ST 2877 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2877 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2877 (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    Setback that doesn’t affect mum or dad (8)
If this setback is applied to mum or dad, those words are unaffected

10a    An unpleasant job, mainly, as TV presenter (6)
AN from the clue and most of an unpleasant job gives this US term for a TV presenter

11a    State without legal responsibility for losing voters (8)
No – the answer is not Remoaners, although they were definitely losing voters

12a    Caution about piece of furniture that’s characteristic of the kind (14)
A 9-letter word meaning caution around a piece of furniture – read the definition as a characteristic of those that are kind to others

20a    It reflects what’s behind one, in a way (4-4,6)
A cryptic definition of a part of a vehicle that reflects what’s behind on the road – famously deemed unimportant in The Gumball Rally

25a    Gave reward that was worth waiting for? (6)
This reward was given for waiting at a table!

27a    Watch out for conflict in working meeting (6)
A conflict between nations inside a working meeting or, as Chambers puts it, a gathering of persons to unite their labour for the benefit of one individual or family

28a    Haphazardly scan iris and other flowers (8)
An anagram (haphazardly) of SCAN IRIS


1d    Frenchman and Englishwoman having pronounced difference (4)
René as a Frenchman’s name is pronounced differently to Rene as an Englishwoman’s name – find another similar pair of names – at least one of our commentariat should have no difficulty with this one

2d    Secure number in theatre following its opening (6)
Something that numbs in the operating theatre follows the initial letter (opening) of T[heatre]

4d    Colour that’s nothing new in fashion (6)
O (nothing) followed by N(ew) inside a fashion or vogue

5d    Justice one found in extreme point (8)
I (one) inside an adjective meaning extreme followed by a point or headland

14d    Stop working, so to speak, or slow down (5)
This verb sounds like it means to stop working but is actually to slow down a vehicle

18d    Rodent getting meat, mostly rump (7)
Some meat followed by most a word meaning rump or rear

22d    Concerning socks, for example, do some darning (6)
A two-letter word meaning concerning or about followed by a word that describes, for example, socks

26d    Not challenging to take part in debate, as yet (4)
Hidden (to take part in) inside the clue

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  Today a couple of tracks from the early 1960s
by Ernie K-Doe and Bruce Channel
  ARVE Error: need id and provider
  ARVE Error: need id and provider

47 comments on “ST 2877 (Hints)

  1. 3*/5*. Another masterpiece from a setter right at the top of his game! All the clues are potential favourites and I gave double ticks to 1d, 3d & 21d, but my last one in and favourite was 7a.

    Many thanks as ever to Virgilius and to BD.

  2. 2.5*/3* for me. I did not get the parsing of 7a and 2d until I read BD’s hints above, accompanied by large groans from me. 16d slowed me down for a while as I made an error in the selection of the anagram fodder.

    At the risk of incurring the wrath of Kath, I have a long favourite – 20a – and a short favourite – 1d. both very good clues, 20a was a write in, but 1d took a little head scratching until the penny dropped.

    Thanks to Virgillius and BD.

  3. Great Sunday fun. 2d eluded me, needed help parsing 7a and solved 6d without knowing reason why – how thick can one get?! 25a Fav. TVM Mr. Ron and BD. ***/****.

  4. I initially thought that I’d be in for a tough solve as I only managed a couple of clues in the top half. But as is often, perseverance ensured a completed grid in reasonable time.

    Thanks to BD and Virgilius 2.5*/4.5*

  5. Needed the hints for the top left hand corner, but enjoyed the rest very much.

    Thanks to Big Dave and to the setter.

  6. The maestro does it again!
    2d caused a bit of head-scratching and I wasn’t overly keen on 15a but everything else slotted in as smoothly as ever.
    Nice to see one of our ‘gang’ getting a name check!
    Double ticks for 11a & 21d.

    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD – hadn’t heard Mother in Law before and must remember to mind my Ps & Qs around my new son-in-law! Think I prefer the Dj Otzi version of Hey Baby – rather more upbeat.

  7. Yet another terrific Virgilian work of art. Hugely enjoyable, brilliant and varied clue types with a great sense of fun. Like RD above, 7 across was my last one in, and my COTD.

    Overall this was 2.5*/5* from me, with grateful thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  8. Getting into this Sunday thing. Satisfying solve with 2 hints needed to parse a couple of “It must be that” answers.
    Difficult to type with fingers crossed that that connection doesn’t disappear.
    Thanks to Virgilius for a lovely start to the day,. Thanks to BD for hints – wouldn’t be where I am without them.

  9. Excellent crossword but I think I must have the wrong answer to 7a as I cannot see what is has to do with mum or dad and I’m afraid I don’t understand the hint either, it’s a bit too cryptic for me. Apart from that no real problems and all in all great fun.
    Thx to all

    1. :roll: Look at your solution, look at the words mum and dad and see if you can work out how they wouldn’t be affected if you did what the solution wants you to do.

  10. Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. I enjoyed this very much. Just got stuck near the end. Couldn’t get 7a because I had xxxx for 1d. Once I looked at the hints, all was done. 7a was a penny drop moment. Favourite was 2d. Was 2*/4* for me.

    1. It says very clearly at the bottom of the hints – please don’t give incorrect answers

  11. 2*/5* – puzzle of the week for me.

    All good stuff, but the two I ticked were 25a and 6d.

    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  12. Thoroughly enjoyable, not too difficult. SW corner took longest to complete. 1d was last in, had to mentally go through the alphabet twice for the first letter before I got it. No hints needed today but needed parsing of 7a, was humbled by that, so obvious! Toughest crossword of the week for me was Friday’s . Thanks to all. Now back to peeling and chopping 100lbs of turnips for local senior’s Xmas dinner!

  13. I love the Sunday fun and always look forward to it.
    Last in was 11a, why? Who knows, it’s so obvious.
    Nice to see our fellow commenter making a visit here.
    A lot of honourable mentions here: 20a, 25a, 3d, 18d, and, of course, 1d.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints.

  14. Enjoyable puzzle, although still need to solve 4d, which is holding out on me despite BD’s hint. Rest fell nicely in place.

  15. Try as I can I can’t make 4D work. O followed by N . Yes, got that. But 4 letters for fashion or vogue to make a colour? Stumped. I’ll have to wait until Thursday and crypticsue’s explanation.

    As ever thanks to BD and all

      1. Oh I misread the hint obviously. I thought the o and the n were inside a word for fashion. Ironically that is the word I first thought of pre hint. Sometimes it pays to just bung it in and not overthink…

  16. Thanks for the name check.
    I can’t tell you the number of times I had to pronounce it this way in order to have it spelled right.
    2d and 10a were my first ones and funnily enough 7a and 3d my lasts.
    Favourite 11a.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD. Love the picture of the animal in 18d. Always wondered if some lived in the wild.

  17. A good and not too tricky Sunday crossword.
    I couldn’t get 25a or 22d for ages – silly – they’re not the most difficult in the crossword by any means.
    11a took a while too.
    20a reminded me of teaching Younger Lamb to drive. I kept telling her that she needed to use her 20a more – she said, “Why do I need to care about what’s behind me?”. Another of her little gems was, “I can never understand how accidents happen on motorways and dual carriageways – everyone’s going in the same direction”! I despair. :roll:
    Anyway, enough of my rambling – I liked 20 and 27a and 2d. My favourite was 25a, or it might be 1d . . .
    With thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  18. Another excellent Sunday puzzle. Favourites were 2d and 7a & 12a which i got with very few checkers. Thanks to Virgilius and BD for the hints.

  19. All very bizarre…
    The bottom half was the quickest R&W I have ever done, yet parts of the top half was unfathomable. I still have no idea why 3d is what it is, and I did not understand the hint for 11a, so had to resort to the very questionable practice of using the 5 uncover letter hints on the online version.
    A great shame as I was doing so well, spoilt a great crossword for me.
    Thanks to BD for the hints and Virglius for the puzzle, I really thought I had him beat until the wheels fell off with an almighty crash.

    1. HI HIYD,
      Thanks for the welcome back yesterday.
      Would like to help re 11a (& 3d) but risk going on naughty stair & yellow card straight after return. Then would have to change my nom-de-blog to JoseMourinho I guess.
      Almo’s comment on yours perhaps says he hasn’t watched much of teams like Milwall & (my other home town team) Oldham Athletic particularly in their Division 3 North games.

      1. Hi LROK,
        Good to see you back, you seem to have had more problems than most…
        I got 11a, and in 3d, the “exactly as reported” was what confused me.
        Almo never saw me play football!!!

          1. Dave,
            Got it now, I had not realised there were three parts to the wordplay.
            Many thanks….

  20. See that big bruise, there on my ankle where I kicked myself when the penny dropped about 1d. Lovely Sunday treat thanks to Mr G, perhaps I do not need a new brain because I sailed bravely through this lovely crossword with hardly a any problems part from above-mentioned 1d.. Thanks to him and BD. Off to do GK from yesterday which I shelved in favour of a newly-downloaded book which was not a good idea because it was rubbish.

  21. I dont get the paper till late in the day so rarely post and usually, if I’m stuck and about to post, the penny drops, but not today and no hint for 24down its driving me mad! Other than that great puzzle.

    1. 24d – The definition is “Accomplished”.

      Fellow = an Oxbridge member of the teaching staff …

      … plus the penultimate letter of “clues”

    2. Oh dear. Hate being stuck too.
      24d: Accomplished as finished. A three letter word for a university fellow and the penultimate letter of clues.

  22. Yes, this was a delightful Sunday crossword from the great man. Some terrific clues including 7a and1d, the latter being my favourite. 2.5/4 overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD for the hints.. and the music. Great taste sir!

  23. As always, a very satisfying solve: 2*/4*. 21d was my favourite. Ta to Virgilius and of course BD.

  24. Thoroughly enjoyable, a little chewy in places perhaps. The reasoning for 2d completely eluded me, so thanks for the blog. Number gets me every time. :-)

  25. Many thanks Virgilius. Over too quickly. Last one in was 7a and my favourite (seems i’m not alone).

    Thank you BD

      1. In France it is pronounced Renay, as in ‘Allo ‘Allo! – in England the girl’s name is usually, but not always, pronounced Reenee.

  26. Another cracker from Virgilius. So supreme is this setter, that he plays with us all by making the bottom half a breeze and the top half a force five. I was a bit stymied by managing to find an alternative answer for 1d which works equally well apart from the fact that the checkers were ‘unhelpful’. That NW corner is pretty tough work but entirely fair and bordering genius.

    Done mostly on the train on the way back from a night in London at the RAC club (sadly only as guests, not members) and finished over a glass or two of red stuff which was certainly needed.

    Thanks for another great Sunday tussle, V and thanks to BD for the unravel.

  27. I suppose everyone has a pet hate and mine is 25a. A gratuity (thank you) is given AFTER a meal. The one given BEFORE “To Insure Prompt Service” is the base answer to this clue. Grrrrrrr……

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