ST 2524 – Hints

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2524 – Hints

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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As with Saturday’s Prize puzzle, no assessment or comment from me, starting this week.

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, 26th February.


7a    Single member of team with limited facilities (3-5)
A charade of words meaning single and a member of a team pulling a carriage leads to a description of a town, for example, with limited facilities

12a    Task-oriented groups improperly taking power, sir? (7,7)
These groups are an anagram, indicated by improperly, of TAKING POWER SIR

17a    Race in which neighbouring teams compete (5)
A horse race or a match between local teams

28a    How teams changed, up to a point (8)
A straightforward anagram, indicated unambiguously by changed, of HOW TEAMS gives a word meaning up to a point


1d    South American ruler popular with Guatemala, etc. (4)
This South American ruler is built up from a word meaning popular, especially in Crosswordland, with the abbreviation for the area of which Guatemala is a part.

4d    Score century, possibly? Not in this game (6)
… because the highest ever score in this game was Arbroath 36-0 Bon Accord!

21d    Relative gains by unions at work before left was corrupted (2-4)
The definition here is “relative gains by unions” – the relatives you gain when you get married!

22d    Indian doctor, aggressive high-flier (6)
I thought you had to say Native American these days to be politically correct!

26d    Unkind people hiding answer — one’s covering end of clue (4)
You get two clues here for the price of one! – a word meaning unkind is derived by putting people (male people in particular) around one of the abbreviations for A(nswer) – put one of these people around the final letter of cluE and you get the same word

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. Lizwhiz1
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Very easy crossword today and finished in record time with no need for any help! Would like to think its me getting better, but methinks it was just so straightforward I couldn’t fail! Some clues were ridiculously easy like 11a and 20a, but I did like 13d! Now only left with the prospect of work on a rainy day:(

  2. Rob
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Me too Liz, got a bit stuck on the top right corner for a while, but 3 cups of tea and 4 slices of toast and marmalade, and all came in a sudden flash.

    Someone should do a serious study on the considerable assistance of marmalade to the crossword solving process.

    This blog has helped me so much over the last few months. Most crosswords I feel are doable now, it’s just a matter of having the time.

  3. Nubian
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes it pays to be in Cluedup and pay a monthly fee for puzzles like today. I would have felt a bit ripped off having paid good money for the newspaper and been faced with this. As Lizwhiz1 says, a pretty easy task today even the CC club will suck through their teeth at this one.

  4. Rob
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I agree Nubian, it’s thirty quid to have it on your PC every day, or three hundred quid to have to go and buy it 365 times.

    I just wish it worked.

    This morning’s crosword wouldn’t open at all, and then came up as Friday’s for some time.

    • Nubian
      Posted February 21, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      I wonder if it is your sevice provider rather than Cluedup as mine loaded in seconds (with BT believe it or not)

  5. Rob
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Possibly, but everything else worked OK. To be fair, Clued Up is really a very poor site, it often doesn’t open, and regularly comes up with the wrong puzzle.

    Someone on here commented in the week that they haven’t increased the power of the server in line with the increase in traffic on the site, or something.

    • mary
      Posted February 21, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      I have only had a problem with it once since joining and that was this week, am in middle of doing crossowrd and as a C member, I must admit to NOT finding it that easy, maybe I should get on the tea and marmalade?? :)

    • Libellule
      Posted February 21, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      The problem with the “site” giving you a completely different puzzle to the one you requested happens all the time. What you need to do is check the print copy, then open up the crossword. Now make sure it matches the print copy and off you go. Mind you getting a sudoko grid when you request a cryptic crossword does feel very strange.

      • Rob
        Posted February 21, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        Many thanks for the info.

  6. Ann B
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    I only need 6d to finish, any one help with a hint please…!

    • Libellule
      Posted February 21, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Ann B,
      6d is a double definition… Thinks of what you might call the group of people who work in medicine, legal for example, the other definition is simply a “statement of belief”

  7. Rob
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Ann – a doctor or a lawyer have this, as opposed to a job

  8. Prolixic
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Regardless of how easy this crossword was (and personally I did not find it either a gentle stroll or a slog), the puzzle oozed quality with smooth clues that had convincing surface readings and fair pointers to the required answers. Another brilliant Virgilius Sunday treat.

    • gnomethang
      Posted February 21, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Ditto that, but I must say I found it straightforward.
      Can’t day it was a two stopper but I hadn’t cleared Boulogne harbour wall!
      Very enjoyable though.

  9. Posted February 21, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one. There were a couple I didn’t understand – 17 across and 1down in particular. 15 across was given away by that marmalade loving Paddington, but not sure what the rest of the clue was about. A shame this animal is always linked to the duffle-coat loving children’s character. I liked 23 across – but again had the answer before I worked out the clue.

    Favourite clue was 13 down – very clever. Still “clueless” though – used my “crossword maestro” to help me out.

    • Posted February 21, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      sorry Dave – gave the wrong e-mail again. Have a good weekend!

  10. mary
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Have finished now but with lots of help and still some I don’t understand even having got the answers, not a puzzle I really liked :)

  11. Ann B
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Just come in from walk …… it was obvious,fresh air does wonders. !!

  12. Geoff
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Everyone seems to have found this so easy (and only 24d was!) that there aren’t many hints to be found in the comments. I’m nearly there, but a little help with 8d and 16d would be appreciated.

    • prolixic
      Posted February 21, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      8d – The answer is a word meaning discriminating (in the sense of having good taste) made up from a word for again and a legal punishment that is imposed that involves the payment of money.
      16d. You want a word for cartel added to a word for a border to give the answer (the best place to watch a boxing match perhaps)

      • Geoff
        Posted February 21, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        Thanks. Chambers online thesaurus doesn’t even have an entry for cartel!

  13. Brian Greer
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    On the possible political incorrectness of referring to Native Americans as Indians, I am guided by what many Native Americans have told me, namely that they are very happy with the term, indeed often prefer it.

    • Posted February 21, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Permalink


      Many thanks for that, although my comment was actually intended as a hint rather than a criticism!

  14. Geoff
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    It would help if I could read my own writing! Have been puzzling over 27a until I spotted the penultimate letter of 13d was written so badly that it looked like an ‘A’! As with others, I can’t see how some of the answers relate to the clues. Just 2 unfinished, 19a and 25a, but I can live with that. Very smooth puzzle, 13d very good!

    • gazza
      Posted February 21, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      25a Party games like this preferred by players? (2-4)
      It’s a double definition, with the split coming between party and games. The second definition is the type of games that sportsmen prefer because there’s no travelling involved and all their supporters are there.

  15. Geoff
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Oh, that’s what 19a is!

    • mary
      Posted February 21, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      well done Geoff, it is often offputting if when you read the blog you see that others have finished it so easily and so quickly, remember some people have been doing these for years, others like myself less than a year, it’s not a race and what is easy for one person is still a learning curve for others, what is nice is that the people who finish quite easily are always willing to help the rest of us learners in the CC, so if you are enjoying and learning and eventually finishing that is what is important, the CC doors are always open we have some very comfy corner cushions but not often vacant!

      • Sarah
        Posted February 22, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        Would agree with you, Mary, that it’s not a race. I am just a newbie, and if it takes me all week, then that’s fine! But I keep pegging away, and am always willing to learn and try different puzzles.

        This blog is great—glad I discovered it.

    • mary
      Posted February 21, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      p.s. 25a, when a football team doesn’t play away they play ‘- – – – – -‘

      • mary
        Posted February 21, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        sorry that printed out wrong should be ‘ ** **** ‘

  16. Geoff
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Mary, Gazza, that’s what I supposed it was, but I hadn’t made the connection between games and sports. Slowly picking up the ideas behind some of these clues … and might even learn to see how the answer fits the clue eventually. I should keep notes, but there would pages of stuff to go through all the time!

    Very appreciative of the clever peeps so patiently helping us CC’ers along, thanks very much!

  17. Mattparry7
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    I’ve found this puzzle satisfying but can’t get the NE corner! Regarding 18d : is “police” synonymous with “scotland ****” in crosswordland?

    • gazza
      Posted February 21, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      It is in this case!

  18. Claire
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Mary here. I found it hard – eventually finished but not a puzzle I much enjoyed. Thanks as always for all the hints and tips – what would I do without this site?? Can anyone elucidate on23a? Have an answer but no idea why!

    • gazza
      Posted February 21, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      23a Go to pieces in defeat, retreating in fall deliberately (8)
      The definition is go to pieces, and Matt has explained the wordplay below.

  19. Mattparry7
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    If I maybe so bold…. The answer is another word for defeat that has been reversed, that is inside a word for “fall deliberately” often used in football or perhaps at a swimming pool

    • gazza
      Posted February 21, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for that, Matt.

  20. Claire
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Doh! Thanks Matt – so easy when you know! Got the ins in a muddle, if you see what I mean…:-)