ST 2759 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2759 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2759 (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    Wrongly interprets unusual smartness in dud (14)
An anagram (unusual) of SMARTNESS IN DUD

11a    Assistant‘s back-to-front idea? (4)
Move the final (back) letter of IDEA to the front

14a    Excitement is missing in this stream (6)
Drop (missing) IS from TH[IS] and add a small stream

15a    Disturbed area sealed off by barriers protecting it (8)
A(rea) and an adjective meaning sealed off by barriers, like some private roads, around (protecting) IT

17a    After power’s achieved, gave speech as minister (8)
P(ower) followed by a verb meaning achieved or attained gives a verb meaning gave a speech as a minister of the church

21a    Supporter I reprimanded settled a bill (10)
A limb used for support followed by the I from the clue and a verb meaning reprimanded or criticized gives a verb meaning settled or enacted a Parliamentary bill

24a    Met nine or ten men I represented as famous (7)
… two lots of anagram fodder for the price of one!

25a    Person who breaks  dish (7)
Two definitions – someone who breaks, say, dishes and a dish or beautiful girl

26a    Bold lad, one who beats aggressive dog? (14)
A charade of someone who beats or lashes another and an aggressive dog


1d    Male, I admit, who travels to work (7)
M(ale) followed by I and a verb meaning to admit or allow

2d    Darned slang, this? Wrong (8,7)
This all-in-one clue defines an anagram (wrong) of DARNED SLANG THIS

3d    Move cautiously North-West? On the contrary (4)
Split as (2,2) this says the opposite of North-West

4d    Station our wartime allies in old school (6)
To get this London station put our main wartime allies inside an old-established public school

7d    Artistic skill seen in piece on board vessel (15)
A piece used in a board game followed by a vessel

13d    Boycotts Dickensian villain as disgrace to family (5,5)
A verb meaning boycotts followed by a ‘umble Dickensian villain

19d    Second person in audience who removes woollen coat? (7)
S(econd) followed by a person in the audience gives someone who removes the woollen coat from 13 down!

23d    Festivity a person with convictions set up (4)
The A from the clue and a slang term for a person with criminal convictions, all reversed (set up in a down clue)

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Richard Gere (65) and Van Morrison (69)
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39 comments on “ST 2759 (Hints)

  1. Another excellent Sunday offering which was most enjoyable and I completed before publication of the blog. My favourite was 12A Last one in was 20D which seemed to take forever to get then I realised it was staring me in the face all the time. My rating is 2.5*/4* My thanks to Big Dave for the review.

  2. Rather unchallenging, though nice to meet many old friends, especially those with more than ten letters to their names.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  3. 2*/4* for a very entertaining Sunday puzzle. I thought all the clues were excellent., but I particularly liked 2d, 3d & 13d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  4. On the easier side for a Sunday I thought, but enjoyable nonetheless. Thanks to Virgilius and BD **/***

  5. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, a bit on the gentle side. Only difficulty was 22a, I have an answer, but I’m not sure if it’s right. A hint would be much appreciated. Favourite was 24a. Was 2*/3* for me.

  6. Very enjoyable puzzle well-crafted . It asked a few questions but gave you some questions to get you started. Best clue for us was 24a, clever double anagram.
    Many Thx to the setter and to BD of course even if for once the hints were not needed

  7. A very gentle offering this week. The top half was virtually a write-in and the bottom did not put up much more of a fight, so 1.5 on the difficulty-ometer. I too like the ‘take your pick’ anagrams in 24a and got half a smile from 26a.

  8. Enjoyable Sunday puzzle, too easy for some but not for us. Like lots of long words. Thank you to the setter and to BD.

  9. I liked having the long words to get going. I particularly liked 2d and 13 down. Thanks BD and the setter.

  10. Had a late night last night and did it before lights out. There were plenty of smiles even if it was rather straight forwards. Thanks setter and BD. 1*/3*
    I remember being called a young 26a quite a few times in my youth!

    1. I should think you’ve been reading this blog for long enough to know the kind of clue that I always miss – it’s one of those!

        1. So far so good – either BD hasn’t noticed it yet or it’s OK. I can’t really see why it shouldn’t be OK . . .

  11. Lovely Sunday stuff as usual. I started off nice and quickly, then found a fair few clues that took a little chewing over… but they were toffee-chewy rather than gristle-chewy, and dissolved sweetly after a little mastication :). Too many great clues to pick a favourite. Thanks to BD and Virgilius, and smiles for everyone!

  12. Never read the Sunday telegraph. Can’t get it down here anyway. But just like to apologize to Big Dave for yesterday post. Hope I made you smile though. With all the work you put in, sorry to be such a pain.

  13. The usual lovely Sunday crossword.
    Unlike others I started very slowly and only managed a few of the across answers on first read through.
    Then got onto the down clues and everything more or less sorted itself out.
    22a was my last one in – I assumed it was cricket and had more or less given up but finally saw it.
    I took a while to understand the first bit of 10a – don’t know why.
    I liked 12 and 24a and 3d. My favourite was either 26a or 13d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    It’s a lovely day in Oxford – I hope it’s nice for the rest of you. Maybe that’s why it’s quiet here today.

  14. Phew, not so tricky today – I love anagrams. But I’m stuck on 18a – I can’t make it fit with what I have for 6d ??

    Lovely weather here by the sea – when I’ve finished this one I’ll make my mother (88 years old) read out the clues for the GK, and write in the answers. It’ll keep her brain active, I hope.

  15. What I really liked here is that a number of clues used normal cryptic indicators in unexpected ways, even as the definition. That really raised the enjoyment for me.

    my favourite clues include the double anagram 24a, 14a, definitely the 2d all-in-one, and 8d (as just one exemplifier of my first sentence)

    Many thanks setter and Big Dave for review

  16. The quick, as usual has given me a load of head scratching, but finally got there bar the Scorsese film and Bond villain – 11 and 23 across. I’m not up in popular culture, I’m afraid, but what is really bugging me is the cryptic. Enjoyed it all, but am completely stuck on 18 across. I have a word (Yiddish apparently) which fits the grid, but I can’t get it to agree with the letters I have, and can’t believe are wrong! Any hints most gratefully received so that I can get on with my life!

    1. Difficult to help without banishment to bad boys’ corner but it’s definitely not Yiddish! The first word is what you are looking for. Hope that helps (and Rachel).

      1. Oh brillo. You’ve made a little old lady very happy. Can’t think why I was quite so thick. Many thanks

    2. 18a Detective maiden’s needed in difficult situations (6)

      A very famous fictional detective is created by inserting M(aiden) inside some difficult situations.

      The Scorsese film is a remake of a (superior in my opinion, I have both versions on DVD) 1962 film which was wonderfully parodied by The Simpsons.

      The Bond villain is one of the most famous of all the villains.

      1. Thank you BD and Rick – how stupid can I get? THAT detective!! Have a great week y’all.

  17. Another most enjoyable puzzle thank you Virgilius. Perhaps not the hardest, but always good fun. Thanks BD for your hints, which are always helpful for checking wordplay.

  18. As usual, super Sunday puzzle … and not, for me anyway, a write in. I never did get 18a (thanks for hints above) and was sure it was someone on TV. How dim can one get? Loved quite a few, fave was 13d, with honourable mention to 26a, 7d and 19d. I had one question, 15a uses “barriers” as plural, and that made me think my answer for 15a should have ended in “s”. That held me up for a bit. Not to worry, all sorted in the end. Thanks to Virgilius for the enjoyment and BD for the review and help with 18a.

  19. I must be really thick . 22 a is eluding me. I can only think of the middle leg joint, but that doesn’t,t work.. Can you give me a clue?

    1. It does if you look a little harder. Again rules is rules but you will find it in the end!

  20. Straightforward solve today!

    Faves : 18a, 3d & 13d.

    Mixed bag of weather today here in NL- some sunny periods and a few showers.

  21. Fairly straightforward, needed to clarify one answer. Lover the pic of the tennis girl.

  22. Was that really a Sunday crossword? It has been a long time since there was one so gentle!
    Good fun regardless. Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  23. First crossword for the best part of a week (hence my non-appearance on this blog). This one was pleasant, but unchallenging. No particular favourite clue, but thanks to Virgilius, and to BD for the hints.

  24. Sowly catching up, having been off-line all last weekend.

    Thought this less difficult than some of Virgilius’s puzzles, but none the less enjoyable for that. Plenty of lovely clues, including 18a, 24a, 26a, 3d, 13d, and 23d.

    Didn’t need any hints, but have much appreciated having them. (So far, so good. No doubt the full review will, in due course, reveal something I may have done incorrectly… )

    Grateful thanks to Virgilius and Big Dave.

    Don’t know what I’d do without crossword puzzles and this wonderful Big Dave’s Crossword Blog!

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