ST 2856 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2856 (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.

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    Crew I misdirected across part of ocean, as self-styled expert (8)
An anagram (misdirected) of CREW I around a part of an ocean

9a    Best performance yet put on CD, perhaps (6)
Two definitions – the second being a verb meaning to create a CD or other form of audiovisual media

11a    Still awaiting development, for example, in local (8)
This still is a film awaiting development into a photograph – put the Latin abbreviation of “for example” inside an adjective meaning local

15a    Concern resolved (4)
Two definitions – a concern or business and an adjective meaning resolved or adamant

19a    Man on board, one of two or three on watch (4)
Another double definition – a man, as opposed to an officer, on board a ship and one of two or three on a wristwatch

23a    Air, mostly in G, tenor made a mess of (8)
This cunningly disguised definition is derived from an anagram (made a mess) of IN G TENOR

25a    Sailor turned over another kind of rock (6)
The reversal (turned over) of one of our usual sailors followed by another

28a    Faint-hearted line by dramatist before end of play (8)
L(ine) preceded y a dramatist and followed by the final letter (end) of [pla]Y


1d    Slightly injure player on side (4)
Two definitions – to slightly injure someone and a footballer who usually plays on one side or the other of the pitch

3d    Crew bringing in European import (4)
To crew a boat around (bringing in) E(uropean) – one of the less common definitions of import in Chambers is to convey, as a word

5d    Author, his novel, and his nationality (8)
The name of an author followed by an anagram (novel) of HIS gives the nationality of said author

13d    Finds fault with it, in charge in emergencies (10)
IT from the clue and the abbreviation of In Charge inside some emergencies

18d    Colourful display from artist in London area (7)
The usual artist followed by IN from the clue and a London area

21d    Dreadful rage in Queen facing opposition in court (6)
An anagram (dreadful) of RAGE IN gives how the Queen is defined as the prosecution in a court of law

24d    French city relative pronounced pleasant to look at (4)
What sounds like (pronounced) a relative is has a definition at each end of the clue

26d    University in 50s, calm period (4)
Put three of the Roman numeral for 50 around U(niversity)

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  Today’s videos are by lesser-known artists who sadly passed away this year
Troy Shondell (1939-2016) and Joe Dowell (1940-2016)



  1. Jane
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink | Reply

    Sunday magic as always. So hard to pick favourites but I’ll go with the first three that caught my eye – 19&20a plus 5d.
    Many thanks, Virgilius and thanks also to BD – I’m afraid I didn’t know either of the recording artists you saluted today.

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

    3*/4*. Another very high quality puzzle from our Sunday Supremo.

    3d was my last one in because I struggled to equate the obvious answer with “import”. I really should have reached for my BRB sooner as this provided immediate enlightenment.

    Once again my page is littered with asterisks. Double asterisks were awarded to 11a, 15a, 19a & 23a, with the ingenious 24d taking top prize today.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD, but where did you get that picture for 5d containing such a grievous howler?

    • Jane
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I’m sure I’m going to kick myself for this but – what is the howler in the 5d pic?

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

        How should you spell practice when it’s used as a verb?!

        It is always possible that the author in question might have misspelt it when he wrote it down!

        • Posted July 10, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Apparently it was like that in the first edition and was later corrected by the author.

          • Jane
            Posted July 10, 2016 at 2:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Thanks for that, BD! Mr. Google seems to be in two minds – most of the initial entries refer to ‘practice’ but the subsequent full text of the poem has the correct spelling. Jeepers, that’s a long poem – possibly as long as the battle itself!

  3. Tantalus
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Delightful puzzle to start the day here in Pangbourne – bright but damp. Favorites: 11a and 23a. Thanks to Messers V & BD.

    • stanXYZ
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Crumbs! It’s Tantalus!

      Where have you been?

      From the spelling of “Favorites” – somewhere in the US?

    • Merusa
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 3:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I agree, you’ve been gone a long time. Still in Boston? Welcome back, keep checking in.

    • Tantalus
      Posted July 11, 2016 at 5:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

      My spellchecker is indeed still American. I am over for the GP and Wimbledon and to visit the steam rally and Camera beer tent in woodcote.

  4. Young Salopian
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Another Sunday, and yet another cracker from Virgilius. Clever, intricate, amusing and hugely entertaining. It seems disingenuous to pick a winner from so many brilliant clues, but I will go for 11 across for its simple genius.

    3*/4* from me with thanks to Virgilius for a splendid workout, and of course to BD.

  5. neveracrossword
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very entertaining but over too quickly today. Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  6. cat
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 2:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent but slightly easier than some Sundays. I liked so many clues I can’t choose. 3d was my last in, sometimes it’s the short, seemingly simple clues that cause more problems. Very enjoyable, **/***
    Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  7. Heno
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle as usual from Virgilius. I found this very straightforward, no major holdups. Started with 10a, finished with 22d. Favourite was 23a. Was 1*/3* for me. Come on Murray.

  8. Vancouverbc
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    */***. Right up my street. Great fun and just needed to look up the answer to 7a which was new to me. Thanks to the setter and BD for the hints. Took our guests from Belgium to Fly over Canada and Granville Market yesterday. They loved them both. Just need the weather to be more cooperative.

  9. Merusa
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 3:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The usual Virgilius brilliance, hugely enjoyed, though I agree, a gentler Virgilius today.
    I rather liked 28a, but it would seem unfair to call it a fave amongst so many good ‘uns.
    Worthy of mention is 6d, and 10a was a real gimme!
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints.

    Good game Murray/Raonic, looks like it’s going to go on for a while!

  10. Una
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 5:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A very pleasant puzzle today and not too hard.
    I rather liked 23a.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  11. Salty Dog
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 6:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Do you know, the first dozen or so clues made me wonder whether our Sunday maestro was – dare I even whisper it – falling off slightly? After all, it would be an entirely human thing to do. But no – the rest of the puzzle was right up to the standard we have all come to expect. 7a gets my vote for top clue, but there were plenty of other contenders. Thanks to Virgilius and Big Dave.

  12. Marianne
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 6:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive

    BUT— If we practice for a bit, we really get quite good at it”

    Shortened version learned at School circa 1953 !!

    • Gazza
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog, Marianne.

  13. BusyLizzie
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 7:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Liked this one so much better than yesterday’s ….

  14. Merusa
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 7:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    We haven’t seen Kath this weekend, hope she’s fine.

    • Jane
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      After her comments of the other day, I wonder whether she’s been taken into custody by the boys in blue for threatening to turn the lambs into shepherd’s pie?

      • crypticsue
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

        She’s probably had multiple favourites again and is afraid to say so after we caught her in the early hours of Thursday morning :)

    • Kath
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 11:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks all. Yes, I’m fine – just been a bit busy. The Lambs are also fine and have not been made into shepherd’s pie, yet, although there’s still time so I haven’t been taken into custody and as for the multiple favourites – well, it’s a fair cop . . . but not to be repeated by anyone, let alone me! :negative:

  15. Weekendwanda
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Super puzzle. I have not done Sunday’s for ages. Very speedy but was left with 3d and 2d. The latter I have got with the help of the hint. I think I know what 2d is but may be wrong as I cannot parse it. Thanks in anticipation of any help with this.

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted July 10, 2016 at 9:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Should be watching football if I cared for my country.
      2d. Take a two letter word for mother, followed by the abbreviation for left, inside a three letter word for charge as in entrance. Et voila.

      • Weekendwanda
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 9:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Merci Monsieur pour votre reponse – Je suis tres stupide. Je comprend maintenant,

      • hoofityoudonkey
        Posted July 11, 2016 at 2:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Having had tellings off in the past, is it ok to explain the parsing of answers in the fashion that J-LC has just done for prize crosswords??

  16. Jon_S
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 9:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A nice, pretty straightforward puzzle from Virgilius. Can I spell 6d? No I can’t, but I did get it in the end. Too many good clues to pick a favourite. :-)

  17. jean-luc cheval
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 9:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very quiet at work.
    Can hear the Ho’s and Ha’s from neighbours.
    Lovely Virgilius crossword today.
    24d was very original.
    Thanks to him and to BD for the blog.

  18. AnntheArt
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Such a clever puzzle. Loved clues such as 5d and 11a, even though I didn’t actually solve those without hints! Doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate their elegance.
    Sort of knew 7a, the word, but had to check that with Mr Google.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the helpful hints.

  19. ListB
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 10:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wonderful crossword. I found it considerably easier than Saturday’s. Favourite was 5d. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints and illustrations.

  20. Florence
    Posted July 10, 2016 at 11:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Only held up by accidentally putting18d into 13d before I’d solved12a and saw where I’d gone wrong. I was a bit dim on 3D but got there eventually.5d was my favourite. Thank you Virgilius and BD.

  21. Gwizz
    Posted July 11, 2016 at 10:10 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hmm, not only late on parade but I too thought the great man was being a little gentle with us. Still a good crossword but the grey cells weren’t too challenged for once.
    3d was my last entry (grey cells were challenged) and 2/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for his hints.

  22. hoofityoudonkey
    Posted July 11, 2016 at 2:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Late on parade as usual, though the consolation of finishing sans hints/gizzmos/internet is reward in itself.
    I thought this was an excellent crossword, with lots of lovely clues. Favourite was 11a, clever misdirection.
    Thank Heavens the Euros are over, as a devoted football fan I can honestly say that was a shocking tournament.

  23. devartley
    Posted July 11, 2016 at 4:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I have an issue with 11 ac. Develop.” ****************** [Sorry, that’s too much information. You will have to wait until the full review is published. BD]

  24. Paso Doble
    Posted July 11, 2016 at 10:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very late in with this one – absolutely delightful puzzle from Virgilius and, we thought, slightly easier than usual. Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints.

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