ST 2519 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2519 – Hints

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2519 – Hints

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Once again one of the best puzzles of the week. Although this particular grid has four three-letter words, Virgilius has taken great trouble to provide clues that are a bit different.

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, 22nd January.


1a    Constant evil distasteful in sycophantic campaign (5,9)
A charade of C(onstant) and synonyms for evil and distasteful leads to a sycophantic campaign, or as Chambers says “a method of trying to get what one wants by overwhelming with reasonableness, attractive offers, etc

23a    Fool that represents American party (3)
This fool actually represents the Democratic Party – the Republicans, of course, have their own called Dubya!

27a    After dreadful stir, public transport’s convenient for unconventional hero (8,6)
A compound clue that puts together an anagram (dreadful) of STIR, an old-fashioned form of public transport that has been recently revived in some cities, the S from ‘s, and a word meaning convenient for the unconventional hero of the series of novels by Laurence Sterne


1d    Letter is covering idiosyncrasy – typical! (14)
Another charade, this time combining a letter or distinctive mark with IS and an idiosyncrasy or mannerism to give a word meaning typical, or indeed an idiosyncrasy

8d    Unkempt boxers, say, venture outside ring – it’s a joke (6,3,5)
Nothing to do with the noble art, but scruffy animals are followed by a venture, or attempt, around the ring-shaped letter to get a phrase describing a type of joke

25d    Holiday island often associated with sin and tan (3)
This Greek holiday island (alternative spelling) is also a geometric function, along with sin (sine) and tan (tangent)

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!

26 comments on “ST 2519 – Hints

  1. Oooh! Little bit o’ politics! ;)
    nice puzzle, not too troubling compared to some Sundays but some very good clues:
    8d probably caps it but 14a, 18a and 4d worthy of a mention IMO.

  2. As the Democrat said to the Republican, in a spirit of bipartisan reconciliation: “If you let me cuddle your elephant, you can kiss my ass”

  3. Nice puzzle – I liked 27a when I finally got it. Thanks for the link above Dave – I didn’t get it from wikipedia so missed the lovely write up/ picutres. I kept thinking of the opera but couldn’t make that work….,

  4. A good work out and a new one for me in 27a.

    Difficulty I think 3* not 2*

    Enjoyment a definite 4*

  5. Another excellent Sunday crossword, not too difficult, but I had great fun working it all out!

  6. Very enjoyable outing from Virgilus this week. 13d was my favourite followed by 8d and 27a. Many thanks to Brian for the puzzle.

  7. Tough one this, got one corner but can’t for the life of me think just what would constitute a sycophantic campaign?

        1. I didn’t think much if it as a clue, the two most certainly do not mean the same thing.
          Although I finished this puzzle (and enjoyed it) I must admit to having to consult some electronic help!

          1. nothing wrong with that Barrie, i have to do so on most days, as i said previously if it helps us learn, it is all good :)

          2. The def felt fine when solving, and if you look up “sycophant” and the answer in the Oxford Dictionary of English, you’ll see that both involve flattery, so the definition is sound.

  8. Really enjoyed this one today, though a few difficult ‘work outs’ and not all straightforward, had never heard of 27a, am still not sure that 11a is correct and if it is how it works? liked 3d, 8d, 22a & 19a, thanks once again for the hints Dave but I actually didn’t need them today, at least i don’t think so :)

    1. 11a Reason for difficulty learning to do some mathematics (3)
      The answer is the abbreviation for a specific learning difficulty which is defined by Chambers as “an abnormal inability to concentrate for more than very short periods of time”

      1. I think “Reason for difficulty in learning to do some mathematics” would have been better as the first definition is “reason for difficulty learning” as it stands.

  9. Enjoyed this, not overly taxing but it did make me smile , which is what it’s all about I think. Loved 8d, 13d and 27a. Didn’t much like 18d, I seem to remember telling my kids off whenever they used that word :-)

  10. Some very clever clues but would have missed all the fun without the hints for the long clues around the edge which I would never have solved. Thank you.

    13d probably my favourite.

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