ST 2766 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2766 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2766 (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.

Having nearly recovered from the exertions of my trip to London yesterday, here are some hints:


1a    Use lurid style that’s essential, as in novel about love? (14)
An anagram (novel) of ESSENTIAL AS IN around O (love)

9a    Female who enters and exits, inserting key in a lock (7)
This female who enters and exits the stage during a play is derived by putting a musical key between the A from the clue and a lock of hair

10a    Port in goblet unfinished before journey West (7)
Most of a five-letter word for a goblet followed by a two-letter verb meaning to journey and W(est)

11a    Quietly move boat in front of ship (4)
The musical notation for quietly followed by a verb meaning to move a boat with oars

18a    Announcement of simplified combination of languages to be used in flier (6)
This sounds like word meaning a combination and distortion of two languages as a means of communication, like that, mainly English in vocabulary with Chinese arrangement, used in communication between Chinese and foreigners

21a    For example, including extremely narrow or widest possible category (10)
The Latin abbreviation of “for example” around a word meaning extremely and an adjective meaning narrow

24a    Misprint in a line at end of American volume (7)
To get this misprint of a letter in a word put the A from the clue and L(ine) after the American term for a metric volume

26a    Room at college I arranged in way that’s weather-related (14)
An anagram (arranged) of ROOM AT COLLEGE I


1d    Start operating with this set of notes covering page 50 (7)
A set of musical notes around P(age) and followed by the Roman numeral for 50

2d    Scene of dramatic events for our country near Waterloo (8,7)
A cryptic definition of a complex near Waterloo Bridge / Station where dramatic events are performed on each of the three stages

3d    Second child as epitome of soundness, mostly (4)
To get the name of the second child of Adam and Eve take most of the object (1,4) which is used in the idiom which starts “as sound as …”

5d    Not quite on time, glass of beer for singer (8)
An adverb meaning not quite followed by T(ime) and a glass used for serving beer

7d    More than 50% of libraries, from either end, for instance (4,2,3,6)
One of these is the first five letters (more than 50%) of LIBRA[ries] and another is the last five [libr]ARIES – my “clue of the week”

13d    Diagram showing results of multiplying (6,4)
A cryptic definition of a diagram showing one’s ancestry (results of multiplying)

19d    Car is still in this  indeterminate colour (7)
The gear in which a car is usually stationary and an indeterminate colour

23d    Vessel taking major across river (4)
An adjective meaning major around R(iver)

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Jeannie C. Riley (69) and Michael Gambon (74)
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41 comments on “ST 2766 (Hints)

  1. Will someone explain to me why, here in Miami, I am the first to comment? This is scary, I think i’ll hang up here and return later.

      1. Yesterday was a long and tiring day for all concerned, with or without drink taken so no need to cast nasturtiums about the possiblity of hangovers or otherwise.

  2. Thank you Virgilius, another excellent puzzle. I needed your hints BD to explain my answers for 3d and 7d. They were correct but I couldn’t get all of the wordplay !, so many thanks as usual. Trust you all had a jolly time yesterday

  3. I found this one a little more tricky than of late – a few ‘bung it in’ then ponder! I finally twigged to 7 down after staring it at it much too long before the penny dropped.!
    I enjoyed this 3*/4* for quite a bit.

  4. And by the looks of thinsg I am second from the Caribbean. Strange.

    Just checking first that this works as my settings seem to have changed.

    Anyway, great puzzle. Agree with you BD, 7D great clue. How many times has one used the word libraries without realsing what it says!

    Thanks to Virgilius and BD

  5. Whew! Thank goodness, I was wondering if the world had stopped turning and I didn’t know.

    As usual, excellent entertainment from Virgilius. I agree, 7d is the best for a long time, how clever is that. I needed the hint for the why of 24a.

    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD, I trust it was fun and games yesterday … and the pictures?? Where are they.

      1. I didn’t mean to be pushy, especially when you do so much for our entertainment. You should take a rest day and ignore us for a change!

  6. I’m glad it was just leaves on the internet line and nothing more serious. 3d took the longest, very pleasant puzzle, thanks Virgilius and BD.

  7. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle as usual from Virgilius. I was beaten by 6d & 18a. Favourites were 7d&21a, was 3*/3* for me.

  8. A very pleasant and well constructed puzzle. It went down as well as my afternoon sherry. I did need the hints for a couple of clues, I did get 7D but needed the blog for the reasoning behind it: I quite agree that is a most excellent clue. The runners up for me is 6D A well crafted clue. my rating is 3*/4* My thanks to Big Dave for the review.

  9. Thanks Big Dave. Used the blog to verify some answers. Good Puzzle for a Sunday, not too taxing.

  10. A very clever, and satisfying, puzzle with some really first-class clues. BD has already picked out 7d (which was indeed a stunner) but l enjoyed 5d, 9a and 21a as well. My thanks to Virgilius for a 4*/4* workout, and to BD for explaining how l should have arrived at a a couple of solutions (ie by application of logic, rather than a combination of low cunning and inspiration!).

  11. I thought this was around average, in terms of difficulty, for a Sunday and as enjoyable as usual.
    I was slow with the big long anagram at the top and can’t spell the big long anagram at the bottom. Oh dear!
    I didn’t know that meaning of 24a.
    I liked 9 and 18a and too many of the down clues to mention them all but I think my favourite was 6d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to BD, especially for summoning the necessary energy to do the hints after a very busy day yesterday – looking forward to seeing the photos whenever.

  12. It took us ages today to finish and we didn’t get 3 down until the hints appeared. However if the hints had appeared earlier, I think we would have been tempted to have a peep sooner rather than later, rather than working the answers out for ourselves, which wouldn’t have been so satisfying, so thank you BD and to the Sunday setter. I hope a good time was had by all yesterday in London.

  13. Afraid I needed the hint for 18a and to explain that I’d not spotted “Aries”; but a very enjoyable Sunday crossword. And Sunday’s always seems an extra-good one, too.
    Many thanks to BD for puttting me out of my misery, and to the setter as always.

  14. Despite being bleary-eyed and very slightly sore of head this morning, I finished. I spent by far the most time on the stiff NE (well, I found it pretty hard anyway, but maybe that was just my groggy brain).

    I pencilled in a made-up answer for 10a, before spotting the obvious solution – I am so glad that my initial wrong ‘un had the right checking letter with 6d. Yes, I was definitely slower than usual today, and it took me far too long to spot 8d.

    I particularly liked 2d, 3d and 7d – in fact most of the downs. Not that the acrosses were bad either! 7d definitely earns the title of favourite. It was a lovely satisfying moment when I teased it out.

    My thanks to Virgilius for another super Sunday puzzle and to BD for the blog.

    It was lovely meeting some of you yesterday. I had a most enjoyable time, and would recommend it to anyone who wants to come but is a bit shy.

  15. I don’t usually have time for the Sunday puzzle due to family commitments but today was unusually quiet here at Owdoo towers in mid Bedfordshire so I had a go.
    For some reason this took me far longer than it should have. Left hand side went in pretty quickly but then I got bogged down with 6d being the last one in and taking ages for the penny to drop. Looking at it now, I have no idea why. Favourite clue by far was 7d.
    Thanks Virgilius and BD.

  16. Thank you Virgilius for yet another lovely puzzle which I tussled my way through but I still cannot see 14a .Why? I can fit some animals in it but I don’t think it’s the correct answer.

    1. 14a Backward area traversed by tiny pack animals (6)

      The abbreviation for area is contained inside (traversed by) a word meaning tiny in reverse (backward).

  17. I enjoyed today’s puzzle, some lovely clues including of course, 7d. But my fave was 18a for no particular reason other than it made me smile when I twigged the answer!
    Thanks to Virgilius and BD

  18. just a tiny bit of help with 17a would be appreciated. It’s my last clue, so I have all the alternate letters. Bah!

    1. 17a Maiden article needing revision in relation to length perhaps (8)
      The abbreviation for a maiden over in cricket is followed by an anagram (needing revision) of ARTICLE.

    2. Gazza to the rescue again – isn’t he wonderful?!! I do hope that you had a good day yesterday, gazza.

      1. I’ve only been to a couple of these get-togethers – my problem was putting one face to two names!

    1. Good. When you reply to an existing comment it’s best to use the ‘reply’ button – that way all the comments in a thread are kept together.

  19. Another lovely Sunday puzzle from Virgilius, and no real hold-ups on this end, though the LHS went in more quickly than the RHS. Thanks to V and to BD for the review.

    Maybe one day one of the get-togethers will coincide with my visit home. Of course, you could all consider an overseas venue instead. Washington DC is lovely in the Spring and I’m a great tour guide!

  20. Did the puzzle this morning but then had to go out. Thought I would check BD as I got the answer to 1d but failed to understand it. Am I the only who has never heard the word used as a verb?

    1. 1d I don’t think is used a a verb here – the definition is “start operating with this” – does that help?

      1. Thanks Dutch. The penny did drop this morning over my cornflakes. I felt a bit stupid as I did not parse correctly.

    2. I thought this was a sensational puzzle, most enjoyable. Favourite clues include the libraries (7d) the lurid style 1a, quietly move boat (11a), 21a was particularly nice I thought. 24a. 17d has clever misdirection. I had to remember how to spell 26a and waited till i had the cross-checks!

      Thank you very much Virgilius and BD for the review

      apologies this was meant as a separate box, not a reply – oh well.

  21. Thank you Virgilius for a puzzle which exercised my old grey matter considerably. Glad yesterday’s get-together was enjoyed by all. Sorry BD but I did to seek a little help elsewhere this morning in order to complete and/or parse one or two and then submitted to ST for umpteenth time with little anticipation of a reward. Perhaps one of these days! How could I not have parsed 7d which has to be fav? Have not come across 24a before. ****/***.

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