ST 2545 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2545 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2545 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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No theme 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.

Peter Biddlecombe’s full review of this puzzle will be published at 12.00 on Friday, 23rd July.


1a           Runs into group for combined meal (6)
Just insert R(uns) into a group to get a portmanteau word for a late morning meal – portmanteau word: Lewis Carroll’s term for a word into which are packed the sense (and sound) of two words, e.g. slithy for lithe and slimy

4a           Man’s man, for example, I don’t speak well of (8)
The required capitalisation of the first word is cleverly concealed by its position!

12a         Old guy initially was put in very hard bunk (7)
Put the initial letters of Old and Guy, together with WAS, inside the marking on a very hard pencil to get a word meaning bunk or claptrap

13a         Information at grass roots level? (7)
… I think the enumeration is more correctly (3-4) not (7), and both Chambers and the OED agree

18a         Mammoth perturbing us no more (8)
20a         French painter and saintly patron heard distinctly (5)
… is this a bigger version of me?

29a         King Lear, for example (6)
Your need to read this as a double definition – “King” and “Lear, for example”, the second one being the poet who popularised the limerick


1d           Peremptorily dismiss first of batsmen – get out with pace (5,3)
A phrasal verb meaning to peremptorily dismiss is built up from the first letter of Batsmen  and another  phrasal verb meaning to move away with urgent haste (get out with pace)

6d           Crookedly arranged, like part of our capital (5)
…  with the famous botanic gardens

22d         Refrain from song about ancient deity (6)
A refrain from a song is built up from the one-letter abbreviation for about and the Falcon-Headed Egyptian God

24d         Crack stone in date (5)
A charade of a crack or attempt and the abbreviation for ST(one) as a weight gives a romantic rendezvous between lovers

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!

93 comments on “ST 2545 (Hints)

  1. Morning Dave. Still can’t fathom out why 20a is what it is, other than that a good test for a Sunday morn.

    1. I presume that “heard distinctly” means that the pronunciation of the two is different.

        1. Wiki said he was highly influential, In the two years I spent at art college he never influenced me I am afraid. I never heard of him!

  2. Back from a five and a half mile walk to this lovely puzzle – really good clues, splendid anagrams, Favourite clue 29a, closely followed by 12a.

  3. Got there!!! Took 5 minutes to do the bottom half and then another 45 minutes to do the top! I liked 4a which took me ages to get! Off out to give the car its annual clean as it is sunny :)

  4. Lots of excellent clues to savour today from Virgilius – many thanks to him for the crossword and to the mammoth saint for the notes!

  5. I am either not thinking clearlytoday or this is hard, I have done a possible 5 and even with the hints my mind is a ‘blank’ I will leave it to make dinner and may get back to it later :)

      1. Right, I’ve done all the left hand side now and one on the right, back soon i hope, how you doing Geoff?

  6. OK I give up still stuck on top r/h corner and 25a, this could be one of two words but neither make sense for me! 4a, 11a, 7d & 8d help please if anyone is still there

    1. 4a Man’s man, for example, I don’t speak well of (8)
      Think of what Man (with a capital M) is and how you might refer to a man living there. When redefined as 1,7 it means I speak badly of.

      1. I must be a bit slow today—any other hints (apart from spelling out the answer!!) ?

          1. Oh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I get it now. Very crafty! Thanks.Hadn’ thought of a certain place off the west coast.

    2. 8d – The definition is “like the top class”; put a word meaning “feeling sorry”, or regretting, around a letter for a learner.

    3. 8d Like the top class, feeling sorry about learner (6)
      It’s a word meaning feeling sorry around the letter for a learner driver. The definition is like the top class, i.e. a descrition of those who exercise power.

  7. Super puzzle. Many thanks to Virgilius for some enjoyable Sunday entertainment. Off to a boozy bbq now..

        1. everywhere except here i think what about your part of the country Gazza, still need help with 7d and 11a,

          1. Sorry, had to watch end of Tour de France stage. Weather here dry but not too hot,
            7d. Press function outside newspaper taking place (7)
            It’s a verb meaning to press or coerce. Put a function or party around a low-quality newspaper and finish with a word meaning happening or taking place.

            1. Hi mark – welcome to the blog.
              14a Lavishly entertained, given food with endless drink inside (5)
              The definition is lavishly entertained. Put a verb meaning provided with food around a hot drink without its last letter (endless).

          2. 11a Frolic about outside a South african village (5)
            It’s an Afrikaans word for a traditional village. Reverse (about) a frolic or escapade and put A inside.

          3. You need to find another word for frolic (which is also a kind of bird) and put it around the a.

            1. Thank you both, thanks Gazza, its on days like today that I feel that after a year of doing these I am not really making much progress, I hope I am not the only one to find it difficult today!!

              1. Mary,
                I thought it was 4* for difficulty today (but 5* for entertainment, especially for the reference to BD!).

              2. Hi, Mary—how are you getting on. I’ve been trying the DT one for ages, and have only just started the ST one, so you are not alone. This blog is great, isn’t it? so much better than waiting for the solutions and then trying to work back to see how the clues are constructed.

                1. Hi Sarah yes this blog has helped me so much, I am still in the CC but quite happy there for now, one day…..( are you the Sarah taking part on COW, if so well done some of your clues lately have been great on COW I am pepsib)
                  All the bloggers and indeed everyone that takes part in this blog are really helpful, as well as that it is good fun :)

                    1. It is a site run by Anax there is a link to it on this site under the ‘comment’ on the right of the page, it is good fun and helps I think to understand the cryptic mind, a word is set each week by the previous weeks winner and you have to think up cryptic clues for it, you can try as many times as you like, the ‘prize’ is setting a new word for the next week and judging it, everyone once again is very helpful and friendly, give it a go it is fun, there is a Sarah on there and I thought maybe it was you, no offence intended :)

  8. Persistence and a lot of help today have enabled me to finish this, just as well its raining!!

  9. Just getting into this lovely puzzle, now—and watching the Open at the same time!

    Thanks to the setter, and the reviewer.

  10. HI all just back fromFlorida & really stuck on 5d must be jet lag..please any hints/help

    1. Ann B,
      The definition is “valuable metal”, to find out what sort, you need a type of submachine gun, followed by the name of a pirate (Long John!)

    2. 5d Valuable metal gun taken by pirate (8,6)
      The definition is valuable metal. Put a type of sub-machine gun in front of the surname of the one-legged pirate from “Treasure Island”.

          1. Mary
            The sun is definitely over the yardarm, time for a glass of Touraine Sauvignon I think.

            1. Don’t wish to be pedantic but the highest standard is Britannia (95.84%). Sorry used to work in jewellery once upon a time. You never know it could come up in a crossword.

  11. Even with all of the much needed and much appreciated help I’ve only just got 4a! Sometimes you really can’t see the woods for the trees. Today’s puzzle has filled my day: favourite clue was 28a and thank you all for the hints and tips.

    I picked up a brand new copy of Val Gilbert’s A Display Of Lights (9) yesterday for a bargain £1.99! Has anyone else read it?

    1. Yes—it’s great! Have you seen the companion volume ’80 years of (DT) cryptic Crosswords’ also by Val Gilbert? Not sure if it’s still in print but have a look on Amazon/WH Smith/ebay. It’s well worth it, and some of the earlier crosswords are really quite difficult—different style from todays ones.

    2. Have just had a look on Amazon & it is available. Lovely companion to ‘A Display of lights’. Recommended ++++

  12. Damn it, I’ve been trying to find a river for 21d for ages! With lots of help from hints, comments, word wizard and google, I’ve just about got there. I’ve got three options for 25a and none of them relate to the clue in any way that I can see. Someone please explain before I go mad!

    1. Its the American spelling of a liquid measure (metric equivalent of two pints) plus a and the abbreviation for line.

    2. 21d Flower from boy accepted by girl (7)
      It’s the name of a boy inside (accepted by) the name of a girl (and it’s not a river!).

    3. If you bought petrol in USA they would spell the measure differently i.e. change the last two letters around add on the first two letters of the next two words and you get a word meaning ‘character flaw’ but I’m not sure what type of character the clue means!! sorry if this confuses you more

    4. Geoff
      21d really is a flower :-)
      25a Is the American spelling of a European liquid volume (approx 1.76 pints) followed by A and L (line) – Its also a mistake in printed matter – hence “character flaw”.

  13. We now have more comments for this Sun prize crossword than we did for the Sat one. Perhaps Telegraph cruciverbalists are beginning to appreciate Brian Greer’s (Virgilius) offerings. I certainly hope so!

    1. Exc for a Sunday it is normally Saturdays that get all the comments, but maybe it was down to the fact that so much help was needed? rather than appreciation?

        1. For me, its a toss up between this one and the French themed on the other day – very difficult to choose between them

          1. Ah – if we’re including Toughies then my choice would have to be Friday’s Micawber.

            1. I liked the French themed one – but then I am biased, and I also get the holiday too :-)

  14. I did find the flower and thanks to all for explaining 25a. There was nothing really tricky here, but it’s taken blood, sweat and tears! Sad to say, not much enjoyment for me today.

    I hereby declare the sun has definitely gone over the yardarm in this house and I’m off to unscrew something …

  15. Really enjoyed this one! Finished without help apart from looking up the guy in 20a to confirm he was a painter!
    Many good clues but favourite was 29a for the excellent misdirection!

    1. Well done Pommers, now 29a is a clue that I definitely didn’t like, to me it was more than misdirection!

  16. Just one quibble on 6d, surely London is the capital of England not the UK, so the clue assumes that only English men/women do the Telegraph crossword :)

      1. what I should have said and meant to say that in Wales we look on Cardiff as ‘our’ capital, so clue for my part would have been better if it had said English capital, oh shut up Mary you’re just digging a bigger hole…………………………….good night

  17. What a thoroughly excellent puzzle. I did this Monday a.m. unusually as I had a lot on this weekend.
    Too many favourites to pick just one.

  18. I’m with gnomethang – did it today and enjoyed it very much. Got the answer to 9d and know that it is a cultural expert but the word play eludes me. If anyone is around and can explain that would be nice but if not will wait till the review later in the week.

    1. 9d Book collector securing right work for cultural expert (14)
      Just drop R(ight) and the usual abbreviation for work from the answer and look again.

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