ST 2846 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2846 (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    Exemplary kind of order for dessert (5-3)
Two definitions – the first being a type of order or arrangement in which everything is neatly in place

11a    Country like Norway, Sweden, or Denmark, in which child generally succeeds (8)
A cryptic definition of a type of country, including those given in the clue, in which the head of state is usually succeeded by his or her) child

12a    Rugby forward, for certain, disrupted three-quarters, say (6,8)
One of the rugby forwards followed by an anagram (disrupted) of for certain

19a    Became hard as rock, kind of (4)
A verb meaning became followed by H(ard) gives a style of rock music (or so I’m informed)

20a    Working with numbers, put in ten, as an eight is wrong (14)
These numbers are substances that numb the body and they are derived from an anagram (wrong) of TEN AS AN EIGHT IS

25a    Group of animals will, we hear, get over barrier (6)
Sounds like (we hear) a group of animals will (4’2)

28a    Odd statue I’d put in position (8)
An anagram (odd) of STATUE I’D


1d    Quarrel with son over expected performance on course (4)
S(on) followed by the “expected” score on a golf course – albeit many golfers can only aspire to such a score!

4d    Clubs are able to move up, showing spirit (6)
C(lubs) followed by the reversal (up in a down clue) of two words meaning “are able to” and move

8d    Star using Circle Line in capital (7)
This star is derived by putting the circular letter and L(ine) inside a capital city

14d    Hooligan in area that driver tries to avoid (5)
Two definitions – the second being an area on the golf course

16d    In alternative ways, met a person who’s on one’s side (4-4)
An anagram (in alternative way) of MET A followed by a different anagram of the same letters

18d    Drug’s stolen recently, in attempt to secure next meal (3,4)
A three-letter drug followed by the S from ‘S and an adjective meaning recently stolen

21d    More than a dozen lines providing child with catch (6)
This poem of fourteen lines, which is more than a dozen, is a charade of a male child and a verb meaning to catch

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
(William Shakespeare)

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

22d    Run fast, without a stitch (6)

26d    A number of Germans produced fiction (4)
Two definitions – a noun meaning a German song and a verb meaning produced fiction or told porkies

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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 Joanna Lumley (70)  

  By special request – Paso Doble’s puppies


Luna and Teddy



  1. rod
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Managed to finish with a modicum of head scratching. Pity you didn’t give hint for 17a, BD as I can’t see where middle letter comes from. Anyone help? Thanks setter and BD

    • dutch
      Posted May 1, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

      17a, no middle letter stuff, I read it as a double definition – check brb

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted May 1, 2016 at 12:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Rod, it’s a double definition.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted May 1, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Oops. Dutch beat me to it.

        • rod
          Posted May 1, 2016 at 12:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Thanks Dutch and RD. I was trying to find the second definition on Google and failed. After your hint I found it in my BRB.

  2. dutch
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Some brilliant definitions / wordplay elements -11a, 20a, 5d, 23a, 21d. i think my favourite is 11a for its misdirection.

    I thought I had spelled 20a correctly but the checkers proved me wrong!

    many thanks Virgilius for another great sunday morning treat.

    and many thanks BD for the picture of the puppies

  3. Rabbit Dave
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    1*/4*. Virgilius keeps them coming! Another superb Sunday puzzle albeit at the easier end of his spectrum.

    I hadn’t previously come across the politician’s platform in 17a. My favourite today was 16d which is a typically Virgilian construction, and one which I can’t recall having seen before.

    Many thanks to Virgilius for the great entertainment and to BD for his excellent although not needed hints and lovely doggy (and Joanna Lumley) pictures.

  4. sgtbilko
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    11a stumped me for ages
    agonised for ages over 26d – eventually worked it out, but must say it’s a new word for me

  5. Tedgar
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 12:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very enjoyable and I agree with dutch about the defs, particularly 20A and 5D. Favourites overall 20A and 23A which stands out as a very neat clue of its kind.

    rod, I think 17A is a double definition rather than a charade: I had to check the ‘politician’s platform’ meaning but it’s there in Chambers.

  6. crypticsue
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 12:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The sort of lovely Sunday puzzle where you hope Gnomethang might be stuck in a basement in 10 days time (sorry Gnomey) as it didn’t take that long to solve and I’d love the chance to enjoy it all over again.

    If Kath wasn’t around I have lots of clues I could pick for stardorm but I’ll just agree with Rabbit Dave that 16d is the best one of all.

    Thanks to Virgilius and BD too.

  7. jaycat
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 12:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Started OK then ground to halt in the SW corner. Still stuck on 15a if someone can help without going to the naughty step!

    Enjoyed it, some excellent clues, loved 11a.


    Thanks BD and Virgillius.

    • Senf
      Posted May 1, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

      A three letter nickname for a trophy preceded by the single letter abbreviation for second.

      • jaycat
        Posted May 1, 2016 at 2:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Senf, I got 13 d wrong so couldn’t make it all work!

  8. Jane
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    11a definitely had me fooled until I got the checking letter in from 6d and I hadn’t realised that 19a was a type of ‘music’ as well as a rather unusual type of person.
    Lots to enjoy – my top spots go to 20a&3d.

    Thanks to Virgilius for the Sunday entertainment and to BD for the parsing confirmations and the lovely pics.

  9. Senf
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 12:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I am only an ‘occasional’ Sunday solver but, after a miserable Saturday where I needed all but one of BD’s hints, I was looking for some restoration of confidence and I found it. Completed very comfortably before lights out last night – * or **/***. Favourites 12a and 17a; I particularly enjoy the part cryptic, part anagram clues like 12a. Thanks to Virgilius and to BD.
    And, even here in Canada, I can get to watch and see if Leicester City can secure the Premier League title today – I will be rooting for them.

    • Paso Doble
      Posted May 1, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Good on you Senf…My Dad played for Leicester City many moons ago and it would be an incredible story if they could clinch the title at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’…!!!

      • Senf
        Posted May 1, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks PD – starting my morning off watching the first hour of the Sochi ‘demolition derby’ (aka the Russian Grand Prix) then at 8:00am local time changing over to the MU/LC game.

  10. Heno
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 12:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite gentle. I got the answer to 27a, but not sure why it is what it is. Favourite was 25a. Was 1*/4* for me.

    • Kath
      Posted May 1, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Heno – 27a – the definition is ‘cheerful’. Take ‘push’ away from ‘publish’ – (without external push) and follow the letters that remain with the definite article.

  11. Kath
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 1:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hmmm – oh dear – a “just me then” day. I found this one really difficult and for some time doubted that I was ever going to finish it.
    I missed two of the three lurkers for ages – dim.
    Wasn’t sure whether “odd” or “put in position” was the anagram indicator in 28a but it soon became clear.
    I’m glad that I wasn’t the only one to get in a pickle with 17a although the answer had to be what it was – didn’t know the politician’s platform bit.
    11a took a very long time, as did several others – 25a and 4, 18 and 26d.
    Oh well – all good fun as Sundays always are.
    I liked 12a (once I’d stopped having Rugby blindness) and 27a and 3 and 16d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to BD, specially for the pics of Paso Doble’s pups – blimey – what a lovely mixture of brains and attitude.
    BD – please can we have some pics of your garden now? :rose:

    • Senf
      Posted May 1, 2016 at 1:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Kath – no mention of the golfing references in 1d and 14d?

      • Kath
        Posted May 1, 2016 at 5:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

        No – if you can’t beat ’em join ’em! Actually that’s not quite true but I can just about cope with that amount of ‘golf speak’.

    • JonP
      Posted May 1, 2016 at 2:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I agree with you Kath. I found this quite tricky and it took me a while to solve it.

      Thanks to BD and Virgilius 2.5*/4*

  12. Posted May 1, 2016 at 1:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Yet another Sunday marvel.

    Lots of very clever stuff, like 16d which would be my favourite, but 19a made me laugh so I have to choose that.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints and puppies.

  13. Jill
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 2:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very enjoyable – looked really tough at first but with some after lunch cerebration (!!!) it fell into place. Favourite was 25a

  14. BobEH
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 3:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve been trying the “I” recently and solutions to the clues come but rarely. It was therefore a nice change to come back to the T’graph with a reasonable cryptic. Even so after some thought I was left with 13d and 27a. Unfortunately BD deemed these too easy to provide a hint. For anyone struggling, 13d is given by “a type of cloth” and something that “is safe to swallow” . That then fills in a missing letter for 27a to provide a word that is only used in crosswords and by Noel Coward. Happy days.

  15. Young Salopian
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 3:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    27 across my pick from many excellent clues in this brilliant Virgilius crossword. After a slow start, it all fell nicely into place with 21 down my last one in. As always, Virgilius sets and maintains a very high standard, week in week out, so many thanks to him and BD.

    PD’s pups are just adorable. Mrs YS wants one.

  16. AnntheArt
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 3:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    After a good day yesterday finishing without hints, albeit with some cooperation with Mr AtheA for the final few clues…today was a different kettle of fish and I soon ground to a halt. But with one or two hints to get me going again, was able to finish and even enjoyed it. Got fooled again by the “numbers” in 20a even though had recognised the answer but couldn’t justify it. Dim, as Kath would say.
    Fave was 24d.
    Thank you BD for the hints and to Virgilius whose puzzles always scare me but usually end up being very entertaining. Also thanks to all for the continuing fun.

  17. Vancouverbc
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 3:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    **/****. Very rewarding puzzle with some excellent clues (12&20a both amused me). Thanks to the setter and BD for the review.

  18. Brian
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 4:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    All the ones I am stuck on have no hints! 3D, 13d, 27a and 15a.
    As is usual with a Sunday, it was very tough but this week he has me beat.

    • crypticsue
      Posted May 1, 2016 at 5:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

      3d – our Sunday setter is quite fond of clues where you need the ‘conclusions’
      13d a three letter fabric – probably one of of those you’ve never heard of on a regular basis – goes before a word meaning OK for consumers.
      27a Look at the word publish in the clue and then read the first three words of the clue again… The definition is cheerful.
      15a look at comment 7 above.

      • Brian
        Posted May 2, 2016 at 9:14 am | Permalink | Reply

        Thx Sue, got the rest now but the Conclusions is still a mystery

        • crypticsue
          Posted May 2, 2016 at 12:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I am torn between trying to find a picture of someone banging their head on the table in despair or resorting to language unbecoming to a lady of my years.

          Once again, all I can say is look in the blooming dictionary – I leave you to imagine the words I used when I read your comment.

          • HoofItYouDonkey
            Posted May 2, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Thanks Sue, without your nudge I could have stared at that for 15 years and not got it!!!

            • crypticsue
              Posted May 2, 2016 at 12:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

              If you’d started solving before the internet, you’d have learned the art of cryptic crossword solving through trial and error, and the help of proper reference books,mainly the dictionary. You’d then have looked in the next day’s paper to compare the solution with the clue and see if you could see how it worked – more often than not, as Gazza and I often say, you’d be none the wiser.

              The first resort of the cryptic solver should always be a good dictionary, not only because you’ll find the answer there but also the physical act of looking something up in a book fixes it in your memory (unless you are a couple of our regular commenters) whereas looking it up on line means that your brain assumes it doesn’t need to remember it, as it can find it online anytime it wants.

              • HoofItYouDonkey
                Posted May 2, 2016 at 1:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

                I certainly agree with you that checking answers pre the internet by checking the answer in the following day’s paper must have been an excellent way of learning this trade. This internet has made many lessons ‘too easy’.
                In this instance, the issue was lacking the experience of recognising the significance of ‘conclusions’ in the clue. I have it now, and hopefully it will sink in.

  19. Merusa
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 4:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Another great puzzle, I so enjoy Sundays.
    I had to google 19a to learn the rock meaning, and 20a to check the spelling – I wasn’t fooled by “number” this time.
    Fave is 11a, but the lurker at 23a is worth a mention.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints.

    Also, many thanks for the puppy pics, they are just edible and make me quite broody. I’ll bet the Paso Dobles are smothering them with love.

  20. Gwizz
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 5:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good Sunday fare as usual from Virgilius. I found the short answer clues were the trickiest. Took me ages before I realised what 3d was. I liked several clues especially 17 and 19a and 24d. But 3d was fave. 3/4* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius and BD for his hints.
    Ain’t that always the way Brian?

  21. pommers
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 6:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    As usual the best puzzle of the week turns up on Sunday. Not much else to say really.

    Thanks muchly to Virgilius and BD

  22. Una
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 6:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    All went in swimmingly , until I came to the final 25a, but thankfully the hints took care of that, although it still doesn’t work as a homophone for me.
    27a is my absolute favourite .
    Thanks to BD , for all his wonderful work. I enjoy doing the Telegraph puzzles far more than those from other publications because of this site.
    Thanks also to Virgilius for a reliably good puzzle.

  23. Jon_S
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 7:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wasn’t that good? Worth the price of admission alone. Last one in 22d, hidden in plain sight, but it still took an age to spot.

  24. Faraday
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 8:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    It never ceases to amaze me how on some days the compiler and I are totally on the same wavelength and other days I begin to lose the will to live. Usually Virgilius and I get on quite well but today was not one of those days. Having committed the cardinal sin of not finishing the puzzle this morning I was then seriously distracted by snooker and football but I eventually got there. Thank you BD for your usual elucidation and being a player of golf, as opposed to a golf player, I can totally identify with you comment in italics for 1d!

  25. JonathanR
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 9:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    3* difficulty for me as I needed a couple of clues to correct silly errors I made. 4* for enjoyment, as I learnt a few things, namely the original meaning of 18d, a new word (or meaning) in 26d and a bit of Scandinavian general knowledge in 11a. Also didn’t realise 14d could be a noun. 22d gave me a good laugh. Thanks for the clues and an enjoyable crossword.

  26. Salty Dog
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 9:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    As so often, Sunday brings the most enjoyable puzzle of the week: 2*/5*. Lots of top clue contenders to choose from, but for me the pick is 4d. Many thanks to Virgilius, and to BD for re-igniting my regard for the lovely Lumley!

  27. Florence
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 10:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Once the visitors had left I was able to settle down with this, and have some ‘me’ time. Many thanks Virgilius and BD. Favourite 12a.

  28. Posted May 1, 2016 at 10:58 pm | Permalink | Reply
    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted May 1, 2016 at 11:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Triangular is good.

      Lovely garden. Thanks BD.

    • Merusa
      Posted May 1, 2016 at 11:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      How lovely! Well done. It looks quite summery but I believe it is anything but. Hope you made lots of money for your charity.

    • Hanni
      Posted May 1, 2016 at 11:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Fantastic :yahoo:

      Well done to you and Mrs BD and to friend of son of course! How many visitors did you get?

      • Posted May 1, 2016 at 11:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

        85 yesterday and 121 today.

        • Hanni
          Posted May 2, 2016 at 12:49 am | Permalink | Reply

          Oh my goodness! That’s epic. Love the scarecrow too. :yes:

    • Kath
      Posted May 2, 2016 at 8:15 am | Permalink | Reply

      Brilliant – well done to the friend of Son of BD for transforming the garden and well done to BD himself for doing the watering.

    • dutch
      Posted May 2, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink | Reply

      Very nice!

  29. jean-luc cheval
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 11:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    More praise from me too.
    Great crossword.
    My last ones were the two crossed clues in the centre 17a and 14d.
    Found 6d and 7d a bit too easy though.
    Thanks to Virgilius nad to BD for the blog.

  30. Angel
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 9:33 am | Permalink | Reply

    No time for this yesterday and then exceedingly slow start this morning but all’s well that ends well. Just as well I don’t usually have problem with golf or rugby which helped. After spending a while working around arithmetic for 20a the chestnut dropped. Needed help to come up with 19a. Nicely taxing way to start what looks like a rather dreary day after such a lovely one yesterday. Thank you to Virgilius and BD – enjoyed your garden pictures. ***/***.

  31. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink | Reply

    As usual for the Sunday crossword, found this very difficult

    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted May 2, 2016 at 10:55 am | Permalink | Reply

      Finally gave this up as a bad job, first one for months I have got absolutely nowhere with. Most Sunday’s I can usually finish with the help of the hints, but not this one.
      Frustrating to have to wait until the end of the week to try and understand all the clues I could not fathom out, even with BD’s hints!!
      Thanks BD for the hints and the setter, give me another 20 years and I may get on to your wavelength.

      • HoofItYouDonkey
        Posted May 2, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Have to say that in spite of the struggle, that was an excellent crossword.
        Favourites (?) 27a, 2d….and the picture for 22!
        Thanks again to BD for the hints and also to the setter…

  32. Denis Donohue
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 3:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to B.D. & Virgilius,
    I enjoyed the puzzle. Still stuck on23 but I will get there.
    Bit of a sporting NINA?


    D. D.

  33. john carter
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 6:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    19a Once again we have a single letter,H meaning “Hard”, So why not High or Hefty or any word beginning with “H”.? This slip- shod setting spoils a good puzzle.

    • Posted May 3, 2016 at 6:40 pm | Permalink | Reply


      It’s not slipshod setting. If you haven’t already got one, get yourself a copy of Chambers (the Big Red Book) where you will find almost all of the abbreviations that are acceptable for use in crossword clues. You may not be aware of the origin, but the H on pencils is short for H[ard] – B is B[lack]. The other words that you mentioned are not in the dictionary as being abbreviated to H. Incidentally H[eight] is in the list

      • Denis Donohue
        Posted May 4, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I agree with you Dave unfortunately halfwit isn’t in the list either.

        D. D.

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