ST 2839 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2839 (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    Monet rated badly in new gallery (4,6)
An anagram (badly) of MONET RATED


10a    Wise crossing immense country in banger? (7)
An adjective meaning wise around the three-letter abbreviation for an immense country

14a    Preparing for combat with male in a place for fighting (6)
M(ale) inside the A from the clue and a place for fighting, such as boxing

15a    Non-Asian movies that may have roles for Indians (8)
The politically correct term for these Indians is Native Americans

17a    Inspected cotton fabric cut the wrong way (8)
Some cotton fabric and a verb meaning to cut, all reversed

19a    Fighting that follows direction to start shooting (6)
Two definitions – the second referring to the shooting of a film

22a    Somebody complaining about favourite undergarment and footwear (6,7)
A six-letter word for someone who complains around a favourite and an undergarment

27a    Support brass, for example, as requirement for renewed effort (6,4)
A verb meaning to support followed by the type of musical instrument that includes, for example, brass


1d    Course of action queen, perhaps, set up with king (4)
The reversal (set up in a down clue) of the type of animal of which a queen is a female example (perhaps) followed by K(ing)

2d    Ready for release after time in part of ship (7)
Some ready or money for the release of someone who has been kidnapped preceded by T(ime)

5d    Prevailed over son that’s abandoned post (8)
A verb meaning prevailed around (over) S(on) gives a verb meaning abandoned a post or job

7d    Survive as partners, heart-broken? (7)
A pair of bridge partners followed by an anagram (broken) of HEART

8d    Proposing explanations in article on old rebellion (10)
The definite article followed by O(ld) and a rebellion

16d    Main picture airline’s first showing in second flight (8)
This picture of the main, as in The Spanish Main, is derived from the initial letter (first) of A{irline] inside S(econd) and a flight or getaway

18d    Period in which monarch managed to produce desired order (7)
A period of time around the Latin abbreviation for a king or queen (monarch) and a verb meaning managed

23d    Copied contents of paper with note appended (4)
The inner letters (contents) of p[APE]r followed by a musical note

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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 Neil Sedaka (76)
Neil Sedaka


  1. JonP
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I didn’t find this as challenging as the last few Sunday puzzles but it was certainly an enjoyable puzzle to solve.

    Thanks to BD and Virgilius */****

  2. Wahoo
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    A gentle offering from Virgilius I thought, a little like the Don on Friday. */**. No stand out favourite. 15a did suggest some possible strange scenes which political correctness prevents me from saying.

    Thanks to Mr G and BD.

  3. Una
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Very nice , if on the easier side.I’ll never think of that city in 25a again in quite the same way .
    Thanks Virgilius and BD.

  4. Jane
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Definitely easier than last Sunday’s and I learnt a new definition of 2d.
    Biggest smiles came from 22&27a.

    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints which, whilst not needed today, were still a pleasure to read.

  5. jean-luc cheval
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    What a pleasure to solve.
    No need for any outside help whatsoever.
    That’s what I like.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  6. Robin Newman
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    thought 24A quite cute & liked 10A

  7. pommers
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Very elegant puzzle and very enjoyable but perhaps a little too benign? I had to nip home from the local to get a second crossword as we finished this one so quick! Picked up yesterday’s Grauniad prizer by Paul which I can highly recommend.

    Fav was the “ready for release” in 2d. */**** from us.

    Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  8. Merusa
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    A super Virgilius puzzle again, though on the benign side.
    I can’t choose a fave, loved the whole thing.
    Mr. Greer must have a very logical and practical mind, I say Mr. Greer for President.
    Thanks to BD for his hints, always enjoyable reading.

    • Posted March 13, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      While Brian Greer may live in Portland, Ohio I am fairly certain he was born in Ireland and, as such, is inelible.

      • Merusa
        Posted March 13, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        And, pray tell, where was Ted Cruz born?
        I’m not really trying to create strife here, it was meant to be funny in light of our current circus here.

        • Wahoo
          Posted March 13, 2016 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

          I once wanted Jeremy Clarkson to stand to become PM in the UK, with the Duke of Edinburgh as his foreign secretary.

          What a strange World we are living in, politically.

      • Una
        Posted March 13, 2016 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

        Glad that I am not the only one to have occasional little tpyos.

  9. Young Salopian
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    This may have been at the easier end of Virgilius’ spectrum, but it was no less enjoyable. I don’t need to look any further than 1 across to find my favourite. 2*/4* for this sunny Sunday puzzle with grateful thanks to the aforementioned and BD.

    Off to watch the rugby now, and find myself supporting Scotland, who might just do England a favour.

    • Posted March 13, 2016 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      That’ll be a first if they do!

      • Wahoo
        Posted March 13, 2016 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        Yep, they just did it!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Angel
      Posted March 13, 2016 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      TVM Scotland – now here’s to the Grand Slam. :rose:

  10. Brian Greer
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Big Dave is right. While I am now an American citizen, I am not eligible to run for President, but thanks for the compliment (I think), Merusa.
    Big Dave – it’s Portland, Oregon.
    Look out for a Brendan soon on the theme of the Republican candidates.

    • Merusa
      Posted March 13, 2016 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Definitely, definitely a compliment! What a shower, just madness. I have a very funny cartoon but I don’t know how to embed it in a comment!

    • Merusa
      Posted March 13, 2016 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t Brendan in the Times? I’ll have to find someone who subs to the Times. I won’t give any money to Murdoch.

      • Gazza
        Posted March 13, 2016 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        Brendan’s in the Guardian which which you can get free.

        • Merusa
          Posted March 13, 2016 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

          Ah, thanks, I’ll look for it! I’ll bet it’s going to be entertaining!

      • JonP
        Posted March 13, 2016 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        I think Brendan appears in The Guardian which you can access free online. Times setters are generally not disclosed except for on Sundays (which is mildly annoying as I need to know who to blame (apart from myself) when I fail to complete them..!))

      • stanXYZ
        Posted March 13, 2016 at 5:10 pm | Permalink
        • Merusa
          Posted March 13, 2016 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          Thanks, that is a most useful site. I’ve bookmarked it.

    • pommers
      Posted March 13, 2016 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      I will keep the eyes peeled for it and, in the meantime, do some studying. Love your puzzles so a big thanks from me.

  11. Florence
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Stuck in the SW corner for a wee while. My anagram solver told me something wasn’t an anagram, when in fact it was, and I thought it was. Need to trust my own instinct more. Hope this doesn’t send me to the naughty corner. Thank you setter, thank you BD and thank you Scotland.

  12. Kath
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Late here today and haven’t even looked at yesterday’s back page crossword or NTSPP yet so just as well that this was on the straightforward side.
    Not too many problems apart from those that I made ‘all my own self’ – oh dear.
    The first one was thinking of the wrong one letter abbreviation for king in 1d.
    The second was getting the wrong anagram indicator in 13d and therefore the wrong anagram fodder so my answer, although right, made no sense to me at all – dim.
    My third and final bit of stupidity was thinking that the ‘shooting’ in 19a was to do with guns.
    I liked 10 and 22a and 7d. My favourite, once I’d stopped trying to find something to make an anagram from, was 12a.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    • Kath
      Posted March 13, 2016 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      PS – Not an exclamation mark in sight. :smile:

      • pommers
        Posted March 13, 2016 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

        Indeed – not a single one!

        • Kath
          Posted March 13, 2016 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

          Oh dear – :roll:

  13. Gwizz
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable Sunday fare from Virgilius even if he was being a little benign for a change. I was going to use an exclamation mark there but Kath has put the mockers on that….
    22a is favourite and 2/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for his hints.

    • Kath
      Posted March 13, 2016 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      No, I haven’t put a moratorium on exclamation marks for everyone. It’s just that I do use them to excess and I know that I do. There were some letters in the paper about it last week so I decided to cut them down a bit – the first step seemed to be, to me anyway, to cut them out completely and then re-introduce them selectively. It was ever so tempting to put one in there . . . but I resisted . . . :smile:

      • Kitty
        Posted March 13, 2016 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        Exclamation marks are like emoticons. Lots of people misuse them and/or overuse them, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be used at all.

  14. Hrothgar
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    All very tasteful and some very elegant constructions, eg 22a and 27a.
    Just under my **** for difficulty time.
    Many thanks Virgilius and BD for the review.

  15. Jon_S
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    On the easier side for Virgilius, but as good as ever. Well judged for a Sunday puzzle.

  16. Kitty
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    I did this before bed, so I can’t remember much in the way of details. Now the app has deleted my answers, I wouldn’t be able to go into much detail anyway, and I would have too many favourites to list. For all of those reasons, I won’t say much other than I agree it was less hard than most Sundays. Hard enough to be satisfying though, given the high quality of the offering.

    Many thanks to BG and BD.

    • Kitty
      Posted March 13, 2016 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      A nice gentleman has just let me look at his, and it seems I am able to nominate a favourite after all. 10a – that kind of banger. Nice :yes: .

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted March 13, 2016 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

        :yahoo: !!!

      • Wahoo
        Posted March 14, 2016 at 12:36 am | Permalink

        I’m so glad MP is not online to read that.

        Welcome to next week.

  17. Angel
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Found this rather less straightforward than it seems have others but made it in the end thanks to some electronic gizmo help. 12a baffled me a bit as I couldn’t put a related 12-letter specialist out of my mind. Fav was 16d when the penny dropped. Thanks Mysteron and BD. ***/***.

  18. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted March 14, 2016 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Very enjoyable. I’m either getting better or this was easier, I managed to do 80% of it in about *******, got held up by SW corner as I could not see the anagram in 13d for ages.
    Had not heard of 21d, so I had to cheat with a couple of the DT hint letters (the shame of it).
    Thanks to BD for the excellent hints and the setter for a fair challenge that I could (almost) complete.

    • Posted March 14, 2016 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Please avoid references to solving times other than as generalisations such as “two cups of coffee” or “a pint of beer”.

      • HoofItYouDonkey
        Posted March 14, 2016 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        Ok, sorry, will do.