ST 2835 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2835 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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    Someone waiting for person to start court action (6)
… this action is on the tennis court

4a    I admit grasping zero, being this? (8)
The I from the clue and a verb meaning to admit or concede around (grasping) a two-letter word meaning a zero amount

12a    Bring back spiritual teaching with part of Bible (7)
Some spiritual teaching, usually in school, followed by a (small) part of the Bible

13a    Like work of most poets, but not Keats and Yeats (7)
An adjective that describes the work of most poets does not apply to the names Keats and Yeats – just say them aloud

15a    Select a revised time for programme to be seen (8)
Simple, but easy to miss – an anagram (revised) of SELECT A followed by T(ime)

25a    He deserts the cause in act of betrayal (7)
Drop (deserts) the letters HE from T[HE] and then add a cause

27a    Financial expert giving author clear forecast? (9)
… split the answer as (3) for the author’s surname and (2,4) for the clear forecast

28a    Relax call to fix fiddle or racket (8)
A four-letter verb meaning to relax followed by a call on the telephone

29a    This is where you’ll find the ultimate in unorthodoxy? (6)
When the answer to this all-in-one clue is split as (4’1,1) it describes where you’ll find the final letter (ultimate) in [unorthodox]Y


1d    Like stars in team, given genuine support (8)
A team is followed (supported in a down clue) by an adjective meaning genuine

2d    Pick up and put on new jacket for work (7)
Two definitions – to pick up or get better and put a new jacket on a printed work

5d    A line is included by peer group in comprehensive statement (14)
Put A L(ine) and IS inside a peer group of people of similar age

6d    In strange way, sordid play is so lacking in characters (5)
Work out in which way characters are to be dropped (lacking) from “sordid play” to get the answer

8d    Temperature affected by storm and low pressure area (6)
T(emperature) followed by an adjective meaning affected by storm

16d    Meat dish, in part, inferior to second in container (9)
A part in a play or film preceded by (inferior to) S(econd) inside a container

17d    Protected by soldier, I don’t leave chief supporter (8)
I from the clue inside (protected by) a three-letter soldier and followed by a word meaning don’t leave

21d    Celebratory showing of test, live, after openers dismissed (7)
In this typical Virgilius clue, drop (after … dismissed) the initial letters (openers) from three words in the clue

22d    Tea served up to a point, and different drink to follow (6)
An informal word for tea and the first half (up to a point) of SER[ved]

24d    Secure chest, having no upper limit for bid (5)
Drop (having no) the initial letter (upper limit) from a secure chest

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 Christian Eriksen (24)


  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted February 14, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    1*/4*. Another wonderful puzzle from Virgilius in spite of being at the easier end of his spectrum. The amazing and typically Virgilian 29a was my favourite, although it seems rather invidious to pick only one from such a great selection.

    What more you could want on a Sunday? The sun is shining; the satisfaction of completing a crossword where as soon as one brilliant clue was solved another marvellous one awaited; the prospect of a Six Nations match this afternoon; and a Valentine’s dinner with Mrs RD to round the day off.

    Shame about our woeful cricketers in South Africa, who look likely to be heading for defeat thereby losing the One Day series which they once seemed destined to win. Our women’s team however are quite well placed in their One Day series decider in South Africa and can hopefully show our men the way to go.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    • Jane
      Posted February 14, 2016 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Sounds as though you’ve recovered, RD. Have a lovely meal with Mrs. RD this evening. :good:

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted February 14, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        Thanks very much, Jane. My affliction was short and sharp – all done and dusted in 24 hours.

  2. Jane
    Posted February 14, 2016 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Another delight from Virgilius and another vote for 29a in the top slot. Only the author caused me a moment’s hesitation – not one that I’m familiar with.
    Many thanks to both Virgilius and BD.

  3. JonP
    Posted February 14, 2016 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Like yesterday I took a while to get going but it all fell into place just over my 1* time which was a very similar time to the puzzle yesterday, however it felt like it was trickier than yesterday’s puzzle….

    Thanks to BD and Virgilius 1.5*/4*

  4. jean-luc cheval
    Posted February 14, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Another excellent puzzle from our Sunday setter.
    Found 6d very clever and the typical construction of 21d almost made me appreciate Cricket.
    29a favourite too.
    Our local church put a sign on the door which reads and I translate:
    When entering, you might get the “call from God” but it is very unlikely that he will try to contact you by phone.
    Made me laugh.
    Have a good Valentines day. Got to go and set up everything for this evening.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the blog.

    • Jane
      Posted February 14, 2016 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      What’s on the menu, JL?

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted February 14, 2016 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        We don’t do anything special.
        I hate when places force you to spend a fortune on special occasions. At the Jardin it’s free for all… Well almost.

        • Jane
          Posted February 14, 2016 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

          What time should I be there? :smile:

  5. Michael
    Posted February 14, 2016 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I needed help in the NE corner – it didn’t help that I had ‘******’ in 1a – thanks to the blog for the assistance.

    A very entertaining puzzle and more than a little tricky.

    For Valentines Day I got the Boss a new Bag and a new Belt, the Hoovers like new now!


    • Jane
      Posted February 14, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Think you’re missing something here, Michael. Even the almighty BRB does not list Hoover parts as being synonymous with romance. :phew:

  6. Una
    Posted February 14, 2016 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Unlike RD, I found this on the trickier side of the Virgilius scale . Looking back , it is hard to see why.
    I have seen 1d before but it isn’t in any way part of my vocabulary, so it didn’t go in for quite a while.
    Re 9d, what a coincidence that his predictions were proved right this week.
    Thanks BD and Virgilius.

    • Jane
      Posted February 14, 2016 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Having lived for years within the shadow of Jodrell Bank, 1d gave me no problems. Is that naughty corner material?

      • Michael
        Posted February 14, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        … and then I booked a table for 2 down the local for the me and the Boss.

        Hope she likes snooker


        • Jane
          Posted February 14, 2016 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

          Doubtless you will also be trying to win her affections by discussing football ‘pieces’ as well. :yawn:

  7. Una
    Posted February 14, 2016 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    PS a :heart: and a :rose: to all.

  8. Hilary
    Posted February 14, 2016 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    All the brain power I expended on NTSPP yesterday meant there was not much left for today so found it very hard work. Thanks to Virgilius and BD for making my Sunday all worthwhile. My OH is in the ‘it’s all a commercial racket’ when it comes to Valentine’s day so good luck go all of you who have a different attitude to it, have a lovely day. :rose: too many favourites to risk making a choice but 29a made me smile.

  9. Vancouverbc
    Posted February 14, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    I found this more difficult than most. However very enjoyable and lots of clever clues. 7d my favourite once the penny dropped. Thanks to the setter and BD for the hints.

  10. Merusa
    Posted February 14, 2016 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I agree with this being on the easier side for Virgilius, EXCEPT for the SE corner, which really held me up. I had three that took forever, 16d, 21d and 25a.
    My runaway fave was 29a, but many other good ones.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for his hints.
    Happy Valentine’s Day to all.

  11. Posted February 14, 2016 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Christian Eriksen, today’s Birthday Boy, scores the winner as Spurs go back to second, now only two points behind! #COYS

  12. Young Salopian
    Posted February 14, 2016 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    I did this morning before going to a benevolent concert in Birmingham from which Mrs YS and I have just returned.

    Yes, this was a comfortable exercise in solving, but the quality of the clues week in week out is staggering.

    Like RD, it seems somewhat churlish to pick a favourite, but I will nominate 29 across for its simplistic brilliance. Many thanks Virgilius for another masterpiece and BD. 1.5*/4*

    Did any rugby fans see the result from Allianz Park? Come on you Wasps.

    • Angel
      Posted February 14, 2016 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      You presumably know by now – Wasps did it (64-23) – congratulations!

      • Young Salopian
        Posted February 14, 2016 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

        Yes,me had it on the car thanks. Incredible result.

  13. Jon_S
    Posted February 14, 2016 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    A thankfully easy, but enjoyable as always solve from Virgilius, as we’re waiting for a curry to be delivered and I’m starving. :smile:

  14. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted February 14, 2016 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Drew another blank with this today.
    Hopefully tomorrow will be more suited to me.
    Thanks to setter and hints.

  15. Angel
    Posted February 14, 2016 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    I surprised myself and ‘did it’ and really enjoyed this relaxing challenge after relief at the England success over Italy admittedly following a distinctly ropey start. Thank you so much Virgilius and indeed BD. Is 5d really a “comprehensive” statement? Lots of excellent clues so wont pinpoint a Fav. ***/***. :good: