ST 2769 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2769 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2769 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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Don’t forget the November 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.

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


1a    Fruit nomads gathered haphazardly (6)
An anagram (gathered haphazardly) of NOMADS

4a    Deterrents to improper conduct, namely regulations about parking (8)
The two-letter abbreviation of Latin for namely {scilicet} followed by some regulations around P(arking)

15a    Second family member entering college once, maybe (8)
S(econd) and the three-letter abbreviated form of word meaning a brother or sister (family member) inside the four-letter abbreviated form of a former technical college, most of which are now designated as universities

18a    Be domineering and make too much of issue? (8)
This could mean to bring too many children into the world

23a    Revolting coach put another player in inferior position (7)
A two-letter word meaning revolting or rising in opposition followed by a horse-drawn coach – the player in question is an actor not a sportsman

26a    Thick edition that’s bound (5)
An adjective meaning thick or full-bodied followed by ED(ition)

27a    Fish has gone bad in angler’s basket (6-3)
An anagram (bad) of GONE inside an angler’s basket

29a    It’s very hard having fish in place of pork? (6)
A long fish, making its second appearance today, inside where the animals that produce pork can be found


1d    Consider unimportant duke is superior to another noble (8)
D(uke) followed by IS and a European noble

2d    Sounding catty, what makes your setter in debt to another? (7)
This alternative spelling of making a noise like a cat is derived from the first person objective pronoun (your setter) followed by an adjective unpaid or in debt to another person

5d    In short, officer material, including our soldier perhaps — one of those upholding standards (6-8)
The three-letter abbreviation for a senior military officer and a type of material around OUR and followed by a soldier insect

6d    Result that’s surprising highly-placed clique (5)
A word meaning highly-placed followed by a clique or group

7d    Practical joke, for example, turned up in Fifties (3-4)
The Latin abbreviation of “for example” and the reversal (turned) of UP inside three occurrences of the Roman numeral for fifty

16d    Restless rascal I confined within one part of camp (9)
A rascal or mischief-maker followed by I inside one part of a camp that is under canvas

17d    Those serving, with score in mind (8)
A word that describes serving personnel followed by a score or reckoning

19d    Is it circular letter penned by empress who’s away from home? (7)
IS IT and the circular letter inside (penned by) the regnal cipher for Queen Victoria (Empress of India)

24d    How to make pal paler, producing venomous creature (5)
Split the answer as (3,2) and the result is an instruction that makes pal into pal-er

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Caroline Flack (35)
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24 comments on “ST 2769 (Hints)

  1. 2*/4*. Another Sunday delight. Unusually for a Virgilius puzzle I had several “bung it in” answers today and even after some cogitation I still couldn’t fully parse 4a, 18a & 23a without BD’s excellent hints. I hadn’t come across the contraction of family member in 15a before.

    My joint favourites were the military themed 28a & 5d. The interlinked 17d & 29a were my last ones in.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  2. Many thanks Virgilius for another enjoyable Sunday puzzle. Loved 24d ! Thanks BD for your hints – although I had the answer for 4a, I needed your explanation for “namely”

  3. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. Another wonderful puzzle from Virgilius, how does he do it, week after week? Too many Favourites to mention, so I’m going for 7d. Managed it all apart from 15a, needed some electronic help for that. Was 3*/4* for me. Blue sky in Central London.

  4. Lovely puzzle, not too much head-scratching.
    Also found 24d a delight.
    I do like that sort of cryptic clue, is there a name for it?
    Many thanks to Virgilius and BD for the review.

    1. 24d – Nice clue – I would call it “Virgilian” – but I’m sure that there is more sophisticated term.

      1. It is so typical isn’t it? In his book he just labels such clues as ‘opportunist’ – making the most of fortuitous juxtapositions of letters. Not many do it better, which is why Sundays are such a joy.

  5. Surprised to see the use of 11a thought it was a word only used over here – perhaps Chambers watches American TV? Anyhow, thanks to the usual culprits for our morning’s romp in the crumbs.

    Mr & Mrs T
    Ps – chilly outside today in Boston.

      1. Yes, it seems to be very popular with presenters and media types nowadays, I find it irritating for some reason. Challenging puzzle with many good clues today, sadly not very enjoyable for me ***/*

  6. I found this puzzle, as always on Sunday, great fun to solve and tricky enough to keep me occupied for 2 or 3 JP star time. Thanks to BD and Virgilius 2.5*/4*

  7. A nice puzzle, as usual, from Virgilius.

    2d – How many ways are there of spelling the “catty” one? Prrrr!

  8. Other than 19d I didn’t find the hints I needed but got there in the end. I still can’t parse 24d, nor 23a. I have the solutions.Thanks Virgilius and BD.

  9. My usual Sunday entertainment, great fun. I did have a problem with a couple in the SW corner and struggled a bit, but I did get there eventually. Fave was 24d, but many others were strong contenders. I didn’t know the two-letter abbreviation for namely in 4a, I hope I can remember it. Thanks Virgilius, and to BD for the help.

  10. **/**** for me. I find clues like 24d so amusing when the penny drops. After a week of rain and high winds we’re now calm but chilly although not enough to start the skiing season.

  11. Lovely but not exactly easy peasy but got there in my own good time. Didn’t know the two letter abbreviation for namely but got the answer straightaway. So thanks BD for the explanation & Virgilius for the pleasure . Loved 24d.

  12. Beaten (in parsing terms) by one clue , another latin abbreviation to add to the memory bank.Great Sunday entertainment and some topical clues answers relevant to Remembrance Sunday t’boot. Thanks Virgilius and BD

  13. An enjoyable puzzle, for which many thanks to Virgilius. I scored it at 2*/4*, and plumped for 27a as my favourite clue. Thanks to BD for the hints as well.

  14. Once again, lovely stuff from one of my two favorite setters. I was able to parse all of them, except for the first two letters of 4A. So many clever clues, but 12A, 23A 17D and 29D all floated my boat. So thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the review.

  15. DIdn’t really enjoy this possibly because I came to it late in the day. West side went in OK but then for some reason really struggled in the East however fared better after stupidly needing to consult hint for 5d. Several rather lengthy/convoluted clues but a couple of new words to be stowed away for future reference. Fav 24d. Thanks Virgilius and BD for saving the day. ****/**. Will now retire with a buzzing head!

  16. I did not have time to look at this one yesterday, so a lovely treat for this morning!
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  17. For some reason I didn’t get to finish this delightful puzzle until last evening. My fave was 2d, but I also singled out 24d, 12a and 29a.

    I didn’t need your hints, Big Dave, but I have much enjoyed them.

    Many thanks to both Virgilius and Big Dave. Sunday treat on a Friday — excellent!

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