ST 2842 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2842 (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    Welcomed youth in part, giving amusing performance (6)
Our first lurker (in part) – can you find the other two?

4a    What things are offered for sale under
pound? (6)
Two definitions – once the split between the two definitions has been identified it becomes a lot easier

11a    Small kind of whale in boat (4)
S(mall) followed by a female whale – the male is a bull!

12a    Is part of monastery surrounded by a lot of work by various writers? (10)
IS from the clue and that part of a monastery occupied by a monk inside (surrounded by) a word meaning a lot

13a    Location of university  that has courses old and new, of good character? (5,7)
A rather different kind of triple definition – as a town it is the location of a university, as a golf course it has an old course and a new one and as a possessive noun it means of a specific good person

21a    Refer to spot or position in hearing (4)
Sounds like (in hearing) a spot, and spelt differently, sounds like a position

23a    Salvages, switching odds twice for gambling centre (3,5)
Switch the 1st and 3rd letters (odds once) then the 5th and 7th (odds twice)

25a    Venerated party embraced by a left-winger (6)
A two-letter party between (embraced by) the A from the clue and a left-winger


1d    It divides churches present for confab (8)
IT from the clue between CH(urch) and CH(urch) and followed by a two-letter word meaning preset

2d    Parrot initially mimics a call of another bird (5)
The initial letter of M[imic] followed by the A from the clue and the call of a bird such as a crow

3d    Hat raised to entitled female? That’s a problem (7)
The reversal (raised) of an archaic three-letter word for a hat followed by the female whose name forms the title of a popular novel

6d    Ethical authority has spoken, interrupting someone mean (9)
An adjective meaning spoken inside a mean person

14d    In strange sense, city must, as producer of invention? (9)
This anagram (strange) of SENSE CITY gives something which is the mother (producer) of invention in a well know saying

15d    Got out of hospital, not in the right direction (8)
Split as (4,4) it means got out of hospital, as (8) it means not going to the right

17d    Gallery in museum entered by monarch (7)
A London museum (1,3,1) around (entered by) the regnal cipher of our monarch

21d    About tragic role that’s easily interpreted (5)
The single-letter Latin abbreviation for about followed by the eponymous tragic king in a famous play by Shakespeare

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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.

Please read these instructions carefully. Offending comments may be redacted or deleted.

Today it’s Happy Birthday to Doris Day (92)


  1. Kath
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I found this difficult today and thought the left side was trickier than the right.
    I was terribly pleased when I found the lurker at 10a completely unaware that I’d sailed straight past the first one – first “oh dear” of the day.
    13a and 14d were my last answers.
    I also had trouble with 20a – maybe I’m wrong -I thought it was a straight anagram to begin with but, if I’m right, isn’t it a reverse anagram? Should know after all the time I’ve been here!
    I liked 16 and 23a and 2 and 14d. My favourite was 1d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    • Posted April 3, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      20a Dress I ruined with evil and harmful act (10)
      This is an anagram (ruined) of DRESS I followed by an evil

      • Kath
        Posted April 3, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        Yes – thank you – I got that far in the end but spent far too long trying to make it an anagram of DRESS I and EVIL. So what does that make it? I get in a terrible muddle with reverse anagrams and indirect anagrams and know that one is verboten and the other’s OK and oh dear, oh dear, oh dear . . .

        • Posted April 3, 2016 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

          I guess it’s just a partial anagram. It’s certainly neither of reverse anagram or indirect anagram.

  2. Ade
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I have some crazy quizword thing on my ipad where the crossword should be. Asking for racing driver james unt at 1a. Annoying

    • Gaskyns
      Posted April 3, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Yes, the digital Telegraph has posted the General Knowledge crossword in place of the Cryptic Crossword for Sunday April 3rd. Disappointing and a trifle annoying I agree.

    • Posted April 3, 2016 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      You can download today’s puzzle from:

    • David in Bali
      Posted April 3, 2016 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Ah. That explains it. Most annoying.

  3. Una
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Virgillius always has a slightly different take on clues, which is why I enjoy them so much.
    1d and 11a were my last ones in and are my best liked. 15d also gave me a smile.All the clues were good.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  4. George
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    An excellent Sunday puzzle again – perhaps a bit trickier than the normal Virgilius puzzle – but straightforward enough 2*/4* for me.

    In response to the website performance, I have not been receiving email notices the past week, and then this morning 5 of them all showed up, so presumably stored somewhere waiting to be sent.
    No other problems with the site, though. The site is always a little slow to load but nothing that bothers me..

  5. Jane
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Seemed to be on the right wavelength today and fairly breezed through this one. My only sticking point was, like Kath, initially trying to make an anagram out of DRESS I EVIL.

    No particular favourite, just plenty of the usual good stuff from Virgilius.
    Thanks to him and to BD for all his hard work.

  6. Gazza
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius for the usual Sunday treat and to BD for the hints.
    I received a notification email for this one – the first such notification for about a week.

  7. Angel
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Thanks BD for apparently fixing email subscriptions – it has worked so far today although in the past the problem has been somewhat intermittent so my fingers are still crossed. I have a laptop and an Ipad Air (your favourite!). My browsers are Internet Explorer 11 and Safari and the Platform is Windows 7 on the laptop.

  8. Angel
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    IMO this has been a great week for the Cryptics ending with today which was terrific and just nicely demanding. Can’t believe the only one on which I had to consult was 13a – d’oh – but it now certainly has to be my Fav. Thanks so much Virgilius and BD for being there as always.

  9. Vancouverbc
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    **/***. Needed two sittings to get this to yield. But rewarding when done so thanks to the setter and BD for the review. Rain predicted for the lower mainland today but I’ll bet we don’t see a drop by the beach.

  10. Vancouverbc
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    BD an FYI. Doris Day has two recorded birth dates which make her either 92 or 94 depending on who is correct. Her biographer would claim the latter.

  11. Wahoo
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Time of night or wavelength, but I found this a breeze but hugely enjoyable last night. */****. Virgilius always seems to go the extra mile. For example, why bother with a simple anagram when another direction, i.e. varying the “odds”, links so nicely to the answer. As I love his trade mark triple definitions I will go for 13a as favourite closely followed by the charming 16a!

    I see England are getting thumped by Windies at the moment (pleasing for the locals here) but I suppose anything can happen in T20.

  12. Merusa
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Great solve today! Thank you Virgilius, you never let us down.
    My fave was 1d, but loved 13a, 16a and 17d as well.
    Thanks BD, we are so lucky to have someone who can provide us with this mysterious thing called technology, simple enough for simpletons like me to use.

  13. Jezza
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Virgilius for a super puzzle, and to BD for the hints.
    16a got a tick at the time of solving, so I vote that as my favourite.

  14. jean-luc cheval
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius for brightening an otherwise grey Sunday.
    The weather has been awful for a few days and it has been raining mud on and off. Will need a good clean up after that.
    Nice to see my old haunt in 16a but favourite is 18d.
    Thanks again to virgilius and to BD for the blog.

  15. Florence
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Just got back from the most awful lunch out. Fobbed off by waiter so demanded to see manager. Food sent back to kitchen. Then told that the menu I was given and ordered from was different to the kitchen, and Head Office was to blame. If it tasted nice I would have just eaten it regardless, but it didn’t. I will write to head office. Good to be home with a cup of tea in one hand and the crossword in the other. Thank you Virgilius and BD. I have managed to finish, but really don’t know why 16a is what it is. Managed to fill it in from checking letters.

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted April 3, 2016 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Poor you.
      Not saying that it never happens in my restaurant but at least you eat in the head office. The buck stops here and take full responsibility for what might happen. Just hate chains.
      As for 16a: Meeting of women such as witches followed by an anagram of granted.

      • Florence
        Posted April 3, 2016 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Jean-Luc. Now I get it. I was trying to pick all the odd letters out and make something. The penny has just dropped on the ‘charming group of females’ …as in hubble, bubble, toil and trouble. Very good. Really like it, and now know why others liked 16a too. I am putting lack of thinking down to lack of food!!!

  16. Kitty
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Things really are back to normal. At least in the case of the Sunday crosswords, “normal” is a good thing. Virgilius delivers again. 13a defeated me – grr! I couldn’t get a wrong second word out of my head. Oh well. It’s impossible really to pick a favourite, but I will just mention 23a for the novel cluing and 16a for the charm.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    P.S. Email notifications have continued to work fine for me, and I haven’t had any other problems for a long while on Windows and (*whispers*) IE.

    • fran
      Posted April 3, 2016 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you Kitty 13a bested me because I too had filled in the wrong second word otherwise a super crossword

      • Kitty
        Posted April 3, 2016 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        Nice to have company, Fran. :)

    • Kath
      Posted April 3, 2016 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      I also had the wrong second word for 13a for ages – confused by the ‘location’ bit in the clue – well, that’s my excuse anyway . . .

      • Kitty
        Posted April 3, 2016 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

        And I too wanted to include evil in the 20a anagram. I think Virgilius led quite a few of us up the same garden paths today … but what a nice garden.

        • hoofityoudonkey
          Posted April 4, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

          and me. I got done by that. In fact, that was my last one in.
          Lovely crossword though…

  17. Jon_S
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    A *, or maybe just ** for difficulty, **** for enjoyment as always from Virgilius. 20ac held me up at the end, convinced as I was that it was a full and not a partial anagram, despite guessing the answer fairly early in the day. Got myself into a bit of a pickle with 15d, though I can’t think why now. We seemed to have a surfeit of hidden answers today.

  18. JonP
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable as always from Virgilius – I was confused for a bit with 20ac as per Kath but no problems with the rest of it.

    Enjoying the Floridian Sunshine and Mrs JP’s company whilst our kids go careering around various rides at Universal Studios.

    Thanks to BD and Virgilius **/****

    • Kath
      Posted April 3, 2016 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      Oh wow – Universal Studios – remember going there when our Lambs were six and eight – i.e. twenty-nine years ago. We’d been to Disney Land/World – whichever is in California. I’d absolutely hated the Disney bit and didn’t really want to go to Universal thingy but it was amazing, and I’m REALLY not that kind of person at all!

      • Jane
        Posted April 3, 2016 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        Have to confess that I loved the Disney bit as well – and, no, I’m not usually that sort of person either!

  19. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Can’t believe England blew that. Just like the footballers.
    Back to the SE corner which is holding me up.

  20. JonathanR
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    As someone who always accesses the crosswords via the Telegraph app, I was quite confused reading the general knowledge crossword today in place of the cryptic. At first I just thought that the surface meanings were very well constructed and that the clues were incredibly hard, such as “Trigonometrical function of an angle”! Thanks so much for uploading the correct version, it’s very much appreciated.

  21. dutch
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    how does “must” work in 14d?

    • Gazza
      Posted April 3, 2016 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      I took it to be part of the definition, since it’s a synonym of the answer.

      • dutch
        Posted April 4, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        yes that works, thanks

        and thanks BD & virgilius

  22. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Another excellent crossword.
    Got held up by 16a as I did not know the collective name for the females, and 20a for absolutely no reason.
    As a golfer 13a went in immediately, sympathy for non-golfers.
    I liked 12a, but favourite was 3d for the last part of the clue, wonderful book.

  23. Salty Dog
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    2*/4*, and favourite clue either 12a or 16a. 4a held me up a bit – although once I twigged it I couldn’t for the life of me understand why. Thanks to Virgilius, and of course to BD.

  24. Gwizz
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Good challenge, especially once I realised James Hunt had nothing to do with it!
    3/4* overall, and my favourite clue was 14a once I realised a certain no of sisters had again, nothing to do with the answer.
    Doing the crossword on paper was a new experience too….
    Thanks to Virgilius and BD for the hints.

  25. Heno
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle from Virgilius as usual. I couldn’t do this to save my life. Needed 7 hints and electronic assistance to finish. Favourite was 16a. Was 4*/3* for me.

  26. Paso Doble
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    We also wasted time on fiddling around with the evil anagram at 20a and got a bit held up on the lurker at the top. Marvellous crossword as usual from Viurgillius which we saved to enjoy at the end of a busy day. Many thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints. **/**** from us.

  27. Attila the Hun
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    As another iPad app user I too was initially puzzled then extremely annoyed and frustrated by the substitution of a General Knowledge crossword for the Prize Cryptic. I submitted it, though, although not in any expectation that it will win me a prize. Zero marks to the Telegraph for not correcting their error … and not for the first time, either; there have been other mistakes in the Puzzles section, such as the time the Codewords contained no letters at all … very hard!

    Many thanks to Big Dave for emailing me the correct grid and clues. With no printer in our rented holiday home in sunny Bonita Springs FL, I resorted to drawing the grid on paper. Maybe I’ll photograph the completed puzzle and email it.

  28. Brian
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Very tricky but immensely satisfying to complete. Virgilus always provides a challenge.
    Very enjoyable.
    Thx to all

  29. anja
    Posted June 13, 2016 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    What has happened too the Sunday Telegraph cryptic, it used to be easy. anja