ST 2855 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2855 (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    Reacting immoderately, bypassing directors? (5,9)
This could mean bypassing (5,4) the directors of a business collectively (5)

9a    Make blue costume worn by English princess, initially (7)
A costume around (word by) E(nglish) and the initial letter of P[rincess]

11a    Followers of leaders in Germany, Austria, Greece and Portugal ready there (4)
The second letters (followers of leaders) of four countries in the clue gives ready or currency in said four countries

12a    Male held by policeman in disturbance is fellow citizen (10)
M(ale) inside (held by) a three-letter colloquial word for a policeman followed by a word meaning in and a disturbance

15a    Person who calculates what can be salvaged from wreck one raises (8)
… the first lurker!

17a    Wild animals left in vessel as overall strategy (4,4)
A collective word for wild animals, typically in Africa, followed by L(eft) inside a cooking vessel

18a    Reveal what’s found out about learner? (6)
An anagram (out) of FOUND around L[earner]

25a    Messy accumulation of toxic gas, say (7)
The chemical symbol for a toxic gas followed by a verb meaning to say or speak

26a    E.g. news printed in error about daughter that’s given to married couple (7,7)
An anagram (in error) of E.G. NEWS PRINTED around D(aughter)


1d    Without faith, half-heartedly virtuous? Not so (7)
Start with a word meaning virtuous, drop either of the middle letters (half-heartedly) and add a word meaning not so

2d    I presume a miler mistakenly covering a kilometre isn’t this (8,7)
An anagram (mistakenly) of I PRESUME A MILER around the A from the clue

4d    Verse is about embracing one beautiful person (6)
V(erse), IS and a two-letter word meaning about around (embracing) I (one)

5d    Summarised main points of century in paper badly edited (8)
C(entury) inside an anagram (badly) of paper followed by ED(ited)

7d    Act of bravado, with spinner producing fatal shot, possibly (7,8)
A cryptic definition of a possibly fatal act of bravado that involved spinning the chamber of a revolver

13d    Was nosy about work he has told about in advance (10)
A verb meaning was nosy around the usual two-letter word for a musical work and the abbreviated form of he has

16d    Historic victory for outnumbered army in the long run (8)
Two definitions – a victory for some 10,000 Greeks over a much larger Persian army – the approximate distance run by Pheidippides to tell Athens of the success is now celebrated in a long run

19d    Follow leftist type in moderate movement (7)
A three-letter verb meaning to follow precedes a leftist type

20d    Location of insignificant storm that’s lifted in afternoon? (6)
… this cryptic definition made be smile

23d    Odd parts of clue they found endearing (4)
The odd letters (odd parts of) of two words in the clue

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  Today I have two versions of the best rock’n’roll song that Elvis never sung
Endless Sleep by Jody Reynolds and Marty Wilde


  1. dutch
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The usual Sunday joy. I liked 11a – nicely done.

    7d: there’s a thin line between bravery and lunacy – I may not be completely sane, but at least I’m a coward.

    I liked the hiddens, I liked the 3d double definition (my view of what a dd should aspire to be), and many more

    Many thanks Virgilius and BD

  2. neveracrossword
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great crossword, as usual on a Sunday. Thank you Virgilius and BD. There is a typo in the hint for 16d, BD.

    • Posted July 3, 2016 at 12:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It could have been a log run! Thanks, now sorted.

  3. Heno
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very nice puzzle from our Sunday maestro. I actually managed to solve a double definition, hooray. Thought 16a was a great clue, along with 25a&2d. I took ages to get 13d, my favourite was 20d,and last in was 21a.Was 2*/4* for me. Sun trying to come out in Central London.

  4. Faraday
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Nothing like a Virgilius 15 letter anagram to get the brain cells working on a Sunday morning! These crosswords are delightful – always challenging but achievable.

    11a, 24a and 20d I liked. 2d woke me up. Thank you BD as usual.

  5. Rabbit Dave
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 1:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    3*/5*. I’ve run out of superlatives for the Sunday puzzle.

    My top three were 11a, 21a & 20d, but the other 25 clues were rather good too.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD, especially for the two great doses of Endless Sleep.

  6. cat
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 2:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this really difficult but really enjoyable ****/****. It took me a while to get going but I gradually got onto the wavelength. So many really clever clues and long anagrams. I particularly liked 7d, very clever, almost not a cryptic clue but cryptic anyway.
    Many thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  7. Jane
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 2:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Virgilius nails it yet again!
    Missed the anagram in 18a for a while, which resulted in 19d being the last one in – don’t think I’ve heard that used before.
    Hard as always to pick favourites but I’ll go for a top three of 1&21a plus 20d.

    Many thanks to the maestro and to BD for the hints – always worth a read through to check the parsing.

  8. Vancouverbc
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 3:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    ***/****. Very enjoyable with clever lurkers and some neat misdirection (at least from my perspective). Really liked 11a and the answer to 19d was new to me. Thanks to the setter and BD for the hints.

  9. Kath
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 3:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Difficult today, or maybe it’s me.
    My last few answers took ages – the last straw being 7d – I’d split it 8,7 instead of the other way round so neither word looked possible. Oh dear!
    I was very slow with most of the bottom right corner.
    I liked 11 and 14a and 19d. My favourite was 20d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to BD.
    Grass needs cutting again . . . :sad:

  10. Merusa
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 3:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Virgilius never runs out of clever ideas, does he? I found this a little trickier than usual, but all you have to do is do what he tells you to do, e.g., 17d is a perfect example.
    I needed the hint to get 25a, but my chemistry is zilch.
    I loved so many, but fave is 20d.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints today.

  11. Carolyn in Ontario aka CarolynP
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 4:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Really enjoyed this today. Beautiful sunny day here but for some reason my skin sometimes over-reacts to the sun so the crossword helps with being stuck indoors today!

    Thank you to the compiler and to this site for helping me with the tricky ones.

  12. Gwizz
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 5:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The usual dose of Sunday excellence! A lovely crossword with some great clues. My favourite was 25a. 3/4* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints.

  13. AnntheArt
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 7:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh dear! I feel a bit battered like those people in that nasty battle picture after that!
    Got there but with the help of every possible hint and gizmo going.
    Oh well, onward and upward.
    Thanks for the hints BD and respect to anyone who completed this on their own…and to Virgilius who is too clever by half!

    • Kath
      Posted July 3, 2016 at 11:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Cheer up – you’re not alone – I also thought it was tricky today. :smile:

      • AnntheArt
        Posted July 4, 2016 at 7:23 am | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Kath…nice to know!

  14. BusyLizzie
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 8:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Enjoyed this today, although even with Big Dave’s help I was still stumped on 19d, and also 21a. As is always the way with the weekend puzzles, I can usually get some of the “harder” clues on my own, but stumble on those deemed easier… All depends on which brain cells are awake I think. I’ll blame it on the South Florida high humidity today – our windows were steamed up on the outside this morning. Oh for the 60s we had last month on our trip back across the pond.

  15. Jon_S
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 9:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Found this a little tricky, but it was solved late while tired so hard to gauge quite how hard. Impressive as ever from Virgilius, and a pleasure nonetheless. The cryptic definitions didn’t fall easily for me today in particular, even though I was often thinking along the right lines.

  16. Donaldo
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 9:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Tricky but enjoyable. I especially admire 11a and 20d. *** from me.

  17. Salty Dog
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 11:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The SE corner held me up a bit (although I could see what 19d had to be, I had never heard of the word before), so call it 2.5*/4*. My favourite clues were both in the SW corner: 17d and 24a. Thanks to Virgilius for yet another super puzzle, and to Big Dave for, well, everything.

  18. Angel
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 1:13 am | Permalink | Reply

    What a super puzzle. Started it very late this evening and after a slow start it gradually began to fall into place so I was determined not to get my head down until it was a fait accompli and that has just occurred – phew! So many excellent clues including 1a, 24a and 20d. Huge thanks Virgilius and BD for, as always, being on hand in case of need. ****/****.

  19. hoofityoudonkey
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 9:10 am | Permalink | Reply

    Many thanks for the hints BD, some of that was fine, but some was over my head, so your hints were a great help.
    I thought there were some really good clues, 11a and 20d in particular.
    Thanks to Virgilius; no complaints, but an excellent crossword that gives it’s completion something to aspire too, if I live that long!!!

  20. jean-luc cheval
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 2:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Took me forever to get 19d. Had to read a whole page in the BRB to get it.
    Not sure if I have 25a right either. Still hesitating on the middle letter.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints.

  21. Young Salopian
    Posted July 5, 2016 at 2:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I have completed this brilliant Virgilian offering on Tuesday as I was not around for the last few days. Like RD at 5, I too have run out of words to describe the continuing excellence of these Sunday puzzles. 2 down my favourite of many top clues.

    Many thanks to Virgilius for this wonderful crossword and to BD. 3*/5*

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