ST 2783 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2783 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2783 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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You now have under a week to enter this month’s 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    As a precaution, how one should be when judging suit? (4,2,4)
This could be how a judge should behave in a law suit

6a    Absorbing nothing, learners lie and take it easy (4)
Usually the plural indicates a pair of L(earner)s, this time it’s three! – just insert (absorbing) O (nothing) to get a verb meaning to lie and take it easy

12a    Sign worker, provided with European position (13)
A worker followed by a two-letter conjunction meaning provided, E(uropean) and one’s position in life

17a    Work of a kind that’s causing suffering over time (8)
A verb meaning causing suffering around T(ime)

19a    Tolerate English poet (6)
A verb meaning to tolerate followed by E(nglish)

Many years ago I visited The Pink & Lily in Parslows Hillock, near Lacey Green, of which this poet wrote:

Never came there to the Pink
Two such men as we, I think.
Never came there to the Lily
Two men quite so richly silly

22a    Aboard warship, make speech about ruckus being undisciplined (13)
A phrase meaning aboard a type of warship (2,3) followed by a verb meaning to make a speech around a ruckus to get an adjective meaning undisciplined

24a    Half-hearted action about a study that’s leading nowhere (4,3)
Start with a four-letter action, drop either of the middle letters (half-hearted) and put what remains around the A from the clue and a study

25a    Without skill, in particular (7)
Split as (3,4) this could mean without skill

27a    Take point from game that’s raised by defenders (10)
A football match in which each side takes a point followed by a card game


1d    Something for raising flag on board for sailor (4)
Three separate definitions – something for raising a car in order to change a wheel, the type of flag, usually indicating nationality, flown by a ship and a colloquial word for a sailor

3d    Without doubt, fashionable artist’s embracing Tate? Not half (13)
The usual two-letter word meaning fashionable followed by the surname of a famous artist around [TA]TE after dropping (not) the first half – some of this artist’s work can be found in Tate Britain!

5d    Settles on king wearing fur (8)
A verb meaning settles, as in settles a deal, followed by K(ing) and a two-letter word meaning wearing an item of clothing

13d    It shows what’s in store for outsiders (4,6)
Where a store might display some of its wares to passers-by

16d    Uninvited visitor at home ultimately left, showing less politeness (8)
The usual two-letter word meaning at home followed by the final letter (ultimately) of [lef]T and an adjective meaning showing less politeness

20d    Offer too much for centre of proverbial 24? (7)
The middle 6 letters (centre) of [pr]OVERBI[al] followed by the letter cryptically defined by the answer to 24 Across – coincidentally this is the middle letter of 24 Across, but if that was the intended wordplay then the clue would have read “centres of proverbial 24”

21d    Fan requiring immediate success for team (6)
Split as (3,3) this would be an appeal to a team to that they should achieve immediate success

23d    Old instrument from Early Renaissance (4)
Hidden (from) inside the clue

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 Matt Groening (61) and Jane Seymour (64)


45 comments on “ST 2783 (Hints)

  1. 2.5*/4*. Although this was the usual extremely enjoyable Sunday fare, I was very irritated to be held up in the NE corner because of the incorrect enumeration of 7d in the paper – (4,3) instead of (7), which increased my time above 2*.
    21d was a new word for me, and I needed BD’s help to understand fully the parsing of 20d – very clever and my favourite now I understand it.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    1. I spent ages on that 7d clue, and then looked for a non-existent hint before these two comments revealed that the paper had sent me on a wild goose chase . . . Grrr!

  2. Enjoyable, as usual. I, too, needed the review for the parsing of 20D. Took longer than I should have to come up with 19A. Thanks to Virgilius and BD for the review.

  3. Very enjoyable Sunday puzzler as usual. Once again my ignorance of poets and writers was decreased by one! I have never heard of 2d used in that way – but i see it is in the dictionary.


  4. With so many clues solvable from rather obvious definitions alone, this did not take long to complete, although as always with Virgilius there were some subtleties in the parsing that only came afterwards. I just could not see 5d for ages and it took up a quarter of my time until I finally got the ‘wearing’ bit, so It could have been an even faster finish. I do look forward to Sundays so I feel a bit short-changed today.

  5. Thanks to Virgilius and BD for making me a very happy old lady this morning. I decided to ignore error in 7d and soldiered bravely on, to quote OH definitely on my wavelength and ***** for enjoyment. Time taken not disclosed but I was combining it with getting the lunch. Too many goodies to choose a favourite but 11 and 12ac were high on list.

  6. Took longer to get a copy of the crossword than it took to solve it! Thanks again BD for the hints (not needed) and a copy of the crossword!

  7. Very enjoyable crossword. 5d was last one in as, although the answer was obvious, I could not satisfy myself as to its accuracy as non of my references from Wikipedia to my thesaurus give this as a fur. Thanks BD for the hint showing that I had, indeed, got the right answer.

  8. Thank you Virgilius for another enjoyable puzzle. Usual slow start, but with a few checkers all went well apart from 7d – so thank you Franco and RD for putting me right on that. Otherwise I would still be looking at it next Sunday ! Thanks for the hints BD. Like RD I needed your decode for 20d. All good fun

      1. Oh dear, Over a two year period I’m wearing the same top, is it the fact i love it or frugality…..

  9. I did it on-line , so I didn’t have that 7d problem. My stand out favourites were 26a, 17a and 19a , picked from a great many well constructed clues. Thanks V and BD.
    The Rugby….

  10. Splendid puzzle. **/****. Some very enjoyable clues which sometimes needed a re-parse to get the complete meaning. Loved 6, 12&22a. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review.

  11. The usual good Sunday crossword.
    I’m with Franco about 7d making me cry and with RD about it being really annoying – it didn’t occur to me to doubt the enumeration so just accepted the fact that I couldn’t do it – thought I was just being dim – too bad – that kind of thing happens sometimes.
    21d was my last one in – I was completely taken in by the misdirection of the word ‘fan’.
    Found both the hidden answers today!
    Only one anagram unless I can’t count today.
    I liked 19 and 26a and 13d.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    Now I’m going to see if I can change my ‘purple face’ into our collie – suspect the IT side of things may be too much for me – we’ll see!

      1. Thanks – think perhaps that I get out too much as I’m not sure I would have got this far without help from sister-in-law who’s staying with us.

        1. New avatar Kath ? Not really as I imagined you ! (LOL).I would love to change mine but it is beyond me , so far.

    1. My old work e-mail address is now defunct, ridiculously long., but how to get “andy” transferred to the new one without going into new avatar territory I know not how.

      1. It’s simple – you can’t as the avatars are generated from the email address using an algorithm.

        The only way you can carry an avatar across to a new email address is to register with – if Kath can do it then surely you can!

  12. Finished except for 7d, so we were happy to see what was wrong from the blogsters. Thank you to the Sunday setter and to BD.

  13. Virgilius can do no wrong in my book! The usual super offering.
    Last one in was 19a, one of my favourite poets, no excuse.
    I can’t choose a fave, too many good ones, but 19a is high on the list.
    Thanks to Virgilius for the entertainment and BD for the review, and reminding us of the poem.

  14. After much breast beating over the papers misprint of 7D, it was completed over breakfast. Very enjoyable with some really clever clues in 3d and 13d.
    Thx to all concerned.

  15. I solve online so the enumeration for 7d was (7) which went straight in – had it’d been (4,3) it would’ve thrown me completely. Most enjoyable puzzle delivered by Virgilius (as usual). Thanks to him and BD **/****

  16. Good evening everyone,
    Running a bit late today but managed to find a bit of time to complete today’s crossword.
    I’ve only started doing the Sunday Virgilius a few weeks ago with the odd one kindly sent by BD and Framboise and I must say that it’s starting to grow on me.
    5d took me a while and hoped to find it on today’s list. Thank you BD.
    21d was seen not so long ago. Well, you’ll have to trust me on that. I have a short memory.
    Liked 3d and 22a.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD again.

  17. Well, really not one to frighten the horses but they were whickering a bit when we only got four of the acrosses on first pass. Fortunately the downs came to the rescue by revealing all but two. After that it was plain sailing. Solved in the local this afternoon (along with a Grauniad Rufus from a couple of weeks ago) over a tapa and a couple of vino collapsos.

    Most enjoyable as usual on a Sunday so much thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    1. Hi pommers,
      Hope your wine was a bit better than the Spanish one on offer on BA.
      A couple of weeks ago
      It was a wine from La Mancha from a guy called Garcia Carron ( although I thought it was written Cabron) from a place called Ciudad Real! Are the other towns fake in Spain?

      1. Not sure what you mean. Ciudad Real (Royal Town) is a city about 120 miles south of Madrid and the capital of the province of Castile-La Mancha. Don’t know about their wine but the stuff in our local bar is pretty good and brewed within 25km of where we live.

  18. Did not have a problem with 7d as I print my puzzles from the DT puzzles club. Thought it was a clever clue which made me laugh almost to tears, ha, ha! Managed to complete this most enjoyable puzzle although I did not know 2d or 21d. Favourite clue is 20d – I had guessed the word but needed BD’s hint to understand it. Many thanks to Virgilius and BD for the review and for updating the Rogues Gallery – I am going to have a look at it now. Our lovely greyhound Merlin which I have chosen as my Avatar is unfortunately no more – died in India seven years ago. John and I have been toying with the idea of perhaps having another dog – not easy logistically for us sharing our time between two countries…

  19. Plodded my way through it – I hit the 7d problem which really confused me.

    Ah well, Onward and Upward – Jane Seymour is 64 – 1950 & 51 were pretty good years!

  20. Not too taxing but nothing special. I also wrestled with 7d but decided it had to be the 7-letter word. Will there be an apology from the DT for that I wonder! 19a caused problem for me as my English was misplaced. ***/***. Thanks Virgilius and BD.

  21. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, luckily I spotted the enumeration for 7d was wrong in the paper. Favourite was 20d. Was 2*/4* for me. Last in was 19a.

  22. I said earlier in the week that I was determined to finish a puzzle on my own and today I did it (with a tiny bit of help from Big Dave over 27a and also 21d which I have to confess was a word I wasn’t familiar with). Glad I had a look at the hints as I was also stuck on 7d for obvious reasons, Feeling very proud of myself! Thanks to BD for helping and to Virgilius for a very enjoyable puzzle.

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