ST 2557 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2557 (Hints)

Hints and tips from Big Dave

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I’m off in a minute for the later stages of the Times Crossword Championship and will catch up on my return.

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.

A full review of this puzzle will be published on Friday, 15th October.


1a    Nonsense about coach being tough (6)
Put a word meaning nonsense around a motor-coach to get a word meaning tough or sturdy

10a    Organizer of musical entertainment getting a couple of letters (6)
… at a disco, perhaps

13a    One-time record total produced by working round the clock (7-5)
A old-fashioned type of gramophone record is also the total of the numbers on the face of a clock – brilliant!

21a    Supporting Democrat as president after disgraced Republican (4)
A charade of supporting and D(emocrat) gives the US President who followed the disgraced Republican President

25a    From small number of competitors, who will challenge all-comers? (6)
Combine S(mall) with the number of competitors in a race to get someone who will challenge all-comers


1d    In theatre, as one doctor performed a brain operation (8)
Hidden inside the clue is a word meaning to think logically

6d    Person sampling American writer or minor versifier (9)
If you put someone who samples after an American writer it might look as if it’s a person sampling said writer but it’s actually a writer of contemptible verses

17d    Where people work for our rival, on occasions (2,5)
I’m just off to the Crossword Championship of said rival!

21d    Fast run, short time (5)
An adjective meaning fast is a charade of a synonym of to run (away) and T(ime) abbreviated (shortened )

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 or alternative clues in your comment, else they may be censored!



  1. crypticsue
    Posted October 10, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable Sunday puzzle. Favourite clues 4a and 17d. Thanks to Virgilius and BD too.

  2. Mr Tub
    Posted October 10, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    The top right corner had to wait until we returned from M&S (I had no idea it’s Christmas already), but apart from that I didn’t find it too tricky at all today.
    Will you be able to let us know how everyone gets on ’17d’ BD? Good luck to all of them, and I hope gnomethang’s feeling bright and perky after enjoying my share of the beer yesterday!

    • gnomethang
      Posted October 10, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Tip top thank you sir! :GREEN:

    • Libellule
      Posted October 10, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Ahh good – somebody else also had a bit of a tussle with the top right hand corner, so its not just me then!

      • gnomethang
        Posted October 10, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        I can third that!. It was where I finished. I remembered the versifier from one of the Giovanni puzzles that I blogged.

        • crypticsue
          Posted October 10, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

          5d was the only one I tussled with. I must have remembered the poet from the same Giovanni as you. What happened to Mr ‘I am only going to drink half pints at the beer festival’?! Mind you, if you drink enough halves, they soon turn into pints, don’t they :D

          • gnomethang
            Posted October 10, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

            The answer to your well observed question, m’dear, is Bateman’s Salem Porter!
            After the ‘fest we ordered in a curry then went to watch my bro’s gig. Enough beer by then so red wine ensued!

            • crypticsue
              Posted October 10, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

              Sounds like great fun was had by all. Haven’t had any porter for years and years. I reread my post and realised that I did sound a little like your mother might! Sorry, its having two large sons who drink ….the mum in me took over.!! :D

            • Mr Tub
              Posted October 10, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

              Bateman’s Salem Porter eh? It’s on the list! I’ll look out for it at Falmouth Beer Festival later on in the month…

  3. gnomethang
    Posted October 10, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Lovely puzzle with 13a a runaway favourite.
    Thanks to BD and Virgilius

  4. Franco
    Posted October 10, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed this puzzle – but relied on BD’s hint for 10a to finish off the NE corner.

    Favourites: 1d, 13a and 9d.

    Don’t understand the wordplay in 19d – Any clues?

    • mary
      Posted October 10, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Do you mean 19d Franco?? If you do sorry but I don’t understand it either:)

      • Franco
        Posted October 10, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Mary – 19d – I think I said that in the first place? – or is my eyesight failing?

        • mary
          Posted October 10, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

          I’ve tried and tried to work out the wordplay here but just can’t see how we get the answer we have!

          • Chris Price
            Posted October 10, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

            19D in snooker the person taking the shot is the potter. If it is not red or white it is one of the others which are called…
            I actually managed to finish this without the hints. 13a favorite but I stared at it for a long time, and I am old enough to remember the things in question

            • mary
              Posted October 10, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

              Oh yes, I like it, thanks Chris, I just couldn’t see it

              • Franco
                Posted October 10, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

                Chris, Many Thanks – 19d now becomes my favourite!

          • Franco
            Posted October 10, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

            My only thoughts on this – based on a complete ignorance of the books and films – is that it’s something to do with Harry Potter. But it is most probably something far less obscure.

      • mary
        Posted October 10, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        So you did, sorry, funny day today! do you realise it’s the 10/10/2010 today and according to ‘Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy’ 101010 is the binary code for 42, and 42 is supposedly the answer to everything!! This is according to Real Radio, maybe a greater mind than mine understands all that, anyway basically if there’s something you really want to do Today is the Day! :-D

        • Franco
          Posted October 10, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

          Forgotten all about binary – but listening to the radio this morning at 10:10am they were making a big thing about it! Thought for a moment that binary 101010 was going to be 78!

          • Franco
            Posted October 10, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

            My brain is definitely failing – used to know Binary, Octal and Hexadecimal! But it’s now all gone!

            Decimal 42 = Binary 101010

            Decimal 42 = Octal 52

            Decimal 42 = Hexadecimal = 2a


  5. mary
    Posted October 10, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Found this really tough today, my favourite clue was 13a, I think that it is really clever, the top right hand corner was the last for me also, I needed some of Daves hints once again today along with my usual help, started this late today and it’s never the same then! a difficult one for us CCers today, good luck everyone and I hope the sun is shining for you :)

  6. Nubian
    Posted October 10, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Miserable day in the North East but brightened by a good puzzle followed by a nice long bike ride over the Millenium Bridge down to South Shields Ferry,cross the Tyne on the Ferry and back, 2 and a half hours and not a sniff of sunshine. I met some Liverpudlians on the way. Two on a tandem one was blind and they had just completed the coast to coast bike run. I was looking for inspiration and I found it today.
    Fave 13a. Thanks to Virgilius and BD

    • mary
      Posted October 10, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      The sunshine’s here today, sorry Nubian, sounds like a great bike ride though :)

  7. Jezza
    Posted October 10, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius for another fun puzzle. Took me a while to break the ice, and like a few other solvers, struggled in the top right corner.
    With Saturday and Sunday puzzles, I print them off, and then try and solve them in between looking after my 4 year old son, and my 7 month expectant wife :)

  8. BigBoab
    Posted October 11, 2010 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    Saturdays and Sundays are now as good as anything midweek, thoroughly enjoyable and just the right amount of trickery and concealment to make them worthwhile. My thanks to the compilers ( Cephas and Virgilius I believe) and of course to our mentor Dave.