ST 2505 – Hints

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2505 – Hints

Are They Getting Harder?

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

If you’ve woken up this morning feeling a bit under the weather you’ll probably need a good supply of caffeine to give you the strength to tackle this puzzle. It’s a real challenge, and it seems to me that it’s approaching the standard of a Toughie, but all the clues are impeccably constructed  and I really enjoyed battling with it.

As usual, we don’t publish answers for the prize puzzles until the entry deadline has passed. Below are a few hints for some of the more interesting clues, to help you get started.

All comments are appreciated, but please do not include any full or partial answers.

Peter Biddlecombe’s full review of this puzzle will be published at 12.00 on Friday, 16th October.

Across Clues

1a  Hoards, in a way, trophy for excelling in some tests (7)
A verb meaning hides away (hoards) is constructed from an abbreviation of a road or way followed by the name of a sporting trophy, currently held by England, which goes to the winner of a series of tests.

15a  Person getting, in Rome, 2% off (9)
The definition is person getting – you need an anagram (off) of the Roman numeral for 2 and the word PERCENT. A clue that is definitely Toughie material!

25a  E.g., Hillary Clinton, initially flexible (7)
What was (Sir Edmund) Hillary? Take the first letter (initially) of Clinton and add a synonym for supple or flexible.

26a  Something sweet returned, for example? Surely not! (7)
According to the saying getting your own back is sweet. Put together EG (for example) and  an exclamation meaning surely not or “no way!” and then reverse (returned) the whole thing.

28a  What’s done about cancelled service? It’s taken out (7)
For cancelled service think about what the umpire calls in a tennis match if a serve has to be retaken.

Down Clues

1d  Battles resistance in South-West town (7)
The town is a Cornish resort, famous for its artists’ colony and a branch of the Tate Gallery. Insert R(esistance).

14d  Nothing can inspire such fear for very long (9)
This word means a fear of new things, and of course nothing stays new for very long.

16d  Something that may bounce, like ball in test, up and down (9)
If you write one of these when your funds are too low it may bounce and you may get a stiff letter from today’s robotic equivalent of Mr Mainwaring. Now add the colour of the cricket ball used in test matches.

If you’re absolutely stuck on a clue leave us a comment and Libellule or I will see what we can do. But please do not include full or partial answers in your comments, otherwise they may have to be censored.


  1. mary
    Posted October 11, 2009 at 11:30 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Gazza,
    I am confused…not for the first time i know, since when does the answer to 16d mean up and down???? :(

    • gazza
      Posted October 11, 2009 at 11:36 am | Permalink | Reply

      Morning Mary
      Chambers gives one of its meanings as “with alternations of good and bad fortune”, as in “he had a …………. career”.

      • mary
        Posted October 11, 2009 at 12:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

        thanks once again Gazza but i didn’t like it :) maybe it’s because its raining….again

  2. nanaglugglug
    Posted October 11, 2009 at 11:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for you help, Gazza, really loved it – once we managed to get started with your help, we couldn’t stop!(Thats in spite of a couple too many GlugGlugs last night)! Noticed quite a lot of hyphenated clues today. 12a Favourite clue. 27a, never heard of it – is it a vehicle?

    • gazza
      Posted October 11, 2009 at 11:52 am | Permalink | Reply

      It’s a two-wheeled horse-vehicle, with seats back to back (Chambers).

  3. mary
    Posted October 11, 2009 at 12:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    By the way Gazza…love the dog is she/he yours and is Gazza her/his name???

    • gazza
      Posted October 11, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yes – he’s mine. He’s just had his second birthday (he couldn’t blow out the candles on his cake!!), so he’s still a teenager in dog terms and he behaves like one. He’s asked for his name to be kept secret – Gazza is me!

      • mary
        Posted October 11, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Ha Ha……i have two black dogs…cross cocker spaniel / bassett hound…two sisters…..they are 8 now but still behave like wild teenagers! they are often mistaken for part labrador :)

  4. Toby
    Posted October 11, 2009 at 12:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Bit of a stinker today – have spent all morning on it and finished all but one!!! I assume the answer to 24d is either a word I’ve never heard of or I have gone wrong on one of the others. I have 3 letters of a 5 letter word – how hard can that be? have even tried a crossword solver and it doesn’t know the word. Please help!

    • nanaglugglug
      Posted October 11, 2009 at 12:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The key to this is another word for ‘WAS’, reversed

    • gazza
      Posted October 11, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

      24d. One liable to quote scripture was shown up (5)
      You’ll definitely have heard of this word. The definition refers to a Shakespeare quotation “The ….. can cite scripture for his purpose” and if you reverse it (shown up) it can mean “was”.

  5. Toby
    Posted October 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Many thanks found where I was going wrong!! My (wrong) answer to 28a was Demoted – For “service” I had MOT. I was thinking that demoted meant taken out as in a team being demoted from a league. Durrrr!

  6. Kaye
    Posted October 11, 2009 at 1:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Really struggled today but finished it now! Can anyone explain why the answers to 19a and 23a are what they are? Assuming I’ve got them right of course!!

    • gazza
      Posted October 11, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Kaye and welcome to the blog.
      19a. Skill put into speech? Not all all (5).
      This is a sound-alike (put into speech) of a slang term for skill or practical capability, and the definition is “not at all”.
      23a. Clear, subject to legal constraint (5,4).
      It’s clear, as in get higher than, e.g. clear the bar in a high-jump, and also a legal term for being constrained legally, e.g. to keep the peace.

  7. Prolixic
    Posted October 11, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this a puzzle of two halves. The top section fell into place within a short period of time. I then spent ages trying to solve the bottom half. It was almost as if there were two setters as the style of the clues seemed to switch between the two – far more oblique at the bottom I found.

  8. Rich Enough
    Posted October 12, 2009 at 6:54 am | Permalink | Reply

    Does this suggest a new topic for the Mine? A list of vehicles and carriages. They do seem come up quite often and there are lots of obscure ones. Your site’s a great help when I need it. Thanks

    • gazza
      Posted October 12, 2009 at 7:38 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Rich Enough and welcome to the blog.
      I’ll pass your suggestion on to BD, but I suspect that it may have to go on to a long waiting list!

    • Posted October 12, 2009 at 9:03 am | Permalink | Reply

      I like the idea, and will add it to the list (but near the top).

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