ST 2834 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2834 (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    Bachelor with partner husband loves — what a commotion! (8)
A delightful charade of B(achelor), a four-letter partner, H(usband) and two of the letters that look like a zero score in tennis (loves)

9a    I concur about copper’s shrewdness (6)
A four-letter word meaning “I concur” or “so be it” around the chemical symbol for copper

11a    Wren’s building is in sacred setting, I assure you! (8)
The “building” in which a wren (the capitalisation is a deception created by placing the word at the beginning of the clue) lives inside (in … setting) an adjective meaning sacred

12a    Business dependent on intensive stock control (7,7)
A cryptic definition of this business which involves the intensive control of stock, in the sense of animals, in order to achieve maximum production

19a    Affected by cold, one may run under bridge (4)
The part of the body which can become runny as the result of a cold

20a    Poorly perform again in front of head, showing lack of education (14)
A three-letter adjective meaning poorly followed by a verb meaning to perform again and a head or cape

23a    Occurs, as such, after middle of radio broadcast (8)
A two-letter verb meaning occurs followed by the Latin phrase meaning “as such” or “in itself” (3,2) and preceded by the middle letter of [ra]D[io}

25a    Soldier attending major  film (6)
Split this clue in the right place and the double definition should become more obvious

28a    Detailed description one put before people, for example (8)
The four-letter abbreviated form of a word for a detailed description followed by I (one) and a three-letter word meaning people


1d    Amount of power in what one hears (4)
This derived SI unit of power sounds like (one hears) what

3d    Bunk in toolshed, oddly selected quarters (4)
This one is a bit different – divide TO OL SH ED into quarters and select the odd ones

4d    Way in which royalty supports author (6)
This way or method is derived by putting our Queen’s regnal cipher (royalty) after the surname of a German author

8d    Monotonous rhymes for some (7)
A charade of two words (3,4) that rhyme with some

13d    Money-grubbing article, full of malice about a king (10)
Indefinite article followed by an adjective meaning full of malice around the A from the clue and the Latin abbreviation for king

18d    Each food provided is as it should be (7)
EA(ch) followed by a word for food provided in a restaurant or household gives an adjective meaning how food should be

22d    Fool making different points with it each time (6)
Start with a compass point followed by IT from the clue and then a different compass point followed by IT

24d    Moderate repeatedly taking part in ceasefire, as expected (4)
… if you’ve solved previous Virgilius puzzles you will recognise this way of hiding the answer (taking part in) not once, but twice (repeatedly)

26d    State requirement for sentence being cut (4)
One of the main requirements needed to construct a sentence (1,4) without its final letter (cut)

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 Eddie Izzard (52)


  1. dutch
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Great Sunday offering – again!
    I needed the checkers for 19a!
    15a impressed me with its smoothness.
    21d was a real laugh when the correct parsing became apparent.
    enjoyed the quirky cluing in 3d + 22d, and 26d was the last one in!
    many thanks Virgilius and BD

  2. Heno
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle as usual from Virgilius. All plain sailing except for 4d&11a, needed the hints for both. Favourite was 25a. Off to watch the Gooners.

  3. Rabbit Dave
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    3*/5*. Sheer Sunday brilliance again. I found the SW corner the hardest today, with 26d my last one in. I needed to check my BRB for 20a as I didn’t know this version of the noun existed. 21d was a LOL moment and my favourite.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  4. Wahoo
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    All very clever and enjoyable. Loved 22d and you know what? 6d was a new word to me!

    Thanks to V and BD.

  5. MalcolmR
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    I think that there are two valid answers to 12a depending on whether your stock has two or four legs.

    • crypticsue
      Posted February 7, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      You’ve changed your email address. Both should work now.

      I had the ‘wrong’ answer first of all but I think it all depends how you define stock once you’ve had a look in the BRB, which is what I did.

      • Jane
        Posted February 7, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Doesn’t it depend rather more upon how you define ‘business’?

        • Posted February 7, 2016 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          I think both of the possible answers are businesses, but stock doesn’t really apply to the two-legged ones. It’s irrelevant anyway as the online site accepts the one I gave in the hint.

      • Hrothgar
        Posted February 7, 2016 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        I’ve never, until now, been very clear about that kind of farming.
        Thought it applied to the type which is wrong in the clue.
        And like others put in the two-legged type.
        Now I’m clear.

  6. Jane
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    A wonderful diversion from my wrestle with Radler!
    3d was the last one in (real penny drop moment) and my top marks go to 11a & 21d.
    Definitely starting to understand why everyone loves the Sunday puzzles – they’re just so satisfying.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  7. Ridgerunner
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Had to wait for the hints to find out which of my two answers for 26d was correct.
    My other incorrect answer had “cut” as the definition, as in being sacked.
    I was on the right wavelength with the correct parsing but just didnt think of the right word. So thanks to BD and to Virgilius too.

    • Jane
      Posted February 7, 2016 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Yep – I was with you all the way over your ‘other’ definition for 26d!

      • Posted February 7, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        Surely the rule of mine oft quoted by Kath – if you can’t justify your answer it’s probably wrong – applies here. You can justify “cut”, but where does “state” come into the explanation?

        • Ridgerunner
          Posted February 7, 2016 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          As in state execution and off with his head

          • Posted February 7, 2016 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

            I think it’s beeen a while since a state used that method!

            • tonyjoe
              Posted February 7, 2016 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

              Saudi Arabia?

  8. Hilary
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    One bruised shin because I did not read clue properly, once that was sorted I ccould definitely see why Mr B’s Sunday offerings are so popular. Lovely clues plus penny drop moments made me very happy. Unusually I started with 1a because it walked off the page then back to bottom and worked up. Thanks to Virgilius and BD off to dish up rather late lunch.

    • Hilary
      Posted February 7, 2016 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      Sorry I meant Mr. G, silly me :phew:

  9. Una
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant as ever.Particular favourites include 7a, 12a, 22d, and 8d.
    Thanks BD and Virgilius.

  10. Young Salopian
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    3*/5* from me this afternoon.

    The whole puzzle was a joy, but 11 across alone meant I would have given this five stars for enjoyment. Like RD, the SW corner held me up thus pushing me into three difficulty.

    Many, many thanks to Virgilius for another brilliant crossword, and to BD for his blog.

  11. Young Salopian
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    It’s probably me but I still cannot parse 3 down correctly.

    Using BD’s hints, the last quarter would appear to be superfluous, as the split from the clue is surely odd, odd, odd then even?

    I apologise in advance if I am just being dumb.


    • Young Salopian
      Posted February 7, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      It was me being dumb. It is the odd quarters, not the letters involved. Hope this doesn’t send me to the naughty corner!

  12. Faraday
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Lost quite a few of my diminishing supply of brain cells on this one but very enjoyable and 21d made it all worthwhile. Thanks for the hints BD I certainly needed a few answers to be clarified today.

  13. jean-luc cheval
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Well into toughie time for me and I’m not surprised to see so many hints from BD today.
    Managed without but needed to check 25a and 26d which were my last in.
    As Dutch, I liked the original construction in 3d and 22d and laughed at 21d.
    8d favourite today.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD.
    6 nations now on. Nice weather in Dublin as usual.

  14. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Serious case of man-flu at the moment, along with the rest of the household.
    I don’t think I would be able to do the old Evening News picture crossword at the moment.

    • Merusa
      Posted February 7, 2016 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      Get better soon. Try hot toddy, rum, honey and lime juice!

      • HoofItYouDonkey
        Posted February 7, 2016 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        Sounds good.
        Better than gulping down ibuprofen every 4 hours.

  15. Chris
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Another very enjoyable Sunday challenge. I found it 3*-4* difficult today.
    If Kath’s not back my favourites are 11a and 21d. Otherwise it’s 21d!
    Thank you Virgilius and BD.

  16. Michael
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    A very enjoyable puzzle – quite tricky in places – but good fun. no electronic assistance required for once!

    I’m watching ITV’s coverage of Ireland v Wales, I’ve got it on my Sky Planner so I’m about 20 minutes behind the ‘live’ coverage – the thing that immediately occurs to me is how overboard ITV go with the pundits – they’ve got Jonny Wilkinson, Brian O’Driscoll and Gareth Thomas (the only xxx in the village!) in the Studio and Martin Bayfield, Gordon D’Arcy, Shane Williams and some woman whose name I didn’t catch out on the pitch and in the commentary box – ‘Diversity’ gone mad!


    • Gazza
      Posted February 7, 2016 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      All the broadcasters have far too many ‘pundits’ and presenters at rugby matches but what really annoys me about ITV’s coverage is that after we’ve had the pointless presentations to VIPs and the never-ending anthems, just when you think the kick-off is coming at last what happens? – ITV have yet another advertising break.

      • Michael
        Posted February 7, 2016 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        Yes, and it was news to me when Barry Fitzgerald turned out to be the Irish President!


  17. Merusa
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    As usual, loved this. I so look forward to Virgilius’s puzzles.
    Fave 21d, runners up 11a and 3D.
    Last in was 26a, but why? It was so obvious.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for his hints.

  18. Tantalus
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Hear! Hear!

  19. Vancouverbc
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    ***/*****. What a superb puzzle. Very very enjoyable and enough to make me scratch my head on occasion. Really liked7&11a and 3,21&24d. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review.

  20. Gwizz
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Lovely Sunday puzzle as usual. 3/4* overall and 21d reigns supreme for me! I had a couple of ‘bung-ins/parse later’ moments but I think I got there….
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for his extended hints.

  21. Salty Dog
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    3*/4*. A bit stiffer than usual, I thought, particularly on the RH side. I took a while to spot 25a, which was my favourite clue, and the 9a/4d combo eluded me for some time as well. Thanks to Virgilius for taking my mind off the bloody awful weather for a time, and to BD for the hints (albeit not needed).

  22. Toro
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    I had a rather eventful time of things in the SE corner. Here goes…

    First, I took 25a to be a synonym of major + a word for a soldier and satisfied myself that there must be a famous film called ******! (Psssst…. BD, the correct answer is actually a straight double definition not a charade as in the hints.)

    29a put me straight, but I initially parsed it as a rather unfair contraction of a (1,7) phrase that is a requirement for another kind of sentence!

    That made it 2-0 to Virgilius, but I don’t actually blame myself for 28a (my last one in), in which I initially ruled out my first (correct) thought about the last three letters – isn’t “people, for example” a definition by example that’s the wrong way round?

    Be that as it may, after the final whistle I now read the blog and comments and discover that I have put in the wrong (extensive rather than intensive) type of ‘stock-control’ business in 12a!

    A lovely puzzle from a great setter. I liked the devices in 3,8,22 and 24d especially. Many thanks Virgilius and BD.

    • Posted February 7, 2016 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      For 25a the hint reads “Split this clue in the right place and the double definition should become more obvious” – where does it say it’s a charade?

      • Toro
        Posted February 7, 2016 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

        It doesn’t! Yet another thing I’ve mis-read today! Sorry BD

    • Toro
      Posted February 7, 2016 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      OK, I see that my non-existent film has been asterisked out! I did think that, since it is completely wrong, it was okay to quote it.

      • Posted February 7, 2016 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

        “please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT”

        • Toro
          Posted February 7, 2016 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

          I should have stayed in bed today, shouldn’t I?

      • Posted February 7, 2016 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        It says that because wrong answers contain checking letters which may help, or in your case hinder.

        • Toro
          Posted February 7, 2016 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

          Yup, entirely fair – on both counts!

  23. Florence
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Terrific puzzle. Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the review. 26d last one in. Favourite was 21d.

  24. Angel
    Posted February 8, 2016 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    I’m obviously in a minority but this wasn’t one of my favourite Sunday challenges. Thought a few clues were a bit clunky and they felt almost Rookie-like. Needed some BD help in extreme SE corner for which TVM. Also thank you Virgilius and apologies if I am being ungracious. I do appreciate your weekly endeavours. ***/**. :neutral: