ST 2793 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2793 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2793 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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Good morning lovely people, greetings from a sun-stricken Calder Valley!

While Our Glorious Leader nurses his hungover head (not really) after yesterday’s crosswordy gathering in Cambridge, I’m here to help you a little with today’s wonderful puzzle by the amazing Brian Greer.  This was a joy to tackle from start to finish with a number of stand-out clues, topped by 23 across!  One of my favourite puzzles to tackle each week, and he hasn’t let us down today.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided 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, definitions are underlined:


1a   This take advantage of capturing pawn, resuting in mate (6)
We start today with a word that describes a mate or husband.  A short word meaning thus is added to a slightly longer one meaning to take advantage of something.  Place inside this the abbreviation for a pawn in chess (indicated by capturing).

4a   List characters in period pieces (6)
A triple definition clue, a trademark of our setter.  One word that means “lists characters”, periods of times and pieces of things.

8a   Stimulant reduced – that’s a blow (8)
A type of punch from a boxer is revealed by taking a slang word for a drug, one that can give you a high.  Add to thsi a word for a reduction, much talked about with public spending and supermarket prices.

Image result for uppercut

12a   I, with car, returned piece of furniture, not matched by others (10)
I plus the name of a small car backwards (returned) is added to the name of an item of furniture to reveal a word that means without comparison, or unmatched by others.

16a   Lines European put  in not edited and not disputed (12)
Inside a word that means unedited, not altered go LL (lines) and E (European) to give you somthing that means not disputed.

23a   What’ll turn us into most powerful country?  (5,3)
My favourite clue of the day (and probably of the month!) This is a cryptic definition and the whole clue refers to the answer,  you need to think a little out of the box.  If you wanted to turn the word “us” into an abbreviation of one of the world’s superpowers on your computer, you’d need to use this!

Image result for shift key

25a   Again show power in a kind of race (6)
The Acrosses today finish with a word that means to demonatrate once more, or a second football match.  Take the name of a type of rce with a bton and insert P (for power).


1d   Stupidly sue prior or head of monastery (8)
The head of a monastery or convent can be revealed by unscrambling the letters of SUE PRIOR.

Image result for abbot and monks outside english monastery

5d   Incomplete painting, one framed by friend (7)
A word that means incomplete can by found by taking the word for painting in general, adding I (one) and placing it all inside (framed) a word for friend.

6d   Sea-monster left a haven it distrubed (9)
An anagram (disturbed) of L (left) A HAVEN IT will lead you to a word, often used in the Bible for a whale, or sea-monster.  Don’t suppose you’ll be having it with chips!

Image result for leviathan

9d   Extinct reptile as inspiration for poetry in bizarre script (11)
The name for a dinosaur can be found by taking the name for the classical Muse of poetry (inspiration) and placing it inside an anagram (bizarre) of script.

Image result for triceratops

14d   Put in mouth after short time, consume inferior cheese (9)
A generic word for inferior cheese (“It’s only good enough for a ___”) is revealed by taking a word maning a short time and then a slang word for your mouth and placing inside a way of saying consume (a product).

Image result for cheese with holes

18d   Rum diluted for protesting worker (7)
The name for a member of a famous historical group of people that went round smashing up machines that were perceived as depriving people of jobs (hmmm),  It’s an anagram (rum) of DILUTED.

Image result for LUDDITES

21d   Penny and others making bit of a bloomer (7)
A part of a flower is revealed by taking P (for penny) and adding a latin abbreviation for “and the rest”.

Right!  I’m off to write an essay in German for my Open University Course on the meaning of happiness.  I’ll mention tackling the Sunday Telegraph Crossword somewhere in there!  See you soon!


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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Bobby Rydell (73)
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35 comments on “ST 2793 (Hints)

  1. 3*/5*. Brilliant!

    My page is littered with asterisks for clues that I loved with 1a, 4a & 9d fighting it out to be chosen as my favourite today. That is until I solved 23a, my last one in, which came up on the rails and overtook them all. What a fabulous clue!

    Amazing to see a repeat answer from a different setter cropping up so soon – presumably just to please Kitty.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Tilsit.

    1. Meowww!

      P.S. looking back at yesterday, our heads have regrown to full size, rendering the exchange a little odd-looking.

      1. Oh well, at least you and I know what we were talking about even if everyone else thinks we are barking mad (which might be true in any event).

      2. I know what you were both talking about too! Either we’re all in it together or we’re all barking mad – or even both.

  2. Brilliant stuff indeed – thanks to Virgilius and TIlsit.

    A late start for me today after a long day in Cambridge and – unlike Our Glorious Leader who didn’t touch a drop of drink – I will admit to having had a beer or two.

  3. Yes, fantastic stuff indeed – a joy to solve and my LOI was also 23ac. Thanks to Tilsit and Virgilius 2.5*/4.5*

  4. A lovely puzzle , and a little easier than usual or else I’m improving. 23a a real Doh ! moment.
    Thanks Tilsit and Virgilius.

  5. I was hoping for a hint for 15d. Even with all the check letters and onelook, I am drawing a blank.

    Have to confess that I am at odds with the majority as I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I have most other Sunday’s.

    1. Difficult to help without risking landing in naughty corner – a food shop plus another word for extremely – sorry mediator if have overstepped the mark but I did try to be cryptic

  6. I loved this! For the life of me, I couldn’t see 4A, even with the checking letters, but apart from my failure there, this was a lot of fun. 23A was the runaway favorite and a brought forth a burst of laughter when I got it. Thanks, Virgilius for another super Sunday puzzle. Thanks also, of course, to Tilsit for the review.

  7. Oh Spit I was so desperate to finish I missed bid on postcard on eBay. I thought that for the first time for ages I was going to be defeated by 23a BUT by some miracle my aged brain clicked in and it is definitely my favourite clue among another brilliant Sunday crossword. Not an easy ride but the supertoy and I persevered. Lovely smell of bread making permeates the bungalow to make up for chilly dampish morning in Suffolk. Thanks to Mr Greer and Tilsit – nice to meet you, come back soon.

  8. As usual a great Sunday puzzle that might have been a bit easier this week.

    Certainly 23a was a great clue that was my last in – desperately running through the alphabet until the penny dropped. Sunday puzzle solving is always something to look forward to.

    Thanks Vergilius.

  9. Brilliant as usual. I thought it was slightly easier than some Sundays or maybe I’m getting better at them. 2*/3* difficulty and, I agree with RD, 5* for enjoyment.
    I was slow to get 4a – in fact I was quite slow to get started at all but then got going.
    I confess to resorting to a list of dinosaurs to find one that would fit for 9d – please could we add them to the increasing list of things that Kaths don’t know anything about?
    I liked 13 and 20a and 6 and 19d. At the risk of being unoriginal my favourite was 23a – how could it be anything else?
    With thanks to Virgilius and to Tilsit for standing in again – good luck with the essay.

  10. Super puzzle. Thought at first it was going to defeat us but then it all gradually fell into place. What a clever clue is 23a, Mrs B got this not me. However, so many excellent clues it is difficult to choose a favourite. Thx to Tilsit for explaining the wordplay on 14d, could see the answer but not the wordplay. Still don’t quite get the current device in 7d although the rest gives you the answer. It’s the second letter that’s puzzling me, can see the five letter word for visibly pleased but not that pesky 2nd.
    Thx to the setter for the puzzle and to Tilsit for the hints (shame there isn’t one for 7d)!

    1. Brian, in 7d you know what the second letter is; just think about what it can represent.

    2. You have mail, Brian!

      I hated physics at school and have had to learn the symbols. I’m more of a linguist than a scientist!

      1. Lucky old you – being either a linguist or a scientist gives you a definite advantage with crosswords – depending on the day of the week one is sometimes better than the other. Please spare a thought for those of us who can’t really “do” either! Hope that essay (in German) went, or is still going, well.

    3. Brian – I think we’ve met the second (or fourth – it would work just as well) before. It was one of the many that always used to defeat me but I’m wise to him now.

  11. Another lovely puzzle thank you Virgilius. I confess to looking at a couple of hints to progress things. A bit tired after the long drive to the county where it never rains – Suffolk, for our annual birdwatching trip. Agreed 23a terrific clue. Thanks Tilsit for your hints – very useful.

  12. Super distraction on a rather gloomy and cold Sunday. Thank you very much Virgilius for that and Tilsit for being there for us again although I did have a couple of mental blocks in the SW which you hadn’t covered. 23a outstanding for me too in spite of dodgy grammar in clue (what’ll/that which will?). ***/****.

  13. A ripsnorting blinder of a puzzle today and 23a) must go into the Premier League of clues. Let’s hope Bournemouth do the same tomorrow night. If they do, my 1a) will be forced to watch the 25a) many times……Thanks to Virgilius for the clues and Tilsit for an amusing review. Let’s hope BD recovers from his half pint of shandy quickly.

  14. Yes indeed, a lovely Sunday crossword by Virgilius! 23a is the runaway favourite and I’m not going to buck the trend. I did try using a different kind of stimulant for 8a but the result wasn’t very satisfactory. 3*/4* overall.
    Thanks Virgilius, and Tilsit for your hints.

  15. Well I may as well just ditto everyone else and add my own thanks to Virgilius and Tilsit.

  16. Managed this one with only one of the hints and one look at the electronic assistant.

    Even a beginner like me can see that this was a most excellent crossword.
    Thought 23a was just wonderful….same as everyone else.

    Thanks to Tilsit and hats off to the setter.

  17. Defeated by 23a, too clever by half! And still not clear about third definition of 4a in my tiny mind. Enjoyed the tussle though.

  18. This started very easily but stiffened up somewhat south of the equator. 2*/4* by my reckoning, and a truly superb clue in 23a. My thanks to the setter, and to Tilsit for the hints.

  19. Thanks to Virgilius and to Tilsit for the review and hints. A fantastic puzzle, so many wonderful clues. A tad more difficult than usual, needed the hints for 4&23a. Last in was 11a. Favourites were 9&21d. Was 3*/4* for me.

  20. Loved it, have to agree 23a was an outstanding clue-and last in, doubt if I would have seen it without the checking letters, when the penny dropped it felt like Paul on the road to Damascus ! ***/***** for the record.

  21. Wonderful crossword, but then Sunday is always a red-letter day. 23ac must be the clue of the year, never mind month! Thanks to setter and hinter.

  22. Did this a couple of days late. It took ages for the penny to drop on 23a, even with all the checkers in place, but when it did it was one of the really good moments that crosswords can provide! Well worth having persevered and not resorted to the hints.
    Thanks to Virgilius for the entertainment and Tilsit for the blog.

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