ST 2882 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2882 (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    Returned volume I am studying that graphically conveys feeling (8)
The reversal (returned) of a four-letter volume is followed by a phrase meaning “I am studying” (1,3) :good:

13a    Judge making criminal face right (8)
A criminal followed by a face (of a cube, for example) and R(ight)

16a    High jumper that’s exemplarily fit (4)
This high-jumping creature is one of those given as an example of being fit in a well-known simile

17a    Number that’s small, like six or eight (5)
This number is derived from S(mall) followed by an adjective that could be applied to numbers such as six or eight

21a    Remaining English newspaper grabbed by fan (4,4)
E(nglish) and the abbreviation of a particular newspaper inside (grabbed by) a fan or enthusiast

23a    Not complete address for article, for instance (4,2,6)
This could mean an address or talk that is not complete, but actually defines something of which an article, such as a definite article, is an example

27a    Driver of vehicle in which composer covers journey (8)
The surname of a composer around a two-letter verb meaning to journey

28a    Doctor almost presented with certain prize (8)
Most of a verb meaning to act as a doctor followed by an adjective meaning certain


2d    Duck seized by male or female raptor or other bird (8)
The letter representing a duck or score of zero in cricket inside (seized by) M(ale), OR from the clue and F(email) and a raptor


3d    Caught up with small fraud that’s handled in court (6,6)
The reversal (up in a down clue) of a phrase meaning caught (2,3) followed by S(mall) and a fraud

4d    Put men on board lacking refinement, we hear (6)
This verb meaning put a group of men on board a ship sounds like (we hear) an adjective meaning lacking refinement

6d    Burns, for example, most dreadfully apparent in examination (8)
An anagram (dreadfully) of MOST inside (apparent in) an examination

7d    Appear satisfied as setter, say — finish off clue and carry on (4)
A verb meaning to appear satisfied as a household animal such as (say) a setter followed by the final letter (finish off) [clu]E gives a verb meaning to carry on, for example, a campaign

8d    Military guard posted on line given new order (8)
A verb meaning posted followed by an anagram (given new order) of LINE

17d    It’s smart including our squadrons for aerial attack (8)
A verb meaning to smart or hurt around the abbreviation for our military squadrons

25d    Wine, such as Bordeaux or Malaga (4)
Two definitions – a type of wine and a place such as Bordeaux or Malaga

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 – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

  RIP Peter Sarstedt (10 December 1941 – 8 January 2017)  




  1. Senf
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    After quite a slow start, I thought I might need to seek assistance from those fine folks from Dalwhinnie to provide a cerebral boost to complete this puzzle (and to start practicing for Burns’ Night and my birthday) but, somewhat disappointingly, it was not required. Another fine puzzle from Virgilius – 2.5*/4* for me.

    Favourites 2d (which by another name featured in discussions yesterday), a good charade, and 7d which was just plain cute with its word play.

    Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  2. Wahoo
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Excellent stuff. Quite plain sailing last night until a couple in SW corner held me up as did 7d until the penny finally dropped (it was late at night) so that has to be my favourite clue! Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  3. Young Salopian
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Another top offering from Virgilius. Like many, I suspect, 7 down held me up a little too long, and I ticked several favourites but finally decided on 27 across. I will go for 2.5*/5* in the honesty box and say a big thank you to the man himself and BD.

    • hoofityoudonkey
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      7a is confusing the life out of me, YS!!! No hint needed though…yet…

      • Tantalus
        Posted January 15, 2017 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        7a must be a hidden clue?

        • LabradorsruleOK
          Posted January 15, 2017 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

          As with others the Editor managed to do a pretty good job of hiding all of them from me. Even did a search of the green bag to see if I hadn’t thrown it out!

  4. dutch
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I most liked the trademark 5d, 6d, 17a and 23a.
    In 2d raptor threw me briefly, made me think of jurassic park, and I think i was lucky to get 18a the right way around.
    16d was a pennydrop, and I thought 17d was clever too.

    Many thanks Virgilius and BD – thanks for the peter sarstedt

  5. stanXYZ
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Yet another really enjoyable Sunday offering from Virgilius.

    Not sure that 12d was a foursome?

    • Wahoo
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      The fourth communist, a bit of a straight guy, is often forgotten!

    • Senf
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Wikipedia lists five, although only four, and later three, appeared in the films that were made.

    • Tantalus
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t know they were golfers?

      • LabradorsruleOK
        Posted January 15, 2017 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        The famous quote ” I don’T want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member” might suggest they were. Then again…

  6. Rabbit Dave
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    3*/5*. Another in a seemingly never-ending line of glorious Sunday puzzles. My main difficulties today were actually locating the crossword in the paper amid a variety of new sections, and completing the last few answers in the NE corner.

    24d was a new word for me, but what a good clue! 16d raised a smile and made my list of candidates for favourite (although in reality any one of the clues could have been a favourite). The others on that list were 10a, 17a, 5d & 7d, with the excellent 17a getting the final nod.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  7. Faraday
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    A lovely Sunday morning treat. 7d confused me for a long time, 16d appealed to my sense of humour. The good news Margaret is that the DT at least acknowledges that I scored 27/27 last week 😂

    • Margaret
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Haha – yes, me too Faraday

  8. Mark
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Beautifully crafted clues, elegant surfaces, precise definitions. Just what we expect on a Sunday and, once again, no disappointment from Virgilius today.

    As RD says above, almost any clue could be a favourite. 16d certainly gets mentioned in despatches, as do 13a and 15a. 17a is simple but very clever. 7d gets my vote, though: really clever and delightfully misleading.

    My only tiny gripe – I agree with stan XYZ about 12d. Didn’t stop the solve as the setter’s intentions were clear but it’s difficult to see how it could be factually correct.

    Thanks to Virgilius and BD for review.

  9. Una
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Finished after a dim period about 20 a. I liked 17d , 21a and 12d.
    Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  10. Graham
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    7d was my last in. I didn’t like it. Since when did *** mean ‘appear satisfied as dog’. It needs the object of the ****ING.
    Apart from that a slow start but then once I got 16d, the rest fell into place.
    Thanks all

  11. Expat Chris
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    I needed the hint for 7D. Lots to like, as is usual for a Sunday puzzle, but I’ll settle for 16D and 23A in that order. Thanks to Virgilius for the puzzle and BD for the review.

    • Tantalus
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      Hear hear.

      We are still arguing about the phonetics of 18a – got us chatting about the English party trick of getting an American to say Mary, marry and merry – preferably in the same sentence. They think they pronounce each word differently but phonetically they sound the same.

      23a was our cotd, but like HIYD really struggled with 7a – we couldn’t even find the clue.

      Mr & Mrs T

  12. Jane
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Sunday excellence once again. As is often the way, it was a couple of the shortest words that took the longest time.
    24a was new to me as was the designation in 20a – obvious, but not something I’ve heard used.
    2d raised a smile after the blog conversations of yesterday and 14d put me in mind of a film which still makes me laugh.

    So hard to pick a favourite – could be any one of those already mentioned by others – but perhaps 7&16d are neck and neck.

    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the words and music.

    • Tantalus
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      We are also stuck on 24 across.

      • hoofityoudonkey
        Posted January 15, 2017 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        You mean 24d??

        • Jane
          Posted January 15, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

          Well – there’s my come-uppance! Serves me right for giggling over Hoofit’s 7a……….

          • hoofityoudonkey
            Posted January 15, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

            LOL, we are both as bad as each other, Jane,

            • Jane
              Posted January 15, 2017 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

              Worrying thing is that I haven’t got the man-flu excuse!

  13. hoofityoudonkey
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Cracking crossword as usual for a Sunday, 7d was my last in, when the penny finally dropped.
    Very pleased after yesterday’s disappointing showing. No hints used in the making…
    14d makes a musical appearance again.
    19d is one of my favourite of it’s type, so I am going for that as my favourite.
    Thanks BD and Virgilius

    • LabradorsruleOK
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      7d easy peasy my Lab was stood in front of me giving a practical demonstration (he was 2nd in the ******** **** at our village fete & would have won the dumbest mutt if they had one). That & 16d joint COTD in what was a very enjoyable tussle.
      Thanks to Virgilius & BD for hints & explanations.

      • hoofityoudonkey
        Posted January 15, 2017 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        2nd sounds pretty good, does he win a bone or something??

        • LabradorsruleOK
          Posted January 15, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

          No a rosette thing that had no connection with food so to him was useless.
          It is probably as far removed from a proper dog show as you can get.
          A lot of people have said we should show him but I don’t want him to get a Ronaldo complex so never would.

  14. Vancouverbc
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    ***/****. Quite a tussle today. Very slow to complete the upper half but a satisfying solve in the end. Favourite was 16d mainly because of the gymnastics I performed looking for odd letter combinations before the penny dropped. Thanks to Virgilius and BD for the hints.

  15. Gwizz
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Good crossword as is now expected from Virgilius! A couple of the four letter answers caused me to ponder for perhaps longer than necessary. Once those pennies dropped all was sorted. 21a was my favourite. 3/4* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD for the hints.

    • Wahoo
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Seems that a lot of “pennies dropped” with this one.

      Now, after explaining “Hell’s Teeth” during the week, perhaps Crypticsue could give the definitive origin of that phrase?! Slot machines? Telephone boxes, Loos?

      • crypticsue
        Posted January 15, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        Brewers says slot machines and loo doors which can’t be operated or opened until the penny drops

      • Ora Meringue
        Posted January 15, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        I’d plump for old telephone boxes with buttons A and B.

  16. Paso Doble
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Usual lovely clues from Virgilius. It took us quite a while as we were stuck in the top right-hand corner. a ***/**** from us. Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints.

  17. Merusa
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Another Sunday treat. I, too, was held up for ages with 7d, even after looking at the hint, but after getting it, I love it.
    I loved the lot and can’t really claim a fave; 3d deserves a mention, but I’m going to choose 16d because I’m predictable, with 7d as runner up for the same reason.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints.

  18. jean-luc cheval
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    As one of 12d once said:
    I’ll never become a member of a club that accepts me as a member.
    So thank you and good bye.

    • hoofityoudonkey
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      and “giving up smoking’s easy, I’ve done it hundreds of times”

      • Kath
        Posted January 15, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        One of my Dad’s expressions.

        • hoofityoudonkey
          Posted January 15, 2017 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

          G – “Has that contract got a sanity clause??”
          C – “Naahh. Everyone know there is no such thing as sanity clause”

  19. Kath
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    I agree with RD that the trickiest bit of today’s crossword was finding it – I’m such a creature of habit – hate it when everything gets changed around.
    It was worth the hunt.
    Several of the short four letter answers caused a spot of bother – 10 and 18a and, in particular, 7d.
    Having already got the first, third and final letter of 27a I started to bung in the answer but ran out of letters – had to check BRB for this spelling.
    I needed the hint to untangle my answer for 3d – just had the reversal of the first three letters as ‘caught’ up rather than the 2,3.
    I liked 1 and 17a and 22d. My favourite was either 7 or 16d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    • Kath
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      PS Thanks, BD, for the Peter Sarstedt. His “Where do you go to my lovely” was No 1 when six of us who were training together moved into a rented house – must have been early 1969. Our LP had a big scratch on it so it always skipped a bit – sounds really funny to hear it without the jump!

      • Posted January 15, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        He came into prominence a bit late for me – his elder brother Richard (aka Eden Kane) was more my era.

        • Kath
          Posted January 15, 2017 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

          Oooh – I didn’t know that Eden Kane was his elder brother. I knew he had a brother but I think that he was called Robin – whenever will I learn to enlist the help of the nice Mr Google before blathering away in a comment . . . ?

          • Posted January 15, 2017 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

            Clive Robin was the youngest – they played one of his tracks on Sounds of the Sixties a week or two ago, if my memory serves me right he started of as Wes Sands. I think they hold the record as the first (only?) set of three brothers to all have individual hits.

            • hoofityoudonkey
              Posted January 15, 2017 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

              Would imagine that the Gibb brothers (Barry, Andy and Robin) did too??

            • Kath
              Posted January 15, 2017 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

              Ooh again – think we overlapped. What a mine of information you are. Love sounds of the sixties and also the Johnnie Walker “Sounds of the Seventies” on Radio 2 at 3.00pm on Sundays. Being just a bit younger than you I’m rather inclined to prefer the 70’s.

          • Kath
            Posted January 15, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

            I’ve now asked Mr Google. I DO remember Eden Kane – well, at least his name but not many of his hits. I thought that the frozen orange juice was his brother Robin but the one of his that I remember was “My Resistance is Low”. I heard it recently – I’m a pleb – I listen to Radio 2!

    • Merusa
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      Kath, I bunged in 10a but for the life of me I can’t understand why. Maybe I’ve got the wrong answer?

      • Merusa
        Posted January 15, 2017 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        Heck, I’ve just seen it! Great clue, just dim me.

  20. Ora Meringue
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    This one was way way above my paygrade.
    I needed all of the hints and then some electronic help.
    I feel as though I have returned to the bad old pre-Big Dave’s blog days when I was lucky to get one or two answers on a Sunday.
    And I was doing reasonably well (for me) last week too.
    Big sigh.

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave.

    • hoofityoudonkey
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Chin up, Ora!!
      I had a shocker yesterday, but came good today.
      You will sail through tomorrow probably, and all will be well.

      • Ora Meringue
        Posted January 15, 2017 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, hoofit.

  21. BobH
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Still can’t get 7d . However I have just got to the penpenultimste letter and the penny has dropped as I write. Don’t like it.

  22. Jon_S
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    It took me a while to build up any momentum, but once I did it was, for the most part, plain sailing, and as enjoyable as ever from Virgilius. If I didn’t know who’d set this puzzle already, 5d would have alerted me immediately. :-)

  23. Angellov
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I thought I was never going to get under weigh with this head-scratcher however
    true grit got me there in the end after much fun along the way. NE corner was first to fall apart from 7d which was last of all to go in. Needed help with 20a. Wouldn’t on court rather than in court be more appropriate in 3d? Many thanks Virgilius and BD. 😓🙂

  24. Mcmillibar
    Posted January 16, 2017 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    How do you do it Virgilius? – week after week of super-consistent, lovely clues that I often find myself explaining to non-cruciverbalists and even they can see the multi-faceted artistry. Today I needed a bit of help from BD with 7d. I had **** in there but, like when you have your T-shirt on the wrong way round, you just know something is not right. Once I had the correct answer I would say it’s my favourite. 2.5/4.
    Thanks to V and BD.

  25. Heno
    Posted January 16, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for the hints. A fantastic puzzle once again from Virgilius, such smooth surfaces and loads of juxtaposition, superb. I was beaten by 7d, but got it from the hint. I’m a huge fan of 12a, great to see them get a mention. 17a & 24d were very clever, 5d was a typical Virgilius clue. My favourite was 2d, so many birds, fantastic. Was 2*/5* for me. Best puzzle in ages.

  26. rico
    Posted January 19, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Spelling of the second part of 3d is bugging me. Any clues? Shouldn’t it be clued as “sounds like” fraud?

    • Posted January 19, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Rico

      There is a perfectly good hint for this one. All I will add is that although the answer does have an alternative, less common, spelling it doesn’t fit into the available space.

  27. rico
    Posted January 19, 2017 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Yup. Got it now.
    Would you believe neither I nor my better half could remember ever seeing the 6 letter “noisy” spelling; we’d only seen the 7 letter french (?) derived word.