ST 2559 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2559 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2559 (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 (a few more than usual 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.

A full review of this puzzle will be published on Friday, 29th October.


1a           Disengage from the faithful? Awful clues result (10)
A tricky start – a word meaning to transform a society from close identification with religious values and institutions toward non-religious values (disengage from the faithful) is an anagram (awful) of CLUES followed by to result or ensue

6a           Conservative, left of centre — what’s the catch? (4)
Put a C(onservative) to the left of a synonym for centre to get a fish – not a famous maker of locks as that has five letters!

15a         New café moving a place for waiters (8)
Combine N(ew) with a café (3,4) then shift the A to the front (moving a) to get a place for people who are waiting

17a         One making slow progress in French course — bad mark in English obtained (8)
A slow-moving edible French mollusc is constructed by putting a bad mark resulting from an earlier wound in between E(nglish) and a synonym for obtained

22a         Soap dispenser? (10,3)
A cryptic definition worthy of Rufus! A device that enables you to watch a soap opera

27a         Desired a TV broadcast to be made known (10)
An anagram (broadcast) of DESIRED A TV gives a word meaning to be made known, perhaps on said TV


1d           Piece of furniture not finished until now (4)
This piece of lounge furniture is a phrase (2,3) meaning until now without the last letter (not finished)

3d           Lots, initially, on this person’s plate (7,6)
Who might have an L (Lots, initially) on a plate?

4d           International organization of revolutionary movements (6)
A worldwide charitable society of business and professional people is also a turning like a wheel (revolutionary movements)

7d           In very short time, 25% of amount? (4,1,2)
My favourite clue in this week’s puzzle – a phrase that means a very short time is 50% of A MO,  which is itself 50% of AMOunt – 50% of 50% is 25%, very clever

8d           Cruel queen that may be drunk (6,4)
The sobriquet earned by Henry VIII’s eldest daughter after she had almost 300 religious dissenters burned at the stake is also the name of a cocktail

13d         Rich man not drinking with people inside — getting out of habit? (10)
The rich man at whose gate Lazarus lay (Luke 16.19) is followed by the abbreviation for TeeTotal (not drinking) with people inside to get a word meaning getting out of a habit or other item of clothing

16d         GOP’s side corruptly spread malicious rumours (8)
This is a relatively easy anagram of GOP’S SIDE – the Grand Old Party (GOP) is the US Republican party

20d         Damages highest point on mount (7)
A double definition – humiliates (damages) and the ridge between the shoulder blades of a horse (highest point on mount)

23d         I had heard and observed (4)
It’s old chestnut time: Virgilius is allowed one in a puzzle! – a homophone (heard) of I had gives a word meaning observed. Can’t work it out? Try abbreviating I had to I’d

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!

37 comments on “ST 2559 (Hints)

  1. This is, in my opinion, puzzle of the week for sheer enjoyment. It didn’t take long to solve but what clues and wordplay! My favourites are 17a, 3d and 21d. Thanks Virgilius for the fun and BD for the unneeded but excellent hints. My only disappointment is that Peter Biddlecombe must be back from his hols, so I don’t have the pleasure of writing the review.

  2. Very good! Took me twice as long as last week, but worth the extra effort. Many clever clues; I sussed 22a straight away, and I liked 17a, 3d, and 7d. Favourite clue is 3d, for misdirecting me down a totally different train of thought.
    Thanks to BG and to BD.

  3. I agree with crypticsue. Lovely puzzle that finished too quickly!
    Thanks to Bd and Virgilius!

  4. Quite difficult today but worth doing, clever clues with Ah moments! I think I have 13d, correct but can’t ‘see’ how the first half fits even with your hint Dave, I cannot find the rich mans name 5 letter name anywhere, it just says ‘rich man’?? Am I being thicker than usual? Liked lots , favs 3d, 17a, 12a, 6a, Keep perservating CC members it is once again ‘doable’ thanks for hints Dave needed help with 1a!

    1. You’re right Mary, the name doesn’t appear in Luke – maybe the older translations – just hover over BD’s picture though & you’ll get it!

        1. Mary it’s not in the Bible but if you look on wikipedia you will find that the word means rich man. It’s also in the big red book – Chambers. :smile:

            1. Thanks Mary – yes I am doing fine – getting a bit “housebound” but flexibility and mobility is coming on nicely so I am pleased (and so is the physio).

  5. Sheer delight! Favourties 17a, 3d plus 12a for topicality (possibly not intended – depends when the crossword was compiled). Many thanks Virgilius and BD.

  6. Enjoyed this immensely – finished it about two hours ago.

    Best clues for me were : 1a, 17a, 22a, 3d, 7d, 11d, 13d & 20d.

    2d – this clue puzzles me somewhat – I have been to the city in question – so I look forward to a little enlightenment.

    Re 3d – in France this would be A.

    1. A vehicle almost = a + vehicle with the last letter missing, surrounded by the plural word for the same vehicle. I agree that it can be a bit puzzling because of the placement of the ‘vehicle’ words. And hands up those who were misled by the SA bit.

      Lucky you to have been to that city!

      1. Thanks Tilly – it is slightly puzzling especially for long-term expats like me.
        I solve crosswords to sharpen up my mother tongue.
        All languages go down the drain if you don’t use them regularly especially as one gets older.
        Yes I imagine that quite a few bods would be roaming around in the other SA which for us here in NL would be ZA!.

  7. Some head scratching on this one for me but got there in the end. Many excellent clues but my favourites were 22a and 25a.

    Didn’t help myself for 12a when I put shopping in 5d – soon corrected it and was able to get 12a easily – even if it was football (not my sport at all).

    Thanks to BG and BD

  8. Well I’ve persevated and resorted to BD’s hints,dictionaries and such like and have finished bar 21d. As Mary says, lots of Aaahh moments. Would never have got 17a without BD’s hint, although my husband is French and coincidentally born in 2d. I was mislead by the SA clue, but then the penny dropped. Thanks to BD and Virgilius.

    1. 21d put a compass point at the end of a word meaning skill- think the Midas ….. The whole is a good humoured acknowledgement of a point well made, either in words or in fencing!

      1. Thanks Crypticsue – got it now and I understand why you liked it so much as a clue. I forget the signing words like point etc. Hopefully with practice I’ll start remembering.

      2. Thanks Cryptic – that was my last one & I was scratching my head. I agree, great fun today with some fab clues. Lots I liked, including 1d, 22a, 3d and 7d (my favourite). Thanks to you too BD – needed clues for 1a and 13d.

  9. A really enjoyable puzzle that on first reading I thought would be beyond me – but everything eventually clicked into place.

    Got 7d but still puzzled by the maths involved! Other favourites 17a & 22a (helped by remembering recent clue “bar of soap”).

    Never heard of the “Rich man” in 13d! Still don’t fully understand 26a?

    Thanks to BD and Virgilius!

    1. 26a a two letter word meaning provided inserted into the first letters (initially) of the and front.

  10. Took me a long time to finish this today, but it was well worth it! Off to make the most of the sunshine while we have it :D

    1. I am off into the sunshine too – for a nice walk – leaving son and girlfriend to do the washing up. What could be better?!

  11. My first attempt at the Sunday CC and really enjoyed it. Got completely stumped by 21d until I read Sue’s great hint – thank you!

    By the way – has anyone ever won a Telegraph pen?

    1. I don’t think anyone who posts on this blog has ever done. BD has suggested in the past that it would be better to save up the cost of a first class stamp each week until you have enough saved to buy a really nice pen!

      1. That’s a great way to look st it! Certainly I gave up submitting the Saturday one a long time ago. I wonder if they really do issue the prizes?

        1. They do. Many moons ago I won a book token, at which point I stopped entering. I probably could have bought a whole load of books myself with the postage costs!

  12. Fantastic crossword today. Thanks to Vigilius for a real treat and to BD for the notes. Four Christmas cakes in the oven so off now for a bacon sandwich and then to walk the dog :)

  13. After my first bike ride for a week following my few days in ‘Auld Reekie’ I struggled a bit with this one. several clues looked like they were written in a foreign language but after a quick hint from the Master I was on my way.
    Fave clues 1a and 17a.
    Thanks to BD and Virgilius

  14. Brilliant crossword from Virgilus, superb misdirection in 3d and teriffic clue, 7d was my top one however. Thanks Virgilus for the enjoyment and BD for the hints.

  15. Some f that was quite hard going for me. I needed a lot of the hints, BD’s and Sue’s, thank you’s all round! 7d tops today, even though it took ages for the penny to drop re. the 25% bit.

  16. Very nice puzzle today- my favourite was also 7d but 22a was good too and reminded me of a similar clever clue I’ve heard of “bar of soap (6,6)

  17. Nothing to do with this crossword but would appreciate help.

    What do you call the use of capital ‘A’ after a full stop? And, did I read it in Colin Dexter’s ‘Inspector Morse’?

    1. Mari: I’m not aware of any special word for using a capital letter to start a sentence. As this plays such an important role in many cryptic clues, I’m 99.99% sure that I would know the word if there was one.

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