ST 100008 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 100008 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 100008 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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An unusually early Christmas lunch, to accommodate Son of BD who is working 2:00 pm till 9:00 pm today, has delayed these hints.

This puzzle is only available online as there are no newspapers today.

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    A temperature examined and reported in trial (8)
A and T(emperature) followed by a verb meaning examined

5a    A Christmas Carol quartet — good entertainers (6)
G(ood) followed by some entertainers – this quartet represent Jacob Marley, Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Here’s how Disney represented one of them:

13a    One of three I saw arriving this morning, going by air? Sea, actually (4)
One of three in a carol (air) that I saw come sailing in on Christmas Day

16a    Open anger that may be smouldering in church (12)
An adjective meaning open or honest followed by a verb meaning to anger

21a    Servant a long time retained by vessel’s bosses (4,8)
A three-letter words for a servant and a long time inside a large passenger ship and the S from ‘S

27a    Resort around spring in part of Europe (5)
A resort that is based around a natural spring followed by IN from the clue

30a    Run repeatedly into my hospital for medicinal gum (5)
R(un) and R(un) (repeatedly) inside MY from the clue and H(ospital)

31a    Small quantity of liquor, or two other drinks (6)
Split as (3,3) this gives two other drinks


1d    Property stupid people distributed over time (6)
Some stupid people around (distributed over) T(ime)

3d    Dispatch a pair of players north to get instrument (5,4)
A verb meaning to dispatch or kill, the A from the clue and a pair of bridge players, all reversed (north in a down clue)

4d    At Christmas they traditionally help themselves? Not half! (5)
Drop the first half of a word in the clue

6d    Three fliers from France sent to me after three others (4)
… the other three being a partridge and two turtle doves

8d    Cast start retiring (3)
Three separate definitions

15d    Third descriptor of Boxing Day snow is not odd (4)
The snow on Boxing Day was described as deep and crisp and …..

20d    Crazily firing without notice — that’s demeaning (5,3)
An anagram (crazily) of FIRING around a two-letter notice

23d    In game on board, mostly moves cautiously (6)
IN from the clue followed by most of a board game

28d    Short publication I provided for some on Christmas journey with travel guide (4)
A three-letter abbreviation for a publication followed by I from the clue gives one of the people guided by a star (travel guide) at the first Christmas

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  A couple of Christmas hits:  

21 comments on “ST 100008 (Hints)

  1. Lashings of thanks to the setter, BD and all others who have contributed to my crosswording joy this year. Thanks and reciprocations to RD, Hoofit, LROK and Merusa for your lovely messages yesterday.

    Your Kitty is in good cheer having tucked into a juicy bird with some homemade sauce, washed down with plenty of slurps. The crossword was good too, but a little blurry. :wacko:

    Now for a seasonal repeat.

    A Very, Very Happy Christmas to all you good folk. [Crappy Hissmas to the trolls, hackers and saboteurs, not that they’re worth mentioning, but to any reading, my message to you can be enumerated (4,3).] I will be wishing you all the best for 2017 in due course, but for now I’m hoping you have a great end to 2016 – may you celebrate in the style in which you prefer, or if that is not possible, enjoy whatever celebrations come your way.

    Kitty xxx

  2. Goodness, second to post today. I think that’s a good sign, everyone is enjoying their feast and imbibing good cheer. We won’t have ours for another five hours.
    I didn’t get 26d, and I suspect it’s the same chap that I said I wouldn’t forget the last time. I’ll check the FAQ after this. I might have 25a wrong but I don’t think so.
    Lovely themed puzzle, I think Mr.Greer managed to get them all in there!
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD for blogging this for us on this special day.
    Also, many thanks for the Nina and Frederik Little Donkey, an inspired choice.

    1. P.S. The Nina and Frederik is blocked for the US. I have the CD here, I’ll root it out and play it.

  3. Is there a hint as to why this Sunday crossword is No 100,008?

    Not binary, not octal … hmm?

    Beyond the call of duty for BD to help us today! So many Thanks!

    1. Because last year’s was 100,007

      And because Christmas Day puzzles have to have different numbers from the newspaper ones

    2. The numbering of DT Christmas Day cryptic crosswords appeared random for a while, but it’s now settled into a pattern:

      2002: 0
      2003: 3
      2004: 55555
      2005: 2309
      2007: 25122007
      2008: 0
      2009: 100001
      2010: 100002
      2011: 100003
      2012: 100004
      2013: 100005
      2014: 100006
      2015: 100007
      2016: 100008

        1. Hmm. Last Sunday was ST 2879, so the iOS version must have just extrapolated the standard Sunday numbering sequence.

          The numbers above come from the DT puzzle site.

  4. A very happy Christmas day to all! Lovely crossword for a lovely day. Thanks to BD and to the setter (not sure if it’s our usual super Sunday man).

    BD mentioned previously two special toughies today. Since there are no newspapers, they must be on line. I’ve found one, but not yet the other.

    1. The Elgar double toughie (which I’ve just managed to finish despite the confusing instructions) can be found under the Giant GK list

  5. Done in fits and starts amidst the cooking of Christmas lunch. Now feeling extremely replete……….
    Another enjoyable feast of seasonal goodies – I’ll miss those when the holiday is over.

    Christmas holly wreath goes to 26d.

    Many thanks to our setter (Virgilius, I presume?) and to BD for slotting the review in between courses!

  6. Not sure if this was a Virgilius puzzle but it was enjoyable nonetheless. Did this while watching that seasonal favourite Die Hard. No outstanding favourite and a few sticky points. Thanks to all concerned, now back to Bruce Willis.

  7. I hope that Santa was good to all of you, provided that you have all been nice, and not naughty, this year.

    I found this puzzle not as easy as yesterday, but still completed comfortably within on-line bonus point time. And, of course, plenty of seasonal content to make life easier, especially those that ‘ran across’ two or three clues. Favourites – 25a, 16a, and 30a – deliberately in that ‘recognisable’ order.

    Is this one of the puzzles where the regular setters share the setting task? Assuming that it is, thanks to one and all, including BD for his sterling efforts throughout the year.

  8. A lovely puzzle for a lovely day. Special thanks to Big Dave and the other bloggers for providing hints today and throughout the year, and particularly to Big Dave for providing this web site. Finding this site earlier this year, after many years of struggling with these puzzles, was the best present I could wish for. The friendship and camaraderie of you all is truly appreciated. Finding a group with a common interest is priceless. Hope Santa was kind to you all, ho ho ho 😊

  9. I haven’t had a chance to do the crossword yet so I haven’t looked at hints or read the comments but just popped in to say hello and an almost too late Happy Christmas to all of you. Back either later or perhaps tomorrow.
    Thanks to everyone, particularly BD, for making crosswords even more fun than they were in pre-blog days – being sociable about it makes a huge difference.

  10. Everybody in our house is fed to the gunwales and well oiled, and mother-in-law has been walked home so we didn’t get to this until quite late. We were surprised to despatch it so quickly. A lovely end to a great day, including a video chat with our son who was on the beach at Santa Barbera. Unfair to give this one ratings, I feel.

    Thanks to BD for the hints and Virgilius for the crossword. Enjoy the rest of the festive season, everybody.

  11. Didn’t turn the PC on yesterday, I would have been lynched.
    Just started, a bit confused as to 12,15,29, it just says it is 5 letters long??

  12. I too would have been lynched had I dared to do this yesrday! However today is a different matter, and having completed it I can say great fun and not too demanding which is probably as it should be!
    No real favourites, and doesn’t need rating
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD for taking the time to do the hints.
    Enjoy the holiday while you can everyone.

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