ST 2824 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2824 (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:


1a    Times, reprinted badly, read wrongly (14)
An anagram (badly) of TIMES REPRINTED

10a    Put out book with line I added in press (7)
B(ook), L(ine) and the I from the clue inside a verb meaning to press or shove

11a    Work in garden, with no tree or bush to prune, finally (3)
In this typical Virgilius clue, a verb meaning to work in the garden with a particular implement comes from the final letters of each of two groups of three words, thus doubling your chances of finding it

12a    For amusement, painting etc, in a manner of speaking (11)
The reversal (take back) of a four-letter plural word meaning painting etc. inside a manner of speaking

14a    Type  scientific publication (6)
Two definitions – the second being a British scientific journal

17a    Sound of nocturnal hunter, initially from small branch (8)
The sound made by a nocturnal hunting bird is preceded (initially) by a three-letter word meaning from or away and S(mall)

22a    Repeated failure in court, conceding point (6,5)
… this court is a tennis court

27a    Clubs chat about what diners require — good reason not to buy something (11,3)
C(lubs) and a three-letter word meaning to chat or discuss around fitness to be eaten (what diners require) and G(ood)


1d    Doctor harming records, resulting in dismissal (8,6)
An anagram (doctor) of HARMING RECORDS gives a phrase meaning dismissal from employment

2d    Third part in examination might be least hard (7)
Split as (1,2,4) this describes the third letter (part) of the four-letter word meaning examination

4d    Nominally important role, so to speak, in modern establishment (6)
What sounds like (so to speak) an important role in an Oscar Wilde play is hidden (in) inside the clue

7d    English scholar including it with current version (7)
E(nglish) and a university scholar around (including) IT and the symbol used for electric current

8d    University position — risks pinning list up with it (14)
Some risks around (pinning) the reversal (up in a down clue) of a list or register all followed by an adjective meaning “with it”

18d    Bat, making fine half-century, say (7)
This verb meaning to bat, one’s eyelids perhaps, comes from a charade of F(ine), a half-century in Roman numerals and a verb meaning to say

20d    Man checked, holding one place for author (7)
Put this man that can be checked in a popular board game around (holding) I (one) and PL(ace) to get the surname of a famous author

25d    Sign agreement Mafia boss (3)
The sign of agreement comes from the reversal (set up in a down clue) of a Mafia boss

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 Ryan Giggs (42)
Image result for Ryan Giggs


  1. Una
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I appear to be the first to comment. Either I have made leaps and bounds in solving crosswords (I don’t think so ) or this was relatively easy.Still highly enjoyable.
    Lots of likes , including 12a, 16d and 22a.
    With thanks to Virgilius.

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    3*/5*. Absolutely first rate as we’ve come to expect every Sunday. I needed BD’s hint to parse the typically Virgilian 2d fully. Many thanks to both Virgilius and to BD.

  3. Young Salopian
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    These last few Sunday puzzles deserve to be hanging on the walls of the National Gallery as they real works of art. This is another excellent example of the genius that is Virgilius. 2*/4* from me with grateful thanks to both the aforementioned and BD.

  4. Graham Wall
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I found this to be a bit of a grind. However I am glad I persevered because when the light shone through it showed that this is a puzzle which has not let the Sunday standard down. I would gauge this as a 2.5/4 No smilers today but I did particularly like 3D. Thanks to BD for the blog.

  5. stanXYZ
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    2d – I always wonder why this sort of indirect cluing is permissible … but not indirect anagrams. Hmmm?

    27a – Is this the first ever “clunky” clue from Virgilius?

  6. Vancouverbc
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    */***. Another easy Sunday puzzle and I agree with StanXYZ about 27a. I don’t know whether the following will get redacted but 18d would have been more suitable if Bat had been Bet. I’ll head for the naughty corner.

    • Vancouverbc
      Posted November 29, 2015 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Where’s my manners? Thanks to the setter and BD for the review.

  7. Expat Chris
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Despite needing the blog to fully parse 27A and understand the definition for 18D, I really enjoyed this. Favorite is 4D, with 2D close behind. Thanks Virgilius and BD.

  8. Kath
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable – I thought it was going to be tricky to begin with but then everything pretty much sorted itself out.
    I missed the fact that the last letters were used twice in 11a.
    I needed the hint to understand my 27a and although I did just about get there in the end untangling 2d also took a while.
    Three hidden answers today – found them all – maybe I’m getting better but probably not.
    I liked 22 and 23a and 21d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to BD .
    Now to see what happens when I hit the post comment thingie – have just failed three times to send a comment on the NTSPP . . .

  9. Salty Dog
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Great stuff, as always from this setter. I make this about 1*/4*. As for my favourite clue, 5d made me smile but I hardly ever choose an anagram, so 7d it is. Many thanks to Virgilius (keep it up, superstar!) and to BD for the hints.

  10. Dr_Bob
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Another excellent Sunday puzzle. Got off to a flying start, slowed to a crawl, and then it all fell in to place after a couple of ‘a-ha’ moments. 22a was my favourite.

    Thanks to setter and BD for the review.

  11. Michael
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    The blooming Paperboy delivered the Sunday Times again – I had to download this off the interweb – pretty straightforward, some outstanding anagrams – a couple of duff clues – but overall very good!

    Back to the rugby!

  12. merusa
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Loved it! This fell into place very nicely.
    I did need the hint to understand 2d, but isn’t that clever?
    Really hard to choose a fave, but just because it’s about tennis, I’ll name 22a. There are other really outstanding clues, 26a, 2d and 19a, just to name a few.
    Thanks to the genius that is Virgilius and to BD for the hints.

  13. jean-luc cheval
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Always good to start with 2 long anagrams in 1a and 1d.
    First checkers are a real bonus.
    Liked the “man checked” in 20d.
    Favourite is 16d.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the blog.

  14. JonP
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Virgilius at the easier end of his spectrum methinks, but still up to his usual high standards. Thanks to BD and Virgilius */****

  15. Heno
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite straightforward. Favourite was 19a. Last in was 21d. Was 2*/3* for me.

    • ginniebd
      Posted November 29, 2015 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Last Sunday was the first time I did it (I do the daily) I loved it and only needed one help,but today aqghh. Sadly the three that wont pop in my head are not included in the hints.i look forward to a sleepless night!

      • Merusa
        Posted November 29, 2015 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        If you say which ones you are having difficulty with and you ask BD nicely, he might help you out with a hint or two!

      • Kath
        Posted November 29, 2015 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        As Merusa says if you say which three are causing grief and likely to give you a sleepless night someone will ‘pop in’ and give a hint, or two or three! There’s just nothing worse than a sleepless night. Oh dear, the very thought of it . . .

  16. Gwizz
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    This was a much gentler crossword than usual from Virgilius. Sunday isn’t Sunday without the normal type of challenge I’ve come to expect!
    Pleasant enough though, 18d was my favourite. 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints.

  17. Hilary
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr. G and BD for brightening up a very dreary day in Suffolk. Started slowly but managed to get 1d and 1a which helped me get a toehold then the rest of It gradually sorted itself out. 21d made me smile so I will vote that favourite.

  18. Ralph Taylor
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I think 18 down works better if the first word in the clue is “***”!

    • Posted November 30, 2015 at 12:25 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Ralph

      While I like your suggestion, it really is an alternative clue so I have redacted it. Put it forward again when the review is published next week.

  19. Angel
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Away visiting family all day (including witnessing magnificent Murray/GB team success in Davis Cup) thus late on parade so relieved this wasn’t too testing. Like Hilary quick solve of 1a/1d kick-started it well. Thank you Virgilius and BD. No Fav to pinpoint today. **/***. Obviously many bloggers don’t take Sunday paper if small number of comments is anything to go by – noticeable by comparison with ever-increasing amount of weekday comment. I regularly consider dispensing with one or both of the two ridiculously hulking weekend papers.

  20. Angel
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Oh well, my previous comment a little while ago has been deleted. Wonder what my transgression was?

    • Posted November 30, 2015 at 12:21 am | Permalink

      Not deleted but in moderation. You stuck an extra letter on the end of your email address, which I have now amended.

      • Angel
        Posted November 30, 2015 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        Silly me. As ever, thank you BD. My name and email used to come up automatically but not always nowadays – not sure why not.

        • Posted November 30, 2015 at 8:26 am | Permalink

          I am not aware of any changes at this end. Perhaps those of you who are having problems could mention which browser you are using, which may help to isolate the source.

          • Angel
            Posted November 30, 2015 at 10:03 am | Permalink

            Thanks BD to you and CS for your comments. Have just had to log in again for this comment (no big problem providing I notice to avoid having to retype comment). FYI I use Internet Explorer on my desktop and Safari on the Ipad – doubtless you will blame it on Apple, BD!

        • crypticsue
          Posted November 30, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

          I think it is an Internet Explorer ‘issue’. At home on both my computer (Firefox) and tablet (Google Chrome) I only have to log on about once a fortnight. Here at work, using IE I have to prove who I am on a daily basis, sometimes more than once if I have to restart my computer for some reason.

  21. weekendwanda
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    Light postbag today. Largely agree with comments. Liked the long clues. Had no trouble with any of them apart from 27a. Thought it could only be one thing (right) but did not fully understand why unti I saw the hint. Main problem however was that I had a wrong word in for 21d which confused my spelling. No-one else seems to have had a problem with it!. Really liked 5d for its simplicity. I was on the wrong track – looking for a church service!

  22. Langstone Joe
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    Started off well, but ground to a halt and then struggled. The tips here helped, so thank you very much Big Dave for posting them.

    BTW I feel this must have been asked a zillion times, but I cant find it anywhere on the site…. what is the secret knowledge of identifying the puzzle setter for those puzzles where the setter’s name isnt printed?

    • KiwiColin
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:08 am | Permalink

      A quick click on item 28 in the list of topics under FAQ at the top of this page will give you your answer. Cheers.

      • Langstone Joe
        Posted November 30, 2015 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        Aha! Thank you. What I hadn’t realised is that when one mouse overs the top menu bar items they are clickable links in those menu items, whereas I assumed that the drop down box were the linked pages. Maybe I have been stupid, or maybe I am just used to every other website working that way :)

  23. Paso Doble
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    After a rather over-busy weekend finally finished this delightful puzzle tonight. Why can’t we parse 15a? Many thanks as always to BD and to Virgilius.

  24. Cornishpasty
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Would somebody help me understand the derivation of the answer for 15a.


    • Gazza
      Posted December 14, 2015 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      The full review (with parsing of 15a) has already been published – see here.

      • Cornishpasty
        Posted December 14, 2015 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, it was come as as a synonym of amount that I was having difficulty with. I have now looked it up in Chambers, something I should have done before bothering you! I supposed amount in this context was like to amount to be somebody, to become successful etc. perhaps this is in more common use now compared when I left the UK 50 years ago.

        In the initial set of hints 15a was not even mentioned which usually means a it is so obvious no hint is required.

        Thanks for your help and listening to me rabbit on!

        • Gazza
          Posted December 14, 2015 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

          I took it to mean ‘come (to)’ or ‘amount (to)’ in a monetary sense as in ‘That comes to three and fourpence’.

  25. Cornishpasty
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Aha moment followed by doh! Thanks for explaining so politely!