ST 2818 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2818 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Hello, back again while the boss is elsewhere gallivanting and partying like it’s 1762.

Certainly a bit of a sterner challenge than yesterday’s but a very enjoyable puzzle from one of my favourite setter.  Probably the best hint I can offer today is “read the clue and break it up into pieces, nothing is ever wasted”.

In reply to a question yesterday, the clues I choose for selection are the ones that I think will cause most trouble for solvers.  I tend to leave the anagrams because they are fairly straightforward as long as you spot them.  Look for words that imply movement and the phrase next to that will be the one to be unscrambled.

Another idea for the newer solver is to buy an A-Z index book or a file with A-Z dividers and on paper ruled down the middle build a dictionary of standard words used in crosswords that have slightly different meanings, e.g.  ‘banker’ can mean river,  ‘or’ can refer to gold, and so on.  A number of newer solvers on another blog have done that while they get to grips with the easier cryptic puzzle in another paper.

Apologies for the picture problem yesterday, I’m posting on animal so it looks like it may not like the pictures I use.  I have tried a different source today, but have put a description in the clue concerned to help if they don’t appear.

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  Take it from chum — our lesson’s not funny (10)
One of our Sunday setter’s trademark clues.  He can hide words in the most innocuous sentences and here’s good example.  If you look hard, you’ll see the answer!

9a  Title that could make me a lord (7)
Actually, the whole clue defines this as well, which is why it’s so clever.  The name for a title of the peerage is an anagram of ME A LORD.

10a  Endlessly respect everyone, being top man on board (7)
The name for the head man on a ship is made up of a word meaning to respect and one meaning everyone, both wothour their final letter.

15a  Would-be moneymaker having chest covered with gold (8)
The name for someone who hopes to make money by putting cash into a new business, is how you might describe someone with their chest warm (as Mr R .C. Nesbitt below), add to this a standard crossword word for gold.

19a  Child liable to be beaten with stout stick (6)
Here are two more words you could put in that dictionary I mentioned above.  A word for a naughty child (we don’t encourage violence here!) or a mischievous pixie, has the name for a type of stout added to it.  This gives you a word meaning to stick.

24a  Outside hospital, unattached piece of roof (7)
The name for part of a roof (Rosemary Clooney and Shakin’ Stevens didn’t have time to fix it in This Ole House) is a word meaning unattached, not married and inside it goes the one-letter abbreviation for a hospital.

26a  Legislative body reduced fare (4)
The name for an old legislative body (Martin Luther had trouble with one based in the town of Worms) is also what you are on if you eat low-fat food.

27a  Group seen playing I kept in and reprimanded (10)
This is a wordsum clue where if you break it down correctly it will equal the definition so:
A Group (of actors) (4) + I (1) +  kept inside (by means of a hinged door) (5)  =  reprimanded (10).


1d  Pay attention to four-letter word included by the editor (4)And another hidden answer.  This time look for a four letter word hidden in the phrase ‘the editor’ that means to pay attention to something.

2d  French officer post-war planner listened to or cut short (7)
Another quite clever clue.  The name of a title used in France is also the surname of a famous post-war American who proposed aid to countries, called Lend-Lease I think, but his version of the name is a bit longer hence a soundalike or with the last letter missing.

3d  Covered by and contained within smart agreement (13)
This was one of those clues where I wrote the answer in and went back to figure how it works and had more trouble fathoming it out!  A word for tacit agreement is made of a way of saying something is covered by another item, e.g. something covered by insurance.  Add to this a word that means smart or what a wasp does when angry with the word ‘and’ inside.

5d  Namely, object about note that’s extremely critical (8)
If you’ve decided to start the Dictionary mentioned above, here’s one to go in.  There’s an old Latin word ‘scilicet’ used in legal documents and it means namely, and in legal jargon it’s often abbreviated to the first two letters. it’s a godsend to crossword setters to indicate two awkward letters that often appear together. Add to this a five letter word for an object and insert one of the six one-letter names for notes [the first one!] and hey presto! a word meaning extremely critical.

8d  Thus illuminated sign for people living alone (10)
Hadn’t heard of these, so I guess it’s one of those newer buzzwords that’s in the dictionary.  The name for people who are single is made up of this word sum:-
Thus (2) + illuminated (3) + sign of the zodiac (5) = people living along (10)

11d  Captain being careful and expertly steering (13)
And another word sum:
Another word for the captain of a ship (6) + being careful or tending (7) = expertly steering (13)
Or it could mean someone in a big black chair I suppose……

[I was younger, bigger and hairier!]

13d  Expressed regret in article composed about record (10)
A word meaning expressed regret is made up of A (article) + a word for a journal [think Captain Kirk] inside one which means assured, calm or composed.

18d  A sinner’s behaviour, including extremes of anger or greed (7)
A word for greed, one of the seven deadly sins, is made up of the first and last letters of AngeR inside A + how a sinner may describe their behaviour.

21d Bird left, trapped (6)
The name for a song bird is made up of L (for left) and how it may be trapped (and sadly often is in certain countries).

23d  The speaker had briefly spoken and made observations (4)
How someone who spoke could say they had something is a homophone of a four-letter word meaning observed or looked at.

Right, off you go!  See you next Saturday.  Apologies if the birthdays below are wrong, I am sure someone will correct it.

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.

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Today it’s Happy Birthday to Chuck “Crazy Legs” Berry (89)
 Don’t miss Chuck doing his famous Duck Walk at 1:18  Here Chuck sings his best-known song



  1. Jaycat
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle and the hints supplied by Tilsit. As a relative beginner I will be making up my dictionary of these crossword words as advised above.
    Loved the wordplay and clever double meanings in this puzzle, there were lots of “doh” moments. There were just the right amount of anagrams used too.

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit.


  2. Nev
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    A fairly gentle walk in the park for this today, with only 5d holding me up. – thanks to the setter and Tilsit for the clues. For me 2*/3*.

  3. Rabbit Dave
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    2*/4*. Another fine Sunday puzzle. The SE corner was the last to yield with 19a and the second part of 11d being my last ones in. Lots of great clues to choose from with 23d winning my vote as favourite.

    Although easily derivable from the wordplay, I wasn’t previously aware of the specific meanings for the answers to 24a (piece of roof) & 4d (unwanted furniture etc).

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Tilsit.

  4. dutch
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Another Sunday treat. I very much liked 17a “Second in class, deserving scholarship” and 22a “Kind of field changed to a vital grain”. And plenty more.

    Many thanks Tilsit for the great review and thank you Virgilius.

  5. Jo
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Great puzzle today. Have noted the 2 letter abbreviation for namely, thanks Tilsit. Have finished (I think) but can’t for the life of me see why 16d is what I’ve got so can anyone explain the wordplay so I know if I’m right or not?

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      It’s a plain Anagram.

      • Jo
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        Ah course it is! I was thinking American could be am & that threw me. . . Feeling a bit stupid now! Thanks Jean-luc.

  6. jean-luc cheval
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    The last two on the bottom line took a longer while to solve than the rest.
    Liked 2d of course and 15a made me laugh.
    Congratulations to Tilsit for his performance on the black chair.
    Thanks to him and to Virgilius.
    Rainy day today. Very quiet in town. All the weekend crosswords are done. Even Paul’s prize in the G. Might have a go at Miss Mepham’s GK. I have a pile of Saturday Weekend supplement lying around. That should make a change.

    • tilsit
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      You could have a go at my Indy GK Jumbo!

      • Hilary
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        I love GK crosswords please give me a clue how to find it.

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        I have tried everything but it doesn’t seem to be available online.

  7. Una
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    26a and 27a were not my last in , that honour went to 4d after a number of attempts.
    I also liked 1a, 14a, and 11d. I didn’t like 19a.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to Tilsit .

  8. Paso Doble
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    As always, a really enjoyable puzzle from our favourite setter, Virgilius. Tilsit mentions that the wordplay always fits into place with nothing wasted. Quite true!
    So, thanks to both of you.
    Half of Paslo Doble went to the George yesterday but only had the time to say ‘Hello’ to BD and Don Manley. I’ve always wondered whether the Don has ever
    written a clue with tendons as the answer because he seems to have as many pseudonyms for his various crosswords.
    Big Dave can never remember who is Paso, or indeed Doble.
    Our real names are Rick and Dulcie.

    We’re looking forward to the proper ‘bash’ by the canal in January.

  9. stanXYZ
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Yet another Sunday delight from Virgilius!

    I wonder where Mr Greer is watching the rugby? Come on Ireland!

  10. Robin Newman
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 1:33 pm | Permalink


    Thanks to Tilsit for informative hints, & to setter

    answer to 12A appeared in the Quickie the other day-Naughty Corner ?

  11. Young Salopian
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Virgilus has done it again, coming up with another little gem. I completed it while watching Ireland struggle in the first half against Argentina. With England and now Wales knocked out, the options for supporting a home nation are somewhat diminished. I cannot see Scotland overcoming Australia, so it would be good to see Ireland drag it back to ensure the four semi-finalists are not all from the Southern Hemisphere.

    2/4 for this puzzle, with thanks to Tilsit and Virgilus. I think I only detected one clue that was wrong on the iPad version, (16d), shown as an eight letter word, not 2,6.

  12. neveracrossword
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    A pleasant Sunday stroll. Thank you Virgilius and Tilsit.

  13. stanXYZ
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Tilsit – which birthdays? (Have I missed something?)

    I’ll go for the mixed double pairing of:-

    Miss Martina Navratilova (59 today) & Mr Michael Stich (47 today)

  14. mary
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for blog Tilsit and for putting me straight on 15a, I thought I was looking for a four letter word for chest in the middle of a two letter word for covered and the abbreviation for gold, thought it was a strange word for chest too!!!

  15. Ora Meringue
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Great hints, Tilsit. Thank you.
    Managed this one without them, except for some unravelling of 15a. (Never been too keen on Rab C ).
    Thanks to the setter too.

  16. Iain F
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Bet Jo thought ‘American’ in 16d was Inca, and couldn’t figure out how the rest of the clue was constructed – if so, so did I! Took ages to see the anagram.

  17. Andrew
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    I think there must be a problem with 16 down on the iPad – can anyone help?

    • Physicist
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      As YS comments above, it’s (2,6), not (8).

    • crypticsue
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      The solution to 16d is 2, 6 – does that help you sort out the clue?

      • Andrew
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for that – when is the Telegraph going to sort out their app??? ?

        • Kitty
          Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

          If history is anything to go by, it will be reasonably sorted by just around the point that the DT team decide that a whole new re-design is needed.

  18. Merusa
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    I have never been disappointed with a Virgilius puzzle and this is no exception. I cannot choose a favourite, they are all so good. His clues are always so clear and there are no outlandish answers.
    I did need your hints, Tilsit, for the “why” of 5d; quite right, I should remember that abbreviation.
    I remembered 4d from a song in the 1960s when I lived there, but I can’t remember who the singer was.
    Thanks to Virgilius for the fun, and to Tilsit for the hints and for standing in for BD while he enjoys the revels.

    • Posted October 18, 2015 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      I remember it! It was by the late great Lonnie Donegan. A visit to Google should find a video for you.

      • Merusa
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        Well done! That was sooooo long ago! Thanks.

  19. Vancouverbc
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    **/**** for me. Very enjoyable with my favourite clues being 1&10a and 16d, because I spent too long trying to fit the usual abbreviation for American into the answer. How simple once I got the check characters. Thanks to all for an enjoyable stroll on a Sunday morning.

  20. Hilary
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr G and Tilsit for cheering up a grotty day in Suffolk. For some unknown reason my brain was in sync with this and no electronic help was required. Too many lovely clues to risk picking a favourite but 1a made me smile.

    • Jane
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      I reckon it’s those new specs, Hilary.

  21. Heno
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to virgilius and to Tilsit for the review and hints. A very enjoyable, but quite tricky puzzle from the Sunday setter. Just needed the hints to parse 5d. Favourite was 21d, because the only new car I ever bought was named after it. Was 3*/4* for me.

  22. Kitty
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Solved on paper today because the **app did not want to play at all. I’ve put it into the naughty corner where it can have a good hard think about all the aggravation it’s causing. It joins my phone which decided to stop working yesterday too.

    Anyway, the crossword. Lovely stuff. Just needed help to explain 2d (grr). The beginning of 5d and the legislative body of 26a were teetering on the edge of my memory ready to drop into the abyss, so am glad to have been given the reminders.

    Thanks to Virgilius and Tilsit.

  23. Salty Dog
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Another first-class Sunday puzzle, which l managed a whisker inside 1* time (4.5* for enjoyment). So many good clues to pick from, but my favourite is 27a. Thanks to Virgilius – long may he/she maintain this standard – and to Tilsit for the hints ( albeit none required on this occasion).

  24. Florence
    Posted October 19, 2015 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    Just finished the prize puzzles for yesterday and today. All very enjoyable after a busy but absolutely splendid weekend. Only sad thing was the final score of the Scotland v Australia game. Definitely should have been a scrum down at the end. Thanks to the setter, and to Tilsit for holding the fort so well.

  25. Gwizz
    Posted October 19, 2015 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Argh! I forgot to comment on completing this puzzle yesterday! My brain is hurting.
    A lovely crossword from The Man. My fave was 11d but there were several contenders. 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Tilsit for fort holding.