ST 2566 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2566 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2566 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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If you are in the vicinity of Upton upon Severn, why not come along to the Charity Rugby match this afternoon, kick-off 2:30pm, when an Upton team will be taking on Evesham Vets (that’s veterans not veterinaries!) at The Sports Field, Old Street, Upton upon Severn, WR8 0HW.

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.

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A full review of this puzzle will be published on Friday, 17th December.


1a    Rotate one vegetable, so to speak, for another (6)
A charade of to rotate, I (one) and a letter that sounds like (so to speak) a vegetable gives a different vegetable

8a    Move forwards with support of backs in game (8)
A superb cryptic definition of a game in which one player moves forward on the backs of others

16a    Avoidance behaviour that is seen in South Essex town (4-8)
To get this avoidance behaviour put the full Latin expression for “that is” inside S(outh) and an Essex town – a small quibble with the enumeration, both Chambers and the ODE give this as (12)

25a    A number of sailors in third-class accommodation (6)
A double definition – a song (number) sung by sailors and third-class accommodation


1d    Article revised Rome’s established principles (8)
The definite article is followed by an anagram (revised) of ROME’S gives established principles

7d    Religious faith is embraced by people opposed to us (6)
To get belief in the existence of God put IS inside the people who are not us

15d    Poles switching places in ascent on railway – or descent (8)
Switch the poles in ASCENT and add R(ailwa)Y to get a word meaning descent or lineage

21d    In West End, I am performing Shakespearean title role (5)
A charade of T (WesT End), the shortened for of “I am” and a word meaning performing gives a Shakespearean title role

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!

55 comments on “ST 2566 (Hints)

  1. I found this puzzle to be a fairly stiff test but well worth the effort – some lovely definitions giving some very satisfying Penny Drops.
    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD

  2. This was great fun with some very nice definitions. Favourite was 8a. Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints.

  3. Strangely enough I found this a bit easier than yesterdays, the only quibble I have is 2d, surely it is the sudden attack that is seizing power and not fleet??

        1. Good Afternoon Mary. That’s 3 today already after yesterday’s marathon. Agree 15 is best but 9 was good too because of misdirection. Also liked 1a 4 6 7 8 12 16 and 23. Sundays are normally good thanks to Virgilius.

          1. Good evening UTC, so good to know you are keeping an eye on things, I think you will agree I have cut back today?? :-D

  4. I am a bit worried as I found this quite hard going today. Then I read the Mary thought it was easier than yesterday and didn’t need the hints. Mind you I did solve a lot of other cryptics yesterday so perhaps my little grey cells were feeling worn out. Thanks to Virgilius for the fun, if slightly longer time than usual for me, Sunday solve and BD for the hints. Hope your team wins!

  5. Nice puzzle today with fair clues. I learned a new meaning to a word in 10a. Fav was 25a, very funny.
    Thanks to Dave and Virgilius.

  6. On the strength of yesterday’s success, went looking for another challenge today. Thanks Dave for the info on how to access the NTSPP puzzles, but on your advice carried on with the Sunday cryptic and now only one clue to get – 11a. Have 2 of the letters and can make lots of words but none to fit the clue. Any help out there or am I too late for a Sunday?

    1. 11a Raised money, as stated (4)
      A verb meaning raised (animals perhaps) sounds like (as stated) a slang term for money.

      1. Thank you Gazza. Had that but discarded it cos I couldn’t see what the connection was with raised. I’ll need to get my lateral thinking hat spruced up for next week!

          1. Thank you Mary. It seems I may have taken a leap to a new level. What fun!

            And Gnomethang, I’m glad I’m not the only one having trouble with small words. You’d think they’d be easier – but no – they’re often very tricky. My favourites are the 2-worders. I always approach them with an air of optimistic expectancy

            1. Me too sheila, there’s always a chance you can get one of the words :) Lea hates the 4 & 5 worders too

              1. that’s why I love the Rufus crosswords on Mondays, there are always several two worders and lots of nice anagrams to get us going :)

  7. I am enjoying this but not as much as yesterdays. Can anyone help with 10a?
    The word I have doesn’t seem to match the clue, I note that Nubian says he learnt a new meaning to this word but the word I have I can’t seem to see it……..thanks to BD and Virgillius

    1. 10a Fellow has to haul down flag, for example (6)
      The abbreviation of fellow is followed by a verb to haul down to make something of which a flag is an example.

  8. A most enjoyable puzzle that I found easier than last week’s too. Needed a few hints and lots of help and just need a little bit more help, if someone will. I pretty sure of 24a and have the checking letters for 17d, but it isn’t making any sense. Maybe someone can explain?

    1. It’s a lovely clue Geoff.
      It is a cryptic definition for someone who slaps you in the face with a glove and demands satisfaction then meets you the next morning with a helper ( a second)

    2. …at which point I realize my mistake!
      24a – you need a way or fashion followed by the abbreviation for our maritime military service.
      The definition is trendy or ‘au courant’ or ‘in’ vogue’

      1. Well, the XWD Dictionary has let me down! I had 24a wrong, giving me an ‘s’ in letter 5. Now 17d makes more sense – thanks!

        Thanks to Virgilius and BD for the hints. 10a one of the last in, as didn’t see the other meaning of flag for some time.

  9. Do daily Cryptic regularly but this my first attempt at Sunday Cryptic. To my surprise have completed all but 21a, a gentle nudge would be most helpful. Great clues, to many to pick a favourite.
    Thanks to Setter and BD as always.

    1. 21a Plane is one that’s oddly targeted (4)
      Oddly means use the odd letters. Plane is an example of the answer.

      1. Thank you Gazza, but still don’t get it ! Sure i’ve got 15d and 21d correct but nothing making the old grey cells ‘click’ Hmmmnnnn!.

    1. 6d Practical joke producing disapproval by some when upset (5-4)
      This is a practical joke. Start with the sound of a disapproving crowd and add by and a synonym for some which is reversed (upset, in a down clue).

    2. Hello Pamela
      You need a word used for expressing dissaproval (by an audience for example) followed by BY then a word for some reversed (upset)
      Hope this helps

  10. Right, finished it now but need a little help with 2d. Have the definition and answer and can see part of clue but not the whole part……….anybody?

    1. The first word in the clue is the definition. Fleet doesn’t mean the navy but relates to speed. Don’t want to put too much more for fear of being told off for giving too much away :)

    2. The answer means “fleet” as in fast, and is formed by inserting a one letter abbreviation for power into a 4 letter word for a surprise attack. I enjoyed this puzzle so thanks to BD and the setter.

    3. Hi Jaycat for this you are looking for a word to mean fleet as in fast or speedy, you need a four letter word for ‘sudden attack’ with the first letter of power inside, I think the clue reads wrongly but I seem to be the only one!

      1. Thanks all, can see it now I was thinking the first three letters was the sudden attack then couldn’t see how to get the last two…………:-)

  11. My first puzzle since last Sunday as underwent cataract removal from my right eye on Tuesday – can now see bright colours again after years in a yellow fog! Left eye in January.

    A straightforward solve for me. I liked 1a, 8a, 12a, 16a (rather contrived), 9d, 15d & 17d.

    Nice work Virgilius.

  12. Really liked this Xword! excellent clues and great fun to work out. Thank you Vergilius and B.D. The best Sunday ever!!

  13. Tatty bye all off to watch semis of ‘Strictly’ and final of X Factor – Come on ‘One Direction’ :) what a night !

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