ST 2792 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2792 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2792 (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:


7a    Granted it’s extremely good? Outstanding (8)
A charade or words meaning extremely good and outstanding or unpaid

10a    German prince warning about British (6)
This German prince, who married a British monarch, is derived by putting a warning around B(ritish)

15a    Place for eating  dog’s breakfast (4)
Two definitions – a place for eating used by military personnel and a dog’s breakfast or poor piece of work

17a    Beaten by five or ten in this upset (5)
The position you are in if you are beaten by five others is derived by putting the Roman numeral for ten inside an anagram (upset) of THIS

19a    Plant copied down as part of intersecting answer (4)
This plant is hidden in (copied … as part of) an intersecting down answer

23a    Supporter in pub rules out screwdriver, say (3,5)
Something to sit on when drinking in a pub comes from a charade of a verb meaning rules out and the type of implement of which a screwdriver is an example (say)

28a    Source of information from every quarter found (8)
All four quarters of the compass followed by a verb meaning to found or mould


1d    Cause to tumble  down  hillthat’s cruel (4)
Four definitions – to cause to tumble, to down, for example, a tree, a hill and an adjective meaning cruel

2d    Part of motorist’s route that’s shortened by removing tree (6)
Drop the letters of the word TREE from this route to get its abbreviated form

3d    Garden  party VIP in 50s (4)
Two definitions – a biblical garden and a 50s politician

5d    Under pressure, son prepared to perform (8)
S(on) followed by a verb meaning prepared to perform or underwent instruction

13d    Conservative and socialist on one board? That’s praiseworthy (10)
C(onservative) followed by a socialist or left-winger, I (one) and a board or worktop

14d    Crossed lines in historical enemy fighter (5)
Put a letter formed of crossed or intersecting lines inside the “enemy” against which the British fought two wars between 1880 and 1902

16d    Shift to right or left that is seen in some extreme parties, primarily (8)
Put the full Latin expression meaning “that is” inside the initial letters (primarily) of three words in the clue

21d    Clubs, sweetheart, in which we can live luxuriously (6)
C(lubs) followed by a sweetheart

26d    Call for silence supporting game? I’m amazed! (4)
A two-letter call for silence preceded by (supporting) a board game

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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 Kelly Holmes (45) and Sue Barker (59)


46 comments on “ST 2792 (Hints)

  1. Another excellent Sunday puzzle. Not too easy, not too hard. Some very interesting offbeat clues for me – I had to look at things from a number of perspectives to realise the answer to many of the clues.

    A new meaning for me in 1d that I was surprised to find in the dictionary as I had never used the word that way. My dogs objected to 15a as they think their breakfast is of gourmet standards – at least I assume that as it invariably disappears as their tongues act as conveyor belts directly to their stomachs in just a few seconds..

    So 2*/5* is my rating.

  2. 2.5*/5*. A wonderfully enjoyable puzzle for which the last few answers took me just over my 2* time. 1d was my last one in as I needed my BRB to understand the “that’s cruel” part of the wordplay.

    There were some really inventive clues: 17a, 19a, 2d, 3d & 16d any of which could have been my favourite! After some cogitation, I’ll settle for 17a.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD, particularly for the picture for 21d (although he’s not as pretty as my rabbit! The rabbit I mean, not BD :wink:)

    Equally I could just have said I agree with George!

      1. What a lovely surprise! :smile:
        Please give this to Mrs. BD as a token of my gratitude.

            1. Thanks to all, although I must stress that (apart from the essential luck of the draw) this was very much due to my love of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy which allowed me to solve the question after answering just two clues. Completing the crossword was another matter entirely – it was very enjoyable but somewhere around 42* difficulty.

  3. I agree with George and RD ! Usual enjoyable puzzle from Virgilius, many thanks, and also to BD for the hints.

  4. Pleasant solve today.
    Fave is 23a.

    Weather here is fine but not warm yet – my son who is down in the Var says it is cold and inclement there!

  5. I could write ditto , I suppose.I liked 17a best, after looking at it for a long time. 23a and 4d share second place .
    Thanks V and BD.

  6. I thought this was quite tricky – maybe it’s me.
    19a was the only plant I could think of that worked with the letters I already had but I needed the hint to understand the clever stuff.
    I was very slow to get 7a and 2d (my last answer) and not much quicker with most of the rest of it apart from the two long across anagrams.
    I didn’t know the fourth definition of 1d.
    There is a hidden but wrong answer in 17a which I 1d for – usually I can’t find them and then, when it isn’t, I do – oh dear!
    I liked 20a and 2 and 13d. My favourite was 22d because the clue made me laugh.
    With thanks to Virgilius for another brilliant Sunday crossword and to BD for the hints.

    1. 22d was a runner-up favorite for me, if such a thing is allowed. I was about to complain in my comment about a weak definition in that clue when, fortunately, the penny dropped and brought a big smile. I was happy that I got 19a unaided – I think being a newcomer who still tends to take clues at face value helped there.

  7. Well, that certainly delivered a lot of enjoyable moments.

    I had never heard of the fourth meaning in 1D but it is in the BRB, so presumably somebody somewhere must use it in that way.

    Was held up for a while in the middle with a wrong answer for 17a, thinking that I had spotted innuendo in the clue (for which I blame/credit a certain feline). Not wishing to be punished for disobeying the Big Red Box, I will say no more. When I did realize the correct answer I thought it a very clever clue.

    I also liked 14d for the “aha” moment when I finally saw what I suspect may be a standard replacement for the experienced solvers out there. Favorite was 28a (which may be another case of seeing something well-known for the first time).

    Thanks to the setter for a wonderful crossword and to BD for the explanations.

  8. Yet again the long anagrams gave me enough checking letters to solve the rest.
    14d and 17a were my last ones in and the latter is definitely my favourite.
    Congratulations to Rabbit Dave on winning the MPP. As I said before, I love Douglas Adams and really enjoyed this particular crossword.
    Thanks to BD for the hints and to Virgilius for our weekly fun.

  9. I thought that the second of the four definitions in 1d, i.e. down, meant a covering of hair. The BRB has one of the meanings of the answer as ‘a covering of rough hair’.

    1. That’s what I thought too – The Times crossword setters are very fond of sneaking in this definition of the word.

    2. I did look at that, but the BRB had “down” as “a soft covering of fluffy hair” which is hardly the same as “a covering of rough hair”.

      1. I agree that they are not exactly the same, but if you take ‘down’ to be a verb then it has pretty much the same meaning as ’cause to tumble’.

        1. I did wonder if it was actually only a triple definition with the admittedly tautological “cause to tumble down” as the first definition.

          1. Could be. I wonder why Virgilius didn’t make it a clear quadruple definition by having the clue as ‘Tumbled down hill – that’s cruel’?

    3. I have something else to say about 1d. Having thought about it I’m pretty sure that it would send me straight to the naughty corner without passing whatever it is, let alone collecting however much it is. Assuming I remember I will keep my comment for the review!

        1. I’m rather puzzled why my little word has been redacted as I can’t see that it has any relevance at all to the crossword.

          Apologies if I have unwittingly offended.

  10. Enjoyable puzzle today, but quite tricky. Like others, we have never heard of the 4th definition for 1d. I thought 19d was clever and we needed the hints to understand it. Thank you to the Sunday setter and to BD.

  11. Lovely crossword today with some very clever clues. Top of the pile for me was 19a but 2d was also brilliant. I am in awe of compilers who can come up with clues like these. The more experienced will have come across these types of clues before but they impress the hell out of me.
    Thx to all.

  12. Thanks to Rufus and to Big Dave for the hints. A fantastic puzzle today as usual. So many great clues. Favourite was 17a, and 15a made me laugh. Needed the hints to parse 1d&19a. Was 3*/4* for me, great stuff.

  13. Typical excellence from Virgilius. I needed the hint to understand 19a, so clever. Like several commenters, I had to resort to the dictionary for the fourth meaning of 1d.
    I’m hard pressed to choose a fave, but I think 17a has to be there somewhere, however, 2d and 4d deserve a mention.
    Thanks to Virgilius for another entertaining Sunday, and to BD for his review.

  14. Really enjoyed today’s brilliant exercise. Thanks Virgilius and BD, particularly for a couple of parses including 19a. Fav probably 23a. ****/***.

  15. Tricky in parts but most enjoyable. Needed the hint for 17a – which was not particular difficult but just could not see the light! Many lovely clues: 2d, 14d but my favourite was 22d. Did not know the fourth definition in 1d, it seems that a lot of us learnt something new today! Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints. Watching Rugby – Toulon versus Leinster – and easy to guess who I am supporting…

  16. Found this quite a struggle, needed electronic assistance as well as some hints, so not very satisfying for me.
    Still, it’s not that long since I was lucky to get one answer.

    I really liked 17a

    Thanks to Big Dave and the setter.

  17. Struggling with Arts Festival exhibition planning so crossword was a welcome relief – Haa Haa. Think my brain has gone off on a brief holiday as I have been having severe problems with the crosswords for the last few days. OH says that it is old age and that dry rot is probably setting in. Thanks to V and BD for a great way to have a nervous breakdown on a Sunday even with the helpful hints I still had difficulty justifying what I had written in. Back to snagging list for the book. See you tomorrow if I survive.

  18. Great stuff. Didn’t get 1d even with four definitions! 2d drew a gasp and so is favourite. Thanks to all.

  19. Another delight from the maestro. I had to check 15 as round our way we always referred it to a different mealtime for dogs.

    I thought 2 and 17 rather clever. Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  20. I do like Sunday crosswords! This one was a beauty with some lovely clues of which 17a was my particular favourite. 3*/4* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius and BD for the hints.

  21. Does this setter ever have an off day? I have yet to see it.

    Plenty has been said about 1d. I will just add that it was my last in – perhaps too few definitions for me I only saw three and had trouble with the cruel one.

    6d is a good word. 12a too, but I cannot share my thoughts on that because it is a Sunday. I loved all the unusual, “Virgilian” clues that have already been pointed out, but might go for 23a as favourite. I would prefer to be on one of those than here.

    Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    1. No – he never has an off day but sometimes he’s trickier than usual – I thought he was today but no-one else seems to agree – must be me.

      1. It didn’t feel easy this morning but the brain was functioning and the clues went in slowly but steadily until a big pause at 1d. I think it’s given up the ghost now though, just when I might need it

  22. We’re into a jolly good run of weekend prize crosswords, it seems. Thanks to Virgilius for this very satisfying puzzle, which l see as 2*/4* or so. 16d has my vote for favouritism – l’m sure all of us tried to work in the abbreviation in question, rather than the expanded term. Thanks to BD for the hints as well.

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