ST 2761 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2761 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2761 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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Only one week to go to be able 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:


7a Guided back to mindful state in East (8)
Reverse (back) a three-letter verb meaning guided and follow it with an adjective meaning mindful or informed to get a US state on the eastern seaboard

10a Working for company, not well (6)
Split as (2,4) this could mean working for a company

12a Unusually deviant animal’s a kind of marsupial (9,5)
An anagram (Unusually) of DEVIANT ANIMAL’S

15a Overlook writings about one of the Romans (4)
The usual abbreviation for writings (as opposed to writing) around the Roman numeral for one

19a Bird  fell rapidly from sky in America? Doesn’t sound like it (4)
The name of this bird is also the past tense, in the US, of the verb meaning to fall rapidly, but they are pronounced differently (doesn’t sound like it)

20a On which gymnasts may perform as sign of equality, perhaps (10,4)
This apparatus on which gymnasts may perform also describes the mathematical sign of equality

25a Source of danger in hospital covered by doctor or nurse (6)
H(ospital) inside (covered by) a verb meaning either to doctor or to nurse

27a Chap who’s engaged in monetary affairs not using first name (6)
Start with a word meaning monetary affairs and drop the first occurrence of N(ame)

28a King poorly protected by the queen in exciting play, for example (8)
The Latin abbreviation for king and an adjective meaning poorly or sick inside (protected by) THE and the Latin abbreviation for queen


1d When damaged, cut down (4)
Simple but effective – an anagram (damaged) of WHEN

2d Philosophy of Orient‘s left-winger after change of ends (6)
Start with a left-wing follower of a former Chinese head of state and exchange the first end last letters (ends)

4d Gave up, and made some hand signals, we hear (6)
… like the queen!


5d Was happy about a couple of pawns aimlessly moved (8)
The A from the clue followed by two P(awn)s and a verb meaning aimlessly moved around

6d Part of bridge, say, is being intelligent about opponent (10)
This feature of some, but not all, bridges is derived by putting an adjective meaning intelligent around someone who is opposed to something

16d Write up piece of music as, also, dance tune (8)
Reverse (write up in a down clue) a piece of music and AS and then add a word meaning also to get this slow Spanish dance tune

21d What’s repeated in jazz variation for their instrument (6)
The letter that occurs twice (what’s repeated) in [ja]ZZ followed by an anagram (variation) of THEIR

22d Just as sailor turned up on bank (6)
This adverb meaning just or almost is derived from the reversal of the usual sailor followed by a verb meaning to bank or depend

26d Having retired, producing short book in a limited edition (4)
B(ook) inside the A from the clue and the abbreviation for (limited) ED(ition)

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Morten Harket (55) and Sam Neill (67)
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26 comments on “ST 2761 (Hints)

  1. I quite enjoyed this one – I filled in quite a few almost instantly – then came to a dead stop. Perseverance, perseverance and yet more perseverance brought me to a successful conclusion. A good challenge, although those answers hidden in the words of the clue always seem a bit too easy, and I thought there were too many of these in this puzzle. I like it when the puzzle seems tough for a while but finally yields to a bit of thought.

    2*/4* for me.

    1. You might find the hidden answers easy but they’re usually the ones that defeat me – not today though.

  2. Good heavens! So far I’m the first to comment – probably won’t be by the time I’ve finished.
    I thought this was a lovely and fairly gentle Sunday crossword.
    I was on the slow side to get started but all fell into place once I got going.
    I’d never heard of 16d but as soon as I managed to get a wrong answer out of my head and started to think a bit more I got there in the end and then could do 27a which was my last one.
    Three hidden answers today and I got them all – maybe things are looking up at last.
    I needed the hint to explain why my 20a was right – completely missed the relevance of the =. That was silly.
    I don’t care much for the picture for 12a – wouldn’t want to meet him on a dark night.
    I liked 19a and 1, 14 and 24d. My favourite was 21d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

        1. After last week’s Rookie Corner puzzle and yesterday’s NTSPP …. I don’t like all these numbers!

        2. . . . but still pipped!
          I hope that you had a good holiday with lots of sun – I can’t remember where you went but did notice the request for leave.

          1. We went to Crete and it was excellent thank you except for utter chaos at Heraklion airport on our return journey as the luggage conveyors had broken down and after check in everyone had to carry their own hold baggage to the x-ray and sorting area. It was a big relief when our suitcases appeared at Gatwick.

            1. I didn’t know that. So, in real time was I before you – this is one of the many things that my brain just can’t do . . .

  3. 2*/4* for me today. I found this at the easier end of Virgilius’ spectrum with everything going in smoothly apart from 3 linked clues in the SE. However, as often happens with hindsight, having worked out the answers it’s hard to fathom why they were problematic.

    Lots of excellent clues with great surface readings. My short list today is 20a, 28a, 2d & 21d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  4. I’m surprised no one has had a moan yet about the inclusion of an American spelling in a British crossword! 19A was definitely my “least liked” today, because I loathe that word and have refused to use it in the 35 years I’ve been here. Otherwise, the usual nice Sunday puzzle from one of my favorite setters. I did like 6D and 12A. Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD for the review.

    1. Even though like you I think it is a very ugly word, I have no complaints about the inclusion of this this one in today’s puzzle because Virgilius has clued it so fairly.

  5. Excellent Sunday puzzle, asked a few questions but was eminently ‘doable’.
    Real team effort today with Mrs B. A year ago she looked at Cryptics with horror, now she is first to the crossword esp at the weekends. Anagrams are her speciality, she gets them long before me but still has a job to find them in the first place, that seems to be my job!
    Thought 7a had a nice bit of misdirection.
    Thx to the setter and the hints although not needed today.

  6. An enjoyable solve particularly 2, 21 and 22d. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review. Everton have got a win at last but my wife won’t like the Liverpool outcome.

  7. Thank you Virgilius, I found this difficult today. Perhaps not helped by the continual change of solving location. Visitor Centres at Glen Grant, Glenfiddich and Glen Livet ! Starting to feel a bit groggy by the end. Needed to get back to Google to find some answers. Thanks BD for the hints today, which we certainly needed to check a few things

  8. Very enjoyable solve today, and, as usual, hard choosing a fave. Loved 12a, 20a, 28a, 2d, 6d and 21d. Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for review. Nice start to the day.

  9. Perseverance got me there in the end. Now I wonder why it took me so long. Didn’t know 16 d and needed the hint BD ,so thanks & thanks to Virgilius for the mental workout.

  10. A splendid puzzle, for which VMTs to Virgilius, which l would score at 2*/4*. I enjoyed both 1a and 2d, and l plump narrowly for the former as favourite. Thanks too to BD for the hints.

  11. It’s like the Mary Celeste here today – where is everyone? I know it’s been a nice day but really . . .

  12. Oh dear, 1a sent me off in totally the wrong direction…. I was determined that it was an anagram and that ‘sentiate’ had something to do with sentient and therefore….
    Well, thank you BD for sorting me out on that one! Thereafter a quick solve. I thought 1a was a lovely clue even so…
    Thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Back to the drawing board…

  13. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, was totally beaten by 10,25,27a and 16d, had never heard of the latter. Favourite was 2d. Was 3*/4* for me.

  14. A very enjoyable solve. I particularly liked 9a, 12a (not that I’d like to meet one, though, looking at that picture), 27a, 28a, 2d, 16d and 21d. Thank you very much Virgilius for the Sunday treat, always anticipated with pleasure.

    I didn’t use the hints to complete this. Nonetheless, I wasn’t too sure whether 19a was a double definition or not. Nor was I sure about 20a — I thought it might be an all-in-one. And I also missed the relevance of the =. Oh dear. So, being able to go through these excellent hints now has indeed proved most valuable. Thank you very much, Big Dave.

  15. My whole Sunday was wiped out taking my younger son back to Uni so I only got around to looking at this puzzle today, but enjoyed it. I didn’t fully understand 21d until I read the hint, and 16d was my last one in as I the penny dropped rather slowly on that one.
    Thanks to both Virgilius and BD.

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