ST 2630 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2630 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2630 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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I have added some pictures of the surprise party for Roger Squires to the blog’s facebook page.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the more difficult clues and provide hints for them.

Don’t forget that you can give your assessment of the puzzle. Five stars if you thought it was great, one if you hated it, four, three or two if it was somewhere in between.

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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”.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submission.


1a           Kind and good in part of Africa (6)
This adjective meaning kind or gracious is created by putting G(ood) inside a country. Formerly known as Dahomey, in West Africa

8a           Agricultural worker with fine upper body parts (4,4)
To get this agricultural worker start with F(ine) and then add two upper body parts

11a         What comes first for dairymaid? Cows, perhaps (4)
Split the answer as (3,1) and it describes the initial letter (first) of Dairymaid – but it’s actually a group of cows

12a         Sign of disapproval about medic, so sad (6,4)
This sign of disapproval is created from a medic with a word meaning so around him (about) followed by an adjective meaning sad

22a         Domestic equipment that’s naturally abhorred? (6)
This item of domestic equipment is, according to the saying, abhorred by nature

25a         A trust broken in royal house (6)
An anagram (broken) OF A TRUST gives a royal house founded by Robert II of Scotland


1d           Piece of jewellery couple hired (8)
This piece of jewellery is a charade of a couple (5) and a verb meaning hired

2d           Wandering, yet sane as far as the Scots are concerned (5)
If this adjective meaning wandering is split (2,3) it could mean sane in Scotland

7d           Quartet of players embracing the radio, initially, for broadcast (6)
Put all four (quartet) bridge players around the initial letters of The Radio to get a verb meaning broadcast or scattered

18d         He can stand for one, so can I, and so, from what we hear, can you (7)
The required capitalisation is cunningly concealed by being the first word in the clue, He, I and the letter that sounds like (from what we hear) you are all chemical symbols!

21d         Light timber, using a block, hoisted (5)
This light timber, used for making model aircraft, is derived by reversing (hoisted) A from the clue and a block

Today it’s Happy Birthday to Bobby McFerrin (62)

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70 comments on “ST 2630 (Hints)

  1. Liked 4 10 and 12 a. 3 6 17 and 21 d. Did not like 11a. Only one word fits for 18d confirmed by the clue (I think). Not good for me but scientists may disagree. I have an answer for 19d but not happy with it. My answer means tricks (a verb) but not sure where I get the first letter from. Any help so I can be sure?

    1. For 19d, the first letter is the abbreviation for clubs. It is followed by one of the other suits in a pack of cards with an abbreviation for king removed.

    2. hi WW.
      Tricks in clubs and another suit, discarding king (6)
      YOu have the definition right enough. THe first letter is an abbreviation of the card suit and the rest is another suit with the Rex removed. These abbreviations are usual in Card game (e.g. Bridge) annotations.

  2. Another fine puzzle that was over a bit too quickly. You need to watch Virgilius with clues like 18d – the surface is so good that they are easy to miss!. Thanks to him and to BD.

  3. A couple of visits needed to complete this one today. 6d had me foxed for a while, because I was convinced that ‘foreign article’ should have been plural, then I realised the correct parsing of the clue.
    Great fun – thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  4. Hi Dave and thanks for blog, I still don’t get 18d? just a few queries, in 2d is this the right part of speech for wander(ing), I have looked both ways in CCD and it doesn’t give it, also 4a the same kind of thing? not being fussy just trying to improve a little :-) , I wonder if anyone else put ‘string’ for 7d, ‘tr’ in ‘sing’ ? this threw me completely for 12a! otherwise with a little perservation managed to finish all but 18d, which I don’t understand even with the hint (wrong school)

      1. Oh dear! It’s happened again – never get there in time and all the extra hints that others give are SO much clearer than mine! :sad:

    1. 18d – He, I and a homophone of you are all abbreviations for items that are the answer.

      1. Thanks Prolixic, I see it now, but would never have understood it even though it was the only answer to fit!

    2. In 2 down, the answer can be an adjective (as here) and a noun. Wandering can also be an adjective, as in “Wandering Jew”. It’s best to use a proper dictionary rather than the CCD for parts of speech.

    3. Hi Mary – even with the hint it took me a while to sort this one out. I think that these (He, I and “you” homophone) are all abbreviations for the answer. Sorry – that sounds as clear as mud but hope it helps. :smile:

  5. I did this one reasonably easily, for a Sunday, apart from a few in the bottom left corner. I needed the hint for 18d although I couldn’t think of anything else which would fit with the letters I already had. Now that I finally understand it, I think it’s a really clever clue – far too clever for me!! The subtlety of 11a completely escaped me – I just thought that it was what the “dairymaid” had to do to the cows before she could be a “dairymaid”. I can’t quite unravel 20a – my answer is a liqueur – I understand the “cathedral city stopping early” but can’t see where my last three letters come from.
    I enjoyed the crossword very much – the clues I liked include 1 and 12a and 5 and 15d. With thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Lovely sunny day – going up the garden now.

    1. 20a last three letters another word for consume perhaps electricity rather than food!

  6. I have been having a really lovely sunny warm Sunday morning, the top highlight (of several) being this superb Sunday puzzle which I would award 2* difficulty 5* fun. Many thanks to Virgilius – my top favourites include 11a, 18d and 19d – if I listed all of them I’d be here a while. Thanks to BD for the hints too. Did anyone else look at 17d and think how welll MOANERS would fit the anagram/wordplay :)

  7. A lot easier than the normal Sunday puzzle, but 18d is my Clue of the Week!

    What’s happened to the trademark Virgilius “hidden” clues? I still keep looking for them.

        1. Oh – OK then – I give in. I always associate them with Sundays and they used to defeat me.

  8. Off topic, but yesterday’s Telegraph GKcrossword – 7a – what is “….the collective noun for a group of crossword puzzlers (9)

      1. Going by the only get together of crossword puzzlers that I’ve ever been to, I should think “booze up” pretty much covers it! :grin:

  9. Excellent way to spend a Sunday morning. Favourite clues have to be 7d and 18d. Thanks to Virgilius and to BD whose hints I did not need for a change.

  10. Needed the blog to fully explain 18d, but what a clever clue. 2d very funny (best said in a Glaswegian accent). Thanks to all involved today.

  11. Thanks to the setter & Big Dave for the hints. Really enjoyed this one, had to use the hint for 18d, very clever. Favourites were 11& 16a and 2,9& 14d. Still stuck on 5d & 10a, any help would be very welcome.

    1. Hi Heno,

      5d – the definition is a shrub (I think another name for Oleander) – if you split it 4, 3 you want a flower – one of the most common garden flowers, with thorns – followed by a three letter word for a small inlet.

      10a – the definition is landowner – the usual abbreviation for small followed by a 5 letter measurement of paper (leaves).

      1. Thanks Kath, got ’em now with your help. I think you have skilfully avoided Naughty Corner :-)

        1. It’s only when I try to give a hint that I realise just how hard it is to do properly – how clever all the bloggers, who do them every day for us lesser mortals, must be! Thanks to all of them. :smile:

  12. Thanks to Virgilus & to Big Dave for the hints, which I had to use for 18d. Very enjoyable puzzle. Favourites were 11& 16a and 2,9 & 14d. Still stuck on 5d & 10a any help would be appreciated.

      1. 10a – The definition is “Landowner” – Abbreviation of “small” plus “a measure for paper”.

        10a – The definition is “Landowner” – Abbreviation of “small” plus “a measure for paper”.

  13. Would love to be able to do this puzzle but my automatic renewal happened Friday night, I can already see the charge on my credit card, but today the Telegraph tells me my subscription has expired. Has this happened to anyone else?

  14. Thanks Virgiluis and BD.
    Enjoyable, thought 18d rather clever and cheeky.
    I’d say **/***

    1. Because it means cleaned up? The foreign article is first two letters (think French). Last two letters usual abbreviation. For editor. Then look at what you’re left with in the middle and all will be clear!

    2. That one confused me as well. I thought we had 3 foreign articles; 2 french and one german at first glance!

  15. Found this one a real hard slog but finally finished with a lot of electronic help, and hints for 18d (couldn’t see what else it could be but didn’t understand it at all – wrong school for me too, I think!) Despite fininding it difficult I really enjoyed it – think there are some very good clues there. Liked 13a,16a,15d and particularly 9d which took me ages before the penny dropped. Thanks to setter and BD for hints.

  16. Maybe it’s just me being a bit knackered after spending most of yesterday in the car but I thought this was Virgilius at his most devious! Worthy of a Toughie slot but very enjoyable nonetheless and with many excellent clues. At least it got me the second glass of wine :grin:

    Good day for me today on both the footy and rugby front and a great crossword – what more could a man want? Just the start of the F1 season next weekend! :lol:

    As an ex-chemist I have to admit to taking an awful long time to parse 18d (last in) – knew the answer but where did it come from? :roll:

    Many thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    1. Re 18D – He, I and the single-letter homophone for You are all in a familiar table.

      I thought this crossword was very entertaining, and 18D in particular was fantastic! What brilliant use of the capitalisation :-)

      1. Hi Steve – yeah, understand the clue but a bit mortified that it took a while to parse it as I’m a chemist! Should have been easy. Brilliant clue with a surface that threw me for a while.

  17. Very enjoyable puzzle.
    18d was my favourite!
    Also liked 13a, 16a, 20a & 9d.

    A shade harder than usual for Sunday.

  18. I found this a real slog & have still no idea about 24a although must be obvious cos no-one else seems to have stuck on it. Think I have the rest at last. Any hints appreciated so I can finally put it to bed!

    1. If you have not had a reply repost with the clue as I do not have it to hand. I can then reply.

    2. 24a Being a witness, give information about European drug (6)
      The definition is being a witness. Put a verb meaning give information or act as an informer around two abbreviations.

  19. lol nice crossword…stuck for yonks on 17D where i put MOANERS :) A SERMON sorted out (A SERMON sorted = MOANERS) fellows having rows….only when i realised that 22 (a clue which sucks :p ) did i realise it couldnt be MOANERS… but clue DOES fit in a way :)

  20. Another cracking puzzle from Virgilius, which I saved for my plane journey today.
    18d was my last in – I put in the right word, but didn’t know why it was that until reading the hint just now. Same with 11a, come to think of it.
    But what a brilliantly imaginative and well-constructed clue!
    Full marks from me! :)

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