ST 2858 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2858 (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:


1a    Boxes with drug in limited supply (6)
A verb meaning boxes or engages in fisticuffs followed by one of Crosswordland’s usual drugs

8a    Survey completed, that is put in car (8)
A four-letter word meaning completed followed by the Latin abbreviation of “that is” inside the abbreviation of a make of car

11a    Was in no-win situation, so pulled out (4)
Two definitions – but be careful with the tense

12a    Angry about new name being disrespectfully treated (10)
A three-letter word meaning angry around N(ew) and a colloquial word for a name

13a    Male equivalent of shocking pink? (8,4)
… if pink is for a girl, what colour is for a boy?

20a    Not of practical use? Old man learnt differently (10)
An anagram (differently) of O(ld) MAN LEARNT

21a    Amount of wood that’s cut after delivery (4)
Two definitions – I didn’t know this word for an amount of wood, but that which is cut is after the delivery of a baby

23a    Something religious left outside tavern in US, for instance (8)
A religious artefact, usually one believed to have belonged to a saint, outside a tavern

25a    Worker in church holding cross in attack (6)
The letter shaped like a cross inside a phrasal verb meaning to attack (3,2)


1d    In drastic way, cut off cathedral city (8)
A verb meaning to cut off followed by our usual three-letter city – once every city had a cathedral; not so now

3d    Be angry about pound as one wanting rid of corporation? (7)
A verb meaning to be angry around the letter that represent a pound sterling – corporation here is a belly not a company!

5d    Piece of canvas pretty serious artist initially used in work (7)
The initial letters of three words in the clue inside (used in) a verb meaning to work or labour

6d    Person who washes, so to speak, linen garment (9)
The first part of the answer sounds like (so to speak) a type of linen and the rest is a garment worn by a woman

9d    Warm clothing in Washington area in bad weather (11)
IN from the clue and the area around the city of Washington inside an anagram (bad) of WEATHER

14d    Card one dramatically played (9)
Two definitions – the first of which is not a playing card but a comical or eccentric person

17d    Lady in crowd surrounding East European (7)
A crowd or crush of people around E(ast) E(uropean)

21d    Copper section, in length between foot and yard (5)
The chemical symbol for copper followed by a section or part gives a measure of approximately 18 to 22 inches

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  So you thought that Georgie Fame’s 1965 recording of Yeh, Yeh was the original!
Well, the original vocal version was by Lambert, Hendricks and Ross in 1963.


  1. Young Salopian
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Yet another in an increasingly long line of excellent and hugely enjoyable Sunday puzzles. So many clever and inventive clues, it’s tough to pick a favourite, but I will nominate 3 down as it was my last one in, mainly because I misspelt 1 across.

    2.5*/4* seems about right, with many thanks to Virgilus and BD.

  2. Derek
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 12:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    7 down flabbergasts me! Any suggestions?

    • Gazza
      Posted July 24, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Derek – hope you are well.

      7d Revealing intelligence Conservative Party turned up (6)
      The abbreviation for Conservative followed by the reversal of a party or merrymaking.

      • Derek
        Posted July 24, 2016 at 2:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Gazza -all is now clear once more!

        I was stuck on an old word meaning a splitter or giver away of secret info “*****”or “*****” which was used at school in various parts of GB in my youth.

    • Merusa
      Posted July 24, 2016 at 3:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome back Derek, it’s been a long time! Keep well and check in from time to time, just so that we can keep tabs on you!

  3. Rabbit Dave
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 12:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    2*/4*. I thought this was at the easier end of Virgilius’ spectrum today but nevertheless hugely entertaining and very enjoyable as usual. I needed to refer to my BRB for the amount of wood in 21a and the linen in 6d.

    Too many great clues to mention them all, but I will just say that 16a is a beautifully constructed anagram and my favourite is 13a.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  4. cat
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 1:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    2″/3*, another excellent Sunday puzzle.
    Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  5. Jane
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The usual assortment of goodies from Mr. Sunday although I wasn’t overly keen on 17d.
    Like RD, the amount of wood was a new one for me, but I did know the fabric.

    Top three places go to 11&13a plus 9d.

    Thanks to Virgilius and also to BD for another weekend of devotion to duty!

    • Merusa
      Posted July 24, 2016 at 3:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I knew the fabric, too, and as a little girl I had “frocks” made of it, printed with little flowers! So light and cool!

  6. jean-luc cheval
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 3:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Always so good on a Sunday.
    No real hold up today apart from the amount of wood in 21a.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the blog.

  7. Merusa
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 3:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Another super offering! I agree, RD, on the easier side of Virgilius today.
    The wood didn’t hold me up at all, I got stuck on 12a, despite having all the letters. After staring at it for ages, I was just about to hunt down my gizmo when I had a eureka moment.
    I loved 13a and 9d in particular, but hard to choose a fave.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD for the hints today.

  8. Expat Chris
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 4:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The wood was no problem for me either. That’s how firewood is sold over here. I knew the fabric also. Nice to see the USA correctly identified in 23A. 16A and 9D both got a tick from me. Thanks Virgilius and BD.

  9. Gwizz
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 5:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Usual delightful Sunday fare from himself. Nice variety of clues and for me the pick of the bunch was 21a just because it was unusual. I haven’t heard that description for a wood pile in absolutely yonks! 2.5/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints.

  10. Kath
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 5:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very quiet here today – I was expecting lots of comments by now – where is everyone else?
    I didn’t think that I was ever going to get started on this one but once I did, apart from a few spots of bother, it wasn’t too tricky – as enjoyable as ever.
    Along with several others I’d never heard of the cubic volume of wood.
    Most of my problems were more to do with ‘why’ than actually getting the answer – 6d was the worst.
    I liked 12 and 13a. My favourite was 9d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to BD

  11. LabradorsruleOK
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 6:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Nothing not to like taxing enough to be satisfying to complete. Thanks Virgilius. 21a last one in – managed to dredge up the measure from somewhere. Thanks to BD for lucid explanations – although don’t think the lady in 3d has much of a corporation to want rid of!

  12. BusyLizzie
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Fairly plain sailing today, and luckily familiar with both measurement related clues, but sadly the lady in 17d escapes me…

    • Cornishpasty
      Posted July 24, 2016 at 8:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Think of a lady in house of Lords

      • BusyLizzie
        Posted July 24, 2016 at 9:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

        OMG, of course, thank you!

  13. Cornishpasty
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 8:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    An enjoyable puzzle, 2 for difficulty and 3 for enjoyment. I had to look up 24 a as had never heard it applied to a party. Then from comments here, I learnt that 5d was a fabric.

    • Merusa
      Posted July 24, 2016 at 9:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I think you meant 6d? If so, it’s only the first bit that sounds like a fabric.

  14. Donaldo
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 8:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very enjoyable. A few shiny gems: 11a, 13a, 16a, 9d and 19d.

  15. Salty Dog
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 9:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I did the top half at a spanking rate, then ran into the sand lower down. On balance, 2*/4*. I think 23a was my favourite, but 12a was a contender too. Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  16. LetterboxRoy
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 9:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very good, not overly time-consuming. ttaae

    • LetterboxRoy
      Posted July 24, 2016 at 9:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      keyboard error, that should read ‘thanks’ Sorry!

  17. Angel
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 10:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you Virgilius for an enjoyable challenge and BD for help with sorting 7d and 21d. 3d probably Fav. 1d cathedral city is becoming somewhat of an old penny. ***/***.

  18. Florence
    Posted July 25, 2016 at 7:42 am | Permalink | Reply

    Just too tired to even start this last night after houseguests left. Nice, easy solve before breakfast. Lots of fun clues. Thank you Virgilius and BD. Must go and seek out some breakfast before I print off today’s offering.

  19. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted July 26, 2016 at 4:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Ever so late in the day due to doing Monday’s before Sunday’s by mistake!!
    Lovely crossword, I don’t know if it was just me, but how much easier was the bottom half than the top half!!!
    Lots of great clues, 8a being my favourite. One day the use of ‘corporation’ will cement itself in my small brain!!
    Many thanks to BD for the couple of hints that I needed (6d and 21a).
    Thanks also to the setter.
    I’m now almost back up to date…

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