ST 2540 – Hints

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2540 – Hints

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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The usual few hints to get you started.

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, 18th June.


1a    Carefully analysed, however twice needing extra time, right? (7,7)
To get a phrase meaning carefully analysed take a synonym for however and repeat it – then add T(ime) to the first occurrence and insert R(ight) into the second

10a    Flower I planted in middle of stable, oddly (7)
This perennial of the family Saxifragaceae, with clusters of red or white flowers, put I in the centre (planted in the middle) of an anagram, indicated by oddly, of STABLE

12a    What identifies us in explosive competition (10)
My favourite of today’s clues requires you to insert what identifies us inside a high explosive to get a competition

26a    Leader of movement who delivers evening paper? (8-6)
This leader of a movement, literally and metaphorically, could be someone who delivers London’s evening paper – which is now given away free!


1d    Works for school in set-up without a head (7)
To get what someone who works for a school does (unless, of course, they are an administrator) put SET reversed (up) around a word meaning per head

3d    Attack a lecherous man (4)
A double definition where the enumeration of to attack is (2,2)

6d    Monarch quickly emerged, excelling as officer (10)
Split this as (3,3,4) and it could mean that a monarch quickly emerged – the definition is being a more important officer

23d    Take off small jumper, say (4)
To run away or take off sounds like (say) a small jumping insect

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. Posted June 13, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Yet another excellent puzzle from Virgilius; a shade less difficult than the last few weeks but still packed with lovely and inventive clues. My favourites are BD’s 12a and also 21a to name but two!.
    Thanks to Virgilius again!

  2. mary
    Posted June 13, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    stuck, stuck stuck!!

    • Posted June 13, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Where, where, where?

      • mary
        Posted June 13, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        17a &13d oh and 8d

        • mary
          Posted June 13, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

          no not 8d just 17a & 13d

          • Barrie
            Posted June 13, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

            13d, think of a slippy fruit! 17a I am also stuck on

            • mary
              Posted June 13, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

              thanks for 13d Barrie I would help you out with 17d but until I get 17a I’m not sure its correct :)

          • Posted June 13, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

            They are both charades!

            17a Pass over insects in lower gear, not top (3,5)
            To pass over, or miss out, with those worker insects gives an item of clothing

            13d Crazy family that’s dangerous when one puts one’s foot down (6,4)
            A word meaning crazy together with family gives something that is dangerous to step on

            • mary
              Posted June 13, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

              thanks Dave, was reading that one (17a) all wrong, apart from those two I quite enjoyed todays fav clue 1a

            • Barrie
              Posted June 13, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

              Thx Dave, all finished now. I can retire to the village fete via the Black Boy pub!

              • mary
                Posted June 13, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

                Enjot, it’s raining here now, you’d have to stay in the pub!!

  3. Barrie
    Posted June 13, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Don’t normally get the chance to do a Sunday puzzle but this one is first class. Haven’t quite finished it yet, just 2 to go. However, I am puzzled by 17a – a three letter word ending in *?? This would I’m sure give me 17d. Best clue for me is def 12a, very clever but also 7d because it reminds me of my old and much missed pet.

    • Posted June 13, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      See above for 17a

    • mary
      Posted June 13, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Aw why don’t you get another Barrie, I know they don’t replace the one you lost but you do learn to love them too

      • Barrie
        Posted June 13, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        Got a wonderful rescue Greyhound instead, she is brilliant! Couldn’t get another 7d, it broke my heart when I had to have him put down and another would just remind me.

        • mary
          Posted June 13, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

          Well done with the greyhound, I just meant another dog, apparently greyhounds don’t really need that much excercise?

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

            Laziest dog I have ever owned, would sleep 23 hours a day if left to her own devices!! They make the most gentle pets (unless you are a squirrel!) and amazing with kids.

  4. Nubian
    Posted June 13, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Quality puzzle today with lots to keep me entertained, I tried to drag it out as long as possible.
    Favs were 13 and 17d
    Biggest moan was 5d which let down the rest of the clues for quality.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Big Dave for giving me a place to have a moan in.

  5. tom
    Posted June 13, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    whoa! fist time I ever completed this, thanks to becoming a devout follower of this page. out to practice my goal keeping now, in case i get the call….

    • Posted June 13, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Welcome back, Tom

      You could hardly do worse than England’s current keeper. Last season’s stats:

      4 – Robert Green made four mistakes that were directly responsible for goals conceded last season, more than any other player in the Premier League in 2009-10.

      66 – The amount of goals conceded by Green in 38 Premier League matches for West Ham United last season – over 1.7 in every game.

      I guess that only conceding one goal is better than average for him!

      • mary
        Posted June 13, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Interesting statistics Dave but the tournament (oops) has only just started, he has still got time to up his average :)

      • Posted June 13, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        Agreed , BD – Hardly Dino Zoff statistics, are they?

    • Barrie
      Posted June 13, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      How long will it take you to get to South Africa?

  6. mary
    Posted June 13, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Don’t know about elsewhere but after a lovely morning it is now very wet here in West Wales ah well save watering the flowers

  7. megansgran
    Posted June 13, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed todays puzzle, especially because I managed it with just the help of a thesaurus. Checked them out with your blog Big Dave, many thanks for explanations. Did you realise that in the flower clue you have transposed two letters, 5&6. G

  8. nanaglugglug
    Posted June 13, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Don’t know where to start with favourite clues – thought the whole puzzle was great. DID like 17a and 3d particularly.

  9. Barrie
    Posted June 13, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Hope someone from the DT/ST is reading all these positive comments and bears them in mind for future puzzles. :-)

  10. Lea
    Posted June 13, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    As well as an enjoyable puzzle the blog makes for entertaining reading.

    Don’t know why I was thinking about the blog last night but a comment I read on one of the pages made me think how interesting it is to read. The really plus side for me is that if an amendment to a thought is made it is with good humour and acceptance of other people’s ideas.

    It has also been very interesting to watch Barrie’s development over the time – well done Barrie – we all knew you could do them.

    So all I will say is THANK YOU BIG DAVE. A new contributor – new bloggers – excellent reviews – an overall excellent site.

  11. Mr Tub
    Posted June 13, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    All done apart from17a (is it something to do with a film called Bedtime For Bonzo?) and 22a. Favourite clue is 8d.

    • gazza
      Posted June 13, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      17a. See BD’s reply to comment 2 above (wasn’t Bedtime for Bonzo a film that Ronald Reagan starred in? I don’t think it’s relevant here, but I may be wrong).
      22a Sign for majority shareholder (4)
      A sign of the zodiac which features in a saying indicating that this creature takes the greatest share.

      • Mr Tub
        Posted June 13, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        Argh! I meant 14a, not 17a!
        Thanks for the help with 22a, gazza. Could you hear me groan from where you are?

        • Posted June 13, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

          14a. Join a navy, initially, as this? (6)
          A lovely &Lit (all in one). Take a word for a join (in dressmaking) and add A and Navy initially. The entire sentence defines a word for a mariner.

        • gazza
          Posted June 13, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

          14a Join a navy, initially, as this?
          Start with a word for join (in a garment, say) and add A and the initial letter of navy to get someone in the navy.

          • Mr Tub
            Posted June 13, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

            Thank you gnomethang, thank you gazza. I had the last letter wrong on 1d! Next time you’re in Devon just ask behind the bar, you’ve both got one in.

            • gazza
              Posted June 13, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

              Thanks, Mr Tub. I live in Devon – whereabouts are you?

              • Mr Tub
                Posted June 13, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

                I’m in Barnstaple, The Land That Beer Forgot: where are you?

                • gazza
                  Posted June 13, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

                  I went to school in Barnstaple. I live in South Molton, so not far from you.

                  • Mr Tub
                    Posted June 13, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

                    Goodness me! Big blog, small world! Next time I’m heading for The Town Arms I’ll let you know. I’m often in Molton to visit my tailor, aka Mole Valley Farmers.

                  • Posted June 14, 2010 at 5:04 am | Permalink

                    Best you have mine as well then , gazza!

  12. Claire
    Posted June 13, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed today’s puzzle! Many thanks Virgilus for some super clues. My favourite today was 8d – also really liked 12a,17a,13d & 17d.Enjoying some early evening sun after a greyish day :-)

  13. Geoff
    Posted June 13, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Just finished after a very late start – day off church and lovely day out to visit first lock and source of Thames, since it passes my front door!

    What a great xwd! Came home, read the blog and all done. Last in was 5d; how on earth did it take me so long to recognise ‘different’ as the anagrind??? Thoroughly enjoyable and very satisfying. My thanks to all involved, Virgilus, BD’s hints, et al for more hints. A good end to a good day, accompanied by a good red ;)