ST 2758 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2758 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2758 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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    Versatile player daft men abandon (3-3,4)
An anagram (daft) of MEN ABANDON

9a    Fruit drink that’s pink I had knocked back inside (7)
A shade of pink around the reversal (knocked back) of the abbreviated form of I had

10a    Police covering up evidence of debt that’s abundant (7)
Some policemen around (covering up) evidence of a debt

12a    Member of working group due to change in transition, possibly (5,8)
An anagram (to change) of DUE inside an anagram (possibly) of TRANSITION

17a    Person from North or South, and one from west of Europe (8)
This person from a northerly territory comes from S(outh) and someone from a large peninsula in western Europe

19a    Assassin decapitated American poet (3,3)
Drop the initial letter (decapitated) from the surname of a 19th century American poet

24a    Not for profit, in a way (7)
A profit inside the A from the clue and the abbreviation for a way or road

27a    In good US city, managed even accommodation for senior (6,4)
G(ood) and the two-letter abbreviation for a US city around a verb meaning managed and followed by an adjective meaning even


1d    Part of concert that’s not encored (4)
Hidden (part of) inside the clue

2d    One slip corrected using another? (7)
A cryptic definition of a slip of paper which lists slips or errors in a book

3d    Critical comment from part of UK in a crazy form (13)
A part of the UK, but not of Great Britain, inside the A from the clue, a three-letter adjective meaning crazy and a form of type

4d    Listed in programme as indisposed, so resting? (6)
An adjective meaning indisposed or unwell inside a resting place

8d    Male announcing about one about to lose? (10)
The male pronoun and a verb meaning announcing around I (one) gives an action that proverbially results in loss

11d    Subject to possible revision, feed friend (13)

13d    Annoyed fishermen about a critical juncture (10)
An adjective meaning annoyed and some men who fish using poles around the A from the clue

ARVE Error: need id and provider

16d    Head off a lot of deaths? It’s supposedly the best medicine (8)
… another proverbial reference!

21d    Flowery piece found in part of Bible (6)
This part of a flower is in each of the two main parts of the bible

23d    Food team-mate has demolished in first or second half (4)
An anagram (demolished) of both TEAM (first half) and MATE (second half)

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Stephen Fry (57)
ARVE Error: need id and provider

67 comments on “ST 2758 (Hints)

  1. Not as bad as yesterday !

    Never heard of 3 d but thanks to hints got there eventually .

    **/** from me with no particular favourite .

  2. Good mixture of clues. I quite liked 16 and 11 – but always do like anything that could have come from the Uxbridge English Dictionary.

  3. Another lovely puzzle from Virgilius – thank you. I thought 4d was brilliant ! Many thanks BD for your hints. Usual pattern for a Sunday, slow to start, but once under way great fun.

  4. Took a while to get on stream with this but twigged more quickly than yesterday and then really enjoyed it. Thanks Virgilius and BD. Needed to use Thesaurus for 3d which was not in my vocabulary – perhaps too much swearing as per Stephen Fry quote! Several good clues but no outstanding fav. ***/***.

  5. Pretty difficult I thought and I would have resorted to hints if I had known that they had been posted . Thanks for explaining 17a, as I was quite perplexed about the geography of the whole thing.Sorry , work than fun for me .

  6. Superb start to the day, thank you Virgilius. Don’t care what Kath says, I am having at least five favourites today.

    Now back to the Harvest Festival – 10lb of greengage jam yesterday; now being asked to find something to do with tons (literally) of peaches, not to mention the tomatoes… please don’t mention the tomatoes!

    1. Didn’t sign my leave of absence papers sorry. Been working at Peterborough Beer fest all week pot and pan scrubbing in staff kitchen. Lunch and evening meals for @300 people per session. For your tomatoes I would swap catering pans (which I didn’t realise were so darned heavy) , which to my sinks they just kept coming.. and coming and coming…..
      Right, am now off to Thorney Music Festival for the evening. Normal crossword routine starts on Tuesday when I go back to work for a rest :)

  7. 2*+/4* for the usual great Sunday entertainment. The + for difficulty is for 3d for which I needed electronic help as it it is new word for me. American poets are not my strong suit but I guessed what the one in 19a’s name must be from the answer and checked it on Google.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD particularly for the clip for 13a, the Cream version of which would be one of my desert island discs.

  8. Many thanks to Virgilius for the enjoyable puzzle that went very nicely with my morning coffee, and to BD for the hints.

  9. Very enjoyable puzzle which I was able to complete without resorting to hints which is quite rare for me as I’m still a beginner. No particular favourites as I thought they were all good. Thanks to setter and BD.

  10. 21d I never went to Sunday school, but I passed biology O-level – so I understand the flowery bit, but not the Bible bit – even after reading the hint.

    Oops just got it – I will never understand why this sort of clue is OK, but indirect anagrams are verboten.

    1. Yeah. That one got a scowl from me (although not a huge one, since I did find it “gettable”).

  11. I thought this was excellent, but certainly tricky. So much to like and several favorites…19A, 22A, 4D, 8D and 23D. 3D was a new word but very do-able from the clue (plus a google confirmation). I had the answer to 21D but it took a while for the penny to drop about the Bible reference. Many thanks to Virgilius for another fine piece of entertainment and to BD for the review.

  12. Better than yesterday thank goodness. Finished without recourse to hints, but we did use some electronic help. I’ve never heard of 3 down ( and probably never will again). We did enjoy it though, so thank you to the setter and to BD.

  13. Splendid stuff as ever from my favourite setter. 3d needed Google verification and was always going to be the bete noire du jour (that’s yer actual French as Julian and Sandy would say). Speaking of which 25a reminded me of hours of tedium doing French A level. He wrote one of our set texts which I recall was on a par with root canal work for entertainment value.

  14. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, needed a few hints today. Had 17a wrong, which really messed me up. Never heard of 3d, favourite was 25a. Last in was 11d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  15. Late here – busy morning, one way and another.
    I found some of this quite tricky and needed the hint to understand 2d – didn’t know one part of it.
    I’ve never heard of 3d but it sounds as if I’m in good company there.
    I still don’t get the Bible bit of 21d
    I was very slow to get 1a – went straight past it to begin with as I automatically assumed the player was a sportsman!
    I liked 19a and 4 and 16d. My favourite – my one favourite – was 22a.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    I was about to quote a Shamus clue for 27a but have changed my mind as I suppose it would come under the heading of giving an alternative clue – it was brilliant and well and truly in my list of greats!

    1. Agree with you re 2d and 21d. Can’t see the full wordplay for either. What 21d has to do with bible is a real mystery.

    2. Hi Kath

      Re 21d, the ‘bit you don’t get’, as BD says, it is in one of other of the main parts of the bible (try writing them both down in full).
      Quite difficult not to give the game away; if I have, hopefully some kind soul will delete my hint.

      1. Thank you, I was lost as well. It’s the “try writing them down in full” that gave me my dingalling moment when the bells went off.

  16. Thanks BD for the hints. I am new to your site, and as the latest two offerings from DT and ST have been less than enjoyable, needed your help!!

    1. Hi Rachel,

      Welcome :)

      Totally agree that yesterday was difficult. Today I was getting on okay in the bottom half. Then struggled for a bit.

    2. Welcome from me too – please keep commenting. Everyone here is really helpful and friendly – if or when you don’t understand all you need to do is ask and someone will reply really quickly.

    1. One of my “favourites” – right in the middle and staring you in the face. As my Dad would have said, “If it had had teeth it would have bitten you”!!

    2. Thx Guys, it’s because I had 8d wrong. I knew it was a hidden clue but was looking for the wrong letters! Now I see the right answer to 8d.

      1. Still I’m b……..ed if I can get the Bible bit. I know as a committed atheist the bible is a bit of an anathema to me but I can usually see some connection but not this time.

  17. Well Mrs W has had me enslaved most of the day. Shifted and spread a ton of pea shingle, treated 10m of fencing, washed and waxed her car and took her to the shops. When she granted me parole to do the crossword with a G&T she said “I do love these lazy Sundays”! Loved this crossword and it is certainly up to the high standard we expect on a Sunday. I did need the hints to finish but it did not detract from the enjoyment. I would rate this as 2.5/4 My thanks to BD. Just to think, this time last year I would not even attempt the Sunday puzzle as I thought them too difficult, then I started reading this blog. Thanks to all who have helped me on this journey.

  18. This superb Virgilius puzzle has restored my confidence after yesterday’s slog. I really wondered if I was losing my grip. I had never heard of 3d either, so I join the ranks.

    Like C’Sue, I had clues I really, really liked lots and lots, but I had six! I loved 4d, how clever was that, 22a was brilliant, and 19a I think has to be my fave, I like the poet as well.

    Thanks so much Virgilius, and many thanks to BD for the review, in particular explaining 21d. I just LOVED this puzzle and didn’t want to see it end.

  19. Quite enjoyed this but never heard of 3d
    Thanks for the hints BD
    PartiCularly liked the hint for 11d

  20. I’m with those to whom 3d is a new word.

    Enjoyable and somewhat taxing but not as difficult as yesterday.

    Nearly managed without hints.

    Lots that could be a favourite, but I don’t want to risk the wrath of Kath so I’ll go for 24a

    Thank you Virgillius and BD

    1. Well I’m so glad to see that someone obeys the rules – even it they’re “Kath’s rules”!

  21. Just in case anyone cares now that it’s nearly 8.00pm on a Sunday evening I have, at long last, understood 21d – at least I think I have. Had anyone said that it was not in just one part of the Bible but in both I might have stood a chance of realising that it was one of my bete noire with a twist!

      1. Oh no – wrong again Mr Head Pedant of the blog!! I’m really sorry!! and again
        And I can’t do accents or a circumflex on this keyboard if you really want to be picky, although I know there should be!!

        1. You are definitely forgiven – especially as you know there should be a circumflex (and it is quite tricky to add one). But now you’ve set me the challenge, so here goes:

          Bêtes noires!

          There are probably a number of ways to do it, but I did that by using Word and keying Shift + Ctrl + 6 followed by e, then copying and pasting into this box.

          1. Talking of pedantry…….

            Is it bêtes noires, bêtes noire, or bête noires?

            As with “crossings out”, I would have thought it was bêtes noire!

            Amazing what ipad auto correct can do…. It auto corrects bete to bête,and you add the s as appropriate. But IS IT? You tell me. Or just say “’s a bête noire of mine….”

            1. Chambers doesn’t suggest a plural, but, just to be awkward, the ODE has bête noire – noun (plural bêtes noires pronunciation same).

        2. I can do accents when somebody has used one above, via copy and paste. Otherwise, it would take too much work, so I’d just avoid the word – or lose the accent. They’re always ignored in crossword grids anyway!

        3. Hi Kath,

          I was not sure if you wanted the singular or plural. To get the circumflex you can choose the French keyboard from Settings/General or cut and paste by googling the expression and finding it with the circumflex e.g. bête noire

          Hope that is helpful – I know what you mean though, capital is something I repeatedly fall foul off :(

            That’s three methods. Now there can be no excuse for not using accents! I’ll be watching …

          2. Yes :). Kath, you have a plethora of options now!

            I just played with Word’s INSERT -> SYMBOL option to reproduce one of my T-shirt slogans:

            √(-1) 2³ ∑ π … and it was delicious!

        4. Thanks all – I think that I’ve stuck my neck out too much already today. My Dad would probably have told me that I’m over-excited and over-tired and that it was time I went to bed!!
          Night, night . . .

  22. Thanks Virgilius for an enjoyable tussle.
    A small but – 3d, don’t much like unknown words which you can only get by constructing them from the clue.
    But, perhaps I do, as I got this one.
    Thanks BD

  23. 3d new to me too, but very doable from the wordplay. This puzzle felt like just the right level of difficulty for a Sunday morning with a nice cup of coffee whilst Mrs O enjoyed a lie in!

    Thanks Virgilius and BD.

  24. Well, yesterday’s I did manage to do eventually without help, but on this one I did peek at some hints :(. Probably just me, because usually Virgilius is the highlight of my crosswording week. There was some good stuff there though – I particularly liked 5d, 22a and 24a – so, like I said, I’m probably just having a grouchy day. Thanks to the setter (was it really Virgilius??) and Big Dave.

    P.S. Maybe I got off on the wrong foot by starting with the quickie – that was evil!

  25. A day late but I just had to say I finished it! Well up to Sunday standards. Very, very nice.
    Favourite clue? 27a cos I’m feeling my age having been stone shifting for a couple of hours…
    Thanks Virgilius and BD.

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