ST 2841 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2841 (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    Weapon to do what warning shot should (8)
To understand the wordplay, split the answer as (5,3) and pronounce the second word as a part of a ship rather than as a weapon

9a    Company that is including reasonable person who’s smart, for example (6)
CO(mpany) and the Latin abbreviation for that is around a word meaning reasonable or satisfactory

10a    Rebuttal rejected in breaking agreement (6)
The reversal of IN inside (breaking) a business agreement

17a    It’s not included in seven-piece suite for den (5)
The only planet not included in the seven-piece suite by Gustav Holst

Have you heard this electronic version by Isao Tomita?

20a    Rendered ecstatic way of thinking about one display of emotion (14)
A four-letter verb meaning rendered ecstatic and a way of thinking around I (one)

25a    A vehicle seen in the middle of that capital (6)
The A from the clue and a commercial vehicle inside the inner (middle) letters of [t]HA[t]

27a    Point that is most comprehensive (6)
A compass point followed by the full Latin phrase meaning that is

28a    Subversive activity as result of small issue (8)
S(mall) followed by an issue or version


1d    Part of our generation also featuring in bourgeois press (4)
In this typical Brian Greer clue he has hidden the answer not once but twice

2d    Like positive responses from some Europeans in this town (6)
A two-letter word meaning like followed by two positive responses as spoken by the locals in this Italian town

3d    Nothing I had heard from monarch is outstanding (4)
O (nothing) followed by the abbreviated version of how Queen Victoria might have said “I had”

6d    Higgins, perhaps, outrageously toying with miss (10)
This anagram (outrageously) of TOYING with MISS gives a word which could be (perhaps) applied to Professor Henry Higgins in Shaw’s Pygmalion (or My Fair Lady if you prefer the film to the play)

16d    Victorian painter in no position to paint seascape? (8)
Split the surname of this Victorian painter as (4,4) to work out why he is in the wrong position to paint a seascape

18d    Put in shade, came out of one’s shell (7)
Two definitions – the first being shaded with fine, usually diagonal, intersecting lines

22d    Frivolous conduct — it’s covered by tax (6)
the IT from the clue inside a tax or duty

26d    Gas one mixed with nitrogen, in either order (4)
An anagram (mixed) of ONE followed or preceded, but not both at the same time, by the chemical symbol for Nitrogen

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 Quentin Tarantino (53)


  1. George
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    The usual most excellent fare on a Sunday. I liked 4d and 3d particularly but so many good clues. I did have a little niggle about the meaning of 8d as I think of this as more being equal than having a surplus, but the solution had to be what it was from the crosschecking letters.

    Thanks to all as usual.

    1*/4* for me.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Your xxxx 8d is a surplus – unless you are xxxxxxxx!

  2. Young Salopian
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    With so many outstanding clues it is virtually impossible to pick a favourite, but I will go for 17 across which just beats 6 down into second place. The whole puzzle was a delight from start to finish, and although I thought it was at the easier end of the Sunday spectrum, it was thoroughly enjoyable. 2*/4*.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and BD. Great to have the site working again.

  3. Wahoo
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    18d last one in for me last night (after the penny dropped with 17a) and even then I couldn’t see the first definition as I kept thinking of someone excelling over another, etc. So thanks BD for the explanation which seems obvious now!

    **/**** for me and thanks Virgilius for another excellent puzzle.

    Happy Easter to all.

  4. bifield
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    A good puzzle for a changeable Sunday Morning. I was thinking of a different sort of court for 11a which held me up for a while but overall a pleasant solve . Thanks to Setter and to Big Dave for his hints and his sterling work in getting the site up and working again.

  5. Una
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m still stuck on 4d and 11a.

    • Wahoo
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear. A cruciverbalist and a handler might help?

      • Una
        Posted March 27, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        Thank you so much, Wahoo. I ‘ve been travelling through the night , so I am not at my brightest, however dim that may be.

  6. Rabbit Dave
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    3*/5* My first Sunday puzzle for three weeks was everything I could have wished for – challenging, entertaining, and full of trademark Virgilian clues. Wonderful! Impossible to pick a favourite from this collection.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  7. Expat Chris
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Lovely stuff.Lots of ticks on the page. Topping my list are 11A, 27A, 2D, 4D and 16D. Impossible to pick just one. Thanks Virgilius and BD.

  8. Jane
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Delightful Sunday entertainment as we have come to expect from Virgilius. How does he manage to keep up such a high consistency?
    Plenty of ‘ticks’ on my list – 7&9a plus 2,4,5&18d, but I could have included several others.

    Thanks to the Sunday wizard and also to BD both for the review and the site being back in use.
    Interesting take on Holst but think I’ll stick with the original!

  9. Una
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    With Wahoo’s kindly assistance, I agree with others that 4d is probably the best clue.
    Thanks to Virgilius, BD and W.

  10. Kath
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    The usual Sunday good fun.
    I didn’t have too much trouble getting the answers in but had some I didn’t understand – thankfully BD has provided hints for my three problems – 17a and 3 and 18d.
    Several very typical Virgilius clues – 1 and 24d – well, maybe not several but certainly a couple.
    I liked 11 and 20a and 2d. My favourite was 16d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to BD, not just for the hints but for getting everything working properly again and for the pic for 7a – not fussed at all about the weapon but whoever is holding it is rather nice!
    In a terrible muddle – it’s tricky enough keeping track of what day it is on Bank Holiday weekends but with the time change as well I don’t know what day it is or what time it is. Oh dear! :-(

  11. pommers
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I do look forward to Sundays. There’s Ensaladilla Rusa for lunch in the local and a puzzle by Virgilius – my cup runneth over :-) .

    This was the usual brilliant stuff so thanks to Mr Greer and also to BD for the hints and for keeping this place running in the face of adversity.

    • Posted March 27, 2016 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      Pomette’s comment yesterday about archiving the older posts set me thinking. The Authors widget not only displayed a list of all the Bloggers, but how many they had written. What if it calcualted this every time someone looked at a post by scanning the entire database? After I disabled it things returned to normal – so far so good.

      • pommers
        Posted March 27, 2016 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        Sometimes she’s not as daft as she looks!

      • pommers
        Posted March 27, 2016 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        P.S. At the moment for me, with Windows 10 and Chrome, it’s working like greased lightning :-) .

  12. Paso Doble
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    We agree with Kath – but our problems were 9a and 27a – thanks BD for the explanations.
    Thanks to Virgilius for another fantastic puzzle and a Happy Easter to all.

  13. Merusa
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Another Sunday delight! I couldn’t solve10a, then realized that, on reading the hints, I had spelt 2d wrong. This is careless of me as the clue clearly instructs how to spell it. Grrr! Cross with myself.
    I can’t choose a fave, too many good ones – loved 17a, and 11a as I’m watching the Miami Open right now, and 27a was pretty darned clever as well.
    Thanks to Virgilius for the entertainment. A special thanks to BD, it must have been a frustrating couple of days, all done for our benefit.

  14. Gwizz
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    One day Virgilius will put up a mediocre puzzle. Today was not that day! Another lovely challenge with loads of good clues. My favourite was 11a. 3/4* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for all his efforts.

  15. dutch
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    I’m in a caravan in Pendine at the moment, have to go to a pub to get wifi (oh, no!). So very much enjoyed solving this over a beer – loved 4d (burden that gets one down), but thought 7a was weak, maybe i don’t know enough nautical protocol (?). But mainly I felt relieved to be able to get at today’s puzzle. I did manage to find a newspaper – it was the sunday times – so now i’ve done my first mephisto.

    Kids enjoyed finding easter eggs, sun comes out between hail storms, beautiful over the sea from this pub. Happy Easter everyone

    • pommers
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      7a is OK for me as a warning shot is traditionally fired past the front of an enemy ship.

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      Can we have beer 🍺 as a singular?

      • pommers
        Posted March 27, 2016 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        Not often :-)

      • Wahoo
        Posted March 27, 2016 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        Funny how with so many things in Life, one is never enough.

        Jean-Luc, I have been meaning to say for the last week – much respect to you for your change of avator. Well done.

  16. jean-luc cheval
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Caught up with everything today.
    Couldn’t print the NTSPP until this morning. Done but incomplete…. Check.
    Printed and solved Maskarade’s wonderful Guardian prize…Check.
    Just finished Virgilius…..Check.
    As Una, my last ones where 4d and 11a.
    Just wonderful.
    Loved 17a also but for 6d, I thought of Magnum PI instead. Silly really.
    The Victorian painter came straight away.
    So much for selective GK.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints.

    • stanXYZ
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      J-L, it seems that you need help from Cruciverbalists Anonymous!

      Try to do just one crossword per day – if this isn’t enough – fill in your time with something else. Ever tried cooking?

      • pommers
        Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        As Wahoo says at #15, one is never enough!

        Today I have done the Everyman (from the Observer) and the Quixote (from the Indy on Sunday), shared this one with pommette over lunch and found time for a couple of sudokus. It’s a busy life!

        • Una
          Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

          I thought you hated sudokus .

  17. Jon_S
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Into ** range of difficulty for me, with 8/10/17 holding out at the end. A few clues dotted here and there seem to be themed round Easter Day and the Passion story, but there doesn’t appear to be a full blown theme or nina.

  18. Robin Newman
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    very mediocre, rescued by 4D


    Thanks to BD

    • Merusa
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Well, I think you are the first person who has ever found a Virgilius puzzle mediocre! That is confirmation of “to each his own”!

  19. Angel
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    This was quite literally a joy from start to finish. Can’t possibly limit myself to a single Fav so I nominate 11a, 27a, 3d and 4d for starters. Thank you so much Virgilius for a great start to a happy family Easter Day and BD for your hints. ***/****.

    • Angel
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      Oh wow BD, editing is back for us – well done you and thanks. Emoticons next?

      • Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        I’m a bit more nervous about reinstating the emoticons. Maybe I’ll try tomorrow if the site remains stable.

  20. Vancouverbc
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    What an excellent puzzle! Of course it would be given I finished it in record time. My favourite was 17a. Thanks to the setter and BD for the blog. The site seems to be back to its usual healthy self. By the way, I have been a Tomita fan for more years than I care to mention – his version of Clair de Lune is outstanding.

    • Posted March 27, 2016 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      That’s one of my favourites.

      • John
        Posted March 27, 2016 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

        Agreed, bought the LP (Snowflakes are Dancing) when it first came out in 1974, this thread has prompted me to listen again on Spotify – how times change. Clair de Lune is wonderful, as is Golliwog’s Cakewalk

  21. Salty Dog
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    Another Sunday cracker. Only just into 2* time, but a joy from start to finish. Honourable mentions for 9a and 11a, but my favourite clue is 4d. Thanks to Virgilius – how do you do it? – and to BD.

  22. Sheffieldsy
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    We normally do our cryptics top to bottom but today we couldn’t get going in the North, so this one we did bottom-up. That went well but we stalled a little in the NW corner before it all fell into place.

    This was a really nice puzzle, so big ups to Virgilius.

    Favourites were 27a (a compact little gem) and 1d (for some reason we love double lurkers). Overall 2.5*/3.5* we felt.

    Thanks for the hints go to BD, of course.

  23. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    After the disappointment of Saturday, that was absolutely out of the top draw.
    Some terrific clues 4d, 11a, 17a, 2d, but top of the pick was 27a and a lesson learnt.
    I was not convinced by 7a.
    Many thanks to BD for the hints and to the setter.

  24. Brian
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Finished but with lots of only partially understood clues. Can’t see the reasonable person in 9a or why 19a is a piece of music rather than the musicians. Gave up trying to parse 20a although the answer had to be from the checking letters. Tried with the hint but no joy I’m afraid.
    In addition 3D is absolutely dreadful even if the answer was obvious!
    However, in 2d there is an outstanding clue.
    On the whole enjoyable if tricky as one expects on a Sunday.
    Thx to all.

    • Posted March 28, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Please read again my hint for 9a, noting which words are underlined as the definition.

      The hint for 20a tells you how to parse the clue.

  25. fortis88
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    didn’t think much of the clue for xxxx

    • crypticsue
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink


      Whatever you think of the clue for 3d, you shouldn’t include the solution in your comment as this is a prize puzzle.