ST 2578 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2578 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2578 (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.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Unoriginal statement from Conservative in Chile after internal setback? (6)
This unoriginal statement or hackneyed phrase is derived by inserting C(onservative) inside Chile after reversing the middle three letters (internal setback)

11a    Acceptable way to address a knight? (4)
This word meaning acceptable, usually abbreviated to two letters, could be a way to address a one of the Knights of the Round Table

12a    Opportunity to order one diamond, for example (7,3)
The second part of this clue is cryptic – a charade of an opportunity and an order give what one diamond is (almost always) in the game of bridge

25a    Unpleasant experience, getting low grades in exam (6)
To get this unpleasant experience put two low examination grades inside a spoken exam


1d    Examine threat to king abroad (5,3)
A phrasal verb meaning to examine is a charade of a threat to the king in the game of chess and a word meaning abroad or away

2d    Front part of Jumbo jet? Just the opposite (5)
This hard white substance is what you find at the front of an elephant and jet is the opposite colour

9d    Great excitement in the Oval – monarch is one of those watching play (7-4)
Put an anagram (excitement) of GREAT between THE and O (oval) and add our monarch to get one of those watching a play

21d    The same as throttle? That depends (5)
As a verb this is a synonym for to throttle, as a noun it is a different part of a car to the throttle

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!

69 comments on “ST 2578 (Hints)

  1. Solved 90% quite quickly then scratched around the back of my head for the remaining few clues. Very enjoyable and should please all. Thanks to Virgilius and BD

  2. Some parts were definitely headscratchers and so the whole thing took me slightly longer than usual. Very enjoyable start to Sunday morning. Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  3. Best Sunday puzzle for ages. I wonder how many put ‘trunk’ in for 2d? Personal favourite was 12 but there were so many good clues, too numerous to mention. Many thanks to setter.

  4. Bottom left took a while for the penny to drop, otherwise fairly straightforward but quite enjoyable.

  5. Wow that was a work out and a half, thanks to Virgilius and BD for hints. 12 and 6 &15 I thought good

  6. Exciting end to the cricket! I really thought we’d blown it but it’s not over until Dawn French is at the crease and singing!

    Think I’ll go and do the crossword now.

  7. Glad to see that normal service has resumed this Sunday – Thanks to Virgilius for the enjoyable headscratcher, and to BD.

  8. Exciting finish to the cricket did not help to solve this very taxing but enjoyable puzzle. However everything has worked out fine. Off to tidy the platform flowers Mary.

  9. 19 the last to go in what was a nicely stimulating Sunday morning test. Thanks setter, BD and England’s bowlers.

  10. A really tough one for me today needing all the help I could get and some of the hints, thanks Dave :) , last two to go in 7d and 19d, now they are done I think they are clever, also liked 17d, 23a I can see it’s an anagram with the O inserted but how does the answer equal shares, shared I can see but not shares?? IMHO a 4* today but some of the CC may prove me wrong! Never heard the word at 22a and wouldn’t have understood the second part of 12a without Daves hints

  11. Enjoyable fare from Brian as usual!
    I liked 4a, 11a, 18a, 20a, 7d, 9d, 14d & 19d.
    Re 11a, the last three letters are the name of one of Arthur’s knights BD!

    1. Thanks Derek, I missed the Arthur bit in 11a too. Must be having an off day as I also could not see 7d at all !!! I put it down to doing Prolixic’s NTSPP over breakfast!!
      BTW, that’s a puzzle I would recommend to everyone.

  12. Off to get ready to watch Big game and then one of Grandsons birthday meals, laters :)

  13. Just having a look at it—sounds good!
    Probably not get it all done today but there’s no rush.

    Thanks to setter and for the hints–I shall need them!

  14. Exciting finish to the cricket meant we didn’t start this until late. And we struggled. West side went in without much problem but for some reason we were stumped on a few on the East side. 21a, 21d and 10a caused three big DOH moments. And I had to blog 7d for the Pommers – he admitted defeat! One up for Pommette at last!
    Thanks Virgilius and BD – off to sit in my hot tub for a while in the sunshine.

    1. Thanks for that Pommette – the sun is shining here in West Bridgford with the only difference being that it’s 5 degrees C with a “lazy” East wind. More thick fleece weather than hot tub methinks!

      1. My Grandad used to use the term ‘Lazy Wind’ for one that couldn’t be bothered to go round you so went straight though – never heard anyone else use it though!
        We got one of those here too but it is 14C!

        1. I’ve heard of “The Lazy Wind” in Norwich – as you say, it goes straight though you.

          If only it was14C!

  15. What an absolutely horrid puzzle, makes v little sense to me with part anagrams and convoluted clues. If it wasn’t for the phrases I would suspect a Ray T!
    My worst one ever for a Sunday.

  16. I’m normally too mean to spend £2.00 on the Sunday paper – but after all the recent positive reviews of the Sunday Crossword, I decided to part with my money! Definitely worth it – for time spent rather than enjoyment – found it a hard slog! Particularly liked 12a1

    One clue remaining – 19d – Any help, please?

    1. You want an abbreviation for every year followed by a word meaning locks (as may be found on the head) reversed to give a word meaning undesirable.

      1. Prolixic, Thanks for 19d!

        Also thanks to Virgilius for my £2.00 worth! Where’s the recycling bin for the rest of the newsprint?

        1. The main reason I used the on-line facility is so that I can print off the weekend crosswords or download to the iPhone without having a small mountain of paper at the end of each weekend. For the rest of the week, I usually get the paper as it is much easier to complete the paper version on the train.

        1. And me – would probalby spelt it with a ‘C’ except it wouldn’t have fittled the clue ..

  17. Well, I’ve managed only 12 clues – with the help of the hints – and am still looking at it blankly! Which is why I came onto the blog, to see if there were any more hints – not a lot! Can’t even get 12a, despite the hints!! HELP – please!! Got 1a “just like that” and thought “I’m in with a chance here” – ha, ha, ha, how the mighty are fallen.

    1. I will tlry and explain without giving the answer away. What you are looking for is the first ‘move’ in a game of bridge. A word meaning an opportunity or chance followed by another meaning to order in the sense of making an offer for something, eg at an auction.

    2. In a game of bridge, if you say “One diamond” it is likely to be your *******,***.

  18. Oh wow! Thank you, all of you – actually Franco, no -have tried but no, really no- Crypticsue – yes! got it from your hint – bless you. And Pommers, thank you, but CS gave me the answer first. It’s a game I’d love to be able to play, have tried but to me it’s a bit like Chess – I can’t see the whole picture, I tend to focus just on my hand and that is HOPELESS! Can’t get my head around all this bidding bit! It’s all smoke and mirrors to me.Still can’t finish the b….. Xword though! Think I’ll give up and go to bed and read my book.

  19. Well – if my life depended on the crossword today I’d be a goner! I had a quick look fairly early this morning – did a few – gave up, expecting the brain to come up with something useful while I was gardening – it didn’t!
    STILL stuck on 20, 22, 24a and 7, 17 and 19d. My husband and I have been trying for the last hour or so, over supper, and just can’t get them. Any help would be welcomed or is everyone now asleep?!!
    I think that this is the most difficult Sunday crossword for a while (forgetting last week) – thought that I was getting better at the Sunday ones – perhaps not!!
    Sleep well all …

    1. 7d A free broadcasting system, so-called (6)
      Put together A and a verb meaning to free or loosen to make an affectionate name for the BBC.

    2. 24a Reformed the son, following optimal policy? (6)
      It’s an anagram, indicated by reformed.

    3. For 19d see Prolixic’s hint in comment #17

      17d Encourages understandings in speech (7)
      A verb meaning encourages (a rebellion, for example) sounds like (in speech) deep understandings.

    4. 20a Liable to change key undertakings to settle on island (10)
      You want an adjective meaning liable to change. Put a musical key followed by undertakings to settle a debt all after an Italian island.

      1. Thanks Gazza for all the helpful stuff – have finally finished but wouldn’t have done so without your hints – very much appreciated! :smile:
        Can now go to bed – not too late which is just as well after last night …
        Night night all

    5. Kath, I haven’t tried the Sunday for quite some time, and found this one exceedingly difficult – as Mary would say “Needed a lot of Perservation”. But, after much Perservation, I managed all but one (19d).

      Does Gazza get paid for overtime solving?

      1. Franco – 19d is a two letter abbreviation for each year as in your salary is ‘£x ..’ followed by a four letter word for something that grows out of your head turned upside down – answer meaning someone who is avoided – as in a ‘social ……’

  20. I was very late getting to this today. Life has an annoying habit of getting in the way of crosswords…

    Very nice puzzle with some very good clues. Took a fair bit longer than the usual ST, but none the worse for that.

  21. Just 2 to do – 5d & 10a – it doesn’t help that I put the wrong answer in to 5d as my first entry! Any suggestions would be appreciated. I must get this finished as there is a danger I may break out into a spot of work!

  22. As usual “Gnome’s Law” just kicked in! I’m not sure about 3d though…

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