ST 2522 – Hints

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2522 – Hints

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

I’m still recovering from yesterday’s excesses, and still away from home struggling to master my sister’s laptop so this will be a very brief post.  Tilsit and I both enjoyed the meet (I put that bit in to annoy Giovanni – see the Crossword Centre Forum) and had a nice day (I put that bit in to annoy Elgar – see the same forum).  We were particularly pleased to see Prolixic and Kcit – the latter being over here from New Zealand.

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, 12th February.


1a      British going into pub I preserve in centre of London (8)
Put B(ritish) between a pub on the one hand and I preserve, as in put in a tin, on the other and you have a part of Central London famous for it’s theatre.

16a    Form of narrative, extremely banal and ongoing? (4)
The outside letters of the last two words give you the kind of narrative that you are currently reading!

28a    Skill in figuring out what’s spicy on peculiar menu (8)
The skill of figuring out is created by putting a word meaning spicy after an anagram, indicated by peculiar, of MENU – I still haven’t worked out how “on” means to put after!


2d      Toughest opponent losing second rook, as recorded (8)
The toughest opponent here is (4,5) and you need to drop the second occurrence of the symbol used in chess notation for a rook to get a word meaning recorded, as in chronicled.

7d      Mostly permeate with pessimism, ultimately, in 2012, say (4)
Quite a tricky clue for a four-letter answer – most of a word meaning to permeate, as in to put in and occupy the whole of, is followed by the final letter of pessimism to give a production of which 2012, starring John Cusack, is an example

25d     Manner in which people entertain India on radio (4)
We finish on a fairly easy note – this manner is built up from people in general, males in particular, around (to entertain) the letter represented by India in the NATO phonetic alphabet

If you need further help then please ask and I, or more likely one of the other contributors, will see what can be done.

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



  1. Prolixic
    Posted February 7, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Cannot think why my brain was only firing on three cylinders this morning! This was a good puzzle and (in my post “meet” state) one that I found hard going for the last few clues.

    It was a pleasure to meet up with BD, Tilsit and others yesterday. I can recommend a visit if you are around for the next one – you will be made to feel very welcome and get to chat with some of your favourite setters and bloggers.

  2. Chris
    Posted February 7, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this puzzle…sundays are good now!
    However inspite of having all the letters I have failed on 22d and would appreciate a further hint, please.
    I also don’ t understand why 16d is what it must be.Is it descriptive of the pitch or a team or…….

    • Tilly
      Posted February 7, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      re 22d – it forms part of the address for 16a

    • Prolixic
      Posted February 7, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      16d – you are right, the clue is descriptive of the shape of the pitch around which the players run.
      22d – think of the end of a web address

      • Chris
        Posted February 7, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        Thank you both….of course…… I had rushed 21 across and had a perfectly wrong first word which almost made sense!

    • gazza
      Posted February 7, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      16d the game which is played on pitches of this shape.

      • Chris
        Posted February 7, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for response….misspent youth…never played it or seen it!

  3. Nubian
    Posted February 7, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Found it hard going today, like Prolixic my brain must have stuck in first. All the clues were slvable so it was not the setter to blame.

  4. Newbie
    Posted February 7, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    A bit over halfway there as yet – this CC member is pleased with that! The northwest corner is complete. As usual though, I can’t relate some of the answers to the clues, eg 5d: the answer is obvious, especially as the across answers are all there, but how is ‘having had head turned’ relevant? Just don’t see it.

    • gazza
      Posted February 7, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      5d. Emperor’s love, having had head turned (4)
      It’s the number signified by love in tennis, with the first letter (head) turned 90 degrees anti-clockwise.

      • Newbie
        Posted February 7, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        Good grief! Thanks, I don’t think that would ever have occurred to me …

        • Claire
          Posted February 7, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

          Wow – me neither! Had got the answer but no idea why. Still struggling with a few but, like Newbie, a generally happy CC member. 9a as far as I can see can only be one of two answers but neither seem to fit the clue – can someone help?

          • Claire
            Posted February 7, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

            Ah – the penny’s dropped – an anagram! Finally finished – can go to bed happy now!

  5. mary
    Posted February 7, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Thought it was really tough today but did complete it eventually with lots of electronic friend help, lots of clue i didn’t understand even when i had the answers :(

  6. nanaglugglug
    Posted February 7, 2010 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Found this a bit irritating today – we either got the answers almost immediately or if not then through luck – still no wiser why. loved 27a though. Pleased to hear you had a good meet in Parsons Green – thought of joining you but have had a weekend of excess for my birthday and couldn’t manage another drop!

    • Claire
      Posted February 7, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      Happy Birthday Nana – I liked 27a too – and 12d

      • nanaglugglug
        Posted February 7, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        Why Thank you, Claire!!

    • Posted February 7, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      Happy Birthday Nana

      We’ll be back in three month’s time, so no excuse then!

  7. Derek
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Late comment as usual! Excellent puzzle with a very up to date flair in 16a and 22d! Some very nice clues with good word play.I liked 11a, 16a, 21a & 27a plus 3d, 6d & 19d.

    Have not yet tackled Monday’s cryptic!