ST 2523 – Hints

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2523 – Hints

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

This is not a difficult puzzle, but one that should bring quite a few smiles along the way. The theme, which you should spot fairly quickly, is present in every clue and a lot of the answers.

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, 19th February.


1a    To teasingly excite desire is a talent, in a way (9)
A word meaning to teasingly excite desire can be found as an anagram (in a way) of IS A TALENT

11a & 22a Nothing accomplishes global revolution – so people romantically suppose (4,5,3,5,2,5)
A part-cryptic double definition of the motto for today

26a    Brother ogling and being playful (9)
This brother lives in a monastery, add a synonym for ogling and you have word meaning being playful

29a    Valentine from Verona, for example, for a courteous chap (9)
One of two in Shakespeare’s play!


1d    Originally try love as novice (4)
This one doesn’t seem to work, unless I’ve missed something – an anagram (originally?) of TRY is followed by the usual crosswordese for love to get a novice

2d    Rose’s sweetness isn’t dependent on this, according to 9’s lover (4)

“What’s in a ____? that which we call a rose
By any other ____ would smell as sweet”

12d    Notice a couple of points warning they could be femmes fatales? (10)
To notice, as in to take note of, followed by two compass points and a warning (that Damien is around, maybe) gives these femmes fatales of the Wild West

25d    Juliet, for one, in passionate entanglement (4)
Juliet’s age group is hidden in the clue!

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!



  1. Tilly
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    A timely crossword – perfect! My biggest smile came with 15d.

    Definition of originally I came across is ‘in an original, novel or distinctive manner’, so I guess this is another way of showing an anagram.

  2. Prolixic
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Wow, that was not just a crossword, it was a work of art. To get every clue and most of the answers as part of the theme shows Virgilius’s mastery of the setter’s art. Wonderful puzzle and 6 stars for enjoyment!

  3. gnomethang
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Superbly crafted puzzle. Agree on 15d as my favourite but full marks for the simplicity of 17a.
    One problem I have is 6d – is this a slang word for dupes?

    • gazza
      Posted February 14, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      6d. they’re people who are not genuine, fakes, frauds.

      • gnomethang
        Posted February 14, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Must turning 40 and all that!
        Thanks gazza

        • gnomethang
          Posted February 14, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

          Sorry – must be!

          • mary
            Posted February 14, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

            such a young gnome :) and a clever one too

  4. mary
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Really nice well worked out crossword, well done to the setter :) agree with Dave about 1d, had never heard this but even so, although having looked up anagram indicators in Chambers crossword dictionary ‘original’ is given as one, live and learn and i’m learning everyday, nice day for star crossed CC members

  5. sarumite
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Loved this puzzle!! :grin:
    Top drawer clueing .. esp liked 4d for it’s ingenuity.

  6. Newbie
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Just over half done and I’m looking a bit stuck. Haven’t got 11/22a across yet and a further hint there would be helpful, if someone would care to.

    I solved one down early on, finding the word in Chambers online thesaurus as a synonym for ‘novice’, but spelled with an ‘i’; looking for that in the dictionary gave it with the alternative spelling required here – another new word I will probably forget!

    • mary
      Posted February 14, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      11a & 22a If you spin a globe what do you do? this gives you the last five words, the first word is something that today is all about ? hope this helps Newbie :)

      • Newbie
        Posted February 14, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        So obvious! Thank you. But 13d is wrong then! Just spotted 15d – very good one!

        • mary
          Posted February 14, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

          don’t give up Newbie, let us know how you’re getting on :)

          • Newbie
            Posted February 14, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

            Fairly stuck on the south west corner. Haven’t sussed the first half of 12d, unless it’s got something to do what makes shops profitable. 13d seems to be connected with Robin’s (of Sherwood) weaponry, but I can’t see a 10-letter word here. 19d could be something that goes on for ever and ever but I can’t relate it to the first half of the clue. I could go on, but I won’t!

            • gazza
              Posted February 14, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

              12d. Notice is “pay attention to” – my words, for example.
              13d. They launch Cupid’s darts and play violins, etc. (10)
              Think of what is attached to said weaponry, when it’s used to play a musical instrument.
              19d. Like either part of eternity ring (7).
              An adjective that applies to both eternity and ring.

              • Newbie
                Posted February 14, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

                Thank you. Almost there, just one left.

              • Newbie
                Posted February 14, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

                Took me a while to sort out my Greek Islands, but finally got there (with a great deal of help)!

                • mary
                  Posted February 14, 2010 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

                  well done Newbie, that wasn’t too bad was it, sometimes when you are stuck, it pays to do something else for a while and go back to it, somehow then you ‘read’ things differently, i must admit i was thinking on the same lines as you for 12d, until i got 18a :)

  7. Nubian
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    You know what ? I’m a miserable old git because I don’t enjoy themed puzzles, Christmas was awful with all the clues about gifts and plum duff and carols and now we have this. I better start brushing up on Easter as I am sure it will be all about fluffy bunnies and chocolate eggs.

    • dingo
      Posted February 14, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      Agree with you entirely. May also be a miserable old git, but I find it all so contrived .

  8. Cybgen
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Hi, sorry for going off on a tangent but I print out my crosswords to solve but have just got a new computer and tried printing out for the first time and it doesnt print out the grid. It prints the numbers and the clues below but nothing else. Any one with a insight as to what is going wrong?

    • gazza
      Posted February 14, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Hi Cybgen – welcome to the blog.

      • Cybgen
        Posted February 14, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for welcome

    • PJ
      Posted February 14, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      Hi Cybgen
      Have a look at page preview before printing. I sometimes have to set to 90% to get all the clues on one page – as today.

      • Cybgen
        Posted February 14, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately I use black ink only on this and had set it to print in grey instead of black. My fault but thanks for taking the time to reply and offer help.

  9. Jezza
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Agree with the majority… good fun!
    BTW congrats to Libellule yesterday for his first year on this site. We all appreciate the dedication and hard work BD and his team put into making this site such a success. Don’t stop guys, keep up the good work!!!

    • Libellule
      Posted February 14, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Gazza celebrated his first year on the site on Friday, I did it on Thursday. Ahh the memories of when Dave first started this endeavour. I remember it well :-)
      Thanks for the congrats.

      • Nubian
        Posted February 14, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Bon Anniversaire!!

        • mary
          Posted February 14, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

          same here :)

  10. Derek
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    A very entertaining puzzle based on a rather lovely theme. A few visits to the long-legged land bringing in the Bard, some culinary aspects and an old saw!