ST 2580 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2580 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2580 (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    Talking about athletics event, what’s bad and good (10)
A verb meaning talking about is a charade of an athletics event, something that’s bad and G(ood)

10a    One seeking to profit from illegally acquired stock (7)
This clue will cause no problems if you have seen one like it before – if you haven’t then you need to know that cattle is the stock being illegally acquired by this person

15a    Exhausted down-and-out late to attend (4,4)
Two definitions – an adjective meaning exhausted (4-4) or a down-and out person (8) – one wordplay: a charade of late, as in passed away, and to attend (2,2) – Chambers does not give (4,4) as the enumeration for either definition, the OED gives it as an alternative for the adjective but not for the noun

27a    All its pieces are in one row on it (10)
All of the letters of this machine can be found on the same row of its keyboard


1d    Stupid and empty party after party (4)
A word meaning stupid is derived by putting PY (empty PartY) after another word for a party

5d    Main source of oil on earth’s disrupted (5,3)
Oil can be found below the surface of this expanse of water – it’s an anagram (disrupted) of ON EARTH’S

16d    Underwater swimmer straying when beam sinks to bottom (8)
To get this underwater swimmer move a three-letter synonym for a beam from the middle to the end of straying

23d    Within rail network, start from Euston and end in Victoria, or maybe Paddington (4)
Start with the UK’s main rail network and then insert E(uston) and {Victori)A to get an animal like, for example, Paddington

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!

49 comments on “ST 2580 (Hints)

  1. Just having a look at it—I don’t normally attempt the Sunday one, and am still at the Sat one, but—heigh ho! Am determined to get thinking, even if I do have to use the hints.

    Many thanks to setter and for the hints.

  2. Superb – great clues, wonderful penny-dropping moments. Thanks to Virgilius from another great crossword today. Just wish it was my Sunday to do the review so I could enjoy it all over again.

      1. We have some 30 miles away from Sue but strange things happen around the isle of Thanet – they have their own little microclimate

        1. We are your side of the Isle of Thanet, the border is a couple of large marshes away. Hazy sunshine is the best we can manage today, but the sheets are drying on the line.

    1. I’m impressed by all you folks getting it done so quickly! Your comments encourage me to really work at it today instead of giving up and saying ‘too difficult’.

      A bit grey here in Auld Reekie, but still good to get out.

      1. Good luck – before I found this great blog I never even looked at the ST cryptic – much too difficult! After about a year of reading the hints and comments I can sometimes finish them now – but not today!! Anyway, must have improved a bit.

  3. Afternoon Dave, I found this easier than yesterday and didn’t need the hints today but still needed a little help, no real favourites but if I was forced to pick one it would be 12a or maybe 16d :) Thanks for hints off to read them to see if I’ve understood things properly, then watching Liverpool, hoping they’ll redeem my dismal sports weekend!

  4. Haven’t done a Sunday puzzle in a while – enjoyed this. I liked 12a. Thanks to Virgilus and to BD.

  5. This was a crossword of two halves for me. The right hand side was completed, with the left hand side completely blank! A cup of coffee later, and the left hand side seemed to drop into place. Favourite clues for me 2d and, as with others, 13d. Another superb Sunday puzzle; thanks to setter and BD.

  6. I’m in the same position as you, Rednaxela. Only have 1d and 13d so far — but I shall perseverate! :-)

  7. Haven’t got far with this, NE corner complete, plus half-a-dozen more. Some sunshine here and the rest of the puzzle will have to wait.

  8. Loved this Sunday offering.Favourite clue 13d. Come on Sunderland. Sorry Mary:) Thanks setter and BD even if not needed today.

  9. Sorry to interrupt the backslapping, can anyone help Mrs T and I with 13d? 2C (35F) here in Boston but sunny and bright.

    1. Hi Tantalus

      13d. It’s a condition often associated with awkwardnes. You need a 4 letter word for skilful followed by a famous composer and swap round the first and last letters.

        1. Nice one!
          Actually one of my best friends is this and he’s anything but awkward! sinister indeed but awkward not!

  10. Excellent stuff. Thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    3d hasn’t had a mention but it was my second favourite after 13d.
    Off to try Radler now, I may be some time!

  11. I found this a bit trickier than the last few Sunday puzzles – ie I haven’t quite finished it and recently I’ve been able to quite often.
    Some really good clues – 12, 22 and 24a and 1, 2 and 23d.
    Still have two that I can’t do – any help would be appreciated. They are 17a – have an idea but can’t quite see how it fits some of the clue – and 26a. Also I don’t understand 3d (assuming my answer is right and I’m pretty sure that it has to be)
    Off to the garden now – beautiful here – sunny and warm.

    1. Hi Kath

      17a. A word for shoot, often associated with shooting birds, is reversed followed by a type of European wading bird (a little obscure IMO) gives a sort of decorative crest.
      26a One of the abbreviations for a medic followed bu one of the patnerships at a bridge table is what somenone did in a game that wasn’t won.
      3d. One of my favourites. The first letters of up keenly are capitalised when the abbreviation of this country is written

      Hope that helps

      1. Thanks Pommers
        17a was what I thought it was but have never heard of the birds – should have looked them up I suppose!
        26a was just me being blind or stupid, or possibly both. Likewise 3d! Thanks for your help – can now go back up to our veggie patches and carry on digging!

        1. I hadn’t heard of the birds either but apparantly there are Red ones and Great ones – one lives and learns! Have to admit it took a while for the penny to drop on where the partnership in26a came from which is a bit stupid as I play the game!

      2. This is turning out to be a joy to solve, and the hints/comments are really helping. I always thought the Sunday one was too difficult, but a bit of brainwork and I am hooked!!

        1. Sarah F
          Sunday’s are my favourites I think. I like them all but the Sunday Virgilius seems to just a little bit extra about it. Keep at it!

  12. PS – The unaccustomed sun and warm temperature has obviously done my brain in and made me forget my manners! Thanks to Virgilius and Big Dave

  13. Another entertaining puzzle from Virgilius.
    I liked: 12a, 14a, 17a, 25a, 27a, 2d, 3d, 8d, 13d & 23d.

    Spring has definitely arrived here in Holland but the central heating still comes on in the morning!
    Tomorrow is the equinox – dagennachtevening.

  14. Gooie Naand/Naandse, Derek.
    Het jy gisteraand se maan gesien? I am practising my “Dutch” for my trip to Holland…I must be Delft!

  15. Can’t finish to-day’s – couldn’t finish yesterday’s – and there I was, thinking I was getting SO much better! Hints helped a lot – but still not enough.
    Hey ho – onward and upward.

    1. Don’t despair!

      There were a few clues here that were a little trickier than you’d usually find in a standard back-page puzzle. It’s all about experience; keep doing them, and you’ll get better. And, hopefully, have a little fun while you’re at it.

  16. Just getting round to this one this morning. I”s been a bit of a grind but almost there. Like most others I enjoyed 13d the most. It made me laugh when the penny dropped.

    Although I’ve got the answer, I’m not really sure I understand 17a. Can someone explain how the clue is working. Also, I know it’s only 4 letters but, I’d be grateful if someone could give me a hint on 26a. I can’t think of anything it might be!


    1. Don:

      17a – Shoot returning birds showing decorative crests (8)
      We need a word for shoot or bag (for someone firing at game birds) returning then follow that with a type of wading/shore bird (plural) to get a decorative crest usually on the head or a hat.

      26a – Medic joining partnership was in a no-win situation (4)
      One of the standard abbreviations for a medic. Partners here refers to the game of bridge. The remainder (was in….) is the definition.

      1. Thanks Gnomethang. Much appreciated.
        I’ve found the bird now.
        As for 26a I think the vital word here is ‘was’ ie past tense. Your hint of the bridge partners swung it and I’ve now completed it. I normally spot those but I think I’m still feeling slightly fragile from Saturday’s rugby-thon watched at the rugy club. I’ll let you work the rest out for yourself!!!



    2. Hi Don 26a a two letter abreviation for a medic followed by two letters that form a partnership (compass points) as in a game of bridge to give you a word for when a contest is a tie

      1. Thank you Mary. Gnomethang just beat you to it. I have it now.
        Hard luck for your rugby team on Saturday. I’m afraid ‘good’ France got off the bus. I watched it in the company of a fellow member of the front row union who is a valley’s boy and he finished the night feeling sorry for himself. Come to think of it the Guinness may have contributed to his melancholy. Still a good season for Wales. Well done.

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