ST 2558 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2558 (Hints)

Hints and tips from 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.

A full review of this puzzle will be published on Friday, 22nd October.


1a           Maiden is suitable to pinch (14)
M(aiden) and IS precede a synonym for suitable to get a verb meaning to pinch or steal

22a         After US resort, revised parts of voyage – they’re not long in Bermuda (7,4)
There appears to be a rare error from the Maestro here – an anagram (revised) of US RESORT is followed by parts of a journey to get a reference to Bermuda shorts, as long as you ignore an S in the anagram fodder

23a         Beginning from two, ends in one or low digit (3)
The first letter (beginning) of Two and the ends in OnE give a digit on the lower part of the body

27a         Flexible in one’s mind in relation to addition (14)
An excellent charade of synonyms for flexible and in one’s mind results in a word meaning  additionally


1d           Show of force – organized army to toil at it (8,6)
A show of force, like the one in Edinburgh every August, is an anagram (organized) of ARMY TO TOIL AT IT

5d           Pathetic theatrical part I fit (8)
A word meaning pathetic is a charade of the part of a theatre occupied by the orchestra, I and a word meaning fit

8d           Batting quietly under strain perhaps, in stubborn fashion (14)
Start with the word used to describe the player that is batting (before he gets out!) and then put a  synonym for quietly after (under as this is a down clue) an anagram (perhaps) of STRAIN to get a word meaning in stubborn fashion

18d         Anarchistic author penning essays, primarily (7)
A delightful all-in-one clue – an anagram (anarchistic) of AUTHOR is placed around (penning) the first letter (primarily) of Essays

25d         Slowly take liquid hydrogen out of vessel (3)
A verb meaning to slowly take liquid is derived by removing (out) the chemical symbol for Hydrogen from a vessel

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. mary
    Posted October 17, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dave thanks for blog once again, fortunately I didn’t need the hints today, although I found the puzzle hard and plenty of book and machine help was needed! spotted that 22a didn’t seem right and checked it out with Gazza earlier, I tried and tried to get that extra s in somehow, thinking I was doing or seeing something wrong, it is definitely more likely to be me rather than the setter who is wrong :)

    • mary
      Posted October 17, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Had never heard of the word at 27a, fav clues 17a, 21d also didn’t help myself by putting observe at first for 24a!

      • Chris Price
        Posted October 17, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        Hi Mary
        Why is answer to 17a what it is? What is connection to alien and debt. Got 1a & 1d straight off, but struggled to get 8d, but once I did everything else fell into place. Really liked 22a

        • crypticsue
          Posted October 17, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

          Think what colour figures on bank statements were printed in if you were in debit – put a famous two letter alien inside the expression in *** ***.

          • Chris Price
            Posted October 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

            Got it and so #### goes home.
            Many thanks

        • mary
          Posted October 17, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

          sorry Chris busy watching my favourite football team lose again!

          • Chris Price
            Posted October 17, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

            Which one is that Mary?

            • mary
              Posted October 17, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

              Can’t you guess????!

              • Chris Price
                Posted October 18, 2010 at 8:47 am | Permalink

                Can now. Perhaps they will be more successful at baseball.

  2. gnomethang
    Posted October 17, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    21d was a delightful clue as was the superb &lit at 18d. I will certainly forgive the glitch at 22a; my suggestion is “Posh resort, revised……”

    Thanks to BD and to Virgilius.

    • gnomethang
      Posted October 17, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Except that this would be massively unfair!
      I’ll get me coat!

  3. nanaglugglug
    Posted October 17, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    What is it with Sunday Crosswords these days? Found the bottom half very hard going – mainly because couldn’t get 27a. Phew – now we can go and have some lunch! Have a good Sunday everyone

  4. Nubian
    Posted October 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I find myself struggling with 21d and if no gives me a clue I will shoot myself.

    • crypticsue
      Posted October 17, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Please don’t do that – who will Mrs N get to take her on her birthday outing! Think separate as in cut off or divide and then put after it that letter which in French can have either sort of accent placed upon it. The whole meaning serious or grave. I must acknowledge the assistance of Gnomethang here when I had a mental block this morning :)

      • Nubian
        Posted October 17, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Sue, you have made an old man very happy. I survive to accompany Mrs N on our sojourn to Edinburgh for the big day.

    • mary
      Posted October 17, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      who will ride the bike??

    • mary
      Posted October 17, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      Got it Nubian???? please say yes, you haven’t shot yourself have you??? Nubian…………… :)

      • Nubian
        Posted October 17, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        I live thanks Mary, but it was touch and go. Sue saved the day. Sorry to hear about the Kop. Newcastle went through a similar experience in the last couple of years so I feel your pain.

  5. crypticsue
    Posted October 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Just realised that I have been so busy working out the review that I haven’t actually commented. Like Nanagluglug and others I struggled a bit with the bottom right hand side – my poor old brain obviously couldn’t cope with 14 letter words today or much else either – I am currently typing with steri strips and plasters on the tip of my index finger following an argument with a cheese knife :( Thanks to Virgilius for the brain stretching, BD for the hints, and Gnomethang for his timely assistance.

    • Libellule
      Posted October 17, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      What kind of cheese caused the accident?

      • crypticsue
        Posted October 17, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        Sadly I hadn’t got as far as the cheese course. Someone had put the knife away in the wrong drawer and whilst rummaging for something else, my finger tip got serrated! However, the injury did get me out of the washing up/sink cleaning/other domestic duties so it may be officially ‘unhealed’ for a couple more days yet :D

        • Libellule
          Posted October 17, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

          Shame :-)
          I have always liked the following quote.
          “How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese? ” Charles de Gaulle.
          Somehow appropriate at the moment.

          • gnomethang
            Posted October 17, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

            Far too funny! My dad would love it.

          • FrogOne
            Posted October 17, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

            He did it all right but it looks like it’s getting more and more difficult these days! ;-)

    • gnomethang
      Posted October 17, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      Bless you Sue for the thanks, you know it is give and take!
      Cheese doesn’t hurt people, I would question the knife……

      • crypticsue
        Posted October 17, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        I’d actually question the person who doesn’t know after 28 years where the cheese knife should reside but as he did the washing up, sink cleaning etc etc I had better not!

  6. mary
    Posted October 17, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear! we lost again! Liverpool that is :(

  7. mary
    Posted October 17, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Got to get a tea party ready now for grandson no2 who is a teenager today, see y’all later

  8. Derek
    Posted October 17, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I second your suggestion gnomie re22a

    • gnomethang
      Posted October 17, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Thanks but I would suggest that it would be a dreaded indirect anagram!

  9. Drcross
    Posted October 17, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Wow that was 21d… I got 26a without seeing why at first but no doubt the 26 acrosses would have worked this out with ease thus giving me my 16d.

  10. Derek
    Posted October 17, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Solved this enjoyable puzzle very quickly.
    Best clues for me were : 15a, 17a, 23a, 8d, 18d & 20d but even the three-letter jobs were good.

    My comment #8 was supposed to be a permalink reply to gnomie’s #2 but it didn’t elevate!

  11. Geoff
    Posted October 17, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Took a while but got there eventually, needing books, gizmos and some of the hints and comments. Did it in stages, around church and a gorgeous afternoon far too good to miss

    Looking forward to your review, Sue, as there are several answers I just don’t understand! Thanks to setter et al for the puzzle and help.

    • mary
      Posted October 17, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      Nice one Geoff :)

  12. Brian Greer
    Posted October 17, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to everyone for so gently commenting on my blunder. Naturally, I work hard to avoid such blemishes, but it is likely to happen occasionally, very occasionally I hope.

    • Derek
      Posted October 17, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      We all make mistakes now and again so please don’t worry Brian.

      Remember those famous words : “Never explain, never deny and never apologise” – but who wrote them????

      • Libellule
        Posted October 18, 2010 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        David Hartnett by any chance? :-)

  13. Lea
    Posted October 17, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t done this as yet – will do so tomorrow.

    Had a wonderful day out with my grandson (accompanied by his parents of course since he is only 16 months). We went to Cliveden and I walked further than I have done previously. Tired now but feel good for “escaping” as was beginning to feel the four walls closing in and afternoon tea supplied by someone else was lovely.

    Hope your tea for your grandson goes well Mary.

    • Claire
      Posted October 17, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Good for you Lea – grandsons are such fun!!

    • Geoff
      Posted October 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      What fabulous views downstream from the gardens! Used to go to Cliveden now and then at lunchtimes when I worked nearby. Good to get out, so did I.

  14. Claire
    Posted October 17, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    After trying on and off since lunchtime I finally admit defeat and beg a clue for 20d, no-one’s mentioned it so it must be me being particularly clueless today.
    Struggled with a few, perticularly in the bottom half and was thankful to BD for a couple of hints. Loved 21d, once I got there, 15a, 17a & the long ones.

    • gazza
      Posted October 17, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      20d High-rise accommodation for soldiers and others (7)
      These soldiers are not human!

      • Claire
        Posted October 17, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Doh!! Thanks Gazza, can enjoy the evening now :-)

  15. Geoff
    Posted October 17, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Puzzled by 25d; the correct answer, I am reliably informed, is not the word I know from the rhyme, nor from any of the references to it returned by google. I await CS’s words of wisdom!

    • crypticsue
      Posted October 17, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      I don’t have the word in BD’s nursery rhyme either. I have removed the symbol for hydrogen from one of those big boats that’s not a liner to get a word meaning to drink very little amounts of liquid slowly.

      • Posted October 17, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        That’s because I had a short-term memory failure! Forget the rhyme – I’ve deleted it now!

    • Geoff
      Posted October 17, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

      Reassuring to know I wasn’t losing the plot!

  16. Prolixic
    Posted October 17, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Great fun to solve. Tackled this one early in the day and managed to fill in the last couple on the way to church to take the 8:00am service. Many thanks to Virgilius for the fun and to BD for the comments.