ST 2512 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2512 – Hints

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2512 – Hints

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

Being used to the style of our Sunday setter I found this to be quite easy – those less familiar may take longer, hence the dual difficulty rating. Either way, it is well worth the effort.

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.

Peter Biddlecombe’s full review of this puzzle will be published at 12.00 on Friday, 4th December.


7a Fellow engaged in it flipped Indian pancake (8)
This charade consists of a synonym for fellow, or bloke, followed by a two-letter word meaning engaged in and finally IT reversed (flipped) – much easier to work backwards from the Indian pancake

10a New driver attached to museum is Germanic type (6)
Put the type of plate displayed by a new driver after (attached to) a famous London museum, with the “&” usually seen in its name expanded, and you have a member of a Germanic people who overran parts of Europe in the 5th century

20a Resorting to train, invariably one must enter inside this (7,7)
This all-in-one (&lit) clue is one of my favourites – you may well guess the answer from the surface reading but to get the full pleasure you need to unravel the wordplay – rather like those famous Russian dolls you need to insert 1 (one) inside (must enter) a word meaning invariably and then put the whole lot inside an anagram (resorting) of TO TRAIN – on my initial examination of this clue I took “enter inside” as a single insertion indicator but they are in fact two indicators

23a Cause of ill-feeling not allowed back inside — that’s good (8)
This cause of ill-feeling does not respond to antibiotics – put a word meaning “not allowed” reversed (back) inside and the result is a synonym for good – having cured the swine flu maybe!

28a Unexpected bonus some players got before season (8)
This unexpected bonus is a charade of a section of the orchestra (some players) in front of (got before) autumn in North America


1d In poorer health, bird unable to fly (4)
One of crosswordland’s favourite birds is hidden inside this clue

2d Passed out as a major (6)
Tricky if you don’t play bridge – an anagram (out) of PASSED gives one of the two major suits in a pack of cards

13d Religious work of bishop, say, supporting convert, we hear (10)
This religious work of art is derived by placing a bishop, or perhaps a knight or a rook or any other chessman under (supporting – it’s a down clue) a word that sounds like (we hear) to convert, or change

21d Trying to win, side secures scoreless draw (6)
If you are trying to win a young lady, put one side of a large house around a nil-nil (scoreless) draw

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!

29 comments on “ST 2512 – Hints

  1. Hi Dave managed to complete this with lots of help but have waited patiently for your hints to try and understand some of them!! 5d particularly, I just cannot understand the working of the clue?? For myself i found it quite hard and will be interested in what my fellow clueless club members make of it, my team is playing on tv now, no not Everton, so off to watch the match, followed by Arsenal v Chelsea, should be interesting, come on Liverpool :)

    1. Mary et al

      5d Activity in school can grow, initially, without a head (8)
      Take a synonym for a can, follow it with the first letter (initially) of Grow and then put it all outside (without) a word meaning “a head”, as in entry is £5 a head

        1. As a sidetrack – nothing to do with this puzzle – you may have seen “a” being replaced by “per” (or vice versa) in earlier wordplay. This is because “a head” and “per head” are usually interchangeable in this context.

  2. I thought this was an excellent crossword. I found it very tough but with perseverence got there in the end. There were some great clues 12a, 20a in particular. Not quite sure how the answer to 5d fits with the second half of the clue, but seem to have got it from the first half! I presume 2d is linked with Bridge but wasn’t too sure so went for the anagram and it seems to fit. 23a was a smart clue. 7a was a good start – I guessed it from the indian pancake then realised it was quite clever! I did have to resort to some electronic aids but managed to complete it before you posted your clues BD. There’s obviously some late risers on cold Sunday in winter!

    1. hi Toby 5d, i got part of it from another word for can and the g off grow – ‘initially’ but only got the answer because it was then obvious don’t understand how the rest of the clue works, liked 21d

    2. Thanks both of you for your help- rather convoluted! “without” was confusing me – I was trying to remove a letter – not put something outside something else.

      1. Without was almost certainly intended as misdirection – that’s what cryptic crosswords are all about. The oft-quoted statement by Afrit in his “The Book of the Crossword” is “You need not mean what you say, but you must say what you mean.”

  3. It was a fairly quick solve for me until I hit rocks in the bottom left quadrant. 12ac is a lovely cryptic definition. I solved 20ac as an all-in-one clue and did not see the double container-contained in the intricate wordplay. 17ac is a lovely clue, not that I am a rabid fan of cricket. Even the reverse hidden clue 3d is good.

      1. Now that you mention it –

        Actually when I first solved 3d, I saw it only as a hidden clue. Now, at the moment of writing the Comment I saw it as a reverse hidden.

        And the indicator is “back and forth”.

        This is a rare clue-type. What shall we call it? Palindromic hidden?

      2. so it is, wonder if anyone else noticed that, i know i didn’t, all in all i think it is a clever crossword

  4. Glad to say that the recalcitrant three clues in bottom left corner have fallen and I now have the satisfaction of having completed the crossword.

    23a and 21d are not too difficult. You may guess how a clue works but until you hit upon the right component, you’re going round in circles. I mean I!

    The dinner gong has gone! (Imagine I am living in an Englishman’s castle and the bearers are fussing about me.)

  5. Great crossword but one of those that you almost need to solve first and then work out how you got to the right answers for some of the clues. Lots of good clues today. For sheer misdirection one of my favourites was 4d but many others were just a good.

  6. Been doing this in dribs and drabs all throughout this very wet Sunday. Just came back from a very long lunch and Hey presto!!-it all fell into place! Still don’t understand 4d and 19a??

    1. Nana

      4d – The Venetian merchant’s first name was Marco – surely you can work out the rest from there.

      19a – add a “D” to your answer, split it into (2,3) and then blush !!

  7. This was a good crossword which I enjoyed but I struggled with it. I would rate it four stars for both difficulty and enjoyment.

    I actually got 20a but had no idea what the word play was until I read Big Dave’s explanation – then the penny dropped.

    This certainly continues the high standard of the Sunday puzzles.

    1. Hi Claire just thought i’d pop into the blog before bed to see whats been going on, i didn’t find it easy but maybe i can help
      15a you need a word for pack constructed from (opponents in card game so i’m told – the game is bridge and the opponents are always points of the compass) so you need to decide which points and put ‘to’ in between to give you the word
      27a is very clever – if you went to the cinema you would watch the film on this
      16d not sure i understand the wordplay here but if you think of what a referee uses to signal the end of a game and add r for referee you have the answer, i know that explaination is wrong but the answer will be right :)
      You are right my brain has gone to sllep, hope i haven’t muddled you more or contravened any rules???
      Night night

      1. Hey thanks Mary – actually got 27a almost as soon as I’d posted! – quite clever, as you say. Didn’t know about the bridge reference for 15a.
        Now I have the answer to 16d I get it! Another (card) game and sides kept apart by English….. Phew that was a tough one today still definitely in the CC. Bed now – goodnight..

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