ST 2552 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2552 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2552 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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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 on Friday, 10th September.


1a    Old card-game’s popular still (8)
Combine a children’s card game, the ‘S and a word meaning popular to get a still photograph

15a    Good partner – one may have a hand in his work (6)
Combine G(ood) and a sweetheart to get a tradesman who makes items to wear on the hand

23a    Blunt physicist dismissing first one scientist whose experiment went wrong (12)
A word meaning blunt or honest is followed by the physicist responsible for relativity theory after removing the first I (dismissing first one) to get a fictional scientist whose experiment went wrong

28a    ‘Twist and Shout’ – a great number (8)
An anagram (twist) of AND SHOUT leads to a large number


2d    Narrow lead in race on river – it could be a tie (8)
A narrow lead in a horse race is placed over a river in the Northeast to get an item of clothing that could be a tie

3d    Placing environmentalist in location for final shots, mostly (7,5)
… one for the golfers!

5d    Uninspiring team-mate’s first or second half substitution (4)
A word meaning uninspiring is an anagram (substitution) of either half of TEAM-MATE

12d    Notes how bus, in essence, includes this entertainment to make money (4,8)
Virgilius is the master at hiding long words!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

25d    To preserve food, it’s put in cellar (4)
A double definition of a food preservative that is kept in a cellar – but not an underground room!

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!

68 comments on “ST 2552 (Hints)

  1. Good morning Dave, dare I say this may be one of the easier Sunday crosswords for a while, didn’t need hints but still needed lots of bookwork etc. Definitely one CCers are capable of today, good luck everyone :) fav clues 20, 11a and 25d

  2. Mary, I think you have crossed the Rubicon if you found this easy. When I eventually finished I gave it ‘extremely satisfying’ in the Cluedup website. I think you are now headmistress of the CCers class and taking up valuable seating in there,time to move on.
    3d was my fav today. Thanks to B Dave and Virgilius Phew !

    1. No, no Nubian, I said it ‘may’ be one of the easier Sunday puzzles, I don’t find any of them easy, I think it’s all to do with concentration levels on the day, don’t want to be headmistress and definitely not moving out :)

      1. Sorry Mary, but we ex-Navy types must stick together. I have to agree with Nubian that this was gusting 4* difficulty, so your Presidency of the CC has to be questioned. Maybe it’s time for Barrie to take over? Many thanks for a really good puzzle, and helpful clues, even if Mary didn’t need them!

          1. Off to pub for lunch soon, hope nobody shuts the CC door on me whilst I’m gone! Geoff, Barrie I’m trusting you to keep my place :)

            1. You’ve got no competition from me but I have to agree, if you think this was easy, your membership of the CC is on dodgy ground :-)

            2. None from me either – and you can’t leave yet anyway, it would be too embarrassing to ask a non-CCer for as much help as you give me! I.m barely halfway through after a late start and scratching my head already.

            1. quite, thanks Nora & guys, I only said it was a bit easier cos after last Sundays I feel anything was !!

              1. Mary,
                This was a bit easier than other recent Sunday puzzles, but an excellent puzzle nonetheless. I love the way Virgilius manages the hidden answers. 12d is a delight – huge smile when I spotted it!

                1. Yes, that is a funny one really because I knew the answer before I spotted it was a hidden one, I must have subconciously seen it without realising??!!

  3. Another fine virgilius puzzle. 3d was straight in for me!, 18a and 28a were great but Clue of the Day goes to 12d which took a while to spot even though I was looking for one!
    Thanks to BD and Virgilius.

  4. I loved it! Not sure if I was awake when I strted as I only got one of the across clues on my first attempt, but then it all fell into place! Don’t ask me why, but it took me ages to get 12d as I was sure it was an anagram. I was SO cross when I saw it!

    1. I also thought that it was an anagram to begin with, although couldn’t find the right number of letters, then saw it.

  5. Another puzzle from Virgilius that oozed quality in every clue. Brilliant fun to solve. Many thanks to setter and to BD for the notes.

  6. This was my favourite puzzle of the week, mainly because I managed to complete it unaided. Lots of really entertaining clues! Taxing but not overly so. I even managed to understand all the word play – apart from 10a – still don’t understand the significance of “tax”.

          1. Apologies for putting the whole solution in my comment (replaced by ****). But if you hover over the pictures you are given the full solution?

  7. Yet again the best of the week (although I haven’t done yesterday’s yet, but I’d be willing to bet) with the added pleasure of Placido Domingo’s Rigoletto on BBC2 whilst solving it.

  8. Enjoyable if more than a little tricky but no grumbles from me today. Still stuck on last 5 and even my electronic friend can’t help with 13a even though I have all the letters but the last!

      1. Thanks a million for putting me out of my misery, just couldn’t (and still can’t) see the anagram indicator.

        1. Barrie,
          The anagrand indicator is “getting broadcast” where boadcast is probably used in the sense of in a scattered manner e.g. sowing seed.

      2. Barrie, it’s an anagram of the first word in the clue. A province of Ireland. They have a good Rugby Team. My battered old Seiko electronic friend gave me the answer immediately.

  9. Yet another fine crossword from virgilus, satisfying and enjoyable withot straining the alcohol soaked brain.

  10. Finally managed! Last one was 13a – could see it was an anagram and that it had, probably, to be a bit of Ireland – eventually got it – geographical general knowledge is not good! As I seem to have said numerous times over the last few weeks, don’t very often do the Sunday puzzle but this was manageable. Started off having just a quick look and did a few clues, then read the comments (but not any of the hints) to see if the general consensus was that it was worth ‘perservating’ with. Particularly liked 1a (although does anyone else think that the ‘old’ in the clue is unnecessary?) 11a, 21a, 28a. A few answers that I can’t quite explain but never mind.

    Mary, sorry about the ‘drupe’ in the quiz! Although correct it seems a bit pedantic to mark you wrong.

    1. 28a ‘Twist and shout’ – a great number (8)
      The definition is a great number and it’s an anagram (twist) of “and shout”.

      1. 11a 21a and 28a were all part of the previous sentence and were some of the clues that I particularly liked – my dodgy punctuation led to the implication that they were the ones that I couldn’t explain – at the time I wrote that comment the ones that I couldn’t explain were to many to enumerate! Having looked at the whole thing again the only one that I’m now a bit doubtful about is 7d. Thanks to Virgilus for a great crossword, BD for the hints and to you, Gazza, for replying.

          1. OK – thank you to all – gazza, (again) gnomethang, and GoldenDuck – had not focussed on, or more likely didn’t even know, that a 7d couldn’t fly!

    2. 21a Provided in planes, flying for the time being? (8)
      The definition is the time a being is in existence. Put a 2-letter word meaning provided inside an anagram (flying) of planes.

      1. Why on earth has it taken me over thirty minutes to spot that the anagram fodder contains the letter ‘f’ ??? :mad:

    3. 11a Single-mindedness that allows one to see the light, finally? (6,6)
      Double definition, the second a cryptic definition of what you may see eventually if you keep going through.

  11. Very enjoyable to solve without reference to the hints!
    Clues I liked were 11a, 15a, 23a, 3d & 19d. There were many other good clues especially in the shorter words like 4d & 25d.

    Can now relax for a few days : hearing examination tomorrow for new aids and eye examination Tuesday.


    1. Geoff for 16d you are looking for a word meaning ‘to fail’ – you need a word for to support (4 letters) followed by a word for enthusiasm (4 letters)

      1. 17d you are looking for a mark that is used to list items followed by in to give you a word for newsletter – I think that’s right at least that’s how I see it

    2. Thank you Mary. Understand 16d ok. If the mark in 17d is the one used in MS Word for making a list, I can’t see the point of ‘journalist’s’ in the clue.

      How was the lunch?

      1. Nor me really Geoff unless it’s used more often by journalist, perhaps Dave can clarify??
        Lunch was good thanks, have had some of the kids back here commandeering the computer agai n, though I must say my skills on computer motorcross are improving rapidly!! peace at last :)

          1. No, all done, the last few fell into place with your help on 16/17d. Computer motorcross? Sounds ghastly!

        1. This exchange leads me to an observation and aquestion: why are some comments nested to first level marked by a empty circle and all lower levels marked by a black square? Just to keep track of the nesting? Am I being nerdish ??

            1. Your and my comments, at five and six levels down the nesting, are marked with a small black square just to the left of the avatars. Scroll down a little and see that Joey’s comment is #13, Gazza’s reply, at one level down, is marked with an empty circle, as is your reply, also at one level down. It’s probably the WordPress software – and, yes, I probably am being nerdish!

          1. It seems to depend on your browser. I use Firefox and the marks appear there; they also appear using Google Chrome but not with IE.

  12. Finally got round to today’s and got most of them done, though a couple of the clues here came in useful. Stuggling to explain 6d and 9a though (perhaps because I got them wrong!) Am I right in thinking that the “fifty caught by” of 6d refers to the Roman numeral?

    1. Hi Joey – welcome to the blog.
      9a An inclination to carry concealed weapon is liable to cause panic (8)
      The inclination is another word for a leaning. Inside this (concealed) put a weapon to make an adjective meaning causing panic.
      6d You’re right.

    2. Well done for getting most of them done. Always find the Friday puzzle the most difficult of the week day ones – Sunday’s usually leaves me feeling completely defeated but this blog is absolutely brilliant.

  13. All done, at last. Only got four on initial read through. Was out all morning and over lunchtime, so a late restart. Once I had the hints in place, some of it was very straightforward, some of it less so. Several very good clues, but 12d is top, just for being so darn good! There was another very fine hidden word some weeks ago, forgotten what it is now, but it included the word ‘latin’.

    Thank you, most enjoyable puzzle with very CC-friendly hints.

  14. Catching up a week’s worth of crosswords! I found this ST a bit tough in spots, I really got hung up on backfire as I was thinking the beginning was bomb!

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