ST 2563 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2563 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2563 (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, 26th November.


1a    Be held back by girlfriend in argument (6)
Put BE reversed (held back) inside a girl friend that you have arranged to meet to get an argument

18a    What offers support and love to a girl? (8)
A semi-all-in-one clue – a charade of a support, O (love / a score of zero in tennis) and the short version of a girl’s name

23a    Light that’s seen in the morning sky (7)
A double definition – an archaic word for a match and the name given to the planet Venus when it rises in the morning

29a    Cage bird (6)
Two definitions – the second coming from the cockney rhyming slang: bird lime / time


1d    Put off key publication without notice (8)
A word meaning to put off or talk out of is built up from a musical key followed by a publication placed around a short word for a notice

8d    Europeans who fought the people of Paris (6)
Not Paris, France but Paris, the Trojan prince – beware these Europeans bearing gifts!

16d    Evangelist’s cry of support for one who’s charming? (9)
This evangelist is a charade of a stupid cry of support (2) often heard on American golf courses (another stupid cry being “in the hole” – is golf only watched by morons in the USA?) and possibly someone who charms or enchants (7) – the question mark betrays that the agent noun involved in the wordplay is not in the dictionary

24d    Morally weak female held up by bar (5)
A word meaning morally weak is a charade of F(emale) and a bar fixed on upright supports, typically serving as part of a barrier

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!

36 comments on “ST 2563 (Hints)

  1. What can I say, a fairly standard puzzle with nothing contentious, filled in with a sense of achievement but little fun or entertainment.
    Fav clue was eh ?, I havn’t got one.
    Thanks to Dave and Virgilius I presume

  2. Hi Dave, a lovely puzzle today, unlike Nubian I found it fun and even the long word at 5d was easy to work out, I was silly enough to put ‘mug’ in for the first part of 2d at first which left me with demote for 1a, which I knew was wrong! after a litle perservating I saw the error of my ways! Fav clues today 13a and 6d, had to look up 23a to see if it was correct a bit obscure IMHO! Good luck all CCers a nice one today, thanks for hints Dave just off to read them :)

  3. I think this is probably the first time that I have ever finished a Sunday puzzle – don’t usually get round to looking at them, partly because of other things going on on Sundays and partly because I KNOW that I find them almost impossible and can rarely do more than a handful of clues. Anyway today I have done it. Was it easier than most Sundays or am I learning so much from this wonderful blog that I can now do crosswords that a few months ago would have totally defeated me? Who knows – I certainly don’t! Lots of clues that I really enjoyed – just some of them are 15 and 27a and 6 and 22d. I didn’t know where the term ‘bird’ meaning what it does in 29a came from. Thanks to today’s setter and Big Dave. Hope that you all have a good Sunday – just off for rather grey and chilly dog walk then home to light fire and watch yesterday’s dancing – out yesterday evening so didn’t get a chance to watch it.

    1. Well done Kath, enjoy your walk and the dancing, I’ll be missing it tonight and do not have any means of recording it, my sons and grandsons just can’t believe that, one of them can set a programme to record in his house, when he’s in my house using his i phone!

        1. Sorry. Didn’t read the hints and misread what Kath said. I’ve gone to the bottom of the c lass!

  4. Another good xword spoilt by one clue. 20 is pathetic – why do setters keep resorting to names? Favs 4 6 10 15 22 23 [best] 25. Thanks to Mary for tips. Amazing what a Liverpool victory can do.

    1. UTC, How can one “pathetic” clue spoil the whole crossword? Maybe, you would like to submit one of your own puzzles?

      Where did you lose your paddle?

      1. Maybe spoilt was a bit OTT. Lets say marred. As I said above, I enjoyed a lot of the clues but names annoy me, especially the topless variety. Sorry, no puzzles to submit but you don’t need to be a chicken to tell whether an egg’s bad or not. Lost the paddle up the creek.

  5. A good Virgilius crossword but one for me that did not have quite the shine of many of his puzzles. I suppose that when you produce so many polished diamonds there will always be those that don’t have quite the sparkle but are still little gems :)

  6. I thought this one was pretty good on the whole. Enjoyed it a lot so thanks Virgilius.
    BTW, also congrats to BD for the win in the clue writing contest – well done. It was a very elegant clue IMHO!

  7. Fine enough puzzle, albeit a good deal easier than most recent Sundays.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  8. Waiting for the oven to cool down after baking 45 mince pies so that I can put in some meringues – well it’s Stir Up Sunday and I don’t make a Christmas cake or Christmas pudding so this is my ‘bit’. I quite enjoyed this one – not as stunning as some Sundays but nothing whatsoever to complain about either. No special favourites today just some very nice cryptic clues, thanks to Virgilius and BD>

    1. I agree that, while it’s a perfectly reasonable puzzle, it doesn’t have that extra sparkle that we’ve got used to from Virgilius. I wondered, in fact, whether we had a new setter for the second consecutive day.

    2. 45 mince pies sounds pretty impressive to me – don’t do them until just before Christmas (if I do they get eaten instantly!) Have done Christmas pud – Christmas cake may or may not get made – everything at the moment has to be done as and when there is time – whether there is time or not depends on what is going on with my very old and not terribly well mother. What makes it Stir Up Sunday? Is there a specific date?

      1. Stir up Sunday comes from the prayer traditionally used on the Sunday before Advent:

        “Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

        As it falls at the same time as Christmas puddings are generally made, the two are usually linked.

        I try to get Christmas cakes made much earlier to give plenty of time for generous feedings with brandy before they are decorated!

        1. Thank you, Prolixic – never knew that – have just looked up Advent. So it’s one of the days that has a different date each year, depending on all kinds of other things? SO complicated – no wonder I’m confused! We, also, usually make Christmas puddings and cake much earlier but .. Quite extraordinary what one learns from this blog. Thank you all

      2. I made that number of pies today ready for the Church Christmas Fair next week. The recipe I use freezes very well. I shall make some more for work and a few more for home (for the same reason I don’t make a cake, both Mr CS and I could really do without eating too many such things so I try to make it easier to resist the temptation)

  9. Enjoyed this one – not very difficult this week.
    Best clue for me was 2d.

    Dinner tonight is lamb chops with a drop of Pauillac,

  10. Right signing off now have to go try beautify myself for tonight, a n other son has arranged a charity dinner for Cancer Research Wales and orders are ‘smart casual’! whatever that may entail, I just hate dressing up prefer to dress down but this seems somewhere in the middle!? also been sprung on us last minute that prospective daughter in laws parents will be there! A first time for everything, totally stressed already, now where did I put my BEST jeans!!!!

      1. Oh dear – poor you! Aren’t clothes a nightmare? I’m with you – it’s always jeans – the only question is which pair (and are they clean, and can I find them?) Hope that the evening goes well.

        1. Thanks Kath went very well, won a Wii with sports pack and a bottle of wine and as the tickets were complimentary well we couldn’t complain could we but I’d still rather have watched Strictly X Factor :)

  11. I raced through the first three quarters of this and then got bogged down in the bottom left corner. A bit more confidence with 23a and a bit less with 26a would have helped!

  12. Eventually finished, with a bit of help from books, google, hints and gizmos, but didn’t find it much fun – and no long hidden word, just that odd one at 20a. Interrupted by printer problems, although nothing to do with paper feeds! – why do they never work first time ???

    Thanks for puzzle and hints, just need the review now to understand the answers.

  13. OK – I give in! All the pundits are saying that today’s crossword lacks sparkle – is this a euphemism for considerably easier than usual for a Sunday? If so maybe that’s why I managed to finish it! Damn and blast – there I was thinking that I was getting better!! Who cares – I enjoyed doing it. Fire now lit, supper in oven and wine open …

  14. Tesco had run out of Telegraphs yesterday so bought the Indie. The xword was impossible! I couldn’t do a single clue and nor could my brainy friend and yet we polished off the Sunday telegraph one today in. … well very quickly. Is the Indie normally so difficult?

    1. The Saturday Indie is supposed to offer a challenge, yes, but to compare Tele/Indie in terms of difficulty is like comparing red & white wines – neither is actually superior to the other but the flavours are very different. If you’re very familiar with one crossword you can’t expect to jump into the other and instantly recognise the setting style.

      Saturday’s puzzle was tough, but a couple of aspects of the grid were designed to offer extra help.

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