ST 2862 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2862 (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    Poor player taking rook and a bishop with piece (6)
Although this can be a poor player in many sports it is particularly used for one lacking skill with the bat, such as Phil Tufnell, in cricket – it’s simply a charade of R(ook), the A from the clue, B(ishop) and a small piece


4a    Frenchman’s very amorous advance giving offence (8)
The word for “very” when spoken by a Frenchman followed by an amorous advance

10a    Check for errors in study on mathematician’s work (9)
A four-letter verb meaning to study preceded by (on in an across clue) the work done by a methematician

11a    Affected by piercing horn, turn hard left? (5)
A turn is followed by one with hard left political beliefs

14a    Measure of interest about stage part (5)
The abbreviation for a way of measuring interest on a loan followed by a two-letter preposition meaning about or concerning

18a    With the aim of understanding that woman, collectively (8)
A phrase meaning with the aim of understanding that woman (2,3,3)

20a    There’s nothing in the new line that’s for rest of travellers (5)
O (nothing) inside an anagram (new) of THE and followed by L(ine)

26a    Cereal added to a fruit in cup (5)
Some cereal preceded by (added to) the A from the clue

29a    Publication providing explanation by day’s end (6)
An explanation, typically one given in a margin or between lines [better look that one up in the BRB!] is followed by the final letter (end) of [da]Y


1d    Special changes upholding right to make copies (8)
An anagram (changes) of SPECIAL preceded by (upholding in a down clue) R(ight)

2d    Harry embracing Rex as comrade (7)
A verb meaning to harry or trouble around R(ex) – putting Harry as the first word in the clue makes it appear to be a boy’s name

3d    Popular monarch protected within barrier, it’s concluded (9)
The usual two-letter word meaning popular is followed by our monarch’s regnal cipher inside a barrier

7d    Put on trial, as a rule, in hearing (7)
The A from the clue followed by what sounds like a verb meaning to rule

16d    Tries interrupting actual practice for players (9)
A verb meaning tries in a court of law inside an adjective meaning actual – these players could be actors in a play or people playing instruments

19d    Head out of job very shortly promises to settle, it’s clear (7)
Drop the initial letter from (head out of) [j]OB then add the abbreviation (shortly) for V(ery) and the usual promises to pay

22d    Support of global organisation not announced (6)
Split as (3,3) this could mean the support of or provided by a global peace organisation

24d    Section of excellent orchestra’s seen to play slowly (5)
The answer is lurking/hiding in (section of) the clue

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  Today we have the late, great Gene Vincent, possibly the greatest ever Rock’n’Roller of them all  


  1. JonP
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 10:54 am | Permalink | Reply

    A reasonably straightforward offering from Virgilius and an enjoyable solve too.

    Thanks to BD and Virgilius 1.5″/3.5*

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink | Reply

    1*/4*. Very enjoyable as ever on a Sunday albeit at the easier end of Virgilius’ spectrum. What else could I pick as my favourite but 1a?

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  3. Faraday
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 11:08 am | Permalink | Reply

    A very pleasant Sunday morning exercise. 5d confused me as I thought of every type of doctor that I could but 4a amused me. A dog is now demanding a walk 😎

  4. Jane
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    I had one or two tricky moments with parsing – obviously not firing on all cylinders this morning!
    Certainly didn’t know the definition at 1a which doesn’t surprise me, given the sport with which it is associated. Poor RD – his ilk seem to come in for a lot of flak.
    Top two here are 4a and 9d.

    Thanks to Virgilius for the usual high standard of clues and to BD for the words and music.

  5. ChrisH
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Sorry, not my favourite compiler. 2.5*/0.5*

  6. happy days
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 2:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The statement and star marking seem very harsh, ChrisH. What is it that you so dislike?

  7. Young Salopian
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 3:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Lots to admire in this Virgilius puzzle. Yes, it is at the easier end of his spectrum, but the quality and precise clueing made it a great pleasure to solve. 11 across is a good example of this, and my favourite. Overall, 2*/4* for me, as I had a couple of hold-ups, most noticeably 25 across, my last one in. Thanks to V and BD.

    Re ChrisH above: Regular contributors to this blog always have Virgilius right up amongst their favourite compilers. His consistency and brilliant clueing are an exemplar of the art. Your somewhat miserly rating for enjoyment is at odds with the general feeling, I would suggest.

    • LabradorsruleOK
      Posted August 21, 2016 at 3:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I agree: it is not my favourite day because I know it will just be beyond me & I don’t like being beaten. However just because things are tough shouldn’t mean 0.5* enjoyment. I read the comments to learn & it is clear that people who know what they are talking about appreciate the setter’s clueing. It is a reflection on my ability & general knowledge that he beats me.
      I was so pleased to parse 11a without help as it is the sort of clue slightly too clever for me normally. The thought of a certain politician being affected by the piercing horn (not mentioning where) brought a smile.

      • Merusa
        Posted August 21, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Well said, LRO. Virgilius is up there with my top tier setters, but another setter who has the support of the majority here, leaves me cold!

  8. LabradorsruleOK
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Sunday not my favourite day either but enjoy the challenge even though I almost always have to hope BD has given a hint in the right place. Needed only one today so getting there slowly.
    Like the 1a”s at their sport just need more practice (or a few letters start).
    Thanks setter & BD

  9. Graham Wall
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 3:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Virgilius again comes up trumps with this Sunday’s offering. A very enjoyable solve. Only needed help with1A as it is a term I have not previously encountered in the context of sport. My rating is 1.5/4 My thanks to BD for the blog.

  10. BusyLizzie
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 3:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Struggled today, but not the fault of Virgilius, excellent puzzle, nor Big Dave, excellent hints, thanks to both. Just fighting with clogged printer heads on Epson, so only able to read 50% of clues when printed. However adrenalin created at being p…..d off with printer seems to have made brain work better. Had to read clues partly on line, what would breakfast time be without the cryptic!

  11. Attila the Hun
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 4:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    In golf, a ****************.

    An enjoyable puzzle, completed in quick time (for a Sunday). Although I answered it, the ‘read’ on 14a puzzled me, until the “Wonga” advert popped unbidden into my mind.

    • Posted August 21, 2016 at 4:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Please be careful with comments on these weekend prize puzzles.

      • Attila the Hun
        Posted August 21, 2016 at 5:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Oops! Brain in Sunday afternoon mode.

        Sits in naughty corner and sucks thumb.

  12. Merusa
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 4:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    My usual Sunday enjoyment, thank you Virgilius.
    I immediately thought of RD at 1a, that’s my fave, with 25a as runner up; 4a and 11a deserve a mention as well.
    I made an error at 12a which held me up, but not for long.
    Thanks to BD for the hints and the lovely music!

    • Posted August 21, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

      There’s a lot more to come. Next week I have two very early R’n’R records and the week after two Rockin’ Gals.

      • LabradorsruleOK
        Posted August 21, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

        How early? Pre Carl Perkins? Look forward to thatt. My hearing aids seem to cope best with R&R.

        • Posted August 21, 2016 at 5:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Pre Carl Perkins – circa 1951-52, including the one that is arguably the first ever Rock’n’Roll record.

          • LabradorsruleOK
            Posted August 21, 2016 at 7:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Always thought it was a ” morphing” process from R&B. Some go back to Roy Brown in 1948.
            How you find all these amazes me.

            • Posted August 21, 2016 at 7:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

              A lifelong obsession, an eclectic taste in music and a vast collection of well over 10,000 cds and 3.000 vinyl albums.

              Currently on the “Turntable”:
              Tomita, Ry Cooder and Carolyn Hester.

              Other recent listening varies from Miles Davis to Bill Black’s Combo via Buddy Holly, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin.

              • LabradorsruleOK
                Posted August 21, 2016 at 7:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

                As I said amazed.Eclectic seems an understatement.

                • Merusa
                  Posted August 21, 2016 at 8:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  I second that! Seems like full-time employment.

  13. stanXYZ
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    1a – I thought I had seen this clip before – Maybe Tuffers should have batted left-handed. But 2 n.o. must have improved his batting average significantly!

    See 14d

  14. Salty Dog
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 8:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Yes, Tuffers was certainly a 1a, but that fearsome WI fast bowler Courtney Walsh was surely one as well. As for the puzzle, it’s on the gentle side for this setter, but well worth the effort. 18a made me laugh immoderately (mind you, any number of strange things can do that), and gets my vote for top clue. Ta to Virgilius and BD.

  15. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 8:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Evening all…
    Anyone help me parse 12a???? I have the answer, but can’t parse. Sorry, must be very slow…

    • LabradorsruleOK
      Posted August 21, 2016 at 8:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi HIYD
      Thinking RIP perhaps.might help.

      • HoofItYouDonkey
        Posted August 21, 2016 at 9:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Ta LROK, got there, I think…

  16. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 9:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found that very difficult today, I think a 160 mile trip to Deal and back just about finished me off!!!
    Cheers to BD and to the setter…

  17. Owdoo
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 11:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this a little tricky, not sure why, but got there in the end. 29a held me up for a long time and was my last one in. I had parsed it correctly but simply hadn’t come across that particular usage of the word that I now know can mean an explanation in the margin.
    Thanks to Virgilius for expanding my vocabulary and to BD for this site in general.

  18. Angel
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 11:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well I found this distinctly tricky with RH top corner holding out the longest and that mainly due to 11a just not occurring to me. Now over to the Olympics closing ceremony. Thanks Virgilius and BD. ****/***.

  19. Pam
    Posted August 22, 2016 at 1:43 am | Permalink | Reply

    There’s obviously a knack to answering cryptic clues, it’s taken me hours just to answer 8 clues – must try harder.

    • Posted August 22, 2016 at 8:16 am | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog Pam

      Stick with us and you’ll find that you get better.

    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted August 22, 2016 at 8:19 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Pam,
      I was there only a few months ago. As BD says, stick with it, it does come, though it can be a frustrating journey. Think of Robert The Bruce and the spider!!
      Go through any answers of anything you can’t get/parse.
      With regard to ‘trying harder’ – Remember the advice that Master Yoda gave to Luke Skywalker : “There is no ‘try’, only ‘do’!!”

    • LabradorsruleOK
      Posted August 22, 2016 at 11:36 am | Permalink | Reply

      Like HIYD am relatively new to the blog. As I said above 4 weeks ago would not have got 11a without help. Stick with reading the blog & next week it will be 10 clues.
      Been doing the backpage in an unstructured way for years but the blog comments and hints are opening up a new enthusiasm. Even know (I think) what parse means now….I’m at the age when learning is slow.

  20. Heno
    Posted August 22, 2016 at 2:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle as usual from Virgilius. Was held up by the NE corner for a while, but all fell into place, with 4a being the last in. Favourite was 14a. Was 2*/4* for me.

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