ST 2536 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2536 – Hints

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2536 – Hints

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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The usual few hints to get you going.

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, 23rd May.


1a    As a consequence, one is thrown out of the French resort (6)
A word meaning “as a consequence” is derived from THE and a French resort without the I (one is thrown out)

11a    Princess rescued by legendary hero from rock stars (9)
This Princess, who was chained to a rock as a sacrifice to Cetus, the sea monster, and was saved from death by Perseus, is also the name of a constellation

21a    Blow up mine, finally, wearing uniform at the front (7)
A word meaning to blow up, for example, a tyre is awkwardly constructed from the last letter of minE preceded by (at the front) a short word for wearing and a synonym of uniform

23a    One needs a blower to make off-peak calls (7)
… from a mountain peak in Switzerland

26a    Art patron’s daughter, say, making error (8)
… this error could be, if split (4,4), the daughter of the sugar magnate who had laid the foundations for the collection in a famous gallery!

27a    Remained in position, supported by guys (6)
A double definition – the guys are ropes!


1d    How bookies communicate, taking little time on course (4-4)
A simple definition that should give you the answer on its own – combine a small amount of time with the course of a sailing ship with respect to the side of the sail against which the wind is blowing – I always thought this was (3-3) but Chambers gives both spellings

9d    Contraction in political group (6,8)
A double definition – the contraction is experienced during childbirth!

22d    Ominous sights at sea around one — that’s how movie may end (5)
The ominous sights at sea could be caused by friends of Jaws! – insert I (one) and you have one way of indicating that a movie had ended

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!

46 comments on “ST 2536 – Hints

  1. Another good Sunday puzzle from Virgilius; I enjoyed it. Favourite clues 24a and 18d, least favourite, 7d (for the awkward surface reading).

  2. Good afternoon, Dave – and thanks for the hints. I am still struggling with a few and my mother-in-law has put “typhoon” in for 23a. Now, where did I put the tippex? At least it wasn’t me putting in the wrong thing this time ;)
    15d was a really good &lit (I hope I am right in saying that).
    I also liked 8d, 9d, 2d and 14a.

    1. 15d is more a semi-&lit. Although the whole clue reads as the definition, I don’t think you could say that “involved in this” is an anagram indicator, so “in this” is not part of the wordplay.

  3. I enjoyed this puzzle especially as I have managed to finish, thanks to you Dave. Needed help on 1a, 21a and 22d. I particularly liked 20d, 18d and 9d. Most disappointing clue was 1d…too easy.

  4. Good CW ….. but to finish anyone have hints for 20 d & 26 a Have part ie **** gallery

    1. Ann,
      20d Definition is funny program – usually a genre of amusing entertainment that features recurring characters in a common environment, and if you abbreviate its full name fthe first by two thirds and the second by half, you have its shortened version.
      26a Correct re. the scond half re, the gallery (note must censor your comment), the first half is the title givento an unmarried woman.

    2. 20a. is best thought about as 3,3 each 3 being the beginning of a longer word (3/9 and 3/6 respectively), and the two contractions together being a type of funny programme, say 30-min show on BBC3?!

      26. You have half correct… what would the daughter’s title be of the patron of this gallery?

  5. A very pleasant Sunday passtime. 20d was a pleasing ‘penny drop’ moment as was 9d. Couldn’t understand 21a until I read the hint! Now can someone please help with 18d, then I can rest happy!

    1. Claire
      18d definition is “in a manner of speaking”, you need another word for face e.g. of a watch or clock, followed by the abbreviation for a type of “shocking treatment”.

      1. Thanks!! Happy now :-) Having a go at the STSPP – about half done & at a standstill………..

  6. Hello all – newby to BD’s site. Today’s crossword has been a medium level for me; I’ve managed to get a fair number on my own – which for me is an achievement! – but I’m stuck in the NW corner… any help gratefully received. Wanting to catch the bluebells this afternoon before the sun goes in!

  7. Sorry Pincheck, wrong corner!

    10a the answer is hidden “initially” in the clue.

  8. 12a is another word for a “rent” (is when some cloth is damaged) plus the letters of “to” and an abbreviation of “old”.

  9. 1a is a word that means “as a consequence”. It’s “the” plus three letters (which are a place in France minus a letter often represented by “one” in crosswordland).

  10. 2d is an anagram of “neat prose”.
    14a is an anagram of “corsair in a plot”.
    Okay, that should sort you out!

  11. Turns out my touch-typing isn’t up to much and I hit W instead of E – I’d meant NE corner (nearly did it again!) anyway, so thanks Mark!
    4a. and 7d. are still bothering me…

    1. 4a Is someone who is usually excluded from something or is a person in a competition for example who is unlikely to win
      7d Something two people might perform musically

    2. 7d a word for “subscription” (ie what you pay for one) with an abbreviation for “time” inside.
      4a can’t think of a good hint, sorry!

    3. Thanks for your help – finally got there, after a break for some bluebells and dinner!

  12. Held up preparing our Dinner!!
    Thanks Libellule. Now finished . Had D for Daughter in 26a so was way off track.Both Fitted in nicely once changed that.
    Also sorry re putting in part answer . Was my “hubbies” fault.

  13. Really enjoyed that one – favourite clue 24a. Will look forward to the reasoning behind 12a. Its pouring with rain here in Sunbury – just thought you’d all like to know!!

  14. Not doing too well with this one. The top half is all in place, but there are a fair few gaps below 14a. Can’t say there’s been much enjoyment here either. I’ll see if I get some more from the comments and if it isn’t finished, then it probably won’t be.

      1. The Sunday Telegraph setter is officially anonymous, but Brian Greer has visited the blog on a number of occasions. We here know him affectionately as Virgilius, just as we know Roger Squires (Monday) as Rufus.

  15. Need help with 24a, 9d, 17a and finally 16d. Seems a shame not to mention one of the last four even if it does make me sound pathetic :) Thanks guys xx

  16. Hi Big Dave :) I’m a bit new to this whole thing and don’t worry I’m too young to actually win any money :P I’ve done okay, but I’m stuck on those listed above. Just a helping hand would be appreciated :)

    1. 24a A (slightly rare) word for a fisherman’s basket around an anagram (“bad” was the indicator) of “gone”. Gives the name of an aquatic creature.

      9d You might have a “contraction” if you were about to go into the first word of this phrase. The second word sort of goes with that, but is more associated with political groups.

      17a The phrase means “useless”. It could also read as a word that means “fine” followed by a two word phrase that suggests something comes with “no charge”.

      16d Anagram of “diagnose”.

  17. Sorry, I still can’t get 17 across. I think my 15 down might be wrong. Thanks for the help with the others though. Also, still can’t work out the second word of 9d.

  18. A bit overdue but I’ve finnished :) Realised the error. Thanks very much for the help guys xx

  19. Bit late to this today what with one thing abd another.
    Fine puzzle again from Virgilius. Couple of oddballs but got there in the end.

  20. Another enjoyable puzzle from Brian! To solve this one, it was essential to get the four 14 letter strips out of the way quickly. Then it was plain sailing.
    I liked 11a, 12a (that sprawling area best viewed from the CN Tower revolving restaurant), 24a & 26a. 6d, 19d & 20d.
    Re 8d, the combination of the two words was not in big Chambers under either meaning,
    nor in Bradford!
    The SE corner was a bit Helvetic!

  21. That is a rarity for me. Not only did I finish this one (and on a Sunday as well – been a long time since I achieved that; first target is the giant GK) – but it took me less than an hour to do it. Feelin’ goooood!

  22. All finished now apart from 9 d . Believe I have tyhe first word but I’m stuck on the second…………….Help please! (or maybe I have another wrong word in)

    1. Combine the losing party in the election with a group / party / crusade to get what could be a contraction during childbirth

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