ST 2561 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2561 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2561 (Hints)

Hints and tips from Big Dave

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Just as a leopard can’t change its spots, changing the name of the online site from CluedUp to Telegraph Puzzles hasn’t stopped stupid mistakes from creeping in.  Today’s ScrewUp involves 9 across which, at the time of writing, is unnumbered on the grid and in the clues and can’t be entered online – you have to submit the puzzle with one clue incomplete.  Perhaps puzzle_tester has been laid off because of the recession!

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, 12th November.


1a           Repeatedly sail, say, for English port (8)
To sail over habitually and to say or utter are combined for an English port

13a         Novel title brother briefly used for book (8)
An anagram (novel) of TITLE BRO(ther) gives the book of the opera

21a         Avoid shower, showing character fault (8)
A charade of to avoid and to shower, maybe with rotten fruit, gives a word meaning showing a caracter falt

28a         Ordered out, disrupting test in class (8)
Put an anagram (ordered) of OUT inside (disrupting) a test to get a class or seminar


2d           Left with severe pain, become weak (8)
A charade of L(eft) and a severe pain gives a verb meaning to become weak and lose vitality

12d         Obsessive hobbyist giving art up, in strange protest (12)
This obsessive hobbyist is built from ART reversed (up, as this is a down clue), IN and an anagram (strange) of PROTEST

16d         Don’t complete Roman building job? That’s nothing special (8)
Split this answer as (4,1,3) and you won’t have laboured long enough to build Rome, according to the well-known saying – nothing special is the definition

25d         Expel some of you students in serious trouble, also (4)
A word meaning to expel is hidden inside the clue not once but twice!

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!

39 comments on “ST 2561 (Hints)

  1. I thought this was a very good puzzle today, and I thoroughly enjoyed working my way through it. Plenty of good clues, but the ones I put a tick against were 11a, 16a, 17a, 23a, 3d, and 12d.
    I foolishly had the first two letters of 22d wrong, but soon spotted my mistake!
    Many thanks to Virgilius for a top quality puzzle, and to BD.

  2. Enjoyed this one, took a long time and lots of pondering, so may 4 letter words were hard, last two in were 24d & 26a which had me scratching my head and once in were so simple. Thanks Virgilius and BD needed help with 21a. Liked 13a 16a 17a

  3. I enjoyed it too. I liked the way some of the answers were cleverly hidden within the questions. I struggled with a few, particularly 15a which I may have wrong, anyone have any explanations please?

    1. 15a Look into big contract for winter sports event (6)
      It’s a skiing event and it’s made by putting a short word for look inside a grand (big) contract made when playing bridge.

      1. Help on 18a and 19d please. I have first and last letters of 18a. Thought I had 19d – in fact it was first I answered. But it does not work with 18a. So one or other is wrong.

        1. Hi Chris, I am just starting this but I do have 19d you are looking for a word for confused and if there is nobody in the harbour they are *** ** ***!

          1. Hi Mary,
            I filled in 19d straightaway with sonmething like everbody ** large body of water. However that creates a non word for 18a.

            1. Got it now 19d was correct. 18a was/is an Indian bread that I eat regularly – obviously having a bad hair day. Now just stuck on 6d and 27a.

                1. Thanks. Just leaves 27a.
                  Will keep that one for tomorrow, as way past my bed time.

                  1. Just got 27a – obvious after the event.
                    So all done. Found it quite tough. My favorite was 17a.

              1. 27a – The definition is ‘Makes short work of’, constructed by ‘a’ followed by a poet (Laureate)

        2. I also think that 18a is a word for a type of indian bread arrived at by putting NA for North America , both ways, not sure on that though

      2. “15a Look into big contract for winter sports event (6)
        It’s a skiing event and it’s made by putting a short word for look inside a grand (big) contract made when playing bridge.”

        Thanks Gazza, I see it now, I was spelling it wrong. I had the 5th letter as an E.

    2. The ‘big contract’ can relate to a card game, and if you put inside an interjection for ‘look’, the answer is a winter sports event.

  4. It took me quite a long time (for me) to get onto Virgilius’ wavelength this morning but eventually it all fell into place. In my opinion,slightly more difficult than previous weeks but with some excellent clues, my favourite being 16a. Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    1. Ditto. Very enjoyable crossword. Thanks to Virgilius for the crossword and to BD for the hints.

  5. Also thought this one well above the usual weekend level. But couldn’t find it listed under “recent posts”, where I normally look. Then noticed it under “contributors”, although it has again disappeared. Is the bug spreading?
    Thanks to V & BD

  6. Just back from the christening and what a result. Arsenal 0 Newcastle 1. A great weekend it has been!

  7. Lovely puzzle. Stunning hidden words.
    Am drinking beer in Spain.
    Thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    See y’all next week!

  8. Found this tough today and have just finished it, did it in fits and starts, have come away from watching the Liverpool match, can’t stand to watch the final 20 mins or so, I actually (though not a betting person!) put £5 on Liverpool to beat Chelsea today, come on Liverpool, 2 – 0 at the moment :) Swansea won the Welsh Derby, 1 – o against Cardiff, and finally Arsenal lost to Newcastle, and hopefully those are the results today!

    1. Well done, Mary on an excellent result! it seems like the London clubs used their sparkle on Bonfire Night!

  9. Hi
    I had the same bug on 9 (or zero) across and was disapointed to only get 180 points despite completing within 39 minutes (they pinched the time bonus as well)

    I emailed the Telegraph and got “We have investigated your enquiry but were unable to replicate this problem. Please can you try to complete the puzzle again to see if the error occurs?”

    Obviously I have submitted now and cannot restart – groan !

    1. Hi David – welcome to the blog.
      That sounds like par for the course as far as responses from Telegrah Towers are concerned.

    2. I suspect they cannot replicate it – because someone has fixed it. If you look at the 9a on the print version, it now has a number. I also notice that the highest score for this puzzle is now 600, wheras initially it was 180. So I would suggest that someone on the helpline at ScrewedUp has missed the point.

  10. A good workout with some great clues, 1a 13a 16a 17a 21a but spoilt by 2 hidden words in 11a and 23 [1 too many]. Thanks to Mary for the hints!!

      1. Must admit I only noticed one in 25d – cunning isn’t he?. The point I was making was that they were fairly similar and both of 12 letters, giving a fairly easy start, but this may well have been intended.

    1. Hi Torque – welcome to the blog.
      How would a Frenchman say “so long”? It’s an anagram.

      1. I didn’t find an anagram, simply French for “so long” and three letters of the down clues also seem to fit.

    2. I think perhaps Torque was confused by my comments about 9a – the clue was in the online version but, as it was unnumbered, could not be entered on the grid. The problem with the online site has now been fixed.

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