ST 2544 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2544 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2544 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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The seven previous winners

For the second week running we have a topical theme! As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the better clues and provide hints for them.

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.

Peter Biddlecombe’s full review of this puzzle will be published at 12.00 on Friday, 16th July.


7a    Team not great, to begin with, in game in South Africa (7)
To get this team put the initial letters (to begin with) Not Great inside an animal hunted as game in South Africa – get this one and you are up and running on today’s theme!

10a    United embraced by supporter, innovative type (7)
… united like the Three Musketeers!

16a    Elated, like 4 19 and their predecessors herein (2,3,2,3,5)
… the “predecessors herein” are 7a, 11a, 23a, 25a, 6d, 22d & 24d, a list which does not include 4d/19d!

25a    Rival team that could make me angry (7)
… being pedantic, there is technically something missing from this as a theme answer – it’s an anagram (could make) of ME ANGRY

28a    Evaluated and backed South Africa, for example, with editor (7)
To get this word meaning evaluated you need to reverse (backed) South Africa), add a synonym for “for example” and finish with the ED(itor)


1d    Artistic Italian in Group E, oddly (8)
Probably the hardest of today’s clues, this leading painter of the Umbrian school (artistic Italian) is an anagram (oddly) of IN GROUP E

4d & 19d    Final outcome expected this evening — and news story frantically absorbing one? (6,7)
This key clue is an anagram (frantically) of AND NEWS STORY around I (one)

14d    Man on pitch not playing part of centre-forward (3)
… it wouldn’t be a Sunday puzzle without a hidden word!

26d    Control football, getting some upset (4)
A word meaning to control a football is derived by reversing (upset, as this is a down clue) a synonym for some

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!

32 comments on “ST 2544 (Hints)

  1. About 3/4 way through this, at first I thought Oh no I’ll never get these ,despite liking football, don’t know if I’ll get the rest though, have just read your hints Dave (good morning) and have done all those without help, I love the way you have clued 16a :) off to have another go now, will more than likely be back very shortly

    1. OK I’m back and pleased to say that I have finished all except 1, this is 9d, I just cannot see it? help anyone so that I can get out whilst the rain has stopped, not that it’s sunny mind :(

      1. 9d A stern chat that is followed by unfair penalty for Americans (1,3,3)
        You want a slang American phrase for a false charge (unfair penalty). It’s made from A, then a synonym for stern or backside and finally an informal word for a chat (or a monologue accompanied by music).

  2. Although this is a themed puzzle you don’t really need lots of football knowledge to be able to do it, it is in fact as was last Sundays one of the easier prize crosswords to work out, saying this I am still stuck on 26d! good luck :)

    1. ok got it i think but not one i like, no real favourite clues today and though I have 11a, i must admit i don’t understand it at all!! :)

      1. 11a Year a university teacher backed champions twice (7)

        Y(ear) A U(niversity) and a Hindu spiritual teacher, all reversed.

      2. right I understand 11a now, took me a while though, nothing like talking to yourself on a cloudy day, good for the soul!! :)

    2. Have you got 26a yet? It’s an anagram ‘cheat’ and ‘pe’ (the first couple of pe(nalties). I’m still stuck on 10a, the hint wasn’t really much help I’m afraid. Great World Cup theme today.

      1. 10a was only a partial hint to put you on the road to looking for something other than U for United.

        “Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno”

  3. Oh dear no! I read about halfway done the across clues and thought, no, don/t bother …

      1. It wasn’t that I thought it would be too hard, although it might be since I’m still confined to the CC, I thought that, with my love of football, I would get minimum enjoyment from it and might even find it boring!

  4. Curses Virgilius – having sucessfully avoided the World Cup for the last month, I am faced with this! Great crossword though. Favourite clue was 13a.

  5. Must admit………….last week, American Pie, this week, football. As someone who is not the least bit sport-minded & has yet to see the point of it, I shall pass on this puzzle.

    Ah, well, there’s always my book of ST puzzles, and next week to look forward to.

  6. As I was doing this puzzle, I said to my husband “there will be moans about this theme” but actually as others have said above, you don’t need any knowledge of the subject all to complete the puzzle which I dfid in my average time. I am daily in awe of the clever people who compile the cryptic puzzles for us and to do so with a topical theme is even more amazing, in my view.

  7. Finished at the 3rd attempt! Best clue was for me 21a and the worst def 6d – didn’t like this at all. Overall a very enjoyable puzzle, more like this please!

  8. Thoroughly enjoyed this after a rotten round of golf!
    13a and 11a were favourites.
    Thanks to Virgilius and BD for the hints.

  9. What a refreshing change – all football and no sailors! Thank goodness for Senor Nora who spotted the 7 winners theme straight away.

  10. The puzzle section of the S.T. was missing!! But having read your comments perhaps it was a blessing in disguise as my knowledge of foot ball, and interest in, is NIL. Had to resort to an old D.T. book of Xwords to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

  11. First, my best congratulations to John Henderson and his bride. John and I go back a long way, to Edinburgh regional finals of the Times competition in the 70s.

    Normal service will be resumed next week.

    I’m a little surprised how much some of you dislike themes. I do these in the Telegraph very rarely. Anyway, I will discuss future policy with my editor, Phil McNeill.

    The sport I follow is rugby, but recent Irish performances have been weak following the euphoria of the Grand Slam of 2009.

    While I’m here, let me say how much I enjoyed the reconstructed introspections of Peter and Gnomethang a couple of weeks back. If folks would like, and if I can find the energy, maybe I can attempt something similar for the setting exercise.

    1. Thanks for the puzzle Brian, and also for the nod on our recent introspections (PeterB and Me). I think that everyone who left a comment didn’t really need the attempted help!.
      I know that Anax has posted a couple of excellent blogs from a setter’s notes and perspective.
      Personally I would find it invaluable if more setters and also solvers were to attempt the same in a blog format (Time willing!).

    2. I love themes – cue lots of complaints from those who don’t – but I do! I wouldn’t want a theme every day but from time to time they make a very nice change from the usual puzzles. I don’t even mind if they are on a subject I know little about. Even though the theme yesterday appeared at first reading to appeal to what BD called in an email to me “the boys”, this “girl” found that you didn’t need any specialist knowledge to solve what was for me a very enjoyable puzzle. So please Phil, don’t do away with them!

      1. I have to admit that on the last two Sundays having seen the puzzles my first thoughts were ‘oh no I know nothing on these subjects’ but having been discouraged from being discouraged by fellow bloggers, I found both puzzles enjoyable and found that they were slightly easier than the usual Sunday offerings and indeed you didn’t need an in depth knowledge of the subject, having said that, I think I can say I quite enjoyed them :)

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