ST 2776 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2776 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2776 (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 Seek opinion from son on work of art (7)
S(on) preceded by (on in an across clue) a painted work of art

10a Clash produced by lines I encrypted? (7)
Start with a pair of L(ine)s and the I from the clue then find a phrase meaning encrypted (2,4) and follow the instruction

12a Live show’s beginning, actor’s going outside (5)
The initial letter (beginning) of S[how] with an instruction informing an actor that he must leave the stage around it (outside0

13a Member of defeated team — not keeper, proverbially (5)
This person is the weeper, not the keeper, in a well known proverb

17a Cape always covered with plastic, or the other way around (4,5)
C(ape) and a word meaning always inside a brand of plastic credit card

19a Party is breaking old record, moving to the left (5)
The IS from the clue inside the reversal of O(ld) and the type of record that superseded the LP

ARVE Error: need id and provider

22a More unusual notes separately stored by educational foundation? (5)
Insert a couple of musical notes separately into the three-letter quasi-abbreviation that represents the basics of education

28a Upper garment worn by male or female in turret? (4,3)
This describes the position of a turret on an armoured vehicle


1d Start of sentence for most serious kind of crime (7)
Two definitions – what you get at the start of a sentence and the type of crime that used to warrant execution as a punishment

2d Book group that includes 1984 (7)
… this book can be found in the Old Testament

6d Information about senior staff in plant (9)
Some information around an adjective meaning senior and followed by a staff

7d First thing Milton and Swift have in common (7)
That’ll be J Milton and J Swift!

8d At length, interrupting Earl and PM in a major way (7)
AT and L(ength) inside the name of a nineteenth century Prime Minister who was also an Earl

14d Step out here after row, being offensive about one part of speech (9)
Somewhere on which to step out after rowing in a boat is derived from an adjective meaning offensive or disgusting around I (one) and a part of speech

17d Half a dozen tricks — they should be kept out of program (7)
The Roman numeral for half a dozen followed by some tricks or deceptions

21d E.g. part of vein exposed, cut, or damaged in operation (7)
An anagram (damaged) of CUT OR inside OP(eration)

24d Contemptuously reject what’s new after incitement (5)
N(ew) after excitement or stimulus

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As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment.

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Sienna Miller (33) and Maggie Smith (80)
… and a special mention for our very own Heno

29 comments on “ST 2776 (Hints)

  1. I very foolishly printed off NTSPP and so far have not managed to find one plausible answer so I was delighted to pick up 2775 and find that I was not totally brain dead. This was quite challenging for me but apart from one peep at the electronic supertoy I appear to have filled in all the blank spaces. Thanks to setter and BD for a very enjoyable Sunday stroll.

  2. 3*/4*. I always find the Sunday cryptic a great pleasure, with today being no exception. The NE corner was the last to fall, with 10a my last one in and favourite.

    I can’t see why 28a needs to include “worn by male or female”. Surely the clue works just as well without those words?

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    1. i’ve just started drafting the review and wondered the same thing but the BRB does refer to womens’ garments so…..

    2. RD you beat me to it , walking the mutts for seemingly hours. Bearing in mind previous incidents with ice I couldn’t care a hoot if I was dressed for the antarctic :)

    3. It does but it’s a unisex garment so where’s the problem? Apart from that the garment itself is a bit 70’s Bay City Rollers naff

      Didn’t Granville in Open All Hours wear one?

  3. Another fine puzzle thank you Virgilius. No problems today. Many thanks for the hints BD. Back to party games !

  4. Thoroughly enjoyable solve as per usual. Got held up briefly by 17a by trying to reverse things that shouldn’t be reversed before the penny finally dropped. Thanks to BD and Virgilius **/****

  5. This puzzle did not seem very easy and yet I managed to complete it quite quickly, how strange? Thanks to the boss for helping me with 25a, the second part being a type that I’ve never heard of. My favourite is 27a which I think is very cleverly deceptive. Thanks to the setter and the excellent review.

  6. I found this a bit tricky and needed BD’s hints to know the “why” of a couple which I had bunged in, and incidentally appear to be right!
    I didn’t get the “row” for 14d, it’s pretty obvious when you know why.
    I also needed the hints for 17a and 8d to know the “why”, again, so obvious when you know; as Kath would say, oh dear!
    To me 4d is the first drink of the day! But it’s my fave.
    Thanks to Virgilius, most enjoyable and worth 5*, and thanks to BD for explaining some answers.

  7. **** for difficulty and ** for enjoyment because of the former. I struggled with this and whilst I got my bung-ins correct still don’t really see how some worked. For example, even with the hint for 10a the past tense (encrypted) doesn’t work for me. Nevertheless thanks to the setter and BD for the hints.

  8. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very nice puzzle as usual from Virgilius. What more could I want on my Birthday? Took me a long time to get 1a&1d. Last in was 14d. Favourite was 28a. Was 2*/3* for me. Gooners won too, what a day

  9. The south east corner held me up. I would never have got either 22a or 17d without the hints.I liked all the othe rclues , especially 1a, 17a and 23a.Thanks BD and Virgillius.

  10. Finished in 3* time but disliked it intensly. A real tedious slog with little to comment it. Still don’t see where the Left comes in for 19a. Lots of complicated and wordy clumsy clues. For us ***/*.
    Thx for the hints.

  11. Finished in 3* time but disliked it intensly. A real tedious slog with little to commend it. Still don’t see where the Left comes in for 19a. Lots of complicated and wordy clumsy clues. For us ***/*.
    Thx for the hints.

    1. Re 19a – would you care to explain to me how the clue works. I can’t work it out without using the words ‘moving to the left’ in the wordplay but you have clearly spotted something I’ve missed.

  12. Bravo Virgilius.
    Took me at least three readings of all the definitions just to get started.
    All the clues were so well written that nothing was obvious.
    But I managed to plod along quite well until completion.
    Had a thought for one of our bloggers at 4d with his Times 46 proof.
    Happy birthday to Heno. Between Xmas and New Year, must be a hell of a week.
    Thanks to Virgilius again and to BD for this super charged weekend.

  13. Hola from Fuerteventura where the combination of Virgilius, sunshine and 20 degrees C made for a delightful Sunday morning. Hope you are all keeping warm back home!

  14. Most enjoyable but tricky puzzle for me. Managed to finish it with BD’s hints so a big thank you for the review. A bit puzzled by 10a and encrypted in the past tense… 20a made me chuckle. Another favourite is 23a. 3*/4* for me. Before discovering the blog I thought that The Sunday puzzle was beyond me but now that I can tackle it successfully, I feel really chaffed. Thank you to Virgilius for very clever clues.

  15. Enjoyed this one a great deal. Also found it very satisfying because it is the first puzzle that I have completed without any hints or assistance since diving into this challenge several weeks ago. Many clever clues today that required a lot of pondering. 14d brought a smile because the Kitties have been known to enjoy a spot of rowing. 10a, 17a, and 22a were all favourites. Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  16. I enjoyed getting back in the frame & the puzzle was fair. I needed two hints .The party & the plant>
    Thanks to B. D. & Virgilius.


    We have moved house. Did you ever live in Heald Green by any chance?


    D. D.

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