ST 2760 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2760 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2760 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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Don’t forget to enter the September 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    Deficiency in rebuilt base where part of Russian navy is (5,3)
A deficiency inside an anagram (rebuilt) of BASE

9a    How the scales of justice should operate better, we hear, for traveller (8)
If the answer is split (3,5) it sounds like How the scales of justice should operate better (5,6)

10a    Player as viewed by opponent in bridge school (4)
Split as (1,2,1) this is one of the usual bridge players as viewed by one of his opponents

11a    Ready to get off the ground, completely developed (5-7)
Two definitions – how a nestling is when it is ready to fly and an adjective, which alludes to the first definition, meaning completely developed or experienced

15a    Black sheep’s description — dull and stupid (6)
B(lack) followed by the adjective associated with sheep – did you know that I have a page all about animals in “The Mine”?

16a    European hero of American novel (4)
… written by Mark Twain

17a    Indian garments from South, having come to be cut (5)
S(outh) followed by most of (cut) a verb meaning come to be or happen

23a    Gradually developing as rebel after monarch’s ousted as leader (12)
Start with another word for a rebel and drop (ousted) the R (Rex/Regina, monarch) from the beginning of the word (leader)

26a    Island after island found in river (4)
IS(land) after IS(land) gives another name for the River Thames near Oxford

27a    Patience, for example, to repeat after revision (8)
This patience was written by Gilbert and Sullivan and is an anagram (after revision) of TO REPEAT

28a    Person involved in case originally tailing leader of thieves (8)
An anagram (originally) of TAILING followed by the initial letter (leader) of T[hieves]


2d    Author that is initially holding up American volume for book-lovers (8)
The initial letters of the first three words preceded by (holding up in a down clue) the American spelling of a unit of volume

5d    Ignoring origins of law, try being crooked (4)
Drop (ignore) the initial letters (origins) of two words in the clue

6d    Details of course of naval vessel mate’s heading North (8)
A three-letter naval underwater vessel followed by a mate or partner and the S from ‘S

7d    Transformed prince, perhaps, changed for good (4)
Simple construction – an anagram (changed) of FOR followed by G(ood) – but very clever

8d    Drop in financial support — it’s not on the level (8)
A verb meaning to drop or perish inside some financial support, particularly that given to a student

14d    Movement that’s slowly taken inside popular government (5)
… if you’re looking for a trademark hidden word, here’s one of them!

16d    Border for skirt or winter coat further down (8)
A three-letter winter coat followed by a word meaning further down or under

22d    Attend one opening in theatre and quickly leave (4,2)
To attend (2,2) followed by I (one) and the initial letter (opening) of T[heatre]

24d    Covering or partly covering (4)
… and here’s the other!

25d    Gemstone seen in ring partner has on (4)
O (ring) followed by (has on) a partner or mate

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment.

Please read these instructions carefully. Offending comments may be redacted or deleted.

Today it’s Happy Birthday to Chrissie Hynde (63) and Gloria Gaynor (65)
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 … and a special mention for the Late Great Buddy Holly, who would have been 78 today if only he had boarded the tour bus instead of the plane
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38 comments on “ST 2760 (Hints)

  1. Terrific puzzle today, with 9a as my standout favourite but really lots of great clues 1a , 11a, 15a,17d.
    Thanks Virgillius and BD.

  2. Superb Sunday puzzle which I found took me a bit longer than usual to unravel so I’d go for ***/****. Thanks to BD and Virgilius.

  3. Thanx BD – I couldn’t get more than a few to start off, so peeked at a couple of your hints to get me on my way. Time for dinner now, hope I can get inspiration when I return to this tricky one later.

  4. I have had crossword deprivation for the last few days so it was a great joy to complete this excellent Sunday offering. It certainly has what constitutes a good puzzle, very good clues and some very good wordplay and diversions. I rate this as 2.5/3.5 I did have to resort to electronic help for 16D – I was unaware of this word. Favourite is 13A My thanks to Big Dave for his excellent review.

  5. As always a great Sunday crossword – I found it quite a bit trickier than the last few, or I’ve just forgotten!
    4 and 16d were among my last few answers. 7d also took far too long which was a bit 15a!
    I’ve never heard of 27a but it was obviously an anagram and with almost alternate letters in it couldn’t have been much else.
    Just for once I found both the hidden answers without much trouble.
    I liked 11, 15 and 16a and 5d. My favourite was 7d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    Now to see if I can finish off the NTSPP – I suspect that it’s finished me off but can’t quite bring myself to admit defeat and look at the hints yet. Then grass cutting, again!

      1. I’m not very good at ***** – I don’t mean that I can’t sing it I mean that I’m not very keen on it.

        1. Sorry – completely unintentional, not that I’m aware that G&S wrote anything else! All the same
          And I’ve been SO good recently . . .

  6. Now for a silly question – how do all you people know who the setter is?? I only know the magician (Monday DT). When a very small girl I went to a birthday party where he baffled everyone with his legerdemain.

  7. I’m with you Kath. I thought this was Vergilius with his claws out today. Another new ‘crossword land only’ word in 16d found via Google. The answer to the question ‘that can’t be a word surely?’ is ‘oh yes it can!’ A good tussle throughout so 3/4*. 7d is such a neat clue and my favourite of the day and possibly the week.

  8. Jolly good fun and a chane to learn a new word, at least for me (16d). 9a was my favourite and brought a smile to my face. Another beautiful day in prospect.

  9. Thanks to Messers v and bd for a pleasant morning’s thought. We must protest however: we use fl oz and even cubic inches. Thought you guys were still imperial in measurement at least.

    1. I think they changed over some time ago, Tantalus. It’s sneaking in here, too. Spirits and wine, even of American origin, are labeled in metric these days.

  10. 9a, absolutely brilliant clue in a brilliant crossword as is usual for Virgilius. Took a bit of time to get going but filled in nicely. Haven’t commented for some , busy summer.

  11. Yes, great puzzle this one – 2*/4* for me. I figured out what 16d had to be but I have never come across the word before, like most other here it seems. Thanks be for the dictionary!

  12. I liked this a lot – it impressed me there were quite a few nice clues that simply involved a short insertion (e.g. 8d,17d, 19d) of these I *really* like 17d, very elegant. 7d (prince) stood out as pure delight. I like the topical 1a. I am still trying to work out the directionality of player and opponent in 10a though the answer was clear. it took me most cross-checks to get 23a! In 11a, the two meanings seem pretty much the same to me?

    many thanks setter and thank you big dave for review and especially for excellent birthday videos!

  13. Thank you Virgilius, another enjoyable puzzle. I agree with the above comments – a bit harder than the usual Sunday challenge. Thanks BD for the hints, always essential for checking the wordplay. Lovely day on Mull, sea eagles and otters.

  14. So many brilliant clues from Virgilius, he never lets us down. He must be a brilliant gent to do this week after week! My fave has to be 7d, brought a huge smile. Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the review.

  15. I finished this (all but one clue) soon after breakfast. Got stuck on 4d for some reason. After a seat in the sunshine this afternoon,and a good crop of sixes from the England batsmen, the answer came to me at teatime! Thx to all.

  16. Terrific crossword, found it very difficult but persistence paid off. Some really clever clues like16d and 16a but my favourite was 11a, a real ‘smile’ clue.
    Thx to all.

  17. Superb puzzle, really challenged me.
    Special mention 9a, 11a and 2d.
    Many thanks, Virgilius, and BD for the review.

  18. Hmm, would agree with others that this was a bit harder than normal. Maybe it’s just us but both of us agreed that this wasn’t really up to the very high standard that we’ve come to expect on a Sunday.

    We’d give it ***/***. 16a was pretty good though :lol:

    Thanks to Virgilius and BD

    1. I give in, please any hints with the one of eight double unches at 20a, it must be so darned obvious

      1. 20a Quit or accept new contract (6)
        Double definition. The ‘accept new contract’ meaning is often associated with a professional sportsperson and is usually written as (2-4).

  19. I needed a second pint this evening to finish this one off; I found it a little tricky in places… maybe just my tired brain.
    Many thanks to Virgilius, and to BD for the hints (the 6d hint needs a reversal suggestion).

  20. Another satisfying puzzle from Virgilius, with some nicely-pitched clues ( my favourite 2d) and worthy of a 3*/4* score. I see from other comments that l’m not the only one to be foxed by 4d; even though l’m pretty sure which tyrant l’m supposed to end up with, l can’t see how l should have got there. Can anyone give me a hint?

      1. Of course, THAT sort of bad mark! Thanks, BD, l can’t understand why l didn’t spot it straight away.

  21. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. Needed 4 hints to finish.. Couldn’t believe I missed the anagrams in 27&28. I blame the hillwalking. A new word in 16d, just couldn’t see 22d. Favourites were 7d & 13a. Great crossword, was 4*/4* for me. Went to Barf today and yesterday, nothing to do with Homer Simpson, it’s a mountain near Thornthwaite.

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