ST 2876 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2876 (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    Pressed about part of UK being penalised (8)
An adjective meaning pressed or hurried around the two-letter abbreviation for a part of the UK

10a    Meat provided by Americans serving tea, we hear (4)
The meat of central part of an argument or discussion comes from some Americans serving in the armed forces followed by the letter that sounds like (we hear) tea

15a    One who doesn’t believe measure of yarn’s quality (6)
Two homographs (words that are spelled the same but pronounced differently)

16a    Sides of Trent or other English river (4)
Enunciate the letters on each side of T[ren]T to get another English river

17a    Fully successful candidate left within a year (5)
The successful candidate in a parliamentary election and L(eft) inside (within) the A from the clue and Y(ear)

21a    Make easier, having second hint provided inside (8)
S(econd) followed by a verb meaning to hint or suggest around our usual two-letter word meaning provided

27a    Reminder of holiday making one awfully envious, right? (8)
A reminder brought back from a holiday, not a reminder of an upcoming holiday, comes from an anagram (awfully) of ENVIOUS followed by R(ight)

28a    Raised fences every individual broke through (8)
A verb meaning raised or brought up around (fences) a word meaning every individual


2d    Place for studying part of Bible? Everything, really (8)
A place for studying for a degree followed by a part of the bible gives a word that really means everything

4d    Wants one footballer for team in hurry (6)
Split as (3,3) this suggests that one more footballer is needed to complete a team

8d    Pressure on hot line in airport (8)
A four-letter word meaning pressure followed by H(ot) and a line or series

12d    Like John, Paul, or George, but not Ringo, speaking briefly? (12)
This adjective meaning speaking briefly describes three of the names of the Beatles, but not the fourth

14d    Two portions of pasta exchanged for Spanish food (5)
Split pasta as (3,2) and exchange the two parts

16d    Member silenced following point of order? (8)
A cryptic definition of a member of a certain religious order

22d    President and film star entangled no more (6)
The surname of a former US President and a former US film star comes from an anagram (entangled) of NO MORE

25d    Part of speech some deliver brilliantly (4)
This part of speech is hidden (some) inside the clue

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 a couple of my favourites from 1960 by Jimmy Jones and U.S. Bonds  


  1. Young Salopian
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    16 down my last one in and absolute favourite in this excellent and hugely enjoyable Virgilian offering. There were so many terrific clues that to pick out one seems disingenuous. The high standard of Sunday puzzles is mainained. 3*/5*.

    Many thanks to the supremo and to BD for all his great work on the site. It is much appreciated.

    Off to Birmingham shortly to meet up with friends before going to hear the magnificent John Wilson Orchestra at Symphony Hall. I will be keeping an eye on Wasps who take on Sale this afternoon.

  2. Senf
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Another very enjoyable Sunday puzzle and completed just inside the time limit for bonus points on submission to the puzzle web site – */*** for me.

    Stand out favourite 11a – not sure that I have seen a 12 letter lurker before. 12d also made a valiant effort to enter the winner’s circle, but finished up a distant second.

    Now waiting to see if ‘Bling Boy’ (my bother’s term) can win in Abu Dhabi.

    Thanks to Virgillius and BD.

  3. Rabbit Dave
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    2*/5*. What else is there to say about our superlative Sunday setter that hasn’t been said before? He certainly makes Sunday special for us cruciverbalists.

    In my relatively brief flirtation since 2012 with cryptic crosswords, I am sure I can recall at least a couple of different takes on John, Paul and George but not this specific one. I would seek Mr Kitty’s opinion on this but it may be sailing a bit close to the wind on a prize puzzle day. Perhaps he might like to comment in a couple of weeks when the full review is published?

    As usual on a Sunday ticks abound on my page, with double ticks going to 16a, 26a & 12d. However 22d gets my vote as favourite because of its impeccable surface.

    Many thanks to Virgilius; please keep them coming! Many thanks too to BD, not only for today’s hints but also for this wonderful blog.

    • stanXYZ
      Posted November 27, 2016 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      John, Paul, George (but not always Ringo) have appeared fairly recently … and on Sunday. (ST 2851 / ST 2794 )

      Try Search this site …

      • Mr Kitty
        Posted November 27, 2016 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

        Those are the only two appearances on the back page since 2001. “John, Paul, George – but not Ringo” also appeared in Petitjean’s Toughie 386 on 9 July 2010. The answers in all three cases don’t match today’s enumeration so looking them up doesn’t help with solving the prize puzzle.

  4. Jane
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    As RD rightly commented, there can be nothing left to say about the consistent high quality of puzzles set by our Sunday maestro.
    This came as such a relief following the rigours of Radler’s NTSPP but I still took a while to arrive at the correct ‘meat’ for 10a and needed the checkers in place before the penny dropped over 16d.
    Particularly liked 21a & 4d but 16d takes the laurel wreath for the great misdirection.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD for his incredible dedication – and for the original Handyman!

  5. Angel
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Entertaining brainteaser rendering a few go-slow moments with parsing but nothing terminal. Thank you Virgilius and BD. ***/***.

  6. jean-luc cheval
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Checked the blog to make sure my answers in 10a and 16d were correct and I believe they are now.
    12d rang a bell too.
    Favourite is 17d for the writhing in agony. Just great.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  7. Vancouverbc
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Splendid puzzle! 11&15a and 12d were my favourites. Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  8. Kath
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    A good crossword for a rather grey and grumpy day – the weather’s grey and I’m grumpy.
    I was slow to get going – I often am on Sundays.
    I ended up with a total mental block with 16d and needed the hint to push me in the right direction and away from all my wrong ones.
    Couldn’t see 15a for ages either – yarn, to me anyway, is either a long story or knitting wool. Dim.
    I liked 21a and 4 and 14d. I think my favourite was 12d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  9. Merusa
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Well, another Sunday gem. For some strange reason, I decided to start at the bottom and work upwards, and I think the bottom was easier.
    Like Senf, I loved the 11a lurker, imagine, all of 12 letters.
    I’m really not sure I can choose a fave, 16d and 12d stood out, and now I understand 4d that’s pretty clever too.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD for the hints and Sunday music.

  10. Florence
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Great puzzle from Virgilius. It took me ages to get 11a. A case of not seeing what was in front of me. I loved 4d, but my favourite had to be 16d, even though I needed the hint as all other attempts failed. Thank you Virgilius for keeping me so well entertained and thank you too BD for the review.

  11. Mark
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I found this the hardest of the week and wasn’t on the setter’s wavelength for quite some time. Overran the bonus time limit on the online version. 16d was my LOI, as with some others today. Funnily enough, I’m not sure I liked the clue as much as most of the posters above. Probably because I still don’t think I’ve really got it!

    11a is certainly the longest lurker I’ve seen for some time; I always enjoy clever wordplay for a short answer and 16a was superb; 12d is very clever and so obvious when the penny drops. COTD today is 23a for a very neat anagram.

    • hoofityoudonkey
      Posted November 28, 2016 at 5:01 am | Permalink

      Agree about 16a, very clever and I’m not too embarrassed to admit that I had to get BD’s hint to parse it correctly, doh!!

  12. Orphan Annie
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    As you all seem to have done jolly well I am ashamed to admit that I have only little hole in my solution and cannot for the life of me see what the answer might be. I am off to have a nice sulk. Thanks to Mr G and BD.

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted November 27, 2016 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      See how you’ve changed. No more cupboard under the stairs for you. Just a little sulk. :smile:

    • Kath
      Posted November 27, 2016 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      If you told us what your little hole was one of us would almost certainly fill it for you, or at least help you to do so. There’s nothing like a good sulk though – I’m all for it.

    • hoofityoudonkey
      Posted November 28, 2016 at 5:02 am | Permalink

      Hi Annie, when you look at it again, I’m sure the answer will jump out and bite you!!!

      • Orphan Annie
        Posted November 28, 2016 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        It did half way through the evening.

  13. Gwizz
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Once again a puzzle to savour. Excellent array of clues and for me 11a was brilliant and thus my COTD. 4/4* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD for his hints….. and Gary US Bonds! Quarter to Three soon please!

  14. BobH
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Still don’t get 26a.

    • Senf
      Posted November 27, 2016 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      BobH – 26a – a synonym for crow in the sense of boasting or the chess designation for Rook inside a three letter word that can mean secure.

  15. BusyLizzie
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    A satisfying Sunday puzzle with 16d being last in. A good brain workout today and a good finish to the week. Thanks Big Dave for the hints and your sterling work in keeping the site up and running.

  16. Salty Dog
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    2*/4*, I think. I confess to flunking 16d – it didn’t occur to me that it might be an all-in-one sort of definition. I enjoyed 9a and 4d particularly. Many thanks to Virgilius – long may you delight us with your deliciously quirky puzzles – and to BD.

  17. Graham
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Great crossword today. 16d last in and most favorite, but others were 4d and 26a. Cheers

  18. hoofityoudonkey
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    Lots of great clues in this ‘easier than normal’ Virgilius offering.
    A lurker of 12 letters that luckily jumped out at me, would make any crossword special. A touch of brilliance.
    Other great clues were 16d, 23a, 15a.
    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD for not only the hints, but his efforts in keeping this great site up and running in spite of the efforts of the moronic minority.

  19. mcmillibar
    Posted November 28, 2016 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    V glad to see the site problems appear to have been solved. Thanks indeed for all the work to resume service, the world would be much the poorer place without your site BD. Must have cost a fair bit in time and and cash, I would be happy to contribute if you send me a private email.

    Another gem from Virgilius. Last in for me were 10a and 4d. Smooth surfaces, cunning clue construction = lots of fun and satisfaction. Virgilius, you are a master-setter. Thank you.

    Now to have a go at today’s back-pager.

    • Posted November 28, 2016 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      A lot of time, yes, but no money was spent. Thanks for the offer, but no contributions are sought or needed. The hosting is paid for by the Google ads.

      • Posted November 28, 2016 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        A note on the Google ads, BD – I always used to leave the adblocker switched off on this site for that very reason, but recently have had to turn it on as I’ve been startled by intrusive videos autoplaying noisily :(.