ST 2811 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2811 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2811 (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:


1a    Turbulent maiden in fiction (6)
M(aiden) inside a work of fiction

4a    Remarked about cold or hot, with reference to food (6)
A verb meaning remarked or noticed around C(old)

12a    Subsequently protected by frantic local security (10)
An adverb meaning subsequently inside (protected by) an anagram (frantic) of LOCAL

13a    French miss cheese passed around with wine about one (12)
The reversal (passed around) of some cheese followed by a type of wine around I (one)

16a    Playwright’s including some text not characteristic of hero (12)
The surname of an English playwright and the S from ‘S around (including) some text of the kind often written out by delinquent schoolboys

20a    Wine or tea with academic, not so long ago (10)
A four-letter word for tea followed by an academic and an old-fashioned (long ago) word meaning not so

23a    As sheep may be, but not cattle or horses? Strange (8)
You can have one sheep, but not one cattle or one horses

25a    Initially cornered man that is inexperienced fighter (6)
One of the chessmen that is initially placed in the corner of the board followed by the Latin abbreviation for that is


1d    Read his novel, then new Irish writer (8)
An anagram (novel) of READ HIS followed by N(ew)

3d    Book’s covering, perhaps, state of Africa (7)
Two definitions – the first being a type of leather used to cover books

5d    Unexpected problem as female piece of advice upset everyone (7)
F(emale) and a piece of advice all reversed (upset in a down clue) followed by a word meaning everyone

7d    Centrally readjust, so to speak, record-player (6)
What sounds like (so to speak) the middle two letters (centrally) of the second word in the clue gives someone who plays records in a club, etc.

9d    Original sources bound to be included by English novelist (11)
A verb meaning to bound inside (to be included by) the surname of an English science-fiction novelist

14d    Selectively quoted, not included without right (9)
An adjective meaning not included around (without) R(ight)

17d    Like some yarn that’s spun in court, upset Dickensian heroine (7)
A verb meaning to court a young lady followed by the reversal (upset in a down clue) of a Dickensian heroine

18d    Beat in play in tournament (3,4)
… this one is especially for Kath!

21d    Luggage in main part of plane (5)
Two definitions – an item of luggage and the main part of a plane tree

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Cameron Diaz (43)
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35 comments on “ST 2811 (Hints)

  1. Not on the setters wavelength today. Top half not too difficult, but needed several hints for thr lower half. No real favourites today.
    Thanks as always to BD and to setter.

    1. You’ve changed your usual alias so this comment required moderation. Both aliases should work from now on.

  2. **/****
    completed without hints, but with trusty Seiko solver & and then an on line dictionary

    hints appreciated as ever, though

    several clever clues-liked 13A, 20A, 25A and 7D amongst others

  3. The usual great Sunday crossword – I thought there were some really great clues this week.

    2*/5* for me.

    Thanks to BD and Virgilius, I assume.

  4. An enjoyable one for me today – not too hard! Apart from getting 19d wrong which left me with a problem for 24a. Favourite clue was 13a – very clever I thought. 2*/4* for me today.

  5. 2*/4.5* for another sublime Sunday puzzle. I didn’t know the alternative meaning for the answer to 3d until I checked my BRB. 14d was my last one in, and the typically Virgilian 23a was my favourite.

    Even with BD’s hint, I am still unsure about the parsing of 4a. I may not be able to explain why without being sent to the naughty corner, but I’ll try. I may well be barking up the wrong tree but I can’t see how “remarked” leads to the five letter word (which I will call “X”) which forms part of the answer. The only connection I could think of is very tenuous. There is a word (which I will call “Y”) which is a synonym of “remarked”. Y has what seems to me to be a second distinct meaning which is a synonym of X, but that doesn’t make X a synonym of “remarked”, does it? I expect I am missing something here but I can’t see what.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    1. How well put. If you ever have to go to the naughty corner in the future, your comment here is your get out of gaol card – and receive a bonus free cake for playing it.

  6. Took two sittings to finish this one but very enjoyable. I made it far more difficult by misspelling 13a with an A rather than an E. Made 14d a bit tricky!
    Struggled a bit to get the answer to 19d to mean Flourish even it had to be correct.
    Similarly struggled to make 4a mean Remarked without the C.
    However, overall great fun.
    Thx to all.

  7. Enjoyable and medium difficulty. Spent an enjoyable morning doing this one with the aid of a few hints and online aids. Loved 21d and5d.

    What a Sunday puzzle should be.


    Thanks to setter and BD

  8. I had the same struggles as RB with 4a, but got there in the end .Thanks for parsing 5d , BD.
    Lots of great clues , including 12a and 16a, but my favourite is 7d.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  9. This helped to pass a rainy morning. 2*/4*. Usual high standard from Virgilius. I’m grateful to BD for his explanation of 25A. Whilst the answer was clear enough, I forgot that “man” can be the same as “man on board”.

  10. A really good crossword and a great distraction from a wet and miserable day.
    This started off really well and then it all went a bit wrong with my last few answers.
    4 and 23a and 7 and 14d all took ages and I’ve never heard of 9d as a word but with six of the eleven letters already in it couldn’t have been anything else.
    I admit to having to check the spellings for three answers as I get them wrong with monotonous regularity – 13a and 6 and 19d – you’d think I might learn . . .
    Did I miss 18d? Yes, of course I bloody well did!
    I liked 8 and 20a and 7d. My favourite was either 23a or 5d – probably 5d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to BD.
    Raining – can’t cut grass – might see if I can finish Radler off!

    1. Me too with 18d Kath, even having got the answer I couldn’t see it until I read Daves hints!!! Thanks Dave

  11. For a change it was the SE corner that gave me a bit of trouble.
    But nothing to scare the horse!
    Was also trying to find a novelist for the answer in 9d until the penny dropped.
    Temperature still over 30C and glorious sunshine.
    My gravatar is from a Brazilian bulb that I bought at the plant fair in spring and has grown to about 5ft high with a lovely grape of flowers. Don’t know the name though. If anyone knows, I’ll appreciate.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints.

      1. Thanks Peanuts.
        I checked and it was not a foxtail.
        The stem is naked. It just shot up like an asparagus to about 5ft and the flowers are very delicate.
        I’ve upgraded my gravatar to a close up.

  12. It is a long time since I have had such a struggle with a Sunday crossword, enormous amount of electronic help and then BDs masterly review came to my rescue. I would not have got 7d in a million light years but now filed away for future reference. Overcast and lawn too damp to mow after overnight rain. Thanks also to Mr. V.

  13. I didn’t find this too easy and admit to having some ‘outside help’!! I actually took 3 sittings to finish it

  14. Usual brilliant offering from Virgilius. I struggled for far too long with 7d and nearly gave up, until I realised that I had the wrong letter at the end of 4a, but when I did get it, I decided it was my fave.
    I put 21d in but never thought of the tree, so thank you BD.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the review.

  15. brilliant Sunday entertainment from Virgilius.

    favourite is 23a.

    all clues are great esp. 3d and 6d

    thanks virgilius and BD

  16. My favourite setter on form again! Not hard, but great fun. 1*/4.5* (Sorry, V, but if l ever award 5* for enjoyment it will probably be to you). 25a was my long-time favourite clue, but in the end was just edged out by 23a. Many thanks to Virgilius, and of course to the blogmeister.

  17. Hard but very enjoyable.
    Got snarled up in the NE corner, not sure about my 4a but refuse to avail myself of BD’s hint.
    Will continue to think about my answer to it.
    Many thanks to the setter, and to BD.

  18. I did not find this an easy challenge! The top half went in fairly straight forward but the bottom half… hmm. Not spotting 18d didn’t help and like several people ‘a’ instead of ‘e’ compounding the problems. Oh well. Still a mighty fine crossword though. I like10a and
    16a (once the ‘a’ and ‘e’ were resolved) 3/3* over all.
    Thanks to Virgilius and of course, BD for his (necessary) hints.

  19. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but much too tough for me. Still stuck on 19&14d and 24a. Was 4*/3* for me.

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