ST 2765 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

ST 2765 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2765 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Why not have a go at the October 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    Something insightful said in support of enjoyable repair work — about time (10)
A three-letter prefix meaning in support of followed by an adjective meaning enjoyable and the three-letter abbreviation for some repair work (or new construction) around T(ime)

10a    Friendly question your setter has about his competence? (7)
Split as (2,1,4) this could be a question your setter has about his competence

12a    Logical flaw I had reversed in short form (13)
The abbreviated form of “I had” reversed inside a short form or abridgement

15a    Doctor doing some gymnastics in reflected light (8)
One of the abbreviations for a doctor followed by a phrase meaning doing some gymnastics (2,4)

19a    Fire up learner admitted by helpful European (6)
L(earner) inside an adjective meaning helpful and E(uropean)

24a    What might you do with internet, absorbing energy in excess (7)
What you might do with the internet (4,2) around (absorbing) E(nergy)

25a    Form of carbon that could be useful for dating? (7)
… as it’s a girl’s best friend!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

27a    Bullied in dispute between bishops, bolted (10)
A dispute sandwiched between two B(ishop)s and followed by a verb meaning bolted one’s food


1d    Fills out page with material that profits paper (4)
P(age) followed by the material in a newspaper that account for some or all of the profits

2d    Promoted soldier not in reserve, right? (7)
A charade of a word meaning not in, reserve or formality and R(ight)

3d    Insecure about short story? That’s beyond dispute (13)
An adjective meaning insecure or precarious around a, new to me, short story, as a form of literary composition

4d    Stop serving part of meal, so to speak (6)
This verb meaning to stop serving as a soldier sounds like (so to speak) a part of a meal

5d    Way in over one’s head? (4-4)
This way in is either over one’s head or under one’s feet, depending on which side you happen to be!

8d    What comes before or after this clue is still less sensitive (4,6)
Concentrate on this clue, not previous or subsequent clues, and look at the clue number and the enumeration – it’s a charade of an adverb meaning still or yet and an adjective meaning less sensitive

11d    Regardless of others, trendy Conservative chosen for team to assess (13)
A charade of a two-letter word meaning trendy, C(onservative), a phrase meaning chosen for the team (2,4) and a verb meaning to assess

13d    Hold son (4-6)
This wrestling hold could be a clue for SON

23d    Port in Middle East, a place inhabited with pride (4)
The A from the clue followed by a place inhabited by a pride of lions

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 Rick Parfitt (66)
ARVE Error: need id and provider


56 comments on “ST 2765 (Hints)

  1. 2.5*/4* for this puzzle which was a lovely treat for a dull Sunday morning here in London. For me there was broad of spectrum of difficulty with the clues, some being read & write and others putting up quite a fight. After I wrote in the answer to 3d, it took me a long time to fail to parse it completely until I eventually reached for my BRB to find what was a new word for me meaning “short story”.

    I enjoyed all the clues particularly 2d & 8d, but, based on my personal preference for brevity, my favourite was 13d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    1. BD, if I understand your hint correctly I think I’ve parsed 2d slightly differently. I took it to be the opposite (“not”) of something held “in reserve” (2,3) followed by R(ight).

          1. Ah, I see. Yes it works but I have never heard anyone say 3,3 so I’ll stick with BD I think.
            Meanwhile I don’t understand the wrestling hold as a clue for son…

              1. My brain is clearly now wired so cryptically that something so simple is read as a statement of fact not a clue!

        1. I am too busy to spend time in the Naughty Corner so all I will say is read what Rabbit Dave says again carefully.

          1. I hadn’t considered BDs parsing but I can see why it works, unusual for a Virgilius to have any ambiguity.

            1. I guess ambiguity is OK for a clue when both options lead to the same correct answer. Ambiguity for an answer is a different matter – although we did have a very recent case where there were two seemingly correct answers to a clue, both of which fitted with the checking letters.

              1. Good point RD cap doffed. Four letter answers , to which you refer can be really awkward when 1st and 3rd unchecked

              2. I sorry but I don’t subscribe to the ambiguity theory.
                a) the (2,3) term doesn’t mean in reserve, it means shelved
                b) not only does the (3,3) term not mean the opposite of the (2,3) one, it is not even defined in Chambers

                  1. I don’t understand any of it – the answer just came to me and was so obviously right that I put it in without dissecting it all.
                    This is my nightmare scenario if I’m doing the hints . . .

  2. Oh so hard ! I got there in the end before the hints, but had they been posted I would have used them.Thanks BD and V.

  3. Nothing spectacular but a nice pleasant puzzle today. Not the easiest but certainly not the hardest Sunday crossword.
    My personal fav goes to 8d but with mentions i dispatches to 25a and 27a.
    Thx to all

  4. Yes, a bit more challenging today for a Sunday – but I found many of the clues very good and enjoyable. II enjoyed 6d 8d, and 13 d.

    It is interesting how English as a language has changed over the years, and is now out of step among English speaking countries, as I come across quite frequently words that are probably common in England that would be unknown here in Canada. 6a is an example in this puzzle.

    3*/4* for me.

  5. Oh, I adore thirteen letter words.
    They provide a much needed backbone to many a puzzle.
    So, not disappointed today.
    For me ** and a half for difficulty.
    Many thanks Virgilius and BD.

  6. First time I’ve attempted the ST for a while and it’s good to be back giving it a go.
    First pass through has resulted in a few answers. I’m determined to finish this.

  7. The time it took me to solve this crossword would definitely be encouragement to any newbie! Great crossword but evil.

    Many thanks.

  8. Thank you Virgilius for the usual Sunday challenge. Always enjoyable and a real test for me. Thanks BD for the hints. I definitely needed a couple to verify my answers !

  9. I thought this was fairly gentle for a Sunday until I got to my last few answers – or rather didn’t get to them for ages..
    Even having read the hint I still don’t understand 3d although I can’t think of anything else that will fit – is the short story a seven letter word because if it is it’s not in my BRB?
    I did at least find all three hidden answers – maybe I’m getting better at them although I have a feeling I’ve said that before.
    I didn’t know that 25a was anything to do with carbon.
    I liked 1 and 15a and 5d. My favourite was 13d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD and anyone else who can sort me out with 3d before it drives me mad!

    1. The short story is a 5-letter word (which you’d have known if you’d read Maupassant’s short stories for French A-level).

      1. Thanks gazza now I can go and get on with the rest of the day!
        I didn’t do French A-level but should have realised that the first two and last four letters of 3d didn’t quite make up a synonym for insecure.

      2. Maupassant I could handle, also Balzac but it was Molière’s ‘Andromaque’ which did for me

          1. That’ll be why I only got a C then! It was Le Misanthrope by Molière & it was 40 years ago so I’m claiming a senior moment.

    1. My information is that Virgilius was born in 1944 so I expect he would be delighted to be considered one of the younger generation!

  10. Very enjoyable puzzle today solved in double quick time apart from 1a and 4d. Then I realised I had the wrong starting letter for 3d and everything fell in to place after that. Lots of lovely clues but special mention should go to 10 & 24a, 7 & 11d. Thanks to setter and BD.

  11. An excellent puzzle solved at 37,000 feet on the way to Malaga this morning. Many thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  12. I found this a trickier Virgilius than usual, at least the top half was. I had too many holes and a totally blank brain. I peeked at the hint for 1a, then having got that, worked on the remaining blank ones.
    I have a problem with 8d that held me up, and feel I must have the wrong answer. What comes before and after 8d, are not what I have for 8d; don’t know what else to say without getting in trouble.
    Fave, without doubt is 13d, but many outstanding clues. Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the review.

          1. I know I’m being a bit obstinate, but before and after would mean ****, otherwise why say before and after?

            1. It says before and after because there are examples of the solution both ‘before’ and ‘after’ the clue.

                  1. If the reviewer says so herself, she does think she has explained it perfectly in the review. Of course, by the time Thursday week comes, everyone will have forgotten all about it and won’t look to see the explanation :(

    1. Merusa and BD,
      I’ve read and read again the hint for 8d. I don’t really want to stick my neck out here but I think that the definition is the last six letters of the clue. In other words it is a definition of 8 (regardless of whether or not it’s a down or across clue). Maybe if the first word of the clue had been ‘whatever’ it would have been easier.
      Shall I go away now . . . . shall I hide my head in shame?

  13. Another nice Sunday offering. I parsed 2D the same as Rabbit Dave. The only hold up I had was parsing my answer for 13D. I liked 24A in particular. Many thanks to Virgilius and BD for the review.

  14. This was a pleasant exercise solved over tea and beer in The Crown at Wells Next The Sea. I thought I would struggle after the first pass but they all opened up with checkers and repeated reading. Just the Martial Art in The Quickie which appeared a few days ago, was unheard of by me and immediately forgotten. Ta to all.

  15. A bit stiffer than the usual Sunday fodder, but all the more satisfying for that, and something like 3/3. Pick of the clues: 8d and 15a, but I’m sure others will see it differently. Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD for the hints.

  16. I found it a combination of straightforward stuff and a few trickier-than-usual clues thrown in for good measure. This could indeed describe any crossword and so it shall for this one (IMHO) ***/*** . Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  17. An excellent Sunday challenge! Some great clues and lots of grey cell activity required. I managed without recourse to the hints and so I will now return to yesterday’s which I have yet to start.
    Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  18. This was really enjoyable and I stuck to it and managed without hints although I enjoyed them after the event particularly 25a. 10a and 8d amused me. Thanks Virgilius and BD.

  19. Finally finished. Did what works for me and put it down for a few hours, picked it up and was able to see what I couldn’t before. Had lots of duh! moments

    I’ve only come across parsing in relation to mathematics and computers before and hadn’t realised you could apply it in this way.

    Very enjoyable, thank you Virgillus and BD.

  20. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A great puzzle, still stuck on 6a&7d. Seemed much more difficult than usual. Don’t understand 3d. Favourites were 24a,8&13d. Was 4*/4* for me.

  21. Got 6a,the penny finally dropped. I think I have the correct answer for 7d, but I’ll await the review.

Comments are closed.