ST 2509 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2509 – Hints

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2509 – Hints

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

Sunday has come round again, and here is yet another in this long run of excellent puzzles.

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.

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

A full review of this puzzle will be published at 12.00 on Friday, 13th November (lucky for some!).


1a Tailor cuts up curtains for needleworkers? (14)
Tailor indicates that you need an anagram of cuts up curtains to get these people who use needles to cure illness

18a Moves very slowly during endless board game (6)
A word meaning moves very slowly is built up from a word meaning during followed by a board game minus its last letter (endless)

25a Trying to sell West End excursion (7)
The definition is trying to sell, and it’s the last letter (end) of West followed by a type of excursion

26a Rope popular band into dance — he compiles critical notes (9,5)
Take a charade comprising synonyms for rope, popular and band and put it all inside a Scottish dance to get this celestial bookkeeper


1d Curved structure was nice but pointless and obsolete (7)
Take a curved structure and add “was nice” without all the compass points and the result is a word meaning obsolete – a very clever construction

7d Finding fault with foreign currency hard to get in part of London (15)
A word meaning finding fault with is built up from Russian (foreign) currency and H(ard) inside a part of South London

16d Got together again about eleven in Manchester or Leeds (8)
The eleven here are a football team – like the Reds of Manchester

23d Area covered by green reporter in red state (4)
The usual abbreviation for  area is preceded by a name for a junior reporter to give a communist country in the Caribbean – “covered by” here means under, and “in” is padding that serves only to confuse

If you need further help then please ask and I will see what I can do.

Please don’t put whole or partial answers in your comment, else they may be censored!

33 comments on “ST 2509 – Hints

  1. Hi Dave thanks for the help, I found this quite hard work today and would not have got 22a, 25a, 23d, ot the secong part of 26a without your help, not being on the right wave length today, I even put nipper for 4d – dunce or what! However we did have a football clue today, nice change from all cricket! liked 12a and 19d, 21a I found I got stuck on, though i had ******* I could not see the end of it, thanks once again, come on ‘clueless club’ it’s worth sticking it out :)

  2. I enjoyed this and felt there were some good clues. In particular I liked 1d (agree with you BD it was nice construction) but I also enjoyed 22a for its work. Once you got the long words it made things easier.

    Did it then watched Phil Mickelson win the golf tournament – enjoyabvle Sunday.

  3. I suspect that your comment on the clue for **** and similar comments by you and others in the past reflect a generational shift in style. I have been using words like “in” as what Don Manley in “Chambers Crossword Manual” terms “linkwords” for several decades.

    Here is a quote from Don’s book (p. 30):

    Fungus in a crag, I fancy (6)
    [which he breaks down into its parts: Definition/ Linkword/ Subsidiary indication, with the last subdivided into Anagram/Anagram indicator]
    The linkword “in” means “consisting of” so we are being asked to find a fungus which consists of the six letters of ‘a crag I’ in a fancy way.

    I think we’ll need to agree to disagree on this.

  4. To clarify further:

    In the clue for 23d (and my apologies for including the answer), the linkword “in” means something like “constituting”, not “consisting of” as in the example I cited.

    1. Many thanks for your comments.

      I think you will agree that the linkword appears, at first sight, to indicate that “red state” is a container rather than a definition.

  5. After several hours have done all but 22a and don’t think I am going to get it. Any clues appreciated. Had “Snakes” for 18a which seemed quite a reasonable answer. Thanks for the clue there BD. Had all but 3 letters of 26a – the “band” bit was eluding me until your clue BD – Hadn’t heard of the chap at all so thank you there also. I thought this was quite difficult but possible if you kept trying – but I did cheat a bit with a couple of the anagrams!

    I thout 11a was a bit sneaky – “declare” with the words “A VERy” normally gives the answer “aver” (that well known word only ever seen in the telegraph crossword).

    1. Toby, I’m not very good at explaining but 22a – a word meaning not in very good condition, take 2 of your 4 points of the compass and it will be either one or the other to give you that word … oops probably confused you more?? :)
      I had to have help for it too

      1. Hey Mary – you’re a star! You’ll be leaving the rest of us clueless club behind! Liked todays offering though needed a few clues. Particularly liked 2d as it rang all my bells. Found top right corner tricky & though I have answers for 17a and 21a I don’t really know why!

        1. 17a Men committed to unions securing new funds (8)
          Men committed to unions are engaged to be married (women in a similar position have an additional “e” near the end, hence the clue refers to men) – just put this word around N(ew) to get the funds

          21a From our point of view, embracing cause that’s unpatriotic (10)
          From our point of view is a bit tenuous, and not the first thing you would think of, but if you strip out a word meaning a cause from the word meaning unpatriotic you can see the two word phrase

            1. Hi Claire, thanks, but I don’t think so, I think i will be a member of the ‘clueless club’ for a long time to come :) – so far struggling today – have completed l/h side but will have to leave it for now – off to Tai Chi

    2. Toby

      How nice it is that Mary can now give as well as receive help! You have 12 combinations of two different compass points – or three if you already have 19d.

      I made the same mistake as you initially on 11a.

  6. Many thanks to you both I now have it! I feel I am on the verge of crossword greatness – Hearing that BD made the same mistake as me! I think the compiler put this in just to catch us clever ones out BD !!!

    (Fellow members of the clueless club will realise that this is somewhat tongue in cheek)

    1. When you read 11a properly, there is no “hidden” indicator – but how often do you read the clue properly when you think you know the answer?

      1. I understand the issue over 11a, thankfully I didn’t go down that rathole. However I spent more time working out 22a than I did on the rest of the crossword. Sometimes I really hate 4 letter answers :-)

        1. so glad of that Libellule, when I got the answer, with more than a little help from Dave, I thought I must have been really stupid not to see it, the answer i got was the same but starting with a t, convincing myself that it meant if you are given a choice you are t*** between things – in this case 4 things!! giving a word which does mean not in good condition, now I know the error of my ways :)

  7. Great puzzle today when I was finally able to access it. My PC told me that I needed to upgrade to the latest version of Flash. When I did, Clued Up would not recognise the Flash version. I am still trying to get it to work. Fortunately, I was able to boot into a different OS to complete it!

    Loved 1a. Lots of nice clues today. Glad I was not the only one to be tripped over by 11a!

    1. Obviously in very illustrious company today – shame I was the only one who thought the board game (18a) was Snakes and Ladders – rather than a somewhat more complicated game – I wonder what that says about me!

  8. Very nice Sunday cryptic, guess I was one of the lucky ones with 11a and 22a. Though I put it down to pure chance and a warped Sunday mentality!.

  9. Completed all the Sunday cryptic except for 15a. just can’t find a word to fit. Think all the rest are correct! Any help appreciated.

    1. Hi Sue – welcome to the blog.
      15a. Lots of soldiers in outskirts of Beirut? That’s extremely foolish (8 )
      You want a term for bodies of soldiers inside the outside two letters of Beirut.

  10. Thanks – had thought along those lines but still couldn’t get the word – clue was in “bodies” plural. Have got it now!

    1. Hi R1kx

      20d Fasten in one way, yet not the other way (6)
      This method of fastening is usually a different way round for a man’s garment to that on a lady’s garment.

      25a Trying to sell West End excursion (7)
      Presumably my hint isn’t enough! The definition is the action of trying to sell tickets at exhorbitant prices outside football grounds and theatres.

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