ST 2763 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2763 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2763 (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    Down-at-heel actor being brought initially into cast (6)
The initial letters of three words in the clue inside a verb meaning to cast or throw

10a    Act without propriety or honour, holding one’s own (9)
The three-letter abbreviation for the lowest level of a UK honour around (holding) I’S (one’s) and followed by a verb meaning to own

12a    Financial institution holding good, adequate capital (7)
A much-maligned financial institution around G(ood) followed by a two-letter word meaning adequate or satisfactory

14a    Live broadcast’s central piece competently put together (5)
The middle letter (central piece) of [broa]D[cast] combined with (put together) a word meaning competently

15a    Presenting in a way that’s outstanding, on purpose (8)
A word meaning outstanding or unpaid preceded by (on) a purpose

18a    Clear up venue sometimes chosen for parties, as we hear (8)
Sounds like (as we hear) a venue sometimes chosen for parties for their conferences

25a    Call from Jersey or Guernsey with phone, securing vessel (7)
The call made by Jersey or Guernsey cattle followed by a verb meaning to phone

29a    Learner in Latin that is least diligent (6)
Put L(earner) inside the full Latin phrase meaning “that is”, not the more usual abbreviation


1d    Person who’s undistinguished? Yes and no (8)
A generic word for a person can also mean a distinguished person – isn’t the English language strange at times!

2d    Failure to show what can be heart-warming? (7)
Proverbially this makes the heart grow fonder

6d    Mature writing, perhaps, I compose (5)
One of Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic followed by the I from the clue and a verb meaning to compose a piece of prose

8d    Key part of fight for territory (6)
A musical key followed by part of a fight in the boxing ring

16d    In royal style, I will upset oldie that’s tired and emotional? (4-5)
The abbreviated royal style for “I will”(2’2) (remember what Queen Victoria said when she was not amused to get the style!) followed by an anagram (upset) of OLDIE

19d    Got out of control in diatribe about carnival site (3,4)
A diatribe around a South American carnival site

21d    Forbidding one expression of disgust (7)
An adjective meaning forbidding or stern followed by a word meaning one when applied to a playing card

24d    Tax man showing exemplary patience in private meeting (5)
A verb meaning to tax or make demands on followed by the usual two-letter abbreviation for a good man who shows exemplary patience

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Ben E King (78)
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25 comments on “ST 2763 (Hints)

  1. 3*/5*. This was both challenging and entertaining with brilliant surface readings throughout. It’s difficult to find words for something that was so good even by Virgilius’ high standards.

    I needed Google to confirm my answers for 11a & 3d.

    Once again on a Sunday, it is very difficult to select a single favourite from so many excellent clues. My short list is 10a, 25a, 2d, 5d (which was in fact one of the reasons why I elected to do chemistry at university!) & 9d.

    My only question relates to 16d. Assuming my answer is right, I know of two meanings for my answer but neither seems to fit the definition “tired & emotional”.

    Many thanks to our Sunday Supremo and to BD, who I am sure will be very glad like me that the sporting equivalent of Voldemort will soon be over…

    1. If you look the answer up in the BRB, the first definition is one which “tired and emotional” is a euphemistic term for. I was surprised that it was the first definition given though.

      Give me 5d over chemistry any day!

      1. From time to time I am slightly ashamed to say that I have found myself in the state described by the first of the two BRB definitions but I would certainly not equate that in any way with being “tired and emotional”.

        I agree, it is slightly surprising to see it put first in the BRB despite its classification as “(facetious)”, but I suppose it may well be the more common usage.

        1. It seems that things these days are more likely to be def. 1 than def. 2 … I’m heading off in a minute to become one of those things!

        2. The expression gained currency in that sense when it was frequently used by newspapers in the 1960s as a euphemism to describe the Labour Deputy Leader George Brown when he was 16d.

          1. Thanks Physicist. I had long forgotten the previous politician with the moniker G Brown. It’s good to know how the first BRB definition of 16d was born, but still doesn’t seem to shed any light as to how it comes to mean “tired and emotional”.

    2. 5d ! I got brain strain trying to do the maths of it. Thankfully it has been dropped from the second level course.

  2. A tricksy little number, full of misdirection and inventive definitions. It took me some head-scratching, but the only help I needed was confirmation of 11a after completion. Last one in was 10a, simply because I just couldn’t shake from my head a clearly wrong spelling of a word that I’m sure would never appear in a Telegraph crossword (although it did appear in a certain other paper’s puzzle)! Too many great clues to select from, but I will give honourable mention in addition to 23 & 25a, and to 1 & 2d, which may all be better than my actual favourite of 4a.

    Thanks to Virgilius and Big Dave. Happy Sunday, everyone! :)

  3. Not quite sure what to make of that. OK but not quite up to usual standard for Sunday and in fact didn’t feel like Virgilius. **/** Now back to the golf.

  4. I really enjoyed this one – challenging but very enjoyable. I would say that 5d is just as much a part of chemistry as physics, though – at least in my days at University! 3*/5*

  5. Virgilius’ puzzles are always right on the button. The clues are challenging enough to require a bit of pondering but never obscure or convoluted. 1D and 10A were my last ones in and I, too, wondered abut the definition for 16D, but it could not have been anything else. Many thanks to him, and to BD for the review.

  6. As always a great puzzle from the Sunday master. Last in was 1d – a typical clue. 2*/4*
    Thanks also for the tribute to the sublime Ben E King. A friend and I blagged our way into Greenham air base in 1971 to see him perform live for the American troops. Try doing that today!

  7. Another really good Sunday crossword – I found it quite tricky in places.
    My last answer was 29a and I only got that once I had alternate letters in.
    The 5d anagram took ages to untangle – didn’t have anything in and couldn’t get the wrong first five letters out of my head.
    I needed the hint to understand 1a – missed the first letters of three words in the clue – dim!
    I was also dim about the Jersey and Guernsey bit of 25a – how many times is it possible to be ‘had’ by that?
    Managed the hidden 7d but missed 20a.
    I liked 12a (what a completely mad place) and 15a and 1 and 9d. I think my favourite was 3d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  8. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A super puzzle, very enjoyable and very tricky. I had one eye on the Ryder Cup, so I think that increased the difficulty
    Favourite was 25a, was 3*/5* for me. Need ed the hints for 10a, had 29a wrong, so that stopped me getting 16d. Needed electronic help for 4a. Well done Europe. Great stuff.

  9. Very, very challenging, took me some time to get beyond half completed.
    Some quite brilliant clues, I thought, eg 24d especially.
    Many thanks, Virgilius, and BD for the review.

  10. Great fun, took a bit of thinking but well worth it.
    Thought 1d was a very clever clue but my fav was 9d.
    Thx to all

  11. As usual, great Virgilius work. I had the wrong ending for 28a, why I don’t know because I said the correct word and wrote the wrong word, hence it took too long to get 9d. Getting senile! Loved 25a, 11a, 4a and 12a, but my fave is 1d. Thanks Virgilius, and BD for review.

  12. Many thanks Virgilius, Many thanks BD. Finished before banned subject started. Exhausted now, bar open, see you tomorrow

    1. You’ve changed your email address so your comment required moderation.

      11a British artist interrupting quiet function in foreign gallery (5)
      The usual abbreviation for an artist in Britain goes between (interrupting) the musical abbreviation for quiet and a function or party.

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