ST 2794 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2794 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2794 (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    Change into  suit (6)
Two definitions – to change or grow into and to look good on or suit

4a    Retract stupid, stupid thing when PM finishes (8)
The reversal (retract) of an adjective meaning stupid followed by an anagram (stupid) of THING gives the time of day when Post Meridiem finishes

10a    Revered status of John, George, and Paul, but not Ringo (9)
As far as I know, no-one called Ringo has been afforded this revered status!

13a    He put an uncle and three sisters on stage (7)
Not terribly cryptic, just as long as you know the answer! – the surname of the playwright who wrote Uncle Vanya and The Three SistersI’ve seen both, the former at the National Theatre (1992) with Sir Ian McKellen and the latter at Queen’s Theatre (1991) with Vanessa (Olga), Lynn (Masha) and Jemma (Irina) Redgrave

23a    Put in grave situation, I am not there for ever (7)
A verb meaning to put into a grave followed by the shortened version of I am

26a    Consecrate as bishop? Not so (5)
B(ishop) followed by an adverb meaning not so much

28a    Influence is held by established kind of writer (8)
A three-letter word meaning influence or authority and IS inside (held by) EST(ablished)

29a    Judge can rule if that is correct, initially (6)
The initial letters of six words in the clue


1d    Fish, netting strange eels? Wrong, as a matter of fact (8)
A fish, that we have seen very recently, around (netting) an anagram (strange) of EELS

2d    Opener for can with more in? It’s full of beans (7)
The initial letter (opener) of C[an] followed by an adjective meaning more in or more fashionable gives an adjective meaning full of beans or bright-eyed and bushy-tailed

3d    I had the impression it contributes to theme, though tangentially (9)
Here’s one that’s hidden in plain sight, especially for Kath

6d    Magnificent, like Basie or Ellington? (5)
Why do Americans like to adopt these titles? Count and Duke respectively in this case

8d    Number of centuries needed for MCC? 4, perhaps (6)
Two cryptic definitions – the number of centuries in the number that is represented in Roman numerals by MCC and the time of day that is also known as 4 Across

16d    Medication in second sequence of deliveries — excess that’s spread around (9)
Some medication of the kind that is swallowed inside S(econd) and a sequence of deliveries in, wait for it, cricket

19d    Fitting quality of a point, shortly followed by another (7)
The A from the clue, P(oin)T and a point or headland

24d    Dangerous state in East — heavens above (5)
The abbreviation for a state in the East of the US followed by the heavens above

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Frankie Valli (81)
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35 comments on “ST 2794 (Hints)

  1. 2.5*/5*. Brilliant Sunday fare yet again! I was going well, about on par for 2* time but got held up a little in the SW (which makes a change from the NE that has been consistently the most difficult sector for me for the past couple of weeks) with the linked 28a & 24d my last two in.

    It’s rather invidious to try to pick a single favourite from this superb selection, so I’ll give an honourable mention to 1a, 4a, 8d & 9d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  2. Had a distinct feeling of déjà vu when solving this one… Enjoyable nonetheless, with thanks to BD and Virgilius ***/***

  3. We thought this was a really nice crossword, just right for a rainy Sunday afternoon. I would give it **/*** since we managed with only a little peek at the hints. Thank you to the Sunday setter and to BD.

  4. I think the sunday prize puzzles are getting better and better. I loved 4a (stupid, stupid thing), 11a ( imbibing excessively, lovely simple all-in-one clue), 14a ( foolishly grips), 3a (nicely worded hidden clue), 6d (Basie and Ellington), 8d and it’s reference to 4a.

    Many thanks setter and Big Dave

  5. A lovely Sunday crossword for a rather rainy day.
    I didn’t think it was very tricky for a Sunday apart from my last few answers where I was a bit dim.
    8d caused some grief as I automatically thought “cricket” so I can’t do it – oh dear! Got the answer (it couldn’t have been anything else) but didn’t dig any deeper so needed the hint.
    I was slow to get 1a and 1d and couldn’t do either until I got the other.
    BD might think that 3d was in plain view but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it as a past participle – that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
    I liked 14 and 23a and 7d. My favourite was 2d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to BD.
    Seems to have stopped raining – off to the garden.

  6. Another great puzzle which I solved but it always takes me ages.I really liked 4a and 13a.Thanks for explaining 8d.
    Thanks Virgilius and BD.

  7. As usual a great Sunday puzzle which I thought easier than the average from Vergilius. I thoroughly enjoyed it of course.

    1*/4* for me

    Thanks to Vergilius and all!

  8. Teemed with rain all morning but sun struggling out now. Super Sunday treat with some lovely giggly moments. Too many favourites but 10a high on list, do not know why it just appealed. Thanks to V and BD. Off to read minutes of Wednesday’s meeting to find out what I am supposed to be doing.

  9. Perfect crossword for a Sunday.
    Just the right amount of difficulty and a few ” but of course” moments like 10a and 13a.
    Liked the construction of 15a.
    Favourite is 7d.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints.

  10. My only problem with this otherwise excellent puzzle is that it was over all too quickly! 1*/4.5* for me, and most of my candidates for favouritism were crammed into the NE corner. In the end, though, that accolade goes to 28a. Many thanks to Virgilius (how do you go on churning out these corkers?) and to BD for the hints.

  11. I agree that the Sunday puzzles are becoming a tad more testing, but a lot more fun. I managed to turn a 2/4 into a 3/3 by watching the football on TV at the same time. I really need to prioritise.

  12. just to say that, as a beginner, these hints are most appreciated !

  13. Thanks to BD as always, and to everyone.
    Sorry to see the site being soiled by an ad for Ted Cruz.

    And GO RORY! (why I’m up so early on a Sunday morning)

  14. Just struck me, maybe it’s only over here that the Ted Cruz ad is appearing.

    1. Hello Brian. I think it is just you – my adverts vary between a new £5 coin, checking death records or checking my typiing errors.

    2. And I don’t even know who Ted Cruz or Rory are so I’m a bit of a lost cause!

      1. Ted Cruz is a US Senator and Rory (McIlroy) is an Irish golfer currently ranked no. 1 in the world.

        1. And Rory won the first sudden-death hole on the resumption of play in his World Match Play tie early this morning (EST).

          Thanks, Mr Greer, for the hint!

      2. Thanks RD and Franco – would either of you have thought that I’d know this kind of stuff? Surely you know me better than that by now! Oh dear – hopeless!

    1. Up at the top right of the page is a ‘search this site using Google’ box. Click on the box and when the search engine bit appears type ‘John George Paul’. Several instances of clues where they are mentioned will appear but none quite the same as today’s clue.

  15. Very enjoyable, a typical Sunday offering that asks questions but is very satisfying to do.
    Thx to all

  16. Another fine puzzle thank you Virgilius
    As always slow to get going, but once under way, no great problems – apart from 2d. The answer seemed obvious but I needed your explanation of “more in” BD – so many thanks for your help. Sharing your weather today Hilary – Southwold this morning in the rain and Dingle Marshes this afternoon in the sunshine.

  17. Thanks Virgilius for the puzzle and BD for the review. Fave was 10a, though closely followed by others.

  18. I think people are remembering:
    [***** Paul] Person venerated like John and George, but not Ringo?
    from 155 Sundays ago. Of course, other setters may have used this not very hard to think of idea.

    Keep going Rory!

  19. What an enjoyable puzzle! **** for me. I especially liked 1a and 1d, 3d, 4a/8d, 13a, 28a, 7d and 19d. I also liked 10a, but I did recognise it from the past… It was/is a very memorable clue!

    Many thanks to Virgilius for the Sunday treat. Much appreciation to Big Dave for the excellent hints which I have not needed but value nevertheless.

  20. Yesterday involved entertaining so much slaving over a hot stove for guests – fun but hard work – hence set about this Sunday challenge in the very early hours of today, Monday. Had brief shut-eye and have just put in the finishing touches thanks to a couple of hints. TVM BD particularly for help around 4a, 6d, 8d and 11a all of which I had failed to twig. Thanks Virgilius for a really enjoyable challenge.

  21. Didn’t get round to commenting yesterday, but I remember enjoying it immensely. A little easier than some Sundays, but still very satisfying. No one favourite, just lots of excellent clues.

    Nice to see the setter popping in too. Thanks Mr Greer, and thanks to BD as always.

  22. Spoilt for me by the solution being given in the Friday electronic Telegraph. Thinking they would realise their mistake and put in a new one, I did it on Friday and now have nothing to do on a wet Sunday!

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