ST 2579 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2579 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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    One who’s succeeded as a parliamentarian, possibly (10,4)
This person who has succeeded to a title could be one of the 92 currently allowed to sit in the House of Lords

11a    This English character is finally altered in the US (3)
This letter of the alphabet is spelt with a different final letter in the US

19a    Plaster mostly remained firm (6)
This type of plaster is a charade of most of a word meaning remained or fixed and a firm or business

27a    Seasonal play in list new theatre put out (3,7,4)
This Shakespeare play with a seasonal title is an anagram (put out) of LIST NEW THEATRE


1d    Equipment used for gymnastics in flat, with some music (10,4)
Some equipment used by male gymnasts is a charade of a synonym for flat and some music

13d    Lots of people providing seats for those who are standing (11)
A cryptic definition of all the people in a country or area who are entitled to vote for those who are standing

20d    About carnival city and about dance from there (7)
The two-letter version of an abbreviation for about is followed by a city that is famous for its carnivals and the same abbreviation for about to give a dance from the same country as the aforementioned city

25d    Large area supported by West, as a rule (3)
Combine L(arge), A(rea) and W(est) to get a rule of action established by authority

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!



  1. Posted March 13, 2011 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    I found this on the easy side of Virgilius puzzles based on solving time but think that I picked up some of the trickier/less well known answers quite quickly. The usual high standard.
    Thanks to Virgilius and BD

  2. crypticsue
    Posted March 13, 2011 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I too found this on the easy side of Virgilius. My only hold up being that I didn’t know that spelling of 15a although it was obvious from the anagram fodder. Thanks Virgilius for another fine Sunday crossword and to BD for the hints and illustrations.

  3. Rednaxela
    Posted March 13, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    This was an enjoyable Sunday morning solve, and getting 1a and 1d in early helped in getting a foot-hold into the puzzle. Plenty of well written clues made this very do-able. Fortunately, the 3 letter words didn’t provide problems like some 4 letter words do!! Thanks to setter and BD

  4. mary
    Posted March 13, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Well I found this on the ‘toughie’ side of Sunday puzzles, with lots of tricky clues, it came together in fits and starts and I am pleased to say I finished it without the hints but with lots of other ‘help’ :) last one in 20d isn’t 11d also a French character? not quite sure how 10a works, is this an all in one clue? Thanks for hints Dave, and thanks Sue for sending the sun back :-D

    • gazza
      Posted March 13, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      10a Someone is going to say this toast (7)
      Double definition. Someone (who is) going will say this, and a toast.

      • mary
        Posted March 13, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        thanks Gazza its as I thought but somehow for me it doesn’t quite work, now who do you want to win today??? :)

        • gazza
          Posted March 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

          I’d like Scotland to win if only to wipe the smiles of the faces of all the commentators (e.g. Stuart Barnes) who say things like “The only way Scotland can win is if they take the wheels of the English bus”.

          • mary
            Posted March 13, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

            and of course it would be in Wales favour :-)

    • crypticsue
      Posted March 13, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Any time Mary. Can we have the sun back tomorrow please. Alternate days would be only fair.

      • mary
        Posted March 13, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        I am willin to share Sue but I think overall you get more sunshune than us?

  5. mary
    Posted March 13, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    When I looked up the answer to 20d on google, it gave it as the term for people coming from the mentioned city but not as a dance??

    • mary
      Posted March 13, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      but in Chambers it gives both :)

      • mary
        Posted March 13, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        so is it a double definition?

        • Upthecreek
          Posted March 13, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

          Its 2 abouts about a city!

          • mary
            Posted March 13, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

            Yes but the answer means a dance from that city and also is a term for the people from there

        • gazza
          Posted March 13, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          No. The definition is “dance from there”. People coming from there aren’t mentioned in the clue.

          • mary
            Posted March 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

            thanks Gazza

  6. Upthecreek
    Posted March 13, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Pretty easy today but full of nice clues. Favourite was 12 [ingenious!] which I thought was excellent. Also liked 15 16 19 and 20. 1a was last in but I had a laugh when I got it . Thanks to setter for a nice Sunday workout. I think Mary is going for the record again!

    • mary
      Posted March 13, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      No, just commenting, off soon to cinema to see ‘Rango’ for my sins, never mind Pizza Express afterwards

      • Upthecreek
        Posted March 13, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        That’s 10 so far. You need another 26 to beat your record.

        • Posted March 13, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

          Please don’t do this. It is tedious and non-constructive. Any future comments like this will be deleted.

  7. Kath
    Posted March 13, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes I think I’m getting better at Sunday crosswords (they used to be a complete ‘no go area’ for me) then I read the comments and most people think it’s a fairly easy one! Damn!!
    Started off quite well by getting 1a and 1d fairly quickly (once I’d managed to get something to do with a ‘horse’ out of my head for 1d)
    Last two to go in were 26a and 20d.
    Clues that I particularly liked today include 14, 19 and 27a and 2, 3 and 16d.
    Thanks to Virgilius and Big Dave.

    • mary
      Posted March 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t think it was easy today Kath I thought it had some very tricky clues, at least a 3* for me if not 4, so well done on finishing it

  8. Derek
    Posted March 13, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    More enjoyable Sunday fare from Virgilius – not as hard as usual!
    I liked : 1a, 9a, 26a, 27a, 2d, 3d, 13d & 16d particularly.

    Weather here is definitely improving so Spring may not be far behind!

    Going to stuff a yellow bell pepper (paprika) with minced beef and chopped garlic for late lunch and tonight will finish off roast chicken. All to be washed down with South African pinotage. Got a selection of wines from the Cape last week.
    Had a wonderful visit to ZA some years ago with my late wife and we visited many of the wineries there.

    • mary
      Posted March 13, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      sounds delicious Derek, just had my diet cuppa soup!

      • Derek
        Posted March 13, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        I have had my lunch – but what are you dieting for Mary?
        I have so many medecines to to take each day – it is appalling.
        However we keep going on until we are finally called to go to the other side – we have to stay here until we have learnt and understood all that we should know.

        • mary
          Posted March 13, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

          Because I can’t afford a whole new wardrobe! :) That’s very profound Derek

          • Derek
            Posted March 14, 2011 at 9:55 am | Permalink

            Apologies Mary – I was thinking medicinally and of course we are in Lent!

  9. Franco
    Posted March 13, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable today, but quite easy. I especially liked 12a and 16d (Arsenal not still in cup!).

    Just to be picky…1d …shouldn’t it be singular?

    • crypticsue
      Posted March 13, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      I have always known the gymnastic equipment to be plural.

      • Franco
        Posted March 13, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        I thought there were 2 for the “parallel” version & also 2 for the “asymmetric” version! But, only one for 1d.

        • gazza
          Posted March 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

          But the clue says “equipment” rather than “piece of equipment” so you can have more than one of them.

  10. Mr Tub
    Posted March 13, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    12a and 5d are the reason why I look forward to Sunday.

  11. Denis
    Posted March 13, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Greetings all,

  12. Denis
    Posted March 13, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Greetings all,

    Just finished watching the Paris- Nice last day. A good background for solving.
    I enjoyed both this weekend’s crosswords. ( I only buy the paper at weekends) as a four letter word, in English and in Latin occupies my time during the week.
    I solved 3d readily enough as I started work as one in1966 en route to becoming a Structural Engineer, but I do not understand the word play.
    A couple of nice hidden words today. My thanks to the setter.

    I really should mow the back lawn here in sunny Cheadle hulme.


    • gazza
      Posted March 13, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      3d Chap who makes plans as potential king (11)
      Double definition, the second a potential king (after promotion) in a board game.

    • pommers
      Posted March 13, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      I lived in Cheadle Hulme, just off Yew Tree Park Rd, from about 1977 till 1883 – Pommette would give you accurate dates!

    • Denis
      Posted March 14, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Permalink


      From 1972 we lived on Waverley Drive which is also off Yew Tree Park Rd.
      We now live about 300 yards away

      • pommers
        Posted March 14, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        Hi Denis

        Good God! We lived at No 18 Waverley Drive! Lets face it, it’s not a very long road! If you were there at the same time we must have been near neighbours! What number was yours?
        Small world or what? !!!

        • Denis
          Posted March 15, 2011 at 9:08 am | Permalink


          Since we lived at 18, I can only assume that you bought our house.
          I will check with senior management on dates.
          (spooky or what?)

          D. D.

          • pommers
            Posted March 15, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

            Pommette tells me it was 1978 (not 7) when we bought 18 Waverley Drive but we can’t remember the month. I seem to have a vague memory that the owners were moving locally. Did you move to Vicarage Avenue?
            This is well spooky as we seem to have met in a past life, as it were!

            • Denis
              Posted March 16, 2011 at 8:53 am | Permalink

              I am informed that we moved in March 78.
              We went to Branksome Drive in Heald Green for a few years before moving to our current house on St Brannocks Rd. It’s a little unadopted road at the end of Woods Lane.

              D. D.

              • Posted March 16, 2011 at 10:51 am | Permalink

                This is the spookiest thing that’s ever happened to me!
                Pommette thought Feb ’78 but what’s in a month!
                We lived in Waverley until 1984 when I changed job and we moved to Alsager.
                Enjoyed our time there but I think too many pints in the Church Inn and the Victoria have deleted some of my memories!

  13. Denis
    Posted March 13, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Gazza,

    My thoughts ranged from Chess to Cards instead of ,What is now the blindingly b**************************** obvious.


    D. D.

  14. martinh
    Posted March 13, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    after last weeks miserable effort managed to finish this weeks , albeit with all the hints and much head scratching , now lets hope for an england win ,

  15. Geoff
    Posted March 13, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t find this at all easy, needed lots of help and a little cheating, alas. Never heard of the first fabric n 9a, haven’t encountered that spelling of 15a for a long time and don’t understand 18d.

    Thanks to Virgilius and BD; spotted the Bible entry in The Mine, looks useful!

    • gazza
      Posted March 13, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      18d Stop loss of liquid assets in firm (7)
      Double definition – a) a verb meaning to stop the flow of liquid assets from one’s body, say, and b) an adjective meaning firm or reliable.

      • Geoff
        Posted March 13, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        It does make more sense when you put assets in the first definition!

  16. pommers
    Posted March 13, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Well, I thought this the usual great stuff for a Sunday so thanks to Virgilius, even if not quite as taxing as others have mentioned.
    No particulat favourite as they were all pretty good but I did think 20d was clever.
    Pommette has been having a go at the NTSPP but is now asking for help! I’ll see what I can do but the wine at lunch won’t have helped!

  17. Nestorius
    Posted March 13, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    I am totally stuck with 10a. Any hints? Any obscure hint that passes the “prize puzzle” bar would be appreciated!!! Just for clarification: I never send it in anyway ;-)

    • Franco
      Posted March 13, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Nestorius, I’m going – Goodbye – Enjoy your drink!

      • pommers
        Posted March 13, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

        Franco – couldn’t have put it better! You going blogging?

      • Nestorius
        Posted March 14, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        Many thanks, Francone! I will ponder it!



      • Nestorius
        Posted March 14, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        Home and dry.

        As we say in Amsterdam “De mazzel!” which means exactly the same ;-)

        I hit myself over the head! It is not all that idiomatic and I should have picked it up.

    • Qix
      Posted March 13, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      10A Someone is going to say this toast (7)

      This is a particularly difficult one if English is not your native language. As Gazza said earlier, it’s a double definition. A word meaning “goodbye” (which is often used in Scotland), and a slighty altered form of what is, perhaps, the most commonly used toast (what you say when you have a drink in honour of something).

      I’m afraid that it’s difficult to say much more without going too far.

      • pommers
        Posted March 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

        Hi Qix
        In the NW of England I’ve heard this term used when clinking glasses, also, as you say it means goodbye. . Hope that’s not put me in the naughty corner again!
        (I thought Franco’s hint more cryptic than the clue!).

        BTW, thanks for your NTSPP – see post on that thread.

      • Nestorius
        Posted March 14, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        I know the C****S word. The required word will surface even if I have to beat Google to death.

  18. Addicted
    Posted March 13, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Did this to-day with sister-in-law whom we were visiting – she drives me nutty in that she jumps around all over the puzzle while I’mstill trying to concentrate on one clue!! However, we did complete it eventually, but not until I had insisted that her “paralleled” for 1d was NOT correct. Having finally got the right answer, the rest slotted in, though I did think one or two were a tad obscure (10a being one of them!) Very enjoyable though, so thanks to setter – not quite as mind-numbing as some Sunday’s,I thought?

    • Kath
      Posted March 13, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

      I also have a sister-in-law who, thankfully only occasionally, ‘shares’ a puzzle with me! Drives me barking mad, especially since she is French – who can help but admire a French person who is able to do an English cryptic crossword? She also jumps all over the puzzle and, when she manages to do one, announces “I’ve got one, Kath, but I’m not going to tell you what it is”!! Hiss, even though she is actually a much loved member of the family!

  19. Kath
    Posted March 13, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Quiet here today, for a Sunday – perhaps everyone has been gardening?
    Good night all and sleep well – tomorrow is another day.

  20. Posted March 13, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Glad you enjoyed the Wine Route in SA, Derek. Did you go to Speirs Wine Estate, the best? I am still trying to work out the answer re what dance comes from a carnival city!

    • mary
      Posted March 13, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

      Hi Patsy, if you are still there 20d – you need the two letter crossword abbreviation for about followed by the three letter carnival town and finish off once more with the two letter crossword abbreviation for about

      • pommers
        Posted March 13, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

        but it’s not the most common abbreviation for ‘about’.

  21. Posted March 13, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, folks! Still can’t ‘get it’ though! Carnival City in South America? And a South American dance?

    • pommers
      Posted March 13, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

      Hi Patsy
      Can’t really say more without being edited out and going to the naughty corner, again!
      BUT, if you have the checking letters you should know which abbreviation for ‘about’. Put one at the beginning and one at the end and in the middle put an abbreviation for a famous S. American city. The result is a dance from the country of that city – I had to look it up as I’d never heard of it!

    • pommers
      Posted March 13, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

      If you’re really stuck, hover over the picture in Big Dave’s hint.

  22. Posted March 14, 2011 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    Oh! The song-and-dance I’ve been thru to get to the nuttiest of the chocolates! I thought this word began with K, but I was thinking Japanese, obviously!

  23. Posted March 14, 2011 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    As he-who-has-such-good-taste-in-wine said, we are in Lent.
    So was it Lent-il soup?
    (If she’s so sharp, why can’t she dance, one wonders!)
    Look forward to next week’s X-word.

  24. Posted March 14, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    So the city is not in Southern Spain then?

    • pommers
      Posted March 14, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      Not even Spanish speaking – city of carnivals!

  25. Posted March 14, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Pommers, for confirming that the carnival would be a RIOTous Assembly!
    Have you read the book by that name, btw? Written by Tom Sharpe (of Wilt fame), it’s about a place called “Piemburg” – Pietermaritzburg – in Natal, (now KwaZulu-Natal) in South Africa, where Tom Sharpe was a photographer b4 being deported in the apart”hate” era.

  26. pommers
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Glad you got it!
    Only Tom Sharpe I’ve ever read is ‘Blott on the Lansdcape’. Really enjoyed that so why I’ve never read any of his other stuff is a bit of a mystery.