ST 2798 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2798 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2798 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, a number of the more difficult clues 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:


7a    Vessel held back in middle of trip for so long (8)
A four-letter vessel reversed (back) inside (held … in) a trip or stumble gives a word meaning so long or goodbye

9a    Company at the point of producing voucher (6)
CO(mpany) followed by a word meaning at the point of or on the verge of gives this voucher

11a    Authorise priest seizing house in this state (8)
A two-letter word meaning to authorise followed by a Buddhist priest around (seizing) HO(use) gives this US state

12a    Common complaint taken on as responsibility not warmly embraced (4-10)
A four-letter common complaint or illness followed by a verb meaning taken on as a responsibility

17a    Person wandering, in their right mind? On the contrary (5)
Split as (2,3) this means the opposite of in their right mind

19a    Non-U first performance that’s outstanding (4)
Drop the U (non-U) from a first performance to get something that is outstanding or owing

23a    Subject to diversion as one’s entering key area (8)
Put I (one) and the S from ‘S inside a musical key and an area of land

28a    Keyboard player in trio sang poorly (8)
An anagram (poorly) of TRIO SANG

ARVE Error: need id and provider


1d    Prepare to take off burden placed on one (4)
To get this verb meaning to prepare to take off in an aeroplane put a verb meaning to burden or make heavy demands on over I (one)

2d    Supporting male that’s upset, in difficult situation (6)
The reversal (upset) of the male pronoun inside a difficult situation

6d    Record I had accomplished hard to beat (10)
A record or printed document with blank spaces for information to be inserted followed by the abbreviation of “I had” and an adjective meaning accomplished or proficient

8d    Like many pots holding a little corn at that point (7)
A small piece of cord followed by an adverb meaning at that point or time

14d    Take strength from male soldier in international force? (5)
Split as (2,3) this could be a soldier who is part of an international force

16d    Singer finding warmth in clothing (8)
This singing creature is derived by putting some warmth inside a verb meaning clothing or garments

21d    How some German music sounds for important member of orchestra (6)
Sounds like some German songs

24d    City impacted by long-term investment effort? Nothing in it (4)
An effort around (in it) O (nothing)

26d    Player in deal, as featured in very successful movie (4)
Put AS inside a very successful movie

I have revamped the FAQ page to give it a more professional look – check it out and let me know what you think.

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 Peter Yarrow (77) and Clint Eastwood (85)
ARVE Error: need id and provider
Clint Eastwood


23 comments on “ST 2798 (Hints)

  1. I found this week’s Sunday puzzle a little more challenging than of late but as usual full of excellent clues. The left side in particular took some thought.

    So 2*/4* for me this time.

    Thanks to all for the blog and Vergilius, I assume, for the puzzle.

  2. 2*+/4*. Usual magnificent stuff from our Sunday supremo. I went just a shade over my 2* time wrestling with my last two in: 1d (my favourite) & 27a.

    How bizarre to see 25a cropping up again so soon.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    1. It never ceases to amaze me how often some words, quite often obscure ones, make a swift reappearance in different puzzles by different setters. It makes me wonder if it’s a little game the editor likes to play when he’s sorting and scheduling the puzzles for publication.

      1. I’ve always thought it’s actually a challenge among the setters, use the same word but different clues? Another hard one for me today which I have had to give up. Thanks to setter and BD for trying to help!!

  3. This took a bit of tackling but thanks Mr. Ron for the absorbing test and BD for your particular brand of hinting. North beat the South to it particularly as 23a took a while to parse and I needed to double check artist. ***/**.
    Your revamped FAQ is a great improvement BD – much clearer.

  4. A lovely crossword for a beastly rainy Sunday – little bit tricky in places – well, I thought so anyway.
    The top half went quite well, the bottom right was OK and then I struggled with the last few.
    I would have missed the hidden bit of 25a if we hadn’t had him recently – we’ve also had 9a in the last few days.
    I spent quite a while trying to remember novels by Dickens – oh dear!
    I liked 10 and 17a and 6d. My favourite was 18d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to BD.
    Just about to have a look at the revamped FAQ’s then off to play in the greenhouse.

    1. The FAQ’s look really good – very easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. Well done to BD.
      Jolly quiet here today – don’t tell me that there’s more football/rugby/cricket/golf . . . I could go on.

      1. In between finding the thyme bed under lots of weeds, I’ve made Sunday lunch, a 10″ special lemon cake, a 1lb and a 2lb lemon drizzle cake and solved 4 crosswords. The darkened room can’t come soon enough.

        1. Well done to you – I can’t quite compete with that kind of productiveness! I should think you’ve earned the darkened room.

  5. I found this a little tougher than recent puzzles, though no less enjoyable. I would rate this ***/***, if only because I got stuck on a couple of clues. I always enjoy looking at the hints upon completion, as they are often cleverer than the clues they help to solve. Thanks to all.

  6. Thank you Virgilius for another excellent challenge. After a very enjoyable night away with family I was a bit slow to get started, but as usual, with a few checkers it falls into place. Thanks BD for your hints.

  7. Yet again a great way to 23a myself during my little break.
    It’s mother’s day in France. Very busy lunch.
    Virgilius is always good.
    Favourite is probably 1d for the smoothness.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD.
    Re: Revamp of the FAQ. I never took you for an amateur before. I promise.

  8. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A smashing puzzle as usual from Virgilius. Right hand side went in ok, but got held up in the SW & NW corners. Favourite was 26d. Last in was 2d. Was 3*/4* for me.

  9. I hadn’t heard of the singer but it was very doable from the wordplay, and 25a was somewhat obscure but strangely familiar (for reasons mentioned above), but overall this was an enjoyable experience alongside a relaxing Sunday breakfast earlier today. Next weekend will be a bit busier with our eldest daughter and her fiancé having an engagement party so the house will be full of guests!
    Thanks to both Virgilius and BD.

  10. Delightful stuff from Virgilius as per norm. We kicked off in fine form as Arsenal did yesterday but then slowed down to Aston Villa pace to finish off. The lovely thing about a Virgilius puzzle is that you know absolutely why you have got the answer right. Doble has been on an outing to The Chelsea Physic Garden ( a most interesting and delightful place) but arrived home just in time to get the last two answers in. ***/**** for us. Thanks to Big Dave for the hints and tips.

  11. I seem to be swimming upstream here as I thought this was virgilius in pretty benign mode. **/**** from us. Elegant as usual so the **** enjoyment.

    Thanks to Virgilius and BD

    P.S. – BD the FAQ page is a great improvement.

  12. Slightly tricky but still completed well inside 3* time, so 2*/4*. Some nice clues here, of which my favourite is 24d. 2d took me a while to figure out, but l was channel-hopping between the 2nd Test and England vs the Barbarians, so l was somewhat 23a’d. Many thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

    1. See – I just knew that sport came into it somewhere . . .
      I still think it’s jolly quiet here today – I blame the sport . . .
      Feeling a bit lonely –

  13. Many thanks to Virgilius for an elegant puzzle which was most satisfying to solve. No difficulty but a few clues needed some wrestling. Funny to see 25 a again… 16d was new to me but easy to work out. Liked 18d and 1 down but my favourite was
    23a. 27a was my last one in. Hints not really needed but nevertheless read with pleasure : many thanks to BD for those. 2*/4*. Had never looked at FAQ before – shame on me! – but have now. Well done BD!

  14. ***/**** so agree with most. A fine crossword puzzle put together with the precision of a good watch. Struggled with 2d and 14d (which is the one and only iffy clue for me) so thanks to BD for setting things straight. Besties were 8 & 26d. tromped around West Surrey Golf Course today in the drizzle – course much better than the weather. Virgilius, thank you again. If I ever have to do porridge, I hope I can sneak a book of your crosswords in.

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