolerable again so time to cut the lawn.

    1. How did we both spell 9a wrong? It’s in the papers (and crosswords) often enough . . .
      Weather seriously autumnal here – Maple leaves turning, other leaves falling – just generally autumnal and chilly – cut grass today.

  20. This wasn’t straightforward for me, it was hugely entertaining.

    There was so much to enjoy about today’s puzzle that I’m struggling to choose a favourite. I’m amazed at the kind of brain that thinks of clues to words in this way.

    Thank you Virgillus and to BD. I don’t think I want to be self sufficient, the hints can be as entertaining as the clue.

  21. I was in the dimwit corner today as well. I never did solve 8d or 19a, and I needed electronic help with some. I also needed BD’s hints to know the why of 23a, but how clever was that? The other long answers presented no problems. There were so many brilliant clues, it’s difficult to choose one, but I did love 15a, what a red herring was that! Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the help. Felt very smug being able to do as much as I did!

    1. As I don’t want to go into the naughty corner or sit on the naughty step, I’ll say only that I don’t think they are everyday language…..well certainly not mine.

      I’ve decided on a favourite and it’s 20d

  22. After several days languishing in the crossword doldrums, the only difficulty I had with this was 20D, and I had the wrong answer for no good reason. Thank you Virgilius and BD.

    1. Oh dear – why are you in the crossword doldrums? You shouldn’t be if the only problem you had with today’s was 20d.
      I had problems all over the place.
      I know you don’t like them but you sound to me as if you need a little

      1. I have been on the losing end of the puzzles in the last few days. I guess it happens. Thank you for the rose!

  23. I too had the wrong ending on the second word of 1a, so the NE corner held me up for a bit. On balance, I’d rate this one at about 3*/4*. There are some clever clues, 1a being my favourite. VMTs Virgilius, and BD for the hints.

  24. Just read all the comments. Really enjoyed today’s puzzle – thanks to Virgilius! My favourite clue was 15a as it held me for quite a while as I was barking at the wrong tree – thought it was a very clever and misleading clue. 3*/5* for me.

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