ST 2847 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2847 (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    Altered course in spring (6)
An easy anagram (altered) of COURSE to get you started

10a    Add to what’s on page in report to be rewritten, inserting verse (9)
An anagram (to be rewritten) of IN REPORT around (inserting) V(erse)

11a    Whisky from Islay and a different island (5)
The type of whisky for which Islay is famous (my personal favourite is Bunnahabhain, closely followed by Laphroaig and Lagavulin) then the A from the clue

12a    Negligent on parking — that’s what starts argument (7)
An adjective meaning negligent preceded by (on in an across clue) P(arking)

15a    Where to locate lots of fliers, by means of putting sign outside (8)
A preposition meaning by means of with a sign of the zodiac outside

20a    Support with work backing speakers’ positions (5)
Some support and a musical work all reversed (backing) – note that the answer is plural!

27a    Became green, supposedly, holding fuel back as foreseen (9)
Green is the colour associated with a certain emotion, so put a verb meaning became green around the reversal of a three-letter type of fuel

29a    Person working on text partly changed it, originally (6)
This one is lurking (partly) in the clue – well done if you spotted it before reading this hint


1d    Raised a lot of money with hotel worker for strike (8)
Start with the reversal (raised in a down clue) of a lot of money and add a hotel worker, usually a young male

3d    Mediterranean island crop one delivered in early January (9)
A Mediterranean island followed by a cereal crop gives the birth sign of a child delivered in early January, or late December

5d    Employee expecting to get this for labour? (9,5)
… and this is what a parent of the child in the previous clue could expect to receive

6d    Create stink over article prone to being erroneous (5)
A three-letter stink followed by the indefinite article – this setter loves these references to proverbs

8d    Ramshackle dwelling for number of crewmen (6)
Two definitions – the number being, in this case, a song


16d    Visibly embarrassed about English journalists being put down (9)
The colour associated with being embarrassed around E(nglish) and a word for journalists collectively

21d    Drawing of man that might become king (7)
This man is a piece in a board game, but not, on this occasion, chess

24d    Without any qualifications, say (5)
Two definitions – an adjective meaning without any qualifications, total or absolute and a verb meaning to say or speak

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 Sir David Attenborough (90)  


  1. dutch
    Posted May 8, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I liked the 25% raise (25a), the nam that might be king (21a), the dwelling for a number of crewman (8d), the (3d) Mediterranean island as well as the Whisky of course (11a).
    Many thanks Virgilius &BD

  2. Sheffieldsy
    Posted May 8, 2016 at 1:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A nice puzzle over a late breakfast. Nothing too strenuous and some nice moments.

    Enjoyed 4a (a clue we initially were convinced was an anagram) and 3d (I am one such) plus we learned a new spelling in 14a.

    I read the cryptic crossword research earlier. It was fascinating. I seem to fit the mould (started in my teens, science degree (maths), career in IT etc.) but Mrs Sheffieldsy doesn’t (started in her 40s, left school after O levels, no science bent that I can discern and so on). What to make of that?

    Thanks to BD and the setter.

  3. Rabbit Dave
    Posted May 8, 2016 at 1:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    3*/4*. A fine crossword for a fine day. I’ll go along with Dutch’s short list: 11a, 25a, 3d, 8d & 21d, with 21d getting my vote as favourite.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  4. Jane
    Posted May 8, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Virgilius and BD. Really liked 15,23,27&28a plus 8d. Thanks for the clip of 8d, BD, -hadn’t picked up on the ‘rusty razor’ when I’d listened to it before!

  5. Tedgar
    Posted May 8, 2016 at 2:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Many thanks for the write-up BD and to the setter. Favourites were 3D and 8D; hadn’t come across the variant of 12A before so learnt something new today.

  6. Kath
    Posted May 8, 2016 at 2:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A good fun crossword for a lovely day – bit too hot really but not sure I should be saying that so early in the year . . .
    Started off really well which is unusual for me on a Sunday but then ground to a halt for a while.
    I’ve never seen 12 or 14a spelt as they are here but they had to be what they were.
    Didn’t know the ‘pungent wit’ in 7d.
    I was slow with a few in the top right and bottom left corners – no excuses there, I just was.
    Just for once I didn’t have trouble finding the lurkers.
    I liked 18 and 28a and 6 and 21d. My favourite was 5d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  7. Heno
    Posted May 8, 2016 at 2:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very well crafted puzzle. Some great surfaces and well hidden lurkers. Favourite was 9d, last in was 26a. Was 2*/4* for me. Roasting in Central London, must make the most of our 3 days of Summer :-)

  8. Young Salopian
    Posted May 8, 2016 at 3:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This took me longer than it should have done, mainly because I was doing it in the garden on my iPad, and the glass is reflective, unlike on a Kindle, so reading the clues was difficult. Anyway, no complaints because the sun is shining. Another cracking puzzle from the Sunday maestro, full of his usual guile, humour and brilliance. It is often hard to nominate a favourite from such a collection of goodies, but I will go for 5 down if pushed.

    2*/4* with grateful thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  9. Merusa
    Posted May 8, 2016 at 3:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good stuff, this!
    I didn’t know the “stink” in 6d, but it’s in the thesaurus.
    I missed the anagram in 10a, but it couldn’t be anything else.
    Nice lurker in 4a, but I did get it without too much agony.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for his hints.

    • Kath
      Posted May 8, 2016 at 4:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I hope you’re recovering well. :smile:
      It feels like a while since we’ve ‘seen’ the Kiwis or have I just missed them? Do hope they’re OK.

      • Merusa
        Posted May 8, 2016 at 4:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I’m home with a friend staying with me, complaining like mad that I’m not getting better quickly enough! In reality, I am getting better but I lack patience, and I refuse to take narcotic medication so I have to grin and bear it.

        I think the Kiwis popped in a couple of days ago, but as they are usually so regular, can you not email them?

        • Kath
          Posted May 8, 2016 at 4:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Oh dear – I know what impatience is like – tough for you and the friend who’s staying with you too, probably!
          Yes – I’ll email the K’s when I’ve watered stuff in the garden in pots – I’ll report back.

  10. pommers
    Posted May 8, 2016 at 4:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good stuff as usual from Virgilius but perhaps three lurkers in one puzzle is a little OTT?

    Most enjoyed in the local over a few pescaditos and a vino collapso so a big thankyou to Virgilius and, of course, to BD.

    BTW, the weather in the UK seems a lot better than here! Not unusual in late April/early May but we should be back to normal service by the end of the week.

    • Kath
      Posted May 8, 2016 at 4:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Weather in UK is hot, well, for us anyway – it’s 26C in Oxford at the moment.
      My sister arrived in southern Spain today so don’t forget what I told you last week about keeping your eyes peeled for loopy drivers! :unsure:

      • pommers
        Posted May 8, 2016 at 4:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Managed to crawl up to 20C today with intermittent rain – I’m wearing a pullover!. Forecast similar for the next two days so pommette has picked a good weekend to visit her mother.

        So long as your sister is on the Costa del Sol I’ll be OK, but there are so many loopy drivers around here that another one won’t make a lot of difference.

        • Tantalus
          Posted May 8, 2016 at 7:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Weather in Holland was a treat this week (25C) – visited Hortus Botanticus in Leiden but the wysteria were very disappointing. Are they all late this year?

          Thx to v and Bd in advance of our early evening attempts.

          Mr & Mrs T

          • pommers
            Posted May 8, 2016 at 8:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Now it’s started raining again, but at least it’s good for the plants :smile:

  11. Angel
    Posted May 8, 2016 at 5:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Perhaps the heat has got to me (although not as warm as forecast) because I found this quite a tussle and had to resort to my 14a for help with several clues. Tried to use the usual support in 20a. I do enjoy a challenge but somehow this didn’t really float my boat however it’s nearly wine o’clock which will enable me to drown my sorrows and possibly attack the GK. Thanks to the setter and to BD. ****/**.

  12. Una
    Posted May 8, 2016 at 6:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Reading Friedlander and Fine study of cryptic crosswords, I find I am on the cusp of ordinary / expert most days of the week , but on Sunday , I am definitely quite ordinary, taking more than ** minutes, usually.
    I liked 3d 5d, 8d, 9d among many others.
    Thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    It has been really hot all day long, about 25 or 26 degrees.

  13. Ginniebd
    Posted May 8, 2016 at 7:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    So sad,whizzed along until I came to the bottom left hand corner,ground to a halt,brain dead and no hints to help.In fact only one hint in all that corner.I will plod on and pray I get there before the answers.Sadly Im still stuck on one from last week .Perseverando was my school motto.Thanks to everyone as ever.

  14. JonP
    Posted May 8, 2016 at 8:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The usual enjoyment factor from our Sunday setter and nothing overly taxing to hold me up for too long.

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

  15. Jon_S
    Posted May 8, 2016 at 9:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Into *** for difficulty for me, all of it in the NW corner. Perhaps I’d just run out of steam by then. The usual excellent puzzle from Virgilius.

  16. AnntheArt
    Posted May 8, 2016 at 9:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Determination got me there in the end plus rich use of the hints and many other little helpers. But frustratingly cannot make sense of 12a and so that one remains open. Have to wait for the solution I guess.
    Once again am in awe of those who have found this straightforward. Thanks to the Sunday setter and to BD…certainly needed your help today.

    • Kath
      Posted May 8, 2016 at 10:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

      12a – the definition is ‘what starts argument’ – not in the sense of being argumentative but something that is assumed for the sake of argument. Begin with the usual letter meaning Parking and follow that with another word for negligent or careless. The answer is not a spelling that I’ve ever seen but it is in the BRB.

      • AnntheArt
        Posted May 8, 2016 at 10:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Kath, good of you to respond. I will ponder on it!

        I don’t know about you but ever since the other day, I have been singing that blessed song…Love is a many Splendoured, etc. Constantly. Driving me potty!

      • AnntheArt
        Posted May 8, 2016 at 10:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Got it. I had the first part of 9d wrong! Silly me…Yes now it makes sense…I do know that spelling too.

        Thanks…will now be able to sleep soundly!

  17. jean-luc cheval
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 12:06 am | Permalink | Reply

    12a took a while too.
    Learned a new word in 26a.
    Favourite is 9d. Surface and solution work so well together.
    Weather the same as in Spain and for the next few days too.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the blog.

  18. Geoff Potter
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 12:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Don’t know whether it’s just me but my iPad version of 21d is ‘Make preliminary plan for man that might become king’, which did blow us off course for a while. Also whisky was misspelt in 11a. Why do we seem to get clues different to the paper version? Strange…

  19. hoofityoudonkey
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 3:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Another tricky one…25a, did not understand the reference top 25% until I had cheated…
    All in all a tough week-end. Needing too many hints still.

    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted May 9, 2016 at 6:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Phew, what a struggle, needed all the technology and literature available.
      SW corner was the hardest.
      Thanks to the setter and Big Dave

  20. Gwizz
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A steady solve until the bottom left hand corner came into the equation! Finally completed after a fair amount of cogitation.
    15a was my favourite I think, and 3/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius next to BD for the hints.

Leave a Reply, but please read the Comment Etiquette (under Contact on the menu) first, especially if you are asking a question

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *