ST 2816 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2816 (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    Power up favourite tool (6)
P(ower) followed by UP and a favourite

10a    Bring debts upon oneself, without interest (9)
Split as (5,4) this could mean to bring the usual debts upon oneself

11a    Noise, note, produced by little pig (5)
A note of the diatonic scale of C major followed by a little, usually the littlest, pig in a litter

13a    Run a little bit in tough competition (3,4)
R(un) followed by the A from the clue and a little bit or small amount

14a    Going West, East, North or South to flee with partner (5)
The reversal (going West in an across clue) of E(ast) followed by something that can be North or South

18a    Crazy and miserable situation that Brazil is in (8)
A four-letter adjective meaning crazy followed by a miserable situation gives somewhere one might find a Brazil

28a    It’s included before end of term for joyful excitement (8)
Insert IT just before the end of the name of a term at some universities

29a    Tight and painful, in a way? Said differently (6)
These two definitions are heteronyms (words which have the same spelling but are pronounced differently and have different meanings) – the first means tight as in mean or miserly


1d    Captured soldier or sniper maltreated (8)
An anagram (maltreated) of OR SNIPER

2d    Informally photograph as accordingly famous artist (7)
An informal three-letter word for a photograph followed by AS from the clue and a word meaning accordingly

3d    Perfect English kings hiding nothing? Not so (9)
E(nglish) followed by three of the Latin abbreviations for king around O (nothing) and finally a word meaning not so, as in not so much

7d    Bravery shown by Conservative, like peers we have (7)
C(onservative) followed by a phrase (3,3) meaning like peers which we have

8d    Lower number upset that woman — name different kind of number (6)
Two separate sets of wordplay for this adjective meaning lower, particularly when applied to a region – a) the reversal (upset in a down clue) of a three-letter number followed by a pronoun meaning “that woman” and b) N(ame) followed by a different kind of number i.e. one that makes someone feel number

9d    Round-table discussions in morning might collapse quickly (5,9)
A charade of might or strength followed by a verb meaning to collapse and an adverb meaning quickly

17d    Bishop and I attempt to end gang activity (8)
B(ishop) followed by AND from the clue, I from the clue and an attempt at the end

24d    Female removed from ash, elder, or other tree (5)
Drop (removed) the female pronoun from inside the first two trees to get a third

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 Dakota Johnson (26) and Susan Sarandon (69)


  1. Expat Chris
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Another lovely Virgilius puzzle. I particularly liked 8D. Very clever. Thanks Virgilius, and thanks to BD for the review. Not needed today but always appreciated.

    • Merusa
      Posted October 4, 2015 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Hope you are not getting washed away by Joaquín.

      • Expat Chris
        Posted October 4, 2015 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for asking! No. It moved on out to sea, fortunately. We’ve had plenty of rain, but nothing untoward.

  2. dutch
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    This was a very straightforward puzzle with well written clues (very well written, I thought, e.g. 9d) which should be great fun for beginners. It was pretty much a write-in for me, which is very rare – I entered almost all of the across clues before starting to look at the down clues using the checkers – by that time, of course, the down clues were straightforward too. Strangely, that didn’t seem to make much difference to the solving time – I guess it just takes me a long time to read and write. I don’t know how the speed solvers do it.

    I didn’t know the term in 28a, but the answer was clear.

    Many thanks setter and BD for review

  3. Wahoo
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    For some reason, which I cant put my finger on this morning, last night this didn’t seem quite as good as V’s usual offerings but it was still very enjoyable. Edging into 2**/3***. 13a looked like being the favourite until 8d, which was the last one in, so that gets my vote. Many thanks Virgilius.

    In the region, Hurricane Joaquin seems to have caused major problems in the Bahamas and is now on its way to Bermuda, so prayers for all those affected. It looks like the UK will get the remnants as a storm sometime at the end of this week!

  4. Una
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    I did it last night and had very few problems.Thanks Virgilius and BD.

  5. neveracrossword
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Wahoo – I did not think this was quite up to the usual outstanding standard for a Sunday – perhaps because it took me some time to xxxxxxx! Favourite clue was 8d – again, I’m with Wahoo. Thank you BD and Virgilius.

    • Franco
      Posted October 4, 2015 at 1:33 pm | Permalink


      Have you ever before been in the Naughty Corner? It can be an enjoyable experience … depends on which cakes are on offer (if any)

  6. jean-luc cheval
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Funny how opinions can differ.
    I thought this was one of the best Virgilius crossword with some clever construction.
    In fact, too many to mention.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the blog.

  7. Kath
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear – I thought this was really difficult but from the comments so far it looks as if it’s just me having a dim day!
    I couldn’t get the first word of 9d – never heard the expression but, having read the hint, I should have got it from the clue.
    I didn’t understand 7d either – failed to see the 3,3 phrase.
    I only saw the first interpretation of 8d.
    Missed one of the hidden answers – 25a was my last answer.
    I don’t understand my 6d – I’m pretty sure it must be “correct” (no time for naughty corner today) but I really can’t see what it’s got to do with ‘punch’ – I get the other bit.
    Not my day – this sounds as if I didn’t enjoy the crossword – I did but just had a real battle and it’s taken me ages.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to BD.
    It looks as if this is going to be our last lovely day for a while so off to enjoy the sun and do some stuff in the garden.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted October 4, 2015 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      :phew: It’s reassuring to know that I’m not the only to have struggled with 6d!

  8. Rabbit Dave
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    3*/5*. In a word, excellent!

    As Jean-Luc says there are too many very clever clues to list them all. Fortunately I was familiar with the obscure term used in the construction of 28a.

    I expect that I am being completely stupid but, apart from “as opposed to port”, I can’t xxxxxxx the wordplay fully for 6d. Can anyone help please without risking the naughty corner?

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    • Franco
      Posted October 4, 2015 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      And another one off to the Naughty Corner!

      • Jane
        Posted October 4, 2015 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        I think his long, floppy ears must have pricked up at your suggestion of the possibility of cakes in there! Actually, I don’t think CS would allow that.

    • Franco
      Posted October 4, 2015 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      6d – Punch as in xxxxxxxxxxx

      • Kath
        Posted October 4, 2015 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Franco – I was thinking of xxxxxxxxx!

        • Franco
          Posted October 4, 2015 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

          What’s wrong with “xxxxxx”?

          Others have said “xxxxxxx” ? [not any more they haven’t! cs]

          • Posted October 4, 2015 at 6:12 pm | Permalink


            The second word you mentioned only becomes a problem when you point it out, as you have done repeatedly. Please stop looking for problems unless you want to join oddjob in having all your comments subjected to moderation.

            • Franco
              Posted October 4, 2015 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

              Farewell !


              • Kath
                Posted October 4, 2015 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

                No – come back, please – I’d miss you and I think that lots of others would too.
                BD’s not being nasty – he’s only trying to stop other people complaining that too much is given away on Prize Puzzle days.

                • pommers
                  Posted October 4, 2015 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

                  I’ve never understood this “too much being given away”. BD has “given away” 4 answers today via the pics and then given hints for 12 other clues that are so clear that you’d need to be a moron not to get the answers. That’s 16 out of 30 clues. Why does it make a jot of difference if some punters give away a bit more?

                  Other sites don’t say anything about prize puzzles until after the close date, which I think is the correct approach. I sometimes wonder if there’s a hidden agenda that I don’t know wot of . . . ?

                  • Merusa
                    Posted October 4, 2015 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

                    When Greek meets Greek?

    • Maeve
      Posted October 4, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Permalink


      [Edited by CS because the comment strayed far too far into Red Box territory – for future guidance, if you say things like ‘isn’t it’ or ‘think of’ you are definitely going to get redacted!!]

      • Kath
        Posted October 4, 2015 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        You need to be a bit careful about what you put in comments on Saturdays and Sundays because they’re prize puzzles – you’ll be in the naughty corner before you have time to turn round!

      • spindrift
        Posted October 4, 2015 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        …and there’s nothing like being redacted by Cryptic Sue on a sunny autumn afternoon, believe me…

        • crypticsue
          Posted October 4, 2015 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      • Maeve
        Posted October 4, 2015 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        So sorry. I wont do it again I promise.

        • crypticsue
          Posted October 4, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          Don’t cry Maeve – we’ve all done it at some time over the years.

        • Kath
          Posted October 4, 2015 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

          Some of us have done it quite a few more times than others – I’m not promising to never do it again mainly because I’m pretty sure I will – not on purpose but sometimes it just happens!

    • crypticsue
      Posted October 4, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      Just because the sun is shining and there’s rugby on the telly (again!) don’t think you aren’t being watched. I did make a large lemon cake this morning but it isn’t for Naughty Corner people, its gone in the freezer with the other four I made ‘earlier’ ready for my Wear it Pink cake event in a couple of weeks’ time.

  9. Kitty
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Lovely Sunday crossword once again with no single favourite, just plenty of smiles. I would have had trouble with 28a, but my solving partner knew the term. Yay for teamwork! Thanks to V and BD.

  10. Jaycat
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Another enjoyable weekend puzzle. Lots of smiles, trouble with a few but electronic help sorted them. 3*\3*.

    Thanks setter and BD

  11. Young Salopian
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    We’ve come to expect excellence from Virgilus and this is right up there with the best. I particularly liked 5d, and completed it while watching the Merseyside derby, so I wasn’t concentrating too hard. I still rated this as 3/4. Thanks to our setter and BD for his hard work.

  12. stanXYZ
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    The wordplay for 6d is beyond my comprehension. Can anyone help, please!

    • Angel
      Posted October 4, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      You’re obviously not a boxer!

      • Brian
        Posted October 4, 2015 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        I get the boxer bit but not the aeroplane ref.

        • Angel
          Posted October 4, 2015 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

          Nautics as well as aeronautics come into it.

  13. Merusa
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Wotta lotta naughty corners today. Pull your socks up, peeps!
    I always love Virgilius’s puzzles and this was no exception.
    I had to look up the word in 28a, though I think I did come across it many moons ago in a crossword.
    Fave? Now that is difficult. I did love 9d and 14a, but many great clues.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints.

  14. Graham Wall
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    I have been in deep doldrums all day and not been very sociable, the England result last night has to take the blame. Anyway, after taking my mind off things by putting up some shelves I turned my attention to the puzzle. What a tonic it has been! Very enjoyable, lots of good clues and totally doable. I would rate this as 1.5/4.5 Thanks to BD for the review. I did not get a call from Stuart Lancaster but, hey, life goes on!

    • Michael
      Posted October 4, 2015 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      It was a miserable performance, I think there will be big changes in the Coaching setup for England – Lancaster is patently not up to the job and will disappear back to the obscurity he came from. Lots a bad decisions, not least picking Burgess when he doesn’t even know the rules/laws and not picking the French-based players.

      Anyway, this puzzle was very enjoyable – not too difficult but good fun.

  15. Vancouverbc
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    What a splendid crossword. ***/*****. Tricky but fair with so many good clues. We have another day of our Indian summer but should be in for torrential rain by the end of the week, thank goodness. Thanks to all.

  16. Angel
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    For my part only moderately entertaining and unfortunately it didn’t really relieve chagrin after last night’s sad episode at Twickers. Managed without too much aggro but failed to parse 9d and am not keen on 26a. SW corner last to go in. Thanks Virgilius and BD. ***/**.

  17. Brian
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed this one except for 3D which I thought was weak.
    Did like 18a and 4a especially. For me so much nicer than yesterday’s puzzle which was not at all to my taste.
    Still don’t see the aeroplane reference in 6d although the answer is plain.
    Thx to all

  18. Gwizz
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    A slightly (only slightly!) less tricky Sunday puzzle from the maestro. Still providing great pleasure to do with a number of excellent clues. My favourite was 17d simply because it read well. 3/4* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for his hints.

  19. Hrothgar
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant crossword, too many excellent clues to single one out.
    From 3d, I now understand the alternative for its last part.
    It’s cropped up many times before but until now I’ve never really understood, laziness on my part.
    Many thanks Virgilius and BD for the review.

  20. Salty Dog
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Another cracker from the Sunday maestro! Completed in (upper) 2* time, but 4* for satisfaction thus derived. 18a gets my vote for top clue, but l rather liked 13a as well. Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD for the hints.

  21. Framboise
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Lovely puzzle with too many good clues for me to pick a favourite – perhaps 18a? Like Kath I do not quite understand why my 6d is ‘xxxxx’but it has to be with the checked letters. Am I going to be in the naughty corner I wonder… Many thanks to Virgilius and ot BD for the hints. 2*/4*. Terrible floods last night next door to us in the Alpes Maritimes – in Mandelieu where my parents live for many years. Luckily we were spared in the Var.

    • Hrothgar
      Posted October 4, 2015 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      The word ‘upset’ in the clue is very important.
      I don’t think I qualify for the Naughty Corner.