ST 2553 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2553 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2553 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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Regular followers of the blog may have seen a comment from Brian Greer, the setter of the Sunday Telegraph Crossword, for a meet while he was in London. This has now been arranged for 2.00pm on Sunday, 3rd October at the Bree Louise in Euston. Fuller details will be published nearer the date.

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, 17th September.


7a    Where chest may be found with gold for person seeking wealth (8)
Where one’s chest may be found (2,4) together with the heraldic term for gold results in a person seeking wealth by putting money into a business

12a    For whom lowering weapon in trap is a dangerous act (5,9)
This person lowers a weapon inside the mouth!

15a    Astonish trio in front of VW heading north (4)
A word meaning to astonish comes from the three letters that precede V & W in the alphabet followed by N(orth)

28a    People watching interview (8)
A double definition – people watching a show or an interview with, for example the Pope


1d    Old American from main cabin calling repeatedly (4)
Very clever! This member of a South American people before the Spanish conquest is hidden not once, but twice, in the clue

13d    Comedian with point on TV as place for swearing, initially (7,3)
A clever charade of a comedian (3), a point or headland (4) and a TV (3) leads to a place where the first thing you do is to swear on the bible

14d    Man supporting a vote that’s assumed to be valid (5)
The fact that Man in this context requires capitalisation is cleverly concealed! Put the abbreviation for this place after A and a vote to get a statement that is assumed to be valid

26d    Shake foundation (4)
A double definition – to shake or a strong foundation

If you need further help then please ask and I will see what I can do.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put whole or partial answers in your comment, else they may be censored!

47 comments on “ST 2553 (Hints)

  1. At first I thought this was going to be a real struggle but with lots of help from little electronic friend etc I manged it without the hints, its not easy but doable with a little ‘help’ for us CC members, perservate it’s worth it, some lovely clues today, 1d, 7a among many favourites, thanks for hints Dave just going to read them to see if they cast any light on why 15a is what it is??

    1. From one who is definitely at the back of the CC classroom, can you tell me what your electronic friend is Mary, because it seems to have got you to the top of the class and ready to graduate with honours!

      1. I actually have two now Kate, the first one I got was’Concise Oxfor Thesaurus’ by Seiko, from W H Smith, the second is ‘Chambers Crossword Dictionary’ by Franklin, I sent to The Telegraph for that one, even with ‘my friends’ I often feel I am still nowhere near leaving the CC! :) last week I didn’t find any of the puzzles easy and often needed the hints as well

        1. Thanks for that Mary, I definitely need all the help I can get and as BD quotes Chambers as his main reference, then I think I will invest in the second. I too have found the crosswords hard this week, apart from lovely Rufus on Monday. I am now back at work and so don’t really sit down to do the puzzles until the evening, by which time I think most of the contributors to this blog are already thinking of the following day’s crossword, so I haven’t been following the goings on.

          1. I find the Rufus crosswords best of all, mostly short sharo witty clues, I also have the Chambers Crossword Dictionary book, which I wouldn’t be without Kate, it is available on Amazon, about £8.99 I think, I still haven’t completed a crossword without any of these ‘aids’ but does it matter, after just over a year of doing them, I mostly am able to understand them and I think that’s the important bit because if you don’t understand the clue all the ‘aids’ in the world wouldn’t be any good

              1. Thanks Mary, I shall put them on my Amazon wish list and give a not very subtle or cryptic hint to my husband. I shall now go back to scratching my head over today’s Crossword which without BD’s hints would still be empty. Have a great Sunday – it’s beautiful weather here in Barcelona, sunny and bright blue skies. Enjoy the Grand Prix BD!

                1. Lucky you in Barcelona, we have blue skies here today, interspersed as usual with white clouds (at least they are white) and showers, what’s new, hopefully the weather will be kind next week, we are off to Torquay for 8 days

                  1. Have just finished with a lot of help from a Crossword solving website, but at least I understand how the solutions are arrived at which is something I suppose. Enjoy Torquay and I hope the weather is good- they’re forecasting rain for us this week.

                2. 120km south of you, Kate, for just 3 more days – Boooo! Weather fantastic as you say and favourite clue today is 15a. Adios!

                  1. I agree, it’s a great clue. Enjoy the rest of your stay, I take it you’re somewhere near Tarragona?

                    1. Yes, just outside L’ampolla – just a beautiful place and will be very sad to leave. Are you actually in Barcelona?

  2. All done apart from 25 a and 22 d. I’m going to drag it out because I think that if I finish Mrs Tub is going to make me watch her DVD of The Damned United.

  3. That was good fun – solved it in my best time for a long time (quite quick in fact). Thanks to the setter for a good outing and thanks Dave for the hints.

    My favourites were 15a and 1d (amazing both four letter words!) and 22d.

    Didn’t like 12a but did like your picture Dave.

  4. Very enjoyable – thought at first it was going to be difficult but the downs clicked into place and I was soon finished. Perhaps sitting in the sunshine at the beach helped. Favourites 7a, 13d and 22d. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  5. Lovely puzzle completed online.
    I can’t remember favorites but a couple of laughs. Thanks to Virgilius and BD for the notes.

    1. Hi Jaycat,
      22d what can be handled in a tennis court that could also be a criminal activity
      25a In a top performance someone might break the ‘******’ this word could also be a form stating certain details, hope this helps a bit, maybe someone else could explain it better

      1. Thank you Mary! All done now, and the film wasn’t too bad (even though neither of us have watched a game of football in our lives).
        I particularly enjoyed the ‘big’ clues today, 12a, and13d, and 15a was a belter: back of the net!

      2. Thanks also Mary, I was stuck on those 2 as well. Shouldn’t there be a ‘sounds like’ to change the court implement spelling?

  6. A very pleasant, not taxing, ST effort today!
    I solved it while watching F1 at Monza (eating a bacon sandwich washed down with a drop of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo – have to take wine to get the medicine down each mealtime).

    Clues that I liked were 7a, 12a, 4d, 6d, 13d & 22d. The very best clues today were the 4-letter ones! – 4a, 1d, 3d & 14d. A touch of tennis and rugby in the puzzle!

    Yesterday, I had a day off puzzling while goggleboxing the Last of the Proms and following the US Open at Flushing Meadows. Federer was not doing his best but Djokovic was!
    May try Saturday’s tonight.

        1. Just wondered if you followed up my recommendation about cricket fielding positions posted on a blog some months ago.

  7. started off quite nicely, thought i was gonna break my own record. alas…. think i’ve got 28a wrong which is confusing 22d. help please?!?

  8. the penny has just dropped. doh!!!! just proves the point that you shouldn’t put pen to paper until absolutely sure. never mind. I’ll try again next week. thanks to all.

  9. Brilliant crossword to maintain the excellent Sunday standard these days. 16 down a magnificent clue, send me your bank details everyone so I can deposit some money………….

  10. TTFN may pop in later off on hols next week to sunny Torquay (hopefully) will wait to see if hotel has internect connection :)

  11. What a gem! One delight after another. I have the answers without unravelling some of the clues, as usual, but Peter will explain it on Friday. Being in Oxford, I’ll settle for 4d as my favourite. Feeling very smug, as I even did this without Mary’s help – have a good week in Torquay.

    Many thanks to setter and BD.

    1. Well done Geoff, in view of your progress and Barries mysterious abscence you are in charge of the CC until I return on the 21st! I will take my ‘notebook’ and hopefully keep in touch with the blog

        1. …… must remember to tell Barrie when he returns, there was a ‘clerihew’ in the Guardian last week!

      1. Oh, dear dear, such responsibility; might be too much to ask – and there’s the midweek puzzles already looming on the horizon. Hurry back, Mary, we need you!

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