ST 2807 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2807 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2807 (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    Minimal temperature and pressure in main plant (5,3)
A Scottish word for minimal or small, T(emperature) and P(ressure) all inside the body of water known poetically as a main – Mrs BD has had over 500 blooms off our plants this Summer

9a    Article by son constitutes academic work (6)
The definite article followed by S(on) and a two-letter verb meaning constitutes

10a    Exercises needed on part of flight in Russia, it’s plain (6)
… this flight goes from one floor to the next!

11a    Source of amusement, including game — good topic for mathematicians (8)
A source of amusement for a young child (and a few older ones as well!) around a posh game and G(ood) – I studied this topic, which explains what a coffee cup and a doughnut have in common, in my final year at the University of Bristol

15a    Support one’s withdrawn from pioneer (4)
…do exactly what it says on the tin!

19a    Back part of city in no-win situation (4)
Reverse an administrative division of a city

20a    How unwavering person acts during passage, mostly without roughness (14)
Most of a phrase meaning during passage (2,7) followed by an adverb meaning without roughness

27a    Particular sci-fi movie shown in Irish house (6)
That ubiquitous Steven Spielberg sci-fi movie inside the lower house of the legislature of the Republic of Ireland

28a    Somebody else working with a learner? Only in theory (8)
A phrase meaning somebody else (3,1) followed by the usual two-letter word meaning working, the A from the clue and L(earner)


1d    Hard-working student recovers from breakdown? Just the reverse (4)
The reversal (just the reverse) of a verb meaning recovers a car from a breakdown

2d    Folk including couples from right parts of Europe stop awhile (6)
A Virgilius speciality – take the final couple of letters from each of three words in the clue

4d    Secure, in a way, important element of diet (6)
Two definitions – a verb meaning to secure in a particular way and an important element of a diet

6d    It’s on hand, providing quick coverage (10)
A cryptic definition of something that covers the quick on one’s hand

8d    Early opportunity to see clergyman I located sitting in church? (7)
The three-letter abbreviation for a clergyman and the I from the clue inside where someone might be sitting in a charch

13d    Arose and made a speech, having imbibed one drink (10)
A verb meaning made a speech around I (one) and an alcoholic drink

16d    Like brain operations, helping almost everyone (8)
A helping followed by most of a word meaning everyone

22d    New directional aid used in restricted channel (6)
N(ew) followed by a directional aid or pointer

26d    Open a little container with key, initially (4)
A small container, like the one I used for my redcurrant jam last week, preceded by (initially) a musical key

Sorry for the delay but I spent most of the morning sorting out a problem that prevented me from sending new emails from Outlook 2016 Preview under Windows 10.  If you are having a similar problem, drop me a line and I’ll send you the solution that worked for me.

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 RIP Cilla Black (27 May 1943 – 2 August 2015)
Image result for cilla black ARVE Error: need id and provider


30 comments on “ST 2807 (Hints)

  1. I thought this was going to be another tricky one as I initially struggled to gain a foothold, but I soon knuckled down and completed it in reasonable time. I thought it was of the usual high standard but the answer to 17ac seems a bit archaic to be clued as such (irrespective of what the BRB may say). Thanks to BD and Virgilius **/****

  2. Another very enjoyable Sunday puzzle although on the easy side. I really like the Virgilius style of clues but I am finding them a tad on the easy side these days. It would be nice,in my opinion, for a bit more of a challenge. But perhaps others would disagree.

    I thought 6d was quite inventive!


    Thanks to the setter and BD as usual. Still waiting for my Windows 10!

  3. Wow! Found this a hard slog today but then I am a relative newcomer.

    Worked on it through the day steadily and got stuck on one or two. Liked 6d but took a while for the penny to drop. Fell for the trap in 5d also but got there in the end.


  4. This was fun while it lasted and was helped by chestnuts such as 13d. No real Favs to spotlight. Googling 6d solution taught me two new terms. Thanks Virgilius and BD. ***/***.

  5. I just love Virgilius’s puzzles. I always have a problem choosing a fave, they are all so good. My car’s name is 7a; 6d was so clever; loved 17a and 1d; how can one choose.
    Thanks to Virgilius for another gem and to BD for the review.

  6. I like any crossword i can finish before reading the hints, so this is no exception!

    7a and 8d were nicely structured clues, I thought.

    Thanks to all!

  7. Many thanks to Virgilius for gently tickling my brain cells and to BD for the review. No real difficulty but much enjoyment. **/**** and hesitating between 2d and 6d for a favourite.

  8. Nice puzzle completed in *** time, with same number of stars for enjoyment. Favourite 28a. I spent a lot of yesterday trying to get Excel to work after downloading W10, but to no avail. If anyone has any ideas, I’d be grateful.

  9. Virgilius is up to the mark yet again. 2*/4* for me, and can’t choose between 6d and 28a as favourite. Thanks to V and to BD for the hints.

  10. Sheer bl**** mindedness got me through today, for some unknown reason I found this really hard and even using the electronic super toy I could not make much headway. However, after lunch I persevered and in the end realised that I had some sort of answer to each clue, but thanks to BD for telling me why I had done what I had done and thanks to Virgilius for such a wonderful cerebral workout. Off to lie down with an ice pack on my head.

    1. A lie down with an ice pack is fine – at least you’re not in the cupboard under the stairs with your tissues.

  11. The usual high class Sunday puzzle from Virgilius! A mixture of easy and tricky clues all adding to the enjoyment. I liked 28a best. 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to Mr V and BD for his hints.

  12. Another wonderful week end , the puzzle today was of the usual high standard with just enough to make it taxing and still solvable . Thanks to Big Dave and the setter
    Liked 10,11 and 28a, 16 and 22d (last one in) ***/***

  13. A very enjoyable puzzle, 2*/4* for me with only the nw corner creating a bit of difficulty for me. Once the penny dropped for 11a (with the help of the clue) , all became clear. Thanks to BD and Virgilius.

  14. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable typical Virgilius puzzle. Managed ok without the hints, but can’t parse 25a. Favourite was 6d. Was 3*/3 * for me. Just back from Wembley, where my team won. What a great day :-)

    1. 25a – The ‘career’ in the clue is not what you do to pay the rent – more like whizzing around.

  15. Late here today – jungle warfare has been happening in our garden.
    I thought this one was a bit more difficult than the last few Sundays have been – maybe just me.
    11a was a new word for me and my last answer in – then I had to work out why.
    What really messed things up to begin with was that my original answer to 6d was a ‘coverage’ for the answer. Oh dear!
    I’ve never heard of 18d being a snob.
    I suspect that 17a could be a problem for the PC brigade – I’m not in it!
    I liked 17a (!) and 2 and 14d. My favourite has to be 7a – my all time favourites in the garden and, sadly, looking a bit pathetic now.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to BD, as always.

    1. I thought 7a were vegetable. Never occurred to me we were talking about flowers.

      1. 7a – best flowers ever and easy to grow here but probably too hot and dry where you are – my favourites – amazing smell.

  16. What what? Windows 10.
    Must have missed an episode.
    My phone is W8 and at home it is still
    that good old XP.
    Really liked this Virgilius.
    The folk clue was my last in after the two central clues which held me up for a while ( the girl and the part of the family).
    Haven’t quite finished the NTSPP yet and still a few to go on the monthly prize. Both of which I am really enjoying.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the blog.

  17. Found this much harder than yesterday. Really had to stick with it and not give up. Been doing the puzzle all day on and off, but finally completed it. Needed the review for 15a and 16d, though the penny dropped after I read the hints. Thank you Kath for explaining 15a, why the answer is what it is !! Favourite is 6d. Thanks to Virgilus and to BD. Looking forward hopefully to a slightly easier Monday.

  18. 2*/5*. Completed this yesterday, but couldn’t access the blog from a remote part of Devon. Wonderful stuff as ever. Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

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