ST 2768 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2768 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2768 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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There’s a new Monthly Prize Puzzle available.

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:


7a Problem with that chap twice holding a scoundrel back (8)
Two instances of the male pronoun (that chap twice) surround the A from the clue and the reversal (back) of a scoundrel

9a Make nothing of penning article in regular publication (6)
A verb meaning to make nothing of or to cancel around the indefinite article


11a Excel in jumping, perhaps, on first leg rather than second? (8)
This could be (perhaps) a verb meaning to excel in jumping, but such a verb does not exist – instead it’s an adjective meaning on the first leg of a journey as opposed to the return leg

19a Indication of distress produced by rent? Doesn’t sound like it (4)
This indication of stress or sadness is spelt the same as a rent or rip but is not pronounced the same (doesn’t sound like it) – although there are differing opinions on the precise definition of a homonym, in my book this is an example of one

25a Art of defence seen in answer given by king in front of judge (6)
A(nswer) preceded by K(ing) and followed by a verb meaning to judge or assess

27a Otherwise healthy Englishman who wrote about thirty years ago? (6)
A charade of a two-letter word meaning otherwise and an adjective meaning healthy gives the author of a book that was titled 1984 (about thirty years ago)

28a Vehicle I discarded disappeared (8)
A charade of a commercial vehicle, I from the clue and a verb meaning discarded


1d At this point, repeatedly included by the researcher experimentally (4)
Hidden (included by) inside the clue not once but twice (repeatedly)

3d Carefully examine old political block (4)
A verb meaning to examine carefully followed by O(ld)

4d Eagle, possibly, or parrot, possibly (6)
This anagram (possibly) of PARROT gives a general word for a bird of prey, of which an eagle is an example (possibly)

5d Doing little work during party period before festival (8)
Two-letter words meaning during and a party followed by the period before Easter (festival)

8d Establish what’s new in a couple of businesses (7)
N(ew) sandwiched between the two-letter abbreviation for a business and another word for a business

16d Aridness devastated fish (8)
These fish are cunningly disguised as an anagram (devastated) of ARIDNESS

18d Concentrate, being stupid, on a couple of points (7)
This verb meaning to concentrate or make more solid is derived from an adjective meaning stupid followed by a couple of compass points

21d I’m uplifted in middle of saintly sermon (6)
I’M is reversed (uplifted in a down clue) and then inserted into an adjective meaning saintly

22d Bob is brusque, say, in heartless way (6)
This bob is a formal indication of respect by a woman and is derived from an adjective meaning brusque followed by S[a]Y without its internal letter (in a heartless way)

26d Trip starts in the red, finishes in the black (4)
The initial letters of T[he] and R[ed] and the final letters of [th]E [blac]K

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to k d lang (53) and Stefanie Powers (72)
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35 comments on “ST 2768 (Hints)

  1. 1*/4*. I think this was the easiest Virgilius puzzle I have ever done but it was still really enjoyable. I whizzed through the first 27 clues only to get stuck for a while on 22d, my last one in. The devious use of “say” proved to be my stumbling block until the penny dropped.

    As ever on a Sunday there were masses of great clues but 27a particularly appealed to me and gets my vote as favourite.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  2. Thank you Virgilius, another lovely puzzle. I agree with you RD that it must be one of Mr V’s easier offerings as I was able to complete it without my brain being fully operational. A late night and I am advised that I was “tired and emotional”. Thanks BD for your hints which are always useful in confirming wordplay.

  3. Very nice Sunday puzzle, not too taxing but very enjoyable. Just one thing, without incurring the wrath of him who must be obeyed, could anyone explain 17a, I have an answer which fits part of the clue but I can’t fully parse the wordplay.
    Best clues for me were 6d and 7a.
    Thx to all

    1. 17a Satisfied about first instalment of raise I earn (5)
      Satisfied (one’s requirements, say) containing the first letter (instalment) of raise and I (from the clue)

  4. Really rather enjoyed today’s crossword, probably because we managed to complete without too much assistance, which must mean that it was very easy. Thank you to the setter and to BD.

  5. wasn’t too quick with this one, blame it on the portugese sun which is providing too lovely a distraction. SE, i think mainly 22d, held me up and was last to fill. I thought 14d would be more interesting without the “casually” which was a giveaway.

    I particularly liked the reference to the most famous (or maybe 2nd most famous) work of the Englishman in 27d.

    I also thought starts in the red and finishes in the black was very original

    thank you Virgilius and thanks BD for the review and for KD Lang singing roy orbison, how wonderful.

      1. This song is now going round and round my head. Unfortunately, it’s the “Tony Angelino” version from Only Fools and Horses – “Cwying.”

  6. Nice Sunday puzzle.

    Faves : 11a, 27a, 4d & 26d.

    Weather here in NL magnificent with blue sky but now clouding over – more like late August than November!

  7. I have had crossword deprivation for the past few days so I was determined not to let the Sunday offering pass me by. I was not disappointed as it is a well crafted puzzle and very entertaining. I did not require the hints as this was one of the easiest I have attempted. My rating is1*/4* Thanks to Big Dave for the review.

  8. I agree that this was straightforward for a Sunday – 1* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    No major hold-ups, for once – I’m assuming that 13d is crickety.
    I don’t quite get the ‘jumping’ bit of 11a, and I have read the hint – my answer does mean the first leg of a journey – thought that was going to be crickety too – maybe it is?
    Only one hidden answer – except there were two in one clue!
    I liked 12 and 27a and 2 and 4d. My favourite was either 6 or 18d.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    1. PS – Still battling with the NTSPP – I refuse to be beaten by it so haven’t looked at hints – I haven’t even got all the answers yet let alone found ‘homes’ for them in the grid.

      1. Thank you – I did but I still don’t get it. Think that I’ll just have to wait for the review.
        Still fighting the NTSPP and haven’t even looked at the MPP yet.

          1. Thank you – much appreciated. The reason that I didn’t get it was that it was wrong!
            As BD has said many times, if you don’t understand your answer it’s probably wrong.

  9. The usual good Sunday entertainment. I agree that it was the easiest in a long time. I really can’t pick one as a fave, though honourable mention should go to 6d and 27a.
    Thanks go to Virgilius and to BD for the review.
    Temperature here in Miami is 55F and I’m nearly freezing. Brilliant blue sky and not a cloud to be seen over South Florida.

  10. Very enjoyable puzzle to complement a Sunday morning cup of coffee. Thanks Virgilius and BD.
    2*/4* for me. Favourite was 26d.

  11. Great stuff as usual from Virgilius .So many good clues but favourite has to be 6d which made me laugh out loud.

  12. Came to this late in the day so pleased it wasn’t too tricky. **/***. Fav 6d for me too. Thanks Virgilius and BD.

  13. An enjoyable doddle; 1*/4*. 22d gets my vote as favourite clue. Thanks to Virgilius for the ride, and to BD for the hints.

  14. I looked at this first thing this morning (puppies were looked after by someone else and the rest of the day happened) and could only see one on the first look so I am saving this for tomorrow after I have cleared up after the weekend.

  15. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable but gentle puzzle. Was 1*/3* for me. Favourite was 4d. Last in was 3d.

    1. Surely you must have seen the big red notice telling you not to supply answers whether right or (as in your case) wrong.

      1. The wiggly bit is just not working. We should ask BD to add a sound effect like a recording of his voice saying: Oy Read This !

  16. Just catching up and about to start Mondays puzzle. A pleasant jaunt on a very wet day. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review.

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