ST 2575 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2575 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2575 (Hints)

Hints and tips by 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.

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Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”.

A full review of this puzzle will be published on or after the closing date.


1a    Expertise is what can enhance a negative, we hear (4-3)
The definition is expertise – I have looked at a few explanations of the wordplay, none of which work for me.  Perhaps you would like to have a go, but remember not to mention either of the words that make up the answer, or homophones thereof!

Prolixic’s suggestion: “Adding the three letter word in the answer to a negative gives a more emphatic form of denying something (hence enhance a negative). A homophone of the more emphatic negative is the word for expertise.”

12a    Statement of approval head of BBC communicated on radio (5)
This statement of approval is a word used in radio communications for the letter B (head of BBC)

25a    Lead, for example, English people interrupting service that gets cancelled (7)
Lead is an example of this – start with E(nglish) and then put people (3) inside a tennis service that has to be taken again

28a    It isn’t commonly edited, cut, or spoilt (7)
A common way of saying “it is not” (‘5) is followed by ED (edited, cut) to give a word meaning spoilt


1d    Thrill not present in scene in first act of play (4-3)
A charade of a thrill and a word meaning not present give the first act of play in a game such as football

3d    Contents of shoe box that, in a word, produce a fuss (3-2)
Take the centre letters (contents) of shoe box that and string them together to get a fuss

20d    Carrying of people in lots of coaches after I moved on time (7)
A word meaning carrying people is derived by taking lots of railway coaches, move the I to the end and add T(ime)

24d    Doctor is in a part of Egypt (5)
An anagram (doctor) of IS IN A gives a part of Egypt

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!

40 comments on “ST 2575 (Hints)

  1. Dave, re 11a, haviing done the puzzle on line I just can’t justify the answer with the clue. Is it the wrong clue ?

    1. 11a Flexible tiles used in one type of house (5,4)

      Tile is another name for headwear, and this type of headwear is collapsible and used at the type of house given by the first word.

      1. Being a Northerner I always thought ‘titfer tat’ was Cockney slang so thanks for the explanation. What does tile rhymn with then ?

  2. Gnomey said last week he was hoping for a stiffer challenge on Sundays but I think he will have to wait for another week as I found this the easiest and quickest solve of a Virgilius ever. Very enjoyable though and my clue of the day is 11a. If Nubian is still confused by 11a, think of what tile is the Cockney rhyming slang for and it should all make sense. Well it does to me anyway :) Thanks to BD for the hints and Virgilius for the nice puzzle which leaves me lots of time to do all the other things I am supposed to fit in to today.

  3. Nuvian–hi- re 11a — well the only way I can work the reason out is that these items are v flexible and go flat when not in use–Cheers!

  4. Well I enjoyed that apart from one or two clues which were a bit colloquial.Thanks to B Dave for the tips and the explanation and to Virgilius

  5. I’ve got the answer before asking the question! I have never heard the word “tiles” used as headwear before, you are never too old to learn something new every day.At first sight I didn’t like this one at all but an hour later romped through it and enjoyed it very much — it added a touch of humour to a cold, dull day so thanks for the xword and B.D. for the hints. I liked 9 16 and 17a, 6 14 and 17d

  6. I enjoyed this one – got very stuck in the top right hand corner for ages – couldn’t do 5 or 12a or 8d. Spent a long time trying to make 5a a six letter fish with “P” (top player) inside it meaning a fruit. Finally got there!
    I still don’t understand why 1a is what it is.
    I think we’ve had 3d quite recently.
    Loved 17 and 23a and 17d.
    Thanks to Virgilius and Big Dave.
    A beastly cold, grey and drizzly day in Oxford. :sad:

      1. Wayne for 5a you want a fruit – think of a 4 letter word for ace, inside a 3 letter fish. 8d is a playing field for an American game – where all the sides are of equal length

      2. For 5a think of “top player” in a film inside a word for a type of fish that goes famously with chips.

    1. Thanks for explaination of how 2nd word fitted 1a Prolixic, couldn’t see it, enjoyed this one mostly and finished it this morning but have been occupied with family stuff! I am all oragamied out! Easy oragami for children the book says!

  7. I enjoyed this Sunday crossword. It was reasonably straightforward although 11a had me scratching my head and needed the hints above to solve it. The second word could be one of two, though – I presume either is correct? Thanks to setter and BD for the hints

  8. Musing further on 1a, I think that adding the three letter word in the answer to a negative gives a more emphatic form of denying something (hence enhance a negative). A homophone of the more emphatic negative is the word for expertise.

      1. I agree.

        The three-letter word is used as an intensifier, and so can “enhance” the homophonic negative.

        Probably the only remotely questionable clue in what I thought was a very smooth and enjoyable puzzle.

  9. Another enjoyable crossword from Virgilius. It was about the same level of difficulty for me as his last couple of crosswords.

    Favourite clue was 15a.

    Thanks to BD for the hints and to Virgilius for crossword.

  10. Well, just finished, experienced problems with top right hand corner mainly because I’ve never heard the word for 5a.Thought 3d was clever but generally didn’t find this at all enjoyable.
    Thanx to all as usual.

  11. Another enjoyable load of Sunday fare from Virgilius – many thanks.

    Clues that I liked : 11a, 12a, 17a, 22a, 23a, 6d, 8d, 17d & 23d.

    Magret de canard à l’orange ce soir to be washed down with Sancerre rouge.

  12. I had to look up tiles to justify the answer and was stuck for a bit in the NW corner. Apart from that very enjoyable
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD

  13. I have been xword free for the last 7 weeks so I appreciated a nice easy start. Thought 22 was a bit far fetched but rest was OK. Favourite 11 but also liked 18 and 23a.

          1. Yes, it was great. Blue Mountains and Port Stephens were the highlights, and also a little rainforest retreat in the Glasshouse Mountains north of Brisbane, called Ulurumaya.

        1. Welcome back, UTC – so glad that you weren’t washed away in the floods, eaten by crocs or bitten by snakes! All the coverage in the press here meant that any of the above were possible!!
          Looking forward to your comments tomorrow!

  14. Well I’m still stuck in NW corner – am either being very thick or have gone very wrong! Help on 2d please?

    1. An anagram of the three words before tragically, which is the anagram indicator. He tried to rescue his wife from the underworld.

  15. Oh dear, now I have to learn about tennis and American sports as well as the usual two! I found this quite hard in several places and even with most/all the checking letters in place, I just couldn’t see the words and finally resorted to the toys to help out. Definitely need the review for this one, don’t understand 17a at all. 5a was new and obviously wasn’t in the xwd dictionary. The girl’s name n 17d is the first time I’ve seen it used and 11a took blood, sweat and tears along with the checking letters and google. Still, it’s a grotty day here.

    Thanks to Virgilius, BD and a couple of the comments.

    1. 17a Ineffectively deal with composer’s daughter in audition (9)
      A verb meaning to deal with ineffectively sounds like (in audition) the daughter of the composer of The Messiah.

      1. Oh dear … a double homophone and a little corny too! I haven’t learned that skill yet and although I thought it was one, I couldn’t see where the first three letters fitted in. Thanks.

  16. Many thanks to Virgilius for another impeccable puzzle, which I enjoyed working through.
    Last two in were 11a (the second half), and 14d (spent ages trying to find an anagram that was not there).
    Cold, wet, and dreary in SW London – A hot and spicy curry is required I think (after the obligatory couple of pints first).

  17. I thoroughly enjoyed this offering from Virgilius. A very pleasant preamble before the afternoon’s rugby in Ireland. A great disappointment for the rest of my ancestral tribe!

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