ST 2494 – Hints

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2494 – Hints

Selected hints by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Some time during today the view count on the blog will almost certainly reach 250,000 – all achieved in a day or two under 6 months.  I’d like to thank all of you for your support over those 6 months and hope you will stay on for the next 6 months and beyond.

Many of you will be pleased to know that this puzzle is not as difficult as the one from a week ago.

Yesterday and today I am trying an experiment with a new WordPress feature.  At the bottom of the post you will see an array of five stars – use these to 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.  Please remember you are assessing the puzzle and not my attempt to explain it!  If enough of you use this feature then it will be retained for future puzzles, so it’s up to you – vote now.

At the moment the rating system can’t be turned on post by post, which means you can rate any previous puzzle.  While you are welcome to do that (and some already have) it would seem unlikely that the numbers entered will be sufficient for a realistic rating.

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,  31st July.

Across

1a One of our Test opponents, unfortunately, is a natural (10)
He may currently hold the Ashes, but he may be asked to return them to their rightful owner soon!

9a Sensible course to follow in cinema, we hear (10)
The audible part of a film, which is often released as an album

13a State carriage (8)
The state from which 1 across may come is also an old-fashioned carriage

15a Astronomical phenomenon – top celestial arrangement (5,7)
Cue a great song from Bonnie Tyler with an unbelievably  naff video

27a Closely follow error by group of students (10)
To closely follow, as with two drivers in a Formula 1 Grand Prix, is a charade of a synonym for error followed by a group of students following a particular course of study, who are usually of the same age

Down

1d Positions on course airline set up, making rapid descent (6)
Take the positions of balls on a golf course and the airline that likes to think it is Britain’s favourite and reverse all (set up) to get a rapid descent down a rock face using a double rope

4d Choice of numbers of Romans as ruler (4)
You can have 50 OR 500!

5d He was barely able to announce his discovery (10)
This ancient Greek scholar proclaimed “Eureka!” when he stepped into a bath and noticed that the water level rose

7d Finished on poor horse last in race – past its best (8)
The poor horse is a RIP – you can work out the rest for yourself

16d Five to nine, for example? Right (8)
My favourite in today’s puzzle – 5,6,7,8 and 9 in a hand of poker

20d North of border, a northern part of Ireland (6)
North of is a down-clue only construct meaning on top of, so put A N(orthern) on top of a border of, say, lace to get a county in Northern Ireland

Once again 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.

Remember to add your assessment of the puzzle using the stars below.

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4 Comments

  1. Kram
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Once again Dave your ‘Mine’ will come in handy for 4d.Sadly although pleasing the standard of todays crossword was not up to last Sundays, 25a was my fav. clue.

  2. mary
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Although I have finished the crossword and for the most part enjoyed it, I do not understand all of 25a. 14d took me quite a while and I did need your help for 16d
    thanks once again

    • gazza
      Posted July 26, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      mary
      25a is made up from a rough measure of alcohol, as used in Western saloons (how much you get depends on the size of the bartender’s hands!) with a Yiddish word for fool inside (swallowed).

  3. Lizwhiz
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    I also did not understand 25a!! Glad I’m not alone!