ST 2533 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2533 – Hints

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2533 – Hints

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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A few hints to get you started.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


7a    Rome cuts perturbed one who’s infallible? (8)
An anagram, indicated by perturbed, of ROME CUTS gives you the person who is infallible or always right

11a    Legal workers, as are Leo and ten others (8)
These legal workers, when split as (3,5) describe the other 11 signs of the zodiac (Leo and ten others)

12a    Linguistic inconsistencies to hamper and harm poet? (5,9)
Expressions in which two or more figures of speech are incongruously joined (linguistic inconsistencies) are cleverly defined as two anagrams of the same word – TO HAMPER and HARM POET

20a    Preserving chemical found in China clay, in short (6,8)
What a good day it is today! – it took me a while to realise that the formula (in short) for this familiar preserving chemical is hidden inside China clay

28a    Unexpected benefit from collapse after blow (8)
An unexpected benefit, maybe some ripe apples, is a charade of a collapse following a blow, or current of air


1d    Arrogant youth – a monarch, perhaps, lacking maturity (4)
To an arrogant youngster add A to get a stage in the development of, say, a monarch butterfly that comes between larva and yesterday’s 4 across

5d    Insular group listened to these ancient rulers (8)
These ancient Egyptian rulers sound like (listened to) a group of islands north of the Shetlands

ARVE Error: need id and provider

8d    Football team, with time almost up, getting free (7)
Start with the abbreviated form of a successful football team from the Northwest and add most of TIM(E), reversed (up, as this is a down clue!,) to get a word meaning to free from slavery

13d    Missing a term of Latin (2,8)
Missing, or while not present, as a Latin term, as in he was tried and convicted __ ________

26d    Just operating legally, being extremely selective (4)
A word meaning just, in the sense of merely, is built up from a word meaning operating followed by the outside letters (being extremely selective) of legally


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!

Sorry it’s a bit late today, but I have been trying to find out why the comments are causing problems.

44 comments on “ST 2533 – Hints

  1. I thought this was a superb crossword, which I thoroughly enjoyed. 5* for that, although not too difficult – approx 3* by my scale of such things. Best Cryptic of the week (last week…or depending whether the world apart from myself deems Monday the first day of the week)

    1. yes, i though that was really clever too, but unfortunately i am still struggling with about 6 clues :( and only one of which is hinted above, i can’t even get that !

  2. Excellent crossword – many thanks to Virgilius for a real treat.

    In addition to losing the retention of name and e-mail, I am now getting google ads at the bottom of the main blog page!

  3. I am having to ask for help unfortunately, I still have 6 left
    10a, 3d, 15a, 16d, 23a, 24d oh dear

    1. Mary,
      10a is a colour as well as a flare used to call lifeboatmen for example.
      3d Christopher – Architect of St Pauls Cathedral.
      15a An anagram of SAID
      16d D (daughter) in something people might put their bottoms on – definition – calming down
      23a BMW is a simple example of the answer as would be ICI
      24d Is throwing seeds over an area….

      1. Thanks Libelulle, Chairman, so simple really (not) :)
        Challenging puzzle today but got there in the end, with a little help from my friends
        4* for me!

  4. A testing and satisfying crossword.
    First rate stuff from Virgilius!
    I have learnt a new word in castaway/purple.

  5. I just need 4d then I can make a start on that list of jobs my wife wants doing before she comes home…

    1. The PC is another name for a portable computer. Reverse the words for shoot and companion to find this.

    2. companion = ***
      shoot = ***
      Reverse the first bit (upsetting) and you’ll get the word for a portable computer.

      1. Actually shoot is the reverse of what you had put and the whole lot is reversed!

        I should clarify that it is to shoot followed by companion, and then all is reversed.

        Please read notice in red at the bottom of the main post

    3. And I’m done!
      Many thanks mark and Proloxic, I wouldn’t have got that without you…

  6. I haven’t finished this yet! A very good puzzle. I thought 11a and 8d were excellent clues!
    Thanks Dave, for the hints (which helped me with few!)

  7. Thanks for the hints still stuck on 23a even though have every other letter and 10a

    1. As well as the hint above, you could think of a word that mean “first” and stick “s” on the end.

      1. Mark

        When providing hints, please don’t give alternative clues. The word first is not mentioned in the clue and doesn’t help in understanding the wordplay.

          1. I didn’t mean you to do that – just be a bit more careful next time.

            You often see tips along the lines of “think xyz” which point to the answer but have nothing to do with the clue. We don’t always succeed in giving relevant hints, but we do always try.

    1. Not according to Chambers (although they do allow the 4-letter form). I guess my “Wooly Bully” may be more confusing than I had intended!

  8. To my complete amazement, having thought it way beyond me at first, I have finished it! Thanks for the hints BD and various others who have helped along the way; couldn’t have done without this blog – and thanks too for the tip on adblock!

  9. 15a – just a nod to the setter. I thought that this was an excellent surface reading that leads you to ‘Hear’ as in ‘Hear, hear’.
    I was fooled for a time until the Latin phrase came in

  10. Just finished, thanks to the hints given above. I enjoyed most of these clues but favorites for me were 9a and 11a.

  11. Thanks for the hints – thought it was a great puzzle but couldn’t have managed without. Can anyone explain the wordplay for 18a – got it from one wise man but don’t see how the rest fits. Specially liked 9a, 11a,12a,

    1. The wise man of the answer is he of biblical fame.. The other wise man is an ancient Greek sage put around a word meaning second (as in just a second or just a **).

  12. Enjoyed this one. Thanks for the tip about adblock. It stopped the ads. But my name and Email address had to be re-entered. Any connection? Nice to be back after a whirl through the dusty skies to Spain.

  13. Finally got round to solving this after goggling at the snooker most of the day!!
    Excellent fare.
    I liked 11a, 12a, 20a & 23a. 3d, 5d & 18d.

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