ST 2820 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2820 (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 as “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    House upset with MP, new and unsophisticated (8)
An anagram (upset) of HOUSE MP N(ew)

10a    Problem around university affected fellow (6)
A problem or riddle around U(niversity)

12a    Sight on coast castaway genius in distress (6,8)
An anagram (in distress) of CASTAWAY GENIUS

19a    Play stopped early for wee drink (4)
Another word for a play without its final letter (stopped early)

20a    Child actor as exiled prince (5,9)
This could describe a child who acts, but it was actually a prince who had a claim to the British throne

25a    Engaged in change of course in storm (6)
A two-letter word meaning engaged in followed by a verb meaning to change the course of a sailing ship

27a    Western half of very pleasant World Heritage Site (6)
The left (western in an across clue) half of VE[ry] followed by an adjective meaning pleasant

28a    Lacking room to grow, best put back before spring (3-5)
The reversal (put back) of an adjective meaning best followed by a verb meaning to spring or leap


1d    Part of our capital accordingly goes on house (4)
A two-letter word meaning accordingly followed by (goes on in a down clue) HO(use)

2d    Number crossing river, one that rises in Wales (6)
Spell out a one-digit number and put it around R(iver) to get a river that rises in Wales – and passes within two miles of where I live!

4d    Crazy artists in Indian city now recalled (6)
An adjective meaning crazy followed by the usual artists gives the former name (now recalled) of the Indian city where Rishi lives

5d    Upheld agreement to marry, after wife’s demonstrated subservience (8)
The reversal (upheld in a down clue) of a two-letter word of agreement then the TO from the clue and a verb meaning to marry, the latter components being preceded by W(ife)

8d    Reading‘s certainly held up by friend (7)
The reversal (up in a down clue) of a four-letter interjection meaning certainly inside (held … by) a friend

13d    One or two, very unusually, found in academics’ dwelling (5,5)
An anagram (unusually) of I (one) OR TWO VERY

18d    Like final man to leave, survive (7)
Split as (3,4) this could describe the final man to leave the cricket field

22d    Switch position after somebody else produces idea (6)
One of the two positions of a switch preceded by a phrase (3,1) that describes someone else

26d    In speech, philosopher is unable  to use specialised language (4)
This word that sounds like (in speech) the surname of a German philosopher is defined as “is unable” (3’1) and to use specialised language (4)

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 Gary Player (80)


  1. JonP
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    The usual well clued and enjoyable puzzle from Virgilius that I found to be towards the easier end of his spectrum. Thanks to BD and Virgilius */****

    • neveracrossword
      Posted November 1, 2015 at 2:07 pm | Permalink


      • crypticsue
        Posted November 1, 2015 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        I’d say the same apart from my issues with 26d which I have explained in my (just drafted) review but can’t say any more here as I have to remain out of the NC in order to help Mr CS with garden stuff.

  2. Cryptor
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Some lovely clues, favourite 16d. Sadly, over all too soon. Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  3. jean-luc cheval
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Applied BD’s rule of solving corner after corner. Didn’t have much choice as they were quite separate from each other.
    And the SE took a bit longer.
    The usual high standards from the Sunday setter.
    Thanks to Virgilius for the puzzle and to BD for the blog.
    Congratulations to the All Blacks and hope Ma’a Nonu will perform as well on his return to Toulon.
    Not forgetting Giteau and Mitchell of course.

  4. Young Salopian
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    This was yet another little gem in what has become a regular feature on Sunday. Engaging, fun and enjoyable, with just the right amount of head-scratchers to make it a tad tougher. I’ll mark it 2/4 on that basis, with thanks to Virgilius and BD for his review.

    Wasn’t the RWC final a great match and wonderful viewing? One missed forward pass and a slightly dodgy yellow card aside, it was terrific entertainment, and the best side undoubtedly won. Rather scarily, a fair number of them will be playing against Wasps on the 22nd for Toulon.

    • Crack On
      Posted November 1, 2015 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Ditto. V never fails and what a great match.?

  5. Jezza
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    The first crossword I have looked at for a while, and as always for a Sunday, very enjoyable.
    2*/4* for me – Last one in 5d, favourite clue 22d.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

    • pommers
      Posted November 1, 2015 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jezza, long time no see as it were.

      How goes it in Valencia? Very windy here today but sunny and warm.

      • Jezza
        Posted November 1, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        Hi pommers

        We’re all fine thanks, just been unbelievably busy the last 3 months or so with never ending paperwork and form filling etc…
        The temperature has dropped the last few days, but I am still happy at 23/24C as a daily average :)

        • pommers
          Posted November 1, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

          Ah, Spanish bureaucracy, tell me about it!

          As you will have found out by now this film is all too real

          • Jezza
            Posted November 1, 2015 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

            As for the NIE…. 2 hours queuing in the road outside the police station, followed by 3 hours inside the police station to submit the form, and then the same the following week to collect the NIE. In our case on one occasion, after the 2 hour wait in the road, the long file of people lining the pavement were told that only 30 (of the 200 or so waiting) were going to be allowed into the building… the rest come back tomorrow!

            • pommers
              Posted November 1, 2015 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

              Spain’s a great place to live but sometimes they don’t make it easy!

              • Jezza
                Posted November 1, 2015 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

                You’re right – it is a great place to live; the paperwork is a minor inconvenience.

          • Angel
            Posted November 1, 2015 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

            Love it!

      • Merusa
        Posted November 1, 2015 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        Another one who has disappeared is Tantalus in Boston.

  6. Gwizz
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    This was by Virgilius? My goodness, he is being gentle! I found this to be an amiable solve with some nice but hardly demanding clues. 5d was my favourite as I haven’t heard that word used in a crossword for a while. 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for his hints.

  7. Una
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    The gentler side of Virgilius today. I had heard of 26d, for geographical reasons, probably the same geographical reason that makes it familiar to Virgilius. 20a is my favourite . Thanks to all concerned.

  8. Heno
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave, quite gentle but most enjoyable. Favourite was 22d. Penultimate in was 26d, seemed a bit strange. Last in was 28a. Was 1*/3* for me.

  9. Vancouverbc
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    **/****. Very enjoyable if not overly stretching. Well done to the all blacks who excelled once again. And what about Everton – where did that result come from?!!! Thanks to the setter and BDfor the review.

  10. Merusa
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Agreed, Virgilius in a very gentle mood today.
    My last one in was 9a, I just bunged in an answer that fit. It’s probably too easy for a hint.
    My fave was 20a, loved it.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints.

  11. Paso Doble
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    We sailed through three-quarters of this lovely puzzle but got a bit bogged down towards the end and needed BD’s help on 5d. Some really great clues – especially liked 20a. Certainly not a * for us. Many thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  12. Salty Dog
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    1*/3* by my reckoning, very much at the gentle end of the Virgilius oeuvre. 5d and 25a vie for favouritism. Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD for the hints – albeit not needed.

  13. Florence
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    If it wasn’t a prize puzzle I would make a comment about 28a, but lips have to be sealed. Don’t want to spend Sunday evening in the naughty corner. Favourite 20a, and 19a very appealing. 2*/3*. Thanks to setter and to BD.

  14. Angel
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    South fell into place before North but overall this wasn’t too testing which I appreciated Virgilius as I spent lot of day tidying up in the garden having thankfully cut grass (last time?) when dry earlier in the week. Can’t say I knew what the namesake looked like so thanks BD/CS for review. No pinpointed Favs. ***/**.

  15. GMY
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Am I the only person struggling on 21d?

    • Posted November 1, 2015 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog GMY

      The answer to your question is probably!

      21d Good parties providing wine from Bordeaux (6)
      G(ood) followed by some wild parties

    • Florence
      Posted November 1, 2015 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the site GMY.

  16. GMY
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Thanks not a strong wine lover. Finished now!

  17. Drapdor
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    I liked 19a and 26d, 11a was nice too.
    Was pleased when I got 28a and (finally!) 22d, as these seemed tricky to me.
    There are some where I don’t quite get the clue yet, though I eventually came up with the answer, e.g. 16d.
    My last to go in was 15a.
    A real struggle to find where the puzzle is in the paper – is this part of the challenge?!
    Thank you to the setter and BD and to everyone for the welcome yesterday.

    • Posted November 1, 2015 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      16d Reminder of place over in US that’s been transformed (8)
      A cleverly concealed anagram (that’s been transformed) of OVER IN US

  18. Drapdor
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Thank you! Much appreciated.

    • Posted November 1, 2015 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      If you click the reply button it keeps the thread together (like this one).

  19. Airhead
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    last clue 4 down, and even with the help, can’t believe how thick I was when I finally got it!

    • Posted November 1, 2015 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Airhead

      • Airhead
        Posted November 1, 2015 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

        Thank you. Excellent blog to feed my cryptic obsession.

    • Hanni
      Posted November 1, 2015 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

      Welcome from me too.

  20. Kath
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 11:24 pm | Permalink Not the crossword, just the day so very late doing the crossword and turning up here.
    Went for a wonderful long walk this morning with a friend and her lovely young Collie – we went to my favourite bit of Oxford – I know we’re spoilt with the colleges etc but give me Port Meadow any time – specially on a morning like today – mist – and then the sun coming through, the river etc . . .
    Right – now the crossword – by the time I’d got that far I’d come home from walk, done the ironing, cut 1/2 acre of grass, cooked and eaten supper – if I could do it having done that lot I’d say that it was a fairly gentle Virgilius.
    My last answer was 7a – totally missed the anagram – also missed the anagram in 16d but had no trouble with the hidden lurkers today.
    I think my favourite was 5d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to BD.
    Knackered night night all.