ST 2815 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2815 (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    Old volume found in particular joint (8)
Put O(ld) and V(olume) inside a particular or item to get a woodworking joint

9a    Man trying to attract woman with diamonds, say, and gold (6)
The name for a set of playing cards of which diamonds is an example (say) followed by the heraldic term for gold

10a    Practically nothing received by charity ahead of time (6)
O(nothing) inside (received by) charity and followed by (ahead of) T(ime)

12a    They can have views without buying lies about popular party points (6-8)
Some lies or untruths around a two-letter word for popular, a party and couple of compass points

15a    Audible disapproval in this snigger or sigh is strong (4)
… this one is especially for Kath, not just once but twice!

19a    Unhappy after the speaker’s been introduced and spoke (4)
An adjective meaning unhappy around (‘s/has been introduced) the first person pronoun (speaker)

20a    Turned out to cover people on condition it avoids stress (14)
An anagram (out) of TURNED around some people preceded by a condition

27a    Drink repeatedly passed around, say, quietly (6)
An alcoholic drink followed by the same alcoholic drink (repeatedly) all reversed (passed around)

28a    A Tory is oddly accepting line that was opposing Parliament (8)
An anagram (oddly) of A TORY IS around (accepting) L(ine) – some might ask what is the difference between the stated wordplay and an anagram of A TORY IS L and the answer is very little, except you know the L(ine) is not at the beginning or end of the answer


1d    One vessel in front of another on loch (4)
The front of, for example, a seagoing vessel followed by (on in a down clue) L(och)

2d    What could be done by changing past (6)
An anagram (what could be … changing) of DONE BY

5d    Upset if senior figures cover points, for example (8)
The reversal (upset in a down clue) of IF followed by some senior figures gives the cricketers of which cover points are an example

6d    Something one has put on show, initially, before meeting (10)
The initial letters of three words in the clue followed by a meeting

13d    Not just occupying one South American city, also part of North America (10)
A two-letter word meaning occupying followed by I (one), a five-letter South American city and part of North America

16d    Bad miss when holding prized weapons (8)
An anagram (bad) of MISS around an adjective meaning prized or treasured

22d    It is in city centre (6)
Where you will find IT in cITy!

26d    Child brought up on hot food (4)
The reversal (brought up) of a male child followed by H(ot)

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As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment.

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Meat Loaf (68)


  1. neveracrossword
    Posted September 27, 2015 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Usual enjoyable fare from the Sunday maestro. Thanks to him and BD.

  2. Brian
    Posted September 27, 2015 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Tough but great fun. Lots of good clues but my fav was 5d. Took ages to see the cricket connection! Thx to BD for explaining 22d, the answer had to be right but the reason was a bit of a groaner! Bit like seeing an awful pun.
    I see the new super dooper (!) “improved” DT app still doesn’t include the Toughie, takes four times as long to load and now you can’t find anything. That’s progress?
    Thx to BD for the explanations and to the setter for the puzzle.

  3. Jane
    Posted September 27, 2015 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Don’t get the weekend papers (would be a waste of part of a forest, given the amount of it that I would read!) but have been doing my usual working out of the answers from BD’s hints – still a couple to go. Think that the hint for 5d is missing a letter?

    • crypticsue
      Posted September 27, 2015 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      corrected, thank you

    • crypticsue
      Posted September 27, 2015 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      If you subscribe to the Telegraph Puzzles site, it works out at £2.99 a week, which is less than the cost of the two weekend papers and it means that if it snows or you can’t get out of the house for some other reason, you can just print of the puzzles.

      This isn’t an advert for TP, its just what I’ve done for several years now.

      • Florence
        Posted September 27, 2015 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        Hi crypticsue, thought it was only £2.99 a month!!! Could be in deep water as I have been telling loads of people to subscribe.

        • crypticsue
          Posted September 27, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          You are right. In our house I do the words, mr CS does the numbrrs

      • Framboise
        Posted September 27, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        Hi Crypticsue! Could not agree more. I have been a subscriber to the DT puzzles since 2001 when we moved to India – how I prayed for the Internet to work in order to download the puzzles! We also read the paper on line whether in Billingshurst or Hyères, in all very good value for money.

    • Franco
      Posted September 27, 2015 at 3:29 pm | Permalink


      Do you really mean to say that you attempt the Sunday puzzle without the Sunday Puzzle?

      Any ideas on 18d?

      [Happy17th Birthday to Mr Google!]

      • crypticsue
        Posted September 27, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        I think she does, in which case it is a bit mean to ask her about 18d.

        She’s about to get mail ;)

        • Jane
          Posted September 27, 2015 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      • Jane
        Posted September 27, 2015 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        Sadly Franco, I’m not a clairvoyant! I just look at the clues that have ‘hints’ and work out the relevant answers. May sound very easy but, believe me, it’s sometimes not quite that simple. No checkers can make a world of difference.
        Actually, I probably only check in to keep an eye on you all.

        • Jane
          Posted September 27, 2015 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          The ‘force’ has come upon me, Franco and yes I could help you out with 18d but daren’t do so!
          Life’s a bit like that, I’m sorry to say.

    • Expat Chris
      Posted September 27, 2015 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Jane, I’m a subscriber since I can’t get the newspapers here,of course, but even if I were in the UK, I’d do it that way. Much nicer to solve on a decent bit of paper instead of poor quality newsprint. And as CS says, it’s cheaper. And the bonus for a late-night owl like you is that the puzzles are available just after midnight!

      • Jane
        Posted September 27, 2015 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        I think you’re right, Chris. Also, it would mean that I wouldn’t have to suffer the back-pager sometimes not being on the back page and wouldn’t get my hands covered in that nasty print ‘stuff’.

  4. pedant
    Posted September 27, 2015 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Jane ref 5d. and Crypticsue. Hint should read reversal of IF?

    • crypticsue
      Posted September 27, 2015 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      Dear Pedant

      It now does – when I originally looked at the tiny print on my tablet I couldn’t see the missing I, but once I came up to the proper computer, all became clear.

      Best wishes


  5. jean-luc cheval
    Posted September 27, 2015 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    After learning about dowels, my lesson in carpentry continued today with 7a.
    Excellent Sunday crossword from Virgilius.
    Feel sorry about England losing….Not.
    Thanks to the maestro and to BD for the hints.

    • Jane
      Posted September 27, 2015 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the heads-up, JL. I’m not a rugby fan so didn’t know score but at least I now know to steer clear of some of my otherwise delightful Welsh neighbours for a while!

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted September 27, 2015 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        Hi Jane,
        Joking apart, it would be a real shame if the host country was to be eliminated by the Australians.

        • Jane
          Posted September 27, 2015 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

          If you say so…….

        • Angel
          Posted September 27, 2015 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

          Yes indeed – fingers crossed.

          • Angel
            Posted September 28, 2015 at 10:41 am | Permalink


  6. Jaycat
    Posted September 27, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Difficult for me but I slogged on and with the help of the hints finished it!. Enjoyable and learnt some new things. Not too sure about the wordplay for 11a though.
    Took ages to see the wordplay for 12a but got there in the end!

    Thanks to setter and BD

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted September 27, 2015 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jaycat,
      The wordplay is quite straightforward in 11a: Fighter=a three letter word for outstanding, the abbreviation for large and another verb meaning lean as in the tower of Pisa.

      • Jaycat
        Posted September 27, 2015 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        Hi jean-luc,

        Of course it is ! Couldn’t see the wood for the trees!


      • Jane
        Posted September 27, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        How come you’re allowed to give help without getting sent to the naughty corner?

        • jean-luc cheval
          Posted September 27, 2015 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

          As long as you explain the clues as BD’s hints, it’s acceptable.

          • Jane
            Posted September 27, 2015 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

            I didn’t know that! Maybe I’ll give it a whirl sometime but, knowing me, I’d overstep the mark and get put into detention.
            Hopefully, Franco is sufficiently on the ball to have understood my ‘non-hint’ anyway.

            • Franco
              Posted September 27, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

              Moi? Je ne comprends rien!


              • Jane
                Posted September 27, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

                Oh dear, Franco – thought I’d been so clever! Forget about the entire clue bar the last three words and then scroll back.

                • jean-luc cheval
                  Posted September 27, 2015 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

                  You, however are verging towards alternative clue territory but I suppose that what you said may refer to any of the following:

                  • Jane
                    Posted September 27, 2015 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

                    Ho hum – told you I’d get myself into trouble.
                    How about I follow your lead:- matter of luck = single letter abb. for lake + catcher of fish+ end of daY. I was going to describe the catcher of fish but thought that would definitely put me into the naughty corner!
                    By the way – some great quotes on the link you posted.

                    • jean-luc cheval
                      Posted September 27, 2015 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

                      Forrest Gump gets my vote.

  7. Expat Chris
    Posted September 27, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I made heavy weather of this one but sorted out all but 1D and 5D. Liked 12A. Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    PS. This page keeps jumping all over the place!

  8. Merusa
    Posted September 27, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    The usual delightful Virgilius offering again. I thought a tad more diddicult than the usual Sunday puzzle.
    Like ExpatChris, I needed the hint for 5d, missed it completely. I also needed BD’s explanation why my answer for 22d was correct, isn’t that clever?
    I had chosen 12a as my fave, but now I know the reasoning behind 22d, I think that has to be it.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for his hints.

  9. Robin Newman
    Posted September 27, 2015 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    found this one quite difficult but completed with aid of hints, for which thanks to BD and also to the setter

    liked 27A

  10. Framboise
    Posted September 27, 2015 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    First reading yielded nothing apart from the hidden clue in 8d so I knew I was going to have to battle it through and battle I did. Managed to crack it and enjoy it in the process. A great puzzle so many thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints – I needed the one for 22d to understand my answer. 3*/4.5* with 12a as favourite.

  11. Jane
    Posted September 27, 2015 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Going off subject – absolutely glorious harvest moon showing. Don’t think I can stay up long enough to see the eclipse but, with such clear skies, it’s very tempting.

    • Angel
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      It was an impressive sight. I’ve witnessed solar eclipses but this was a first for a lunar one. So glad my alarm woke me.

  12. Heno
    Posted September 27, 2015 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Big dave for the hints. A super puzzle as usual from virgilius, which I thought was more difficult than usual. managed without the hints, the SW corner was last to fall. I thought 13d was very clever, but favourite was 27a. last in was 21d. Was 3*/4* for me. Just wondering whether to set the alarm for 3am to see the eclipse.

  13. Hrothgar
    Posted September 27, 2015 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Grip I am losing.
    Had to check the ‘why’ of 22d.
    Feel an idiot.
    Many thanks Virgilius for a pleasant tussle and BD for the review.

  14. Jane
    Posted September 27, 2015 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Hi JL,
    Ran out of ‘thread’ but was going to say that I rather liked the Lou Holtz one – although I did have to ask Mr. Google who he was!

  15. Rabbit Dave
    Posted September 27, 2015 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Late on parade today. I found this was the hardest Sunday puzzle that I can remember, but nevertheless it was hugely enjoyable as always. My rating is 4*/5*, with far too many favourites to mention.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  16. Angel
    Posted September 27, 2015 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Too hard! I agree with you RD; I also found this very tough going and needed more hints than I can recall ever being the case previously. No Favs. Thanks Mysteron and BD although I have to admit to seeking additional help elsewhere. *****/***.

  17. Gwizz
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Yet another terrific crossword from the maestro! A real tussle, but eventually a great deal of pleasure derided from solving it. 13d was ultimately my favourite after I realised my first stab was wrong. 3/4* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius and BD.