ST 2493 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2493 – Hints

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2493 – Hints

Selected hints by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **** Enjoyment ****

A Sunday puzzle that is tougher than some Toughies.  Each answer must be carefully coaxed from the clue.

For the weekend prize crosswords I will select a few of the better clues and provide hints for them.  A full analysis of this puzzle will be available at 12.00 next Friday, 24th July.


1a Good example of European fashion included in list (4,5)
A person in the limelight who is expected to set a good example comes from E(uropean) and a fashion included in a list from which names might be called

10a Some Irish sailors needed to get into port (9)
My favourite clue in this puzzle, because it made me smile – a cryptic definition of a complement of sailors from an Irish county gives something that is needed to get into a bottle of port

11a One of the things known by expert about religious belief (7)
An expert is said to “know his ……” – take one of these and put it around a short word meaning religious and you finish up with a belief

22a Mother goes in to cultivate old fruit (9)
Put a word for mother inside TO and a synonym for cultivate, then add O(ld) to get this fruit of a plant of the nightshade family which is used in Mexican cooking


1d Starving birds seen around old university (8)
A word meaning starving comes from some birds who might be helping to guard the crown jewels around O(ld) and U(niversity)

2d Odd parts of life poorly presented here? Rubbish (8)
Another excellent clue – take the odd letters of LiFe and you get L AND F; all you have to do is add a word meaning poorly to get somewhere to take rubbish

6d This kind of competition ‘asn’t ‘ealthy effect on people (4,4)
A Cockney clue that doesn’t quite work for me – you need to drop the aitch from a word that means hasn’t a healthy effect and add a synonym for people to get the kind of competition that usually occurs between superpowers

8d Scientist of note pictured with Queen (6)
This scientist is pictured on a ten-pound note!

18d Head off rabbit or hare’s companion (6)
Take the first letter off a word meaning to rabbit and you get the March Hare’s mad companion

20d Not welcoming American poet unknown here (6)
A word meaning not welcoming that comes from an American poet and an unknown quantity from an equation

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

This is not an easy puzzle.  I shall be out most of the day, but I’m sure that others will be on hand to help with additional hints.  Please don’t publish answers or part answers.

11 comments on “ST 2493 – Hints

  1. Excellent prize crossword, long may they be of similar ilk, I also liked 10a, but 16d just had the edge for me.Now for a relaxing time with another kind of Test!.

  2. not sure I would have even got started today without your help! Some of the answers I still do not fully understand! Took me an hour and a half!

    1. I’m with you there Lizwhiz, I needed the help too and it took me over 2 hours, it would be hard work if we didn’t enjoy it!! :)

  3. A really good puzzle; ‘Coaxing’ the answers out is a very good way of describing it. And I agree about 6d, but it is more than made up for by so many of the others.

  4. Wow. Is sunday always this hard? As a beginner who usually gets two thirds of the regular cryptics in the week I only got 2 yesterday! The explanations above all make perfect sense though. This is a real eye opener for me. I am in awe of anyone completing this.

    1. Finding new things to say about the Sunday puzzles is difficult. I can’t keep saying “this is the best yet”, but it was certainly one of the best.

      Are they always this hard? No, but you will learn a lot more by finishing half of one like this than completing all of many others. With the exception of 6 down, the clues were precise and fair.

      If you are stuck anywhere, then I can always add further hints.

  5. The Sunday setter is one of the finest wordsmiths around and always produces elegant, witty and totally fair clues.

    I too loved this puzzle.

  6. could anyone please give me a hint for 23a and 18a thanks its only thursday I have been attacking this puzzle since Sunday but as deadline appraoches just need a little help thanks

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